Every week, we pick the most notable apps, hardware, podcasts or what ever else we’ve encountered and think you should know of. This post will also be updated regularly throughout the week as we find more amazing stuff. So check back every now and then to learn about our latest findings.

We’d also like to know your opinions about our picks and/or your picks this week. Please leave a comment below to chime in.

Picks

Jerome

Square

square

I remember the dark times before 2010 where it was rather difficult to procure any sort of POS (Point Of Sale) system at an affordable price: It was almost impossible without a large amount of capital to invest in the hardware and software. In 2010 small business owners saw the release of Square, a card reader that plugged into the microphone jack of your iOS device and allowed the processing of card payments at a very competitive rate. The rest is now history as I personally use the system and see it being utilized at everything from swap meets to food trucks.

So, what makes Square so great for a business professional? Only having to spent $10 dollars + whatever your iOS device of choice costs makes it a much cheaper alternatives to the more expensive systems that are available out there. No matter the amount of payments that are processed through square, the percentage rate stays at a steady 2.75% for a swiped card and 3.75% + 15 cents for a card that was hand-typed into the device. There are no other hidden fees or recurring fees that are charged.

Square also has added the ability for their users to generate digital invoices via their web interface. The process of creating an invoice is very simple and allows for rapid generation of multiple documents if needed. Square Invoices accepts the same cards as Square (Discover, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and JCB) and Squares’ share of the revenue is 2.75% of whatever the invoiced amount was after the recipient of the invoice pays. If no payment is accepted and the invoice is canceled, no fees are charged.

As you can see, Square steamrolled the barriers of entry for small businesses to accept credit cards. Now Anyone can now purchase a robust POS system without having to spend a small fortune in fees and hardware. Now go out there and sell via Square!


Patrice

Synchronize App

If you’ve ever worked with people in different timezones, you know what a pain it can be. Especially if you take things like daylight savings into account. There are a number of apps/services I use regularly to help me schedule meetings (one of which I picked a few weeks ago), but today I want to pick a little App that makes it really easy to just figure out what time it will be in any number of timezones for any given time in another (I’m not making much sense, I know, but stick with me, it will become clearer in a minute).

Synchronize app on the iPad

Synchronize does one thing, and one thing alone: it lets you add a city to the table and will show the current time in that city by default. The really nifty part is the little slider on the bottom. Once you’ve tapped on one of the cities you added (your local zone is selected by default) you can just slide to any given time and it will show the according times in the cities/zones you’ve added.
So, let’s say a client in Denver asks you whether you have time for a quick meeting with you at 10am his time: You just tap on Denver, move the slider to 10am and the app translates it to your local time. You know there’s nothing on your calendar this morning so you agree. That’s how easy it can be with Synchronize, both on your iPhone and iPad.

P.S: The app is also great as a world clock. In case you need to keep an eye on the time in different timezones (e.g. in the news room?).