Google Gives Your Battery More Life…And Other Small Business Tech Stories This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Chrome’s latest update should help extend your laptop’s battery life.

Google has announced that the popular browser’s newest update, Chrome 57, will help prevent battery drain and subsequent performance issues by throttling background tabs that are using up too much power. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business: 

As I’m writing this, I’m downloading Chrome 57 (go to Settings-About). Why? Because, like you, I’m mobile and always struggling with battery life. More juice means more productivity for myself and the people in my company who use Chrome.

2 – You can now send cash through Gmail.

To send money through the system, a user needs to only open an email on Gmail, enter a recipient and then add a Google Wallet request in the same way one would attach a document or picture. Receiving money is equally as simple, and the new service is entirely free. (Source: Forbes)
Why this is important for your business:

More and more small businesses are turning to apps like PayPal and Venmo to get payment from customers. For those using Gmail, here’s a simple way to get money in the bank. If you’re still sending invoices and waiting around for 30-60 days, you’re oh so 2001.

3 – Microsoft’s Slack competitor is now available for all Office 365 business users.

Microsoft Teams is rolling out as an on-by-default feature of Office 365 worldwide. Microsoft has also added 100 new features since Teams was in public preview last year, including a scheduling assistant and public teams support. The Marks Group is a Microsoft partner. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Finally – now you can actually use more than ten percent of Office and bring together all communications in one place.

4 – McDonald’s goes mobile. 

The fast-food restaurant’s updated app will “begin to allow customers to place orders and pay within the app, as well, as mobile ordering becomes more broadly available.” Once customers have ordered with their smartphones, they can “choose to pick up their food by walking in to the counter, going through the drive-thru or via newly added curbside delivery.” (Source: TechCrunch)
Why this is important for your business:

Wendy’s is installing self-service kiosks at 1,000 locations. McDonald’s is launching a mobile ordering and payment service. Many other restaurants are doing the same, responding to the need for quick service and keeping employment costs low. Are you?

5 – A robot can now wash and paint office buildings.

Researchers in Singapore have developed a robot designed to wash or paint high-rise buildings in order to keep workers safe and to increase efficiency. (Source: New Atlas)

Why this is important for your business:

In addition to working longer hours than humans (since it doesn’t need a break), the robot applies “a more consistent coat of paint than human workers using rollers, plus it uses approximately 20 percent less paint to do so.” The robots are coming, and smart businesses will use this technology to increase their profitability.

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