New Promising Features Are Introduced to the Android Nougat

Although available currently for the Google Pixel and the Nexus phones, the latest Android Nougat has a number of improvements in its latest version 7.1.1. It allows for a lot to be done with your smartphones and a lot of features that Android developers can use to create modern and innovative mobile apps. Here are some of the features that make Android Nougat better in terms of user experience and productivity:

3D Touch type

This feature was initially only available for the Pixel phones. But the Android 7.1.1 update makes these features now available for all phones running the Android operating system. This feature allows you to tap the app icon and hold it until you see a sub menu that contains certain app specific quick options on a pop up. This gives you quick access to certain features of the app.

Split screen apps

You can now run two applications side by side on a single screen. There is a option to enable the recent apps multitasking option. You can then choose which apps to see simultaneously on the screen. For example, you can browse the web and work on a document at the same time. You also have the ability to drag an image or text from one app and drop it into another.

Double tap to switch apps

You can simply double tap the multitasking button or the recent apps button to switch apps instantly. To return to the current app, you need to simply double tap again.

Data saver

Smartphone apps sometimes continue sending and receiving data even when in the background. If you do not have the right data plan configured from your network carrier, this might turn out to be very expensive. With the latest version of Android Nougat, you can simply turn on Data Savings mode and specify which app can access data in the background.

Notification controls

If you wish to stop notifications from a particular app, you no longer need to sift through individual app-settings. All you need to do is to pull down the notifications bar and choose the app that you do not wish to see notifications from and select your preference for the app: “show notifications silently”, “block all notifications” or “don’t silence or block”.

Expressions

Emojis are not a part of all conversations. The number of emojis has been increased depicting a range of professions and a lot more expressions. You can also send animated GIF images directly from the on-screen keyboard while you use supported apps such as Google Messenger and Hangouts.

Google has confirmed that currently only 0.4% of the smartphones are running this update currently – globally. This will change significantly and a lot more phones will have this update rolled out. The Android Nougat has a lot of promising new features that can be effectively used by app developers to create apps that are in line with the latest and greatest trends in the mobile domain.

Driving Channel Performance With a Good Hotel Channel Manager

Hospitality and travel distribution systems are nothing but smart systems that help businesses stay competitive within the global marketplace. Using a channel management system of this sort helps a product or brand to get positioned rightfully in front of the appropriate audience or travel buyers. That means standing stanchly in front of travel agents, corporate travel managers, leisure holiday-goers and business travelers.

Distribution management systems are generally proven and reliable technology solutions. Thousands of hotels use them across the globe, for channel management and inventory distribution on OTAs, booking engines and GDSs.

Customers can benefit from truly high levels of scalability, security and constant innovation in these solutions, which basically emphasize on distributing rates, inventory and restrictions evenly. With the help of a channel management tool, avant-garde vendors who take the right steps forward can get accustomed with strong and sustainable programs which are designed to undertake the following goals:

  • It helps to boost and sustain vendor/partner business relationships.
  • It helps to make sure that competency and focus are on track at all times.
  • It can actually boost revenue as well as improve sales capabilities.
  • It helps to boost business for both parties.
  • It retains the best and engages the rest
  • With it, vendors can break down long-standing barriers
  • It helps to establish seamless 2-way connectivity and hence, longer partnerships with multiple linked channels.

What is a 2-way interface?

A smart hotel channel manager comes with a powerful 2-way mechanism. It helps to simultaneously feed room nights into multiple channels. That means rates and packages are for sure fed accurately into the system.

Some core advantages of using an automated 2-way interface are:

  • Live Rates Availability
  • Real-time Room Availability
  • Live streaming of communication to all the channels.
  • Room inventory is automatically updated as soon as a reservation is created or canceled on one channel, across the rest.
  • There is no need to manually capture reservation details

Some key advantages of a smart distribution system are:

  • It helps to boost credibility among customers and OTAs
  • It ensures greater parity of rates
  • It gets rid of revenue loss due to delayed cancellations
  • It eases down feeding of last-minute reservation data
  • It facilitates specially-discounted rates
  • It ensures better adaptability to traveler’s needs and market trends
  • It helps the user to change room rates across multiple OTAs in a few clicks
  • It enables smarter room occupancy management
  • It updates availability of inventory as well as one-click Cancellation from front desk
  • It optimizes room occupancy through a single-window interface
  • With it, there is no need to install hardware
  • There is no need of complex software as well
  • It ensures automatic updating of room availability
  • It maintains parity across multiple booking channels
  • It ensures transparency in managing room occupancy & distribution
  • It comes with a real-time room reservation status bar
  • It minimizes losses due to inconsistency of room rates

Therefore, generating sustainable brand presence and better performance become easy with an operational channel manager solution or program. An intelligent distribution site encompasses insights and strategies which can basically help all linked vendors, channel partners and distribution streams to foster business relationships, while facilitating the core business activity.

Restructuring the Hospitality and Travel Industry With Mobile Devices in 2017

Lately, the global travel industry has been going through a huge mobile revolution. There are certain constants in several geographies like material differences and customer demands, which are dependent on how hospitality and travel businesses plan to satisfy the demand.

Global travelers, especially the millennials book accommodations and airfare on small screens today.

  • In 2016, 51.8% of travelers who book trips via digital means will do so using a mobile device, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates.

Moreover, the ever increasing shift towards metasearch engines like Yelp and TripAdvisor, is another prevalent practice among holiday goers and corporate travelers.

  • TripAdvisor is travel industry’s most popular mobile app, with more than 230 million downloads and 150 million monthly active users. – eHotelier

The millennial travelers also loves to stay connected on the go, all the time. They are the first one to post reviews and rating about their hotel stay or travel experience, online.

Mobile has for sure become an integral part of the sophisticated multi-channel approach. It is driving B2B and B2C growth across the globe, in the overcrowded and competitive hospitality market. This has given rise to a revolutionary business segment – revenue management solutions for the hospitality and travel technology solutions. The impact of mobile is immense in LATAM as well.

  • Latin America’s travel industry was worth an estimated $60 billion in 2015, and will climb 3-5% for the next five years to reach more than $73.3 billion by 2020, with Mexico and Brazil accounting for more than 70% of the market, according to the latest Phocuswright report.
  • Another study by eMarketer suggests that Mexico will have 44 million smartphone users in 2016.

A question arises here. With the advent of smartphones and devices of choice to access the internet, how are global travel agents responding?

Most consumer-facing businesses have started to go exclusively online. After all, mobile in the travel business, mobile is committed to serve a multi-channel segment. No wonder that hotels, airlines and online travel sites are better optimizing their websites and revenue management strategies for more direct bookings. As a result of this, people are finding a simpler way to book their trips from hand-held devices.

Particularly in the US, sales of travel products and services booked on mobile devices continue to grow, while desktop- and laptop-based sales decline in absolute terms -eMarketer.

Mobile’s omnipresent and on-the-go presence has been changing the way travel is planned or for the matter, booked today. This will continue through 2017 and will further enhance the entire on-destination experience of the mobile savvy millennial traveler. More and more consumers will open content on smartphones and tablets. Mobile websites and apps from OTAs and hotels will further drive customer acquisition as well as help them build brand loyalty and gain more RevPAR. So trip management will become all the more feature loaded and convenient this new year.

SharePoint 2016 Is Setting the Standards for Collaboration Platforms – Here’s How

To say SharePoint 2016 is the best version of the popular enterprise collaboration platform from Microsoft is a serious understatement. You see, at certain points in time, certain versions of software products arrive, which not only do what they are supposed to do in a better way than anyone else, but also set a precedence for others to follow. With SharePoint 2016, we feel that Microsoft has accomplished pretty much something like that. Here’s why.

Seamless compatibility with associated products

SharePoint Server 2016 not only offers out of the box support for Microsoft’s latest server operating system, but also the latest version of SQL Server. This integrated support structure brings many benefits to SharePoint users. On one hand, you have updates to security and virtualization in the OS, while on the other, the Stretch Database technology with Azure for hybrid setups. This not only ensures excellent compatibility across the board for customers, but also ensures long term loyalty from them.

Superior support for hybrid structure

Any on-premise collaboration platform these days needs to have a strong online presence, due to the way people are steadily moving towards the cloud. With SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has gone all the way, offering support for anything between 100% online operation to hybrid networks, where on-prem and cloud based elements work together.Support for Office 365 OneDrive allows quick document sharing and access from any device, while hybrid search (which involves content indexing via crawling through content stored in on-prem and cloud locations)lets users find content efficiently, within seconds. What’s more – tools such as Delve and Office Graph, which are designed for the cloud, also work with on-prem installations of SharePoint Server.

Greatly improved user interface

If you have on-prem and online versions of similar products, it makes sense to offer a unified experience to users. With SharePoint, this time around, Microsoft has done just that. Whether a customer decides to go for the on-premversion or stick to SharePoint Online, they essentially get to work with the same user interface. Not only that, the all new App Launcher lets users launch their Office 365 apps through the tiles themselves.

Enhanced maintenance of compliance

When you work with a hybrid environment, ensuring data security becomes a major issue. With SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has ensured that with the help of an In-Place Policy Hold Center. It lets admins establish time-based data retention for a preset time interval. It is pretty much like the cloud-based Compliance Center in Office 365, which means users will find it easy to use. Not only that, SharePoint 2016 also supports data loss prevention (DLP) technologies built into Office 365, such as document fingerprinting.

All in all, with SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has taken a giant step towards dominating the market for enterprise collaboration platforms. In the coming days, we believe users can expect bigger and better features from newer iterations of the platform. This does not bode well for competitors of Microsoft, who not only need to adapt to the emerging technologies, but also match (or try to exceed) what Microsoft has achieved. Only time will tell whether they will succeed, but one thing is for sure – customers are the ones who stand to benefit the most from this battle of the brands.

What Are the Best Practices for SharePoint 2013 Farm Backups?

For many SharePoint administrators, one of the biggest concerns is to restore or back up the data of a SharePoint company. The necessity to maintain data quality all through the farm is among the many factors that have to be kept track of. However, administrators can stick to quite a few best practices in order to significantly lower data corruption or data loss risks in the SharePoint 2013 farm backups. Read and know about some of these best practices to follow.

Testing backup quality on a regular basis

Administrators can avert disasters during crisis situations by testing backups and then validating the consistency of the backups after regular periods. The content of backups can be validated by running practice recovery operations. Administrators can make sure that the whole ambience can be restored from the backups.

If administrators have to test restore or backup operations for the SharePoint servers situated in various geographical areas, they can set up remote farms in order to simulate those activities. After that is done, the SharePoint farms can be restored with the help of the database-attach technique. This type of technique has administrators uploading a database copy to the remote agency and getting users redirected. Carrying out trial restorations from time to time can also expose issues in hardware that can impede data restoration.

Making backups of ULS (Unified Logging Service) trace logs

The Unified Logging Service (ULS) does not generate backups of trace logs in SharePoint 2013. However, the data that is stored in such logs can prove to be quite useful when administrators have to troubleshoot or analyze the performance or check compatibility with SLAs. Naturally, as part of the routine maintenance program, they need to create backups of the data. By default, SharePoint log files happen to be stored in the path -:\Program files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\Logs.

The SharePoint log files are named as per the server name, followed by the creation date and the time stamp. Such types of logs are generated automatically at preset intervals and also every time the IISRESET command is run by administrators. The newest log files need to be definitely preserved, while the older ones can be deleted safely – unless there are big changes made to the setup since the time of creation.

Storing off-site a copy of the files backed up

One of the dangers to data storage is physical damages resulting from natural disasters, and there cannot be any defense for this type of problem. However, SharePoint 2013 farm backups can be protected by administrators by making copies and storing the same in isolated physical locations. There should be ideally 3 copies of each backup, stored in varied locations, including one on the Cloud and one offsite. The copies need to contain all types of data, from backups of trace logs and usage statistics to documents, transaction logs, database logs and recovery / backup materials.