(You're reading all posts by Ryan Faas)Ryan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +.
About Ryan Faas
While bring your own device (BYOD) programs that encourage employees to use their personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices in the office increases productivity and employee satisfaction, the trend is also turning those employees into workaholics. That’s not entirely a new realization – we’ve covered the potential impact of the BYOD trend on the work/life balance before (including a recent study that showed that BYOD programs actually improve that balance for IT professionals).
The latest research on BYOD’s impact on workers shows two additional insights – a significant number of employees are footing the bill (sometimes a very big bill) for mobile data service while on the road for work.
VMWare announced the newest version of VMWare Fusion, its Mac virtualization product, this week. In doing so it also launched its first business or enterprise version of the popular tool for running Windows and other operating systems on Mac workstations. Dubbed Fusion Professional, the new solution has a range of features that are likely to appeal to IT professionals in both business and education.
Evernote has become an indispensible tool for people all over the world. The incredibly versatile “save anything” tool is used at home, school, and work. One nagging issue has been that although Evernote is an amazing productivity tool and has tons of business applications, it has never been good at sharing on a large scale – like the level of sharing that a business of a few dozen people or a few thousand people needs.
All that is about to change. The company announced a new workplace edition of Evernote for business customers.
In a somewhat ironic move, the U.S. government has entered into an ebook deal with Apple that will see a range of government reports, documents, and ebooks published in Apple’s iBookstore. The partnership, which was announced earlier this week, coincides with the Department of Justice’s latest legal filings in its anti-trust suit against Apple.
The deal with the Government Printing Office (GPO) will make a wide swath of documents and ebooks available through the iBookstore. While some government documents are available for free, a number of documents and full-length ebooks are not.
Many fast food and restaurant chains now offer iPhone apps that facilitate ordering for delivery or pick up. A number of services, like Splick-it and Grubhub, also help facilitate such orders through an iOS app, offering independent restaurants to compete with the chains. Beyond apps, there are web-based services like Mealeo that offer the same functionality. Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, online and mobile ordering has become a serious business – over two-thirds of Americans use such services on a regular basis.
In fact, of those two-thirds of Americans, most say they tend to order more from a mobile or web service than they would over the phone or in person.
The iPad became a big hit in the K-12 education market over the past year. Pioneering schools that brought Apple’s tablet into the classroom last school year proved that the iPad can be a excellent learning tool – one that has immense power to transform education.
As the new school year begins, and hundreds of thousands of students across the U.S. become iPad users thanks to one-to-one iPad deployments, there’s already talk that the iPad’s success in schools will be short-lived. The belief is that iPads will quickly be replaced by tablets running Microsoft’s Windows RT or Windows 8.
That assumption is absurd and delusional.
If you thought the heat of the mobile payments industry might cool a bit after weeks of major announcements like the Square/Starbucks partnership, the launch of a new mobile payment company dubbed MCX by several national retail chains, and PayPal’s trial of in-restaurant payments at McDonald’s locations in France, think again.
PayPal announced the biggest partnership yet in the U.S. mobile payments market today – a deal with Discover that will bring PayPal in-store payment to seven million locations next spring.
The U.S. federal government may not be where you’d expect to see mobile innovation or find good app development suggestions. While there’s still a public sector bureaucracy in government, a number of government agencies are beginning to develop new ways to connect with citizens and invest in mobile technologies for internal use.
Granted, most agencies are doing so because of requirements under the Obama administration’s 21st Century Digital Government Strategy. One of which is that every federal agency must make two high-value, customer-facing services available via mobile devices over the next year. Still, the innovation is happening and the agencies that have already taken up the challenge are good models for agencies that have yet to do so.
They’re also good sources of advice for any organization that is beginning to develop an iOS or mobile app strategy.
Over the past several months, we’ve seen studies on the reactions that iPad and iPhone users have to mobile marketing initiatives. Often these studies suggest that the iPad is a golden opportunity for marketing professionals. We’ve also seen the ways that companies are shooting themselves in the foot by not taking advantage of the unique capabilities of mobile devices, particularly when it comes to the iPad and other tablets.
So what does it take to develop a successful mobile marketing campaign? It takes a real understanding of the advantages and disadvantages that mobile devices offer, understanding their place in a consumer’s daily life, and recognition that mobile marketing needs to treated as part of a brand strategy.
Many school districts around the country are embarking on new territory this back to school season – deploying hundreds or thousands of iPads to students. Most of the deployments will be one-to-one initiatives where every student receives a school-owned iPad to use for this school year or their entire scholastic career. Planning such a roll out isn’t easy, but schools and districts making the shift this year have the advantage of looking what worked and didn’t work from counterparts that pioneered the iPad in the classroom last year.
One school district, Lexington County School District One of South Carolina, has served as a model for many other schools around the country. The district offers a lot of insight into the technical requirements, education policy issues, and roll out processes in such a colossal undertaking.