It’s confirmed! Apple is launching 5 new devices (-iPOD) as per their website just before the keynote scheduled at 1 pm EST on 09/07/2016
It’s confirmed! Apple is launching 5 new devices (-iPOD) as per their website just before the keynote scheduled at 1 pm EST on 09/07/2016
In my previous blogs I have written about issues in finger print scanner for Samsung Galaxy S5 with Microsoft Exchange email. More and more people are asking for resolutions for finger print scanner and Microsoft Exchange 8 digit PIN requirements.
I will review two new apps to deal with the situation for new models of Samsung Galaxy S6 & Note 4 (tested) and also for other android devices that have finger print scanners.
The issues have been persistent and common across the Samsung Galaxy phone’s fingerprint scanners. This is one of the biggest challenges for new users who purchase Samsung phones and want to sync their professional emails. However, they are asked 8 digit PIN requirements for Microsoft Exchange instead of allowing finger print scanner to identify the phone user at locked screen. This is one of the biggest letdown for android users and needs to be addressed by OEMs and Android dev teams. iPhone users do not face this problem as the finger print recognition technology takes the 8 digit pin requirement and maps it to Finger print of user thereby letting them login and use MS Exchange.
The two apps are TypeMail and OWA WebMail. They work in similar fashion to bypass the 8 digit PIN requirements but have their pros and cons from security level which I will discuss:
TypeMail is a beautiful app which gets the job done quickly. You can alternatively configure a Gmail, YahooMail, Outlook, Aol, and Exchange. The best part is, it is free!
The app looks very similar to Gmail android app and you can do all basic functions including tasks. The configuration of email is very simple and does not ask for 8 digit PIN on phone’s locked screen. It lets you use your fingerprint scanner to login to phone and never prompts the 8 Digit PIN. The app also integrates well with android watches so you can also see the Exchange emails on your watch. I would say the design and layout are impressively beautiful.
Mark your emails as read, archived or even delete them from the app. You can also view all your folders which can be synced along with tasks. Features like mobile printing and signatures are available too. One of the features I personally like is snoozing emails for later use and view.
Calendar feature is not available and it can be addressed in the next app review.
From security point of view, TypeMail is designed to help you manage all your email accounts. Whenever you link your email accounts for example Gmail or Microsoft Exchange, the TypeMail takes the information and securely accesses the same but keeps it temporarily on their server. Unfortunately, this credential data is stored on TypeMail servers leading to the security concern.
If you have a very secure email confidentiality requirements at your office, I would NOT recommend using the app. If you are good to use a third party server to securely access your personal & professional emails, then read the disclaimer on TypeMail website. Some professional organizations have high degree of security restrictions and might not allow you to use the type mail. It’s like sharing your user id and password with a third party.
This snazzy little app does wonders from security point of view & I highly recommend it. This app is not aesthetically beautiful but gets the job done most efficiently. The bonus is that you can sync your calendars too which is not possible in any other app that I have seen so far. Most of the apps available on Google Play do not work with Microsoft Exchange Calendar. However, there is a way to bypass the calendar issue, which can be found in my previous blog.
Tasks & Folders view is available too. It is free but you will see small advertisements below which is ok for me.
How it works?
There is an extension of Microsoft Exchange server to give access on internet through web interface which is called Outlook WebApp. Many organizations use this feature for users to connect without Microsoft Outlook software when they are remote or when they don’t have office laptop devices.
OWA WebMail uses this kind of web interface to access your email and parse them to a different layout which looks like your regular phone email app. The data and all secured information is not stored at their server reducing the security concerns faced by organizations and you. It helps in accessing information exactly in the same way like Outlook Web App would do. It’s similar to using Web email in Internet Explorer on a laptop. The IT security issues and protocols do not get affected while using this app. The information synced from your phone to the outlook server is secured.
The downside has some minor bugs that makes you login sometimes as intermittently lose connection. Your email id & settings are stored locally on the phone within the application interface and might require an extra click to login. This extra click on login button is not a big task and a good trade off if you really want your professional emails to be secured.
Get it here on Google Play: OWA Webmail
The above two apps bypass the requirement of 8 digit PIN for Microsoft Exchange on Android locked screens. I am not sure how soon Samsung or Android will address this concern. Their development team need to imitate the security protocol used by iPhone fingerprint scanner. So far the four applications found and highlighted in my previous blogs have got a lot off traffic over Internet and on my blog. The reviews have helped thousands of users across many countries to access their professional emails with ease and without worrying for security teams restricting usage.
Please feel free to leave comment or like my blog.
Installing Windows 10 on Surface Pro2 is easy and fast. I used Virtual Box to create a Virtual Machine for Windows 10. The entire process took not more than 10 minutes on my Surface Pro 2. Considering this is only a preview version, I would say the more modified and updated Windows 10 will take a little more time once it’s available. One would not want to install this Preview version on top of your current machines and is not recommended. Going through the Virtual Machine root is the safest way to save your data in case something crashes.
You can download the Technical Preview from here
To start Install Virtual Box and create a ‘New’ Virtual Machine.
Name it whatever you feel like.I selected Windows 8.1 as version for 64 Bit for testing purpose
Select how much RAM you want to provide to the Virtual Machine. I randomly selected 3132 MB.
Create a Virtual hard dive:
My preferred way to run VMs is VDI
Following were the final settings of the VirtualBox and VDI
Now, click Start and you will be prompted to select a Virtual Disk file or a Windows 10 Preview CD
Joining the Ice Bucket Challenge, I hereby nominate IPhone 6
We all are excited about our new Samsung Galaxy S5 & Note 4 and how awesome it’s finger print scanner is. I got my S5 on Day 1 of deliveries and was very disappointed that my Corporate Exchange email restricts me to type 8 Digit PIN.
I am not a big fan of Apple iPhone and really wanted Samsung to come up with finger print recognition. The 8 digit pin for unlocking your phone is a pain in the you-know-where and I pray to Microsoft & Samsung developers to make things simple and uncomplicated. Please read my previous article for more details
I used CloudMagic software to fix this problem but CloudMagic does not support Calendars to be synced. To solve this, I wrote a powershell script to get this job done but bigger problem was to let it run in background after every 30 minutes. This would eat up my RAM (I use Surface Pro 2 and I have to think about saving memory/juice). After more search I found this solution on Youtube and is the exact thing I was looking for.
Google Calendar Sync is the utility and it’s a life saver!! Download it here
I am grateful to Mike Senn for putting this amazing video together explaining how to install and configure the software. A big Thanks !
The utility stays open in Notification area and keeps syncing calendar every 30 minute (or whatever time you set it)
Although Google had some good suggestions already available but Mike’s answer to all those new Galaxy S5 & Microsoft Exchange Corporate users is the easiest. Now, I can sync my Google calendar to Microsoft Outlook and vice versa. So, I have Cloudmagic to help sync Email & Google Calendar Sync to synchronize Calendar.
Alternatively, one can also try another method:
1. Use CloudMagic to read write your email
2. As Cloudmagic does not support calendar, use TouchDown HD to track calendar entries as a widget + check emails.
Let the two apps sync emails /calendar/tasks and optimize them together to decrease bandwidth usage.
It enables you to have a view on calendar without putting in 8 or 4 digit pin using TouchDown HD and on the other hand you can check emails using CloudMagic.
Looks like a Win-Win argument ? !
Let me know how this turns out with your organizational/exchange challenges.
I have been going through a lot of articles about how awesome the new Galaxy S5 is and being a techie I am not completely happy with my new Galaxy S5. Samsung has worked hard and spent a good amount of time to create it’s Finger Print recognition and I must say, they have FAILED in copying it from Apple’s TouchID. The Finger print scanner which Samsung refers to is the new fingerprint sensor made to fit close to the Home button. This technology has previously existed with Motorola Atrix , IPhone 5S and some other phone makers. However, there were issues in finger print recognition with them. Unfortunately Samsung has disappointed me as I heavily depend on my Corporate Emails. The corporate emails force a phone device to have 8 DIGIT (YES, 8 Digit!!!) PIN on phone to maintain security. Punching in 8 DIGITS after every 14 minutes just doesn’t make sense. IPhone 5S did have a solution to this where the Fingerprint is mapped to the 8 Digits in the background. To my disappointment Samsung Galaxy S5 or NOTE 4 does it in a different way and hence defeats the purpose of having Finger Print recognition in a phone.
Overall the idea to have fingerprint recognition is not new but solves a lot of problems for end users, if implemented well. Going by Samsung’s legacy of great innovations, the problem should have been addressed. This issue can easily be addressed with a patch and finger print recognition can have a logical mapping to Digit based PINS. The problem with Microsoft Exchange My organization and a lot of major organizations around the world rely on Microsoft Exchange for email communications. The most common pre requisite for Microsoft Exchange in such organizations worldwide is 4 digit or 8 digit PIN or passcode requirements.
I have been using Nokia’s Symbian devices and Samsung Galaxy S2 and Apple IPad for some good amount years. Microsoft has not addressed this problem till now and no matter how many online search I have done so far, I have not found a solution to skip this requirement. I am afraid, for me as an avid user of Microsoft exchange for my email requirements on a minute to minute basis will lead me to use the number PIN code instead of the Finger print recognition. This has been the case with my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone as well, where I could never use the pattern lock and still be jealous of my other friends who did not use Exchange configured on their phones. I would love to see Microsoft address to the problem and I do not blame Samsung for the mess. But, for me, the purpose of an upgrade has been defeated. For now Samsung, Please fix this problem !
Solution as update on 04/11/2014: I installed a free app called CLOUDMAGIC from Google Play Store and it’s able to ignore the 8 Digit Pin requirement all together. You can find the app here on Play strore.
Update1: The calendar sync problem has a solution from Google. Please read my next article on Google Calendar Sync.
Microsoft has started the download of Windows 8.1 update today (04-08-2014) using it’s Windows Update Method. The much anticipated update will bring some very nice changes in the UI for mouse and touch users. I currently use Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and have downloaded the update from Windows Store.
You can download the free update from the Windows Store.
Based on Microsoft website there are lot’s of new features that will show distinct improvements from previous version. Some of them are life savers:
1. Power & Search buttons on the Start screen
2. A better looking Taskbar for Open & Pinned apps with START button
3. Much awaited minimize & Close button
4. A more intuitive tile with functionalities of Right click option like previous Windows operating systems.
5. Better Security
The good thing is that this update is free of cost. The other good thing that I observed that Microsoft has started listening to it’s customer base. Be it Windows 8.1 Phones or the Windows 8.1 Update for laptops, Microsoft is trying it’s best to cater to user’s demands. Introduction of Cortana & other great features in Windows 8.1 only makes Microsoft stronger in front of Apple & Samsung in the phone segment. The shift in strategy is a clear indication of product improvement and that too in time.
Cube Slam is a part of Chrome Experiments and has been developed as an open source by Google. It’s an arcade game inside your Chrome browser and for the old time lovers the game provides Arcad-ish music + a great gaming experience. For all those people who are bored in office or home and have restrictions to install and play games, this is the game you were looking for.
By Default you play against “Bob” the Bear. The game is very similar to Arkanoid but you play against your opponent. You have other options to play against your friend where you can send an invite as a link and they can ‘Accept’ and start playing. The game gives a 3D feel and every new level has new colors of playing area.
Personally, I am a big fan of playing Arcade games and I must say, this game is very addictive.
Cube Slam is built using WebRTC, an open web technology that lets you video chat with your friends right in the browser, no plug-ins necessary. The getUserMedia API provides access to your webcam and microphone, RTCPeerConnection sends the audio and video to your friends, and RTCDataChannel exchanges all the bits and pieces that keep the game in sync. When there are no firewalls in the way, game data can be sent directly peer-to-peer, greatly reducing server costs.
Cube Slam is built entirely on Google Cloud Platform. The app is hosted on Google App Engine with a backend written in Go, and the Channel API is used to set up the connection with your opponent. If one of the players is behind a firewall, the game uses a STUN/TURN server hosted on Google Compute Engine to exchange data. PageSpeed helps things load quickly, and AppCache lets you play offline.
The Cube Slam is an open source and the code is available online.
When Bob loses: