This week, we bring you two mobile apps designed to improve life for creatives and people who like to get paid, as well as a report that sheds light on the security of your employee's mobile information.
An Adobe Idea for Creatives
Adobe and Apple have not been playing nicely when it comes to Flash and the iPhone, but when it comes to iPhone apps, Adobe has released a new one that could help creatives sketch their ideas.
Called Adobe Ideas, the app is a digital sketchbook, that lets mobile users capture and explore ideas on the go. It is designed to be a companion application for other Adobe products, like Illustrator and Photoshop.
Released last month, Abobe Ideas allows users to sketch out ideas, write notes on photographs and extract color schemes from photographs. Creations are stored as thumbnails on the home page, which can then be edited.
The tools provided, a pencil, an eraser, a move tool and an undo button, are basic but powerful. User reviews complement the interface as “clean, simple and fluid” and applauds that the app “makes drawing fun and useful.”
Unlike Adobe’s desktop applications, the app is free and is available for download through the iTunes app store.
New Mobile Device Lets Buyers Square Up Payments
Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter is behind a new device called Square that may revolutionize the way payments are received and accepted via mobile devices. The “Square” will allow anyone with a mobile device to accept a credit card payment on the spot. The free application allows any user to accept credit card payments via iPhone, iPad and Android phones.
Once the app is downloaded, a user must create a Square account and provide their bank account information, then they will receive their “Square” in the mail. The Square plugs into the audio jack of the iPhone and allows users to swipe credit cards to accept payments. After signing the sales receipt on the touchscreen, the purchase is complete (with funds typically transferred to the bank account within 1-2 business days). Users can download receipts and purchase orders from the website to help keep track of sales.
There are fees included which hover around 2.75% plus 15 cents per sale, or 3.5% plus 15 cents per sale if the card number is typed manually.
Employees Putting Sensitive Information at Risk Via Mobile Devices
According to a survey of 1,600 users published by Trend Micro, employees are generally more concerned about protecting their own data than that of the company for which they work.
The survey, which included end users in the U.S., U.K, Germany and Japan, noted that risky practices and attitudes are common across country borders. Approximately 50 percent of respondents admitted to exposing employee-rich data through unsecure Web email accounts. For employees who consider the mobile devices their home base, the study reports that they are more of a liability than those who work from traditional office environments.
Across all countries, 60 percent of mobile workers (compared to 44 percent of office workers) admitted to having sent out company confidential information via IM, Web mail or social media applications. In Japan, that number jumps to 78 percent of mobile employees. In the U.S., laptop end users are far more likely to perform non work-related activities while on their company’s network than desktop users, with 74 percent of laptop users indicating that they have checked personal e-mail and 58 percent saying they browsed websites unrelated to work.