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Month: February 2018

What Does an “Affordable Phone” Mean in 2018?

A few years ago, an Indian startup promised to launch a smartphone with a pretty decent configuration that would only cost around $4. As you might expect, the interest in such a product was through the roof – Freedom 251 was pre-ordered by more than 30,000 buyers before its website crashed under the pressure. Unfortunately, this dirt cheap smartphone seems to have been nothing but a scam – although the manufacturer claims to have delivered 5,000 units, its managing director Mohit Goel was later arrested for fraud.

A $4 phone does sound unrealistic today but it’s not as far from becoming a reality as it sounds. Smartphone manufacturers have understood that to break into growth markets like Africa and some South American nations (not to mention India, one of the biggest market for Chinese phone manufacturers) they have to adapt their offer to the realities of these markets. And to do so, they will have to produce handsets with a decent hardware and a low price that the potential customers in these areas will be able to afford.

Some manufacturers have already started to release handsets that might not be the highest-performance ones out there but they are at least very cheap. EuroStar’s ONYX-1S, for example, has a configuration more than capable of browsing the web, playing at online casinos, watching videos, and playing music, and it also comes with a decent camera and a 5″ screen, and can be bought for as low as around $60. Other manufacturers – usually Chinese – also offer their customers smartphones with similar prices that might not be good enough for the Westerners but they are perfect for other, emerging markets. And they redefine the concept of an “affordable phone”.

Of course, these phones are not fitted with the latest Qualcomm or Samsung chips – but they have pretty decent MediaTek processors that have an acceptable performance at a low price. They don’t have 4,000mAh batteries – but they make do with 2,500. And their internal storage is also usually limited to 8 or 16 gigabytes, but it can be expanded with the use of memory cards. And they will also be on par with the market leaders, too, when it comes to security thanks to initiatives like Google’s latest Android Oreo Go Edition, built with exactly these affordable but limited-performance handsets in mind.

We are seeing perhaps the biggest price gap between the cheapest and the most expensive smartphones in history. We have handsets on both ends of the spectrum – on one hand, we have the 256GB iPhone X that costs $1,149, on the other, we have the EuroStar ONYX-1S with a $60 price tag.

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Enjoy Learning With Educational Applications

Technology has come a long way in the field of education. Students prefer to learn by using interactive educational application than boring school books. Technology is not showing any signs of slowing down and teachers and parents don’t seem to have any problem in using educational apps when it comes to their children’s education.

Educational applications are becoming more and more popular every day. Students can have access to numerous attractive features from these mobile applications which helps them to learn in an easy and fun way. The educational app market is flooded with numerous applications which helps students in their academics. But choosing the right app is very important. Some interesting features of educational apps and benefits of using them for learning are given in the points below.

 

  • Interactive Learning Methods

 

The introduction of mobile applications in the educational field has created new methods of learning which is beyond the walls of schools and educational institutes. Students can learn and solve various maths topics like probability, fractions, calculus, etc. with the help of fun games available on the apps. This helps students to understand the concepts and basics from a different perspective.

 

  • Visualization

 

Visual engagement is one of the best methods to make students learn. The educational applications come with colorful video lessons so that students can visualize every concept in a better way. The video lessons also come with attractive features like 3D animations and in air projections. This help students to retain the basic concepts for a longer period of time.

 

  • E-Books

 

Online studying has become a new trend in this generation. Nowadays students prefer to study from e-books rather than from chunky school books. Students can get any books from library applications which are present in the app market. It also becomes easier for students to select the appropriate books in the app market.

 

 

  • Instant Updates

 

The educational applications not only provide study materials, books and learning tips but also keeps students updated about latest school exams, campus events, competitive exam information, timetables, alerts and other important details.

 

 

  • Enhanced communication

 

Proper communication between parents, teachers, and students is crucial for a student’s development. The mobile apps come with features which provide a platform where parents and teachers can interact with each other. This helps in building a strong relationship between them. Teachers can respond to queries from parents regarding their child’s development which in turn will help in the progress of the child.

Visit Mathematics Discussion Forum and join the online education discussion forum to get involved in the open discussion on various interesting maths topics. Subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube Channel to watch interactive videos on various science and math topics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiy6K3uk-Qw

 

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Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Collaboration Tool

Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of tools that one can use for work.

Working from home? There are tools for you. Cab to the office taking too long? No worries, you can log into an online platform where you can start working on whatever you need to accomplish for the day. Members of your teams located in different parts of the world? Yep, there are tools for that, too.

For any of these situations, a collaboration tool is the answer.

A collaboration tool helps people to collaborate. The purpose of a collaboration tool is to support a group of two or more individuals to accomplish a common goal or objective they have set themselves (source).” This definition can refer to good old paper and pen. In this instance, however, we are referring to software or programs that aid in team collaboration.

The last couple of decades saw the rise of these handy programs. Whether a company operates in a traditional manner or is comprised of remote workers, a collaboration tool is a definite must-have. It is useful in any type of office in any type of industry. It is used in retail, food business, government, education, medicine, and in various other fields. In fact, a lone freelancer without a collaboration tool will find getting work done with clients or business partners an extra challenge.

While it’s well and good that there are dozens and dozens of collaboration tools available in the market today, having too many options can be a headache, too.

Imagine just wanting a good tool for working with a team and then being presented with dozens of options.

Here are questions that you need to ask to avoid a potential analysis paralysis situation. Hopefully, these factors will aid you in choosing the most ideal collaboration tool for your company.

1. Is it a standalone tool or a multi-purpose tool?

One question to ask when shopping around for a collaboration tool is whether the platform is standalone or comes with multi-purpose features.

Not all collaboration tools are created equal. This is perhaps due to the fact that collaboration covers a broad spectrum of activities. When you collaborate, you communicate, you share files, you manage a series of tasks that all contribute in the accomplishment of a certain project.

Some tools are ideal for chatting, emailing, or general correspondence. Others focus on file storage or data sharing. There are also some that make project management the focal point.

So should you choose a tool that allows for chatting alone and a different program for sharing files? Or should you pick a platform that lets you tick all aspects of collaboration in one go?

Studies show that teams prefer to work using full-featured tools over standalone programs.

Eileen O’Loughlin, Software Advice:

While specialized tools can boost efficiency in one area, they lack the capacity to meet multiple needs at once. For example: a chat tool may restrict attachment file sizes, or a content management application may lack an activity feed.

One downside, of course, is that programs with multi-purpose features may be crazy complicated. They can be quite pricey, too, when you compare them to standalone collaboration services.

What you can do is find the sweet spot between full-service but simple and affordable. At the very least, you will want a tool that has these three features: allows your team to send messages, has storage for file sharing, and lets you coordinate on tasks for accomplishing projects.

Dead Drop software, for instance, is a full-featured collaboration tool that is not only affordable but also quite simple to use. This cloud-based platform allows teams to send messages to one another, share or store files, and run projects using the calendar.

2. What’s your budget?

Expounding on the point we have made above, let’s explore another question to ask when choosing a collaboration tool: what’s your budget?

Siv Rauv, Elcom:

Most online collaboration tools are available at a low monthly subscription cost — but there are also some open source platforms available for startups and organisations that aren’t ready to commit. Professional solutions are often priced out at a per seat rate, so it becomes important to compare different tools based on cost.

The budget issue will likely be affected by the size of your company. This is because most tools charge subscription fees per user. Basically, the bigger the number of users who access the tools, the higher the monthly bill would be.

Conversely, there are also tools that offer all-in or fixed monthly plans. This may be a good option if your team is on the larger side or you have no clear picture of your manpower in the near future.

3. Does it offer free trial or free demo?

One way to learn how a collaboration tool works is by trying it out. This is where free trials or free demos come in handy. If a platform isn’t offered on trial, you might want to steer clear of it.

Depending on the vendor, some free trials consist of only a few basic features. Some, however, will let you explore and try every facet of the program. This way, you will know exactly that you will be paying for, if ever you do sign up for a plan.

Have your team try one or two tools before signing up for a paid subscription. As a result, if you do end up signing up for a particular tool, the teething stage would be shorter for your team.

4. How secure is it?

Security is a major factor to consider when you are shopping around for your team’s collaboration tool.

Just imagine: ideas that flow through your company are worth a lot of money. When these ideas are stored in an online platform, it’s imperative that you make security a top priority when choosing a collaboration tool.

Most vendors would disclose just how secure their platforms are so you simply need to browse their FAQ section before you make the decision to sign up.

5. Does the tool answer your team’s specific problem/s?

Different teams have different needs. Before you choose a collaboration tool, take time to analyze how your team interacts first.

Do they prefer to use real-time chat rooms as a venue to collaborate? Do they like to use emails to coordinate on projects? Do you have remote workers whom your team need to video call often?

By knowing how your team collaborate, you will be able to choose the tool that best fit your business.

Some full-featured collaboration tools available in the market today focus on the real-time interactive side of working together. They showcase chat or commenting functions so that teams can talk about what they are working on as they work on them. If your team loves to chat, these are tools you may want to look into.

Speaking of work to get done, there are also platforms that come with handy checklists or to-do lists. These can prove quite useful for teams that love to tick items off after finishing with certain tasks.

If your team is also using Google Drive, Dropbox, and other online tools, you might want to invest in a collaboration tool that allows for integration.

Another factor that you might need to consider is whether a tool allows for secure business to business collaboration. There are tools that can be used only by one team or company. There are some, like Dead Drop, that are suitable for collaboration with external entities, such as clients, business partners, and other parties who may not be part of the company. These types of tools are quite useful for collaboration beyond only one team.

If you find a collaboration tool that has the right answers for these questions, consider yourself lucky. You and your team will be well on your way to accomplishing many goals. Of course, we reiterate that you take advantage of the free trial offers first. A trial is a good test whether a program is a good fit for your team.

Go forth and dive into the wonderful world of collaboration tools. Trust us, one or two will make your work life much better.

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Advantages Brought about by Omni Channel Retailing

We’re all aware of the problems that existed prior to the introduction of Omni channel retailing. It is something that most businesses have to deal with on a regular basis (at least the ones who haven’t adopted Omni channel strategies anyway). But the truth of the matter is, with the rapid shift towards Omni channel retailing, it has changed the entire landscape for retail, even with local businesses. So let’s discuss what significant changes were enacted with this medium of retail.  

Changes brought about by Omni channel retail

Omni channel retail focuses primarily on consolidating the brick & mortar and the online experience in one platform. It the convenience and ease of online shopping, merged with the versatility of the offline stores. Omni retailing is heavily dependent on IT and it is projected that by the year 2020 there will a massive growth in IT budgets for Omni-Channel marketing platforms. And not just that, Omni Channel Retailing is set to bring about a huge reform in the way customers and businesses interact with each other. It is estimated that 90% of all sales are still done via Brick and Mortar mediums and so with the introduction of Omni channels, it is deemed to grow even more So what significant changes does it introduce in the mainstream? Let’s discuss it with the eye of both the customer and retailer.

Changes for Customer

    1. More information: The customer has access to a huge database of information about the products just like they would in an online store. This inspires the customer to buy with more confidence.  

 

  • Product Enquiry: Since the customer can check for product availability beforehand, it becomes easier for them to book products in advance if they have lower stocks. Also they can compare products before they actually buy it, so it saves time.
  • Time Saving: In an Omni Channel retail system, products are catalogued beforehand; hence, it becomes easier for them to find it, if they are shopping in the traditional fashion.
  • Convenience: Because in an Omni Channel system, you can shop both offline and online, it becomes easier for the customer to shop according to their time schedule.

 

Changes for the Business:

 

  • Confidence Inspiring: Because businesses can build offline retail stores for their products, it inspires more confidence for the customer to stick to that brand. It also means that the business is doing well in the eyes of the customer and that they won’t be going anywhere soon.
  • Targeted marketing: With the help of Omni Channel distribution and marketing, businesses can gather more information on the customer and their shopping habits, leading them to display more relevant or targeted ads at the customer.  
  • Tracking Trends: Since the business has more data now, they can keep track of product selling trends and effectively improve their existing inventory for higher profits.
  • Better customer support: Again, the data gathered from various channels can be converted into knowledge for the ground staff and they can be more efficient.
  • Converting Traffic: The personalised ads means that there is higher chance for the business to turn online traffic into foot traffic and use cross sell and up sell opportunities, all under one platform.

 

Certainly, Omni channel distribution is the way forward for any business. The prospect of having more customers shop at their convenience is always a boon and it effectively increases the total business profits and keeps it relevant.

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