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The gorgeous technology that you need it

images-11New features coming to the MacBook Pro will give business users a boost. Apple’s professional-grade laptop is set to get its first big update in years, with a reveal set for sometime this fall, according to new reports. Expected upgrades include beefed-up security, a more commuter-friendly design, speedier performance and a productivity-boosting touch screen strip above the keyboard.

While we wait for Apple to reveal more information about the new MacBook Pro, here’s a rundown of what to expect.

More secure

The new MacBook Pro is expected to include a Touch ID sensor that will let users log on using their fingerprint, similar to the sensor that has been included on the last few iPhone releases. It’s sure to provide a nice day-to-day security boost for workers who want to keep their laptop locked down, without the necessity of fussing with a cumbersome password. And Apple’s fingerprint sensor is among the best on the market, reliably reading fingerprints with one quick touch.

Faster performance

Confirmed hardware details for the new MacBook Pro are still scarce, but reports indicate that the system will receive a healthy performance upgrade over the current model, which hasn’t changed much in the last four years. The new version is expected to run on Intel’s 7th-generation Core processor, which should provide a nice boost for general speed and stability. Meanwhile, the rumored inclusion of a new AMD graphics card could make the new MacBook Pro a powerhouse for graphically intensive tasks like 3D modeling and video editing.

Thinner and lighter

The MacBook Pro has always been the clunkiest option in Apple’s laptop lineup. And compared to modern workstation notebooks that have been released in the last year or two, it’s not very commuter-friendly. Fortunately, rumors indicate that the new model will be thinner and lighter than any previous iteration, which is good news for anyone who needs to lug a laptop back and forth between home and the office.

New touch strip

Probably the most interesting rumor around the new MacBook Pro involves the inclusion of a new touch strip with adaptive function keys, located above the keyboard. The panel will reportedly offer up context-sensitive shortcuts, depending on which program you’re using at the time. For example, it might display cut-and-paste buttons if you’re working in Microsoft Word, or photo- and video-editing commands if you’re using Adobe software.

 

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What is the technology that you need for freelance

images-10However, when I’m not writing, I’m running a small business. I’m marketing my services to various companies and getting paid for my time and effort. I’m fielding project requests, filling out invoices and tax forms, and keeping my portfolio updated for prospective clients, just like many other types of small businesses.

I’m not alone, either. According to the Freelancers Union, 54 million Americans work as freelancers in fields like writing, graphic design, consulting, etc. That’s a huge chunk of the country’s workforce.

Every business, especially solo operations like freelancing, needs the right tools to run effectively. Whether you’re freelancing full time or just doing a side project or two for extra income, here are 13 tech tools that can help you manage your business better.

Organization and project management

Google Drive

It’s easy to lose track of your documents on your hard drive. Fortunately, Google Drive allows you to compile Google documents, sheets and other types of files in one place. You can also share certain folders and files with other Gmail users. You can also export documents into Word docs, PDFs and other types of files. Alternatively, Dropbox offers similar file-storage features, but it can cost you depending on how much you store.

Wunderlist

Staying organized is key to a freelancer’s success. Wunderlist is a simple, intuitive to-do list app that can be accessed on your desktop or on mobile devices for free. To-dos can be organized by project and by client, then broken down by tasks needed to complete each item. Additional features include the ability to add notes and files (such as photos and spreadsheets) to each to-do item, set deadlines and create reminders, with automatic data syncing across all devices.

Trello

Say goodbye to sticky notes, disorganized calendars and overwhelming to-do lists with Trello. This project management tool lets you keep track of ideas, to-do lists, things in progress and completed tasks using a virtual, Pinterest-like whiteboard. Each item is set up as a “card” that you can drag and drop within and across categories, making it easy to organize projects and your entire freelance business. Start using Trello with a free account. Learn how I use Trello as a freelance writer here.

Time management

My Minutes

My Minutes is an iOS app that helps you meet productivity goals by budgeting your time. It uses an “at least” and “at most” system, such as “spending at least 2 hours on Client A’s project” and “spending at most an hour on emails.” The app can also send daily notifications of your to-do list, as well as motivate you with alerts when you have reached a goal or are close to hitting one. My Minutes can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.

RescueTime

If you’re billing by the hour, it is critical to understand how you’re spending your time. RescueTime works in the background of your computer or mobile device, tracking the amount of time you spend on applications and websites, as well as time spent away from your desk. RescueTime is free with limited features, or $9 per month for advanced capabilities such as daily accomplishment logs. The paid plan also blocks distracting websites.

Pomodoro Timer for Trello

It can be difficult to determine how long certain projects and assignments take you. Pomodoro Timer for Trello allows you to track time on Trello cards using the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique helps you work in quick sprints (ideally without distractions) to make the most of your time. This method is great for burnout prevention and creating a better work-life balance. If you aren’t using Trello, you can also download the original version of Pomodoro for Chrome.

SelfControl

It’s easy to get distracted when you work for yourself, especially from home. SelfControl, a popular open-sourced distraction app, allows you to block your own access to specific sites — even if you delete the application or restart your computer. Set a specific period of time and create a blacklist of distracting websites, like Facebook, Twitter and even your mail server. Then click “start” at the beginning of your next work shift, and be blissfully free of distractions.

Accounting

FreshBooks

Simplify your accounting system. FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software system for non-accountants. It not only tracks billable hours, but also integrates them with an easy online invoicing system that automatically calculates totals and taxes to quickly generate invoices. FreshBooks also offers hassle-free expense tracking that automatically imports and categorizes expenses from bank accounts and credit cards, and it logs expenses simply by taking a snapshot of receipts. Its financial reporting tools include expense reports, quarterly analysis, profits and losses, payments collected, tax summaries and more. FreshBooks starts at $9.95 per month for a single user with up to five clients, or $19.95 for up to 25 clients.

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The new technology for business

unduhan-19Lenovo’s new Yoga Book offers a truly novel take on digital note-taking. The device — which is set to launch in October for $499 — looks a lot like a 10-inch laptop, complete with a folding clamshell design, but it lacks a physical keyboard. Instead, that space is reserved for a flat, pressure-sensitive digitizer pad, which can be used in two ways. First, there’s a touch keyboard that can be toggled on or off — but more on that in a minute. The more interesting functionality is the pad’s ability to capture digital notes written down with a real ink pen.

That’s right — the Yoga Book can capture and digitize notes written on any paper pad laid on top of the digitizer. As you write down notes with the included ink pen, your handwriting will be captured and recreated in digital form on the system’s display. The idea is that you’ll be left with both a paper copy of your notes, and a digital copy — which is backed up to the cloud, and fully searchable using keywords.

It works because your strokes are actually being detected through the paper and picked up by the digitizer. You can’t use just any pen, though. It only works with the included Wacom pen. Since it uses real ink, you’ll need to replace the ink cartridge periodically. No word yet on the cost of replacement cartridges, though.

If you’ve ever used one of Wacom’s desktop drawing tablets, the process will feel familiar. And no, you can’t write directly on the Yoga Book’s display, since all the digitizer tech is built into the system’s lower half. Users looking to go all digital with their note-taking would be better off with a digitizer tablet like a Surface or iPad Pro.

Find that you really need on your small business

Small business owners use social media and cloud storage more than any other technology tool, new research finds.

The study from SurePayroll revealed that 94 percent of small businesses use at least one social media platform for their business, while 85 percent use a cloud storage provider.

Overall, the four technology tools that are most commonly used by small business owners deal with social media and cloud storage apps. Specifically, 44 percent of those surveyed use Facebook for business purposes, 36 percent use LinkedIn, 34 percent use Google Drive and 23 percent use Dropbox.

The research found that the least commonly used tools are those involving customer relationship management and social media management. Just 10 percent of those surveyed use social media management apps, with only 19 percent using a CRM tool.

“Small businesses with only a few employees are typically not going to have a lot of resources for extensive technology systems,” SurePayroll general manager Andy Roe said in a statement. “Fortunately, there are some really beneficial, low-cost tools available.”

For the third year in a row, SurePayroll uncovered small business owners’ favorite tech tools in a variety of categories, including social networks, cloud storage, organization, email marketing, customer relationship management and social media management.

Here is SurePayroll’s complete list of small business owners’ favorite technology tools in each category:

Social network

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Cloud storage

  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Apple iCloud
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Box

Organization

  • Google Drive
  • Evernote
  • Microsoft Outlook/OneNote
  • Trello
  • Slack

Email marketing

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • HubSpot
  • Benchmark
  • Infusionsoft

Customer relationship management

  • Salesforce
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SugarCRM
  • Zoho
  • Act

Social media management

  • Hootsuite
  • Hearsay Social
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • TweetDeck

The research was based on surveys from SurePayroll’s Scorecard, which compiles data from small- and micro-business owners, primarily those with one to 10 employees. The businesses surveyed had an average of six employees.

Is the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook good for your business

Chromebooks are better for work than you might think, and that’s particularly true of the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook. The laptops which run on Google’s simple Chrome OS operating system  are secure, simple to deploy and easy to use.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad 13 Chromebook might be the most business-friendly model yet, pairing a top-notch keyboard with long battery life and a durable design that can easily withstand a daily commute.

Not every worker can get by with this $704 system, which can’t run Windows or Mac programs (at least not without fussy virtualization software), but the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook still makes an excellent secondary system for workers with basic computing needs.

Design

The ThinkPad 13 Chromebook sports the same stark design as other laptops in the ThinkPad line. The sturdy, plastic frame has a matte black finish, with few design flourishes other than a Chrome logo stamped on the top-right corner of its lid.

The system is light enough to carry on your commute without much strain. It weighs 3.2 lbs., which is about the same as the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and the Dell Chromebook 13. If you’re looking for a Chromebook you’ll barely feel in your work bag, though, HP’s 2.6-lb. Chromebook 13 G1 might be a better pick.

Commuters will also appreciate the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook’s tough design. The system reportedly meets the MIL-STD 810G durability standards, which means it can withstand vibration, shocks and extreme temperatures. It’s not rated to survive drops, though. If you want that kind of durability, Acer’s Chromebook 14 for Work is the better pick.

At a glance, the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook’s selection of ports seems a bit lacking. On the left edge, you’ll find an SD card reader and a USB 3.0 port, and on the right, there’s a second USB 3.0 port and two USB-C ports.

Display

The Chromebook 13 sports a sharp 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display that pumps out sharp images and crisp text. It struggles a bit with color accuracy, though, particularly on the darker end of the spectrum. Overall, the panel is actually a bit dimmer than the average laptop, though it’s more than bright enough for typical indoor use.

Security

The ThinkPad 13 Chromebook offers better security than your average consumer Chromebook. Most notably, it comes equipped with a Trusted Platform Module, which enables hardware-based encryption to keep your sensitive work data private.

While most Windows ased ThinkPad models provide a fingerprint reader for day to day security, you won’t find that feature on the ThinkPad 13 Chromebook.

I’ve come to expect top-notch keyboards from ThinkPad laptops, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It provides a very generous 2 millimeters of key travel on each stroke, which is good for workers; a deeper keyboard makes for a more comfortable, desktop-like typing experience. The ThinkPad 13 Chromebook’s keyboard also delivers a satisfying level of tactile feedback on each stroke.

What is The Interesting of Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung gave the best smartphone for business a serious upgrade. The Galaxy Note 7 boasts a stunning new design, beefed-up security features, fast performance and long battery life. Plus, the included S Pen stylus is better than ever for taking notes right on the phone’s display. The phone is the follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Note 5— they’re skipping the Note 6 moniker to get the Note 7’s branding in line with the recently released Galaxy S7.

Budget-minded workers might balk at its supersteep $850 price tag, but the Galaxy Note 7 is still the best business phone money can buy.

Design

The Note 7 sheds the boxy design of previous Galaxy Note iterations, opting instead for a dual-edge display that curves gently around the edges of the device’s left and right sides. It looks downright futuristic, and it feels even better, thanks to the lack of sharp corners.

The Note 7 also feels extremely manageable for such a big device. Measuring 6.04 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches, it feels about the same size as last year’s Note 5, though it’s technically a hair thicker and a bit lighter. More importantly, it’s a lot easier to grasp than rivals such as the iPhone 6s Plus, which is too wide and too tall to ever feel very comfortable for one-handed use.

The Note 7 isn’t just prettier than last year’s model. Samsung says the new device is significantly tougher than its predecessor. For starters, it’s the first smartphone to come equipped with Gorilla Glass 5 over the display, which makes it more likely to survive a drop without cracking. The same material is used on the back of the all-glass-covered phone.

Embrace Wearable Technology

With the advent of smartwatches and Fitbits, wearable technology has jumped from the pages of science fiction novels into the real world. This versatile category of technology can be used in a vast number of ways, especially in the workplace.

Whether it’s monitoring employee safety, helping to boost productivity, or encouraging healthier lifestyles to reduce health care costs, wearables offer great promise for today’s workers. So, of course, businesses are clamoring to find ways to incorporate wearables into their daily operations.

Early adoption

Wearables are far from ubiquitous in the workplace just yet. While the technology has developed quickly, businesses remain hesitant to integrate them into their everyday operations.

“It really is very early in the game; we haven’t seen widespread adoption yet, but expect to see more,” said Kirstin Simonson, cyberlead for Travelers Global Technology. “People are struggling to determine what their [return on investment] is going to be.”

Many smaller businesses, in particular, opt to focus on stronger network security, the internet of things, and other technological advancements first, she said, so wearables may fall to the wayside. Still, the wearables industry is growing quickly. According to a report on wearables from the International Data Corp. (IDC), shipments of wearable devices are projected to increase to 101.9 million by the end of 2016, a 29 percent rate of growth over 2015. Moreover, IDC anticipates as many as 213.6 million units shipped by 2020.

“Unlike the smartphone, which consolidated multiple technologies into one device, the wearables market is a collection of disparate devices,” Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said. “Watches and bands are and always will be popular, but the market will clearly benefit from the emergence of additional form factors, like clothing and eyewear, that will deliver new capabilities and experiences.”

Business applications for wearable tech

Here are just a few ways businesses are already using wearables, as well as what the future might hold for these devices.

Productivity

One of the top reasons cited in favor of adopting wearable tech is its ability to streamline normal business operations and improve a company’s productivity. Whether it’s a pair of smart glasses that help guide a warehouse employee along the most efficient route or sensors that help employees more quickly reference needed information to complete a task, wearables allow businesses to improve efficiency in task management.

“Long gone are the days of … time wasted sifting through emails for info or searching out team members for communication,” Franklin Valadares, CTO and co-founder of Runrun.it, said. “Businesses have all of this information and communication through the wearable technology. Employees are able to alert their managers or teams when they have started or stopped [a task], attached files, etc., thus increasing the communication lines and overall productivity of business today.”

Employee safety

By monitoring employee activity or helping to guide workers through potentially dangerous tasks, wearables help empower employers and managers to prevent workplace accidents before they happen. Not only does that save the employee a world of hurt, but it also saves the company time and money.

“[Wearables can] help workers be safer, for example, either around chemicals, lifting something, or climbing towers,” Simonson said. “They’re able to monitor how your body is reacting to these conditions and determine whether or not you might need to do something differently.”

Health and wellness

Many companies are offering employees fitness trackers, coupled with incentive programs, to encourage healthier lifestyles both in and out of the workplace. Healthier employees are often more productive and less frequently absent, and can save their employers on health care costs. Fitbit offers one such corporate wellness program to partner with companies trying to promote employee well-being.

“Everything starts with the data. Data not only provides key insights into an individual’s health and helps drive behavior changes that lead to better health outcomes, but, at a macro level, it can also provide much larger trends about population health,” Amy McDonough, vice president and general manager of Fitbit Group Health, said.   The advent of wearable devices has revolutionized our ability to collect and track health data on a much larger scale.”

Consumer relations

Wearable tech is also changing how consumers interact with businesses. Businesses are exploring wearables in the form of targeted advertising and simplified payment services through the use of “near-field communication” (NFC) chips.

“I might walk into a store and the wearable device I have goes that step further to bring some kind of [augmented reality advertisement] into focus,” Simonson said, using an ad for bedsheets as an example.

With the addition of an NFC chip, which could be worn on a wristband or even embedded under the skin, customers can transmit data needed for payment, such as credit card info, directly to the store’s point-of-sale system.

“Consumers are excited about things that can make the world more engaging for them, and they’re more prone to early adoption than small businesses are,” Simonson said. “Those people are walking into these stores, so how will that drive businesses to adopt?”

Security concerns

Wearable tech is not without its drawbacks, however. As the market grows, many are troubled by the implications wearables hold for network security. Filip Chytry, a threat intelligence researcher for Avast! Software, said the security risks surrounding wearable devices are many, especially if their connection to a company’s network is improperly configured.

“Most wearables have a lack of encryption, so if it’s communicating with a cellphone or local network, it’s not using the strongest encryption possible; some are using none,” Chytry said. “It’s really easy to intercept the data.”

That means hackers could potentially infiltrate a business’s network and usurp sensitive documents or even audio and video recorded by smart glasses. The same goes for NFC chips, he said, because although they are designed to only communicate at a short distance, a savvy hacker can find ways around that and abscond with highly sensitive information.

As if those doomsday scenarios weren’t frightening enough, even those devices that are encrypted remain difficult to secure, according to Chytry.

“It’s really hard to update the software for most wearables,” he said. “Theoretically, you have a big variety of devices and each is different, so it’s really hard to protect the entire ecosystem.”

 So, what’s the solution? Chytry advised employers who want to embrace wearables to create BYOD (bring your own device) policies that only allow access in certain places for certain devices.

“For example, with the glasses … create a separate channel outside of the company network so nobody will have access to local servers and the local devices [if they are hacked]. Create separate policies and rules for each of the devices,” he said.

Simonson echoed Chytry’s concerns. Isolating wearable devices within separate parts of the network is imperative, she said.

“From a network perspective you need to make decisions about what the device needs to be connected to and what it doesn’t need to be connected to, and then separating one from the other,” Simonson said. “It’s not as simple as just hooking it up to internet. What does it need to talk to, why does it need to talk to that, how do you manage access? It’s the same conversation you need to have regarding anything else.”

If you can maintain proper control over your network, wearables have the power to dramatically change your business operations for the better. The technology continues to evolve and more businesses are adopting wearables, so learning to manage the risks today will give you a leg up on the competition tomorrow.

Luxury ipad for your business

The iPad Pro is an amazing tablet but can you work on it? Let’s cut to the chase: If you’re used to working on a traditional laptop, the iPad Pro is probably going to feel like a step backward. The 12.9 inch tablet is a stunning piece of technology, but it has some major shortcomings as a laptop replacement. Its keyboard lacks a touchpad, which makes precision work feel cumbersome, and its restrictive kickstand allows for only a single awkward viewing angle.

There’s a lot to like about the iPad Pro as a standalone tablet, though; the slate offers fast performance, long battery life and a really nice pen accessory for digital note-taking. But is that enough to warrant its steep $799 starting price?

The iPad Pro looks like every other iPad you’ve ever seen, just a lot larger. That’s a big part of what makes the system suitable for work in the first place it’s 12.9 inch display feels a lot less cramped than what you get on a smaller iPad.

The tradeoff is that it’s easily the heaviest iPad yet, weighing 1.57 lbs. without its keyboard attached, and 2.33 lbs. with the accessory included; the 9.7-inch iPad Air is about 1 lb. On the other hand, the iPad Pro is still light enough that I barely noticed it in my work bag as I carried it around, making it extremely commuter-friendly. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is actually slightly heftier, tipping the scales at 2.37 lbs. with its keyboard attached. Most slim laptops weigh more, as well; Dell’s XPS 13 weighs 2.6 lbs., while Apple’s MacBook Air is 2.38 lbs.

Of course, those laptops don’t give you the option to detach the display when you want a tablet instead. The iPad Pro snaps easily on and off its magnetic keyboard dock, which comes in handy for using touch-screen apps, and it’s great when you want to take notes with the Apple Pencil stylus (which, by the way, is sold separately for a whopping $100).

Top Business Transformation

Artificial intelligence” is a term often reserved for the likes of Skynet in the “Terminator” films or ENCOM’s mainframe in the “Tron” movie, but the reality is that AI has been around for decades and experts say the rumors of a forceful robotic takeover are exaggerated.

Instead, they see AI as an indispensable tool for supporting humans in virtually every aspect of life, especially in commercial applications. To find out more about how AI is rolling out in business and how it might develop in the future, Business News Daily spoke to industry insiders about the evolution of artificial intelligence.

AI and business today

Rather than serving as a replacement for human knowledge and ingenuity, AI is generally seen as a support tool for the humans using the technology. Although AI currently has a difficult time completing common-sense tasks in the real world, it is adept at processing and analyzing troves of data far more quickly than a human brain could. AI can then return with a number of synthesized courses of action and present them to the human user. In this way, humans can use AI to help game out possible consequences of each action and streamline the decision-making process.

AI is kind of the second coming of software,” Amir Husain, founder and CEO of machine-learning company SparkCognition, said. “It’s a form of software that makes decisions on its own, that’s able to act even in situations not foreseen by the programmers. AI has a wider latitude of decision-making ability as opposed to traditional software.”

Those traits make AI highly valuable throughout a number of industries, whether it’s simply helping visitors and staff make their way around a corporate campus efficiently or performing a task as complex as monitoring a wind turbine and predicting when it will need repairs beforeit breaks down.

AI is even an indispensable ally when it comes to cybersecurity, Husain said.

“You really can’t have enough cybersecurity experts to look at these problems, because of scale and increasing complexity,” he said. “AI is playing an increasing role here as well.”

AI is also changing customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Software like Salesforce or Zoho require a heavy amount of human intervention to remain up to date and accurate. But by applying AI to these sorts of platforms, a normal CRM system is transformed into a self-updating, auto-correcting system that stays on top of your relationship management for you.

Another example of AI’s versatility is within the financial sector. Dr. Hossein Rahnama, CEO of AI concierge company Flybitsand visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is working with TD Bank to integrate artificial intelligence into regular banking operations, such as mortgage loans.

“Using this technology, if you have a mortgage with the bank and it’s up for renewal in 90 days or less … if you’re walking by a branch, you get a personalized message inviting you to go to the branch and renew purchase,” Rahnama said. “If you’re looking at a property for sale and you spend more than 10 minutes there, it will send you a possible mortgage offer.

“We’re no longer expecting the user to constantly be on a search box Googling what they need,” he added. “The paradigm is shifting as to how the right information finds the right user at the right time.”

future of AI

So, how might artificial intelligence be used in the future? It’s hard to say how the technology will continue to develop, but most experts see those “common sense” tasks becoming even easier for computers to process. That means robots will become extremely useful in the day-to-day life of humanity.

“In the next five to 10 years, AI and specifically deep learning will enable robots to do some of the basic tedious and time-consuming tasks that we do each day,” said Matt Murphy, CEO of the AI real estate CRM company Chime. “For example, I can see a world where robots clean our houses, do our laundry and even walk our dogs,”

Other analysts, like founder and Chief Technology Officer of Nara Logics Dr. Nathan Wilson, said they see AI on the cusp of revolutionizing familiar activities, such as driving.

“The obvious next domino to fall relates to taking a thing we do all the time that has well-defined rules — driving — and automating it,” Wilson said. “In a bit more time, ‘Batmobile’ cars for everyone will drop you off at your destination on a rainy day and drive themselves as far as you want in search of free parking.”

Wilson also predicted that AI could be used by a restaurant, for example, to decide which music to play based on the interests of the guests in attendance. AI could even alter the appearance of the wallpaper design based on what the technology anticipates the aesthetic preferences of the crowd might be.

And if that isn’t far-out enough for you, Rahnama predicted that AI will take digital technology out of the two dimensional, screen-imprisoned form to which people have grown accustomed. Instead, the primary user interface will become the physical environment surrounding an individual.

“We’ve always relied on a two-dimensional display to play a game or interact with a web page or read an e-book,” Rahnama said. “What’s going to happen now with AI and a combination of [the internet of things]is that the display won’t be the main interface — the environment will be. You’ll see people designing experiences around them, whether it’s in connected buildings or connected boardrooms. These will be 3D experiences you can actually feel.”

Top technology that you should know

Apple’s iPhone is getting a bunch of new productivity boosting features. The newly announced iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both boast a new water- and dust-resistant design, longer battery life and faster performance compared to last year’s models. Plus, an improved front facing camera will make for clearer videoconferencing on both devices.

The phones go on sale Sept. 16, with preorders starting on Sept. 9. The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will cost $649 for the 32GB model, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus will cost $769 for the 32GB model. A new, glossy jet-black and new matte black color will be available alongside the standard silver, gold and rose gold versions.

The iPhone 7’s new water-resistant design is a standout feature for workers who can’t afford to be without a functioning smartphone. Apple says both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are rated to meet the IP67 standard, which means they’ll survive a dunk in the pool or sink. Both phones are also dust-resistant.

Apple is actually playing catch-up on the durability front; Samsung has offered water- and dust-resistant flagship phones for a few years. Still, for those die-hard Apple smartphone fans out there, it’s nice to know that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can survive an accidental spill or dunk.

Expanded storage

Apple is known for being a bit stingy when it comes to storage space, providing a meager 16GB of storage on entry-level iPhones for years now. That’s why we’re thrilled to see Apple nixing the 16GB storage option with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus; both phones’ base models will include 32GB of internal storage.

That’s a perk for business users, especially for people who use their personal phone as their work phone. You’ll no longer be forced to choose between your music collection and your work files when you run out of storage space. And if you need even more space, you can shell out for the 128GB or 256GB models.

Longer battery life

Apple claims its new phones will last longer on a charge than any previous iPhone: up to 12 hours of LTE web browsing on the iPhone 7, and 13 hours on the iPhone 7 Plus. That would translate to about an hour or two longer than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

We’ll have to wait to see how the batteries hold up on our own battery test, but any improvement in the battery life would be a big deal; theiPhone 6s’ anemic battery life made it a tough sell for some business users.

Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus come with improved front and back cameras. But it’s the beefed-up, 7-megapixel, front-facing camera that might be the most interesting for workers, as it will make for crisper, clearer videoconferencing. That’s a bonus for anyone who uses their iPhone to meet remotely with customers or clients.

Software

The new iPhones will be powered by iOS 10, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. The software update has a bunch of productivity-boosting additions, including an improved version of virtual assistant app Siri, and new ways to link your iPhone with your MacBook.

On the app side of things, Apple is rolling out real-time collaboration for its entire iWork suite of apps, so you can collaboratively edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations with other members of your team in real time.

Improved performance

You can expect even speedier performance from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, because both phones are powered by the new A10 Fusion chip. Apple says it’s more than 120 times faster than the original iPhone processor. We’ll have to wait to see how it holds up in our hands-on testing, but we expect some seriously snappy multitasking capabilities.