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James Cull

Content Editor for AppStorm

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I can remember back to the days when web design was an extremely technical subject — a skill limited to those with an advanced knowledge of HTML, Javascript, CSS, Flash and all of the other technologies that currently make up the Internet we know of today. But nowadays, thanks to some pretty clever programmers, anyone can create a web page with no prior technical knowledge required — apart from the fact you need to know how to use a mouse and a keyboard.

There are countless of these kinds of programs, from Squarespace to Webflow but today, I’m going to be looking at Virb, a service we first wrote about back in 2010. Since then, an awful lot has changed (we did look at it nearly 3 years ago!) so without further ado, let’s dive straight in and see what Virb has to offer.

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Right at the end of 2011, when everyone was gearing up for New Year celebrations, I looked at Lightspeed, a Mac-based POS (point-of-sale) designed for large retail businesses. It’s a mighty impressive piece of software but at over a grand for a single user licence (they start at $1,098 each — and that’s without the POS hardware!), it’s certainly not a cheap piece of kit.

However, since then, some major transformations have gone on within Lightspeed Retail, the developers. A few days ago, they acquired MerchantOS (a former rival company) and merged the two products into a new one called LightSpeed Cloud. Unlike the former product, which was confined to a single Mac, the new version now allows users to access their retail data from whatever device they are using — a real boom for retail businesses who use devices such as tablets and mobile phones in their day-to-day life.

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When I first reviewed Podio , a social network designed specifically for use in business, back in September 2011, I was extremely impressed with it. It received our highly commended 9 out of 10 score and I concluded the review by mentioning that the sheer range of features available to users of Podio makes it useful in almost any single business situation and that it was a vital, versatile and price-effective solution for better internal business collaboration.

Almost two years on, those words still stand. Although Podio is now part of Citrix Systems (it was acquired back in April 2012), this doesn’t mean that they’ve sold their soul out to some heartless multinational corporation. Quite the contrary, actually. Podio has gone from strength to strength since being acquired — adding some pretty nifty features to its arsenal — and I still retain it’s the best way for businesses to collaborate. Allow me to explain why.

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Online stores are simply a great way to get your product out there to the masses. They require the bare minimum investment and almost anyone can set one up — as long as you’ve got something that people want to buy, you’re pretty much guaranteed sales. Of course, there are many ways to do this: eBay being one of the most notable, however in this case you are tied down to a particular site — having to follow their rules and regulations. The greatest flexibility comes when you set up a store on your own website.

Tictail believes it can help you set up a simple online store on your own website with the absolute bare minimum of input required from yourself. The site has already received accolades from popular sites such as Wired, TechCrunch and The Economist, so I decided to take it for a test drive to see what AppStorm’s take on things were. Here’s what I found out.

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Pages on Facebook can be incredibly useful tools for small business, bloggers and entrepreneurs alike. Although they take a bit of skill to manage properly, if you get the magic formula right you can see that magic “total reach” figure for each post shoot through the roof.

Managing both a website and a Facebook page can be a bit of a chore, though, so Sitefly, which is currently in open beta, allows you to create a simple website using your Facebook page, no matter what it is you do. This sounded really interesting to me, especially as I use the iPad.AppStorm Facebook page quite extensively to publish our posts so I signed up to see what the service could offer. Here’s what I found out.

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Web-based accounting software has been increasing in popularity recently. In today’s world of cloud computing and remote working, it can help companies work more efficiently (as employees do not have to work from a fixed location) and often, web-based accounting systems can reduce a business’s IT costs, as they often charge a monthly subscription fee, rather than lumping the company with a massive bill for server upgrades and expensive licences.

Kashoo, from the Vancouver-based developers of the same name, is one of these systems. It helps users say goodbye to the days of slow and complicated accounting systems and promises to save every user 5 to 10 hours a month when it comes to doing the books. This is a bold claim, so I took the test version of Kashoo out for a spin to see how it fared.

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I’m sure we’ve all heard of a site called iFixit, the site which provides easy repair guides for a wide range of products, including Apple devices, games consoles, digital cameras and so on but I’d hazard a guess at the fact that not as many people have heard of Dozuki, which is the fantastic system that actually powers the website and makes creating and running a “how-to” guide on the Internet a piece of cake.

Read on after the break for my full review!
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Web design nowadays doesn’t have to be a mass of complicated coding and endless head scratching. In fact, there are plenty of tools out there that allow even the most novice of people to throw together a fairly decent website without too much effort. One of those that we are going to be looking at is Edicy however this one comes with a slight twist – it is designed with multilingual websites in mind, making creating twenty different versions of your site an easy task.

Read on after the break for my thoughts. (more…)

Just under a year ago, we took a look at Podio, a social and online work network rolled into one and we liked it very much, so much so that we gave it a extremely well-deserved score of 9 out of 10. Since writing that review, the Podio team have been working extremely hard on the product and there are plenty of new features to show for their efforts.

Read on after the break to find out what exactly they are! (more…)

If you take a look at a sample range of web apps out there nowadays, I bet your bottom dollar that around 80-90% of those will highlight collaboration as one of their key features. And why not? We’re past the times of constant e-mailing back and forth and endless meetings to get stuff done. Now we want to log onto the Net and share our ideas with our teammates there, not in meetings on a big whiteboard.

Of course there are plenty of different ways to do this, and today we’re going to have a good look at Comindware Tracker, another solution to help both you and your team work together and manage your time more effectively. Let’s get started straight away.

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