Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

mobile apps

4 Essential Apps for Increasing Profits in a Small Business

Author:

When it comes to running a business, it’s important to take advantage of every tool you can find to make things run more efficiently. This is especially true of small businesses where you don’t have as many employees to take care of organization, payment and other tasks. Fortunately, the following apps are examples of tools  that can help your small business become more profitable by helping you save time and keep organized.

paypal PayPal – Stay Connected to Your Transactions

PayPal is easily one of the most used services for payment on the Internet. It’s become practically a staple for bother buyers and sellers. Additionally, both casual users and business users will find plenty to like about the app. Some features that are especially useful for streamlining the payment process for small business owners include the following.

  • Automated Shopping Carts

This allows you to setup an easy way for customers to buy items through stores like eBay. You can get “add to cart” buttons, add shipping costs automatically, and even receive automatic records about all of the funds that you have going in and out through that part of your business.

  • Accept Credit Cards in Person

As part of the Virtual Terminal program, you can sign up for a PayPal card reader that will connect to the top of your phone or other compatible consumer tech. PayPal will actually send you the reader device for free in the mail.

There are multiple options for taking payments in person. CardFellow has a great comparison of PayPal and Square, and this is another great comparison can be found on Digital Trends.

Image via Google Play


expensify Expensify – Keep Track of All Expenses

Managing expenses for a business can be a colossal time sync. The amount of time and paperwork required to keep track of everything your business and employees are spending can be staggering. This app lets you and your employees take pictures of receipts with your phone and upload them to an account.

The app can also keep track of additional business details including the following:

  • Time

By adding a rate per hour and an amount of time, the app can calculate any expense incurred based on time. An example could include any additional temporary personnel hired.

  • Mileage

The app can either let you add mileage directly, or use the “GPS” feature to  automatically add mileage based on your phone’s changing GPS location.

Image via iTunes


google drive app Google Drive – Store Information in a Limitless Cloud

One serious concern for small business owners is how you get employees who aren’t in the same area to work on the same projects.

Google Drive is a free solution for organizing all of your company’s documents in a single place. You can create a single document spreadsheet that all employees can add to no matter where they are. You can also give yourself, employees, outside collaborators or clients access to documents in a fast and efficient way, straight from your mobile phone, tablet, or other device.

In addition to Google Drive, the Dropbox app is a great way to share documents and resources among employees, even if you aren’t in the same office.

Image via Google Play


timebox Timebox – Efficiently Distribute Your Time

Timebox lets you keep track of the time you spend on various different tasks using the Pomodoro technique, which breaks down you work into cycles called pomodori.

Each cycle lasts for 25 minutes, with a 5 minute break given right after to help you refocus. Once you do four of the cycles in a row, the app will give you a longer break of 15-20 minutes. You can easily look down at the app on your phone at any given point to get a sense of how much time you have left in each cycle or task.

Looking for more time-saving tips? Check out this edition of Brilliant Bloggers.

Image via Google Play


Overall, management apps will do much more than save you time. They’ll save you energy and sanity as well, which small business owners often need to keep their stress low and their profits up. 

BlackBerry Wants to Reward You to Make Your Online Content an App

Author:

Blackberry is excited to tell you about our port-a-thon that starts this Friday, January 18th at 12pm ET and runs for 36 hours straight. It’s your chance to earn big rewards for just a few minutes of work.

After our warm welcome, successful app generation efforts and many connections made at NMX in Vegas this month, the BlackBerry team came home to hold the third and fourth in a series of port-a-thons we have been running in our effort to generate apps for BlackBerry 10.

That said, we are thrilled to let you know about this weekend’s “BlackBerry 10 Last Chance Port-A-Thon.” This event expands the acceptable apps to include those built with our BlackBerry App Generator, as seen on site at NMX. It’s a great opportunity for anyone or any business to build an app for BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry PlayBook, and BlackBerry 6/7 smartphones, with no technical knowledge required.

Why does this matter to you? The app takes advantage of any existing content you have in an RSS feed, WordPress or Blogger blog, Tumblr or Posterous site, YouTube channel, Facebook page or Picasa/Flickr gallery.

That’s not all. There are some great rewards for participants, with up to $2 million (USD) available. Register and submit an app during the port-a-thon and you’re eligible for $100 per app, up to 20 apps. Submit five or more apps to be eligible for a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device draw (250 devices to be drawn)!

Register and port your content into an app to see for yourself how simple it can be to provide your readers with an engaging, shareable app.

Benefits of a Mobile-Compatible Website

Author:

Odds are, when someone looks at your website, they’re doing so from an iPhone or other mobile device. A 2010 Pew Research Center report showed that 6 out of every 10 Americans use the mobile Web, and that number is likely even higher today. Yet despite this fact, many businesses and blogs still design their sites only for traditional desktops or laptops. Is this true of you? How does your website look on mobile devices? Do you even know?

 

Why Build a Mobile Website

Designing a mobile-compatible website means recognizing how many potential readers are on their phones. When you build a site to suit them, here are some of the benefits you get in return:

  • Improved User Experience: Mobile sites are made to look and perform better on mobile devices than on traditional desktops or laptops, which makes for an improved user experience.
  • Longer Visits: The most common reaction visitors have to sites that don’t load properly? They leave. By designing your site to be mobile-friendly, you encourage visitors to stick around, clicking through more pages of content.
  • Faster Page Loads: Because they are designed specifically for the dimensions and standards of mobile browsers, mobile sites load faster for users.
  • Improved SEO: A mobile website does better on mobile-friendly search engines, bringing in new traffic and visitors who are searching on their phones.
  • Professional Image/Better Branding: With a slick, high-quality mobile website, you communicate a sense of professionalism to your audience. What’s more, you enjoy one more opportunity to increase brand awareness.
  • Competitive Advantage: With a mobile website, you have an extra way to differentiate yourself from the competition. When mobile clients scroll through your site and your competitors’, yours will be the one from which they pull information.

Mobile Website vs. Mobile App

You know you need a way to connect with mobile users, but does that mean a mobile website, or could it mean an app? The truth is, both options are excellent ways to reach your readers.

  • Option 1: Create a Separate Mobile Site: Desktops and laptops are not the same as smartphones. They are not the same size. They do not offer the same browsing experience. They are not used in the same ways (desktop/laptop users are at a computer; mobile users may be anywhere). So why would you assume a made-for-desktop website is adequate for mobile visitors? Build a separate, mobile version of your site to reach these readers.
  • Option 2: Create a Separate Mobile App: Another option is to create a custom mobile app. While building an app is typically more expensive than creating a mobile website, research shows it works—mobile apps traditionally have higher success rates than websites. If you choose to go this route to make your online content mobile-friendly, make your app is feature-rich and legitimately valuable to your audience.

Tips and Ideas for a Mobile Website

OK. You understand a mobile-friendly website makes sense, so now what? Before you build your mobile site, what should you keep in mind? What’s good to know? Here are some important tips:

  • Redirect Automatically: Ideally, your mobile website automatically comes up for users on mobile devices. Your designer/webmaster can control this functionality for you.
  • Think Simple: The homepage of your traditional website may have header navigation, a sidebar, multiple columns, and so on. The homepage of your mobile website needs to be simpler. Rather than attempting to duplicate your entire website, focus instead on the most relevant information.
  • Link to Traditional Site: For readers who want more details, provide a link to the desktop version of your site. This way, more information is still available for anyone who wants it.
  • Be Fast: Load times are vital on mobile devices, so make sure your site loads in a few seconds. Minimize image sizes, pare down the JavaScript and CSS files, and do whatever you can to make your site run quickly.
  • Think Touch: Thanks to smartphones, touch is the new way to surf a site. With that in mind, design your site with dropdown menus and pre-populated fields when possible.

 

 

Find Kid-Friendly Mobile Apps with Famigo

Author:

For those of us with kids, we all know our mobile devices aren’t just for adults anymore. In fact, your child might have taught you a thing or two about how to use the latest technology.

There are a lot of fantastic kid-friendly apps out there, but finding them can be a little tricky sometimes. I was recently searching around the Android Marketplace for an app for my 7-year old and ended up giving up. I saw some apps that looked like they had potential, but didn’t know if I was ready to spend my hard-earned money on them.

This is where Famigo comes in. On their website, they say they make smartphones work for families.  Not only do they find and review the apps, but you can also subscribe via email for app recommendations.

You can browse their site for kid-friendly apps in their sections labeled “New”, “Highest Rated”, “Most Popular” and “Staff Favorites”. They also have a Power Search feature which allows you to search for an app based on age, what you want the app for and what you don’t want it for. For example, you might want an app for your 6 year old that is great for tablets and is good for a single player.

Here’s a walk-through of the features of their first product: Family App Review.

Does this sound like a valuable service to you?

ToutApp Comes to the iPhone, Helps with Those Repetitive Emails

Author:

If you’re a blogger, business owner or heck, have a job of any kind then most likely you send a lot of emails. And I bet a majority of those emails say the same thing over and over. If you send emails like pitches and contact information, ToutApp might be just what you’re looking for. Up until now, this app was only browser-based but now it has come to the iPhone.

The browser version allowed you to set up templates for emails you sent out quite regularly. No more copying and pasting! Other features include tracking views and clicks of your emails and scheduling email delivery.

ToutApp for the iPhone is for people on the go. It allows you to quickly follow up on people you meet at conferences, networking events or business meetings. This could come in handy for all of you who are attending BlogWorld L.A. 2011. (You ARE going right?!)

For a list of features, check out the app at the iTunes store here.

Are there any unique ways you follow up with contacts after attending a conference?

 

Mastering Your Mobile Marketing Mojo

Author:

… by Doug Devitre

The power of a computer in the palm of every person enables our society to receive, disseminate, and share information faster than ever before. The mobile phone we once relied on only made calls. Now we can watch videos, communicate face to face, and share documents from anywhere, anytime, and in any format.

Entrepreneurs can now be more flexible in servicing client needs with minimal investment and without being physically present. Innovations like cloud computing, mobile video, and apps systematize business operations. The time saved by integrating these into practices gives professionals more time to focus on prospecting, appointments, and sales opportunities.

Cloud Computing
Take a look at the My Documents folder of your computer and ask yourself which documents do you send out most to clients, customers, or partners on a regular basis. A company brochure saved as a .PDF, template employees can edit in a .DOC. file format, or .XLS spreadsheet that others can perform calculations from the equations you create.

Two tools www.Box.net and www.Dropbox.com will store the documents others request online and give everyone quick access to preview, download, and share. Every document and folder of documents is assigned its own unique hyperlink.

Download the apps for Box and Dropbox to your iPhone, Blackberry, etc. and when logged in all of your documents will be ready to share right from your device. This way when you are sitting in the fast food drive thru and someone requests your company brochure you can send it without waiting until you get back to the office.

Vivacious Video
Would you rather watch a 2 minute video or read a 500 word article? Personally I like videos because they explain advance concepts with visuals rather than trying to interpret text. YouTube videos are different than other video hosting providers because they can be watched on most devices just like they can be on a computer. Every video uploaded to video is a link. This link can be shared by email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter and watched on the mobile phone when clicked.

Instant Lead Follow Up
A website that asks for customer contact information in exchange for a special report, product offering, or service inquiry must be responded to quickly or lose the opportunity. The contact information can be emailed to you however few people check their email every 5 minutes. In addition to the receiving the lead by email set up a system where you receive a text message. Every mobile phone carrier has an email to text message address. Find yours here. Include this email in your website follow up system in addition to your business email address so that when someone inputs their contact info you receive both a text message and email in order to follow up.

Apps
The mobile phone that rests in your pocket runs applications very similar to the ones on your computer. Although they may not have the same functionality the ability to access contacts, documents, and budgets make it is easy to follow up on the fly. Some of my favorite iPhone apps are Box.net for online document storage, Kayak for booking travel, Tripit for storing travel plans, and Groups for email groups and group instant messaging.

Small business owners have many options to run their business while on the road and there is no one single solution. Those options can be customized to fit your specific needs by innovating solutions that the provider may not have intended. The more creative, practical, and succinct you are at arriving at your objectives the easier it will be to make more money from your mobile device.

Doug Devitre, Chief Experience Officer of Doug Devitre International, Inc. helped real estate professionals, brokers, and associations save money, time, and creates value using affordable technology solutions all over the world. Join Doug on the conversation on Facebook, on Twitter @DougDevitre or subscribe to Doug’s blog to get the freshest ideas on how to use technology in real estate.

March Madness On Demand Mobile App Helps 47% Increase in Visits

Author:

Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA announced that NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) has delivered a 47% increase in total visits across the broadband and mobile products for the first three rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

In total, there were 26.7 million visits for the five days spanning the first three rounds of the tournament. Here are some interesting stats for the mobile app:

  • There are over 702,000 average daily users on MMOD.
  • MMOD was the #1 free app for both iPhone and iPad on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 in the App store.
  • 36% of all streams for MMOD on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 were from the iPad and iPhone apps.
  • An average of 20.4 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on mobile apps Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20.

Have you been following the tournament online? Learn more about how Mobile and Social are Changing the Game.

Top Apps to Prevent You From Social Media Blunders (aka Drunk Tweeting)

Author:

It seems like it’s becoming easier and easier to be socially responsible. All you have to do is install apps that refuse to let you make social media blunders when you’re impaired. Seems like a good idea in theory, although I have to wonder if it takes away some personal responsibility. “Ooops, sorry, my app wasn’t functioning correctly.

If you truly feel you need an app to stop you from drunk tweeting, texting, or updating your Facebook wall … well here’s the list for you!

  • NIMBY (No Intoxicated Messaging By You). When you go to send an email or tweet, the app prompts you to complete one of three tests within 30 seconds. If you can’t finish in time, you can’t send the message! Here’s a demo:

     

  • Bad Decision Blocker. Stops you from calling, texting or emailing contacts in your address book you add to black list. The app places the chosen contacts into a “vault” for a predetermined period of time.
  • Don’t Dial. This app gives you two options – you can lock away contacts for a specified period of time (up to 24 hours), or you can give a designated friend a password to enter before you’re allowed to contact them

And now, if you forget to use your apps and DO take to Twitter and Facebook while drunk, you can now erase those messages. Last Night Never Happened is simple to use. You type in the time you started drinking, and the app deletes all messages from that time until the time you run the program (or a time you specify).

Of course, my suggestions are much easier (and free!). Leave your phone at home. Or drink responsibly 🙂

Apple Subscriptions or Google One Pass?

Author:

The past two days have seen a variety of changes and choices for subscription-based content providers – mostly in the Apple Subscriptions and Google One Pass.

Apple vs Google

Apple announced yesterday how its subscription service would work:

  • If you offer content subscriptions, you must offer them through your app as well (not just on your website).
  • Renewals and cancellations will take place through iTunes.
  • Apple takes 30% of the subscription cost (for handling payment and backend logistics).
  • You cannot change your subscription price once it’s been implemented.

Google One Pass announced today that publishers can offer a subscription service tied to a Google account:

  • Publishers have various options for how they charge for content and they’re allowed to experiment with different price models.
  • One Pass operates across any site with the functionality enabled. Content can be managed online and in mobile apps.
  • One Pass takes 10% of the subscription cost.

So how can a content provider meld the two? Publishers can only use One Pass in an app if the mobile operating system’s guidelines allow it. But Google DOES allow apps to redirect customers to a mobile Web browser to make a purchase, where publishers can use Google One Pass and keep 90 percent of the revenue. It’s a possible workaround for Apple’s requirements.

Another perk to Google One Pass, as pointed out by TechCrunch, is that publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers.customer information collected by Google will be shared with publishers unless the user opts-out. In Apple’s system, user data can only be shared if the user explicitly chooses to do so. That’s a big difference.

More Resources:

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives