Wednesday, April 3, 2013

From Android Apps Market - Top 5 Business Apps To Make Working Easy!

Android Apps For Business_Mobile Apps

It is mostly the consumer apps that make more news, are discussed more and of course, downloaded more. However; when it comes to mobile applications, it is not just all consumer mobile apps out there. In fact, there are plenty of enterprise apps or business apps available on most mobile platforms; all created with the purpose of making it easy for an individual or firm to manage work and get things done.

In this post, we will be talking about the best mobile apps for business that are available on the Android Apps Market. These business apps simplify tasks and often come with a user-friendly interface. We are judging these android business apps on the basis of their usability, ease of use and the general look-and-feel.

1.       Documents To Go (version 3.0)

Documents To Go_Business App_Mobile App

The need to read and edit documents is perhaps the most essential activity for people who need to use business apps. This amazingly powerful yet simple to use mobile app is also among the most popular enterprise app used.

It lets you read, edit and create new documents on your SmartPhone with ease. A wide range of documents are supported including .doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, pdf, etc.

Version 3.0 is the latest and includes plenty more features such as support for desktop sync and external card.

Google Drive For Mobile_Android App2.        Google Drive – Your Space in the Cloud

Very similar to the popular Google Docs, Google Drive is a full-fledged cloud storage and collaborative service. In fact, Google Docs is now completely integrated into Google Drive making the Drive more capable. The best part of Google Drive – you can edit, share or create documents and files with others in real-time and then save your work in the cloud, which can be accessed all across your team. All-in-all, Google Drive for mobile makes a great project management app, letting you achieve plenty of work even while you are on the go.

3.       Skype for Android -  For Free Voice/Video Calling

Skype for Android_Mobile App

Skype has been a preferred choice for millions across the globe when it comes to making video calls and chatting. Skype for Android app lets users make full use of Skype functionality right from their smart cell phones. With this android mobile application, free video, voice call can be made (requires 3G or WiFi connection) to another Skype user anywhere in the world. One can even send photos, videos, and files across the Skype network, at no charge. In addition, calls can be made to mobile phones and landline numbers although these calls will be charged.

Skype has long proved its worth for having long-distance calls, meetings and even interviews. No wonder; Skype mobile app is on the download list of many SmartPhone users. The newest version of the Skype app is available for download in the Android market.

4.        Evernote (Updated version 5.0)

Evernote_Android Update_Mobile App

Well, this one had to come in the list; Evernote is immensely popular not only as a business app but also as a consumer app because of its simple note-making capabilities. This note-making mobile app has recently released its latest, updated version (version 5.0) with plenty of new features. Some of the prominent features in the updated Evernote are:

Multi-shot camera mode – it allows users to shoot multiple images with their phone camera and then save all of them to a single note.

Sync support – it allows users to use the same Evernote account across different device/platforms.

Page Camera function – a special feature that lets you use your SmartPhone like a scanner.

5.       Trip It – Your Mobile Trip Planner

Trip It_Travel Based Business App_Mobile App
Trip It is a favorite travel related business app for plenty of executives. Simple, easy-to-use interface and the capability to sync all your travel details make this mobile app extremely useful for people who travel frequently for work. Trip It mobile app comes equipped with various features that lets it plan your business travel schedule with precision. This mobile application can access maps, reservations, flight details and more. It can sync your calendar with your travel entries and allows you to share your trip plans with office, family and friends.  

So, the above 5 android apps are the best apps for 2013 so far for android mobile users. Look out for the post where I share my thoughts on the top business iPhone apps (iOS apps) currently available. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aesthetic Design in Information Technology

Aesthetics in Design

Aesthetics plays an important role in helping humans decide what is beautiful or appealing and what is not. In its truest sense, aesthetics revolves round the wholeness of a particular thing or a scenario rather than bits and pieces or components. 

It is important that we understand that aesthetics and design go hand-in-hand; especially more so for any IT organization that provides technological innovations and services or is in the business of making products for the gadgets of the future. Such an organization needs to make sure that aesthetics is involved in everything that we do. So, whether we are into making websites or software development such as internet-based software applications, mobile applications or complicated database-driven extranet and client-server applications or even providing online marketing solutions; I believe that everything we built or design has to first appeal to our eyes, then our heart and then our mind. This simply means that the end product has to have a pleasing, attractive look and feel along with being functionally perfect. It is just not enough for a technology firm to say that they take extra care where it concerns designs; the truth is – if anybody has to come out on top in today’s competitive world, they need to be seriously crazy about their work and can proudly say that their product/services are refined, elegant and simply awesome in all aspects.

Aesthetics and the online world

As more and more businesses are getting online, the competition in the online space to grab eyeballs is as real and harsh as it is between shops in a fiercely competitive marketplace such as a shopping mall or a roadside bazaar. It has become exceptionally challenging for any business firm to differentiate itself or its services and products from that of its competitors. Being just a big brand name will not always help. In the online world, every business has a chance to upstage its competitors. Having an awesome product or offering superior service is not enough to fight off the competition and emerge as a winner. , So, how do we create the differentiator…the difference that will drive potential customers to us? Well, the BIG differentiator is the DELIGHT aspect. And this is where aesthetic design steps in. Ergonomic design that offers both functionality as well as visual appeal in the form of elegant layouts, coupled with exceptional product quality and packaging brings in the much needed element of DELIGHT for the prospective clients/customers.

It was superior quality product design married with an aesthetic beauty that has made Apple products one of the most favored and admired product lines in the world today. It is the visually appealing websites that we often remember and like to visit, and most of the apps that we use or love have (not so surprisingly) pleasing look and feel.  Well-spaced & attractive layouts, beautiful icons, simple functionality, easy navigation are some of the features that we all look in the software that we use. So, if you are a business with a brilliant product to sell or exceptional service to offer, or simply someone who loves being in the limelight, it is important that you pay special attention to the schematic beauty of your offering. In fact, ergonomic design that has the right balance of aesthetic beauty and superior functionality provides an extra dash of creativity to any product or solution. It goes a long way in ensuring success in a highly competitive and fast-changing world. 

Aesthetic Beauty…A Commitment

As already mentioned, I strongly believe that aesthetics and simplicity in design and implementation is important to any information technology (IT) product; whether it is a website, systems applications, networks, ecommerce solutions, or software apps. The best way to go about ensuring aesthetics in IT product designs is implementing a clutter-free, simple and to-the-purpose (effective) functioning methodology in your firm’s operations. This very approach will go a long way in helping create products/services that will delight your clients and help them delight their customers as well.


I will be the happiest person if you can make the effort to write in your thoughts on the post. Also please feel free to share your views about on aesthetic design and today’s information technology (IT) led world.

Thank You!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note II......A Review

Samsung Galaxy Note II:

The launch of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Note II) has been quieter when compared to the excitement that surrounded the launch of Samsung Galaxy S3. Perhaps the makers of Note II knew that the product is good enough to do its own talking; and that’s what it is doing. Today, Galaxy Note II is selling extremely well and the user reviews that are coming in are good. Certainly, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is proving to be one of Samsung’s best products ever. 

First Look & Feel:

Galaxy Note 2 SmartPhone (or phablet as these larger Samsung SmartPhones are called) is really BIG! It is BIG on everything – whether it is screen size, processor, software, functionality support, or sheer performance. The 5.5-inch Super AMOLED capacitive display screen with Gorilla Glass 2 protection looks regal and is perfectly complimented by the hyper-glazed plastic exterior (similar to the Galaxy S3), which lends a classy touch. Note II is 0.3mm slimmer than its predecessor, Galaxy Note. The Note 2 phablet weighs just 183gms, which is a surprise, given the endless features and functionality it houses.

Digging Deep:

Talking of features and functionality, Note II brings along many tricks and experience-enhancing features in addition to the usual SmartPhone capabilities. Easy to use, these features are best accessed by the smart, sleek stylus pen, the S Pen. The Note 2 is powered by the very powerful chipset-processor combo of Exynos 4412 Quad chipset and Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU. It also has Mali-400 GPU (graphics) and runs on the latest and most advanced offering from the Android platform, the Jellybean v4.1 OS, thus ensuring that everything one does on the phone happens in a swift motion; right from moving the screens, browsing through windows to running high-end applications. Plus, the TouchWiz UI (user-interface) ensures that the screen responds to the slightest touch.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has 2GB RAM and a microSD card slot for external memory support of up to 64GB. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2 features 8MP primary camera with autofocus and LED flash, placed on the backside of the phone. The primary camera supports simultaneous recording of images and HD videos. Other camera features like image stabilization, touch focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection are also supported by this phone. It also has a 1.9MP secondary camera for video calling.

Galaxy Note 2 also features some of the advanced technology when it comes to internet access and related features. It makes use of micro-SIM and has 4G capability with support for GPRS/EDGE, providing us with awesome browsing and downloading experience (of course, it will also depend on your service provider). It also gives us superior Wi-Fi functionality (802.11a/b/g/n) and supports Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality. Other notable features include Bluetooth v4.0 (with A2DP, LE, EDR), microUSB v2.0 with USB Host feature, HTML5 browser, stereo FM radio, all kinds of motion sensors and plenty more.

Special Features:

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has many special tricks, features, and apps with the WOW element. One of them is SMART Rotation, which keeps a track of our eyes and rotates the screen as per the movement of our eyes. Then there is the split screen interface – a feature that has been highly publicized in ads. Another cool feature is the ‘screen recording’ feature that records whatever is happening on the screen along with audio commentary. All one has to do is to press and hold the Home and Volume Up buttons to activate this feature.

Final word:

All-in-all, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gives us a peek into the future of computing. I feel it is the best SmartPhone at present irrespective of the fact that some people might not be comfortable with its large size.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Make LinkedIn Work For You

LinkedIn is among the most popular professional social network globally and I am sure you too have your published profile on LinkedIn. Well, in case you don’t have it, this is the just the right time to have your LinkedIn profile; more so if you are always keen to connect with more and more people from your field of work.

Ok, this is not a step-by-step guide to setting up a LinkedIn profile. This is more about tips and suggestions that will help anybody make the best use of LinkedIn for what it is actually supposed to do – professional networking and helping you stand out or get positively noticed in your professional world.  

So, here we go:

1.       Have a complete profile.
Well, it’s not really difficult - we just need to follow the instructions and provide the data required for the profile to be complete. Ok, agreed that it can be tiring and boring as well if you have lot to write about but then, it is Your Profile, so just do it!

2.       Have a professional profile pic.
This simply means that you put up a smart picture of yours preferably taken in your professional setting. You want to catch the eye of people in your profession and for the right reasons. Please remember, LinkedIn is not a dating site, nor a friendship platform!

3.       Ensure that your profile is concise, precise and attractive to read.
The simple way to create an attractive profile is to keep it simple!
Ø  Use simple language all through your profile
Ø  Give a precise overview of what you do
Ø  Try avoiding giving out each & every detail of your work
       You will come across many a profile where people have almost published a work report that is best suited for appraisal meetings. Personally, I feel it is best to talk just enough to get people interested in my work…..not more.

4.       Have a One-Line resume as the Headline of your Profile.
There can be no better way to attract the right kind of attention and plenty of attention than to have a profile headline that lets people know what you do or what you are.

5.       Put your best foot forward.
A very good thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to move the different sections of your profile up and down as per your liking. This feature allows you to place/highlight the best portion of your profile in the top section so as to gain maximum visibility.

For example: if you have received awards, organizational/industry-level recognitions or have been felicitated, you can put them under the ‘Honors and Awards’ section and place the section up ahead. The way to do this is to click ‘edit profile’ at the top and then click and hold on the top bar of the section to move it and release wherever you want that section to be.

6.       Be an active member of the groups that you join.
Being an active member of the groups helps enhance the credibility along with establishing your reputation as an expert in your professional field. Answer questions raised in the group forums, put up meaningful questions in forums, participate in polls, and give your comments and advice wherever applicable.

In addition to all these, make sure you keep updating your info, keep connecting with people through various groups….in short keep networking!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Content? The Social About Online Content.

With so many changes happening to the way search engines are valuing websites and the power that platforms like facebook & twitter lend to people’s conversation, very few things remain the same when it comes to online marketing. 

So, what happens to the old world diktat – ‘content is the king’? Will content cease to be the all-important aspect of online marketing strategy? 

The simple answer to the question is NO. Content will not cease to be less important. In all of the madness of innumerable Google updates, the multitudes of social media platforms and their ever-increasing influence, content still remains as important as ever and will remain so in the future as well. The only thing that has changed is the way content is used. Content is now more interactive, conversational, an exchange of thoughts, ideas & gossip; it is now completely social, it is more REAL!

So, what’s so social about online content?

Ok, let’s think of the internet to be like a big big party! So, the interactions on the internet are nothing but discussions that usually happens whenever people meet. If we think this way, we realize that what a person talks is most important for a conversation to be held. In other words, the content that a person has to talk about, to share, to show will decide whether people are listening to him/her.

Popular forms in which people like to savor content these days are videos, pictures, texts. All these three forms complement each other and work well when used in tandem.

So, if you are a brand that wants to share wonderful content, information with your consumer and people in general, or whether you are a marketer who is looking to engage people in a more effective way, or you just like to be in the thick of things and wants to be the most popular person amongst friends; make note to include more pictures and videos in your updates on various social media platforms, emails, or blog posts.

The trick is to not overdo it, but use the proper content mix, keep it as fresh and original as possible!