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Business Tech Roundup: Google Maps Gets A Massive AI Upgrade

By November 19, 2023No Comments

This column originally appeared in Forbes


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

1 – Google Maps gets a massive AI upgrade with 5 new features.

Google Maps is getting a huge AI upgrade to its features. (Source: Fox News)

Why this is important for your business:

The most popular mapping platform globally, users can now be digitally immersed into locations using “Immersive View.” The feature presents a virtual reality view of a chosen location with 3D imaging of the surroundings. Users can also see the same surroundings in “real time.” The Google Maps Search feature will now retrieve suggested locations based on a user’s preferences – for example – if you’re seeking places to buy athletic gear the AI will identify specific stores/locations based on your search history. Another valuable upgrade is “Lane Navigation” which will give users a detailed preview of their route in advance, so they know which lane they need to be in for route changes or U-turns. As a frequent user on my business travels, these changes will be a welcome productivity tool.

2 – A new “revolutionary” accounting software called Basil is launched.

Collaborative product developer CoralTree just announced its launch of Basil – an all-in-one management software tool for accountants and business owners. Dubbed as the “cure for app overload” Basil integrates business management and accounting tools into one product. With a subscription price $30/month, features include a workflow tool for task management, time tracking and reports, QuickBooks online integration, and a centralized client database among others. (Source: PRWeb)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s been a while since a cloud accounting platform caught my eye and this one is very interesting. Like some of its larger competitors, Basil aims to be an all-in-one platform for business management. Its monthly price is competitive and it also includes CRM, chat and collaborative features. Definitely worth a look.

3 – Xero adds bill payments and eInvoicing to small business platform.

Speaking of cloud accounting platforms, New Zealand tech company Xero recently added new features to its platform to help small businesses in the UK, according to a company press release. One of them – a bill payments tool called eInvoicing – will help business owners easily manage and pay bills eliminating manual work. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a user of popular accounts payable management platforms like Bill or Ramp, keep an eye on this. Although just for U.K. companies now, Xero is starting to incorporate some of these tools – where invoices are scanned automatically and uploaded – into its core product.

4 – Microsoft Edge will soon translate videos in real-time.

Writer Sean Endicott reported that Microsoft Edge – the AI-powered web browser for Windows – now has a soon-to-be enabled translation tool for video content. According to Endicott’s report, translations will be available in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Russian. Though the tool hasn’t been activated it will “soon be in testing” on Windows Canary Channel where the translation tool was first noticed. No details on when this feature will be up and running. (Source: Windows Central)

Why this is important for your business:

There are some AI applications doing this already, but they cost and need to be integrated. Once this feature is available in Edge, you and your employees will be able to access more online content, regardless of the language.

5 – Black Friday Chromebook deals are looming.

As Black Friday approaches, expect to see a plethora of deals on computers and electronic devices. Here’s a sample of PCWorld’s best Chromebook deals as chosen by Mark Hachman: Acer Chromebook 315s, Asus C424, and Lenovo 2023 Slim 3s – all for their 1080p screens and storage capacity. Cost-wise, the affordability of these Chromebooks is reflected in the amount of hard drive space 4GB of RAM – which, as Hachman points out – can limit the number of apps. Another that made his list is the Lenovo Flex 3 for its price and solid customer ratings. To see the others, visit the link. (Source: PC World)

Why this is important for your business:

Chromebooks are the most affordable kinds of laptops and these deals are certainly enticing. I keep wanting to buy one and I keep resisting and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s time.

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