hodgsonConsulting Newsletter October 2016
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October 13 , 2016
October 2016 Newsletter

TABLE OF CONTENTS
It's Almost Halloween. Start the Holiday Shopping!  
No one abhors the appearance of tinsel in October like I do, but there is a benefit to thinking about candy canes just as you’re starting to stockpile Halloween candy. Fall is prime time for product launches, and those with their ears to the ground can predict what will be hot in two months. I’m guessing Google is going to make a splash this year, as they’re offering some pretty cool gadgets. The headliner is a phone called Pixel (starting around $650) that’s going to compete directly with the iPhone…Google wants to emulate Apple and offer hardware to run on its software. You’ll be able to find the phone in Verizon and Best Buy stores. What do we love? Unlimited photo storage so you’re never robbed of a great shot because you’re out of space. The most highly rated smartphone camera, ever.  A “knock knock” feature so you can see who’s video calling you before you pick up. And you get seven hours of battery life with a 15-minute charge!

Google is also launching the Daydream View (free with a Pixel order) in November, which is a virtual reality headset with a wireless controller. This funky headset will be compatible with some phones, including Pixel, and it will take gaming (or even watching a movie) to a new level when you slip your phone into the device and turn a small screen into the big screen.

And finally, the new Home smart speaker ($129) makes “googling” hands free. You can tell this device to play music, answer questions, and even control home appliances. With a quick, “Okay, Google…” you can get homework help, ask for a recipe or find out what time you’re supposed to hit the links on Saturday. By the way, we’re noticing that all this exciting Google news is happening in the nick of time…Samsung is ON FIRE right now.

There are some other gadgets we love that aren’t necessarily new, but they’ll make great gifts for the techies in your life. Fitbits are still all the rage, and the Fitbit Alta ($130) now gives you notifications from your phone, if it’s nearby, and offers interchangeable bands (leather, metal, classic) so your Fitbit looks like an accessory. Skullcandy Ink’d Wireless Earbuds ($49) will work well for anyone who just got an iPhone 7. And – something I know I’m getting my husband – the UE Boom 2 Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker (about $195) is waterproof, shockproof, colorful, and LOUD. 

‘Tis the season, folks. Put down the Halloween candy and get shopping!

 
Thumbs Up on iOS 10?
My high-school daughter signed up with Apple and beta tests all the new updates, so I think she’s well past me on this. But if you, like me, just downloaded iOS 10, you’re noticing some differences. I have, too, and my reviews are mixed. Here are some of the biggest changes:
  • Your phone wakes up when you raise it, and you press the home button to get in…no more “slide to unlock.” However, don’t count on a long battery life. This one seems to be the worst yet.
  • You can send text messages with fun effects, like confetti or lasers. If you type “Happy Birthday,” the message is automatically sent with balloons. The aforementioned daughter is particularly fond of the “slam” effect when texting me. You can also replace words with emojis to make your texts a little more fun (or annoying, depending on your age) to read.
  • Hard pressing gets you a lot. Hard press the “x” icon in Notifications and clear them all in one fell swoop. Press hard on a calendar invite to accept or decline it.
  • While Apple has yet to make a waterproof phone (even the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are just water resistant), iOS 10 will alert you to potential water damage and tell you what to do about it. Hint: disconnect everything and turn it off!
  • Sliding your lockscreen to the left pulls up the camera. I love this, because I’m always screaming “Stay there!” as I try to get my iPhone camera ready. This is speedy and will work much better at soccer games.
  • Siri is now your buddy. She’s going to understand a lot more of what you ask when you speak in a normal voice, and she might even have some new jokes up her sleeve (ask if she/he likes Pokémon Go, for example). Siri is still at the bottom of the heap of personal assistants, though. Amazon knows what you search for and buy, so Alexa has all that information when responding to your requests. And the Home smart speaker from Google knows so much about you it’s quite frightening. You do realize that these companies collect data on you like crazy, right? The payoff is convenience, but it comes at quite a cost to your privacy.
All in all, competition in the tech world is a good thing. Every new update offers some bells and whistles that are irresistibly interesting, and make us evermore addicted to our devices.
And Our Partners Have Been Busy....
Sitefinity has released version 9.2. It doesn’t send balloons with emails, but it’s going to help you get your website’s visitors to interact with the site. This means your website is going to play a bigger role in your marketing campaign, and lead to increased enrollment or clicks for information. For the full list of new features, visit our website.

Welcome Optivo to the Episerver family! In a nutshell, this acquisition will help you communicate with your audiences in a personalized, more effective manner. Enhancing the customer journey is always important, and Episerver is delivering. For the full press release on this, visit our website.

Want to chat about your holiday gift lists, funny Siri jokes or our partner news? And of course we’d love to help with a website redesign or some web maintenance services! Send us an email!

 
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