It’s here! The highly anticipated iPhone 7 is now available, for Apple lovers and everyone in between. According to Apple, there have been many changes added to the iPhone 7, from newer advanced camera systems to louder speakers. The question still remains has Apple listened to its users when asking for a longer battery life? Yes! As of now the iPhone 7 battery life is described as having the best battery life ever in any iPhone. Along with all the current technology updates to the iPhone there has also been a new color added to the bunch, jet black, which has a glossy finish. The rose gold, silver, and black are still available for users who like a more matte look.
The first water resistant iPhone has already sold out in jet black, according to CNN Money, and it has been predicted that the jet-black iPhone will not be the only one to sell out. Unfortunately, there will be a shortage in the iPhone Plus before you can even select a color, but Apple has released a statement apologizing to those who do not get the phone they want in a timely manner. For those of you who love a big screen, the iPhone Plus is the perfect phone for you. The iPhone Plus now comes installed with two cameras to be able to fully capture a scene.
The 7th iPhone does not come with a headphone port, but only a charger slot. What does that mean if you want to listen to music and charge your phone? You can’t. So now iPhones will come with a set of headphones with a lightning connector at the end instead of a headphone jack, charger adapter, a lightning connector for those of you who have headphones without a lightning end, and lightning cord. Many are wondering why the headphone port was removed, but it will no longer be needed because in mid-October Apple will release “Air Pods”, their first Bluetooth headphones. The starting price is at $159 so many may pass on the idea on paying for another set of headphones, but for the tech-savvy population they will not be available until next month so hang in there.
What started with Siri in 2010 has quickly transformed into a growing industry that involves all the big tech players, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. Voice search has not only grown over the last three years, but it has exploded. In one year, voice search went from zero percent of searches to 10 percent, and as of June 2016, it now accounts for 20 percent of searches. That is huge growth in a short amount of time, and that percentage can be expected to continue to grow.
Consumers are using voice search in a few ways, which Hound, a voice query app, has divided into the following four categories:
- Personal Assistant — creating events, shopping lists, reminders, making calls, or sending texts
- Fun and Entertainment — listening to music, social media, searching video, or playing games
- General Information — web searches, news, recipes, or banking and finance.
- Local Information — finding restaurants, shopping, directions, home services weather, or traffic
Voice-controlled Personal Assistant and the General Information searches are the majority of voice queries.
With this change in how consumers are searching, businesses are going to have to employ new strategies in order to keep up. Since certain voice searches are bypassing the opportunities for competitors to try and attract your attention with high organic listings and paid advertisements, new strategies need to be developed to ensure that small businesses don’t get left behind in the new voice search era. Some things to consider include online reputation, search result rankings on search engines other than Google, and long-tail keywords.
Amazon Echo relies on “Skills,” which is Echo’s version of apps, to provide data for its searches. This can leave small businesses at a competitive disadvantage due to lack of capital to create a comprehensive application like big brands and franchises are able to do. This means the best way to compete is to optimize your presence on vertical sites that have applications, like Yelp, for example. Yelp is especially important since it is also the skill that Echo accesses when looking up local businesses such as restaurants or retail shops.
Being on the first page of Google is great, but what if a user is searching via Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo? Where does your site rank on the non-majority search engines?
Amazon Echo is the leading personal assistant at the moment and its default search engine is Bing. It’s important to make sure you have good standing across all of the top search engines, not just the majority leader — Google.
Queries, when using voice search, tend to be more conversational, longer, more nuanced, and actually reveal a greater intent than basic searches. For example, a user who is typing may search for “ac repair near me,” whereas a user using a voice assistant may say, “There is a burning smell coming from my Trane ac unit.” Or instead of searching for a pizza restaurant near you, you will ask your personal assistant to order you a specific pizza from that app on your device. This is also the case with local service providers. Instead of searching for an electrician in your area, you will request your personal assistant to book an appointment with the highest-rated local electrician who is available during a certain time. This last instance can circle back around to our first objective: online reputation.
Since this is relatively new technology, competition, issues, and updates will undoubtedly arise, making it difficult to anticipate what strategies will work. However, if small businesses stay on top of the technology and actively participate as it grows, it lessens the chance of being left behind as this industry changes.
Every once in a while, a revolutionary piece of technology surfaces that changes the way we live our everyday lives, and changes and tweaks are made to these technologies to continually make them better. Web technology has no doubt changed the way we live our lives, and though minuscule changes and advancements have been made over the years, one new change is being referred to as the greatest advancement in web technology in the last 20 years: HTTP/2.
If you look at a URL, like the one for this blog (URL), it begins with HTTP. The HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol – an application protocol for information systems – and is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. It works like a request. Excuse me, Internet. May I please see this information? Then the servers process the request and deliver the HTML files we requested in the form of a website.
Just like with any other type of technology, as changes are made, new versions are released. Well, HTTP/2 is finally here and it’s the first new version of HTTP since HTTP/1.1, which was standardized in 1997. This new update will bring advancements in speed, efficiency, and security to your website by using less resources and other major improvements, which you can read about here.
HTTP/2 is currently supported on 77 percent of browsers used in the U.S. and 68 percent globally, but with a few caveats. Internet Explorer 11 will only support HTTP/2 on Windows 10, and Firefox and Chrome will only support it over HTTPS. You can see how this could affect your website visitors by going to Audience>Technology>Browser & OS in Google Analytics.
If you’ve been following our blog you’ve seen our posts about search engine optimization and how page load speed affects your rankings. This now means you could see a boost in your search rankings as a result of your site loading faster with HTTP/2. Website speed also provides a better user experience and has been linked to increases in leads, sales, and conversion rates.
There has yet to be a proven downside to upgrading and industry influencers are shouting from the rooftops encouraging people to make the switch. As Savannah’s Web design company, we are doing our due diligence to ensure this is the right move for our clients and potential clients. Feel free to give us a call at (912) 921-1040 if you have any questions about HTTP/2 or about how it will affect your website.
When managing a brand’s social media, it is imperative to track the user-generated content (UGC) that is being curated about the brand. Whether it’s positive or negative, you need to know what is being said. That task has become increasingly difficult as the way people use the Internet changes.
Text, hashtags, comments, and other types of tagging have made it relatively easy for marketers to track what people are saying, however, users are now using less text and more photos, making the tracking process more difficult. According to Brian Kim, Director of Product Management at GumGum, 80% of images that feature a brand are never seen by that brand, but thanks to Mantii, that’s about to change.
Mantii is a new image recognition tool by display advertising platform GumGum that finds photos across the Web that are relevant to a brand, even if they aren’t labeled with hashtags or captions. It can even track imagery associated with a competitor’s brand. Intrigued yet?
This image recognition tool can help PR firms, agencies, and brands control their visual identity as it relates to UGC, from tracking campaigns and social reputations to connecting with top influencers and gaining user insights. This new ability will change the way marketers use social media and the visual web.
At the recent Apple event, many new product announcements were made, including a discussion about the newest operating system, iOS 9, which launches at the end of the month. The new iOS system is full of enhancements in performance, security, and battery life, and will give users the ability to do more than ever.
Another feature available on the new operating system is ad-blocking. Users will now have the ability to block mobile ads in Safari, which is Apple’s default browser. Now let’s be clear, Apple is not creating ad-blocking software, but rather allowing third-party blocking extensions to be added to the browser. According to Apple’s developer prerelease documentation, “The new Safari release brings Content Blocking Safari Extensions to iOS. Content Blocking gives your extensions a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content.” However, your mobile experience won’t be completely ad-free. Advertisements will still be shown within applications, which are where 90% of users spend most of their time, according to Nielsen and comScore.
Advertisers need not worry. Though 70% of users said if they had the ability to block ads, they would, according to a Google consumer survey, this doesn’t mean they will actually do it. Ad-blocking ability has been available on Android devices for a while, and yet the majority of users have not employed that function. In addition to what will be an enhanced user experience, this new iOS feature may motivate a renewed effort on mobile apps and improvements in ad quality. The mobile advertising world is not over, but it is definitely shifting. Do you notice a lot of mobile ads? Will you employ ad-blocking ability on your Apple devices? We’d love to hear from you!
Google started as a search engine in the late 1990s, and over time it has evolved into a multi-international technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. Some of Google’s services include search, online advertising technologies, software, cloud computing, social networking, mobile operating systems, and so much more! Because of the large growth and diversity of Google’s products, as well as the growth and change that is constant within the industry, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have decided to make the company cleaner and more accountable by creating a new company called Alphabet.
Instead of Google being the umbrella for hundreds of different products and services, Google’s subsidiary companies, including Google itself, will now become their own companies, with their own CEOs, all housed under the holding company—Alphabet. This restructure will allow each entity to prosper through strong leadership and independence.
Investors need not worry. “Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity,” says Alphabet CEO Larry Page, “and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.”
Alphabet is not only beneficial for the companies involved, but it also allows the holding company to venture into areas that might be unlikely for Google, and allows Page and Brin to stay in control of the bigger picture of the company they founded almost 17 years ago. This new found freedom could be world-changing.