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Andy’s Apps: Essential Communications Apps

by Amadeus Finlay

It’s good to talk. Studies have proven myriad benefits of frequent, meaningful conversation, with the art of relationships and the success of business resting upon the ability to communicate effectively. Today, the market is swamped with a multitude of apps designed to facilitate just that, equipping professionals with the technology to maximize these benefits on a gargantuan scale.

The world is a big place, but people demand efficient and easy communication that can go beyond the limits of email. Want to make a call to Sweden, or maybe text a partner in Japan without sending Verizon (or the company’s phone bill) spinning? Then get WhatsApp Messenger, a freeware, cross-platform communication service owned by Facebook. Running off WiFi or roaming data, WhatsApp not only allows users to call other users, send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, but also share images, documents, user locations, and other media in a single easy-to-use, all-in-one design. In 2019, WhatsApp should really be considered a must have.

Keeping with the international flavor, Google Translate is a veritable Rosetta Stone of the modern day, and when it comes to translations, it really does allow you to do it all; supporting 103 languages with an additional 59 available offline. In a rush? Users can utilize touchscreen capabilities to draw text or characters in 93 languages. Even funkier is camera translation function and it really is as magical as it sounds; point a cellphone camera at a sign and snap for an instant translation in any one of 37 different languages.

Ever been the minute taker in a meeting? How about the journalist at the receiving end of an enthusiastic interview? Whatever the reason, transcription is a common occurrence in the professional realm, but it’s not always the easiest of tasks. Enter Otter. Small but mighty (just like its zoological namesake), Otter records and transcribes conversations in real time, and includes snazzy features such as individual speaker IDs, searchable key phrases and the ability to share, collaborate and edit both the written transcripts as well as the audio recordings. Like WhatsApp, Otter will literally change your life for the better.

Last, but by no means least, LinkedIn. A dependable friend of professionals the world over, in recent years LinkedIn users have added a slight social element to this strictly business platform through increased use of the app’s in-built messaging system. When email feels stuffy or slow, but you want to get a message across appropriately without the formalities and the wait time, shoot a quick note across on LinkedIn. You’ll be surprised how effective it is.

Taken together, WhatsApp, Google Translate, Otter and LinkedIn are essential tools in the arsenal of any professional wanting to be heard in a global market. Because, as the Chinese saying goes, when it comes to conversations and making a mark that lasts, “the road is by your mouth.”

Columnist Amadeus Finlay has worked with Groupon, IBM, Nordea, and others, and he is pinch hitting for Andy Taylor this issue. Amadeus is a global connector of people and brands. He has extensive experience in professional copywriting, social media and script-to-screen video production, including on-camera hosting. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, he holds a Master’s degree in American History. Connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amadeusfinlay/.

This story originally appeared in the November/ December issue of Exhibit City News, p. 14. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecntears_novdec_2019_copy  



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