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Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

Responsive web design isn’t the future, it’s the present

In our humble opinion it’s late to debate whether responsive web design is the future because it’s already the present of everybody’s business represented online. Consumer/client behavior has been changing. According to statistics and analysts’ predictions, for instance, for the first time since 2001, PC sales are projected to be lower than they were in 2012; smartphone sales will double PC sales in 2014; tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year and may top notebooks next year. So the shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed, and tablets and smartphones are becoming extremely popular for business and pleasure matters. This means people view your content on thousands of oddly shaped and different sized screens. What’s more, according to Google research, mobile users “expect their mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience” – this expectation poses a thorny challenge for both, business stakeholders and web designers and developers.

So this is no longer about “How do I make my website available to a smartphone or tablet?” – it’s “How do I make my business available in smartphone and tablet context?”. For some business it’s not important – it’s literally critical, for example: according to the Pew Research Center, 60% of tablet users prefer reading news on the mobile web than via an app; the same percentage is quite common for e-commerce sites according to Google Analytics and that’s why RWD has been listed in E-commerce marketing checklist for 2013. If you wish to identify the percentage of your audience that use mobile devices use the Google Analytics Mobile Overview report feature: if mobile users are more than 5% of your total audience you should consider catering for them too.

In general, there are three main approaches to providing information and interaction to mobile/tablet device users : responsive (and adaptive) web design, mobilized websites, and mobile apps. It’s important to understand that these are different marketing channels and their value proposition is very different. A mobile web site may do something very different from a mobile app – simply said, “if your goal is just to display and show content beautifully create a responsive or mobilized website; if your goal is to show productivity tools, build an app”. Which option is the best for your business will depend on your use case, your users’ habits and your budget.

Responsive web design vs mobile web development: advantages and challenges

To talk about advantages of responsive web design, let’s start from its definition. RWD is a front-end development approach aimed at crafting device agnostic sites. It uses “media queries” to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. So responsive design provides easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, and eliminates the need for separate sites for different devices. Adaptive web design is either a subset of responsive design, or a related approach. “Responsive design will show more stuff or less, optimized for a mobile layout, but is likely to still provide access to the full desktop-view’s content. Adaptive design, by contrast, might show very different content, and also present a different UI, reflecting touchscreen’s tap/swipe/scroll versus desktop’s keyboard/mouse interaction.” In either case, responsive (and adaptive) web design will be based on the same code as a desktop site, and will locate on the same URL.

- In the definition above a couple of advantages of RWD are pointed out. Indeed, it improves user web browsing experience since a website adapts to the browser or device compatibility automatically and makes the content look good. For customers it shows that your business is receptive to changing technology and understanding of consumers’ needs.

- From business perspective, “one website – multiple devices” concept means that it’s easy to manage and focus on developing good content for your website. The same applies to analytics and strategy development and deployment since there is only one set of analytics to examine and a single strategy to develop and deploy. From maintenance standpoint, the technique is great too as one update affects all of your platforms.

- Additionally, responsive websites are easier for consumers to find than traditional or mobile web sites because they come up higher in search engines’ rankings. “In fact, Google recommends responsive web design because having a single URL for desktop and mobile sites makes it easier for Google to discover content and for Google’s algorithms to assign indexing properties to content.”

- One more advantage from the future perspective, as Resnick predicts, is: “As the internet transforms further into a platform of services and user interfaces that tie those services together, leveraging RWD technology in the future will allow companies to integrate a plethora of back-end services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce.com, and Amazon Web Services, and then present the integrated data back out the front-end iad layer on a responsive design so the application looks great on all devices without custom coding needed for each device or screen size. No longer are expensive back-end solutions needed to integrate legacy systems with business partners.”

Actually responsive web design is quite immature so it faces many challenges too.

- Even though we might view a responsive website on a smaller screen and it displays less visible content or smaller-sized images, this does not mean that the site will load faster. The thing is that from one side responsive websites are not much smaller in download size when viewed on smaller devices or screen resolutions compared to when being viewed on a desktop browser jacked into a broadband internet service provider, on the other hand mobile internet speeds still lag much behind broadband internet ones. Thus responsive web sites need advanced optimization, such as serving smaller images and conditionally loading scripts, and much more. An alternative may be found in dedicated mobile web development solutions since they specifically address mobile devices.

- The related issue concerns complexity. Responsive web designs are inherently complex because they are trying to support many viewing experiences without necessarily optimizing the experience for one particular device (or genre of devices). Mobile browsers will have to deal with a big HTML file, and the site would need to carefully avoid running specific scripts, loading certain CSS and download large images. Perfect implementation is possible, still avoiding over-resourcing requires scripts or code and therefore additional complexity. Typical “m dot” site wins in this case and is simple. It usually has a small amount of HTML, limited scripts, CSS, and images (if at all) as it is built specifically for its intended small-screen, touchscreen mobile devices viewing experience.

- As for UI and UX, responsive websites have limitations here. Not only in screen size, they are also limited for utilizing or recognizing key mobile features such as user location, connectivity, device limitations, software potential, and user needs. Mobilized sites and mobile apps will provide broader opportunities and advantages here.

- Information architecture can be an issue. It needs to be carefully considered and should be hierarchically structured before the design implementation.

- Advertising is an issue. Ads will have to shift with the sites, something that will wreak havoc with advertisers who want guaranteed placements on sites.

So, which approach will or do you use to present your business online?

HTML5’s momentum and Best tools for responsive web design

Responsive web design is not a specific technology but a whole design approach. However, responsive design is enabled primarily by CSS3 and JavaScript, which fall under the banner of HTML5. HTML5 is really maturing in terms of its functionality and, more importantly, its speed. So now HTML5 is the backbone of the new and interactive features of responsive web design.

To achieve a smooth flow from a large screen to a small one it takes a lot of patience and perseverance. To reach a seamless result there are a number of tools that help you with it. Below you will find a list of best responsive design tools broadly recommended in the web as well as by Altabel’s dev team:

1. Gridset
A tool that helps you design, prototype and build any type of grid layout required – columnar grids, asymmetrical, fixed, fluid or responsive grids. It even lets you create a library of your own grids, with a variety of presets available. It will allow you to build responsive prototypes (without all the calculations) very quickly and easily, providing all the measurements and tools to integrate with your existing markup.
Alternatives: Frameless, Tiny Fluid Grid, Gridpak, SimpleGrid, Responsify, Responsive.gs, Golden Grid System and Photoshop Grid for Responsive Design.

2. Bootstrap
An intuitive and powerful front-end framework from Twitter to start a responsive website fast and easy. It addresses the most popular user interface components and interactions, uses a 12-column responsive grid system with simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and Javascript and features dozens of components, styles and JavaScript plug-ins, with basic global display, typography and link styles all set. It also gives the option of customizing components of your website for instance by using the Customizer .
Alternatives: Skeleton, Foundation, Base, InuitCSS, LESS Framework, Gridless, 320 and Upand Gumby.

3. Wirefy
Clients wish to see how wireframes will adapt to different device sizes. Static wireframes aren’t particularly useful to show a client how responsive your design is, or what functionality is being suggested. But rapid prototyping by building flexible wireframes may. Wirefy is a collection of functional responsive HTML snippets and templates that scale as the browser is resized (working across multiple devices). It builds on tools such as the Frameless grid system and Bootstrap, and uses CSS media queries that adapt to different device resolutions. Wirefy focuses on key elements such as typography, tables, images, slideshow, forms, tab panel, paginator, menu, etc., focusing on the users.
Alternatives: Froont, Interactive Style Tiles, Responsive Sketch Sheets, Responsive Wireframe Template, Interface Sketch Templates, Responsive Device Diagrams, Wirify.

4. FlevNav
Navigation strategy is a really critical component of any responsive website design. FlexNav is a jQuery plugin that takes a device-agnostic approach to complex site navigation. It is a mobile-first concept using media queries and JavaScript to create a menu with drop downs. It features multiple nested sub-menus, with support for em units and tap targets to reveal sub-menus for touchscreens.
Alternatives: TinyNav.js, Navigation Patterns for Responsive Design, MeanMenu, Responsive Solutions for Menu Navigation, jPanelMenu.

5. Adaptive Images
Previously, making your website images responsive was tricky and usually meant using a “hack-around”. Now several tools may simplify this task. Using a one htaccess file, one php file and a single line of JavaScript, Adaptive Images detects screen size of browsing devices, cashes and delivers device appropriate re-scaled versions of your web page’s embedded HTML images without any mark-up changes. Also it is entirely non-destructive, and works on existing websites and markups — without the need to edit anything. Adaptive Images works on the premise that you are already using the highest-resolution images on your site, and also offers a ton of customization options.
Alternatives: ReSRC.it, jQuery Picture, ResponsiveImg, Retina.js and Retina Images.

6. FitText
As content scales according to a user’s viewport, the text will naturally wrap as the container is narrowed; and this often causes widows, orphans or your headlines to look rather ugly, and can even break the entire layout. FitText is a jQuery plugin specifically for headlines and big text. It auto-updates the font size according to the width of the element wrapping it, so you can achieve scalable headlines and a non-broken layout that can be caused by font-sizing issues. FitText works perfectly with Lettering.js or any CSS3 property thrown at it. There are options to fine-tune the text, including the ability to set min-max sizes and the level of scaling. Still FitText is only for headlines, and shouldn’t be used with paragraph text.
Alternatives: BigText, Lettering.js, Kerning.js, Kern.js, Type Butter and Slabtext.

7. Responsive Slides
This lightweight plugin allows you to create a responsive slider using elements inside a container. The images have to be the same size and jQuery 1.6 and up should be used. You can keep captions and other non-HTML elements inside the slides, while also using CSS3 transitions with JavaScript fallback. It works in all major desktop and mobile browsers, can support multiple slide shows, have settings for transition and timeout durations, automatic and manual fade, and have options for customization.
Alternatives: Flex Slider, Slides.js, PhotoSwipe, Supersized, Camera, RefineSlide, BlueberrySequence.js and Galleria.

8. Responsive Tables
Data tables in responsive design can be troublesome: you want it to not break responsive layouts, not hide content, let you see entire rows and columns, not be too small to read easily or zoomed in too far requiring scrolling. Here ZURB comes out – a simple JavaScript/CSS combination containing two key files: responsive-tables.js and responsive-tables.css. It works by taking the first column, which is often the unique key for a table, and “pinning” it to the left of the table, allowing you to scroll the other columns under it.
Alternatives: Responsive Data Tables, Stackable.js, Footable, Responsive Tables, Responsive Tables, Responsive SEO Friendly Data Tables.

9. Responsive Design Testing
Building a responsive website means constantly testing how it displays across mobile and tablet devices. You could resize the browser yourself, or use a browser extension or tools within your IDE; but there is an extremely simple tool that allows you to see how a page displays on different screen sizes, in a single view. With Matt Kersley’s RWD testing tool you just have to enter your website’s URL into the address bar to test a specific page in different widths and device sizes. Also you can share the results of the test with others by adding any URL to the end of the testing page address. One major benefit of this tool is that it can be self-hosted (available on GitHub) by downloading and installing it on your own site. You can then navigate through the frames that your website appears in, testing the entire site effortlessly.
Alternatives: Screen Queries, Screenfly, Responsivepx, Responsinator, Responsive ViewportResponsive.is, and Resize My Browser.

10. Respond.js
The problem with media queries in responsive web design is that they are a part of CSS3 specifications so they do not work with older browser versions such as IE8 and lower. Respond.js comes to the rescue for browsers that don’t support media queries directly, translating any media queries it finds into equivalent JavaScript.The script itself is incredibly small and lightweight. It works unobtrusively, and doesn’t rely on any other scripts or frameworks to run.
Alternatives: Modernizer, Adapt, Categorizr, CSS3 Media Queries and Enquire.js.

The tools above are ultra useful for any RWD project from the planning and designing phase right through to testing, and what’re your favorites?

Welcome to share your view points.

Helen Boyarchuk

Helen Boyarchuk
Helen.Boyarchuk@altabel.com
Skype ID: helen_boyarchuk
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

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The Web as we know it have been born and matured on computers, but as it turns out now, computers no longer have dominance in it. According to a recent report by analyst Mary Meeker, mobile devices running iOS and Android now account for 45 percent of browsing, compared to just 35 percent for Windows machines. Moreover, Android and iOS have essentially achieved their share in just five years and their share is getting tremendously larger.

According to some forecasts their worldwide number of mobile devices users should overtake the worldwide number of PC users next year. If forecasts come true, this shift will not only continue, but accelerate. Based on data from Morgan Stanley, Meeker estimates roughly 2.9 billion people around the world will be using smartphones and tablets by 2015.

What does it mean now that more people are accessing the Web through tablets and smartphones rather than laptops and desktops? And is it really a big deal? Anyway, Internet is intended to be accessed from anywhere and thus from any device. Well, it is quite a change at least in terms most people consider the Web and how it gradually adapts to be used on mobile devices.

Apps-like sites
As mobile devices take over, the use of today’s desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will decline. Mobile browsers are already very capable and will increasingly adopt HTML5 and leading-edge Web technologies. As mobile devices naturally have less screen area, the sites need to function more like mobile apps and less like collections of links. So the sites are likely to look like apps.

Apps may rule
Native apps for smartphones and tablets almost always surpass websites designed for mobile devices because they can tap into devices’ native capabilities for a more responsive and seamless experience. This is most likely to change in the nearest future – most experts agree HTML5 is eventually the way of the future. This is already the status quo in social gaming: for example Angry Birds and Words with Friends. Some services won’t be available at all to traditional PCs — they won’t be worth developers’ time.

Less information at once
Web sites and publishers will no longer be able to display everything new for users and hoping something will catch the user’s eye. Smaller screens and lower information density means sites will need to adjust to user preferences and profiles to customize the information they present. Increasingly, the Internet will become unusable unless sites believe they know who you are. Some services will handle these tasks themselves, but the most likely contenders for supplying digital identity credentials are Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and mobile carriers.

Sharing by default
In a mobile-focused Internet, anonymity becomes rare. Virtually every mobile device can be definitively associated with a single person (or small group of people). Defaults to share information and experiences with social circles and followers will be increasingly common, along with increasing reliance on disclosure of personal information (like location, status, and activities, and social connections) to drive key functionality. As the Internet re-orients around mobile, opting out of sharing will increasingly mean opting out of the Internet.

Emphasis on destination
Internet-based sites and services will increasingly function as a combination of content and functionality reluctant to link out to other sites or drive traffic (and potential advertising revenue) elsewhere. These have long been factors in many sites’ designs but mobile devices amplify these considerations by making traditional Web navigation awkward and difficult. Still URLs are not going to die – people will still send links to their friends and Web search will remain most users primary means of finding information online.

Going light weight
As people rely on mobile, cloud, and broadband services, the necessity to do things like commute, store large volumes of records or media, or patronize physical businesses will decline. Businesses won’t need to save years of invoices, statements, and paperwork in file boxes and storage facilities – cloud storage comes as their rescue. Banks will become purely virtual institutions consumers deal with online via their phones. Distance learning and collaborative tools will let students take their coursework with them anywhere — and eliminate the need to worry about reselling enormous textbooks.

Going mobile is an obvious trend today. Experts envisage that nearly every service, business, and person who wants to use the Internet will be thinking mobile first and PC second, if they think about PCs at all. Do you agree? And what other related changes can you imagine?

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

One of my latest articles was about the android app advertizing networks, where I tried to enumerate one of the best and most popular networks existing at the moment. And what about iPhone networks ? – I thought. Developers and publishers can certainly make money with iPhone apps as well as with Android ones and receive quite good money. So in order not to be accused of being a “mobile platform racist” I`ve tried to prepare the list of some interesting ad networks that iphone app and game developers may use :) You could pick the one you like and use it to monetize your iPhone app. Let`s get into the list….

iAd – iAd is considered to be one of the best Ad network that is directly owned by Apple and it is serving the most number of iPhone Apps already available in the market. iAd claims that currently every 100′s of their publishers are earning $50,000 per quarter in average. iAd shares the owners of the apps 60% of the income generated by the iPhone App.

Similar to AdMob, iAd facilitates integrating advertisements into applications sold on the iOS App Store. If the user taps on an iAd banner, a full-screen advertisement appears within the application.

LeadBolt App Advertising – With this Mobile App network, you could integrate their SDK to monetize your Apps. They support different formats of advertisements like Text Ads, Banner Ads, Video Ads etc. You could customize the Ad placements like entry Ads, exit Ads, Menu Ads and test around to maximize your earnings.

Smatto App Advertising Network – This is one of the highest paying Ad network which gives 90% of Ad earnings to developers and publishers and keeps only the remaining 10%. It has simple APIs which gives access to multiple Ad networks around the countries and you could pick the required Ad networks. However, to join Smatto you must generate 30+ million page impressions per month . It is compatible with iPhone iOS, Android, Nokia OVI, windows, blackberry.

iPhoneAlliance – Alliance represents about 50 million page views delivered from 10 million App users around the world specialized in iPhone App advertising. They are providing an end-to-end Ad solution which helps to configure, manage and to optimize ad performance so that you could maximize the earnings from iPhone Apps.

Mobclix App Advertising – This is one of the ad network which supports real-time bidding for advertisers and hence there are more possibilities to maximize your earnings. They have impression based earnings and your App gets the power to earn from each Ad impression it makes. Like other programs, it connects with multiple ad networks and gives single payment.

MobFox – MobFox is world’s highest-paying mobile advertising network for US & EU Traffic on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 applications and mobile websites. Instead of working with hundreds of different advertisers and networks, they concentrate on placing the most engaging and most paying premium ads on users applications or mobile websites.

Here you see a short list of interesting iPhone add networks available and I hope this list will be of interest and use to you :) Have you ever tried to promote your iPhone apps and games through some ad network? It will be great if you could share your experience.

Anna Kozik

Anna Kozik
Anna.Kozik@altabel.com
Skype ID: kozik_anna
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

The necessity for companies and developers to market and promote their individual applications has never been more important than ever, and is often absolutely crucial to an app’s success.

Now we have absolutely different situation we have a flooded App Store with various applications and an imposing mass of competition. With more than 300 apps being released on a daily basis, it is much more difficult to gain free press at niche websites as well as make it into the Top 100 charts. This is where the practices of marketing and advertising are absolutely essential to survive in the App Store.

To begin with you should be ready with your precise plan of your further action. Your plan of attack should really begin before you even open Xcode. As with any other business model, you must cover all grounds including research, design, artwork and branding, coding and hardware, and advertising and marketing.

Pre Launch marketing

Building a buzz around your app and allowing users to become aware of it’s release will add to the success of an application. You can do this promotion and marketing yourself through iPhone forums, social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and creating individual web pages dedicated to the application itself.

Aside from word of mouth promotions, pre-launch hype also begins with advertisement campaigns and website takeovers. Nothing is better than having your application branded across a website for a certain amount of time. Other ways to gain recognition are Press Releases, demonstration videos on YouTube, and user reviews.

App Launching on AppStore

So you have your ready iOS application and the next step you would like to begin with is to upload it to the AppStore and start its promotion there. Below some tips how to make it in a better way.

Here I would like to highlite that this is the most important part of your iPhone marketing mix. Most people look for cool new apps either on their iPhone/iPad, or through iTunes. Why? It’s the most convenient! That’s why it is so important for iOS application developers to focus on app in-store appearance most. When I use term “in-store appearance” I mean the following components:

App name should be concise enough to attract attention, but should also contain the most important keywords. It is one of the most important factors in search result ranking within the App Store.

Customer Reviews & Ratings it is important to make sure that your application doesn’t look like noone’s ever downloaded it. No reviews, no downloads in the eyes of iTunes users.

iPhone App Marketing Services allow you to build a positive image for your app and attract more downloads across different country app stores.

Colorful and interesting screenshots - Important factor in relaying info about your app. Great screenshots make users be interested in further downloading of the app and trying it in the action.

App description – it is make sense from a search result perspective. Should start with a bullet point list of important features, followed by a text description

Also one more thing we should pay attention to is Application Icon. Make sure that you have an attractive and eye-catching app icon that best represents and sells your application to the user. If your application icon lacks any attention, your product branding awareness is doomed from the start.

There are some smaller ways to gain attention across the net and within the App Store. So you can cause your app to jump back into the “new” charts by changing the release date of the app to the date at which your update was approved, which allows your app to be released in the next batch of updates that hit the App Store.

Also one more great idea is to offer “lite” versions of your application, especially if they are higher priced. It will offer not only free promotion but if the user is impressed enough, they’ll spring for the full version. Think “try before you buy”. Make sure the lite version includes a majority of the features offered in the full version, otherwise a user will move on and you potentially lost a buck to begin with.

This is some of the basic tools covering the first steps you need to do while promoting your application on the AppStore. For sure using AppStore as a core tool to promote the application is not the only variant but at the same time this is the most important playground for further application promotion campaign.

So my questions is what any methods/approaches do you use to promote your application on the AppStore? How do you promote your apps?

Please feel free to share your comments and opinions.

Natalia Kononchuk

Natalia Kononchuk
Natalia.Kononchuk@altabel.com
Skype ID: natalia_kononchuk
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

While there are some cool new flourishes and features, there are some problems too. Here’s what you need to know before downloading the new OS on your device.

iOS is polished. For instance, notice that the music app received a visual overhaul and some tiny but amazing new touches. Try tilting the app in multiple directions while listening to a song and you’ll see the details (the new volume and track knobs will animate). Or turn on Do Not Disturb and watch the animated crescent moon icon appear next to the time. It’s these small and subtle additions that have made using iOS 6 such a pleasure.

Check the features that will work on your Apple device

So the question stands, is it a worthy upgrade? Without a doubt if you are on an iPhone 4 or 4S, then yes. But let’s talk about what you don’t get and what really didn’t feel polished this time around. Apple provides a list of features on their iOS 6 page found here: http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page, Apple lists the features that are available and for which devices. It may help you avoid some headaches if you know exactly what will work on the device that you own. Here is the list:

1. Turn-by-turn navigation is available only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPad 2 or later with cellular data capability. Flyover is available only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 or later, and iPod touch (5th generation). Cellular data charges may apply.

2. Siri is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires Internet access. Cellular data charges may apply.

3. FaceTime video calling requires a FaceTime-enabled device for the caller and recipient and a Wi-Fi connection. FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability. Availability over a cellular network depends on carrier policies; data charges may apply.

4. Offline Reading List is available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.

5. Made for iPhone hearing aids require iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.

6. Panorama is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch (5th generation).

7. Find My iPhone and Find My Friends enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan.

iCloud requires iOS 5 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd generation or later), or iPad; a Mac computer with OS X Lion or later; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion. Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.

But some features may not be available for all countries or all areas.
Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

What’s up with Maps?

Aside from all of the other new features, there are two new items that are getting a lot of coverage from other reviewers. The first is Maps. Maps is taking a beating due to the lack of transit information and missing data. I can’t imagine Apple not working aggressively to bring their map implementation up to speed with Google. This, however, may be a make or break issue for some, but also keep in mind that Google is working on a separate Maps app to take the place of the one Apple removed.

What’s else? You’re welcome with your comments.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

At WWDC 2012, Apple took the wraps of iOS 6. Due to be released in the fall of this year, Apple has added several new features to the OS that will surely be a boon for business. Lets jump in and talk about a few of these features and how they may benefit your organization.

Maps
One of the most talked about Apps to receive an upgrade in iOS 6 is Maps. Apple chose to drop Google as its map provider and built a new solution from the ground up, using crowed sourced data for traffic and Tom technologies for navigation. The App now renders maps using vector art, making the App much more responsive while adding a great new feature called Flyover, which renders cities in stunning 3D. Siri is now fully integrated as well, so asking for directions will instantly produce turn-by-turn navigation results. You can even ask Siri, while navigating, how much longer until you reach your destination.

Facebook integration
For those of you out there that manage your organization’s social media, the introduction of Facebook integration will almost certainly be assisting in your day-to-day task. Simply add your Facebook username and password within the iOS setting, just as you do with Twitter now, and Facebook will automatically authenticate Apps that use Facebook authentication. Share your information using hooks that can be built into any App using Apple’s Facebook API and from most every App that comes native in iOS.

Passbook
Passbook is a very interesting tool that Apple will be making available in iOS 6. Think of Passbook as your digital wallet, allowing you to store boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more. Granted Passbook will make travel far more convenient with powerful features such as real time updates such as gate changes and location based notifications.

FaceTime
There isn’t really much new with FaceTime. Essentially it’s the same App as before, only now FaceTime works over 3G. But combined with the power of AirPlay, and the ability to project your conference to a display, it’ll be a renaissance in telecommuting, networking, and conferencing. As more iOS devices come to market and business adopts them, video conferencing will become far more accessible. FaceTime is remarkably easy to use and convenient, as it can be accessed while traveling.

Phone
The phone App received some simple but great new features, and features that seem to be targeted right at professional users. In the new phone App, declining a call produces a new set of actions, such as Reply with Message or Remind Me Later, allowing you to message the caller or remind yourself after a meeting while sending your call to voice mail. Additionally, for those times that your undivided attention is needed, Apple has provided a new Do-not-Disturb preference within the OS Settings.

Mail
Mail has received a few minor but useful tweaks such as a new VIP inbox that allows you to easily select contacts from your address book that will place any email communications into a specially marked inbox. Also mail now has the ability to add photos and videos inline.

Have you heard about some others updates to iOS 6? You could list them bellow.

Best Regards,
Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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