The 5 Biggest Things In Tech You Missed This Week: 9/26
(This post originally appeared on Forbes)
Here are five things that happened in the world of technology this past and why they’re important for your business (and mine). Did you miss them?
Microsoft Office 16 is released.
Office 2016 came out of preview this week and per this report: “Though the new release looks generally the same as the last version, it’s designed for sharing and collaboration in a way that Office 2013 really wasn’t. In particular, Office 2016 introduces real-time co-authoring (a feature already available in the web version of Office), along with the ability to attach OneDrive files to emails in Outlook. In addition to Google, though, the new software takes aim at various other tools businesses might be using, including Slack (for chatting) and Trello (for to-do lists and task management). You might even be able to avoid the browser sometimes, thanks to built-in Bing search results. Microsoft’s goal with Office 2016, then, wasn’t just to match what Google Docs can do, but to ensure business users in particular barely need to leave the app.”
Why this is important for your business: Microsoft Office is still the most widely used office application product among small and medium sized businesses. At some point, you’ll be “strongly encouraged” to move to the the most recent version as support for prior versions expires. More importantly, you (like me and so many others) are likely using only a small amount of the powerful features that Office provides. Maybe now it’s time to get more training and take better advantage of this productivity tool?
Starbucks expands mobile ordering in its stores across the U.S.
Per this report: Starbucks Corp on Tuesday said its Mobile Order & Pay service is now available in all of its nearly 7,500 U.S. company-operated shops, a nationwide roll-out completed about three months ahead of schedule. Mobile Order & Pay is a feature on the Starbucks app, which the company says has 16 million active users on Apple and Android devices in the United States. Up until now, the app could only be used in-store to pay for a purchase. The new service allows users to place orders and pay for them from a remote location, and then pick up the order at the store.
Why this is important for your business: More evidence that the trend in retail is mobile. And if you’re a merchant you’ll need to be looking closely at mobile apps that your customers (and employees) can use to find, order and pay for products instead of lining up at the register. Oh, and think of the time you’ll save not waiting in line at Starbucks when all you want is a tall Pike.
Only 33% of websites are mobile optimized.
“Among the group of SMBs that had or planned to create a website, just 33 percent had a mobile-optimized site in September 2015,” reports eMarketer. “That amounts to 24.4 percent of the overall respondent base. But a year ago, mobile sites were even more rare: 26 percent of SMBs with a website had a site optimized for mobile.”
Why this is important for your business: Millions of people, many of them who are your prospective customers, are searching, browsing and buying from their mobile devices. And Google recently changed its algorithims to give priority to mobile-optimized sites. Look for this number to go up over the next few years – there’s a long way to go.
Malware and viruses hit Apple.
Researchers found over 4,000 trojanized apps on Apple’s App Store. The hidden code added by XcodeGhost to applications collects identifying information about devices they’re installed on and can open URLs. The rogue tool’s creators could have added more harmful functionality, but they apparently chose not to, at least for now. While the command-and-control servers used by XcodeGhost have been taken down, the malicious apps still try to connect to them using unencrypted HTTP connections. Such HTTP sessions are vulnerable to hijacking by other attackers, it said. Since security companies keep identifying more infected apps, it’s hard for users to keep track of them manually or even to rely on a single product to detect them. All they can do is hope that Apple is working to remove the apps from the App Store and notify users.
Why this is important for your business: Remember the good old days when only Microsoft and Windows applications were vulnerable to hackers? Those days are gone. Security software needs to be current and cover all devices. And let’s hope Apple is keeping a close eye out.
Adidas is making shoes that will never be thrown away
Per this report: The company will use worn-out cleats and combine them with scrap materials from other industries to make new cleats. The aim is to eliminate waste while still giving customers the new gear they want.”The football boots of the future could contain everything from carbon used in aircraft manufacturing to fibres of the boots that scored during the World Cup,” Adidas said in a statement. The shoes will be made using a special “3-D super-material.” Because they’re made without using adhesives, they can be remoulded again and again to fit the wearer’s needs and will allow for greater customization.
Why this important for your business: Using technology to be more green, environmentally conscious and conservation-minded is not only good business, it’s good marketing too.
Oh by the way, selfies have killed more people than sharks this year.
So far, 12 people have died while taking selfies as compared to 8 from shark attacks. Per a Mashable report: With no idea how far some people will go for a great selfie, many landmarks have begun banning selfies — or at least selfie sticks. As Forbes’ Alex Knapp notes, Mashable got a few things wrong. Still, in July the Russian Interior Ministry released a brochure, warning about cool selfies that “could cost you your life.” Selfie-takers are urged to take precaution with weapons, ledges, dangerous animals, trains and live wires.
For God’s sake, be careful out there OK?