Tech Thursday (10/24): Tech News and Updates from Flint Mobile, Constant Contact, Xero and HP

It’s Tech Thursday from Each week we take a quick look at recent small business and tech news and updates for the small business community and share them with you in a quick and simple round-up.




Flint Brings Swipe-Free Mobile Payments App to the Google Play Store


Leading Mobile Payment Solution Now Available For Android Users to Accept Credit Cards without Card Reader


Flint Mobile has launched its swipe-free mobile payment app on the Google Play Store. The app is compatible with a broad range of Android devices used by small businesses and is free to download. Flint enables merchants to easily accept payments by scanning the card number instead of swiping through a reader. Users also can increase repeat and referral business through the app’s integrated marketing tools.

Originally released for the iPhone in November of 2012, Flint is a mobile payment solution designed specifically for small businesses and their employees who work outside of traditional storefront and office environments. Users include photographers, therapists, consultants, fitness trainers, computer and IT professionals, caterers, crafts makers, contractors and beauty professionals, among many others. According to US Census data, at least 17 million small American businesses fall into this non-countertop category.

For more on this new release, click here.


Constant Contact Enhances Mobile Offerings through New Integrations


Mobile apps give small businesses new ways to grow their email lists and engage with customers


Mobile marketing is one of the hottest trends in the marketing industry, but a recent survey suggests that many small businesses are still on the sidelines. Why? A third of those not using mobile for their business say they just don’t have the time. To help small businesses close that gap, Constant Contact®, Inc. has added to its mobile email marketing capabilities, including mobile email list building, location-aware text check-ins, and more, through a series of integrations.

All of these mobile tools are available today in Constant Contact’s MarketPlace.

“More and more, we’re seeing that small businesses are wanting to ‘go mobile’ in their operations. In fact, a recent Constant Contact survey suggests that 66 percent are starting to dip their toes into the water,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development, at Constant Contact. “That said, the major barrier to full mobile adoption for small businesses continues to be time and access to easy-to-use tools. Our goal is to find and integrate with the tools that both enhance our current mobile offerings and make mobile marketing as easy as logging into your Constant Contact account.”

The new integrations offer more ways for Constant Contact customers to stay engaged with their increasingly mobile customer base. Made possible through Constant Contact’s AppConnect Development Platform, which provides developers with easy-to-use, open APIs to quickly develop meaningful third-party applications.

To learn more about these new or other applications that integrate with Constant Contact’s online marketing tools, click here.


Xero Makes Leaving QuickBooks® Easy with Free Conversion Service


New ‘Ditch Your Desktop’ Service Brings Xero’s Beautiful Online Accounting to Millions


 Xero, the global leader in online accounting software, has announced a free QuickBooks® Conversion Service to convert QuickBooks data directly into its powerful cloud accounting solution. The service untethers over four million small businesses and accounting professionals from Intuit® QuickBooks, providing them easy access to a disruptive five-star online accounting experience, as noted by CPA Practice Advisor.

A service long in demand, Xero’s QuickBooks Conversion platform is the first service to resolve the industry hurdle of comprehensive data migration to a non-Intuit system. The service will be demonstrated nationally during an upcoming roadshow, beginning October 21 in Baltimore and spanning 20 cities over the next month. For more details on when Xero will be in your town, click here.

For more on this new service and it’s capabilities, click here.


HP Unveils Ultra-Thin Chromebooks for Business



HP Chromebook11 and Chromebook 14 ideal for business customers that spend a lot of time on the Internet


HP has unveiled the HP Chromebook11, an ultra-thin Chromebook made in close collaboration with Google, and the HP Chromebook14, the first HP Chromebook designed for business. Both of the new Chromebooks are ideal for business customers that spend a lot of time browsing the Internet and use online apps, social networks or web-based email.

The HP Chromebook11 joins the HP Chromebook14, HP SlateBook x2, the HP Slate7 and HP Slate21 All-in-One as part of HP’s approach to offer the Google experience and a choice of multiple operating systems to our customers.

The sleek and compact design of the Chromebook11 and the Chromebook14 allow customers to easily connect to their favorite websites in seconds and offers a gateway to the Google experience, including Google Chrome apps like Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps in the Chrome Web Store.

The HP Chromebook11 features an 11-inch diagonal wide viewing angle IPS display, optional 4G LTE connectivity, a thin and light design, up to 100GB of Google Cloud Storage, and will be available on October 16 starting at $279.

The HP Chromebook14 features a brilliant 14-inch screen along with optional 4G connectivity, the Google ChromeTM OS and access to Google Chrome apps for simple, secure, mobile productivity. The HP Chromebook14 is made for business, with simple and easy deployment that allows enterprise and SMB customers to centrally manage a fleet of devices and users.

For more on these two new additions to the HP family, click here.


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Carolyn Crummey is a business and technology strategist and the owner of VirTasktic (, an agency dedicated to providing high-level virtual services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A lover of technology and small business, Carolyn has built a career on the intelligent use of technology to increase business efficiency and productivity, which ultimately leads to greater profitability. Carolyn works closely with her clients to understand their challenges and helps them integrate the best technology solutions into their businesses so they too can enjoy great successes. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at @CarolynCrummey or @VirTasktic.

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