Archive for category Collaboration & Productivity
I had intended to post this a long time ago, closer to this generation of devices launches, but the opportunity passed.
However, I still thinking it is fascinating to watch the portfolio of devices these internet and manufacturing giants are assembling. Much of the commentary and opinion has been developed much further elsewhere, however, even collecting images these device suites together on the same page and admiring the aesthetics is reason enough to post.
By announcing the arrival of the Nexus 4, and Nexus 10 to complement the existing Nexus 7. Google have intimated that the application and content state within a mobile user experience across a related set of devices, is as a complete and integrated experience possible to date. Of course this is not the 1st time it is has been brought together, but Google’s Nexus | Android is certainly aesthetically and technologically appealing.
Apart from the mass of OEM hardware manufacturing specialists bringing products to the market place, Amazon and Microsoft are the notable service companies making a inroads into the mobile device market.
Almost standing apart Samsung has that oft commented upon position of being a hardware partner with any of these key internet giants, as well as offering a portfolio of devices of its own. Very much making the market work for it in more than one way.
Certainly I see the consumer having benefitted from the general evolution of touch based mobile devices, initially championed and established by Apple , and brought to extensive commoditisation and choice through the market entry of Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Of course there are other players now making moves Ubuntu and Mozilla, as well as Blackberry still trying to retain a market position and relevance.
If nothing else this post will represent a moment in technology evolution, capturing the phase of the commoditisation and proliferation of these touch based mobile devices.
Do you have a favourite device or vendor?
I’ve recently added a Google Nexus 7 to the set of devices I use. As a home based worker, I’m used to many aspects of remote working, and optimising the my use of the laptop and mobile phone (e.g. 2nd monitor, blue tooth headset). However, this month my working location will be office based but away from home, which I thought was enough of a watershed moment to see how a Smart tablet format device would fit into my device mix.
- Blackberry Curve 9300 (Blackberry OS 6)
- Google Nexus 7 (Android Jellybean 4.2) (16GB)
- Lenovo Thinkpad X61 (Tablet) (Windows 7 x64)
Interface & UX:
All the devices have an touch enabled capability of some level.
The Blackberry has a touchpad control, but not a touch sensitive screen. This is an improvement on the physical trackball device, and not an hindrance on the device of this size, and physical keyboard is a more than adequate input option. The only occasional inconvenience I experience on the blackberry is that the screen is now pretty small compared to many smart phones in the market, so coupled with many mobile enabled websites having been optimised for touch based navigation, the speed and mobility around some web sites can be a little cumbersome.
The Nexus 7 was a refreshing surprise to how easy and simple a completely touch and screen based device can be. Also with Android Jelly bean 4.2, the touch screen keyboard is gesture | swipe enabled so that with a little practice I am get fairly adept at completely spelling a word with 1 touch and motion of the finger across the keyboard. The swipe | gesture feature really is great, and with combination of the well designed device hardware and evolution of the Android OS, I don’t have any regrets about waiting until now before purchasing such a device.
I was also waiting for tablet OS which was able to support multiple user profiles, as my family will also have access to this device, so being able to separate use profiles for different individuals is very useful. It’s often been said that Google Play doesn’t have app ecosystem or content breadth to compete with Apple or Amazon, having had the device for a little over a week I don’t find either to hold any substance any longer. Google Play is a well integrated content and application store and I have not been stuck in finding the applications to access my content – in fact these 1st few days have been a little mind blowing as the sheer amount of content available through applications like Google Currents, Feedly, Flipboard and Pocket have given me a quandary about which application to use for what content or content category.
You will notice that there is also a Physical Keyboard dock (blue tooth connectivity) for Nexus 7 which also acts a hard case cover, and stand. I thought that this would be a useful addition in case I needed to do a lot content creation on the device. Combined with the Kingsoft Office suite, I can use the Nexus 7 as a netbook format device as well.
The Lenovo Thinkpad has a resistive touch screen which responds to a stylus and has a flip and rotate function on the screen. But I have never found that much more than a novel feature, though the flip and rotate screen feature is useful in small face to face group meetings.
It is my workhorse content input and creation device, and I need both a physical keyboard and mouse, as well as a large additional monitor to optimise my productivity on this device. My activities in content creation and communication often requires the need for multiple applications and windows to be in operation. The main laptop screen of 12.1 inches is too small to make multi window navigation and application use convenient. I frequently find the text size or content needs to be reduced in dimension to make that application window fit correctly to fit into the screen.
Integration of Content and Services:
Cloud and Mobile enabled applications are so well established that this has been fairly straight forward. Obviously the Blackberry has full enterprise service integration, and can also support a multitude of consumer email services etc. In terms of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) Evernote has been my application of choice for a long time, and that is always been a leading light in multi-platform support so it was simple to extend Evernote from the Laptop and Blackberry onto the Nexus 7.
I’ve also been a reasonably long time user of Synology NAS devices at home for home digital content (photos, movies, music etc.) The Audio and Photo playback application work without hitch, and I think it won’t be long until the video playback application is out of beta. Certainly the download | file moving application made it easier to move content (music and movies) onto the Google Nexus. I was also able to populate Google Play with my music library too. So that means with Google Play Music, Synology Audio App, Spotify and Tunein Radio there is no shortage of music content on my mobile devices. The Nexus 7 will come into its own as a content device when I purchase a good blue tooth speaker and use it to entertain the children when the family travels together. Though, I must add as an aside – well done to United Airlines, who I flew with recently, for having a great on-demand music library – listened to Alison Strauss, Bon Iver, Robert Plant and The Black Keys – many more were available too.
I will be giving this combination of devices a good run in while working away so I will probably posting a lot more to the blog in the coming weeks.
These are some key links for SharePoint 2013:
It’s worth a look :
A survey of more than 700 IT managers and administrators from public and private sector businesses in Europe, representing more than 1.2 million end users…
A view of SharePoint usage by version taken from the report:
This is post is purely for informative purposes, and is not placing comment, opinion or promotion of AvePoint products or services.
This blog post is a reflection and summary about a product I’ve known and used for a long time, it may be slightly out of place with the current mobile and socially enabled products. However, for all pros and cons, evangelists and detractors, it has note worthy place in history and evolution of productivity software.
While this has improved the capability and feature set of the Lotus Notes client, and made it capable integrating many modern collaboration services into the client.
e.g. Lotus Notes Sidebar plug-ins | integrations:
multiple Lotus collaboration plug-ins:
multiple 3rd party plug-ins:
Check out these Widget recommendation posts:
The Complexity Factor:
Unfortunately, for all this connectivity and integration goodness, the incorporation of the Eclipse framework it has definitely brought a factor fold increasing the complexity of supporting the client. I recently experienced a laptop crash which rendered my Notes client unusable – it shut itself down as soon as I logged in. Only through an operational understanding of the product (from prior year’s experience), and through reading up across many pages of support information, and then not inconsiderably time to recreate lost settings, was I able to restore the client to settings I use everyday. Without those personalisation settings, I would class the product as a hindrance and not a help.
Things of note:
The Client directory structure is now definitely more complex, in fact this is now a combination client – Traditional | basic client executables and configuration data + Eclipse framework executables and configuration data.
<PROGDIR> / (location of core Notes Client and Java executables and base configuration data)
<DATADIR> / (location of core Notes Client and Eclipse personalisation and user specific content and configuration data)
<DATADIR>\Workspace/.metadata (location of Eclipse | RCP Instance Data Area)
Important Documents to read:
- Understanding the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5x client directory structure
- Notes 8 Preferences settings storage
Benefitting from Widget Goodness:
However, there are several good articles on how to create useful widgets or to exploit the Live Text recognition available in Lotus Notes.
Documents worth reading:
- Building composite applications with Notes widgets in IBM Lotus Notes 8.0.1
- Creating Google Gadgets with IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.1
- IBM Composite Applications in Lotus Notes technical education roadmap
- Increase productivity with widgets add-ons
- Using Live Text and Widgets to improve productivity of daily work
I’ve also got Live Text working for UK Postcodes and Telephone numbers, as well as having configured service look ups on names, email and postal addresses.
These list the widgets I’ve added:
Balancing the Benefits:
While the widget plugin interface and customisations delivers the potential to empower and enable a user to increase their productivity via adding varying degrees of personalisation to the client. In reality the use of these widgets aren’t really that accessible and meaningful to a regular information or knowledge worker. These customisations really required too much configuration activity and a reasonable degree of competency and familiarity with client’s inner working and technological terminology.
This is in stark contrast to the modern mobile and browser “apps|extensions” available for almost instant delivery of application or service functions. This renders some of these plugin functions rather aged, as well as appearing very convoluted, but it is in some way exactly that. It shows, that even back then the acknowledgement that these plugin | widget applications did have beneficial function to play, however, achieving the ease and simplicity of app deliver was clearly some way off.
We should perhaps acknowledge the pioneering features or functions that Lotus Notes attempted to bring into the end user experience. Though I think the opinion of whether these were well received, is already known.
They recently released the news that they’ve “decided to shutdown the stand-alone Gist service.”
This makes a lot sense, from looking at the need to further integrate the myriad of social and contact based services we all rely upon and then really embed those services into the underlying platform.
- Since our acquisition we built the BlackBerry Playbook Contacts app and more recently, our team has been tasked with creating the native address book/contact manager for the next generation platform, BlackBerry 10.
- In addition to our core focus on the Contacts app, we have been given expanded responsibility for everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter apps and instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, location services and user analytics features.
It’s good to see them acknowledge other players in this space – see their support page
I’ve tried Nimble, and will take a look at some of the others on list.
I wish the Gist team luck in delivering this goal of pulling much more together and integrating services the across the SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) |rich contact management space.
Other sources of SOLOMO material:
Do you think SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) is a growing space for application services?
These work across multiple PIM (email | phone | contacts) and social networking services to bring together a rich and comprehensive profile of your contacts.
Typical service features include:
- Rich contact profiles
- Picture | Avatar
- PIM contact details
- Latest updates on connected networks
- Latest relationship history
- Shared networks and frequent contacts
- Autosuggest of contacts in mail creation
- Contact sync services across devices and between contact management stores (address books)
- Gadget | Extension services to incorporate further services
Since I’ve been using a Blackberry 9300 Curve I’ve been able to use both the Gist and Xobni applications for Blackberry, in addition to the integration I already have with Gmail. (the images above give some idea of the Blackberry mobile UI to these services).
As these systems bring together a single cloud store of contacts, available through multiple form factors and mobile devices. I see stronger pull for these services in an Enterprise or business context. For example in sales, where finding that contact, understanding the relationship history, recent updates etc. could create better lead generation or decision making in pursuing an opportunity. Which is probably why Rapportive are now part of Linkedin.
I am a little surprised there isn’t more integration and support in the enterprise, these type of products could definitely help overcome some of disconnect and lack contact to enterprise expertise and resources that remote workers experience.
Does a unified and integrated view of your key contacts appeal to you?
Are you using these products?
The Curious Frustration:
However, I found a frustration about the manner in which the “Frequent” folders list get populated.
It considers folders that are “Frequent” to be those that you open files from them (they contain files).
Therefore if you have folder of folders e.g. “My Documents\JumpList Folder\” – it won’t be counted or included.
Even though you open it and access it plenty of times, it won’t appear on the “Frequent” list on the Windows Explorer Jump list.
To demonstrate this – I created three “sub folders” (see image below).
I created a notepad document in both “Sub Folder1” and “Sub Folder2”.
I tested this by theory by opening the Notepad document in the folders “Sub Folder1” and “Sub Folder2”, those folders appeared on the Windows Explorer Jump list immediately. (see image below)
But, however much I accessed the empty folder “Sub Folder3” or the folder of folders “JumpList Folder” – neither appeared in the Windows Explorer Jump list.
Now I understand that empty folders don’t need to classed as a “used” | “pin able” item. However, I think it strange that a folder containing folders doesn’t captured by the Windows Explorer Jump list.
I also haven’t found any documentation to state this? Anyone seen anything useful here?
Jump List Hint & Tip:
So my Windows Explorer Jump list hint & tip, is if you use a “folder of folders” which you wish to pin to the Windows Explorer Jump list – create a txt file in it, and open it, pin the folder to the Windows Explorer Jump list and remove the file!
For another Windows Explorer Jump list tip for removing stuck pins check out : Fix for When Pinned Jump List Items Get Stuck in Windows 7 by HowtoGeek
In the print screen examples below you can see how the extension expands out from any browser tab to show the discussion and content in your community related to that page.
This print screen shows the expanded discussion thread taking place.
When it’s not required it can be easily tucked away onto the right hand scroll bar, like so.
I have to agree with other commentators like Alan Lepofsky who write :
“I don’t say this often, but Jive Anywhere has the potential to be one of those rare “game changing” technologies with respect to the way people work.”
In his article “Jives Latest Release Takes Integration To 11”
I think of this tool in the following way:
In the world of the hunter|gatherer, the foraging for knowledge by the information worker, this is now a must have tool! Jive Anywhere brings the community to bear and support that virtual roamer, and allow them to return the goods into the heart of community – the people and context that matter in an instant. At its best reducing the time to action and response, but in simple terms helping people stay in touch and up to date.
This pervasive availability of connectedness into your core community, to garner and share knowledge in this way is a real step change. Especially with the support of context “cartridges” for particular sites or service providers. (e.g. Salesforce.com)
I liken this to the evolution of browsers that brought social network connectivity into each tab, via the extension apps and underlying API integration of from the social network. Also this mimics the advantage that blackberry had when it brought email, voice and texting into a single mobile device. In some way Jive are jumping ahead of their competition with this browser extension release.
There are a couple of things I would like to see evolve in this extension:
- multi-community support – in the same way that some twitter extensions support multiple twitter, it would be useful to use the tools for different communities and contexts.
- better support of SSO | Identity federation – I don’t see it supporting common enterprise security configurations in its current state.
- mobile browser | app support - many people will browse the web on smart phones or tablets, and they will need this extension in those devices contexts as well.
Download and Install Jive Anywhere from >> here
What do you think? Have you tried this yet?
There were obviously much comment made on the likes and dis-likes of the revised interface.
I see it as a positive improvement and also a stepping stone on to further service integration and UI tweaks.
The reason I see it as a “stepping stone” move, is the number of comments the perceived unused quantities of “white space” that have been placed into this iteration of the UI.
I like the vertical left navigation menu that Google has introduced.
What I’d like to see the options is
So perhaps the “whitespace” section could be preview of the GMail inbox | Google Docs, or by using the GMail |Google Docs icon from the vertical menu you would use those services inside the G+ wrapper.
I would even suggest Gmail could deliver message notification inside the G+ stream, while still being able to filter into the inbox, the time | activity stream of G+ and Gmail message can occupy the same flow.
In fact both these Photos lead to the same place.
|Universal Menu – Photos||G+ Menu – Photos|
I don’t like having to switch tabs to use these other Google services or that clicking on links would open in new tabs.
This is what Facebook gets right – all their services happen in a single browser tab. Whether it is messages, notifications, other services all operate within a single browser tab.
I hope & think Google will come around to this way of delivering its services too.
What do you think?
Do you prefer multiple tabs or single tab for multiple services?