Personal Cloud Desktop Apps on iPad, iPhone & Android

Archive for the ‘Users’ Category

Posted by at 5 May , 2016

You should be happy that Apple didn’t make a real television product.

Apple TV Logo with Color Bars

 

Television has captured our imaginations since the first television sets came out in the 1950′s. Since then America has been captivated by the allure of the humming blue hue of the living room television. Flash forward to the present and now you can watch TV on your phone, tablet and pretty much any portable device you can imagine.

“Apple today began promoting a new feature on the fourth-generation Apple TV called “Live Tune-In,” which lets users jump directly into the live streams of select apps usingSiri. The company is specifically promoting CBS, ESPN, and Disney XD as apps that support Live Tune-In, but it hasn’t disclosed yet how soon other apps that have live channel functionality will gain the new feature as well.” via Macrumors

So did Apple create the ultimate television with it’s newest Apple TV? It sure seems like it did. It’s apparent that no one has caught on that this is the platform Apple is betting on to dominate the next generation of TV.

According to that report, “people familiar with the matter” have confirmed that Apple did have a small team working on an Apple TV set a few years ago, but the team was disbanded more than a year ago. via Macworld.com

Television is a hard business to break into and the fact that Apple had a team working on developing features that could distinguish them from them competition says how close they were to a “traditional” television experience. Do they have a potential gold mine with a streaming box like the 4th generation Apple TV?

It may be too soon to tell.

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform’s apps include VirtualBrowser for Firefox, VirtualBrowser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more about our products here: http://www.xformcomputing.com or download the app below.

virtual_firefox_icon
download the app from the appstore

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Posted by at 11 September , 2015

Weekend Reading

​Mozilla quietly deploys built-in Firebox advertising

In February 2014, Mozilla announced that it was going to add preset tiles that included ads to FirefoxUsers hated the idea and Mozilla put the plan on hold. Now, Mozilla has not only brought back the idea of Suggested Tiles Firefox ads, it’s deployed them. 

Google and Twitter to make the news faster on your phone

Google and Twitter are working together to launch their own take on “instant articles” for mobile phone users,Re/code’s Peter Kafka and Mark Bergen report. Like other “instant article” initiatives from Facebook, Apple, and Snapchat, this plan aims to make it easier for publishers to get their content read on smartphones.

Apple’s 3D Touch is trying to solve the biggest problem in Mobile

Let’s say you want to take a selfie, or hail an Uber, or send a new email. How many taps does it take you? How many screens do you have to visit? It depends on what you’re trying to do, but the answer’s going to be “more than one.” This is mobile’s shallow UI problem; everyone from Google to Apple is feeling the pinch.

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform’s apps include VirtualBrowser for Firefox, VirtualBrowser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more about our products here: http://www.xformcomputing.com or click on the app links on the right hand side.

 

 

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Posted in: AlwaysOnPC , Android , External content , News , Private Anonymous Browser , Users , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 28 August , 2015

Weekend Reading

Instagram’s Square Photo Tyranny Has Been Abolished

Good news photographers, Instagram’s UI now supports landscape- and portrait-oriented images—and video!—making it easier and less cumbersome to compose that perfect shot.

Top 10 mistakes Node.js Developers Make

Node.js has seen an important growth in the past years, with big companies such as Walmart or PayPal adopting it. More and more people are picking up Node and publishing modules to NPM at such a pace that exceeds other languages.

Uber hires the Jeep Cherokee hackers

The hack of a Jeep Cherokee was the most significant car hacking story to break recently. Now the guys responsible will work for Uber.

Uber snatched up Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the hackers who exposed a serious security vulnerability in Fiat Chrysler (FCA) vehicles, which resulted in the first ever recall for potential car hacking, on Friday, reports Reuters.

And finally a bit of humor…

As developers we can also have a bit of fun too. Popular blogging platform Medium got into the spirit with a clever App Store update.

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform’s apps include VirtualBrowser for Firefox, VirtualBrowser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more about our products here: http://www.xformcomputing.com or click on the app links on the right hand side.

 

 

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Posted by at 10 August , 2015

AlwaysOnPC and VirtualBrowser for Firefox has a solution for an interchangeable tablet to desktop ecosystem running Flash and Java on the iPad and iPhone.

A shiny new iPad at $499 or an expensive (and yes, shiny) new PC or Mac at $1000 dollars? You do the math. The price of consumer Personal Computers and Tablets is the deciding force behind what type of machine you will purchase. Although the “Overall shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices fell to 47.1 million in the quarter, a 5.9 percent decline from the same quarter a year ago according to preliminary research data, IDC said.”  - via TechCrunch. The demand for tablets is still significant at 47.1 million shipments. Yet many consumers are still left with the impression that a tablet can replace a PC.

How does AlwaysOnPC and VirtualBrowser for Firefox solve this issue?

In 2010 we saw the future (but more importantly the need) and came up with our own virtual PC cloud solution. Instead of having users connect remotely to a work server and launch your own windows desktop; we’ve given you the ability to have your own powerful Desktop PC solution that is hosted by our servers and maintained by us. In turn you can work from anywhere without worrying about if the connection to your work computer/server is up and running. The price is also a good deal at $8.99 for the year.

Since then there have been many attempts to create Virtual Cloud Desktops. Some have failed, others well the solution is still not quite as thought out. The facts are pretty clear With 64% of the average American household between the ages of 12 to 64 owning a tablet – Source Tabtimes.com  the need for a mobile tablet solution is already here. There are other competitors in this space that are attempting to “solve” this issue. Take a look at Paperspace, this is short description via TechCrunch on what Paperspace is trying to do, “Paperspace is different because it’s aiming to wrap up a similar service in terms of accessing a remote, cloud computer, but offering it through an easy-to-use console where everyday consumers can just click a button to log into their upgraded, more powerful remote machine.”

The caveat with Paperspace is the fact that you still have to buy a hockey pucked shaped disk that houses a small computer to connect to the machine. This does nothing to solve the portability issue and at $50 dollars is a no go for many consumers. There are countless other attempting to create a space for themselves in this market but for the time being we offer a great solution to the 64% of iPad owners looking for a person pc as an in between when carrying your laptop isn’t an option.

The Future of a “Post PC” World

There was an interesting article posted by tech media site The Verge on August 9, 2015. The title staunchly put it “There’s no such thing as post-PC” you can read more about it here. This article laid out the ground work as to how consumers and professionals use tablets and PC’s interchangeably with the claim that “You use your smartphone as much as your laptop because it’s just another PC”. 

If you think about it the argument could be held as true. Think about how you use your computer, tablet and mobile device? Do you use your tablet as a consumption device to browse websites, watch videos, send emails? What we are trying to continue to provide is the ability to access a virtual desktop from this device as an in between computer for when you don’t have access to your regular desktop.

We are just providing another flavor of Personal Computing to allow you to work uninterrupted.

 

 

 

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Posted by at 5 August , 2015

Consider this, we’re all engaged with our smartphones. Wether we are checking our Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Kik (insert your favorite social app here) to see what our friends are up to the need to communicate and connect is engrained in our DNA. We are completely and utterly hooked on the ephemeral moment.

Snapchat message screen

1. Connecting Instantly

Why do we feel that compelling urge to connect instantly? There is a good read on Techcrunch on the debate of Ephemeral vs. Perpetual Messaging. One of the points that stood out was this, “This desire for these apps comes from the unnatural state of current online social communication. In real life, all communication happens within a context and people only have a limited identity in that context.” So what does this mean? In the setting of all these social apps the goal is to create an extension of your personality to continually exist wether you are present or not. Your digital persona is alive and present in the digital context of the app.

2. Oversharing of the moment.

Another topic that is currently centered around this category of apps is the element of oversharing. Teens have a much higher propensity to overshare without realizing that in the future, an employer will find out what they did in high school. These apps leave a digital footprint that while claims of the traces of your kick ass summer party are gone this may not always be the case. That fleeting moment that disappears gives a false sense of privacy and security on the users end. Compound that by friends who screen-grab and post to other social sites and you’ve got a good chance that your ephemeral moment isn’t going to be only seen by those closest to you.

3. You can be who you want to be Online…

Take a look at the chart below on this post about how messaging app Kik is claiming higher engagment than Snapchat at 200 million registered users. The numbers are skewed towards a younger demographic of high school aged students. But really look at that the key metric here which is the amount of time spent within the app at 39 minutes (on Kik). On average between the 3 major messaging apps presented you have users spending on average 27 minutes sharing pictures, videos, gifs, links and silly doodles.

Graphic on app usage by age group

This is more than enough time to curate an outward facing person that will show people what you want them to know about you. This creates a narrative that not only engages but creates that value to you as a brand. The minute we don’t want to use it or grow out of that demographic you can easily delete your traces and start fresh on another social network of your choosing.

In essence you are creating an illusion that you can always get out of whenever the moment strikes.

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Posted by at 20 February , 2015

Steve Jobs famously put Adobe and Flash on notice in 2007 when he said Apple would never support Adobe Flash Player on any of its iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad. This was the shot heard across the tech world as Adobe Flash Player has long been the standard for multimedia content on the web.

Heck, when I was in school it was all that was taught in media design classes. Adobe Flash this, Adobe Flash that. I guess Steve Jobs had the last laugh as Adobe killed its mobile Flash product development in 2011.

“Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.” – Steve Jobs

Fast forward to the present, 2015. The web is marching on towards an open alternative, as Mozilla drops support for Flash in its latest release of the nightly builds of Firefox. Is Adobe Flash really on it’s last legs?

Maybe, but not anytime soon.

On a typical day here at Xform Computing, we receive anywhere from 100-250 support tickets from our users of AlwaysOnPC, Virtual Browser for Chrome, Virtual Browser for Firefox and Private Anonymous Browser with Adobe Flash and Java support.

Usually these tickets range from “Good job, I like your app! 5 Stars!” to “I need help! My app doesn’t work. I want to download Flash Player on my iPad.” On occasion we get asked questions that don’t fall into any pre-defined support category. The average user doesn’t care about the war going on against Adobe Flash on the web and mobile.

These are the questions many mobile device users on iOS and Android are trying to understand. Why doesn’t their current device support Adobe Flash Player or Java? Will support ever exist?

“Why doesn’t my iPad or iPhone offer support for Adobe Flash Player or support for Java right out of the box?” – Virtual Browser for Chrome User

This is the question that was posed to us by a user the other day “How come my iPad doesn’t come with Adobe Flash Player already installed? I paid good money for this device.”

With iPads being as ubiquitous as cars on the road, many folks use their iOS devices for more leisurely activities that would be considered passive usage such as gaming, surfing the web or checking the occasional email.

Little has been made of the large number of use cases in which iPads and iPhones are being used as full productivity devices for enterprise work. As this article for appstechnews.com mentions that a Citrix Mobile report shows the continued dominance of iOS in Enterprise. Support for Java and Flash is still heavily needed and our apps fill that void through a virtual service. By allowing your iOS device either iPhone or iPad to connect to our servers we are allowing users to access Flash and Java supported sites such as Pogo.com, BNSF, Runescape and Pearson Learning among others.

This isn’t to say that in 5 years the roadmap to a newer web standard won’t exist but for the foreseeable future Flash is still King. That means that while the usage of mobile devices that support Apple and Android keeps going up and up, the demand for Flash is going to be high.

Our apps VirtualBrowser for Firefox and VirtualBrowser for Chrome offer the best solution for users still seeking to use Flash and Java programs on an iPad or iPhone. By allowing a virtual connection on your iOS device you get a “desktop” class browsing experience with the ability to customize your browser with Add-ons, apps and extensions. Also by allowing users to connect with Firefox Sync or Sign in with a Google Account, you can enjoy the seamless integration of your saved bookmarks and history. All with the ability to still use Flash.

While the web may be writing off Adobe Flash we’re not setting it off into the sunset just yet. Adobe Flash is not dead, not by a long shot.

If you want to find out more about our apps click on the links to the right. Drop us a line via social media, we can be found on Facebook here, here and here.

For those twitter users, you can tweet at us at @AlwaysOnApps

Or if you prefer good old fashioned email communications, send us an email at support@xformcomputing.com

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Posted by at 13 February , 2015

Weekend Reading

 

 

Apple Doubles The Size Of iOS Apps

Times, they are a-changin’. Storage is getting cheaper, bandwidth is less tightly restricted and, as such, the apps we use are getting bigger.

For the first time since the launch of the App Store, Apple has increased the maximum size allowed for apps and games distributed through its App Store…read more

 

 

Watching People Code Could Be The Next Big Thing

Twitch made streaming video games into a hugely popular phenomenon, so what could be the next big live-streaming thing? Perhaps it’s watching other people code…read more

 

 

How to Research Good Blog Topics

Conducting research is an essential part of writing quality blog content. To be a credible industry expert, you need facts, stats, figures, and examples at your disposal — all external validation that shows you know your stuff…read more

Have a great weekend!

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Posted by at 13 February , 2015

Every so often we get that gut wrenching review when a user decides to unload all over us in the App Store. Needless to say it is a painful experience for any small app developer.

There are lot of ups and downs in the day to day support of apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The difficulty lies in how the reviewer states their positive or negative experience. These comments can not only be detrimental to our review ratings, but many times it does not give us the proper context into why the user had a bad experience with the app in the first place.

Here is an example of a bad review left in the App Store that does not help us in determining what exactly the user was experiencing. Could the user have been in a slow WiFi location? Were they on at peak hours? Was a certain website not loading properly? Did they read the app description or access the help guide? It is hard to tell from this users review:

bad_review_screen_grab

How do you make sense of this type of information? In the Google Play Store we can respond to comments and make sure that users are being clear about the issue they are experiencing. Sometimes you do have to do some detective work to figure out what exactly is going on?

looking for clues in the app store

Then you have users that write reviews that are clear and concise. They write a review stating the exact experience they had with our apps and how it helped them:

One thing that jumps out is that 3 out of 3 customers found this review helpful. Potential customers are always looking at existing users ratings and reviews as the first indicator if they will download the app? They are already here they just want to see how others found the product useful.

Or you have the user who took the time to state simply how our app helped him out in his day to day use.

Needless to say, there is a way to write an effective review that is either positive or negative. This can actually help App Developer fix an issue that they may not even be aware of. Take a look at this score card that Airbnb uses to rate a customer reviews it creates a good methodology into how a user should rate an experience.

airbnb_scorecard

Seems like a reasonable way to score an app in the App Store, right? This is how the anatomy of a good or bad review can work in the users favor. There are several factors that play into this way of objectively reviewing an app on iOS or Android. Both are different platforms with their fair of good and bad applications and users should learn how to praise good efforts and apply constructive critiques of negative experiences. Telling us “Hey, your Apps sucks!” is not constructive as we may not know what it actually “sucking” in our App.

As App Developers we should also consider what users want in a mobile application? It is after all a two way street two way street. Ask yourself a few questions? Does it fill a need? Does it provide a solution to an existing problem? Does it work as advertised? Will it become a day-to-day app or an app that you use for enterprise purposes? There are so many questions that go into the utility an app provides like our Virtual Browser apps that can run Flash and Java; that we should be able to answer those questions.

Also consider this; What do people really want in good apps? This image below gives us a good indicator of the consideration that goes into downloading an app onto a mobile device.

What people are looking for in good apps

The biggest factor is if the user sees that the apps does exactly what they need it for. How does the user get there? By going into app reviews and ratings to see if it is worth the time and money to use any application. This why it is important to have positive and clear reviews by users.

Users in the App Store are looking at solving an existing problem on their given device. This is the best form of window shopping available. We need to provide the best reviews possible to encourage an app download. This is why a good or bad review can make or break your app. We need to guide users into giving us constructive critiques that will improve their overall experience.

In the end this is a two way street between App Developers and users.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at support@xformcomputing.com

 

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Posted in: Android , Reviews , Support, tips & tricks , Uncategorized , Users , Virtual-Browser for Chrome , Virtual-Browser for Firefox | No Comments »

Posted by at 11 February , 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 10, 2015

Xform Computing, Inc.

support@xformcomputing.com

The virtualBrowser for Firefox iPad and iPhone Apps from Xform Computing Inc. now offer support for the latest Adobe Flash Player utilizing the Linux OS Platform

Mozilla Firefox for Linux now can run the latest version of Adobe Flash Player thanks to the freshplayerplugin open source project. Utilizing this plugin, Xform delivers the latest Flash Player for Firefox on iPhone and iPad.

Santa Barbara, CA — Xform Computing Inc., the leader in open-source based cloud-streaming apps for mobile devices, is excited to announce the latest update for all Virtual Browser for Firefox users. This recent update to the Virtual Browser for Firefox app on iPhone and iPad will allow users to continue to access the latest version of Adobe Flash Player that Mozilla decided to to no longer support after Adobe Flash player version 11.2.

From the Adobe Blog:

“For Flash Player releases after 11.2, the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the “Pepper” API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe. Adobe will continue to provide security updates to non-Pepper distributions of Flash Player 11.2 on Linux for five years from its release.”

The Xform engineering team was able to deploy a solution for Adobe Flash Player on Linux that was compatible with the latest version of Firefox thanks to the freshplayerplugin open source project. Users will be able to run the latest version of Flash and Java, as well as Mozilla Firefox Add-ons and extensions on both iPad and iPhone with support for Firefox sync.

Popular games such as Runescape, Pogo.com, United Unimatic, BNSF Railways will continue to have support on our popular Virtual Browser for Firefox Platform for iOS.

“One of the best browser comes to the ipad in a very powerful experience. Runs really well, and the virtual solution is amazing. Really well implemented. A must have for user that take the web serious.” – iOS Review January 2015

 “This is really powerful browser for your device. You can do what you’re usually do on your desktop browser. You can run Java applications, use different kinds of extensions and plugins. I like the interface and simple navigations.” – iOS Review January 2015

Virtual Firefox browser a top 10 app in paid Business apps is the only app to run the real Mozilla Firefox browser with “desktop class” features like Java, Flash, Firefox Add-Ons, Extension and much more.

About Xform Computing

Xform delivers the power of cloud-hosted desktops and applications to iPad, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Xform has Cloud clusters deployed in the US and Europe, with more to be announced in 2014. With over 1.5 million virtual desktops created and streamed to customer’s PC’s and mobile devices, Xform’s apps include Virtual Browser for Firefox, VirtualBrowser for Chrome, Private Anonymous Browser and AlwaysOnPC. The apps are sold in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps, and other marketplaces.

Learn more at http://www.xformcomputing.com

Contact:

Kroum Antov, Chief Executive Officer

Xform Computing, Inc.

kroum@xfromcomputing.com

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