What do you want mobile to achieve for your business?

handsHaving a mobile strategy is about gathering the right business requirements at the outset and then answering one simple question:

What do you want mobile to achieve for your business?

If you are starting by looking at mobile technology devices, apps, online services etc. that’s akin to building a house by putting on the roof first, then the walls and finally the foundations and plumbing… an approach that simply does NOT work!

Mobile strategy is about leading with your business objectives not with technology. Your business will have multiple objectives, both internal and externally focused, so you will need to decide where to best invest your time, effort and resources. An internal focus might relate to being more effective or efficient in business processes fulfilled by employees or partners; An external focus might be to service your customers better or to find new ones.

Once you have worked out the business rationale and mapped out your (business-aligned) mobility strategy, you are then able to go out and find/build the technology solution(s) to deliver the new internal/external business benefits.

Rick

Android 4.2 allows you to share a single tablet AND keep your apps, data segregated from each user (no more kids deleting your email!)

Google recently published an update showing the relative number of devices running a given version of the Android platform. Jelly Bean 4.2 is only at 2% so far – but for families wanting to share a single tablet, yet keep your apps and data separate would be well worth the wait – read more about it here.Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 12.53.12 PM

Apple warranty adapted for Australian consumer laws

ACCC-enforcement-policy-2013Have you purchased an Apple device e.g. iPhone from Telstra or Optus (with 24-mobile plan) or direct from Apple (off plan) since 1/1/2011?

Good news! Apple recently changed it’s warranty to comply with Australian Consumer laws that came into effect 1 January 2011. The change effectively extends the warranty of Apple products to 24 months (up from the previous 12 months). Enjoy!

iPad mini

ipadmin1My mobile device of the year – The iPad mini gets my vote for mobile device of the year due to what it can do, the battery, price and portability.  The original iPads are still good for what they do, however the portability of the mini and it’s ability to do everything a normal sized ipad can do, makes it a hands down winner in my opinion.

A note about stock – Before you read any of the below and get excited please note there is very limited stock and Apple currently have a 2 week wait (as of 17-Dec-2012).  You can get some through perhaps Myer, JB Hi-Fi etc but, like all salespeople on commission, they will likely try to up-sell you to a more expensive model, so be pushy and know what you want before you go there.

Ok, let’s get down to it, a few decisions to make:

Q1. There’s 2 lines for the iPad mini – Wifi or Wifi+Cellular – which one?

A1. Unless you need to use the mini everywhere with the internet a lot, then buy the wi-fi model.  If you need to use the internet a little with the ipad when out and about, then simply share the internet from your Smartphone for the period where you need to use it when away from your home/work wifi and when done turn off the sharing. This means the only $$ you need to spend is when you initially purchase the iPad mini.

A2. If you are in the other camp and expect to use it a lot and like the instant access to the internet, then get the Wifi+Cellular model.  This will cost about $140 more than the equivalent Wifi only model of iPad mini. On top of that you need to purchase a SIM card (usually $2) and data plan from Telstra/Voda/Optus @ about $29 per month for 4GB or $19 for 2GB on Voda (1GB fr $25, 4GB for $35/m on Telstra). Be very wary that ipads get used more than smartphones for downloading youtube/movies so will use a lot more data. If you get the cheaper plan it might cost a lot more if you are not careful. An alternative is a prepaid data card with a 365 day expiry and 12GB data allowance, that way there no risk of overrun and you can use as much as you want plus have visibility of usage each month. You can also do your homework and check what pay-by-the-month offers are there from the Telco providers for device+SIM+monthly data allowance.  Remember to compare total spend over a typical 24 month plan.

Note – no matter what you buy make sure you set up your mini to connect to your Wifi at home (and work if they can provide it to you). This dramatically saves on use of your 3G data if you purchase a Wifi+Cellular model of iPad. (p.s. if your work needs some help working out how to manage the use of personal mobile devices at work, I happen to know a great mobility consultancy who is more than happy to assist….:-)

Q2. What size do I buy – 16/32/64 ?

A. This depends on budget and how you intend to use the iPad.  In terms of capacity a 16GB will hold about 8-10 feature length movies (if that’s all you have on the device), but don’t forget you will likely have a lot of music on it as well, meaning about 5-6 movies is more likely.  I tend to buy the 32GB model as I have a reasonable amount of apps, movies, music and photos stored on it, but if you expect to have a couple of movies, 8-10 music albums and a 100 or so photos then the 16GB will likely be more than sufficient.

Q3. Can I get it cheaper from any special store?

A. No.  Apple set the prices everywhere.  You might get a free screen protector, or an el’ cheapo case thrown in via a reseller, but that’s about it. I personally buy from Apple so I get 100% no issues should there ever be a fault (and I have had a few, Apple products are not perfect as they would like you to believe).

 Q4. Do I buy Applecare?

A. This is a tricky one and a matter of budget.  Batteries in particular might start to degrade after the 12 month warranty that comes with the device, and the applecare warranty extension would cover you. Personally, I haven’t bough Applecare on my phones or tablets as I turn them over well within 12 months, but DEFINITELY do it on my iMac desktop and all laptops I buy as repairs are very costly. Applecare costs $99 and covers the ipad, batteries and included accessories.

 Q5. Anything else I need to/should buy?

A. Don’t forget to get a case. The Apple Smartcover is $45, however I prefer to go 3rd party as the iPad mini smart cover doesn’t (yet) protect the back cover which is prone to scratches. Earphones are not included so you will also have to buy some earphones (in-ear) or headphones (over-ear) if you don’t have some already.

Q6. Ok I bought it, what next?

Read my post on iPad/iPhone restrictions – here.

That’s about it. Again, a great all-round and portable device.

Enjoy!

Protecting your Android device from malware and viruses

AndroidlogoOk, so you purchased the kiddies (or for yourself perhaps) a shiny new Samsung or Google Android device for Christmas. Before bundling it all up in some nice wrapping paper, your very next step should be to protect it from a serious number of mobile app nasties out there on the Google Play Store or Amazon (and other stores alike).

Not sure where to go?  Take a step over to AV-TEST and check out their review of the top apps to protect you. They are independent and referred to quite often by the big guns in the IT industry, so are trustworthy.

Need to wait up until your gadget-addicted littlies are sleeping so you can put the new gadget under the tree? I suggest you make a good strong cup of your favourite beverage and then download a full PDF report of the 2013 AV-Test results for Android here. Happy Reading!

Controlling your kids… on Android anyway…

netnannyandroidWhilst there are some things you can do to restrict what your kids can do on an iPhone/iPad (see previous post here), the level of control available to you is nowhere near as granular as most parents would like. In Android, however you have much more control through 3rd party solutions such as Net Nanny. To see how to restrict particular apps, the Google Play Store etc I recommend you go tak e a look at a good video walk-through of what you can do, so go take a look – here. Product info can be found here.

Disclaimer – I do not benefit from mentioning this product except from the warm & fuzzy feeling I get by perhaps helping like-minded parents protect their children against some of the nasties out there on the net.