Thursday, March 12th, 2015 .

Back in October, Firespotter Labs became Switch Communications, and we launched our second voice product, Switch—the cloud-based phone system for Google Apps users.

With a team deeply-rooted in telecommunications (our CEO Craig Walker founded both Google Voice and Yahoo! Voice), we launched Switch Communications to get back to what we love doing: building scalable voice products for the the modern worker.

Starting today, we’re moving our UberConference content over to the Switch Communications blog. Don’t worry, UberConference isn’t going anywhere, we just think it makes sense to talk about Switch and UberConference together as two amazing unified communications products that help us better connect when and where we work best.

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We look forward to sharing more awesome updates— from customer stories, product news, and helpful tips on how to make the most of Switch and UberConference.

Head on over and check out our first UberConference post about our customer, Mapbox.

Friday, July 18th, 2014 .

Like most people in the age of planes and the internet, UberConference and its users live international lives (UberConference is available on every continent [OK, maybe all except Antarctica]).

Sometimes, though, you need to meet in person, which means you have to hop on a plane and travel. Here are some of our favorite Google Chrome Store apps for traveling.

Duolingo

We’ve found that before you head to a new country, learning the language helps you communicate better with the people who live there. The Wall Street Journal said that Duolingo is “Far and away the best free language-learning app.” Duolingo gamifies learning another language, giving you lives and points, like your favorite gaming app. The effect is that Duolingo feels less like a class and more like Candy Crush. Buona Fortuna, amici.

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TouristEye Planner

True, you are getting on that plane for business, but what’s a business trip without a little sightseeing? It’s pretty brutal. TouristEye Planner syncs all of your travel arrangements to help you plan your itinerary, letting you know what is nearby. There are also tours and itineraries created by experts and other users: one-day itineraries, shopping tours, tours to bike, gastronomic tours, best cheap eats, etc. One of the coolest features is the ability to synchronize your trip with your Android or iPhone to have your itinerary 100% offline, maps included! That means no getting lost because your carrier has a dark spot in Kiev.

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Expensify

Undoubtedly, one of the worst parts of business travel is filling out your expense report. With Expensify, all you have to do is take a picture and smartscan uploads your receipts and corresponding information. Your office manager and you will thank Expensify after every trip.

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 .

chrome-storeUse Chrome? If not, you don’t know what you are missing. Chrome is a great browser for speed, security, ease of use and it offers the flexibility to integrate apps like ÜberConference right into Chrome. Installing theÜberConference Chrome app is simple, and lets you click to visit ÜberConference when you open a new tab in your browser.

To get the app, just visit the Chrome Web Store and search for UberConference. After installing the app, you will see the ÜberConference logo appear in the Apps view of Chrome.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 .

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You asked for it, and we delivered. We are pleased to announce a fantastic new addition to our suite of productivity applications with screen sharing. Our award-winning teleconferencing service now supports real-time collaboration with screen sharing. (In addition to recent integrations with Google Hangouts, Google Doc add-ons, and in-conference document sharing.)

Facilitating a screen share is as easy as clicking the “Share Your Screen” button in the bottom left corner of the UberConference dashboard in Google Chrome. Presenters without the UberConference extension will be prompted to install it the first time they screen share, also having the option to share their full screen or a specific tab. Viewers will automatically be able to see the presenter’s screen view on their own screens using any browser.

Monday, July 14th, 2014 .

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There’s a powerful and remarkable management tool available to you right now. It’s in your pocket, just sitting there getting covered with lint and scratched up by your house keys.

It’s your smartphone.

And what’s even better, you can run your business without even being in the office.

How do I know?  We do it at Firespotter Labs.  Our company has launched two major products (NoshList, a restaurant seating app, and UberConference, a conference calling app) and are about to launch another product (more on that later). And most days, we rarely have a full complement of engineers, designers, and management in the office.  In fact, two days a week everyone works remotely.

There is a distinctly practical reason for this: not being in the office prevents meetings. There is nothing intrinsically evil with meetings. Sometimes, we need to get physically get together to go over where we are on projects, build group understanding and consensus on how to move forward, and to encourage personal camaraderie and a sense of teamwork.

But meetings also take up time.  Time that is diverted from working on our products.  We have found that a sometimes remote workforce that can quickly assemble in our offices is the most effective way for us to manage our company.

Here are the four key tools accessible on your smartphone that can help you  manage a staff while being mobile:

1. Use cloud-based apps for documents.  We use Google Docs for documents and spreadsheets and Dropbox and Box for sharing documents. You can fully control who has access to these documents, and who has edit privileges.  Google Docs allows us to share documents immediately without email.

2. Use a project management app.  We use Asana.  Tasks are posted, deadlines assigned, and the person responsible is listed.  Everyone knows can see what everyone else is working on and when it is due.

3. Use a chat or messaging app.  We use Gchat.  Even in the office — which is an open office with employees sitting at stations on long tables — we use Gchat to communicate with each other individually with requests, questions, etc.

4. Use a conference call app.  For obvious reasons, we use our own product, UberConference.  We conference with each other many times every day– linking each other on calls, many times with employees spread all over the country — to touch base on particular issues or to hold meetings.  It is our intimacy with the needs of businesses in conference calling applications that drives our design of this product.

All of these tools are accessible from your smartphone. You can be anywhere and with your smartphone you can use these tools to effectively manage your staff and move your business forward. Especially with remote teams in different cities, it’s the future of work.