What Can We Expect from Android in 2012?
Written by Rob Clymo
One of the great things about the Android operating system is that it is constantly transforming from one incarnation to another. While all the versions so far have had their own plus points, the latest, Ice Cream Sandwich, is bristling with lots of goodies that haven't been seen before. In the next year or so we could see even more transitioning of the Google-developed OS that could make it even more of a success all over the world.
Ice Cream Sandwich is basically version 4 of the operating system already found on many tablets and smartphones, but word is out that there is already work being undertaken to produce the next edition. In fact, it's already been dubbed Android Jelly Bean, while the rumor mill has also got well under way with lots of new features either anticipated as a possibility or penciled in as a dead cert.
For starters, many people are hoping for a full mobile-ready version of the Chrome browser that has been developed by Google. This would really set the Android Jelly Bean OS ahead of the game with some tweaks to the Internet experience that would make it hard to resist. In terms of improving the user experience, it also seems likely that there may be some kind of integral file browser, too in order to allow users to enjoy a much more seamless management of their digital data.
And staying with the subject of usability, the keyboard input options should also have something of a makeover come the next edition of the Android OS, in order to iron out any of the current minor frustrations that people encounter, particularly when using the smaller virtual keyboards found on-board many smartphones.
Perhaps one of the other most important tweaks could also come in the shape of better power management features, because many of the current smartphones and tablets are so heavy on battery usage that they’re actually turning some customers off from Android all together.
Of course, one thing that we pretty much know for sure is the fact that the interface will get a good old makeover as well. Although many smartphone and tablet manufacturers already produce their own custom touches that overlay the core Android features, it's more than likely that Android itself will be able to benefit from a revamp that will make it even better to look at than it is now.
So, with all of this tweaking and fine-tuning going on, when will Android fans be able to get their hands on this new and improved interface? Well, if the stories are true then Google is working hard to deliver the update at some point during the next twelve months. However, in the meantime, there is still more than enough to enjoy in the latest version of the OS. One thing is for sure though—each successive version is always an improvement over its predecessor.
About the Author: Rob Clymo writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, a site that allows users to compare broadband ISPs, mobile Internet access, smartphones and netbooks.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.