Indistinguishable from Magic: The Mobile App Revolution

“Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.
— Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers.

Scientist and author Arthur C. Clarke (who invented the geosynchronous satellite) stated, “Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Others later dubbed this “Clarke’s Law,” and it has become a mantra for futurists, sci-fi fans, and dreamers ever since.

We are not quite there yet—but we are amazingly close.

I am an early adopter of electronic technology, but if you had told me 15 years ago I could run most of my business from a cell phone, I would have had my doubts. As a productivity speaker and author, I stay abreast of the exponential growth of computer and mobile technology, but I didn’t expect them to merge so thoroughly so soon.

Now I have what amounts to a combination Star Trek tricorder/communicator in my purse—four hundred years early. I have to wonder: what’s next?

Finally Free of the Desk

Today’s apps allow people to use the cloud and skip the “middle machine”—the server in the office that requires IT backup – a challenge for the average business owner. The cloud now allows us to interact directly with phones and information, and apps allow “Personal IT,” which is much less expensive, more efficient, and more customized to the user.

Consider the latest apps from Xerox that do things that, until now, required a direct human touch. Xerox has always gone out of its way to combine broad functionality and ease of use, and now all you need is a device and Wi-Fi.

MobileLinkAppI am impressed with the Xerox Mobile Link app, available on the Apple Store. (There’s an Android version coming to Google Play for Android users this summer).

One notable feature is that it automatically locates the nearest multifunction printer (MFP). The interface is intuitive: it can scan in a new document, turn it into a digital file, send it via email, or drop it straight into cloud storage.  Users can also do the exact opposite: pull a digital file from storage and email or print it. Even better, one-touch workflow icons can be set up for repetitive tasks.

Xerox chose the Android platform to deliver the first version of this mobile app’s sister product, the Xerox Print Service Plug-in: using a Wi-Fi connection, one can set up network printers to print right from a smartphone or tablet.

Again, the app  automatically discovers the closest MFP and users can select paper size, orientation, collation, number of copies, color or black and white printing, stapling and other basics, using drop-down menus on a simple interface. For an Android 4.4 phone or higher, a print support downloadable app is available.

Reaching for the Future – Now

Work is no longer a physical place, making it even more important to have easy, accessible ways to print, share, communicate and collaborate.   These apps from Xerox are re-engineering the way the world works and makes all of this happen anywhere – anytime – is very practical, in a magical way.

Note: Laura Stack filed this content as a paid contributor to Xerox. 

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© 2015 Laura Stack. Laura Stack, a.k.a. The Productivity Pro®, helps professionals achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. For over 20 years, her keynote speeches and workshops have helped leaders boost personal and team productivity, increase results, and save time at work. Laura is the author six books, most recently Execution IS the Strategy. Widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of performance and workplace issues, Laura has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today. Connect via her website, Facebook, or Twitter. NOTE: Laura Stack is a paid contributor to Xerox.




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