The New Apple Watch

By: Kristina Harris

With the launch of Apple Watch pre-sales, we decided to put together a table to compare and contrast the new technology and two of its biggest competitors, Google’s Android Wear Gear Live and Samsung’s Gear S.

Click below to see an enlarged image:

smart watch chartThings to consider

  • Apple Watches have music playback, but without a headphone jack, Bluetooth headphones must be used.
  • There are 38 different ways to customize the Apple Watch while for Samsung’s Gear S, you can only choose between white and black.
  • “Digital Touch”, which includes features such as sending your heartbeat and hand-drawn sketches to other smartwatch users, is exclusive to the Apple Watch.
  • The Apple Watch has 8GB of storage compared to the Gear S and Gear Live’s 4GB, but only 2GB and 75MB of storage is able to be used.
  • While the Apple Watch has great reviews so far, the biggest complaint is the battery life, with 18 hours being the least amount of time of life amongst all smartwatches.
  • If you noticed the $17,000 price tag on the Apple Watch, don’t fret. This is only for the version that comes with the 18-Karat Yellow Gold Case and a Gold Buckle.

After hours of research, here is my advice. Apple gives its products well-needed improvements as the months go on. If you do not want to be stuck in the early adopter phase, wait for them to fix the kinks that new technology inevitably has, or even wait until the next version. Many critics said the interface is comparatively difficult to use, so if you are newly interested in giving smartwatches a go, you might start off with a more established product like the Pebble to see if a smartwatch meets your lifestyle needs. If you’re absolutely loving it, consider the admittedly charming Apple Watch or one of its competitors. One thing is for sure: this is one device that does not deserve to be abandoned in the back of your junk drawer.

Adios Internet Explorer

Windows-10-Spartan-Browser-to-Integrate-Cortana-Feature-for-More-User-Friendly-ExperienceBy: Shayan Gaziani

In August of 1995 Microsoft released their first version of Internet Explorer (IE). A revolutionary feat at the time, eleven generations later IE has fallen behind rivals (such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) in terms of speed, ingenuity, and modernism.

A solemn farewell.

Twenty years later, Microsoft is pulling the plug.  As noted by The Verge, the company revealed IE’s fate this past January. While the browser will still exist, function, and be available for download, maintenance will soon cease. Earlier this month at Microsoft Convergence, the company’s marketing chief Chris Capossela revealed plans for the future.

“We’re right now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10,” said Capossela. “We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”

Moving on.

Project Spartan is set to be officially released along with Windows 10 later this year. According to a blog post by the IE team, “Spartan provides a more interoperable, reliable, and discoverable experience with advanced features including the ability to annotate on web pages, a distraction-free reading experience, and integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster.”

Information for this post was provided by The Verge here and here.

Take Advantage of Free Technology Training at SMU

IT Training here at SMU has a number of resources available for Faculty, Staff and Students, and it’s all for free! The place to begin is on the OIT webpage, SMU.edu/OIT. You can navigate to the IT Training homepage through the blue navigation bar at the top of the screen. Once you arrive, you’ll see a number of different tabs.training tabs

my.SMU: this tab has links to dozens of tutorials for the SMU community for both administrative and self-service purposes. But remember, if you need security access to a page, your manager will need to request it. For more detailed instructions, click here.

Other Systems: This tab contains links to online trainings for SMU Financials. These are available anytime for a refresher; however, if you need job related security, your Financial Officer will need to open a Help Desk ticket. Instructions can be found on this tab.

IT Workshops: Each semester IT Training offers a variety of webinar and in-person workshops. On this tab, we keep all of our past training guides, as well as recordings of past webinars. Make sure to check this page out if you’re looking for help with Adobe, Microsoft Office, or Sitecore.IT Workshops tab

Additional Resources: This tab contains a link to a number of online training resources outside of the University, including: Blackboard/Courses.SMU; Inside.SMU; Lynda.com; Mactopia; Microsoft; and statistical training.

IT Training MenuFinally, under the IT Training dropdown, you can find links to information about the Fondren Library West computer classrooms and semester workshops. All IT Training workshops are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. They usually send out a newsletter announcement at the beginning of each semester. So, keep an eye out for emails coming from ittraining@smu.edu!

These spring webinars still have room for you!

Outlook Productivity Webinar, Wednesday, Feb 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Register

Up and Running with Microsoft OneDrive Webinar, Thursday, April 9, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Register

MediaArchive.SMU Webinar, Thursday, April 16, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Register

Adobe Makes Lightroom Available for Android

lr-mobile-marquee

“This is not just a way to get photos from place to place. It lets you maintain your workflow on the mobile device. It can be a tremendous time saver and productivity tool for making edits on the go.”

-Shared Mangalick, senior product manager for photography at Adobe

According to TechNewsWorld, Adobe is expanding their market by now offering a mobile version of Lightroom for Android devices. Last year they released the app for iOS mobile devices. It does not provide the full functionality of the desktop version; however, it allows users to save changes to their photos and sync them back to their desktop.

For more information Lightroom for mobile devices, visit Adobe’s website.

Tech Day 2014

Tech Day is free for SMU Faculty, Staff and Students. Topics range from Adobe to LinkedIn with subject matter experts from various departments at SMU as well as special guest speakers from Adobe and Apple. As there are a limited number of seats, all sessions will be on a first come first served basis. We look forward to seeing you there!

For the full schedule, please visit our webpage.