The Latest in Smartphone Technology

The smartphone field moves at a lightning pace, and keeping up isn't always always easy. Technology that was eye-popping a year ago, such as WVGA screens and eight-megapixel cameras, becomes outdated quickly. Here we will take a look at what the latest technology trends have been for smartphones in terms of both hardware and software.

Processors and screens have easily been the most rapidly advancing aspects of smartphone technology. Dual-core processors began to get included in devices at the beginning of 2011, and they are now standard in any top-tier smartphone. What's even more interesting is that quad-core processors are here, and are being included in the new Transformer Prime tablet. While the Prime is a tablet, it's only a matter of time before smartphones begin shipping with these quad-core chips. Meanwhile, in the screen department, HD screens have started to hit the latest premiere smartphones. The HTC Rezound is one such device that makes use of an HD screen to make using the device an absolute pleasure.

Another aspect of smartphone technology is literally just days old, and that's the latest version of Android. Nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 was just released with the Galaxy Nexus smartphone on Verizon. The operating system brings several new features to advance the smartphone industry. One feature in particular is the incorporation of software buttons into the interface. While current Android smartphones include physical or touch-sensitive buttons to navigate through the interface, Ice Cream Sandwich does away with this. Expect smartphones in the next few months to be released that feature no buttons outside of the power button and volume rocker.

One final noteworthy advancement in smartphone technology in the last few months is speech recognition technology. With the launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple introduced the world to Siri. While Google already had incorporated its own voice command software into Android phones for over a year and a half, Apple made the idea mainstream and revolutionary. Now, Google is rumored to be working on a competitor to Siri that will also allow the user to interact with the phone through natural speech. Speech recognition definitely seems to be the next big thing in smartphone technology.

Between all of these recent leaps in smartphone technology, 2012 is already shaping up to be a very fascinating year. With such strong sales in the industry, manufacturers are all striving to gain and maintain market share. This is leading to some incredible devices and loads of innovations. Thanks to this perfect storm of competitive forces, consumers are benefiting greatly from what seems to be a limitless number of incredible devices.

Starting a Business: Should You Do It?

So let me get this straight, you want to be your own boss. You want to voluntarily and willingly throw away your current employment (or maybe the company you previously worked for made that decision for you, but rather than pursue another job, you have decided to launch a new business). And you are convinced this is what you want to do, IN SPITE of (some or all of) the following:

1. The overwhelming majority of new businesses fail within the first few years of opening

2. You will be assuming responsibility for a “spouse” that never sleeps, always puts demands on your time, does not recognize weekends, and never is satisfied

3. You are ready to give birth to a “child” that is always hungry for more time and attention, is ungrateful, rarely if ever does what you expect it to do, and whose maturing is not something that you view as an occasion for celebration

4. Your only experience in running a business enterprise was a newspaper route or a lemonade stand when you were a kid

5. Your skills are highly developed in your area of expertise, but you hate (selling, accounting, information technology, etc.)

6. Your lifestyle is predicated on a steady income based on a twice monthly paid salary

7. You have little (or no) money saved up in the bank to sustain you through the lean weeks/months of your business start up when expenses are high, and income is low

8. You realize you will likely not see friends or family on the same schedule or regularity as you were able to previously. When they are “off work” – you are just kicking into gear or hitting overdrive

9. You have little idea on how expensive it is to rent property, buy technology, acquire insurance, purchase supplies, hire experts (accountants, attorneys, printers, etc.).

If any of the above has made you reconsider your decision, GOOD. Better to think it through now than to begin the long and sometimes painfully arduous process of launching a new business only to recognize it really is not what you want or even are interested in doing. There are a multitude of reasons NOT to go into business for yourself. There is no shame in being part of a large company and plying your craft and skills for that entity and doing all you can to improve their performance. In fact, were it not for that crazy unyielding fire that burns within a select few of us who are dedicated enough to defy the odds and good sense; we would all be in search of a “safe job” that did not come with the hazards of entrepreneurship.

You have now come to that fork in the road – do you travel the path of the tortured soul willing to “bet it all” on a less than certain thing, or do you pick up your chips from the table and decide that prudence is the better strategy. Whichever path you choose, there will always be that moment when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and wonder, “How would it have been different if I would have chosen the other path?” Good Luck in your future…whichever way it takes you (or you take it!).