Ontario-based FreeFly881 announces the launch of its app for Android phones and tablets, aims to reshape global communication by removing international calling charges on all devices.
Building on its recent iOS App launch last fall, the FreeFly881 team have now developed an app for Android users — individuals and business people alike — that will keep them connected with contacts and clients anywhere in the world, for free.
Driven by its slogan of “One World. One Call.”, the FreeFly881 virtual phone system, which can be applied to smartphones, VoIP phones, and tablets, has created a network that has broken away from the strict parameters of traditional communication companies.
With the release of the FreeFly881 Android app, available January 12, 2015 through Google Play for both phones and tablets (requires Android 4.0 and up), FreeFly881 aims to expand its network and build a community of users who can enjoy the benefits of unlimited free calls.
“The iOS release was our first big step in efforts to create a virtual phone network that is unique and beneficial for everybody who needs to be contacted regardless of the country they are in,” says FreeFly881 Communications Inc.’s CEO Raymond Kwan. “The Android app now adds a new level to the number of people in the ecosystem and the overall reach of the app across the world, especially in countries where iPhones do not have a large market share,” he adds.
The Android app, Kwan adds, will have all the same features as the FreeFly881 iOS version, which includes its availability in over 30 different languages.
For the user, the app interface is simple and easy to use. After downloading, the user only needs to register their phone number, which will be preceded by 881, for the service to be activated.
Once the service is activated users only need an active Internet connection to call other FreeFly881 numbers and VoIP phones. Unlike other calling apps, users of FreeFly881 do not need to add or accept contact requests; they can just open the app and dial.
For business people on holiday or on international business trips, the service can be an invaluable tool as they will be able to make and receive calls from anywhere on their mobile device completely free of charge.
Additionally, FreeFly881 features a global directory that incorporates all registered users of the app. With this tool, individual and business profiles — which can be easily customized — can be searched for by anyone using the app.
For Kwan, the global directory coupled with the new Android app will give businesses an unparalleled international presence, where customers can easily access the desired contact, information about the contact, and website business details.
“Potential clients that are based overseas who don’t have the resources to make calls to a particular business now do not have the barriers of international calling charges imposed on to them because of the FreeFly881 app,” Kwan explains. “The Android app, which complements the biggest smartphone market share in the world, gives businesses that exposure and an opportunity to grow their customer base,” he adds.
By applying the FreeFly881 app to their business and marketing strategy, entrepreneurs can now be contacted by the growing number Android users that, according to research firm IDC, account for nearly 80% of the global market share.
Through a localized communications platform, its Global Phonebook — which is still in its preliminary stages of development — combined with its focus for both consumer and business users, FreeFly881 is set to disrupt the communications industry through its free calling network.
Antwerp-based startup Coffee Shop Freelancers announces its launch, aims to improve the way freelancers and independent workers market themselves in physical environments and co-working spaces.
The Coffee Shop Freelancers service provides users with high quality laptop decals for their computers in order to advertise themselves and get noticed in real-life working environments.
Stemming from the personal freelancer experience of Founder and CEO, Christophe Gonzalez, Coffee Shop Freelancers was created to become a space where independent workers, entrepreneurs, and even startup members can find an affordable and stylish physical solution to a world dominated by online marketing.
Freelancers looking to get their services broadcasted out to curious onlookers in a co-working space can choose from a wide-range of designs available through the Coffee Shop Freelancers website. While the initial range offers 17 designs, the company aims to rapidly expand options based upon customer suggestions to cover all freelance occupations and has received design requests from pilots to PR freelancers to date.
“In today’s co-working environment everyone who is an independent worker, freelancer or even an entrepreneur trying to get their company out there could benefit from some real life inbound marketing,” says Coffee Shop Freelancers Founder and CEO Christophe Gonzalez. “As a freelancer I saw the lack of open social communication avenues in say a coffee shop or shared workspace. By applying these decals to your laptop you can really broadcast what you do to everyone in the room and open yourself up for a conversation,” he adds.
By simply applying the decal, which can say “Need creative writing? Talk to me” or “Web marketing questions? Talk to me” as examples, Gonzalez explains, people can both open themselves up for potential clients and build their own personal brand.
Already looking beyond the laptop decals product as a way to promote the world’s freelancer community, the Coffee Shop Freelancers team aims to be a resource hub of products and activities that will help freelancers market themselves better, such as e-books, courses, podcasts and informative blogging.
“The level of communication technology that we have in most countries of the world means that freelancers can now do almost any work from anywhere. However, this is normally on a digital level, what about where they are working physically?” Gonzalez adds. “With our decals the best-case scenario is of course finding new clients. But what is the alternative? People coming over asking you for advice? Colleagues exchanging ideas? Strangers coming over to have a chat? That still sounds amazing!,” he says.
Co-working spaces are continuously gaining popularity and show no signs of slowing down. The combination of this trend and the seemingly exponential growth of freelancers across a number of fields make a product like the Coffee Shop Freelancers’ decals a simple yet invaluable tool. According to recruiting firm MBO, this section of the workforce accounts for an estimated 16 million people in the U.S. alone, a figure expected to rise to 65 million by 2020.
“If this decal gets you one new client, it has already paid for itself. If it gets you 10 new clients, it may have paid for the laptop it’s presented on,” adds Gonzalez.
Aiming to help a normally isolated workforce gain exposure for their brand and services through an effective and affordable product, Coffee Shop Freelancers and their fresh perspective on a growing industry is set to be a go-to hub for the independent worker.
Handwrytten announces the release of their innovative app and service for Android, which aims to bring back the lost art of letter writing in a new and innovative way. Combining old world charm with new mobile technology and robotics, Handwrytten allows you to send an array of beautiful, finely crafted, letterpress and print cards with your message penned in the handwriting style of your choice.
Greeting cards available through the app start at $3.50 and include tax and postage. Additionally, users of the app can now include a gift card with their message.
Following its iPhone release last summer, the new Android Handwrytten app — which gives users the same features allowing the creating of unique letters — is set for release today
“Old fashioned, written communication is dying and is being replaced with short, impersonal emails and text messages,” says David Wachs, Founder and President of Handwrytten. “The situation has gotten so dire that people even post to your Facebook wall instead of sending you a birthday card. We are trying to change that while making it easy for the busy, on-the-go consumer,” he adds.
By using the Handwrytten’s iOS or Android app, users can easily find and personalize a handcrafted card that is designed and printed by an independent card artisan.
After the users types out the message and selects a handwriting style, Handwrytten’s robots use a real pen to write out the note on the chosen card, stamp it and send it on its way.
“Unlike other apps that print the user’s message in the card with a laser printer, our messages are written in the cards in realistic handwriting. Through this technology we create a personal touch that is quick and easy for users to send real letters, making any message really stand out from the clutter of emails, IMs, text messages and junk mail,” Wachs says. “With our new gift card feature, we are proud to truly transform the users message into a personalized gift suitable for any occasion,” he adds.
Handwrytten’s iOS app, released in August via the Apple App store, is free to download and currently offers cards by Orange Beautiful, A. Favorite Designs and Chykalophia, from Chicago, and Emily McDowell of Los Angeles.
Handwrytten currently offers gift cards from Target, Groupon, Overstock.com, Maggiano’s, Cabela’s, Foot Locker, Bed Bath and Beyond, Shell and Starbucks, as well as Vanilla Visa cards with more brands available soon.
To compliment the penned card and envelope, the company uses actual stamps to complete the look. No Handwrytten branding appears on any part of the product.
“We feel it’s important to create as genuine a message as possible,” explains Wachs. “It’s not about where the user got the card, it’s about the card and message itself. We hope our app will help reignite old-fashioned correspondence and make it simple for people to send formal thank you and follow up notes.”
Former VentureBeat writer Conrad Egusa announces the launch of Publicize 2.0, aiming to change the way startups approach PR by reshaping the process and providing an unparalleled, transparent and productized PR solution.
Already highlighted for its fresh outlook on PR by leading publications, Publicize’s new platform is set to complement businesses’ changing views on traditional PR by being at the forefront of the shift.
“Now more than ever companies are rethinking the entire PR sphere, and Publicize has already moved beyond the standard PR process by shifting our client services closer to being a product,” says Founder Conrad Egusa. “This allows us to offer a uniquely consistent and efficient solution that will generate successful media exposure for almost any business, regardless of their industry,” he adds.
Publicize 2.0’s streamlined service and platform, explains Mr. Egusa, allows startups more freedom to approach PR in ways that large, traditional PR companies cannot as they are restricted by standardized parameters.
The new platform includes a completely transparent client experience for their marketing strategy and deployment, where reporters who will be contacted are outlined at the beginning of the month. The platform also includes a journalist database, and a client chat feature for instant communication with Publicize members.
Publicize will also provide Educational PR resources — including webinars from leading media thought leaders — to help startups improve their marketing strategies.
For Mr. Egusa, Publicize’s educational section will ultimately create a hub where thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and companies can come together to take part in PR’s constant shift.
“Our mission at Publicize is to provide solutions to the startups and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, and to provide a virtual space where a forward-thinking discussion on improving the PR industry can be had,” Mr. Egusa explains. “Historically the PR industry existed for established businesses and often charged prices of $10,000 a month. Yet across the world there are thousands of new companies emerging in technology, music and more that desire to have access to PR but cannot afford these solutions,” Mr. Egusa adds.
Publicize’s PR solutions include a $99 per month Do-it-Yourself solution, a $399 PR Service, and an Enterprise Solution for larger businesses. By providing this range of plans, Publicize aims to be an alternate — yet leading — solution provider in the PR industry.
“When I first began helping friends with PR and speaking to industry insiders, I witnessed an incredible degree of inefficiency. The traditional PR industry provided two basic solutions: firms charging $10K/month or do-it-yourself software, which does not provide additional guidance,” Mr. Egusa says. “I see both solutions as ineffective for startups, the former because of its exorbitant cost, and the latter because it does not solve the problem of limited time that most founders have to learn about PR,” he adds.
Publicize is backed by GITP Ventures, a venture firm founded by Venture Capitalist and entrepreneur Michael Puscar. Says Mr. Puscar, “From an investment perspective, Publicize is exceeding expectations. It’s exciting to see the leadership team’s commitment to iterate and improve what is already a fantastic product offering to their customers.”
Publicize was founded in 2014 by Conrad Egusa, who was formerly a writer for VentureBeat and is currently a Mentor at The Founder Institute.