5 Tips to Help You Learn How to Lower App Development Costs

You are embarking on a journey to create the app of your dreams. You’ve done some research on what...

4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses

With so many more IT options for small businesses now that used to only be reserved for huge organizations,...

Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service

Get started today for free with a 30-day trial of Amazon WorkMail for up to 25 users: http://amzn.to/1IGr80I Amazon...

Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe

Microsoft Office 365 has a lot to offer to its customers. Compared to Microsoft Office 2013, it is significantly...

Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.

Evernote is one of my favorite freeware apps. Do you spend a lot of time searching for that business...
Uncategorized
5 Tips to Help You Learn How to Lower App Development Costs
IT Support, Technology
4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses
Technology
Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology
Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe
Cloud Services, Technology
Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.
MacBook Pro Box
Reviews

First Impression Of The New Macbook Pro 2016 Base Model.

Today’s review is going to be the new base model 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook Pro line is one of the more controversial Apple launches in recent memory.

The launch was highly anticipated, but some of the hardware and pricing decisions Apple made left a lot of people unhappy and frustrated.

The packaging is the typical apple quality that we have all come to expect inside the box with the computer is one USBC cable and a 61 watt USBC power adapter.

They no longer include an extension cable for the power adapter you can also no longer wind the cord around the charger which was really a useful feature that I always liked.

The machine itself feel solid and well built the new aluminum body is light but also super solid.

I like the new keyboard feel, and after getting used to it for a few hours it’s hard to go back the trackpad is giant, and as usual, it’s pretty much the best in the business now.

Let’s get on to some of the controversies the only ports are the two Thunderbolt 3.1 ports on the left side and a headphone jack on the right.

I have to say that I miss the MagSafe charging port it was just a great design and charging through USB feels like a step back.

The retina displays the same resolution, but it’s brighter and supports more colors. Looking at it is easy to see the difference in the brightness.

The speakers are also improved although it’s probably not a key feature to most people.

The sound quality that they can get out of a small machine like this is pretty impressive.

Under the hood performance changes is kind of hard to draw a conclusion on most changes seem to be made with a balance of performance and efficiency in mind.

We did a geek bench test against a mid-2013 MacBook Pro which has 16 gigs of ram and an i7.

It did give that computer run for its money but it ultimately fell short. You can either make a case that this is a good performance or not so good performance and I’m really not sure how I feel about it overall.

One undeniably impressive factor the new MacBook Pro is the SSD speeds it was more than double the speed of my old 13-inch MacBook Pro.

On the black magic speed test and it max out the program with over 2,000 megabytes per second reads hard drive read and write speeds are one of the biggest variables in making a computer feel faster or slower to the average person.

Not everybody that buys this machine is going to be doing rendering where you can really get a feel for the processor and the graphics memory.

So I think just the perception of being a faster computer is going to be delivered by the speed of the new SSD in some ways it’s the best apple notebook We’ve ever used but certain changes feel like a step back when you combine the two to three hundred dollar price jump from the previous model.

It’s even harder to justify its an impressive balance between power efficiency and battery life, but it doesn’t feel like a real workhorse build for pros and power users like some of the computers of the past.

What do you think? Are you going to buy it?

app development
Uncategorized

5 Tips to Help You Learn How to Lower App Development Costs

You are embarking on a journey to create the app of your dreams. You’ve done some research on what it takes. You don’t have the coding skills to make it happen. You have a limited budget, and you don’t want to ship it overseas because you know deep down the horror stories are true.

The problem is, the app development companies in your area are charging six-figures for an app.

This post aims to guide you in lowering your cost significantly so that you can have your app and still eat too. What are some of the ways you can reduce your app development costs? Let’s dive right in!

Clarify Your Idea

I know you’ve dreamed up the next big thing, but just take a deep breath and relax because you still have a little time before you’re sailing away on your yacht to celebrate the sale of your big idea. This is especially true if you are wishing to deliver a valuable app on a budget. Simplifying your idea means being able to simply answer these questions:

What problem are you solving with this app?

and

Who are you solving the problem for?

When I hear from starry-eyed entrepreneurs and marketing departments, they are often working on a tight budget which means getting this first step right is the difference between delivering value and not.

If you can clearly state the problem, you are going to solve, and you know who you will be building the app for, you will have already saved yourself thousands of dollars.

Wireframe Your App

Wire-framing is the next critical step to lowering the cost of app development. If you aren’t familiar with wire-framing, all you have to do is sit down and draw a sketch of your entire app’s experience, adding notes to each drawing to explain what should happen. It’s not critical to get all fancy with it. You can do this on a piece of notebook paper, or if you have the skills, could use cool tools like Sketch and Photoshop.

How does this lower your app development costs? Glad you asked! When you can approach a development company with a clear idea of what you want and what the app must do, you remove a lot of the ambiguity about what needs to be delivered.

When you provide clarity on what needs to be released, you will receive a more accurate estimate of development costs and timeline. This will be nice to know because most apps go over budget and are presented past your deadline. Help yourself save some money and a lot of frustration by wire-framing.

Design Your App

When you see your app on a phone for the first time, you will look at it like it’s your baby. That’s not to say that your app is good, though. Like a parent with a newborn, nobody wants to admit their baby is ugly and likewise, nobody wants an ugly baby.

In the world of app development, the design takes time. So when you go and talk to your development company for the first time, with demand for ease of use, speedy response times and award winning designs, you should recognize that this takes time.

That’s not to say you can’t lower the cost of design for your app because you can. Start by taking some inspiration from Step 1 and simplify. The simpler your design, the less time needed to get that perfect shadow or custom transition. One way to simplify your design is to decide on using Native User Interface Elements, like stock headers, scrolling, tab navigation, and sliders.

You can always go in and change colors, but if you’re hoping to build highly customized interactive experiences, you should expect to pay over 30K.

app design success

Focus on a Single Platform

Ok, you’ve chosen to take the much more affordable route for your app design by selecting to go native. You feel like you are getting closer to releasing your world-changing app idea.

But wait, there are a ton of different devices available to your customers.

Which one will you choose?

If you want to stay on budget, don’t say all of them. I know…YOU HAVE TO build for Android, iPhone, and The Web, but your budget says otherwise.

Choosing one device seems complicated, but I’ll make it easy for you if you will just answer this question,

What device does your ideal customer use most?

If you are your ideal customer, then you know what choice you need to make. You can also take a look at the current device market share to see percentages of people with each mobile device.

Stick to Your Decisions

This final step may seem a little philosophical, and you can do as you please, but I only development apps for a living so what do I know?

The number one reason your app will go over budget has everything to do with you and your commitment to a price range and vision upfront.

It’s going to be scary seeing your app built without all of the features you dreamed. There will be things that are nice to have or devices you need to ship on before anything hits the stores.

These beliefs are irrational because when you release your app, you will experience the joy of receiving feedback from your customers, who can help you decide on the nice to haves for future builds.

App Development is a process that starts with you and ends with steadily building better versions for your customers. By living with the decision to focus on solving a core problem, crystallizing your vision, simplifying your design and building for a single device, you will see your app cost dramatically decrease.

If you decide to live by these rules, I promise you will get to market faster, at a lower cost, giving you the feedback and leftover resources to listen to your customers and make the app even better.

Are there any other ways you can think of saving money on app development? Did you totally disagree with what I said? Please let me know in the comments below.

hacker in action
IT Support, Technology

4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses

With so many more IT options for small businesses now that used to only be reserved for huge organizations, there are also higher security risks when small businesses choose to use cloud-based storage systems. Cloud-based data storage systems allow a user to store data in a remote location and access it online from anywhere.

Here are four simple ways to improve security in small businesses when using cloud-based storage systems:

1. Advanced Firewall

A basic firewall is one that most cloud-based services have to offer, and while these can keep out most automated access attempts by simple viruses or novice hackers. However according to many small business IT support companies they are not advanced enough to keep out more experienced hackers, nor do they prevent some suspicious traffic from slipping in. Make sure that the cloud-based company you are looking into has advanced firewall techniques in place that are both extremely difficult to penetrate from the outside and fairly easy for you to manage from the inside.

2. Advanced Threat Protection

This goes for both your cloud-based security system as well as the personal computers used by your team members. As technology advances, so do the methods used by cyber-thieves. Many times, their methods are much harder to detect, and the siphoning of data occurs automatically which makes it less likely to set off anti-virus alerts.

Make sure you have software in place on all of your computers that offers the most advanced threat protection available, and that the cloud-based systems you utilize also have similarly advanced virus protection in place to protect your remotely-stored data as well. Many of the viruses today are downloaded through very safe-looking links and websites, and once they settle onto your computer, they steal specific types of data and relay them back to their origins. This can go on for months or even years without detection without proper virus protection in place.

3. Secure Wireless Connection

This is easily one of the simplest steps to take to help protect the data of your small business, and it’s one that many people miss. You need to have a secure wireless connection that has encryption and WPA. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and is an important part of protecting your small business’s data.

One way to do this is to keep guest Wi-Fi networks completely separate from your primary network. Guest Wi-Fi networks that allow visitors to your business to access the internet should never be connected to the network that you use to upload and store sensitive information.

4. Advanced Data Leak Protection

Most data leaks occur because the data that is being sent and received by the virus software that may have been implanted on your computer appears to be legitimate traffic. Because this data itself doesn’t appear to be dangerous, it is largely ignored by both firewalls and anti-virus software and continues to allow this data to leak out of your computer and into the hands of people that want to use it for their own good.

To avoid this common kind of data leaks, make sure you find software that has features designed specifically to detect the undirected traveling of this type of information to or from your computer. Two of the most common types of data that are stolen are credit card or bank account numbers or social security numbers. Both of these can then be used for identity theft.

Choosing a cloud-based system that has advanced data leak protection can help keep the sensitive information you have on your customers safe and secure where it belongs. These types of systems will both prevent and notify you if any information is being sent or received by unknown servers.Business security doesn’t stop here, though, make sure you have a comprehensive IT plan in place. Keeping your customer information secure is vitally important for maintaining excellent customer relations and a good reputation.

Technology

Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service

Get started today for free with a 30-day trial of Amazon WorkMail for up to 25 users: http://amzn.to/1IGr80I

Amazon WorkMail is a secure, managed business email and calendar service with support for existing desktop and mobile email clients. Amazon WorkMail gives users the ability to seamlessly access their email, contacts, and calendars using Microsoft Outlook, a web browser, or native iOS and Android email applications. Amazon WorkMail also integrates with your existing corporate directory and allows you to control both, the keys that encrypt your data and the location in which your data is stored.

working on computer
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology

Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe

Microsoft Office 365 has a lot to offer to its customers. Compared to Microsoft Office 2013, it is significantly better software!

Although the new software scores higher than its predecessor in almost every aspect, its safety features are especially worth noting. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about here.

As far as safety of your data is concerned, these are some things you can do when you rely on Microsoft Office 365:

You can be lazy

If you forget to renew your subscription for some reason, you need not worry about your data getting lost. Microsoft gives you an additional 90 day period during which you can recover your data. That is, even after your subscription is over!

You can act tough

Microsoft Office 365 encourages you to use passwords that are very tough. In case that is not enough for you, you can even use multi-factor authentication. Basically, what that means is that you need not worry about someone else sneaking through your valuable data.

You can sleep better

The fact of the matter is that Office 365 makes use of cloud privacy standard that is approved by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. That is not all. Even European authorities approve of Microsoft’s standards in this regard. Believe it or not, the whole thing is far more secure than most people think it is.

You can speculate and wonder

Microsoft does not let anyone know where it stores its data; at least, not anyone who falls among the general public. Also, the corporation manages a number of different facilities scattered all over the world. Even if a hacker wants to go through your data, the first and biggest challenge will be locating the data center where the information is stored!

You can just relax

BitLocker Encryption, SSL, and IRM are just some of the many different encryptions used to protect your data. Whether you want to view your data at rest, or communicate with your data somehow, you can be certain that everything is encrypted all the time. That means, prying eyes cannot even glance at your things for even a second.

When dealing with cloud, there is almost always a certain degree of risk involved. Yet, it seems that Microsoft has managed to minimize that to a great extent with its Office 365. That is evident from the fact that all of the above points are quite exciting and reassuring.

programmer-writing-notes-on-paper
Cloud Services, Technology

Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.

Evernote is one of my favorite freeware apps. Do you spend a lot of time searching for that business card someone gave you, hunting down login information for your website, shuffling through papers to find those meeting notes from two weeks ago, rummaging around your desk to find an important number you wrote on the back of an envelope, or scouring the web to find a site that you forgot to bookmark? Then you need Evernote.

Advertised as “Your External Brain,” Evernote is the best way to keep up with all the details that tend to get misplaced in our overloaded world.

Think of it as a free-form, never ending roll of paper than you just keep adding to, with an instantaneous search and excellent category tagging features.

You can type, scribble ink notes with a stylus or mouse. You can send a web page directly to Evernote from your browser with the click of a button.

You can add photos to it. You can snap photos of business cards, and it will search for the text inside the image (yes, you heard me!). If you put it in Evernote, you’ll always be able to find it later.

The newest version of Evernote also has a web client, which means that your Evernote database on your computer is always in sync with the one on the web. So if you’re away from your computer, you can access your database on the web to see all your notes!

You can even see all your notes from your phone, or snap a photo with your phone and email it to your Evernote database. When you get back to your computer, you’ll see your photo there too. Be still, my beating heart!

I have been using Evernote for several years. I have two different Evernote databases in constant use: the first one is my Daily Journal. I use it just like a paper journal to write about projects I am working on, random observations, my workouts, blog ideas, etc. It is also full of photos, doodles, scribbles, email clips, web clips and brainstorms.

My second Evernote database is used primarily for work. I use it to jot down phone numbers, temporary passwords, write down notes during a meeting, web clips, voicemail notes, etc.– anything that doesn’t warrant going to a more permanent location like Outlook, but is something I might need to refer to again. Instead of bookmarking websites the old fashioned way,

I will often clip them to Evernote instead– that way, they’re available off-line, and I can also make comments on them. I can’t tell you how much I love and rely on this program. If you live in the 21st busy century tech life, then you need to use Evernote.