Android P Cometh, and With It a Slew of Features, Both New and Familiar

Android P Cometh, and With It a Slew of Features, Both New and Familiar

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 4:05 pm    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Recently, the Google I/O conference gave us a glimpse into what’s in store for Android P.

To say the least, this technologically-aggressive operating system update is jam-packed full of new features and performance updates that would make the biggest of technophiles rejoice.

No word yet on what the update will be officially named, though. People in the know say that it may be called “Pistachio Ice Cream,” going along with Android’s sweet treats routine, but it hasn’t been confirmed just yet.

Leave it to Cobalt Digital Marketing to give you the skinny on what exactly this new OS will provide. Seriously, you’ve got to check this out.

Android P looks to improve a lot of the performance and stability issues.

Lot’s of changes are going down when Android P officially launches. For now, it is in public beta, so you might want to give it a shot if you would like to help out the devs.

Here are a few changes that are coming:

Battery Life Updates

Let’s get some of the basic information out of the way first. Android users know for a fact that recent updates have been draining their battery life. It seems like you can’t even play a game of PUBG Mobile without 30 percent of your battery life dropping in an instant.

As is customary before every update, Google reassures us that they are continuing to work on these battery issues just like they have in the past. This time is no exception. Android P is looking to refine the way the Battery Saver app works. The update will allow owners to turn on the app around 70 percent or below. And you can count on not seeing that annoying orange bar within the Battery Saver app. It will be replaced with a persistent notification icon.

But the coolest part about this battery life update that is expected to come with the OS update is the Adaptive Battery. Imagine a battery that learns how you use apps while restricting battery use from apps that you don’t use that often, effectively reducing CPU app wake-ups by 30 percent. That means battery life savings!

Upping Security

While Google typically does a decent job adding security features in their updates, this year they are taking it to the next level.

In the coming update, encryption will be built upon, making your device and data more secure. Android P will focus on client-side encryption, meaning that data encryption or decryption that takes place will now happen on your phone and require authentication in the form of a password, PIN, or pattern.

As Google backs up our information into its cloud, this change will make getting access to your information from a computer difficult for even the most seasoned of hackers.

Every time you access a network, your unique media access control (MAC) address is shared with said network. The neat thing about the new security changes is that you will be allowed to create your own random MAC address for every network you access. Keep in mind, however, that every time you access a familiar network, Android P won’t create another randomized MAC address.

You can bet your sweet bytes, though, that Android P will be bringing along other security features that affect third-parties, like a user notification whenever they use an old application programming interface (API) and encrypted network traffic on their apps. Not only that, but finally, a unified user interface for fingerprint authentication will be available.

Privacy

The update is also trying to improve the public’s privacy faith in Google, who hasn’t been the most private of companies in the past.

The update wants to restrict OS access to your device’s microphone, camera, and other sensors. That means when an app is running in the background or idle, it cannot access any other sensors within the device, save for GPS. If the app wishes to gain access to them, a persistent notification will pop up.

Cutout Support

Since Apple introduced the notch with their iPhone X, it is cascading over to an increasing number of Android devices. Currently, Android doesn’t offer native support.

That all will change when the OS officially launches because Android P will feature a native cutout support. Cutout support will improve how apps render on your device, ensuring that you don’t lose any content on streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu.

Faster App Reactions

Another big change in performance care of Android P are the enhancements to Android Runtime. The enhancements from Android Runtime will allow apps to launch faster and use less memory by rewriting their own execution files on the device.

And now for the good stuff…

This update really packs in the new features and improvements. For instance:

Navigation Bar Changes

This is probably the biggest change that Google is doing for Android P. The navigation bar has been relocated to the bottom portion of your screen, and your Home button will be replaced with a pill-shaped icon.

However, with change, some things can get left behind. With the new navigation bar, you’ll notice that the Overview button has vanished alongside the Clear All button. Don’t worry, though. As per a tweet by David Burke, VP of Engineering for Android, the features will return in a future edition of the beta.

In future updates, the navigation bar will be customizable as well, allowing users to change the color and background, and add custom widgets to it.

With the new navigation bar with Home button, you can swipe across the Home button to access a lot of cool functions like…

New Gestures

After a 6 year hiatus to gestures in general, Android P will bring with it a bunch of new interesting and innovative gestures, like:

  • If you want to prevent ringing, all you’ll have to do is hold the Power button and the Volume Up button on your device.
  • Swiping up on the Home button will allow you to see your recently used apps.
  • Swiping left on the Home button will allow you to open up multitasking views.
  • The ability to silence your phone by simply turning it over, which switches on the device’s Do Not Disturb feature.

Do Not Disturb will also be improved upon by giving users the ability to completely turn off notifications. That means no lock screen notification, no notifications in your notification drawer. Nothing.

Multi-Camera Support

Hot on Nokia’s Dual-Sight heels, Android P is making similar features to the app that will be widely available to most Android smartphones. The Android P feature will allow developers to access streams on multiple phone cameras at the same time.

While it is unlikely that Android P will have a native feature that is similar to Dual-Sight within the update, developers can easily create a third-party app that can fulfill that desire.

ML Kit

Speaking about allowing developers to access some pretty nifty things, ML Kit will allow them to use Google’s device learning tasks within the apps that they create.

ML Kit, while not exclusive to Android P, can allow a developer to use the camera for face detection, text recognition, or even landmark recognition. This feature can spark a lot of innovation in the app-developing community.

Improved Notifications

Google has the technology. They can build notifications bigger, faster, and better. Notifications have been under the microscope for some time now, and Google wants them to still be more useful.

Android P solves this problem by allowing the user to use smart replies, which allow you to attach pictures, stickers, and also let you type out your own reply, thanks to Google’s “MessagingStyle”.

Google Maps Will Get Some Love

Google Maps is about to become more versatile with the OS update. Before, the app was solely used for navigation at the street level, meaning that only those that drove or walked on the sidewalk could get directions on the go.

With the OS update, Google Maps will now be able to go inside businesses. For instance, if you were in a new city and wanted to go to the mall to visit a certain store but didn’t know where it was, Google Maps will now not only lead you to the mall but also direct you to the store itself.

How? By using Wi-Fi Round Trip Time (RTT), which pinpoints your indoor location through Wi-Fi.

Dashboard

This feature will be a godsend to those that think they spend too much time on their phone—preach!

Dashboard helps track the time that you spend using your device. There, you can see just how long you’ve been using your phone divided into what actions you are taking, whether it be texting, streaming content, or even making calls.

Dashboard gives you control again, allowing you to set up screen time limits for specific apps. It also sends out recommendations to take a break after binging on YouTube or Netflix.

Wind Down Mode

For those of us that like to take our phones to bed to read or watch video content, Wind Down Mode can help us put the phone down before bed.

The new feature uses grayscale to turn your screen gray, reminding you that it is time to get some sleep. The gray color is easier for your eyes, promoting sleepiness since computer and phone screens can cause sleeping problems because of the light they give off.

Speaking of Brightness…

Android P is also coming out with Adaptive Brightness, a feature that uses artificial intelligence to determine the brightness settings you prefer. Once learned, it can make adjustments depending on the lighting around you.

Your eyes will thank you.

A New Way to Lock That Screen Down

Even though the screen orientation lock option is a thing now, it can be difficult when switching between apps. Android P is looking to fix this issue by offering a whole new way to stop those accidental screen rotations.

Once the update goes live officially, you will be able to pin a screen in a certain rotation. If you want to switch orientations, all you’ve got to do is tap on the Phone icon to the right of the Recent Apps and Home button.

Slices

Slices are similar to widgets, and they allow app developers to use its API within Android to create contextual suggestions depending on your use; effectively creating shortcuts for apps you use frequently. These interactive snippets grant you the ability to use the app without having to launch it, minimizing the amount of tapping you have to do.

For instance, if you searched for a Lyft, you may get an option that will allow you to book a Lyft in the future without having to actually open the app. The options can be a series of photos or even a slider, and while they may be added to other functions in the OS in the future, when it is released in Android P, it will be accessible first through the Search.

App Actions

Last year, Android used A.I. to determine what kind of apps users would like based on different criteria. Now, Android P is looking to enhance that feature through what is called App Actions.

App Actions allows your phone to use A.I. both as it was initially proposed for but also to make suggestions based on your usage history. Take, for example, your Home screen. If you make a phone call to your parents around 5 p.m. daily, whenever you open your Home screen, you may get a suggestion to call them.

App Actions can also make suggestions within context. For example, let’s say that you just plugged in your headphones to your phone. Shortly after, you’ll receive a suggestion for a certain type of music or podcast app.

What phones can support it?

Even though the official update won’t be dropping until around fall, you can still try out the public beta. But you must have one of the nine phones that can support it:

  1. Pixel and Pixel 2
  2. Essential Phone
  3. Sony’s Xperia XZ2
  4. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2S
  5. Nokia’s 7 Plus
  6. Vivo’s X21
  7. Oppo’s R15
  8. The soon to be released OnePlus 6

If you do have anyone these phones, installing the software is rather easy, and you can find the steps here.

A lot to take in? Don’t sweat it. Luckily, you’ve got a dedicated team of catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing that know everything from mobile updates to mobile optimization. It comes in handy in helping you get to the top of Google rankings and staying there.

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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8 Perfectly Clear Reasons Why You Need the Cobalt Digital Marketing Formula

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 3:48 am    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]There really isn’t any other way around it. Your customers are online and your business growth is tied to how well you can capitalize on your digital presence. Digital marketing is here to stay.

From small mom and pops to large corporations, businesses of all sizes are competing for digital market share. And while, of course, adopting a digital marketing strategy can help to maximize your company’s reach, without the right system in place, you are likely to run aground as your ship sails the digital world.

It’s vital to understand that digital marketing contains a variety of components including SEO, content, PPC, data, analytics, social media- all of which need to strategically work together to have a meaningful impact on your business.

In our experience, the most successful programs stem from a well balanced equation of these elements, a strategic digital formula.

If your website is a floating digital poster not yielding results, or ** the horror** you don’t have a website, it’s time to seriously consider how our digital marketing formula can benefit you.

  1. Get found in a digital market.

Today’s consumer is interested in convenience and experience. The digital world is ripe for consumers as it offers both of these qualifications with search engines providing the perfect resources for customers to research brands and services before they purchase.

[bctt tweet=”96% of people in America have made an online purchase in their life” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Google is the largest search engine in the world, accounting for 77% of market share (and growing) and a quality marketing campaign is going to utilize effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your company is high on those search rankings.

Adding to the importance of becoming digital is that now more than three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone and use their mobile devices for searching, shopping, social media and more.

  1. Build your brand.

Millennials and Gen X customers are twice as likely to be influenced by advertising than their older counterparts, which speaks on the importance of building a brand that engages its target audience. Did we mention that these consumers do not want to be “sold”. They want content that is real and valuable.

Targeted web content and highly informative and engaging blogs can do wonders to increase your company’s/brand’s presence and gain valuable recognition. Today’s consumers are also drawn in by attention grabbing videos and images.

By also taking advantage of digital marketing data, you can get the right message in front of the right people. Imagine the possibilities! Your company can serve a personalized shopping experience and targeted deals that will convert viewers into customers.

  1. Achieve your business goals.

The right digital marketing formula is a strategic solution which not only paves the way for your online presence, but can also help you to attain your long term business goals. Are you looking to break into new markets? Do you want to drive traffic to your website for increase sales? Do you want to build your online reputation? Do you want to leverage your digital customer relationships to gather product insight and find enhanced customer experience opportunities?

By understanding the purpose of your digital marketing campaign, you should hopefully get a better feel for where your business stands in general and this can help you make some meaningful improvements that are outside of the digital realm.

  1. Get return on marketing investment.

Understandably, your businesses finances need to be taken into consideration whenever you develop a marketing strategy – traditional or digital.

If this is major concern for your small business or startup, find some comfort in learning that a digital, SEO-driven marketing campaign can save you substantially versus other channels such as television, radio and/or print.

[bctt tweet=”Content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing. #content #marketing” username=”cobalt_digital”]

And not only that, but it generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. So when it’s all said and done, you’re looking at a bigger bang for your buck.

  1. Use data to be more effective.

Digital marketing isn’t just about throwing everything at the consumer market to see what sticks (though experimentation is always a good thing). No…savvy marketers like Cobalt Digital effectively use analytics and insight tools to manage and strategically update marketing campaigns on a daily basis.

Data analysis helps better target each initiative as well as enable you to gauge effeciveness. Track your results to see where your best leads are coming from and what tactics are working to bring them in – essentially all in real time. This level of flexibility means you aren’t stuck with outdated and ineffective printed materials or marketing channels that aren’t getting the job done (and still eating up resources).

With digital marketing, you stay relevant, maximize effectiveness, and your client base stays engaged.

Years ago, a small business simply would not be able to compete with larger corporations. Digital marketing has completely changed the playing field. Now, even mom-and-pop shops have an opportunity to grab their fair share of the market. With a well executed site and digital marketing strategy, small businesses can actually draw in more leads online than their larger competitors. Really, we’ve seen it happen!

[bctt tweet=”6 out of 10 very small businesses have yet to establish an online presence and get a #website. Get the jump on your competition. #CobaltDigital” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Keep in mind that your industry is growing and changing daily. Every day that you delay implementing an aggressive online strategy is another day you let other companies gobble up your market share. If you haven’t already made a move, now is the perfect time for you eat your competitors’ lunch before they eat yours.

Don’t get left behind.

  1. Own your business reputation.

Whether you realize it or not (and whether you like it or not), your business has an online reputation – even if you didn’t start it.

When you consider that almost a quarter of online shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations, the importance of having a positive online reputation becomes very evident – and the effects of having a bad one even more glaring. It’s time to take control.

A complete digital marketing formula includes maximizing your social media presence across platforms for your business – be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is a huge piece in managing your digital reputation by carefully tailoring and curating content and engagement to provide customers the best experience.

Plus, you can and should interact with your customers in real-time to further develop your rapport and connection with them. As previously mentioned, today’s consumers are drawn by experience and meaningful engagement.

Start developing a stronger relationship and customer service today.

  1. A digital marketing formula is more than marketing.

The right digital marketing formula is a strategic business solution. It combines the best data and tactics the digital world can offer with your business strategy. Sure, you can try some ppc, social media, blogging, or an seo initiative but the components aren’t nearly as powerful as when you thoughtfully combine them together.    Strategy, tactics and daily attention will maximize your online presence and return on marketing investment.  If this is more than you can fit on your to-do list, talk to us about how we can implement the Cobalt Formula™ for your business.

Let us help you achieve your digital marketing goals while you focus on running your company. You do what you do best and we’ll do what we do best!

Customers are online. Why aren’t you?

Let Cobalt Digital Marketing create the perfect digital marketing strategy to meet your objectives and help you real the real world rewards of amazing digital marketing effort.
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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url=”/contact-us” button_text=”Contact Cobalt Digital Marketing Now” button_alignment=”center” _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_button=”on” button_text_color=”#ffffff” button_bg_color=”#101a35″ button_border_color=”#101a35″ z_index_tablet=”500″ button_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” button_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” button_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” box_shadow_horizontal_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_vertical_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_blur_tablet=”40px” box_shadow_spread_tablet=”0px” locked=”off” custom_padding=”0px|||||”][/et_pb_button][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]


Introducing TestMySite…. What Google Wants You To Know About Your Website

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 3:15 am    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Mobile devices are dominating the digital world. Last year, for the first time, mobile searches outnumbered desktop searches. It is important to take that into consideration when creating your digital marketing strategy. It is no longer optional, your website must perform optimally for mobile devices. There are many handy tools online to let you know how you measure up and another one was just released today. Google has launched a website testing tool that is geared toward small businesses. It is simple to use and can be found at testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com. The cool thing about this tool is that you just type in your website URL and up pops your results letting you know how your site is performing for mobile and what the strongest and weakest points are. It calculates mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed on scales such as “good”, “fair”, and “poor”.  The tool offers a free score report of all three categories that can be useful to any small business owner or marketing manager, even one with little tech background. It also will email you a more detailed report to share with your webmaster, whether in house or outsourced to a company like Cobalt Digital Marketing, where we are masters of our trade.

[bctt tweet=”Mobile searches outnumbered desktop searches for the first time in 2015 #google #mobiledevices #websites #takingover” username=”cobalt_digital”]

 

Capture

Mobile Speed

Google has told us for the last 6 years that speed is important for search rankings. Why? Because we, as users, expect speed. With the rapid growth of small businesses all over the United States, it’s important to have a strong, mobile friendly website to compete online. The internet is booming with people searching for services, things to do, and products to buy. The last thing you want is a customer to navigate away from your site because he has lost patience waiting for the site to load. You can to create a quick, smooth user experience. It’s all about the speed because, according to Google, about half of all visitors on mobile sites leave the page if it does not load within 3 seconds. Yes, I said 3 seconds! At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we can look at the results you get from testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com or another reporting tool and help you increase speed and keep customers.

[bctt tweet=”Half of all visitors on mobile sites leave the page if it does not load within 3 seconds #speed #internet #technology” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Mobile Friendliness

Being friendly has always been great trait and a key to customer service. So, why not be “friendly” in your web design and user experience? It’s important to consider every detail from selecting the right size font to avoiding problematic plugins. Google’s new testmysite tool will help to identify the problem areas and can help increase the amount of traffic that comes to your site via mobile devices.

Desktop Speed

Of course, you also want to be aware of how things are running on the desktop side, they aren’t obsolete just yet! When it comes to using desktops, the speed of the internet isn’t always the main factor. There may be other issues keeping the website from loading. It could even be the way that the website is built. Structural issues and programming glitches can be severely impact the loading speed.  Use one of the online tools to evaluate your site, identify if you have issues and then you can jump on getting them fixed.

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we are all about optimizing websites for user experience. We know that your website is a digital reflection of your company and your goal is to convert site visitors into customers. We can help. Let us know what Google’s testmysite report says about your website. Forward the email report to catalysts@cobaltdigital.marketing. One of our Catalysts can develop a plan to help you improve website speed and mobile responsiveness. The internet is constantly changing and we are always on the lookout for new tools and new ways to make sure you are ahead of the pack. We are here to help you grow.
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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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