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10 Years on, are Apple still ‘Changing Everything?’

On Tuesday the 12th of September, 2017, Apple once again turned heads at an event in Cupertino, California with three new models of iPhones: The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the iPhone X (or 10, if Roman numerals aren’t your thing). They announced a release date of the 3rd of November, so here are some highlights of the presentation to get you up to speed:

  • The iPhone X is priced at £999 for the 64GB model, and £1149 for the 256GB model, making it the most expensive iPhone model in Apple’s history, excluding the third-party gold-plated versions. Interestingly, this is more than double the price of the original iPhone, which debuted at $499 for a 4GB model.
  • The phone uses new OLED technology instead of the previous LCD screens, as they are designed to be thinner and lighter, whilst having better colour accuracy and contrast than LCD screens.
  • The iPhone X has a so-called edge-to-edge display – much like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 – that occupies the entire front face, and no borders around the screen. Gone too, is the iconic ‘home’ button that used to take pride of place below the screen.
  • While the iPhone X has dominated the presentation, and the attention of many reporters, the iPhone 8 and marginally larger 8 Plus deserve some attention too. Both models include “the most durable glass ever in a smart phone” and the A11 Bionic microchip, which is “the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smart phone” to quote Apple’s official video advert.
  • Also of note is the new facial recognition software, which allows users to “unlock [their phone] with a look.” This will likely see many confused faces looking for the home button, which worked flawlessly for 10 years on older models.

The iPhone X Puts Your Money Where Your Mouth is

The new facial recognition software has several other uses, such as the ‘Animoji’ feature, which allows users to transfer their facial expressions to Apple’s extensive emoji catalogue, provided the emoji has a face. This feature was showcased with actors – and monkey, fox, unicorn, and poop emoji’s – lip-syncing to “Best Friend” by Sofi Tukker.

The software appears to be quite robust, as the Apple advert demonstrates the feature on a diverse cast of actors – several Asian women, some African women, and a heavily freckled mixed-race man – which other software has struggled with in the past. For example, Canon’s facial recognition software – implemented on some cameras, like the Nikon Coolpix S630 – came under fire in 2010, as some Asian customers reported “did someone blink?” on their photos.

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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

The latest update on Snapchat now allows businesses to create custom on demand filters. How will this benefit your business? Well, not only are you strengthening your brand, your adding a little fun into the personal and engaging interactivity with your customers.

So, erm... what’s a Snapchat Geofilter?

Geofilters is another layer that is added on top of your image or video. The different thing with this layer is that it will be specific to the event or location that you are situated in and can only be accessed if you are within the same geographical location.

Initially users were invited to add their own geofilters but brands were not allowed. Now that the beta-testing phase has passed, both business and regular Snapchatters can create their own overlays.

As a business, its never been a more perfect time to reinforce your brand!!

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Posted by on in Cleartwo 0 Comments

Blue is for boys; pink is for girls. Err… who’s idea was this?!

Currently, the conversation around gender and gender stereotypes has gotten louder in the media. Little nudges to progress that discussion further such as Jaden Smith recently adorning a skirt to become the face of Louis Vuitton, challenged the status quo around gender in its entirety.

Advertising as a whole is now leaning (about time!) towards that the idea that the audience is equal and nothing should be aimed at a specific gender.

Ok, advertising certain products cannot be aimed at men, trying to make Always Ultra appealing to the male species is about as useful as a bag of spanners, but pushing the gender boundary to a level playing field is a much needed revolution for female empowerment. 

Sports personalities such as Rhonda Rousey has removed the idea that certain ‘male orientated’ activities are gender specific, but the way she has dissociated herself from being a woman and being able to partake in such an aggressive sport shows the world that; man or woman... either one can take a beating!

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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

Its becoming quite evident that the written word is now becoming a dying art. The pen became the new quill and now the keyboard has become the new pen. 

Initially, both print and online content to some extent, managed to work in perfect synergy with one another. Now, as mobile handsets get smarter, the transition from one medium to another seems rather messy when clutching onto the straws of digital relevance.

The catalyst being that Google will only display search results that are ‘mobile friendly’, publishers began to create long-term strategies that would keep them in ‘the game’ by allowing their content to show up neatly on both mobile and tablet screens.

The rapid decline in publications clearly shows that a digital presence attracts the advertisers. Revenue being the primary heartbeat, should the readership fall below a certain threshold, advertisers walk away.

Its an uncomfortable truth. It wasn’t so long ago that Yahoo was the dominant force, essentially controlling the traffic on the world wide web, and being hugely profitable. The paradigm shift, which used to happen gradually and over time, seem to be moving quickly and more regularly, reinforcing the term of what becomes ‘viral’.

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Tagged in: Digtal News Viral
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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

OK, lets not discuss what we’ve read, lets discuss what we know. Virtual Reality is a technological phenomenon that’s been trying to catch on for decades, for those of you that have lived long enough to remember the Pierce Brosnan VR orientated movie The Lawnmower Man, you will already know that it is a gimmick that we’ve been trying to shake off since the early 90’s.

30 years later, here we still are trying to transcend the complete immersion of pixels in its highest definition.

Constant innovation and ideas have kept this dream alive. The convergence of all our technological needs all being packed into a smart phone may be the driving force behind the VR gimmick rising to the surface yet again.

An example of why VR might be here to stay, is the simplicity of how combining the ever growing CPU power of our smart phones can take us into a completely constructed world, where your brain will be completely fooled into thinking your ‘actually there’.

We recently tried the Oculus Rift which, to surmise, completely ‘blew our minds’.

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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

When looking at your computer now you don't actually realise how far Windows has come and how much it is has changed over the past 30 years until you reflect. 

Cleartwo recently came across an article that we simply had to share with you. Take a look at these pictures of Windows as far back as November 20th 1985 till now. How far back do you remember Windows? Does anybody remember floppy disks and dial up internet? 

http://money.cnn.com/gallery/technology/2015/06/22/history-of-windows/index.html

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Mobile phones today are built as powerful as their PC or laptop counterparts. The Smart Phone today, is a convenience. The information available on the World Wide Web is literally at your fingertips.

 How often do we use our phones to search for information?

 When was the last time you went out of your way to switch the laptop or PC on? Its just easier to ‘Google it’ on your phone.

 In early 2014, the landscape in which businesses operate changed when Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC/laptop usage. Despite clear evidence, businesses still struggle to accommodate mobile users for their websites.

 How do consumers use mobile devices to access the Internet?

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 Mobile phones today are built as powerful as their PC or laptop counterparts. The Smart Phone today, is a convenience. The information available on the World Wide Web is literally at your fingertips.

 How often do you use your phone to search for information?

 When was the last time you went out of your way to switch the laptop or PC on? Its just easier to ‘Google it’ on your phone.

 In early 2014, the landscape in which businesses operate changed when browsing on mobile devices exceeded PC/laptop usage. Despite clear evidence, businesses still struggle to accommodate mobile users for their websites.

 How do consumers use mobile devices to access the Internet?

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Posted by on in Marketing 1 Comment

So id say an afternoon well spent after attending a networking event at the Manchester Metropolitan University for growing businesses. As much as id like to write about Digital Marketing and all things technology, I think i'll take a step back and share what is important to us all. Usually at events as such you tend to hold regular small talk and a few business cards gained and given.

However I was greatly impressed with the conduct and content of this event. A much informative and inspiring event. It was great to have gained insight into some of the leading entrepreneurs making an impact not only for the local community but also nationally and globally.

The Key note speech delivered by Peter Virdee who created a real sense of communism. Peter Virdee is a skilled Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. He talked about how the values and morals of yesteryear have built strong foundations for the future and its great to keep a hold of these roots that will help your businesses grow. This led onto the latter part of the event where I attended the Creative Branding Seminar led by Mike Perls CEO of MC2.

Mike also spoke about the importance of engaging with consumers on a charitable level and in realness. As much as branding your business matters we at Cleartwo think it’s clearly evident that it’s necessary to be able to give back to the community.

Cleartwo feel proud to have started off on this very platform 6 years ago, as a small business realising the I.T. needs for local business. Smaller enterprises require local help and support rather than the complicated ways of having to deal with inaccessible large organisations. Having been able to help local business with access to impartial advice, instant communication has been a growing tool. Cleartwo can confidently say there is no job satisfaction like the impact of being able to empower and help fellow businesses grow.

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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

Cleartwo are excited to be going into Gorsey Bank Primary in Wilmslow to speak to all the future entrepreneurs about our branding and digital marketing. We have Web Developer, Kieran, talking about the importance of a website and its brand identity. 

Branding and digital marketing is so important for your business because it allows customers easily identify your business with the certain visual be it colour, graphics, logo, videos or images. 

Cleartwo are all about creating that unique branding for their clients to gain online presence and recognition. 

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Posted by on in Marketing 0 Comments

So what is SEO? Every time somebody asks me what I do for my day job, they don’t understand when I tell them.  SEO means nothing to people. Over time I’ve come to the realization that once I say the words ‘Google’ and ‘Ranking’, my job seem to become a lot clearer to people. 

SEO stands for Search engine optimization. The notion of SEO revolves around trying to get your company recognized on key search engines, such as google when relevant key words have been typed in. For example, if we type in ‘IT Support Manchester’, Cleartwo are positioned on the first page! 

A lot of people are under the misconception that this will happen for their company automatically over time, however – as they are right to an extent, they are also wrong. The correct part is that SEO will not increase your position over night, it can take weeks if not months. However, there are some things that businesses can do to try and enhance their position on google. I do this via natural SEO.

Although this is technically my job, I like to see it as more of a challenge. SEO is not straightforward – it is not black and white. There is not a set group of steps or procedures that are to be followed in my opinion. Different businesses benefit from different things. For some, social media helps the company the most, the more social media the better, in comparison to some companies where blogs are the best way forward.

Therefore, I think its clear to see that SEO is not as complicated to understand, as it seems. SEO can be done for any company and can benefit all companies too increasing their online presence!

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So your website is struggling to bring in traffic that you need in order to generate sales for your business?

Here’s a few tips that may help you:

Content – there is no point in you putting pure quality content onto your website that is not at least 80% unique. Google will pick up on the quality of your content whether it is yours or not. If it is not completely your own content Google will recognise this and rank you even lower, resulting in even less traffic. Quality content, better ranking and more traffic.

Headlines – make the headlines on your website interesting and to the point. People don’t want to fish around for ages and won’t stay on your website for long is there looking for a key piece of information they just want to be able to quickly find that information.

Keywords and Phrases – Making sure that you have all the relevant keywords and phrases is extremely important and also that a highly searched for. It’s all good ranking number one for example if you type in ‘Cleartwo IT Solutions’ into google but if you typed in something such as ‘Web Design Manchester’ would you still be ranking first? Or even on the first page? SEO is something to consider.

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Posted by on in CRM 0 Comments

Microsoft have spilled the beans on the latest release of CRM 2015, Codenamed “Vega” as part of the Dynamics Roadmap for 2014/2015. There are 3 main sections of CRM 2015 release, available in Q4 2014, these are

1] Hydra – Microsoft Social Listening,

2] Electra – Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

3] Phoenix – Parature (Dynamics CRM Parture Integration)

b2ap3_thumbnail_CRM-Roadmap.jpg

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Posted by on in Website Development 0 Comments

WordPress 'Benny', see's the release of a whole new set of features to make your website even better than ever! Version 4.0 of WordPress, is named 'Benny' in honour of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman. While 4.0 is just another number for us after 3.9 and before 4.1, we feel a little extra polish has gone into it. This release brings a smoother writing and management experience that we think you’ll enjoy to publish with!

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Posted by on in Design 0 Comments

When designing a website it is important that the customer who you are designing for is involved in the process. The customer will have a vision of what they want their website to look like for their business. Here at Cleartwo it is our job to make sure that our work requires and exceeds the standards of our customers. Having a website for each and every business, whether it be an IT solutions website like ourselves or fashion website, is which extremely important in order for the business to grow. A website represents your company and displays your services to what could be potential customers. So it would only be logical to have only the best website and the best design team working alongside you and your business designing your website for you. Cleartwo can not only help you with your website design work, but also various other IT needs such as logo design, Social media, Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems and SEO needs. Our business is to help your business grow.

Websites are accessible to anybody at any time which is what makes them so useful. A website gives your business an online presence and should be developed to get your business out there so that customers become more aware of you when searching on the internet for their desired service. It’s all about online! Whether it’s through social media or the web in this day and age getting your business online and having the best website and website design is essential. Word of mouth just isn’t powerful enough anymore for a business to truly grow where as a website brings massive potential and traffic to you and your business if all done correctly. There are many things to be considered when designing a website but more of that will be featured in my next blog! 

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Posted by on in Cleartwo 0 Comments

We Are proud to announce we will be supporting this year’s Asian Media Awards.

Having spent several years fine tuning our services to become prominent figure in the world of IT support, website and graphic design, Dynamics CRM and Search Engine Optimisation.

From humble beginnings that started out in a small single room office in Manchester in 2009 and was founded by Farooq Ahmed, Omer Riaz and Satnam Singh.

We have now expanded with offices in Manchester, London and India and have seen staff numbers expand at a phenomenal rate serving a customer base from across the world including Los Angeles, South Africa, Singapore, Russia and many more.

Arif Asif, Events Executive at the Asian Media Awards said, “It is wonderful to have the team from Cleartwo on board.  

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Posted by on in IT Support 0 Comments

Hello Everyone,

Generally, updates are designed to fix bugs that previous contained. Not in FileZilla's case! They just prefer to highlight the issue!

b2ap3_thumbnail_FileZilla-Fail_20140910-091644_1.png

When Cleartwo updates their products, services, or support, we do it for good!

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Posted by on in IT Support 0 Comments

Hello Everyone,

                     We have recently patched an issue causing users being unable to list multiple items to eBay through some web platforms. Users can now upload all of their products with multiple quantities, without exceeding their selling limitations, nor breaching any eBay policies.

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Tagged in: Cleartwo ebay
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