Small business Stories April 9, 2015

Small business owners in USA can now claim points of interest in Apple Maps within iOS app

Apple started allowing local businesses to add or manage their listing in Apple Maps back in October of last year, but this had to be done through the Maps Connect web service. As of today, it can be done directly through the Apple Maps app on an iOS device running the latest iOS 8.3.

To claim your business, search for it in the app, tap the Info icon, select Report a problem and then select Claim this business at the bottom of the screen.

Businesses in selected other countries can still claim their business through Maps Connect, which was expanded from the US to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore and the UK in January; to Canada, France and Germany in February; and to Italy, Switzerland and Mexico in March.

Small business Stories November 12, 2014

Square chip-and-signature cardreaders available for pre-order ahead of next year’s changes

It may not yet be practical for micro businesses to fork out for the expensive NFC payment terminals needed for Apple Pay, but Square is ensuring that they will at least be all set for the shift to chip-and-signature cards next year.

As of October 2015, any retailer without a chip-and-signature reader will bear the risk of fraudulent transactions, giving them a strong incentive to update their cardreaders. Fortunately, with Square, it’s not an expensive shift: the iPhone reader will cost just $29 – the cheapest on the market – while the Chip Card Accessory for the Square Stand iPad terminal costs $39.

It will be interesting to see whether Square is later able to develop a low-cost NFC reader to support contactless cards and Apple Pay, but in the meantime both chip-and-signature products are available for pre-order now, with delivery early next year.

Small business Stories August 13, 2014

Small businesses looking to take occasional card payments without paying monthly fees now have a third option as Amazon has launched Local Register to compete with Square and PayPal Here – as we predicted last month. The $10 card-reader is compatible with any iPhone from the iPhone 4 onward, as well as any iPad or iPad mini.

Amazon is undercutting both competitor services with a flat fee of 2.5 percent per transaction (vs 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square). Not enough? Amazon is sweetening the deal with a special introductory rate of 1.75 percent until the end of 2015, and will also credit the $10 cost of the cardreader in full against transaction fees …  expand full story

Small business Stories December 17, 2013

Apple has a 76 percent share of the mobile device market among small to medium businesses (SMBs), according to SMB cloud services company Intermedia. Samsung took second place with 12 percent.

The company also reported seeing spikes in new device activations when Apple launched the new iPhones and iPads. Unsurprisingly, most businesses opted for the iPhone 5s over the 5c …  expand full story

Small business Stories January 6, 2013

LaCie’s CES 2013 lineup includes 5big 5-bay Thunderbolt and NAS Drives as well a ‘unique’ Philippe Starck designed portable

LaCie is throwing down two more 5big drive enclosures for CES this week. Starting at $1,199.00, the Thunderbolt version boasts up to 20TB capacity and transfer rates that extend to 785MB/sec. Meanwhile, the much less expensive Gig Ethernet NAS version is aimed at small business and starts at just $549. Both look like stellar products, and we’re hoping to get some hands-on time later this week at CES.

On the other end of the ‘useful’ spectrum lies LaCie’s new offering: a Philippe Starck ‘Blade Runner’ USB 3.0 4TB drive. The boat designer‘s enclosure looks like a giant hard drive heat sink, but I’m not sure if it is functional. Fewer than 10,000 of these $299 devices will be produced…thankfully.

Small business Stories September 7, 2011

Intuit today announced QuickBooks for Mac 2012, the newest version of its accounting software for small businesses, enhanced for OS X Lion. More than fifty new features are part of the release, including better search with keywords and filters, customer and vendor history panels, transaction list, batch online banking transactions, progress invoicing and more. The software goes on sale September 26 as a digital download on the online Intuit store, Amazon.com, Apple’s online store and other outlets, priced at $230 for a single-user license. Boxed copies will hit store shelves on October 9.  Screenshots below.

Premier edition is also available (a Windows-only product), in addition to an add-on for QuickBooks Premier that lets you sync data with Salesforce. QuickBooks also has a cross platform Cloud edition which also shows some promise for Apple users.

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