The Mac and iPhone experience, with the convenience of the Web.
Some people love business Web apps because of the sharing conveniences. Some people love business Mac and iPhone apps because of the way they feel and work.
Imagine you could have the best of both worlds. Imagine you could launch a desktop app and use it right away, with no login, no wait, and no network connection required. Imagine if that same app automatically synchronized your data securely the next time a network connection is available. Imagine not having to worry about servers and networking, or having to make a large upfront investment.
Imagine no more.
Announcing Billings Pro 1.5 with Marketcircle Cloud
It’s been a long time coming and we’ve been dying to tell the world what we’ve been up to. We’ve been thinking about what is now called “the Cloud” for a few years, but we were dissatisfied with the available options. Everything at that time pointed to Web apps. We were bothered by the fact that although computers keep getting faster and more powerful, we’d be designing applications that limit themselves to network connections and the way Web apps feel. Why? It didn’t make sense to us.
What we wanted was the best of both worlds. We wanted a system that gave our users the conveniences Web apps afford as well as the feel of a proper desktop application (Windows users have a hard time appreciating the difference, but Mac and iPhone/iPad users know there is a huge one). People prefer the experience of a native app – the success of the iOS App Store and Mac App Store speak to this fact.
Those real apps are great for single users, but they become difficult to leverage in a multi-user, multi-device collaborative world. Marketcircle Cloud has solved this problem for the kinds of business apps we strive to create.
When you download the new beta of Billings Pro (by invitation, see below), you’ll be greeted with the following screen. If you already have an account, put in your credentials and off you go. If you don’t, you can create an account and add some users in 60 seconds. The additional users will get an invitation via email with the necessary details to get started.
Once completed, the award winning Billings interface will appear. Our Billings product family has received many awards, including the recent MacUser Editor’s Choice award, an Apple Design Award and more.
Manage your account online
You can add or remove users, wipe device databases and more using a simple Web interface.
Flexibili￼ty: Cloud or Self Service
If you prefer to manage your own server and networking, no problem. Simply purchase permanent licenses and install Billings Pro Server on a stationary Mac. If you prefer not to worry about servers, the upfront capital costs, networking, backups and all the things that come with server administration, then use our Cloud service for a reasonable monthly fee.
*Pricing page is not currently live on our website
To keep things simple, we’ve opted for one price that includes everything. You get the full desktop Mac application, the iPhone application, and our Web based time tracking app, Timecard, for any number of devices with no limitations for US$19.95 per user/month. If you prefer to keep the data on your own server, you can purchase permanent licenses on a per-user basis (see store, major upgrades not included). You can migrate from self service to the cloud at any time – and you get a 30 day free trial at the beginning either way.
*During the beta there will be no cost for the service
We’ve had a number of companies using this system for a few months now and this is what some of them have to say:
“We migrated our data across and forgot about it. It all just works – no more worries about dedicating a machine to be the server, having static IP addresses, slow DSL connections and firewalls etc…”
– Stephen in the UK. Creative Director, SpottyPaws.com
“Billings Pro with Marketcircle Cloud has made my life much easier. I’m all the way in Pakistan and the performance has been very good.”
– Khalid in Pakistan. Director, Dexterous Pvt Ltd.
“This new system has been great and simple for me. I’ve been able to do my time-tracking and invoicing from anywhere using a real Mac app and share that data with my colleague without any complications or IT stuff. It just works.”
– Lu in Canada. Director of Photography, Photagonist
Which is for you?
If you’re technical savvy with networks and servers, the self-service option might be best for you. If you just want to get down to business and skip all that technical stuff, the Cloud option is the way to go.
So what’s next?
We are conducting a brief “By Invitation Beta” program prior to full release. Should you wish to apply for an invitation, please fill in the form below.
Update: The public beta is now available here.
We believe this key piece of the puzzle will help us take advantage of the rising popularity of MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Our Billings family of products is looking much more complete now. As a single user, you can purchase Billings and Billings Touch.
With multiple users, you can purchase Billings Pro, Billings Pro Touch and Billings Pro Server (which includes Timecard).
Or if you prefer we manage the server bit, you will now have the Cloud option with Billings Pro, Billings Pro Touch and Timecard.
Until next time…