A pictorial guide to my Business portable Samsung Galaxy S4 office

mobile-large_thumb.gifAs I am preparing for the Gartner symposium in Barcelona, due to take place on November 11 – 14, having been kindly invited by Samsung to join a team of bloggers, it seemed only natural that I would write up a little story about how I am using my brand-new Samsung Galaxy S4 as a portable office. I have not yet studied all the possibilities, and my device hasn’t been fully customised either, but I have already set up a number of applications and spotted a great number of things to my liking. Let me share them with you here in a few pictures:

1. first and foremost, I have sorted out all my apps by category. Just below my Google screen (the android search feature is very useful I find) I have put a number of utilities, namely related to multimedia functions which I use rather often. Page number 2 shows a number of my most used applications including email, cloud storage spaces, maps, Kindle, Evernote and a few newspapers including the Independent and flip board. other pages are devoted to utilities and personal stuff. I haven’t had time to install my many online banking apps yet, but I can add as many as I wish on the large screen.

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  1. Evernote premium is probably one on my favourite applications. I am using it across all my devices. I have 242 living notes in my notebooks at the moment, but many more have been deleted in order to unclutter the space on my desktop. Evernote is one of these applications you cannot put down once you’ve tried them. I use it to update my posts on the go, after they have been processed through voice recognition and stored in that application for editing.

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  1. One of the nifty business applications I have found on Google play and installed on my Samsung Galaxy S4 is the camcard business card reader which scans any business card, or almost any business card, and turcs it into a proper virtual card for for your Exchange contacts list.

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  1. as a business professional, I spend my time reading and reading and reading and reading. And I’m not just reading novels. I buy my books from Amazon and store them on my Kindle application on my S4. It’s very convenient because the screen is large and very comfortable so that reading is plain and easy on this new device. I love it and keep reading all the time. By the way, for those interested in innovation, I definitely recommend Edmund Phelps’s mass flourishing opus.

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  1. as a digital professional, I spend a lot of my time in blogs and writing pieces in WordPress. The WordPress android application makes it easy for small corrections and editing to be implemented. It’s quite convenient to be able to update your blog on the fly. Here I’m showing my own personal blog, but of course I do this for business most of the time and manage quite a few of them.

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  1. the Samsung S planner is the standard calendar application for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and I find it very convenient. For one, you are able to mix different calendars which is very good because I have 2 of them (one on Google calendar, for personal events, and one on Exchange for business events. It is important for me to keep things separate). The tabs on the right-hand side make it easy for you to access different views including tasks.

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  1. the Samsung S memo application is something I discovered quite recently. As long as you have a screen-friendly soft stylus, you will be able to add handwritten information into your Samsung Galaxy S4 in order to keep that information at the ready. It’s very convenient and you don’t need to type on a quirky software keyboard. After all, handwriting is probably the most advanced technologies of all!

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  1. working with pictures as far as I’m concerned is not just a hobby. It’s part of my job. One of the things that I first noticed on my new galaxy S4 is the fact that my Picassa albums as well as photos from the camera and screenshots etc. were all put together into the gallery application. For even more convenience, I have selected the option which backups all pictures to dropbox on the go. As a matter of fact, as soon as I get back to my desktop, I can download all the pictures taken from my phone into whatever blog post of document in which I wish to include those pictures.

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  1. Last but not least, the ability to read attachments directly, be they office documents or PDF files like this one, is a very useful business helper.

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As a conclusion, there are very few things nowadays that you can’t do without a mobile phone like the new Galaxy S4. I’m not even mentioning NFC payments or security features. Imagination is the limit. Combined with cloud computing and Software as a Service, we are moving closer and closer, every minute, to Mark Weiser’s ubiquitous computing dream.

As a conclusion, there are very few things nowadays that you can’t do without a mobile phone. I’m not even mentioning payments or security passwords. Imagination is the limit. . Combined with cloud computing and software as a service, we are moving closer and closer, every minute, to Mark Weiser’s stream of ubiquitous computing.

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Kaspersky: “we will soon witness cybercrime explosion in the mobile world” #MWC #MWC12

This post was originally written for the Orange Live Blog, reporting live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

On Tuesday February 27th, I had the opportunity to attend a Press conference organised by Kaspersky security. Eugene Kaspersky himself was present for this big announcement in mobile security. The firm is already widely known for its PC protecting suite and today it made a few important announcements related to its release of parental control suites for mobile devices as well as an advanced protection suite for Android devices. In a flamboyant presentation by one of the Press’s preferred showmen of the software industry, the Russian expert and businessman highlighted the risks that mobile users are facing in the near future. Yet, there has also been criticisms in the industry for scare mongering on the part of security software editors …

Cybercrime will soon be too big to be ignored

15 years ago, Personal computer users didn’t have a clue about cybercrime. Viruses didn’t exist, or were in limited supply, and when they did exist they tended to be rather harmless. Similarly, as of today, many users are still wondering whether cybercrime is real or not when it comes to mobility. Nowadays, PC users aren’t questioning that “malicious software” (aka malware) exists nor that it is a real threat. We all know it’s there and that having a proper antivirus installed and regularly updated is a must-have.  Such was Eugene Kaspersky’s introduction, meaning to announce that cybercrime is just about to soar in the mobile industry.

”IT will split into 2 environments : Android for the home environment and Business with the Windows environment” Kaspersky announced, even though Windows and Nokia my prove him wrong soon as it happens; but we understand what he is hinting at: open environments like Android are easier to pry into and are the prime targets for cyber criminals. “No safe zone will subsist” he added.

Going back into the history of computing, viruses like Chernobyl in 1998 were  so fierce that they made infected machines unusable. The virus would go and reprogram the BIOS (the basic software below Windows which makes your machine work) and damage it beyond repair. This virus and others like Melissa or “I love you” changed people’s minds about cybercrime for ever Kaspersky rightfully remarked.

Cybercrime is moving into mobiles

The Russian expert’s theory is that mobility is going the same route as computers a few years ago because, in his mind, “there are fundamentally no differences between computers and mobile devices”.

“The number of computer threats has reached a plateau” he went on, so there are few or no new players in the PC cybercrime space or otherwise, they would  need to be extremely professional. The computer crime scene is therefore mature enough and there are also other non malware related scams which work well in that space (SPAM, phishing, pharming being the most frequent ones). “Online banking only started in 2001-2002 and this is the reason why crime soared too after those days”, now that mobile equipment is booming (in 2012 there will be more than 484 million smartphones worldwide) “we will witness mobile ‘malware’ explosion” Kaspersky warned while showing us a chart (see picture above) with some very worrying numbers.

“75% of malware is targeted at Android”

“Cybercrime in the mobile industry started as soon as 2005” he added, and Android is now becoming the dominant mobile malware platform. (sign of the times, Android went through 1199 modifications in Dec 2011 because of security threats). Eugene Kaspersky said that he was expecting this to happen and he is now “sure that the trend will follow that of computers in 2000 and beyond. “This is bad news for smartphone manufacturer who will need to add extra processing power to cater for security” he said and added facetiously “this isn’t my fault!”. As the above chart shows, things started to get very bad in 2010 and mostly in 2011. And it’s not just mobile devices and tablets he concluded but all connected devices such as TV screens namely.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR DEVICE

But it wouldn’t be right to scare all mobile and tablet users without giving them good and straightforward advice with regard to the protection of their devices. And apart from the security suites sold by Kaspersky (and its competitors), common sense is a good method for keeping your mobile data out of harm’s way. Here are Kaspersky’s recommendations:

  1. lock your mobile screen
  2. use security software (of course, you would expect that coming from a security software editor)
  3. back up your mobile data
  4. use encryption whenever possible
  5. beware of what you install and don’t click on dodgy websites
  6. do not jailbreak your device as you would enhance the capability of malicious software to damage the core of your mobile device
  7. do not connect to untrusted Wi-Fi points
  8. do not skip updates of your OS when they are available
  9. do not assume that your mobile device is safer than your PC

2012 predictions

Kaspersky and his teams fortunately do not predict that a mobile IT apocalypse will take place in 2012 but they are pretty certain that Android will be the main target for massive attacks and that 2012 will see the rise of the first massive worms for Android as well as ‘malware’ in official market applications.

scareware for charlatans”?

A critique of software security companies’ approach to malware protection on mobile devices (not just Kaspersky’s) was fuelled last November by Chris DiBona, leader of open-source software at Google. Kaspersky’s Denis Maslennikov dismissed DiBona’s claims by saying that Google had launched their own anti virus solution soon after. A complete thread of the Kaspersky/Google story is available at this url. It’s a bit early to tell who is right and who is wrong however even though there may be a bit of truth on both sides. Time will tell.

About Kaspersky security

The Russian federation is known for its high concentration of online crime perpetrators but also for being the home of some of the world’s most revered security experts. Kaspersky, named after its founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky, a math lover who used his skills to make surfing safer is one of the leaders in that space. You can find details about their offerings at Kaspersky.com

80% of apps are making less than 1,000 downloads – #istrategy

The second panel today at iStrategy, the title of which was “Engaging Your Audience with Mobile Apps”. The panellists were:

  • Moderator: Mark Curtis – CEO, Flirtomatic
  • Panellists: Alex Musil – EVP Product Marketing, Shazam,
  • Noah Everett – Founder, Twitpic
  • Konstantinos Papamilitiadis – Product & Engineering, Taptu
  • Mark Boerrigter – Digital Marketeer, Green Orange

Mark Curtis described his method at Flirtomatic named “the funnel” which starts with

there is nothing magical behind application marketing

Alex Musil from Shazam said that “it all starts with the value proposition of your app” and the next step is to ensure that the “people who are in the best position to promote your app, know about you”. Then Shazam works on Appstore optimisation (working on keywords). Partner promotion includes carriers he added, but that the most important thing is “word of mouth” which – he said – is the reason why Shazam is adding a million users a month thanks to Word of Mouth. This is what is going to pay out he concluded, in the long term.

“not everyone can get under Apple’s underpants!”

Yet not anyone is Shazam! Mark Boerrigter (Football Meister Dutch app) said that the death rate is high amongst applications. Mark Curtis agreed and said that this was an important statement. He also talked about “the death valley” which Mark is calling “the long tail of despair” and these are the apps which are never downloaded. 80% of apps are flops added K Papamiliatiadis, that is to say that they make less than 1000 downloads! He added that Taptu tested all sorts of things but the only thing that worked was the promotion ads on Android and Apple Appstore. Once you have convinced them, he commented, your adoption rate will be staggering. Yet, Mark Curtis stated that “very few people can get under Apple’s underpants” meaning that few of apps manufacturers can actually sell their business case to Apple.

is product design the new marketing?

“What we haven’t heard here” added Mark Curtis, is that there should be a huge reliance on advertising, which means that a lot of effort has to be put on product design and that “product design [might well become] the new marketing”.