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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I’ve been a CloudApp devotee for years now. I’ve tested all the alternates — perhaps more than most, since I review apps for a living — and even called it a solid tie between Droplr and CloudApp in my in-depth comparison of them last year. But, as I had every other time, I returned to using CloudApp quickly after finishing the article. Nothing else could win me over.

It’s not that I’m so picky, per se. I used CloudApp to share images and files (mainly screenshots), and to shorten links (and then track their view stats). And CloudApp worked perfectly for that, so perfectly that I didn’t want to replace it.

The problem is, CloudApp has been standing still, while Droplr has been continuing to improve their apps and service. When Droplr announced their new iOS app — complete with an iPad version — at the same time that I was bumping into CloudApp’s free account limits and needed to consider upgrading, I knew I had to give Droplr another shot first. Several weeks later, I put the money down for a pro Droplr account. (more…)

Our friends at Quote Roller are running a giveaway this week that you might be interested in: they’re giving away two iPad Minis, one to their existing users and another to new users who try out their app this week. Quote Roller was designed to help you be productive, no matter where you are, and they have a brand-new iOS app update coming this summer that’ll make it an even better on-the-go companion for you. And, they’re celebrating its release by giving away the iPad Minis.

You just might be able to try out Quote Roller, find how much time it’ll save you, and then get an iPad Mini for free to make you even more productive on the go!

Quote Roller Giveaway

But why are you still here? Head over to the Quote Roller site, sign up for a free trial, then like the Quote Roller Facebook page and share the giveaway photo with your Facebook friends to get entered in the giveaway. That’s not too much work for a chance at a free iPad Mini, now is it? And hey — you’ll likely find that Quote Roller will save you time and keep you from having to work too hard on making quotes and proposals for your clients, even on the go with their new iOS app.

I have a Dropbox account with about 50GB of storage space. There’s also a Box account with the same size. Then there’s Google Drive with 15GB, Flickr with 1TB, and so on and so forth. With so many different cloud storage services, there’s bound to be some confusion.

  • Which account did I save this file on?
  • Man, this document is on both Dropbox and Google Drive, but I can’t remember which one I updated last.
  • I need to edit this file but it’s on my Box. I sure wish it was on my SkyDrive right now!
  • Hmm, half this photo album is on Picasa and the other half on Flickr. How do I get the two together?

There had to be an easy way to take the stuff from one account and dump it into another. And I wanted a way where I could set up an IFTTT-like rule, where new files or changes from one folder are automatically synced to another. Mover.io promised those things, so I took it for a spin. (more…)

Recent statistics show that Chrome is solidly in third place in the “browser wars”. Perhaps the main reason for Chrome’s rapid growth over the past four plus years is the Chrome Web Store. The plethora of extensions and apps available for Chrome packaged in an accessible online store has enticed many users to make the switch.

I recently switched back to Chrome specifically for the productivity extensions. There were a few extensions I couldn’t live without and some I recently encountered having a good ol’ time perusing the Web Store. The result is a set of 15 extremely handy productivity extensions for Chrome. So, in some kind of order, here they are…
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Between Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds, the number of links that are shared with me on a regular basis is, to put it mildly, crazy. So I’m always on the lookout for solutions that promise to make some sense out of this truckload of random information coming my way, and even a way to aggregate these links and find the best ones.

Likehack is the latest contender to promise those features, and it’s actually a bit different from what I expected. I signed up for the service thinking I would get a list of all the links I get, auto-sorted by categories like images, videos and articles. Instead, Likehack works behind the scenes to actually suggest the most important links it thinks I would like, once you’ve connected it to all of your accounts. So far, so good. (more…)

Nearly all of the apps, platforms and services we write about on AppStorm are pretty specific in their purpose. Twitter sticks to restricted-length communications, YouTube focuses on video clip-based entertainment, and Evernote does nothing other than document filing. One app, one task. It works pretty good.

Given that we use many of these apps on a daily basis, you have to wonder why there haven’t been more attempts to combine some of these services. FriendFeed was, perhaps, the most prominent and successful entry into the mashup genre, although it fell by the wayside, despite a peak of 1.2m unique visitors per month.

The makers of Needly clearly feel that the fusion of web-apps is an idea worth revisiting. Billed as “Google Reader + Basecamp + WordPress,” it seems intent on providing a hub of browser-based services. Is this the plain madness it sounds like, or rather some kind of genius idea that should have been done already? Read on to find out.

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Stripe is an awesome way to take payments for virtual and physical goods. For anyone tired of having to run all payments through PayPal, it’s a breath of fresh air that makes payment processing easy and cheap. However, the service doesn’t offer an easy way to sell your products to customers. And while you can always code your own web store that works with Stripe, this takes time and money that could be used towards developing the product that you’re planning to sell.

If you find yourself in a situation like I’ve written above, you’re probably a perfect candidate for Spacebox: a product manager and payment acceptor that works with Stripe. It’s one of the simplest ways to sell your products — digital and physical alike — online. (more…)

My wife and I recently moved to a new-to-us townhouse. Moving’s never easy, but it’s at least gotten us to go through our clothes and stuff, clearing out what we’ll likely never use again and organizing what we’ve kept so we’ll find it easier. It’s still a work in progress, but should be an improvement once we’re settled in.

So it goes with moving to new apps. Google Reader’s demise has forced us all to find a new home for our RSS feeds, and that’s likely made it the perfect time to change how you approach RSS. Fever’s made it easier for me to find the top stuff in the news each day, without having to read through all of my feeds, and finding new apps that work with it has been a fun process. I still essentially read my feeds the same, but I sure enjoy my current setup more than I did Google Reader.

Has the move away from Google Reader changed anything for you? Do you check RSS feeds more or less often with your new app? Or, have you given up on RSS altogether, opting instead for social networking and news aggregators?

Six months ago, Instagram was valued at $1 Billion when they were bought out by Facebook, an amount thought absurd by most. Shortly thereafter came huge changes to their Terms of Service, explicitly stating that they could store and sell any photos uploaded to the site. Users were angry – and rightly so.

The online stock photography market is worth $5 billion each year – and commission photography worth $12 billion. So I guess you can see why Facebook and Instagram wanted to cash in, especially as neither had decent revenue streams. They’ve since changed their terms of service back, for the most part, but the reputation damage was already done.

Now, a new kid on the block is becoming more and more popular – EyeEm. It’s a German “visual search engine” and social network for photographs. The new contender is far from ready for prime-time, and is much smaller than the mighty dominant Facebook. But on the Internet, it’s users’ clicks that matter, and they’re flocking to the new service. Could it be the next Instagram?

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