Samsung moved to steal a march on their main competitor Apple with the launch of three major new products at IFA – the tech industry’s annual Berlin showcase.
Most eye-catching by far is the Samsung Gear – a smart watch that interacts via Bluetooth with other mobile devices – as long as they are Samsungs, of course.
Smart watches have been all the buzz for a while now with Apple’s rumoured model delayed several times and still not officially on the horizon but this Samsung offering is the first to have any serious pretensions as a must-have gadget.
It has all sorts of features – a 1.9 megapixel camera cleverly built into the strap, microphone and speaker allowing you to take calls by simply raising your hand to your ear and loads of apps that could enable you while away the time in those boring meetings by pretending you are checking the time (oh, it does that too).
But it is basically just another way of accessing your phone – providing you are within one and half meters – and as such probably just a half way house until the micro boffins can pack everything a phone can do into a wrist-shaped interface. Mind you, if what’s needed in your sales environment is a way to break the ice and impress geeky technophile prospects then it’s hard to imagine a more impressive conversation starter! Launched at the same time as the Gear, was the next generation of Samsung’s phablet family – the Galaxy Note 3.
Now here is a bit of kit that could be a really useful tool for any sales professional – just bigger than a regular phone but handier than tablet and with impressive spec and functionality.
As you would expect then Note 3 has beefed up ram, enhanced security, up to 64 gigs of storage, two cameras including a 19 megapixel forward facer and a full HD 5.7 inch amoled [active-matrix organic light- emitting diode] screen, not to mention a flip-over faux leather case. It also has a rethought suite of gizmos that work with the S Pen stylus that seem really impressive. Slip out the stylus from its cunningly designed hidey hole in the back and a separate menu appears allowing you to do all manner of things such as scribble a note and convert it to formatable text or add it to a contacts list; it can enable you to capture a screen shot, organise content from anywhere on the web and open applications without interrupting existing content simply by drawing a box on the screen. The only downside would appear to be that it will be eye-wateringly expensive – around £600, although buying it alongside the Gear will get you a £100 off the two. Phones for you say it will be £47 per month with a competitive minutes/data package. Many of the features of the Note 3 – including a stylus interface, which they have dubbed Air Command - are also included in the new Galaxy Note 10.1, the latest up-spec of the company’s full size tablet, which will come with either 16, 32 or 64GB of storage.
PSST YOUR IPHONE IS OUT OF DATE
By the time you read this the most eagerly awaited new tech launch since the last most eagerly awaited one will have taken place with the unveiling of what speculation says is the iPhone 5S but could just as easily turn out to be the iPhone6. And if speculation among speculators is to be believed it will have been shortly be followed by another iPhone launch – probably of a more affordable mass-market version of the apple flagship mobile. Since these launches took place right on our deadline we can only join the soothsayers in predicting a 13 megapixel camera in the iPhone5s, a new range of colours to supplement the now traditional (and dated?) black or white options, and a beefed up operating system iOS7. There could also be the first Apple trade in system and the introduction of a new “liquid metal” scratch resistant coating not to mention the prospect of gold trim.
EASILY DOES IT
EasilyDo is a really powerful app that works rather like a personal assistant and automating machine rolled into one. Connect up the app to your online service – email, Facebook account, calendar and so on then EasilyDo looks for things it can help you to get... easily done! (See what they did there?) One example might be to ask if you would like to add contact details someone who has recently emailed you to your address book. It might check the traffic before you set out for a meeting or scour your social networks to see if anyone has a birthday then arrange a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to their timeline. A really nifty feature is that it can monitor multiple email accounts and alert you when a particular person mails or when someone uses a particular word or phrase. In sort it’s a productivity app that helps you take care of a variety of tasks quickly and efficiently, especially if you hadn’t noticed the tasks needed doing.
The SlideShark app eases the angst of upcoming presentations by allowing you to upload them so they are available to download where ever you happen to be. All you need is a wireless connection and you don’t have to have that important presentation clogging up the tablet or pc since your carefully crafted amalgam of slides, animations and wordage is stored safely in the cloud. SlideShark manages to display each presentation in all its glory and interaction via iPad or iPhone is a piece of cake. The fact that you can present via AirPlay opens it up to many more devices, and all you’ll need is your iPad or iPhone to present them. It’s efficient, its good value and it’s compatible with services like Dropbox. Well worth a look-see for the frequent presenter. Available at iTunes.