Friday, 22 February 2013

Is Blackberry BB10 a contender?

With Apple and Android storming ahead of any other mobile platforms, it was only a matter of time before Blackberry decided to pull their finger out.

The genius’ behind Blackberry are finally releasing new operating software that they believe will compete with other smartphone super giants. This new BB10 software has been created with multitasking and content sharing firmly at the top of their agenda.

Blackberry Hop is a way for users to well, hop, from one app to the next effortlessly with the swipe of a finger. Blackberry Hub is the social brain and collects all of your emails and social networking updates and comprises them all into one place instead of having to change from each application. Blackberry Remember is your phones memory. If you need to bookmark a page, flag an email, remember a to-do list or save a document, this is the tool to do just that.

It is clear to see that Blackberry’s idea is to seamlessly switch from app to app instead of relying on a home button or opening and closing. The emphasis on having a phone that flows continuously by having layers of applications open at one time is more than apparent.

As well as introducing these new features, Blackberry has some new models to let loose on the public too. These come in the form of the sleek Z10 which comes complimented with a 4.2-inch display and the Q10, which is one of the remaining few that retain a physical keyboard. These two new members, along with the BB10 software, represent a new culture change at Blackberry and one that was definitely needed.

When they were asked to provide something to compete with Apple and Android, they may have just done it. Blackberry may have multitasked their way to brilliance with these new arrivals.

Friday, 15 February 2013

5 Top Tips for your App Website

A website for your App is pretty much essential these days so here are our 5 top tips on how to make it work best for you and your App.

1. First Impressions
If your website isn't up to scratch then what will that say about your App? If you've developed a fantastic App and then thought about your website at the last minute it will show. Don't quickly have something thrown together or even worse do a DIY job when you don't have the skills as this is often how people will find, and of course judge the App. Just as much care should go into the App website as the App itself. It goes without saying that all the branding and general look and feel should match the App too.

2. What does your App do?
It seems really obvious to state exactly what your App does but you'd be surprised at how many App websites fail to do this in a quick and easy manner. Your homepage should be able to sum up in a single sentence exactly what your App does and how it can help the user. Even though most Apps are feature packed and take more explanation for every single thing, you need to get across in a few seconds what the App actually does.

3. Use Video
An excellent way of letting people know what your App does and just how great it is in by using video. These often work well on your homepage and grab peoples attention straight away. Keep this short (less than a minute) and punchy rather than a full on 10 minute video demo going through every screen and function with a boring commentary.

4. Encourage people to spread the word
Once you've got someone interested in your App because they'll find it useful or maybe just because it has that "cool factor" then help them spread the word. As well as the links to the App in the Appstore then also include your social media channels too to encourage engagement. Consider using a sharing widget on your website as these are easy to implement. This means that with a single click a user can share your content on Twitter, Facebook, by email, and plenty of other platforms.

5. Is it mobile friendly?
More often than not people will come across your App website when using their mobile, especially if they are casually searching. Have you either got a mobile specific website for the App and if not how does the website look and is it usable? In the past I've seen App websites that were built in Flash so wouldn't even be visible on an iPhone never mind be usable! Do make sure you've considered this as some of our stats point to nearly 50% of total App website traffic being from a mobile.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Apps As A Travel Companion

If you have a smart phone or tablet then you now have someone new to take on holiday with you, a new travel companion to help you choose where to go, what to see and how to get there. Your new travel companion is called "Apps". You can get some really great Apps to help you book and plan your holiday, here we look into some of the Apps on offer;

Planning Your Holiday
When planning your holiday it is often hard to decide which country and city to go to and when that is decided you then have to think about the best hotel, hostel, B and B or campsite to stay out. This is where your Apps can help. You can pop onto Skyscanner, Tripadvisor or similar and look for real peoples reviews of countries, cities and accommodation and even book it in the same place too at value for money prices.

What To Do
Maybe you like to plan in advance what to do, or perhaps you would prefer to get there and see what is around. Either way it is highly recommended to download a city guide App, this will tell you the best places to go and you will be able to see what people thought of them and how far they are away from where you will be staying. City Guide Apps are a really good way of getting out and about on your holiday and seeing what the area has to offer.

How To Get Around
So now you’re on holiday and you know where you want to go but how are you going to get there? There are some fantastic apps on the market that offer maps and navigation so you can see which way to go to get to the attraction you want to see or you could even check tram routes, train routes or even see if it is better to get a taxi. Having a navigational app gives you the freedom to go wherever you want. See one of our previous blogs about an App called Waze.

However, it is very important to check with your internet supplier what your data roaming charges are and if the charges are high then you need to ensure you do not use your smartphone or tablet abroad as this could become expensive. It may be wise to see if you can purchase a data roaming package in advance as this can cost around £3 a day.

Taking your new travel companion "Apps" on holiday can make such a difference to your holiday and it will help you make sure you don’t miss out on a thing.

Friday, 1 February 2013

What does "Second Screen" mean?

Imagine your regular night in front of the TV, your wife wants to catch up on the soaps but you want to know what’s going on in the football as you placed a bet on the score, you’re not a big fan and you don’t need to watch every second of the match but it would be good to know, as the match takes place, just how much you are in with a chance of winning. Your wife has kindly allowed you to channel hop during the breaks of her soap, but this is not a guarantee you will see the goals as (oddly enough) the footballers don’t wait until soap advert breaks to score, so you may or may not see the up to date scores.

This is where a second screen could help – you can fire up your iPad, iPhone or any other tablet or smartphone (or even laptop). You can then use dedicated sites or apps that will show lists of football matches with up to date results and scores and chances for you to see re-runs of the goals that may have won you lots of money with your bet!

The real power of second screens is to allow you to be interactive with the TV Program you are watching, there are very few programs that do not have their Twitter name or hashtag showing during the opening credits. This means that you, as a viewer, can discuss what is going on in the show, if you agree with something, if you are shocked by something or if you have something to share with other viewers of this program.

You will also find with some programs that you can go to their website and learn more about the characters in the program or more about the topic they have touched on, this can all be done on your second screen without you having to miss out on the program itself.

Basically a second screen is any device you can use to complement rather than replace your viewing – so pretty much any smartphone, laptop or tablet. A second screen not only allows you to interact with the TV programs you love, but it allows you to engage with this TV program and personalise your entire experience.