Business Phones: iPhone 5s or Galaxy S 5?

using phonesWhen it comes to every day work, there is one thing every business woman needs: her phone. Two of the best made-for-business phones on the market today are the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S 5. So, which one is right for you? It could come down to just one feature or many.

Design

One stark difference between these two phones is the outer core designs. Where the iPhone 5s has a metal build, the Galaxy S 5 is plastic, which can be a turnoff for some business women looking for a more sturdy phone, notes Business News Daily. However, the Galaxy S 5 is slim and light with a faux metal trim and dimpled backing, making it easy to grip. It’s also water proof. The iPhone 5s keeps to its signature look, and is 7.6 millimeters thin and weighs in at 112 grams, states Apple.

Content Sharing and Multitasking

Equipped with iOS 7, the iPhone 5s has several built-in features that can help a business woman be more productive. For example, AirDrop is a pre-installed app that allows you to send content such as video, photos or documents to one coworker or client or multiple people via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Users also can download iWork’s productivity apps such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers, which is equivalent to Microsoft’s versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel, respectively. Additionally, the iPhone 5s allows you to categorize your emails better by selecting certain contacts as VIPs, so when you get an email from them, you can be alerted immediately and view it from the lock screen.

According to Business News Daily, the Galaxy S 5 is one of the fastest smartphones on the market with a 2.5-GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM, giving you smooth multi-tasking abilities. Another advantage is the multi-window feature through its TouchWiz interface, which allows you to run more than one app at a time. This feature is easy to use, and lets you display the apps vertically or side by side if you turn the phone. Thus, you can use a calculator while checking your email at the same time.

Battery Life

To an IT gearhead, the A7 dual-core 1.3GHz and 1GB of RAM in the iPhone 5s may seem weak, but it actually performs well, states Trusted Reviews. For the average business woman, it allows apps to load instantaneously, and displays graphics crisply and clearly. The dual chip feature allows the phone to split data, so there’s little drag time. However, this puts a bit of a drain on battery life. Also, changing the battery in iPhones still means using a kit to take the tiny screws out from the back of the phone.

As for the Galaxy S 5 phone, it promises a day-and-a-half-long battery power with moderate use. In one test by Trusted Reviews, the phone’s battery lasted 11 hours from a full charge while playing a video on medium brightness. A unique feature with this phone’s battery is that it has two types of power saving. The normal Power Saving mode does some tweaking to keep battery life lasting longer while the Ultra Power Saving mode keeps the phone to a one-screen interface, and allows you access only to your SMS messages, the phone calling features and your browser. The Ultra Power Saving mode runs in black and white, and can last 10 days or more on standby. It is most effective when you only have 10 percent left of your battery, which is usually that time when you are waiting for an important call or email from a client.

Either way, these two phones are top of the line. All you need to do is decide which features are most important to you and your business and hit the ground running.

Posted in Enterprise Mobility, MDM | Leave a comment

Our 5 Favorite Back to School Apps

Most of our work here at App47 revolves around the enterprise and mobile apps for large businesses. But hey—we’re parents too. And with the startup of school just around the corner (or already passed for some), we thought we’d take a minute to shift our focus and highlight some of our favorite back to school apps.

Some are good for students, some are good for parents, but all are great apps to have in your arsenal if it’s just about time for you (or your kids) to head back to school:

  1. Evernote: Evernote is, without a doubt, our favorite note-taking app. We use it mostly for business, but it’s just as useful for school and for keeping track of the seemingly millions of things you need to stay on top of every week. Whether you’re planning a trip or keeping track of homework, Evernote is hard to beat.
  2. Microsoft Office Mobile: Okay, Microsoft’s iPhone/iPad port may not be the smoothest app ever. (We agree with the reviewer who called it “decent.”) But for those times when you’re in between classes and need to quickly edit a document, or when you’re waiting in line reviewing a homework assignment, Microsoft’s Mobile Office is a good tool to have.
  3. iTunes U: Calling all college students: if you’re not using iTunes U, you’re missing out. iTunes U gives you access to full courses from some of the best universities in the world, in multiple languages. We know that taking more classes might not be on the top of your mind right now, but there’s some really cool content in iTunes U that we recommend taking advantage of. Plus, it’s free, so why not give it a shot?
  4. Sunrise Calendar: Sunrise Calendar is a calendar for Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange. For one, it’s a very visually appealing app (which we like). But more than that, it adds more depth to your calendar than you ever thought possible. A great supplement to Evernote and another great way to keep on top of your busy schedule.
  5. myHomework Student Planner: While aimed mostly at students, this app is also very useful for parents looking to keep track of their children’s homework assignments. No matter whether you’re a parent or a student, we’ve yet to find a homework app that’s as extensive as this one. Time to put that paper planner away for good.

We may use most of our technology in the workplace, but it’d be silly not to take advantage of the many great apps out there for schoolwork and parenting, too. These apps are our favorites, but if we missed a favorite of yours, or if you have any questions about the apps mentioned here, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments and let us know!

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BYOD an IT Manager Can Get Behind

Mel Leith of Cognisec, a single sign-on IT solutions provider, recently wrote an article that we felt compelled to comment on. The article—“Hassle Free BYOD”—covers a BYOD solution that’s more forward-thinking than many solutions you may be familiar with.

Rather than focus on the devices themselves—how many employees actually want to let their IT managers install security measures on their personal devices?—Leith advocates for a BYOD solution focused around the cloud. A cloud solution is the opposite of “draconian” BYOD policies or “hugely expensive” (and reactive) security measures; cloud-based authentication and authorization of user devices allows secure access to apps and documents “in complete safety.”

This approach shifts focus away from individual devices as so many people seem to get hung up on when they hear BYOD. BYOD isn’t about mobile—it’s about the cloud. That device could be a smartphone or a laptop, or even a device we haven’t dreamt up yet—it doesn’t matter with a BYOD solution centered around the cloud.

We applaud Leith (and Cognisec) for their forward thinking here. A solution like the one they’re proposing could be just what it takes for 85% of businesses (or more) to have a BYOD program in place by 2020 like Gartner predicts. As huge advocates for apps in the workplace ourselves, we’re big proponents of the cloud and would love to see more widespread adoption of innovative BYOD.

The only major question, then, is when the enterprise will feel comfortable enough with what they already have before they consider a next step like this. Can we really expect the enterprise to embrace BYOD if they don’t have full grasp over BYOA? BYOA is an important next step if we want to see businesses using BYOD to its full potential. In our view, the enterprise needs to familiarize itself with (and get comfortable with) BYOA solutions before fully embracing BYOD.

We’re very glad to see folks like Leith advocating for cloud-based BYOD solutions. But from where we stand, there’s a long ways to go from where we are today to the BYOD-focused enterprise space we’d all like to see. And for that journey to happen, BYOA is likely going to play a very critical role.

Posted in Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM | Leave a comment

Judging the Impact of BlackBerry’s Big Move

blackberryBlackBerry announced in June that users of its BlackBerry 10.3 operating system will have access to the 240,000 Android apps in the Amazon Appstore. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the move satisfies two needs: greater app availability for customers and enhanced productivity solutions for businesses. The 10.3 OS is slated for release later this year. The news may have some large implications for a company some thought had an uncertain future.

App Attraction

The biggest reason for the dwindling numbers of customers for BlackBerry was the lack of apps. Other platforms feature robust app stores that have led BlackBerry users to switch. Through the Amazon partnership, the company aims to bring back some old customers and attract new ones.

The BlackBerry Keyboard Is Still King

Many BlackBerry users left with reluctance, and that’s because the BlackBerry keyboard is still the best. Despite its many improvements, the iPhone still has a long learning curve—and even after you get comfortable on it, the keyboard is still a culprit for awkward misspellings. Ditto most Android phones. For users who compose long emails and messages on the go, a move back to an app-filled BlackBerry makes good sense.

Practicality

The mobile market today is inundated with cheaply made phones that ignore the initial goal of a smartphone—to serve as a personal digital assistant. But with greater app access, BlackBerry is now a practical alternative. Those former customers will be able to enjoy a new range of apps and functionality in the familiarity of the BlackBerry interface and comfortable keyboard. Not only is this re-attracting former customers and attracting new ones, but it will also stop current BlackBerry users from switching.

Making a Strong Business Phone Stronger

The announcement also makes BlackBerry smartphones more appealing in the enterprise arena. BlackBerry’s strongest demographic is business people, and adding access to the Amazon Appstore only makes the range of BlackBerry 10 devices an even stronger work phone.

Through the BlackBerry MDM (Mobile Device Management) system, companies have greater control over the management of their work phones. Management can control not only the devices they lend to employees, but the use of apps to help increase productivity. The Amazon Appstore partnership will only increase an employee’s ability to use mobile tools and apps to effectively deliver to clients and customers.

Moving to Emerging Markets

BlackBerry’s announcement also makes the devices more attractive in emerging markets. The company released BBM Money last year in Indonesia. The service ties a bank account to your device and enables you to make transactions between your contacts. Services like this already exist in Google Play and the iTunes Store. BlackBerry plans on expanding this service, due to its success in Indonesia.

The company also released the BlackBerry Z3 in Indonesia in May of this year, and according to its website, sold out in the first weekend—demonstrating that BlackBerry has established a stronghold in the region. A well-made, affordable smartphone is well-positioned to make an impact in this and other emerging markets where prices on iPhones and Samsung devices are known to be sky-high, especially when you take into consideration that the quick sell-out of the BlackBerry Z3 came before the announcement of the Amazon partnership.

BlackBerry has already had success with their innovative money service and the new BlackBerry Z3 in a smaller market. If the company can experience the same success in similar emerging markets, they have the potential to regain worldwide market share they may have lost over the last few years.

Time Will Tell

Effects of the Amazon app partnership won’t be felt for a while. But, this move is certainly going to improve the situation for BlackBerry. New and old customers won’t shy away from their devices because of the lack of apps, and as a result, app developers will be more inclined to create apps for them. And since the announcement, the markets have reacted favorably—one week after the news, BlackBerry stock rose by two dollars. Stay tuned; this could be a big year for BlackBerry.

Posted in BYOD, Enterprise Mobility, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Yahoo Acquires Flurry—But What About Your Data?

Just a couple days ago, Yahoo announced that it would be purchasing Flurry, a mobile analytics, monetization, and advertising company. This is big news for a lot of reasons.

To start, congrats to the Flurry team—well done! This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in the team’s history and I’m excited about the acquisition. Even though Flurry focuses more on consumer apps than they do on the enterprise app space, this shows continued focus on the mobile app space (just like Apple’s purchase of Testflight), which, if you ask us, is always great news.

Yahoo’s acquisition of Flurry also points towards another important trend in mobile apps: analytics. Sure, they’re doing it mostly for consumers, but in all cases, companies still need to be aware of analytics if they want to develop better apps and ultimately, track ROI. No matter whether you’re an enterprise developing an in-house app or a consumer brand developing an app to streamline customer experience, you can’t know how effective your app is without analytics.

All of that said, Flurry’s sale does bring up a worrying point: data privacy. One of Flurry’s biggest ‘selling’ points for companies is that it’s free. Sort of. Flurry’s entire model is built off of generating ad revenue from the data they get from all of their customers, and now, all of that data is in the hands of Yahoo. That’s fine, of course, and it’s great for customers like indie developers or Fortune 500 companies building consumer apps, but this absorption by Yahoo does leave some questions as to how private data will be, and how it will be used now that it’s a part of Yahoo’s larger ecosystem.

This may not be as big of an issue for consumer apps, but is absolutely something to worry about in the enterprise. With a platform like App47, all of the data that’s collected through our platform—namely our app store and analytics—belongs to you. We won’t do anything to jeopardize your privacy, we don’t derive revenue through the use of your data (that’s why our platform isn’t free), and your privacy is an important concern of ours.

Whether you’re managing your app with Flurry or not, this should serve as a reminder to always be careful about what’s done with your (and your customers’) data. Privacy matters.

We’re very happy for Flurry, and for Yahoo—but we hope that this can start a conversation about app data usage in the enterprise and how you know your data is private.

Posted in Data Privacy, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

The App47 Free Trial: Stop Waiting for Your Enterprise App Store!

Here on the blog, we’ve covered our extensive feature list in pretty great depth. So if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, by now, you ought to have a pretty good idea of what our platform can do.

So what’s the next step? Well, we’d certainly like it if you got in touch and registered right away. But of course, we’d understand if you wanted to get to know us a little better before taking that next step. And that’s exactly why we designed our free trial.

Here’s how it works. To start, head over to our free trial page (it’s that big orange button on the top right of our site). There, you’ll see a few things, including a brief overview of the features and benefits of App47. What we’re concerned about right now is the registration form, which looks like this:

registration form

The registration form is pretty self-explanatory. Fill it out with all the required information (to start, we recommend preloading the popular apps with the check box below your password). After that, you’ll receive two emails. One to confirm your account:

thank you

And one to download App47 on your mobile device:

app47 mobile app install

Start by confirming your account—you can install the app store afterwards!

After you confirm your account, you’ll be prompted to read to and agree to an End User License Agreement (we’ve all done those). Once you do that, you’ll be at the App47 dashboard!

app47 main dashboard

This is where the magic happens.

With your free trial, we recommend starting by poking around the different tabs at the top of the page.

You might notice that certain pages (Manage—Configuration; Analyze, etc.) are disabled when you first log on to the dashboard. Web and internal apps have analytics, but public apps don’t, so we don’t enable the Analyze, and most of the Manage menu, until you create one of those types of apps. Once you create an appropriate app type—a private app for analytics, for example—these menus will be enabled.

Until you do that, however, you can still poke around the app store. When you click the app store tab, this is what you’ll see (if you preloaded the app store, at least):

app47 app screen

You’ll notice that we preloaded the store with some of the most popular business apps from our experience. And if you look to the right of the app icons themselves, you’ll see room for information like total downloads and daily sessions. This is how you’ll track your users and see what your adoption rates look like across the board.

With your free trial, you’ll also have access to add users (to the right of ‘My Apps’), track emails sent on your behalf, and change branding—among other things.

While you’re first getting familiar with the trial, the App47 Wiki is a great place to get started. It’s loaded with information on how to use our platform so you can make the most of your 30 days.

With our free trial, all of App47’s features are fully functional during the trial period, so give them a try! Register some users within your organization and have them test out some of the preloaded apps (or any apps you choose to add). That will give you a feel for how the platform works, what it tracks, and whether or not it’s right for the needs of your business.

So—what are you waiting for? Head over to our free trial page to register and give it a shot. We’d love to have you on board. 

If you’d like to learn more about App47 or how to use our trial, please reach out to us in the comments or via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to discuss our enterprise mobile app management platform, or any questions you have about our free trial. And If you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to contact our awesome support team at either support@app47.com or our Support Portal!

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

No—MDM Isn’t Dead

Globo’s Yad Jaura recently told Enterprise AppsTech that, among other things, “MDM was only ever a starting point for enterprise mobility.” Adding that “it’s data where the real value is, not the devices,” Jaura made clear in his talk with Enterprise AppsTech that he viewed MDM as a stepping stone in EMM, and nothing more.

To Jaura’s main point, data is certainly important. What about the apps your employees are using, and the usage data of those apps? What about crash log reporting? What about managing and distributing apps for partners or customers? All of this data is critical to finding true value in EMM across the enterprise.

Where we disagree is in the importance (or as Jaura sees it, the unimportance) of MDM. While there’s more work to be done after you’ve secured the device for your employee, securing the device is still important. There’s a lot that goes into an effective EMM strategy, and to underplay the importance of secure devices is to compromise your strategy altogether. Data’s important—but so are the devices.

I don’t think that MDM is dead—nor do I think that it’s going away. Even as organizations mature past MDM to MAM and MBaaS, MDM will continue to be an important component of enterprise mobility management.

It may not be the most important part of EMM, but to deny the role that MDM has played (and will continue to play) in the evolution of enterprise mobility management would be doing all of EMM a disservice. It’s more than just a starting point—it’s an important cornerstone of any EMM strategy for any type of organization today.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Why It’s Time for You to Get an Enterprise App Store

“Corporate mobile app stores can go a long way to giving users the experience and choice they want, and putting IT back in control.”

That’s the conclusion of a recent article by Phil Barnett, VP of Global Accounts at Good Technology. His article, “Why the Corporate Mobile App Store is on the Rise,” gives a great look at what enterprise app stores can do well. The story is similar for a recent article by Ripyal Vyas, Founder and President of Softweb Solutions, who recently spelled out five key reasons for enterprises to have an app store.

All around the web, folks are singing the praises of the enterprise app store (EAS), and we’re here to tell you that we couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot to like about the EAS, and we’re glad to see so many people calling attention to it.

Using a combination of the great perspective these two articles bring to the table and our own experience, here are four big reasons why it’s time for you to get an enterprise app store:

  1. Self-service improves employee experience: As Barnett notes, self-service ensures that the end users get what they want quickly and effectively—an essential trait if you’re looking to maximize adoption rates in the short- and long-term. For businesses looking to maximize their impact and app usage, an EAS is an ideal solution.
  2. An EAS allows you to “reach the extended enterprise”: Barnett notes quite brilliantly that an effective EAS can help organizations reach not only employees, but also contractors, partners, distributors, and more. With a fully-branded, customizable app store, no one will ever know you’re going through a third party, and your business can be positioned as a useful authority on whatever space it is that you occupy. It never hurts to strengthen your business partnerships by helping out.
  3. The EAS is a quick, easy deployment method: Follow Vyas’ lead, you should aim to “have an EAS at the drop of a hat.” While MDM deployments are viewed as long, challenging development cycles, MAM/EAS provides quick, easy deployment for both the administrator and end user. If you ask us, there’s no better enterprise app distribution method than an EAS.
  4. Feedback makes you better: An EAS gives you an outlet for tracking feedback and analytics, which can have an immense impact when used correctly. Using the proper tools allows you to take the guesswork out of the equation and start fully utilizing the power of what mobile apps can bring to the table.

An enterprise app store won’t cure all evils, but it can certainly help make your business better in a wide variety of ways. It’s a secure, efficient, effective way to distribute mobile apps (whether they’re developed by you or others), and as we’ve discussed before, those apps can have real productivity gains across the enterprise.

So yes, it really is time for you to get an EAS. The enterprise app store is home to a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all kinds. What will you use it for?

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Creating a Useful and Successful Enterprise App: The Redux

Matt Hunt, business development manager at enterprise app developer Apadmi, recently weighed in on how to develop a successful enterprise app. And you know what? We really liked his list of ten tips for creating a useful and successful enterprise app.

In his list, Hunt covered (nearly) all the right things: everything from defining the purpose of the app to selecting the right technology and testing extensively. What Hunt unfortunately missed are a few of the other key considerations that fall somewhat outside the scope of app development itself.

Although we certainly recommend giving Hunt’s tips a read, we thought we’d give a few of our own recommendations a go. Here’s how we’d round off the (now thirteen) tips for creating a useful and successful enterprise app:

Prepare for deployment and enrollment

How are you going to deploy your app and enroll users? Apps don’t exist in a vacuum, and you’re not going to see the success you’d like if you don’t take this into consideration. Do you have an enterprise app store already? If not, it may be time to think about getting one, as releasing an app into a public app store is a good way to get lost in the mix.

Enrollment in the app store is equally as important. A few enrollment options we like to use? Self-service enrollment, where you send out an email to all users, and they can self register; manually adding users (just what it sounds like); AD or LDAP integration, a seamless process; and API integration, if you’d prefer something more transparent. 

Find a platform for tracking and managing analytics

The app itself is only half the story. Think about how you’re going to track the impact of your app after it’s released. We’re at a point where “just having an app” isn’t enough. Find a platform that will help you track the stuff behind the scenes (we know a thing or two about that).

You need to know things like how often your app is being used, how often it crashes, what types of actions and transactions are being performed within your app, and whether or not your app is performant. Having an app is one thing, but tracking analytics is how you build a great app and find true success.

Don’t forget about ROI 

We know, we know: ROI is something that companies should already be tracking as it relates to enterprise apps. The trouble is, many aren’t. Those analytics we just mentioned above will take you to the next step and tell you whether or not your app is doing what it’s supposed to do—saving you money, making you money, or increasing productivity. Once again, just having an app isn’t enough. It’s time to start thinking about how that app is impacting your business.

App development is obviously an important stage of the enterprise app process, but if you ask is, it’s really only half the picture. A brilliantly developed app means little without a proper support structure to back it up, and that support structure also helps you track ROI—an important next step for enterprise users.

When you’re developing a mobile app, be sure to take the steps after development into consideration. Are analytics and deployment as sexy as development? Probably not (although we wish they were)—but they’re still a key piece of the puzzle.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Security, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

App47 Video Roundup: Who Needs a Walkthrough?

Here on our blog, we’ve already spent a significant amount of time covering some of the most-used features of our MAM platform. But did you know that we have educational videos, too?

We get it: some people learn best by looking at text on a page. Others are visual learners. And some would rather ‘read’ their books by listening to audiobooks on the way to work. (Others still learn best using some combination of the three.) We all learn differently—and that’s okay.

It’s also exactly why we’ve taken the time to answer some of our most frequently asked beginner’s questions in video form. Have a look below for the first round of our video walkthroughs. We encourage you to take a look!

  • App47 In 47 Seconds: If you know nothing about App47 and are looking to start from the ground up, this is the place to begin. This brief video gives a quick rundown of what we’re all about here at App47. And plus, it’s only 47 seconds—you have no excuse not to watch it!
  • Create Your App Store: Did you know that it’s possible for anyone to go to our website and sign up for a free trial? This walkthrough covers how to register and confirm a new App47 account, and the initial account setup process.
  • Recover a Password for an App47 Account: If you’ve lost your password and are unable to log in, or even if you just want to create a new password, fear not: our password recovery/reset process is very easy. This video walks you through how to do just that. Did we mention that the recovery process is easy?
  • Manage App47 Account Members: Now we’re finally getting into the good stuff. Don’t worry if you’re starting from the very beginning and know nothing about how to use App47. This video covers adding members to your account, editing a member’s information, and managing a member’s permissions, the three most important steps in the initial App47 setup process.

Be sure to check back later for more videos in this series. And if you’d like to see more videos or walkthroughs for App47’s platform, see our wiki at App47.com/wiki.

Have questions about any of App47’s many features? See the App47 feature roundup or features page, or connect with us via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to provide a free demo and would love to answer any questions you may have.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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    703.251.4557 | info@app47.com

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