Category Archives: Software

Going Beyond Mobile-Friendly Sites to Mobile Apps

Last week I discussed the importance of having a mobile-friendly version of your site. If you want to get a bigger chunk of the ever growing mobile market though, I suggest that you don’t stop at a mobile site, but develop a mobile app for your users.

There are many different kinds of mobile apps you can offer to your users including games, productivity apps (i.e. specialized calculators, to-do lists, etc.), educational apps (i.e. industry dictionaries, reviewers and exercises, trivia, language tutorial, etc.), lifestyle apps (i.e. ticket store, real-time train/plane schedules, recipe book, yoga, etc.), and more. The point is that whatever industry you belong to, whatever topics you usually touch on, you’ll probably be able to think of an app that would be useful to your users.

The problem with this, however, is that it does take significant investment to come up with a good app. If you don’t have the resources to deliver a good app, do rethink your options before going ahead because you might be better off with a much simpler app that delivers in terms of quality (no buggy apps please!) instead of a potentially excellent and innovative app that ends up half-baked. Remember, first impressions last and you want your users to tie your name with a sound usable mobile app so that when you do release a bigger mobile app, you won’t be hard-pressed selling the idea to your existing user base, and hopefully in selling it to other users who most probably be basing their decisions on the feedback from your users now.

 

Image credit: Mobile App Developments

PDF to ePub Converter

An EPUB is an electronic publication device. It allows people to purchase any desired readings they like online and they can read it on this gadget. The great thing about this device is that you can make the most out of the reading’s text. In other words if you have a hard time reading books because of their small font, all you have to do with the EPUB is zoom in or turn the text into re-flowable style(word wrap).

Now you have the chance to not only read online books but you can access any PDF file you download. The PDF to EPUB converter saves you a lot of time and effort by converting PDF files available to be formatted into your own electronic books reader. The great thing about this program is that the PDF still retains its original features, so you don’t have to worry about using a different program to read the file. In addition, the interface of the program is very intuitive. The design is so simple you can start converting PDF to EPUB right away.

The program features are very unique and allows you to save up on your EPUB’s memory space. Let’s say you only need to read the first couple of pages of the PDF file, you can set the number of pages that need to be converted into the EPUB just by selecting the specified pages. Also, if you are a multilingual reader, no need to worry about translating errors because the PDF to EPUB converter suits different languages, such as English, French, German, even Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

5 Useful Online Writing Tools to Make You More Productive

In my more than two years of  writing for various blogs, I’ve grown accustomed to using various online tools that  helped me become a more efficient and more productive blogger.  Here are five of these useful online tools to help you with your writing/blogging chores.

Windows Live Writer – Never mind if you’re not a Microsoft fan. But Live Writer is definitely a very robust, useful and dependable blogging tool. It could be the best among the lot. Live Writer lets you set multiple blogs and directly publish post to them.

Microsoft Research ESL Assistant – A useful tool for non-English-as-a first-language bloggers.  This tool provides correction suggestions for typical ESL (English as a Second Language) errors including choice of determiners and propositions, as well as word choice suggestions.

Google Translate – If you’re like me who covers netbook news, I usually encounter news items in various languages including French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and others. And if a foreign-language site is your only source of information about a particular new gadget, you have no other recourse but to use Google’s Translation tool. It may not be the most accurate translation but it’s enough to give you the gist of what the news is all about. More than enough to you to compose  a decent news blog post.

Google’s Currency Converter – Again another useful online tool for tech bloggers. If you’re writing about new products and gadgets which you sourced out from foreign-language blogs, you simply type the price plus the currency’s name in Google’s search box,  hit enter and you’ll be given the U.S. Dollar equivalent.

Google Docs – Who doesn’t use Google Docs yet? Ever heard of cloud computing? Google Docs is a very good and useful example of a cloud storage service. I use it for drafting long posts which I need to edit from time to time even when I’m using different computers.

Honorable Mention:

Copyscape – If you’re not sure if you are plagiarizing other people’s content, especially true if you’re writing about original topics and not regurgitating news items, Copyscape is an invaluable tool.

Other Tech News
North Korea denies ‘righteous’ hack attack on Sony
The Japanese comfort women issue still rages on

Free alternatives to WordPress

The guys over at BlogPerfume have a look at what other free blog platforms available are next to WordPress, to host your blog with. Their list is rather complete and makes it easier to discover most alternative platforms. Handy if you want to move away from WordPress or want to have a look at all the platforms before making your choice and chose for a specific blog platform.

A while ago I published a similar but shorter list on BloggingPro. Although I only mentioned the then poplar options, I went a little more in-depth and compared pros and cons of listed platforms.