Top Mobile Marketing Ideas From Strong Brands

The Effective Social Media Marketing Schedule

The Effective Social Media Marketing Schedule

What are your reasons to join social media sites? If you are a business working your way with social media and mobile marketing, you have done a good thing. First reason for this is because you have expanded your exposure not only by client experience, but also by client testimonies and social interaction and rewards as well. The real motivation of any business to engage in social media and mobile marketing is to connect with individuals, return customers and new clients. With the help of the internet and social networks you have accounts in, you bring your business to where your clients are and develop a connection with them. However, making such connections will take great effort and huge amount of time and enough thoughtfulness too.
A lot of businesses sign up on social media to create online presence but then all of a sudden their page become silent. No one answers any comments, questions or wall posts. Nobody updates and uploads any pictures. It’s as if the business has gone down. The page becomes dormant for moths. And then all of a sudden someone replied to you post 3 weeks ago, an album was uploaded and an update was posted too. What just happened? Did the person responsible for the online interaction away for many months? Is the business running again? Customers who will notice the change will only say “what a waste of time. It will be gone again soon.” That is an example of a business that is not committed to social media community and does not see the power of it.
Whatever your business is, if you have engaged in social media and mobile marketing, you must be committed and consistent in updating your page and interact with all the people that connect with you. Utilizing the amazing system of Foursquare application as a means of connecting and keeping the social communication fresh and fun is a wonderful idea. Set up your business’ Facebook or Twitter account with Foursquare. Users of the app are not shy of telling their social community about their encounter with your company. Use the app to reward clients who patronize your business and create great customer relationships.
Make it a point to update and be present on your site online. Have a schedule for it that you will follow so that you will not forget to log into your account and interact with people. Example of a schedule for social media is twice a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You can go online first thing in the morning, answering queries and posts, commenting on photos and updating the site for what will happen that day. Log in again in the afternoon and interact with those online and answer inquiries in concise and respectful but connection manner. Another cool way to do is schedule weekly updates. You can also have an employee that will be available all day to answer and comment to posts and upload and update the site.
Having a schedule will help you to be updated in your social media sites, letting people know you value their posts as well as showing them you are connected. It also means that your business is going well with new and creative deals every now and then. Clients will eventually see your business as valuable and will keep on patronizing with you.

March 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Incredible Tips To Rev Up Your Mobile Marketing (6)

Incredible Tips To Rev Up Your Mobile Marketing (6)

Incredible Tips To Rev Up Your Mobile Marketing

One important thing about mobile marketing is that you need to present your material in a unique manner if you want to grasp their attention and lock them in. If you want to get started or improve your current marketing plan, then this article is what you need to read.

To encourage people to check out your products, advertise them in a free app! Many customers regularly seek out free applications, and are happy to look at some advertisements in order to use them. Try picking an app that has something to do with your services. For example, if you sell beauty products, offer a makeup tips application.

Offer your mobile marketing customers a little red carpet treatment to make them feel special. If you do this, they will spread the good word about you! The most effective measure of any campaign is sales, and providing your mobile customers with unique discounts will spur them to make purchases and exponentially promote your positive reputation!

Integrate your mobile marketing campaign with other media outlets. Mobile marketing works best when paired together with outer sources. Make sure you have specific mobile landing pages for each mobile banner. You would also need to integrate a Quick Response code to drive traffic to that site. Integrating your resources make your opportunities endless.

Be loyal to your loyal customers don’t ignore them. It is easy for a marketer to get caught up in new customer acquisition to forget their loyal die hard clients. There are ways to control this one of easy ways is to go thought your client list and send out a random reward.

Set up a poll for your marketing campaign. Polls can be set up as a question-response format or a response message. Polls are an excellent source to use to get the options of your customers to your products. Always check with your mobile provider to make sure they can support real-time results for your polls.

If you plan to introduce a coupon or promotional code into your mobile marketing campaign, spare your customers the embarrassment and confusion of the requirement that all offers must be printed out and presented at the time of purchase. 99.8 percent of mobile users cannot print from their smartphones, yet last year dozens of companies pushed forward with dud campaigns that alienated customers and damaged credibility.

When creating a mobile marketing message which is going directly to a recipient, use their name! When someone sees a message with their name in the subject it’s immediately personalized in their mind, making it seem like you have a relationship with the reader. This will lead them to be more likely to read everything you have to say.

To summarize, the implementation of your mobile marketing plan is one of the key factors. You only have the attention of your audience for a split second before they may turn elsewhere. Ideally you will be able to take all of the advice provided in this article and use it to build the perfect mobile based marketing model.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
gle Glass – The Features of the Google Glass

gle Glass – The Features of the Google Glass

Google Glass – The Features of the Google Glass

Google Glass puts the WARE in eyewear. In this case, Google Glass proves to be quite the impressive gadget because of its capability to act and function like a mobile phone or tablet, but minus the obtrusiveness of the size. Everything we’ve heard or read about the Google Glass and its features were nothing but pure speculations and some announcements from Google until the 16th of April. Almost a week ago, Google has finally released the specifications and features of the Google Glass.

The Google Glass is said to be equipped with a:
– High resolution display technology that will allow users to view images with the same quality as watching something on a 25-inch HD screen from 8 feet away.
– Adjustable nosepads and a durable frame to fit any face size.
– 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording.
– 12gb of synced Google Cloud storage out of the 16gb on-board flash memory.
– Connectivity options like Bluetooth (version not included), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g.
– Audio is delivered through a Bone Conduction Transducer.
– Google Glass is able to connect to any phone with Bluetooth and a MyGlass companion app which allows Google Glass to connect through Android phones that run Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher. This app would allow users to enjoy SMS and GPS functionality straight from their Android phone and into their Google Glass.
– No information about battery life, though Google implied that battery life should last 1 day for typical use, but it’s difficult to gauge because of other apps that are more battery intensive.

What this equates to
Google Glass, minus the SMS or email composition as far as one can deduce from the list of features, will allow users to view and browse data from the Internet or their storage through the display technology implemented. People can interact with others while trying to browse for information on when the next flight for Tokyo is, or people can create first-person photos and videos without any difficulty. Accessing the GPS display through the Google Glass will remove the burden of having to look at your phone during the course of your travel, which removes the risk of accidents due to mobile phones.

Users need not worry about the display obstructing their view because the display technology allows the data to be shown at the upper right of our normal field of vision, so there’s no hindrance at all.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Basics Of Mobile Marketing In A Nutshell (4)

The Basics Of Mobile Marketing In A Nutshell (4)

The Basics Of Mobile Marketing In A Nutshell

Mobile marketing can be exciting. It has so many ways that it can be customized for each business, that there are endless possibilities. This can make it difficult for someone inexperienced and who doesn’t have a clue where to begin. The tips in this article can prepare you for the challenge.

Work on your message composition. You can only use 160 characters, so be concise, but clear. Short cuts or “text speak” is acceptable when text messaging. Your opt-out message can include that kind of message, too. You can save characters this way. You can get some good ideas from some translators.

Provide instant rewards. With mobile marketing you can give your customers what they want, with no delays. Having a delay can make things lose their value or demand. People will participate in your marketing campaign hoping to get the promised reward. The quicker they get the reward, the happier they will be.

Do your best to target your message to fit the needs of the people that you are sending it to. If you are sending out a message about one thing that that person is not interested in, there is a great chance that they will not take the time to read your future messages.

Never send a message that has not been requested. These unsolicited texts are known as spam, and they can cause a lot of problems for you. Spamming is illegal in most cases, and if you text someone without their explicit permission, you can face hefty fines and other major issues.

What you are saying in your messages is extremely important. When sending out emails to customers, you want to be able to tap into that individuals needs as well as their buying habits. The more detailed you can get; the more that person will be intrigued. Just make sure to keep everything right to the point.

Create a message that is crafted to utilize your limits perfectly. You could shorten some words using text lingo, or create a message in any way that is going to fit the short amount of characters allotted per message while still sending the message that you wish to share.

Playing to the status of your customers is a huge deal and a surefire way you can improve on your mobile marketing campaign. People wait out in line for days to get an high-end Phone in part for the same reason people wear a Gold Watch: It’s a status symbol. Offering status-boosting incentives is a great way to keep your customers on the hook.

Develop an app. Apps are programs for mobile devices that interact with customers in many different ways. They provide easy access to your business through the program the customer installs on their phone. Make your app useful and appropriate to attract the most attention and downloads from your current and potential customers.

Mobile marketing is a thing of great creativity with many strategies and plans. That is both its highlight and its downfall. It’s a highlight because it has various options that are customizable and it’s a downfall because those various options make it difficult to decide. These tips should have made it a bit easier for you.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Best Guide When It Comes To Mobile Marketing (2)

The Best Guide When It Comes To Mobile Marketing (2)

The Best Guide When It Comes To Mobile Marketing

If you are completely new to the world of mobile marketing, then you are probably thinking that some tips on mobile marketing could help you immensely, so that you can begin your own career in this field. Listed below are some tips to get you started with your mobile marketing endeavors.

A useful mobile marketing tip is to always offer subscribers a small reward or incentive for joining your mobile number list. By providing a token of your gratitude, you will be able to gain a greater number of willing participants for your publicity campaign, and will build invaluable goodwill and brand loyalty.

When undertaking a mobile marketing campaign keep in mind that most people look for businesses in their area. Include keywords in your campaign that let’s a potential customer know your local business location and then target the largest audience possible.

You have to have your customer’s mobile number in order to do an effective mobile marketing campaign. So in your emails make sure to ask your customers to provide their cell phone numbers. If they give you their cell numbers you need to reward them with special discounts every now and then.

Social media is one big and long conversation. Lots of it is meaningless and trivial. Do not link your mobile campaign to this kind of disastrous discourse. Keep your messages brief and to the point. Social media is a key to any marketing campaign, but you have to use it wisely to get beneficial results.

Know your audience. If you are planning to market to mobile phones, you should design your ad around them. Many phone have difficulty downloading large amounts of data. If it takes too long to download, many people will simply exit the program before it even reaches the point where they can see your message.

Make use of Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. This feature makes it easy for people using your app to buy things right from the app itself. This mechanism is especially good for subscription services associated with magazines or online content, as well as to unlock additional app features like reduced advertising.

Send offers or communications sparingly as part of your mobile marketing campaign. Customers sign up to receive valuable and relevant information or offers but do not respond well to overwhelming volumes of messages. Many people today are bombarded by e-mails and text messages, so make sure your communications stand out as providing value without being annoying.

Remember in your mobile marketing campaign that you are reaching out to customers as individuals more than as large groups. Mobile marketing is personal. The devices that your advertising is displayed on usually only have one user, so it is very personal. Use your targets name if you can to deliver personalized content.

As you can see from the above list of tips, mobile marketing can be very useful in getting your products and services, the exposure that they need and deserve. After following these tips, you will no longer be new to mobile marketing, and you will soon become a mobile marketing expert.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
Five Criticisms Against Instagram

Five Criticisms Against Instagram

Top Five Criticisms Against Instagram

Instagram has revolutionized how people share and how they see the world. Suddenly, people that lack the experience and the knowledge often reserved to professional photographers. In fact, this app has become so popular is it has become the household name among social photo sharing networks. Despite the fact that there are other platforms that are more available to more devices, still Instagram remains the gold standard for other photo sharing sites. Instagram’s success has catapulted it towards an iconic status that people are referring the competitors as wannabes. No wonder Facebook spent a huge chunk of its cash reserves to acquire this fledgling social media network for a whopping one billion dollars. It seems Mark Zuckerberg sees a huge potential on this endeavor worth spending a cool billion dollars.
Is it really a bed of roses for Instagram? Is there some chink on its armor? As the platform grew more and more pundits are pointing out several things that the founders of Instagram and Facebook need to work on. The criticisms that have surfaced recently is crucial in staving off massive user exodus that could become the death knell that will spell doom for this young social media network.
Let us make a review of the top five criticisms that have been lodged against Instagram.
1. Think before you speak. When Instagram was pushed to the wall to perform, it made a bad turn that turned off majority of its users. The culprit was the sudden change of stipulations on its Terms of Service. Suddenly, Instagram users are being told that the content that they upload to the system can be sold allegedly to businesses for advertising purposes. For example, if you uploaded a picture of your lunch and by the time you went back to the app, you will see that it has become part of an advertisement for a restaurant. Not a pretty sight.
2. Fragmentation in Android. When Instagram started it was an iOS-exclusive app. It means that only devices that are running iOS are able to use all the goodies that come with the use of the mobile Instagram app. With the burgeoning number of Android devices ruling smartphonelandia, Instagram creators finally decided to make a version made specifically for Android. The intent was good but the execution was bad. It seems that the user experience vary from one Android smartphone to another. This made people that are familiar with the iOS user experience queasy.
3. Instagram can own your pictures. This is a nightmare for professional photographers because their work can easily be owned by Instagram if the images have been uploaded to the system. When you upload content to Instagram you expressly grant them license to use it without informing you.
4. Quality is not quite the same. People who are familiar with the quality of filters in the iOS app would attest that it is not the same when you use the Android version of Instagram. There were some features that are found in the iOS version that are not found on the Android one. One example is the absence of the shallow depth of field and a darker filter compared to the filter found in iOS.
5. The handling is not the same. iOS users have no problem with it but some Android phones will not allow users to shoot from Instagram they have to do a lot of workaround to make the picture taking happen.
Instagram should listen to its users in order to survive. A billion dollars could potentially be flushed down the drain if Instagram is not careful. It cannot rest on its laurels because there would be better and more efficient competitors waiting in the wings and just looking for the right chance to snatch the crown from Instagram’s head.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
Using Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Business's Visibility

Using Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Business’s Visibility

Using Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Business’s Visibility

Mobile marketing is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to broaden their capacity to reach desired customers. The key, however, is to master the strategies best able to communicate an effective message. Put the tips and suggestions in this article to work today, and you are sure to significantly expand your customer base and increase sales.

Develop an app. Apps are programs for mobile devices that interact with customers in many different ways. They provide easy access to your business through the program the customer installs on their phone. Make your app useful and appropriate to attract the most attention and downloads from your current and potential customers.

Set goals for your mobile marketing plan. Put together a plan so you know how many messages you will send out each day, which people you will target with which promotion, and what promotions those will be. Setting goals allows you to track your success and to focus on what you want to accomplish so you will build your business.

Know your audience. Mobile devices are in use by a majority of the population, however not all demographics are proficient in all of the uses available. A fully featured smartphone application with all the bells and whistles is great if your targeted users are young and tech-savvy; however, it could be a waste of money if you are intending to reach an older customer base. Sometimes less is more, and a simple SMS-based campaign is the better choice. The key is knowing which approach fits your audience.

Make your website easily navigable to mobile devices. While you may know your site works for larger computers and tablets, you need to be sure it will work for mobile phones as well. Test it using your own mobile device to see how it handles, and make any necessary changes.

It might be a good idea to send useful links and information instead of promoting your products once in a while. People will get tired of received promotional offers constantly and will unsubscribe from your campaign if they do not need new products. Keep them interested by sending relevant content.

Set aside at least one day a month that’s wholly devoted to viewing your stats and the effectiveness of your campaign if you want to adjust properly as you go along. You would probably be better off doing this every two weeks, but once a month is probably more realistic for busy marketers.

Keep your material clean in order to keep your brand clean. Sending out raw, unfiltered material, even if you think it’s worthy of attention, can be detrimental to your mobile marketing efforts. Things don’t have to be outlandish to draw attention. They just have to be worthy of someone’s time.

There is no disputing the tremendous potential held by mobile marketing. Businesses interested in utilizing this new way of reaching customers must familiarize themselves with the most persuasive, current techniques. Take advantage of the guidance found in this article, and begin reaping the rewards of mobile marketing immediately.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
ile Marketing – Using Social Media For Your Mobile Campaigns

ile Marketing – Using Social Media For Your Mobile Campaigns

Mobile Marketing – Using Social Media For Your Mobile Campaigns

The popularity of hand held devices like mobile phones eventually paved the way to a new marketing strategy and that is what we call mobile marketing. To date, marketers and business owners are seeing great potential, considering the increasing number of mobile phone users around the globe. The numbers alone are already deciding factors as to why this could be an avenue to tap on top of the tradition and current form of advertising.

A good way to get started with mobile marketing is coupling it with social media. Social Medias are currently a hit and everyone has an account or two in any of the social media sites. This could be an opportunity to go well with mobile marketing, especially because most of the social media (like Facebook and Twitter) have apps that can run in any hand held devices. With that said, how will we be able to use social media and maximize its potential with mobile marketing?

Here are a few tips.

To get the ball rolling with your mobile marketing campaign, it would be best to create a page or an account dedicated to your business or product in your preferred social media site. For instance in Facebook, you can create a fan page dedicated for your business. You will be able to post updates and statuses every now and then. If you have a new product you want to introduce, you can post a picture and make it known to your fans. Same concept applies if you develop your business Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social networking site accounts.
Social media is a good tool to start with any mobile marketing campaign because it is relatively free and easy to do. Plus, you don’t need train anybody because everyone knows how to use this sites. If you already have existing accounts in these popular social media sites, creating another one would be a breeze. Maintaining the accounts would be as easy as posting new statuses and tweets.
So how can this directly relate to mobile marketing? Popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have their mobile app counterpart. With this, you are using it as medium for your portable and efficient marketing campaign. Simply imagine being able to update on the go by accessing a social media app. How convenient would it be for your business and for your marketing campaign? No need to print out anything or even wait for the right time. Coverage wise, it can reach thousands of potential customers in a short span of time.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
You Can Have A Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign With This Advice (3)

You Can Have A Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign With This Advice (3)

You Can Have A Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign With This Advice

If you have not used mobile marketing to advertise, you need to consider this newest advertising medium. Read this article for some great advice about it and see if it is a good fit for you. It could be the best form of advertising that you’ve hit on yet.

Consider using a special offer or a discount code as your mobile ad campaign. By doing this, cell phone users who view and interact with your ad will feel like they are being rewarded for doing so. This will entice users to visit your shop or website in order to redeem their reward.

One great way to see how you can blend mobile marketing with social media is to pay attention to other people who are doing the same thing. This will allow you to see how things are done correctly. You won’t want to copy their formula verbatim, but it will help to emulate their style a bit.

Develop an app. Apps are programs for mobile devices that interact with customers in many different ways. They provide easy access to your business through the program the customer installs on their phone. Make your app useful and appropriate to attract the most attention and downloads from your current and potential customers.

Balance your mobile marketing within an integrated media strategy. Mobile marketing alone will not take your brand to the next level. Neither will direct mail or internet marketing alone. You need to develop a multi-channel strategy that works in harmony with each other to really tell the story of your brand. If you feel your mobile marketing strategy is acting on its own, now is the time to bring it into your larger marketing strategy.

The mobile market is not slowing down at all, but that doesn’t mean you need to get in for the sake of getting in. Sure, you should at least have some type of mobile marketing, but getting into the market because you feel you must leads to sloppy campaigning. Make sure it’s something you want to do.

When advertising to customers through mobile marketing, make yourself and your brand known immediately. Customers are less likely to buy products or services from those who don’t identify themselves right away. Doing so will make you seem more trustworthy, and make your products and services seem more appealing.

Set up a poll for your marketing campaign. Polls can be set up as a question-response format or a response message. Polls are an excellent source to use to get the options of your customers to your products. Always check with your mobile provider to make sure they can support real-time results for your polls.

You can be confident that mobile marketing is the right choice for your company if you have the right set of facts, and the patience to set up and implement a campaign. Hopefully the helpful pointers brought up in this article will get you fired up for trying mobile marketing out and reaping the benefits.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
ile Marketing – Jobs That You Could Apply

ile Marketing – Jobs That You Could Apply

Mobile Marketing – Jobs That You Could Apply

Mobile marketing, is no doubt, a very feasible marketing plan and a growing industry in its own right. With its rising trend and growth, it is pretty certain that it will be here to stay for long. This has paved the way to new and exciting marketing trends not only for businesses but individuals as well. As it continues, this also develops new jobs that would be necessary to fill strategic and creative positions.

So, what types of jobs would be suitable for mobile marketing? Here are a few.

1. Mobile Marketing Strategist. A mobile marketing strategist is an individual responsible for making key decisions with regards to a business’ mobile marketing campaign. Typically, he is called or designated as the project manager. Oftentimes, this individual would come from the marketing department of the business or have extensive marketing background. He or she must have a great deal of knowledge with regards to the marketplace, the product, the consumers, the strategies and the implementation. Even more, he or she must be able to know how to pull up an effective mobile marketing campaign. Having a strong market research skill must be one core competency of this person. Aside from that, he or she must also know how to execute various mobile marketing strategies.

2. Mobile Application Developer. A mobile application developer is an individual responsible for making applications for the mobile platform. He or she must be able to create an app (short word for application) depending on the business’ requirements and specifications. There are two types of mobile app development. The first one is taking existing applications from the web and convert it fit for mobile devices and the second one is creating an entirely new app that would fit the business’ demand. It is important that during the hiring process, the person that would fill this position must have strong knowledge of different mobile deployments because varied mobile units have varying demands. Aside from that, the developer must be skilled in several programming languages like Java, HTML, C, Flash and the like. These are some of the many programming languages that could create mobile apps.

3. Social Media Manager. A social media manager is an individual responsible for managing day-to-day social media organizations of the campaign. Oftentimes, the job description would vary depending on the business and its underlying organization. The job entails ensuring that the campaign devised by the strategist would be followed and realized. They are also in charge in creating an interactive and consumer oriented environment in varied social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

There are still other new jobs that exist because of the advent and evolution of the mobile marketing. There is no denying that this has opened up great job opportunities for many. Not only that it has proven to be an efficient marketing campaign it is also employing more people to.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments
ile Marketing – How To Get Started

ile Marketing – How To Get Started

Mobile Marketing – How To Get Started

With the rising trend of mobile use and its integral part on our everyday lives, there is no denying that mobile devices are essential. This can be a good opportunity for marketers to tap into, considering the rising amount of mobile users around the globe. It is as if we cannot live if we don’t have one in our pockets. With such demand, mobile marketing campaigns and strategies are coined.

Mobile marketing refers to marketing with a mobile device. This includes cell phones, pads and tablets. According to Wikipedia, this could also refer to the usage of mobile medium in order to communicate and market certain business or product. It can use interactive wireless media in order to provide customers related data to promote goods and services.
Most businesses and companies are not yet familiar with the concept of mobile marketing, and oftentimes, they still embrace traditional marketing especially TV and print advertising. If you are still trapped in this kind of marketing, here are some things that could help you get started with mobile marketing.

The first thing you need to do would be to brainstorm on a mobile marketing plan to pursue. To date, there are a lot of mobile marketing plans in existence that you can use or you can create a customized plan for your business. For instance, there are two mobile device features like short messaging service or SMS and app creation. Different option will have different approaches. For instance, if you resort to SMS marketing, you need to define words and phrases that would be enticing, yet cover much needed information you would want to share. Creating an app on the other hand would be harder since you need to have individuals who would know how to create and implement one. This could entail training an employee or hiring a new one that already has a background in mobile application creation.

The next thing one needs to do would be to gather the resources to mobilize the campaign. The marketing department must be directly involved with this since they already have an idea or two on what to do. If you are pursuing SMS marketing, make sure to draft the right message that would convey the ad. Even more, you must be able to have a repository of phone numbers of your recipients. If you decide to create an app instead, make sure to have a visually appealing design that would house the varied ads and marketing information.

Mobile marketing is tedious but not that difficult. However, the potential to reach a wider market audience is limitless. It is with this regard that you must be able to shift your business dynamics in order to cater to this trend. After all, mobile marketing is definitely here to stay.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Apple iWork ’08 Review

Apple iWork ’08 Review

The iWork ’08 appears to be a good deal for anyone needing an affordable office suite for the Mac. Apple has finally added a spreadsheet application. At first glance, Numbers is an elegant no-brainer for anyone migrating from Microsoft Excel. In the past, many Mac aficionados bought Microsoft Excel because iWork lacked a spreadsheet application. However, with the addition of Numbers and the release of Microsoft’s Office for Mac 2008 delayed until January, Mac users may stick to Apple’s less expensive option. We’re also happy that Mac hasn’t changed its file formats as Microsoft did with Office 2007.

We like the sparse interfaces throughout the iWork package. Its features aren’t as deep or rich as in Microsoft Office 2007, but iWork also hasn’t changed radically from its last incarnation, unlike Office. iWork also covers much more than just the basic productivity tasks offered by online tools like Google Docs & Spreadsheets or the Zoho suite, so it should be adequate for the vast majority of home and small-business users.

System requirements, thankfully, are gentle to users of older Macs. You’ll need an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 machine with a 500MHz or better processor in addition to 512MB of RAM minimum, running OS X10.4.10.

Pages

Apple tore a page out of Microsoft Office’s book by creating a Contextual Format Bar that displays different features according to your task at hand. Select text, and the bar shows font options. Click on a picture, and the bar displays image-editing features. Unlike the contextual formatting Ribbon interface within Microsoft Word 2007, however, Pages offers no live previews of font and image changes as you hover over them.

Pages ’08 also adds Change Tracking, similar to the Track Changes feature adopted many years ago by Microsoft Word. We’re glad that Pages gets this treatment for displaying document revisions rather than the often confusing revision and commenting history offered by the online Google Docs.

Pages includes the usual must-have features for writers such as footnotes, bookmarks, and tables of content, in addition to integration with charts and functions from the new Numbers app. In addition, Pages now detects when you type a list and formats bulleted points automatically. We just hope that this won’t drive us batty (as it does sometimes in Microsoft Word).

There are plenty of page templates for letters, resumes, reports, and the like to get started if a blank slate poses too much pressure. Page Layout mode lets you create relatively complex designs without software such as Adobe InDesign, great if you’re throwing together reports for work. It lets you layer images on top of images too. The Instant Alpha feature, also found in Keynote, lets you cut out backgrounds in images without dealing with alpha channels, a la Photoshop. And we prefer Pages’ color wheel, crayons, and spectrum to Word’s color options.

Keynote

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 may be richer, but Apple Keynote ’08 adds some smart features that PowerPoint lacks. It’s also a breeze to figure out from the get-go. Action Builds let you create basic point-A-to-B motion animation, without needing to deal with motion tweens as in complex apps such as Adobe Flash. Smart Builds enable animation, such as rotating photographs, using images you can grab from the iLife media browser. And new voiceover recordings enable you, say, to narrate podcasts with pictures. There are new between-slide transitions and slide show themes too.

Numbers

Our early look at the new Numbers reveals ease of use novelties that competitive tools don’t provide. Microsoft Excel 2007 still appears to be more robust, particularly for number crunchers such as scientists, accountants, or engineers. Yet the majority of users who rely upon spreadsheets as one-size-fits-all tools for household and light office work should be pleased to have a new option for Macs.

Numbers comes with plenty of templates, including travel planners, business expenses, and school science lab reports. Of course, it can also save and export Excel-readable files. This application pleases the eye and can make attractive spreadsheets. We dragged around text boxes, images, and tables using alignment guides without a hitch. You can add 3D bar, pie, and other charts and even integrate maps into a spreadsheet.

The controls for working with tables were extremely user-friendly in our early tests. Slider bars allow you to adjust the numeric values within cells, handy if you’re looking to add a range of values. Resizing columns and rows appears to be less of a hassle than with Excel. You can drag data from a file of contacts or into a Numbers table that will automatically partition information into the appropriate columns. And sorting a table smartly leaves the headers alone. Formulas appear to be the same as those in Microsoft Excel, but Numbers also has easy-to-find natural language shortcuts for common calculations, such as sums and averages.

The Interactive Print View offers more controls than in Microsoft Excel, which easily leads to unwieldy spreadsheet printouts. Numbers shows where a stray column might take up an unnecessary extra page. You can eliminate the overlap with a slider bar that instantly scales the tables, charts, and images on a page.

March 13, 2016 | 0 Comments