The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Let’s Look at 2020s Best Smartphones

Let’s Look at 2020s Best Smartphones

The smartphone is the most important device for millions of people. In fact, if the numbers are to be believed, many people have moved completely away from using traditional computers. Today’s flagship smartphones need a combination of fast connectivity, reliability, and longevity so that users can justify the lofty price tags associated with these devices. Let’s take a look at four of the most noteworthy smartphones available right now.

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Calming the Anxiety Surrounding Remote Work

Calming the Anxiety Surrounding Remote Work

People are defined by what they do. The first question they are asked by someone they haven’t seen in some time isn’t about their health or their emotions, it is about what they do for a living. With the COVID-19 outbreak, tens of millions of people are out of work and just as many are working from home. For the business owner, this may not be an ideal situation, but if you are able to keep an open mind, you will find that there is a lot of good that could come from having your workers out of the office. This month, we will discuss the benefits of remote work, the gig economy, and some tools that you can use to ensure that remote workers are keeping up their productivity.

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Tip of the Week: How to Work on Your Smartphone

Tip of the Week: How to Work on Your Smartphone

Think about how happy you are when you first get your new phone. If you are like most of us you can’t keep your hands off of it. You try all the new features out and mutter to yourself, “wow, this is so cool”. The enthusiasm that people have for their new mobile devices can be a major benefit for the company they work for, too. Today, we are going to discuss how, with all the features and powerful computing power, you can work effectively on your smartphone.


Select the Right Apps

The main benefit of a mobile device, beyond the mobility, is that the software that runs on the machine is already in one, easy-to-use, place. Every smartphone runs off of mobile apps, that you can find on the mobile app store provided by the operating system. For Android apps, there is the Google Play Store, and for iOS apps, there is the Apple App Store. Any type of productivity software you may need can be downloaded for free from those stores. 

To use your smartphone as a productivity tool you will want to eliminate most of the distractions. 

Apps, while being essential for mobile device productivity, can also present monumental distractions. The app store itself can be a distraction as you can literally spend hours scrolling through apps looking for the right one for you. You will want to eliminate a lot of the apps that could cause you distractions and prioritize apps that will assist your productivity. 

Once you have the apps downloaded, you will then want to arrange the apps on the device in a manner that makes it simple for you to navigate to the apps that you need. For example, you can group communications apps together to keep them in one place rather than have them strewn about the device. 

Disable Certain Notifications

While there are notifications that can be very useful, they can also be the most distracting. By turning off notifications to apps that may not have any value, you can really eliminate one potential distraction. Since focus on a task is essential to produce the best results, you can really do without that Facebook notification telling you four people you barely know have a birthday today.

Update Software Regularly

Apps are software. Like the software on your PC, your apps need to be updated and patched regularly as to avoid serious security and privacy concerns. Moreover, mobile app updates often come with useful new features. These updates are usually handled automatically, but it’s good practice to check to make sure that your apps are up-to-date and secure. 

For more great tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your technology, subscribe to our blog today.

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The Best Smartphones Heading Into 2020

The Best Smartphones Heading Into 2020

The smartphone has become the most utilized computing device in the world. As a result, consumers are looking for the very best of them to get the functionality they demand. The current set of flagship smartphones that are available provide all types of benefits for business, for commerce, and for networking. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best phones you can buy heading into 2020. 


The first thing that you should know that is any of these phones (and dozens of others) will likely meet your needs. If you aren’t a gamer or an Instagram influencer, a smartphone manufactured in 2015 will do everything you’ll need it to do, just maybe not as fast. It is, however, important to understand what OS version your smartphone supports, and what specifications you need for use. The power user will want to consider these phones, simply because they will give them the best chance to meet their needs.

Samsung Galaxy s10 Plus

The debate has been raging for years: Which flagship smartphone is better? Some people swear by iPhone, while others stick to their Galaxy S-model. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, the consensus is that the Samsung Galaxy s10 Plus is currently the best Android phone on the market. The 6.17 oz Galaxy s10 Plus features a new clean design that features sharper edges that makes the phone less likely to slip out of your hand. Overall, the build quality is just as you would expect out of a Samsung flagship phone. 

The Galaxy s10 Plus comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with between 128 gigabytes and one terabyte of storage, and between 8 gigabytes and 12 gigabytes of RAM. That’s a lot of storage and power for any device, let alone a smartphone. The device comes with five total cameras, including a wide angle, ultra-wide angle, and telephoto lens. The fingerprint reader has been moved under the display. It comes with stereo speakers and it may be the last Samsung flagship to feature a 3.5mm headphone jack (time will tell). 

With the Galaxy s11 Plus due to be launched in a few months, the Galaxy s10 Plus remains the standard in which Android-run smartphones are judged by. Available in Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Cardinal Red, and Smoke Blue, the Samsung Galaxy s10 can be purchased from most major carriers. Depending on the device’s specs you can get one anywhere from $599 to $1,200. 

Samsung Galaxy s10 Plus
Body: Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 6 front, Gorilla Glass/Ceramic back
Display: 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED (~522 ppi)
OS: Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI skin
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Memory: 128 GB/8 GB RAM; 512 GB/8GB RAM; 1 TB/12GB RAM
Expandable Memory: microSD up to 1 TB
Cameras: Three back-facing (12 MP, 26mm wide angle; 12 MP, 52mm telephoto; 16 MP, 12mm ultra-wide); Two front-facing (10 MP, 26mm; 8 MP, 22mm)
Sounds: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,100 mAh battery (91 hours)
Security: Ultrasonic, under display fingerprint reader; IP 68 resistant
Miscellaneous: Nano-SIM, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 15W fast charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, NFC, FM Radio
Other versions: Samsung Galaxy s10, Samsung Galaxy s10e

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

In the United States and Great Britain, there is no better selling smartphone year-in and year-out than the iPhone. This year’s flagship iPhone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn’t disappoint. It takes a lot of the elements of the past two cycles and incorporates them into one phone, and then adds superior camera functionality.

iPhone 11 Pro Max, like the iPhone X and iPhone XS features a Super Retina OLED display. It runs on Apple’s A13 Bionic chip and comes with options from 64 gigabytes to 512 gigabytes of onboard storage, and all models come with four gigabytes of RAM. The newest iPhone’s biggest improvements come in their camera set. There are three 12-megapixel cameras, one ultra-wide angle, one wide angle, and one telephoto.

The thing that always sets Apple device out from the competition, the build quality and the powerful iOS software shine in this iteration of Apple’s flagship smartphone. The device is available in Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Midnight Green, and can be had from $1,100 at most major carriers. 

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Body: Stainless steel frame with glass front/back
Display: 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED; 1,242 x 2,688 (~458 ppi)
OS: iOS 13
Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic
Memory: 64 GB/4 GB RAM; 256 GB/4 GB RAM; 512 GB/4GB RAM
Expandable Memory: None
Cameras: Three back-facing (12 MP, 26mm wide angle; 12 MP, 52mm telephoto; 12 MP, 13mm ultra-wide); Two front-facing (12 MP, 23mm; SL 3D camera)
Sounds: Stereo speakers
Battery (battery life): 3,969 mAh (102 hours)
Security: Face ID, IP 68 resistant 
Miscellaneous: Nano-SIM, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 18W fast charging, wireless charging, NFC
Other versions: Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

The best phone for productivity over the past half decade has been the Galaxy Note (The Note 7 snafu notwithstanding). This year’s productivity device doesn’t disappoint either. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus offers options that none of the other top smartphones have including the state-of-the-art Gorilla Glass both front and back for more durability, the s-pen technology that has a slew of interesting features, and breathtaking 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display.

The internals of the Note 10 Plus are top of industry as well. With a Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12 gigabytes of RAM and 45 watt fast-charging that replenishes the devices battery from 0-to-100 percent in about an hour. A trio of 12-megapixel cameras with a time-of-flight 3D depth-sensor provides users with solid media capture options. The Note 10 Plus also features a 4,300 mAh battery with reverse wireless charging capabilities that allow other phones with wireless charging capabilities to charge their phone in a pinch. 

The Note 10 Plus is available in the new Aura Glow, Aura White, Aura Black, and Aura Blue. It can be had from most major carriers for $849-to- $1,200 depending on the model and features. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Body: Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 6 front and back
Display: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 1,440 x 3,040 (~498 ppi)
OS: Android 9.0 with One UI skin
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 
Memory: 256 GB/12 GB RAM; 512 GB/12 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: microSD up to 1 TB
Cameras: Four Back-Facing (12 MP, 27mm wide angle; 12 MP, 52mm telephoto; 16 MP, 12mm ultra-wide angle; TOF 3D VGA camera); Front-Facing 10 MP, 26mm wide angle
Sounds: Stereo speakers
Battery (battery life): 4,300 mAh (~107 hours)
Security: Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint, IP68 resistant 
Miscellaneous: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 45W fast charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, NFC, S-Pen functionality
Other versions: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Google Pixel 4 XL

Google’s newest flagship device, the Google Pixel 4 XL was launched in October and that means Christmas came early for Android purists. Not only does the Pixel 4 XL feature the cleanest Android experience on any smartphone--because it runs stock Android 10--it features some very impressive specs to go along with it.

The Pixel 4 XL runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and features a 6.3-inch P-OLED display that sets the industry standard with approximately 537 pixels per inch. It still has the squeeze to launch Google Assistant feature that previous Pixel models have featured. It also still doesn’t come with a fingerprint reader, but sports the face-to-unlock feature for improved security. The main benefit of any Pixel phone has been its cameras, and the Pixel 4 XL doesn’t disappoint, with a 12.2 MP wide angle lens and a 16 MP telephoto lens on board. 

The Pixel 4 XL comes in Clearly White, Just Black, and Oh So Orange and for the first time is available on all major carriers. The new Google flagship can be had from $899-to-$999 depending on the model. 

Google Pixel 4 XL
Body: Aluminum Frame with Gorilla Glass 5 front/back
Display: 6.3-inch P-OLED, 1,440 x 3,040 (~537 ppi) 
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Memory: 64 GB/6 GB RAM; 128 GB/6 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Two back-facing (12.2 MP, 28mm wide angle; 16 MP, 45mm telephoto) Two front-facing (8 MP; 22mm
Sounds: Stereo speakers
Battery (battery life): 3,700 mAh (~73 hours)
Security: Face ID
Miscellaneous: Bluetooth 5.0, 18W fast charging, wireless charging, NFC, Squeeze for Google Assistant
Other versions: Google Pixel 4

OnePlus 7T Pro

It took us some time to figure out what other flagship phone to put in our annual review, but the one that stood out was the OnePlus 7T Pro, which we believe is a device that gives us a glimpse at the immediate future of smartphone technology. It is a big, sleek device that unlike many of the current smartphones always runs at a 90 hz refresh rate, making it one of the fastest phones on the current market.

The OnePlus 7T Pro is built with a 6.67-inch fluid AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. It is running Qualcomm’s best processor, the Snapdragon 855+. It features both a large 4,080 mAh battery and three rear-facing cameras including a 48-megapixel wide angle lens. The selfie camera is motorized and pops up from the top of the device, removing the “notch” many people have maligned. 

Compared to the other top flagships that came out in 2019 the OnePlus 7T PR0 is the most modestly priced. In the U.S. you may only be able to get the OnePlus 7T through your carriers, but you can get the 8 GB RAM version online for $699.

OnePlus 7T Pro
Body: Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 5 front/back
Display: 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED, 1,440 x 3,120 (~516 ppi)
OS: Android 10 with OxygenOS 10.0.4 skin
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
Memory: 256 GB/8 GB RAM; 256 GB/12 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Three back-facing (48 MP wide angle; 8 MP, 78mm telephoto; 16 MP, 13mm ultra-wide angle); Motorized pop-up 16 MP, 25mm wide angle
Sounds: Stereo speakers
Battery (battery life): 4,085 mAh (~100 hours)
Security: Optical in-display fingerprint reader, pop-up facial recognition
Miscellaneous: Bluetooth 5.0, 30W “Warp” charge, NFC
Other versions: OnePlus 7T

Other phones to consider: Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, Sony Xperia 1, LG v50 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy Fold

There is a laundry list of other powerful smartphones on the market. In fact, two of the very best phones currently available are not on this list for political reasons. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro were both omitted because of the United States ban on Huawei. They may be the two best phones on the market, but for customers in the west, Huawei’s flagships don’t ship with Google Play functionality, which makes a huge difference in the usability and security of the smartphone. We’ll see how this plays out as the calendar moves to 2020. 

Nowadays, with OLED technology improving substantially, you will begin to see devices that fold. As of this writing we are still waiting on the first wave of foldable devices that include: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s Mate X, and the new Motorola Razr that looks a lot like the Razr phones many people had earlier in the century, but now when you flip it open, it is essentially a smartphone. 

Another consideration going forward is the integration of 5G technology. 5G has been launched in select cities, and manufacturers have created a few 5G-capable phones, but as of this writing, we are really a few years from 5G phones becoming standard. That doesn’t mean they won’t be made available in larger numbers in the coming market cycles.

The smartphone is changing the world; and, with the best hardware, people are able to do more from more places. What smartphone do you use? What new features are you looking forward to? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

We all know how important it is to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malicious threats. Installing antivirus and security software is one of the first steps you take when you get a new computer, and for good reason. An unprotected device is at great risk. With that said, a lot of users don’t think about the threats that target their most-used devices, their smartphones.


Malware and other cybersecurity threats are not a new thing to smartphones and mobile devices, but they don’t tend to get the same attention as threats that target Windows. This might be because, for the most part, mobile device malware is a little less common, or at least a little less intrusive. That doesn’t make it any less of a problem though.

You might also feel a little less at risk simply because of your relationship with your device. Our smartphone is often with us day and night, at work and at home. Combine that with the fact that most users use their smartphones in a sort of echochamber, they might not be directly exposed to threats as often as they are on a PC. We’ll get to more on this shortly, but first it’s important to break down the risks based on whether you have an iOS or Android device.

iPhone Malware

Apple may tout iOS as being the safest mobile operating system on the market, but it has never been completely safe. The biggest risks are only a problem for users who have jailbroken iPhones, meaning they ‘hacked’ their own device to allow themselves to bypass Apple’s built-in security restrictions. If you haven’t done that, you are avoiding a lot of risk. The other risk, which is less common, involves a more major type of risk called a zero-day hack. Zero-day hacks target devices that haven’t received a security update after the security update has been released to the public. 

The problem with iOS security is that there aren’t a lot of ways to prevent the issue, and you are really at the mercy of Apple to keep your device safe. They certainly want to keep their reputation, so trusting in them to do so isn’t invalidated.

Android Malware

Android is in a different situation. There are a lot more risks for Android devices, simply because there are many different manufacturers making and supporting the operating system. For example, Samsung uses a slightly customized version of Android, and if you have a Galaxy Note 10, you’ll get the latest updates to Android on a different schedule than Google’s Pixel. 

Android is also more open and flexible than iOS, which is why a lot of users prefer Android over iOS. If you want to install an application that hasn’t been vetted by Google, you can. You can also jailbreak an Android device, which, similar to jailbreaking an iPhone, can override some of the built-in security restrictions.

Even installing apps off of the Google Play Store can sometimes lead to malware being installed. Google has had to play cat-and-mouse with app developers to keep threats off the marketplace, but it has become clear that it really comes down to the user being careful with what they install.

That isn’t to say you should abandon Android or restrict your employees from using Android devices to access company email or other apps. Many long-time Android users never experience malware - it depends on how you use your device.

How to Protect Your Smartphone from Malware

Rely on that Echochamber - We mentioned this earlier, but both Android and iOS feature their own app stores. Although Android devices can install applications that aren’t on the Google Play store, most modern devices make it a little harder to do so, or at least add an extra step warning users that it might put their device at risk.

If you don’t jailbreak your phone, and you only install applications that are thoroughly vetted, positively reviewed, and come directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play, you will greatly reduce the risk of infecting your device.

Don’t Get Phished - Many threats these days don’t even rely on infecting a certain device to get things going. Instead, they rely on the end user to slip up and make a mistake. Phishing attacks are a prime example of this. A user will get a legitimate-looking email from a bank, online store, or other common online account and be asked to submit their login credentials. This email is actually spoofed and made to look real, and upon logging in, the password will be sent to a cybercriminal instead.

Install Anti-malware - Most antivirus and anti-malware software providers have Android apps. It’s not a bad idea to have something running on your phone to help protect you.

Establish Device Security Policies - If you are a business owner and your employees use their personal devices to check email, review documents, and communicate for work, it’s a good idea to establish a mobile device policy. You can require users to enable device locking, encryption, and other security features. This gets set up on your network, and when they sign in to their email on their device, their device has to comply with your company’s requirements before they can get access to anything.

We can help you protect your company data, including helping you establish centralized mobile device security policies. If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Taking a Long Look at Smartphones

Taking a Long Look at Smartphones

Smartphones are a marvel of modern ingenuity. After looking at employee smartphone use as a problem for much of the past few years, today’s businesses have begun to amend that strategy and are now using employee devices to their advantage. With such a large percentage of today’s workers actively using smartphones, it only makes sense for businesses to try and incorporate their employees’ devices into their day-to-day operational strategy. Today, we’ll take a look at smartphones and how they’ve managed to go from nuisance to necessity. 


Today, despite the number of smartphones purchased, there really are only a handful of companies that produce them. Most of the manufacturing is done in Asia, from parts sourced from all over the world. The modern smartphone features near-ubiquitous connectivity, desktop-like processing power, and enough storage to facilitate the millions of applications that are constantly being developed for the two main OSs, Android and iOS. 

The most expensive and feature-rich smartphones feature microphones and speakers that are protected from water and sand, multiple cameras that are capable of capturing 4K video, and batteries that last longer than ever. These manufacturers are creating these wonderful devices at a time when smartphone demand is shrinking. Devices are built well and are therefore lasting longer, and users aren’t looking to upgrade to the newest model every fiscal year anymore. Despite being nearly a $500 billion industry, it has seen some dramatic shifts in a small window of time. 

Smartphone Markets

Looking at the global smartphone market will show that there are only six manufacturers with a current market share of at least eight percent. They are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Most of these manufacturers do most of their damage in the Asian markets. In the U.S., which is currently the third-largest smartphone market, Apple has a 41 percent market share, followed by Samsung at 21 percent. After those two, only Korean manufacturer LG has more than 10 percent of the U.S. market. 

Things are basically the same in much of the English-speaking world. In the UK and Australia, Apple currently has 49 percent and 55 percent of the market share, respectively. Samsung, still a major player, is a distant second with 29 percent and 22 percent, respectively. In Europe, Samsung's market share dwarfs Apple’s. Overall there are over 1.5 billion smartphones shipped every year for a market that is now at nearly three billion people. 

82 percent of people in the UK and 77 percent of Americans now own one. Predictably, China is actually the largest smartphone market with nearly 850 million smartphone owners. Conversely, there are some places where smartphone adoption hasn’t reached high percentages. Despite having nearly 1.4 billion people, and having the second-most smartphone users (>340 million) the smartphone ownership rate in India is only around 28 percent. Other potential growth markets include Indonesia (27 percent), Pakistan (14 percent), and several coastal Aftrican nations (6-to-13 percent).

Innovation of the Modern Smartphone

The average person would pinpoint Steve Jobs as the inventor of the smartphone. There are several organizations, including Microsoft, that could deny that claim. Apple’s 2007 launch of the first iPhone is looked upon as the seminal smartphone. From there, the smartphone - and the software needed to make these devices a success - have grown exponentially.

The innovation of technology has been a major driving force in pushing the use of devices. As we stated earlier billions of people actively use (and periodically purchase) smartphones and they are always looking for new ways to use their devices. So, while the fundamental technologies found inside these devices have been pretty static, any new tools, and improved specifications show up on all manufacturer flagships eventually. 

The best smartphones are the best because they can do the most, including: play games, cast a desktop experience to a thin client, and work with thousands of other devices to be the central hub to a smart life. Let’s take a look at the technology found in these devices. 

Displays

The durability of today’s flagship smartphones is in itself a marvel. Mostly made out of glass, they are stronger and more resilient to trauma than ever. The resolutions on the devices are substantially better than previous phones. Most major flagship smartphones come with displays that feature pixel densities approaching 500 pixels per square inch. 

Processing

More smartphone makers are investing in creating mobile chipsets. This has led to mobile chip innovation that has improved chips to the limit of production. Today, most manufacturers are advancing a 7nm chip. Some of the top chips available right now are Apple’s A13 Bionic, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855+, Huawei’s Kirin 990 5G, and Samsung’s Exynos 9825.

Camera

Well, we should say cameras, plural. Every flagship smartphone, and many budget ones have multiple cameras nowadays. People want to capture their experiences, and with today's smartphones they have a multitude of options from super wide-angle lenses to telephoto zoom lenses that zoom up to 40x. 

Batteries

There has been a substantial improvement in the batteries found in high-end smartphones. Their general design hasn’t changed much over the past several years, but they are certainly degrading less quickly and lasting longer, with the goal of having a smartphone battery last a full day hopefully coming to fruition soon. 

Software

There are two major mobile operating systems: Android or iOS. Obviously, there are some other OS options, as well as some manufacturer-specific software that put a proprietary software “skin” over Android to let the user feel like they are using a new OS. 

Currently, Apple’s iOS is seen as the best mobile OS, but since it is only found on Apple products exclusively less products actually run iOS than Android 9.0 Pie, which is found on many manufacturers’ flagship devices.

Smartphones, and most mobile devices, run on apps. Currently, there are several app stores, of which Google Play or the Apple App store are the most utilized. There are literally millions of productivity apps, lifestyle apps, retail apps, and games on each of the major app stores. 

Security

Mobile security is a larger consideration today than ever before. This is especially true for those companies that are trying to use their employee’s devices for their own benefit. Google and Apple are doing more to build OS-based security options and have made some decent headway. With the number of threats growing day-to-day, a multi-hundred-billion-dollar industry has popped up with the goal of securing devices and mobile data. Samsung, being the most utilized mobile device manufacturer in the world has started their own initiative to bring security to the forefront with their Samsung Knox tools.

Form Factor

Innovations in OLED technology are changing the entire way manufacturers are designing devices. Typically, the smartphone’s form factor has only shifted in the use of screen real estate. That is, manufacturers have moved the cameras around and removed bezels to give users the most usable space on its display. With advances in OLED technology, however, companies are able to create foldable devices that both provide more usable display space while also improving device security. Only time will tell how these devices do on the open market, however. 

To learn more about the smartphone, including features, new form factors, and how they can work as a major productivity tool for your business, call the professionals at The Connection, Inc today at (732) 291-5938.

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The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

With the smartphone market losing ground for the first time in its short history, many of the manufacturers you’ve come to know are either non-factors in the current market, or don’t even produce smartphones anymore. With new demand growing every year, new manufacturers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi are primed to fall in line behind Samsung and Apple.


With today’s devices changing only slightly over a year, demand for new devices has fallen off, taking the once robust smartphone market with it. Don’t think for a second that people are not in the market for good smartphones, they just don’t see how paying upwards of a $1,000 per year on top of their service contract is necessary when their devices will last two or three years.

If you are in the market for a new flagship smartphone, this is your list. We’ve put together a list of five of the best smartphones you can own right now. They are:

LG V40 ThinQ
The V40 ThinQ may have a weird name, but it works to solidify the foothold the V-series phones have as a major player in the flagship smartphone market. The newest handset features a bezel-less 6.4-inch, OLED display, but the major shift (as you’ll see on many of the smartphones nowadays) is the bevy of lenses found on the device.

By integrating a total of five lenses the V40 ThinQ gives the user a lot of options on how to capture images and video. It features two 12 MP lenses (one wide angle and one telephoto), and a 16 megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens on the back, as well as two separate front-facing lenses. Another interesting feature is the “triple-preview” that allows users to see which camera will work best for the shot they are framing. The LG V-40 ThinQ is available in New Platinum Gray, Carmine Red, New Aurora Black, and New Moroccan Blue and can be had for around $900.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” P-OLED with ~537 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 6 GB RAM
Storage - 64/128GB, microSD up to 512GB
Software - Android 8.1 Oreo
Cameras - 12 MP (27mm) optical image stabilization; 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom and optical image stabilization; 16 MP (16mm); 8 MP (26mm) and 5 MP (21mm) front-facing.
Battery - 3,300 mAh (64 hours)
Additional Features - Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung ships more smartphones than any other manufacturer, and for good reason, they tend to make the best phones. The Galaxy Note 9 is no different. With an octa-core Snapdragon 845, six or eight GB of RAM and 128 or 512 GB of onboard storage, the Note 9 matches up with about any handset available on the market. The device ships with Android 8.1 Oreo, but will be getting 9.0 Pie right along.

As far as the camera goes, it features two lenses, a 12 MP wide angle lens, and a 12 MP telephoto lens with optical zoom. The best-in-class battery checks in at 4,000 mAh and produces a robust 97 hours endurance rating. It has an onboard “S Pen” that provides a lot of additional functionality including remote control over many of the phone’s applications. It is available in Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Pure White, and carries a $1,100 price tag.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” Super AMOLED with ~516 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 6 or 8 GB of RAM
Storage - 128 or 512 GB of onboard storage and microSD up to 512 GB
Software - Android 8.1 Oreo
Cameras - 12 MP (26mm); 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom; optical image stabilization; 8 MP front-facing
Battery - 4,000 mAh (97 hours)
Additional Features - Samsung S Pen, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, iris scanner.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro
How is it that what might be the best phone on the market, may not be available through your wireless carrier? Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro is a fantastic device, but some believe that since the Chinese government is one of their major investors, that it may be just too risky to allow this device to be made available in America.

That doesn’t stop the Mate 20 Pro from being a powerhouse, however. It is built on an aluminum chassis and features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a Kirin 980 processor. Its camera has four lenses, a 40 MP fixed wide-angle lens, a 20 MP ultra-wide-angle lens, an 8 MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom, and a front-facing “selfie cam”. It also features an in-display fingerprint reader and Qi-charging. Better yet, it allows users to charge other Qi-enabled devices simply by stacking the devices. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is available in Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black and can be found for $1,100 on the Internet.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum frame with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” AMOLED with ~538 ppi
Chipset - HiSilicon Kirin 980
Memory - 6/8GB RAM
Storage - 128/256GB with Nano Memory slot up to 256GB
Software - Android 9.0 Pie, Huawei UI
Cameras - 40 MP (27mm); 20 MP (16mm); 8 MP (80mm) with 5x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Front facing 24 MP.
Battery - 4,200 mAh (85 hours)
Additional Features - Face ID, In-display fingerprint scanner, Qi wireless charging broadcasting, 40-Watt fast charging

Apple iPhone XS Max
A staple on many of these best-of lists for over a decade, the iPhone is smartphone royalty. This year’s option, the iPhone XS max gets a boost in power from Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor. It is said to improve the speed of the device up to 15 percent. The phone is built on a stainless-steel chassis and covered with premium glass. The phone’s display measures in at 6.5-inches.

The camera has two lenses: a 12 MP wide-angle lens, a 12 MP telephoto lens, and also features a 7 MP front-facing lens. With the enhancements made to iOS and the battery, the iPhone XS Max is again another standout product from Apple. It is available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold, and can be had for $1,099.99 on any of the major carriers.

Specifications
Build - Stainless Steel with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.5” Super AMOLED with ~458 ppi
Chipset - Apple A12 Bionic
Memory - 4GB RAM
Storage - 64/256/512 GB
Software - iOS 12/iOS 12.1
Cameras - 12 MP (26mm); 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom and optical image stabilization; 7 MP front-facing
Battery - 3,174 mAh (78 hours)
Additional Features - Face ID

Google Pixel 3 XL
Google’s phones haven’t always been thought of as premium. The Google Pixel and Pixel 2 models left something to be desired in build quality, but were known for having the best camera on a smartphone for each of the past two years. This time around the Google Pixel 3 has added glass front/back and a crystal-clear 6.3-inch OLED display. This year’s version feels more premium than any device the company has sponsored since the Google 6P, which was made by Huawei.

The Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED display and comes with what is widely regarded the best available camera on the market. The camera is 12.2 MP and excels in low light situations. The price of the Google Pixel 3 XL is at least $100 less than both the Samsung and Apple flagships, so it is more affordable for a premium device. It is available in colors White, Black, and Not Pink.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.3” P-OLED with ~523 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 4GB RAM
Storage - 64/128GB
Software - Android 9.0 Pie
Cameras - 12.2 MP (28mm) with optical image stabilization
Battery - 3,430 mAh (69 hours)
Additional Features - Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, squeeze to call Google Assistant, Call screen feature, Flip to quiet notifications

If you are looking for a smartphone to start the year off right, look no further than one of these five devices. What smartphone do you use? Leave your experiences in the comments section below and check back to The Connection, Inc’s blog for more great technology content.

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Don’t Get Your Hopes Up about 5G Yet

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up about 5G Yet

There’s no getting around it: technology has spoiled us. We have had access to 4G mobile data speeds since 2009, and we’re already clamoring for the next thing. While 5G has been in development for some time now, it will likely be quite a while before it is available for common use. Here, we examine why 5G is likely going to take at least a few more years to arrive.

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Mobile Computing Works to Boost Productivity

Mobile Computing Works to Boost Productivity

Mobile technology is allowing businesses to make great strides in the way that they conduct their operations, but one of the key reasons why it has been so helpful is that it decreases their costs considerably. Thanks to developments in the way that mobile technology works, it can be fit into pretty much any business model, all the while improving your return on investment for your expensive technology solutions.


In terms of cost reduction, the most notable one comes from always being connected to the office. Without the need to be on-site, mobile computing give a business’ employees all of the tools needed to perform their daily duties from wherever they happen to be--whether it’s at the coffee shop down the road or a hotel while away on a business conference. Mobile devices break down barriers in the quest for profitability, making them great investments. One great example is a Chromebook. While it isn’t as powerful out of the box as a full-fledged workstation, it has the potential to be just as great of a solution with the proper support as long as you stick to certain software titles.

Mobile devices also present a challenge when it comes to security, though. When more devices have access to data of a sensitive nature, it’s placed at more risk of being exposed to potentially dangerous entities. Therefore, you need to take measures to ensure that it’s secure; otherwise, you could be placing the future of your entire business at risk. Preventative solutions are of the utmost importance and can be the end-all-be-all for keeping hackers and user errors from sabotaging your chances of success.

For example, mobile device management can be a critical way to shore up weaknesses in your mobile device strategy. Mobile device management contains several solutions that allow your organization to take action against common scenarios involving the management of mobile devices. If you lose a device, you should be able to easily (and remotely) wipe any data that’s found on it so that it can’t be accessed by those who find it. This means that your organization doesn’t have to worry as much if a device is ever lost or stolen.

Another aspect of a mobile device management solution is whitelisting and blacklisting applications, which keeps your employees accountable and responsible with which mobile applications are downloaded to their devices. You can keep employees from downloading time-wasting or malicious apps so that you don’t have to worry about them throwing away their workday on Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, the devices will remain as secure as can be, relieving some of the stress that can come from whether or not your employees are downloading unnecessary or dangerous apps on devices intended for business.

User control is a great way to control risk associated with mobile devices. Simply put, if your employees don’t need access to a certain kind of data, then they shouldn’t be able to access it, period. For example, your average employee doesn’t need access to payroll information or other sensitive data. Giving their accounts access puts it at risk if they ever lose their device or install some kind of malware that gives access to this data to unsavory characters.

Another great solution for keeping data safe is to deploy a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN sets up a virtual encrypted tunnel between your network and your staff’s devices, inherently creating a much more secure data transfer situation than would be typical over normal networking means.

By taking better care of your devices from a security standpoint, you eliminate the costs associated with potential data leaks and other issues. Furthermore, you allow for increased productivity for all employees involved, giving them the option to work more hours remotely or off-site. It’s the ideal way to connect all of your business’s employees without putting your organization at risk.

Does your organization need a mobile device management solution, or are you having trouble integrating mobile devices into your everyday workflow? The Connection, Inc has an answer for that. To learn more, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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A QR Code Could Be your New Wi-Fi Password

A QR Code Could Be your New Wi-Fi Password

There is no understating the importance of strong, reliable passwords to your organization’s network security, especially to protect its wireless connection. However, this can create some friction with your staff when they try to connect to Wi-Fi using their mobile device. To make accessing the Internet easier, scannable QR codes can be used to connect to the Internet.

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BYOD is Only Helpful If the Devices Are Secure

BYOD is Only Helpful If the Devices Are Secure

Mobile devices are so common nowadays that you’ll likely encounter your employees bringing multiple devices to the office on a regular basis. Little do they know that everything they bring with them, from their Fitbit to their laptop, poses a security threat. Of course, the threat level from each individual device will depend on what it is exactly, but the point stands that the less you do about mobile device security now, the more danger your organization will be in down the road.

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HIPAA and Wearables May Clash in the Near Future

HIPAA and Wearables May Clash in the Near Future

Today, perhaps now more than ever before, technology is making strides toward making its users consider ways to stay healthier. Wearables are one of the primary examples of how technology is aiming to make users both more active and more interested about their own health. At 2018’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, this technology was front and center, showcasing how far it has come in just a year’s time.

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Tip of the Week: Putting Your Old Android Device to Good Use

Tip of the Week: Putting Your Old Android Device to Good Use

Considering how often smartphones are replaced, you’re bound to have a couple of them stashed away for a rainy day. These devices are particularly helpful in the event that your smartphone breaks unexpectedly, but there are other purposes that you might want to keep in mind. Here are three ways you might be able to use your old mobile devices around the office.

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SMiShing: A New Mobile Computing Scam

SMiShing: A New Mobile Computing Scam

Chances are, you’ve heard of phishing before--emails that promise some benefit or prize if you only click on the included link, that actually only results in trouble for you and your data. Unfortunately, as technology has embraced mobility, so have phishing attempts. This is why you must also be aware of SMiShing scams.

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Ask Yourself, Does My Smartphone Have Malware Preinstalled?

Ask Yourself, Does My Smartphone Have Malware Preinstalled?

You might take extreme measures to keep your business’s devices from contracting the odd virus or malware, but what if all of your efforts are for nothing? You could have the greatest preventative solutions out there, but you can still get infected by some nasty threats, the reason being that the device was infected before you even started using it. You might be surprised by how often this happens, even to wary business owners.

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Want to Go Mobile? Make Sure Your Device Management Software Has These 3 Features

Want to Go Mobile? Make Sure Your Device Management Software Has These 3 Features

Now that mobile devices have taken over the workplace, you need to consider the security of your business’s data more than ever before. You need to think about which devices access certain data, as well as what they do with that data. In particular, you need to make sure that only your employees can access corporate information, and there are several ways to do so.


Here are three features that you need for your next mobile device management solution, and why they’re important.

Remote Wiping
What would happen if your employees were on a business trip across the country, but lost their smartphone on a subway or plane? Chances are that you’ll probably never see that device again. If you encounter this problem, what happens to the data that’s stored on that device? Can you trust that whoever finds the device won’t sneak a peek at its contents? Absolutely not. This is why you need cloud-based remote wiping built into your mobile device management solution.

You’ll need the ability to remotely wipe your devices, especially in the event that you lose a device or have it get stolen on you. After all, you can never guarantee that the person who finds your phone will be a good Samaritan and return it to you. Granted, not everyone who finds your phone will be of a hacking variety, but you can never be certain, either. With remote wiping, you can clear any lost or stolen device so that you can know, with certainty, that your data won’t be compromised.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting Applications
The fact that your employees are using smartphones and tablets to access corporate information should be enough for you to think about how this data is accessed by applications. For example, you don’t want applications to access information that’s unnecessary for their performance. Furthermore, you need to be cautious of malware that is potentially distributed through the Google Play or iTunes store--especially for apps (like flashlights) that access information like contacts and text messages when they clearly don’t need to.

A mobile device management solution lets you address this issue by whitelisting and blacklisting apps, restricting the flow of data to only the applications that you trust to handle your information. Applications will only be allowed to access data that’s necessary for their function.

Cloud Syncing
The cloud is a great asset for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and it’s logical to think that any organization which uses mobile devices can also take full advantage of the cloud’s many features. You want your cloud solution to allow for access to mission-critical data and applications, but to also distribute applications to those who need them.

Most importantly, you need to ensure that your mobile devices are all synced properly with the rest of your data. Your files could be edited by many users at the same time, so you need measures put into place to ensure that everyone is looking at the same version of the file. This means real-time cloud syncing should become a top priority.

To get started with a comprehensive mobile device management solution, reach out to The Connection, Inc today.

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Major Study Compares the Differences Between Apps and Websites

Major Study Compares the Differences Between Apps and Websites

Many websites and services now have apps that they use to further distribute their solutions via smartphone. However, when it comes to your business’s sensitive information, which is more secure: the mobile app, or the web-based client? Researchers from Northeastern University performed a study that asked this question, and the results might shock you.

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Having an All-Wireless Office is Totally Possible. Here’s How!

Having an All-Wireless Office is Totally Possible. Here’s How!

You likely use several wireless devices and enjoy their many advantages, like not having to be wired to your desk. Yet, it’s unlikely that you’ve transitioned your entire office to wireless technology. Thanks to the advancements and affordability of wireless technology, having an office that’s completely wireless may be entirely within the realm of possibility.

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The Top 5 Smartphones on the Market Today, Vol. 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_smartphone_version_one_400.jpgYears before Steve Jobs stood up on the stage in San Francisco and proclaimed Apple had brought you the future, the future he spoke of was already being developed, and in some cases utilized already by millions of people around the world. Cellular phone technology had been around for some time by 2007, but the iPhone, set in motion a mobile revolution.

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Should We Be Scared, Skeptical, or Hopeful about the Near Future of Technology?

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_ubiquity_400.jpgThe introduction of new and exciting technologies keeps changing the ways people interact. Innovations such as email, instant messaging, and the development of mobile devices are now turning out to be just fundamental steps to a more connected planet. The Internet of Things is set to turn human civilization on its head. What does this shift mean for the immediate future?

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