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services

15 Useful Tools and Services for Designers and Agencies

When the time has come to make some changes to your website-building toolkit there’s no shortage of tools or services you could use to smooth out your workflow, save money, add to website capabilities, or put bigger smiles on your clients’ faces.

There are literally hundreds of tools and services you could choose from, if you had the time to make the necessary comparisons, and if you could be confident your choices were good ones.

Or, at our invitation you can browse our selection of top tools and services for 2020. Each of our choices is based on comprehensive reviews, comparisons, and careful analyses. Any one of these tools or services is quite capable of not only making your day but changing how you do business – and for the better.

 

1. UXPin

Prototyping and collaboration have time and again proven to be not only useful but powerful techniques web design teams count on to achieve successful outcomes, especially for large or very complex projects.

UXPin is a highly advanced prototyping and collaborative tool that lets you build prototypes that look and feel like the final product.

It is not difficult to use UXPin. Some might refer to it as Google Docs on steroids as far as the collaborative features are concerned. These features include:

  • Reusable design elements and components team members can use to quickly create prototypes;
  • Interactive form elements, such as check boxes, text fields, and radio buttons;
  • Vector drawing tools than enable team members to create prototype elements that are limited only by their imaginations;
  • Material Design, iOS, and Bootstrap design element libraries.

Click on the banner to find out more about this powerful tool and its many additional features.

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2. BeTheme

BeTheme, with its more than 40 core features, including a huge assortment of website-building elements, is the biggest WordPress theme of them all. Be has virtually everything you would want or expect from a premium multipurpose WordPress theme, which is a very good reason for including it in this list.

This theme is fast, it’s flexible, and it’s very easy to work with. A beginner could create a traffic-generating website on the first try. Experienced web designers appreciate how easy Be makes it for them to satisfy a large and diverse clientele.

The package includes:

  • What has to be the highlight; Be’s selection of 500+ responsive and customizable pre-built websites. They cover 30 industry sectors, a wide range of business niches, and all the major website types.
  • An Admin Panel, a Shortcode Generator, and a selection of shortcodes that gives users a multiplicity of design options and eliminate the need for coding.
  • The powerful Muffin Builder 3 page builder, a Layout Generator, multiple grid layout options, and much, much more.

Click on the banner to find out more about this popular theme.

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3. Mobirise Website Builder

Three good reasons to select a website builder are (1) if you can use it however you want, (2) if it’s affordable, or better yet, free, and (3) if you are given complete control over your design/build process.

Mobirise satisfies these criteria, and there are many other reasons for choosing it as well.

  • Mobirise is offline. All you have to do is download it. Then, you can use it as you please.
  • Mobirise is free. No strings attached, and you can use it for both personal and commercial purposes.
  • You’re not tied to a given platform. This, along with being offline, is why you have complete control over what you do.

In addition, Mobirise has a great selection of HTML themes, homepage templates, and over 2,500 trendy website blocks to work with, no coding is required, and your sites will be 100% responsive and exhibit crazy-fast performance.

Click on the banner to learn more.

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4. LayerSlider

LayerSlider is, as many designers already know, a great tool for designing sliders, popups, and other animated website elements.

Features include:

  • A drag and drop visual builder and a Photoshop-like image editor;
  • Animated page blocks that make it possible to build a complete website;
  • A large selection of slider templates, including templates especially designed for beginners;
  • LayerSlider is SEO and mobile device friendly as it includes a variety of layout options to work with.
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5. Dr. Link Check

If you have a large website featuring an abundance of links, you’ve probably come across one or more broken links from time to time. Even a single broken link should be unacceptable, and Dr. Link Check is a service that inspects code to identify broken links.

Dr. Link Check also:

  • Checks server response times and error codes;
  • Checks for proper URL formatting;
  • Can be scheduled to check on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Click on the banner to learn more about this important service.

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6. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

Uncode is a creative top-seller multiuse theme for creatives who need a tool like this to best serve their needs. Uncode is ideal for building portfolio, blogging, or magazine-style sites or websites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Uncode’s many features include:

  • A powerful frontend editor, an advanced grid system, and adaptive image system;
  • 400+ Wireframes Sections;
  • WooCommerce and WPML compatibility.

The showcase is definitely not to be missed. Click on the banner to see it.

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7. Stockfresh

Three things to look for in a stock photo agency is a large, well-organized inventory, quality items, and reasonable prices. It’s also nice to be able to browse through the inventory before you pay a penny. That’s what Stockfresh is all about.

  • Stockfresh has an inventory of millions of items;
  • Sign up for free to see what’s available before choosing a plan;
  • The items are categorized (30 categories) and the prices are competitive.

Click on the banner and sign up today.

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8. XStore | Multi-Purpose WooCommerce WordPress Theme

One way to get precisely the eCommerce store you want is to build it from scratch. That’s the hard way. Putting XStore to work may seem like a lazy approach, but it’s actually far better; not to mention faster.

There are several reasons for letting XStore do the heavy lifting:

  • 90+ ready-to-go customizable stores;
  • XStore’s powerful product page builder;
  • Inspirational product demos;
  • $300 worth of premier plugins;
  • Powerful header builder.

They add up to a stress-free way to build your store.

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9. Slider Revolution

7 million worldwide users have made Slider Revolution a popular tool for incorporating creative sliders and special effects into web designs. Slider Revolution 6.0 does a great deal more.

  • 6.0 enables you to create awesome sliders, content modules, carousels, and hero headers;
  • A host of ready-to-go templates, addons, and 2,000 royalty-free elements give you almost unlimited design possibilities;
  • With 6.0, you can even build a complete website.
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10. 8b Website Builder

8b is brand new. It’s super-fast. It’s a joy to work with. You can create websites from your desktop, from a mobile device, or both.

Among the reasons for incorporating such a new tool on our list of top tools are these:

  • 8b sites get fast Google rankings;
  • The package features 250 cool templates;
  • Features include AMP, PWA, and Site Export;
  • 8b is free to use, plus you get a free domain.

Check 8b out today!

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11. WhatFontis

You’ve found the perfect font. You can’t identify it or locate its source. Sound like a bad dream? It happens to web designers all too often.

It’s time to call upon WhatFontis. Download an example of the font in question and you can expect a response in seconds:

  • A positive identification;
  • A very close match if the exact font can’t be located;
  • Alternatives with prices if the font is too pricey.

Seems like a very good deal. It is.

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12. Goodiewebsite

Goodiewebsite is a development platform servicing a web designer in need of assistance, or a small business owner who wishes to establish an online presence.

You can expect outstanding results from goodiewebsite if you:

  • Need a simple WordPress website;
  • Intend to conduct business via a simple WooCommerce site;
  • Have a 1 to 10 page website in mind.

Goodiewebsite also provides responsive email templates to help its customers with their marketing.

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13. Heroic KB – Knowledge Base Plugin

FAQ pages tend to give “stock” responses which often fail to completely answer a user’s question. Giving those same users fact-filled responses can do wonders for your business. With the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin you can:

  • Provide visitors with a wealth of useful, accurate, and up-to-date information;
  • Make this information available 24/7 via rapid search;
  • Apply Heroic KB’s actionable analytics and feedback to improve your customer service operation.

In other words, the Heroic Knowledge Base plugin is a wise investment.

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14. Rank Math

Trying to optimize your site to make the search engines love your content isn’t always an easy task. A better way is to let Rank Math do your SEO heavy lifting. Rank Math offers the following:

  • Analyses of 40 different SEO factors to help your website attract more traffic and make it an eCommerce powerhouse;
  • A cool selection of Elementor, Automated Image, WooCommerce, and Local SEO tools;
  • 404 Monitor;
  • Sitemap, redirection, and error checks.
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15. Movedo Theme

Movedo is a theme that can make 2020 a year you’ll fondly remember. It was created by a top rated author who didn’t mind straying outside the envelope on occasion to provide users with an assemblage of nifty, extremely useful special effects, e.g., things that are either moving or simply appearing to so.

  • Gives you a clean, modern design to work with;
  • Is responsive and extremely flexible;
  • Offers 24/7 support.

Movedo can indeed make this a year you’ll remember. It rocks!

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The above selection should make it easy to find a tool or service that will save you time, minimize your business costs, and help to streamline your design workflows or business operations. You’ll also avoid having to sift through hundreds of tools and services to find something that would work best for you.

These tools and services practically guarantee to increase the amount of time you’ll have to devote to your more pressing tasks and items.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of BeTheme –]



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Huawei All-Flash Storage Meets Piraeus Bank’s Ever-Growing Demand for New IT Services

Athens is a center of Greek economy, finance, industry, politics, and culture. One of its landmarks is Piraeus Bank, which was founded in 1916 and the largest bank in Greece. It leads in share of customer loans and deposits at 29%, and provides comprehensive financial products and services for more than 5.4 million customers through its network of approximately 540 branches in Greece.

On August 21, 2018, Greece concluded the 3rd Economic Adjustment Programme, and for the first time since 2010, the country will not rely on official sector loans. Greek banks have been continuing to cooperate with the European Authorities to ensure that Greece remains well on the way towards becoming a sustainable and competitive economy.

The Greek economy has been growing and unemployment has been falling since 2017, and both trends will likely accelerate in the following years.

  • The fundamentals and prospects of the Greek economy improved further in 2019, which contributed to the improvement of banking sector financing and liquidity.
  • In the nine months of 2019, GDP growth rate reached 2.2%. Assuming a stable quarter-on-quarter rate for Q4.19 (i.e. +0.6% q-o-q), 2019’s annual growth rate is anticipated at circa 2.3%, with strong carry-over effect leading 2020 GDP growth to an estimated +2.5%.
  • The majority of business sector leading indicators reflect the recovery of economic activity (PMI etc.).

The Greek banking system has also been getting stronger, following major consolidation, restructuring, and deleveraging efforts. Challenges to banks’ profitability include the high stock of NPEs, the low interest rate environment, and increasing regulatory requirements. Greek banks rely heavily on interest as their operating income. So they are now adjusting their business models to further diversify income and lower their cost base. They are also boosting efficiency by leveraging new technologies, rationalizing networks, and optimizing resources.

Piraeus Bank keeps advancing with digital business as a strategic driver

Piraeus Bank is committed to leading the effort in supporting the Greek economy by actively engaging specialized and personalized solutions and high-level services for customers, shareholders and employees. It is also fully focused on producing results and generating value for all its stakeholders.

Actively embracing digital transformation, it has become a digital leader in Greece. Its automated electronic branch has been providing transaction services and unique experience since 2016, playing an important role when the Bank cut physical branches and costs. It redesigned winbank and launched a real estate website for the public in 2017.

Agenda 2023 specifies the strategic digital business drivers, covering efficiency through migration to digital, digital differentiation and engagement, and online sales. The Bank aims to achieve world-class digital results by 2023. Digital business and transformation drive the implementation of its business strategy.

agenda 2023 Huawei

Piraeus Bank’s ever-growing demand for new IT services and Huawei’s solution

Piraeus Bank needs to cover new trends such as big data, AI, and containers whilst continuing to support older technologies and legacy systems. To meet this need, Huawei has actively cooperated with the Bank on digital transformation, such as providing all-flash storage.

The Bank’s existing storage devices had various technical problems such as failure to scale on demand due to their degraded performance, slow response, and limited scalability after deduplication and compression. Moreover, limited storage capability could not cope with exponential data growth during digital transformation. It needed a new storage system featuring automated provisioning, capacity on demand, easy failover, better resource utilization, and secure data migration.

In July 2018, Huawei met with the Bank’s IT O&M team to learn its requirements. It then agreed that Huawei’s all-flash storage products could enter the PoC test, and Huawei recommended the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage system. The PoC test successfully finished in October 2018 with satisfactory results.  

oceanstor dorado 1200x800 Huawei

“Huawei was chosen following a very demanding PoC during which we applied several tests to verify its performance, reliability, compatibility with existing infrastructure, and support from Huawei services,” said Haris Voutsas, Assistant General Manager, Group IT Operations, Piraeus Bank. “These tests lasted more than six months during which Huawei AFA covered 100% our needs. We had the opportunity to use it not only in test environment, but also in production with heavy workload demands. When we were confident for the suitability of the system we proceeded with the adoption of Huawei as one of the enterprise storage providers of the Bank.”

Huawei all-flash storage provides uninterrupted availability and flexibility in handling a mix of diverse systems

In June 2019, Piraeus Bank replaced the existing storage with Huawei OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage system. The Bank has since been moving production services and data to the system, including virtual servers, databases, application servers, and BIs.

oceanstor dorado 2 1200x800 Huawei

Powered by intelligent chips and algorithms, advanced architecture, and gateway-free active-active solution, the OceanStor Dorado greatly improves service performance, reduces latency, and ensures high reliability. The system architecture and embedded technologies deliver high-cost effectiveness so that the Bank can economically configure immediate and future storage capacities, minimizing its total cost of ownership (TCO). It also eases the Bank’s business growth pressure, and improves its operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

“Before we proceeded with Huawei we had a very thorough PoC that confirmed the suitability of Huawei AFA for our needs,” said Voutsas. “Our experience so far is excellent, and we consider Huawei a trusted partner that we can rely on.”

“Huawei has a very strong technological background and its products are in par if not better to ones of the major IT vendors,” he continued. “During the last year we have seen a constant improvement of the AFAs with new versions, which implies investment in R&D and commitment to its products.”

Besides Piraeus Bank, Huawei collaborates extensively with the Greek banking industry by providing a wide range of competitive products and solutions. It is committed to becoming a preferred partner of digital transformation for Greek banks.

Archimedes once said: “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the earth.”  Huawei will work closely with Greek banks to create more “places to stand” and propel the development and digital transformation of the sector.

For more information, visit the OceanStor Dorado page on Huawei’s website.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Google plugs for Chrome when Edge accesses search firm’s services

Google has posted warnings and alerts targeting Microsoft Edge on several of its services’ websites, including the Chrome Web Store add-on market, Google Drive, Gmail and the company’s default search page, google.com.

It’s not uncommon for Google to flag rival browsers with messages that recommend a user download Chrome to access the search company’s services. In the past, while it was building its now-dominant position in the browser space, Google targeted Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) with such pop-ups. At times, rival browser makers have also countered Google with similar you-should-really-switch-from-Chrome tactics.

All such efforts rely on detecting the browser user agent, a string embedded in the HTML header that identifies the browser, its specific version and the operating system under which the browser runs. (Some analytics companies, such as the California-based Net Applications, use browser user agents to divine which browsers or operating systems are most used to go online.)

In the latest campaign, Google marked the Chrome Web Store – the official outlet for all Chrome browser add-ons – with a “Google recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely” message when the site was accessed by Edge. (The Chromium-based Edge can install and use any of the add-ons, also called “extensions” by Google, hosted by the Web Store.)

It’s unclear what Google means by the message, or how Chrome’s use add-ons are any more secure than Edge.

edge google warning 3 Google

Google slapped this ‘recommendation’ on the Chrome Web Store when Edge accessed the add-on market.

At other Google services’ sites, including Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail and the google.com search page, users of Edge see a different message. At Google Docs, for example, the pop-up reads, “To use Docs offline, upgrade to Chrome.” Meanwhile, the google.com site displays a message that reads, “Switch to Chrome for Windows.”

(Although Edge on Windows 10 encountered all the above Google-contrived pop-ups, Edge on macOS only received the message on the Chrome Web Store site.)

edge google warning 2 Google

Even the Google search site pitches Chrome at Chromium-based Edge users.

Google was explicitly targeting Edge with these messages. Two other browsers, Opera and Brave, also built from the same Chromium codebase as Edge – or Chrome, for that matter – did not show any recommendations or other messages when they were steered to the same sites: the Chrome Web Store, Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail and google.com. (Like Edge, both Opera and Brave are able to install and use the add-ons in the Chrome Web Store.)

That Google took aim at Edge makes sense: In January, Edge accounted for 7% of all browser activity for the month, while Opera was pegged at just 1.4%. (Brave did not register on Net Applications’ tally.) Of the Chrome rivals that also rely on Chromium, Edge is easily the biggest threat – and at that, really not all that big – to Google’s control of the browser market.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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How to Update Google Play Services on Android

Want to learn how to update Google Play services? If Play Services doesn’t update, you probably can’t use many of your favorite apps. This means your phone is near useless, so you’ll want to run a Google Play services update as soon as possible.

Let’s look at what Google Play services is, how to update it properly, and why you can’t update it sometimes.

What Is Google Play Services?

First, here’s a quick explanation of what Google Play services actually is.

Google Play services is a program that allows apps to interface with Google’s software, like Gmail, Google Search, and the Google Play Store. Without Google Play services running, you cannot use any of Google’s first-party apps.

Those who can’t update it can still use alternative Android app markets


The 4 Best Google Play Alternatives for Downloading Android Apps




The 4 Best Google Play Alternatives for Downloading Android Apps

Don’t want to use the Google Play Store? Or don’t have access to it? Here are the best alternative app stores for Android.
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, like Amazon’s App Store, F-Droid, and others. If your phone won’t update to the latest version of Google Play, you can oftentimes get the apps you need through a process known as sideloading.

But before you give up on installing Google Play services, here’s how to get it running on most Android tablets, TV boxes, and smartphones (with a few exceptions).

How to Update Google Play Services

Most of the time, Google Play services should update on its own without issue. You’ll only need to look into a Google Play services app update if something get stuck.

Here’s how to install the latest version of Google Play services on your device manually.

1. Check Your Internet Connection

A flaky internet connection is the number one cause for Play Services not updating. Make sure you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network when you try to update.

If you’re still having problems, restart your device to clear up any temporary issues. Failing that, you should reboot your router.

2. Wipe Google Services Cache

Wiping Google Play services’ temporary file storage location, or cache, is the best way to resolve update issues. To do this, perform the following steps (which may vary slightly depending on your version of Android and device).

First, go to Settings > Apps & notifications. Next, tap See all X apps (the screenshot below shows All 95 apps).

From the list, find and tap on Google Play services. Then choose Storage & cache from the list of options on its app page. Finally, hit Clear cache on the resulting menu.

Once you’ve done this, restart your device. If it doesn’t help, repeat the above steps but select Clear storage instead.

3. Force an Update of Play Services

After restarting, you should try to force an update of Play Services. You shouldn’t need to do this in most cases, but it’s worth a try if you continue to experience issues.

To do this, visit the Google Play services entry in Settings as mentioned above. Expand the Advanced section and tap App details to open its page on the Play Store. If you’re on your phone, you can open the Google Play services Play Store page to jump right to it. The green button will show Deactivate if you’re up-to-date and Update if you can install a new version.

You also can do this by visiting Play Store in a web browser and signing in with your Google account. Open the above link to the Google Play services page on Google Play, and check for an update there.

Google Play Services in the web browser

For Advanced Users: Install Google Play Services Beta

The above should work in most situations. But if you’re desperate, installing a beta version (an experimental update that hasn’t been fully tested) of Google Play services may force an update.

We don’t recommend this option except as a last resort. At best, it might make your device functional again. But if this method works, it will not update you to the latest version of Google Play services. It will instead update to an experimental version of the software—which may break many of your apps.

The process is simple, and is best done on a desktop or laptop where you’re logged into the primary Google account associated with your device. First, navigate to the Google Play Services Public Beta Program page. On that page, follow the link under the Subscribe using the opt-in URL header and you’ll see the below. Click Become a tester to join.

become a google play tester

Once you’ve signed up, Google will push beta versions of Play services to your device automatically. You can try to force them by following step three of the above process.

If you change your mind, you can leave the program at any time. Visit the Google Play services beta opt-out page to drop out. However, this may require that you uninstall Play Services before it functions normally again.

When You Can’t Update Google Play Services

If you fall into one of these categories, your phone probably won’t be able to update Google Play services using the method outlined above.

Android 4.0 and Below Can’t Update Google Play Services

As of 2018, Google no longer supports Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or below. That means if you own an Android device running one of those version, you can’t install or update Google Play services. These users can either install a custom ROM


How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device




How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device

Ready to revitalize your Android phone or tablet? Installing a custom ROM is the best way to do that — powering it up with even better performance and features.
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or try sideloading Google Play Store alternative as mentioned earlier.

Unregistered Phones Can’t Update Any of Google’s Software

If you purchased your device in India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, or elsewhere in East or Southeast Asia, there is a chance it came with an unlicensed (or “uncertified”) version of Google Play services. Google recently blocked access to the Play Store for many of these users.

However, the company also left the door open to registration. However, the registration process requires jumping through a few hoops. Jump down to the Device Registration section below for info on how to do this.

Heavily Modified Android Devices

If you’ve installed a custom version of Android or modified its system directory through rooting, there are too many variables to consider when something goes wrong. The instructions provider here won’t be of much help.

Device Registration: Fix “Device Is Not Registered With Google” Error

Google Framework Services ID input window

In order to use Google’s software, such as Google Play, Gmail, and Google Calendar, device manufacturers must obtain Google’s permission. Some manufacturers don’t bother with this, and instead install uncertified copies of Google’s software on their smartphones. Google began cracking down on this practice on devices some time ago.

Unlicensed versions of Android can still update Google Play services. However, you will need to first register your device with Google. The process is easy; it requires visiting Google’s Uncertified Device Registration page.

Once you’re here, you’ll need to acquire your device’s Framework Android ID. The easiest way to do this is using the Device ID app. Due to your issue, you probably don’t have access to Google Play. Thus, you’ll need to download the APK manually and sideload it to install


How to Manually Install or Sideload Apps on Android




How to Manually Install or Sideload Apps on Android

Want to sideload apps on your Android phone? Installing APKs manually on Android opens up a whole new world of apps, and it’s easy to do.
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.

After you’ve retrieved it from the app, input the Google Services Framework Android ID into the Uncertified Device Registration page. The process is not immediate; it may take several hours. Once registered with Google, you then should be able to manually install Google Framework Services, which will allow you to continue using (and updating) Google Play services.

Downloading the Google Play Services APK

Hopefully this helped you update Play Services without much hassle. If you need more info than just getting Google Play services to update, we have another guide that might help you.

Check out our detailed instructions for fixing Google Play issues


5 Simple Fixes for Common Google Play Store Problems




5 Simple Fixes for Common Google Play Store Problems

Is the Google Play Store not loading or is it not downloading apps? You can reinstall the Store or try these other fixes.
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. It also includes tips on legitimate websites that host the android installation files for Google Play services (as well as other essential Play Store software infrastructure). However, we don’t recommend manual installation in all cases. This comes with risks, such as getting a malware infection or destroying your device. Additionally, a manual install can take hours of your time. Sometimes upgrading your device is the only cost-effective option.



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Apple’s Tim Cook has kept his $50B services promises

With Apple TV+ about to arrive and lots of love already being shown for Apple Arcade, Apple’s services business now seems certain to exceed CEO Tim Cook’s 2017 $50-billion-per-year promise.

What did Cook say?

Back in early 2017, Cook made some pretty aggressive promises around how his company planned to build its services business: “Our goal is to double the size of the services business in the next four years,” he said at the time.

He was announcing the results of the company’s December quarter, in which services generated $7.17 billion. More recently, Apple generated $12.5 billion in services in its just-passed September quarter (announced here) for a 2019 total of $46.3 billion in services alone.

Apple’s annual services income 2016-2019

  • 2016: $24.3B
  • 2017: $29.97B
  • 2018: $37.1B
  • 2019: $46.3B (up  roughly 25% year over year).

Apple has more or less doubled its services income since 2016, a level of growth most companies (and certainly this impecunious individual) can only ever dream of.

To put this into perspective, Apple’s new Arcade service was only available for a few days during its most recent quarter (on a free trial basis), while the company’s Next Big Thing, Apple TV+, remains unavailable so far.

The bottom line seems to be that Apple’s smartphone sales seem to be stabilizing and its wearables business has also grown to become a $10 billion industry in its own right.

Quite clearly, Apple management seems to have seen what was coming and to have planned for a strong post-smartphone future.

New business offerings

Apple’s new services seem destined to generate significant income. (Anecdotally, I have to say that I tried Arcade for a game called Oceanhorn 2 and am now becoming hooked on building motorways.)

At $4.99 a month, Arcade has proved itself sticky enough for me – and I’m not the only one with that experience. Engadget calls it “too cheap to quit,” and I agree.

Available on multiple platforms, Apple TV+ is likely to generate similar levels of early interest, during which the company will need to impress viewers (or not) with the quality of the its content.

Apple Pay transactions, meanwhile, are growing four times faster than PayPal, even as Apple prepares to offer 0% financing on new iPhones purchased using an Apple Card as it moves inevitably (and inexorably) toward offering Apple hardware as a service.

These new services will likely drive further revenue growth across Apple’s 2020 fiscal year, and this growth is likely to soon exceed Cook’s $50 billion/year services revenue target. (As some predicted).

We still have no sight yet of other service plays, such as consumer-focused AR gaming and immersive multimedia experiences, or the dragonish mist that is Apple Car.

Hello, Apple’s halo

Why is the company able to achieve this? Needham & Co. put it best in 2017:

“AAPL is an arms dealer that dominates the wealthiest segment of this rapidly growing consumer market,” the analysts said.

“Our research suggests that iOS platform churn is only about 12% annually, suggesting fewer competitive pressures, higher pricing power, more predictable revenue streams, and a halo effect that drives sister-device sales and higher ancillary revenue than AAPL’s current share price implies.”

That halo effect is precisely the same energy that enabled Apple to grow iPhone and Mac sales on the success of the iPod – itself created on the success of the iMac.

The AirPods Pro queues Apple’s PR teams are making sure we see outside Apple’s retail outlets this week suggest that halo is now migrating to the hit wearable products of the future, alongside the swell in services designed to support the above.

Meeting and exceeding targets

The bottom line for many investors must surely be that if Apple maintains current momentum its services segment seems set to be far bigger than the $50 billion per year business CEO Cook promised to build back in early 2017.

Perhaps one day his critics will accept this?

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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