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About Besttechie

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  1. With so many unique selling points and niche audiences for businesses today, it can be hard to keep track of the latest trends. Likewise, rapid advancements in technology continue to fuel a climate of automation and efficiency that largely transcend the limits of manual labor and human brainpower. As businesses continue to adopt these technologies and advancements, more of the business world becomes dependent on more refined solutions. Companies use software for a variety of reasons, but the primary goal is to save time and money. Here’s how it can help you do both of those things. Automate your Business Processes Businesses have a lot of records to organize and sometimes it is tricky to do so. From client invoices to inventory reports, nobody wants to deal with all of these items in a paper format. Through the use of digital transformation solutions like Bizagi, businesses can put the software to work in ways that ensure all records are securely stored and easily accessible. Imagine a world in which employees no longer have to use antiquated report sheets to log leads, invoices or other day-to-day business operations. With a variety of software solutions available that can easily document, translate and store critical business information, there is just no reason not to take advantage of this time and money-saving solution. Improved Customer Experiences Look back to your customer interactions. What percentage of these interactions result in missed opportunities to sell, lengthy customer service queries, or less than stellar customer impressions? When considering areas in which software can help save businesses time and money, the customer service process should always be at the top of the list. From intuitive FAQs sections and interactive live customer support to product tracking services and proactive updates; all of these points can be improved with software. This, in turn, reduces the level of dissatisfied customers, complaints, questions and other engagements that require time and energy from employees. Efficient Marketing Campaigns The need for an organized and effective marketing campaign is a cornerstone of virtually every business. While marketing gurus are always helpful and valuable components to any campaign, software can give an added boost in ways that save ample time and money. From analytics programs that monitor ROI and CPC to demographic analysis that uncover which audiences suit a particular marketing campaign, there are many reasons why software can make marketing efforts more efficient. Whether in-house software solutions or platforms available through specific advertisers are used, these utilities can help reduce the amount spent for each impression and reduce the amount of time needed to cultivate presences in new audiences. The primary reason for the existence of software is to improve user efficiency. For businesses, this automatically translates into saving time and money. Whether it relates to better customer experiences, improved marketing campaigns, optimal record keeping procedures or something entirely different, the broader result is the same. As more and more businesses opt to replace inefficient workflow processes with automated solutions, the world of business will continue to become more agile and streamlined. The post How software can help your business save time and money appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  2. “And to add insult to injury, he really took him for a ride. A picture is worth a thousand words, yet actions speak louder than words.” Phrases like this all share one common trait, ambiguity. Not only can they be difficult for language learners to conceptualize, or for native speakers to explain, but they can leave even the most advanced speaker in any language, puzzled. No matter the language, they all seem to be filled with idiosyncratic sayings that make sense, if given context or further explanation. How do you say “take a chill pill” in German, or what about “when s*%! hits the fan?” French startup Reverso is aiming to eliminate questions like this, with the release of Reverso Context 6.0. The latest version of the app taps Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Hollywood films and popular television shows to provide contextualized translations for its nearly five million users. For instance, imagine talking to a native Spanish speaker, and saying: “He cried wolf for the last time,” Reverso Context takes the phrase, and provides users with a number of real-life examples from popular films, television shows, and official documents. I decided to test out Reverso Context myself, so I searched for ‘the boy who cried wolf,’ and immediately recognized one of the many notable quotes, designed to provide users with more clarity. To my surprise, one of the first examples I noticed was from The Office: “I’d like to rat out Andy, but unfortunately I have a bit of a “boy who cried wolf” dynamic with David Wallace.” Reverso hopes to bring 6.0’s contextualized translation technology and language learning tools to new and existing users, which features an improved UI, updated Speak-to-translate, pronunciation from native speakers and the ability to save, annotate and share translations with friends offline. The app’s developer also released a number of new language learning tools such as flashcards for users to practice previously searched words, language-related quizzes to help users learn new words and statistics and charts to track progress. Reverso Context currently supports Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian and Russian, and is available for download on iOS and Android. The post Reverso Context is an app that makes sense of sayings you thought your parents made up appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  3. Building a website is not easy. Even if you’re a web developer, it’s hard to build a site all on your own since it involves so many different elements. On one hand is the code itself, then there is the all important design and visual aesthetic of the site, and finally is any content (written or otherwise) that you want to upload. For most people, it’s the content that’s important. Whether you’re an aspiring blogger, or trying to promote your small businesses, most people want to focus on the message of the site rather than the process of building it. This is even more true for many of today’s aspiring social media influencers. For these individuals, who use standardized and uniform social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, the idea of having to build an entire site from scratch can feel foreign. Of course, there are a number of website building platforms out there such as Wix or Squarespace, but those platforms are designed to be all-purpose platforms for any kind of site. Currently, there isn’t a single website building service that is designed to tie together all the disparate platforms that make up the standard toolkit of a social media influencer. That’s exactly the hole that Emaze wants to fill with its new social website creation tool that it’s calling Emaze.me. At first blush, the Emaze site creation tool may seem similar to the other tools on the market. But it quickly becomes apparent that everything on the platform was built with social media influencers in mind. Emaze wants to make it easy to both design and manage a website that can serve as a gateway to an influencers various social channels. So whether you have a strong Twitter feed, or are most active on Instagram, Emaze.me will give you a way to feature that feed. The service offers influencers a great way to tap the strength of one channel and use to expose their followers to content on other platforms. For instance, maybe a user has a blog or YouTube channel that isn’t taking off, but their Instagram game is super strong. These users can use their strong channel to draw attention, and ultimately traffic to the other platforms. This gives them valuable flexibility, especially as they work to monetize their social media activities. Of course, Emaze faces a difficult competitive landscape. There is no shortage of tools and platforms available to build a web presence. But I think that Emaze has chosen a smart strategy with Emaze.me as it looks to compete, and that strategy is focus. Emaze is working on a specific problem where it sees a lack of solutions. If it can provide a powerful solution for users looking to tie all their social channels together, then they can find a way to stand out from the web building crowd. The post Emaze wants to help you build a home for all your social profiles appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  4. When the Kindle came out, ebooks – admittedly from a very low base – shot up 1,260% in the two years from 2008 to 2010, according to the New York Times. Though it leveled off after that, the share of the market that ebooks control has continued to grow steadily since then. The question we’ve got to ask ourselves is whether this is set to continue. Will the printed page disappear forever from our world? Or, instead, will the two mediums find a new equilibrium, where some books are read on screens and some read on paper. It’s a big question that has many proponents for both sides. Some swear that paperback books are done. They’re wasteful, take up far too much space and are heavy. Others – particularly those who like having traditional libraries – cringe at the idea that ebooks could ever overtake print books as the preferred means of reading, let alone send the written page the way of the dodo bird, much like clay tablets and pages written on the type writer. To consider which will happen it’s a good idea to look at another prediction – and that is of the paperless office. We are going to have no more paper in the office by 1990 The paperless office has been predicted pretty much since the day that printing became a reality. Then, when our computers ended up networked, everybody was confident it was right around the corner. And yet, it still has not arrived. Though the amount of paper used in many offices has declines sharply over the years – largely to cut costs and for environmental concerns – to date it has never completely gone away. Interestingly enough, this seems to be a generational thing, where people who have grown up reading on print outs are far less likely to let the printed page go. Those of us who were raised with screens very much a part of our lives, however, have found it far easier to let the printed page go and read everything we want – be it a book from Terry Pratchett or a text for an essay – on the computer screen. In fact, many younger office workers very much prefer the computer screen for reading material, as it allows for such activities as searching and the copy and pasting of notes and text chunks for later use. Could the same thing happen to the book? When we look at who reads ebooks and who reads printed books a very similar picture emerges. Millennials and those a little bit older by and far prefer screens, while the older generation prefer the printed word. Of course, this effect is not complete. There are still plenty of millennials who prefer the feel of paper to swiping on a screen. What we can’t yet know is whether that is going to change in time as well. Will the preference for ebooks continue to grow into the next generation as well? Actually, it might not even matter. The economics You see, there is another thing that needs to be considered and that is the economics of the situation. The printed book is expensive. Not only does it require you to chop down trees and make ink, but it also weighs a lot and can’t be transported around instantaneously. What’s more, book shops need a great deal of storage space to store the books that they want to sell. And what about books that they don’t manage to find buyers for? Those are incredibly expensive, as they take up space for a long time after which they either need to be destroyed or sent back to the printer. Ebooks don’t have that problem. They do not run out. They can be instantaneously uploaded to a person’s reader and they take up virtually no space, with the prospect of carrying around a library in your pocket already a reality. This has already made the ebook cheaper than the normal book (though it is the case that prices are being kept artificially high in many cases). As the books continue to lose market share, the production of individual units will become more and more expensive. And that will push more people into the arms of ebooks – thereby provoking a spiral. It’s only a matter of time Just like the paperless office, the speed at which the normal book will disappear will be far slower than most people predicted. At the same time, it will have to happen. At one point a tipping point will be reached where the mass-production of books will simply be too costly in comparison to their electronic variety. Though of course books will never disappear entirely, with some people always willing to fork over serious money to own a physical product, they will end up being specialty items for the discerning collector. For the rest of us, we’ll have to go look in the cloud to see what our virtual bookshelf holds. The post Will ebooks ever completely replace print books? appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  5. While a lot of PC users are completely obscure that such a thing even exists, to others, remote access apps are something best that ever happened. Their sole existence means that you don’t have to go to your grandparents’ house in the middle of the night, just because they can’t find a folder they accidentally dragged into another folder or have just accepted a spam offer. Furthermore, it also means that, if need be, you don’t have to go to the office during your free time, just in order to conduct a 2-minute long task. All in all, for any of these to work out you need to have a reliable remote access app and here are some of the best there are for Windows PCs. 1. TeamViewer It simply wouldn’t be fair to start this list with anything else than TeamViewer. The very fact that this digital tool is completely free, means that it is a personal favorite of all those who don’t use this kind of software on a regular basis. Apart from this, it has a fairly simple install wizard and doesn’t require you to make any change in your firewall configuration, or router for that matter. While there are several different versions available, such as TeamViewer Quick Support and TeamViewer Host, your safest bet is definitely to go with the full version of the software (especially if you are layman in these matters). TeamViewer is free for personal/non-commercial use and if you plan on using it for business prices vary from $749 to $2,839 for a one-time purchase. 2. LogMeIn While insanely popular, TeamViewer experienced an incident they have a hard time bouncing from. Namely, last year they admitted that a significant number of their user accounts were ‘abused’, by a malicious third party. Because of this, more and more people are turning to LogMeIn’s desktop app. Even though a bit pricy (the cheapest option costs $249.99 per year), it provides much superior security to its free counterparts. For the aforementioned price, you would get access for up to two computers, which means that those who intend to use it for commercial purposes, might want to consider going with either Power User or Small Businesses version of the software. The cost of this might be great, but you should never neglect the importance of a quality IT support that comes with it. 3. Chrome Remote Desktop As far as personal use goes, it seems a bit unfair to compare TeamViewer with such a renowned ‘premium’ software and it would definitely be more suitable to compare it to another free tool such as Chrome Remote Desktop. This particular remote access app probably has the simplest installation of them all. The only thing required from a user is to install a chrome extension. Apart from this, Chrome Remote Desktop is noticeably faster than a majority of similar applications and it works cross-platform on Windows, Mac and Linux. On top of it all, accessing a desktop through a browser also seems as an interesting concept to say the very least. 4. Windows Remote Desktop In previous few sections, we listed simple installation as an important feature. Well, what if you didn’t have to install at all? While a lot of people don’t know this, every Windows OS (starting with Windows XP) comes with a pre-installed Windows Remote Desktop. This means that you don’t have to download or install anything but just access the System Properties, go to the Remote tab and allow remote connections. As far as the actual remote access goes, the process can be somewhat intricate. If you are unfamiliar with it or unsure on how to set it up check out the video below: 5. Real VNC Like TeamViewer, Real VNC has both free and paid versions. Although arguably less popular than its counterparts, it can brag with over 250 million downloads and the fact that it is currently used by over 90 thousand enterprise customers. Finally, its most expensive option (Enterprise) amounts to as little as $55 each year. Compared to the LogMeIn the cost of this is next to nothing. Free option itself is limited to up to 5 remote computers, which is impressive at very least. 6. RemotePC As far as the simplicity goes RemotePC is up there with TeamViewer and Chrome Remote Desktop. Download and install the software on the device that is supposed to be accessed remotely. After this, all you need to do is share Access ID and Key (just like with TeamViewer) with a person that needs to access the computer and there you have it. On the other hand, you could also create an account and add the client computer to it, in order to enable easy access later on. Going with any of the software I’ve mentioned is bound to get the job done. However, if we were to single out any of them, it would definitely be TeamViewer. Even though Chrome Remote Desktop is as simple as it gets, it does lack many of the features TV packs out of the box. Likewise, LogMeIn is a proper enterprise software and as such might seem intimidating to a home user. The rest are pretty much neck and neck, with RemotePC being on the bottom of the list just because of its limitation to one device. The post Here are the best remote access apps for Windows appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  6. Millennials always get [email protected] for seeking perfection and expecting to live a picture perfect life, as seen on social media, even when at their jobs. However, with the average amount of hours spent at work on a steady rise across the country, why shouldn’t we spend our time somewhere that makes us happy? While some subscribe to the philosophy of the importance of being happy with the place you spend more than 40 hours a week, others simply collect a paycheck, go home and remain indifferent. Neither happy nor unhappy with their position. While we all hear about everyone wanting to work for the tech giants like Facebook, Google and Intel, we rarely hear what makes the rest of the country happy when at their jobs. The folks at kununu, a platform that allows employees to anonymously share unbiased company reviews and other workplace insights, claims they’ve found the states and industries with the happiest employees. The company released the kununu Quarterly Insights Report utilizing rankings from past and present employees to determine how happy employees were with their positions, and used a scale of 18 parameters including gender equality, job security, and management competency. kununu sifted through its data from over 25,000 people and came to some surprising findings. It seems the happiest employees in the U.S. live in Idaho. This begs the question, how does one define happiness, and how does it differ from person to person? You’d think the well-fed startup employees in California and New York would help tip the scale, it’s possible they’re statistically insignificant, or maybe, they’re just not that happy. Idaho is followed by Maine, South Dakota, Washington, and Kentucky rounding out the top five, making a strong case for predominantly rural states being happier places to work. kununu also uncovered more surprises on its list of happiest companies in America, with Intel taking the number ten spot. Before that, we see giants like Starbucks at number three, American Airlines at number four, and Comcast at number five. kununu also uncovered that those as State Farm Insurance are happiest with their careers. The company came in at number one, leading the pack of America’s highest rated companies. kununu’s data unfortunately doesn’t share the entire list and only highlights those at the top of the pack. Such data could potentially be damning in this day and age where large public demonstrations against companies happen daily. According to the data, it’s time to ditch computer science and engineering. If you want your kids to lead a happy life, you should encourage them to be a HR specialists and move to Idaho, as kununu defines this group as the happiest employees in America. The runner up is tax consultants across a variety of U.S. states, probably a very special class of people who garner happiness from seeing the tears of others. The post Looking for happiness? Move to Idaho, workplace insights platform claims appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  7. Spring has sprung and that means a lot of us are throwing open the windows, clearing out the wintertime clutter and thinking about summer safety. Sweeping the floors and dusting the sills should obviously be on your list but when the spring cleaning bug hits, don’t forget your mobile devices. Spring cleaning gadgets is about more than wiping down screens – a little seasonal maintenance can go a long way toward boosting storage space, increasing performance and ensuring that your devices are as secure as they can be. If you think your devices don’t need spring cleaning, think again. On the security side, new hacks are developed and deployed all the time, and even if you keep your devices devoid of personal info your bandwidth can still be hijacked and used for nefarious purposes. And while you might be 100% satisfied with your device’s performance, it’s still a good idea to sit down once a year to take a look at what kinds of information you’re carrying in your pocket. With that in mind, here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you’re keeping your mobile devices as safe and secure as they can be. Change your passcode and passwords. As frustrating as it can be to have to remember convoluted passwords, longer passwords that contain capital and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers can keep your personal information more secure. Additionally, look into using two-step verification or two-factor authentication (which is even more secure) if it’s offered. Lastly, consider using a password manager such as 1Password or LastPass. Keep software updated. It’s important to keep operating systems and programs (not just security software) up-to-date because regular updates often include security patches associated with emerging threats. Install anti-virus programs on your devices and double check that they are working. Also, make sure you have automatic updates set to run across apps so you never miss a patch. Back up your device. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and they’re a good enough reason to make sure your data is backed up. If you synch your devices with your computer, you can keep that data secure by encrypting your backups. Know your options. Take the time to learn how to properly reset your iPhone and how to wipe the data remotely, which is handy if your device is lost or stolen. (Go to iCloud.com/#find > enter your Apple ID > select Find My iPhone. Select All Devices > choose the device to wipe. Select Erase iPhone/iPad.) But remember that wiping may not be necessary! Recently, a thief was caught at Coachella with a hundred stolen phones thanks to festival goers who used Find My iPhone to track him down. Declutter your data. Strive for inbox zero, opt for minimalism when it comes to photo storage and don’t store passwords. Sometimes a lost or stolen device simply means having to shell out for a replacement, but if you keep your entire life on your phone it could also mean dealing with the long-term (and costly) repercussions of identity theft. Review your privacy settings. Do you know which apps are collecting information about your habits and what they’re using that information for? Are you inadvertently walking around with an open network in your pocket? Think carefully about what permissions you give the apps you download, and always download from reputable sources like the App Store and Google Play Store. A little vigilance can go a long way toward protecting not only your devices but also your precious data, so it’s surprising how many people take security for granted or just plain forget about how vulnerable unprotected gadgets can be. So make spring cleaning your devices an annual to-do – better yet, set a calendar alert! Hopefully you’ll never actually be targeted by a hacker or thief but if the worst should happen, you’ll be so glad you did. The post Spring cleaning: 6 tips to help stay secure online appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  8. There’s nothing like the excitement of putting on a live performance. There’s so much that can go right — turning the audience into a standing ovation of fans — but there is also so much that can go wrong. While a lot of credit goes to the actors running around the stage, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes that is necessary for a successful performance. Without the stage manager, lighting designer, sound tech, and props assistant, the actors would be performing to a dark and silent house. Fortunately, smartphones have made theater management significantly easier. Here are four ways theaters are thriving with the help of smartphone technology. Multimedia Content Is Easier to Create Today’s shows aren’t just limited to what they can do on stage; more companies than ever are testing the power of multimedia content within their performance. They might film a flashback and present it on a screen or use a projector to display an image or enhance the background. Even “The Wizard of Oz” has started to utilize multimedia content by digitally broadcasting the flying monkeys in the background. Fortunately, community theaters can get in on the multimedia trend even if they don’t have expensive video equipment. Thanks to the Galaxy S7’s powerful camera, they can take photos or film footage that looks as real as that from a professional television studio. This way, the audience isn’t lost during the jump from on-stage action to on-screen action. Stage Managers Can Take Notes Outside of the Booth Throughout rehearsal — and even during the performance — stage managers are typically running around making notes of what needs to occur to make a flawless performance. Where do props need to be placed? Where do lights need to be adjusted? There’s no way they can remember all of these notes, but they don’t have time to run up to the booth or carry their laptops around. This is where smartphones come in. They can quickly take a photo of what needs to be changed or make a note for their to-do list. By utilizing tools like Google Docs, all of the information is collected into one location so they can send it out at the end of the night. Smartphones Make Rehearsal Management Easier Most directors try to schedule rehearsals strategically so the entire cast doesn’t have to give up their whole week just to sit around and say two lines. They will map out which scenes just include the leads and which scenes include the entire cast, and then decide what should be rehearsed and when. This is a lot of mental organizing and can be frustrating to keep up with. More directors have adopted smartphones as a way to juggle their rehearsal schedules. They can make spreadsheets about what needs to be rehearsed and when, and then send out calendar notifications to the cast. This helps to make sure that everyone has adequate time to rehearse, and that no one’s time is wasted. Actors Learn Lines Faster Through Apps One of the biggest challenges actors face is learning their lines. With a paper script, it’s almost impossible to read cues for your lines without seeing what your line is, which is why so many actors struggle to go off the book. However, there are multiple apps that help actors memorize their lines, including Rehearsal 2. This app allows actors to record scenes. When they do a playback, the gaps will be where their lines are so they can learn their cues while improving their memorization. Plus, digital rehearsal allows actors to rehearse in the car or at the gym without having to keep a script in front of their faces. Most people turn to the theater because they love the communities they work with and enjoy coming together with their friends to create amazing projects. Running through a play can be one of the highlights of their week or year. However, the stress of a production takes its toll. By eliminating these sources of stress with the use smartphones, managers, directors, and cast members can focus on the fun and community of the performing arts. The post Smartphones have found their way into theater management to improve live performances appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  9. Today, Master & Dynamic released a brand new product, expanding the company’s product line from headphones to speakers. The latest release from M&D is the MA770 Wireless Speaker, which has been designed by world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye – best known for his recent work on the latest Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. – the MA770 is made of a proprietary concrete composite that provides exceptional acoustic benefits such as increased dampening, reduced resonance, and a purer sound. In the words of Sir David Adjaye: “We created a new geometry for this speaker. A new geometry of sound.” To be honest, this is one of the most interesting speaker designs I’ve seen, perhaps only behind the Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speaker (and that’s saying something). Take a look at the design below. The MA770 is outfitted with dual 4″ woven Kevlar long throw woofers, a 1.5″ titanium tweeter and diamond-cut anodized aluminum controls, the speaker also features an elegant, magnetically attached steel grille is removable for those that prefer the look of the exposed components and hand-finished concrete. The MA770 Wireless Speaker is available for pre-order today for $1,800 and the speakers will start shipping on May 16th, at which point they will also be available for purchase via the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Store in New York City. It’s also worth mentioning that the MA770 can be used as a single speaker as well as be paired with a second speaker for a stereo configuration or multi-room setup. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the speaker in for review and see if it lives up to the price and awesome-looking design. The post Master & Dynamic unveils MA770, a super sleek wireless speaker appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  10. With 2016 marking the year when virtual reality finally entered the mainstream consciousness, through the consumer releases of the Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, it is unquestionable that “immersive technology” has been one of the hot topics in the tech industry over the past 12 months, with the market seeing a meteoric rise. According to research compiled by Statista, the number of VR hardware sales reached approximately 6.31 million by the end of 2016 – up from 1.43 million and 0.14 million in 2015 and 2014, respectively. With hardware and software developers allowing users to immerse themselves in their products to a greater extent than ever before, the next couple of years is set to play host to a number of exciting developments as the VR hardware market looks set to reach $15.9 billion worldwide by 2020. That being said, virtual reality isn’t the only immersive technology seeing a rise, with augmented reality (AR), haptic communication and 3D audio also proving essential in stimulating a user’s senses. With that in mind, we’ve put together a selection of some of the best immersive applications you can download and use right now alongside your visual or audio-related hardware. RYOT VR While most of the major uses of virtual reality are tailored to sports, entertainment and gaming content, that’s not to say all of them are. California-based “immersive media” company RYOT was one of the first journalistic companies to embrace the technology, with its ethos being to shine the spotlight on key global crises by immersing viewers as close to the action as possible. The studio is renowned for producing a variety of 360-degree and VR documentary films which users can watch with their VR headset of choice, focusing on humanitarian and social issues such as the impact of the Syrian Civil War and the Nepal earthquake of 2015. Verizon’s AOL saw the value of the start-up, acquiring the company and making it part of its Huffington Post group last year. Founded by humanitarian aid workers, first responders and filmmakers Bryn Mooser, David Darg and Martha Rogers, RYOT proclaims: “We don’t pretend to hide behind neutrality. We care about what happens to the world.” Social issues aside, the company’s brand of “earthy”, VR documentaries have an authenticity and immersion to them the likes of which the media has never seen before. Surge With leading music streaming service Spotify attracting 100 million worldwide users as of July 2016 – a year-on-year increase of 25% – it’s inevitable that music app developers would look to immersive technologies in an attempt to bring users closer than ever to their music, and thus gain a foothold in what is becoming a very lucrative market. Music discovery crossed with video-sharing app Mindie was arguably way ahead of its time upon its release in 2013, providing users with an immersive way of sharing short video clips set to their favorite tracks. Fast forward a few years, and with the rise of virtual reality and other immersive technologies, we are starting to see more contemporary music applications come to the fore. Virtual reality startup NextVR announced a partnership with Citi and Live Nation last year to live stream ten music concerts in 360-degree VR, but perhaps the most immersive music experience of all has come from a single video, created by a one-man studio in the form of Dutch animator and musician Arjan van Meerten. Surge is available as a free download via Oculus Home, and presents a gripping fusion of music with three-dimensional visualization effects, allowing users to “see” as well as listen to the electronic, experimental music track. The surreal short video is a leading example of an application being able to immerse multiple senses, and is set to receive a “sequel” in the form of Apex, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. Immersive Roulette Oculus Rift VR headset. Online casino gaming is an industry whose rapid rise can be compared directly to that of virtual reality. The total iGaming market size is set to reach $56.05 billion by 2018 – more than doubling since 2009. In order to continue to immerse their players in the action, iGaming developers have constantly sought to keep up with technological trends such as live streaming to emulate the experience of stepping foot into a real-life casino. The Evolution Gaming-developed Immersive Roulette Live, for instance, forms part of online casino 32Red’s selection of roulette games and is also available from other operators such as Royal Panda. The title offers players an immersive live gaming experience through the use of a live human dealer, a multi-camera set-up, 200-frames-per-second HD video and slow-motion replays of every wheel stop. Immersive Roulette Live lends itself well to user interaction, with most operators including the aforementioned 32Red being amongst those to allow their players to chat live with their dealer. Such titles are a far cry from early live casino games, such as those formerly hosted by Dublin Bet, which often featured lower resolution video quality, as well as a single camera and host. 2016 may have been the year that VR entered the mainstream consciousness, but on the basis of the above three applications and those like them, 2017 could well end up being the year that propels the technology to new heights. The post The best immersive VR apps so far in 2017 appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  11. Prepare yourself for the dumbest Mac Pro concept you’ll ever see. The folks over at Germany-based CURVED/labs clearly have never built a computer before based on this new Mac Pro concept they have rendered and decided to share with the world. First, you need to take a look at the video which shows off an ugly rectangular/modular design. Honestly, the look of this Mac Pro concept alone should disqualify it from ever even being considered as an Apple product, but let’s dig a little deeper and keep the aesthetics out of it. The Mac Pro concept features two slots for full-sized graphic cards (e.g. a GTX 1080) and easily accessible area housing for the processor, RAM, and storage. In theory this sounds good, until you actually look at the engineering. For example, the biggest issue I spotted right out of the gate was the RAM slots. I mean, seriously, did the people who designed this concept ever install RAM on a computer before? How would this design actually work? Then there’s the issue of the GPU… so as you can see a GPU has ports that you can use to connect a display. Even CURVED/labs seems aware of this in this part of the render: So can someone explain to me how this GPU was installed and will actually work as rendered in the screenshot below? And then there’s the question as to why a Mac Pro needs Touch ID, most of the time, these machines are out of sight, out of mind for the people using them. But perhaps, even more mind boggling then Touch ID is why the Mac Pro would need what appears to be a Touch Bar on the front. Lastly, there are a ton of ports of this atrocity. I’m not anti-port by any means, but this many ports isn’t even possible. And pair that with the fact, it even has Firewire ports which is practically a dead technology. Not even the current Mac Pro supports Firewire, I doubt Apple will be adding it back. USB-A I can see being offered, but certainly not Firewire. I expect Apple will double down on Thunderbolt 3/USB-C on the next Mac Pro. There are likely other engineering problems with this concept, but I just had to point these out, especially as some publications have been so openly praising it. What do you think of this Mac Pro concept? Awesome or DOA? Leave a comment! The post This Mac Pro concept is an atrocity and an engineering nightmare appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  12. In order for a blog to generate leads, it must be built specifically with that purpose in mind. There are different strategies and approaches when it comes to generating a lead magnet out of your blog, and we’re going to discuss them throughout this post. Let’s first be clear about what a lead magnet is and does. As a simple explanation, a lead magnet is a system that collects personal data from your blog readers. They’re trading their e-mails, names, zip codes, or even credit card information for something valuable to them. People are tempted to accept good offers. If what you’re giving away for free is relevant and qualitative, be sure that you’re going to obtain leads. Once you got the data, you can use it for so many things such as sending e-mails or targeting your clients on Facebook. Before writing this post, I made sure to personally test every strategy here on my own local business. My niche is extremely specific, and it targets a relatively small target audience. The lack of strong competition allowed me to boost my traffic and leads big time. Enough talk, let’s get straight to business. Offer Valuable Reports or Guides It works like this: you’re creating a special report that covers an interesting topic that your target audience might be interested in. Once you’re done with it, make it your “special freebie” that builds your lead magnet. Make sure that every user from your blog notices the opportunity to get a free quality material in exchange for their e-mail. This is a commonly used tactic, but it never stopped delivering good results. You should add your own twist and make the offer more attractive. Offer Exclusive Weekly/Monthly Tips & Tricks Exclusive content is always appreciated. It makes you feel special, as you possess something that not everyone can get access to. Many blogs use this strategy as a lead generator tool, and they’re doing it for a long time, which means that it works. Tips & tricks work best. You can decide your own speed pace and send your audience e-mails on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis. See what works best, and build that strong relationship with your potential customers Offer Value First, Expect the Prize Later When people enter the web, they always have a reason to do so. They’re looking for solutions for their problems, they’re searching for information, they’re fulfilling social needs, and so on. Now – when people join your blog, they’re obviously looking for something helpful. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be spending their time there. Here’s my approach when it comes to promoting my small business: Make the readers aware of their problems, and follow up with the solutions that exist. Win their attention and interest by emphasizing the dangers that come with their ignorance towards the problems. Give them a chance to learn from you by signing up to your e-mail list. Educate them well enough by providing practical tips and essential knowledge on the topic. Give them expert recommendations on what products to buy (these should often be your own products) If you offer value straight from the start, you’ll win your customer’s trust. He’s going to buy over and over again because unlike many, you’re actually helping. Offer Webinar Sessions Your blog can be a place where you can host your own webinars (online seminars). You need a camera, a little bit of training, and time to record yourself. Of course, you need to select your topic well and offer something valuable. These webinars can also be live, and they can attract a lot of potential customers. The condition to join is of course…personal information. You’re generating a sure lead, and you can even ask for more things. Webinars work well because they’re transmitting the fact that the one who does it truly knows what he or she is talking about. Offer Free Trials (Service)/Free Shipping (Online Store) If you’re running a membership-based service in which people must pay monthly in order to access your platform, you can offer a free trial in exchange for a lead. Give them one month free and allow them to test your service. Your blog is a very good spot to highlight your offering, and that’s because its role is to lead the user towards your paid solution. If you’re running an online store, you can simply offer a free shipping feature for those who sign-up to your newsletter. Discounts and special prices represent a good way of capturing leads too. Now, these are the general tips, but you can always improvise. The main idea is to give value in exchange for leads. If you manage to do that, you’re on the right path, and your business performance will improve as you capture leads while the time goes on. Bonus: 5 Efficient Tools for Your Blog Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo gives you powerful insights over what’s popular on social media. You can find influencers, new trends, and lots of metrics and analytics concerning what’s working and what’s not. If you’re using social media as a way to promote your blog (as you should) consider Buzzsumo ASAP. Bestessays – If you’re running a small business like I am, sometimes it’s better to turn to professionals to get your articles polished. Bestessays puts together writers from different specialized niches that will help you with content editing and proofreading. Word2Clean HTML– If you’re not the tech savvy type of person, Word2Clean will help you convert text directly into HTML language, saving you time and nerves. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer – This tool helps you write better headlines by offering you analytics features that speak everything about your headline. SEO-driven headlines, emotional headlines…these all lead to more leads and eventually more sales. Answer The Public – A very interesting and innovative platform which gives you feedback and answers almost instantly. This is a great way to generate new blog post ideas for your local business, as you get the option to select the country that you’re targeting your content towards. Conclusion There’s no doubt that professional blogs are killing it when it comes to generating leads. If you take a close look on the first pages of Google, 3 out of 4 blogs are trying to generate leads the second you make contact with their platform. Use the tips & tricks that you’ve learned here and start to collect valuable contact details that’ll help you in the longer run. The post How to use a blog as a lead magnet for your business appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  13. A multi-national corporation with over a 100 million consumers and earning more than $1 billion in revenue said words that every entrepreneur should take to heart: “We are not afraid of building products that may fail – we’re more afraid of missing opportunities by not trying”. That is the kind of risk taking attitude small businesses need to have to become big, but the mundane trivialities of day to day business sucks the spirit of innovation and adventure out of entrepreneurs as they are stuck completing paper work and organizing. However, as modern business technology develops, entrepreneurs are experimenting with different strategies and tools to increase their revenue. Using apps that have been designed for small businesses maximizes the efficiency of the business and helps it grow. There are hundreds if not thousands of business apps that can be downloaded for free or at a nominal price to ease your business functions. However, not all live up to the promises and claims they make. We have shortlisted our 4 favorite apps that cover some of the most important yet mundane aspects of entrepreneurial ventures and can help with the running of small businesses. With the help of these apps, you can concentrate on your expertise while the business runs smoothly. Click Funnels A sales funnel is a process through which companies lead their customers from the stage of being aware of their product to the stage of repeat-purchases of their products. Entrepreneurs can use Click Funnels to create customizable sales funnels for their businesses to trigger fresh leads into pipelines and enter content delivery automations. The old school way of creating sales funnels is to write the code yourself or hire a programmer and a designer to do so. Needless to say this could add up to thousands of dollars. But using Click Funnels you can design lead capture page and high converting sales pages yourself with just a few clicks. This app helps businesses sell their products online by building landing pages Click Funnels is giving a free 14-day trial to allow users to familiarize themselves with it. With it you can generate leads and built a list, up-sell, cross-sell, and launch new products. HubSpot For any business, whether small or big, to be successful it needs to be active on social media platforms. The popular cloud service, HubSpot, has an app that handles online and social media marketing campaigns as well as email campaigns for businesses. As per Digital Media Specialist Ben Lawlor from Sponge-Jet, HubSpot has excellent CRM functionality. “Before deciding on the HubSpot CRM, Sponge-Jet compared many different CRM services. What we found is that for the cost, there wasn’t a better mobile friendly CRM on the market. HubSpot has consistently grown its mobile CRM capabilities over the last 12 months”, he has said. Available on iTunes and Google Play Store, HubSpot offers a power integrated mobile experience for your marketing data and content. With its dashboard you can evaluate your marketing efforts for last month, last three months or last year. The app allows you to grade websites, check performance of your email sends and find out which sources of social media are doing well for you and where your customers are coming from. HubSpot makes accessing all your critical data and contacts easy and helps you schedule and edit social media publishing. QuickBooks Online You may be an expert in your field, but unless finance is your forte you may shrink from your business’s accounting duties. The app QuickBooks Online helps small businesses organize their bills and accounts. Available on iTunes and Google Play Store, you can use QuickBooks Online to work with an accountant, send invoices, scan receipts, manage and pay bills, pay your employees, and track sales and expenses. Furthermore, it automatically backs data so you do not have to worry about misplacing or losing your information. Depending on the features you require and which country you live in, the cost of this app varies. Advanced features such as purchase order management and bill payment scheduling are part of its more expensive packages. You can opt for a monthly subscription plan or pay a yearly fee with a discount. If you want to try out the app before committing you can sign up for their free trial. Bizness Apps Mobile apps are a business necessity given everyone carries a cell phone and a tablet these days. So much so that a statistic by Morgan Stanley suggests that 91% of adults have their cell phones within arm’s reach night and day. Though you can spend thousands of dollars on developing a mobile app, Bizness Apps is the easier and more affordable way to do so. Using it, you can build a mobile app for your customers with a food ordering system, loyalty program, and geo-location messaging. Bizness Apps offers many advantages. It allows you to select your app’s features and customize appearance without requiring coding knowledge on your part. It has revenue generating features that allow you to engage with your customers easily, save time, and hence increase your bottom line. Best of all, the Bizness App team provides great customer support. As per some of its glowing reviews, it offers ease of use and is a powerful mobile app solution. Available for free on Google Play Store, it makes having a mobile app a breeze for small businesses. More and more people today are choosing to become entrepreneurs and be their own bosses rather than follow a 9 to 5 lifestyle. We understand that you pour around-the-clock hard work and diligence to make your business thrive. Moreover, for the growth of your business, you can also select several apps from the AirG website. Check the apps reviews and decide yourself about the selection of best application for your business. These apps can ease the work pressure on you, organize your work and time and thus help your business grow faster. The post 4 apps that will help grow your business faster appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  14. Whether the contacts you keep are professional or personal, you need some system to keep them organized, or they’ll become a mess. We’ve all lost an important business contact or suddenly had to replace a smartphone only to realize we didn’t sync or back up our contact list. And it always seems to happen when we’ve had the phone just long enough to gather more contact information than we’ve kept tidy. The good news is that there are some apps out there for your Android device to keep your address book neat and protected from calamity. Covve – The Ultimate Professional Address Book App Covve is a robust system that can collect and incorporate contacts and data as well as integrate communications across multiple platforms into a single, easy-to-use app. It will use its integrations to organize your contacts as well as fill in details that might be missing from their profile or contact card. Supported by a web interface, uses can apply customizable notation to any contact and easily search and filter by these custom tags. Covve even provides interactive visualizations, warns you when a contact might be getting “cold” and even provides a medium for professional introductions through an extended networking opportunities. Covve’s system takes full advantage of its integrations as well as all publicly available information to automatically keep itself as up-to-date as possible, so you’ll never be left scrambling to find an important business lead’s new phone number. Sync.ME – Caller ID and Phone Number Search As you can probably guess, this app is useful for syncing your contact information from your PC to your phone. This app reaches into your Facebook, LinkedIn, or VKontakte accounts and pulls information from them to add into your system. Not only that but another awesome feature of the Sync.ME app is its ability to not only remember birthday information but also to generate digital gift cards, creating a simple way to think of a convenient birthday present for your friend or family member. Cloze – Smarter Relationship Management Cloze, much like Sync.ME, tries to pull together all of your information and store it into one easy, broad system that can neatly arrange your contacts. The social media feature on this network was highly praised because it is also a one-system social media network. You can tweet, post on Facebook, share news stories, and more, all from the app, keeping connectivity at your fingertips. Also, Cloze adapts to your “key people,” adjusting the system so that it prioritizes their information and social media posts first. PureContact – Your Contacts, Pure and Simple Free on Android, PureContact is a simple system. It allows for your favorite contacts to be placed in one spot, allowing for easy access. This works best for personal interactions; family and friend numbers are most likely to be the ones that you call most often. You place your contacts onto a grid and can call, text, or email them with just a few quick taps on your screen. You can also select custom interaction with the app so that it has everything you need right there, with little effort from you. This app is for people who don’t require many contacts or a complex system of organization; if you want a clean, efficient, simplistic system, this works. Improving your organizational skills is a must-do for the average businessperson. These apps will help you get organized and efficient without costing you much time or effort. The post Here are 4 of the best address book apps for Android appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  15. Business blogging, or content marketing is an extremely accessible industry to enter and if you’ve got the skills and willpower, like many, you can make yourself a career from it. There are countless articles and eBooks online showing you how to become a content blogger and how to get started but so many people ask, once you’re all set up, then what? There are infinite paths you could take on the road to success but here are some key points you take into consideration that guarantees that you’ll be on the right path. Frame Of Mind Ask yourself one simple question: Are a business or a blogger? If you’ve started to write and create blogs, either for yourself or for businesses, then the obvious answer would be blogger. However, moving forward, you should start to consider yourself as a business or a brand. A great way to get yourself into this mindset is by considering yourself as a real person who is running a real business. When in the blogging industry, you should not just write articles but also be ready to face challenges, be ready to collaborate in projects, manage your finances and invest wisely. When in the writing industry, you cannot just be a writer. You have to be a fully functional business, ready to act as necessary. Seek Guidance Although it can be so tempting to go it alone, especially if to begin with you are getting clients in and becoming quite successful. Unfortunately, there are always going to be times where you’ll be unsure of what to do or you may have already made mistakes which could have otherwise been avoided. The best way to eliminate these risks is by finding yourself a mentor. A mentor is there to guide you and help you to avoid making mistakes which could cost you your reputation as writer. Use Editing Tools One of the best ways to ensure you’re producing high quality articles and content is by using an online editing tool. By using these tools wisely, you’re able to correct your spelling, grammar and sentence structure, ensuring your writing is Internet ready, resulting in great feedback and a increased reputation. Here is a selection of a few tools that can be used: Grammar Check A free and easy to use editing tool. Simply copy and paste your text and content into the box, directly through your web browser and receive feedback on spelling, grammar, word alternatives and other incredibly helpful suggestions. Paper Fellows A great platform for aspiring writers, Paper Fellows is free to join and is a unique platform that puts you in contact with writing students and teachers from around the world. With these connections in place, individuals are able to share ideas, knowledge and advice, with the aim of educating others, resulting in you becoming a better writer. Easy Word Count Another free platform allowing users to copy and paste their texts into the online box through their web browser where they will receive information on word count, character count and spacing. This allows writers to stay within word and character limits set by their clients. Cite It In Free tool that is great for creating citations that can be used when adding sources to a document or article. By adding sources to your work, you’re verifying your information, making it more reliable and trustworthy to readers. Headline Tool Free online service which help you to find out: how strong and how engaging is your headline. The alternative tool – Headline Analyzer from Amnistitute can ensure an “emotional marketing value” of blog post titles. Proofreading Considered one of the most important factors when trying to become a successful writer, proofread your work. If you have mistakes, typos and errors in your work, you will lose creditability as a writer as well risk damaging your reputation. By using the tools above, you can help lower your error count and continue to produce high quality articles. Hire an Editor Sometimes, two pairs of eyes are better than one. When writing, it’s hard to spot errors in writing that you have written because your mind tends to think that it knows what is written down. You can resolve this issue by employing the services of a qualified editor. There are a number of great sites like Contently and Big Assignments that you can hire people that can assist you in perfecting your work. These sites also include: Upwork Freelancer Australian Help People per hour Marketing over Writing Despite your official job being a ‘writer,’ as a content marketer, you should really draw your attention to the marketing side of things. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how amazing or engaging your writing is, it’s all for nothing is no one is reading your content. Obviously it’s important to write informative and well-structured articles, just don’t forget to invest time advertising your work. Networking Potentially one of the most overlooked aspects of business blogging but so important. Communicating with other bloggers. It’s easy to network with other bloggers by using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but also by contacting the writers directly through their blogs. By building strong relationships, you’ll be able to share each other’s content and articles and also motivate each other and keep each other on track. While boosting your business through a blog requires hard work and effort, the above tips can help you succeed with as much ease as possible, and really benefit from all of the benefits of a blog. The post 7 tips to be successful at content marketing appeared first on BestTechie. 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