New Galaxy S7 Nougat Article (and Yes, More)

Device Maintenance screen on Android 7.0 NougatI’m back with a new article about using Android 7.0, called Nougat, on the Galaxy S7. Samsung released the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus last Friday, and the media reaction has ranged from good to meh. This is a far cry (or at least a cry) from the universal accolades bestowed upon the Galaxy S7 and S7 Plus.

If you’re not encouraged to upgrade to the Galaxy S8, but you still want the advantages of Nougat on your S7, good news: All the major carriers have upgraded to Nougat. If you recently upgraded, or if you’re thinking about it, download my new PDF-format article about using Nougat on your Galaxy S7. The link is on the right side of the blog’s home screen. It’s a long article that has a lot of information about the new features, but it has plenty of screenshots, too. You don’t have to be a reader of My Samsung Galaxy S7 to benefit. And it’s absolutely free to download and read.

I think the weather here in northern California has played a big role in my thought that it hasn’t been two months since I last posted here. The weather here hasn’t changed all that much — days have been more rainy and cloudy than sunny. But there have also been some important updates to the Divi Builder, which is the WordPress app I use to design this blog. That required me to set aside some time for updating the server. I want to thank my Blogging to Drive Business co-author, Rebecca Bollwitt, and her husband John for their help in updating the version of PHP to accommodate the requirements of the new version of Divi Builder.

I don’t like to post blogs or updates constantly when there isn’t any news, but I may have some news soon about books. It won’t be a book about the Galaxy S8, as Que has decided to stop publishing books about smartphones. But this new book will be exciting and I hope to get a chance to write it with a pair of co-authors. And I’m also working on a new client’s website, so May is looking busy. I’ll have more soon.

How Long is the Holiday Season?

I’ve heard others say they’re happy that the holiday season is over, which strikes me as a bit odd. After all, the President’s Day weekend has just begun. What’s more, the gift and card sections at my local grocery and drug stores are filled with stuff for Easter. So that got me to thinking: How long does the holiday season last?

One fundamental issue to be settled is the definition of a holiday. Is it a weekday when most people don’t work, which is the dictionary definition?

As I understand it, the traditional holiday season lasts from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are usually when people travel to see other family members they haven’t seen for a while. But if we use family events as determination of holidays, then we could include Easter in that list. The 4th of July (or Independence Day if you prefer) here in the U.S. may also meet that standard if you travel to meet family.

Yet Easter falls on a Sunday and we don’t observe Easter Monday here in the U.S. I once worked for a company that swapped Good Friday (that is, the Friday before Easter Sunday) with President’s Day, but most people get together on Easter Sunday…and then have to rush back home Sunday night (or take Monday off) to get back to work.

Perhaps the holiday season should be judged by the amount of cards are available. But that’s not a true barometer as we don’t see many cards available until Christmas, and cards last through June with Father’s Day and graduations.

Halloween is now a big event for adults as much as for children, and Valentine’s Day is also a huge event. Both events are celebrated at schools and workplaces, but these aren’t holidays. Perhaps the holiday season should start with candy on Halloween and end with candy on Easter.

Maybe I should just stop thinking so hard and just enjoy (or, in some cases, strenuously avoid) each holiday as it comes up. Happy President’s Day!

Google Chrome Security: What It Means for You

Google ChromeGoogle updated its Chrome browser to version 56 a couple of weeks ago. Chrome is still the most popular browser available with about 52% market share as of January 2017 according to StatCounter (gs.statcounter.com). This new version contains some important security information that will affect users and especially companies that host websites (that is, practically every business).

The biggest change to version 56 is that you’ll see the words “Secure” or “Not Secure” to the left of the website address in the Address bar. A secure page is one that uses a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to establish an encrypted connection between your web browser and the server that hosts the website. For now, you’ll only see “Secure” or “Not Secure” when you’re on a page that asks you to enter a password or credit card information. However, in the coming weeks as Google releases more minor updates to Chrome, you’ll see the “Secure” and “Not Secure” messages in the Address bar for every website.

How do you know if your site is secure or not in Chrome? To the left of the website address in the Address bar, you’ll see a little information icon (it’s the letter i in a circle). Click on the information icon to display a window underneath the Address bar with information about your site. At the top of the window, you’ll see a message that tells you if your website is secure or not.

If your business website isn’t secure right now, then your current and potential customers may wonder if your company is worth doing business with because your website isn’t secure. So this is a good time to check with your web hosting company and find out if you need to change your hosting plan to one that includes SSL encryption. Unfortunately, this will likely entail a small cost increase, but the peace of mind for you and your customers will be worth it.

My RoboHelp 2015 Course is Now on Udemy

I’ve used RoboHelp since 1996 (hard to believe that’s 21 years ago, isn’t it?) and I’ve also developed several online courses for Adobe’s online help creation software for previous versions. Now my new course for the latest version, RoboHelp 2015, is available on Udemy and joins my RoboHelp 2011 course there.

This course has 116 lectures and takes about 5 hours if you go through it from beginning to end. The course curriculum is broken into 13 “chapters” that include the following topics:

  • How to navigate the RoboHelp window
  • Creating a new help project
  • Formatting your help project
  • Designing your topics
  • Adding links
  • Building forms and tables
  • Inserting graphics and multimedia into your topics
  • Going further with variables, tags, and scripts
  • Organizing your project using an index, glossary, search, and TOC
  • Generating and reviewing online help projects

RoboHelpBecause you have unlimited free access to the course after you purchase it, you can return to the course whenever you want to get a refresher about one or more topics.

The course retails for $95, but Udemy frequently offers promotional discounts for all its courses. The course has a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.

Go to the Udemy website to read all about the course, review the course outline, watch a brief intro video, check out current discounts, and purchase the course. Adobe promises a 2017 maintenance update for RoboHelp real soon now and when that happens, I’ll update the course and let you know all about it.

RoboHelp is a great tool for technical writers and software developers to create and offer help on a variety of platforms, and you can learn more about it on Adobe’s website by clicking here.

I had a productive weekend, and I hope you had a great weekend, too. May you have a prosperous week and a great start to your February.

Articles, PDF e-Books, and Other Valuables

One of the ways I want to help make this blog valuable to you is to offer not just the latest news and links to websites. I also offer articles that are available at a small charge. These articles supplement material in my recent books.

For example, I’ve written two recent books: My Samsung Galaxy S6 and My Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. So the first two articles I’ve written are about new versions of Android for these two devices. Specifically, both articles talk about what you’ll find after you upgrade to Marshmallow, or Android 6.0. I don’t just talk about what’s new in Marshmallow — I include a number of screenshots so you can see what’s going on. These first two articles are 5-6 pages long and that’s the length I’m aiming for with future articles.

At least one of those future articles will be for readers of My Samsung Galaxy S7. Android 7.0, called Nougat, will soon be available on the Galaxy S7. If you’ve upgraded or you plan to upgrade and want to know what Nougat is all about, you’ll see an article about it here soon.

And all of these articles are just 99 cents each. Just click on the article title to get a preview and purchase the article in PDF format.

Speaking of PDF, you can learn more about Acrobat integration with Microsoft Office 365 in my e-book PDF Handbook for Office 365. This e-book tells you how to convert your Office documents to PDF format. You’ll also learn how to prepare and send PDF files for review, change settings, and find PDF resources.

Best of all, the e-book is free. And this e-book is not just a short story — it has over 100 pages of good stuff. You can open the file here. If you like the book, save it to your computer or device at your leisure.

More valuable stuff is coming. Please let me know if there’s any resources you’d like to see.