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Why opt for OTT while theatres are still shut?

With theatres shut during the lockdown, OTT platforms have quickly gained popularity among movie buffs. Although this trend emerged as a result of the temporary closure the cinema halls, it is expected to stay for a while even though the halls have reopened already. This is primarily due to the two following reasons:

  • Those who didn’t stream movies on OTT platforms earlier are starting to realise its benefits.
  • Not visiting the theatres for more than six months has broken the habit for movie buffs. They are now getting habituated to streaming movies online.

That being said, it is pretty evident that watching movies on an OTT platformcomes with a number of advantages for the viewers.

What makes OTT a viable alternative for theatres?                                                         

While OTT can’t deliver the exact experience of watching the movie on the silver screen, it is much more convenient for the viewers. This convenience is the main reason behind the popularity of OTT. OTT is a good alternative for theatres mostly because of:

  • Convenience: You do not need a high-end device to stream movies on an OTT platform. A smartphone and a stable internet connection are enough. Moreover, you can stream your favourite movies from the comfort of your home, without even having to travel to the theatre. This also helps the viewers to save on costs like conveyance and expensive food at the theatres.
  • Flexibility: Unlike theatres, the show timings on the OTT platforms aren’t fixed. You can watch any movie you wish at any timing which is suitable for you. Those who find it hard to make time for visiting the theatres can even stream movies with intervals if necessary. Moreover, the OTT platforms allow the viewers to watch a movie as many times as they want.
  • Affordability: OTT services are much more affordable compared to watching movies in theatres, especially for those who watch a lot of movies. While some of the OTT platformsmay charge a certain amount of money per movie watched, others charge a monthly subscription for an unlimited number of views. Some of them also allow the viewers to buy the subscriptions for specific playlists or content category. In these cases, the viewers have to pay only for the type of content they would watch. 
  • Diversity of content: You can pick from a wide selection of movies when watching them on an OTT platform. This is evidently a major advantage that OTT offers over theatres as a theatre can screen only a specific number of movies within a certain period of time. Even if a movie is no longer available in theatres, you can still stream them on an OTT platform. Moreover, many of the OTT platforms also produce quality original content or serve as a live streaming platform during sports events. This diversity in content gives OTT an edge over theatres.
  • Safety: Even though the theatres have now been reopened, the risks remain. Going to a public place like a theatre might result in getting infected with COVID-19, in spite of maximum precautions. Is it really worth the risk while you can actually watch movies without even having to step out of your home? At a time when staying at home is the best way to keep yourself safe from the virus, there is no wonder why the popularity of OTT continues to grow even after theatres reopen.

Does OTT offer new content like theatres do?

Even though one can watch a seemingly unlimited number of movies on an online platform, theatres were a popular destination even just before the lockdown. This is because people prefer to watch the new releases as soon as they can, rather than wait for the movie to be released on an OTT platform. However, several of the leading OTT companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. also produce a wide range of content which are of no lesser quality than mainstream movies launched in the theatres. Currently, with the potential of returns from theatrical release low, many of the film producers are starting to launch their movies on the OTT platforms instead.

Is the trend expected to stay and why?

Observing the current trend of increasing OTT subscriptions even after the reopening of the movie halls, OTT is expected to continue to be the preferred choice for at list as long as the pandemic lasts. However, it is believed that even when normalcy returns, OTT would retain its popularity. While choosing between visiting a theatre and subscribing for OTT services, the wide range of content available at an affordable cost on OTT platforms easily makes it the better choice.

Television, the other alternative, too has fallen behind in the competition as they function as a live streaming platform, offering only limited content and at fixed times. In the long run, OTT is expected to stay ahead in the race.

Why is it the Best Choice to Start with Flutter in 2020?
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Why is it the Best Choice to Start with Flutter in 2020?

There are a number of choices when it comes to choosing the language for mobile or web application development. You have Java, Swift, React Native that are already well-established in the app development industry. 

Why Learn Flutter When There Are Other Frameworks Already? 

Here we have to talk about Dart, the programming language used in the Flutter framework. Generally, most of us are already aware of the basic programming languages such as C, C++, etc. And Dart can be easily learnt and implemented when you already have a basic understanding of C, C++. So it’s much easier to learn with a lot of useful plugins and libraries to help you develop the code using Flutter SDK. 

Dart is a robust language that provides easy coding, security options, and platform independence for a Flutter app (web and mobile-based, both). 

Let me point out the reasons to choose Flutter over other frameworks to give you a clearer view. 

  1. It’s easier to learn and deploy 

As I said earlier that if you have the basic understanding of C, C++ codes, then you can easily learn Flutter. Moreover, the Flutter SDK is armed with numerous useful plugins that make the development process faster than any other SDKs. 

Of course, Flutter is the latest framework for application development, so we can expect the most advanced features that come along with it. 

  1. Supports more data types 

Along with the regular data types such as int, float, char, double, boolean, const- Flutter also supports data types that hold the values of variables that keep changing. One such data type is ‘varchar’ which can be assigned by any value and that keeps changing from time to time. Even, varchar has some limitations. But the Dart language introduces one more data type that provides 100% variance, and that is ‘dynamic’ data type. Once you assign any value to dynamic data type, it can be changed any time during the coding. 

This feature helps a lot in the development process and makes mobile app development a piece of cake for the Flutter developers. 

  1. One app supporting multiple platforms 

The best part of the Flutter app is it can be run on any platforms such as Android and iOS! It means, once you write a code in the Flutter framework using Dart language, then the same code can be run on both the platforms. Unlike the other coding, in the case of Flutter, you don’t require separate codes for particular platforms. The cross-platform mobile app development is one of the main advantages of the latest development framework. 

  1. Development time is reduced 

As only one code is sufficient to run on various platforms, so the development time gets reduced a lot. The startup companies that require immediate deployments can take the best advantage of such features. Only one single dedicated app developer with the least amount of effort and time can create exceptional mobile and web applications. 

  1. Cost reduction for development 

Unlike the cases when one needs to hire multiple developers to create applications that support different platforms, in the case of Flutter, a single developer can perform the task, so the company needs to hire a Flutter app developer and he does all the job. Also, as the coding part in Dart is much simpler than any other language, the development process takes less time. So, it’s all the way beneficial for any company whether it is a startup or a big MNC. 

  1. Live-output through Hot-Reloading 

It’s one of the greatest features and the most unique of all where you can do the coding and see the output through the emulator before publishing the app. So one can try out various designs and functionality easily and then select the most preferred ones. 

This way, the clients will always be satisfied as you can show them various designs with live output and then finalize the one they choose. 

  1. Online Community that is Growing Rapidly 

The online community of Flutter framework is growing rapidly which assists a lot whenever you require any help from them. Previously, a few years ago, Flutter was in a beta version with very less or no such support availability. However, with time Flutter has evolved a lot and has reached a stable existence today. The support groups have increased in number with millions of satisfied users worldwide. 

Some of the famous Flutter communities are Flutter Awesome, Awesome Flutter, Flutter Community

  1. Future perspectives 

Flutter is introduced by the Google development team with the virtue of deploying it as the native framework for the Fuchsia operating system. And as per the studies, the Fuschia OS is going to revolutionize the app development industry completely. And we can assume the importance of Flutter through this statement. 

To conclude, I would say that if you want to become an app developer and find easy success, then choose none other than Flutter, as you can master it soon and will also get a lot of support through the Flutter communities. 

Would you select Flutter development for your next Mobile App?

Considering the significance of Flutter in terms of the potential for Android app growth, Flutter is really a wonderful choice for android growth. Its top features of Hot reload and easy writing allow it to be a better frame compared to the majority of cross-platform frameworks, perhaps even better than React Native.  So would you choose Flutter Development for the mobile app?  

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Tips for Improving the Operation of Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you have to account for every cent you spend and make the most of your time. The good news is there are new technologies that can reduce your overhead and allow you to focus more of your time on growing the business. 

Your Online Company

Today, it’s common to have a small business online. However, many small companies still need a warehouse or storage facility to house their inventory and pack and ship their products. Thankfully, you can eliminate the cost of having additional space and eliminate the expense and stress of shipping packages by investing in fulfillment services.  

Use of Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are the norm. You use them multiple times each day to do things like purchase gas, order dinner, and check the weather. Having a mobile app for your business will boost branding with a continued presence. It will also help improve the customer experience with 24/7 access to your business services and products resulting in additional income. 

Social Media Platforms

While social media isn’t really new, many small businesses are just now beginning to realize its benefits. Unlike expensive ads on the radio or television, social media puts you in touch with millions of potential customers for a nominal fee. Figure out your target audience and then reserve a time slot that allows your ad to pop up at the best possible time of day. 

Processing Payments

Not too long ago you had limited payment options as a small business owner. Unfortunately, this will more than likely cost you sales. Having a credit card terminal that accepts all types of cards is essential. If your business is mainly online, make sure to include PayPal and Securepay.com. 

A Strong Website

Having a website is nothing new. In fact, most businesses large and small have one. However, the difference between a website that produces sales and one that doesn’t is the content. People want to know a bit about your company, and they want to be able to move from one place to another with ease. Keeping them on your site longer is critical. Having new technologies such as a Chatbot that comes up to see if a customer needs help or an animated whiteboard that describes your services/products. 

CRM Software

As a small business owner, you want to develop a personal relationship with your customer to achieve loyalty. CRM software lets you best manage contact information and track the interests of your customers to increase sales while building a relationship. A higher rate of customer satisfaction leads to additional sales. 

Outsourcing Services

Small business owners need to keep the focus on marketing. Unfortunately, having to handle things like payroll, IT management, customer service and various administrative tasks will consume valuable time. Thankfully, you can outsource all of the above within your tight budget.

Automation Programs

Quickbooks and Sites such as SalesForce allow for automated monitoring of sales, inventory and overall bookkeeping. It also decreases the margin of human error while creating efficiency. Utilizing these technologies frees up your time and that of your employees, allowing for an increased amount of time dedicated to other important matters. 

Secure Data

Keeping a good reputation among your customers is essential in maintaining a competitive edge. Using cloud storage or virtual vaults will limit access to customer and business information and the ability to alter existing documents.

Small business owners must continue to find new ways to remain out in front. The good news is that by adopting newer technologies you can retain existing customers and attract new ones to help you achieve your long-term goals. 

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Understanding the Difference Between Numerical and Structural Chromosome Abnormalities

Each cell in your body contains around 20,000 genes. Your genes are located on chromosomes which are long DNA molecules that contain genetic material. Normal human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes for a total of 46 chromosomes in all. 

If one or several pairs of chromosomes have an abnormality, it can increase your risk of having a child with a birth defect or congenital condition. There are many types of chromosome abnormalities, but the two most common are numerical and structural abnormalities.

How are chromosome abnormalities detected?

X and Y chromosomes. Genetics concept. 3D rendered illustration.

Chromosome abnormalities can be identified through non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). NIPT takes a sample of your blood and analyzes it for genetic information that enters your bloodstream through your growing baby’s placenta. 

NIPT can detect several types of chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome and sex chromosome aneuploidies. It can also determine the gender of your baby. 

What is a numerical chromosome abnormality?

Numerical chromosome abnormalities occur when an individual is missing chromosomes or has extra chromosomes. If you’re missing one chromosome from a pair, it’s called monosomy. If you have more than two chromosomes, it’s called trisomy.

Some of the most common numerical chromosome abnormalities include Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome). 

What is a structural chromosome abnormality?

Structural chromosome abnormalities occur when the shape of a chromosome is altered. There are several types of structural abnormalities, including:

  • Deletions. Deletions occur due to a loss of genetic material and vary in severity. Some involve a single missing base pair; others involve a missing piece of the chromosome itself. 
  • Inversions. Inversions occur when a particular segment of a chromosome breaks, turns around, and reattaches to itself. There are two types of inversions: pericentric and paracentric. Parents can pass on inversions to their offspring, but they don’t always result in birth defects.
  • Rings. Rings occur when both ends of a chromosome bend and fuse together, forming a circle. Sometimes rings result in a loss of genetic material, in other instances they do not. Parents can pass on rings to their offspring, but they may or may not cause health problems.

What causes chromosome abnormalities?

The most common cause of chromosome abnormalities is an error in cell division. Cell division occurs in two distinct ways:

  • Mitosis. Mitosis creates two cells that are duplicates of an original cell. So, one cell with 46 chromosomes evolves into two cells with 46 chromosomes.
  • Meiosis. Meiosis affects cells that occur in your reproductive organs. It creates cells with 23 chromosomes. Meiosis is responsible for the creation of eggs and sperm.

Normal cell division results in cells with the correct number of chromosomes. When errors occur, cells form with too many or too few chromosomes.

Other factors can contribute to chromosome abnormalities as well, including maternal age and environment. For example, older women are more likely to give birth to babies with chromosome abnormalities than younger women.  

With noninvasive prenatal testing, you can better determine whether you are at risk of passing chromosomal abnormalities on to your baby. Once you receive the results of NIPT, your general practitioner, OB/GYN, or a genetic counselor can explain the results in detail.

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6 Pro Tips to Master your Mac

Introduction

The past decade has seen Apple rise from just another tech company to one of the largest tech corporations ever. Past innovations (such as the iPhone) helped bring Apple up, and since then, Apple’s devices have permeated society, with iPhones found everywhere.

But what about Macs? While Macs suffer from heavy competition from Windows, they’re still a great option, especially for people in creative industries. But Macs aren’t perfect out of the box. Fortunately, users can improve their Mac experience and learn how to get the most out of their Macs. 

6 Tips for Mac Users

Listed below are 6 ways you can get the most out of your Mac. All of these are extremely easy to do, and while a couple requires you to shell out some money, it’s 100% worth it!

1. Use Spotlight to Quickly Convert Units and Currencies

Converting currency quickly becomes a headache, especially if you’re doing it often. And while you could use online programs to convert currencies quicker, you could also use macOS’s built-in Spotlight.

Spotlight’s main use is to search through a Mac’s files, but it can also be used to convert currencies, measurements, and other units. Just type in the unit or currency you wish to convert on Spotlight.

2. Use Mail to Directly Sign PDFs

Despite living in the age of the Internet, many still require physical signatures for contracts. But what if you could use your signature digitally, sign contracts through PDF?

Well, you can!

Mac’s Mail app allows users to sign PDFs through email, making it much easier to finalize agreements without requiring an external program or physical signature,

3. Download a VPN for Security

Some people believe Macs are immune to viruses and malware—this is not true. Macs are just as at risk as Windows machines, meaning users need to protect their Macs. One way to do so is by downloading a VPN on your Mac.

A VPN encrypts your data and hides its IP address, meaning cybercriminals can’t steal your data even while you are on a public network or an unsecured website.

4. Activate Split Screen to Improve Efficiency

Managing multiple windows and tabs is taxing, especially on smaller Macs. Seriously, who wants to deal with 5 windows on a 12” inch screen?

Fortunately, current versions of macOS contain Split Screen for apps, the ability to display multiple windows side-by-side. This makes it easier for users to access other windows and can help keep things organized.

5. Send and View Texts on Your Mac (if You Have an iPhone)

The good thing about Apple’s ecosystem is that each device works with other devices. For example, if you have an iPhone, your iPad can receive the same texts and messages. Oh, and so can your Mac.

With an iPhone, your Mac becomes more than a laptop—it becomes a secondary phone. You can use your Mac to text others, make calls, and even play games! 

6. Take Advantage of iCloud

Macs come with different storage options, with 128GB being the cheapest. Paying for extra—cashing out an extra $100 or so—can be intimidating. But do you even need more storage?

If you’re only working with documents and the occasional video, you may be able to get by with 128GB and iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service. Users get 5GB free but can pay .99 cents a month for an extra 50GB.

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Signal Conditioning: How Does it Improve Health and Safety?

To get an analog signal into a computer system, we need to send it through an analogue-to-digital converter. This device will turn it into a stream of digital pulses that our computers can understand. But before this can happen, an intermediary stage of processing must be taken place. Small-voltage signals must be amplified to the appropriate level. Interference must be removed, and faulty circuits must be grounded to protect the rest of the system.

This intermediary stage is called signal conditioning. Incoming signals are processed so that they can be put to better use by the stages that follow. Thus, signal conditioners are crucial pieces of hardware, and for good reason ever-present in the industrial controls sold by Allied Electronics. But they’re also used on a smaller scale in smaller devices.

How Does Signal Conditioning Work?

Signal conditioners come in a range of different types. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Filtering

Getting rid of unwanted AC frequencies is essential in many applications. You might have heard the hum that comes when a 50Hz power line is inadequately filtered and put through an audio system. In other cases, a signal might need to be ‘cleaned up’ by removing high-frequency noise.

Level Control

Getting the voltage to a level appropriate to the ADC is critical. Signals can be either amplified (that is, turned up) or attenuated (turned down). In the former case, this is done to decrease the amount of noise that might creep in between the signal conditioner and the ADC and to ensure the maximum possible resolution on the signal being sampled. Attenuation ensures that the voltage does not go beyond the maximum on the ADC, which would result in clipping.

Linearisation

In some cases, the signal coming in might be nonlinear. In an exponential signal, massive change might occur in just a few digital ticks. Converting it into a linear signal allows the ADC to record smoother and more useful data.

Electrical Isolation

In some cases, it might be necessary to protect potentially sensitive equipment by isolating one part of the circuit from another. Magnetic couplers work by turning an incoming voltage into a magnetic field and back again, optical couplers do this turning the signal into a beam of light. This process ensures that any problem in one part of the system won’t cause damage to the rest of it. This doesn’t just protect equipment, but the people using it, too.

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How Seniors Are Using Technology

According to an interesting article that broke down mobile connection metrics across the globe, there are now more cellular devices on planet Earth than people. That means, in a general sense, that people, young and old, are relying on these devices to facilitate their needs. While many mobile users fall below 50 years of age, many seniors are beginning to understand how valuable connectedness is. Located below are areas in which senior citizens can benefit from using mobile devices and apps.

Food Delivery

One of the daily tasks that become increasingly difficult for individuals as they get older is getting a meal to eat. While many of us have no issue going into a restaurant or store to purchase items, this task seems daunting for an elderly individual. Luckily for them, smart-device applications have been created to make the process of getting a meal easier for older users. 

Seniors will find their lives easier when they can open an app, place an order, and have the food delivered to their residence in a fraction of the time as the traditional method. Furthermore, on account of the current pandemic, seniors may opt for contactless delivery services to ensure their safety. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with this technology!

Tracking and Emergency Services

One of the biggest solutions for independent living that seniors can use to gain peace of mind is by using apps that can track their location in times of emergency. When asking seniors about their fears as they become older, they tend to express emotions about falling or becoming injured without anyone knowing. Their fear is real, too. Most injuries that seniors experience go unnoticed, as they’re unable to make it to a phone or computer.

The beauty of using these applications is that it allows an all-encompassing means of staying protected in the future. Should you decide to use a mobile application like this, here’s what you need to look out for:

  • Easy-to-use navigation and straightforward interface design.
  • The ability to talk to real people at a moment’s notice should something go wrong.
  • Predictive technology that allows healthcare professionals to remain alert in potentially dangerous circumstances.
  • Data points that allow caregivers to build a working history with the patient.
  • Peace of mind for both the user and the user’s family. 

Medication Organizers

One of the main components of a senior’s day consists of taking medication on a schedule, thinking about their next dosage, and making sure they didn’t skip any supplements. The beauty of mobile apps is that they can act as an all-in-one assistant that keeps seniors on track for the day. Do you know an older individual that has difficulty taking their medications on time? Do they often find themselves getting off schedule, or in worst-case scenarios, completely forget to take their prescriptions for days on end? If so, it’s time to use a mobile app to alleviate their worry.

Reminders and alerts will act as a gentle reminder for the individual in question to maintain a productive schedule. When they take their medications consistently, you improve their quality of life and allow them to lead their days more freely. These mobile apps are a must-have!

Transportation

Let’s face it, getting to appointments and running errands can be a hassle, more so if you’re older. We also run into the problem that most seniors cannot safely get behind the wheel of a car to travel from point A to point B. With transportation apps available on mobile devices, seniors can rest assured that they can get where they need to be on time. Should they need to get to an appointment, run a quick errand, or meet up with a friend, these apps have their back!

As you can see, technology is not a series of devices reserved for younger generations to communicate with one another. Millions of older people living around the globe are finding new and unique ways of improving their lifestyle by implementing proprietary software. If you know a senior that could benefit from using these technologies, discuss it with them in the upcoming future. Who knows, you may improve their quality of living and allow them to live life on their terms.

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Customer Data Platforms

With increased businesses and competitors, most marketing organizations are looking for efficient ways to target customers. Customer Data Platforms (CDP) has become influential in helping marketing organizations achieve their marketing goals. They are assisting organizations to deal with several marketing channels and ways to counter competition. This article will look at what Customer Data Platforms are, their work, features, and examples.

What is Customer Data Platforms?

A Customer Data Platform empowers marketers with the client’s data and provides the full details of these customers. It brings together artificial intelligence and data science, which pulls together marketing data to create personalized experiences for clients. It helps support the company’s marketing activities based on the client’s experiences. They unify data collected from different sources to create one, full-detailed customer profile. These CDP mobile apps help marketers collect data in real-time, making them segment it and efficiently serve their clients.

How does Customer Data Platform work?

Customer Data Platforms have many capabilities and responsibilities. They are used to collect data from different sources, filter it, and restructure it in a manner suitable to fit marketing systems. The data is then used to offer personalized marketing activities to clients. CDPs come in various forms. They can also carry other functions, such as analyzing data, predictive processes, and content marketing. The main tasks of customer data platforms include the below:

  • They identify clients’ information.
  • They upload and store customer data in the systems.
  • They accept input of data from different sources and formats.
  • They compare and merge data of a client from various sources.
  • Provide the processed data to external systems, including marketing
  • It enables marketers to control and use the data in marketing activities.
  • Apply other processes that make the data usable in different fields of marketing.

How is a Customer Data Platform Important to Your Business?

There are different reasons why an organization will need a CDP mobile app in their organization. The main reason is that it benefits its marketers in their marketing functions. Its benefits are as below:

  • The CDP integrates the existing and future marketing tools of an organization. It is necessary because marketing systems come with different technologies, making them not compatible with each other in an organization.
  • It enables organizations to better understand their customer’s behavior on different channels when offering various media campaigns.
  • It provides real-time personalization of clients. CDP enables marketers to develop real-time personalized content for their customers based on personality and behavior.

Benefits of a Customer Data Platform

Below are some of the benefits of a Customer Data Platform app to businesses:

  • It provides a complete customer view: it helps companies get complete customer information, which is comprehensive and accurate, making their engagement more manageable. It maximizes efficiency by reducing redundancy and inaccuracy in the customer’s data. 
  • Leads to improved advertising: since a CDP helps to come up with customer’s data in a targeted way, it increases online advertising effectiveness. 
  • Simplifies customer data: traditionally, marketers had a challenging task of synchronizing data from different sources. CDP automates the whole process and gives marketers ready–to–use data, making them concentrate on other marketing strategies.
  • Web personalization: CDP allows companies to create personalized customer experiences directly to their websites. It’s only possible when companies get real-time information concerning website visitors.
  • Helps businesses gain insights: through data mining, companies can get more information regarding their customers.

Best CDP Software Providers

There are different CDP Software providers you can find online. Some of the best include the below:

  • Tealium: It’s the largest according to the employee count, and it’s the most recognized CDP software. It has over 1000 Pre-built integrations for business use and has a robust API toolkit.
  • Lytics: has over 50 employees and allows aggregation of data, which resolves data for individual customers. It has AI capabilities that are useful in most businesses.
  • Redpoint Global: It works with various vendors to create data solutions to clients. Founded in 2006, it has robust data segmentation and incorporates vendors for data enrichment. Gives quality data and provides data stitching services.
  • Segment: Provides strong, out of the box integrations and has over 200 SaaS vendors.
  • Treasure data: Offers CDP with over 100 connectors that help unify raw data to produce a single customer experience. 
  • Blueconic: Provides a highly scalable solution for businesses. It’s a suitable ML based product. Its software leverages several AWS services.

Customer Data Platforms are becoming popular in implementing marketing strategies. It helps companies and their marketers concentrate on other things by simplifying customer’s data, used in marketing strategies. They are must-have instruments that every company should have in its marketing toolkit.

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How Small Businesses Use Mobile Apps

Mobile phones are everywhere, which has made staying in touch easier and has simplified many daily tasks. As technology grows, our lives become richer. Through filters, we are better photographers (and models). With voice assistants, we all have our very own robot secretary. Just about any fact-related argument can be settled anywhere by opening the encyclopedia, we carry around in our pockets. We don’t need a notepad and pen as long as we have our phone. For modest monthly fees, we can access vast libraries of music, movies, and television shows.

Mobile technology is great for our personal lives, but it’s great for our business lives, too, as you’ll see below. 

Time Saving Apps

One of the greatest conveniences of mobile app technology is saving time. To see what we mean, just look at how apps have changed something as ubiquitous as banking. Whereas a business owner (or manager) once had to drive to the bank with an uncomfortably large amount of cash and wait in line for the business teller, the majority of payments are now handled electronically. Checks can be deposited by snapping a photo. Mobile banking apps can save bundles of time.

It doesn’t stop with banking. If you travel for business, there are apps to help you manage business flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, taxis, rideshare services, and dinner reservations. Business travel, like personal travel, is made easier through review apps like Tripadvisor.

Metrics-at-a-Glance Apps

Whether you’re in the back of rideshare, flying in a plane, or waking up in the morning, you can now pull up a snapshot view of a variety of business metrics thanks to mobile app technology. You can most likely monitor your website analytics software, access your CRM, and whip up sales reports with a mobile app. 

Physical Plant Management Apps

Many security alarm companies now offer mobile apps so that you can wait until you’re out of the building to set the alarm. If you have security cameras, chances are you can access live (and stored) footage from an app. There are apps to manage smart thermostats and apps to turn the lights on and off. 

Office Equipment Apps

Modern office equipment, such as printers and copiers, often comes with a bundled app. For example, Xerox commercial printers can be managed with the Mobile Link app. You can use your phone’s built-in camera to scan documents, manipulate PDFS, and send just about anything you want to the printer.

Cloud Storage Apps

If you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or another cloud storage platform to access electronic apps, you can download a mobile app to help you access and manage those files. This is especially convenient when you want to send a file with your mobile email app.

Social Media Apps

We typically think of social media apps as something for personal use, but you can just as easily manage your business accounts with a mobile device. It’s a good idea to always double-check which account you’re posting to; it can be amusing to accidentally post something for work to your personal account, but the reverse can be damaging. Facebook offers a separate app to manage business pages, but with Instagram, you simply switch between accounts in the same app.

Communication Apps

Typically we think of office communication platforms like phone, fax, and email. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, many business owners have discovered other useful technologies. Teams can–and do–hold video chat meetings with Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, helping to eliminate the need for physical contact. Many office suites provide real-time collaboration features, improving productivity, and further eliminating the need for a physical office.

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6 Mobile Shipping Apps for Small Businesses

For small businesses, keeping track of your packages can be daunting and time-consuming. Choosing the right labels and shipping companies can ease your worries so that you can focus on your clients’ needs. Luckily, there are mobile apps that can reduce the shipping process for small businesses, as outlined below.

Package Tracker Pro

Package Tracker is a mobile app that lists shipping companies, including DHL and FedEx. The mobile application is available on Google Play Store with a small installation size at $1.99. Package Tracker is available for Android users in an all in one package that lets you track deliveries, keeps you informed, and allows you to customize your packages to suit your needs.

Package Tracker Pro has been in the market for a while and has a robust support system for the users. Some of the features that the app offers include:

  • Push notification to keep you informed about your packages in the form of ringtones or vibrations.
  • It allows you to add new options to your carrier list.
  • The app can show tracking routes on your screen if obtainable.
  • You can sync your tracking information from your PC to your mobile phone without retyping, which helps save you time.
  • You can archive tracking numbers to the sync site.
  • Generous support from the developers who are available to answer any questions you may have.

Package Buddy

Package Buddy is a free Android mobile app for shipment tracking purposes. The app that is downloadable from Google Play Store has an allowance of over 100 courier services. The free version is excellent for personal or domestic use to manage small packages. For small businesses, the pro version is available for $2, and you can integrate it with other android devices for your commercial requirements.

This app’s features include a barcode scanner that enables you to add a package to your tracking list and the capacity to share shipping data with others easily. It also consists of a filter function that allows you to sort your information by the status of whether you are sending or receiving parcels.

17TRACK

17TRACK is a mobile app compatible with both android and iOS users supporting famous couriers such as DHL and UPS. The app is great for businesses that order from China or have issues shipping to North America. 17TRACK is free with in-app purchases if you want to upgrade.

Features of this shipping app include push notifications to keep you updated on package status changes. It also comes with automatic syncing across your compatible devices and allows you to track multiple numbers simultaneously. The app can automatically detect your packages and which shipping companies they are on by entering a few digits of your tracking codes.

You can only track about 40 packages with the free version at a time. You can upgrade to a limit of 100 or 200 at a monthly charge of $2.99 or $4.99 consecutively.

Delivery Status Touch

This app is made for iOS devices and is available for download in AppStore for $4.99. Delivery Status Touch covers a wide range of shipping companies, both local and international, like Japan Post.

The features of this app include readable maps that tell you exactly where your package is. The app enables you to see the current transit packages and their delivery dates when you open it.

Delivery Status Touch allows you to sync your delivery dates to your calendar. You can also install it on your desktop and easily switch from the mobile device, depending on where you are.

FedEx Mobile App

FedEx is a development one of the biggest shipping companies which enable users to track packages and create shipping labels from wherever they are. FedEx app allows businesses to track all packages they send and receive. It also has a barcode scanner to add your boxes in the shipment list and enable you to sort it through using your tracking codes and references.

An upgrade to FedEx app that is available in some regions is the FedEx delivery Manager. With this addition, you can leave instructions for the courier services on when and where you want your packages to be delivered, sign digitally, and even send the package to FedEx location to pick later. 

While this app is great, if your business heavily depends on shipping companies, you might consider enlisting the aid of a company like Shipware to conduct a FedEx audit. Due to a service and billing errors, you may be eligible for a high number of small refunds from FedEx on an ongoing basis. Shipware doesn’t have an app yet, but they have a history of helping small businesses who use FedEx and other shipping companies, so we thought we’d mention them here.

JumpTrack

JumpTrack is another Android and iOS compatible app that allows users to store proof-of-delivery like photos and signatures. The app will enable you to track shipment status and even trucks that carry the packages with GPS. You can also share the tracking information via email to your customers. This app is excellent for companies with complex supply chains that want to oversee their shipping.