As most employees work from home, they begin using more digital tools than before to get things done. One of the popular tools out there is Zoom. After all, it enables not only virtual meetings but also instant communication between employees. However, it is also lacking in one important aspect: real-time collaboration. There’s an up-and-coming product that aims to revolutionize remote collaboration — remoteHQ.
Revolutionizing real-time collaboration
The need for remote collaboration during these times can’t be emphasized enough. Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet is not enough since they technically only cater to the conferencing needs of many companies. As such, many platforms have existed to enable remote collaboration. Most companies now use one of these platforms so employees can work together even when they’re apart.
However, the kind of collaboration on these platforms can be limiting. Sure, employees can work together at any time of the day and at any pace they want. But this kind of flexibility can sometimes hurt employees’ productivity. With this setup, they can move on to other tasks and forget about the document. Worse, the lack of real-time feedback from colleagues means delayed results for the company.
Sometimes, employees also need to give on-the-spot feedback and changes for important documents. This kind of collaboration can be achieved with a streamlined Zoom + Google Suite workflow, or a Microsoft Teams + Office 365. However, it still results in wasted time for employees. After all, they need to go back and forth to find the documents they’re working on and to tune-in to the meeting they’re in.
Sometimes, companies just need a platform that enables on-the-spot collaboration. This is the basic premise of remoteHQ. All of the tools employees need to work together live within the platform itself. It’s also a powerful platform that will spur a more productive workforce.
Shared browser and apps included
Using remoteHQ is simple. Users create a “room” wherein they meet with others and use apps geared for collaboration. The apps that live within each room make it a stand out among other platforms.
The number one “killer” feature of remoteHQ is the shared browser that lives as an app in every room. Users can open a shared browser, and grant other users control. This enables instant collaboration more powerful than traditional workflows since every website is accessible right away.
For example, managers can open Google Docs on the shared browser, grant controls to employees, and let them collaborate on the spot — all in a single browser tab and session. In a way, this is browser screen sharing but leveled up. All employees share the same screen but they can also control the browser on their own. Since this is also a shared browser, users can continue using their favorite work apps while collaborating with others.
Presenting online? remoteHQ supercharges online presentation by letting employees view documents and make feedback in real time. Employees can upload any file they want and present it on the spot — just like how they used to do it in the past. In this sense, remoteHQ doesn’t only revolutionize online collaboration, but it also elevates virtual meetings and brings them closer to intimate physical meetings.
Employees can also talk with each other as they collaborate. Typical chat controls are available to each one within a room. They can proceed in a session with their camera on or go audio-only. And should they ever need to call out the attention of their colleagues, the “raise a hand” feature is there to help them out.
Every room comes with useful apps to boost the user’s productivity. Some of the core apps include Google Drive, notes, YouTube, Miro, Witeboard, and an audio recording and transcription for easier collaboration. Recently, support for sharing Figma design prototypes has been added too.
Unlimited rooms and workspaces
Users can manage rooms easily. They can control who gets access to each. Moreover, they can also share a public link of the room, which is perfect for sharing an interactive demo of a product to guests. After each session, they can view a timeline of others that took place in the past. They can also view the “artifacts” — that is, shared files, notes, and minute-by-minute activity.
remoteHQ offers unlimited rooms. Plus, it’s easy to keep track of private and team rooms. All rooms reside within a single workspace. Managers can create a separate workspace — think of it as departments on big companies. They are easily managed through remoteHQ’s simple and interactive interface.
Though, there’s one caveat to all this. Each room can only hold up to 15 people in a single session. Companies that strictly need a conferencing platform for their employees should fare better with Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. After all, remoteHQ is more geared towards the workforce that really needs a streamlined companion for the new normal.
A powerful companion in the new normal
remoteHQ is not only for businesses looking for a more powerful collaborative platform. Teachers and students can also harness the platform’s unique features for a more personalized learning session. Each room can function as a digital classroom, utilizing the available apps to make the most of distance learning.
More features are coming to the remoteHQ as it evolves and matures into a platform serving the needs of individuals who need a more flexible and powerful way of collaborating online. After all, the platform is relatively new. There are still rough edges and mobile app support is non-existent. However, the company promises mobile apps in the future for those on the go.
There’s no free tier but remoteHQ offers a free trial. It starts at US$ 15. For that, users get all the features of the platform and 5GB of storage. Those eager to try out the platform may do so by signing up on this website.
Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings
The kitchen, simplified
With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.
The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.
Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.
On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.
SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.
The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.
With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.
And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.
So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.
Adobe starts blocking Flash content for all users
The final death blow to the once-popular software
Do you still use Adobe Flash? Then, you might have to stop using that sooner. Starting January 12, Adobe will all Flash content from running, bringing an end to the once-popular software platform.
Adobe’s process of discontinuing Flash actually began a few years ago, with end-of-life (EOL) notice dating back to 2017. Popular browsers began to drop support for it, with Firefox the first to do so last December 2020.
Adobe officially dropped support for the Flash player by December 31, 2020. Users were still able to run Flash content after that aforementioned date, however. That changes this January when Adobe blocks all content from running.
For most users, the effect will be minimal since Flash players are already disabled on most browsers. Also, most companies have already migrated to alternatives. Web developers, for example, are already using standard HTML5 to provide interactivity for their websites.
Popular in an instant, gone in a flash
This 2021 is the final death blow for the once-popular Adobe Flash. In the early part of 2000, Flash gained widespread adoption thanks to the rich interactivity it provides to the user. Most games found on the web during those times were built with it. Miniclip, for example, used to have a large library of games built with Flash.
The turning point for Flash came during the early 2010s with the adoption of HTML5. This HTML version introduced interactive elements which made Flash redundant in most use cases. Some also believe that Steve Jobs actually played a role in its downfall by not letting earlier versions of iOS support it by default. It also doesn’t help that Adobe had to issue numerous security updates over the course of its development.
So, if you’re still sticking to those old .swf or .flv files, now is the time to move on. Sure, Flash animations were great and quirky (and are still today) but you shouldn’t also risk your device to malware caused by an outdated software. If you are somewhat missing those days of viewing Flash right from your browser, you should check out the Internet Archive’s archive library with hundreds of animation that you can enjoy.
Signal has Musk’s seal of approval
WhatsApp also collects device information, location, and user cookies. To make matters worse, the updated terms even include provisions for collecting ” hardware model, operating system information, browser information, IP address, mobile network information including phone number, and device identifiers” which previous terms don’t contain at all.
As a form of reassurance, WhatsApp will never touch user messages and conversations. The service will continue to encrypt messages end-to-end, and will never display third-party ads in the meantime.
All the data collected by WhatsApp will supposedly help improve Facebook. The data will also improve the services on other Facebook products such as Messenger, Instagram, and the Facebook app itself.
The updated terms also removed the option to opt-out of this data sharing. Users who don’t exactly agree to the terms will have their accounts disabled by February 8, 2021. Those who live in countries covered by the GDPR will continue to see an opt-out option.
Signal gets a heads-up
As a result of the change, Signal — an open-source encrypted messaging service — has seen an influx of users migrating from WhatsApp. The service even got a friendly recommendation from Elon Musk and Edward Snowden. For those clueless about the latter, he is the famous whistleblower who leaked the illegal privacy-invading acts done by the US’ National Security Agency last 2013.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 7, 2021
Due to the influx of users signing up, the service has experienced delays in verifying phone numbers, which is critical in the registration process. Since then, the team behind Signal has resolved most of the delays in the past few days.
We continue to shatter traffic records and add capacity as more and more people come to terms with how much they dislike Facebook's new terms. If you weren't able to create a new group recently, please try again. New servers are ready to serve you.
— Signal (@signalapp) January 10, 2021
Users who don’t agree with Facebook’s invasive practices are also encouraged to join Signal. The messaging service boasts of having end-to-end encryption built-in by default and not collecting any user information. It is also run by a non-profit organization, which is different from popular messaging services usually run by large for-profit tech companies. It is available for Android, iOS, and desktop.
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