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Adios email: Five inbox replacements for business

messenger apps

Messenger apps for business communication

Today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs need communications tools that can keep up.

Email and cluttered inboxes are out and streamlined, secure messenger and chat services are in. Where email fails, messenger apps pickup so that businesses can stay connected, collaborate and work efficiently. They also provide affordable, high-tech options that can better serve today’s advanced business culture.

Let’s explore a few messaging apps that enhance communications and help you succeed at work in the digital age.

Earn money by answering surveys with Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards is an easy way to pick up free Google Play credit for Android and cash direct to your PayPal for iOS users.

Here’s how it works. Download the app for free to your Android or iPhone.

The app sends occasional surveys to your phone and ask you to respond to simple multiple choice questions like, “which color do you prefer?” or “where have you shopped recently?”

If you have a few seconds here and there and don’t mind answering a quick question, Google Opinion Rewards is definitely worth an install.

Halloween emoji stickers for spooky texting

Emoji stickers to bring in All Hallows’ Eve

This October, sprinkle your messages with some spooky downloadable Halloween emoji stickers. Cause for celebration? Send a Halloween cupcake. Feeling sleepy? Say it with a zombie. Cooking up a storm? A cauldron should do the trick.

emoji stickersWe’ve got fun Halloween sticker options for iOS and Android.

Plus, some good news for Android users, the latest Gboard update supports downloadable stickers. You can add Bitmoji to your messages right from your keyboard. Other apps, that don’t account for this Gboard update, can only be added the old fashioned way. Copy and paste.

 

 


Bitmoji

So far, Bitmoji offers a couple creepy versions of your avatar. Just search Halloween to find them. Here’s zombie Christine and vampire Christine.

emoji stickersemoji stickers

TIL: There are metal detector apps for smartphones… and they actually work

Metal Detector app

Your smartphone is a metal detector

Today I learned that modern smartphones make pretty good metal detectors.

I’m not suggesting you mount your smartphone to a stick and go sweeping the sands for buried loot. Instead, maybe just file this under “nice to know” and recall it should the need ever arise.

Here’s what happened.

The City of Toronto requires homeowners to have their water meters updated from the old cast brass analog dial sporting sort to a new digital “Smart Meter.”

Insert some joke about Rob Ford here. I’ve got nothing… but given that this was a plumbing project, there were definitely pipes and propane torches involved.

What could easily turn into a very long story made short, the installer needed to turn off the main water valve. That valve lives somewhere near the bottom of my driveway. The rub: The weather here has been less than pleasant and, despite my best shoveling efforts, the bottom of the driveway was a sheet of compacted snow and ice.

As we searched around, trying to chip up the ice on the driveway, said installer mentioned something about an app he’d heard about. One that turns your phone into a metal detector.

No way, said I.

Yes indeed, said he.

To the Play Store.

metal detectorFiring up my newly installed Metal Detector app, I started sweeping my phone over the general vicinity of where I recall seeing the water valve in the warmer summer months.

After several broad passes, the on-screen meter spiked and my phone chirped as I narrowed in on something metallic, hidden beneath the snow and ice. I grabbed a chisel and went to work.

Sure enough, there it was: The main water shut off for my house.

I was surprised the metal detector app worked at all and very surprised that it worked so well.

Having had a smartphone since smartphones became a thing, it’s nice to still find the occasional surprise.

An app for every… application

When explaining the many benefits of having a smartphone to fence sitters, apps are the feature I call attention to. I suggest the unconvinced try thinking of it this way: If you can dream up a use for the tiny computer in your pocket, chances are you can find an app to do just that. No matter how niche the idea may seem, someone else has likely seen the need and made an app to fill it.

There are, after all, over 1 million apps in the Google Play Store.

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning. If you need to record measurements of a room before you go out furniture or hardware shopping. If you want to find out when the next bus is coming, how many hits your website is getting right this second or who’s knocking at your door, there’s an app to help.

Want to judge the size of a screw so you know whether to grab a #2 or #3 Phillips screwdriver? Or if the threaded metal slug you’re holding is a lag or carriage bolt?

Nuts & Bolts

Want to see if your current couch placement makes for a good Feng Shui flow in your home? Or if the plugin water fountain should go on the north or south side of the room?

Feng Shui Compass

Want to find a metal valve because the meter installer is here and needs to shut the water off so he can do the job he’s under contract by the city to complete but said valve is hidden and you can’t quite remember where the damned thing is but you really need to find out in a hurry though there’s no way even a heavy metal shovel is going to clear that solid sheet of compacted snow and ice?

Well.

The best cloud storage providers for work files

Best cloud storage

The best cloud storage for work

Keeping content organized at work can feel intimidating when you use multiple devices. Luckily, choosing the best cloud storage service for your needs will make it easier for you to access all your files no matter where you are.

Whether you want to save changes to the same document wherever you connect, read a memo during your commute, or share a file with a coworker, these four companies have services that will keep you organized.

Mobile credit card processing: Accept payments right to your phone

credit card processing

Credit card processing with your phone

Mobile credit card processing apps have grown significantly over the last few years. In 2014, mobile payments accounted for about $50 billion dollars. In 2016, consumers spent over $67 billion through payment apps.

Small businesses that want to reach more customers should pay attention to the amount of mobile payments made in-person. By the end of 2017, customers will spend an estimated $16.2 billion with in-person payment apps. Start with these three mobile credit card processing apps so you can accept payments from customers no matter where your business goes.