What is Streaming?
Streaming is defined as a method of receiving videos (movies, TV shows, etc.) and audio directly from the Internet without having to download them into your computer, tablet, or smartphone. These “multimedia” files are large files that could take a long time to download and can take up a large amount of space in your computer and devices. When you are streaming a movie, TV show or other video or audio, it is the same as viewing your television in “real time.” The only difference is that you are receiving the media from the Internet and not directly from a TV station such as NBC, CBS, HBO, etc.
Popular sources of Streaming (or Digital Streaming) are subscriber based sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Also a number of news services such as ABC, NBC, and CNN, to name a few, contain links to video clips.
As for audio, popular music sites are Pandora and Spotify. Unlike iTunes where you are listening to music that you have downloaded into your tablet or smartphone, these and other web based music sites are streamed from the Internet as well.
It is recommended that Streaming be limited to wi-fi locations, since Internet access through wi-fi is free; particularly at home and a host of areas and places such as Starbucks, hotels, and some airline terminals. Using your wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) for Internet access can be costly (ie: Streaming 2-3 movies in the course of a month could use your entire data plan for that period). If you are planning a long trip and want to be able to view movies or TV shows either on a plane or an area without wi-fi, you should download the files (in an area with wi-fi), watch the programs and then delete the files from your tablet or phone. Yes, some airlines have wi-fi. However check out the rates before subscribing.
The number of web based sites offering Streaming is increasing daily and has become a very popular way of accessing content such as movies, movie trailers, and recent TV shows. To many, it has proven to be a viable alternative to subscribing to a costly Cable TV service.
How Smart is Your Smartphone?
Remember when your phone was only a phone and it had to be connected to a wall jack? Outside, you needed to find a pay phone and have coins to place a call. Wow, how times have changed!
Chances are that if anyone told you at that time that your phone someday would be a device that exchanged e-mails and messages, listen to music, catch up on the news, check the weather, stocks, and watch a movie, you would probably want them committed. It is estimated that over two-thirds of the US population owns a smartphone. A smartphone is loosely defined as a hand-held computer, typically offering Internet access, data storage, email capability, etc.
If you already own a smartphone (iPhone, Galaxy, Blackberry, etc.), it probably came with basic apps (applications) that will permit you to surf the web, take pictures, and communicate with friends and family via e-mail or text messages.
Sales of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) now exceed computers. More people are accessing the web through mobile devices than computers. In addition to the functions listed above, there are now mobile apps that permit you perform many functions on the fly. Below are some examples:
– Book and track a flight
– Search and book a hotel
– Make restaurant reservations
– Reserve a car service
– Track your portfolio and execute trades
– Check your bank balance, transfer funds, and pay bills
– Make mobile payments
– Look up movie showtimes, view trailers, and read reviews
– Stream for favorite movies and TV shows
– Purchase, listen to, and read books
– Play games such as Scrabble, Solitaire, and Bridge
– Take and edit pictures
– Share them with family and friends
– Create albums by event or date
– Set up emergency contacts
– Research symptoms and ailments
– Keep a record of medications
– Refill prescriptions
– Check out doctors and hospitals
– Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
These are just a few of the many services that are offered online. If you would like to discuss your personal preferences and how to set them up on your smartphone and/or tablet, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Confused By All The New Tablets In The Market?
As reported earlier, tablets are expected to outsell desktop and laptop computers in the 4th quarter of this year.
Sascha Segan in her review in PCMagazine of the tablet market writes that “The new Apple iPad mini With Retina display ($399 to $829) is just a shrunken iPad Air. It’s so similar to Apple’s flagship tablet that your decision will pretty much be completely based on size and price. Like the Air, this is one of the slimmest and best-built tablets you’ll find anywhere. It’s an absolute pleasure to use. But unlike the large-screen Air, the iPad mini has many viable small-tablet competitors that are much less expensive, making it less of a must-buy and more of a luxury purchase.”
Click below to read the full article.
PC Magazine’s comparison of tablets
Tablets Are Expected to Outsell PCs in 4th Qtr 2013
Have you bought your first tablet yet? Hard to believe that the forecast is that more tablets will be sold during the holiday season than desktop and laptop computers.
Whether you are a Windows or Apple person, change is in the air.
To read the full article in the Digits Section of the Wall Street Journal, click below.
In First, Tablets Are Expected to Outsell PCs – Digits – WSJ.
Starting a New Business? Do You Have a Mobile Strategy?
Global sales of smartphones and tablets have surpassed those of conventional computers. According to a recent study by Deloitte, “global mobile traffic as a percentage of total Internet traffic is expected to reach nearly 20 percent by the end of this year—compared with less than 5 percent at the end of 2010.”
The same report indicates “The prospect of outsized returns from investments in mobile has attracted startups and venture capitalists. Some of these firms are placing big bets on mobile-only initiatives and investments. In fact, a quarter of the firms and projects in a survey of venture capitalist and startup incubators have built their strategies on mobile technology.“
If you are starting a new venture, regardless of the size of your company, your ability to be competitive will depend on the strength of your mobile program.
To read the entire article, click here or below.
Mobile Device War Heats Up
Microsoft has started to reduce the price of its Surface RT tablet. Read about it in the Wall Street Journal
BlackBerry Z10 prices drop to $49. A disappointing decision just 4 months after its launch according to the Wall Street Journal
Sales of mobile devices continue to soar, with sales of tablets now exceeding those of personal computers.
The stakes are high as more hardware suppliers are rushing to catch up with the demand.
Are these failures indicative of poor planning or the high price points?
What do you think?
Still undecided whether or not to get a tablet?
Tablets have taken over the market. Check out Mary Meeker’s Annual Internet Trends Report.
As for the decrease in PC and laptop sales, Mary Meeker, speaking at the D11 conference this week, called this a “stunning slide,” as it depicts the steep growth of tablets versus previous slow builds.
Why you should consider the Cloud based version of Microsoft Office
Want to use Microsoft Office on the Road?
Are you spending more time out of your home or office? Would you like to be able to work on your documents from your mobile devices?
BY EDWARD MENDELSON. “The title above says Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium$94.99 at SoftwareSpeedy, which is Microsoft’s name for one of its many varieties of Office 2013—the subscription-based variety that you download from the cloud and use on your disk in exactly the same way youve used earlier versions of Office. The difference is that the new Office is designed to make it as easy to store documents in the cloud as it is on your disk, and Microsoft is pushing the idea that with Office 365, you can now edit Office documents anywhere—on any Windows-based desktop or tablet, on a Windows phone, in a Web browser, and even on your Mac, because your Office 365 subscription lets you have Office installed on five devices at any one time. This means you get Office 2013 on your Windows machines and Office 2011 for the Mac on your OS X machines. Office 2013 is an impressive upgrade to the worlds most powerful office application suite, with new features so smoothly built in that it requires almost no new learning or training. Office 365 is the best argument Ive seen for moving documents into the cloud without any compromise in features and flexibility compared to desktop-only applications”.
via Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Review & Rating | PCMag.com.
Looking to Buy a New Laptop?
**Maybe You Should Wait**
Spring is here and Walter Mossberg, in his Wall Street Journal column this week, published his latest Laptop Guide. What type of laptop should you consider? Mac or Windows? A touchscreen, a convertible, a detachable? Is it time to consider a tablet?
Recent statistics show a massive drop in laptop sales. In his article, Walter Mossberg discusses the reasons behind the drop in sales, and why you should consider waiting until the Fall, if possible. Both Microsoft and Apple will be introducing a number of enhancements in the next few months.
If you must buy now, you should review PC Magazine’s list of “The Top Best Laptops.” As I have indicated in previous blogs, you should consider weight, screen size, and your comfort level with the keyboard before making a purchase.
However, people are holding onto their computers longer. if your decision to purchase now is based on performance (speed) or age, perhaps all it needs is a maintenance check.
When is the last time your computer had a maintenance check? If you need some advice before investing in a new computer, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The Mobile World is Now – Are You Prepared?
Over 700 million smartphones (Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, etc.) were shipped globally in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. In an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, major companies, such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are all competing for a share of the global market. If you already own a smartphone or tablet (Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy, Microsoft’s Surface, etc.), you are probably familiar with the world of apps, which is an abbreviation for application, a piece of software which is run on your phone and tablet.
How important is it for you to be a true “road warrior?” Well, the same article reveals that sales of smartphones were nearly double that of the traditional PC last year. Within the next two years, more people will be accessing the Internet through a mobile device than a computer.
If you find you are on the wrong side of the “Great Digital Divide,” and want to learn all about the mobile world, my e-book (pictured below) contains many useful tips. You can order it directly from Amazon by clicking on the image below.