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Category: tablets

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Tips to Write an Amazing Press Kit/ Press Release for Startups

Startups need press coverage. There are so many examples of how one good exposure in the media has sparked a viral story across the internet. It sounds easy, but a lot of legwork goes on in the background to make this happen. And that’s if you’ve even got the time/resources to spend ‘doing’ PR for your startup. In most cases, a bootstrapping startup’s team members will be wearing every hat in the book; coding, marketing, funding - media relations and PR can easily be pushed aside. People will tell you PR doesn’t work for startups and it’s low priority. You do need to make sure you’re laser focused on building a good, solid product/service - but keep PR in mind. It is possible to be smart about Startup PR.

Here’s how to build a great press kit that will do a lot of the work for you. (Click the image below to expand)

Also check out the PPLCONNECT Media Kit to refer to as an example.


Infographic messages expanded:

What is a Media Kit? A media kit contains resources that members of the media would need to run a story on your startup.
-Logos: be sure to include both web and print appropriate files
-Screenshots (if applicable): web and print appropriate files
-Press Releases: add these as you release them, be consistent
-Backgrounder: 1-3 page summary document (preferably PDF) with extra background information about company history & other useful information
-Awards & previous media recognition: this is the place to holla freely about your awards and media coverage to date
-Contact details for further information: writers need to know who to contact for interviews or product demonstrations. Make it easy for them!

1-2 Formula to Get it Done
1. Spend a week collating the pieces of the kit & getting them live on your website. We know your time is valuable in a startup, so grab a co-worker or a friend who might be in the PR field and some coffee and get cracking.
2. Dedicate an hour each day that week, and by Friday polish & publish the kit. That five hours will pay you back five-fold by acting as your new 24-hour PR pitch-deck. Once it’s done you’ll have a great base that will only need updates and tweaks when things change.
Tip: Find yourself an enthusiastic public or media relations student in 3rd year at a local university and get them to intern on this as a summer project #GiveAndTake #WinWin

Add your flavour. Tech companies may need a heavy & technical review guide as part of their Media Kit… If you’ve had a particularly good run with awards or previous media coverage, it’s easy to see how things can start to get long and (potentially) boring. Keep it fun where possible by adding your unique flavour to how you present and write the entire kit. The more engaging it is, the more likely viewers will spend more time there.

Edit, Edit, Edit! Have someone with a keen eye for design and proofreading take a look at the kit. Check that presentation is uniform where necessary, fix any typos and refine the layout.

Final Advice. The important thing is to have a bare minimum press kit available at least. Right now you can start by putting a contact email address on the website for media enquiries. After that work towards getting at the very least some press releases & useful graphics that the media can use in a story. Don’t feel like you have to have the whole kit ready before uploading. When we began working on our press kit we came up with two lists, one short and one long:
1. All the press kit elements we are happy to start with (shorter list)
2. All the press kit elements we would love to have (longer list)
Get started with the first and work slowly towards the second over time.

Click here to download PPLCONNECT + also share your advice in the comments on creating a media kit!



Keslow Camera Always Ready for “Action” with a Tablet Solution

Keslow Camera may not be a household name, but if you watch TV or go to the movies, you’ve seen our work. As one of the largest camera rental companies in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, we have a long list of credits ranging from Lone Suvivor to Disney’s upcoming Tomorrowland, to popular television shows like Sleepy Hollow, Chicago Fire, Shameless, and many more.

Our success comes largely from a culture that always puts the customer first. This requires commitment, talent and very efficient business processes. That’s why Keslow Camera abandoned its old paper-based system for a custom FileMaker solution for iPad, iPhone, and Mac computers that we affectionately call Flawless. Today, the solution touches every aspect of our business, from managing contracts and bids to fulfilling orders, tracking equipment worldwide, invoicing, and forecasting sales.

After implementing Flawless, I’ve learned several ways to succeed with tablets.

  • Don’t get bogged down in paper: Instead of spending several minutes trying to locate an order or determine what’s in stock and what is already rented out, our team can now respond instantly to customers. This flexibility enables us to land important contracts with major media and entertainment companies.
  • Involve the entire staff: We now have over 50 employees across various offices around the U.S., all using Flawless running on Macs, iPads, iPod touches, and iPhones. The equipment puller, shipping & receiving team, and prep technicians all use iOS devices to accomplish their work.  Any time barcodes are being scanned in or out to build contracts; an iOS device comes into play.
  • Engage management: We’re using iPhones running Flawless remotely, either from home after hours or anytime we are out of the office to check availability of gear. This capability is especially handy throughout weekends when we get emergency calls.
  • Keep speed in mind: Production teams need to know in advance what equipment is available if they need additional gear shipped out. Flawless helps us submit bids faster than the competition so we are the first to respond to the customer.
  • Think paperless: We need to manage a large number of PDFs – purchase orders, contracts and invoices. With our custom solution, the company can maintain these documents externally to the solution in managed storage, while still being able to have instant access. 

Developer Scott Rose of ScottWorld developed Flawless. The database is hosted on a Mac Pro for easy access across Keslow Camera’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Santa Fe, and New Orleans. Managers and staff can tap into the information they need anytime, from anywhere, including via iPads and iPhones. The FileMaker Go app brings the full, rich application to Keslow’s iPad and iPhone users – it’s not just a slimmed-down version of the database.

Plus, unlike typical off-the-shelf software, it’s really easy to make updates and improvements to our solution, as our business grows – no waiting for months or years for new features. With our new solution, ScottWorld can constantly and quickly make improvements any time an employee has a good suggestion.

Keslow Camera is growing roughly 30 percent year over year, so having this kind of power and flexibility is essential. This blazing-fast solution, accessible to our staff nationwide, is really helping set us apart from our competition.



Creating Tablet-Friendly Blogs

The love of tablet computers is growing exponentially, according to a report by International Data Corporation.


The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker shows a definite increase in shipments of tablet computers all over the world, with growth potential expected to outpace other devices by 2015. What does this mean for blog owners looking to stay ahead of the curve? Better start tweaking your website now to make it tablet friendly.


Get Your Own Tablet for Testing


One of the most important steps you can take is to test your blog regularly on your own tablet. Browser features and coding changes often. It is vital that you get in the habit of viewing your blog on a tablet to make sure everything is working properly. You will never know if the changes you make work unless you see them in action. The price of tablets drops as their popularity grows. For example, you can get a Lenovo Yoga Tablet for just under $200. It is a worthwhile investment for a blogger looking to draw in tablet traffic.


Nix Autocorrect in Form Fields


Form fields are a problem with Mobile Safari, the Apple Web browser for their iOS system. Autocorrect and autocapitalize are default features for most form setup that trips up case-sensitive input fields. Asking your readers to each take the time to turn off the functions themselves is not practical. Instead, add a snippet of code to your page that turns it off on the blog side.


 <input type="text" autocapitalize="off" autocorrect="off">


Put this piece of code into every form field that is case sensitive. It is a quick and easy fix that alleviates frustration for readers trying to subscribe, post a comment or fill out a contact form.


Think About Space


In order for a site to be truly tablet-friendly, it must be tap-friendly, explains UX Magazine. That means not bunching together your text, links and navigation. The average finger size, according to the magazine, is 45-57 pixels. If your tapable assets bunch up, the readers get frustrated and give up.


Improve tapability with a few simple design tricks:


  • Make font size a little bigger, at least 16 pixels, especially on menus, suggests Mobify.
  • Adjust the line height to around 1.5 to open the text up.
  • You can also increase margins for buttons and critical links. Remember, buttons are just images, so use any image editor to expand them to at least 44 pixels tall for easy tapping.
  • Make sure you increase the size of form text boxes, too. Adding width and height adds definition. Set text boxes to width 250 x 30 pixels.


While you are fine-tuning the size options, increase the page margins as well. This reduces that cluttered look by enhancing white space – giving everything a crisp, clean feel.


Lose the Hover


Hover is a cool trick for desktop viewing, but tends to impede movement in the tablet environment. You can save the day for tablet readers by removing the hover action from your page code. Simply open up the source code and do a search for “a:hover” then delete it. Your desktop and laptop readers won’t even notice it’s gone.


Screen Size Wars: Is Bigger Really Better?

In 2007, the first generation multi-touch screen smartphone was unveiled by Apple. It was life-changing. It had a 3.5 inch touch screen display with media, internet capabilities and the ability to make calls. The iPhone fit perfectly into the customer’s hand and stored well in their back pocket or hoodie pouch.


Because of that, phone manufacturers and software developers started revolutionizing the way we used smartphones by developing faster processors, higher quality screens and apps that compartmentalized every aspect of our daily lives. From waking you up through your smartphone’s alarm clock, to getting directions to your lunch meeting, the smart phone has become an indispensable fact of millions of lives.


Then the battle for a bigger screen size began. In the beginning of 2011, Samsung reported selling nearly 10 million units of the Galaxy S, touting a screen size of 4 inches and many companies took notice. HTC soon rolled out 4.7inch devices like the Sensation XL and Titan. In early 2012, Nokia followed suit with the 4.3 inch Lumina 900 and, later, the 4.5 inch Lumina 920. Soon enough, Apple joined the bandwagon when the 4 inch iPhone 5 was unveiled.


The race to the largest screen had begun and suddenly…big had become the new normal.


This year, the Samsung Galaxy Note III released with an enormous 5.7 inch color display. Samsung announced sales topping 38 million in three weeks, validating the market for a larger screen.


Rumors have begun to circulate, speculating that Apple has been testing for a 6 inch screen size and may plan to follow a multi-size strategy when they unveil the iPhone 6. This speculation may be due to Apple’s keeping the iPhone 4S in their catalog after releasing two separate iPhone 5 models, the 5c and 5s, in September.


What ever happened to using your phone with one hand? Have you ever walked by someone using a “phablet” to make an actual phone call? I can only imagine it feels equivalently awkward as using the Analog Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. We are talking phones so big that they come with a stylus to help you navigate them.


On the flip side, most mobile phone users don’t make calls through their devices. In a recent study done by Experian, data shows that users spend around 26% of their time talking on their mobile devices. All other time is spent making the most use of the touch technology.




For mobile users, an argument could be made that a bigger screen has increased the ease of processing more information, allowing us to act & react more quickly as well as provide an more enjoyable source of entertainment when it’s time to relax. After all, there’s much to be said for the additional space allowing for more usability and features. Plus, gaming is a lot nicer on a larger screen.


As screen sizes continue to grow larger year over year, one wonders if fashion will take a cue and accommodate for these larger devices to fit into our back pockets. I will openly admit that I am one of the few who scoffs at the excitement and hype of “phablets” which are taking over the mobile industry. I will hold onto my perfectly sized iPhone 5 which fits perfectly into my hand, held up to my ear and rests comfortably in my back pocket.


Will Upcoming Ubuntu Phone Disrupt Mobile OS Landscape?

Ubuntu has, since its release as a free, open source software, been labeled as the world’s most popular free operating system. Scheduled to launch in mid-October, Ubuntu 13.10 will be the first version of Linux’s line of operating systems that will provide full support for a wide range of products — from servers to desktops to tablets and smartphones.


This highly flexible operating system will now allow users to run mobile applications on their computers with keys and mouse and share the same navigating comfort as using the app on a phone with touchscreen controls. This brings about a truly mobile experience as it transforms your mobile device into an all-in-one device. Although there are thousands of apps already compatible with Ubuntu, Canonical still needs third party developers to create applications that can run in both mobile and desktop mode, as many Ubuntu applications can only run on computers.


While Linux still has to make its debut on phones, it can be safe to say that its revolutionary dual modes are going to change the mobile playing field dramatically. It will be interesting to see how competing companies such as Apple, Google, and even Microsoft will respond to this technological breakthrough. Some other welcomed changes we can expect to see with this Ubuntu update, is an improved Smart Scopes and XMir.


Smart Scopes is a desktop search engine of sorts and allows users to find files on the computer as well as related sites on the internet Previously, it seemed to be a bit problematic for users, providing a slew of irrelevant results while not returning what was intended. Now, we can expect even more results, except that it will return what we’re looking for as its top choice.


XMir is a computer display server for Linux and will replace the currently used X Windows. The old display server has proven to be a bit glitchy, causing applications to take some action without the proper inputs. Additionally, it would be hard to have it working across platforms fluidly without having tight controls. The shift to XMir will allow for a more fluid display while easily maintaining cross platform activity.


It will be interesting to see what other packages Linux will be adding, changing, and dropping with the release of Ubuntu, and how popular the Ubuntu phone will be amongst other contenders.


Five Tips For Successful DIY Tablet Solutions

Tablet applications are now the new normal for the office. A recent survey of FileMaker Pro users, conducted by FileMaker, Inc., revealed that businesses are using custom database solutions to automate all kinds of business processes across all departments.

Furthermore, businesses are using tablet applications to “mobilize” workers inside the building or across the company campus as often as they are mobilizing field sales forces and technicians.


Early adopters of tablet applications are achieving tremendous productivity advantages, including reducing paper, saving steps for employees, cutting processing costs, and improving customer service.


With the push to get tablet applications to market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, many smaller businesses and entrepreneurs are going the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) route-ditto to workgroups within larger businesses. They’re taking advantage of low-cost or no-cost software and DIY application development tools that help them build professional-quality, highly customized business solutions for tablets and have their solutions ready to go in a matter of weeks, not months.


Case in point, entrepreneur George Page runs Sea Breeze Farm, a grass-based animal farm on Washington’s Vashon Island that boasts a dairy, butcher shop, winery, cheese business and popular restaurant. He was able to use FileMaker to create several custom solutions that run on iPads and integrate his various business operations even though he had no software development skills.  Page estimates that the new solutions have made his business three to four times more productive.


Similarly, West Paw Design of Bozeman, Montana, a manufacturer of eco-friendly toys, beds and apparel for four-legged friends, developed a custom manufacturing and inventory automation solution that runs on iPads.  The solution has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.


Based on what we learned from our customer survey, here are five tips to keep in mind when taking on a DIY tablet application project.


It’s All about the Data: For the most part, solutions for tablets mobilize data for businesses whether it’s on your manufacturing floor, in the barn, in the showroom, or in the field.  So, make sure you pick a tool that enables you to create your mobile database quickly and to connect easily to all your data sources-ideally without programming.  In addition, you shouldn’t require a dedicated database administrator to manage your application once it’s up and running.


Think Good Design First:  Plan to take full advantage of tablets and their operating systems, particularly iPads and iOS, when designing applications for the devices. Don’t just duplicate desktop solutions and assume they’ll look and run well on mobile devices.  In fact, employees simply won’t use your tablet application if it isn’t as attractive or functional as their consumer apps. Nor will they use your application if it doesn’t make their lives easier by simplifying or replacing the tasks that they perform daily.


Don’t Forget Security:  Security of data on mobile devices is an ongoing challenge. A good, simple starting point is to use a tool that includes a server-based database with a separate application that feeds your data to the tablets.  Your data is protected at the server level and, more importantly, it isn’t left on the mobile devices for scrutiny by unauthorized viewers.  You also want to be able to take advantage of the built-in security features of whatever operating system your tablet uses.


Build. Rinse. Repeat:  By definition, a great tablet application is never finished.  You’ll want to be able to update it, refine it with suggestions from employees, add new data sources, and so on; all quickly–and without having to call in a programmer.


Why Reinvent the Wheel?  You can learn a lot from what other businesses have done.  If you choose a tool that a lot of people are already using, you can often pick up ideas from them or even solutions that they’ve shared in the public domain (see examples at Made for FileMaker). In addition, well-established tools usually have acquired third-party-developer communities. Professional developers can provide extra help if you decide you need it–and some even have specific expertise in building solutions for your problem or industry (or, you can pick up free tips by reading their blogs). There are a lot of great ideas out there.  You’ll never be alone if you pick a popular tool.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go for it!


Why Tablets Are The Future Of Mobile Gaming? by GREE's Anil Dharni

There is no doubt that the tablet market is the fastest growing space in gaming. Tablet adoption continues to rise faster than ever and more users are opting for tablets as their primary gaming device–mainly due to their better display quality, enhanced gameplay, and delivery of a more console-like experience.

This growth has been seen worldwide, beyond our North American borders, and is surely a phenomenon that will continue to occur throughout the next years.


This growth has been closely measured in numbers with the most recent data from IDC showing tablets experiencing record growth of 142.4% year-over-year, in the first quarter of this year. From a financial standpoint, tablets have also been monetizing better with an increase of 5% in mobile transactions in the last year alone. With competition amongst tablet-makers getting stronger and a larger variety of form factors emerging, more mobile game developers are realizing the importance of shifting their strategies to include tablets. In contrast, PC shipments are going down and tablet adoption has been accelerating at a much higher speed than mobile phones were when they first launched, clearly showcasing a huge shift in the gaming industry’s landscape.


At GREE, we have been focused on creating experiences for the tablet and have done so for a while. In fact, our tablet-first strategy dates back to our early days at Funzio, almost 2.5 years ago. Despite industry skeptics, we were convinced that tablets were going to be the future; if we could create games on both the tablet and smartphones, we would be successful. We took a risk, but, in hindsight, it was one that clearly proved to be a win for the company. When GREE acquired Funzio in May 2012, we were already seeing over 50% of our revenues coming from our tablet games and have seen that happen continuously since our shift in strategy.


In realizing this trend, other mobile game developers have been responding to the growing

Gree announces plans to move to San Francisco in 2012

demand by not only adapting to, but also creating titles entirely dedicated to the tablet experience. Beyond the market growth and consumer demand, the benefits of developing games for tablets is also helping to solidify the industry’s shift in embracing tablets as the ultimate gaming platform.

Up until the “tablet era,” mobile games consisted of super casual, simple, one-dimensional experiences that didn’t include much depth or complexity. Thanks to tablets, gameplay on mobile devices is becoming closer to a console-like experience. While an obvious benefit, the larger screen size of tablets allows for more information and content to be shown at any one time and also eliminates or decreases the need to swipe around for content that is not readily visible. This can have a major impact on the level of player engagement and can help promote a more captive gameplay experience–like on a console. Also, the tablet’s ability to deliver more immersive gameplay has opened the door to new genres like MMOs, strategy, and hardcore games, which were once exclusive to the console space.


The mobile gaming ecosystem is evolving in complexity as evidenced by the fact that more traditional console developers are getting into the mix. With that shift, consumers are becoming more sophisticated and wanting to experience games that are of console quality. Higher screen resolution, more powerful hardware, and faster processing speeds of tablets help to deliver high definition, 3D, and visually gratifying games to users like never before. There are still tremendous opportunities in mobile devices for the gaming industry; the ultimate goal is to bring a console-like experience over to mobile, and tablets are helping to bridge that gap.


Monetization is another major driver for mobile developers to adopt a tablet-focused approach. As previously mentioned, bigger screens, higher quality 3D graphics, and more immersive game genres contribute to a heightened, engaging gaming experience. More importantly, though, a richer gaming experience can have a dramatic impact on monetization with more players opting to make in-game purchases to further enhance their gameplay and performance. Outside game mechanics and technical superiority, it is no surprise that tablet owners, by default, will showcase a higher ARPU (average revenue per user) as they tend to have a more disposable income compared to smartphone users. Naturally, game developers will want to target this segment, especially in the world of free-to-play games, where developers generate revenue through in-game microtransactions.


At GREE, we continue to heavily focus on our tablet-first strategy and make unique gaming experiences tailored for these devices. For instance, when developing our first hardcore game - War of Nations (released in June 2013)–we made a conscious decision to emphasize a tablet experience. While the game is available for smartphones and tablets, we knew that hardcore gamers would gravitate towards playing on tablets and felt that the level of deep strategy involved would lend itself to be better played on a tablet. Our users are always craving more sophisticated content, and we wanted to make sure we were creating rich experiences that they’d enjoy. As

Forrester reports, we will continue to see tablet shipments and sales grow with the expectation of hitting 44 million units by 2015–meaning a rise in untapped opportunities for tablets, leading to more mobile gaming developers getting creative and entering the tablet race. In addition to the tablet market’s continuous growth, I think there will be a rise in different types of tablets as well including new sizes, manufacturers, functionalities, and display qualities.