How to Use Your Smartphone Productively at Work

How to Use Your Smartphone Productively at Work

With smartphones so commonplace both in and out of the office, you are probably wondering how you can cash in on some of the potential productivity gains these devices can provide, all while dodging the productivity pitfalls that are sure to ensue. Well, you’re in luck; we have a couple of practices and tips you can implement to get the most out of your smartphones for work purposes.

Pushing the Limits of the Smartphone Battery

Cell Phone Batteries Cellular phones have been on the market for much of the past 35 years or so. In the 1980s and early 1990s, cell phones were large devices that were powered largely by nickel-cadmium (NiCD) batteries. These batteries, like the devices they powered were bulky and heavy, and didn’t really last very long. They also degraded quickly, especially if they were charged while there still was a charge in the battery. Soon, as the demand for cell phones started to increase, the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries began to be manufactured. This material was lighter and took less time to recharge; and, while they still suffered from what would be considered severe degradation today, it wasn’t as bad as the NiCD degradation. As this technology was developed in the late 1990s, the market for cell phones began to expand rapidly. Smartphone Batteries For years, devices were made with NiMH batteries that could be swapped as they degrade, but as the smartphone was developed the devices began to need a stronger power source to run devices that were effectively computers in your pocket. The Lithium-ion battery was developed. Unlike nickel-based batteries, lithium-ion batteries didn’t degrade, they lasted longer and were much easier and faster to charge. The one drawback was their price, which can be seen in the price jump in devices used nowadays. Recently, innovations have helped develop what is known as the lithium-poly ion (Li-Poly) battery. This type of battery has 40 percent more power than the NiMH batteries, but costs are still too high for manufacturers to commit to a Li-Poly battery to anything but flagship devices. Future Batteries With so much changing about the way people use technology, there needs to be a concerted effort to enhance battery technology. Today, they have begun to replace the graphite found in today’s lithium-ion batteries with silicon. This improves the performance of these batteries by up to three times, but that is hardly the most interesting advancement. Some new technologies you are likely to see at some point in the next several years include: Use of rectenna – researchers are trying to capture energy from Wi-Fi or other electromagnetic waves. Using a rectenna–which is an extra-thin and flexible radio wave harvesting antenna–to harvest AC power through a Wi-Fi signal found in the air and convert it to DC to charge the battery, or power devices directly. You will recharge your device – What if you could be the source of power to recharge your devices? With the use of a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), you can harvest electric current generated by a host (a human) to power devices or recharge batteries. Solid state lithium-ion batteries – Using solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte in a battery isn’t really that new. You can find them in some wearables, pacemakers, and RFID sensors, but because of the massive cost they present, they haven’t made their way into smartphones yet. Peptide batteries – There has been a push to use biological semiconductors to charge devices. In fact one start-up, StoreDot, out of Israel, has a device that can charge a smartphone in 60 seconds. The same technology is being developed to make batteries. Sodium-ion batteries – What if we could develop a battery using one of the most abundant metals in the world […]

How Smartphones Can Make Your Business More Productive

Communications Considering that these devices are still technically telephones, it should be no wonder that communication is big in a smartphone – and that’s before we even consider their capacity to surf the Internet and send messages. These multipurpose communication tools can keep your team on the same page, collaborating efficiently and effectively. Mobile Applications Many mobile applications can be leveraged by your employees to continue their productivity, whether or not they are in your place of business. This mobility helps deliver value to your enterprise, as web-based resources accessed through a desktop’s browser were once the only real option for a worker to leverage. Mobile apps augment the opportunity for an employee to accomplish their goals. Utilizing mobile apps has become such a common business practice that many applications used by organizations have had mobile versions developed. As a result, your employees can more successfully collaborate with each other, as well as deliver the products and services you offer more efficiently. Therefore, operations and support are improved. Presumed Detriments Despite these benefits, many employers aren’t completely sold on encouraging smartphone use in the workplace. This makes some sense, as they could presumably become a bigger distraction than they are a benefit, hurting the business. Similar things are often said about social media. Many businesses have gone so far as to forbid the use of smartphones during work hours, their reasoning being that the more time spent on smartphones is equal to less time spent on their business. This reasoning has a few holes in it. The biggest one being the unsupported assumption that time equals productivity, which isn’t necessarily the case. Furthermore, this doesn’t account for the time that a smartphone could be used to the benefit of the business outside of normal working hours.  BYOD and Mobile Device Management Of course, with businesses allowing smartphones to be leveraged, they need a way to make sure these devices are properly managed. Some businesses can provide their employees with company smartphones, but many just can’t afford to do that. This doesn’t leave these companies out of luck, however… the combination of mobile device management software and a policy known as a Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) policy allows these businesses to oversee each device that connects to their network. Depending on the policy, this can cover only the applications and data that the company requires/controls, while others extend to the entire device. These platforms enable administrators to retain control over the wireless network, enforcing permissions and keeping the company’s data secure. Think of it as a content filtering system that works on your employees’ devices, whitelisting and blacklisting applications that serve company purposes or serve as distractions, respectively. SRS Networks can help you leverage the capabilities of a mobile device in your business. For assistance in implementing mobile device management, reach out to us at (831) 758-3636.

Foldable Screens Enter Smartphone Market

OLED Foldable Screens The first thing you should know about the technology that allows a display to fold is that it is an innovation from LED (light-emitting diode) technology. The LED is a semiconductor light source that emits light when an electric current flows through it. It works through a process called electroluminescence. As electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, energy is released as photons. The color of the light emitted depends on how the photons cross the energy gap of the semiconductor. In an OLED display, the electroluminescent anode is made from an organic compound. It is situated between two electrodes, and as the electrons move and recombine, light is produced through the emissive organic layer. Since it already produced visible light and not just a charge of targeted energy, no backlight is needed. As a result, OLED displays typically display deep black levels (which help in image contrast) and can be produced thin and flexible. Over the past five years, many different manufacturers have made use of OLED displays. Some are PMOLED (using a passive-matrix design) and some are AMOLED (using an active-matrix design). The difference is the PMOLED display has control of each line of pixels sequentially, while the AMOLED display uses a transistor to directly access pixel function. Bendable Displays This doesn’t really get us closer to why OLED displays can be so flexible. Inherently, the organic compounds found in an OLED anode are able to be manipulated any which way, as long as the transistor used to carry the energy formed by the electric current is also flexible. Once scientists figured out that problem, it was a simple task of finding a substrate layer that was able to flex while maintaining its integrity while bending. This is why glass, while used in most of the smartphones up to this point, isn’t an option for flexible screens. The flexible OLED displays typically make use of a flexible plastic substrate that provides the right mix of flex and strength that a foldable device needs to be effective. Foldable Options Some of the top manufacturers like Motorola and Apple are rumored to have foldable smartphones ready for market sometime in the near future, but there are plenty of manufacturers, including the world’s most successful smartphone manufacturer, who is ready to launch their first foldable phone. Let’s look at some of the options you may see in 2019: Samsung Galaxy Fold https://youtu.be/7r_UgNcJtzQ Available to the public on April 26, 2019, the Samsung Fold, is the first foldable smartphone to hit the United States’ smartphone market. Reportedly carrying an antenna capable of 5G speeds, it is a seminal phone in multiple ways. The biggest draw, however is the foldable screen. The unfolded screen measures at 7.3-inches and features a new Dynamic AMOLED display. When folded up, there is a 4.6-inch Super AMOLED display on the front of the phone. There is still no word how the software will integrate with the two displays. The Galaxy Fold features a strong 64-bit, octa-core processor and 12 GB of RAM. It comes standard with 512 GB of internal storage. The battery clocks in at 4,380 mAh. There are still a lot of questions being asked, and not many answers to be had about the Galaxy Fold. Huawei Mate X https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_c2KGtZP64 The […]