The Benefits of an Excellent Point of Sale System

Every year, new technologies are developed. The goal of these innovative technologies is to make life easier. From mini supercomputers to medical technology revolutions, the tablet and iPad have simplified the way we live our lives, and they have made the unimaginable possible. One of the newest developments is the iPad POS (point of sale) system, which is particularly popular in restaurants. Essentially, it streamlines all the different operations within a restaurant, from digital time cards to stock levels, in a single device. So what are the benefits of these systems, and how have they improved from older POS systems?

What Is a POS System for iPads?

Essentially, it is piece of software that runs on an iPad, offering a range of features. The exact features offered vary depending on the developer of the app. However, all of them are designed to replace old fashioned POS systems, which were not very efficient and very bulky. The goal is to make something that is fully streamlined between various functions within the business, while being user-friendly at the same time. Furthermore, it lowers the investment costs in a POS system, helping to increase return on investment by decreasing the bottom line.

Key iPad POS System Functions

The exact functions and features offered by an iPad POS system, as discussed, vary between the different software developers. However, there are a number of key features that you can expect from a good system, which includes:

  • Being available on the cloud.
  • Being PCI compliant.
  • That it offers table management and hosting features.
  • That it is available offline when the ISP is down.
  • That it manages inventory automatically.
  • That it includes a real-time reservation system.
  • That it enables check splitting.
  • That orders can be changed or modified.
  • That it includes employee timecards and payroll functionality.
  • That it allows tables to be assigned.
  • That it creates financial reports with one button.
  • That it includes secure payment methods.
  • That it can integrate with any other app in the restaurant.
  • That it can be remotely accessed.
  • That it includes a high encryption rate.
  • That it has multiple sales points.
  • That it does not require third party apps.
  • That it only requires a low initial investment.
  • That it expedites orders.
  • That it doesn’t require as much hardware.

How Does iPad POS Compare to Older POS

When you look at the new iPad POS system to the older versions, there are a few things in particular to look at:

  1. New systems cost a lot more than the older ones. This makes them incredibly attractive over the older ones.
  2. New systems are lightweight, have a fantastic visual interface, allow multiple sales points, and enable remote access, all on a single license. Older versions do not offer this in any way.
  3. New systems are very easy to get to grips with, compared to quite complex older versions.
  4. New systems are designed not just to take and expedite orders, but to reduce managerial stress at the same time.

As you can see, iPad POS systems are incredibly beneficial.

Weekly Roundup: Intel buys Mobileye for $15.3B, Uber’s navigation for drivers improves

This week four people were accused of hacking at least 500 million Yahoo accounts, Spotify partnered with Waze and Intel bought computer vision company Mobileye. These are the top stories of the week, and you can also get this post as a weekly newsletter in your inbox, if you prefer.

1. The U.S. Department of Justice accused of two Russian FSB officers and two criminal hackers of orchestrating the hack of at least 500 million Yahoo accounts. The DoJ alleges that they used unauthorized access to Yahoo’s systems to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other providers. One of the defendants is also accused of ecommerce fraud, as he used his access to Yahoo’s network for personal financial gain.

2. Intel is bolstering its expansion into self driving tech with the acquisition of Mobileye, a leading company in computer vision and autonomous driving tech. The deal is worth $15.3 billion, and happens to be the largest acquisition of an Israeli tech company to date.

3. The driver-facing side of the Uber app got some big changes to its navigation system. Uber previously relied on external routing apps like Google Maps and Waze, but now the service has been designed specifically for drivers, offering better routing and improved pick-ups and drop-offs.

4. Watch out, Slack. Microsoft opened its Teams collaboration and communication platform to all Office 365 users. The company also announced around 150 integrations with third-party services like Asana and Zendesk. But the question may be whether Microsoft is late to the enterprise comms game.

5. No more app-switching while driving. Spotify and Waze have partnered to let you play music and navigate in a more seamless way. Now, Waze users can listen to Spotify playlists from within the app, and Spotify users can continue to get their Waze navigation instructions while in the music app.

 6. Snap’s IPO may have paved the way for more 2017 public offerings to come. Yext, a New York-based company that powers location data in search results has revealed its IPO filing and will join the stock market as soon as April of this year. The offering is said to raise $100 million at this point.

7. Things are not looking good for GoPro. The camera company announced it will cut 270 more jobs. This is in addition to the 100 announced in January and 200 back in November.

8. Okta, a unicorn cloud identity management company, filed to go public. Okta reported on its S-1 that its revenue grew from $41.0 million in fiscal 2015 to $85.9 million in fiscal 2016. That’s a 109% increase.

9. WhatsApp jumped the gun when it replaced its text Status section with the new visual Snapchat-like Stories feature. Now, the chat app has revived Status – showing its quick adaptation to user feedback.

GoPro Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session Action Cameras Launched in India

GoPro Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session Action Cameras Launched in IndiaGoPro unveiled the Hero5 lineup of cameras in September and the action camera maker has now announced the cameras for the Indian market. The Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session cameras are priced at Rs. 38,000 and Rs. 29,500 respectively, available at select retailers across the country through partnerships with Creative Peripherals and Stereovision.

To recall, GoPro had entered the Indian market back in June through its partnership with Reliance Digital. The latest Hero5 cameras will also be available online via Flipkart, as well as through regular brick-and-mortar stores.

Both the Hero5 Black and Hero5 Sessions cameras boast of 4K video recording at 30fps. The cameras also support voice control for seven languages and are compatible with existing GoPro mounts. Furthermore, users will also be able to upload the photos and videos to cloud while the camera is charging. The cameras offer a simple one-button control and are waterproof (without housing) at up to 33 feet.

The differences essentially lie in the camera modules. The more expensive Hero5 Black features a 12-megapixel sensor with wide-angle lens, while the Hero5 Session sports a 10-megapixel sensor with wide-angle lens.

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Videos captured with the GoPro cameras can be edited and shared through Quik, GoPro’s editing app for mobile and desktop. Users will be able to preview and playback shots on their mobile and can control their GoPro as well.

“We are excited to bring the critically acclaimed, new Hero5 camera lineup to India through our partnerships with Creative Peripherals and Stereovision. The simplified design and new ease-of-use features, like voice command, make GoPro cameras an excellent choice for the young, creative and tech savvy market,” said Rodney Block, GoPro’s senior director of sales for the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to the cameras, GoPro is also bringing in its catalogue of mounts and accessories, all of which are being distributed in the country in partnership with Creative Peripherals.

Videocon d2h to Merge With Dish TV, Create New Entity

Videocon d2h to Merge With Dish TV, Create New EntityVideocon Group’s DTH arm Videocon d2h will merge with Essel Group-owned Dish TV in an all share deal to create a new entity – Dish TV Videocon Ltd.

Dhoot brothers-owned Videocon will own 44.6 percent in the merged entity, while the billionaire Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group will have 55.4 percent stake.

“The Board of Directors of Dish TV and Videocon d2h Ltd today approved a scheme of arrangement for the amalgamation of Vd2h into Dish TV and the execution of definitive agreements in relation to such amalgamation,” said a joint statement issued by both the DTH operators.

The combined entity would be positioned as the leading DTH operator in the country. It had a revenue of Rs. 5,915.8 crores on a pro-forma basis for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

Pursuant to the scheme, Dish TV Videocon will issue 857.791 million shares as consideration for the scheme and Videocon d2h shareholders shall be allotted 2.021 new shares of Dish TV Videocon for every one share held in Vd2h.

As per the scheme, Dish TV shareholders would be owning 1,066.861 million existing shares or 55.4 percent of Dish TV Videocon, with Vd2h shareholders owning 857.791 million new shares or 44.6 percent.

The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017, would be subject to regulatory approvals from various stakeholders such as SEBI, CCI, High Court of Bombay, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, stock exchanges as well as shareholders and creditors of both companies.

The merger would provide “better synergies and growth opportunities and enable” it to provide differentiated and superior service and become a more effective partner for TV content providers in India.

Dish TV CMD Jawahar L Goel said: “This transaction, that brings together two powerhouse brands of the cable and satellite industry in India, will provide us with a gateway to harness growth opportunities in an ultra competitive multi player environment”.

Videocon d2h Executive Chairman Saurabh Dhoot said: “Today we are very excited about this strategic combination to create a solid platform with decisive and proven leadership at the front…”

This would lead Dish TV Videocon to create value for all stakeholders, customers, employees and shareholders, he added.

According to the statement, the Essel Group firm would have an upper hand in Dish TV Videocon. “At the close of the proposed transaction, the current promoters of Dish TV shall continue as promoters of Dish TV Videocon,” the statement said.

It further added: “The Dish TV principals are also in discussion with the Vd2h principals to purchase some of the Vd2h principals’ shares in Dish TV Videocon post the amalgamation, details of which are likely to be finalised soon”.

After completion of the transaction, Dish TV Videocon shall continue to be listed on NSE and BSE in India and on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in the form of GDRs.

“In the scheme, holders of Videocon d2h ADRs will receive their new shares in the form of GDRs, unless they elect to receive and hold new shares directly,” the statement said.

MacBook Pro 2016 13-Inch Gets Teardown Treatment; Reveals Custom SSD Controller and Smaller Battery

MacBook Pro 2016 13-Inch Gets Teardown Treatment; Reveals Custom SSD Controller and Smaller Battery

Apple unveiled the MacBook Pro with the OLED Touch Bar panel at an event last week in Cupertino. The laptop is touted to be thinner, lighter, and faster than its predecessor. Now, iFixit has performed a teardown of the MacBook Pro 2016 13-inch With Function Keys, and has released all the interesting findings on its site. Furthermore, a GeekBench score also shows just how much faster the new MacBook Pro 2016 really is compared to its predecessor.

First up, iFixit performed a teardown of the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 without Touch Bar, and found a custom Apple controller for the SSD inside. The 256GB PCIe SSD is removable (which makes for easier upgrades) and made out of four 64GB SanDisk NAND modules, and Apple claims the SSD performance is 100 percent faster than the previous generation. iFixit says, “This marks the first time we’ve seen Apple’s super-custom SSD controller in a removable PCIe SSD.”

The 13-inch variant sports a 54.5Wh battery which is surprisingly smaller than the predecessor. However, Apple claims that even though the new battery is 25 percent smaller, it still extracts ten hours of use, and in no way hampers everyday usage. The battery is also smaller in size and is stuck to the laptop with tough glue.(Also see: Here’s Why Apple Never Introduced a Touchscreen MacBook)

iFixit also noticed that even though the MacBook Pro 2016 supports the 3.5mm audio jack, the component appears to be modular, which means that either it was a last minute addition, or is made in such a way that it can be easily replaced in the future. There is the addition of rubber bumpers on the stereo speakers as well, and this could be to limit the vibration. The speakers are touted to be significantly louder and have a long dynamic range.

(Also see: New MacBook Pro Models Turn on Automatically When the Lid Is Opened)

iFixit gave the MacBook Pro 2016 an overall repairability score of 2 out of 10, because of its pentalobe screws that make opening the device unnecessarily difficult. The battery is also stuck to the case with tough glue making replacement a complicated task. Lastly the RAM is also soldered to the logic board, so users have no option but to pay Apple for an upgrade.

Separately, 9to5Mac also did an SSD benchmark test, and found out that the 13-inch MacBook Pro (Without Touch Bar) has an insanely fast SSD. The test results fall right on Apple’s claim of sequential read speeds up to 3.1 GB/s, and write speeds of up to 2.1GB/s.

(Also see:The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro 2016 Is Essentially an Embedded Apple Watch)

Furthermore, the publication did a Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 proved to be worth the money on that front as well. The laptop maxed out at 2000MB/s read speed testifying just how fast the SSD is.

(Also see:MacBook Pro Models Will Be Cheaper Next Year, Claims Analyst)

The exact availability of these latest offerings in India are not yet known, however the prices are out, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 is priced at Rs. 1,29,900, the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar and Touch ID will be priced starting at Rs. 1,55,900 while the 15-inch model will start at Rs. 2,05,900.

MacBook Pro 2016 Has Received More Online Orders Than Any Previous Pro Laptop

MacBook Pro 2016 Has Received More Online Orders Than Any Previous Pro Laptop

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Phil Schiller, has shared a few new details about the processes that went into creating the new MacBook Pro 2016, which was unveiled last week. In a brief but wide-ranging interview with British news outlet The Independent, Schiller addressed several common questions and emphasised that Apple is confident about the direction it is taking its products in. He also stated that the company has received more orders through its online store for the new MacBook Pro 2016 than it has for any previous pro laptop in the past.

Schiller made it clear that Apple’s philosophical separation of the iOS and Mac product lines is going to continue for the forseeable future, as the company considers both to be independent and serve different purposes. More importantly, Schiller revealed that the company sees them as separate primarily because of their different user experience paradigms. “There’s iPhone and iPad which are single pieces of glass, they’re direct-manipulation, multi-touch and tend towards full-screen applications … then there’s the Mac experience, dominated by our notebooks and that’s about indirect manipulation and cursors and menus”, he told The Independent.

“Here’s one example of how they should remain distinct,” Schiller continued. “The Mac from the very first has had a menu bar fixed at the top. It’s core to the identity and the experience you get. But iOS doesn’t have a menu at the top. It never will. The thought of pointing at a menu at the top of an iPhone feels wrong. If you made the Mac a touchscreen you’d have to figure out how to make it a good experience with your finger on a touchscreen. Trust me, we’ve looked at that — it’s a bad experience. It’s not as good or as intuitive as with a mouse and trackpad.”

That thinking is what led to the development of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro 2016. “Others are trying to turn the notebook into the tablet. The new MacBook Pro is a product that celebrates that it is a notebook … You have a surface that you type down on with your hands, with a screen facing you vertically. That basic orientation, that L shape makes perfect sense and won’t go away. The team came up with this idea that you can create a multi-touch surface that’s coplanar with the keyboard and the trackpad but brings a whole new experience into it, one that’s more interactive, with multi-touch.”

Two particularly interesting decisions about the MacBook Pro 2016 have elicited sharp reactions online: the removal of an SD card slot, and the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio socket. It was Schiller himself who infamously said on stage that the reason Apple had dispensed with a 3.5mm socket on the iPhone 7 was “courage”.

Schiller’s arguments against the SD card slot are likely to be just as polarising. According to him, “it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You’ve got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD … and then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful.”

As for the 3.5mm jack, it makes sense to continue having it on the MacBook Pro because it isn’t only about headphones. “These are pro machines. If it was just about headphones then it doesn’t need to be there, we believe that wireless is a great solution for headphones. But many users have setups with studio monitors, amps, and other pro audio gear that do not have wireless solutions and need the 3.5mm jack,” Schiller said.

Reacting to the flood of comments criticising the MacBook Pro 2016, Schiller reiterated that the Mac is important for Apple. “I hope everyone gets a chance to try it for themselves and see how great the MacBook Pro is. It is a really big step forward and an example of how much we continue to invest in the Mac,” he said. “We know we made good decisions about what to build into the new MacBook Pro and that the result is the best notebook ever made, but it might not be right for everyone on day one.”

MacBook Price in India Increased by Up to Rs. 10,000

MacBook Price in India Increased by Up to Rs. 10,000

While the entire world was focussed on the launch of the new MacBook Pro, Apple India decided to quietly increase the price of the MacBook by as much as Rs. 10,000. The change happened last week, and Apple India’s website has been updated to reflect the new prices.

The 12-inch MacBook now starts at Rs. 112,900, an increase of Rs. 6,000 from last October, when prices across the entire Mac line were revised. The variant with a faster processor and double the SSD storage now retails at Rs. 129,990 139,900, an increase of Rs. 10,000. The US price of the MacBook remains unchanged, as does the India price of other Mac desktops and laptops, so the move is curious to say the least. As always, these are maximum retail prices, and the products may be available at lower prices online as well as offline.

The MacBook was last updated in April with sixth-generation Intel Skylake processor as well as slightly faster RAM and PCIe-based flash storage. A new Rose Gold colour option was also added, to go with the Space Grey, Gold, and Silver variants available at the time.With the 11-inch MacBook Air discontinued, the MacBook is the smallest portable Mac that Applecurrently offers. If the 13-inch MacBook Air is discontinued in the near future as well, it is likely that the MacBook will get a makeover and be repositioned to become the new entry-level portable Mac – when that happens is anyone’s guess.

Article updated to reflect the correct new price of the 1.2GHz MacBook

MacBook Pro Models Will Be Cheaper Next Year, Claims KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo

MacBook Pro Models Will Be Cheaper Next Year, Claims KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple last week unveiled finally delivered the long awaited refresh to its MacBook Pro lineup, and the new models are rather expensive. The starting prices for the 13-inch model without the Touch Bar, is $1,499 (Rs. 1,29,900 in India), while the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar is $1,799 (Rs. 1,55,900), and the 15-inch model starts at $2,399 (Rs. 2,05,900). KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that MacBook Pro prices can be expected to drop by the second half of 2017 however.

In a note to investors, the usually spot-on Kuo says Apple has in the past steeply priced the first generation of new MacBook Pro laptops, and then reduces prices with follow-up models the next year. Kuo also adds that the refreshed models launched next year may come with up to 32GB of RAM, if Intel releases its Cannonlake processors in time – which will have improved power consumption.

If Intel doesn’t, Kuo says Apple will launch its refreshed MacBook Pro models with Coffee Lake CPUs, and continue to use LPDDR3 RAM. The MacBook Pro 2016 lineup runs on 6th-generation Intel ‘Skylake’ Core processors.Besides being thinner, faster, and lighter, Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup comes with a few design changes. They bear a context-sensitive Touch Bar OLED panel that replaces the function keys above the keyboard in some models. A Touch ID fingerprint sensor is now imprinted in the power button, and can enable payments via Apple Pay. The laptops now also bear improved speakers, which are placed on either side of the keyboard.

We discussed everything you need to know about the new MacBook Pro on Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast. You can either subscribe via iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.

Link up your devices

Network Attached Storage is a device used by businesses as a central point of data storage and backup. The increase in the number of small businesses has led to the growth of NAS to cater for businesses’ data storage needs.

Initially the main function of NAS devices was to support virtualization, but as time went by flash storage, replication, and multi-protocol access were added to the list of NAS services. NAS systems that are currently on the market come with backup software applications and remote access options. Small business owners have the option of purchasing clustered NAS systems. These are distributed file systems that can operate with many NAS nodes simultaneously. NAS allows users to access files from any network storage location.

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Some NAS devices have standard operating systems while others have proprietary operating systems. The most used data transport protocol is the Internet protocol. A traditional network attached storage device offers access to back end storage via an internet connection. Other NAS systems allow network administrators to attach additional storage hardware to increase the storage capacity of the network storage device. Unlike an NAS, direct attached storage is not connected to the network and users require physical access to the device to access stored data. Although DAS performs better than NAS, it requires separate management of the storage device, which causes complications and confusions.

Data in a storage area network is organized in a high performance and independent network. The difference between SAN and DAS lies in their handling of input and output requests. A NAS manages requests for individual files while SAN manages requests for attached blocks of data. Although SAN is often used to transfer data through fiber data channels, it also supports data transfer through standard Ethernet connection.

Technological barriers in the past kept block and file storage separately because network administrators believed that block storage is superior to file storage. This was realistic practice during those times considering the significant amount of data held in SANs. Today, many businesses enjoy many benefits of using NAS. One of the most notable advantages of NAS is that you do not require advanced technological skills and knowledge to set it up. In addition, NAS is an affordable data backup and storage solution.

Get Hoverwatch to track devices in need of supervising

If you are constantly wondering what your kids are up to with their phones, then maybe it is time to put an end to the apprehension and start taking some effective steps. Installing spy software is possibly the best decision that you can take. It will not only help you in gaining full access to your son or daughter’s phone but also ensure that it is done secretively without them even knowing. Hence you need not interfere unnecessarily in your children’s life. The software will enable you to monitor everything that is going on in the device. Now considering that there are several doing rounds in the market, there is an urgent need to select one that is actually going to work.

 

Your monitoring needs solved

Now Hoverwatch is an option that you can effectively use in order to certify that your children or even employees are right on track and not wasting time during office hours. Once you have signed up for the account and installed the software in the device, all you need to do is start monitoring. It is the most effective, simple and easy to handle tracking software that you are going to come across. There are two separate plans available for users. The personal plan starts at $8.33 per month and you can track one device. On the other hand with the family plan, the rate starts at $3.33 each month. With this plan, you can track up to 5 devices. The software works on Windows, Mac and Android devices. Hence you are at the receiving end of all services. Once you get the application, there will be no more uncomfortable questionnaires flying around in the house.
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Monitoring requirements under one umbrella

Considering the fast paced life that people are leading right now, your device is the one thing that contains and transfers all vital information that is related to personal as well as business needs. However the requirement to keep a check on it comes in the picture when children roam around with the devices, getting involved in all sorts of situations that are not ideal. Similarly even employees may indulge in social networking during office hours or even leaking business information to other competitors. Hoverwatch will actually allow you to keep a track of all these events so that you need not spend sleepless nights thinking who is up to what. Right from tracking messages and media files of social networking sites to call recordings, tracking location through GPS and GMS, viewing phone contacts and schedules or to-do lists and more; everything is made available to you. All activities within the target phone will be sent over to the dashboard for you to monitor.

 

Exclusive features

Now call, sms and location tracking are quite common amongst most software available in the market. However Hoverwatch differs in this case in many sectors. There are several characteristics that are absolutely fascinating and does away with the boundaries that initially stopped you from comprehensive monitoring. One of the most intriguing features is that that Hoverwatch can actually detect sim card changes. Hence whenever the user takes out the sim, a notification will be sent over to the dashboard. Another very interesting feature is that every time the phone is unlocked, the front camera clicks a picture of the user and sends it over to the control panel. Therefore you are constantly aware of who is using the phone and is where. These are some of the many unique features that have been introduced to allow a deeper insight into the world of tracking. The factor that the software itself remains hidden from the target phone is one of the reasons of its popularity.

 

Simple and effortless tracking

Hoverwatch introduces a very easy and complication free system of monitoring. Even if you are a novice getting into spying for the first time, the user friendly interface is going to make it a piece of cake for you to handle. With a simple and free registration and application download, you can keep a watch over the target device, where it is, with whom it is, the conversation taking place, the media files shared and transferred and many more. Right from getting to know about the events and to do list to viewing the contacts and more, Hoverwatch allows to keep a track of all those minute details that will enable you to understand circumstances. Therefore now you can keep an effective track without having to constantly disturb your employees or children. So let your guard down and do away with the apprehension. Get Hoverwatch and start monitoring.