12 Google Messaging Apps: A Grand Tour

12 Google Messaging Apps: A Grand Tour

Get this, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has not one, not two, not three but 12 messaging apps. You would think that a tech giant like Google would be interested in developing a single app that does everything for everyone, but that’s not the case. In fact, the tech giant seems focused on improving each app to be the best at what it does, so that users can choose the service that best suits their needs.

Here’s a quick look at how each app works.

Google Messaging Apps

Google Voice

Launched by Google on March 11, 2009, Google Voice is the tech giant’s oldest VoIP product. The app includes a free phone number for U.S. users and you can instruct it to ring your cell phone, work or home phone, or all three, whenever someone calls your Voice number. You can also instruct the app to send SMS texts and voicemails to Hangouts.

Google Hangouts

This is a unified communications service that allows you to initiate and participate in video, voice and text chats, either one-on-one or in a group. Hangouts is built into Gmail and Google+. The mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Project Fi

This is a phone carrier from Google that works by giving you mobile data service on three mobile networks that your phone will intelligently switch between. It uses WiFi to send texts and to make calls. Unlike traditional carriers that bill you after you use their service, Project Fi is a “prepaid” carrier, which means that you pay upfront for your service in the trailing month. Fi is currently available only to U.S. users who own either Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6 or Pixel smartphones.

Google Duo 

Google Duo is a simple video-calling service that allows you to connect with your customers on both Android and iOS. It is one of the two communication apps launched by Google at the 2016 I/O conference. Its standout feature is Knock Knock, which gives you a preview of who is calling by firing up the camera on the other end of the line. 

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail is an email service that was developed and launched by Google in limited edition on October 2014 and later released to the public in May 2015.

Inbox intelligently bundles similar messages together, allowing you to dismiss all of them with a single click. It also highlights important events such as trips and clusters together hotel and flight information.


One of the most familiar of Google’s messaging options, this is a free, advert supported email service that’s available on the web and also through mobile apps for iOS and Android. Unlike the newbie Inbox, Gmail has an All mail folder, experimental “Labs” add-ons and extensive options in settings that include Blocked Addresses and Filters.

Google Chat 

Before the standalone Hangouts app came, you could still place VoIP calls and instant messages from Google+ and Gmail using Chat. The instant messaging service is colloquially known as gchat, gtalk or gmessage, but they are not Google endorsed. Chat remains embedded on Gmail.

Google Allo

Launched in May 2016, Google Allo is a Smart messaging app for iPhone and Android. Allo works for group chats, allows you to send pictures, share fun stickers and so on. Allo is great for talking to the Google Assistant.

Google Groups

Launched in February 2001, Google Groups is 16 years old! The service provides discussion groups for people sharing common interests.  A good number of people still use Groups because they at some point joined a group and that’s where the conversations still takes place.


During its first years, Google+ allowed users to send texts, emails, edit and share photos as well as make video calls. A few years ago, Google changed its all-in-one approach, becoming more like a cross between Facebook and Reddit. The platform’s content is organized by “Collections” that make it easy for you to find relevant content.

Google Spaces

This social service by Google is less than a year old. Spaces makes it easier to find and share images, articles and videos without leaving the app as Google Search, Chrome and YouTube come built in. 

Google Messenger

Messenger from Google is a communications app that helps you to send and receive MMS and SMS messages to any phone. The app has a great interface and supports text, pictures, emoji and GIFs. You can make it your default texting app that people can always text you on. Messenger is only available to Android users.


CBSE Class 12 results: Delhi HC allows revaluation in all subjects


The Delhi high court on Thursday lifted all conditions imposed by the CBSE on students looking to revaluate their class 12 exam results, giving succour to thousands of candidates denied scrutiny of answer sheets beyond 12 major subjects.

The relief came from a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar which said the order will be applicable to all students and not just those who have approached the court.

This year, nearly 11 lakh students appeared for the class 12 exams – conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) — and 2.47% of them applied for re-evaluation.

Students have time till July 7 to approach the board with applications for scrutiny.

On June 28, the CBSE limited the facility of scrutiny of marks to just 12 subjects, including English, Hindi and Mathematics.

The board also restricted the right of a student to apply for scrutiny to only 10 questions.

The court order came on a plea filed by advocate Sandeep Bajaj, representing four students, challenging the board’s notification.

On June 23, the board assured the high court it will entertain all applications of students but later came up with the restrictions.

“It cannot be denied that grave and irreparable loss and damage would ensure to the petitioners so far as their admissions to colleges and universities are concerned. Balance of convenience is also in favour of the petitioners,” the court said.

While issuing notices to the Centre, CBSE and the Delhi University on the plea , the court fixed July 26 for the next hearing.





12 Insider Flea Market Selling Tips to Increase Profits

Flea market selling tips

Selling at flea markets doesn’t just mean clearing out some junk from your basement and throwing it on a table. You can actually build a business around selling at flea markets. But you’ll need some flea market sales tips to really increase your profits going forward. Here are some flea market selling tips to make your next flea market sale a huge success.

Flea Market Selling Tips

Sell More by Providing Many Payment Options

Flea market customers have a huge variety of different payment preferences. Some want to pay with credit cards, some with checks, some with cash. If you can give customers options, you’ll be more likely to increase your sales over the course of each day. That means using a Square or similar credit card reader, allowing customers to pay with checks, and having enough change for people who just want to pay in cash. In addition, if you can offer layaway options, it can help your ability to sell some larger items that people might need time to gather the funds for.

Sell More by Creating a Facebook Page

Your business is likely to sell more if you actually treat it like a business. Today, that means having some kind of an online presence. And since so many consumers use Facebook already, that’s a natural place for flea market vendors to connect with potential customers. So give yourself a professional business name, add some photos and use Facebook to share information and connect with potential customers.

Sell More by Advertising in Advance

Social media and similar online platforms can also be helpful when it comes to advertising your offerings. For instance, if you go to different markets or locations each week or month, you can post on Facebook where you’re going to be each week and what types of new products you’ll have available. You can even pay to boost your posts so that you can reach even more people.

Sell More by Accepting Reasonable Offers

Bargaining is a huge part of running a flea market business. While you don’t have to accept every single offer that comes your way, at least being open to reasonable offers can help you increase sales and clear up space for new inventory. The longer you hold onto things, the less space/money you have to acquire new things to offer for sale, and the more your money is tied up in inventory that isn’t selling.

Sell More by Conveying Approachable Body Language

At a flea market, you are the literal face of your business. People will be more likely to stop and look at your products if you look friendly and approachable. And if they stop and look at your products, they’re more likely to buy. If you are sitting and do not smile or attempt to engage passers by, they will actually pass you by.

Sell More by Standing Out in the Crowd

Your booth can also be a selling point for potential customers. So don’t make it just look the same as everyone else’s. Choose that orange canopy instead of that gray one, and spend the money to have some large signage that you can prop up on top of it. Making your booth look nice and eye-catching can cause shoppers multiple rows away to notice your booth and make a point to stop by.

Sell More by Using Professional Signage to Convey Trust

A professional looking shop sign can also convey a sense of trust to your customers. Instead of just seeing a bunch of random items strewn across a table, they are more likely to see an actual business with products that are high-quality and valuable.

Have Business Cards Easily Accessible

Some customers at flea markets might not be ready to buy from you even if your booth looks great and your products are awesome. So you should give them an easy way to connect with you later. Provide business cards to passers by so that if they see something they like, don’t buy it, but return home and decide they want it, they can reach you and make the purchase. You can also offer shipping as an option so that those customers don’t have to make a return trip. In addition, provide your social media accounts so they can follow you from market to market each week.

Sell More by Appearing Regularly at the Same Markets

You can also garner repeat business even from those who don’t follow you on social media simply by being consistent. If someone collects a particular item that you specialize in, maintain a consistent appearance schedule so that they know where to find you when they’re ready to shop. That doesn’t mean you have to only ever sell your items at one location, but you could have a consistent schedule where you sell at the same market every Sunday or on the first weekend of every month.

Sell More by Giving Repeat Customers/Collectors Deals

Encourage that repeat business even more by offering deals to those loyal customers. If someone purchases from you every week or month, and they’ve done so at least three times, cut them a break and begin giving them good discounts. You may get a bit less for the item than you intended, but you will sell more in the long run because they’ll be sure to keep purchasing from you if they feel you’re treating them like a special VIP customer.

Sell More by Offering Discounts to Your Social Media Followers

You can also offer special discounts to your social media followers to encourage repeat customers. For example, if you’re selling at a particular market on Saturday, blast that out to your followers and provide them with a 20 percent discount offering if they mention your social media post. Followers who may not have intended to go to the market that weekend may be enticed to go if they know a 20 percent discount is waiting for them.

Sell More by Posting Images of New Items for Sale on Social During the Week

Throughout the week leading up to your flea market appearance, you can entice people on social media to shop with you by posting images of the items that you’ll be offering for sale. If they’re interested in something new they’ve seen on social, they’ll be sure to show up that weekend at the market to buy it.

Flea Market Photo via Shutterstock


12+ Pinterest Apps and Tools for Pinning While Mobile

pinterest apps

12 Pinterest Apps for Mobile

If you want to post to Pinterest from your smartphone or tablet, you first need to download an app to your mobile device.

iPhone and iPad – The granddaddy Pinterest mobile app of them all is the Pinterest iPhone app.  There used to be a separate iPad app, but now it has been combined into a single iOS app that can also be used on the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

Android — If you have a device on an Android platform, you will need to download an Android app in order for Pinterest to work.  Although you will not have the same functionality with the Pinterest Android app as you do with the iOS app, each allows  you to pin your pictures, which is the important part.

Pinterest Pin It Button makes pinning easier and greatly improves the functionality of iPhone and Android apps. Just go to the goodies page and drag it to your toolbar. (There are several apps for Pinterest all with this same or a similar name and different functionality, so follow the link to get this one.)

Just today Pinterest announced that it had made its Pin It button available in a number of website-specific mobile apps.    Those apps include:  Behance, Brit+Co, Etsy, Fotopedia, Jetsetter, Modcloth, Snapguide, TED, The North Face, and Zulily.  You have to have switched to the “new” Pinterest look with it’s larger pins, to be able to see these pins.

Windows phones — There’s no official Pinterest app for Windows phones, but one third-party Pinterest app, Scrapbook for Pinterest, is available. It seems to function well, but has the disadvantage of carrying ads or requiring subscription fees. However, if you have a Windows Phone, this may be the only way to be mobile with your Pinterest page currently.  Scrapbook works with Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5.

pinterest apps

PinHog for Pinterest lets you be mobile, but allows you to minimize extra data charges while you are browsing the Web for pins. Check it out in the Google Play store.  This unique Pinterest app allows you not only to browse while offline, but it also lets you schedule when you would like to pin items to your board.

PinReach is designed to let you know how well you are influencing others. It provides you with a “Klout” score to inform you about trends and let you know when your influence is waning, you know, before it is gone.

PinPuff lets you track trends and analyze how your Pinterest account is doing. PinPuff also calculates the monetary value of your Pins and what kind of traffic they are generating for you.

Snapito is for you if you prefer surfing the Web and taking screenshots for your Pinterest page. this app gives you a variety of easy ways to pin screenshots to your page, including a Pinterest Bookmarklet that lets you do this from your iPhone.

Wallo Pinterest allows you to use your mobile wallpaper to discover new images and travel destinations.  You can pin things from your Android Live wallpaper, on Android devices.

Reachli (formerly Pinerly) has a user-friendly dashboard interface. It keeps you updated on your pin schedule, helps you locate like-minded users, and unfollow groups.

Wisestamp, while not a Pinterest-specific app, lets you add a follow button for your Pinterest account to the bottom of your emails. It features your latest pins.

pinterest apps

Pin4Ever lets you create a backup of your pins on your Android or any storage device by using the Pinterest backup app. They have a simple signup process shown in the screenshot above.

Finally, be sure to check out our Pinterest Start Guide for Small Businesses.  And if you already know how to use Pinterest, you might be interested in Pinterest analytics tools to tell how much traffic is going to your site.

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