MWC 2017: Apple and SAP Enterprise Partnership Launching First App in March

At Mobile World Congress today, enterprise application software company SAP gave more details about its partnership with Apple, which will result in the creation of a toolset that aims to help developers build "enterprise-grade" apps for iOS. Called the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, the tools will use Apple's programming language Swift to present developers and designers with a collection of pre-built UI components and provide easy access to iPhone features (Touch ID, location services, notifications, etc.) in order to "accelerate app development and increase adoption."

To further the partnership between the two companies, SAP Academy for iOS will be available to developers and include training courses and workshops that teach attendees what they need to know to build apps using the new SDK. The courses provided "will be updated regularly" as Apple and SAP integrate new technologies into the SDK and new roles are added into the program.


Susan Prescott, vice president of Product Marketing, Apple, said: “When we set out on this partnership with SAP, we knew we had an incredible opportunity to transform how people around the world work by combining the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s leadership in enterprise software.

We’re already seeing the impact that the combination of iOS and SAP brings to businesses to enable better, more efficient and effective processes across industries. Now even more developers will be able to take advantage of the new SDK, and we can’t wait to see how they transform their businesses.”
The first iOS app created from the SAP Cloud Platform SDK aims to improve communication and collaboration within project teams on both iPhone and iPad. Called the "SAP Project Companion," the app was built for consultants and managers of professional services "who are typically on the go." It will debut on March 30, 2017 alongside the official launch of the full SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS.

Although the SDK has yet to officially launch, an early adopter program is said to have already seen success in a variety of enterprise environments. These include retailers like Burberry, foreign campuses like King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and interior/exterior design company FunderMax.
“The iOS SDK will help us compete with other universities by providing the best experience for both our students and professors in addition to a top-notch education,” said Abdulmajeed Serajuddin, the manager of IT enterprise applications at KAUST. “Innovapptive, an SAP partner, is working with us through all the critical steps of implementation.”
Apple has previously entered into an enterprise-focused partnership before with IBM, which saw the creation of a collection of "MobileFirst" apps that centered on industry-specific native programs built from the ground up for the iPhone and the iPad. The apps eventually expanded to cover the airline, vehicle transportation, retail, healthcare, and insurance industries.

Tags: SAP, MWC 2017

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MWC 2017: Nokia Announces Withings Rebrand and Nokia 3310 Reboot

All Withings products will be rebranded under Nokia by the summer, according to Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings. The announcement was made on Sunday during Nokia's event at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Withings makes iOS-compatible smart connected home products as well as a range of health and fitness wearables. Nokia bought the French health tracking company last year for an estimated $192 million. The acquisition saw Withings' 200 employees integrate into Nokia Technologies when the deal went through in June.


As well as the rebranding, the Withings CEO said the company would release a redesigned Health Mate app later this year that will bring an "improved user experience" and new data sharing features. Nokia is also set to launch a new Patient Care program similar to Apple's Healthkit that will allow patients to share data medical doctors.

In related news, Nokia also announced a new modern variant of its original 3310 mobile phone, first launched back in September 2000. Made by HMD Global, which bought the right to make Nokia phones last year, the new version retains the same name – and even includes classic game Snake – but runs Nokia's more advanced Series 30+ software. It also features a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a 2 megapixel camera, and a microSD slot.


The new 3310 supports Bluetooth and comes with Opera Mini installed for basic web surfing. Talk time is said to be 22 hours, but the big draw is likely to be the featurephone's 31-day standby time.

The Nokia 3310 will be available in a number of candy colors and should arrive later in the spring for the price of $52.


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MWC 2017: Samsung Focus on New Tablets in Absence of Galaxy S8

With reference to the upcoming Galaxy S8 at this year's Mobile Wold Congress limited to a March 29 launch date confirmation, Samsung chose to put the focus on two new tablets, the Android-powered Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book, which runs Windows 10.

Aiming to compete with the iPad Pro, the Tab S3 comes with a 9.7-inch HDR-ready Super AMOLED display running at 2,048 x 1,536 resolution. On the back is a 13 megapixel camera, while a 5 megapixel camera sits on the front, where a fingerprint sensor lives on the home button.


The new metal and glass-backed design is 6mm thick, and houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable up to 256GB with a microSD), built-in LTE, and a 6,000 mAh battery with Fast Charging support using the USB-C port. A new Note7-like S Pen stylus is also included.

The Galaxy Book was Samsung's other big announcement at MWC. The hybrid tablet-laptop, positioned as a Surface Pro competitor, comes in 10.6-inch and 12-inch versions, with 1,920 x 1,280 and 2,160 x 1,440 resolutions, respectively.


The 10.6-inch size features a 2.6GHz Intel Core m3 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, and has a 5 megapixel front-facing camera. The 12-inch Galaxy Book has a 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage, with a 13 megapixel camera on the back and a 5 megapixel one on the front.

Samsung has not yet announced any pricing information for the Tab S3 and Galaxy Book. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch new 12.9-inch iPads and a new flagship 10.5-inch model in March. The latter is said to have an edge-to-edge display on the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad.


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MWC 2017: Google Assistant Expands Beyond Pixel to New Android Smartphones

Google today announced that its AI helper, Google Assistant, will begin rolling out to users with smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Previously, the company's AI assistant was exclusive to the Pixel smartphone, Google Home, the Google Allo app, and Android Wear devices.

Google Assistant will first arrive to English users in the United States this week, followed soon after with an English debut in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Support for German speakers will be coming soon, and Google said that it will "continue to add more languages over the coming year." Users with eligible Nougat and Marshmallow devices will automatically gain Google Assistant through Google Play Services.

Whether you need to know how to say “nice to meet you” in Korean or just a simple reminder to do laundry when you get home, your Assistant can help. With the Google Assistant on Android phones, you have your own personal, helpful Google right in your pocket.
A few new smartphones will be incorporating Google Assistant from the get-go as well, like the LG G6 and some other "newly announced partner devices." Sony, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC are all listed as companies with Android smartphones that will support Google Assistant.

With the expansion of Google Assistant to more smartphone lines, as well as a future launch on TVs and in cars, Google is continuing to bolster the Assistant's competition against Apple and Siri. Many smartphone vendors are reported to be doubling down on artificial intelligence features for smartphones debuting in 2017 and beyond, including Apple with the "iPhone 8" and an update to Siri that is said to bring more "enhanced" capabilities to the personal assistant.

In its announcement post, Google said that its ultimate goal "is to make the Assistant available anywhere you need it." Google's hope for an AI future was highlighted at a media event in October where it unveiled Google Home, the Pixel smartphone, and more, while connecting everything to its artificial intelligence initiatives.

Previous Coverage: Siri and Pixel's Google Assistant Compete Side-by-Side in New Video


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