TV Goes Mobile: Apple TV & iOS Power Up!

As a leader in technology innovation, Apple makes the news when it changes its products. So devoted to the company are its users that even rumors and speculation tend to send the digital media into overdrive. And when Tim Cook, Apple\’s CEO, starts hinting of upcoming changes to operating systems and products, the media hype machine kicks into full effect and ears perk straight up.

iOS 7

Apple fans are fully aware that the next generation of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are likely to feature a new iOS system. Tim Cook remarked in an All Things D interview that the latest iOS system will improve the relationship between hardware, software and customer service, something Apple customers expect. Although the previous generations of the iOS system were innovative, the expectations for the latest software and hardware are much higher than before since the late Steve Jobs stepped down and Cook hinted the next system will have major improvements.

Apple TV Sales

The most interesting aspect of the interview concerned Apple’s plans for television. Apple has sold roughly 13 million Apple TVs since it was originally developed, noted Engadget.com. Since Apple TV is not the primary innovation from the company, the large number of sales and the rapid growth over the last year was surprising.The company did not realize that the hockey-puck sized television attachment would generate a high level of interest.

Due to the growing number of Apple TV sales, it is not surprising that the CEO hinted about big plans for the future. Engadget.com suggested that Apple plans to take part in the changing dynamics of television that companies like Netflix and Amazon are working on now.

The Future of the Products

Cook stated that the TV is long overdue for an upgrade and the company has a vision for the future of TV, noted Business Insider. While he did not give specifics about the innovations the company is planning to unveil in the future, he did give enough hints to tantalize Apple customers. The vision for television and the improvements to the iOS system are only a part of the grand scheme that will result in a greater television experience.

DirectTVDeal.com suggests that video streaming has changed the television viewing experience, but Apple’s CEO noted during the interview that it is still possible to make improvements. The current Apple TV provides the opportunity to enjoy iTunes movies and works with video streaming companies like Netflix. According to Apple.com, it also syncs with the iOS systems via AirPlay, so it is possible to enjoy games and apps from an iPhone, iPad or other Apple products on the larger screen of a television.

The future of the television experience is likely to improve on the current AirPlay system and the streaming options. According to USA Today, voice and gestures might be an upcoming feature of the newer system. It is possible that the newer iOS system and Apple TV will work on adjusting the Siri system for better voice control. The publication suggests that gestures might be an option, but it would need reworking the entire system to include sensors, which might make it a little bulky.

Watching television on the Apple TV might be a better experience than using voice commands and gestures to communicate with the system. USA Today suggests Apple TV might incorporate apps into the television viewing experience. Instead of watching cable or flipping through a large number of channels, the system will offer only the channels that viewers are most interested in watching.

Innovation is a key part of Apple\’s approach to reaching customers. Although the details are not yet available, hints on the technology are giving a clear image of the possibilities.

image by deerkoski

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TweetDeck Alternatives for Android and iOS Power Users

TweetDeck for Android, iOS and Air

When Twitter abandoned TweetDeck for Android and iOS last week to focus on the web version of the popular Twitter client, I was not surprised. If you look at the frequency of updates since Twitter acquired TweetDeck, the mobile apps were last updated on 4th quarter of 2011 but the HTML 5 and Chrome app managed to get regular updates. It seems they have neglected Android and iOS clients completely from the beginning. So for Twitter to say that “over the past few years, we\’ve seen a steady trend towards people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices,” is a well-coordinated plan. More users would have used TweetDeck on mobile if only Twitter exerted enough effort on its development. Obviously the priority is still on Twitters\’ very own client.

The Air version was upgraded to HTML 5 (basically the same as Chrome) when Twitter acquired TweetDeck. It is not the old TweetDeck Air that we used to love or hate. Version 0.38.2 is the last Adobe Air version.

I didn\’t miss the Adobe Air version too much because I stopped using it years ago. I don\’t know why some people can\’t move on. The only feature that I miss in  TweetDeck Air, which is still useful today, is the \”Include @replies from friends to others\” feature that enables you to see all conversation even if you are not following the friend of your friends. If you want to stalk your friend or monitor all conversation happening on Twitter then you\’ll need it but why meddle in between conversations when it doesn\’t concern you? I don\’t have a strong opinion on why you should bother so I am fine without it.

\"TweetDeck

TweetDeck HTML 5 and TweetDeck for Chrome is the best Twitter client for desktop because it doesn\’t hog your computer resources and most of the features of the original TweetDeck Air is still there with additional innovations like the combined timeline columns for multiple accounts.

TweetDeck Replacement for Android

I consider myself a Twitter power user. I have several accounts and I seldom use the main timeline as my source of updates. Since I use lists to segment the people I am following it is  also the main reason why I don\’t use Twitter for Android as my main Twitter client. It seems that Twitter does not highlight the importance of lists anymore but it is one of the most useful feature Twitter ever has. I rely too much on lists that I consider apps without an option to remove the \”home\” timeline, to replace with other lists, inferior compared to those apps supporting this feature. TweetDeck doesn\’t have the option to remove the main timeline but at least there is an option to stop it from updating. I think the only reason I keep on using TweetDeck is due to its individual column refresh interval and alert settings. The HTML 5 and Chrome app inherited this feature but for me, it is much more useful in the mobile app.

As a back-up plan I have been using other great TweetDeck alternatives since last year.

These are my top three:

These three are very easy to customize and they have lots of features perfect for meticulous Twitter users like me.

Boid has a default Holo dark theme which is my preferred theme in all my Android apps Ubersocial and Plume can be customized to have dark themes similar to Holo. I would like to include Hootsuite in my preferred Twitter client for Android but the Android version is unstable in my experience; it pales in comparison to the iOS version.

TweetDeck Replacement for iOS

\"Tweetdeck

Speaking of iPhone, I am not a heavy user of Twitter in iPhone or iPad partly because there is no free Twitter app that is good enough for me in iPhone or iPad and partly because I can do so much more in Android twitter clients that there is no need for me to use any Twitter on iOS. However if I would choose a free Twitter client that would be Hootsuite and for the paid client I\’ll choose Tweetbot.

How about you? What will be your primary Twitter client for mobile?

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Twitter vs. Instagram – The Unanimous Decision

I tested  the newly updated Twitter app in iOS and Android since yesterday and right away I knew that Twitter is far behind the competition.

The short answer to which is better, Twitter vs. Instagram — is obviously Instagram by unanimous decision. In every review you\’ll read most pundits reason that Twitter is only following the footsteps of Instagram which made a new category of social network full of filtered photos.

Since I have already established that Instagram is still better, what\’s cool in Twitter\’s own photo filter features anyway?

Twitter vs. Instagram Filters

Twitter is using Aviary to process their photo manipulations… and they only have 8 filters at the moment. In contrast, Instagram has a whooping 18 free filters. Comparing Twitter filters vs. Instagram filters, Twitter is only using bare minimum at the moment and not even using full power of Aviary SDK. Aviary has a total of 30 filters and 12 of them are free while the other 18 are available via in-app purchase. Not to mention Aviary has more options to adjust brightness, warmth, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Maybe Twitter is only paying for the bare minimum features just to see how their users will use photo filters. Depending on the result, it\’s possible that Twitter might roll out new filters in the near future too.

Below, I have used an image that is vivid enough and has a fair distribution of highlight (white) and shadows (black), as well as mid-tones (gray). You can see how the picture is enhanced using all the Twitter photo filters.

\"Twitter

The interface  is clean and very intuitive.

The first button is for  \”auto-enhance\”, the right is crop option where you can crop and just pictures similar to the square ratio similar to Instagram, and the center button is the filter options.

I like that you can have a bird\’s-eye view of the filters and choose which filters look best immediately. You can\’t do this in Instagram because it forces you to select a filter one at a time only.

Instagram and Twitter War

Since Instagram remove the Twitter card support, you can only see link inside your Twitter feed. No more pictures in the stream like it used to be. Some 3rd party apps still support the embedded photos including Twitter\’s very own Tweetdeck but we don\’t know how long it will support it.

What\’s great about Twitter picture service is that is shown in embedded tweets.

Instagram on the other hand will only look like just any another links.

Embed Work-around?

Well, if you like Instagram pictures so much you can still use Instagram as your primary photo filter app, and then attach it to your Twitter post manually. There is an extra step and it will result to uploading the photo twice. One in  Instagram, then another one in Twitter as a duplicate.

I don\’t like the minimal choices of photo filters in Twitter now but the good news is, you can use any photo filter apps that you want and share it in Twitter. For instance, if you are one of the Instagram haters, there\’s plenty of choices around – including Aviary which has more advance features available in both Android and iOS.

If you are looking for ways to embed Instagram photos in your blog, you\’re lucky because WordPress 3.5 supports Instagram oEmbed. I haven\’t tested it yet but it\’s included in WordPress change logs as a new feature.

I have included the official Twitter photo filters video below. Let me know what you think of Twitter vs. Instagram and its short-term/long-term effect in your online community.

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Best 15 Travel Apps for Android and iOS

Below are 15 travel apps for Android and iPhone that my wife and I use when travelling. I use Android as my primary phone while she uses iPhone. From time to time we swap phones because I don\’t get all the apps I want in Android and sometimes it is the other way around.

These apps are all available in both Android and Apple iOS devices. I hope that these can make your travel easier and more fun.

Travel Apps for Android & iPhone

\"Kayak

1. Kayak

When booking deals for hotels, flights and cars, Kayak gives a lot of options even for most remote place that I tried booking. I mainly use this for researching accommodations but it has other features that will delight seasoned travelers.

It can also consolidate your travel plans in \”My Trips\” which can be done easily  by forwarding booking confirmation emails to [email protected]

Kayak also conveniently gives you a ready-made packing list that you can use to track every items you need to pack to make sure you don\’t forget anything.

Other features include flight tracker, price alerts, airline directory, airline fees, airport information (powered by  GateGuru), currency converter and inflight GPS tracking.

Two features that is existing in iOS but lacking in Android are Tours and Attractions, which gives you a list of places of interest to go with tour guides, and Buzz which lists flight search trends.

\"Tripit

2. Tripit

Even before Kayak added \”My Trips\”, TripIt has been parsing airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals receipts and other confirmation emails to create your master itinerary. It is better in organizing your itineraries because it makes them available in one place and you can share it with family and friends who uses Tripit too.

When you add people in your Inner Circle, you can automatically share your complete itinerary with other people using Android or iOS — it is a great way to inform anyone in your Inner Circle your whereabouts.

\"Flight

3. Flight Track

If you do a lot of business travel, you need this application. It has real-time status for gates, delays and cancellation. You can also find alternate flights and view seat maps.

\"Hostelworld

4. HostelWorld

If hotels is not your thing and you prefer back-packing then HostelWorld is the perfect app to get a cheap place to stay.

\"XE

5. XE Currency Converter

It was tough choosing the best free currency converter.

Before sticking with XE Currency Converter, I was using Oanda Currency Converter. It was great but it can only show 1 currency at a time and there was no log when was the latest exchange rate update.

So I switched to XE Currency Converter because it has live exchange rate and I can refresh it anytime I want.

\"Expensify

6. Expensify

This app lets you log expenses, scan receipts, log time with an hourly rate and use mileage, odometer or gps as reference to any bill. Scanning receipts is as simple as taking picture of the receipts and letting Expensify process it using Smartscan that  automatically logs properly whatever value found in the receipt using OCR. The free version is limited to 10 free smartscans a month but when you upgrade to pro, each scans is priced at 20 cents each.

\"Lemon

7. Lemon

If you don\’t need to log mileage then Lemon is a simpler alternative to Expensify. It also lets you process receipt using their OCR technology. You get 25 free receipt processing a month. With a pro account, you can even process line item details – i.e. every item on your grocery receipt will be recorded not just the high level expense value.

On top of this, Lemon can also keep a digital copy of your cards — not just credit cards mind you. It works on IDs, loyalty and membership cards. I don\’t know if Apple copied the idea of Lemon but before Apple\’s Passbook for tickets and coupon, there was Lemon for cards.

\"Foodspotting

8. Foodspotting

When you go places, you need to find recommended great local dishes, not just restaurants. What\’s great about this app is that it\’s all about dishes. You can find the best food nearby and get recommendations from people you follow.

\"Foursquare

9. Foursquare

Since Foursquare upgraded their app to more than a check-in app, I started using it to find recommended places using the Explore feature. You can search for specials, trending, food, coffee, nightlife, shops, sights, outdoors, arts and entertainment. Some of the tips are very helpful to get the most out of the scenic spot or trendy places.

For food and beverages, Foursquare is starting to function like Yelp but unlike Yelp, Foursquare is available in many places, mostly generated by users. You also don\’t get a menu; you simply get tips on what to eat from random users who check-in on those places.

\"Triposo

10. Triposo

I only discovered Triposo lately and it is has travel guides for most countries. The best part is that it is free and it works offline. No need to worry about data access on remote places without signal. You don\’t need to worry about roaming charges with this app.

Each travel guide you install presents you a travelpedia where you can learn the basic history, culture, architecture  and music of the country. It also has some phrasebook that can be handy. It has popular destinations with guides on what you can see and don on those places.  It even has \”eat, drink and sleep\” section to find where to hang out at night, drink coffee and get hotels accommodation with all the contact details and address that you can use to get there.

\"Tourist

11.  TouristEye

This is another app that can work without internet connection. When you add a place in your trip, it will download an offline copy of all the information of the city that you have chosen. That includes maps, all the attractions, restaurants, entertainments, tours and transport information.

It doubles as itinerary planner and travel journal too.

\"Google

12. Google Translate

The latest version of Google Translate is now essential to any traveler going to a foreign country with a foreign language. You can take picture of any sign and with Google\’s character recognition it can translate any language to english.

\"Google

13. Google Local

When you install Google+ in Android, you also get Google Local. It replaced Google Places. This app is actually merged with Google Maps, Navigation and Latitude in Android because it is contained in one unified application. However,you need to install Google Local separately in iOS.

Zagat ratings are incorporated in Google Local because Google purchased Zagat, remember? I still find the 30-point scale unusual but at least it gives you an overview on how good a place is. Google Local also aggregates other reviews from sites like TripAdvisor so you can\’t find TripAdvisor in this list as it is redundant already.

Google Local is also linked to Google+ Local Pages so you can use your Google+ circles to get recommendations.

\"Google

14. Google Maps

Too bad iOS replaced Google Maps in iOS6. It is still the most detailed map available for free and it has live traffic information where it is supported.

Indoor maps for selected places are particularly helpful in navigating unfamiliar buildings. In Android you can also cache map area so you can use Google Maps even if there is no network signal. This is very important if you are going to an island or rural places.

I can\’t think of any maps with chock-full of features that is so easy to use. Good news for iPhone users, you can still use the mobile web version of Google Maps.

\"Siri\"

15. Google Now / Siri

We call them personal assistant and knowledge navigator apps. However, these apps can be your travel buddy too.

Google Now is only officially available in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It incorporates several features from different apps and made them accessible using voice commands as well location triggers. Some of it features includes traffic guide, public transit information, next appointment notification, flight delay forecast, place recommendations, weather, translation, currency conversion and time conversion.

Siri has almost the same set of features but Google Now is location-aware while Siri is not. For travelling, Google Now gets an edge because it doesn\’t require voice input all the time but when you\’re bored while on the road, Siri could be fun.

Google Now and Siri are applications that can seriously change the way we use information around us.

If data roaming is not an issue then Google Now and Siri is the perfect companion in any place you wish to go. Of course, given the choice I would still travel with my love ones.

So now, it\’s your turn. Let me know what\’s your favorite travel apps for Android or iPhone.

 

 

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OS X Mountain Lion Resources for Apple Newcomers

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion

It is a great week for Apple. The ninth major release of OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) was finally made available in Apple App Store on July 25, 2012. It has many features inspired from iOS including notifications, game center, iMessage, Twitter and Facebook integration,  familiar applications such as Reminders and Notes, and  more than 200 other new features.

Those who recently ditched Windows for an Apple MacBook or iMac should be really excited to experience the best OS X experience Apple can give to date.

I gathered the resources that I think should be of great use to any beginners out there as well as seasoned OS X users who wants to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.

\"OS

Upgrading

If you bought a new machine recently pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, you can get Mountain Lion for under $20. I wish every OS upgrade would be as cheap as this. Seriously there\’s no way you can complain for that price.

Make sure you read the pre-requisites from Apple website.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Wonder why older machines are not supported? It appears to be the graphics drivers so if you think of getting a second-hand Mac, take note of the hardware limitation.

Make sure you have Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard before you download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.

Free Upgrade

You can save yourself $20 if you purchased your Mac from Apple, an Apple Authorized Reseller or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer after June 11, 2012. Check the details here.

Software Compatibility

You can check App Compatibility Table by RoaringApps for the list of applications that works with OS X Mountain Lion. It is important to check this so that you you won\’t be surprised when some of your old programs do not work properly after the upgrade.

New Installation

If you want a clean fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to burn the installer to a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

You can install your copy to as many Macs as you want as long as your machines share the same Apple ID. Now, if you have another Mac that doesn\’t share the same Apple ID you can use a work-around to add a new Admin account on that machine and use it to login using the same Apple ID you use to buy Mountain Lion.

Install Best Mac Apps

\"Mac

There are some good apps that comes pre-installed in OS X but you definitely need more apps. You can find here the best 100+ Mac applications for all your needs. Some of them are linked to Mac App Store.

Setup iMessage, tweak some settings to get the most of the new Mountain Lion featuresget rid of some annoyances, add OS X Server if you wish.

Book Reference

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion, The Missing Manual covers OS X 10.8 and iCloud. It is perfect for newcomers because you can get crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to OS X and then you can go in-depth with new key features such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Share Sheets, and more.

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide is a handy guide with all the details you need to know on OS X system preferences, built-in applications, utilities, and other features. It can be a great resource for problem-solving and troubleshooting on the fly.

Further readings

If you wish to read a detailed review, I recommend you read this very long Ars Technica article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review. If you want to read something shorter perhaps this review from The Verge will do. Both articles will give you a taste of what OS X Mountain Lion can do.

For any PC owners out there, you may want to try creating your own Hackintosh. Tech Erra has  a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a PC. Of course, nothing beats having your own authentic Mac.

What else are you waiting for? Dive in, read these resources, and let me know if I missed any important resource here.

 

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Integrate Your Cloud Apps in One Activity Stream with Hojoki

Hojoki Review

\"Hojoki\"

I have used Hojoki during its private beta period but now it\’s already in public beta so you can sign up and try it yourself. My first reaction is that it has a weird name. Well… not really, I know its Japanese but I learned more about on Hojoki\’s about page. The name originated from a popular Japanese book which revolutionized how people thought about the flow of life way back in 1212. Hojoki aims to revolutionize how people think about the flow of work.

Take note that Hojoki is still work in progress. When I was testing it, some of the features are not yet perfect. For example, some of the connections to 3rd party apps may not work. This is expected because it is still in beta but quality of apps integration should be better after beta. Due to a number of API Hojoki has to support I can\’t imagine how they are going to keep all those apps working 100%.

You can experiment on how you may use it. On my experience, Hojoki could be a great tool to aggregate all your online content (like a back-up) where you can search your tweets, bookmarks and files in one place. If you have a team of bloggers working on an article, setting up a Workplace where you can share references could be a better way to collaborate on real-time.

Think Hojoki as a FriendFeed for your cloud apps and you can imagine fun ways to use it.

Hojoki Features

\"Hojoki
Hojoki make all your cloud apps work as one and by that it means that you get one fee of all your productivity apps and other social apps. It gives you a central hub to see what\’s happening on these apps so you could monitor everything in one place. It saves you time by eliminating the need to manage different tabs. You can create several workplaces where you can discuss everything happening on that workplace. For example, a developer workplace may include Pivotal Tracker, Github and Basecamp. If you are managing a project, you can easily glance on the activity streams and get a general idea on what\’s happening with the development without looking at different web apps. In a way, you get to monitor all their activities without even spying them.

Business owners can also use Hojoki to discuss work and manage files to keep your team members well-informed. A business workplace in Hojoki would likely have Google Drive for online documents, Dropbox for file-sharing , Ta-da Lists for to-do or task management, and Google Calendar for event scheduling. These are just a few examples of different apps that you can connect in Hojoki that you integrate to work as one.

Furthermore, Hojoki can give you updates. Several apps provide direct link to shared content. You can see who shared it, what was shared and when. I\’m not sure if Hojoki will also support location-based services in the future to support where.

Collaboration is made possible on the activity streams. You can assign an application to a workspace and you can further define what can be shared to these workspaces. For example, you can define a shared folder for Dropbox that you wish to share to your Hojoki workspace. Only the updates on your shared folder will appear on that workspace. When you add files on your private folders, they will not appear in Hojoki.

Tagging and mentions are also supported; You can use them to filter content and drill down to specific items.

Supported Apps

\"Hojoki

At the moment there are 20 supported apps in Hojoki:

  • Basecamp
  • Basecamp classic
  • Beanstalk
  • Box
  • CloudApp
  • Delicious
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Github
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Contacts
  • Google Drive and Docs
  • Google Reader
  • Highrise
  • Mendeley
  • Pivotal Tracker
  • Ta-da Lists
  • Twitter
  • Zendesk

And to make it better, future support for these web apps are planned:

  • Lighthouse
  • Skydrive
  • Trello
  • Yammer

Mobile Apps

Hojoki is also available in iOS and Android.

Martin Böhringer, Co-Founder & CEO of Hojoki, shared in Quora that the mobile apps reuses parts of the web app which are entirely built using JavaScript and HTML5 code then they use Trigger.io to convert them into native iOS and Android apps.

As you can see, both iOS and Android version are virtually the same.

I find the mobile app quite limited in functionality. You can only refresh the activity streams, connect apps and reply the shared items but you can\’t search. It\’s great for knowing what is happening and reply to current updates but you can\’t do much with the mobile app now. I hope they include more features found in the web app to the mobile app.

 

Hojoki Alternatives / Competition

Cloud aggregation is getting momentum because there are so many things you can on the web and keeping your files in one place is almost impossible to do now that we are almost living in the cloud. It only takes another app to make all these data source connected and linked together to make it more manageable.

Hojoki is doing something more than just aggregating data. It is giving users a new way to work with cloud apps but several apps like busyflow.com and 300.mg are doing almost the same thing. So far Hojoki is leading with the most number of supported applications and appears to be the most popular.

Final Thoughts

In summary, I would like to see more up-coming cloud apps to be integrated with Hojoki. I fancy that Hojoki would support moving or copying files from one source to another but Hojoki can only \”broadcast\” activities now. You can\’t manage the files that you are working on connected cloud apps yet.  Some services actually do this already so the talented team in Hojoki might as well do the same in the future. It seems that the focus now is to support more web apps. If they plan to add more  management features, it could be a killer-app for everyone.

It\’s good to know that Hojoki will always have a free version. I hope the freemium business model  will work for them and I look forward to see better ways to manage cloud apps using services like Hojoki.

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BlackBerry and Apple Came Out Victorious in Enterprise-ready OS Battle

This article is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of Trend Micro products.

\"smartphone

New pre-show research from industry analysts and Trend Micro reveals which platforms are secure and manageable enough to use at work

Manila, Philippines—Trend Micro, Inc. a global leader in cloud-based security software and services, recently announced the release of brand new research comparing the ability of several different mobile platforms to meet the demands of use in the enterprise.  The results of the research, carried out by Altimeter Group, Bloor Research and Trend Micro’s own specialists, clearly show that in the opinion of the researchers, BlackBerry 7.0 scored highest across the board, ahead of (in descending order) Apple iOS5, Windows Phone 7.5 and Google’s Android 2.3

Highlights of the findings

The platforms were each scored on a combination of factors including built-in security, application security, authentication, device wipe, device firewall, virtualisation, and many others. BlackBerry attained the highest average score (2.89), followed by iOS (1.7), Windows Phone (1.61) and Android (1.37)

The findings are summarised below:

  • BlackBerry – The researchers commented that corporate-grade security and manageability make this platform the option of choice for the most stringent mobile roles. However, many features and protections that are commonly enabled or enforceable via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) are not present on devices that are user-provisioned via BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS). In fact, some of the strongest features restricting high-risk activities that users may undertake, such as removal of password protection for the device, may be rendered inactive if a user’s device is not provisioned via the BES.
  • Apple – The iOS application architecture natively provides users much protection because all applications are “sand-boxed” in a common memory environment.  Security in iOS also extends to the physical attributes of the iPhone and iPad.  There are no options for adding removable storage, which in effect provides another layer of protection for users. Apple also compares favourably to BlackBerry insofar as the BlackBerry IT administrator has complete control over the device, whereas in iOS, the IT department can only configure items once the user has supplied their permission
  • Windows Phone - Microsoft has learnt the lessons of the past and created a reasonably robust and secure smartphone operating system in Windows Phone. The OS uses privileges and isolation techniques to create sandbox processes. These “chambers” are based on a policy system that, in turn, defines which system features the processes operating in a chamber can access.
  • Android – Although Android is now available in more recent versions (4.x), version 2.x is still the most widely deployed on existing and new handsets. This is a security risk in itself; there is no central means of providing Operating System updates, meaning that many users remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period. On the plus side, it is a privilege-separated operating system and applications can’t access the network without prior consent. Apps run in their individual sandboxed environment and permissions are granted by the user on a per app basis.  Unfortunately the end user often fails to closely inspect the permissions request dialogue in their haste to use the app. It is often unclear, when permissions are given, what the application is actually capable of.

Nigel Stanley, Practice Leader – Security at Bloor Research and one of the report’s authors, said “Security people I work with are scared witless by consumerization and the rapid adoption of these devices. Aside from the technical challenges, organisations need to understand the importance of a decent mobile device security policy and supporting user education.”

Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro and one of the researchers who produced the report, commented: “Against the growing, unstoppable backdrop of consumerization and BYOD, every mobile device is a risk to business. What is interesting in these results is that, whilst some mobile platforms have evolved very noticeably along enterprise lines, there is still a strong ‘consumer marketing’ legacy in some quarters and this is negating some of the progress made on the enterprise front. Indeed, some of the attributes we have examined in the report are still firmly ‘enterprise-unready.’”

To know more about Trend Micro, you may contact MSI-ECS at (02) 688-3181 or [email protected]

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