As Small business owners, we wear many hats in our personal and professional lives. So much so that there are some things that just don’t get done on our “to-do” lists. Doesn’t mean those task aren’t important, or that they will magically get done if we keep pushing them to the bottom of the list either. Exec is a new service originating in San Francisco that provides professional assistants to do a multitude of tasks for a flat-fee of $25/hour.
While that may seem like a lot of dough to a small business owner who is strapped for cash operates on the “lean” philosophy, Exec wants you to trust that a professional assistant (who has been interviewed and back-ground checked, versus somebody just trolling a virtual job board) will handle your requests. “Execs” as they’re called are ready to assist you within 10 minutes of receiving your request. Once an Exec is on the job, you can track their progress in real-time and they only get paid (plus a tip, similar to how Uber, the professional taxi service does) when the job has been completed to you liking. Read More
I’m still riding the Dropbox train, but all the waves that the folks over at Box are making in the cloud storage space is making it real hard to argue the pros of my little 8 gigs of free space with DropBox when Box is “closing deals” like partnerships with the new HTC devices being announced as I type this at Mobile World Congress, and dishing out 50GB of free space for all Android users.
Instead of trying to create its own cloud storage service like other competitors (namely Apple’s iCloud), HTC has announced that it has teamed up with Box to offer users of its new HTC One flagship smartphone 25GB of free storage free for 2 years. This also helps out Box gain momentum to go head-to-head with the likes of Dropbox, its widely popular competitor. If Box can successfully align itself with partners like HTC (like it’s done int the past with LG and iOS) by offering “can’t beat it with a stick” storage deals, Box might just stand a chance against the Dropbox Juggernaut. Read More
For all the BlackBerry folks who waited (and waited, and waited…) RIM has announced the official OS 2.0 update for the PlayBook that finally brings native email to the tablet. As long as you have a access to the Internet, you can now you can perform triage on your inbox, sans a BlackBerry smartphone.
In addition to native email, OS 2.0 for the BlackBerry PlayBook also brings native calendar and contacts, as well as the Android App Player that gives you more app choices, something that BlackBerry is lacking big time.
I’m a pretty big fan of the TripIt service on the web and for mobile devices. Forwarding travel confirmations to TripIt and having it automagically build my travel itinerary is just flippin’ genius. So I thought I should clue you in on the latest update to the iOS app.
TripIt has updated its travel dashboard to give you a quick outlook on your TripIt account activity & future plans.
– What’s next lets you see your immediate upcoming travel plans
– Trips lets you see all of your trip activity
– Network gives you an idea of what the people you share TripIt info with are doing including letting you know if anyone in your network is currently in your area.
– If you’re a TripIt Pro subscriber, Points lets you keep track of all the rewards information you have synced with your account. Read More
Here comes Motogoogle! Even though regulators claim they will keep a “close eye” on Google, I don’t think anyone is surprised that U.S. and European regulators approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the arm that focused on portable devices. Most people think that this is Google finally getting into the patent war that has thus far been dominated by Apple and Microsoft. Those people are probably right, as Motorola has a ton of mobile patents (upwards of 17,000) that are included in the 12.5 billion purchase. But nobody really wants to talk about patents – Well, not me anyway. What I think is on everybody’s mind is will Google tap the Motorola talent to finally develop its own mobile device to coincide with its own mobile platform? Read More
In other BlackBerry news…
The Charge Anywhere service has released a new version of its Audio Jack Card Reader that is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones to add to its arsenal of devices that already support iOS and Android devices. Similar to the Square credit card reader, the Charge Anywhere reader connects to a BlackBerry via the 3.5mm audio jack for easy access. Here are just some of the data BB users can capture with Charge Anywhere POS:
-GPS location Read More
Do or Die, I love the cloud. The reason being is that all of my gadgets can access information I store in the cloud. One of the services I use to manage client financial information is FreshBooks. I can manage clients and projects, track time spent on jobs, and create invoices and whole host of features I can’t begin to mention. More importantly, FreshBooks ties into my other financial software services (also cloud), and I can download apps that I can use to access and manage FreshBooks account information from my smartphone.
I’ll give you another little tid-bit about me – Even though I am an Apple supporter (I’m too grown to be anybody’s fanboy), I really want BlackBerry to come out on the other side of this “funk” they are in. So when I found out that ReportAway! offers BlackBerry users access to their FreshBooks account, I made sure to spread the news.
Similar to MiniBooks for FreshBooks for iOS, ReportAway! for BlackBerry smartphones allows you to create invoices and track time to your FreshBooks account. Read More
When I bought an Amazon Kindle Fire for my wife, the setup procudure included creating an email address for her Kindle. I thought to myself “Why do I need an email address for a Kindle?” Unbeknownst to me, in order to get actual personal documents on a Kindle other than the Fire that can receive docs via mobile apps, the best way was to send the doc via email – The Kindle did the rest.
Amazon has stepped up its game and has released a Send to Kindle PC application that lets users “right-click” documents to send them directly to their Kindle. Additionally, you can highlight multiple files to send at once, and if you’re currently viewing a document, you can print to your Kindle as well – Similar to how Adobe Acrobat installs a virtual printer that lets you print to PDF.
Right now, the application is free, but only available on PC with Mac support coming soon. So, if you are viewing a document on your PC that you know you want to view while you’re on the go, sending an email to yourself is so last year (or thereabouts). Try the Send to Kindle app and let us know what you think in the comments section.
I am making sure to keep my eyes peeled and ears to the ground on any Kindle Fire apps that help with productivity. For those of you still hanging on to your Hotmail account, Microsoft has adapted the Hotmail app for Android to work on the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Yes, the native Kindle email app can download your email, but the new Hotmail app you can sync all your mail, contacts, folders, and subfolders via the more robust Exchange Active Sync protocol according to the Inside Windows Live Blog. In other words, whatever you’re working on in the Hotmail app (updating contacts, or performing triage on your inbox) gets synced with all your devices attached to your account and online. Read More
Every time you sign up for yet another web service or social network, you have to decide what email notifications you want to receive. At first you think “I want all the emails because you guys rawk!” As time goes on you say to yourself “All these email notifications are getting on my last nerve!” Going to each service to adjust your notifications can prove to be a time-suck. Setting up filter, after filter, after filter in your email inbox may force some emails you actually want to get lost in the shuffle.
With Notification Control, you can adjust your settings from a number of services all in one location.
The cool thing about Notification Control is that you don’t have to go down the list to authorize NC to access each and every service you want to manage. If you’re already logged in to those accounts, NC will jettison you right to the correct page where you can change your settings. Read More