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Portable Devices, Laptops and Wireless

  • Choosing the Best Small Business Laptop - The wide range of price, power and software in the laptop market today can make choosing the right model confusing. Selecting the best laptop for your business starts not with the latest technology, but with thinking about the features and software you need. Here are some important factors to consider.
  • Powering Your Small Business With Tablet Devices - With more processing power than smart phones, the latest generation of tablet PCs is redefining the mobile computing market. By combining productivity suites, Internet access and mobile apps, tablets offer a powerful computing experience for traveling business owners -- allowing users to catch up on email or complete quick tasks without booting up a laptop.
  • Choosing a Small Business Smartphone - It's easy to get caught up in the hype around the hot handset of the moment, but choosing the best smart phone for your business needs will depend on the features and apps you're most likely to use -- as well as the options available in your area. Careful research can help avoid being locked into an unsuitable device.

Mobile Business Apps

  • Maintaining Productivity Outside the Office - Mobile productivity tools can help business owners maintain and adjust their schedules and to-do lists remotely. By understanding where you have to be and what you have to do, you can reduce confusion and improve your productivity, work/life balance and your company's success.
  • Mobile Scheduling Boosts Efficiency - Maintaining an electronic calendar, allowing customers to book their own appointments and keeping track of employee work schedule are just a few of the benefits of Web-based and mobile tools that make life easier for business owners. Scheduling apps can improve efficiency and collaboration by helping everyone stay connected and in sync.
  • Apps Help Smart Phone Users Manage Contacts - Your business contacts are among your company's most valuable assets, and being able to access an up-to-date contact list remotely can provide important benefits to your company. A variety of apps and services can help business owners use contact data more efficiently and unlock value in their customer lists.
  • Password Managers Guard Mobile Browsing - With more of us relying on mobile access and a deluge of passwords to remember, smart phone apps designed to help people generate and manage strong passwords can provide valuable security for online accounts. Web and mobile apps will store and protect login credentials and other sensitive data so you don't have to remember it.
  • Using Your Smart Phone to Accept Mobile Payments - Customers expect to be able to use credit and debit cards for nearly any purchase, so it makes sense for your business to offer the convenience of accepting payment cards outside traditional retail outlets. Using a smart phone as a virtual payment terminal allows you to make sales and provide services from nearly anywhere, and to be paid on the spot -- without the cost and payment risks of sending paper invoices after the transaction.
  • Remote Check Deposit Going Mobile - Using a cell phone or scanner to deposit a check remotely (by taking a picture of or scanning the endorsed check) can save you the time of going to the bank and could speed up your access to the deposited funds. A growing number of banks have developed smart phone apps and other tools to help business owners deposit checks wirelessly or via the Web.
  • Smart Phone Tethering Expands Laptop Reach - Most of the latest smart phones offer "tethering," or the ability to use a smart phone as a modem that can provide a wireless connection for a laptop. You can connect the laptop to your smart phone with a cable or Bluetooth and use the phone's data capabilities to get online. While tethering may not offer the same convenience as a dedicated aircard, it can be a good alternative if a Wi-Fi connection isn't available.
  • Mobile Document Management Keeps You Productive - Running your business often means spending time outside the workplace, but that doesn't mean you have to be cut off from important documents or information on your office PC. Smart phone productivity suites can help you access and manage word processing documents, spreadsheets or presentations remotely, often sparing you the need to travel with a full-featured laptop or tablet.
  • Mobile Presentations Spread Your Message - Sometime a presentation or online demonstration is the best way to get your point across, but delivering a mobile presentation doesn't always mean firing up a laptop and a projector. Smart phone versions of popular presentation programs and portable projectors let business owners share ideas nearly anywhere.
  • Reaching Out With Video Conferencing - For important meetings or improving internal collaboration, video conferencing can be more effective than phone calls or text chats. A growing range of Web-based and smart phone apps enable even the smallest of companies to reap the benefits of video conferencing without the need for an expensive investment in dedicated video equipment.
  • Backing Up Your Mobile Data - With smart phones, tablets and laptops playing an increasingly important role in the success of small businesses, portable devices are storing a growing amount of critical business information and records that must be protected. Scheduling routine backups is crucial to maintaining access to your company's all-important data.

Locating Local Services

  • Remote Access Expands Your Business Reach - Remote access apps extend your company's network by allowing you to access important documents or files securely from nearly anywhere. By logging in to your network with a laptop or smart phone, you can access or update files securely over a wireless broadband or Wi-Fi connection.
  • Finding Wi-Fi Hotspots on the Run - We're a long way from the convenience of Wi-Fi being available nearly everywhere, but for business owners who know where to look, it's becoming more and more common. Knowing the types of places likely to offer Wi-Fi access and checking smart phone apps that list public hotspots are helpful first steps in finding the connection you need.
  • Protecting Data Privacy on Public Wi-Fi - The ease and convenience of getting online at a public Wi-Fi hotspot has to be balanced with the risk of your signal being compromised while you're sending data back and forth. A few simple precautions should be followed at public hotspots to protect confidential customer or personal data from online eavesdroppers.
  • Smartphones Are Smart Tools - Your smart phone's GPS capabilities can do more than provide driving directions – smart phone apps can also help you find the nearest gas stations, restaurants, ATMs or other important resources while you're on the road. Once your phone knows where you are, it's easy to find what's nearby.
  • Smart Phones Making Travel Smoother - Applications and services designed with business travelers in mind make it easy to plan your trip, adjust to any delays, and help you take care of the routine headaches that often accompany life on the road. From finding the best deal or sharing your plans to discovering the best local restaurants, smart phone apps can reduce the hassle of traveling.
  • Mobile Translation Apps Help Global Businesses - If your business takes you overseas, odds are you'll run into other languages besides your own. Mobile translations apps take a variety of approaches to help travelers get help reading signs or menus, asking basic questions, and understanding enough of a different language to get around.
  • Online Coupons Can Boost Sales - The coupons and loyalty cards that businesses have long relied on to increase foot traffic and sales are going digital, with a growing number of apps and services providing ways to introduce even the smallest businesses to new customers and to welcome back repeat patrons. Location-based apps, smart phone reward cards and other services can replace paper coupons and punch cards.




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