APPL’s Stock Struggles, NFLX’s Bandersnatch, and Where We Go From Here

Yesterday, Apple’s stock closed at a major deficit, causing the overall market to take a hit. If you want to know more about the stock side of things, check out the NYT or WSJ. They can explain it better than I can. What I’m here to talk about is the trajectory of American business and the role we, as young professionals and creative minds, need to be focused on playing.

Innovation is the name of the game but how do you innovate when everything you thought could be done is being done. Seriously, we just reached Ultima Thule (no, that’s not a car by Nissan) and a manned SpaceX rocket could take off as soon as 2019 (Oh s***! We’re in 2019!). Smartphones (or smartwatches or tablets or whatever other piece of tech you always have with you) are extensions of ourselves, essentially making us cyborgs, minus the inserted chip. It is an amazing time to be alive. But it’s also a confusing one. What is the final frontier? Where do we go from here? What are humans if we’re not continuing to push the society around us forward?

That is an issue that Apple is obviously struggling with. Yes, trade issues between the East and West were pinpointed as the reason for Apple’s terrible finish on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (yes, I looked up what NASDAQ stood for so you wouldn’t have to). But, Apple users, let’s be honest: the advancements we’ve seen lately are disappointingly underwhelming and increasingly overpriced. Why does a new iPhone XS, at $999, cost 77% of what a Mac Book Pro does? (I intentionally chose the least expensive versions of these items. Bells and whistles cost more, of course.) I know, I know… I can do almost everything with an XS that I can with a MBP but it still doesn’t change the fact that I’m paying so much for cellular phone. And, not to mention, the new features to the phone aren’t that great. I wasn’t inclined to upgrade my phone this time and I probably won’t be unless A) some major changes come out or B) the updates stop working (which usually happens after a few generations).

What does this have to do with Bandersnatch? I’m glad you asked. Bandersnatch is Netflix’s movie version of the extremely popular show “Black Mirror,” a show that didn’t have enough episodes to satisfy my interest but hopefully they’ll bring it back. The good thing is I cannot give anything of substance away about Bandersnatch because I’ve only seen one scene so far but I will say this: even if the movie isn’t good, the concept is simultaneously out of this world and eerily nostalgic. Remember, as a kid, reading books where the ending was up to you? I want to say Goosebumps and Animorphs had some like this but I’m sure a ton of other series did as well. Bandersnatch is that in movie form. I can only imagine the planning and time spent in shooting, editing, and coding that had to go into making this movie work but, once again, Netflix has set a new standard. Only, this time, in order to look forward, it first had to look back.

Innovation is the name of the game but, as Netflix has shown us that the answers are sometimes behind us. Brands like Apple have spent so much time pushing the bar forward that they’re starting to hit a brick wall. So, why not look back at something pre-modern technology that changed an industry and reformat it to improve our modern lives? Just a thought for Apple, General Motors, and any other company that is having a hard time being innovative.

You may have a hard time teaching an old dog new tricks but maybe you can teach a new dog a few old ones.

 

Make innovation a priority.

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Putting Away Childish Things

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” — I Corinthians 13: 11

When I grew up, I didn’t always have the newest gadgets and toys under the Christmas tree or waiting beside my birthday cake. I specifically recall getting a Super Nintendo Entertainment System at the time the first PlayStation was released and, once the PlayStation 2 came out, I got the PlayStation. My little brother and I were always cool with it because the person I was most concerned with beating in games was him anyway and, if I needed to learn the other systems, I could always go play at Sean’s or Dame’s houses (my first cousins). Not to gripe, just to give you all some perspective. Ok, stage set. Moving out of the 1990s and into 2018.

Two weeks ago, I purchased a MacBook Pro. A couple weeks before that, I copped an iPhone X. For me, these are major purchases. The phone, not so much outside of the price tag. I didn’t get a cellphone until I was a senior in high school but I’ve always had a pretty capable mobile device because I rarely had a computer of my own that was reliable. But the laptop thing? I just didn’t see the value associated with spending an obscene amount on a computer when a $300 Microsoft Surface from Best Buy could do the same thing. I grew up thinking that it wasn’t the weapon but the wielder that won the war. And, while that is true in the long run, imagine being a master wielder with subpar weaponry and then securing tools that can enhance your skillset?

I could write on anything. Shoot, I jot down pages for my book on my phone when I’m on the move. But when it comes to designing things for projects and editing webpages and, most importantly for me as relates to this, working on photography, my MacBook adds a level of clarity that I just was not getting on a Lenovo laptop. While my Lenovos have been workhorses and I am grateful for that, at this stage, if nothing but the resolution on the screen, the extra dollars I put into making this decision will pay off tenfold in the long run.

This post isn’t about Mac vs. IBM or PlayStation vs. Nintendo or elevating the perception of where you are financially. If that’s what you got out of it, you may have missed the purpose so I’ll break it down for you. Just because you were raised with a certain mindset or in a particular circumstance doesn’t mean you have to maintain that. And it’s not that there was necessarily a problem with that mindset then. But, when you know better, you do better. I didn’t need a new gaming system every other year so it would’ve been inconsequential at the time had it not been for the impact it had toward my attitude on technology. But, as I see the benefits associated with investing in my streams of income, I’m making those investments for more deeply rooted reasons. And, yes, there is a cost associated as well as a learning curve, but I’m a lifelong learner who, Lord willing, has time to recoup the investment cost. And, if not, I think the money spent on a MacBook will be the least of my thoughts.

 

Make investing in your goals a priority.

iOrange-E: Brand Review

How many of us have iPhones? I’m willing to bet that between 1/3 and 1/2 of my readers do. And how many will be upgrading their iPhone 5(s)/6(s) to a 7? Well, I’d definitely suggest making sure you protect it with a case. But, what I’ve realized through my past 3 iPhones is that a case alone is not enough. And the thin film screens don’t protect it to the point that I would like.
IMG_3124.JPG

An iPhone needs a tempered glass screen protector that is going to hold up. I’ve tried a few different brands (that will remain nameless) and none of them hold a candle to iOrange-E’s tempered glass screen protector. I’m a bit accident prone and we all know what a cracked iPhone screen looks like. Well, I also know what a scratched iPhone screen looks like and it’s just as unappealing. This protector will keep my current iPhone screen in pristine condition. It is scratch-proof, waterproof, anti-oil, dirt-proof, and anti-fingerprint. Being that first impressions are EVERYTHING and people can be very observant, keeping everything you own looking good is critical to developing a successful brand. (Sidebar for another post: No one wants to hire anyone who doesn’t take pride in their own items because one could assume they won’t take care of the company’s property.)

When I get my next iPhone, I will make sure to go right back to iOrange-E. This is my second product from the brand (I also have one of their awesome heavy duty lightening charge cords) and I think they will be my go to brand for my Apple products from now on.

You can purchase yours at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L6ZDZFO/.

 

I received this product for free from iOrange-E in return for an honest, unbiased review.

 

Make professional development a priority.

 

How Evernote Made My Professional Development Conference Experience Great

Oh man! I cannot thank Evernote enough! CASE District III was phenomenal and, in these 4 days, I took more notes than I did in my entire undergraduate career (just kidding but the ones that I did take this week were copious and reminded me of being back in a seminar classroom setting). So, in taking these notes, I used one of my favorite applications: Evernote (you probably figured that out based upon the title of this post).

How, Sway?

I’m glad you asked. Since Evernote is a cloud-based application and it allows you to take notes and access them on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or anyone else’s computer/smartphone/tablet. In each session of this conference, I had my convertible laptop/tablet and was so engaged that I knew I needed to be recording sessions as I was taking notes. So, as I was typing furiously on the tablet, I had a separate Evernote note open on my iPhone and was recording the audio (one of my favorite Evernote features is the record function), just in case I missed a major quote. On Friday, my coworkers and I are debriefing and I’m willing to bet that my notes will be amazing in comparison because of how seamless the application made my conference experience. Don’t let me mislead you: I love writing in the classic form but sometimes it’s not practical. If this laptop gets lost, stolen, or if I leave the organization, I will always have access to what I learned, audio, text, ideas, and all.

I’m not saying you need Evernote (Ok, you might but that’s just my bias talking). I’m saying you need to find professional tools that can make your job easier. Work smarter not harder.

 

Make professional development a priority.

14 Hidden Tricks and Tools in iOS 8

by Samantha Murphy Kelly

Some of the best new features on iOS 8 are the ones you probably haven’t used yet. That’s because Apple has hidden a collection of new tricks and tools deep into its new mobile operating system, and many aren’t easy to find.

From ways to keep photos private to credit card scanners and a timed camera feature for selfies, here’s a look at some of the best kept secrets in iOS 8:

1. Hide Photos

Hide Photos

IMAGE: MASHABLE

There’s a neat feature that hides your photos without deleting them. Tap and hold a photo in the Photos app and an option to “hide” will surface. You’ll be able to remove it from Collections, Moments and Years and keep it in the Hidden album. No one needs to know how many pictures of your cat you take on a daily basis.

2. Mute Texts

iOS 8 gives you the option to mute alerts for text-message notifications from specific people. By choosing “Do Not Disturb” under “Details” in a conversation, it makes messages you don’t want others to see a little more inconspicuous. While this feature might be even better if it hides messages from the home screen all together, at least there’s a way to keep the volume down if you’re expecting an onset of texts from a certain someone throughout the day.

3. More Text Control

Delete

IMAGE: MASHABLE

There’s a lot more you can do with the texts you send and receive with iOS 8, including deleting them one by one. By highlighting a text message, an option for More will pop up — from there, you’ll be able to forward it along to someone else or tap to erase individual messages.

4. Credit Card Scanner

Credit Card

When you’re making a purchase via the Safari browser, you’ll be shown an option to Scan Credit Card, rather than having to manually type in details. The feature automatically appears above the keyboard. After selecting it, hold your credit card up to the field of frame (highlighted by the camera) and it will securely capture the information for you.

5. Dark Mode

For those who want to give the device a vintage flare, visit General > Accessibility and turn on the Grayscale mode. Everything from the home screen to apps and email will be displayed in black and white.

6. Interactive Notifications

Interactive Notifications

IMAGE: MASHABLE, LANCE ULANOFF

You no longer have to stop what you’re doing to respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages. A notification banner appears on top of the top of the screen and you can pull it down to respond. In fact, it’s easily one of the best new touches of iOS 8.

7. Medical ID

Medical ID

IMAGE: MASHABLE

The new Health app has a Medical ID that can be accessed via the lock screen that lets anyone access your emergency contact information in case of, well, an emergency.

Medical ID

IMAGE: MASHABLE

This means anyone that needs immediate access to your health information (or who they should call) can do so even if they don’t know your phone’s passcode.

8. Timed Selfies

Flowers

IMAGE: MASHABLE

Apple added a timer to its Camera app, allowing you either 3 or 10 seconds to get the shot exactly how you want it. You can also prop up the device before setting the timer, so you don’t even need your hands to take a picture. Open the Camera app to take a picture, select the clock icon and set the timer. You can also use the timer with Burst Mode, which snaps a bunch at shots and you’ll have plenty to pick from.

9. Update Keyboard Cycle

If you have downloaded a keyboard app from a third-party provider, you can program it directly to your master keyboard settings instead of opting to use it every time by tapping the Globe icon. Instead, change your default keyboard and the order in which you cycle through your keyboards via Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Edit.

10. Bring Back Deleted PhotosDeleted Photos

If you’ve accidentally deleted a photo, it’s possible to bring it back: there’s a new Recently Deleted album in the Photo app that stores deleted pictures for up to 30 days before they disappear for good.

11. Email Response Notifications

If you’re expecting an important response to an email, you can set up it up to alert you when it rolls in. Visit your inbox, swipe an email to the left, select More > Notify Me to get alerts when anyone responds to the email thread.

12. Manage Apple ID

You no longer have to go through iTunes or the Apple App Store to manage your Apple ID account, such as adding people to family sharing plan, add credit cards or update passwords. Now, head over to Settings > iCloud and log into your account by touching your email address highlighted at the top of the screen.

13. Battery Usage

Battery Usage

IMAGE: MASHABLE

While the battery monitoring feature has been widely reported at this point, it’s with good reason: the tool gives a percentage breakdown of what apps are killing your battery life most. To identify which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day.

14. Multitasking With Email Drafts

Email

IMAGE: APPLE

If you’re in the middle of an email, but want to go back to reading your inbox, you can hold the top of the message and drag down (but don’t put your finger too high on the screen or the notifications tab will appear). You can do this with multiple drafts, too. Double tap the minimized draft at the bottom to see all of them at once — this makes them appear in a carousel view, similar to how it looks with Safari tabs in iOS 8 — and proceed to open or delete them with taps and swipes.

Source: Mashable

Britain Loves Wearables: One In Ten Set To Use Hardware As Wearable Tech Explodes

by Ewan Spence

Britain is falling in love with wearable technology. Recent numbers from YouGov show the increasing adoption of personal tech in the country. Currently six percent of the UK population (roughly 2.8 million people) have some form of wearable device, be it a smartwatch, fitness band, or activity tracker. That number is set to more than double to 6.1 million (13% of the population) during 2015.

Of course there’s going to be a big spike next year when the Apple Watch becomes available, and no doubt that’s going to be one of the big drivers in the adoption rates. Before then, the festive market is going to make a big contribute to the numbers. By the end of 2014 YouGov’s survey suggests the engagement 4. 7 million people (one in ten) will have a wearable device, no doubt boosted by marketing and people looking for some ‘shiny new tech’ to gift to their loved ones.

Sony SmartBand SWR10 (image: Sony PR)

The challenge for manufacturers and developers now is to keep people using their devices. The majority of wearable devices are fitness focussed devices, and not everyone is buying them to get fit. 37% of those surveyed have tracking tech simply to keep up with the newest devices in technology. That’s good for sales, but it says to me that more work needs to be done to integrate wearable tech into a normal lifestyle.
That’s where smartwatches may come into their own. Just one in six of those with wearable tech had a smartwatch, a device that is far more personal and ripe for development than any other area of mobile technology on the horizon.

If you want to read more about wearable technology here on Forbes, check out my thoughts on the Pebble Smartwatch, the Sony SmartBand, and why you should wear a smartwatch.

Source: Forbes

The iPhone 6 for the Young Professional

The iPhone 6, a great accessory for the young professional.

Just a week ago today, Apple revealed to the world the long-anticipated latest additions to its rich iPhone lineage, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. In addition to all of the glitz and glam of its all new seamless design, powerful A8 chip, and Retina HD display in two larger sizes, this phone contains several essential tools for the young professional.

To many people’s liking, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available in 4.7- and 5.5-inch display sizes. This will give current and new owners a better experience when it comes to tasks like managing documents, surfing the web and corresponding to important emails. Its improved resolution and responsiveness will result a significant jump in productivity for power users. Most of us can admit that our phones are extensions of us and allow us to complete tasks that used to limited to a traditional computer.

Outside of the visible improvements of the device, the software has been greatly improved as well. Now your iPhone allows you to stay connected to loved ones and friends like never before. For example, when sending messages in the new operating system, iOS 8, you can literally L.O.L. in the middle of a convo. With one swipe you can capture any sound, your voice, a song, or a big laugh and share instantly. By touching and holding the new microphone button to record your message. Simply swipe to send it. To hear a message, simply hold iPhone to your ear and listen like it’s a phone call.

From a business perspective, when someone opens his new iPhone or downloads iOS 8 he will have instant access to iCloud Drive. This new app can be likened to Dropbox and Google Drive. iCloud Drive gives young professionals the ability to work with the document of their choice on the device of their choice. Apple has now come out with a true cloud system that can be accessed from any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. iCloud Drive is a secure centralized location for users to store all their presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document within their personal cloud.

A healthy body makes for a healthy mind. The new iPhone 6 takes health awareness to new levels with The Health app which lets users keep all their health and fitness statistics in one place on their devices. They decide what information is placed in under this health monitoring tool and access this data through the Health app. Heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol are just a few of the things users can keep track.

Whether tech savvy or not, this phone contains several essential tools for the young professional. This smart phone provides users with more unique ways of staying connected with family, friends, or colleagues. Not to mention the how much more productive one can become from features like sharing contacts calendars and reminders. I definitely recommend placing the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on your list of phones to consider for your next upgrade.