There has been much said about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader, and while for many people it is just another closure of a little used service, for lots of others it means losing a valuable source of news.
If you had come to rely on Google’s news reader to keep up to date with the latest news and posts from your favorite websites – including Web.AppStorm! – you could turn to Twitter to plug the gap. Here we’ll take a look at Twitter lists and show how they can be used as a viable alternative to RSS feeds.
Email is the most important online service you use — it’s essential your online passport, used to login to most apps you use — but it’s often the most neglected. Sure, we check our email all the time, but how much time did you put into finding the best place to keep your email? Have you ever thought about the possibility of needing to switch email services, and how much that would affect your life?
Now’s the time to think about it. Let’s take a look at the best email services out there today, and how you use them to make sure you never lose all of your email. And perhaps, you’ll find an email service that you like even better than you’re using right now. (more…)
Google started out as a search engine, but over the years it’s amassed quite the set of web apps for dozens of purposes. If you use Gmail, Google Calendar, Maps, and Search, then Google has tons of data about you, enough to let it rather smartly predict what you’ll need to know and when you’ll need to know it.
That’s what Google Now, the new Android feature that’s finally come to iPhone and iPad users this week by way of a new version of the Google Search app, is. It shows you directions for how to get home when you’re supposed to be heading home, lets you find out if something else has happened about a news article you recently read, and so much more. In many ways, it’ll keep you from searching on your devices as much, and perhaps eventually on your browser as well since it appears to be coming to the web sometime soon.
It can be nice — some swear by it already — but if you don’t use Google’s services to run your life, it’s rather pointless. I’ve just tried it out on my iPhone, and was unimpressed when it didn’t even pick up the appointment I had this morning. It’s neat, still, but not nearly as lifechanging as many seem to think.
That’s why I’m wondering about your thoughts on Google Now. Do you like it, and do you think it’s something you couldn’t live without today? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Is keeping up with your team’s schedule more work than actually doing the work your business is all about? There’s no reason job scheduling should be so difficult. That’s where Service Task, our sponsor this week, comes in.
Service Task simplifies everything down to the 3 most important things in your business: your customers, your jobs, and you calendar. You can keep up with everything important about your customers to make sure you provide them the most personalized service each time. Then, you can keep up with the tasks for your whole team in Service Task, even recurring tasks with service plans, and turn them into timesheets as work is finished. Finally, but most importantly, you can manage your company’s calendar online, dragging-and-dropping appointments and meetings to the time that’ll work best for you. Your customers can book service online, and you can manage everything to make sure you’ll give them the best service, right from Service Task.
Want more? Service Task integrates fully with QuickBooks Online to make your accounting and invoicing simple, and also now includes its own brand-new invoicing tool so you can create invoices from Service Task directly if you don’t use QuickBooks. Then, Service Task also makes it simpler to promote your business online, with a built-in tool to create a basic site to publicize your business.
Go Get it!
Ready to get your service-orientated business more focused on the service you’re offering and less on getting your service scheduled? Then you should give Service Task a try. You can try Service Task for free for 30 days, and keep using it for free if you have only 10 customers. After that, you can keep using Service Task to keep your business running starting at $24/month.
The internet can be frustratingly slow at times. This could be because of the time of day, a problem with your connection, the popularity of the site you’re visiting, or badly written pages. It could also be because of the sheer volume of advertisement, page analytics and other elements packed into a site.
Disconnect is a free extension for Chrome that can be used to help not only speed up you online experience but also to make it more secure and private. These are pretty bold claims, so we thought we’d better take a look to see how it stands up.
If you’ve ever had a Posterous blog, you’ve got a project that you really need to take on this week: moving your Posterous blog to a new home. Posterous closes down for good on Tuesday, April 30th, so you’ve got 3 days to get your stuff. 3 days.
After that, everything you’ve ever put in Posterous will be gone. Boom! Whether you’ve been using Posterous until recently, or perhaps — like me — tried it out years ago and totally forgot you had a blog in Posterous, you’d better at the very least backup your Posterous data so it doesn’t get deleted, and if you want to keep it online, you need to find it a new home.
Don’t worry: you can backup and move your Posterous site in less than 15 minutes. I’m sure you can find that much time this weekend. So come on. Here’s what you need to save your Posterous site before it’s too late.
Several weeks ago, we asked our readers at Mac.AppStorm what Mac apps they couldn’t live without. The funniest thing is that tons of the responders — most, even — included a web app like Dropbox, Evernote, CloudApp, or Google Drive as an app they couldn’t live without. Turns out, almost everyone relies on web apps these days.
For me, I keep all of my files in Dropbox, my email is powered by Google Apps for Domains, my site is powered by Kirby, I use CloudApp to share files, Forecast.io to check the weather, WolframAlpha to discover more about the world, Google to keep me from seeming dumb, and App.net/Twitter/Facebook to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. AppStorm itself is powered by WordPress, our team collaborates with Basecamp and Google Docs, and our polls usually are powered by Polldaddy. I could honestly get rid of native apps easier than I could replace web apps these days.
So how about you? What web apps could you not live without? We’re looking forward to seeing your responses in the comments below!
It’d be hard to be a fan of web apps and not have heard of Wunderlist. The nearly ubiquitous to-do list app has gone from a fresh contender at its launch in late 2010 to one of the most well-known to-do list apps on the planet. It’s free, fun to use with customizable backgrounds, and has web, desktop, and mobile apps that all work exactly the same. In fact, we used to use it internally at AppStorm before switching to the new Basecamp. It works great, and looks nice: a rather killer combo.
And now, it’s better than ever. Wunderlist 2 already improved the service, but it’s lately gotten a ton of extra goodness, along with paid Pro accounts that add unlimited subtasks, task delegation, and of all things, extra backgrounds. The first two make it a serious contender for professional task management, while the latter keeps Wunderlist’s fun attitude front and center. (more…)
Great web design requires every bit as much imagination and creativity as graphic design. But while graphic designers get a (relatively) easy ride with the drag-and-drop tools of Photoshop, web designers, essentially, still have to do it the hard way with from-scratch coding. Hard to believe, I know, given that it’s now 2013, but this archaic method of design still reigns supreme.
Code, for the time being, at least, is still a necessity when designing a website. Wouldn’t it make things easier, though, if code-based styling were a little more intuitive.
That is the aim of bluePen, a live CSS editor, which has simple styling controls for each element on your site. But does this site add-on really save time, or is it yet another failed attempt to streamline web design?