Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Photo Credit: Android Police
HIGHLIGHTS
Only screenshots received from iPhone 7 Plus are distorted
The issue does not crop up when screenshot is shared by Pixel with iPhone
Home screen screenshots are not distorted
After being plagued by Bluetooth pairing and LTE connectivity issues, Pixel phone users are now reporting another bug. According to user reports, screenshots sent from an iPhone 7 Plus to a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL phone are getting distorted automatically.

The distorted screenshot issue is being discussed on a Google Product forums page extensively, and users are reporting that only a screenshot received from an iPhone 7 Plus is affected. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s latest most expensive iPhone offering in the market. The issue appears when a screenshot is sent via hangouts or any other SMS/MMS app. Furthermore, sending a screenshot of the home screen does not cause any distortion, but a screenshot from within any app – be it first-party or third-party – gets distorted.

(Also see:Google Pixel Phones Make Android’s Fragmentation Problem Worse)

The issue is said to only occur when a screenshot is shared by an iPhone 7 Plus user with a Pixel phone user, and not vice versa. This means screenshots sent through a Pixel phone to an iPhone 7 Plus user are received without any hiccups. Apart from Pixel phone users, some Nexus 6 users running on Android 7.1 Nougat have also taken to the forum to report the same issue. As Nexus 6 has not got the Android 7.1 Developer Preview yet, these phones might have presumably installed it via a custom ROM. However, this hints that there is some issue in how image processing is handled on Android 7.1 Nougat. There is no word on if Google intends to roll out a fix for this or not.

Just to recap, Pixel phones were earlier plagued with a connectivity issue particularly on the LTE band 4 frequency, which seems to have been fixed with the latest security patch rolled out last week. However, some users are still reporting that Bluetooth pairing issues with their cars through their Pixel phones.

Tags: iPhone 7 Plus Screenshot, Google Pixel Glitch, Google Pixel XL Screenshot, Mobiles, Android, Google

[“Source-Gadgets”]

60 Percent of Online Traffic Now Comes From Mobile

using smartphone

If your business depends upon online traffic, you should know. More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

A comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 6o percent of all online traffic up from 50 percent a year ago. And 51 percent of that traffic is driven by mobile apps (like those for digital radio such as Pandora or Spotify, digital messaging like WhatsApp or Viber and social apps like Facebook and Twitter.)

Significantly, this is a very different measure than the amount of organic traffic driven by mobile, as cited in another recent report from SEO platform BrightEdge.

That study suggested that about 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices while 12 percent comes from tablets. But this report looked only at traffic originating from mobile search, in other words, someone looking for something using a search engine like Google or Bing via their phone or tablet.

The comScore report examines a much broader cross section of online traffic. It could just as easily be looking at visitors delivered to your website via a link on a Facebook app as from a mobile search for your business on a search engine.

online traffic report

One conclusion is that, while categories like digital radio and photo sites like Instagram and Flickr may draw more activity, for marketers (and small businesses) social media is most important.

In it’s official report, comScore explains:

“While social networking does not rank at the very top of this list among the most mobile-skewing content categories, it is arguably the most important. The #1 category in terms of overall digital engagement accounting for 20% of total digital time spent, social networking now generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile. When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy.”

The report adds that:

  • Mobile activity on social media has grown by 55 percent over the past year.
  • It has also accounted for 31 percent of all growth in Internet activity over the same period.
  • Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online and its primary app is responsible for 18 percent.

The report should give you a whole new perspective on the importance of social media marketing for your business, especially on sites like Facebook.

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock, comScore

[“source-ndtv”]

60 Percent of Online Traffic Now Comes From Mobile

using smartphone

If your business depends upon online traffic, you should know. More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

A comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 6o percent of all online traffic up from 50 percent a year ago. And 51 percent of that traffic is driven by mobile apps (like those for digital radio such as Pandora or Spotify, digital messaging like WhatsApp or Viber and social apps like Facebook and Twitter.)

Significantly, this is a very different measure than the amount of organic traffic driven by mobile, as cited in another recent report from SEO platform BrightEdge.

That study suggested that about 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices while 12 percent comes from tablets. But this report looked only at traffic originating from mobile search, in other words, someone looking for something using a search engine like Google or Bing via their phone or tablet.

The comScore report examines a much broader cross section of online traffic. It could just as easily be looking at visitors delivered to your website via a link on a Facebook app as from a mobile search for your business on a search engine.

online traffic report

One conclusion is that, while categories like digital radio and photo sites like Instagram and Flickr may draw more activity, for marketers (and small businesses) social media is most important.

In it’s official report, comScore explains:

“While social networking does not rank at the very top of this list among the most mobile-skewing content categories, it is arguably the most important. The #1 category in terms of overall digital engagement accounting for 20% of total digital time spent, social networking now generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile. When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy.”

The report adds that:

  • Mobile activity on social media has grown by 55 percent over the past year.
  • It has also accounted for 31 percent of all growth in Internet activity over the same period.
  • Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online and its primary app is responsible for 18 percent.

The report should give you a whole new perspective on the importance of social media marketing for your business, especially on sites like Facebook.

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock, comScore

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

30 Cool New Products from Amazon Launchpad

Check out these 30 new hot crowdfunded products getting a lot more visibility on the Amazon startups marketplace, Launchpad

If you happen to be browsing on Amazon’s site and you’ve wondered how many items are available from the online mega retailer, click right here. As of this posting, there were 366,874,689 items being offered for sale, which is quite daunting if you’re looking to introduce a new product and compete with the hundreds of millions out there. Granted there are many departments, but even a simple search for watches turns up more than two million items.

In order to give startups a leg up when breaking into this vast online marketplace, Amazon introduced Launchpad last year.

Crowdfunding sites like such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo and accelerators like Y Combinator have partnered with Amazon to identify products with the greatest potential and placed them into the Launchpad product listing.

Unlike other listings, Launchpad products get in-house advertising, a widget on Amazon’s storefront landing page, and a more user friendly format for potential buyers. The creators of the products also get videos and a larger space to describe their items in detail allowing them the potential for a greater personal connection with customers.

To give a better idea of the kinds of products the platform accepts, here are 30 items available on Launchpad with a bit about each.

Amazon Startups Products You Can Buy on Launchpad

Withings Aura Smart Sleep System

The Aura sleep-tracking system monitors and improves your sleep quality by waking you up at the best time in your sleep cycle with dedicated light and music programs. The device works with Spotify and over 10,000 web radio stations. After you set it up under the mattress, you can track your sleep on your smartphone (though only on iOS devices so far).

Amazon Startups Product - Withings Aura Smart Sleep System

The product follows a trend in sleep and other personal fitness and health tracking products. The system is available for $299.95.

ICE Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

Like something out of science fiction, this floating Bluetooth speaker orb spins above a magnetic base in the air with 10mm of ground clearance. And its creators say it is capable of reproducing music at very high volumes without distortion.

Amazon Startups Product - ICE Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

The novelty factor alone is a great selling point, but this product also highlights the connectivity theme in so many tech products with its use of near field communication (NFC) and a cost of just $149.99.

Bluesmart One – Smart Luggage

Unlike the Modobag, which you can ride, the Bluesmart One must still be pulled. But the carry-on connects wirelessly to your smartphone so you can keep track of your luggage, and check to be sure it’s locked and underweight all from your mobile devie. And it has a charging dock, with two USB ports that has up to six charging cycles for your phone.

Amazon Startups Product - Bluesmart One - Smart Luggage

The compact design, the connectivity, charging option and 3G + GPS tracking makes this suitcase an attractive item for the business and weekend travelers at $439.99.

Nucleus Anywhere Intercom

Nucleus uses the functionality of Alexa and a wide-angle HD camera to allow video chats throughout your home. It lets users see the entire room and everyone in it so the whole family can participate.

Amazon Startups Product - Nucleus Anywhere Intercom

By adding Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, this product no doubt improved its chances for being accepted. Additionally, it is portable, very functional and goes beyond chatting because of the Alexa integration. And again the product is available for just $242.

GOLF TAGS Real-Time Golf Tracking and Game Analysis System

This product brings the trending technology of metrics to the game of golf. Golf Tags tracks club distances, shot dispersion, greens in regulation, course strategy putting and performs scoring analysis. You can check the stats on Android Wear, Pebble, Samsung Gear and Magellan Echo as well as other phones and other smartwatches.

Amazon Startups Product - GOLF TAGS Real-Time Golf Tracking and Game Analysis System

Golf is not for everyone, but the people that play it are extremely passionate and they are known for spending on tools to improve their game. This product requires no batteries to replace or recharging and provides the engagement needed to improve a player’s game all for a cost of just $99.99.

Remocam RMCU-1508 Smart Home Security Camera

Using what the company calls patent-pending infrared Smart Home technology, the product monitors with HD live streaming, records with a motion sensor and uses a Smart Home feature to control your electronic devices.

Amazon Startups Product - Remocam RMCU-1508 Smart Home Security Camera

Security is in huge demand, whether in the physical or digital world. And the Remocam uses its Smart Home technology to monitor your home day or night at a cost of just $199.

Modular Robotics MOSS Zombonitron 1600 Kit

The product represents modular robotics at its best. Each MOSS block is a different part of a robot, and what you get depends on the combination of blocks you put together. The kit is powered by a rechargeable LiPo battery and an extended battery block, along with motors, light and proximity sensors.

The product could potentially appeal to parents, kids, tinkerers, technology buffs and others. So adding it to Launchpad was probably a no brainer because of its broad potential customer base. The price of $199.95 also likely made it a logical inclusion.

Boosted Dual+ 2000W Electric Skateboard

Until very recently, the skateboard has pretty much been powered by the rider. But Boosted has 2,000 watts of power to help skateboarders coast effortlessly along. And that’s not all. According to the company, the new skateboard has the world’s only dual-drive system, meaning riders can accelerate up any hill and brake to a complete stop on the way back down. It has a maximum speed of 22 mph with a range of 7 Miles.

Amazon Startups Product - Boosted Dual+ 2000W Electric Skateboard

Skateboarders have always been passionate about their sport, and many are eager to try new innovations. This product was obviously a good choice for Launchpad. Even at $1,499, it has already sold out on Amazon and the company site. (Don’t you wish this had been your product?)

 gLink Garage Door Remote

Garage door openers are meant to add convenience, but too often they are just one more piece of tech to fret over. gLink turns your iOS and Android phone into a remote without having to worry about battery, power cord  or other maintenance. Each unit supports up to 10 permanent users with AES128, bidirectional authentication and dynamic password.

Amazon Startups Product - gLink Garage Door Remote

The price, convenience — at $44.99– and functionality gLink provides makes it an ideal product for Launchpad. Again, the potential customer base is huge.

CreoPop Cordless 3D Printing Pen

Finally 3D printing is in the mainstream. CreoPop is extending the popularity of this technology to a cordless, handheld device that lets your draw with filaments to create 3D objects.

Amazon Startups Product - CreoPop Cordless 3D Printing Pen

The selling point of CreoPop is proprietary photopolymers that cure under LED lights instead of PLA melted plastic. This means it is cool to the touch when finished. And, at $84, it represents an affordable way to get into 3D printing.

TORCH APPAREL T2 Bike Helmet

The Torch helmet has two very large surfaces of light that wrap around to the sides for greater visibility. It can run for up to 6 hours on steady beam setting or 36 hours on flash. The lens has an explosion proof 9h hardness tempered glass and oleo phobic coating to prevent oil stains and fingerprints from smudging it.

Amazon Startups Product - TORCH APPAREL T2 Bike Helmet

With more people riding bikes, the helmet appeals to both fitness and safety. And at $149.99 it will be hard to resist.

Brushee PocketSized Toothbrush 1 Pack

What about a throwaway toothbrush, pre-pasted, with floss and pick, and already FDA-Approved to boot. A cheap and convenient product, customers will likely be unable to resist these for their car, gym bag, travel bag and elsewhere at a cost of just $3.49 per pack.

Amazon Startups Product - Brushee PocketSized Toothbrush 1 Pack

Oral hygiene is never a hard sell, so Brushee has that going for it. The reviews for this product are not bad, with most people liking it, and a lot of suggestions that should make the next generation even better. 

Kinsa Smart Thermometer

This smart thermometer is FDA-cleared, doesn’t need batteries and works with iOS and Android devices. All you have to do is plug Kinsa into your smartphone and you get accurate readings in seconds. It creates profiles for everyone in the family, time stamps the temperature, tracks health history and offers real-time guidance on what steps to take.

Amazon Startups Product - Kinsa Smart Thermometer

An invaluable tool for parents, or anyone else for that matter, the device is reasonably priced at $19.99, and the fact that it doesn’t need batteries makes it highly practical.

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

This is a clinically validated monitor that meets both US and European Standards. It measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and heart rate with irregular heartbeat detection. The device works wirelessly with the free Qardio App allowing you to upload, store and share data on iOS, Android and Kindle devices.

Amazon Startups Product - QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

There’s a trend toward being more proactive with healthcare, and the QardiArm provides the hardware and software to make that possible. The technology is easy, accurate and useful at a cost of just $84.35.

EcoWasher Pro Detergent Free Laundry System

The EcoWasher Pro cleans your dirty laundry without detergents. An oxidation process turns cold water into a powerful cleaning agent that even gets rid of bacteria and germs detergents and hot water miss. Not to mention, you will no longer have to use chemicals that have caused a wide range of reactions on toddlers and others to wash your clothes.

Amazon Startups Product - EcoWasher Pro Detergent Free Laundry System

An environmentally friendly product for something we all do, the laundry, the $230.76 price tag might give customers pause. But when you take into account how much detergents cost, the onetime price definitely seems worth many of the benefits it provides.

Ride Scoozy Electric Bike

The Scoozy is a 350 watt direct drive electric bike that gives you 20-40 miles per charge with a cruising speed of 20 mph.

Amazon Startups Product - Ride Scoozy Electric Bik

For people who work and shop close to home and want to contribute to improving the environment, this is a great product — even at $1,399. Not having to deal with traffic, parking and gas are also great selling points.

Soylent Ready to Drink Food, 12 Pack of 14 oz. Bottles

Sometimes you are so busy you forget to eat. That is where Soylent comes in with a 100 percent vegan replacement meal you can drink. You can use it as a base for a smoothie. The carbs come from beets, protein from soy, and healthy fats from renewable algae sources.

Amazon Startups Product - Soylent Ready to Drink Food, 12 Pack of 14 oz. Bottles

The market is full of protein bars and shakes with questionable ingredients. Soylent is a better alternative when you want a quick and healthy replacement meal, for vegans and carnivores alike — and the $32.30 cost for a 12 pack makes it seem cost effective too.

Rocketbook Notebook

Here’s the world’s first smart, microwave-to-erase-and-reuse notebook. That alone should be enough to get most people’s attention. The Pilot FriXion pens are essential for the best outcome when it comes to erasing what you write with your microwave. If you want to share your notes, you can use the app with your iOS or Android device to send your notes to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, OneNote and more.

Amazon Startups Product - Rocketbook Notebook

Rocketbook has a novelty factor along with being practical. However, with tablets and phablets essentially doing the same thing without the need for a “nuking” and a $27 price tag, it remains to be seen how the product will do with customers.

Automatic: Connected Car Adapter

Automatic, a connected car adapter, decodes the check engine light, gets a live insurance agent in case of an accident, promotes good driving habits, monitors speed, coaches teen drivers and is compatible with Amazon Echo.

Amazon Startups Product - Automatic: Connected Car Adapter

Going to the mechanic to find out what that check engine light means can be costly. And the adapter, at $79.99, is likely to also get the attention of a lot of DIY’ers and weekend mechanics.

Osmo Coding Set

Osmo Coding introduces your child to code early so he or she can learn a very practical language in our technological world at an early age. But the product also improves problem solving and logic skills, which have applications beyond computers.

Amazon Startups Product - Osmo Coding Set

Being multi-lingual is more important than ever, and coding is becoming a very useful language to learn. At $49.95, this is a timely educational tool likely to appeal to many.

Canary All-in-One Home Security Device

Canary provides real-time video stream of your home with 1080p HD camera, automatic night vision, 90+ dB siren, motion-activated recording, auto-arm/disarm, and instant access to local authorities, all for $174.43. It also monitors the air quality, temperature and humidity all connected to the internet and available on your iOS or Android device.

With connectivity a prevailing theme with many Launchpad products, the Canary adds even more functionality for monitoring your environment.

RIF6 Cube 2-inch Mobile Projector

The Cube is a 2-inch portable mobile projector with 20,000 Hour LED light and 120-inch display. It works with phones, laptops, tablets and gaming consoles and costs $245.49.

With remote work and collaboration now part of almost all organizations, the Cube has potential beyond entertainment.

Dacuda PocketScan

Tagged as the world’s smallest wireless scanner for your smart phone, tablet, PC or MAC, PocketScan was conceived of after one too many trips to the library by the creator.

Amazon Startups Product - Dacuda PocketScan

Just like the Cube, this device has great potential in today’s workforce and is reasonably priced at just $149.

Petnet SmartFeeder iPhone

If you leave a big bowl of food out for your pet, your furry friend will more than likely eat all of it. The Petnet SmartFeeder and app provide remote and scheduled feedings, manage portions, notifications and food delivery for the feeder.

Amazon Startups Product - Petnet SmartFeeder iPhone

Obesity is as much of a crisis for pets as it is for people, and the SmartFeeder can help combat this problem though at $314.98 certainly not without cost The fact that you can control it remotely ensures your pet gets the right amount of food all the time.

Revolights Eclipse Bicycle Lighting System ($199)

The popularity of biking has inspired many innovations. The Revolights system puts lights on the biggest thing on the bike (beside the rider), the wheel. The light is visible from 360 Degrees, and a smart rear brake light blinks when you are slowing down.

Men’s Journal Magazine voted it, “The Best Bike Lighting System in the World,” and if you see the video, it makes a great case for the product. According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association there were 17.4 million bikes sold in 2015, so there is a big market for Revolights which seems priced right at just $199.

GlocalMe G2 Global Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot

GlocalMe is the world’s first 4G global mobile WiFi hotspot with support in more than 108 countries. It has 4G/3G speeds with cloud SIM technology that doesn’t require a local SIM card.

Amazon Startups Product - GlocalMe G2 Global Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot

The tool might not be for everyone, but at just $159 for power users it is a great backup when you can’t find the right connection. The built-in 6000 mAh power bank also charges your smartphone.

ActiveDesk Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk

ActiveDesk is a DIY frame for an adjustable standing desk with automatic smart memory keypad. The DIY kit, priced at $499, only includes the frame without a top, memory pad and height motors.

The full version of this desk is used by people at Google, Uber, Quora, HubSpot and AppSumo. The company has a strong customer base, but the DIY version might be a great way to add to it.

Aquaovo Alter Ego Personal Water Filter

Alter Ego has a proven technology that has been used for more than 10 years. The bottle filters up to 750 liters or 198 gallons of water by getting rid of urban contaminants such as chlorine and arsenic, as well as 99.9 percent of Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Amazon Startups Product - Aquaovo Alter Ego Personal Water Filter

Since it is aimed at a somewhat niche market, the $194.97 price may be too much for some. 

CUFF Lisa Smart Necklace

The CUFF Lisa necklace is a beacon that lets you create a community of people you want to alert in case of an emergency.

Amazon Startups Product - CUFF Lisa Smart Necklace

This is a great safety product anyone can use, but especially seniors and individuals that may have dementia or related disorders such as Alzheimer’s. The $46.98 price tag should be reasonable given its important use.

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone

Unlike cheap drones you find listed elsewhere, the Autel X-Star is a premium drone priced at $899 with a 4K Ultra HD video camera capable of live view up to 1.2 miles away and a flight time of up to 25 minutes.

Amazon Startups Product - Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone

The drone market is saturated, and it will take exceptional features to get the attention of consumers. The X-Star has noteworthy specs, but it will face great competition from the likes of DJI Phantom.

URB-E Black Label Electric Folding Scooter

With a 20 mile range and a top speed of 15mph, the URB-E scooter also charges your smartphone. At $1,699, it is 100 percent built in America with quality materials, including carbon fiber and American aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum.

Amazon Startups Product - URB-E Black Label Electric Folding Scooter

The company says it is the world’s most compact, foldable electric vehicle. The sooter created by an award winning industrial designer and a former lead engineer at Porsche. For people that want quality and are willing to pay for it, this might be the scooter for them.

If you have the next great item and you want to sell it on Launchpad, you have to register as an Amazon vendor and provide details about the product. The company then determines if there is demand for it based on an initial order shipped to Amazon’s fulfilment centers. If you are approved, you will pay a five percent incremental referral fee in addition to the regular referral fee Amazon charges for sold items.

Images: Amazon.com

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Garmin Changes Smartwatch from Geek Gadget to Status Symbol

Garmin's Fenix Chronos Changes Smartwatch from Geek Gadget to Status Symbol

Smartwatches are still somewhat of a niche product, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from creating premium versions with some hefty price tags. The Fenix Chronos by Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) takes the proven and highly acclaimed functionality of the  company’s Fenix 3 line of smartwatches and adds some luxury for high-end customers.

The adoption rate of smartwatches is growing. Business people are using them because of the convenience they offer. Not having to take your smartphone out to see text and emails is a great feature, and if the watch looks professional like the Chronos line, so much the better.

However, the price might be a bit much for most people. The price Garmin has set can buy you a decent analog watch that will not become obsolete. It will continue to work years from now without having to worry about connectivity issues, end of life support, batteries and more. But if you can afford it, the Chronos line is a high end watch with smart device functionality.

Garmin Fenix Chronos Details

The Fenix Chronos is a stainless steel sapphire watch available in three different settings:

  • Fenix Chronos with leather band: $899.99
  • Fenix Chronos Steel: with stainless steel band: $999.99
  • Fenix Chronos Titanium: with brushed titanium case and forged titanium links and buttons: $1,499.99

Garmin's Fenix Chronos Unboxing

Garmin dominates the activity smartwatch segment with a wide range of products used by everyone from professional triathletes to sailors, pilots and more. And making a watch users don’t have to remove when they go back to work or out for the night ma add to its appeal with some business users.

The Chronos line is basically the same as the Fenix 3 HR, and just like that watch it has some important features to consider. The difference is the crafted premium jeweler’s grade materials which includes durable metal housing and a high-strength, scratch-resistant sapphire lens.

The metal housing contains within it the EXO omni-directional GPS and GLONASS antenna in the bezel, along with Garmin’s latest outdoor navigation and fitness training features. All of the information the watch provides is displayed on the 1.2-inch always-on, sunlight-readable color Garmin Chroma Display. You can view emails, texts and alerts as well as daily activity tracking, smart notifications, activity profiles and more.

The Fenix Chronos Display

The battery life for the Chronos will greatly depend on how you use it, and according to the company, you can expect up to 25 hours with the UltraTrac battery saver mode, up to 13 hours in GPS mode, and one week in smart watch mode depending on the setting. Some of the other features include, 32MB of storage that can track up to 100 hours of activity data, Bluetooth 4.0 LE for connectivity and a 10ATM (100m) water rating.

What makes the Garmin line of activity smartwatches stand out are the applications that take advantage of the technology. Connect IQ automatically lets users upload their data, start a LiveTrack session, and share their activity on social media. Some of the activity profiles include run, bike, lap swim, open water, SUP, row, golf and more. Users can also monitor their heart rate 24/7, the number of steps they have taken throughout the day, calories burned, stairs climbed, and use the sleep mode to see how well they sleep at night.

Gamin's Fenix Chronos - Notifications Display Gamin's Fenix Chronos - Calendar Display Gamin's Fenix Chronos - Weather Display

If you like going on long hikes, the nifty TracBack feature makes getting lost a thing of the past. The GPS plus ABC (altimeter, barometer and 3-axis compass) sensor features let you navigate back to your starting point the same way you began your journey. It does this by creating a bread crumb trail as you move. The sensor can display heading, elevation and weather changes, while letting you mark locations such as start/finish line, your vehicle, campsite or other point of interest for future visits.

Gamin's Fenix Chronos - GPS Features

Garmin is not the only company addressing this high-end market. Traditional watch makers such as TAG Heuer, Tissot, Movado, Hublot and Bulgari have products out in the market or have announced they will be releasing products in the future.  While these companies are well established in the luxury market, Garmin has a head start with the technology the company has been developing in the activity segment. The question is, will customers settle for Garmin when they can have brands like Bulgari and Hublot on their wrists?

Images: Garmin

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

5 Ways Small Businesses can Benefit from Blogging

5 Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

Startups prefer online promotion over offline promotion because the former is cost-effective and yet often has shown definite results. Because blogging is the default window leading to online promotion, more and more brands are getting into it these days.

For a small business on a shoestring budget, investing time and resources in blogging is a better option tha other marketing alternatives. Blogging can aid in getting a high ranking on search engines and in gaining social media visibility?

But anything beyond that?

The Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

Let’s find out:

Establishes Thought Leadership

Blogging is instrumental in establishing thought leadership. Small firms need it more than their big counterparts. That’s because big companies can spend money and skip intermediate phases in the sales funnel. But small businesses have to pass through them.

Contrary to what many believe, thought leadership is not simply an accompanying factor in the sales cycle. It impacts a customer’s purchasing decisions when he’s on the payment page. The ORM overdose has made average customers suspicious about the claims made by brands about their products. But customers are less suspicious about industry thought leaders.

Another benefit of thought leadership is it attracts efficient employees, who might otherwise work in big companies. Some of those employees feel the corporate houses are soulless places to work. Big companies don’t allow employees to perform fully up to their potential. Small brands, especially the ones that are thought leaders, grant them this privilege. What’s funny about thought leadership is it doesn’t go hand in hand with paid efforts. Customers always take promotion with a pinch of salt.

Organic efforts, especially blogging, establishes thought leadership.

Content Planning

Blogging makes content planning easy for brands. In fact, the two are not separate. Brands that excel in blogging are those that plan their content in a meticulous way.

How exactly is content planning beneficial for startups?

Proper content planning can save cost and increase ROI. Brands, both big and small, unnecessarily shell out money due to wrong content planning. Big brands may not keep track of every dime they spend, but small businesses do. Cost-cutting and ROI increase are the focal points.

The following are essential for content planning:

  • Consumer demographics,
  • Problems consumers face, and
  • How branded products offer up solutions.

Of the factors above, some help brands to understand customer idea feedback. The next step of content planning is drafting the content in accordance with such feedback. Audience reactions can clue marketers in on the acceptability of the posts they publish. Once they garner audience appreciation, they can move on with the accompanying writing style.

Strategizing each step is content planning. Content planning helps to measure content marketing ROI, which is difficult otherwise. In the absence of industry-approved publishing metrics, proxies like virality and engagement factors are used. But via content planning, we can figure out more rigorous ROI measurement factors.

Monetizing the Blog

Very few give it a serious thought. They should because the majority of startup companies are bootstrapped. Blog monetization can be an alternative way for them to make money. It’s not rocket-science. There are ample resources on how to create a money-making blog from scratch.

Some hold monetizing a blog reduces the odds of establishing thought leadership. That’s not true. Making the site cluttered with ads is not a good idea, but paid promotion via in-text links (to a limited extent, of course) and giving favorable reviews to sponsors are great ways to monetize a site without putting banner ads on it.

Other than financial benefits, blog monetization can help startups expand their network. As they explore the financial opportunities, they can partner with other bloggers and with industry influencers. They may hop onto the money-making bandwagon if given a chance.

How-to Guide

Startups don’t hate DIY as much as big brands do. That’s because big enterprises can take care of all product related needs of customers — from packaging to promotion. Startups, on the other hand, offer specific services targeted at specific requirements.

Customers who go for DIY may need supporting tools and additional services. They expect these at lower cost, which rules big brands out of the equation. Only small businesses can understand and meet their requirements. Here’s an example:

Let’s say a small business operates in the chimney flue manufacturing industry. On the blog page of its site, it can offer guidelines on how to install a new chimney flue. A homeowner can do the installation himself, but he needs to buy the flue from a store. This is how small businesses can endorse DIY and yet publish how-to guides on their sites.

Tutorials and how-to type posts can quickly draw reader’s attention. How-to-led DIY can make someone successful in his endeavor or result in failure. The first outcome adds authenticity to the procedure detailed by the blogger (the small business). The second outcome prompts readers to get back to the blogger with questions, leading to a long trail of interactions. Hence, how-to posts lead to a win-win situation.

Getting Noticed

Startups aim to secure funding from venture capitalists. VC firms invest in businesses which they deem worthy of investing. How do they decide whether to invest in a startup or not?

They calculate the possible ROI based on speculations.

For a small business, it’s tough to convince investors that funding it will bring them good ROI. Approaching the investors, and for that matter reaching them, is the first hurdle. Persuading them to invest is the next. And do bear in mind that as a startup, you have to jump all these hurdles without sounding pushy and without bragging about yourself.

Blogging is an excellent way to get noticed by big players. There’s no dearth of platforms if drawing the attention of the big players is on your mind. Admins of third-party B2B blogs will be delighted to publish your posts, provided these posts are useful and offer new information. Then there are publishing platforms like Pulse. LinkedIn is where most of the VC guys are. And they hover over Pulse articles for new insights.

From your blog, people running VC firms will come to know about your achievements, methodology and innovations. You can even present case studies to bolster your claims. From case studies, investors can get a glimpse of your firm’s internal workflow and business process. If they are impressed by these, they may invest. Choose relevant topics, do a lot of research and offer solutions. In short, give VC firms all the reasons to notice you in the crowd.

Summing Up

In the era of content marketing, blogging is bound to help a business climb up the ladder of success. However, the efforts put into it must be precision-guided. The five tips shared here can make sure of that.

Blogger Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Can’t Get a Loan from a Bank? Here are Alternative Funding Options

Can't Get a Loan from a Bank? Here are Alternative Funding Options

Securing funds to either start or grow business was once every entrepreneur’s worst nightmare. In the past, big banks and credit unions often rejected loan applications, leaving business owners with the only option of borrowing from friends and family or borrowing against receivables.

A lot has, of course, changed mainly because business owners today have more options than before. Alternative lenders and institutional investors have made it easier for entrepreneurs to access funds and grow.

For a small business owner, it pays to understand how institutional lenders and alternative lenders differ and the best options available to get funds.

Small Business Funding Options

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lending took off during the 2008 financial crisis when big banks backed out of small business funding. At that time, online lenders stepped in to fill the vacuum and assist small businesses. They created web-based lending platforms that facilitated a faster loan application process and provided the much-needed respite to small businesses.

Today, alternative lenders are the new normal for small businesses looking for funds to meet their financing needs. Some of the well-known alternative lenders include Kabbage, OnDeck and CAN Capital.

There are four main types of alternative lending options available to small businesses. These are:

  • A line of credit that provides access to a set amount of cash that’s mostly used to meet short-term financing needs.
  • A term loan that allows business owners to borrow and repay the loan amount in about four or five years.
  • Invoice factoring that helps businesses deal with unpaid invoices.
  • Merchant cash advances that help businesses get an advance on future credit card or debit card sales.

Pros and Cons of Alternative Lending

Alternative lending is a good option when you are looking for funds to address an urgent business need. To give an example, if there is a plumbing issue that needs to be fixed immediately, you can use alternative lending options to secure funds in no time.

Another big advantage of alternative sources of financing for small business is simplicity. Unlike big banks, alternative lenders require fewer documents to process loan requests. That’s because for the alternative lenders, the main focus is whether you have the cash flow to repay the loan.

Alternative lenders also offer longer-term loans to invest in your growth. For example, if you want to recruit more workers or open a new store, you can opt for alternative lending options.

For all the benefits associated with alternative lending options, it’s important for businesses to know that the interest rates are extremely high. Most alternative lenders offer business loans with double-digit, sometimes even triple-digit, rates. For a small business owner, such steep rates are not always the best option.

Institutional Lenders

Institutional lenders refer to hedge funds, family funds, insurance companies and other non-bank institutions. These lenders have slowly but steadily emerged as important players in the small business credit marketplace. Some of the well-known institutional lenders include StreetShares, Funding Circle and Kickfurther.

An increasing number of small businesses are opting for institutional lending options because approval rates are high. Institutional lenders are, in fact, surpassing alternative lenders, including merchant cash advance companies and other non-bank finance companies.

In July last year, institutional lenders approved 61.7 percent of small business loans, up from 61.4 percent in June.

Pros and Cons of Institutional Lending

Because institutional lenders invest heavily in technology, they act promptly and approve loans faster than alternative lenders and big banks.

“These pools of money have never been available for small businesses,” Biz2Credit CEO and co-founder Rohit Arora tells Time.com.

For new entrepreneurs, institutional lending is a feasible option because the interest rates are considerably low. That’s because institutional lenders usually have access to a comprehensive profile of businesses that approach them for loans.

Moreover, institutional lenders don’t ask for any specific collateral to approve loans. They mostly require a personal guarantee and may place a lien on your business assets.

On the flip side however, institutional lenders place some very specific requirements to qualify for loan approvals. Further, these loans have typical terms of 1-5 years or even a shorter span. This means they are not ideal for businesses looking for big investments.

How to Seek Small Business Loans from Alternative and Institutional Lenders

To qualify for a loan or small business line of credit, it’s always advisable to know the right way to go about it.

While it is true that your chances of getting approved by an institutional or alternative lender are greater than big banks, it’s important to make note of a few things to ensure you qualify.

To begin with, you should know that unlike traditional lenders, alternative and institutional lenders depend on technology to determine whether or not you can repay the loan amount. They use sophisticated software tools and data metrics, including social media interactions to assess businesses.

If you have just started out, you probably won’t qualify for a big loan. Conversely, if your business is up and running and you can show a good track record of revenue performance, you will find it easier to secure funds.

What’s worth noting is that you need a good business plan in place to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan. It’s also advisable to know which lender is your best option before you approach them. For example, Kickfurther is ideal for small businesses looking for inventory financing. There are similar lenders who specialize in real estate business, purchase order financing and other kinds of small business loans.

It’s important to maintain a good credit score because most alternative and institutional lenders carry out credit checks to ascertain a customer’s credit worthiness.

Another good option for small businesses is to consider collaborative lending opportunities. Banks like JP Morgan Chase are partnering with alternative lenders to offer loans customized to the needs of business owners. In certain instances, such options would make more business sense.

Armed with enough information and insight, you can easily secure funds without borrowing from your IRA or approaching big banks and community banks.

Loans Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Feds Urge You Uninstall QuickTime from Windows Computers Immediately

quicktime

As much as we all love the digital world we currently live in, the issue of security is an annoyance we could all do without.

One of the latest security risks was announced by the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) with an alert urging customers to uninstall QuickTime from Windows.

QuickTime is a video player that can no longer compete with all the new players in the marketplace for Windows, which explains why Apple has stopped updating it. And in the digital world, not updating one’s application means it will quickly become vulnerable to security breaches.

Why You Should Uninstall QuickTime from Windows

As first reported by Trend Micro, Apple deprecated QuickTime for Microsoft Windows, which in computer lingo means it will still be available, but will no longer be developed or supported. The report also said the Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative released advisories detailing two new serious vulnerabilities affecting QuickTime for Windows.

The two vulnerabilities are:

  • ZDI-16-241 – Which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Apple QuickTime. In order for this vulnerability to be exploited, the user has to interact by visiting a malicious page or open a malicious file. The flaw specifically resides within the moov atom, which can be leveraged by an attacker to execute the codes under the context of the QuickTime player.
  • ZDI-16-242 – This vulnerability has the same flaws, but it exists within the atom processing. An attacker can write data outside of an allocated heap buffer by providing an invalid index.

Apple will no longer be providing security updates, so these vulnerabilities are never going to be patched.

According to Trend Micro, there are no active attacks against these vulnerabilities (as of April 14, 2016). But since it was made public, there are probably many exploits being introduced in the ecosystem that will eventually take advantage of these flaws.

All software products have a lifecycle. Since Apple will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime for Windows, US-CERT said computer systems running unsupported software will be exposed to increased risks of malicious attacks or electronic data loss. According to the organization, the only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.

If you have QuickTime on Windows systems, uninstall it right away. Go to the Control Panel and click on Programs. Once you are there find QuickTime and right click and uninstall. You can also visit this Apple page for information on how to uninstall the player.  It is important to note, this only affects Windows, Apple still supports QuickTime on Mac OS X.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Apple MacBook Event: What to Expect From the October 27 Showcase

Apple MacBook Event: What to Expect From the October 27 Showcase

Apple MacBook Event: What to Expect From the October 27 Showcase

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The new MacBook Pro will come with the Magic Toolbar panel
  • 11-inch MacBook Air will be killed off
  • The event to begin at 10.30pm IST

Last month, Apple hosted an event to unveil the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 devices. Now, the company is hosting another event at its California Campus on Thursday. At this Apple event, the Cupertino giant is expected to refresh the MacBook Pro lineup, and unveil what may be the new 13-inch MacBook or the new MacBook Air. Other, reports indicate the company may introduce a standalone 5K Thunderbolt display, and even unveil the new iMac.

The Apple MacBook event is scheduled to begin at 10.30pm IST, and Apple is live streaming it on its website. Users with the Safari browser on Mac and iOS, and Microsoft Edge browser running on Windows 10 will be able to live stream the event. Furthermore, Apple TV (Gen 4) users can watch the event live through the Apple Events app available in the App Store. Apple TV (Gen 2 and 3) will get the Apple Events Channel automatically, where the event will be broadcast live. We have collated all that is expected from the event, and here’s everything that Apple may launch tonight.

(Also see:How to Watch Apple’s MacBook Event Live)MacBook Pro
The brand new MacBook Pro is expected to be unveiled in 13-inch and 15-inch variants. The new and improved MacBook Pro will have a faster processor, and be lighter and thinner than the predecessor. There is also a new Oled display panel on the keyboard, and is dubbed to be called the ‘Magic Toolbar’. The panel will perform key functions depending on what the user is browsing onscreen. For example, if you’re listening to music, the panel will let you skip tracks, manage volume etc.

Right beside the OLED panel is pegged to be the Touch ID sensor. The fingerprint reader will be used for unlocking the laptop, as well as authenticating payments via Apple Pay. Apple is also expected to introduce USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports on the MacBook Pro as well. Analyst Ming Chi Kuo expects that a 2TB SSD option will be made available, and he also expects the quality of the Retina display to be improved (however, the display resolution will remain the same). Kuo suggests that the MacBook Pro will come with “MagSafe-like adapter” which will be rolled out by Apple or a third-party supplier. The new MacBook Pro lineup is also expected to run on the Intel’s sixth-generation ‘Skylake’ Core SoCs, and bring the option of a discrete AMD GPU, apart from integrated Intel Iris GPUs. No Kaby Lake processors are expected to be used.

(Also see:Apple’s MacBook Event: About Time the Mac Got Some Much-Needed Love)

MacBook and MacBook Air
Kuo believes that the long-rumoured 13-inch MacBook will make appearance at the Thursday event and will come with various improvements compared to the current 12-inch MacBook. He doesn’t mention the MacBook Air in his note to investors. Separately, Apple is rumoured to unveil a 13-inch MacBook Air with minor upgrades. The USB 3.0 port will be replaced by a USB Type-C one. Apart from this, there are reports that the 11-inch MacBook Air will also be discontinued, and Apple is only planning to unveil the 13-inch variant at the event.

iMac and 5K Cinema Display
While Kuo thinks that the refreshing of the iMac and standalone 5K Thunderbolt Cinema Display will happen sometime in 2017, several reports suggest that Apple will introduce them at the MacBook event. The analyst further claims that even if the new Macs are unveiled, they won’t be shipped before 2017. The new iMac won’t have much of an upgrade apart from the USB Type-C port. Apple is also expected to include an option for AMD graphic chip integration.

As for the 5K Cinema Display, it is expected to come with integrated GPU and a screen resolution of 5120×2880 pixels. Rumours claims that Apple has decided to integrate a GPU into the display to make it future ready. The integrated GPU will help the new Thunderbolt Display maintain compatibility with future Macs, and will also reduce the need of high resolution displays to be powered by high-performance computers featuring top-end GPUs.

Mac mini and Mac Pro
With no recent reports indicating a launch on this front, it’s safe to assume Apple won’t be unveiling new Mac mini and Mac Pro hardware at the event. If it does, like the iMac, the desktops will probably only be launched at a later date.

TV Guide App
As reported earlier this week, Apple is also tipped to reveal a new TV Guide app for Apple TV to enable easy discovery of entertainment content. The app will collate content from different apps and streaming services. However, it is reported that Netflix will not be included on this list.

No iPads?
From what we know so far, Apple is going to be hawk-eye focused on its Mac products. Apart from the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, all the other models are a year old. New iPad hardware is tipped for early spring next year, so don’t expect anything new on that front from Thursday’s event.

AirPods release date
Just a day ahead of its October 27 event, Apple revealed that the wireless AirPods earphones it had unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been delayed, and will not be available to buy in late October as it had previous promised. The company did not provide a clear reason as to the delay, or when the earphones would launch. It may be possible that Apple may provide some clarity on this front at Thursday’s event. Though of course with an announcement just before the event, it is also possible that Apple makes no mention of the delayed wireless earphones at the event.

(Also see: Apple Says It Needs More Time Before AirPods Are Ready)

As the tradition goes, Apple will most likely brag about the sales numbers of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the Apple Watch Series 2. It is also expected to announce availability of the AirPods. As mentioned, the Apple event time is 10.30pm IST, and we will be reporting everything from ground zero, giving you all the details and announcements in real-time. Stay tuned.

Tags: Apple, Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook, Apple MacBook, Apple MacBook Event, Apple Event, Apple Event October 2016,Apple Event TIme, Laptops, PCs, Home Entertainment, Apple TV, Apps, Apple MacBook Air, iMac, Mac
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Apple MacBook Event: Highlights From Apple’s October 27 Event

Apple MacBook Event: Highlights From Apple's October 27 Event

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro lineup
  • The company also showcased the new TV app
  • Availability of the Apple Watch Nike+ was also revealed
Oct 27, 2016
23:54 (IST)
Stay tuned for news, features, and even podcasts about the Apple event. Good night.
23:53 (IST)
He thanked everyone. That means the event is now over. Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed the live blog.
23:52 (IST)
Tim Cook is now on stage recapping Apple’s product launches in 2016.
23:52 (IST)
The MacBook Pro 13″ with function keys starts shipping today, and the other two start shipping in 2-3 weeks.
23:50 (IST)
MacBook Pro 13″ with function keys – $1,499
MacBook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar – $1,799
MacBook Pro 15″ with Touch Bar – $2,399
23:49 (IST)
All laptops have sixth-generation Intel Core processors, at least 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
23:48 (IST)
The 13″ MacBook Pro is actually smaller than the 13″ MacBook Air.
23:47 (IST)
A model of the 13″ MacBook Pro with traditional function keys, and two Thunderbolt ports will also be available. The new MacBook Pro is 12% thinner than the MacBook Air.
23:46 (IST)
The new MacBook Pro is 6.8 million times faster than the PowerBook. A full year of compute time on the PowerBook can be accomplished in less than five seconds on the new MacBook Pro, Schiller says.
23:45 (IST)
Schiller just showed a comparison shot of the PowerBook and the latest MacBook Pro. The difference is… stark.
Load More

Apple’s MacBook event is very likely to be all about updating its lineup of desktop and laptop computers. The company hasn’t updated its range of desktop and laptop computers in a while and it’s about time the lineup got a much-needed refresh. Gadgets 360 is at the launch venue in Cupertino, California and we’ll be bringing you live updates. Wondering what the Apple event start time is? The Apple event of October 2016 begins at 10:30pm IST.

If you’re wondering how to watch the Apple event, we’ve got you covered. But if you are stuck somewhere and can’t tune in, this live blog and our Twitter feed should be more than adequate. We’ll bring you to-the-second updates from the Apple MacBook event of October 2016, along with pictures so you feel like you’re as much a part of the event as us.

(Also see: MacBook Pro With USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 Ports Tipped to Launch This Month)Apple is expected to launch several new Macs at the October 2016 event, not least of which will be new MacBook Pros and iMacs. The Mac Pro is also likely to get an update, and some are even hoping for an update to the Mac Mini. We’ll have confirmation on all of that and more during the event.

(Also see: Apple’s MacBook Event: About Time the Mac Got Some Much-Needed Love)

The MacBook Pro is likely to be faster, thinner, and lighter, or at least that’s what the Apple we know would do. It could also have an Oled display panel on the keyboard and get rid of the Esc key. Support for Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology is also expected to be unveiled.

In other news, Apple may announce a TV guide app for the Apple TV, to make it easier to manage all of your subscriptions across content providers. This could be a great move for Apple TV users, but we’re not yet sure how much it’ll affect those who use it in India.

(Also see: Apple Says It Needs More Time Before AirPods Are Ready)

While you’re waiting for the event to begin, you can always listen to Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast to hear us voice our expectations from Apple’s October event. You can subscribe on iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.

[“Source-Gadgets”]