Mobile Marketing Effective Mobile Marketing Campaigns

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Mobile Marketing – Effective Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Marketing has come a long way. From traditional ads like television and prints, it has evolved to the Internet, social media and now to our hand held devices. Mobile marketing is taking businesses into new heights with its current, efficient and effective output. With its marketing power, this strategy is here to stay, considering the billions of people who are engaged in their cell phones, tabs and pads.

For businesses and companies, this can be a good opportunity to slowly shift some marketing campaigns. This is the right time to embrace using mobile platforms as a new medium for ads. To date, there are already existing campaigns that you might want to look at. Here are some effective ones.

Website Fit For Mobile
The very first thing a business owner can do to transition to mobile would be to reconstruct their company’s site to enable mobile browsing compatibility. You can start by searching for mobile emulators on the web and see how your current site appears to billions of mobile users. This emulator also acts like a mobile phone web browser so you can instantly see how your business site would look on varied mobile handsets.

There are two things to keep in mind while checking on the emulator. One is that a mini version of your full site will be viewed or you may not see your site at all. The first option is good while the second one is bad. If you are experiencing the worst case scenario, it would be best to go for a mobile development of your site. This does not mean revamping it altogether just to achieve it, but you might want to add a few plugins to make it mobile enable.

Mobile SEO
SEO does not only cater to the web. It also holds a crucial role in mobile marketing. As a matter of fact, a good knowledge on mobile SEO, or SEO in general, could literally skyrocket your business. The ability to optimize your website for mobile search engines is similar to creating a good mobile marketing foundation. Being found on mobile devices is the second thing to consider after making your site mobile-ready.

You can still use the old way of doing search engine optimization like backlinks, submissions, writing, directories and the like. However, instead of submitting links to the usual sites, grab some mobile sites and link them with your site.

There are still many more effective mobile marketing campaigns. Considering its wide capacity and great opportunity, there is no doubt that marketers are already transitioning their business to fit the bill. Do not be left out, inculcate mobile marketing in your business now.

The Evolution Of Mobile Phone Technology

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The Evolution Of Mobile Phone Technology

Every month, millions of people worldwide are adding themselves to the mobile phone community. This will go on all because mobile phones are such great devices that using them you can talk to anyone in this world from anywhere, anytime.

Mobile phones provide you an array of feature that you can speak as well as sent and receive data. But, it depends on a model that a mobile phone can contain as many as possible features within. A mobile phone stores contact information of your desired people, sends and receives e-mails, displays you flash news, enables you playing simple games in your free time etc. Mobiles phones integrated with PDAs, MP3 players and GPS system are also widely available. However, only few may know how mobile phones with such integrated features actually work. Knowing the technology, that work behind such mobile phones could sure help you using it extensively. At least a new model is released with newer add-ons every month. If you are in idea of buying a new mobile phone then you also need to be sure about how to buy a mobile phone before your purchase.

At this point, you need to know that the very quite fact about a mobile phone is that its functions similar to a radio. The technologies like telephone and wireless communication been invented more or less in the same period (actually in late 1870’s), soon after these two combined to give us the model for today’s mobile phone. People later started using these radio phones fitted inside their cars and its antennas been mounted on the top. However, because of lesser channels available, more people were not able to use these radiophones. To add, you can compare that day mobile phone to a CB radio or a walkie-talkie to understand it better.

Today, the smarter thing about mobile system is splitting up of an area into smaller cells thus enabling millions of people to use the mobile phones simultaneously. Mobile systems function in a way that within a cell area, at least 56 people can talk on their mobile phone at a time. In another side, to send and receive the tower signals, mobile phones are equipped with low-power transmitters.

Related to technology, its first generation, which used analog signals is called 1G. Digital transmission coming into existence, the number of channels increased which were of 2G mobile technology. The mobile technologies, which were later developed, claimed superiority over the earlier. The current 3G mobile phones offer you unbelievable features like email, stereo sounds and video. In the power consumption part, battery-operated mobile phones normally consume low power and this has made the possibility of having handheld mobile phones.

Another important aspect with the mobile phone is the services offered to the subscribers are of cheap rate. This is because mobile phone system requires a number of base stations in a region to operate its service. But as most people use mobile phones, the cost per user remains low irrespective of large number to based stations installed. A mobile telephone switching office handles all the phone connections and controls the bases stations that function under it.

Anyway, future generation mobile phones are to come which are going to provide us a breathtaking service for both professional use and fun.

Mobile Home Loans give concrete shape to your mobile home aspiration

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Mobile Home Loans give concrete shape to your mobile home aspiration

A mobile home is equipped with all the advantage of modern day living. It can give you a new experience away from the disturbances of towns and cities. Mobile home as the name suggest is a movable home that is equipped with complete plumbing, electrical, and heating facilities and are usually less expensive than site built homes. I think by now you must have made up your mind to get a mobile home. But do you have enough funds to finance the purchase of a mobile home? If no, then you need not worry. You can apply for a mobile home loan which will give concrete shape to your mobile home dream.

Mobile home loans finance the purchase of a mobile home. The loan is secured against the home loan. A mobile home loan is also known as manufactured home loan. Before applying for a loan, you have to decide which mobile home you want to buy, this will help you to find out the amount you want to borrow.

Features of a mobile home distinguish it from other residential homes. Mobile homes are housing units built in factories that are equipped with all the facilities. It is then moved to a site for installation on a relatively permanent site and used as a residence. Presently, there are three types of mobile homes available in the UK mobile home market namely caravan, motor home and a park home.

Once you decide the mobile home you want to purchase, the next step is to find a suitable mobile home loan for yourself. There are two types of mobile home loans available in the loan market – mobile homes with land and the other one is mobile homes without the land. A borrower can opt for the first option otherwise he can look for the second option.

The loan amount and the tenure of the mobile home loan depend on the location of the mobile home. Caravans can cost a few hundred pounds while park homes cost more than £20,000, depending on their conditions. Mobile homes are significantly cheaper than traditional “bricks and mortar” property. Mobile home loan tenure varies between 15 to 25 years.

An average mobile home loan ranges from 11% to 18%. There are various benefits of a mobile home loan. It provides innovative building options. A mobile home loan is fast and economical which makes it a cheap loan option.

Mobile home lending is considered to be a risky task even if you have a good credit rating. There is big risk involved for the lender; a borrower may fail to repay the loan amount or the monthly payments. Loan is secured on the mobile home but there remains a threat that the value of the home depreciates over the time.

Give due consideration to the cost involved in buying a mobile home such as transportation cost and set up cost. These costs may make your loan expensive. So, estimate these costs before you decide which loan to borrow.

Finance market is flooded with various loan options by infinite number of lenders. Online lenders are the latest entrants in the loan market which have made an initiative to overcome the shortcomings that borrowers used to face while borrowing from traditional lenders such as banks and financial institutions.

Online mobile home loans provide the convenience of applying for a loan. A borrower can apply for a loan by browsing various online lending websites. An applicant needs to fill up a small online application form with some personal information which is available at most of the lending websites. The lenders use these details to find out the most suitable loan option for you. Online lenders ensure the privacy of the personal details of the applicant, so you need not to worry about it. Collect loan quotes from various lenders and make a comparison among them to find the loan that matches your pocket to the best.

Owning a home is a privilege and that too a well furnished mobile home can be a dream true for some. Your dream to own a mobile home can be realized with a mobile home loan. Shop around! Search for the cheap and fast mobile home loan which will be beneficial making it easy for you to pay small monthly payments.

The Malcontent of the Term “Mobile Content”

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The Malcontent of the Term “Mobile Content”

The following article discusses how to better convert a web user to a mobile user and the challenges that lie within.
We all know the immutable laws of web site conversion can be summarized as follows:
1. You have less than eight seconds to capture a web page visitor
2. Once captured, the next click must be obvious
3. Once clicking, minimize the steps needed to complete the desired action
The difficulty lies in maximizing information in a minimized process. You must be able to present what the majority need to see to complete your desired action. There will always be those who seek more information and tangents can be provided for them. Now, add another dimension to the “desired action” by making that action something that you wish for them to do offline. That, my friends, is largely the challenge that we have at www.4INFO.net. Not to take anything away from our web search service, because it does try to do something that the other engines do not by actually giving you an answer and not pointing you to one elsewhere (see 4INFO Blog: 4INFO’s Bond. James Bond & Focused Search). But, getting a user to make the leap from, “I can get all of this info from my computer,” to, “I have access to all this info when I am NOT in front of my computer,” can be challenging. Especially, when dealing with an industry that hasn’t quite settled on what to call the segments within it. Mobile search’s popularity is increasing every day, yet there is still an opportunity to sanity check the terms we use to describe the industry.
There are four terms that we use on a regular basis in the world of 4INFO mobile. These are, Mobile Content, Mobile Download, Mobile Information, and Mobile Search.
Before we get into how these terms apply in the mobile sense, let’s first look at what they mean in a general (and very simplified) sense:
Content
Something contained. The proportion of a specified substance present in something else.
Download
To transfer a file or program from a one computer to another computer.
Information
Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction. Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication
Search
To make a thorough examination of; look over carefully in order to find something; explore.
Now that we have these definitions in front of us, let’s look at the industry’s current definition of Mobile Content. [per Wikipedia] Mobile content is any type of media formatted for mobile phones, like ringtones, graphics, games and movies. The use of mobile content has grown dramatically. Ringtones, for instance, are currently (2005) the most widely used mobile media forms. A mobile game is a piece of content that is installed on mobile phones so that the user can play the video game right no their mobile handset. A wallpaper is simply a graphic that is formatted to fit the screen of hand held devices, mainly cell phones.
At 4INFO, we define the remaining terms as follows:
A mobile download is a piece of content (ringtone, wallpaper, game, audio, video, etc.) that is transferred from a host location to a mobile device.
Mobile information is comprised of the categories of services that we provide via our suite of search channels, such as local directory, sports scores, fantasy stats, weather, flight schedules, movie times, and stock quote searches, to name a few. These impart knowledge through communication with our servers.
Therefore, mobile search is the process of locating mobile downloads and mobile information via a mobile device.
So, where does this term “mobile content” come into play? I believe that you can shorten the above statement to read, “Mobile search is the process of locating mobile content via a mobile device.” For this case, the definition of “mobile content” must add “mobile information” to its list of attributes.
But, that is not what I would do.
What does the consumer think? I took a quick poll of 10 non-mobile search types, where I simply asked them to define the four phrases that we’ve been discussing. I realize this technique will not go down in the annals of mobile research, but if there is one thing to take from it – every single person defined a “mobile download” the same way, while fewer than half stated a definition of “mobile content” similar to that in Wikipedia.
I am not content with the term Mobile Content. Let’s get rid of it.
I have been dealing with these terms over the past several months as we have been redesigning the 4INFO web site in an effort to address these types of issues. It didn’t occur to me to write this post until I read a statement by the Pondering Primate earlier this week where he said, “Every time we hear the phrase ‘mobile search’ let’s replace it with ‘mobile info.’”
At first, I whole-heartedly agreed with him. Then, I turned around to resume testing 4INFO’s new Mobile Downloads Search service and realized that “mobile search” is more than just locating “mobile information.” It is also the location of “mobile downloads” now that 4INFO has this service in beta.
Mobile search is the process of locating mobile downloads and mobile information via a mobile device.
That’s my stake in the ground and I am here to defend it.

Mobile Phone Chargers

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Mobile Phone Chargers

If you need to use a mobile phone regularly, to keep in touch with your office or your clients, then your mobile phone charger is probably one of the most valuable piece of equipment you carry. What happens if you lose the mobile phone charger or goes wrong? Don’t panic, just come to us at BB-Shopping.com—we stock mains and in-car chargers for mobile phones. In fact, you can take a stroll through our virtual aisles for the latest in mobile phone accessories.
We stock in-car chargers for Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Samsung, Sagem, Motorola, Panasonic and Nokia phones. Most of these chargers can be used with 12-volt and 24-volt systems. You need to check that the mobile phone charger you purchase from us is compatible with the mobile phone you use. For example, the Nokia in-car mobile phone charger can be used with any Nokia mobile phone that features a universal Nokia charger adapter. The in-car charger for Panasonic mobile phones can be used with the GD87 and GD92 mobile phones—there is another in-car charger available for the GD50 and GD55 mobile phone models.
We stock the 3-pins mains chargers for Samsung, Motorola, Sharp, Nokia, Panasonic, Siemens, Sony Ericsson and Sagem mobile phones. Most of these chargers can work with a range of voltages between 100 volts and 240 volts. Just check that the mobile phone charger you purchase from us is compatible with the mobile phone you use. For instance, the Sony Ericsson charger we stock can be used with the T100, T200, T300, T610, P800, R600, Z600, Z200, T230, P900, T630, K700i, Z1010, F500i, T28s, T29S, T39, T68, T68i, T66 and T600 mobile phone models. Our Motorola mains mobile phone charger works with the Motorola V60, V66, V70, T280, T720, V300, V500, V525, V600, A835 and V80 mobile phone models. If you use a different mobile phone model, you should get in touch with us at support@bb-shopping.com for information.
If you are looking for wind-up mobile phone chargers for Nokia phones, or universal serial bus (USB) car and mains mobile phone chargers for Nokia and Sony Ericsson mobile phones, you need look no further—we stock those as well! We also stock USB mobile phone chargers for Nokia, Panasonic and Samsung mobile phones. The USB charger for Nokia phones works with the 3310, 3410 and older models that use the universal Nokia charging jack, whereas the USB charger for Samsung supports the C100, X600, E600 and S500 models.
If you are on the lookout for suitable mobile phone chargers, you need look no further than BB-Shopping.com.

What To Do If Your Mobile Phone Is Stolen

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What To Do If Your Mobile Phone Is Stolen

Loosing a mobile phone is not an uncommon thing for anyone in this world. You must have heard that your friend or any other person forget his or her phone in a hotel, car, garden, park. and when he or she goes to pick up phone, mobile phone was not there where he or she left it. Now what to do if your mobile phone is stolen.

In many countries like Uk, there is mobile phone database, which can prevent lost or stolen mobile phones from being used on any mobile network, thus these stolen mobile phones are worthless to anyone. This system exactly works like a stolen credit card, whenever you loose your credit card, you simply make a phone call to your requisite bank to deactivate your credit card. Similar is the case with mobile phones, you call your service provider and give them a specific number to deactivate your stolen mobile phone. This system applies to both prepay and postpaid packages.

Every mobile in this world has a unique code called as International mobile equipment identity (IMEI Number). This is a unique serial number of every mobile phone. If you provide this serial number to your network operator, they will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. No one can use your mobile phone even if the person who has stolen your mobile, insert new sim in the mobile. This mobile will be useless for all networks or service providers. All mobile network operators will deactivate or disable the phone by reference to the unique IMEI nomber of the mobile phone.

Now question is how to get this IMEI number? This number can normally be found under the battery of mobile phone (looking something like 004400/01/123456/7). You can also get this number from the phone software, by entering following usefull code. Simply write down on your mobile phone following code.* # 0 6 #

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen after pressing send button, or in some phones it comes automatically just by writing * # 0 6 #. So whenever you buy a mobile phone, get this code from the battery or simply write above code on your phone and get IMEI number.

After this record this 15 digit IMEI number and your phone number on your personal note book, place this book at a safe place and thats it. Now suppose if you lost your phone, make a call to your service provider and give them your phone number and this particular key,i.e IMEI number. They will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. You probably won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can’t use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones

Remember your mobile phone is very valuable for you. You may have very important data stored in it. So take care of your mobile phones. Don’t use your mobile in crowded areas or where you might feel unsafe. Govenment is trying to encourage mobile phone companies to give more options for improving mobile phone security.

So remember this simple code * # 0 6 #. Tell all your friends and colleagues to get IMEI number with the help of this code. If all of us simply follow this tip of making mobile secure, believe me no one will try to steal anyone’s mobile phone.

Send these beautiful mobile phone smsFunny sms, Love sms, Friendship sms, Birthday sms for mobile to your friends and colleagues.

Better Options In Downloading Mobile Phone Ring Tones and Mobile Phone Logos

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Better Options In Downloading Mobile Phone Ring Tones and Mobile Phone Logos

Over a few years, mobile tones, cheap ring tones, mobile phone logo and downloadable game for mobile phones have become very popular among a large cross-section of mobile phone users in different parts of UK as well as other parts of the globe. A number of online providers of mobile phone logos, mobile tones as well as downloadable game for mobile phones have evolved and there is tremendous competition among them to make their presence felt in the telecom market. Many among them are enticing mobile phone users with offers that involve a lot of “small print.” Many of these offers do not respect the right of the mobile phone users to get what they are entitled to when they pay money for downloading of different types of mobile content in the form of mobile tones, mobile phone logo, cheap ring tones, other types of ring tones or those who are engaged in game downloads in their mobiles.
To protect the interests of consumers in this environment becomes all the more necessary. In this context, a number of rules have been devised to protect the rights of mobile phone users in UK for game downloads in their mobiles or in the instances of downloading of cheap ring tones, funny ring tones or a mobile phone logo. All firms that want to sell mobile phone content have to strictly follow these set of rules. These rules have been drafted by the Mobile Entertainment Forum and the UK’s phone firms.
Under the tenets of the new rules, the online firms must be transparent in their operations. They must provide all information to the end-consumers. The consumers must know what type of mobile tones or mobile phone logos they are expected to get for their money and also how they could discontinue the services of the online providers, offering the same, if they are dissatisfied with their services. The advertisements of these firms must speak in detail about the prices and time periods of the various offers in mobile tones, cheap ring tones, funny ring tones, mobile phone logos and downloadable games for mobile phones that are on offer.
Mobile phone users as consumers of the services of online retailers and providers of mobile content have a right to know what they are actually getting into, when they make a purchase of a mobile tone, mobile phone logo or game downloads for their mobiles. These rules would greatly improve the market dynamics of this sector of the mobility marketplace and would give more reasons for mobile phone users to make their online purchases of mobile phone logos, funny ring tones, Nokia ring tones, downloadable games for mobile phones, mobile tones and other forms of mobile phone content, with some degree of confidence.

Cheapest 3 Mobile Phone Contracts Deals

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Cheapest 3 Mobile Phone Contracts Deals

The 3 mobile network is now available with 12 months and 18 months of contracts. This network gives you cheap contract deals with cost effective price. Any willing customers would avail the 3 mobile network with leading mobile phone manufacturing companies like Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and LG etc. This 3 mobile network provides many special offers like clearance mobile phones, cashback, free laptop, half price line rental, DVD recorder, free connection, redeemable gifts. 6 months free line and 12 months half line rental and many others. Do you need the cheapest mobile phone with affordable price? If yes then obtain the latest mobile phone on 3 mobile network with profitable contract deals.
On the availability of 3 mobile network you can use the newest mobile phone with cost effective tariff plans such as mix and match 700, direct texture 1400, Off peak 1000, talk and text 900, video talk and text 1300, direct talker 1000 and others. The mobile phone users would get latest mobile phone service for using these fantastic ranges of tariff offers. Various finest mobile phone handsets like LG KU970 shine, Motorola E1070, Nokia 6280, Sony Ericsson K770i purple etc are usable only on this network only. On this network the mobile phone buyers can get lucrative cashback offer with various models of mobile phones. Avail the 3 mobile network with beautiful mobile phones and play interesting games through the use of Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Ds Lite, Sony PS3 etc as gaming devices. The users would refresh their mind for playing with these gaming devices. Attractive discounted offer package of clearance mobile phone deal is always available only on the 3 mobile network. Providing free mobile phones is the specialty of 3 mobile network. For availing the more benefits, purchase the hottest mobile phone with 3 mobile network from 3mobilephonedeal.co.uk. Are you searching cheapest mobile phone with lucrative contract deals? Then don’t worry and enjoy with beneficiary contract deals on this network only. Avail the beneficiary contract deals with 3 mobile network and experience the difference. If you want to buy the best mobile phone then must visit our online shop of 3mobilephonedeal.co.uk.

What Is Facebook Advertising

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What Is Facebook Advertising

People hear a lot new about Facebook each day from its new games, new chat environment, new profile layout and a lot more. All almost all of the 800 million plus people who use this social networking site spend their time using these new stuffs at Facebook. One thing about Facebook though that is not so new is Facebook advertising. And although almost all of its users are participating in this scheme, just a little percent of Facebook fanatics are really into it. Why, you might ask. This is because most of Facebook members cannot grasp the power of Facebook advertising.
So what is Facebook advertising that made it so promising to other users?
If you have an understanding what advertising is, the answer to this question is so obvious. With 800+ million of people at Facebook today who are actively using the site each day, this means that you are open to a large number of potential clients all over the world. If you have a thriving business and you want to advertise it to boost its revenues, Facebook is the right place to tell people about it.
But this is not all about just telling people what you got. This is about telling the right people you can do business with them and how you can be of help. As an entrepreneur, you know that the best way to boost your business income is to advertise it. But it will be a waste of time and resources to advertise blindly. There is a process that marketers do that is called customer profiling.
However, there can be a great difference between a hardcore business person and an enthusiastic market person. They can be one and the same but most of the time they are two separate people in a business institution. But if you are just a simple small business owner, you are not yet hardcore entrepreneur and you might be far from being an effective marketer. That is why customer profiling and reaching them out might be a dilemma for you.
But this is not the case if you use facebook advertising. Facebook can easily identify the demographics you need from your clients. Facebook can use its profile to search for your ideal clients and post your business ads there. Say for example you are a wedding planner and your potential clients would be female around 20 to 34 years of age around your area who are engage. Facebook can easily recognize this demographic with their age, gender and relationship status profile.
With Facebook advertisement, all you need to do is to input your business basics, your potential customer profile and the lot and you are good to go. The only thing left to do now for your business or service offered is to know where to start.
Where to start Facebook advertising best?
Facebook can guide you how to advertise your business or services using their platform. But since you are here, you can just do the following at Facebook. All it takes are these five simple steps:
1. Define what is your business or service. This is the only way for you to know way you are going to promote. Aside from this important thing, you also need to identify if you are going to promote an application online, your own website or a Page at Facebook. This way, you can create your fanpage or application or website or all of them. When at Facebook, you can then choose how to advertise; whether you are going to have a new ad about your page, site or app. At the site, this will only involve clicking. You can also post something your page at Facebook and have people like your page or your post on your page.
2. After covering all the basic information about what you are promoting and how you plan to do it at Facebook, you can then start profiling your target market. You can think about the type of work they are into, educational attainment, language used and location. You can also target your market by identifying age, gender or relationship status. You can even look up into their interest and likes. If you have a sports store, you can target Facebook members around your area who likes sports like basketball, soccer, badminton and a lot more. These can be identified in their likes and interests in their profile. And because Facebook members are connection of friends and friend of friends with same interest, your target market can easily be reached.
3. You can now visualize your own ads and create something that will call the attention and capture the interest of your target market. As your ad will be displayed in the profile page of your target market, you need to catch their attention with an interesting question or remarks or ad headings or titles.
4. Make sure you can afford this. Fortunately, Facebook allows you to manage your advertising budget. You can choose cost-per-click or cost-per-impression. You can even set how much you can only afford for the day.
5. Facebook Ads Manager will help you monitor your ads performance. Learn about this and use the information to improve and review your advertising schemes at Facebook.
And lastly, learn more tips and advice how to utilize Facebook advertising. Your Facebook Ads manager will show you details on how your ads are providing you clients and if you cannot grasp it yet to maximize your profit, you can always see Facebook tips and advices about this. Facebook have a lot of tips and advises for you. You can also search about these stuffs online like forums and blogs.

Apple iWork ’08 Review

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Apple iWork ’08 Review

The $79 iWork ’08 appears to be a good deal for anyone needing an affordable office suite for the Mac. Apple has finally added a spreadsheet application. At first glance, Numbers is an elegant no-brainer for anyone migrating from Microsoft Excel. In the past, many Mac aficionados bought Microsoft Excel because iWork lacked a spreadsheet application. However, with the addition of Numbers and the release of Microsoft’s Office for Mac 2008 delayed until January, Mac users may stick to Apple’s less expensive option. We’re also happy that Mac hasn’t changed its file formats as Microsoft did with Office 2007.

We like the sparse interfaces throughout the iWork package. Its features aren’t as deep or rich as in Microsoft Office 2007, but iWork also hasn’t changed radically from its last incarnation, unlike Office. iWork also covers much more than just the basic productivity tasks offered by online tools like Google Docs & Spreadsheets or the Zoho suite, so it should be adequate for the vast majority of home and small-business users.

System requirements, thankfully, are gentle to users of older Macs. You’ll need an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 machine with a 500MHz or better processor in addition to 512MB of RAM minimum, running OS X10.4.10.

Pages

Apple tore a page out of Microsoft Office’s book by creating a Contextual Format Bar that displays different features according to your task at hand. Select text, and the bar shows font options. Click on a picture, and the bar displays image-editing features. Unlike the contextual formatting Ribbon interface within Microsoft Word 2007, however, Pages offers no live previews of font and image changes as you hover over them.

Pages ’08 also adds Change Tracking, similar to the Track Changes feature adopted many years ago by Microsoft Word. We’re glad that Pages gets this treatment for displaying document revisions rather than the often confusing revision and commenting history offered by the online Google Docs.

Pages includes the usual must-have features for writers such as footnotes, bookmarks, and tables of content, in addition to integration with charts and functions from the new Numbers app. In addition, Pages now detects when you type a list and formats bulleted points automatically. We just hope that this won’t drive us batty (as it does sometimes in Microsoft Word).

There are plenty of page templates for letters, resumes, reports, and the like to get started if a blank slate poses too much pressure. Page Layout mode lets you create relatively complex designs without software such as Adobe InDesign, great if you’re throwing together reports for work. It lets you layer images on top of images too. The Instant Alpha feature, also found in Keynote, lets you cut out backgrounds in images without dealing with alpha channels, a la Photoshop. And we prefer Pages’ color wheel, crayons, and spectrum to Word’s color options.

Keynote

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 may be richer, but Apple Keynote ’08 adds some smart features that PowerPoint lacks. It’s also a breeze to figure out from the get-go. Action Builds let you create basic point-A-to-B motion animation, without needing to deal with motion tweens as in complex apps such as Adobe Flash. Smart Builds enable animation, such as rotating photographs, using images you can grab from the iLife media browser. And new voiceover recordings enable you, say, to narrate podcasts with pictures. There are new between-slide transitions and slide show themes too.

Numbers

Our early look at the new Numbers reveals ease of use novelties that competitive tools don’t provide. Microsoft Excel 2007 still appears to be more robust, particularly for number crunchers such as scientists, accountants, or engineers. Yet the majority of users who rely upon spreadsheets as one-size-fits-all tools for household and light office work should be pleased to have a new option for Macs.

Numbers comes with plenty of templates, including travel planners, business expenses, and school science lab reports. Of course, it can also save and export Excel-readable files. This application pleases the eye and can make attractive spreadsheets. We dragged around text boxes, images, and tables using alignment guides without a hitch. You can add 3D bar, pie, and other charts and even integrate maps into a spreadsheet.

The controls for working with tables were extremely user-friendly in our early tests. Slider bars allow you to adjust the numeric values within cells, handy if you’re looking to add a range of values. Resizing columns and rows appears to be less of a hassle than with Excel. You can drag data from a file of contacts or into a Numbers table that will automatically partition information into the appropriate columns. And sorting a table smartly leaves the headers alone. Formulas appear to be the same as those in Microsoft Excel, but Numbers also has easy-to-find natural language shortcuts for common calculations, such as sums and averages.

The Interactive Print View offers more controls than in Microsoft Excel, which easily leads to unwieldy spreadsheet printouts. Numbers shows where a stray column might take up an unnecessary extra page. You can eliminate the overlap with a slider bar that instantly scales the tables, charts, and images on a page.