Saturday, September 4, 2021

AgilityPortal connects remote work teams

Doing business on a global scale presents more than a few challenges and difficulties. While I'm sleeping, I get emails, orders and questions from clients who are starting their work day. And while my two sons live in the US, their employers are based in Europe with digital development teams in Asia. 


And these days, it seems like everyone is working from their homes.


Fortunately for all of us, there are new online tools like AgilityPortal to help far-flung teams connect, communicate, collaborate and succeed. The intranet software platform creates an intelligent workplace that employees can use in an office, from their homes or when they're on the road.


An employee experience component smoothes the onboarding process for new employees by delivering training programs and company information. It also helps employees and associates be successful once they are part of the team with knowledge libraries and training courses. A a social intranet spurs employee interaction and builds collaboration skills.  

 


Other components help employees manage customer needs, control their email and other communication tools and get quick access to sales reports, support materials and answers to their questions. The platform supports integration with a variety of cloud-based service such as DropBox, SharePoint and OneDrive.


AgilityPortal is designed for a remote workforce that uses different devices for different situations. The platform has versions for desktop and laptop computers, tablet devices and mobile phones. It  can be used from a central cloud computer or installed on a company server and secured with identity tools like Microsoft Azure Active Directory and two-factor authentication.


The most widely-used version of AgilityPortal costs $599 and includes up to 60 licenses. The company's pricing page has information about packages for large operations or a version small start-ups, non-profits and educational institutions.

  

For a closer look at AgilityPortal, watch the video below and visit the AgilityPortal website. AgilityPortal is also online at Facebook, LinkedIn and @AgilityPortal on Twitter.


Friday, August 27, 2021

PDF Writer app will scan, edit and store text

Writers, of course, are also readers and they often come across material that might be inspiring or worthy of quoting in an article, book or research paper. PDF Writer is a new app that makes it easy to capture and collect text from a variety of sources.

The app uses the phone's built-in camera to highlight and scan text from PDF documents. Once the text is captured, PDF Writer lets users edit, annotate and revise the text to meet their needs. Users can add a signature, change the text size and font, apply highlights or markup elements.


Text passages can be revised and organized by adjusting font sizes to create headings and subheads. The app offers more than 150 font options and a full pallet of colors. 

 


Collected passages can be saved to an unlimited number of color-coded folders or shared as a PDF, image or rich text file. The folders can also password protected. Editing and file management is all done within the app and does not require an Internet connection.

The iOS version of the is available in the Apple App Store. It runs on Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 14.1 or later. It's also available for the Macs that have the M1 chip and macOS 11.0 or later. 


The app is free to download and use. Subscriptions are available for a Premium Pro version.   


The PDF Writer app was developed by RiverFlow App, which also created other PDF-focused apps including PDF Pencil and an app that will merge, scan and split PDF pages. 





Thursday, August 26, 2021

Rockstar Bingo beats the work-at-home blues

For most of my work-at-home friends, every day brings another round of boring business video conferences. And if they can't leave their house or stray very far from their keyboard and mouse, don't they deserve an occasional break to do something fun?

I think I might have a solution. It's a group game called Rockstar Bingo that's starting to pop up both online and in real-world bars and pubs. And it looks like a lot more fun than another Zoom call with the boss.

The game is like traditional bingo, but instead of a grid of random numbers, each player gets five-column digital card showing song titles and artist names in each square. The game host spins songs while players search their cards looking for a match. The winner, of course, is the first player to click a series of squares that spell B-I-N-G-O.

The game can be played at home among friends or family members, or in a pub or similar live setting. All it needs is a host to set it up, a list of players, and a collection of at least 75 songs. The host sends invitations to players who click to the Rockstar Bingo website to exchange their invitation code for a bingo card.

Once players have checked in, the host starts playing tunes and players begin identifying songs and marking their cards. Is that Pink Floyd's "Money" that I hear? Do I have that square? When a player fills in a row, they click the "Call Bingo" button to alert the host.  

Hosts act as the game's DJ. If they're using a paid version of the game, they can select a playlist provided by the game makers, upload their own playlist or connect to one of their personal playlists on Spotify. Rockstar Bingo also maintains a library of public Spotify playlists.   

Hosts can also consult a library of training videos to help them up their game with tips, graphics, checklists, photos and other media assets. There's also a Facebook community that's just for hosts and a Music Bingo Podcast.

In addition to bingo sessions with friends or businesses associates, Rockstar Bingo is also starting to be offered as entertainment in clubs and pubs, like a new spin on karaoke or trivia nights. The game can also be used to keep crowds entertained at sporting events or movie theaters during the warm up period or intermissions. 

Rockstar Bingo is available for free play with groups of up to six players. An ad-free premium version that allows custom playlists and supports up to 30 players costs $29.99 per year. For larger groups, Rockstar Bingo will provide a custom price quote.

For more details, check out the video below and visit the Rockstar Bingo website, their Facebook page and Instagram feed and @RockstarBingo on Twitter. 



  





Monday, August 23, 2021

TongLe community helps users find and build friendships


Much of the recent news about social media hasn't been very good. Online platforms have been tagged as breeding grounds for political extremism and contributors to depression and loneliness, especially among younger users.

But some digital communities are taking a spin in a more positive direction. TongLe, for example, is a free online service that's building a community based on positive interactions in a stress-free and comfortable environment. 


Here's how TongLe summarizes it's goals: 


Our mission is to inspire hope, end stress and loneliness faced by our members. We achieve this by 24/7 peer support, compassionate listening, promoting healthy lifestyle and bringing healthcare closer to our members. Our approach is through science-based solutions to enhance their well-being so that we can help people live healthier, happier lives with our technology and our people.


Based in Southeast Asia, TongLe's target audience is adults between ages 18 to 45 living in regions that include Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 


TongLe's website offers discussion groups on topics such as Mental Wellness, Fitness and Coaching, Coping with Stress and Anxiety and becoming a better version of one's self.  


Many of the TongLe activities and events take place offline in the real world organized by their own users. For example, there's a weekly beach tennis event where members are invited to drop in to play or get a lesson. Other events include group hikes, yoga sessions, cycling and board games as well as lunch and dinner gatherings in order to increase human interaction. 


There is no charge for members to join TongLe. The service generates income from connecting members to professional services, singing instruction courses and a unique Listener Service that is available at any time of the day or night. An evaluation by Equidam says TongLe has almost 18,000 members and is valued at $7 million (SGD).


For a closer look at TongLe's services and activities, visit the TongLe website. TongLe also has a mobile app available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

iMin mobile POS terminal is built for food to go

The past 18 months have brought new dimensions to the concept of thinking on your feet, especially in the restaurant business. 

Home deliveries have expanded and even become the norm in some cases. Customers have also learned about the advantages of "grab and go" takeouts. And even now after most restaurants have reopened for indoor dining, staffers often arrive at your table to take orders and process payments using portable terminals. 


Restaurant technology is also adapting to the newer and more mobile environment. One example is the new M2 Max mobile point-of-sale terminal from iMin. It's a terminal designed specifically for food delivery and mobile order management.



The M2 Max features an 8-inch color touch screen that's significantly larger than most mobile POS devices. Inside is an 8 Core ARM processor that runs 3 times faster than the average for chips used in comparable applications. The M2 Max also has a built-in Seiko printer that can spit out a paper receipt at 100mm per second.


The device weights 598 grams -- a little over one pound -- and uses a rechargeable battery making it adaptable to a variety of situations. It can be mounted on a wall, placed on a countertop or brought along on a delivery run. 


The M2 Max runs the Android 11 GO operating system with a custom user interface. It accepts digital payments from mobile phones and it can scan QR codes.  


For a closer look, check out the video below and visit the iMin website where you can download product catalogs and operating manuals for many of iMin's products.


You can follow the company online at FacebookInstagram (@imin_tech), and LinkedIn.




Ubetalk app helps gig drivers stay in touch

When Uber and Lyft arrived in my city, I was among the first people who signed up to drive.

Over the first few months,  there was plenty of interaction among drivers. First there were official meetings, then occasional social gatherings where we swapped driving stories and shared tips and marketing ideas. Later, many of us installed installed a walkie-talkie type of app that let us talk on a group channel. 


But that was more than six years ago. Today, many of the initial drivers who I got to know have moved on to other jobs. And the last time I checked the walkie-talkie app, here was apparently no one on the usual channel. All I heard was silence.


Maybe gig drivers need a new and more convenient way to communicate with each other. That's the idea behind Ubetalk, a new iOS app created by someone who worked for several years as a rideshare driver in the San Francisco area. It's designed to let drivers connect with and share information with each other. 


Ubetalk (pronounced YOUBEE talk) uses a dedicated text messaging platform to share comments and questions. The app uses real-time GPS to connect to drivers who are in the same general vicinity.

Unlike the walkie-talkie app, Ubetalk uses text messages that can be entered from the phone's keyboard or dictated using the keyboard's voice input option. 


Using text avoids the garbled audio that I often experienced with the walkie-talkie app. And it leaves messages posted on the user's screen for as long as the app is in use. A separate segment called Report acts like a bulletin board for general information such as a street closing. 


Messages posted in the Broadcast part of the app disappear when the app is closed. Messages remain in the Report area, which acts like a bulletin board. In either case, the message authors remain anonymous. 

 

Ubetalk developer Alex Shin says the app was designed to appeal to a wide range of drivers, including those who do delivery gigs for Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Uber eats or Amazon as well as full-time professional drivers for UPS and FedEx and taxi, limo, bus and truck drivers.


Drivers can use the app to share updates and tips on traffic snarls, pickup and drop off locations as well as pay rates and surge areas. Users can also share information about new driving opportunities.


Jokes, funny stories and links to websites or social media platforms are allowed on Ubetalk. But the user license agreement prohibits messages that involve profanity, hate speech, drug use, copyrighted images or sexually explicit photos.   


Ubetalk is available as a free download for iOS devices in the Apple App Store. Shin says a version for Android devices will be released soon.


For a closer look at Ubetalk, check the video below and the Ubetalk website


Monday, August 16, 2021

GRAB AR app collects and organizes images

While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost everyone's work life, a few people I know used their time at home to start an e-commerce business. One found items at second hand stores that she sold on her website for a nice profit. Another bought goods in bulk to resell on his blog.


Although both enjoyed some success, they both complained that the process of getting their goods posted online was too long and too complicated. Photos of their items had to be edited, backgrounds removed, and titles, prices and descriptions added.


An app called GRAB AR would have been a good addition to their digital toolbox. The app puts those steps and more into a single process that runs on mobile phones or desktop computers.  

   

The app lets users compile a collection of images from a variety of sources including their phone's camera, their stored library, from QR codes or a web URL. Once the images are obtained, users can move or resize them, add titles and descriptions to each one and even remove backgrounds. 


Users can then share the collection with other GRAB AR users or post the images and information to their website. The app will also generate a QR code for images and collections and save collections in Word or PDF document format.


GRAB AR also helps web publishers to make it easier for their readers to grab and store or share posted content. The developers have created a snippet of code that can be added to websites to create a QR code for all image content. Codes can also be created within Microsoft 365 apps including Outlook, Sharepoint and Teams. And there's a set of browser plug-ins for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox browsers.


GRAB AR is available as a free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. The ad-supported free version five image content items per GRAB collection along with 10 background removals per day. 


For more details about app and its features, check out the video below and visit the GRAB AR website. You can also find GRAB AR on Facebook and @grabarapp on Twitter.




Monday, August 2, 2021

InSync dating app includes safety options

INSYNC Corp. has launched inSync, the first UK-based dating app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app uses an advanced match-making algorithm to help users find other people with compatible personalities. 

Users can connect to spark a romance or simply pursue a friendship with someone who has similar interests or hobbies. 

InSync also has a unique feature called SyncSafe that adds a new level of protection for people involved in online dating. When users agree to meet for the first time, the app will present a pop-up screen containing the latest health warnings and advice from government health sources. 

For added security, SyncSafe allows users to turn on a tracking option that will follow the user from the start until the end of the date.

InSync users can purchase a SyncBoost that will increase the visibility of their profile and give them access to a special page to find others who have also joined SyncBoost. Another option is the exclusive SyncClub that offers even more visibility as well as weekly SyncBoosts.

The inSync app is available as a free download in the Apple App Store. Membership plans can be purchased for as little as £1.99.

For more details, visit the INSYNC website.


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