Email is by now, the most important communication tool at the disposal of business owners, managers and employees. While it is incredibly useful, it is also a bit of a pain, with many users feeling overwhelmed by the number of emails they receive on a daily basis. The problem with this is that important emails may be forgotten or get lost in the huge volume of incoming messages. If you have an iPhone or iPad and use the Mail app, there is actually a feature that can help prevent this – VIP Inbox.
What exactly is VIP Inbox? The VIP Inbox is a feature that allows you to set certain people as ‘very important’. When they send you an email, it will be automatically highlighted and easier to see. They will also be viewable from a specific Inbox or folder within your main Inbox. The emails aren’t moved, or duplicated, they are just easier to see. This is a great feature for users who receive a large number of emails, most of which are less than important, or users who have too many emails and tend to lose important ones from specific senders, clients, employees, etc.
When you activate this feature, you can set who is a VIP, and even set specific notification sounds and settings, which will make emails from these people stand out when you receive them. You can then select this Inbox when you open the Mail app and then view only emails from VIPs.
How to establish VIP Inbox If you would like to set up a VIP Inbox, you can do so by:
Contacts you select will be automatically registered as a VIP, and any future emails should be labeled as such. Once you have finished selecting your VIP list, you should customize the notifications associated with this Inbox. This can be done by:
From here you can customize:
The key factor to be aware of here is that this will not clean your Inbox. What it will do is enable you to better track emails from important contacts. From here, you can focus on reducing the number of emails in your Inbox. If you would like to learn more about this feature or how the iPhone and iPad can help improve the way you work, please contact us today.
There are many reasons as to why the iPhone is so popular. To some there’s usability, robust devices and generally great quality overall. But the biggest reason so many people go with this phone is the apps. It is the apps that give the smartphone its functionality; make it smart. With over 700 million apps, there is guaranteed to be an app for everyone – including apps that turn your iPhone into a scanner!
Here are five apps that businesses can use to turn their iPhone into a scanner.
This full feature app lets you scan all sorts of documents from business cards to receipts and even images. It can also scan text documents and turn them into an editable digital version so you don’t have to retype them.
When the image, document, etc. is scanned they can be exported to a number of different online services like Evernote, iCloud, Dropbox and even Google Drive. You can find this app on the iTunes store for USD$9.99.
This app allows users to scan text documents and images and store them as either JPEGs or PDFs. The interface is quite intuitive with grid lines that make it easy to line up documents and is quite quick. You can also scan multiple pages of documents and the app will clean up the text and shadows then merge them into one file.
When you scan the documents you can choose to: Store them on your iDevice, email, or print them. You can also upload to Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive. The one downside with this app is that you won’t be able to edit the items you scan. It can be found here on the iTunes store for USD$6.99.
The biggest thing Genius Scan has going for it is that the basic version is free. You can scan documents and images and save them as JPEGs or PDFs and email them or store them on your device. The app has some pretty cool features including the ability to detect and alter perspectives to make scanned documents easier to read.
If you upgrade to the + version you will be able to send documents to Box, Evernote, Google Drive, SkyDrive and if it’s a receipt you can send it to Expensify. You will also be able to print directly to any printer that supports AirPrint. You can find the free app on the iTunes store, and upgrading to the + version is done in the app for USD$2.99
This app has a unique feature that the other apps lack: It allows you to take three pictures of the same document and will combine them into one document to provide the best quality image. As with most of the other apps, you can scan and save documents as PDFs or JPEGs. You can also save them on your phone and email them or print them on a AirPrint enabled device.
The one downside of this app is that there is no integration with cloud storage apps like Dropbox or iCloud. What you will have to do is store the file on your phone and open it with the app, then save it. You can find the app on iTunes store for USD$1.99.
Doc Scan Pro
This app is aimed at users who need to scan documents with numerous pages into either PDFs or JPEGs. Using advanced detection algorithms it can pick up where a book or document page’s curve and will separate the pages, scanning them separately. You can then customize how bright they are and the contrast to create the best looking scan. Because it is largely meant for longer documents, it can scan quickly and will put the documents into their own folder.
You can email the finished scans, or upload them to cloud storage apps like SkyDrive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, iCloud. You can also print them on an AirPrint enabled device, or send them to your computer over Wi-Fi. You can find the app on iTunes for USD$1.99.
If you would like to learn more about the iPhone and all the apps, please contact us today.
On September 10 Apple held their much awaited iPhone event. Heading into the event rumors were flying that there would be not one, but two iPhones introduced. These murmurings proved true, and Apple proudly announced two new iPhones – the 5s and 5c. This marks the first time Apple has launched two flagship phones, but the question is, “What exactly is the difference between the two?”
Below is an overview of the two different phones recently launched by Apple.
The iPhone 5c Some joke that the ‘c’ stands for ‘cheap’, and that’s just what this phone is. Kind of. Here’s what we know:
The iPhone 5s Does the ‘s’ stand for ‘supreme’? Maybe. This new device is Apple’s high-end smartphone. Here’s what we know:
Which is better? It is hard to say which device is better. When compared purely on technical specifications, the 5s is the more impressive device. That being said, most small to medium businesses don’t look solely at the tech specs, instead focusing on price and usability as well.
When it comes to price, the 5c – on contract – is hard to beat. It has more than enough processing power to handle nearly any task and usability should be the same as previous versions of the iPhone. The only worry is the actual durability – while Apple is known to produce high quality devices, the type of case used on the 5c is new, so whether this will be as durable as the 5s will remain to be seen. That being said, putting a case on it will likely negate any issues.
When can I get my hands on one? If you are looking for a new phone, pre-orders for the iPhone 5c started September 13, with first delivery scheduled for September 20. Knowing how popular Apple’s products are, there may be a bit of a wait for delivery.
The 5s will be available to order from September 20, with first delivery likely being in late September to early October.
If you are looking to learn more about these devices, please contact us today to see how we can help.
Apple has been one of the more popular companies of the past decade. It’s hard to go anywhere these days without seeing an Apple device, or something related to this mega tech company. One of the reasons for this is their mobile products, which run on the popular iOS. In September, Apple introduced the latest version of the system – iOS 7 – which brought with it many changes.
Here is an overview of the new features and changes that were introduced when iOS 7 launched.
A totally new look If you’ve updated to iOS 7 you will already know that it looks different, with virtually nothing left from the older versions. The changes made include different icons, typeface (font) and even a new color scheme.
In general, Apple has gone with a bolder look with icons that stand out and are visually different from previous versions of iOS. This new look will take some time to get used to, but reports are that users who updated back in September seem to like it.
Control Center A feature missing from older versions of iOS is the ability to quickly access your phone’s settings. iOS 7 solves this by introducing the Control Center, which can be accessed from anywhere by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
Control Center is where the most popular settings can be found and modified, and includes buttons to turn Wi-Fi on or off; set the brightness; turn on/off Airplane mode; change songs; and even access popular apps like the camera.
Multitasking Even though multitasking has been a feature in previous versions of iOS, it felt largely half baked. iOS 7 improves this by allowing you to quickly switch between open apps by sweeping your finger over the screen. You can close open apps by pressing on the image and flicking away from you.
Multitasking will also learn what your favorite apps are and keep them open in the background so they can be accessed quickly and easily. This has proven to be a helpful feature for business users who use multiple apps at the same time.
Notifications Center In iOS 7 the Notifications Center has been made even more useful. The biggest change being that your notifications are separated into three different views: Today, All and Missed. The Today view displays information like appointments, weather and other important tasks. The Missed view shows missed calls, texts, shares, etc.
AirDrop AirDrop has been a feature in the desktop version of Apple’s Operating System for a couple of years, and is now available on devices running iOS 7. If you are unfamiliar with AirDrop, think of it as a program that allows you to share essentially anything in your phone with nearby users without being connected to the Internet.
If you store files on your phone or tablet you can now easily share files with other Apple device users without having to attach them to an email or upload to a cloud storage provider. One great way to use this is to store presentations on your iPad, and when you need a projector share your work with a computer (as long as it is a Mac) connected to a projector. No having to fumble with cords.
As with most iOS updates, some features may not be available on all products. If you are looking to learn more about iOS and how to use it in your business, please contact us today.
Apple is the undisputed leader and trend-setter when it comes to consumer electronics. The company’s iPhones have been instrumental in the massive success that the brand enjoys today with millions of units having been sold worldwide. Indeed, since its inception in 2007, the iPhone has built up a cult-like following with its enthusiasts always seeking out the newest model to show off. The problem here is that so many phones are then discarded. So before you cast away your old iPhone, here are some ways you can repurpose it.
If your work requires you to constantly travel out of the country, have your old iPhone unlocked to avoid paying roaming charges. Unlocked iPhones can easily be connected to a local network service, but you automatically lose the warranty. Well, this should not be a huge concern since your timeworn gadget will most likely be disposed of one way or another so it may as well save you money and let you keep in touch overseas. International roaming services can be amazingly expensive. Your old iPhone can help you save hundreds of dollars if unlocked and save you more than you’d make on a sale.
Versatility is an intrinsic character of every iPhone. Its multimedia capabilities are stunning. And what’s more, it can be used without a SIM card. If you don’t need a spare phone, you can use it for music streaming and creating playlists just like an iPod or for taking snaps of people and places.
If you don’t have enough cash to purchase a DSLR, your old iPhone can do wonders for you. The improved lens and displays of iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s put the tools of a great photographer in your pocket. And there are numerous apps that can help you take pro shots using just your iPhone.
Perhaps, this is the most common way to repurpose your old iPhone. Make easy money by selling it to someone you know or via online auction sites such as eBay or Amazon. There is a good market for this, especially if it is in good working condition and priced fairly.
When pricing, you may want to study the market place to find out what old phones are changing hands for. Evaluate the condition of your phone – memory, warranty, performance, etc. This will give you a better perspective on the minimum rate you would accept in exchange for your old iPhone.
Check for trade promotions available online. You may find items that you want in exchange for your old iPhone. There are sites that offer gift cards or credit points that you can use to purchase a range of items that could be of more use than your spare phone.
If the above-mentioned repurposing methods do not appeal to you, maybe it’s time that you make someone happy and gift your old iPhone. Perhaps a less tech-savvy officemate who’s not upgraded for years, or a friend who has recently lost his or her mobile phone – that happens to all of us at some time or another after all. Another good idea is to hand it on to a local charity or business where it can do more good than sitting unused at home.
Of course, you can only give away your phone if it is in a good working condition. If the phone has reached the end of its useful life, then it may be better to get it recycled. After all, it’s full of precious metals and chips that can be reused.
It’s always a good idea to participate in recycling programs. Instead of throwing your scratched and damaged iPhone, find a center that recycles old phones (or parts of them). They’ll have better ideas about how to dispose or salvage the gadget. If you are lucky, you might even get a little extra cash out of it. Your old iPhones deserve more than just being a space taker in an unused drawer. So put it to good use and see if the options above are something you might want to consider.
The Calendar application is one of the built-in features that comes installed on every iOS device, including the iPhone and iPad. It has the important basic functions that you need in a calendar, including adding events and the ability to share events. Syncing with other calendars is also possible. By default, Calendar is set to begin each week on Sunday, but this can actually be modified if needs be.
If you go into Calendar and note that your regional setting is set to United States, for example, you may notice that the day of the week starts on a Sunday. This is true even with other regional settings. While it is technically correct that Sunday is the beginning of the week, you may still want to change the day so that your week starts based on your native calendar or even when your work week begins.
Often people see Monday as the start of the week because it is usually the start of the working week. You might find it more convenient if this is also reflected in your calendar setup. Moreover, your calendar might appear more organized if your weekends are next to each other. With the default setting, Sunday and Saturday are on the left and right side, with the work week in between.
There are two ways to change the day that your week starts on Calendar. One method is changing the country in the regional setting and the other one is by changing your Calendar’s date setting. However, take note that changing the regional setting will also affect other features in your device such as the time format and the number that appears on your screen when someone calls. If you don’t want to take any chances, it’s best to follow the calendar setting method.
Here’s how to change the day your week starts on your calendar setting:
If you would like to be a little different, you can change your regional settings by:
As mentioned, this may affect other features on your device, including the time and the way phone numbers are displayed. If you work with colleagues or clients from other regions, this might not be an issue for you. If you have any questions about your devices and how you can use it in your business then get in touch. Our friendly and knowledgeable support team are happy to assist you.
It’s interesting how millions of people use iPhones and yet few are familiar with many of the features, such as taking screenshots for example. This feature, although a simple one, can be really useful in many ways. If you don’t know how to take screenshots using your iPhone and aren’t quite sure how you can benefit from it, then read on.
To start taking screenshots just follow these simple steps:
There are several benefits of taking screenshots, but here are just a few:
If you have a product, or are looking to share a review about one that you have downloaded to your phone, take a screenshot of it so that you can use this to greatly enhance your product reviews. This works best for something on your phone that can be hard to capture by a camera.
For example, if you own a product (like software or a mobile app) and your team put a lot of effort into improving its UX (user experience), simply describing it in text won’t justify how amazing your product really is. You can take screenshots of the open app so readers can better appreciate the qualities of your product.
Aside from videos, what better way to demonstrate tutorials than using screenshots and combining these with descriptive texts.
An example might be teaching an employee how to send an email on their iPhone. Can you imagine creating a tutorial on that with text alone? Imagine the difference if you have screenshots along with this texts.
If you are reviewing a document or image on your phone and would like to highlight a problem or point that you see on the screen, try taking a screenshot and attaching it to an email where you describe what you are seeing and the changes. This helps the recipient visually see what you see and maybe even fix it.
Instead of writing down any problems you’re seeing on your iPhone and describing it to your support team through text, wouldn’t it be much better for both parties if you showed them a screenshot of the error?
Not only can this save time but it also zeroes out the chances of misinterpretations or false assumptions, since your support team can see the actual error themselves.
Contact us if you have any inquiries or even suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.
The iPhone is a great tool for affording your business an advantage over your competitors when it comes to optimizing your business. Now, imagine pairing your iPhone with iPhone apps that can help increase your productivity and your business becomes a force to be reckoned with. The great news is that there are a ton of productivity apps available on iTunes at an affordable cost.
Word processing apps are considered as a necessity nowadays, especially if you are away from the office on a regular basis. For $9.99, Apple Pages is perhaps the least expensive word processing app out there.
Like any other word processing software, this app lets you edit, format, update, and share your word documents easily across a multitude of Apple devices using iCloud. With Apple Pages, you can definitely save time in making and sharing documents.
Evernote has become a favorite because of its capability to capture and store information in a very efficient manner.
Evernote allows you to take and save videos, images, websites, ideas, and just about anything you want to capture in the Web. Anything you capture is immediately synced to your other devices, so all your data is organized in a single location for easy viewing and retrieval.
What makes Evernote so popular is the fact that it can be downloaded for free from the App Store. You can also sign up for the business version that has extra collaboration features, along with extra features and enhanced functionality.
Ever dreamed of an online-storage platform where you can store and retrieve your files wherever and whenever you want? If so, then Dropbox is the perfect solution.
Dropbox lets you access and share files from other devices from your iPhone. This app is a great storage app because it lets you access your files even without an Internet connection. For many business owners, there is no need to carry a bulky external hard-drive because Dropbox gives at least 5GB free space for new users.
Remembering a long list of things to do in a day can be rather annoying and stressful. Fortunately, there is Wunderlist, a project planning app that makes planning and listing more fun. It is actually a free cloud-sync task manager that allows you to organize your ideas and share them easily across different platforms.
You can list all the things you need to do for the next day and for the upcoming days or weeks. This app can definitely help by reminding you of the things you need to accomplish in a specific timeframe.
This is a standalone app for your iPhone. OmniFocus 2 includes nifty features like voice notes and picture attachments, diagram making, and task searchability. The ‘forecast’ option lets you take a look at your daily and weekly tasks ahead at a glance. Productivity nerds will definitely like this app for the fact that the beauty of its interface matches its brains.
While it is a tad bit expensive at $19.99, it is probably the only task manager you need. With an easy to use interface and powerful features, it can do almost everything except run your business!
If you are on the lookout for an all-around organizational app for your business, check out Bento. This app offers 25 different database templates designed to fit many subjects, including event planning, project planning, and contact organizing. All the templates can be tweaked to your own liking.
Bento allows you to keep track of all of the things going on with your life. Everything in this app can be synced with other devices so that tracking progress in your daily tasks can be easily accessible.
If you’re looking to increase your productivity, then these iPhone apps will surely be a game changer for you. Not only will you be able to better organize your business and workflow more easily, you can also use these in organizing your personal activities.
If you’re looking for more apps to help you with your business needs, then give us a call and we’ll give you a helping hand to find all the help you need.
When Apple released iOS 7 – the newest version of their popular mobile operating system – users responded with mixed reactions. However, now that it has been out for a while users have gotten used to it and the new features introduced. While the changes brought about by iOS 7 have been generally positive, the new calendar layout has been causing some confusion.
Here is an overview of how to easily get about in the new calendar app introduced in iOS 7.
Transition between weeks, months and years
When you open the calendar app you will automatically see a weekly view across the top, with events for that date listed below. This can be useful but many users also want to be able to see events on a monthly basis, or upcoming events in another week. Here are some tips to help you navigate your calendar:
Can you see a list of all events?
A feature many users found useful in older versions of Calendar was the list view. By switching to this view, you can see your upcoming events in an easy to read list. At first glance, it appears that Apple has done away with this feature. While Apple did change the functionality of this feature, they didn’t do away with it completely. It can still be accessed by tapping on the magnifying glass at the top-right of the screen. You will see the calendar zoom in and display only a list of events. You can’t however change, add or modify events from this view. Instead you have to do this from the day or week view.
If you are looking to learn more about iOS 7 and how devices like the iPhone can be used in your business, please contact us today.
One of the most important business tools used by businesses and employees in nearly every position, is the mobile phone. One reason smartphones are so popular is that the apps enable users to do pretty much everything. iPhone users have multiple document related apps, but an official Microsoft Office app has always been lacking. Until now that is.
On 14 June, 2013, Microsoft launched Microsoft Office Mobile for the iPhone, on Apple’s App Store. For Office, and Office 365 users, this app has been a long time coming. The question is, does it live up to expectations?
About Microsoft Office Mobile app First off the good news: The app is free for iPhone users. The main aspect to be aware of with this app is that it’s not meant to replace Microsoft Office on your desktop. It’s more of a companion app which extends where and how you can use or interact with Office.
You can open, edit and create Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, which are shown in their original format and automatically resized to fit the device’s screen size. From the documentation we’ve seen, the app has support for charts, animations and shapes, which means that documents created on your computer should be the same as on your iPhone. This certainly makes the app enticing to Office users, especially those with Office 2013.
As with all companion apps however, there are some caveats that make this app less than perfect.
Caveat 1: The app requires an Office 365 subscription In order for this app to work, you will have to have an Office 365 subscription to either: Office 365 Home Premium, ProPlus, or one of the business offerings that incorporates the Office desktop suite e.g., Office 365 Midsize Business. How this works is that the app is tied into a SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro account, which is the same account used for your Office 365 subscription.
If you or your company has an Office 365 subscription and the Office 2013 desktop software, this app will be useful to you, as you will also be able to open and save files to the cloud (SkyDrive) and share them through Mail. If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you will have to upgrade your plan, which will involve making some changes if you don’t have Office 365.
Caveat 2: It’s only for the iPhone The app is currently only available in the iPhone format. It will run on the iPad, but the app will only show in the iPhone’s screen size, making it harder to use on the tablet. This may be a problem if you want to use the iPad for presentations, or work on other Office documents while on the go.
There is no word on when, or if, there will be an iPad app, or an Android app for that matter. If you would like to learn more about how Office 365 can help make your business more efficient, or what you can do with it, please contact us today.