Daniel shares two technologies particularly useful in 2013 - one for using taxis, the other for organising his diary. Click to see what they are.
[What technology was the most useful to you in 2013? It could be a general technology, a trend, it could be literally one specific product, or even a product feature. Tell us in the comment area below or email us at inbox at bit.com.au. We asked technology writer and BIT contributor Daniel James to tell us his opinion of which technology he found the most useful for small business in 2013.]
This question was posed by BIT's editor, and while the community is far too diverse to allow me to claim to be representative of it, my observations will hopefully kick of a discussion in the comments.
- The increasingly widespread availability of payWave/PayPass at shops and cafes is a good thing - it saves a small but noticeable amount of time, and also adds to the number of places where I can keep my card in my hand. While the newer NFC-equipped Cabcharge terminal is becoming commonplace in taxis, I've noticed some use older, non-NFC EFTPOS devices for card transactions, presumably to take advantage of lower transaction rates. Also, I'd rather keep my card in my possession when paying for a cab.
- I have started using electronic calendaring this year. I know I'm a late adopter in this regard, but that's largely because I was also a laggard in switching from a feature phone to a smartphone. One of the things I particularly like is that when someone sends me a meeting request, it is automatically added to my Google calendar (my business uses Google Apps), and from there it flows to my computer and smartphone so I get a reminder at the appropriate time.
- One of the biggest negatives in technology this year has been the introduction of paywalls by the big newspaper publishers. It hasn't led me to sign up for a 'digital subscription' (even though I am a seven-day print subscriber) but it is mildly irritating to follow a link and be presented with just the first few lines of a story or to be told that you've exceeded your quota for the month. Fortunately there are still some quite simple ways around it, as well as other reputable but non-paywalled sources of news coverage. I know we've all got to make a quid, but after spending a decade or so teaching us that we don't pay for web content I think the publishers have an uphill battle on their hands if they want to retrain us. It's also interesting to see UK newspapers - first The Guardian and soon the Daily Mail - moving into the Australian online market.