What is ‘the Cloud’?

You may have heard people using terms like the cloud, cloud computing, or cloud storage. But what exactly is the cloud? Basically, the cloud is the Internet—more specifically, it’s all of the things you can access remotely over the Internet. When something is in the cloud, it means it’s stored on servers on the Internet instead of on your computer. It lets you access your calendar, email, files, and many more from any computer with an Internet connection.

What is ‘the Cloud’?

What is ‘the Cloud’?

Why do many people use the cloud and why do many companies promote using it? There are many reasons, but the main reasons are convenience and reliability. In the past, if you wanted to bring a file with you, you would have to save it to a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or CD-R disc. Saving a file to the cloud ensures that you’ll be able to access it with any computer that has an Internet connection, so you don’t have any physical media to keep track of. The cloud also makes it much easier to share a file with coworkers or friends, making it possible to collaborate over the Web.

What is ‘the Cloud’?

What is ‘the Cloud’?

With the cloud, you’re much less likely to lose your data because it is stored on servers. However, just like anything online, there is always a risk that someone may try to gain access to your personal data, so it’s important to choose a strong password and pay attention to any privacy settings for the service you’re using. This is one of the biggest issues now, especially with people’s accounts getting compromised, specifically financial, credit card accounts and the like.

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A History of Web Apps

Web Applications have been around since before the web gained mainstream popularity. It can even be traced back to the Internet’s history. The history of web apps, cloud computing or even the internet  goes back to at least 1961 when the concept was first given life by a comment made by future Turing Award-Winner John McCarthy in a speech at the Centennial Celebration of MIT. McCarthy, also responsible earlier (1955), for the coining of another phrase of great current importance, “artificial intelligence,” said at that time that he believed that computing would be organized in the future as a “public utility.” The word “utility,” of course, meaning the metered use of computer infrastructure and services deployed at locations other then the users’. Shared assets being then as now the most important spoke in the conceptual wheel. At the time of McCarthy’s Delphic utterances the Internet was still in its infancy.

 A History of Web Apps

A History of Web Apps

The early websites were a great way to exchange information, but HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is very limited in what it can do. It is much closer to a word processor than an application development environment, so new technologies emerged that could help businesses do more with the Internet. These technologies included server-side languages like ASP and PHP and client-side technologies like Java, JavaScript and ActiveX.

 A History of Web Apps

A History of Web Apps

It was through a combination of these technologies that businesses could overcome the limitations of HTML and create web applications. The simplest application that most people have run across is the shopping cart, which allows us to order our goodies on the web instead of driving to the store.

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Keepvid

Have you ever had that dilemma of wanting to save a Youtube or any online video on your computer for offline re-viewing? If you try to search for “downloading Youtube videos” on the internet, Keepvid.com will probably always appear in your search.  Keepvid is one of the best web apps for the job. According to it’s website, “KeepVid Video Downloader is a free web application that allows you to download videos from sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitch.Tv, Vimeo, Dailymotion and many more. All you need is the URL of the page that has the video you want to download. Enter it in the textbox above and simply click ‘Download‘. KeepVid will then fetch download links in all possible formats that the particular site provides.”

Keepvid

Keepvid

However, it doesn’t work well on Mac. It also provides an ad-free desktop program to download online videos, but the program currently only works on Windows. You also need to install Microsoft.NET in order for KeepVid to work properly on your computer. So if you’re a Mac user, you need a KeepVid alternative for Mac. Of course there are alternatives like iSkysoft Video Downloader. It is the easiest solution to download online videos without any advertisement.

Keepvid

Keepvid

How can it be any simpler than this? Some of these free web apps can even give you different types of formats such as .mp4, .flv etc. for your video as well as different qualities, (360p, 720p, full HD). You can now even download the .mp3 file of the video you are watching.

Images from themediaant.com and optimwise.com

 

Web App-Games

Web App-Games

Web App-Games

Whether you’re bored or if you’re just the type of person who plays a lot of computer games, the innovations of the web-app games is just the one for you. You can just choose and play the games that you want right in your internet browser. Ever since the start of the boom of the World Wide Web, internet games that can be played on the browser have sprung. Currently there are literally millions of games that you can play. Some are needed to be played while connected to the internet while others need not. An example of the latter is the Google Chrome browser. You can download from a multitude of games from their Chrome Web Store. The Chrome Web Store offers a lot more than just a healthy dose of extensions, themes, and other nifty apps. It also houses an impressive collection of games that can be directly played on the browser hassle-free for a small fee, or nothing at all. While Flash-based games are nothing new — like Addictinggames.com — playing them in your browser adds an entirely new level of social interaction and save functionality that we could only dream about 10 years ago. The same great titles that are available on your Android smartphone, tablet, and high-end gaming console are also available on Chrome. Now all you need to know is which games are worth your precious time if you want to truly immerse yourself in the Chrome experience.Ranging from arcade games, to RPG’s to brain games to classic boardgames brought into the digital age, there are definitely a lot to choose from.

Web App-Games

Web App-Games

Images from g4tv.com and thenextweb.com

The Chrome OS

Web apps have gone so far that there is an operating system that relies on its simplicity yet power. One of these is the Chrome operating system. Chrome OS is an operating system based on the Linux kernel and designed by Google to work with web applications and installed applications. Initially, Chrome OS was almost a pure web thin clientoperating system, with only a handful of “native” applications, but Google gradually began encouraging developers to create “packaged applications”, some of which can work offline. In 2014, Google upgraded its Play Store standards for packaged apps, requiring that these applications work offline. Around the same time, Google also announced that Chrome OS would gain the ability to run Android apps natively, by late 2014. In September 2014, App Runtime for Chrome (beta) was launched together with four Android apps being able to run on Chrome OS.

The Chrome OS

The Chrome OS

Chrome OS is built upon the open source project called Chromium OS which, unlike Chrome OS, can be compiled from the downloaded source code. Chrome OS is the commercial version installed on specific hardware from Google’s manufacturing partners. The launch date for retail hardware featuring Chrome OS was delayed from late 2010 to June 15, 2011, when “Chromebooks” from Samsung, and then Acer shipped in July.

The Chrome OS

The Chrome OS

These chromebooks were said to be the successors to the netbooks. With so many people needing just the basics in connecting to the internet, browsing and other simple tasks, the web app-centered operating system might just be the one perfect for them.

Images from itproportal.com and en.wikipedia.org

YouTube Complements

Have you ever been irritated when you’re watching YouTube then suddenly you have to close it and you won’t be able to listen to the audio anymore at the background? Admit it, whether it’s intended to or not, YouTube is a go-to destination for music and audio with hundreds of millions of people using it. There are apps like uListen and FREEdi YouTube Player to help you with this. Now, you don’t have to waste as much battery life and data to listen to songs from YouTube. You can also close the video you’re watching and keep listening to the audio.

YouTube Complements

YouTube Complements

One of the biggest annoyances of the native YouTube app is that you have to keep the app open to keep the video playing. FREEdi is one of the few alternatives that removes this setback. In addition, you can make your own playlists from the app, and set a sleep timer to automatically stop playing a playlist when you’re ready. There’s also a repeat mode.

On the other hand, the uListen app allows you to browse for any YouTube video you want and then play it in the background. The video won’t load at all, and you can leave uListen and the sound will continue to play. Rumor has it Google’s planning to add this feature to the official YouTube app, but until they do, this app can save you a ton of trouble listening to music, lectures, speeches, or podcasts.

YouTube Complements

YouTube Complements

These two apps help a lot in complementing your YouTube experience.

Images from developers.google.com and askubuntu.com

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Google DocsSheets and Slides are free, web-based word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a presentation program respectively, all part of an office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. It was formerly a storage service as well, but has since been replaced by Google Drive. If you are familiar with Microsoft’s MS Office, Docs, Sheets and Slides are its web app counterparts. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating with other users live. The three apps are available as web applications, as Chrome apps that work offline, and as mobile apps for Android and iOS. The apps are compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. The suite also consists of Google Forms, Google Drawings and Google Tables (beta). While Forms and Tables are only available as web applications, Drawings is also available as a Chrome app.

 Google Docs, Sheets and Slides


Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

The suite is tightly integrated with Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage and synchronization service. All files created with the apps are by default saved to Google Drive.

As a bit of history, data storage of files was introduced on January 12, 2010, with 1 GB of free space. On April 24, 2012, Google launched Google Drive which supplants Google Docs. Google Drive incorporates the Google Docs suite into itself alongside providing improved storage functionality.

 Google Docs, Sheets and Slides


Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

While Google Docs, Sheets and Slides have been criticized for traditionally lacking all the tools and functionality of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively, they have received praise for their simplicity, ease of collaboration, and frequent product updates.

Images from google.com and googledrive.blogspot.com

What are Web Apps?

A web application, web-based application or web app is any software or program that runs in a web browser. These are accessed over a network connection using HTTP, rather than existing within a device’s memory.  It is created in a browser-supported programming language (such as the combination ofJavaScript, HTML and CSS) and relies on a web browser to render the application. Web-based applications often run inside a Web browser. However, Web-based applications also may be client-based, where a small part of the program is downloaded to a user’s desktop, but processing is done over the Internet on an external server.

What are Web Apps?

What are Web Apps?

Web applications are very popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers, and the convenience of using a web browser as a client, sometimes called a thin client. The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility. Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis and many many other functions. You might not know it but you might be using web apps more often than any other program.

What are Web Apps?

What are Web Apps?

Over the past years, the web has been embraced by millions of individuals, businesses and entities as an inexpensive channel to communicate and exchange information with prospects and transactions with other people, customers, loved ones literally anyone. Web apps are basically just another way of exploiting the powers of the internet and utitlize it for everyone’s convenience. And web apps are the perfect platform for this.

Images from blog.timecenter.com and 1and1.com

10 of the Best Web-Based Mobile Tools

Your small business model is successful but you’re looking for some great ways to enhance your productivity. Rest assured, there’s always a better way to build the proverbial mousetrap. This is especially true as technology continually evolves to make everyone’s life easier.

Here are ten great productivity-enhancing apps for your smartphone.

1. FreeScreenSharing

If you ever need to share your screen with someone, then FastScreenSharing is the app for you. In fact, with this app you can share your screen with as many as 96 people at one time. It also offers a free conference bridge with unlimited meetings.

2. SlideRocket

SlideRocket is similar to PowerPoint. You can produce some high-quality presentations that are also compatible with a smartphone.

3. MarketWire

If you believe in the power of press releases to boost your business, then you should be using MarketWire. It offers numerous distribution channels so you can share the latest hot news about your brand.

4. Bravo Video

If you’re running a business that requires a strong web presence, then you know how important it is to establish credibility. Bravo Video offers a simple means of capturing customer testimonials. The videos can then be embedded on your website.

5. Formstack

You can use Formstack to aggregate information about your website. It enables the user to create specialized forms, integrate different third-party applications, and analyze data. It’s also used for payment process and mass email.

6. WePay

Perhaps you’re one of those business owners who has had a negative experience with PayPal. If that’s the case, then consider trying WePay. It’s basically the same thing as PayPal — except that it’s not PayPal.

7. Harvest Time Tracking

If you’re running a business that bills by the hour, then this app might be a great fit. Harvest Time Tracking enables you to track and analyze the time you spend on specific projects. You can also produce reports and invoices that are easy to distribute to your customers.

8. UserTesting

UserTesting is an app that allows you to “watch” an actual visitor to your website. You can see exactly how long the visitor stays on your site as well as how he or she navigates around it.

9. Google Business Apps

You won’t need to worry about email costs any more because Google Business Apps offers you as many as 10 email accounts for free. The service also provides spam filtering.

10. Google Drive

If you use the aforementioned Google Business Apps, then you’re automatically signed up for a Google Drive account, which is also free. This is basically a cloud solution for mobile devices; it allows you to store your files remotely. This might be one of the most useful and cost-effective smartphone tools available for small businesses.

 

 

App Development in Vietnam Beyond Flappy Bird

By now, everyone in the world has heard of Flappy Bird, the unlikely iOS hit from a Vietnamese game developer; Swing Copters, the developer’s second game, while not reaching the heights of Flappy, has done very well, and definitely put Vietnam on the map for game development.

flappybird

However, the country hasn’t really been known for other application development or considered a serious player in the world of tech startups. It’s surprising, but not many people have heard of VNG, Vietnam’s largest player in the field, with $100 million in revenue, over 2000 employees, and products in everything from entertainment to chat applications to social media. VNG’s chat app, Zalo, is the country’s number-one chat app, with 12 million registrations, beating out Viber, Line, and KakaoTalk.

Vietnam’s turbulent past, as well as portrayal in the media, often has people thinking of the Vietnam War and its long battles. Think Vietnam, and what comes to mind are wartime atrocities and a suffering, oppressed people such as the Vietnam comfort women, victims of brutal military occupations. But, like most of Southeast Asia, Vietnam has seen an upsurge in technology of late, with a reported 22 million smartphone users.

vietnamcyclers

Recently making waves in Asian tech news is news of Vietnam’s Rockit, an education startup that teaches math, science, english, and IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC test preparation to students online. Started by a mix of Vietnamese and Americans, Rockit just received $500 thousand dollars in investments from Silicon Valley. Forbes recently ran a feature on tech advancement in Vietnamese education:

“My last week in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City was markedly different from my week in Hanoi in ways I did not expect. A spirit of entrepreneurship and optimism about the future of education in Vietnam has been palpable.” (source)

It’s been thought that Vietnam was previously considered too volatile a market to be considered seriously by the International scene, but it looks like that’s changing quickly.