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Web Trends: Portable Devices

written by Webmaster Josh Mejia

The Internet is changing rapidly. In the mid-1990s, classrooms of kids would gather around a single terminal to enter topic searches. Today, web connectivity has burgeoned from an incomprehensible oddity to an important facet of life.

2010 saw monumental changes in the way people access and use the Internet; 2011 will see a continuation of these changes. Having an understanding of new trends and technologies will improve business, efficiency and security -- not to mention, it can also be fun.

Let's review some of these trends

According to ComScore, smartphones are the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market with over 45.5 million owners within the U.S.

2011 will see the release of several 4G smartphones. This latest generation of smartphones utilizes a network capable of smooth video streaming with speeds comparable to current cable networks. This is a marked increase over the previous generation, 3G.

2010 also saw the release of Apple’s tablet, the iPad, which sold around 14 million units during its debut year. Analyst Robert Cihra of Caris & Co. predicts tablet sales will more than triple, increasing iPad sales to 36 million by the end of 2011.

Cihra goes on to predict that growth in the iPad and tablet market will cut into future sales of netbooks and personal computers.

How is this changing behavior?

The proliferation of mobile devices is changing consumer habits. Customers can download coupons directly to their portable device. While out shopping, many find that consulting a favorite product website is easier than finding a store employee. Brick and mortar stores are frequently viewed as a way to test a product before purchasing online.

The travel industry has adopted these new technologies quickly. Many airlines offer online check-in and will also email electronic boarding passes. Electronic boarding passes can be accessed on a portable device, allowing for efficient, paperless travel.

For entertainment and recreation, there are applications, or “apps”, that utilize a phone’s GPS capabilities by finding nearby restaurants, shops and other destinations based on location. Users can then read reviews from past visitors.

In short, people are adopting these new technologies for the same reasons they adopt any new breakthrough: convenience, efficiency and fun.

With an ever-growing app market, users are becoming smarter shoppers and more efficient travelers, with an edge on finding the best restaurants and recreation. Some smartphones support turn-by-turn GPS navigation while driving. Meanwhile, the iPad and other tablets are able to accomplish similar tasks as e-readers and portable gaming devices. Because of this, we can expect to see people spending more time on their portable devices and accessing the Internet from them as well.

Did you know?
  • Many portable devices don’t support Flash-based websites.
  • The processing speed of the iPhone 4, iPad and Droid X is the equivalent of certain computers released between 1999 and 2003.
  • According to November data from the Nielsen Company taken in the U.S., the Android operating system made up 40.8% of recent adult smartphone consumers between June and November, 2010. Apple iOS made up 26.9%. RIM BlackBerry OS came in at 19.2%.

Image Management Seminars Coming Soon

Image Management will be hosting a series of free seminars in the near future. Lunch will be provided. Be our guest as we cover a spectrum of technology-based content.

  • Drop by and let us know what topics you’d like to see covered.

What do you remember?

1. hostile computer download
1
2. type of phone
2
3. mobile
3
4. permission to use software
4
5. what you can ski on
5
clue: type of tree

IM ink is written, designed and created by Image Management employees. You will find more information about us at: www.imagemanagement.com

Wares and Downloads

written by Web Programmer Richard Joswick

The world-wide web is flooded with gadgets and gizmos. Like ordering off a foreign menu, downloading even the tiniest application can sometimes have untold consequences. This article shifts a few common Internet buzzwords to the fast food menu.

The terms ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ are familiar to most. Hardware is what you stub your toe against beneath your computer desk. Laptops are becoming the norm, but the concept stays the same even if you can enjoy more leg space. Software is the data and algorithms that powers the computer. Firmware is low-level software that works directly within hardware. There are many more types of ‘wares’ floating out there, referring to the type of licensing permissions accompanying the software.

Even a casual surveyor of the web has crossed download sites of which cnet, zdnet and tucows are only a few. Downloaded applications assist with a variety of tasks on a multitude of computer platforms like Windows, Macintosh or Linux. They’re categorized by purpose and accompany such terms as ‘shareware’, ‘freeware’, etc.

The term ‘free’ in ‘freeware’ is easy to spot. True to convention, freeware is publicly available, free software. Shareware is crippled software that must be unlocked - either through payment or registration - to access the application’s full functionality.

Adware is a common model. These programs generate revenue through advertising. This model has become so prevalent it can go unnoticed. Search engines are adware. Google, for example, generates revenue by selling advertising space alongside their seemingly free Internet search. Since ads can be obnoxious, take special care when downloading even legitimate adware.

Wares can come with more than the user bargained for. This is malware. It is malignant software designed specifically to compromise computer systems. Downloading from reputable websites minimizes most of the danger. But running even legitimate software can cause computer problems. Protect yourself by reading customer ratings and reviews. The best download sites provide user feedback and tips.

A remaining concern is the scope of provided licenses. Often, software might be freeware for personal or academic use but require purchase if used for commercial purposes. Care must be taken to verify this.

So when downloading applications from online sources, download safely by properly identifying the type of software and the extent of the provided license, and also by reading user reviews.


Winter Vacation in 2011

written by Web Designer Ross Nelson

As a snowboarder, winter sports have always been a big part of my life. Vacations to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Canada and beyond were regular occurrences as a boy. In adulthood, there is much to consider when determining where to go for a skiing trip. The recent surge in mobile and wireless technology has made this process easier. We can find the best snow conditions, the most cost-effective accommodations and the most electrifying night life.

Resorts are as diverse as the enthusiasts they cater to. Jackson Hole, Alta, Snowbird, Vail, Aspen and Snowmass are just a few to consider. Avid skiers will enjoy the more challenging trails at Snowbird or Alta. Families can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Vail or Snowmass. Alta provides an interactive trail map at www.alta.com. This can be helpful in order to determine how well a mountain fits your skill level. If you would like another skier’s point of view, sites like weather.com or onthesnow.com offer user reviews of the major ski resorts. If you are interested in finding a resort, go to ski.com and use the Resort Finder tool under the Tips & Tools menu.

When it comes to finding great prices on travel accommodations, there is no shortage of web applications. Many of these sites have built mobile apps for use on the go. We have expedia.com, travelocity.com, vrbo.com and kayak.com. All of these have their own innovative ways of presenting the travel experience. For example, hipmunk.com displays a calendar layout of available flights giving the user the ability to sort by price, the number of stops and duration of the flight. Vrbo.com allows vacation-home owners to reach potential renters across the world.

Snow conditions are also a predominant factor in where to spend your vacation. The best snow has recently fallen and is cold and dry. But how do you find this Shangri-la of snow? There are two tiers to finding good conditions. Before you leave, look for resorts with the freshest snow. Once you are there, watch the weather and be flexible enough to drive to the resort with the best powder. To aid in this search, Snowbird and Alta provide email alerts in various categories, from snow reports to season ticket specials. There are also applications for your mobile devices. For interactive tracking of the snowfall at your favorite resorts, download The North Face iPhone app at www.thenorthface.com.

After a long day of skiing, you will need to find good food and entertainment. Yelp.com has it covered. The social aspect it introduces to the entertainment experience helps bring the best locations to the top. With 39 million visitors to Yelp just in November, 2010, there are enough photos and reviews for anyone.

So whether you are going to ski for 10 hours a day or have a leisurely family vacation, keep your digital devices close and your skiing vacation will be a success.


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