Monday, 29 June 2015

The Best Top 10 Tech Tips!

There is nothing like knowing a good computer shortcut that helps you do things a little faster. It turns out though, most of these aren’t common knowledge, so here they are, my top 10!

1. Charge your smart phone quicker and smarter [MOBILE DEVICE]
Heading out in a few minutes and your phone's flat? Switch to 'Airplane Mode' and plug it in to charge. It'll do a high speed charge that will give you those extra few minutes you beg for sometimes.

2. Save time and space-bar to scroll! [DESKTOP]
Please stop reaching for that mouse to scroll up or down when you're browsing the net, simply tap the space-bar to go down or Shift + space-bar to scroll up. Yes, this will also work on a MAC or any computer with a browser. So go on, try it.

3. Bigger/smaller text [DESKTOP]
Another one for when you're on the web and the text or image is too small. Hold down the Control button (Command Command on Mac on Mac) and tap the plus (+) button to zoom in. To zoom out, just hold the control and tap the minus (-) button.

4. Speed through forms using the Tab [DESKTOP]
So you obviously know that when filling out a form online, by tapping the 'Tab' key, you move from text box to text box. But did you know that when you get to a drop down option, for example 'Country', you can type 'AUS' and it will go to Australia?

5. Double tap to redial [MOBILE DEVICE]
Especially handy when you're in the car and want to redial the last number you called. Tap the call button twice in succession, that's it! All phones, any carrier (or car), every time.

6. Double tap space-bar for the full-stop [MOBILE DEVICE]
If you're typing on your smart phone or tablet, don't slow down by finishing your sentences with a full-stop and then attempt to make your next letter a capital. Simply tap the space-bar twice and it will automatically place a full stop as well as capitalise the next letter. Some phones may require you to turn this feature on in your keyboard settings.

7. Double click the mouse for word selection [DESKTOP]
When you eventually move away from the keyboard and need to select a word, don't bother dragging your mouse trying to select it that way, just double click the word to select it perfectly. Double click and drag to select the sentence in one word increments.
Seeing as I hate moving away from the keyboard, it would be remiss not to mention the keyboard version to this. Go to the start of the word, keep Ctrl + Shift held down and tap the right arrow (for Mac/iOS replace Ctrl with the Alt option). Releasing the Shift key will also skip through the sentence in one word increments, without selecting.

8. Blank screen for attention [DESKTOP]
Ever sat through a presentation and caught yourself staring at the slides the entire time, instead of the presenter? As the presenter you feel as if you're not connecting with your audience, so next time this happens, tap the 'B' key on the keyboard (Keynote or PowerPoint) and magically everyone will turn and look back at you. What this does is simply black-out the screen. To continue the presentation, simply tap 'B' again. If you prefer a whiteout instead, try tapping the 'W' key. I find the blackout works better though, as people often think something's gone wrong.

9. Auto-focus & macro for smartphone paparazzi [MOBILE DEVICE]
Using the flash on a camera is a pet hate of mine and one that can be avoided most of the time. Next time you're snapping a pic, start by turning the flash off. Now, when you're ready to take the pic, tap the area of the screen where you'd like to focus. Just like that, the smart phone will brighten the display without the flash.

For the lovers of the macro feature, simply take a small drop of water and place it directly onto the lens of your smart phone. Now get up close and personal with an object to get that clear close up picture, awesome right?

10. Google for…everything.
So we all know that Google is more than just a way to search for web pages, but did you know that Google is your local:
  • Dictionary: Type the word 'define' followed by the word you would like to know and it'll return the definition.
  • Flight checker: With all major airlines having their database indexed, simply type in the flight number and nothing else and you get everything you need in the search results page. Times, terminal, gates, etc.
  • Website specific search engine: some websites annoyingly don't offer a search option, so just go to Google and type in 'site:anywebsite.com' followed by the phrase you'd like to search and enjoy result from that one site.
  • Calculator: sums as well as conversions
  • Stock checker
  • ...and the list goes on. 
Have some top tips or shortcuts of your own? Be sure to submit them below! 

MORAL 
THERE IS ALWAYS A BETTER, A FASTER WAY.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Are you invisible to Google mobile?

Don't have a mobile/responsive site yet? Oops, you stuffed up.

April 21, 2015 doesn't only mark 81 years that people have been looking for the famous Loch Ness monster, but more importantly for some business',  it marks the end of you site showing up on Google's mobile search.

So if you haven't yet come to the 'mobile party' and optimised your website via either a mobile or responsive site, your website will be harder to find on Google than catching a glimpse of Nessy herself!

Starting today, Google expanded their use of 'mobile-friendliness' as a ranking signal. This is an attempt to assist users to find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are essentially optimised for their device.

They (Google) did give us fair warning on their blog at the start of the year so if you've been caught out, well, you're probably ranking where you should be.

Remember this old post from 2012 about where I was pleading with you to think mobile first? I hope you took note.

THE MORAL
YOU MUST THINK MOBILE FIRST. mCOMMERCE IS NOT ONLY THE FUTURE, IT'S THE PRESENT.
Google doodle on April 21, 2015

Here are a few stats on the effectiveness of mobile marketing you may enjoy





Friday, 20 March 2015

Top 3 startups for 2015

Here's a list of 3 startups, which are not only inspiring but why I think they will be mega-important in the coming years.

1. gThrive (www.gthrive.com) - Silicon Valley CA

The What?
gThrive have created wireless sensors that farmers can insert in the soil and it dynamically transmits details about the soil condition to the farmer. The farmer then uses this data to optimise the use of water & energy, in various locations of their crop(s).

The Why?
This is by far the most excising innovation for farmers in areas where water is scarce, such as much of Australia.

With kits starting from only $3K, the investment makes perfect sense for farmers. The developers have evidence to show that the system pays for itself in only 12 months. Just think about the possibilities with all the soil data being collected.

2. Be-Bound® (www.be-bound.com) - Silicon Valley CA

The What?
This innovative cloud technology allows you to connect to the internet in areas where there is no Wi-Fi, 2G or 3G service by using the most reliable network service available today, SMS. Using the SMS network as a transport layer, it exchanges information between the web and your smartphone, increasing internet coverage dramatically. 
We started with a simple observation: everybody has faced connection issues, even in covered areas like the train, the subway, indoor or any other areas with low connectivity.” stated Albert Szulman, CEO of Be-Bound®.
The Why?
Being mobile, is something most of us take for granted, yet currently, over 3 billon mobile phone users around the world are unable to access the net. This technology has the power to connect them in an effective and economical way.
Be-Bound® is a very simple idea: Connect everyone to the mobile internet, everywhere. NOW.
3. Compte Nickel (www.compte-nickel.fr) - France

The What?
An innovative debit card (MasterCard) that is sure to change the face of banking for the middle to lower class society that struggle with the existing bank fees.

The Why?
In only 5 minutes, this service allows you to sign up for an international bank account number and debit card. For a small flat fee of €20 per year, this then allows you to do any regular banking transaction that you can do with a regular credit/debit card, at no cost.

It’s no surprise that Compte Nickel has already been immensely popular with middle-class French.

MORAL
WITH ALL THE DIGITAL TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL, WE NEED TO STRIVE TO LIVE IN A MORE QUALITATIVE WORLD AS OPPOSED TO A QUANTITATIVE ONE. THIS WILL ALLOW US AS A SOCIETY, TO DO MORE WITH LESS.