Education app of the week: Post-it Plus for iPad

Education app of the week: Post-it Plus for iPad

This week we’re featuring Post-it Plus for iPad, a fab little app that lets you digitise and share your Post-it notes. Our regional education consultants have recently been using it as a way of letting pupils collaborate on ideas, and now we’ve all fallen in love with it too…

What is Post-it Plus?

Physical Post-it notes are great (you should see the abundance of yellow reminders surrounding the copy team’s monitors), but they do have a tendency to lose their sticky-ness, fall off or get forgotten. With Post-It Plus (3M Company, free), you have a great way of organising all your little notes and thoughts. You just capture an image of your notes with your iPad camera, then are able to edit, group and organise them, before sharing your organised board.

Post-it Plus for iPad

How does it benefit the classroom?

Collaboration is the watchword here. The team have been using it with pupils to get them working together and put ideas down on Post-its, then send the collective notes to themselves digitally. Sort of like a digital mood board, it’s ideal for group activities where pupils have to work together and collate ideas. It now works with Handoff too, so you can continue collaborating across all your supported devices.

What’s the best feature?

We particularly like the sharing features on offer in Post-it Plus. Once you’ve combined your boards, you can then share via all your favourite apps and platforms. Post-it Plus supports PDF export, Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel sharing, as well as Dropbox and more.

Where can I get it?

You’ll have to take a trip to the stationery cupboard to get your Post-its, unfortunately. But the good news is that Post-it Plus (3M Company, free) is available to download via the App Store on your iPad, or by heading over to iTunes. And it’s free too!

– Missed our last app review? Find out why we’re loving Mathletics Student for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Avid users, your upgrade ability is extended!

Avid users, your upgrade ability is extended!

Remember way back last year when we were banging on about it being the last chance to upgrade your Avid Media Composer and get on a Support Contract? Well, turns out Avid have now extended the deadline, so any users who have Avid software (Media Composer, Symphony and Newscutter) now have another chance to upgrade, if they haven’t already. But only for a limited time!

Good news all round, as going forward getting a Support Contract is the only way to gain access to new releases without purchasing an entirely new licence. An Avid Support plan gives you access to any and all updates Avid release for free, plus basic tech support. If you stop paying for Avid Support the licence will still function, but if you want to access any new features you will have to pay for a new licence.

What do I need to do?

Anyone who missed out on the ability to upgrade their seats when the last deadline hit now has another chance. Until the end of the month – 31st March – we’re offering the Avid Annual Upgrade & Support Plan for Media Composer Software for just £320 ex VAT. You do still miss out on the original low price of £190 ex VAT, unfortunately, but that’s small beer when you consider the significant saving you’ll make on not having to fork out for a new seat. From the 1st April until 15th May customers will still be able to purchase, however the cost will be going up to $699 (the GBP price will be confirmed by Avid come 1st April).

The official word from Avid: “All Upgrade & Support plan purchases must be made prior to the stated deadlines. Upgrade & Support plans will be available via both Activation Codes and ‘traditional’ support contracts. All Activation Codes must be redeemed prior to 31st May 2015.”

Do I already have Avid Support?

If you’ve already purchased Avid Support, you can sit back and relax. If you have a current Expert Plus or Elite support contract with Avid, then your Media Composer licences will automatically be enrolled in Avid Support. There’s more info in this guide here, but if you’re unsure about whether you need to get Avid Support, please do get in touch with us ASAP. There’s not long left.

Avid Support on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Avid Support? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

Last week, we got together with Phoenix IT to hold an app development event in Soho, aiming to give a CEO perspective on how apps can benefit your business. To everyone who made it down, we’d just like to say a big thank you – it was great to see you and talk apps!

Our own CEO, Martin Balaam, was on host duties for the day, beginning with an introduction to apps, and the merits of investing in apps to take your business to the next level. Of course it’s often the bottom line that CEOs, business leaders, department heads and budget holders are looking at when investing in new tech, so Martin broke down the costs for development, support and training, the skills required and the realistic ROI you could expect. Our head of app development, Neil Box, was also on hand to explain the end-to-end app dev process, and field any questions.

Then it was over to our guest speaker Tim Bodill, Sales Director at Phoenix IT, to explain how apps had changed Phoenix’s sales focus. When Tim first came to us looking for an app, his ambition was consistency, getting the sales guys to talk a consistent message about their products and services. Once the app was installed, it really sparked the imagination of the sales team and the business and now the app has developed into so much more, with sales staff able to provide product information and quotes instantly. From a managerial prospective, Tim now has the ability to track quotes, notes and meetings and so much more. Thanks for the talk, Tim!

We hope the session was useful for anyone thinking about apps for their business or being asked to sign off budget for an app development project, taking you behind the scenes from business needs to finished app and everything else in between. Thanks again for coming, and hopefully talk to you again soon!

Martin Balaam talks apps for business

 

Tim Bodill on Phoenix's app journey

Jigsaw24 Events

Want to know more about app development for businesses? Fancy popping down to one of our future events? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email events@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Top 5 things we learned from our Apple in business survey 2014

Top 5 things we learned from our Apple in business survey 2014

With the shape of technology in business changing a lot recently (new Mac and iPhone releases chief among them), this year’s Apple in business survey threw up some very interesting results. You can download our full whitepaper below, but for a snack-sized snapshot of some of the most surprising stats, here we present our top 5 findings…

Just as a bit of background before we dive in, this year’s survey was distributed to a database of our business and design and publishing customers. They were asked to self-define whether they worked for a core or creative company – 64.34% chose creative, while 36.43% chose core. Of our core business respondents, 96.97% said they used Apple on a day to day basis, as did 96.92% of the respondents in creative companies.

1. Smartphones still supreme, desktops down

We asked respondents what devices they were using on a day to day basis. These days, the smartphone is ubiquitous, but we were surprised to see just how their use compared to tablets, laptops and desktop machines. For business, 84.85% of those surveyed used them daily. 69.7% used tablets every day. 75.76% use laptops or notebooks, and only 66.67% of respondents said they use desktop computers daily.

Conversely for creatives, desktop use is far higher, with more processor-intensive applications requiring the muscle of a workstation. 93.85% of respondents used desktop computers every day – more than use smartphones every day (89.23%). 75.38% use laptops or notebooks, and 63.08% use tablets on a daily basis.

2. Apple continues to grow

96.97% of respondents in business use an Apple device on a day to day basis which is an increase on the 90.91% of respondents in our 2013 Apple in business survey. The figure for creatives is also now very similar, with 96.92% of participants using Apple devices on a day to day basis. Of course, as an Apple reseller, we would expect to see quite high Apple usage figures from the participants we sell and market to.

The 3.18% who did not use Apple products on a daily basis all worked in 3D animation or VFX, areas where PC-optimised software dominates.

3. Making more of mobile

The creatives we surveyed found they had definitely seen an upturn in mobile content delivery. 38.98% reported an upturn in the amount of content they’ve had to optimise for mobile devices over the last 18 months, and over half of respondents had increased the amount of content they delivered to clients and colleagues over the cloud. 41.37% agree that they are using more mobile applications than before, even if previous answers have shown that they’re unlikely to be using them for creative work.

4. Apps on the up

We’ve seen a huge rise in businesses wanting their own bespoke app in the past couple of years, especially with better device management solutions coming to the fore, and have grown our own app development arm to help accommodate them. Our survey showed that 25% of companies now have their own in-house app, compared with just 7% last year. However, 5% of users remain unsure whether their business has a custom app or not, which could indicate that end users are not aware of the extent to which corporate IT are controlling their devices, and the extent to which third party solutions are being used.

5. Compatibility causes concern

Compatibility has long been an issue with businesses, especially those working in a mixed platform environment. When business users were asked what they thought the barriers preventing their businesses from rolling out more Apple devices were, 33% of participants cited ‘I would need to guarantee that my work was compatible with Windows-based colleagues’ as their main concern, with 29.17% choosing ‘I use platform-specific software’ and ‘I would need to guarantee that my work was compatible with clients’ machines’.

For creatives, the barriers were generally less pronounced than in the business sector. Only 30% agreed that ‘staff are used to a Windows environment’, with 61.67% disagreeing and 8.33% unsure. 28.34% agreed that ‘we need specialist software that cannot run on Apple computers’ – surprising given the number of participants who said they were aware that Macs could run Windows software, and potentially highlights continuing concerns about the power and reliability of virtual PCs.

 

– This is just a small insight into our findings. If you’d like to peruse the whole lot, download our Apple in business survey 2015 whitepaper here.

Want to know more about Apple in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

How are creative departments currently using Mac in business?

How are creative departments currently using Mac in business?

You might not be that surprised that the majority of those who filled in our Apple in business survey 2014 who described themselves as ‘creatives’ were already pretty au fait with Apple. (A massive 96.92% of respondents said they use Apple devices on a day to day basis.) But you will be interested in just how they’re using their tech, especially if you’re a creative company or have your own in-house creative team. 

Whereas our 2013 survey focused purely on business, this year we reached out to creative businesses too, to see if their usage differed from those businesses offering core services like manufacturing and retail. You can download the in-depth (yet utterly absorbing) whitepaper below if you want the full run-down of responses, but we’ve taken the executive summary from the creative section, which picks out the highlights.

Which devices are being used for business?

In contrast to the business sector, over 90% of respondents still use a desktop computer as their day to day working device, although the vast majority combined this with a laptop or smartphone. Less than a third of companies have a formal bring your own device policy, but 65% of respondents reported using a personally owned device for work outside of formal business policy.

The few respondents who did not use Apple machines as their primary work device all worked in 3D animation or visual effects (VFX), where PC-optimised software dominates.

What are these devices being used for?

As in the business sector, mobile devices were primarily used for organisation and productivity tasks, with the majority of creative work taking place on iMac or MacBook notebooks. However, 38% of respondents feel the amount of work they create on mobile devices has increased over the last 18 months.

Perception of Apple devices

79.03% of Apple users strongly agreed that ‘It is easy to integrate Apple products into my workplace.’ Apple machines are perceived as integrating well with back end systems, clients’ systems and suppliers. Again, the percentage of respondents who knew that Mac computers could run Windows was extremely high, but there were concerns about Mac computers’ ability to run role-specific PC software.

Almost 90% felt that they would not encounter internal resistance to using more Apple products, and the vast majority agreed that the synergy between OS X and iOS were beneficial.

Barriers to adoption

Barriers were generally less pronounced than in the business sector, though Apple devices are still considered relatively expensive. While many users agreed that Apple was easy to integrate into their business and knew Mac computers could run Windows software, there were concerns that Mac computers could not run role-specific software and that it would be difficult and time-consuming to change platforms.

Mobile working and delivery

38.98% reported an upturn in the amount of content they’ve had to optimise for mobile devices over the last 18 months, and over half of respondents had increased the amount of content they delivered to clients and colleagues over the cloud. 41.37% agree that they are using more mobile applications than before, even if people are using them for organisational rather than creative work.

 

– Want to get your teeth into the full survey results? Download the whitepaper, ‘The Jigsaw24 Apple in business survey 2014: The results’ here.

Want to know more about Apple in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

How to promote products in-store with iPad and basic AV

How to promote products in-store with iPad and basic AV

So you want to use iPad to promote your products in-store? We’ve already shown you the ins and outs of Guided Access (check out our article ‘How to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk‘ for a recap), but now we’ll show you a really quick, easy and free way to use your iPad and Apple ecosystem to promote key products.

Using just Apple’s Keynote app and some basic presentation editing skills, you can turn your iPad into either a kiosk running in-store product promotions, or use it to create and stream content through an Apple TV to any screen or digital display you have on the shop floor.

What will I need?

Before you start, there are a few things you’ll need: 1. An iPad, 2. the free Keynote app downloaded to said iPad, 3. some physical security for your iPad if you’re going to be using it as a kiosk – we’re big fans of Bouncepad’s solutions for this, 4. an Apple TV if you’re going to be streaming to a screen (as well as a decent wireless network, naturally), 5. a good quality Americano (the way to start any task, we’ve found).

Got it. Now what?

Now you have all the essentials, you can start creating the content that’s going to promote your products either on the iPad kiosk or on your in-store screen. Here are our very basic steps for what to do next:

– Start by getting an image of the product you want to promote. Either from your own assets directory, or by taking a picture using your iPad Camera app.

– Open up Keynote (if you haven’t downloaded this already, retrace your steps back to ‘What will I need?’).

– If you’ve created a branded template in Keynote previously, that’s great – we can use that. If not, create a slide with your branding, and arrange content to allow for an image of your product, promo price and advert messaging.

– Import your product image.

– Add your promotion text.

– Now we can get funky with some transitions. Add your choice of transition to the slide (fire effects are always good, but use Magic Move if you really want to show off!).

– You’ll want to set the timing of the transitions between slides to your needs too (eg XXXseconds after the transition of the previous slide, with XXXsecond delay).

– Go to Tools > Advanced > Presentation Type > then set to Loop Presentation, so your content will automatically repeat once it gets to the end.

– Now, duplicate the first slide you made, and add more images for products.

– That’s it. Now you can tap Play to start the presentation. Remember you’ll need to sync up to the Apple TV if you’re throwing your presentation to a screen on the shop floor, and you’ll need to have Guided Access enabled if you’re using it as an iPad-based kiosk.

 

Want more tips on the best ways to use iPad in retail? We’ll soon be holding a free webinar all about how iPad can boost your bottom line. Keep an eye out for details!

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email retail@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

How to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk

How to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk

It would be great to let your customers have a browse around your eCommerce site on an iPad kiosk, wouldn’t it? It’s certainly a way to bust queues by providing relevant product info without the need to wait for a sales assistant. But how do you make sure they’re not exiting your great content to Instagram a selfie or have a quick blast of Threes?

One of iOS’s inherent features, Guided Access, lets you lock down your iPad onto just one app (Safari, for example) or piece of content, so you can leverage that iPad you have lying around to feature your content, without your customers navigating away from the good stuff, with just a triple-click of the Home button. Now you have another stationary POS or kiosk system where customers can engage with your products, inventory, stock levels and pricing – immediately busting your queues.

How to turn on and use Guided Access

Using the Guided Access feature in iOS is incredibly easy. You don’t need any special admin skills or anything, just follow these quick steps on your iPad:

– First, as with any change to your iPad’s settings, head to ‘Settings’.

– From here, you’ll want ‘General’, then ‘Accessibility’.

– Now scroll down to the LEARNING subheader and you’ll see ‘Guided Access’. This will probably say ‘Off’ next to it.

– You want to turn that feature ‘On’, so tap into it and make sure the slider next to Guided Access is highlighted green.

– That’s it. Now, you can exit out of Settings and open up the app or content you want the user to be locked in to.

– With that open, triple-click the Home button, and a new menu will come up, with your app or content in the middle. From here, you can do a few very cool things:

Disable areas. Using your finger, you can simply circle on the screen around any areas of the app or content that you want to disable. If you’re in Safari, that means you can disable the search/address bar, History, Share and other options that might take the user away from your site.

Restrict buttons and touch. You can also restrict what method of input the user has access to. Under Hardware Buttons, decide whether they can use Sleep/Wake, Volume, Motion and Keyboards. Under Touch, you can restrict whether they can use touch input.

Time Limit. With Time Limit options, you’re able to set a time period for Guided Access to be on, which is handy if you only need to be locked into the app or content for a short period of time.

– You’re now good to go. Tap Start, and you’ll be asked to set a passcode for the Guided Access session (something other than 1-2-3-4 or 0-0-0-0 is usually helpful!).

– The user is now locked into your specific app or content. If they press the Home button, they will be prompted to triple-click, which in turn requires your passcode (which you’ve definitely remembered or saved somewhere safe…) to turn off.

Want more tips on the best ways to use iPad in retail? We’ll soon be holding a free webinar all about how iPad can boost your bottom line. Keep an eye out for details!

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email retail@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Video: An introduction to EIZO ColorEdge displays

Video: An introduction to EIZO ColorEdge displays

Wondering which EIZO ColorEdge display is right for you? In this quick video, we go hell for leather to round up the full CS, CX and CG roster, and explain why each of them is perfect for a certain creative workflow. You can also take a more leisurely amble through the range in Debs’s EIZO ColorEdge roundup here, or of course get in touch with the team on the details below to talk all things EIZO.

Want to know more about the EIZO lineup? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email displays@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Education app of the week: Mathletics Student for iPad

Education app of the week: Mathletics Student for iPad

If you’re already using Mathletics to engage your pupils with maths, then you’ll be pleased to know there’s also an iPad app version too – Mathletics Student – letting your pupils keep on learning on the go. See why we’re such fans… 

What is Mathletics Student for iPad?

For any newcomers, Mathletics is an online platform for pupils to learn and practise all aspects of maths including arithmetic, shapes, measures, data handling and more advanced topics. It’s all done through live games that include step-by-step support through problems.  It’s based on an active global community of more than 10,000 schools and 3.5 million users, who pupils can ‘play’ against to rack up high scores while they learn.

Mathletics Student on iTunes

Mathletics Student (3P Learning, free), is the iPad version of this. You can log onto the Mathletics app on an iPad and your account settings and results data will automatically be synced across, so pupils can carry on with the same challenges they were completing on the desktop version. There’s also now an offline mode, which means you don’t even have to be connected to the internet to access Mathletics.

How can it benefit the classroom?

The reason we’ve seen so many schools using Mathletics so far is the fact that it is so closely aligned to the UK National Curriculum. We’re not just talking simple arithmetic challenges here – Mathletics is broken down by year level, so you have everything from basic reception-friendly activities (numbers and patterns, spaces and shapes etc) right up to GCSE-level (ratios, quadratics, linear equations, data handling, trig and all that lovely stuff). It’s a great complement to your traditional teaching methods, getting children engaged with challenges to achieve outstanding results.

What’s the best feature?

We really love how teachers and parents can also get involved. Through the separate Mathletics Teacher app (3P Learning, free), teachers can assign homework or classwork activities, access all their students’ results data in realtime, and amend and update courses directly from their iPad or iPhone. Weekly reports can also be emailed straight to parents, so they get to have an insight into how their child is progressing.

Where can I get it?

You can download Mathletics Student (3P Learning, free) for iPad from the App Store, or by heading to iTunes. Mathletics Teacher (3P Learning, free) for iPad is available here. Just note, you need to have subscribed to Mathletics online first to get access to the Mathletics apps.

– Missed our last app review? See what we thought of ClassFlow for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Thanks to all who made it to our MatrixCMS and dim sum night

Thanks to all who made it to our MatrixCMS and dim sum night

We recently welcomed a new member to the Jigsaw24 family, MatrixCMS, so we thought it only proper to celebrate by letting them introduce themselves to you, our awesome clients, with an evening of PIM demos and a massive dim sum and beer feast. To everyone who popped down and made the night a success, we just wanted to say a huge thanks (or should that be ‘xiè xiè’?)

The night was a perfect opportunity to show off our new baby MatrixCMS, the best way for marketeers and creatives to manage product information, assets and workflows across multiple channels. We gave a quick introduction before Matrix’s reps ran through the big benefits, namely transforming the way you manage your product information and digital assets across your entire workflow, from commissioning your product photos through to publishing on the web, print and digital signage. And at a fraction of the cost of many of the core master data management software solutions out there.

Of course, as proud parents of MatrixCMS, we may be seen as a little biased towards our new sprog, so we brought in one of Matrix’s biggest clients to heap praise on the solution too. Graham Ford from clothing retailer Boden gave an engaging insight into how the company had overcome challenges by leveraging the MatrixCMS solution to streamline and significantly improve their catalogue production and online product management. Fantastic stuff, Graham!

Then it was time for a few beers and a bit of snap. It being Chinese new year (the year of the sheep/ram, if you’re counting), we thought it only fitting that we threw a bit of a dim sum feast. It was a great chance to chat to you all about MatrixCMS and hopefully answer some of the questions you had surrounding your product marketing challenges.

Thanks again to everyone who came, hope to see you again soon and gùng héi faat chōi!

Mingling with MatrixCMSTalking multi-channel marketing solutions

Delicious dim sum!

What is MatrixCMS? Introducing the industry’s best kept secret…

MatrixCMS is a master data management software solution that provides product information management, digital asset management and digital workflow solutions across a multi-language, multi-domain and multi-country platform, which integrates into your core ERP and eCommerce systems. MatrixCMS’s global customer base include Next, Go Outdoors, Christie’s Auctions, Bauer, Maplin and Boden.

Jigsaw24 Events

Want to know more about MatrixCMS? Fancy popping down to one of our future events? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email events@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.