When HTC unveiled its Vive virtual reality headset a little more than a year ago, it seemed like a shot in the dark - the Taiwanese manufacturer had never made any gaming hardware, and it was squaring up to compete with Oculus, a relatively seasoned company with a fresh cash infusion from Facebook. Fast forward to the present, and entering the ready-to-explode consumer VR market (not to mention partnering with PC gaming and distribution giant Valve) seems like the best decision HTC has made in a long time.
Facebook and work are as synonymous as office jobs and solitaire. Sure, not everyone does it, but it's hardly surprising to catch a glance of some employee's news feed left open on a nearby monitor.
LinkedIn is supposed to be a social network for the corporate world, but using that site actually feels like work, and who wants to do more of that while they're taking a break? So Facebook is taking a more serious shot at the issue with "Facebook at Work."
Facebook at Work allows for work accounts that are separate from your personal one, letting you and co-workers communicate professionally without opening up your social lives to everyone at your company.
Update: Microsoft has stated in a blog post that support is limited to a select number of devices for this pre-release version. The company is opening up compatibility regularly, so if your device isn't supported just yet, check back later.
When a Microsoft app comes to Android, chances are that it's not going to be exciting (seriously, take a look at the list). This is not a jab at the competing tech giant. Instead, it's an acknowledgment that the company makes a great deal of money off business and corporate clients, not just consumers. Microsoft's latest Android app is an example of this.
Google has bought Divide, a startup that secures smartphones to make them enterprise-friendly. It uses containers, a concept that should not sound unfamiliar around these parts thanks to the likes of Samsung KNOX. The approach separates a user's personal data from work-related files, effectively isolating them from one another on the same device. Google's purchase could imply a desire to tighten up Android's security out of the box and better attract the interest of enterprise customers.
Divide, formerly known as Enterproid, was backed by Google Ventures (along with other investors such as Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures), so it doesn't come as too much of surprise that the team was on the tech giant's radar.
There's nothing like a good rumor about the next version of Android. As we approach I/O 2014, we're sure to hear more and more rumors, some true, many false. The Information - generally reliable in the arena of leaks and rumors - has published one of the first "L Release" rumors, today indicating that Android's next major version bump (which the publication speculates could arrive as soon as I/O) will help Google make headway into the corporate adoption arena, convincing companies to adopt Android phones rather than the iPhone (which has already made significant gains in enterprise) as employee handset of choice.
In the haze of excitement over getting the latest and greatest from Android, sometimes we forget that some people actually depend on their phones and tablets for work. Within the professional world, mobile access to email tends to be vital. For better or worse, an overwhelming number of businesses and organizations rely on servers running Microsoft Exchange (or other software implementing the protocol) to handle their email and calendar needs. Unfortunately, a minefield of bugs in KitKat's Exchange support are leaving many stranded without access to their employer's servers.
Unlike a typical Bug Watch, documenting a single bug is nearly impossible.
Verizon is perhaps the most intimidating fish in the sea of US cellphone carriers (okay - it's more of a pond). Now the Big Red is in talks to buy Vodafone's 45% stake in the company for $130 billion, and signs suggest that this deal could be completed within a week. If this goes through, it will mark the closure of a deal Verizon has wanted to secure for years.
If you aren't familiar with Vodafone, it's a British company with roughly four times the number of subscribers that Verizon has and the largest mobile network operator outside of China. Verizon has had the ability to buy out Vodafone's stake for quite a while now, but the latter has been reluctant as such a deal would trigger a tax bill that could top $10 billion and could leave the company more subject to the whims of Europe's troubled economy - which, if you haven't been paying attention, makes the US economy look relatively charming.
You might remember mention of a new AT&T service called Toggle last month, a service which promised to allow enterprise users to access corporate email, calendars and contacts securely from whatever Android device they choose to purchase, while separately maintaining their personal data. AT&T's official Toggle app hit the Android Market today, heralding the beginning of the service, and bringing hugely useful functionality to enterprise users concerned with keeping their business and personal activities separate.
AT&T Toggle essentially allows users to operate in two different modes on a single device: a personal mode, which acts just like your stock device, and a business mode, which allows access to corporate email, calendars etc.
Today, Motorola announced its newest handset geared towards corporate types: the Pro+. This is yet another offering to fill the Blackberry-style void in the Android world, as it not only offers the same familiar form factor, but advanced security features akin to that of RIM's handsets -- like remote wipe, full data encryption, and password expiration.
The Pro+ packs a 1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and Android 2.3 under its 3.1-inch 480x640 Gorilla Glass display and full QWERTY keyboard, along with a 5MP rear shooter and 1600mAh battery.
The Pro+ will be available in Asia and Europe beginning in October, with no word on price or US availability at this time.
Yesterday, Macworld ran an article on Android's popularity among US businesses. In a survey of over 1,600 corporations, Android's growth is more than 20 times higher than that of the iPhone. In fact, 16% of respondents said their firms are already using Android devices, up from 10% just three months earlier. By contrast, iPhone use increased to 31%, up from 30% - growing, but not nearly as fast as Android.
Still, despite the fact that Android has experienced significantly more growth in the past few months, keep in mind that the iPhone already has nearly twice the market share of Android.