Did support take up more time of your year than you’d like to admit? Then perhaps it’s time for something better. Bluetrait, our sponsor this week, is the simple help desk tool you need — and if you happen to be a seller on Envato’s marketplaces, it’s the support tool designed specifically for you.

Bluetrait’s a simple online help desk tool that has all the features you need to give your customers the best support possible. You can create canned responses, email notificaitons, custom priorities and statuses, and more to help you keep on top of your support requests, and can tie it into your email account to it’ll automatically turn emails into suppor tickets. You’ll be able to reply with a rich email editor in the app that has full HTML support, and can easily file away tickets or find them again later. Then, as mentioned before, it integrates with Envato’s marketplaces so you can easily see what products your customer has purchased from you and can give them personalized support. It even makes it simple to keep up with your team, with custom graphs that’ll show who’s logging the most tickets.

But then, perhaps you won’t have to do quite as much support as you’re thinking you’ll need to, since Bluetrait lets you create a Knowledge Base that’ll help your customers support themselves. Right in your same support interface, you can write articles about all of your app or theme’s features and show your users how to get the most out of them. They’ll be able to find out what they need, and save you the hassle of replying to every single request. But even if you do need to reply, Bluetrait makes it easy to reply anywhere with its responsive theme that’ll work on any device.

There’s more, too. Bluetrait recently added a WordPress extension, so you can import your WordPress accounts into Bluetrait easily. And early next year, Bluetrait’s adding an option for domain mapping, so you can use your company’s domain name with Bluetrait’s support app for no extra cost.

Get 50% off Bluetrait This Week!

Best of all, you can give your customers the support the need in the new year and save money at the same time. Bluetrait normally costs $14AUD/user/month, but this week, Bluetrait is running a special 50% off discount. Just signup for a new Bluetrait account for your company with the coupon code BLU50P, and you’ll get 50% off your account for life. You can even add new employees in the future, and still get the same 50% discount for every new employee you add. And you’ll still get the full 30 day trial to make sure it works for you. That’s a great way to get your company on the right start for offering better support next year!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Christmas time is here, and with that comes traffic jams in mall parking lots and the never-ending decisions over what gifts would be great for everyone on your Nice list. But playing Santa can be a rather hard job, especially if you’re trying to find something that’s special and unique.

It’s nearly impossible to buy gifts that are web app centric, unless you’re buying a Chromebook or perhaps a Firefox phone for a special someone, so we didn’t do a roundup of gifts just for web app fans. Instead, we’ve included a ton of geeky gifts in our roundup of gifts on Mac.AppStorm, and there’s a ton of stuff for everyone on your list. You’ll find the latest Doxies (great for scanning documents and saving them to your favorite web apps), the awesome Raspberry Pi (the $25 way to get online), and much much more.

If you’ve got some holiday shopping left to do for geeky folks, this is the list for you. Go check it out!

Continue Reading at Mac.AppStorm…

It used to be that we’d drop in and let our neighbor’s know when we were planning to go out of town — and perhaps that’s still common for many of you. But we never used to grab a megaphone and announce to the whole world that our house was going to be vacant for a week.

Now, of course, one can’t possibly embark on a journey without saying as much on Twitter. And then, you’ll faithfully track the journey online, documenting coffee breaks with Instagram photos and sharing gift opening videos with your world of Facebook friends who are already bored of giftwrap and escaped to Facebook only to see more of it. And each time, you’re likely tagging your locations or at least subtly including geolocation data that makes it all too obvious exactly where you are.

Or then, perhaps you don’t. For there’s others — often, older than the first set — who are terrified to announce their travels to the world. Pictures can always be shared next week, but while traveling, there’s to be no mention at all of the fact they’re not at home. Of course, their absence from social networks is equally conspicuous, but at least they have a bit of comfort thinking others don’t know where they are.

We’ve hit an odd point in the eternal pull between public and private. We’re reeled by the revelations of the NSA’s spying, and yet love to share the locations we’re at. I used to never share location data, and felt somewhat odd publishing almost anything personal in pubic, and then decided to embrace location sharing. And yet, announcing vacations still somehow feels like a tad much — but I’d still be as apt as anyone to Instagram airport architecture shots, a tell-tell giveaway of travel.

How about you? Will the whole world know of your holiday travels, or are you going to keep your peppermint mocha and gift unwrapping and travel memories for yourself?

Another day, another file sharing app, or so it seems. We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to services for sending files big and small over the web, and while it may seem like overkill, the truth is that today’s users are diverse in their usage habits and requirements, and a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work in this context. So who is Shared good for?

Shared doesn’t bother with apps for multiple platforms or syncing files across devices: instead, it offers a cheap, easy-to-use web-based file sharing solution that works on desktops and mobile devices and is perfect for novice users and advanced file sharers who are tired of bloated apps with features they don’t use. Plus, you can get started with 100GB of space for free! Sound too good to be true? Let’s send some files across the interwebs and see if Shared is indeed all it’s cracked up to be.

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WordPress has grown and changed over the years, from a simple blog system into a full-fledged CMS. In that time, it’s gone from a basic white theme to a bright blue and then a more subdued grey and tan that we all know and love today. Along the way, it’s picked up a ton of features, and the world of computing has shifted from desktops to mobile and tablets. It’s time for some changes.

WordPress 3.8 is finally here today, and along with the extra new features and bug fixes you’d expect, it also includes a surprisingly nice new redesign that, while largely the same as before, makes the WordPress dashboard look far more modern and at home on any of your devices.

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Cryptocurrencies, the most famous of all being Bitcoin, turned geeks and normal people with a bit of tech interest into virtual millionaires, overnight. In recent months they’ve hit the headlines for facilitating the sale of drugs and firearms by concealing the identities of those involved. They even accentuated the capital outflows from Cyprus during the country’s financial collapse and subsequent EU bailout earlier this year.

In 2011, those buying into cryptocurrencies were laughed at by investors and economists. Now, BitCoin is regularly the feature of two page spreads in the Financial Times and is rumoured to be a serious headache for regulators of the traditional banking system. Since the high profile take-down of The Silk Road (a shady, Deep Web marketplace mainly used for drug sales), the FBI have backed off.

In a further vote of confidence, the Chinese government recently indicated that they have no real issues with cryptocurrencies and have allowed a Chinese exchange to grow into the world’s largest, surpassing MtGox a few weeks ago. However, they’ve also eliminated the possibility of it ever becoming part of their official national finance framework.

In spite of its recent successes, BitCoin remains rouge. Personified, it’s a surly teenager protesting against “the system”. Big Business has given it nothing more than an amused smirk because BitCoin doesn’t wear a suit to work nor have Terms & Conditions attached. Ripple’s ‘XRP’, a new kid on the cryptocurrency block, does.

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Video calling is definitely the next step in communication, but for business, it’s a step too far. Or, at least in some instances. When I’m at home, the last thing I want is a complete stranger having a live video stream of my living room. Google see things differently and want to bring yoga lessons, home improvement advice and customer service right to your laptop with their new web app.

Its name? ‘Helpouts from Google‘.

The idea seems so revolutionary to Google that they think the service could rival ‘How To’ videos on YouTube or text based guides. Unfortunately, their shiny new offering has some fundamental flaws that could be off setting to many users. Lets take a look.

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I can’t say that the sudden rise of web-delivered digital magazines is a trend I foresaw. It was initially a by-product magazine renaissance that came with the mass ownership of touchscreen devices, but webzine publishing is now a niche in which many startups are willing to specialize.

This year, alone, I have personally reviewed the likes of Creatavist and Readymag, and been hugely impressed, whilst other platforms such as TypeEngine and Origami Engine — despite their names, both are more suited to talk than torque — are making significant headway, too.

My latest encounter with the format comes in the form of Beacon. With a simple approach to creation, publication and selling — even Beacon’s website is a one-pager — it should be the ideal platform for those who want to concentrate on content rather than configuration. But can it deliver the required quality to capture the attention of the reading public?

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Got a MacBook, iPad, or iPhone that you’re worried about getting lost or stolen? Worry no more. With Hidden, you’ve got the theft protection all your devices need.

Hidden is a brilliant theft protection system that’ll keep all of your Apple devices protected. If your device gets stolen, Hidden will track its location, take pictures of the thief and screenshots of what they’re currently doing on your computer, and log processes and keystrokes on your Mac so you can see exactly what apps the thief is using and what he’s typing. On an iOS device, Hidden will show a fake alarm that, when the thief tries to turn off, will launch the app to snap a picture and send it to you just like it would on the Mac, so you’ve got the same protection everywhere.

 

You can then login to your Hidden account online and see exactly where your device is on a map, complete with all the other data Hidden has collected about the thief. That gives you the info you need to inform law enforcement and hopefully get your device back. It’s the full-fledged protection your devices need that will give you the peace of mind to not worry about your devices disappearing.

We loved Hidden when we tried it out, and are certain you’ll love it as well. It’s an ingenious way to keep your devices protected.

Get Hidden 50% Off!

Hidden usually costs $15/year to protect one device, or $30/year to protect up to 3 devices, but we’ve got something even better. This month, if you signup for Hidden with our coupon code WASL50, you can get 50% off your Hidden subscription. That’d make it cost only $0.63 per month to keep your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad protected! It’s the perfect chance to buy yourself the perfect holiday gift of security for your devices

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Time tracking apps are among the most predictable apps. They’re all designed to keep track of the time you’ve worked on your projects so you’re fair to both your clients and yourself. Then, the apps typically let you turn your timesheets into invoices, and perhaps track time on the go. Boring, but necessary.

And then there’s the new Timely. I’m pretty certain you’ve never seen a time tracking app like this. It’s the one time tracking app that you’ll actually want to use, it looks so nice. Plus, it’s simpler than most to use, thanks to its drag-and-drop calendar (apparently a popular new trend).

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