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By Abhay V
Slack launches Connect, a new way for up to 20 organizations to chat in a channel
by Abhay Venkatesh
Slack has been a great tool for intra-organization communication through the way of channels. The company has envisioned to reduce reliance on email by “shifting internal communication out of inboxes”. Today, the company is taking the capabilities of the service further and is introducing Slack Connect.
Connect aims to let customers easily connect with other organizations and third parties such as “external partners, clients, vendors, and others” via Slack. Currently, the new feature supports up to 20 organizations in a channel, with more planned for later. It builds on the shared channels feature. The app maker boasts that the new abilities will provide a “secure communications environment” for working with partners and that the feature could replace email in business collaboration.
Slack says that Connect has been in the making for the past four years. The company developed the feature along with customers. Tamar Yehoshua, chief product officer at the company adds that they have “used Slack Connect to build Slack Connect with (their) customers” to gather feedback on the product.
As for security, the service conforms to all “enterprise-grade security features and compliance standards”. Organizations’ admins can monitor and control the data and access policies for users. The company also provides ‘Enterprise Key Management’ via Amazon Web Services (AWS), which it will be bringing to Connect later in the Summer. Another advantage that the tool has over email is the lack of spam or phishing since teams receive messages only from verified users in channels.
Connect will also bring benefits to scheduling meetings, as the service will get Outlook and Google Calendar integrations. Users can let the tool scan for others’ calendars and suggest available meeting slots, the company says. Other use cases that it highlights is that historical files and documents will be visible for vendors when they are added to a channel, negating the need to email files separately.
As a part of the pilot, the new capabilities have been used by customers for the following workflows:
Slack Connect is available now for paid customers. The new feature brings interesting new capabilities to the app and improves usability for organizations that rely on communications with multiple parties. It will be interesting to see how competitors like Teams respond to the feature.
Virgin Media launches Intelligent WiFi and Connect app to improve home coverage
by Paul Hill
Virgin Media has announced that it’s launching Intelligent WiFi, complete with a Connect app, in order to boost home broadband speeds by up to three times in the home. Intelligent WiFi has already been rolled out to the Hub 3 router and has several tools that will automatically improve coverage in the home without the need for boosters, but they can be ordered if needed.
The features included with Intelligent WiFi include Channel Optimisation, Band Steering, and Airtime Fairness. Channel Optimisation ensures that devices are switched to less crowded WiFi channels which reduces interference; Virgin said this could improve the service for 18% of homes.
With Band Steering, devices will switch between 2.4GHz and the 5GHz frequency in order to get better performance; with this feature, Virgin saw 25% of devices switch to 5GHz allowing them to achieve greater speeds. Describing the third feature, Virgin Media said:
These features can all be controlled by users who install the new Connect app. It provides tools to test the WiFi strength from room-to-room so that blackspots can be found and mitigated; users can also manage and pause devices with Connect too.
If the new innovations are not enough to get WiFi coverage over the entire home, Virgin is offering a free booster for Full House or VIP customers. Those on packages below Full House will have to pay £3 per month in order to get and use a booster.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft's Connect(); 2018 developer event will be held on December 4
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced that its next Connect(); developer event will be held on December 4. As usual, you'll be able to live-stream the whole thing, including the keynote by Scott Guthrie that will be held at 8:30am Pacific Time.
Last year's Connect(); event promised over 75 on-demand sessions, but there aren't any specifics this time around. The website only shows a schedule with the keynote from 8:30 to 10:00, a break from 10:00 to 10:30, a second keynote from Scott Hanselman from 10:30 to 11:30, and live-coding sessions from 11:30 to 5:30pm. And of course, there will be on-demand sessions, but there are no specifics on these.
Everything listed on the page has to do with building apps for Azure. In fact, Windows isn't even listed once, so don't get your hopes up for Windows 10 19H1 developer news.
You can find out more about Connect(); 2018 here, where you can add it to your calendar and sign up for more information as it's made available.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft announces its Connect(); 2017 developer event
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced its fourth Connect(); developer event, which is to be held from November 15 - 17. The company says that developers will be able to discover what's next "across Microsoft and open source technologies". There will also be over 75 on-demand sessions planned for the event.
Connect(); 2017 is to be held in New York City, although you'll be able to livestream it. It's similar to last year, where the event was also in NYC and the dates were November 16 and 17. This year's is three days though, so presumably, Microsoft has a bit more in store for developers that attend or tune in.
Obviously, Microsoft's Build conference, which was held in the spring of this year, is the company's premier developer event, but it's entirely possible that the firm might have some interesting news to share. It will take place almost a month after the release of the Fall Creators Update, so there might be some word on API changes coming in Redstone 4.
If you want to learn more about the event, you can do that here.
By Timi Cantisano
Movado set to offer its Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch starting at $495
by Timi Cantisano
There have been quite a few smartwatches that have made their debut in the past month sporting Google's latest wearable OS, Android Wear 2.0. While there are plenty of devices from the usual players like LG, Huawei and even Casio, it appears that some high-end designer brands are now getting in on the action with their unique and most likely pricey offerings.
Watchmaker Movado has thrown its hat into the ring today, stating that a new Android Wear 2.0 watch from the brand will make its debut sometime in the fall. The 'Movado Connect' will be offered in five styles and will have a starting price of $495.
This won't be Movado's first smartwatch, the first was engineered in partnership with HP and was a bit more subtle when it comes to its "smarts". I didn't offer a full LCD or AMOLED display and instead had a small monochrome ticker toward the bottom of the face that could display notifications.
Source: Movado via Android Authority | Image via Movado