Six new gadgets to look forward to in 2017

With the year wrapping up, there’s renewed hope in new technology.

With the year wrapping up, there’s renewed hope in new technology.
Office, home or on the go modern life is a constant buzz. And it’s here that new gadgets and gizmos help save time make life simpler. With the year wrapping up, there’s renewed hope in new technology. We give you a sneak-peek into six gadgets that are likely to hit the mart in 2017.

Samsung foldable smartphone:
Samsung has been reportedly working on the foldable phone for years. Reportedly, the Korean giant is brainstorming over two kinds of foldable phones, including a dual screen one with a flat screen on both sides. One of them is slated to hit the market mid next year. The smartphone is rumoured to have two flat displays on each side, with a hinge between the two displays that will allow the smartphone to have a foldable design. And once the device is folded, the displays will be inside and will be no longer visible.

The leaked pictures of Samsung foldable smartphone. (Image source: YouTube)

iPhone 8:
Well, an Apple product and no rumours? Unlikely! The buzz is strong that the new iPhone 8 is going to be a major refresh, with the Home button, which will allow an edge-to-edge glass display, getting booted out! Apple also intends to include a new kind of technology that will allow the screen to act as a fingerprint sensor. Rumours are also rife about Apple intending to use a flexible OLED display rather that the LCD panels, that will eventually make the device lighter and also offer more vivid colours and contrasts. With the iPhone’s 10th birthday bash coming up, Apple might also include long-range wireless charging.

The leaked picture of iPhone 8. (Image source: Twitter)

iPad Pro:
Staying with Apple, there is a buzz about the new iPad Pro as well. The upcoming iPad Pro will be seen in three different sizes – 12.9 inch, 7.9 inch and 10.9 inch – with some design changes, too. The tablet’s bezels may be tweaked too to make more room for the display and the new tablet is expected to come with 32GB RAM native storage, housing the brand’s yet-to-be introduced chipset A10X.

Google Smartwatch:
Google is expected to launch its smartwatches next year. The two Android Wear smart watches have been codenamed Anglefish and Swordfish. Anglefish is the high-end variant of the two and will be larger and thicker than the latter. It will have a distinct crown button on the left with a small shoulder button on the top and will be equipped with cellular connectivity, which will support both GPS and LTE. Meanwhile, the Swordfish will have a single button protruding to the left and will be compatible with the Android Wear Mode watch bands and will not support cellular connectivity.

The leaked picture of Android Wear smart watches. (Image source: YouTube)

Nintendo Switch:
Next year looks good for gamers! The iconic video game company will release its new gaming console, the Nintendo Switch. This will feature a multi-touch screen and will support up to 10 touch points. It will also feature a 6.2 inches display screen with 720p resolution.


WhatsApp Extends Support for BlackBerry, Nokia Platforms Till June 2017

WhatsApp Extends Support for BlackBerry, Nokia Platforms Till June 2017

WhatsApp Extends Support for BlackBerry, Nokia Platforms Till June 2017
WhatsApp earlier announced it would end support by end of 2016
The extended support for BlackBerry will end on June 2017
Dated Android, Windows Phone 7, and iOS 6 not supported from early 2017
WhatsApp has confirmed that it will extend its support for BlackBerry platform in what could be seen as the most relieving news for BlackBerry users. The most widely used messaging service earlier this year had announced that it will drop support for several mobile operating systems from 2017, including BlackBerry’s and Nokia’s operating systems.

The company updated its support page and added, “We will soon be ending support for certain devices. On June 30, 2017, we will no longer support the following platforms: BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40, and Nokia Symbian S60.”

WhatsApp however confirmed those users on Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 as well as Windows Phone 7 won’t be able to use WhatsApp at the beginning of 2017. The messaging app will no longer be supported on iPhone 3GS or devices running iOS 6.

“These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android running OS 2.3+, a Windows Phone 8+, or an iPhone running iOS 7+ before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.”

WhatsApp informs that there is currently no option to transfer chat history between platforms though the company can provide chat history attached to an email, if requested by users.

The messaging service had previously emphasised how much the market changed in the years since WhatsApp was launched in 2009. Previously, Android and iOS platforms were running on less than 25 percent of the devices, while BlackBerry and Nokia’s operating systems dominated the market with roughly a 70 percent share. WhatsApp’s decision to pull the plug on Symbian and BlackBerry however recaps how the platforms have lost popularity.

Soon after WhatsApp’s announcement to end support for BlackBerry, the Canadian company expressed its disappointment with WhatsApp’s decision to abandon its platform.

Tags: Apps, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, WhatsApp, WhatsApp App


Nearly Half of All Small Businesses Will Have A Mobile App by 2017

mobile app

It has taken a while, but small businesses are finally realizing the potential of mobile apps to gain more customers and increase sales.

According to a new survey by B2B research company Clutch, nearly 50 percent of small businesses will have mobile app by 2017. That’s impressive considering only 20 percent of small businesses have mobile apps today.

“Three years ago, a small business might see 10 percent of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it’s closer to 70 percent. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious,” says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the app builder Shoutem.

Small Businesses Will Have A Mobile App by 2017

mobile app adoption trends 2016

The survey has found that the majority of small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55 percent), improve customer experience (50 percent) and become competitive in a specific market (50 percent).

Marohnic explains, “A good mobile app can facilitate quick checkout for a purchase, leading to an increase in sales. Customer experience amounts to simply browsing through an inventory, seeing what’s available. An app can definitely improve that experience, compared to a mobile website, where the user has to login again every time they use it, provide payment details, and so on.”

Marhonic also adds that consumer-facing industries such as restaurants, churches, small event organizers, car dealers, and stores are the obvious adopters of mobile apps for small business. According to him, these businesses want to build loyalty programs and keep their customers informed.

The survey findings support Marhonic’s assertion as it has been revealed that small businesses consider customer loyalty features (21 percent) as the most valuable feature of their current mobile app.

Should You Opt for a Mobile App for Your Business?

The big question now is whether or not you should go for a mobile app for your small business?

Before you consider the option, you should know that apps are no longer a mere branding exercise for small businesses. From simplifying online purchases to providing easy-to-access information, apps provide several benefits for small business owners.

It’s worth noting that for the business owners, there are various sophisticated software tools and app builders that are making their lives easier. These easy-to-use and affordable tools can get businesses started and help leverage the potential of apps.

Founded in 2012, Clutch is a Washington DC based research firm. For the study, Clutch surveyed 352 owners or managers in the United States and asked if their small businesses will have a mobile app by 2017.

Market Image via Shutterstock, Chart Image via Clutch 2016 Survey Data


Twitter Denies #SaveTwitter Rumours of Shutting Down in 2017

Twitter Denies #SaveTwitter Rumours of Shutting Down in 2017

Twitter Inc denied on Thursday rumours that the social media messaging service will be shutting down in 2017, denouncing the claim as groundless.

“There is absolutely no truth to the claims whatsoever,” a spokesman for Twitter said in an emailed response to a Reuters request for comment.

Social media started buzzing with the hashtag #SaveTwitter early on Thursday, with more than 100,000 tweets mentioning the hashtag by early afternoon. It was unclear how the rumour started although some tweets said it originated from a Twitter user who complained about online bullying and Twitter’s poor handling of such abuses.

Twitter has been criticized for not doing enough to police abusive behaviour on the messaging service, and has struggled to find the right balance between free expression and blocking violent or hateful speech.

Last month, Twitter permanently suspended a number of user accounts for harassment, including that of Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, vowing to redouble efforts to thwart abusive behaviour and block repeat offenders from the social media site.

Twitter shares rose 3.6 percent to $19.73 at mid-afternoon.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Apps, Social, Twitter