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Xerox targets paper-laden enterprises with new mobile apps, services

The “paperless office” has long been held up as a goal for businesses large and small, but few have come even close. The average office worker, in fact, still generates roughly two pounds of paper waste every day, according to the U.S. EPA.Aiming to help cut a few more of the ties that bind businesses to paper, Xerox on Tuesday unveiled a raft of new automation services and mobile apps for enterprise users.Xerox’s Workflow Automation Solution for Supply Chain Optimization tool, for example, targets retailers with a new way to digitize, centralize, automate and govern the manual steps involved in the product life cycle. Using the Datawatch Managed Analytics Platform, the new offering can reduce labor and printing costs, Xerox says, as well as simplify inventory and invoice reconciliation and improve fill rates by syncing data and applying automated analytics at the store level.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

LG bets on battery life over performance with new G4 smartphone

LG Electronics is giving its latest flagship smartphone, the leather-covered G4, a big removable battery and a power-efficient processor, hoping a long battery life will help it stand out among tough competitors.The G4, teased for weeks, was finally unveiled on Tuesday at events around the world. The company hopes to repeat the success it had last year with the G3 and compete head-on with the Galaxy S6 from Samsung, arguably the best Android-based smartphone. But LG has chosen a slightly different approach on the inside and the outside.Like Samsung, LG used premium materials other than plastic. But instead of using a mixture of aluminium and glass, LG covered the back of the G4 in leather. There are six colors to choose from: black, red, brown, blue, beige and yellow. For leather-averse people, there is a version of the phone with a ceramic back covered in a diamond pattern.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Expect more Cyanogen phones from Chinese vendors

Cyanogen, the maker of an Android-based operating system, is hoping it can expand with the help of Chinese handset vendors with global ambitions.The U.S. company has over 50 million users of its CyanogenMod, which is a modified version of Android that can be installed on smartphones manually. But it’s hoping to proliferate the OS even more, by partnering with Chinese companies to release phones that come with the software.“It’s a great way for them to build some identity outside of China using a brand that’s already reasonably well known,” said Kirt McMaster, the company’s CEO.McMaster made the comment Tuesday in Beijing at the Global Mobile Internet Conference. Although the company’s executives declined to name specific vendors, they said the phones would target the international market, and not mainland China, where competition is already heated.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Xiaomi tries to end waiting period for phone buyers, amid complaints

Targeting sales of 80 million phones this year, Xiaomi is planning to end “flash sales” of small quantities of its best-selling products.The fast-rising company is China’s largest smartphone vendor, but its devices haven’t always been easy to buy. Xiaomi typically sells limited quantities of its smartphones once a week through its website, forcing customers to often scramble to place orders online.Chinese media have dubbed Xiaomi’s distribution model as a form of “hungry marketing”, that leaves consumers starving for more products. It’s also been the harshest complaint leveled against the company, said Xiaomi president Lin Bin on Tuesday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Best Buy to accept Apple Pay, wants to give customers options

Best Buy said its customers could start using Apple Pay from Monday to make purchases on its app through the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, thus appearing to break ranks with a group of leading U.S. merchants who are backing an alternative payment system.“The acceptance of Apple Pay in the Best Buy app is the latest enhancement for our mobile platform,” the giant retailer said in a statement on Monday. Best Buy stores in the U.S. will start accepting Apple Pay later this year, it added.Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced during an earnings conference call Monday that Apple Pay would be supported on the Best Buy app and in stores later this year.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

US trade judge rules against Microsoft in phone patents case

Microsoft has lost the latest round in a patent-infringement case that could lead to an import ban on its phones.Administrative Law Judge Theodore Essex of the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Monday that Nokia and Microsoft Mobile products infringed two patents held by R&D company InterDigital. Essex’s decision is preliminary and will be reviewed by the full commission, which is expected to announce its final ruling on Aug. 28. The final ruling could lead to a ban on importing the phones into the U.S.The ruling covers most of Microsoft’s mobile phones, according to InterDigital spokesman Patrick Van de Wille. Microsoft acquired Nokia’s devices business last year. The patents in the case cover technologies involved in powering up a phone and having it connect to 3G wireless networks. Even though most current cellphones use 4G LTE, they still have 3G capability for use where 4G isn’t available.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

China, iPhone 6 help Apple to another record quarter

Apple achieved its second straight quarter of record results as demand for the new iPhone 6 surged and China became Apple’s second most important market after the U.S.The company sold 61.2 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during the the first three months of 2015, blasting past the 44 million [m] it shipped during the same quarter of last year when the iPhone 5S was still new on the market.Those sales helped Apple to a net profit of $13.6 billion [b], up by almost 33 percent, on revenue of $58 billion [b] for the quarter, up 27 percent. That’s above the $55 billion [b] Apple had said it was expecting and the $56 billion [b] consensus expectation from financial analysts.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Massachusetts drafts regulations for car-hailing services like Uber, Lyft

Drivers for Web-based, ride-hailing services in Massachusetts would be subject to criminal background checks by the state and their company if a bill unveiled Friday by the state’s governor becomes law.That safety provision is just one outlined in a bill that is designed to regulate companies like Uber and Lyft without stifling themThe proposed law would place such services in a new regulatory category called transportation network companies” and require them to obtain a special license from the state Department of Public Utilities, which oversees other modes of transportation. To cover the cost of this oversight, the companies would be subject to a yearly tax based on the revenue they earn in the state. Details on how the tax would be calculated weren’t provided.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Facebook adds free video calling to Messenger

Users can now place free video calls with Messenger, as Facebook continues to extend the app beyond simple text-based chats.With the feature, Facebook is also taking a jab at competing products like Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Google Hangouts. Facebook previously allowed video calling through its site on the desktop, but not within its Messenger app.The video calling feature is available in the iOS and Android Messenger apps. iOS users will be able to video chat with Android users, and vice versa. It began rolling out Monday in the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries including Mexico, Nigeria and Uruguay, with availability in more regions slated for the coming months, Facebook said in a blog post.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

HP buys Aruba and next thing you know Dell is reselling Aerohive WiFi gear

Aerohive Networks announced Monday that Dell will begin reselling its wireless LAN and related management products -- not a shocker in light of longtime Dell OEM partner Aruba Networks being snapped up by HP in a multi-billion deal last month.Aerohive says Dell is a good fit in that the 802.11ac access points and HiveManager NG cloud-based management platform help to fill out Dell's line-up of products spanning from the data center to endpoints. "We believe there is a large demand from customers that like doing business with 'pure play' access layer solution providers vs. large networking companies like Cisco and HP," says Bill Hoppin, Aerohive VP of Business Development.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Going with the flow: The psychology of mobile app design

In psychology, flow, also known as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus: a writer writing an article, a professional athlete competing at peak performance, or even a shopper suddenly convinced to buy that random thing, and have the ability to buy it when the urge strikes. Understanding the flow of a person and how personalized applications and information seamlessly fits into the daily routines of people is quickly becoming a major part of information experience and design.The idea of flow was originally devised in the 1970's when Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi and his fellow researchers began researching the concept after Csíkszentmihályi became fascinated by artists who would essentially get lost in their work. During the interviews ,several people described their "flow" experiences using the metaphor of a water current carrying them along.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How JetBlue uses tech to help customers take flight

When you think of good customer service, Amazon and Zappos may come to mind, but a major commercial airline may not. JetBlue is working to change that perception by incorporating new technologies that focus on improving customer service, streamlining transactions and making flights more enjoyable.The customer-facing technology transformation at JetBlue ramped up three years ago with the appointment of its new CIO, Eash Sundaram. He says JetBlue needed to be about customer service and technology as much as it was about getting passengers to their destinations.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Lightbulbs get smarter with included Wi-Fi and speakers

If your place is larger than an apartment, there's a good chance that you spend a bit of time, periodically, going around changing lightbulbs.It's one of those things. Like cutting the grass and placing the garbage cans at the curb, it's the price you pay.Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs can go some of the way towards solving this onerous time-absorber. GE claims its screw-in LED light bulb replacements last 25 years, for example.They cost a bit more, but they do save on work. You shouldn't have to change them as often—if at all.Multifunction light bulbs Well, one Chinese LED light bulb manufacturer reckons it has solved this, and a couple of other home issues too. It has a solution to the problem of expiring bulbs, Wi-Fi dead spots in the home, and also the issue of trailing wires for audio speakers—all within the light bulb.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

LG out to prove the G3 wasn’t a fluke with new flagship smartphone

The success of LG Electronics’ G3 has put the company under pressure to dazzle the market with the G4, set to debut Tuesday. The company is hoping that an improved display, upgraded camera and a new design will do the trick.LG has in the last couple of weeks done its best to steal some of the spotlight from already available Android-based smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC’s One M9, with a string of teasers and a program to let 4,000 people test the device before launch.The G4 is an important product for LG because the G3 pretty much put the company on the map, according to Ken Hong , global communications director at LG.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The 23 top Apple Watch apps you should get

After a long wait since its introduction last fall -- including eight months and two events -- the Apple Watch is finally reaching customers. Some who managed to order at midnight PT on April 10 are getting their watches now; others who ordered a few minutes later will have to wait until mid-May. That's how quickly the Watch sold out. (I'm somewhere in between; my order went in quickly enough to be in the first batch sold, but I haven't yet received my Watch. At least I can read over the newly posted Apple Watch User Guide while I wait.)+ ALSO: 4 lessons the iPhone should learn from the Apple Watch +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hands on: The first Apple Watch apps for road warriors

Now that the Apple Watch is here, does it do enough useful things to be a standard item for executives, road warriors, and other digital denizens? The Apple Watch's home screen icons can be hard to read, but you can arrange them as you please with the same approach you use on an iPhone's home screen. Yes, you can do useful things on the Apple Watch, but few are that useful. Some are, in fact, downright stupid or useless. In this article, I'll show you which of 30 early Apple Watch apps likely to appeal to business users fall into which category.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

6 mobile work habits from around the world

Mobile has us working all the time in all kinds of placesImage by ShutterstockThanks to Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry and other mobile movers and shakers, the entire world seems to be on call every waking moment. We're constantly working on our mobile devices, whether in the car, in front of the television, or on the toilet. We're working on vacation and feeling guilty about it. Mobile work has become embedded in every country's culture.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, April 27

After the earthquake: Tech is a fragile lifeline in NepalIn the first day after a devastating earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, Internet connectivity looked to be an important conduit for bypassing an overloaded telephone network. But by Monday it was clear that large-scale power outages and last-mile Internet connectivity problems were making communications very difficult. The death toll from the quake and numerous aftershocks stands at more than 3,400 people with thousands more injured. Among those killed was a high-ranking Google engineer who was one of a number of expeditioners on Mount Everest who lost their lives in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Alibaba looks to rural China to popularize its mobile OS

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group hasn’t given up on its mobile OS, and is taking the software to China’s rural markets through a series of low-cost phones.The company has partnered with mobile carrier China Telecom to sell the YunOS handsets. The eight phones will be built by lesser-known Chinese brands, and will range from 299 yuan (US$49) to 699 yuan.Although Alibaba has its own Android apps that connect to its popular e-commerce stores, the Linux-based YunOS comes with a whole suite of company-developed services.The software, however, hasn’t gained much share in the market. In 2012, Google claimed it was a variant of its Android OS, sparking a clash that threatened to derail Alibaba’s effort to popularize the mobile OS.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

A year later, Microsoft’s Nokia deal isn’t a clear winner

It was a marriage of convenience for two industry giants whose past successes weren’t helping them win in the red-hot smartphone market. One year later, it’s hard to say that Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s device business has produced the results its backers envisioned.In the wake of the US$7.2 billion acquisition, Lumia smartphones and the Windows Phone OS are still running into many of the same market roadblocks.But Microsoft isn’t throwing in the towel, and has high hopes that its phone business will get a major boost from Windows 10, which is meant to create an environment where users can move easily between desktops, tablets and their smartphones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here