Tech Times: Written and Compiled by Kareem LaTouche and Stephanie Lyew
Tech Term of the Week
The phrases or terms, 'push notification', 'push server' or simply the word, 'push' are all related to push technology. The concept is related to the basic communication of a server with its users. For example, users on a social network like Facebook or Instagram receive push notifications on their mobile devices when someone has created a new post or tagged him or her in an image.
The push notifications can be managed by the users, as it is usually based on the preferences provided by him or her during the initial sign up process.
Also, users can subscribe for information on items offered through a channel. Whenever new items are available the server pushes out the information.
Apps this Week
Stre.am for Android - Stre.am is an application for live video streaming and broadcasting. It is a social media platform for persons with an interest in creating videos or just connecting to the world via live videos. Although the Stre.am app is less popular than Periscope and UTrailMe among other video streamers, its gain is approximately 50 downloads every two days since August. Which isn't bad for a video streaming app with many competitors.
Version 2.44 was officially released for Android users on March 30th of this year. Version 2.97 was recently updated. Its security system is up to par, making reports easier for users that are concerned about the accessibility of their live streams to viewers worldwide. Unlike Periscope, Android users can sign up via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or email and connect with contacts across platforms. Total size is 26MB and requires Android 4.1 upwards.
Periscope for Apple (iPhone) - Periscope is another social networking application for video streams and live broadcasts. It was relaunched on iOS under Twitter's app store account on March 26th of this year. The app is only 14 MB and the users can decide to keep or record their broadcasts.
Once the user connects with other individuals using the Periscope application, live chats can be created. While streaming live, you can create texts to describe what is being broadcasted for persons to comment.
Through a system of hearts, users can share likes and the person who receives the most hearts during a real-time broadcast will appear in the 'Most-Loved List'.
Twitter posts related to the broadcast links via Periscope will be shared with other users. All these push notifications can now be muted in the latest version especially for those related to users going live.
UTrailMe for Windows (phone) - The UTrailMe application is similar to most live broadcasts mobile apps. However, it doesn't allow users to broadcast to only one person. Once users are connected, the notification of a live broadcast is shared with all. The videos are not saved to the mobile device directly, in the newest version, they are displayed in a 'My Videos Screen'. The videos are viewable 24/7 on the UTrailMe server where the broadcasts are usually saved. UTrailMe allows users to login with Facebook and Twitter as well as post the link to live broadcasts on these mediums. It is available to Windows Phone 7 and Windows phone 8 users. Current ratings are 3.5 out of 5 stars from 32 ratings and 28 user reviews. UTrailMe is rated for everyone.
Recently, Tech Times was invited to the launch of a new line of audio systems by PANASONIC that will be available to the Jamaican public soon. Given the fact that we love our music, having better sounding audio systems is definitely a plus in our market.
At the event Jose Alborch, Panasonic's audio specialist, demonstrated the true power and quality of each audio system and talked about their pros and cons. Several models were shown at the event, but only three stood out due to look and style, and they were the MAX8000, MAX600, and the AKX200.
Although, all seven models shown delivered amazing sound quality and power when played at high volumes, the three I mentioned really astounded me for their size. The line up also comes with new features like:
- Bluetooth - Which allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet and play songs from it.
- NFC (Near Field Communication) - Allows you to pair two devices by touching them.
- PANASONIC Max Juke APP - An app that allows you to transfer MP3's from your mobile device to the built-in storage of the audio systems.
- USB Ports - Each system comes with a port so you can easily play MP3's from a flash drive.
The MAX line of PANASONIC audio system also comes with:
- Illuminating Speakers for a disco like feeling.
- The ability to record from USB to USB.
-AIRQUAKE Bass - this offers an overwhelming bass and resonates a large area which allows listeners to feel the bass.
I have to say that no matter what the size or model was; the new line of MAX and AKX series from PANASONIC this year performs amazing in sound quality and will satisfy the most bass hungry critic even at max volumes.
Worldwide sales growth for smartphones is slowing down, thanks to maturing markets, but remains strong, according to International Data Corp's quarterly mobile phone tracking report.
The market intelligence forecaster expects global smartphone shipments to grow 10.4 per cent in 2015 to 1.44 billion units, down from 27.5 per cent growth in 2014. IDC had previously forecast 11.3 per cent year over year growth for 2015.
The firm attributed the downturn to China joining North America and Western Europe in a "more mature growth pattern", which is to say the market is getting saturated. Shipments to the region are expected to grow just 1.2 per cent year over year, compared with 19.7 per cent in 2014.
India vs China
"India has captured a lot of the attention that China previously received, and it's now the market with the most potential upside," said IDC's mobile tracker program director, Ryan Reith. "China clearly remains a very important market. However, the focus will be more on exports than consumption as domestic growth slows significantly."
IDC also expects Android to remain the dominant operating system, with global shipments of Android smartphones projected to grow from 1.06 billion in 2014 to 1.54 billion in 2019.
Sales at Apple, which maintain higher margins than other smartphone makers, are expected to grow from 192.7 million units in 2014 to 268.6 million in 2019.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone will "remain a marginal challenger at best".