Modern Mobile Security Now Mirrors Its Desktop Counterparts

Mobiles have transcended their status as palm-sized communication devices. Now known as smartphones, modern devices have, in many ways, become super-computers that never leave our sides. With so much invested in our mobiles, security is paramount. Having a phone without protection is like walking onto a construction site without a hardhat. Yes, you might be ok. However, would you really feel safe?

Just like a construction site, there are many dangers within the mobile space. Even though you might not be a direct target at any given time, you could be a target and that’s what you need to protect yourself against. Ask yourself this: would you leave your mobile sitting on a table in a coffee shop without a passcode? Most of us would say no. Leaving aside the fact someone might steal your phone, the reality is that you have too much sensitive data on there to not have a password.

Indeed, you can take this a step further and apply the same logic to apps. From Facebook and Gmail to your banking apps, passwords and passcodes are a necessity in the mobile realm. However, these are minimum requirements in today’s world. If you really want to stay safe, embracing the latest innovations is important.

Securing Apps is Essential

Moving beyond the basics, TouchID is a great way to protect your device and, more recently, your apps. For example, when you visit the Paddy Power online website, you’ll find a link to the Apple Store. Here, you can download the operator’s mobile app and get full access to games like Buffalo Blitz, Premium Blackjack and Live Spin A Win. What you also get is the ability to make deposits and withdrawals. Just as you can credit money to your account via the website, you can do the same on the app. With this feature in place, real money mobile gaming is possible.

Therefore, just as you’d want to secure banking apps and eWallets like PayPal, you’ll want to protect your gaming app. To this end, Paddy Power has added TouchID to its app. By using this instead of a password, you not only get quicker access to what’s inside but the added security of fingerprints rather than text.

Cybercriminals Have a New Target

It used to be the case that cybercriminals couldn’t or wouldn’t target mobile devices. However, with more people using smartphones than before, they’re now rich pickings. According to Kaspersky, there were 3.5 million malicious installation packages downloaded to mobiles in 2019. Add to this 69,777 new mobile banking trojans and 68,362 ransomware threats and it’s clear to see that mobile antivirus software is now a must. However, even though many of the major security brands like Kaspersky and Avast offer free mobile antivirus software, few of us use it. Despite being standard practice on desktop devices, we’re not yet conditioned to download these products onto our mobiles.

Yes, the number of mobile threats is still low compared to the desktop realm. Moreover, mobiles tend to have a greater degree of internal protection thanks to Apple et al. However, mobile antivirus software is becoming more important. Indeed, it all plays into the narrative that mobiles are the new computers. That’s why we have passwords, passcodes, and fingerprint protection. We live so much of our lives through phones that we have to secure them like we do computers. This means antivirus software will soon become standard. Moreover, it will lead to more innovations and ideas in the coming years as we look to make our mobiles more secure than ever.

Stages of Grief for Small Business in Crisis

Things are looking up! I’m feeling hopeful about the future.

It’s not the news. There is nothing to make anyone happy in the news. The Virus is grinding on – neither accelerating or decelerating. Politicians posture and push but nothing seems to be getting solved.

In places that are “Opened up” people are still staying at home. It looks like legislation is not having influence on the pace of the economy. The pace of the economy is awful; with 20% of the US Population out of work. Everyone is concerned about their budget and no one is spending freely. This makes business growth nearly impossible!

Stage 1: Denial

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross proposed the 5 Stages of Grief, the first of which is Denial. Most small business owners hit this stage sometime between February and April, as we pondered how this virus would affect us. The first week that sales were not as expected. The first time we felt fear that a loved one would be endangered by this virus. The first time we looked at our IRA and recognized that years just got added to our work-before-retirement plan. Our first reaction is that it cannot be happening!

Stage 2: Anger

Anger converts your internal pain and directs it outward. Surely someone, somewhere is responsible for this problem. Surely it is their fault that I am suffering. The virus is merely a bit of protein, and we do not get angry at a bit of protein as much as we do how other people respond. We are angry at people who endanger others, people who travel and the travel industry that allow the virus to spread. At governments who, even if acting in good faith, make announcements and rules that we do not agree with.

Stage 3 – Bargaining

If I get saved from this, I promise I’ll call my parents every week, be kind to my children, never raise my voice again. Please save me from the pain of not knowing what comes next, or how to navigate the business decisions. Should I apply for a loan or furlough staff? Do we place advertising to increase sales, or decrease costs by putting all expenses on ice?

Stage 4 – Depression

When your energy is spent, a quiet sadness descends. I do not even know how to handle the situation. Each day becomes an endurance race to cope with new phases of the crisis. I envy small business people who can smile through anything, comparing my insides to their outsides.

Stage 5 – Acceptance

Kübler-Ross ends here stages on a hopeful note. Once you have accepted a loss, you can settle it and move on. This week I feel I’m reaching this phase, but then some news comes my way and I’m back to Depression and Anger.

Enduring the Covid Era

Our current problem is not a one-time loss but an ongoing disaster. Think about 9/11 when 3,000 people died in one day. This left a lasting scar on the national psyche, changed the nature of business travel, and changed the balance of federal spending between domestic and military spending.

Covid is taking 1,600 people per day currently, so a 9/11 every two days. And it is not ending. 10,000 people a week, 40,000 people a month. The scope of change in government spending, national priorities and the nature of our community is 100 times what we did in 9/11.

This a hinge moment, a generational shift, an epic event. It is so new we do not even have a name for it. In ten or twenty years, people will ask “what was it like during that time?” What will we say?

Navigating Your Business Forward

How do we move forward, even against the tide of the ongoing epidemic still coming in? Kübler-Ross gives us a blueprint. No need to hurry the stages. Move through them with self-care and understanding. Take time now to look with clear vision on what is happening now. Find your point of acceptance and start building on it.

I am coming to an understanding of what is motivating my customers right now, and how to fulfill small needs for them right now. For now, I can listen to their words and help the best I can. This will be my blueprint forward.

You would not be in Business if…

Small business is a mixed opportunity. You have complete control of your actions and a clear vision of how these actions become sales and solutions for your customers. It is the choice of an entrepreneur is to make less money and have more control.

You control yourself, and to some extent you can control your vendors and staff. Depending on your style you try to convince, force, cajole or entice these forces to align in your chosen direction. You have no control over the world at large, and to try to exert control will only sap your self esteem.

I am finding the tools are at my fingertips. I can make decisions that seem to bring light to those around me. At CompanionLink we have found some minor cost savings. We have purchased a small amount of equipment and furniture to upgraded our staff home workstations which improves our quality of life and quality of work. We are shifting our marketing and product strategy to focus on customers who are buying products right now.

These are small steps, but these are making business meaningful for our team. When the crisis stops spinning, we hope to be on top. It is the best we can do in an unstable economy.

Other articles in this series:

Maximizing Business Efficiency and Speeding up Internal Workflow Using Automated Transcription

Do you want to grow your business? Then automated transcription might be the way to go. If you want to find out more about that then take a look below.

Saving Time and Money

Corporate transcription was usually done by in-house digital experts but now it is possible for you to hire someone outside your company to take care of the job for you. If you find that your company deals with a lot of data, then it may help you to hire a transcription service. When you do, you can then count on them to help you to interpret any data you have, and they can also help you to take a lot of notes and in a very short space of time. If you are having to do this by hand right now, then you’ll be glad to know that you can save hours of time by investing in a transcription service. Of course, if your team are saving time, then this will save you money so it’s worth keeping that in mind.

More Accuracy

Another benefit of automated transcription software is that you can get way more accuracy when your team are trying to sift through files. If you work in the field of forensics for example, then you will need to listen to hours of audio files sometimes and you may even need to work hard to try and document each and every spoken word. This can be time-consuming and sometimes your team may miss out on phrases. This is the last thing that you need. If you have a quality automated transcription service on the other hand, then you can easily get everything you need written down and this can really help you out.

Data Protection

If you have a lot of data to deal with then you may be tempted to send it off to various external sources. Sometimes this can put your business at risk far more than you realize. If you want to avoid this then automated transcription is certainly the way to go. When you hire a service like this you can easily count on them to handle everything you need and in a very short space of time. You won’t have to worry about your data being infiltrated and you won’t have to worry about people listening to your text and potentially breaching confidentiality.

More Accessible Formats

Lastly, automatic translation can help you by giving you access to way more accessible formats. When you do look into translation, you will soon find you can give your team a written copy of a document, but you can also provide it to them in an audio format. If you have people who work at your company who are hard of hearing or deaf, then this will really help them out and it shows that you are an inclusive organization.

Of course, there are so many benefits to automatic transcription and when you look into them you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to reap them.

3 Ways to Boost Employee Productivity in Your Office

Results derive from productivity, and productivity in the modern workplace is directly linked to employee happiness. Bosses have tried to incorporate many different strategies to increase productivity, but in the end, if an employee is happy to be working, they will work at their optimum rate.

Several aspects will impact an employee’s happiness in their job, ranging from comfort to joint-rewards. While boosting employee productivity won’t simply happen overnight, by integrating a few new strategies, you should see some long term benefits.

Never Undervalue the Power of Comfort

Just because someone has a desk, a decent computer, and a chair doesn’t mean that they’re comfortable. An uncomfortable employee fidgets, is distracted by discomfort, is more inclined to vacate their workspace and will potentially distract others. Having the right tools and equipment is key, with ergonomics being the most important factor in selecting this equipment.

There are several aspects to consider to achieve a prime ergonomic workstation. Overall, it comes down to the chair, potential foot stand, the positioning of the keyboard and mouse, and the monitor height. To get started, if working from the ground up, the chair is the factor that can be changed with the most significant immediate impact. For example, the range of new-age ergonomic Steelcase chairs has been designed to consider the range of postures that modern workers find themselves in throughout the day.

Maintaining Social Order and a Professional Atmosphere

Employees won’t be happy in a hostile or toxic work environment: bosses need to encourage a healthy, respectable, and friendly atmosphere that promotes engagement as much as it does productivity. However, having a friendly work environment can go too far the other way, with employees being more focused on the social aspects than the work at hand. The trick to achieving this balance is to cultivate a social community within the office space.

As noted by Small Business, incorporating a social element into the organizational structure helps to reduce stress and tension in the workplace. As it is work, stress and tension will always arise at some point, but with a community in place, employees are more inclined to help shoulder the burden – strengthening the community feel further. If employees are encouraged to communicate with management and their employees, the threat of stress or tension derailing a project is limited.

Making Work More Enjoyable

Providing perks and specific time periods dedicated to promoting the happiness of your employees is often appreciated by your office workforce, provided that it doesn’t hinder important tasks – which can then cause stress and tension. A good way to achieve this, along with promoting a sense of community, is by setting up team entertainment-driven activities.

The choice that gives you the most options in a way that will appeal to the most people is through a TV or projector hooked up to a Kodi Media Player. With television shows, films, and live sports a tap away, you can bring the office together to enjoy some viewing. Of course, to fully utilize the streaming box, you’ll need to deploy the best VPN for Kodi, which grants you access to the whole spectrum of the platform.

During major sporting events, such as the World Cup or Olympic Games, your employees can come together to enjoy certain events. Or, week-to-week, you can introduce them all to a new show, giving them time to see more episodes periodically. This will bring them, and perhaps yourself, together in a joint interest, provided that no one has seen it before or is inclined to spoil the show.

There you have it: comfort, community, and entertainment can all help boost the happiness of your employees and, therefore, the productivity of your office.

3 VoIP Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020

It has not even been 150 years since Alexander Graham Bell made history with the very first telephone call on March 10, 1876, but how the times have changed! Can you imagine what the inventor of the telephone would think today if he suddenly found himself in a 21st century call center? Most businesses no longer utilize hardwired phone systems, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become the industry standard for commercial telecommunications. Even a decade ago it would be difficult to imagine just how far VoIP would advance and this is why it is so important to keep abreast of cutting edge trends when debating the benefits of VoIP over traditional telecommunications systems. Here are just three VoIP trends you cannot afford to ignore in 2020 going forward.

1. Rapid Decline in ‘Traditional’ Phone Systems

First, and foremost, you can safely assume that there will be a rapid decline in the number of companies using traditional, hard-wired telecommunications systems. With VoIP so much more cost effective than traditional phone lines, a greater number of businesses will be abandoning those archaic systems. Bear in mind that VoIP calls carry no long-distance charges so the cost of communications will have an immediate impact on profitability.

2. Greater Focus on In-App Integration

This is probably going to be the most popular of the VoIP trends you can’t ignore in 2020. How often have you become frustrated trying to flip back and forth between screens and apps while trying to carry on an intelligent conversation by referring to data or information needed in the moment? In 2020 and beyond you will see a greater number of developers integrating VoIP into their apps which will significantly reduce wasted time. However, it may be difficult to find the right VoIP software for your needs. A comparison of features like those found on the website will be an invaluable resource. ‘RingCentral vs. Aircall: which VoIP phone software is best?’ is definitely worth a read.

3. Mobile Technology

Many of today’s businesses have a large mobile workforce. This has led to some amount of frustration when choosing the right VoIP platform. Some simply do not lend themselves well to mobile access. What about that worker who is out in the field on a call and in need of information stored on the company’s server? The right VoIP software can allow for seamless integration whether out in the field or in office. This is even going to be more prevalent as 5g networks continue to roll out. Not only can remote workers access all the same information they have at their disposal in the office, but they can do so with speed never before imagined.

There is no doubt that within a few short years there will be few hardwired phones in homes or commercial offices. Not only are VoIP communications cost effective, but they allow for greater integration with vital applications. The greatest concern would be finding the right VoIP software that includes all the features you require. This is also why it is important to do a product comparison before choosing a platform for your needs. Take the time to do a bit of comparison shopping and research and you will find the right call center software that meets your needs.

Efficient Collaboration Is The Key To Survival For Businesses: Tools That Will Help

Online collaboration for projects is definitely not a new concept. However, it’s almost mandatory needs are surely new to most businesses. 

With that said, adapting to the changing circumstances is the key to surviving in this increasingly competitive business landscape. When this change requires your business to move its functions on the web, it is important to ensure you and your team have access to all the necessary tools they need to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

While your task of ensuring individual assignments are being completed on time may not have changed drastically, the part of your business that was dependent on effective collaboration currently requires serious attention.

The first step in ensuring your teams are able to efficiently collaborate on projects from the comfort of their homes is to provide them with all the right tools for the job.

Here’s a list of the type of collaboration tools you should be making available to your teams:

Video Conferencing Tools

This one is a no brainer, video conferencing tools are the most basic need for effective online collaboration. Thanks to multiple industries feeling their dire need, and the controversies regarding data integrity surrounding current players like Zoom, we now have a number of brilliant tools in the market for the same.

There are even web conferencing tools that are designed to serve specific functions of your business, like employee onboarding and training.

Virtual Whiteboards

Virtual whiteboards are exactly what their name sounds like. Designed to facilitate seamless flow of creative ideas, these tools come loaded with a plethora of collaboration features that can be customised to your unique needs.

While simply having a whiteboard that gets updates across multiple screens in real time is extremely convenient, features like interpretation of mathematical and chemical equations, presence of a chat feature, among many others, make these tools really handy for a number of scenarios.

Cloud File Sharing  

Cloud based file sharing has a number of advantages. Firstly, they allow your teams to bypass the file size restrictions present in email clients, enabling them to seamlessly share documents, videos, graphics, even software with each other.

Second, storing your data on the cloud ensures better data security and makes it available to everyone at a single place. Your data lives on the cloud, so it remains safe, not only from miscreants, but from the dangers of human error as well.

Online Shared Document

Online shared documents are one of the most convenient collaboration tools to ever exist. These documents automatically save any changes made to them, and update them for any user they are shared with.

Platforms like Google Docs work in a manner that is very close to the traditional document platforms like Microsoft Word. They even provide users with a feature that automatically saves the history of all the changes made to a document and offers the users the ability to revert to an older version at any point.

Messaging Tools

Messaging tools allow for instant exchange of short messages and files, that may not require the use of email or the cloud drive.

Moreover, when most of your team members are working from home, there is hardly any “coffee break conversations” happening. Having a messaging tool that connects them with their colleagues allows your employees to stay in touch with them and nurture the interpersonal relationships within your team.


Having the right tools in your arsenal is sure to boost the efficiency of your team’s collaboration projects. These were just some tools that we think are essential for effective collaboration. 

Did we miss out on your favorite tools? Tell us (and everyone else) about them in the comment section below!

Small Business Success Planning in Spring 2020

As I write this, we are ending our second month of the full crisis. Everyone has gone grocery shopping with a mask on. Toilet paper is sometimes available in the stores. Many small businesses have received some sort of funding, and in many states the unemployment kicker has relieved the worst of the rental defaults and hunger. The world is coping. But our world is irrevocably changed. We now think every time we “walk through a door”, we don’t touch handles or elevator buttons, and we view all strangers with cautious distance.

How to Cope

The first problem for small business is to cope with what we have. It’s been two months of payrolls and excruciating decisions about cuts, expenditures, debt and payments. Whatever liquidity you had in March is with you for the long run. Your customer base, your weekly sales and your weekly costs are going to be set in stone until the crisis ends. My business tools are not sufficient. There is no way to plan when the picture changes monthly. There is no way to predict whether there will be more gifts from Congress, or more pain from Customers reneging on agreements.

When will it end?

People will not be “normal” until we can mix freely with strangers without danger. That means we must have herd immunity and it must be verified. Immunity might be conveyed by everyone getting the illness, or everyone getting a vaccine. It might also be conveyed by the new cases decreasing to such small numbers that we are confident strangers are virus free.

None of these things are going to happen in 90 days, and probably not in 2020. The logistics of a vaccine are staggering. If there was a vaccine today, it would take a year to create enough doses to vaccinate half the world population. Here in the US, a vaccine would be dedicated to high risk individuals for at least the first six months. With flu vaccine, it takes two weeks to take effect, and does not confer complete immunity. So we could well be into 2021 or 2022 before anything comes close to normal.

The Crisis Shapes our Future

In my view, the future is bright, but with painful changes. Connected Services are going to have a heyday – starting with Zoom but moving to everyone who can deliver business products online. The gig economy will shift as more people move into front-line delivery roles. Brick and Mortar will shrink dramatically as the simple act of walking in the door carries risk. A friend noted that Boeing has recently laid off 1200 engineers, and they will never be rehired. Without herd immunity in a year or two, high paying jobs that are tied to “walking int the door” will be lost forever. The economy will not crash, but will change profoundly as market sectors shift.

Opportunity for Business

The opportunity lies in re-calibrating and focus on new venues for sales. A catering friend says that they delivered 150 food boxes as a drive-by fundraiser for a charity. Both the charity and the caterer are struggling to innovate, and whether they succeed is not important. What is important is they worked together to test a new concept.

At CompanionLink, our loyal customers provide our best inspiration. We can work together to generate innovative ideas. My role is to put away my ledger and help my customers succeed. Their success will feed our success.

My competitors are in the same boat as I am. Suddenly it is time to benefit from years of free service or generous policies. Here at CompanionLink we have always had free tech support even to customers who spent minimal amounts of money many years ago. I am surprised today at how these people are so willing to support us by purchasing a low cost upgrade or suggesting a new avenue of business. (Thanks Guys!)  On the other hand, companies like Microsoft, Comcast and Verizon have spent the past half-decade raising prices and canceling service to past customers. I know people do not have the same level of loyalty to them as they had in the past.

Focus on Enjoying the Now

We are just two months in to what may be a five-year economic transition. The 1972 Stagflation crisis ended with IBM, Wang, and Dec replaced by Microsoft by 1978. The 2002 Dot-Com bust saw Novell, Symantec, Kodak and Blockbuster die, while Facebook, Amazon and PayPal were born. The trend looking forward is connectivity – helping customer achieve their goals without face-to-face meetings. Values, flexibility and efficiency will get you to that customer. Until then, we have today. Dogs and Children will still enjoy this day so take time to play with them. Plan and test new ideas, see what works, and move upward with your life. This is nothing I planned, but it gives me the opportunity to excel in new areas, and for that I am grateful.

Other articles in this series:

Get Instagram Followers and Grow Your Business

Social media undoubtedly have a significant impact on every aspect of people’s lives in the present century. Among the various top order social media platforms, Instagram is the one showing the most promising growth in terms of popularity among general users as well as businesses. More and more brands are featuring their products and services on this trending photo-sharing platform.

The diversity of users and the versatile reach offered by Instagram make it the top priority social media platform by advertisement campaigners. The same reason explains the hype for getting more and more followers and likes. If you are also interested in increasing your follower count on Instagram, keep reading this post.

How to Boost Your Follower Count?

Various businesses resort to several formulae to increase the number of people following their personal or brand pages on Instagram. Since Instagram is composed of a mixed crowd with varying tastes and interests, there is no generalized thumb-rule method. Some of the companies try and increase their following manually. They opt for organic growth by studying their audience. This strategy, though effective, takes a lot of time and effort to bear fruits.

The most observed trend, followed by modern business houses is to buy followers on Instagram. This method is instantaneous and far easier compared to organic growth. You can pay for it and get a solid number of followers to count overnight. This way, the minimum milestone of 10,000 and even 1 Million becomes easier to achieve than ever before.

Get Real Followers on Instagram

There is a common question asked by social media influencers and businesses regarding the concept of buying Instagram followers. They are worried if these profiles are not authentic. If you have the same query, here is the answer. The best companies selling likes and followers on Instagram are aware of your anxieties and they have given a lot of thought and effort on the subject.

Top-order agencies providing followers and likes on Instagram can guarantee you that your follower base will be increased and that too with real profiles. You can buy real Instagram followers who would certainly increase not only your stats but also visibility and exposure.

How to Get Maximum Number of Followers?

You have to devote time and effort to establish a follower base worth advertising; there is no short cut to that. Even if you buy Instagram followers cheap from verified agencies, your work does not end there. You have to share content posted by related pages and accounts. Reposting is a great way to attract users. Moreover, you must study your existing followers, know their likes and interests, and produce quality content. You have to make your followers feel valued by responding to their comments. Follow these steps and see the difference by the bulging stats of your profile. Grow your follower count and make your brand well-known in the market.

What Types of App Could Help Enhance How You Use Your Android?

It is estimated that an average smartphone user has between 25 and 30 apps on their phones. It is also suggested that, while there are 2.5 million apps in existence, we tend to spend 70% of our phone time on the most popular 200 of these apps. Having so much choice from so many different aspects can be difficult – do we want game apps, entertainment apps, or useful apps to enhance our day-to-day lives? Here is a handy round-up for some of the apps you might not know about that can really enhance your Android experience.

Productivity Apps

Teachers loved telling us that we wouldn’t be able to carry a calculator in our pockets when we grew up so we needed to learn the quadratic formula, but it turns out they were wrong. As well as being able to sync to our desktop PC and laptop features, our phones can be incredibly useful themselves. They can enhance our productivity with time management apps. This can maximize how we use our Androids. First off is the Todoist app, which presents an easy to use task manager. Gaining rave reviews, the app helps us take a jumble of tasks and see them in a clear manner.

HourStack is a useful app that allows us to segment our tasks by time and see how long they are taking to complete. The overview option allows you to see what is consistently overrunning and what you are doing quickly. This information can help you manage your time better. For a more professional time-tracking app, try Hubstaff. The PomoDone App allows you to connect with other time management apps to use the Pomodoro Technique or frequent breaks to make you more productive.  

Emergency Apps

While we might not want to think of the worst happening, it’s always good to be prepared just in case it does. The police are suggesting that people download the What3Words app. The app has segmented the world into 3m squares and gives each 3m square a unique three-word combination.  This allows emergency services to pinpoint your exact location – or could be used with friends to find exact meeting points. Studies estimate that 5,761 phones are dropped and broken every hour. Sometimes, these physical accidents can lead to software accidents. Our phones might delete chunks of data, including media, app settings, and contact information.

There is a handy tool that lets you restore contacts on Android devices, as most online data leaves a shadow. This can give you peace of mind in case your phone does decide to try to wipe itself. You will be able to retrieve numbers of friends, but most importantly you will be able to get back any professional or business-related numbers. Friends can be tracked down on social media, but professional numbers might be harder to find again. It also allows you to use Easy Backup to ensure there is a saved copy of your data.

Entertainment Apps

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so it’s important to have some apps that give us some reprieve. Of course, our go-to streaming services are key. With everything from Spotify to Netflix and Disney+ offering free trials before committing to an account, you are able to sample the streaming sites to find the one most suitable for you. There are also game apps that are specifically designed for smartphones. There are the classics based around Mario, which take the characters and themes of the franchise and update them for mobile play. There are also the AR games such as Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which theme the game around your direct environment.

Square Enix ported many games from the consoles to be playable on Android phones, including Final Fantasy. There are also the more intensive games, including Blizzard’s Hearthstone and Fallout Shelter by Bethesda. Fortnite and Minecraft remain popular for Android phones, especially given how invested you can become with the games.

Finding the right combination of apps can give us a more enjoyable and productive experience with our phones. We might fill our homepage with apps that help us live more streamlined lives. Or, we may plan ahead and ensure we have the tools at our disposal for any number of emergencies. Or, we may simply want to max out on games and other activities that don’t make us any smarter but do give us a dose of much-needed fun.

How to Create a Mobile-friendly Website

With more and more people accessing websites from their phones, it is crucial your website functions just as well on mobile devices as it does on a desktop. Here are the essentials you need to know to create a mobile-friendly website.

Outsourcing Is Often the Best Option

Any website requires expert UX and UI design, but it’s even more crucial for mobile-friendly sites. User experience design encompasses all aspects of a user’s interaction with your website, while user interface design has more to do with the look, feel, and presentation of your site. If you want your website to flourish, consider getting a professional UI/UX designer, like Clay, on board. The famous San Francisco design and branding agency Clay puts user experience at the heart of everything it does. And the firm began life focusing on mobile apps, so it is the perfect UX design company to hire.

You may even consider outsourcing all of your website development needs to a web design company. Small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from outsourcing as much as big businesses because it enables them to use technologies without having to build them from scratch. Outsourcing also allows you to save costs in the long run and have access to larger pools of experts. Find out more about how to outsource web development for your mobile-friendly website.

Make Your Website Responsive

There are many more things that must be considered when creating a mobile-friendly website than for a website that can be accessed on desktops. A crucial element for a mobile-friendly site is responsiveness. A responsive website contains all of the same content regardless of the type of device that’s used to access it, and it alters the way the content is displayed and arranged to suit the size of the device screen. Furthermore, a responsive design is great for Search Engine Optimization; it is Google’s preferred format for mobile websites.

Do Not Use Flash Animations

Using flash animations throughout your website is a bad idea, so don’t do it. Flash can slow down pages’ load times, it is bad for SEO, and it simply doesn’t work on many browsers and devices. Neither iOS or Android support flash.

Include the Viewport Meta Tag

Using the viewport meta tag is essential, as it is an easy way to control how your site shows up on a mobile device. If your website page opens the same on a desktop and the small screen of a phone, mobile-site users will have a lot of difficulties scrolling from side to side to read each line of text and to view all the content. By using the viewport meta tag, you ensure that all browsers will fit the width of your website’s pages to the screen of the specific device being used.

Use Big Buttons

It’s easy to click on website buttons when you’re accessing a site from a desktop. But trying to click on tiny buttons with your fingers on a small phone screen can be difficult, especially if there are multiple buttons next to each other. Indeed, such designs can start to cause real frustration and irritability to your website visitors, and that is obviously the last thing you want. The problem is solved easily, though. Use bigger buttons. And make sure those buttons are reasonably easy to use on all devices.

Use Large Fonts

Size matters. That doesn’t only apply to buttons. It also applies to fonts. Reading on small screens can be challenging, so it is always best to use a font size of at least 14px. It is also best to stick to standard fonts because unrecognized fonts can make your website slower to load on mobile devices.