How to Use Apple AirPrint

AirPrint reverses the normal mobile trend. A lot of the hype about mobile technologies has centered on “augmented reality”—letting you see the world with additional data provided from your phone or a special device like Google Glass. But we don’t just need to bring reality into the digital realm; sometimes we need to bring the digital realm into reality. Apple’s AirPrint technology is supposed to do just that—let you print from your phone or other iDevice—to an AirPrint enabled printer on the same wireless network.

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The iPhone 5C: Newer, Cheaper, More Colorful

Apple’s new product announcements are expected on September 10th, and we already talked about what to expect from the upgrade of Apple’s iPhone 5, which, if tradition holds, will be known as the iPhone 5S. But maybe the bigger news is that Apple is likely to announce a totally new addition to its iPhone product line, probably known as the iPhone 5C.

If the leaked pictures are any indication, you’d think the C stands for color—unlike the subdued glass and aluminum casings of the current iPhone models, the iPhone 5C looks a little more like the old iPhone 3s, sporting a curvier form factor with a plastic back, and, for the first time in an iPhone, available in a variety of vibrant colors. As of now, we’ve seen leaked pictures of white, green, pink, blue, and yellow cases (but no black). But the C might also stand for Cheap. Or at least Cheaper. The iPhone 5C will probably have the same specs as the original iPhone 5, making it a little less pricey than the new 5S, and the plastic case will save consumers a bit, too. Read More

iPhone 5S Rumor Roundup

Photo courtesy Engadget

In case you haven’t heard, the new iPhone will be announced on September 10th. We think. And it’ll be available for purchase on Friday, September 20th. Well, again, we think. Apple is one of the most secretive companies on the planet, and the precise specs of new products are subject to rumors months before we have any real evidence about what’s going on.

But that’s half the fun these days. Let’s take a look at what we think we know, what we don’t know, and what we hope for from the newest iPhone. Read More

Get Popular On Twitter: How to Use Promoted Tweets

Twitter has established itself as the go-to place for what’s happening now—whether it’s breaking news or what your friends had for breakfast. We’ve talked before about some organic ways to become part of the conversation, whether you’re marketing a made-for-tv movie or trying to find twitter influencers. Twitter itself offers another option: Promoted Tweets.

Promoted Tweets are the native advertising platform for twitter: a way for you to get your message out there in the normal twitter format that increases the exposure of your tweets beyond your normal twitter followers. You’ve probably noticed these in your own twitter feed: they appear up at the top of your feed sometimes, and if you’re searching for certain kinds of tweets, you’ll notice them early on in the twitter search results.

This kind of exposure can be incredibly useful for your business if you know what you’re doing. Twitter identifies two main goals for your tweets: driving awareness for your business and driving a particular action via twitter. Articulating your goals for the specific twitter campaign is essential. It lets you determine whether the campaign has been successful for you, whatever those goals might be.

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Free Photoshop Alternative: Try Canva

Everyone loves things that look nice. That’s why a lot of us wind up paying professional graphic designers to make our webpages, brochures, fliers, and the like. While designers are indispensable for their skills, they’re also indispensable because they have access to tools like Adobe Photoshop—which is pretty pricey for the amateur to acquire—and has a very steep learning curve.

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End of Summer Sweepstakes: Enter to Win a Free New Smartphone from AT&T

Enter to Win: AT&T Samsung S4 Giveaway
Happy end of summer! To celebrate, AT&T is giving away 10 free smartphones before 9/2/2013, including two Samsung Galaxy S4, 2 Samsung Galaxy SIII, 3 LG Optimus G Pro and 3 HTC First.

Entering to win is easy – just go to AT&T Premier’s page and enter your email. Plus you can improve your odds by sharing with your friends: for every 5 friends who enter using the link you share you’ll get another entry.

Can Bunkr Kill PowerPoint?

We’ve written before about the ubiquity of Microsoft Office products and their transition to mobile environments. Admittedly, they’ve been a little slow on the uptake, which created an opportunity for a number of companies to develop software meant to replace these seemingly irreplaceable office tools.

Bunkr is one such of those tools—a new product from a French startup that explicitly wants to be a PowerPoint killer. Whether it can dethrone the reigning champion of the slideshow is a separate question, but it does offer a lot of nifty features if you’re looking for an alternative to Office. For starters, Bunkr looks and feels a lot like PowerPoint. If you’re familiar with using that, making a switch to something new shouldn’t feel that weird. But Bunkr offers a few features that make it stand out. Read More

Internet.Org to Connect the Whole World

On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook, along with Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung are launching a huge initiative called  The objective is pretty giant—they want to bring the internet to the 5 billion people not currently connected. The press release notes that

[t]oday, only 2.7 billion people – just over one-third of the world’s population — have access to the internet. Internet adoption is growing by less than 9% each year, which is slow considering how early we are in its development. lays out three ways they intend to do this. First, they want to make access affordable, especially by focusing on cheaper smartphones, which are cheaper than standard computers and can use the wireless infrastructure already available in much of the world. There is also a data engineering component: in the developed world (with the possible exception of the United States), bandwidth is fairly plentiful, so there’s not a lot of focus on making things as efficient as possible. Read More

Tame: Find Out What’s Really Popular on Twitter

The online world moves fast—sometimes too fast for us to keep up with. This is especially true on Twitter, where if you follow too many people, you wind up losing the signal of what’s going in all the noise of what people ate for breakfast and funny retweets.

Berlin- based Tame wants to help make sense out of your twitter feed. The service bills itself as a way to tame your timeline by aggregating relevant information, displaying it in a friendly way, and letting you find out what the real conversation is. The basic overview has three columns that show the top ten links, topics, and people, bringing to your attention the shared URLs, hash tags, and users that are mentioned in a tweet.

You’re able to adjust the scope from 1 to 24 hours, which lets you see what happened if you missed a day or what’s going on right now if there’s breaking news. What you don’t actually see are the individual tweets (tho’ if you click on each item, you’ll see what people said), and it turns out this is the real value. You’re able to get a sense of who or what has been talked about, and you can drill down to find out what’s been said only if it’s important to you.

Tame thinks this is an especially useful product for journalists, who are increasingly using twitter to cover and monitor breaking news. Most of the founding team were, at one time or another, journalists themselves. Which makes sense—you don’t want to have to deal with the latest internet meme while you’re trying to understand events on the ground in Egypt. But this has a lot to offer the small business owner, too: it lets you understand what conversations are happening among the people that you follow, and tracking the @-mentions gives you a sense of who is most important when it comes to targeting an audience, which is a useful tool if you’re searching for influencers.

Tame is offering its product “freemium” style—the free version will let you monitor your own timeline for a single twitter account, while the premium one will let you apply the Tame aggregation across global twitter searches, as well as offering a few other perks like additional twitter accounts, a “tweet wizard” which is designed to optimize your audience reach, and a few others.

If you’ve been feeling buried under a pile of tweets, you might want to check it out. It’ll make the weight seem light as a feather.

What’s Up With Microsoft Surface?

Back in 2012, Microsoft was working hard to compete with the Apple juggernaut. Unsurprisingly, they threw their hopes into the mobile space, the biggest part of Apple’s business and pretty much universally regarded as the future of computing. They released Windows 8, their first mobile-optimized operating system, and, inspired by Apple’s business model and their own success with the X-Box, they decided to make their jump into computer hardware with the Microsoft Surface—Microsoft’s mobile tablet/computer hybrid.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of the Surface, and it was hoped that it would catch on as powerfully as the iPad and reinvigorate the flagging company. It’s been about a year, however, and it looks like the Surface, which we thought was pretty good, didn’t quite live up to the hopes of either consumers or Microsoft. Read More