Top Five Online Services to make your 2018 a Business Success

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Having worked for myself for many many years, I welcome good services and tools that can make my job easier. Not only does it allow you to smile more at the end of the day, it also gives you some time back and I am sure everyone would admit to liking more time on their hands. I check out new online services regularly and would like to share my top five picks with you today.

I always need to send videos and other files to my clients, more or less on a daily basis. If you need to send files quickly and easily, to someone in the same workplace or to the other side of the world, Send Anywhere could be right up your street. Not only is this a free service, it allows you to send files with no maximum file size. Imagine being able to move files between your own devices when you get a new smartphone or laptop. Or perhaps you need to get that finished video over to a teammate for approval. This is no problem, using the simple web-driven interface. There’s even a WiFi Direct feature that allows you to send files without using data or the internet.

Another really cool use-case scenario relates to emails. Many email providers limit the maximum file size you can attach. With Send Anywhere that problem no longer exists, your file is presented to the recipient as a link which they simply click to download the attachment. Imagine that … email attachments with no limits. 

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Also worth noting is that you don’t even need to register to use this service. A simple six-digit key is all you need to get started. Did I mention that all file transfer from Send Anywhere are safely encrypted to ensure maximum security as well as privacy? With just six digits, you are ready to send your files anywhere, across mobile devices, desktop and the web.  

Intuit Quickbooks Self Employed is a real time saver for small business and especially sole traders. As a content creator myself, I used to spend hours doing my accounts and really hated it. Now my bank account is linked to Quickbooks, with all my transactions syncing across automatically. Nowadays, I just spend one hour per month reconciling my invoices and receipts. It even allows you to track mileage (another great saving on your tax bill) and invoice your customers too. When tax time comes around, help is at hand here with reports that help you file your tax return. It’s super easy to use and a real time saver.

Google Keep is relatively new to my collections of useful services. This allows you to make quick notes, checklists, audio memos, photos, screenshots and reminders. These are then saved to the cloud and accessible across multiple platforms, for example your Android or iOS smartphone and Windows and MacOS via your web browser.

MailChimp for keeping your customers informed is super powerful and it’s free at certain levels. The most simple explanation of this is an email subscription list service. You get your customers to subscribe to your list, then on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis (you decide), you can send them an email newsletter. This is very powerful, as you can update them on new services, special offers etc and it keeps you connected to your customer-base. On the free service you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send a maximum 12,000 emails per month. You can even check how many of your customers actually opened your email newsletter too. 

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My wildcard service is indeed one you should definitely have heard of, but often overlooked as a business tool. Making your Instagram a business account, allows you to access very useful analytics about the photos you are sharing. A top tip here is to share photos that are not just trying to sell to your customers every single time. Sharing inspirational photographs, that have some relevance to what you do is important. Of equal importance is adding extra value to your followers (and potential customers). Making them smile once per day will make your company more personable and with clever planning can open many new doors for you.

You can download Send Anywhere here.

*Sponsored post. Opinions remain writer's own.

New Apple Products - Amazing Speed for 2017

Apple announced many new products & updates at their Worldwide Developers Conference 2017. These include new watchOS 4 … iOS 11 … macOS High Sierra and some great new products. A new 10.5 inch iPad Pro with an updated 12.9 inch iPad Pro, new 2017 Kaby Lake processors for the iMac and MacBook Pro. Coming soon, we also saw the new iMac Pro and HomePod smart speaker. Check out all the details in the video below. 

What's Happened to the YouTube Community Spirit ?

Something concerns me … I am not asking for anything, no recognition, no pat on the back. Over the passed few months I have been conducting some research. 

When I first started YouTube the feedback was amazing. That very first video, recorded with a little compact camera on a piece of grey cardboard. As if sharing it was not exciting enough, but imagine when I started getting comments from viewers. The feedback was amazing and I loved how there was a REAL discussion happening. Starting with that very first video, I replied to pretty much every comment. As my channel grew, it became harder to deal with how many comments I received, but still, I burned many hours engaging in the conversation.

Fast forward to today and I still pride myself in replying to people whom take part in the Geekanoids community. After all, it's the interactions that make it worthwhile. 

I am a strong believer that we can learn something new every day, so I set myself a task to try and get to know the creators that I personally watch. Over the passed six months I have been commenting on others videos, both small, large and very large channels. 

It's a real eye opener to learn that of the small channels I received approx 50% replies. Of the large channels with 100K or more subscribers this dropped to around 4%. When it comes to the very large channels of 500K or more subscribers, well, I can only recall receiving 3 or 4 replies, so I don't think this deserves a percentage. 

What to take from this? I think it leaves more questions that answers. Do all creators really care? Do they value their viewers? 

Let me know your thoughts.

Above all, know that I appreciate you and wish you an amazing day, week, year & future.

A Bunch of New Ways to Pay with your Mobile

Now, several new services will be launched around Europe where you will be able to pay with your mobile device on different credit or bank card terminals. One of these services have children and young adults as their main consumer group.

Since last summer, it has been possible to pay with your  mobile phone directly through credit card terminals around nordic country Sweden with the help of an app called “SEQR”. Now the company's new product “SEQR Go” who caters to children and adolescents - will be released later this year.

How does it work then?

A parent may transfer funds to their child's virtual account, and then the child can pay the retailer by "bliping" the cell phone at the the card terminal. However, this requires an Android phone, and both the terminal and the phone need to have so-called NFC technology integrated - which allows the phone and the card terminal to "talk" to each other without physical contact. Fortunately this technology has been integrated in Android-compatible phones for quite some time now; so if your kid have a relatively new Android phone - this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Only the money that has been put on the account can be used, which means that your children can not use money that don't exist “physically” on the account.

- “The app will be equated with cash”, says Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless, the company behind the app.

Parents can of course also keep track of the receipts to see which transactions that have been made, or not been made. So if your newly 18 year old youngster have been playing some Live Blackjack, you will be notified :)

Many are perhaps wondering what would happen if your phone is lost or stolen? Can someone else use the mobile to shop for you or your child’s money?

- “To start with, almost everyone has a PIN-code on their phone. And for a transactions of over 200 Swedish Kronors (around £ 20) an additional PIN is required”

Last week the mobile payment service “Samsung Pay” was launched  in Sweden. This function is integrated in Samsungs latest phone models, and so far, some of the bigger banks in sweden are on the train with this new technology. “But more banks are joining as we speak”, says Oscar Happy, head of Samsung Pay in the Nordic region - which comprises of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. A combination of the techniques NFC and MST are used here.

- “At the moment it works on virtually all card terminals in Sweden”, Oscar ads

To secure the payments some safety measures are required by the user, including fingerprints. No age limit is required from Samsung's part. However, such a limit can be implemented by the card issuer- when the service needs to be connected to a debit card or something similar. 

- “This makes things so much easier and smoother”, says Bengt Nilervall, transaction-expert at the Swedish Trade Federation.

He sees advantages for both customers and merchants, and mentions that the long checkout queues can go faster, as an example.

According to Nilervall there are currently NFC technology in about 15 percent of the country's Debit card terminals, and the goal is to reach 50 % in 2017. “There are more mobile payment services, such as Apple and Android Pay, - unfortunately not yet here in Sweden.”

Guest Article by Andre Utas

Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks Out Against Immigration Executive Order

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out against the immigration executive order that United States President Donald Trump recently signed. He shared a letter with employees detailing his thoughts and concerns. After recently being "supposedly" understanding of the importance of bringing manufacture of Apple products back to the USA after a meeting with the president, he still has kept a reality check where this is concerned.

"Team, 

In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I've made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration -- both to our company and to our nation's future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do. 

I've heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support. 

There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday's immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We're providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company. 

As I've said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there's one thing I know about the people at Apple, it's the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It's as important now as it's ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued. 

Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe. 

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, "We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now." 

Tim"

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its Board of Directors.

Source: MacRumors

Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review – Hands-Free Entertainment

Wires are seeming increasingly old-school these days. The new generation of headphones are wireless, and the market is flooded with options for those who like to listen to music without getting bogged down in wires. I have good news to report: Bluetooth headphones have come a long way. Although the first generation of Bluetooth wireless headphones could be iffy at best, the latest models offer a clear sound and convenient design that makes them a more useful tool than those of the past. The hi-Edo Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are an example of cool cheap gadgets. Whether you’re looking for headphones for commuting or your next holiday, these offer an array of features at a very reasonable price. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons.

Hands-Free Features

The biggest benefit of these wireless Bluetooth headphones is that you can carry on with your day without being weighed down by wires. You can also use the headphones to talk on the phone, as well as listen to music. There’s no need to untangle headphones or store any extra gear; everything you need is in one handy place. The headphones connect to your smartphone, and with the latest Bluetooth technology the data exchange is fast and reliable. 

So let’s talk specs: the headphones have a battery life of up to 30 hours if you’re actively using them, but if they’re put in standby mode the battery lasts for a good 15 days. The maximum power is 20mW, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20 KHz. Touch sensitivity of the headphones is 96dB share, and there’s an operating range of approximately ten metres. The headphones are equipped with a built-in microphone that lets you place and receive phone calls, but the primary purpose of these Bluetooth headphones is really listening to music. 

Basic Controls

You can control the volume on your headphones or skip past songs you’re not in the mood for by clicking on the side of the headphones. Although there are some fancier models out there that are voice-controlled, you’ll pay a lot more for that privilege. One area where these headphones do excel is in the design. They’re packaged in a range of fun colours with a minimalistic design, which goes pretty well with anyone’s wardrobe and sense of style. Some headphones can be clunky, but the hi-Edo are fairly chic. You can choose from a wide range of different colour combinations, including white and gray, black and gray, black and pink, white and red, and black and green among others. 

While style isn’t such an important feature to me personally, I do have to say that the headphones were nice and lightweight which made me forget that I was wearing them at times. They were easy to control with the buttons on the side of the right earphone. There’s nothing complicated here about these headphones, but everything worked. The price point for these gadgets is also lower than what you’d pay for new Apple or Bose wireless headphones, so if you’re looking for an affordable gift they can be a good option.