Apple To Release The Cheapest MacBook Ever…And Other Small Business Tech News

Apple To Release The Cheapest MacBook Ever…And Other Small Business Tech News

Apple Showcase

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)


ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — This MacBook could be the cheapest Apple laptop ever, according to a new report.

According to newly leaked data, the new Macbook with Apple Silicon will be the most inexpensive Apple laptop to date. The MacBook will cost approximately $799 and the MacBook Pro 13-inch approximately $1,099. The leaked price points are $200 less than the 2020 versions of both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 13-inch. Apple is expected to officially announce these new laptops as well as their official pricing in the fall. (Source: LaptopMag)

Why this is important for your business:

We’re all trying to conserve cash in these very difficult times, so if you’re thinking of replacing MacBooks in your office you may want to hold off for a few months.

2 — Ford fetched robot dogs to work in a factory.         

Boston Dynamics—a global leader in mobile robots—is piloting a program using their robotic innovations in Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant. As part of this pilot program, Ford is going to be leasing two mobile robots named Spot that will work in that facility. Both robots will initially be operated by a controller who will be responsible for monitoring how the bots operate. Each of the robots contains five cameras, will be able to work with 2 hours of battery, and will patrol the factory floor in order to capture dimensions and data of the plant, with the idea that these tasks will be able to be performed by the robots without a person in the future. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Aw, how cute. I’m sure none of your employees will mind being spied on by a little robotic puppy, right? These types of robots give a hint of the future: smaller, more nimble devices that are less…well…robotic and more appealing to humans working with them. Meanwhile, these little guys are measuring, observing, absorbing data about the workings of your plant in ways that you could never do yourself. I have a client who recently realized just how much he didn’t know about his production facility until workers called out sick and he had to go on the floor himself. In a few short years, robots like this will do a better job of keeping busy small businesses owners up to date on the goings on inside their businesses.

3 —Drones are coming to one of 78 million backyards near you.

The future of package delivery may very well be driven by drones. Flytrex— a company considered to be a pioneer in the drone delivery field— has broken down barriers with several “firsts” in their hunt to perfect packages being delivered by drones. Flytrex supplies the machines which are equipped with cloud-based systems that are able to maintain various tasks that are performed by the drones, which would be operated by employees to operate them. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Speaking of robots, drone technology continues to move forward and as more consumers become accepting of drone delivery, look for more of these flying machines to be bringing products to people living in remote areas of the planet. For a small business this means being able to reach more customers with more (and hopefully less expensive) shipping options.

4 — Microsoft Teams is introducing their new Tasks app.

Microsoft has begun implementing their new Tasks app within Teams, combining both Microsoft To Do and Microsoft Planner. The move is in an effort for Microsoft to streamline their Teams scheduling tasks throughout Office, To Do, Planner, and Outlook. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a Teams user, you’ll see more productivity from this. While Tasks that are already made in Outlook currently sync up with To Do, the “@” feature will soon be able to be used in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, making it easier for leaders to assign specific tasks through that function that will immediately appear in a user’s “Assigned to you” section. (My company is a Microsoft partner).

5— Google is letting employees work from home until at least next summer.  

A spokesperson for Google announced this past week that the company will allow employees to work remotely until July 2021, if not later. The extension of Google’s remote work plan could be an indication that other businesses may do the same in light of the ongoing pandemic. Google’s global voluntary work from home option is geared toward roles that are not required to be in a physical office. Other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter have also helped set the trend allowing some employees to permanently work from home. (Source: CNN)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s not just Google. Many of my clients – both big and small – are leveraging cloud technologies and adapting to the new remote working model. For those companies, the benefits will be enormous. For landlords and small businesses that rely on office workers for their livelihood, not so much.

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