Top 10 apps for entrepreneurs

When you think of an entrepreneur you usually think of a business person, but an entrepreneur is much like an artist. He is captivated by thoughts and ideas; that never ending pursuit of the “maybe.” It’s here that an entrepreneur needs to focus his attention and leave the small tasks up to technology. But how do you do that? Well, with the help apps. Here are 10 apps that can help lighten the load of any entrepreneur.

  1. Evernote

This allows you to share content with other team members and create a more informed collaborative effort. You can use Evernote to dictate notes and have the program turn it into written text. You can also immediately turn Evernote content into a presentation with just one click.

  1. Digg

An app that lets entrepreneurs look for new innovations and stay informed of the latest news in any industry. Use this app on phones, tablets, e-readers and computers. Digg lets you find, read and share top stories on the internet.

  1. Invoice2go

With this app you can invoice from anywhere sending information out in just a few minutes. The app also lets you keep track of your paid and unpaid invoices.

  1. Smartr Contacts

One of the biggest problems business owners have is keeping track of contacts. Smartr contacts allows you to keep track of your contacts across all devices.

  1. Dropbox

One of the best things to happen to entrepreneurs was the cloud. You can  keep all important data in Dropbox and access it immediately from any location. Data is kept completely safe and you can install the app on your phone, tablet or PC.

  1. Clicky

This allows you to see your website states while on the go. It gives you information on Google trends and lets you monitor your website.

  1. Prismatic

This app gives you the latest information on your industry . It allows you to customize information to your interests.

  1. Pruoducteev

This allows you to have control over the information you delegate to other teams.  It keeps track of the tasks you assign, the due dates, progrs and results.

  1. Easy Project

This is a management app that helps you do your online planning for the organization. Export and impor your projects. Use Gantt chards and time management modules.

  1. Vesper

This is a very intuitive note taking app that allows you to write text and add images. The Vesper app offers intuitive navigation and allows you to easily find your notes.

Download one or all of these apps for easy management of your ideas and processes. It’s like taking your secretary with you, but all of this is stored on your phone, your tablet or your app.

Top 10 Business Apps for iPad

At a glance, the iPad looks like a handy device, meant to give us yet another option of entertainment, among the zillions already available. It’s the lovechild of a mini-laptop and a phone – a successful one, I might add, since it’s everybody’s must-have item. Even entrepreneurs are seen carrying one around in their bag and rightly so, because it’s so much more than a fun gadget – it’s a sleek, compact and modern agenda. You would be surprised to see just how useful an iPad is; it’s not just a complementary business device, but actually a fundamental one. If you make good use of the apps available, it can offer you a great deal of help to run your business smoothly. In order to turn your business into a resounding success without breaking a sweat, here is a list of 10 apps that every entrepreneur needs to have installed.

1) Skype

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It almost feels redundant to say just how many entrepreneurs rely on such an application, which is still the reigning champ of VoIP. It’s the program to go for video conferences and calls, allowing you to connect easily and fast with potential clients who are miles apart. If used with QuickVoice, it also enables the option to record your calls, just in case you want to go once more through the topics discussed or write down the important info you missed. Signing up is free and you can call not just other Skype users, but also mobile phones, in exchange of a small rate per minute.

2) Dragon Dictation

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Time is everything in the business world. Every lost minute could also be the equivalent of lost money. This is the reason why entrepreneurs strive to perform even the most mundane tasks in a speedy manner. Believe it or not, one of these tasks is keyboard typing. Even for those accustomed with typing at an impressive velocity, it can eventually become tiring and the pace will decrease after a few hours. To avoid this, you just need to let an app do the job for you, while all you have to do is talk. Dragon Dictation is one of the best voice recognition apps out there, allowing you to speak and immediately see the words appearing on screen. Its accuracy makes the dictation up to five times faster than the typing through a keyboard, which saves you a lot of time.

3) Todo for iPad

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Every entrepreneur needs a good task manager, to get his priorities straight. Sure, his secretary can have everything written down in the agenda, but why waste paper, if you can have your tasks placed in order, at a glance, through your iPad screen? With Todo for iPad, you can also synchronize your work planner with any other Apple device, in case you need to have it available on several ones or share it with your partners. More synchronizing options include the widespread Dropbox and Outlook, making it the perfect tool to never miss an important date or an appointment anymore.

4) 1Password

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There is nothing more important than the security of your data. Passwords are mandatory in every business, because not only do you risk losing precious information without them, but your data can also land in the wrong hands, if they are not secured accordingly. However, it can become overwhelming to manage multiple accounts, each featuring a different password – writing them down somewhere is a definitive no-go. An app called 1Password comes to the rescue, keeping all your synced passwords saved on your iPad, so that you don’t have to scratch your head trying to remember which password is for what.

5) Hootsuite

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Social networking is a key ingredient to running a successful business. People spend large amounts of time Tweeting and Facebooking and if entrepreneurs know how to play their cards, they can get to their target audiences in style. Business is all about marketing and both Facebook and Twitter are extremely popular platforms which are an entrepreneur’s playground, allowing him to use exciting ways to promote what he has to sell. However, it’s tiresome to manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles by navigating to the specific websites. This is where Hootsuite comes into play, since this app allows you to keep and manage all your accounts in a single window, without the need to switch between tabs. 

6) TripIt

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In their pursuit of achieving connections, entrepreneurs are always on the move, flying from one country to another to meet with clients. Flying frequently is quite burdensome – just imagine: luggage, customs, check-ins, bookings – but someone has to do the job. However, even for this, there is an app to guide you. Through the TripIt app, you can get quick access to all your travel itineraries right on the screen of your iPad, check and add a preferred seat on the plane, as well as fill out the forms and check your stopping travel points, so that you always know which destination is supposed to come next.

7) Numbers

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Spreadsheets are a nice and convenient way to make your conferences more engaging, since you get your point across in a concise manner through presentations. But what if you need to create quick sheets and don’t have time to go through the PowerPoint software? An app called Numbers not only helps you reduce the creation time, but it also makes it a fun activity, since it’s specifically built for mobile phones; therefore, it’s extremely easy to use. You can draw tables, graphics, charts and add photos with the touch of a finger. Since Numbers is compatible with iCloud, you can sync your spreadsheets on every device you use, exploring your results.

8) Word Lens

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As an entrepreneur, your mission is to expand your business as much as you can and the best way to do it is to focus on what’s appealing on international markets. But following the worldwide trends can prove to be a difficult task if you can’t speak or understand the respective language. Word Lens comes to the rescue, being an on-the-fly translation software. It works by pointing the iPad’s camera at anything that has text written on, like a document or a menu. It automatically translates the text, but it also allows you to input it manually and the best part is that you don’t have to worry that your internet connection might drop, since the app works offline. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Russian are the language packs you can use.

9) Penultimate

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Don’t you hate it when your light bulb suddenly turns on and you have an amazing idea, but no paper to write it on? With so many things an entrepreneur has to think of, such ideas come and go if they are not pinned down right when they pop up. However, an app called Penultimate lets you go wild on your iPad, allowing you to take notes and create sketches spread out on an infinite number of pages. If you are making a hobby out of this, it helps to know that the app keeps all the pages organized and you can scroll through them fast, no matter how many they are. Penultimate is the best alternative to the classical pen and paper.

10) FTP On The Go PRO

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Websites are like business cards you can access at any time; therefore, they have to be as presentable as possible, because the more aesthetically pleasing they are, the more likely is it for the visitors to stay more on the page. To manage and edit your website at any time, including HTML, PHP and CSS, you can install an app called FTP On The Go PRO which does just that. Documents and image viewing is also enabled, giving you full control. This is important especially if your company is constantly changing and expanding, since these changes would have to be highlighted on the website, bringing it up to date.

Top 5 Best Home Cinema Systems

If you want to bring home some of that surround-sound of your favorite cinema, but without the scrunching noise of your seat neighbor’s popcorn, then home cinema systems are the way to go. Making you feel like you’re part of the action, the best home cinema systems fully deliver on sound quality, with crisp dialogue and effects. Keep reading if you want to find out which are the cream of the crop.                                                   

1) Philips Blu-ray Home Theater System HTS3306/F7 

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You don’t see very often a Home Cinema System that has its own integrated Blu-ray player, since most systems prefer to focus mainly on the audio part. However, the Philips Blu-ray Home Theater System HTS3306/F7 seems to have concentrated on everything, because its 5.1-channel surround-sound, image quality and connectivity are close to perfection. Through its 1080p upconversion technology, SD images are scaled to fit on an HD screen; to avoid any kind of distortion caused by the conversion, the Philips Blu-ray Home Theater System HTS3306/F7 will correct that through progressive scan technology. The only minus we were able to find was the presence of just one HDMI port, strangely positioned in the back of the device, but the system has so many things in its favor, that it feels like nitpicking.

2) Samsung Smart Home Theater HT-D6730W

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Another Home Theater with integrated Blu-ray player, the Samsung Smart Home Theater HT-D6730W is similar to the earlier-mentioned Philips model, in the sense that it’s not compromising anything. It also employs the same 1080p upconversion technology, to ensure that the SD video fits on the HD screen. It has the ability to display 3D images and video and the twin tower-like speakers truly transform the mere activity of watching movies into a cinematic experience.

3) Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater BDV-E280

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It has a 3D Blu-ray player incorporated, 5.1 channels of surround sound and access to internet-streaming videos, from websites like Netflix, Hulu or Youtube. The system’s speakers feature a subwoofer, two speakers in the front and a speaker in the center, with a power of more than 1000 watts, which can seriously annoy your neighbors if you feel one day like going all in. As for the connectivity, apart from the basic ports, you can also connect your iOS-running device to it.

4) LG Home Theater LHB336

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While this LG Home Theater has integrated Blu-ray, it puts a lot of emphasis on digital connectivity, since a multitude of streaming services (Netflix, Pandora, Youtube, CinemaNow, Hulu, etc.) are included into its AV receiver. Basically, you can take it out of the box and start streaming movies right away. The speakers still use the 5.1-channel standard, instead of the newer 7.1, but that’s not an issue, since there are barely any movies employing all the channels.

5) Magnavox Blu-ray Home Cinema MRD410B

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This is yet another case of “everything you need is in the box”, since the Magnavox Home Cinema has an integrated Blu-ray player. While it’s not such a recognizable name as the other ones on the list, there is only one issue putting it behind the rest: lack of Internet, WiFi or Bluetooth connection. With Magnavox, you have to rely on your own movies or music, since you can’t stream anything else. The included features work like a charm (the surround sound is particularly impressive) – it’s what is not included that hurts its score.

The Reality of Virtual: A Tech Evolution

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Just a few years ago, the promise of “virtual reality” was nothing more than a buzzword used to describe a science fiction concept. A few companies tried to step up to the plate and deliver hardware that would “transport players to a whole new world.” However, more often than not, the only results were a headache from gazing at low resolution visuals and a stiff neck from wearing a bulky headset. Before the current crop of contenders threw their hats into the virtual reality market ring, there were a few that tried the same and failed, often miserably. Let’s take a look at some of the products that promised to make virtual reality a reality.

Nintendo Virtual Boy

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It’s no surprise that Nintendo made a stab at the virtual reality market as the company has a history of innovating when it comes to hardware. The home of Mario might stick to the same franchises when it comes to the games line-up, but with their consoles they have been a bit more daring, especially compared to their competitors. Some were hits that inspired competitors to imitate, while others were quickly abandoned, never to be mentioned again.  Anyone who grew up during the 90s will remember when the Nintendo Virtual Boy was announced to great fanfare.

This black and red monstrosity was the brainchild of Gunpei Yokoi, the creator of the original Game Boy, but fell short of its promises. The first nail in the coffin was the high asking price, as well as the bulky hardware. Nintendo was known for creating hardware that was smaller and better looking than the competition, but the Virtual Boy was neither of these. The headset was so cumbersome that it could only be used while mounted to a stand, which meant playing while sitting hunched over awkwardly at a table.

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The Virtual Boy had no head tracking and the monochromatic red images were 3D, but the kind that gave you burning eyes and nausea if you would dare stare at it too long. It only ever saw the light of day in Japan and North America and, after only a handful of titles, Nintendo quietly abandoned the Virtual Boy. It also prompted the creator to leave Nintendo and create a handheld system for a rival company.

Head Mounted Displays

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Undaunted by the failure of Nintendo many other companies tried their hand at delivering on the promise of virtual reality. By and large these attempts were all commercial failures that did very little to dissuade the image that virtual reality is just a pointless gimmick. From products like the i-Glasses by I-O Display Systems to the VFX line from Forte Technologies, there were certainly no shortage of products, but they all had one thing in common, they sucked. Overpriced, uncomfortable and underpowered, these products just didn’t have the technology to deliver on their promises.

The Future of Virtual Reality

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In recent years, the whole virtual reality craze died down with consumers only raising an occasional eyebrow at attempts to sell them on the idea. This all changed when the Oculus Rift caught the attention of the public and managed a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign.  It would seem that technology has finally caught up to the point where the Rift would actually be able to deliver on what so many have waited for so long, truly immersive virtual reality. From the early development kits to the latest iteration of the gear, the Oculus Rift has continued to improve and now boasts features that only a few years back would have been unheard of. Full HD resolutions, 75Hz refresh rate, 100-degree field of vision and super accurate head tracking all combine to make one incredible product. The best part is that the developers also aim to deliver it at a wallet friendly price.

However, when the Rift was acquired by Facebook it understandably disappointed many people who are not fans of cut-throat mega corporations. The acquisition did however prompt other companies to go from merely observing what is happening to trying to offer some healthy competition. One of the first contenders to look like they will be able to offer a viable alternative to the Rift is Sony with their Project Morpheus. With specifications that are roughly on par with the Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus aims to provide people with a product that will exceed their expectations.

Beyond the obvious advantages to interactive mediums such as gaming, a virtual reality headset has the potential to change the way that we watch movies, or even experience activities that would otherwise not have been possible due to location, money or physical disabilities. It’s hard not to become a little excited about what the future might hold, but with so many previous attempts falling well short of what was promised only time will tell if the Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus and slew of other headsets that are sure to follow in their wake can finally make virtual reality a reality.

10 Creative Ways to Use Your Tablet

Have you ever thought of all the ways you can use your iPad. Most people don’t even realize everything you can do with this device. So here are 10 creative ways to use your tablet.

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  1. Sound System

A tablet is a great place to store all of your music. In fact, most of us use it for our tunes while on a trip or vacation; and though an iPod is probably more flexible when it comes to travel, the tablet has several functions, just one of which is as a music player. You just have to hit the play button on the music app and you’re set to go.

  1. Photo Album

Today most tablets have incredible functionality when it comes to taking pics. The quality may not be of the standard of the DSLR camera but it is certainly close. Plus you get the added benefit of keeping all your pictures in one place.

  1. Cool Productivity Tool

Try downloading apps that make you more productive throughout the day. There are a ton of project management apps and time management software or agendas that can help you keep track of everything from your groceries to your appointments.

  1. As a Text Book

New e-Textbooks are coming out, and textbooks are now becoming obsolete. Colleges and universities are demanding digital versions because they are less expensive and can go anywhere.

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  1. Note Taker

You can also use a tablet as a convenient notepad. Just imagine it as your notebook, one that you can go mobile with from anywhere. And note taking software now lets you use dictation and then converts it to text which makes using it in this way even more convenient.

  1. Kid’s Entertainment

When driving or waiting in the car, kids can get fidgety. But hand them the tablet preloaded with an educational game, a digital book or an artistic activity and they are happy as could be.

  1. A Coffee Table Book

That’s right the new modern doctor’s office, or any other consulting office for that matter, offers tablets to customers instead of the conventional coffee table book.

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  1. Cook Book

Now more than ever, there are a ton of cook books online. Tablets are great for reading and following recipes, copying shopping lists and taking to the grocery store.

  1. Sales Presentations

Enterprises and small businesses have found tablets to be a great sales aid. These can help engage future clients through presentations. And sales agents can close deals more easily because customers can actually see how a product works.

  1. An Artists Tool

Artists find using a tablet extremely functional, because it offers a way of jotting down ideas, sketching out images, and even mapping out a design. There are actually a number of apps that help you with artistic inclinations.