Madison Grady

About the author

Project Coordinator and Blogger for Ammobia

Blackberry v. iPhone

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The smart phone world is a constant competition for the best device, most user friendly software, and the chicest look. It’s all about having the coolest gadget. Although, the Blackberry once was the go-to for business, the iPhone has now become the popular new business smart phone. The Blackberry was popular because of the keypad for email. However, the iPhone now sets the industry standard and you’ll often see small businesss owners to tech gurus sporting the newest iPhone.

 

My iPhone was such a desirable device that it was stolen and I was left temporarily with my back up phone from years back… my good old Blackberry. I did not realize prior to this how reliant I am on my iPhone for business and personal emails, my calendar, To-Do list in my notes app, the navigation app, and things I take for granted like being able to check the weather in the app and use Yelp to find a dining spot. I no longer knew what the weather would be like at 3pm and did not remember what exit to get off at to go to some of my favorite places. I relied on my iPhone for my basic daily needs. I tried to zoom in on my Blackberry and would often forget and was baffled when I could not answer my phone calls by tapping on my screen. I have become accustomed to the user interface and operating system of the iPhone.

 

The obvious issue with the Blackberry is that the iPhone has a seamless user interface with ease of access for apps. Snapchat, Instagram, Running with Friends (my new favorite addictive iPhone app game), Facebook, Twitter, Yelp… You get the point. They all are easily accessible through the iPhone app store and you can use the touch screen to easily select your choice. The Blackberry does not have these apps and the ease of use. The keys,  especially on smaller blackberrys are hard to use and are especially difficult for males with larger fingers or females with nails. I had a tough time scrolling down and typing. I had many typos in texts and had no auto-correct to save me. The first iPhone made the easy to use Blackberry look difficult. With the iPhone there is no scrolling to select your app. You can touch what you want rather than use buttons to scroll for it. This touch screen selection is an intuitive approach to a keypad. It is our instinct to touch and tap, not scroll. My Blackberry would constantly freeze and show that it was loading when I was trying to use basic applications, like the navigation. Additionally, the texts often took longer to receive. The camera was nowhere near the caliber of the iPhone and I did not have the games I love to play.

 

Additionally, the user experience of the iPhone is very different from that of the Blackberry. I realized something profound… I have a close relationship with my iPhone. It feels as if my phone has a personality. I often ask Siri questions and she responds. She is a person. She calls you by name, she responds to your questions, she asks you questions, she searches for things and even changes your settings if you so desire. The voice recognition on the Blackberry was very poor quality and it was faster to go to Safari and type in my questions to Google. Also, I am used to the way the iPhone operates and feels. It is familiar, like an old friend. I felt much more removed from my Blackberry. It was not a part of me like my iPhone and even my emails and messages seemed to lack the intimacy and immediacy that they have on the iPhone. I realized this is due in part to the fact that I can see my recipient typing a response in iMessage. I can see when my message has been delivered, read, and is being responded to in real time. The Blackberry text messages felt more like email. You can read them and respond when you want. The urgency to respond was decreased. The iPhone is an interactive, comprehensive experience. It combines the intimacy of person to person communication through Siri, the immediacy and urgency of communication through iMessage and Facetime, fulfills basic needs through apps like the weather and notes, and has a fun customizable design. There is room for more personalization of your smartphone and it is a laptop, a camera, and a phone all in one. The user interface is streamlined, easy to use, quick, and clean. More than anything it is familiar and intuitive.

 

As a Gen Y I have grown up with familiarity of Apple. I understand how to use their products and even if a device is new I still understand the basics of the operating system. I was Apple born and Apple bred. Generation Y and now the growing Generation Z have grown up with this familiarity for Apple products. I grew up with a Mac desktop computer and children are being given ipods for music and even little kids are given ipads to play games and keep them entertained during long car rides. Blackberry still has a big business following, but the trend is towards Apple products.

 

 

Your Mobile App Idea

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The mobile smart phone is here to stay. When Apple introduced the iPhone almost 5 years ago they revolutionized the mobile smart phone industry. All of the sudden consumers could customize their mobile phone with 3rd party applications that provided additional functionality to their mobile phones. Now that smart phones are so pervasive throughout the industry, everyone has developed their own mobile app ideas.

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How To Submit Your App to the Apple App Store

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This is Part 1. What you’ll need before this video, you’ll need to buy the $99 Developer Program from developer.apple.com for iPhone. Also you need a Mac running minimum 10.6.

 

Once you’ve done that and you’ve got the requirements, you want to head to Safari. You want to write “developer.apple.com/iphone,” click enter, and you want to log in to your account on the iOS Dev Center and type in your details. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken to the iOS Dev Center once you’re logged in. On the right hand side, you’ll see iOS Provision Portal. You want to click the bar underneath iOS Developer Program.

 

Once you are in the Provision Portal, you want to click Certificates and then Distribution. Before we request one and make a certificate, we need to download a WWR certificate to allow us to submit for it to work. So we’re going to place this into Keychain Access, and we’ll see the Apple Worldwide Developer Relations Certification Authority in the Keychain. Once you’re done that, you’re going to go to “Request Certificate,” and it’s going to give you details of how to get the certificate for distribution.

 

What you want to do is go to Keychain Access and Certificate Assistant, then Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority, click that. Put your email address in which you used top purchase the Developer Program, your Apple ID, and also your common name is your name. You want to save it to disk and leave the CA Email Address blank. And put it on your desktop.

 

Once you’ve done that, you want to click Done and go back to Safari and Choose File, and on Desktop, you want to click Certificate Signing Request, and then click Choose, and you want to Submit. It will say Pending Issuance, and you just want to wait and then refresh, and it should pop up now. Click Download, and you want to click Distribution Identity, and then if we go ahead to My Certificates, we’ll see it’s been installed as well as Say iPhone Distribution, your name, and then Private Key.

Hope this is helpful!

 

iOS 7 Unveiled. What do You Think?

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First off, I want to say that iOS 7 is a huge leap forward! Apple is stating that iOS 7 is the biggest advancement that Apple has made, or the biggest change to the operating system since the introduction of the iPhone, yes, the very first iPhone. It’s supported by new features, a vastly different user interface (UI), and a whole new design.

 

Overall Design and UI

To begin with, the whole design is a completely new animation! It’s much flatter and more visually simplistic. The letters, the typography has been all redesigned for a totally different style. There are new animations and transparency for images. Similarly, there are a lot of transparent elements throughout the operating system. The lettering is thinner, lighter, and sleeker. The entire operating apparently feels lighter and it’s completely flat. An example of that would be in the text messaging app. Previously, there were the 3D bubbles; now with iOS7 they are flattened out. It was a redesigned to a more modern taste, incorporating straight, clean lines and even the reverse ombre of the messages from top to bottom. Apple has followed trends in other industries in terms of design and look and implemented it into iOS7. Apple is saying that you’ll be getting a completely new experience out of iOS 7. Perhaps, with such a vastly different design this is true. The personality of iOS7 is very diffferent from its predecessors, which can be incredibly exciting while also unsettling to iphone users.

 

Specific Features 

In terms of specific features, Apple went through and updated all their proprietary apps such as messages, Gaming Center, and the Calendar app. The Calendar app is much cleaner and has a small screen view of the month while you can still view your current day. It’s almost entirely white, so that is one obvious change that they made. The messages apps carry a much flatter design, and this carries on through the Game Center, which has a transparent feel as well. They also updated the Notification Center, so it’s much more simplified and it adds more immediate information. You can also now access it directly from the lock screen. Additionally, the lock screen has also been redesigned, as the swipe gesture is now incorporated. The photos app is also getting redesigned, so it’s more transparent, and that goes along with the entire user interface (UI) as well. It features more tiny thumbnails that you can preview by sliding your finger as well, and now it’s integrated with AirDrop and iCloud so you can do all sorts of photo streaming and sharing your photos, especially via iCloud. You can also share video via iCloud as well. These specific features have made basic functions more convenient.

 

Control Center

Apple is also highlighting the Control Center, which can be likened to the Quick Settings toggle that Android has always had. It lets you access settings by swiping up from the bottom, and you can do things like change your brightness, access airplane mode, and listen to music directly from there. You can even turn on a flashlight mode as well. There are various different small little setting features that you can do directly from that easy access Control Center. It’s basically a quick settings menu that you can access really fast. Safari has also been redesigned, so now there’s a cleaner, full screen browsing experience. The tabs are also getting redesigned so it’s more of a top-down view now. There are also a variety of minor changes being made to Safari in the tab department as well.

 

Siri

Siri is being redesigned, so it now has a much newer, cleaner interface, and there are two new voices. You can get a male and female in French, German, and of course, English. So there’s different options that you have there in terms of customization. Apple also stated that Siri is now more intelligent, so you can now turn on Bluetooth, switch your brightness, and it’s also integrated with many other apps such as Twitter, Wikipedia, and search engines such as Bing. One other thing Siri is being updated for is the iOS’s new car features as well.

 

Those are most of the obvious updates and changes that most users will identify. However, the App Store is being updated. It’s essentially been entirely redesigned. It now features automatic upgrades as well, and Apple also unveiled iTunes Radio, which is a new streaming service that lets you create stations based on your library and whatever music you like to listen to, your listening habits.

 

Whether you love it or you hate it, iOS7 is the newer, cleaner, sleeker, and yes, flatter version of previous iOSs. It essentially feels like an entirely different phone because the operating system is vastly different in terms of user interface, design, and all the bells and whistles we love and get used to. We are creatures of habit, of routine, and we often like what we already know and understand. Change in anything isn’t easy and every time a new iOS comes out naturally consumers and the tech world will gasp and perhaps groan when they can no longer figure out how to close their apps… That is until they see they can close 3 at a time with just a swipe of their fingers. Technology is all about change: reimagination, improvement, innovation, and making the world more efficient, easier, and a little bit more interesting. That’s the spirit of it. Change is hard, especially when we become attached to the personality of our phone, but as always, Apple delights us with increased efficiency and when iOS8 comes out we will all proclaim that we loved iOS7 just the way it was… because iOS8 is just too… new.

 

 

Which is Better? Html5 Vs. Native

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What’s the Difference?

One of the key questions for developers is whether to focus their efforts in creating apps using HTML5 or Native apps for each mobile platform. HTML5 represents a major substantial change from previous versions of HTML. It simplifies webpage developmenr and provides capabilities that make the user experience so much richer. So, it simplifies webpage structures, it adds new elements for multimedia such as video and audio that you can easily add to a webpage, it adds utilities such as a canvas, progress bar, metering displays, as well as capabilities that are really important for apps, like offline support, a local database for session persistence, native JSON support, and the ability to share properties across different websites, etc.

 

Native:

Native apps, on the other hand, are unique to each mobile environment. They’re created using tools and software development kits (SDKs) that each operating environment provides. Developing native apps allows engineers to take advantage of the tight integration between the operating system and the hardware on which it runs. Also, operating systems provide unique capabilities to interact with other users or other apps, either widgets or notifications or services that other apps can use. In general, native apps continue to provide a better user experience. The areas in which they uniquely position are the tight integration. These are things like touch, GPS, cameras, better performance – totally independent, of course, of any web latencies – and use of acceleration on multithread that the operating system provides. Also, very specifically, they have a look and feel that are built precisely to create a very consistent experience for all the apps for a specific platform.

 

HTML5:

HTML5, despite being a unique web experience, may need to be specific for each form factor. So even there, you still have to make some changes. They may also be browser-dependent, as older browsers may not support all the capabilities of HTML5, or even newer browsers, as HTML5 is still evolving. HTML5 may depend on scripts that are potentially more vulnerable to security attacks, and also, even though it provides offline synchronization, if you use multiple processors and multiple devices, you may still have issues synchronizing this data across different devices.

 

 The Verdict:

So overall, native apps create a truer experience. It’s targeted to all the capabilities of the platform including hardware and software. It’s better performing, has a unique look and feel for each environment, and should remain ahead in terms of capabilities as innovation continues at a rapid pace. But HTML5 apps also have their place. They can be easier to deploy, easier to get running, while native apps can be more complicated in that regard but provide a better experience once they are out and running.

Is A Mobile App A Norm Or Necessity?

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With the explosion of smartphones like the iphone and Android and the popularity of apps for news, games, social media, and everything else you could possibly think of, more and more businesses are looking into the possibility of having an app. However, many businesses are wondering is this just the trendy norm or is this a necessity? Essentially is there VALUE in having an app and if so, how large is that value?

There are over 760,000 apps in the Apple app store. Six years ago it launched with roughly 50,000 apps. That means the app store has grown 15x the original size is roughly six years! Additionally, the obvious worth of every app in the store is equivalent to $1.13 million! That is not including the profitable value of the app or what revenue it brings into a company. This is the break down of the app store currently:

 

App Store Breakdown of App Store

 

This can be helpful when deciding if your business needs an app or not. The most expensive apps are in the Medical and Business categories. However, this does not mean they bring in the most revenue or that your business would not profit from an app as much as an app in the Medical or Business category.

Many small businesses wonder if other small businesses have apps or if it is a platform best suited for BBC, Instagram, Angry Birds, Yelp, and other large companies…

Currently, over 85% of small business owners in the U.S. have  smartphones and the overall penetration here in the U.S. is over 100% -meaning there are more smartphones and tablets in use than there are people in the U.S.!

Many small business owners remember the explosion of the internet. Just how big is mobile in comparison to the advent of the internet? It is wise to ask if it is worth investing in something when it could be smaller than the internet…. but it’s not.

 

Mobile Compared to Internet Mobile Compared to Internet

 

It’s bigger!

Another commonly asked question is why do I need an app if I have a mobile website?

The principle difference is that apps are downloaded onto a device, while mobile sites are accessed through an Internet connection. Mobile websites are viewed in browsers, just like regular Internet sites and when you click to the next page they are gone. Mobile apps live on the home screen of a smartphone user and can be accessed whenever they want by clicking on the app. Thery do not have to search for a business in the search bar or type in the URL. This is a definite pro to having a mobile app-easy accessibility to your business.

Lastly, what is the marketing and monetary value in investing in a mobile app? Is this part of a strategy or just another cool technology trend?

It’s both!

Key Findings from the Web.com Small Business Mobile Survey Include:

69% of U.S. small businesses consider mobile marketing key to their growth in the next five years.

U.S. small businesses maintain a web presence but lack a mobile presence. While 60% of small businesses surveyed have a website, only 26% have a mobile-friendly website.

84% of small businesses currently with mobile presence  see an increase in their business activity. Of the 500 small business owners surveyed, 14% have a mobile website, of which 84%   indicated that they have seen an increase in new business activity due to incorporating mobile into their marketing strategy. This is validation for small business owners that mobile does increase business activity.

Small businesses want to provide better service to existing customers. When asked to rank their top reasons to invest in mobile marketing, small business owners indicated the following as their top three motivations for investing:

                            1. Provide better service to existing customers (38%)

                            2. Attract more local customers (36%)

                            3. Gain competitive advantage (34%)

64% of small business owners are also acting as their one-person marketing team. This means that business owners have limited time and a lot of pressure to manage their mobile marketing. It also means because of a lack of time and resources they could be missing out on the opportunity for growth through mobile marketing.

64% of small businesses increased their spending on mobile marketing in 2012. Only 33% of small business owners spend the same amount in mobile marketing in 2012 as in previous years.

Mobile apps are not a stand alone marketing strategy for SMBs. However, they should be integrated into a marketing strategy to receive the full benefits. Mobile apps are key to increasing the presence, value, and revenue of a SMB.

Yes, it is a technology trend! Yes, it is a cool, innovative marketing strategy!

But most importantly… Yes, it has tangible VALUE.

 

Ammobia and LATHH Take Downtown LA

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AmmobiaLA Tech Happy Hpur

AMMOBIA JOINS LATHH COMMUNITY FOR EXCLUSIVE DOWNTOWN EVENT

 

Los Angeles, CAAmmobia, downtown Los Angeles based leader in mobile app development technology joins LA Tech Happy Hour (LATHH) for their event in the heart of bustling downtown Los Angeles. LATHH community seeks to provide young tech professionals, companies, and “techie nerds” with an avenue to network and collaborate.

“Imagine if there was a place, where at one table an entrepreneur meets her next $100,000 investor. A designer meets a new client, a web developer with a great internet startup. A PHP engineer meets a charismatic founder that excites him with his vision, so much so that he can picture leaving his day job for the exhilarating experience of working tirelessly for technology stock options that could be worth millions one day. We’re building this community.” LATHH

LATHH facilitates their members to, “Talk Tech, Startups & Drink Beer”  and has become a popular meet up for new and veteran techies in the Los Angeles area. LATHH boasts 2,660 techies and holds events every several weeks in different parts of Los Angeles. Although LATHH generally holds events on the West side of Los Angeles with venues such at 3110 in Santa Monica, LATHH brought the event to the newest trending work space: downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). With the creation of new public parks and works, and the budding of many new coffee shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants, downtown Los Angeles has become a popular hub for the latest leaders in technology and innovative startups. Venice and Santa Monica are no longer the only home for trendy techies. Ammobia, located in the chic and modern Watermarke Tower is one of the top leaders in the entreprenuerial spirit and progress downtown, and specifically in mobile technology and development.

Ammobia attended another wonderful, full house event held by the LATHH this past Wednesday evening at Bottle Rock, located between tower loft apartments and startup offices downtown. This event, in an intimate setting focused on individual networking, featured a business card pot and raffle, and encouraged many LA techies from the areas of Echo Park, Silver Lake, and downtown to mix and mingle. The uniqueness of this event was the downtown location and prime setting at Bottle Rock to foster meeting new people, talking business, and having a glass of wine mid-week. LATHH boasts lively, packed to the brim events where founders and CEOs, innovators, tech professionals, and investors can network while in a fun-filled social setting. Ammobia was present at the past LATHH event located at 3110 in late September. This event featured speakers from Indiegogo and eHarmony, a feedback panel, and a pass-it-forward theme, encouraging companies to offer promotional services. Look for Ammobia at the next exclusive LATHH happening at 3110 October 17th! Join Ammobia to talk tech, start-ups, and meet our team in an intimate, and social environment. See LATHH for details on how to get involved, talk tech, and meet founders and teams from tech leaders like Ammobia from the greater Los Angeles area!

 

 

 

Statistics for Mobile App Industry Boom

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Statistics for Mobile App Industry Boom

THE  MOBILE BOOM

With the Dot Com boom in recent memory many companies are looking for the next big wave in marketing technology. With the advent of smartphones and other “smart” devices like the ipad and tablets, consumers now have multiple ways to view their favorite website and increasingly, favorite app.

 Although internet growth is still robust, mobile adoption is in its early stages with an astonishing room for growth. Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers released her extensive report covering the 2012 tech trends. She was forthcoming about the growth and impact of mobile and the “reimagination” of devices from web to mobile with increasingly responsive and complex UI. Meeker reiterates what we have been seeing in recent reports… Mobile is the next big thing.

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