Tech Talk: Who remembers life before texting?

Our smartphones are constantly beeping, trilling or making other intriguing sounds that announce the arrival of a new email, message, text, call or update.

February 24, 2015 23:01
4 minute read.
Netanyahu greets

Netanyahu texting greetings in whatsapp. (photo credit: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE)

The moment we were able to check our email on our smartphones, our lives changed forever, never to return to how they used to be. Not long after, texting messages became popular, and soon enough WhatsApp came into use, which spread like a virus throughout Israel. It’s gotten to the point where everyone expects people to be accessible at any given moment.

Our smartphones are constantly beeping, trilling or making other intriguing sounds that announce the arrival of a new email, message, text, call or update. All day long our smartphones distract us from whatever we are doing.

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New versions of apps come out so often that we barely have time to get used to the previous one when our phone beeps and announces that a new and improved modification with even greater capabilities is available, which we must download immediately. But not all of us are adept at learning new programs and so over the last couple of years, designers have focused on creating apps that are easier to use and that are more similar to simple messaging programs.

If you happen to have an idea for a new app that makes it easier to read emails or financial news, you might be interested in participating in Moshe Hogeg’s Singulariteam competition, which is offering NIS 100,000 for the best ideas.

New Israeli apps

TLDR is a new Israeli app (and also a commonly used acronym that stands for “too long; didn’t read”). TLDR displays a graphic summary of messages to make them easier and quicker to read.

The app enables users to reply to or “like” messages immediately without having to leave the app. (Free for Apple and Android) MailWise is a new Israeli app that de-clutters our inboxes. Many times we don’t bother reading messages because they contain distracting signatures and thread formatting. MailWise removes all of these and also shows threads in chronological order. (Free for Android).

Hop is a new Israeli app that helps you access every new short message you receive and enables you to reply immediately. (Free for Apple) Molto is a new Israeli app that consolidates and highlights information you receive by email on your smartphone. It highlights the name of the sender, and if there’s an attachment, it shows you an image of it that has been adapted for smartphone and tablet screens. Molto is geared towards personal use and less for business purposes. (Free for Apple and Android)

Inbox is Google’s new version of gmail that offers fast message management and an improved visual environment in which to read messages. The new Inbox app used to be included in computers only by special order, but it is now included in every computer. (Free for Apple and Android) Microsoft has also finally woken up and is now offering an impressive new Outlook app for smartphones that allows you to attach links to files and to your calendar.

If you’re used to using Outlook on your computer, you’ll absolutely love being able to use this app on your phone. (Free for Apple and Android)

Tech news

1. After Google announced that it will suspend sales of its Google Glass, it seemed probable that the public would have to wait a while until smartglasses would become available en masse. But this is not the case, as Sony recently announced that it was developing a smart glass device that can be attached to any piece of eyewear. The augmented reality glasses will be useful for accessing information, such as for tourists who want to know about a place they’re visiting.

2. The Smart IoT Conference took place this week in Jerusalem and one of the key speakers was Ralph Osterhout, an American inventor, designer and entrepreneur and CEO of Osterhout Design Group. Osterhout, who is famous for creating the underwater vehicles used in James Bond movies, has now come out with smartglasses that have an HD screen and 3D capability. It’s almost like you’re wearing a tablet on your head.

3. Samsung, which has been suffering reduced mobile sales, is coming out with the new Samsung 6 on March 1, which it hopes will soon become the leading mobile on the market. The Samsung 6 will have a convex screen with the option of having a side screen similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge.

4. HTC is planning on launching its new One M9 on March 1, which it hopes will become the hottest selling smartphone available. The One M9 Android phone will have an extremely hi-quality screen, a powerful processor and incredible memory. It will be interesting to watch how the competition plays itself out.

5. On April 1, Apple will introduce its new smartphone, keeping its place as the leader in the field. Other companies have made great strides in closing the gap in quality, but Apple has succeeded once again in producing a top-of-the-line product and sales are expected to be at an all-time high. One of the biggest improvements will be the device’s extended battery life.

6. Sony has officially declared that it will stop manufacturing mobile phones, and will instead focus on marketing camera sensors and its PlayStation line. A very courageous decision in my opinion.

7. Lenovo, a manufacturer of laptops, announced that it would remove the Israeli program Superfish from its machines, saying that it made the computers vulnerable to cyber attacks known as SSL spoofing, which allows hackers to read encrypted web traffic.

If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact [email protected]

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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