#bedforawayfans - football (and Twitter) at its best

Football fans in general get a pretty rough press. Indeed even this evening it appears that some nutter has caused an explosion, injuring a Borussia Dortmund player on his way to a Champions League game with AS Monaco...

Here at Voot we love our football, and it pains us that this often leaves us compared with idiots like this. We have great faith in the 'football family' worldwide - it connects people, a common interest, and brings people of all cultures together in passion, emotion and respect. And tonight, it didn't let us down.

The football family came together, and embracing Twitter the hashtag #bedforawayfans was created, and along with it literally hundreds of offers of rooms for AS Monaco fans came pouring in from the residents and fans of Dortmund, meaning they can stay in the city and see the rearranged game tomorrow. Wonderful. This is what the Football Family is all about, this is what football is all about, and it fills us with admiration for those fans who have embraced it.

Its not about idiots like the guy who got the game abandoned. Well done to all, and here's to a replay without further  a incident off the pitch.  

 

 

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EE Bah Gum - its good coverage!

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EE is the best mobile operator for 4G coverage in 14 of the most populated areas in the UK, says a new report.

The network dominated rival firms O2, Vodafone and Three, according to statistics from RootMetrics.

It assessed coverage in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Bradford, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield.

EE delivered at least 90% coverage in 11 of the 14 areas, while Three failed to hit that figure in any of the cities included in the report.

O2 and Vodafone, meanwhile, only hit the 90% mark in three areas. 

Below are the 4G coverage results (%) for each area included in the report, starting with Sheffield - our most local tested area;

Sheffield

  1. EE: 96.2

  2. O2: 86.3

  3. Vodafone: 85.9

  4. Three: 71.4

Belfast

  1. EE: 98.1

  2. O2: 94.6

  3. Vodafone: 91.9 

  4. Three: 75.1

Birmingham

  1. EE: 98.3

  2. O2: 89.6

  3. Vodafone: 89 

  4. Three: 76.3

Bristol

  1. EE: 92.2

  2. O2: 69

  3. Vodafone: 68.1

  4. Three: 56.7

Cardiff

  1. EE: 86.5

  2. O2: 60.4

  3. Vodafone: 60.4

  4. Three: 43.1

Coventry

  1. EE: 96.1

  2. Vodafone: 87.4 

  3. O2: 87.1

  4. Three: 67.2

Edinburgh

  1. EE: 89.1

  2. Vodafone: 88.4

  3. O2: 86.6

  4. Three: 55

Glasgow

  1. EE: 89.4

  2. Vodafone: 77.2 

  3. O2: 77.1

  4. Three: 58.4

Leeds and Bradford

  1. EE: 90

  2. Vodafone: 82.1

  3. O2: 80.8

  4. Three: 61

Leicester

  1. EE: 95.6

  2. O2: 83.8

  3. Vodafone: 82.1 

  4. Three: 63.2

Liverpool

  1. EE: 99.8

  2. O2: 94

  3. Vodafone: 92.9 

  4. Three: 80.9

London

  1. EE: 90.7

  2. O2: 77.3

  3. Vodafone: 76.5

  4. Three: 65.1

Manchester

  1. EE: 99

  2. O2: 94.8

  3. Vodafone: 92.6

  4. Three: 81.7

Nottingham

  1. EE: 95.6

  2. O2: 81.2

  3. Vodafone: 80.5

  4. Three: 72.1

To Infinity and Beyond

Buzz Lightyear

Samsung’s Unpacked event could have been a nervous affair after the disastrous Note 7. However, Samsung showed that they had picked themselves up and dusted themselves down and brought us some innovations. DJ Kohl kicked off by saying, that they had placed Quality, Safety and Craftsmanship, at the forefront of the business. They had run an 8-point test, higher than the industry standard on their batteries. Confident that this was in place, the S8 and sister phone S8+ were unveiled.

Styling

As teased in the adverts leading up to this event, the phone does have a wraparound screen and the reduced top and bottom panels, bring us a huge infinity display. The back mirrors the curvature of the front and so looks elegant and feels great in the palm. The home button is now in the screen, as a capacitive along with the navigation keys.

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Stats

The new 1nm processor received a justified wow from the audience. The expandable storage takes up to 256GB. The IP68 rating, giving you the dust and waterproofing, one expects from a smartphone today. The batteries are a sizeable 3000MaH on the S8 and 3500MaH on the S8+, with wireless charging. The new charger does allow a choice between laying your phone down, or propped up. The USB connection is the type c, favoured by those of us, who always get them upside down.

Security

I do not know about you, but passwords are becoming such a pain. The fingerprint was helping; however, it can be easy to fake. Samsung have introduced Iris scanning and Face-mapping with the S8 and S8+. Just look at your phone and it unlocks! Samsung are working with financial partners to use this technology for your everyday banking needs. Samsung Knox is still there too, so you can lock away your most sensitive data.

Cameras

Samsung have optimised the 8mP front camera for selfies, with an autofocus, so everyone in frame is looking their best. The rear 12mP camera is ready for action, as soon as you are, using its dual pixel has a multi frame processor, giving you the best of shots every time.

Bixby

A new AI assistant was launched in the form of Bixby, who uses voice, touch and images to formulate a contextual understanding of your requirements, a swipe to the right on the home screen, now brings information from Bixby , presented as cards. Though most of your interaction with him will be in voice commands, summoning up your apps as needed.

Earphone jack

The earphone jack is still here and to bring you a more immersive experience, and as a result, of Samsung’s partnering with Harmon, every S8 and S8+ will come boxed with AKG earbuds.

 The S8 with its 5.8” screen and the S8+ with its 6.2” screen will be available in the UK from 21st April in the Midnight black or Orchid Grey colours.

You need a Voice Over!

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VOIP- Voice over Internet Protocol

 

VoIP has come a long way since the early days, when mid-sentence there was the possibility of being cut off. Nowadays it is as clear as your landline and as reliable. The internet just got faster and business has too. If your business is yet to consider using VoIP, then you are seriously missing the increased productivity and lead generation.

Look bigger than you are

VoIP is much more efficient than the old copper-wired options, and is cheaper to add extensions. You can have multiple regional phone numbers, all directed to one phone, giving you the appearance of being a national company with regional offices. The system is easy to install and requires minimum of maintenance, compared with the older PBX systems.  Keeping the same numbers as you move premises can save losing customers. You will get all the usual add-ons, of caller ID, voicemail, conference calling with the added benefits of video conferencing.

Flexible and Mobile

VoIP can do a lot for your company when it comes to increasing your flexibility and mobility. To begin with, VoIP is so much more than an Internet telephone system. It can integrate with all major software programs, including email, e-faxing, and video conferencing. You can take a call with the touch on the keyboard and continue working and collaborating on software. Increased flexibility for travelling sales staff, means wherever there is Wi-Fi, they can take the call, and work on any documents too.

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Reduced Costs

In general, the costs of VoIP systems compared with landline systems are far cheaper, and massively reduced call costs too. You will be asking yourself, why you have wasted so much with landlines. If you connect VoIP system to your CRM package, you can drill down each call on cost, and time taken. This will give you real-time data on how your employees respond to your customers and use their time, it will mean you can predict future outcomes and gain a competitive advantage.

Call us for more information on how VoIP could completely change the way your business works.

Another new Blackberry

Well. Its finally here. The Blackberry with Android, and a proper Blackberry keyboard. Not a keyboard that hides away behind a sliding screen, a la the Blackberry Torch. A keyboard that sits unashamedly at the bottom of the screen, and allows you to type effortlessly, and (more importantly than anything) accurately for those of you that are absolutely fed up of sending messages that make zero sense to people because AutoCorrect decided you really did want to type Rhett instead of 'the'.... 

Heres a 'first look' video from The Verge.

We like it. A lot.

 

Time to take some tablets!

Business Tablet

 

In business, the tablet makes great sense. They are certainly cheaper to source and more portable that a laptop, and as someone who lugs around a laptop on occasion, it is cumbersome and takes a while to load up. Tablets on the other hand are like smartphones, always on, ready to start work immediately. They certainly are less intrusive at meetings, even against the new MacBook’s and you can have a choice of OS, iOS, Android or Windows. With wireless connections and high-speed mobile broadband, you do not even have to be near a router!

Advantages on the bottom line

Larger screen estate for Office apps means that staff can work remotely. Therefore, any business reliant on paperwork and form filing will find a tablet a real boon. On the shop floor, sales staff can use them as a point of sale to show customers pictures of products that may not be in store, but available to order online. They can also run their CRM, email and calendaring, synchronizing them with their desktop or phone. In a busy factory, line managers can update on production. Technical staff can access libraries and technical drawings. Maps and schematics are easily stored on the tablet or cloud

Insurance assessors, surveyors, or financial services providers would find them most useful for compiling information and photographs onsite. For executives, they can write communicate, delegate and sign off documents all on a tablet, perhaps at the golf club.

Choices to make

Firstly choosing the OS, as said earlier, you can get any of the main three. Once you have made that choice, it will have narrowed the field considerably. Much like last month’s blog Hot Tips on choosing a new phone, the options are similar, here again size does matter. Next choice will be to choose a decent amount of RAM for your tasks. If you are going to be running many apps at the same time, that will increase the need for RAM. Utilising cloud-computing means you do not need as much storage on the device itself, so you can get away with a smaller capacity and therefore cheaper tablet.  You will need extra support for HDMI on the USB port, if you want to connect for presentations. Nowadays, with the price of data dropping all the while, having a 3g or 4G tablet makes absolute sense.

Samsung Tablet

Call us today, and ask how tablets could transform your business. We have some marvellous deals too.

Hot Tips for choosing your New Phone

Choosing a new phone is a big deal! It is not only a phone in your pocket these days, but can also double up as your wallet and mobile office.  You want to be able to take pictures, email, and share content on social media channels and so a number of variables will assist you in the decision

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Operating System

This really comes down to, if you want the easiest phone, with regular updates and the latest apps, coupled with less risk of malware or viruses. In which case the Apple iPhone, with the iOS, is the choice for you.

However, if you want a bit more freedom to change and personalise your smartphone experience, then Android is the OS for you. You will have a greater choice of phones, and many manufacturers. The openness of the OS allows developers to bring widgets, apps, keyboards and more to increase your pleasure. Blackberry; have moved into Android territory, now with their new phones.

Size

This matters a great deal, if you just want something to slide into your top pocket, or fill your jeans back pocket, then you will be looking at a phone screen size of 5.4 inches or less. These little phones also have the advantage of only needing one hand to reach the whole screen.  If you want, screen real estate to work on, then a supersized six plus-inches, is going to satisfy you.

Battery

If you require a phone to last longer, then make sure you get one with a battery greater than 3,000maH.

Camera

These days, you take pictures more than ever, to share on social media, to email a client with ideas or just documenting your day. Look at the number of pixels, the higher the number of microns the better, and the aperture, this should be as low as possible. Ignore the mega pixels.

Storage

Unless you store everything on clouds, then you will want more than 16 GB of internal storage, we are expecting phones this year to be 32GB and more. Consider external storage, with SanDisk announcing the new 256 GB SD card  there will be plenty of room on your phone.

Other points to consider:

A few other questions to ask yourself could include ‘Do you need your phone to be waterproof? ‘Does the phone need dual front speakers, for watching video or gaming?’ Would wireless charging be useful?’

We hope these tips will assist you in your choice of smartphone this year; however, we are always ready to answer any queries and help you decide on the right phone for you and your business.

Keep their mitts off your phone

Sometimes you feel you would lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on, so how can you secure your phone and keep it safe?

Here are some top tips to securing your phone

1.       Have a place for it. Keep it in one place about your person, in a particular pocket. When at home, keep the charger in one place and you will know where to look first.

2.       Have a secure lock screen, and use it. It is possible to fake fingerprints! Obvious patterns are too easy to guess and so too are number codes. Try to make yours obscure. Using a password is probably the strongest form of lock, as the possibilities are endless…

3.       Even though it is a pain, logging in and out of apps can save you the embarrassment of being fraped. Worse, money moved out of your accounts.

4.       If you are on an Android phone, you can lock your apps up. That will keep them safer. Consider locking up your banking and more sensitive apps with this extra layer of protection.

5.       Use a password manager if you forget passwords easily. These neat little apps will help you log in and out using just one password.

6.       Antivirus, is a must on phones today. IPhones do not have these apps, as on a more closed system, so less risk.

7.       You should not ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ your phone, unless you really know what you are doing in terms of security.

8.       Always use the reputable app stores, ‘side-loading’ can be the easiest way of introducing malware, viruses and giving control of your phone to an unseen invader.

9.       Avoid public networks, and if you need to use them, do not use sensitive apps such as banking on them, or indeed over 4G. Keep safe by using your own secured Wi-Fi at home.

10.   If you want to be super secure, you can encrypt your messages and emails. Using WhatsApp or iMessage will encrypt, however you can also delete those messages, just in case someone opens your phone. Emails are trickier to encrypt, a specialist app such as Protonmail will assist.

11.   Use the security features your antivirus app may have, such as tracking, remote wipe and camera trap. Might not stop your phone being stolen, but may increase the chance you get it back.

12.   Get insurance, these tips will help prevent snooping, fraping, malware and other invasions upon your phone, but if it happens that your phone is lost or stolen, insurance will make sure you have a phone in your hands again.

Just who are you?

Many of us do not realize how much information about ourselves we give away through our mobile phone. Sherlock Holmes would have a field day with all the details and hints you reveal. Without even opening up the screen and unlocking the multitude of secrets you hold inside, we can still find out a lot about who you really are.

The BBC recently put up an article pointing to some research that took swabs from mobiles and analysed the molecules to build a portrait of the lifestyle of the user.  From food preference to medications taken, we all leave minute traces of the substances we use on our phones. Chemicals, and bacteria, once put through a mass spectrometer can reveal your entire lifestyle and habits.

University of San Diego, who carried out the sampling on 40 mobile phones, could detect enough molecules to produce an accurate profile of the user.  A profile that points to a user, who is male, uses tanning products, has traces of suntan oil, traces of sweet bakery creations and caffeine might show someone who spends a lot of time abroad in cafes.

The phone you choose to carry, just as which watch you wear, tells a lot about the type of person you are. A questionnaire study by the British Psychological Society discovered that Android users tend to be’ less extroverted’ than iPhone users, though they rank higher in terms of Honesty and Humility. Women are more likely to be boasting an iPhone, along with those who enjoy ‘high status’.  Android users are more ‘individual’ and like to ‘buck the trend’.

Another study by phone carrier Talk Talk points to iPhone users being vainer and travel more, spent more on clothes and grooming. Blackberry users seem to be the ones who earn more, send more emails and text and even more phone calls. They also seem to have long-term relationships, more social and have more friends. Android users appear to be more creative, spend the most time on Social Media and drink more alcohol.

So have you learnt a bit more about your colleagues and their choice of phone? Remember these were just small studies and there are vast differences between us all, take it all with a pinch of salt.

Don't be a Puppet!

Everything these days seems to come with strings attached, it is time we disentangled ourselves and got some new wireless accessories.

Wireless is all the rage nowadays, with wireless charging being the latest trend in mobile phones, especially those in the Samsung range. The chargers sit on your side table, plugged in to the mains. You then just pop your phone on them and start charging. Newer chargers have ‘fast’ charge, which if your phone supports it; can charge your phone in about 2hrs. Plugging the cable into your phone causes a small charge, which, in theory, can shorten the life of your battery, which is why wireless charging is becoming the norm. In future, apparently, furniture will have chargers built in. Many cafes and restaurants are considering embedding these chargers into their premises to encourage you to stay longer. One downside is that you are restricted in using the phone whilst charging, a crime most of us are guilty of.

Fast wireless charger £45 from Samsung

Fast wireless charger £45 from Samsung

£159 from Apple Store

£159 from Apple Store

Apple Air pods are almost essential if you have nabbed yourself the latest iPhone 7 and you need to charge whilst listening to your tunes. They also have a ‘tap to talk’ feature for access to Siri, which could be useful as heads-up and hands free in the car.

Headphones are much more comfortable than ear buds. Noise cancelling and reduction means you can get some quiet time on the flight, listening to your music.

Ghostek SoDrop Premium Wireless Bluetooth Noise Reduction Headphones for £85 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/ghostek-sodrop-premium-wireless-bluetooth-noise-reduction-headphones-p59202.htm

Ghostek SoDrop Premium Wireless Bluetooth Noise Reduction Headphones for £85 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/ghostek-sodrop-premium-wireless-bluetooth-noise-reduction-headphones-p59202.htm

Now we have colder weather, why not invest in a bluetooth woolly hat! We kid you not, this one has built in headphones.

Olixar Bluetooth Wireless Woolly Hat £14.99 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/olixar-bluetooth-wireless-woolly-hat-black-p50805.htm

Olixar Bluetooth Wireless Woolly Hat £14.99 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/olixar-bluetooth-wireless-woolly-hat-black-p50805.htm

 

If you do not have the HTC with its dual front speakers and boom, then a decent set of Bluetooth speakers will mean you can pop your tunes on for an instant party.

Presenting from your phone also becomes possible with a Bluetooth projector, ranging from cardboard affairs to full-fitted onsite. It is a consideration if you are looking to upgrade your conference room. Downside here is everyone with a Bluetooth device can connect, or you could consider a Chromecast.

 A Chromecast dongle works over Wi-Fi, to cast your smartphone screen to any TV with HDMI. A great feature, for presenting in limited facilities, as any device on the network can connect. Also, consider a Bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse, adding these to your accessory bag mean you can turn your tablet or even your phone into a laptop and type away. Connect them via Bluetooth, so you cannot get in a tangle.

ZAGG Universal Tablet and Smartphone Bluetooth Keyboard £60 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/zagg-universal-tablet-and-smartphone-bluetooth-keyboard-p61534.htm

ZAGG Universal Tablet and Smartphone Bluetooth Keyboard £60 from http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/zagg-universal-tablet-and-smartphone-bluetooth-keyboard-p61534.htm

 

Nowadays customers expect you to answer the phone regardless, but with fines escalating for use of a mobile in the car, one of these hands-free headsets for your car is an absolute must. Customers of VOOT Telecom can get one of these free with their contract. Check out our September blog for more info.