Using zoom whilst working from home

Zoom on the Pro1

Like a lot of other companies that are now working from home, Team F(x)tec has jumped onto the ‘Zoom’ bandwagon. We have all downloaded the app onto our Pro1’s and now use it to host our daily morning meetings, as well as for a general catch up if need be throughout the day. The Pro1’s large 5.99 inch screen makes for a great display and allows us to see everyone in the team at the same time really clearly

Working with Zoom

Depending on what tasks we have for the day, we will usually have a Zoom group meeting first thing in the morning. We find that this helps to motivate us all as a team, as we are able to chat and bounce ideas off one another as we usually would in the office. It is also a great way to help us to stay organised and structure our working day. Zoom works really well on the Pro1 because not only can you host a group video call, but you can also experience split screen multitasking. This means we are able to continue with our video call, whilst working on a project and making necessary edits in real time. For example, we might be brainstorming new ideas and discussing them as a team, whilst making changes to our sales and marketing strategy and editing the excel document accordingly. 

 

Team F(x)tec’s top tips for a great Zoom call

  • Make sure you are in a bright room. Natural light works the best and it means that you can all see each other really clearly. 
  • Get dressed as you usually would if you were going into the office. This isn’t just to look fresh for the zoom call. We find that it helps us to stay productive and keeps us in an ‘at work’ mindset throughout the day.
  • Keep your TV/Radio turned off in the background so there is no background noise to distract you from the conversation. 
  • Remember to mute your mic when you’re not talking, or if a family member comes in the background. 

Meta description: Using Zoom for work 

 

Keeping your smartphone clean during Covid-19

Cleaning your smartphone

Before now, I think it is safe to say that few people really kept on top of cleaning their smartphones amongst other devices used on a daily basis. It’s so easy to remember to wash your hands, but we sometimes forget about our smartphones and all of the dirt and germs they carry. We are constantly touching our phones so just think of how much bacteria can gather throughout the day. The best way to properly clean your hands is by using soap and water, alcohol wipes or alcohol sanitiser, and believe it or not the same rules apply when it comes to disinfecting your smartphone. It’s that simple. 

What you will need?

  • 2X Microfibre cloth (one for cleaning and one for drying your smartphone)
  • Small bowl filled with warm soapy water. (Hand soap will do). 
  • Alcohol surface wipe (70% or higher). 

The cleaning process:

  • Unplug your smartphone, switch it off and remove your case (if you have one). 
  • Using a lint-free microfiber cloth with soap and water, wipe down the surfaces of your smartphone. Make sure the cloth is not too damp and ensure no excess water gets into any of the openings i.e. charging port or keyboard.
  • Repeat this process with your phone case and then leave to air dry (depending on the material). If your case is made of leather, use specific leather cleaning products that won’t damage your case.  
  • Use the other microfiber cloth to dry all of the surfaces.
  • For when you do need to leave the house (for work, exercise, or an essentials food shop), use a (70%) alcohol surface wipe. 

 

When cleaning your Pro1, make sure you take extra time going over the keyboard and hinge mechanism. We recommend using cotton buds and alcohol wipes to get into all those hard to reach areas. Remember not to get any excess water liquid in the keyboard as this, like any other physical keyboard, will cause unwanted damage.

 

 

How technology is keeping us sane in isolation

Staying social whilst staying at home

For those in countries affected by the global pandemic, we are all staying and working from home, having this strange experience of no socialising with family and friends outside of our households. Our smartphones have become a very useful tool for keeping in touch with people and helping us to stay connected with the outside world. With the Pro1 for example, we have been using a variety of video calling apps and utilising the sliding screen, which is an ideal viewing angle for both virtual work and social face to face interactions. We’ve been using the following apps:

  • Google Duo (supplier meetings)
  • Zoom (daily team calls)
  • WhatsApp video (video chat with friends and family)
  • Skype (video chat with family)
  • House Party (letting your hair down with your mates)

Catching up with friends and family

One of our favorite apps at the moment is ‘House Party’. This app allows you to chat with up to 8 people at the same time, and you can also play games such as ‘Heads Up’, ‘Trivia’ and ‘Quick Draw’. Quick Draw works especially well on the Pro1 because the large 5.99 inch screen gives you loads of room to perfect your drawing skills, and see everyone in the ‘room’ at the same time. We have been using it to host our own ‘virtual house parties’ on the Pro1 whilst staying at home. It’s a great way to socialise with friends and family, and surprisingly it really does make you forget (to an extent) that you are even self-isolating. 

Unrelated to the Pro1, we’ve been finding it especially entertaining trying to teach our parents and grandparents how to join a video call, and then trying to explain to them how to hold the phone so that we aren’t just staring at the ceiling. For most, this will probably be work in progress. Seeing as our conversations will now revolve around technology for the foreseeable future older generations will undoubtedly pick it up sooner or later.  

The virtual team talk 

For team F(x)tec, we have been using our Pro1 to host our daily virtual meetings and to collaborate via screen sharing on work as we would usually in the office. From a business point of view, this has been essential in helping us to maintain communication and work closely with every member of the team. With split screen multitasking, we can work on tasks and edit documents collaboratively in real time whilst on our Zoom call.

Using the Pro1 to stay productive at home

Working from home

Like many companies worldwide, Team F(x)tec are now working from home/remotely as the health and safety of our team is one of our priorities. This has been pretty straight forward as we are lucky enough to be able to keep operations running without being in the office, meaning business can continue as normal. However, there are some challenges associated with ‘working from home’. For some of us this is a completely new way of working that we’re adapting to. We have found that one of the ways to maintain team productivity and motivation whilst working remotely is by using some of the great technology and other resources available to us.

Keeping motivated

Maintaining daily communication with one another has been fundamental to working as a remote team as it allows us to continue discussing our daily tasks and bounce ideas off one another as we would do in the office. The majority of our messages and calls to each other are actually done on the Pro1 using: 

  • WhatsApp – our F(x)tec WhatsApp group chat is mostly used to share general updates, questions or challenges with each other.  
  • Zoom video calls – this is useful for in depth group meetings/daily catch-ups and working on tasks.

Apps for productivity

With the Pro1’s split screen multitasking experience means, we have been able to work on our daily tasks whilst sharing ideas through WhatsApp, helping us to get more done whilst working from home. Here are some of our favorite productivity apps: 

  • Microsoft Office including: Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint. All of which can be used in split screen mode. For example we might be replying to our work emails whilst also editing sales reports in Microsoft Excel. 
  • Tasks: this is good for making daily to do lists and keeping track of our individual tasks.
  • Google Docs/Drive: this allows us to work on tasks both individually, and as a team. We can edit documents using the Pro1’s physical keyboard, without compromising screen size of the display in horizontal. 

 

What have we been up to?

Although we have been a little quiet recently a lot has been going on at F(x)tec HQ. The team has been extremely busy behind the scenes overseeing the manufacturing and production of the Pro1 devices, meeting our customers and attending tech awards/events. To summarise, we wanted to give you the lowdown on just SOME of the things we have been doing over the last six months:

 

  1. London community event in June – we invited our customers down to our offices to meet the team and check out an early prototype of the Pro1. It was great to meet everyone and of course gauge invaluable feedback on their initial Pro1 experience. 
  2. Tokyo and Dusseldorf hands-on community events in July – both cities exceeded our expectations and we had a brilliant turn out! The atmosphere was lively and we thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating and discussing our Pro1 smartphone with everyone. We also had a free sushi for our Dusseldorf customers which went down a treat!
  3. New York hands-on community event – In August some of the F(x)tec team travelled to the big apple to meet and greet our US customers. Here we enjoyed a couple of drinks at a rooftop bar to celebrate the Pro1 and talk all things keyboard until the late hours of the night!
  4. Berlin IHS Markit Innovation Awards at IFA in September –  you may have already seen some information about this award on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/thefxtec/?viewAsMember=true, But if not.. here it is again! Our very own IHS Markit Innovation Award celebrating some of the most innovative technology products from 2019. We are so proud to receive the award and it was an honour for the team to be recognised for the hard-work so far. Well done team F(x)tec!
  5. Manufacturing and shipping updates from China – October – Our recent trip to China was very exciting! We spent the last week overseeing production of the first batch of Pro1 devices and finalising the smartphones before shipping. One insight into the warehouse which you may be unaware of is the time it takes to produce each device. Each Pro1 takes roughly 4 – 5 hours to assemble due to the intricacy of the slide out qwerty keyboard mechanism and this is one of the reasons it has taken us so long to complete. We are purposefully taking our time to ensure we are making the best qwerty keyboard device for our customers. Thank you for your patience!

 

Keep an eye out for more updates and other interesting news across our social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fxtec/?epa=SEARCH_BOX 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fxtec/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thefxtec 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thefxtec/?viewAsMember=true

Technobuffalo Names F(x)tec Pro1 One of the Best Products of MWC 2019

From 5G to foldables, and everything in between, MWC 2019 has played host to lots of innovation. Huawei delivered its entrance into the foldable market in a big way – including dominating advertizing throughout the Catalan city – while Nokia made the world’s first five camera smartphone.

Sony made a 4K HDR OLED smartphone with the unique 21:9 aspect ratio, Samsung showed off its foldable Galaxy Fold to the wider public, Lenovo made the perfect travel monitor and BlackBerry launched its flagship with a hot new paint job. Beyond those, TCL surprised us all with some incredible innovation, and London-based startup F(x)tec bought back an iconic device with a modern twist.

We’ve spent the last few days looking at the best that MWC 2019 and here’s the products that stood out for us.

F(x)tec Pro1: 

However, if a keyboard beneath your screen doesn’t float your boat and you’d rather have a phone with a keyboard that doesn’t get in the way, this London-based startup has you covered. The F(x)tec Pro1 is the spiritual success to the Nokia N900, but brings a gorgeous five row keyboard, excellent specifications and a large 6″ AMOLED screen.

Read the full report, and see the full list here: https://www.technobuffalo.com/mwc-2019/

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