Tumblr Launches New Mobile Video Sharing App Named Cabana

Tumblr has recently announced the launch of Cabana. The new mobile app will allow people to share and watch videos together with their friends and family. This is the first social app from the micro blogging and social networking company, which currently has over 340 million blogs on its platform.

How The Cabana App Works

When a user downloads Cabana they can ask up to six people to join them in a virtual room. They can find their friends by their username or phone number by allowing the app to connect their address book. It’s up to the user to decide if they want to create a new room or join an existing one. Users can also choose between making their room public for everyone to view, or keeping it private by locking the room.

Once everyone is inside Cabana’s virtual room, users can chat with each other as long as they want to. Everyone can look up different video content and share it with their friends and family in the room. If someone doesn’t like the video that is playing on there, they can easily change it to another one. Cabana users can also keep using their phone when they have the app open. Users can pause the app and leave the room to make a phone call, look up directions, or do anything else they need to with their phone.

Tumblr plans to make the Cabana mobile app available in iOS during the summer. For more information about Cabana, please contact us today.

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McDonald’s Embraces New Mobile Tech

New Mobile Tech

McDonald’s recently decided to test new mobile ordering technology in several of their California restaurants. Customers can simply order their meal and drinks with their smartphone and pick it up at the nearest location instead of waiting in line at the counter or in the drive-thru.

The fast food giant installed mobile payment and ordering equipment in 29 restaurants throughout Salinas and Monterey last month. They plan to rollout the pilot program to over 50 additional restaurants in Washington.

The company’s business leaders are using the pilot to gain valuable insight into how customers interact with the technology. McDonald’s will use the feedback they collected during the trial run to revamp their mobile ordering system so it’s more efficient and user-friendly. Eventually the corporation plans to expand their new mobile app technology to almost every McDonald’s restaurant in the United States by the end of 2017. Restaurants in China, Canada, France, Germany and other European countries will also receive a similar upgrade.

Overall, McDonald’s hopes the new mobile ordering functionality will increase their digital sales and improve the customer experience. They can use the mobile app to notify customers about upcoming promotional offers and coupons. Fast food workers can also use the app to keep track of the customer’s location so they can have the food ready for them when they arrive.

As more and more people turn to their mobile phone to place orders, we believe the demand for mobile orders will only continue to grow. Please contact us today for the latest news and information about mobile tech.

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Apple Looking to Transform Diabetes Care

New Mobile Tech

In the world we are living in, there lies no limit to mobile technology. Every developer is trying to find ways to include everyday activities to fit into mobile technology for mobility purposes. Leading mobile tech companies like Apple have been at the forefront of development of various mobile technology to increase efficiency.
On a recent announcement, Apple has revealed they are working on a secret project to develop mobile wearable devices that will monitor blood sugar levels of people with diabetes without necessarily requiring users to use the invasive finger sticks. With biomedical engineers and doctors making up most of the team working on the project, the tech development will soon come to completion.

Broad market
The force fueling development of the technology to monitor blood sugar level is the lucrative nature of the market. With many people in the world suffering from the condition, developing a mobile technology to monitor your levels without having to poke your finger for a blood sample sounds like fun. With today’s mobile products being consumer goods, there lies an untapped market in the medical arena and Apple want to tap it.

Availability of similar products
By partnering with companies that deal with tech monitoring glucose levels, Apple has an added advantage regarding insights into development of the app. Many other products developed before hold accuracy issues and regularly need calibration for various periods of times, something that Apple looks to change by developing a technology that does not require calibration but works seamlessly through the day.

Future innovations
Using the same concept that Apple uses to develop their app, other mobile developers look to use the same technology to develop a monitoring patch for a variety of services. One particular idea in incubation is to measure performance of athletes and oxygen levels of patients in hospitals. For more information, call us.

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How to pick the right platform for your mobile development

As mobile apps advance with technology, developers need to move from a patched, ad-hoc development strategy, to more strategic approach. No doubt, the different scripting languages are one of the main barriers faced in mobile development today.

The debate on native, hybrid and web apps is ongoing, changing businesses and creating a new competitive differentiation. This is something that developers cannot afford to ignore. Even though app development has long since entered a new age, many developers and their clients still remain saddled with legacy mobile development ideas. As teams are tasked to build smarter mobile apps, they struggle with the major choices like what platform to choose and what framework to build with.

What should developers consider when selecting development platforms in an age of ever-changing technologies?
Building and delivering enterprise-grade mobile applications requires complex technical skills that can change with the tide. As a mobile apps developer, you are cut from a new cloth of applications developers. These jet age developers acknowledge change, embrace it and yearn for it. So the main decision driver when choosing a platform or framework is your client’s business logic.

The main question when choosing a platform is the framework. Once you pick a framework, the platform will naturally choose you. Decide on whether to go native, hybrid or to build a simple web application. Native apps will most likely be your first choice, but is it the right choice for your client and the project at hand?

Native apps are ‘native’ to specific platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone. The main advantage of native apps is performance and user experience. These apps are faster because they’re built for specific platforms, targeting SDK’s within these platforms. This much cannot be said for hybrid and web applications.

Hybrids are like native apps but run via a container. They’re coded with popular scripting languages like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Hybrid apps have come a long way, as are becoming more native as technology advances. Take for instance Cordova and PhoneGap applications. These apps have so many plugins that interact with device JavaScript API’s, enabling them access device functionalities like camera, calls, file systems and more.
Factors to consider before choosing a framework

As a developer who is trying to make the right platform choice, it is important to ask some of the below questions:

Will it cost less to build on this framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Is it a cross-platform framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Is development faster with this framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

How do apps perform on this framework?
Native – Yes
Hybrid – Yes/No
Web Applications – Yes/No

Is it easy to maintain, update and upgrade?
Native – Yes/No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Despite these pros and cons, the debate continues. The possibilities for hybrid and web applications is certainly huge as the benefit of not having to build apps for different platforms cannot be ignored. But some experts will argue that the loss of performance is not worth it. But the decision ultimately lies with you – the mobile developer. You can contact us if you need help in choosing the right platform for your app development.

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New Google Mobile Technology – Is It a Search Feature or App Launcher?

New Mobile Tech

Google is changing up the way users search for information by adding tappable shortcuts to its standard search page.  By adding this new element, Google is essentially turning its search feature into a mini-app launcher of its web tools like their restaurant finder or nearest ATM locator.
Although it might seem like a subtle shift, it fundamentally transforms the way users search for information, not only for the nearest restaurant or ATM but for other everyday information such as:

  • weather,
  • news,
  • hotel bookings,
  • or games like Tic Tac Toe and Solitaire.

The significance of recognizing there is better, more efficient ways to search for information include:  decreasing search times, making information more discoverable and throwing at least a small gauntlet down in front of Google competitors. 

No matter how much technology companies increase the speed of their products, both hardware and software, users often become frustrated when they have to wait for answers.  With Google’s new change, everyday information is that much more easily available for consumption.  In addition, Google makes their tools more discoverable by presenting some that most users did not even know existed.  Most users know that Google offers both a calculator and a language translator, but did anyone know they offer a bubble level to assist in hanging paintings or other wall fixtures?  Lastly, Google hopes to remain competitive by offering a faster, smoother experience to the billions who are searching for information every day.

It remains to be seen how this subtle shift by Google will affect apps, their developers and how people use mobile technology.  As it always does, the world of technology will continue to march forward to forge new and exciting pathways.

Want to know more about the latest in mobile technologies?  Contact us.

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How to Reverse Engineer your Website Before You Even Design It

Reverse engineering your website before you start to design

When it’s time to design your website, you may think you need to either start from scratch or use a competitor’s website for inspiration. But you may not realize there’s a third option: reverse engineering your website before you design it. This helpful technique will highlight the questions you need answered, the problem areas you need to address, and the basic functionality you need to hit the ground running. Here are just a few of the important things you can discover through reverse engineering.

Essential functionality. In today’s fast-paced world of development and deployment, it may be in your best interests to get a simple website out the door fast. Reverse engineering will help you do that. Start with an idea of the final version of your website, and then work backwards to see what components are needed. Will customers come to your site to shop for items and make purchases? Then you’ll need a shopping cart implementation with payment processing options. You’ll also need to capture state information to track what items are saved between site visits. Are you storing information about your customers? Then you’ll need a workflow for creating a login and password, along with database integration to keep track of customer account and order information.

Nice-to-have features. Reverse engineering will not only uncover the most necessary functions of your site, but will also highlight some nice-to-have features. For example, you might find that customers absolutely need a “Contact Us” page. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a live chat option as well? Or maybe your site needs to communicate important dates to users. Rather than a static list of events, you might decide a dynamic calendar is needed.

Reverse engineering can help you design your website more quickly and efficiently because you know exactly how you want your site to finally look and behave. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about using this technique on your next project.

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How Cloud Technology Helps Enterprise Mobility

In recent years, one of the popular concepts found in the tech world is “cloud technology”. Although at times, some technology concepts seem more hype than substance, cloud technologies actually live up to their reputation and are becoming an increasingly important tool to help companies streamline organizational processes.

Cloud technologies essentially allow organizations to incorporate an incredible amount of flexibility into the types of devices they use for corporate work processes. Cloud technologies provide this flexibility by potentially supporting a wide range of devices including tablets, smart phones, laptops, iPhones and iPads, while still serving the traditional workstation PC.

The cloud also helps organizations stay on top of even small changes in their business due to real-time updating of essential data. Cloud technologies make all this happen by unchaining data from an employee’s hard drive or even a corporate server and providing real-time access to key corporate employees wherever they might be. If you have employees who spend much of their time traveling or if they routinely work out in the field, no longer do they have to wait to get back to the office to upload their own changes or download important updates. As long as they have an internet connection, they can access their own portion of the world wide web through a cloud-based application.

Of course, anytime, anywhere access doesn’t mean that all organizational data and applications are accessible to everyone. Just as with local or intranet applications, organizations have complete control over deciding who has access to what in order to maintain the privacy and integrity of their data. If you would like to know more about how cloud technologies can assist your enterprise organization in becoming more mobile, please contact us.

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Need an App? Things to know when selecting a platform (iOS, Android, Cross Platform, Web Development)

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind nowadays, apps are on the rise, and taking advantage of them helps businesses exponentially. But there are a few things to consider before you even get started creating your app.

1. Know Your Target Market

This tends to go over the head of many new developers, but the target market for an app plays a big role in its development and success. If you are looking to develop a paid for app (or one that has in app purchases) then you definitely want to make sure it is on the Apple market. Studies have shown that Apple users spend sixty percent more on app purchases than their Android counterparts. However, if your app is a free service you would do well to choose Android, as most smart phone users in America and Europe use it.

2. Development Costs

The costs associated with developing an app are a little tricky to wade through. While at first it may seem simple, as Apple requires 100$ developer fee whereas Android is only 25$ there is more complexity than you might think.

Apple has higher restrictions on the functionality and aesthetic value of their apps, and their guidelines are strictly enforced. Meaning any deviation from their desired format, will require redesign. However on the plus side, Apple only supports 15 devices currently, which means you aren’t going to have many problems with ensuring full functionality on them.

Android on the other hand, has a much looser market. They tend to allow apps that are less than stellar. Which has its advantages, seeing as you aren’t likely to step on their metaphorical toes when deciding which features you want in your app. There is a bit of a downside though, as Android supports over 100 devices, which requires much longer testing to ensure your app is working properly.

To put it simple, both of these platforms can require a larger investment depending on how you want your app to function.

3. What the User Expects

This is going to change the output of your app more than you might think. Apple users expect their apps to look and function much like the rest of their phone, and straying from this can easily create confusion for the user.

Android users like their apps more stylized, even at the cost of it not working the same way as their operating system. However they are more acclimated to this kind of app, so it doesn’t come off as a downside to them.

In the end, you are going to have to decide what you want your app to accomplish, an determine which platform is best from there. If you are unsure as to which would better suite your needs, feel free to contact us, we’d be happy to help produce the highest quality, and cost efficient app for you.

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