Categories
Apps Reviews

Hirred App Review

Are you looking for work? Do you enjoy social networking and find that you sell yourself best when you talk rather than write? Then Hirred is for you. Wiink Inc. has come up with a this social networking app aimed at bringing employers and candidates together through short 30-second video clips. You are probably wondering how that works. Imagine just listening to a short description of a quick task that needs completing. You don’t have to read anything, you just watch and listen. You become interested. So, you reply, or apply, with a short video clip about why you are the best candidate to get the job done. Flip it around, now. You are looking to have a small app for iPhone written, or need a few short blog articles for your new website. Come to Hirred and make a quality 30-second infomercial about the great task you have at hand, and watch as the replies post to your clip, with offers of talent that knows no bounds.

Hirred works well for those in an industry where creativity abounds. People who just can’t describe in words how great their talent is, can do great justice in 30 seconds by saying a few words, giving the right facial expressions, and making contact; because, at the end of the day, it’s the contact and familiarity that gets you the job. For employers, this means striking the right chords with potential hires with a description of your needs and what needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, words alone do no justice. It takes a bit of moving art to make something come to life; and, in 30 seconds, enough can come to life.

Hirred iTunes image

When you first download the app, you will have a chance to setup your profile. From the main page, you can view Pitches or Calls. Pitches are clips about people and their talents. Calls are clips about jobs. Under each category of viewing you can select the level of video clips: Rising or Live. Rising is essentially “just starting out”, while “Live” is a user that has been using Hirred for a while, and may have had a few jobs or even hired a few folks. Use of the app is fairly simple, as all you are doing is recording yourself in response to a Call, or creating a Call.

Logistics behind the app reside in the Main Menu, which sits at the bottom of the screen. The menu fades away to a small blue domelike icon when minimized. This renders greater screen viewing real estate. It does get a bit awkward when trying to conjure up the main menu, as many times I found myself pulling up the iPhone’s menu instead. This should be changed.

Other than that, Hirred has some potential. It may not do too well on just the merits of 30-second video clips. Descriptions that short serve as attention getters and teasers… to attract interest. This app will do well if it adds the ability to link clips to resumes or websites that offer more details.

Categories
Apps Reviews Smartphones

There’s an app for that

On June the 26th 2007, smartphones didn’t exist. Mobile phones, and computers were two very different things. A day later (27/06/2007) Apple launched the iPhone.

You could argue that there were ‘smartphones’ pre-iPhone, but many in the technology industry view the iPhone as the tipping point and birth-date of the modern smartphone – no inverted commas.

With the launch of the iPhone, came the launch of apps. A few years later along came tablets – and what would a tablet be without apps?

In this post I want to explore some of those apps. Not the apps like Angry Birds, Rayman Jungle Run, Skype and Fruit Ninja though, they are what you expect from applications – games and communication. In this post I am going to explore some of the more innovative uses for apps.

Mirror

Ever desperately needed a mirror just when there are none in sight? Mirror by mmapps mobile, is a free app for Android which turns your phone into a usable mirror! The app even lets you zoom in and out and freeze the mirror, something that no mirror I have ever used does.

The app is available in many different languages, and similar apps are available for iDevices, however mmapps mobile don’t make an ‘i’ version.

Square Wallet

Square Wallet is an application which lets you fully embrace mobile payment. With Square Wallet, you can link your credit card to your phone, and then, in a surprisingly large number of retailers, pay for goods, using your phone! The app also lets you track transactions, so you can keep track of what you are buying.

Square Wallet is available for iDevices with iOS 5.0 or later, and Androids via Google Play.

Inflora Flower App

Interflora smartphone appTen years ago, who would have thought that you could be out and about, and on a device which fits in your hand, and order a bouquet of flowers? Probably not many people!

The flower delivery company Interflora has an app where you can do just that. Naturally its called Interflora, and can be download for free for iDevices – any iPod, iPhone or iPad with iOS 3.0 or later. Interflora is also available to download for Android devices. The app gives you access to a wide range of flowers, information (such as delivery details and a description) and prices; you can even order your gift using the app!

Zite Personalised Magazine

If you like to keep up to date with the latest news, and you like the news your way, then Zite is the perfect app for you.

Zite trawls through your Facebook and Twitter feeds to work out what you like to read. The application then created you your very own personalised magazine to read, and the more you use it, the cleverer it gets, and the more tailored your content become – to a point where it should only be displaying content you really want to read.

Zite is available for free for all iDevices with iOS 6.0 or later, although the developers state that is is specifically designed for the iPhone, as opposed to tablets. Zite is also available on Android.

Flow Powered

Flow Powered - NutellaAmazon have recently released an augmented reality app called Flow Power, which can identify millions of real life products (using your phones camera), and can then tell you more information about them.

The app ‘knows’ thousands of books, games and CDs, and is able to tell you about almost anything, if you scan the barcode.

Be it a novel, or a box of chocolates, the app can tell you how much it costs and what other people think of it – pretty clever huh?

Flow Powered is available for Android via Google Play and iOS 4.2 and more recent iDevices through iTunes.

It seems like there is an app for almost everything these days, be it an app to help you apply make-up, order flowers or tell you the price of a video game. There’s an app for that!

Smartphones really are smart.

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Business Gadgets How To Guides

How to safely operate a bring your own device policy

Technology is growing by leaps and bounds and companies of every size are constantly looking for ways to leverage all of the benefits that these technological advances can bring them. It may not be cost effective for companies of any size to jump on every single new technological wonder, even when the price of technology is at an all-time low.

There is a way for companies to benefit from the latest and greatest technological gadgets without having to make any type of monetary investment. Portable devices are making their ways into the hands of people all over the world. Just about everyone has a smartphone, and tablet computers are quickly becoming the norm.

Many companies are choosing to adopt a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy in order to take advantage of these technological advances without incurring any type of costs, but there are security risks involved with a Bring Your Own Device Policy. Here are five things that companies can do to ensure their data does not end up in the wrong hands.

Know who is accessing data, and what devices they are using to do it

The very first step towards a successful ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy is understanding what types of devices are being used to access data. It is also important to understand which employees are accessing which data.

A security audit is a great way for businesses to get a better understanding of exactly what types of devices are being used by employees to access sensitive corporate data. This will help a company determine exactly how to move on to the next step in securing their data in the mobile world.

Decide what data devices can access

The very first conclusion that many companies are jumping to is restricting access to corporate networks via personal devices. This is not the right choice. A security audit should have identified what types of devices are accessing the network.

The next step to properly protect data is to classify it and the networks that are being used to send and retrieve the data. By classifying data, businesses will be able to get a much better look at the areas that need protection, and the areas that do not. Once the data has been classified it will be much easier to see the bigger picture. Companies will be able to set forth a policy that allows certain groups of people access to certain areas of data.

Identify problem apps

Not every app will play nice. Some apps have been known to have huge security vulnerabilities. These apps, without notice to the user can copy and send address lists and personal photos through the corporate network.

The two most popular mobile device operating systems are both guilty of these two examples. iOS which powers Apple devices, and the Android operating system have both been known to have these same security problems. Once the problem apps are identified, they can be prevented from being installed through company networks. Another solution is to restrict app downloads to a company approved app market place.

Create company policies to help reduce mobile security problems

Once these other issues have been addressed, companies will need to create strict policies that will teach employees what can and cannot be done with their own devices on a company network. If an employee uses their own mobile device to conduct work in the work place, a strict policy should dictate what he or she can or can’t do with the device. These policies must also have strict repercussions for any employee that chooses to violate them.

Enforcing policy with software

A security key on a keyboardThere are several solutions on the market that can and will help corporations manage all of this information. These resolutions are called Mobile Device Management Solutions. These types of solutions will allow corporations to enforce the policies that have been set during all of the previous steps.

A mobile device management solution will protect data, manage apps, address mobile device security, protect content, and protect emails. A mobile device management system will also be compatible with every major mobile device operating system on the market.

Allowing employees to use their own portable devices should not present a security breach to any company regardless of its size. Proper planning will always be the best way to prevent any sort of problems.

Categories
Computers How To Guides Internet Technology

How to share a mobile broadband connection

With the increase in mobile broadband technology, many people are increasingly turning to mobile dongles (like the ones here) at home instead of traditional connections, which cuts out the need for a fixed-line. However, with mobile broadband there are certain problems that can arise, the most obvious being that of sharing your internet connection with another device.

An O2 dongle pluged into a laptop
A USB dongle – used to remotely connect to the internet

However, that needn’t be something that you become overly concerned with, as these days there are a variety of ways to share your mobile connection.

Most of the top providers are now offering technology to allow you to do this, such as 3 Mobile’s MiFi. With this you simply purchase the 3 MiFi and you’re away. It works pretty much the same way as a dongle, with one difference.

With a dongle you have to plug it into the machine, with MiFi you don’t, and can therefore connect to multiple devices at the same time. The devices themselves are small and easily portable; however, as is often the case with mobile broadband, internet speeds can be a little slower than hardwiring or even traditional Wi-Fi.

This doesn’t just mean you can connect to another Wi-Fi enabled laptops, games consoles or mobile devices, but also other Wi-Fi enabled devices including cameras, such as the Nikon Coolpix and the Kindle, so with MiFi and similar technologies, you can connect any combination of these, up to five devices. You can follow this link for more information on 3’s MiFi device.

A portable Wi-Fi router is another option for sharing the net. These are now relatively inexpensive and quite straightforward to use. You simply connect to a mobile network and share with other devices. However, do shop around before choosing one, as some are better than others.

Internet connection sharing is another option. By connecting a laptop or PC to the internet, you can then share its connection with other devices. For example if you’re running windows 7 this can be done through the network and Sharing Centre, but can be quite complicated  to carry out so is really only useful for advanced users or those who have the time and patience to hit the forums and get step by step instructions.

With different operating systems it works slightly differently so you may have to look up how to do this on yours too, this can be something of a headache.

If you have a 3G enabled phone, you can connect to the 3G broadband connection and then share with other devices. So as long as you have a signal, you can connect to your laptop or another device. However, download speeds are often reduced and quite often you can’t get unlimited data, so if you are sharing a connection you could quickly reach your limit.

The new iPad will allow you to do the same thing, however, despite the device being initially offered as 4G, this technology isn’t yet available in the UK. 4G uses the old terrestrial TV signal waves and widens the spectrum for mobile broadband.

However, Ofcom will be auctioning off the spectrum later in the year and this should be available in 2013 with the top mobile operators and will give even more options for mobile broadband.

Categories
Internet

Eight tips to consider before building a mobile websites

With over 75 million Americans accessing the web through mobile phones, we can conclusively say that mobile web browsing has come to stay. comStore statistics recently reported that 50 million people in the United States have an Android, iPhone or a BlackBerry phone.

The Logo of BlackberryWhat these huge numbers clearly mean is that your business can not afford not to provide a mobile website for a convenient browsing experience for your customers. Mobile websites are starting to become a ‘must have’ for any kind of business today.

The rate at which people are accessing the web today throughout the world from their mobile phones is becoming increasingly clear that any business that wants to remain in business must leverage the opportunity of mobile browsing. It is easy, cheap and quick to do it today; in fact, some web design companies render this service for free. But before you decide modifying your existing website to make it compatible for mobile handsets, put these things right:

1. Page Size

It is important to assign a simple style for all mobile websites, the page size also small. Remember that 20KB is the maximum page size for all mobile friendly pages. If you can use less than 10KB making everything nicely fitted for any kind of phone, considering that users are charged per KB of mobile data you will be doing your business good.

2. Coding

There is actually no special coding required for mobile websites. Using XML or XHTML for your mobile friendly site is much easier and faster. Using basic HTML and CSS is also good. Carefully craft with target key words the filenames, title tags, heading tags and description meta tags to fully maximize the optimizable content present.

3. Content

There is actually no special way to arrange content for mobile websites. The rule is simply-all mobile websites should be readable and easy to navigate, since your visitors are on the go and may not want to waste time on something difficult to read or surf. As for the content typography, it is preferable to use headings to control the font size.

4. Images

Most mobile phones take longer time to load images. Use graphics and images as little as possible only where necessary, this will aid easy navigation for your mobile website users. Jpeg, gif or png are best formats for mobile images because they are very much light–weight. Compressing your pictures to avoid zooming is something you must not forget.

5. Layout

Mobile browsing is quite time consuming, so ensure you put all the most important information you want your mobile website users to see on the top of the page your company logo should be included as well. Left and right navigation should be minimized because it is difficult navigating with a phone.

A better option is to arrange all your content in a single column. Tables should not be used, but if necessary no more than 2 columns, rows and column merging should be avoided.

6. Page links

Back buttons and links are features of all good mobile websites. Providing them will help visitors escape dead ends, though, not all phones are designed with back buttons.

7. Domain Choice

Ensure to use a mobi domain which clearly indicates a mobile friendly experience instead of .edu, .com, .org etc, which generally stand for desktop browsing.

8. Test Run

Your mobile website should be tested on multiple devices. This will help you know if your site will provide a good mobile experience for users.

Categories
Business Internet

Should You Create a Mobile Version of Your Website?

Chances are if you walk through your local town centre today, you’ll see somebody accessing the internet on their smart phone. It’s almost become a second nature.

Gone are the days of simple WAP access, people are now using their phones to browse their favourite websites and even shop online. In fact, it’s reported that netbook sales are down 40% so is this a sign that smartphones and tablets are overtaking PC’s as peoples preferred browsing method?

So should you create a mobile version of your website? In short, yes, and here’s some reasons why.

Mobile internet use is growing rapidly

According to some figures mobile internet access is now at 8.09% of all UK website traffic (up from 0.02% in 2009) so whether you like it or not, people are going to access your website from a mobile browser.

It’s not that difficult to create a mobile version

Of course it depends on how your website was built in the first place, but if it’s not archaic then usually incorporating what’s needed to make your website mobile friendly isn’t too difficult and doesn’t require starting from scratch.

Most websites don’t work well on mobiles

The fact is, the majority of websites don’t well on mobiles, in fact some of them are impossible to use, so it’s a great way to steal a competitive advantage and get in early ahead of others in your industry. That said, if you run WordPress or another blogging platform, there are plugins that can make your site ‘mobile friendly’.
Google's mobile website being used on an iPhone

Mobile users have different intent

When people use the internet on their phones, they usually have a different intent to a user sat at a PC. It’s usually on the move, and they don’t have much time, meaning they’re looking for something to solve a problem fast. If you do a quick search on mobile conversion rates for ecommerce you’ll find they’re very high. So if you design your site to cater for those needs you’re onto a winner.

It’s way more important than having an app

Since mobile apps became the latest novelty, many businesses have wasted good time and money on developing their own mobile application, of course these apps have their uses, but for the majority of businesses they are a waste of money and wallow at the bottom of the app store.

A mobile website doesn’t require separate development for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and doesn’t need promoting via an app store so is clearly a better choice for getting a return on investment.

Mobile browsing is still very new

Even though lot’s of people are browsing the internet via mobiles, it’s still a relatively new concept, and one that realistically can only every grow upwards due to how technology is advancing. Historically early adopters are the ones that reap the reward, so why wait till everyone else is a step ahead of you?

What about you?

How many of you have optimised your site for mobiles or considered it? Do you think it’s more important for blogs to or ecommerce sites to opimise for mobile? Or is it equally important for both?

Categories
Internet

Is the future of telecommunication VoIP?

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The rate at which people are opting for mobile VoIP suggests that it is going to become the most popular mode of communication in the coming times.

The huge cost difference between mobile VoIP and ordinary mobile networks posses a great threat to the later and that is why several mobile operators have even tried to halt the widening streak of mobile VoIP.

Voice over Internet ProtocolHowever, the striking difference with which the mobile VoIP is beneficial for the users, has rendered mobile operators accept the fact that the coming era belongs to VoIP. This understanding has made a number of mobile operators switching to the mobile VoIP instead of conventional mobiles, thus competitors being turned into supporters. Consequently, more customers are opting for the switches to avail a better range of options, better technology and increased convenience at lower rates. The very launch of mobile VoIP into already existing VoIP is an innovator step which is much likely to revolutionize the telecommunication world in the years to come.

The commencement of VoIP technology was not that successful in the beginning owing to the fact that lowering of cost was compensated by a compromise on the quality. The internet basis of VoIP instead of a landline was being adopted by only price conscious lot whereas the quality conscious lot was reluctant to make a shift. However, over the years, the quality of VoIP has been several fold bettered and even the landline phones are lagging behind in the clarity and sound quality of VoIP. The amalgam improved quality and low cost renders VoIP a smart technology and a wise alternative to conventional telephone land lines system. Owing to such strikingly favourable features, VoIP is gaining its popularity in private as well as business sector.

The success and acceptance of VoIP has led to the development of mobile VoIP that has further transformed the world of telecommunication. Mobile VoIP, though a newly introduced technology, is likely to be accepted open armed by the quality and price conscious lot and soon, the contemporary mobile market will be taken over by mobile VoIP. If viewed in the long run, mobile VoIP undoubtedly is going to be the centre of attraction in the coming years.

The acceptance that VoIP service is presently enjoying, it can be anticipated that a further beneficial technology as that of mobile VoIP will definitely grab its right share in the market.

Mobile VoIP being the smartest technological outcome with all the supportive features and the cost effectiveness is likely to be adopted by both private as well as business sector in the years to come. The reasons for which the home and businesses VoIP is being adopted by people are still intact and even further beneficial in case of mobile VoIP which suggests a radical acceptance of later amongst the masses.

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Internet Technology

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites: Which is better?

As the use of mobile phones continues to grow, the way in which we consume mobile content falls into two camps; mobile websites and mobile apps. But what is the difference? And which should we, as business, marketers or developers, be looking to use as we move into the mobile web?

Mobile websites vs mobile apps infographic
Mobile websites vs mobile apps infographic

Mobile Websites

Generally speaking, mobile websites are the cheaper option for businesses moving into mobile. However, simply streamlining your desktop content and putting it into a smartphone format isn’t enough to really engage the end user; good mobile websites will utilise added functionality, such as pinch-and-zoom, and a restructured navigation to provide an optimised, bespoke mobile experience. Examples worth looking at include the NSPCC and Google’s mobile homepage.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are typically the more expensive option, both in terms of set up and maintenance cost, and for that reason charities must ensure their offering is suitable to an app to get the best return on investment.

The most successful mobile apps are those which provide a practical use, such as a navigation tool or a recipe finder. Other successful mobile apps are highly customisable and interactive; these apps work because they integrate software on the user’s handset and provide them with a personalised experience they can return to again and again. Good apps will also be recommended by users to their friends and, through this, provide an excellent opportunity for brand building.

There’s no need to rush in…

Mobile phones continue to grow in popularity every day, with users increasingly making use of mobile websites and apps; that means they’re not going anywhere fast and there’s no need to rush into a mobile presence.

By taking the time to consider a long term mobile strategy, businesses can not only refine their offering to provide a better experience for their audience, but also give staff and supporters time to better understand the benefits of mobile and how it can work for them.