Microsoft Office on the iPad & Android Tablet

Tablets have revolutionized our leisure computing. We can browse the web on our laps while we watch TV. Food magazines become full-color digital spreads right in our kitchens. And the email, of course. There’s always more email. But tablets haven’t been great work devices, not least because there’s no Microsoft Office on the iPad.

Now tablets have taken another step toward being all-around machines that can handle work too, thanks to CloudOn. Available on both the iPad and Android devices, CloudOn brings you the full Microsoft Office Suite using you guessed it, the power of the cloud. That means Powerpoint on the plane or tracking Word changes wherever.

Since it’s in the cloud, CloudOn links to both DropBox and Google Drive to make it easy to access, write and save files. Plus CloudOn automatically saves as you work, just in case.

We don’t advocate working on vacation, but if you’re planning to get away and worried something may come up, this could be the perfect strategy for coping without having to bring your fully decked-out work computer.

AT&T Video Capture

We have talked about technical tools that are great for field professionals more than once.  But today I am more excited than usual to cover a great new tool from our sponsor, AT&T.  Everyone’s smart phone has a great new video camera mounted to the back, but when we want to share these videos with our friends, family, or in our case, a co-worker, we have to rely on YouTube or some video hosting service. By the time that you have uploaded it and send someone a message to look at it, the moment has passed. Well no more, to the cloud!

AT&T has announced the AT&T video capture apllication which enables businesses to stream live and pre-recorded videos from handsets in the field to co-workers in the office. The desktop gets a web-based monitoring interface, so you can watch videos in real-time from your desk, archive and organize these feeds, and communicate with users in the field about what you are seeing.  All this real time interaction greatly increasing the speed and agility of your organization. Read More and GoogleApps – Complete Online Content Management

On the online content sharing/collaboration side, was one of the first cloud services that everyday consumers could use. Its services still make online collaboration a viable option for small business owners looking to move to the cloud. On the “everything else” side, there isn’t a bigger name than Google and its popular GoogleApps services that gives users access to online document editing, calendar and email organization, and more.

Add them together and you get the ability to move your entire business/IT structure to the cloud. Now with GoogleApps document editing integration into functionality, now you can stay in one application from start-to-finish content creation, collaboration, and management. You can upload and share files amongst colleagues and clients, edit documents with version control, and synchronize documents across most of your devices. No need to switch between for collaboration and sharing, Google Docs for document editing, Gmail for communication, and Google Calendar for time management. It can all be done in the platform. also gives users mobile access so you can access, share and collaborate on files anywhere. Share folders in a tap, exchange feedback or save files for offline access. apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Android and via the mobile site.

A regular subscription of one user is free, but to take advantage of the new Google Apps integration and add up to three users on one account, it will cost you $15 per month. Both services on their own are ideal for any small business owner looking to use their time and resources more efficiently. Together, well, don’t take my word for it, visit and sign up for a free trial and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Google’s Cloud Laptops Announced at I/O Conference

It looks as if Google is ready to let loose its Chromebooks on the masses. What’s so different about a Chromebook? The fact that the operating system, security options and programs/apps are all stored in Google’s cloud. This means that there really is nothing that will actually be saved to the device, which makes for a faster computing experience (8 seconds to boot up according to Google). The Chromebooks can connect either via WiFi or you can add a 3G option that will make the device self-reliant when it comes to a network/data connection.

At its I/O conference, Google has announced the first two Chromebook models that will go on sale at Amazon and Best Buy starting June 15th. The first is made by Samsung and it’s a 12″ model with a dual-core processor and an HD webcam that will cost around $429 for WiFi only and $499 if you opt for the built-in 3G (monthly data charges apply).

The second device is a slightly smaller and lighter Acer version that has almost the same features but with the addition of an HDMI port. The Acer model is WiFi-only and will cost $349. Google will also offer Chromebooks for Business and Education uses that add extra protection, security, and IT policy compatibility.

Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds as if Google’s Chromebooks, with their smaller and lighter frames, faster boot times, and the ability to save/share/sync ALL of your data to the cloud, might just give the uber-fashionable tablet device a run for its money…and I didn’t even mention how cheaper they are to the leading tablet device.

Mobile Apps Key to Small Business Operations, says AT&T

Hot off the presses, a new survey from AT&T shows that small businesses (defined here as organizations with between 2-50 employees) are increasingly dependent on mobile technology in their day-to-day operations. According to the survey, 75% of small businesses now use mobile apps for their business “to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs.” Nearly half (49%) of all small businesses are now utilizing GPS/Navigation and mapping apps, making it the largest category of mobile applications currently being used.

What Other Kinds of Apps?

A variety of other apps are making inroads into small businesses as well.  The top app categories include social media marketing, document management, location-based services, time management, expense tracking software, and programs that accept credit or debit card payments in the field.

State of Social Media & Facebook

While social media apps are being utilized by a smaller proportion of companies (26%), a significant number (41%) are now using a Facebook page to promote themselves.

Small businesses feel that Facebook provides an easy and affordable way to promote their businesses., and many feel that it is the best way to communicate with their customers. Certainly, Facebook offers several unique options for businesses, from the low cost of set-up (free), to the ability to directly interact with individual customers, something that websites simply cannot offer. As well, a full 37% have noticed an increase in traffic to their websites, and 29% an increase in phone calls thanks to their Facebook pages.

Post continues after the jump.

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Citrix Enteriprise Client Available on WebOS Tablet at Launch

Just to further point out that HP Palm is ready to put some “umph” into launching its first WebOS tablet since HP bought Palm last year, it was recently announced that the popular Citrix Receiver will be available on the HP TouchPad when it is released to the public.

From the Citrix Blog:

Citrix Receiver is a lightweight software client that will turn any webOS device into a powerful business tool by providing secure Enterprise access business desktops and any Windows, Web or SaaS application. The immediate benefit for webOS consumers is that Citrix will make webOS devices enterprise-ready by securely delivering access to the existing ecosystem of Windows based apps: Citrix Receiver will instantly enable new webOS devices for the enterprise!

That means with little hassle, companies can safely integrate webOS devices with the all of the IT polices and standards that will give end-users access business desktops, apps and docs that Citrix claims will “make you productive from anywhere on any device.”

Currently, the Citrix Reciever is a free app available on just about any mobile device/platorm (now including WebOS Tablets) and has reached over two million downloads. Their is also a free demo that you can use to see if there is room in your operation for virtual computing.

Mobilize SharePoint with Moprise for iPhone

Moprise Cloud Collaboration

Microsoft SharePoint is one of the giants in intranet file/content sharing, collaboration, and management. Moprise wants to get you from behind your desk and give you access to your SharePoint content no matter where you are.

Moprise, which I am assuming is a mash-up of “mobile” and “enterprise” (which would make perfect sense) is a mobile collaboration cloud-based solution that enables workgroups and enterprise users to securely access, share, and collaborate on any SharePoint business content from their mobile device.

Moprise can take what your company or group already does:

– social networking
– group content creation and management
– presentation sharing, project management
– integrated voice and video
– calendaring, scheduling

…and adds value by giving it that “cloud” flavor that frees users from feeling left out if they are not at their desks. Speaking of freedom, Moprise also offers an iPad version, with Android currently in the works.

Moprise offers a free (‘Lite’ is what cool kids are calling it these days) version where you can just access content. Beefed up paid versions with more options and more users start at $5 bucks a month. The iPhone and iPad apps are a free download from the iTunes App Store.

The ability for users to access, edit, and share QUICKLY in order to make fast and confident business decisions while on the go is what Moprise wants to capitalize on. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Web-only Google Chrome OS Shipping to Developers

The long-awaited, almost out of beta, Google Chrome OS that only uses applications from the web just got closer to becoming to reality as developers, major brands, and some lucky consumers will receive their plain-looking CR-48 notebook with the new fully functional operating system from Google in the coming days/weeks.

Chrome OS is a web-only OS in the sense that there are no applications/software to download. All applications are only available from the Google Chrome Web Store that will launch alongside the Chrome OS with all of your documents/data stored in the cloud. Additionally, the notebooks Google plans to mass produce will not have media drives or hard drives at all (Solid State Flash drives will act as primary storage). The idea is that notebooks running Chrome are to be lightning fast and have longer-than-your-average-computer operating/standby times.

Users will get all the benefits of Chrome notebooks: 10-second boot, fast web app performance, and built-in 3G and Wi-Fi. And none of the headaches of ordinary computers.

In other words, Google Chrome OS and the notebooks it plans to mass produce is practically a shell with just enough guts, and a web camera to get you connected to the net and producing – no booting up and no wasting time.

As I stated before, Chrome OS is still in beta, but will make a debut sometime in 2011. The minimalistic, always on, and always connected Google notebooks, or those produced by other manufacturers, will also be available around the same time frame.

Google isn’t the only company with some serious time, effort and money thrown into the future of cloud computing. More and more companies are offering cloud solutions that allow ease of use/accessibility at a very reasonable cost to the consumer.

My suggestion to you is if you have reservations about cloud computing/storage, I suggest you read up on the subject and figure out how you and your business can effectively use it to your advantage…because it isn’t just a fad and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Google Apps for Total Cloud Business Management

Think Google Apps is just free cloud storage for your documents and a free domain email account? Think again. The Google Apps Marketplace has an entire suite of web services, apps, and tools to get your business off of your laptop and into the cloud for greater accessibility, flexibility, and mobility. The icing on the cake is no matter what app/service you choose, all are accessible through your Google Apps domain. So you and/or everyone on your team can access to your tools, no matter where they are.

From accounting & finance, to document & project management, to backup & archiving services…you name it, the Google Apps Marketplace has a solution. Similar to Apple’s App Store for iOS devices, Google Apps Marketplace has the web app/service for your business. You can search the marketplace by product, or take a look at “Tops”, “Featured” and “Popular and Notable” apps to see what everybody else is adding to their Google Apps domain.

Google does actually develop a large number of the apps available in the marketplace, but also enlists the help of 3rd-Party developers to make the marketplace more robust. Developers pay a $100 one-time fee to list their applications in the market place, and Google takes a 20 percent cut of all applications sold through the store.

Which brings me to costs for customers – A Google Apps basic account is free (provided you already have a www.[insertyourbusinessnamehere].com domain). A premier edition will run your $50 bucks a year that adds a ton of extra features. The rest is picking and choosing what apps/services work best for your business. There are of course some very nice free apps, but if you’re ready to play some serious [cloud-computing] ball, I have seen solid apps in the marketplace for as 20 bucks (one-time fee), and 5 bucks a month for recurring payment plans.

If you and your business is ready to get organized and get “techie” by moving into the cloud, look to a familiar brand in Google to help your business take advantage of a myriad of business tools that can ensure your ability to stay on top of your operations no matter where you are; I suggest you get a Google Apps account and take a look at what your business can do with the apps, services, and tools in the Google Apps Marketplace.

Get To Your Files Locked Up On Your PC with iTap RDP

Yeah, we have all heard about cloud computing where you can store all your files “in the cloud” to access them anywhere at anytime. But we all know the ONE TIME you forget to sync up or upload that document to your online storage, is the one time you will need to refer to it while on the go.

Traditionally, before the cloud, folks would use the tried and true Remote Desktop function as a last ditch effort to get to that file located up on your computer. Even still, you needed another computer to access your files stored on a computer at home or in the office. We all know that it is all about smartphones now, so wouldn’t it be nice to Remote into your desktop or laptop and get to that one file using your smartphone?

Enter iTap Mobile RDP available for all Apple iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad mobile devices running iOS 2.1 or later that gives Windows users the ability to remote access their PC and tackle many of the remote functions they are used to when logging into their PC using another computer.

Using the same convenient gestures as iTap touchpad, iTap puts you in full control over your desktop. Whether you need to scroll, drag and drop, or just right-click, you can perform all your tasks without having extra buttons or bars cluttering up you screen.

The built-in keyboard features all the keys and modifiers found on a traditional PC keyboard. Additionally it has full support for international languages, including eastern asian input methods.

In other words, with iTap, you know can remotely access your computer via mobile device and without much fuss, browse, navigate, and control your computer using your Apple mobile device. So if you absolutely NEED that document that you forgot to dump into your DropBox folder, you can access the file via iTap, and email it your yourself…or better yet, drop it in your DropBox folder from your computer via iTap for instant access without waiting for an email. Now at 12 bucks, this is pricey for a mobile app, but for accessibility like this, it might be well worth the price tag.

My only issue with the app is that it’s only for Apple mobile devices and only for Windows computers (yes, there are some people who haven’t completely converted). Not sure if iTap has plans for additional mobile devices and Mac Access, But i’m pretty sure there are similar apps that can handle your specific smartphone/computer configuration. Check out Xtralogic Remote Desktop Client for Android phones to name a few.

So if you haven’t quite got a handle on the cloud storage trend, or just need to make sure your can spring that document from its ‘desktop jail’ without too much fuss, you might want to try out iTap RDP