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. 


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. 


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.

Android Silver- Perhaps the future of Android

Strange and intriguing news and rumors about Google in the past few weeks. Apparently Google is preparing to come out with it's new Android Silver. This could potentially change the smartphone industry as we know it, not to mention it could just help Androids cause of totally taking over the smartphone market. But just as a disclaimer; there is no guarantee that this is going to be the final product, but I'm pretty confident it will be something like what I'm about to describe, so read along and let’s seen what this lineup would be all about.

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About a week and a bit ago Android Police reported that Google is apparently getting ready to launch Android Silver sometime in 2015. It would apparently revolutionize the way we use Android and the way we buy it, so here is what Android Silver would entail: apparently that Android Silver would be a collection of up to 5 Android devices at one time, kind of a " best of the best secret club". I believe that the 5 devices would change when better devices come out and also I believe that OEM devices could also be considered for this club.

Android Silver would be sold in stores and have a special section in the store just for Silver devices. They would all be put on a special table with special branding. The in store employees would require special training on how to sell Silver devices and it would be a very special experience for Silver customers.

In terms of software and hardware, well like I said OEM'S would probably be considered for the club. It would likely be running the latest versions of Android, but apparently they would have little to know comistation. There are even rumors that say that Google will be ditching the Nexus lineup in 2015 in favour of Silver.

Boy oh boy would there be a special loyalty club for Silver users. Not only would they get the special experience in the store but also out of the store. They would have a 24\7 emergency hotline if the device is having issues. Basically think of it as the Amazon maday button but for Google. The user could use Hangouts where a Google representative would be waiting to help them out and fix their issues.

All in all I find this very intriguing, it would make a lot of sense and would be perfect time for Google. It might even reshape the way we think of Google and Android. Even if it is not exactly like what I just described when it comes out, it will still be a fantastic addition to the Android lineup. I hope Google pursues this idea. So what do you think, would you consider buying Silver? As always leave a comment and tell us what you think. Thanks for reading!

Author: Ben Smith - Twitter

The Samsung Galaxy K zoom

Okay so what’s the difference between a camera-phone and a phone that’s a camera? Well Samsung seems to think they found the answer to that question. Yes the Galaxy K zoom, Samsung seems to think that putting an actual camera on a phone is “proactive” I guess you could say. So is it really? Well read along and we’ll find out together.

Announced April 29th 2014 and expected to be released Q2 of 2014, this phone quite literally brand new. Last year’s Galaxy S4 Zoom wasn’t the most popular due to its awkward build and just not needed at the time. But here we find ourselves in 2014 with the likes of the Lumia 1020 and other phones with amazing cameras it comes as no surprise Samsung decided to keep the Zoom lineup. So how do the specs look?
Samsung made this phone to hold its own and it certainly does. An Exynos 5 Hexa system chip is pretty good. Along with a 6-core, 1700 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 & ARM Cortex-17 processor ( geek talk for pretty fast). Not the fastest phone on the market but again this isn’t meant to be flagship internals. The 8GB built in storage isn’t much; thankfully it does have support for a microSD card slot. The 2430 mAh battery will get you through the day. Plus we have the newest version of Android KitKat 4.4.2 on top of Samsung’s TouchWhiz OS.
The display looks to be great. At 4.8 inches it can compete with the best of them. A resolution of 720p and 306ppi isn’t the greatest, but does get the job done. Plus it’s a Super AMOLED which is always looks great on any phone. It feels great in the hand at 7.05 oz (200 g) and it looks like they finally figured put a camera on the back without making it uncomfortable for the user. This brings me to my next point: The camera
At 20.7 megapixels this thing packs a punch. An LED flash does the trick and has all the features in the world, such as; ISO control, face detection, smiles detection, Optical image Stabilization just to name a few. It has a focal length of 24-240mm, now I’m not a camera expert by any means (we’ll leave that for Dave) but I’m thinking that’s pretty good. It also can capture 1080p video recordings and has front facing camera of 2 megapixels, which isn’t that much.
So all in all what do I think of this phone? Intriguing is the word I would use. I like the idea; especially in the age of social media cameras are important. It will be interesting to see how this phone sells. I think that even without the best specs, this phone seems to be a viable companion in your pocket for the next two years. Stay tuned to our full review coming soon and as always, be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.
By: Ben Smith - Twitter

Android 4.1.1 vulnerable to HeartBleed bug

Over the last week we have heard a lot about the HeartBleed bug and for good reason, it’s a serious problem with far reaching potential if not patched in a timely manner. Most of the coverage has been surrounding servers and routers however the problem is more widespread than this and even Android Handsets are vulnerable to the HeartBleed bug. Google announced on Wednesday a full disclosure of how Heartbleed affects it’s services. Google noted that Android version 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) is in fact vulnerable. Manufacturers should hopefully start releasing updates as Google is distributing a patch to fix the issue.

The problem with HeartBleed on Android 4.1.1 is the sheer number of people that are running this version of the Android Operating system. Although released back in 2012 many users are still using handsets that are incapable of upgrading to the latest Android KitKat and therefore are running the outdated but still functional Jelly Bean version of Android. It’s estimated that over 34% of all Android users are still running Jelly Bean but whether this is 4.1.1 or 4.1.2 is unknown. However a Google spokesperson said that there are currently ‘millions’ of devices at risk and running Android 4.1.1.

If you're worried about your tablet or smartphone the first thing to do is establish which version of Android you are currently running. To find this out simply go to settings > about phone > software information. If you see Android 4.1.1 then you are vulnerable and you should keep an eye out for software updates on your device and also your manufacturers website for more information.


iTunes on Android?

We often say that certain things will never happen such as Apple releasing Android versions of it’s applications, but every now and then we are taken by surprise. One such surprise is the prospect of iTunes being released for Android. iTunes has long been an Apple only product with the exception of the iTunes version for Windows. However that could soon be about to change if recent reports are to be believed.

Currently Apple has iTunes radio which is a free ad-supported service that allows users to listen to music and create stations based on artists, song and genre. It doesn’t however have a streaming service. Apple is reportedly in talks regarding a streaming service like Spotify though it has been stated that talks are in very early stages.

If Apple were to release iTunes for Android it would certainly shake things up. Although Google does have a music service on Android it’s music collection is quite sparse when compared to iTunes due to licensing restrictions in certain countries. Extending the reach of iTunes would give other services such as spotify a run for their money.

Steve Jobs was dead against bringing iTunes to Windows originally and felt the same about Android. However with Tim Cook at the helm it seems anything is possible as he publicly revealed that he has "no religious issues" porting its software over.

I would personally just like to be able to get iTunes radio in the United Kingdom before worrying about on-demand streaming services. What do you think of the idea of iTunes being available on Android handsets? Is this a bold move by Apple or a terrible idea? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Flappy Bird to return?

It's now been a month since developer Dong Nguyen took the decision to remove flappy bird from both the App Store and Google Play Store. The move was met with a wave of speculation about the reasons behind the decision ranging from things such as a lawsuit threat from Nintendo and death threats from angry gamers. However the developer continued to stick to his original story about his reasons and stated that it was due to people overusing the game and the amount of criticism and attention he had received as a result of creating flappy bird. Dong was hounded by the media after creating flappy bird and was apparently overwhelmed with the amount of requests from press organizations.

Not long after flappy bird was taken down a plethora of copycat apps flooded the App Store and Google Play with developers trying to cash in on the success of flappy bird including myself, though mine was more for fun and I didn’t try to monetize it either. Apple and Google have since taken action and are removing some of these apps that are either too similar or use the word ‘flappy’ in the title, that being said there are still a large number of these available to download in each store.

Just as we were all beginning to move on and forget about flappy bird and the news coverage had all but died a death, Flappy Bird is again back in the limelight after the magazine Rolling Stone managed to bag an interview with the 28 year old Vietnam developer. The interview is very interesting and talks about the reasons for creating flappy bird and the inspirations behind the app as well as revealing that Dong is considering re-releasing the app again but this time it would include a warning about safety and not over playing the game and the importance of taking regular breaks (sounds more like long distance driving advice) whether or not this comes to fruition remains to be seen and we have to question whether anybody really cares whether or not the app makes a return. The world of technology and apps moves very quickly and what is hot one week may not necessarily be hot the next. Personally I think flappy bird has flown the nest and that’s where it should be left, if Dong Nguyen decided to release a new game though that would be a different matter.



“Aggressively priced” Nexus TV to launch in the first half of next year, report says

A new report says that Google will launch an Android-running Nexus TV set-top box at some point in the first half of 2014, with the device expected to be “aggressively priced.”

According to The Information, The Google Nexus TV would stream video from various sources including Netflix, Hulu and YouTube and sort-of act as a video games console as well. The Nexus TV could also come with a touchpad remote, although we would imagine that it would work with Android devices as well. At this time it’s not clear how everything would work, but it looks like the company has been showing the set-top box to developers as recently as this fall...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Moto X Cyber Monday deal on hold as MotoMaker website goes down

One of the most interesting Cyber Monday deals out there was the $349 off-contract Moto X offer announced by Motorola a few days ago, but interested customers were not able to complete their purchases as the company’s MotoMaker website caved under traffic pressure...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority 

Android Cyber Monday 2013 deals roundup

Today is Cyber Monday, the day when Americans return to their jobs after a few days of family time, overeating, football, and, of course, deals-fueled shopping.

And what better way to get back into working shape than with some more deals? That’s the gist of Cyber Monday, and we’re here to fuel your gadget deals addiction with some handpicked Android deals. We have tablets, smartphones, and apps...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority