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GDPR Compliance: Everything that you need to know in 2020

In 2012, the European Commission drew plans for data protection revision across the EU to give Europe a better chance at Digital Privacy. One of the key elements of the reforms is introducing a General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR). This novel model applies to businesses across the European Union and beyond. The European Commission enforced a plan for businesses to comply with GDPR and if you don’t, well then there are serious repercussions (a fine of 4% of revenue or upto 20million euros). I am sure no business wants to get down that road.

Why is GDPR important?

GDPR is a set of norms designed by the European Union that impose a strict set of rules around how it’s citizens data is collected, stored and managed. Essentially, almost each and every facet of our life revolves around data. Ranging from Social Media agencies to retailers, govt. Organisations and banks involve the collection and management of our personal data. To give you a perspective, our name, address, phone number and credit card details are collected, monitored and stored by businesses. These laws have shaped the data protection laws in the United States too. It is extremely important to comply with GDPR laws or lose a chunk of your business revenue if found guilty.

How does GDPR work?

GDPR constitutes one of the most robust data security laws in the world. It enables the people the right to ask organisations how their private data is collected, stored, used and request it to be deleted. It creates a liability for organisations to explain how, where and why your personal data is stored and used. Additionally, users can raise an objection if their personal data is used inappropriately for certain purposes like direct marketing. If you are searching for bags and start seeing ads for similar products, it is creepy and should be able to ask the business to stop using your personal data for marketing activities. GDPR ensures this along with other rights.
European citizens have these rights given to them by Law. However, some organisations may understand it’s better to use GDPR protection policies for all their customers and not just limited to Europe. For example, Microsoft announced that it would provide all users control of their data under the new GDPR rules with a dashboard where users can manage their personal data. Whereas, Facebook, has changed their privacy settings and tools globally but EU users do get special rights due to GDPR laws. Users from other countries still not get the same rights from Facebook till date, which state how GDPR is accepted by each organisation is different.

How does it work for Non-EU Nations?

GDPR comes into play if you have a business website that:

  • Engages in Direct Marketing to the European Union
  • If you collect/store personal data from the citizens of the European Union.

So, even if you are a business not located in the EU but are interacting with EU citizens then GDPR is a must have for you. For example, if you have a website which tracks user data to monitor website traffic, or a blog where users can comment or subscribe to your newsletter, or have a contact us/inquiry form then GDPR applies to you. To be clear and precise, if you have the following service pages and a EU citizen lands on your page, then you have all the reasons to worry about. However, if your business complies with GDPR laws then you have no reason to worry about.

How to implement GDPR policies?

The GDPR policy is all about empowering the end user visiting your website. Hence when a user comes to your website and before loading cookies/ or a tracking code, it is essential to inform the end user of all the ways you are collecting, storing and using their personal information and give them an option to decide. Additionally, it is imperative that you have an easy to understand privacy policy and details of your cookies and the timeframe through which it is stored on your server. It is also necessary to have an easy process for a user to make a formal request for all the personal data you have stored. There should be a seamless system where the users can ask you to change or delete their personal data within 30 days.

We have listed all major concerns relating to the use of GDPR compliance and safe business practices within the EU and global business alike. If you have any concerns or questions pertaining to GDPR, you can contact us to know more.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet: The best Chromebook of 2020

If you are looking to purchase a low-cost laptop or tab due to COVID-19, it is worth checking out Lenovo’s new Chromebook Duet. Before getting into the details, we would like to say that there are shortcomings with the device, but it packs a serious punch starting at $279. When the price is that low, you are definitely not looking for a premium device, are you? The point is: “Is the Chromebook Duet better than other laptops you can get for this price?”

Chromebooks available in this price range are clumsy and gaudy, just like Chromebook x360 12b or HP’s Chromebook 14. If you wish to go for a Windows alternative, you’re good to go with Acer Swift or Acer Aspire. But again, there is an iPad mini and other entry level Android tablets. The only catch, these don’t come with a keyboard. Lenovo has tried to get away with a lot of things to bring the Chromebook Duet down to this price. The look and feel is more like a Surface Go than a budget laptop.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet Specifications

Comparing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet with higher-end Chromebooks like the Pixelbook Go isn’t the smartest thing to do. These devices are pricey, especially when you consider the keyboard covers. Coming to the specs, Chromebook Duet has a base model available with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It comes with a keyboard and kickstand unlike Surface Go or any iPad. The next model up comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is a better option and extra $20 won’t hurt you. 

The Chromebook is cute and how, at 10.1 inches, it is similar to a normal tablet but a bit cramped for room when you use it as a laptop computer. The display comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio, as opposed to the usual 16:9 ratio on a 13-inch laptop.

Weight and Battery Life

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is extremely compact and portable. The tablet just weights 449g and with the keyboard and kickstand it comes to about 921g, which is a steal. Despite slacking in some parts, Lenovo has done a fairly good job, the tablet is made up of Aluminium alloy which gives a sturdy look and feel. The outer cover is made up of gray fabric which gives a rich feeling when the laptop is closed.

If you are planning to use a range of peripherals, please ensure that you have splitters and dongles. The Chromebook Duet comes with a single USB-C port which will take up the charging port. It would be a bonus to include a headphone jack, however Lenovo has included a cool headphone dongle. The next place where the Chromebook Duet is excellent is its battery life. Lenovo claims the battery life of 10 hours, however early users admit that it is way over 11 hours. It is like a breath of fresh air when a low-cost laptop battery runs for 10+ hours at a stretch.

Chromebook Duet Price and Availability

The Chromebook Duet is modestly priced at $279 for the basic version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage capacity. The next version is priced at $299 with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity.  Lenovo Chromebook Duet is now available in store and on Best Buy. If you are looking to buy a laptop for kids or to watch Netflix and sending emails or work on the go it would be perfect. That being said, it is one of the best midrange laptops/chromebook you can get from a trusted brand like Lenovo.

 

Top 5 Takeaways from Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2020

Samsung’s eagerly awaited product launch event “Galaxy Unpacked” finally happened and we have compiled a list of takeaways from the event if you didn’t get a chance to live stream. Earlier last month, we did a piece on the expectations from Galaxy Unpacked 2020. The Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are now genuine products along with Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Watch 3 and bean shaped Galaxy Buds too. Let us find out if Samsung could pack a punch and stay true to our expectations.

Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra have herculean specs starting at $1000 and $1300 respectively. Both these models have fiery Snapdragon 865 Plus processors along with 5G support and IP68 waterproofing rating. Additionally, there is support for wireless charging but they are different in some ways.

Samsung provided a 64MP telephoto lens in the Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra has a 108MP wide-angle lens with 5x optical zoom. It is important to note that the Note 20 Ultra has a 120Hz refresh rate OLED screen along with better RAM and microSD. The battery is spectacular for both Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, allowing it to charge 50% in under 30 mins. The Note 20 comes in three colours :Mystic Bronze, Mystic Gray and Mystic Green whereas Note 20 Ultra is available in: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic White.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the successor to the vertical-folding Galaxy Fold. The outer display when closed, is much bigger than the previous version. Galaxy Z Fold 2 is 6.2 inches long but when the main screen is unfolded, the device is actually 7.6 inches. Samsung stated that it improved the phone structure to make it stronger and improved the hinge. This is said to increase the durability of the smartphone. Moreover, there is a punch-hole front camera, with 12GB of RAM and 5G support. It is worth mentioning that more details about pricing and availability will be provided by Samsung on 1st September.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the latest wireless earbuds by the company, leaked way ahead of the event. It is famously shaped like Jelly beans and is super small compared to Galaxy Buds Plus. Though it is smaller than the predecessor, it is more technologically advanced. Active noise cancellation is a key feature in premium wireless earbuds and Samsung doesn’t compromise. It is said that Samsung has gone step ahead when we thought the Galaxy Buds Plus was the best earbuds from Samsung. Everyone knows how well connected Apple’s Airpods are when you switch between multiple devices. Samsung might have cracked the perfect code for connectivity for these cute bean shaped earbuds.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus

In our previous article, we mentioned that if you are a Samsung fan, you must know that there are very few companies that take Android tablets seriously but Samsung ceases to amaze us every year with new variants in the Galaxy Tab lineup year after year. On August 5, Samsung announced two sizes of the Tab S7, an 11-inch tab and a 12.4-inch one. Both Tab S7 and S7 Plus run on Android 10 with OneUI software with Snapdragon 865 Plus processors. The smaller S7 has an LCD screen whereas the S7 Plus is bestowed with an OLED screen and a 120Hz refresh rate.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is sleeker than Samsung’s previous smartwatch models. That being said, it features a stunning 1.4-inch display. The Galaxy Watch 3 will be available in two sizes: 41mm(Mystic Bronze and Mystic Silver colour) and 45mm (Mystic Silver and Mystic Black colour). The watch is equipped with fall detection and is notably lighter and thinner too. Galaxy Watch 3 is priced at $399.99 and $429.99 respectively.

Wrapping Up

As promised we brought you the key takeaways from Samsung’s first online event: Galaxy Unpacked. We are still waiting for an update on Galaxy Home and will do a write up once it is launched. If you like reading our blog on the latest trends in technology, please comment below and share it on your social media and do give us a shoutout. 

 

Best Apps for Small Businesses in 2020

Small businesses are in a vulnerable position this year. Many businesses have been closed due to the pandemic coupled with stringent social distancing measures. But all hope is not lost. Small businesses that have learned to adapt are still surviving. Surprisingly, some are even thriving amid the crisis. 

Most businesses have moved their businesses online to keep operating. Small business owners need online tools to help them in problem-solving, managing employees, contacting customers, digital marketing, finance management, and the like.

Owners of small businesses are searching for ways to increase productivity as they compete with industry giants, often with fewer resources and workforce.

And despite the pandemic, customers still deserve the best customer experience. The best small business apps can help you achieve this.

The best small business apps help boost productivity and make your life as a small business owner more efficient and comfortable. There is an application for nearly everything these days, including organising ideas to sending invoices to tracking time and creating a job schedule and so much more. 

Here are 7 apps that can help small businesses be productive. 

7 Apps Small Businesses Must Have

 

  • Microsoft 365

There are many various office software solutions, but despite the fierce competition, Microsoft’s Office 365, now known as Microsoft 365, is still the leading suite and must-have for small business and rates as our best small business software.

Microsoft 365 includes three major office software applications that you’ll need: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. OneDrive is also available for cloud-based storage as part of a service that is worth having, mainly if you already use another cloud provider, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Keeping the data safe is essential and there is no harm in several backup options. 

Then there are other software applications included in Microsoft 365, such as Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

  • Connecteam

Trusted by more than 8,000 companies, Connecteam offers a full service to manage your workforce securely in one app. From getting hired to correspondence, to time tracking, task distribution, and operating procedures, Connecteam has everything. Employees are more productive, stay updated, and you’re well aware of what’s happening daily with your team.

It has an employee time clock to track working hours with a GPS time stamp, as well as checklists, forms, workflows, procedures, and schedules that can be accessed online.

Blog-Connecteam

Internal communication tools include flexible messaging options for private or group chats, in-app employee directory, live polling quick channel notifications, surveys, suggestion box, video sharing, pictures and GIFs, and more.

Develop professional courses for quick employee training and onboarding, add policy options for reading & signing, create a searchable library, perform quizzes, and more.

  • Quickbooks Online

QuickBooks can do everything from tax accounting and payroll, profit analysis, and inventory management, depending on the version you pay for.

Whether you have a startup or a thriving company, QuickBooks Online has a version and price point that fits your requirements.

Quickbooks Online

And whatever version you want, you will have access to the QuickBooks mobile accounting application, where you can generate invoices, log miles, and manage expenditures on the go.

  • Wave

Wave is a completely free accounting software system that allows users access to a cloud-based platform for mobile invoicing and receipts. Understand and manage your income and expenses. Track everything and connect to other items like billing, sales, and invoicing. Everything is programmed in a complete package.

wave app

Wave accounting software is great for startup businesses. It provides paid add-ons for payment and payroll that enable you to expand the app’s features as your business is growing.

  • RingCentral Office

RingCentral Office is a cloud-based phone system created for business services that can be used on several browsers and platforms like Windows PC, Apple iPad, or Android smartphone.

Plans start from 2-10 users, which includes call management and phone system administration and phone rental options for conference phones and office desks.

The higher-priced plans are best for businesses, though, because of the comprehensive set of features that are vital to any modern phone service. 

Ringcentral app

To give the enterprise experience for even startups and small businesses, RingCentral can also provide Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

UCaaS is integrating all the various communications channels on a single unified network. Businesses depended on vast hardware in the past, but developments in digital technology led to touchless solutions such as this.

CCaaS allows companies to start a virtual contact center using cloud software. As with other (SaaS) networks, this has revolutionized business telecom companies, as services previously available only to big enterprises are now available to small businesses as well.

  • PayPal

Who does not know PayPal these days? It’s one of today’s safest and most popular cashless payment solutions. Millions of people and businesses use it worldwide. Their Personal program allows sending and receiving money from friends and family. In their Business program, you get paid directly on your website or app, shop, on the go, by email, or via phone. About 19 million stores accept PayPal, so you need to add this as a payment system on your website or app as well.

PayPal

For PayPal’s business plan, you can get paid online or in-person, get electronic invoicing, personalized checkout, or on-the-go card reader purchases. You can handle your regular business needs, including monitoring payments.

  • Expensify

Expensify can be very useful in organizing the finances. They can check receipts and monitor workplace expenditures easily and on-the-go, whether you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Additionally, Expensify can work with QuickBooks, Xero, and other small business applications.

Perform one-click receipt scanning to manage expenses efficiently. Users can take a picture of their expenses, and Expensify immediately submits a one-click expense report.

Expensify

The app also has next-day reimbursement where rapid reimbursements can be issued to an employee’s bank account within 24 hours after the approval of reports, using ACH direct deposit.

Automatic approval workflows allow admins to modify expenditure policies and rules so that Expensify will flag expenses requiring further review.

Automatic accounting sync can also synchronize any changes made to Expensify’s accounting system in real-time. It secures that the company’s finances remain transparent, making audits and tax payment light and easy.

Conclusion: Keep Your Business Alive

In this time, where small businesses need all the help they can get, it is vital to have business tools that can help make jobs easier. Tools such as apps can streamline operations to boost the efficiency and profitability of the business.

Since businesses are also migrating online, you need to make sure your business is secured, and data management is also protected. It is your responsibility to keep your consumer’s trust, and the first thing is to keep their data secure from malware attacks and data breaches. 

As Jack Ma of Alibaba says, “for people in business, 2020 is really just a year for staying alive… If you can stay alive, then you would have made a profit already.” 

So, for small businesses, find every way you can to stay afloat and even thrive amid this crisis. As we wait for the coming of the “new normal,” be ready to adjust and adapt to whatever changes are coming. As for now, it is best to start shifting your operations online, so whatever new normal awaits your business, your business will continue to succeed and be profitable. 

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s – Carbon Fiber e-bike for the future

Majority of commuter e-bikes are bulky and difficult to carry. Almost all trending e-bikes have steel or aluminium frames hence requiring a large battery to move and a robust motor. These bikes are a treat to ride as battery support overpowers the weight. The drawback, however, is the difficulty to carry up a flight of stairs. Gogoro, a Taiwanese brand known for their electric scooters has come up with its first e-bike with carbon fiber. Due to carbon fiber, it is extremely lightweight and should not require as much power to ride.

There are a number of e-bikes available today like Cowboy , VanMoof and a variety of other manufacturers. So, the initial thought would be “What is so special about the Gogoro Eeyo 1s?”. We will cover Gogoro’s balance between weight, motorised power and smart-bike specifications. The CEO of Gogoro was the former head of design at HTC and hence we can expect Gogoro to deliver a solid punch.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Design

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s isn’t the first bike that removed the seat tube. However, the curvature and incessant lines of the frame makes Eeyo 1s a commendable beast. It has a slim carbon fiber frame devoid of a chunky down tube to hide the battery. The 123 WH battery is placed inside a metal cylinder located in the center of the back wheel. This design is what we would call a masterstroke to keep a slim frame. The Eeyo 1s is available in only one colour currently: warm white. If you wish to go for a swankier Lobster Orange or Cloud Blue, you will have to purchase the clunkier Eeyo 1. Gogoro has gone with “riser” handlebars that curve upwards from either side of the clamp. The grip too bends slightly towards the rider and hence provides a sportier position when riding.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Performance

The metal cylinder which contains the battery as well as a 250W motor and the sensors required to monitor the speed and exertion. Gogoro Eeyo 1s has a max speed of 25Km/hr in Europe and 31Km/hr in the US. This is very similar to top speeds provided by other e-bike manufacturers. In Europe, there is no requirement of a license or a number plate and insurance provided it is 250W and driven below 25Km/hr. Folks in the US, though the top speed is advertised as 31Km/hr, it is best to drive between 24-27Km/hr. The Eeyo 1 has been designed for cities where there’s a lot of traffic lights hence the riders need to be agile and proactive. Gogoro has confirmed that the range of Gogoro Eeyo 1s is 64-89Kms on a single charge. 

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Pricing and Availability

That handsome weight reduction comes at an exorbitant price. The Eeyo 1 with a carbon frame and fork with an alloy seat, handlebars and rims cost US $3,899. Eeyo 1s, the lighter model (complete carbon fibre) is priced at US $4,599. It is not too expensive for a carbon fiber bike but a lot more than the competitors VanMoof and Cowboy. The Eeyo 1s went on sale in the US early this week and will start delivering to other parts of the world by August 10.

Wrapping Up

The Gogoro Eeyo 1s has been specifically designed for a niche market. For people wishing to have an e-bike that is easy to carry on one arm. In doing so, these customers are happy to let go some of the smart features like an alarm or integrated lights. This e-bike will be a boon for people looking for a smart and sleek bike which is extremely lightweight and superfast. However, the only con is that it is super expensive, even by e-bike standards. It will be good to see such smart bikes on the city roads rather than smoke producing, environmentally harmful cars and motorbikes. If you would like us to write more about the latest trends in technology, you can comment below or contact us.

Top 5 Smart Locks for 2020

A smart lock is one of the most essential parts of a new-age smart home. It will enable you to come and go as you wish along with monitoring your visitors when you are away. Some smart locks can be operated from your smartphone or tablet. A range of smart locks lets you assign a special privilege pass to your family/friends or the cleaning staff. Whereas you can activate some locks with the help of a voice command.

What is a Smart Lock?

A Smart Door Lock costs a hell lot of money compared to the traditional locks. There are a few low range ($100~) smart locks, however if you want more features for your smart lock you will need to spend somewhere in the range of $200-300~. Most smart locks have a dedicated mobile app to let you lock/unlock doors with a single tap. There are some locks which provide a web app to control the settings through a computer/laptop. 

How to install a Smart Lock?

It is extremely easy to install a smart lock and doesn’t take more than 15-30 minutes to install a smart lock depending on your existing setup. Most smart locks available today use the normal pre-drilled holes so no need to drill new ones. Moreover, there are smart locks available that can be attached to the inside of your door. These locks are built to use your existing hardware which means you don’t have to make difficult changes.

Let us look at the top five smart locks for 2020 along with features and price range:

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

The stylish August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is extremely easy to install and has great features in its concise frame. It is the smallest smart lock model by the brand at $249.99 and is the first to offer Wi-Fi compatibility. The good part is compatibility with Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple HomeKit just like the previous models. The smart lock is available in silver or more stylish matte back with a textured grip and an August logo indicating the status of the door. You can use it as a manual lock by turning left or right to unlock or lock respectively. The only drawback is a short battery life and a pricey product.

Wyze Lock

The Wyze Lock uses your door’s inherent keyed cylinder, deadbolt and hardware. It comes with a plug-in gateway module, 4 AA batteries, a mounting plate, adapters and user guide at $89.99. Impressive right? Certainly. The Wyze Lock sports a minimalist design with an aluminium finish. The LED on top of the lock will be green during installation, dark green if the door is locked/unlocked and will turn red when it fails to lock/unlock. The Wyze lock runs on four AA batteries and has an embedded Bluetooth and Zigbee network, however there is no Wi-Fi compatibility.

Nest X Yale Lock with Nest Connect

The most recent addition to the Nest smart home devices is the Nest X Yale Lock with Nest Connect available at $279. It is a hi-tech smart door lock that can be controlled remotely using a mobile app or web app. The Nest X Yale is pretty easy to install and provides features like One-Touch locking, Auto-lock and a timeline depicting who locked/unlocked the door at a particular time. A small speaker and terminals can be used if the batteries run out of juice. The keypad is slick and remains dark till you touch the Yale logo. Once you touch the logo, it displays the keypad, a check button, back button and settings option. We would advise you to go with Nest X Yale Smart Lock if you have other products from the Nest family. 

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro is a versatile smart lock that enables you to unlock your door through a mobile app, fingerprint scan, a keypad, a conventional key or even a voice command. So cool, right? The Ultraloq smart lock comes with a Bluetooth radio, devoid of Wi-Fi radio. It enables you to lock/unlock the door with Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, however there is no support yet for Apple HomeKit. There are some cool features like Auto-Lock which locks the door after a set period of time and Auto-Unlock which uses your smart phone’s location to unlock the door when you are near the door and a Magic Shake which allows you to unlock the door when you shake your phone in front of the lock. Also, there is a feature to set temporary/permanent pin codes and you can configure according to your needs.

Schlage Sense

The Schlage Sense deadlock allows you to use your iPhone to lock/unlock doors, customise access codes and set up access schedules. The Schlage Sense is a compact single cylinder lock with a luminous keypad and low battery alert. It is easy to install, easy to program it manually or using the user-friendly mobile app to add users, set up schedules and access codes. Priced at $229, it comes in two variants: the modern century style and a classic Camelot style. The only cons are the price and compatibility only with iOS devices and hence would also require Apple TV for remote control.

If you are interested to buy a smart lock but don’t want to make a change to your existing hardware, it is best to choose one of the above smart lock options available based on your budget. Do let us know in the comment section which topic you would like to see in the next “Top 5 every week” blog.

6 Tips For Speedy Mobile App Development

In the highly competitive mobile app market, beating your copycats to the punch can be the difference between success and failure. Nobody wants to get labelled as a rip-off, so it’s essential that you hit the market first and establish yourself as the real deal.

Many first-time developers fall into the traps that slow down development, from trying to do everything in-house to manually testing. These traps can be avoided and doing so will dramatically speed up your development time. In the dynamic world of app development there’s a need for speed, so check out these tips and put the pedal to the metal.

Use Cross Platform Tools

Smartphone technology is supposed to give us constant access to an unlimited world of play, learning and communication. So when an app turns up that’s limited to one mobile platform, users are immediately frustrated that what’s supposed to be a new frontier turns out to have borders after all. And for app developers, figuring out which platforms to develop on can be as time consuming as it is important.

But why choose? Cross-platform coding tools enable you to code your app for multiple platforms. Developing unique apps for different platforms is going to double your development time, making hybrid apps that work across multiple platforms the way to go. By being quicker to code and expanding your market in the same swoop, you’ll be sure to make your app a success.

Start With Wireframes

Diving in headfirst to write the code for your app may seem logical, but the UX issues that arise in a code-first process often require time-consuming tweaking at later stages. Veteran designers know that starting with wireframes saves heaps of time in the long run. A wireframe gives you a low-fidelity visual look at the user interface you’re producing. “Generating wireframes allows for quick exploration of variations on your apps architecture,” says Matthew Lacher, app developer at Write My X and NextCoursework. “Although a wireframe is less-detailed, it allows your whole team to see a simplified vision of the end product, getting everyone communicating in the same language and working towards the same end goal.”

The Real MVP

It’s natural that you want your app to be the best it can be – after all, this is your baby, your brainchild. However it’s a sure-fire way to slow down the process to aim for a fully-fledged product from the start. Nowadays it’s all about the MVP – the minimum viable product – that can be brought to market it the shortest possible time while development continues behind the scenes. Shorter development cycles ensure speedy development, and once an MVP is out there you’ll be gathering essential user feedback that ensures you’re not developing with blinkers on. There’s so much less risk involved in app development once your MVP is out there as you see the product functioning in the market and you can tweak it to ensure you’re getting the maximum return.

Use Third Party Assets

When you’re getting into app development, it’s easy to let enthusiasm push you into building everything yourself, but the truth is that there are loads of third-party assets already developed that are going to slide seamlessly into your app, saving you time in the development process and letting you focus on the things that make your app unique. Writing or commissioning your own music or building your own graphics takes time, when perfectly good third-party examples exist out there. You can even buy code from certain websites to fill certain roles in your app whilst you develop around it.

Automate The Testing Process

Manually testing your app may seem like the “hands-on” approach you want to take but letting go and automating the testing process can save a huge amount of time. Mary Cooper, tech blogger at Britstudent and Australia2Write reports that “automated testing can simultaneously run multiple tests that you’d otherwise have to do individually. By automating testing you can run more tests in less time, and create a clean-running and bug-free flawless app.” 

Reach Out

You can’t do everything yourself, and recognizing that there are certain areas of expertise your team is lacking lets you reach out for help in specialized areas. For example, if your team is full of iOS specialists, outsourcing your Android development is a guaranteed time-saver compared to starting from scratch on a new platform. Alternatively, plenty of tasks are just too menial for it to be efficient to allow your specialized in-house team deal with. Non-essential tasks such as add-ons that contribute to the core product or even administrative tasks can be outsourced, allowing you to save time in the build-up to releasing your product.

The Final Word

Building an app is an exciting and dynamic time, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the process when timely release of your product is the key to success. Following these top tips will ensure speedy development of a successful product.

 

Sony’s Wearable Air Conditioner for the new Normal

When you live in a humid or subtropical region, you would understand the pain of never ending summers. Especially people living in the asian subcontinent can agree. Amidst soaring temperatures and suffocating humidity, stepping outside during the summer and monsoon months feels like being slowly cooked like a lifeless vegetable in a hot pot. Due to the current pandemic situation, you would not need more encouragement to stay at home and summer is the perfect reason.

Sony has decided to collaborate with Reon Pocket via First Flight startup-crowdfunding source. First Flight is responsible for amazing products like Huis Smart Home universal remote and FES E Ink watch. They have now come up with a unique product – Reon Pocket which can be well known as a wearable air conditioner.

What is Reon Pocket?

Reon Pocket is a tiny palm-sized sleek white device which works as a wearable air conditioner. The device can be charged over USB-C and can be paired with your Android or iOS smartphone with Bluetooth. Now, this gadget certainly looks a lot more like an Apple mouse but with that signature Sony feels. A silicone pad on the back of the device can be pressed against your skin and it uses the Peltier effect for cooling or heating itself up by absorbing/releasing heat. Although you can use it as a handheld device, the correct use is with Sony’s specially designed V-neck undershirt with a slim pocket on the back to keep the device in place between your shoulders. So cool, right? 

Reon Pocket Specifications

The Reon Pocket device weighs only 80 grams and hence beyond cooling and warming effects there is no noticeable difference when you wear it in the undershirt, also it doesn’t come out under another clothing layer. That being said, it is difficult to insert the device when you are already wearing the undershirt. It is best to insert the device and then wear an undershirt or it gets better with practice. According to Sony, the wearable device can reduce your body temperature by 13 degrees and in winters, you can use it to elevate your body temperature by 8 degree celsius.

How to use the Reon Pocket app?

The Reon Pocket device can be readily paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth. It is fairly easy to use the mobile app and control temperature settings. It has a basic three model cooling and warming function along with an extra boost mode limited to two minutes which comes with a different speed fan. By default, it will automatically choose your saved mode when you switch on the device. By doing this, you don’t need to worry about using the app every now and then. The run time of the device is around 2-3 hours on full charge and can vary depending on the intensity of your settings.

Reon Pocket Pricing and Availability

The Reon Pocket is available currently only in Japan. The price of the device is 13,000 yen (approximately $122) and the undershirts are roughly $20 each. There are only two undershirt colours available at the moment – white and beige. 

Wrapping Up

When you are using the Reon Pocket wearable air conditioner, it will not work exactly like an air conditioner cooling your entire body temperature. This will work more on a surface contact basis, so you will still sweat but there is some relief. We are hoping to see more enhancements for it to be used in a country like India where temperatures can go upto 50 degree celsius in western and central states. If you would like to read about such exciting technology articles, please visit our blog and leave a comment below.

6 Best Tactics to Grow Your Mobile App Using Content Marketing

With over 8.93 million mobile apps globally, getting people to notice yours requires a lot of effort. New competition pops up daily, cutting down your market share, and grabbing your target audiences’ attention. To remain steps ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to go beyond having a quality app to discover the scalability of content marketing.

Just as it is with other forms of business, content marketing creatively puts out informative, relevant, and useful material that makes the user interested and curious enough to want to try your app. When formulating a content app marketing strategy for your mobile app, here are some of the best tactics you can apply:

Know Your Target Audience

Before you begin app marketing, and even when creating your app, you need to identify your target audience. Through research on the app industry, your competitors, etc., you can gather relevant data in identifying the right target audiences. From this data, you get to highlight their interests, buyer behavior, challenges, and needs.

Once you can map out your different audience buyer persona, you can start working on the right content marketing strategy for your mobile app. Talk about their problems, so they know you understand them. Then go on to highlight how your mobile app can provide the solution to their problems. In this way, you can develop the most effective and appropriate content format that will address user needs. It likewise gives you an idea of how to achieve maximum reach and engagement with your audience.

Use the Audiences’ Language When Writing Your Content

When creating a content app, it should reflect the users’ tone and lingo. You can use keyword search tools that will give you an idea of what words your target audience use when looking for the service your mobile app provides. For example, if you create an app for paper writing services such as Online Writers Rating, the app needs to have texts and words that resonate with students or professionals needing such services. Phrases such as “cheap essay writing services,” “professional paper writing,” “best paper reviews,” quality essay writing services,” etc. will be appropriate.

While on the flip side, if you’re creating a mobile app for food recipes, the use of such texts and words will not work. You may have to consider using more visuals that capture the food making process and the outcome. Thus the right words, videos, images, etc., help tell a story that entices users to use your app.

Use Effective Channels to Promote Your Content

Another tactic to enhance your app marketing is knowing the right platforms to promote your app. With so many social channels out there, you need to look at relevant statistics that can guide you toward finding channels suitable for your domain.

There are several blogs, social media channels, forums, and social sites that you can engage your users. You can join these platforms and interact either by creating your profile to market your app or drop valuable comments on users’ space and then promote your app. In both cases, you’ll have to post frequently, and of course, your posts need to be relevant in a way that solves a problem and provides information.

Invest in App Store Optimization

In-app elements such as title, headline, description, screenshots, and reviews greatly influence getting your app noticed. Google play store and Apple’s App store each have over a million apps on their platforms that account for more than 100 billion mobile app downloads. It goes to show that you need to optimize your app, so you get seen out of the multitude.

Use titles and descriptions that capture the essence of your app. They should be creative, unique, and short. Also, try not to stuff all your keywords into the title because app stores limit the number of characters per title. For your description, use keywords that succinctly captures your kind of app. Usually, there is a short and full description display. You want your short-description to show your app’s relevant message without the reader having to click on “read more.”

Your app screenshots should likewise show its main features. Most search engines have different algorithms that consider the relevancy of this type of in-app content. Therefore, your in-app content needs to be well optimized to increase your mobile app’s chances of higher ranking.

Provide Different Content Types Your Audience’s Needs

You cannot have the same kind of customers, all through. Although they may have some similarities (which is using your app), they also have different needs, so creating a one-size-fit-all content marketing will not suffice. They come from different backgrounds, values, and are of different genders, age range, etc.

The text or visual content you market to these various types of users need to differ according to their needs. For instance, if an essay writing review company such as Best Writers Online sets up and app for students, their app content marketing cannot be the same for every student. This is because students’ needs might vary according to subjects, institutions (if they are in college or high school), etc. However, you might not be able to create content for every individual users’ needs. Thus, segmenting your customers allows you to easily place them into groups and provide targeted content for every customer group.

Make use of User-Generated Content

Sometimes you might get stuck finding inspiration for new app content. One way to remedy this block is to ask your audience to share a bit about themselves or ask them the kind of content they will like to see on your app. This method of content creation is referred to as user-generated content. You can encourage them to share stories, videos, quotes, or pictures related to your app.

With the user-generated content, you can create app marketing content that your users will feel a part of. It becomes a win for both you and your users as such content often has the potential to go viral. Your app gets a lot of promotion, and your users gain popularity in their own right. All of which is great for app marketing.  

Conclusion

The mobile app market is becoming a highly saturated one. With more developers and businesses doing the same thing as you, you need to get very creative with the kind of app and content you put out. For this, a content marketing strategy can play a vital role in increasing your app rankings across several platforms.

 

Top 5 Live TV Streaming Services in 2020

As the world continues to encounter financial crises as we are fighting the battle with COVID-19, ditching the cable TV cord is a great way to cut down on family entertainment. All thanks to streaming, it is possible to ditch cable while still holding onto the live TV channels dear to you. We know live local and international news are so important along with live sports like IPL and Barclay’s Premier League starting to return. You can enjoy them all using an affordable streaming service without a cable box or antenna.

Live TV streaming services start at $20 per month with 0 fee or contract. You can now view your favourite shows on streaming apps on your smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV etc. The pro, you can watch at home or while commuting on a smartphone, tablet or a web browser. In most cases, these streaming services cost far less than a cable TV and you don’t need a professional installer to visit your home, in times of social distancing. Let us check out the top 5 Live TV streaming services according to us in 2020:

Sling TV Blue

Sling TV has a wide range of channels, more options to choose from and a better user interface. It is one of the best budget friendly streaming services available in the market. It is a tad bit expensive than Philo, however considering the wide range of channels, it is still much cheaper than other premium streaming services. Sling TV is definitely more cost effective than premium services like Hulu Plus Live TV or YouTube TV due to few local stations. Additionally, it provides two $30 per month channel packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue. There are some common channels on both Sling Orange and Sling Blue, there is a considerable change between other channel offerings.

Hulu Plus Live TV

Hulu Plus Live TV became a global favourite when YouTube TV price increased by almost $15. It has a robust channel offering for a modest price and Hulu’s integration of live TV with a decent catalogue of on-demand content is commendable. When compared to YouTube TV, the interface does lag behind and you will need to pay $10/month to be able to skip advertisements on Hulu’s cloud DVR. Due to the increase in the price of other streaming services, Hulu Plus Live TV now gives the best budget experience at $55. 

YouTube TV

YouTube TV improved it’s offering with the addition of eight new channels by June end. YouTube TV, priced at $65 now has more top channels than other services so it is an instant win if you want a premium experience. Additionally, it also has the best cloud DVR of the bunch, including unlimited storage and a generous nine months to watch recordings. Other services, only allow you to watch recorded shows for a maximum of 30 days. The interface is simple to use but has more options than your cable TV. There are no variations provided, it only has one price for the entire package. Pretty neat.

AT&T TV

In the beginning, HBO subscription was bundled with AT&T TV. Now, you will have to shell out an additional $10 a month. Even without HBO, the streaming service still lacks more top channels than other premium services like Hulu Plus or YouTube TV. The DVR quality is also lagging behind YouTube TV. AT&T TV has a decent style interface due to the flipper-friendly ability to swipe left and right to change channels.

FuboTV

We all have those sports fans around us. If you are not one of them, you definitely know at least 5 sports fans who could make the most of FuboTV. FuboTV offers a great variety of channels to choose from. This is second only to YouTube TV and due to the sports focus, FuboTV is a major hit with football fans. However, it is available at$60, which is the second most expensive service after YouTube TV. Recently, FuboTV has added a bunch of new channels like ESPN and Disney. We would recommend you to go for FuboTV, only if you are a big sports fan and more than 80% of your viewing time is dedicated to sports.

Wrapping Up

As we have discussed the top 5 Live TV streaming services based on their price and features, the platform is still evolving. Almost all major streaming services have increased their prices by at least $5 in the last few months along with available channels. We would like to conclude that though streaming is the future, there is still some time before we see a good pricing model to go with the services offered.