Tag Archives: App

An Appmaker’s Toolbox


Everything you’ll need to get from idea to App Store.

 

 

Apps are like novels — everyone’s got at least one in them. But making an app from scratch, when you know little to nothing about coding, can feel like standing at the base of Everest wearing a poncho and flip flops. It’s not just that you suspect you won’t make it to the summit; it seems almost inevitable that your first step will be back in the direction of the hotel.

 

Neue Übersicht der App Store Suchergebnisse.
Neue Übersicht der App Store Suchergebnisse. (Photo credit: saschafiedler)

 

I’ve just been through this process to build Perch, an app that lets you see which of your friends are up for seeing you tonight. It was a fairly daunting task — I knew I’d have to write the app’s code, connect up the user interface, manage logins, integrate it with Facebook, store data somewhere in the cloud, make it look good, and get it up on the App Store, and I had pretty much no idea how to do any of this. It was so daunting, in fact, that I’ve been meaning to build it since 2010, but only finally sat down to tackle it a few weeks ago.

 

Anyway, after so much Googling that my targeted ads are suggesting nothing but coding manuals, it’s now done, and I thought it might be useful for others in the same boat if I pulled together the various tools I discovered and the tutorials I used, in the hope that (i) it might convince you that this app-making business is no more insurmountable than any other hobby you might choose to fill your evenings with, and (ii) if it does, it guides you through the basics so that you can concentrate on what it is that makes your app unique. Consider it a high level walkthrough that points you to other, more useful walkthroughs. Sort of like a map with nothing on it except the locations of map stores.

 

I should stress that this is very much intended for beginners. If you’ve got a computer science degree, look away now.

 

Read more – > https://medium.com/on-coding/dcfd07b37b6

 

 

Hangtime- a Better Way to Find Facebook Events    Read more- http-::techland.time.com:2013:05:10:hangtime-a-better-way-to-find-facebook-events:#ixzz2SxVOxhqu

Hangtime: a Better Way to Find Facebook Events


With details on millions of events of all sorts all over the world, Facebook is — among many other things — the closest thing the world has to a universal repository of things to do, such as concerts, parties, book readings and a whole lot more. But Facebook Events doesn’t seem to be all that high up on Facebook’s list of priorities. The feature hasn’t changed much over the years, and isn’t radically different on a phone than it is on a PC browser.

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Enter Hangtime. The product of a startup of the same name, founded by veteran entrepreneur Karl Jacob, it’s an iPhone app — and web-based service — which aims to make it much easier to find stuff you’ll like to do among all the options in Facebook Events and other sources. The app debuted for the SXSW conference in March; version 2.0, a substantial upgrade, arrived on the App Store this week.

Overall, Hangtime has a nicely done interface: with a few swipes of your thumb, you can view the events in your vicinity on a given day, pull up specific information on a particular activity, see which of your friends are attending or considering doing so and RSVP. Using a map, you can also pinch-and-zoom to specify how big (or small) a geographic area you want to cover.

In all cases, the Facebook events you’re seeing are ones with settings that make them visible to you. But you’ll probably see plenty of events you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered — they’re a lot more browsable on Hangtime than they are on Facebook. The app is aimed especially at young people with active social lives, but even not-so-young types should find activities of interest.

The new version of the app pulls in the billboard-like artwork associated with an event from Facebook. It also includes events listed on Eventbrite, although with less detail than for Facebook events. You can now specify interests — such as Rock, Comedy, Dance and Books — so other topics you don’t care about are winnowed out. And events with RSVPs from your Facebook friends show up first, so you don’t miss them.

Hangtime- a Better Way to Find Facebook Events    Read more- http-::techland.time.com:2013:05:10:hangtime-a-better-way-to-find-facebook-events:#ixzz2SxVOxhqu

Hangtime has access to so much information on so many events that making everything approachable isn’t a cakewalk. Once you’ve told the app which types of events you’re interested in, you might still be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of stuff it tells you about; it would be nice if you could filter it down on the fly. And I found the visual aesthetic a tad intimidating at times, maybe because there’s a fair amount of visual clutter (all the giant event images tend to clash with each other) and information is displayed as white text on varying shades of gray.

Still, I like Hangtime and I like the direction it’s going. Founder Jacob told me that the company is working on an Android version — for now, owners of Android phones can use the web version — as well as additional sources of events. Other startups focused on events haven’t been breakout hits; some, like Upcoming.org, which Yahoo bought and shut down, haven’t made it at all. By piggybacking on Facebook and other big-time sources of activity data, Hangtime has a good shot at faring better than some of its event-startup predecessors.

(VIA. Techland.Time)

smartphone-12

THE TYRANNY OF THE TELEPHONE


SmartphoneVERBATIM – Transcribed from a recording by Loop Lonagan

Everywhere I go, people bow their heads over their smartphones or hug ‘em to their face like they’s worshiping pagan idols. And maybe that’s not far from the truth. It looks dumb. It rude. And a guy could walk into a truck. Nowadays you can’t have a decent conversation without getting interrupted five times by a phone call or text.

One time, long ago, an exec answered a call in the middle of our meeting. After I waited three days to see this guy in person, some yahoo calls up and takes front stage. That’s The Tyranny of the Telephone. That little incident happened before cell phones. Now it’s worse—we carry the little tyrants around in our pockets 24/7. Pretty soon these things is gonna be waterproof so we can carry ‘em in the shower—even take ‘em to the beach. I can picture some new venture raising money to make special smartphone holders for soap racks. With the screens growing in size, I wanna see ‘em try and develop a pocket to fit a string bikini.

Yeah, I know it—I’m no different from anybody else. I’ll remember to confess that to the Padre this week along with a buncha stuff I can’t talk about here. See, I’m what’s called an early adopter. Already on my third smartphone. Anyhow, I gotta get off this train of thought and focus on this speaker I came to hear.

HUGH JEDWILL on the FUTURE OF MOBILE

Hugh Jedwill, CEO of Mobile AnthemI’m listenen’ to a really smart guy talk about mobile tech. This ain’t no Madison Avenue sharpie. Guys got a shaggy pony tail. Roudy jeans. Nice sport jacket, though—just enough to show you he’s here on business. Looks like California big venture money–those guys dress like street bums but with sport jackets. We’re all used to it by now. I think it’s an image thing and it seems to work. People go for it. Anyhow, he knows his stuff, which is what counts with me. He’s soft spoken with a good sense of humor and it’s easy to like the guy.

Mobile Anthem

Hugh’s big-time. Used to work marketing for Fortune 500 outfits. Now they seek him out. He’s CEO of Mobile Anthem—a marketing agency that helps these companies build a bridge between traditional marketing and mobile technology. There’s a big-demand for that. They need his help and need it bad.

Tektite GroupThe event’s put on by the Tektite Group. Jean Pickering moderates and she calls Hugh “her hero,” which is kinda weird, but I’m sure she’s got her reasons.

THREE KEYS to a SUCCESSFUL VENTURE

Hugh says with these, you got a good business.

Awareness
Trial of product
Repeatability

Smartphone

THREE STAGES in MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

He talks about what’s going on now and what’s to come:

Stage 1—We’re using the mobile internet NOW—not 15, 20 years from now. That’s way faster than the elite predicted. And mobile is ubiquitous. (I like that word.) Who ever leaves home without the keys, the wallet, and the phone?

Stage 2—Pretty soon, mobile isn’t just about phones. It’s ID wristbands in hospitals. ID devices at amusement parks—systems that pull down your Facebook profile and help you find your lost kid. It’s Clairol using an app to time your hair coloring perfectly. It’s Nike shoes reporting your running stats for you—and sending them to your accountability group.

Stage 3—In the future, it’s not even a phone. Hugh says it this way: “The idea of what is mobile will change dramatically.” Maybe it’s in your clothes—and you get to change the color of the fabric. Maybe it checks if your windows are closed. Maybe it monitors your meds. He quotes some futurist who expects it in nanotechnology. He’s talking really small, like IN YOUR BLOODSTREAM. Now just stop a minute and think about the positive and negatives of that.

Hugh says that not all these possibilities are so pretty. The opportunity for abuse by unscrupulous individuals, greedy companies, and repressive governments is huge. That gets my attention. And I’m wondering how it will all shake out.

He talks about innovations that don’t get used effectively. Here’s an example: The QR code was big for a few months then it fizzled. Reason? Poor use. People posted lots of QR codes that didn’t lead anywhere. So people ignore ‘em now. Cry wolf.

smartphone with keyboardTHREE LIMITERS

He talks about three limiting factors in mobile technology. (Hey, this guy thinks in threes):

Limiter #1—First is battery life. These things suck battery and everybody’s looking for a wall outlet wherever they go. The industry needs to get that solved. (FYI: Just happens I know a startup company’s got a way to make batteries last ten times longer, so the fix is coming—people just don’t know about it yet.)

Limiter #2—Next is privacy. There ain’t no safeguards now. Everything’s self-regulated and there’s some real bad actors out there—people who know your location and take advantage of that. Companies can pull down your personal profile. Think they’re not using that stuff? Think again. You walk down the street and WHAP—a lousy come-on from the bar you just walked past. Hey—it’s in the terms and conditions you never read when you downloaded that app, so it’s legit. Then there’s the illegal text spam—the kind you didn’t ask for at all. It’s already with us. Then there’s the fact that smart phones are computers. Won’t be long before the hackers and cheese-doodle-eating virus kids get busy. That kinda behavior slows down the industry. I wonder how fast it would be movin’ without these creeps.

Hugh predicts two major events in the very near future.

A major privacy incident

A major location-based incident

A mobile app is like a credit card transaction over the Internet—theft happens. The credit card company gives you some protection but nobody’s protecting the cell phone users. He predicts that both of these events will get a lota media attention and plenty of righteous indignation. It’s gonna be bad enough that the industry is gonna face a contraction, so watch your telecom investments.

That also means regulation is coming. Plenty of it. But Hugh sees it as the only way. Says this particular industry CAN’T regulate itself. He’s hoping for the kind of regs that worked real good for the food industry. Rules that make it easy to find out what’s in your food. But the government might come down with a heavy hand, like the way Sarbanes Oxley is screwing with our capital markets. Me, I’m betting the government will do something dumb. That’s their trend. But all I can do is wait and see how it shakes out.

Limiter #3—In the future, our location privacy and personal privacy is gonna be pretty much gone. That’ll be another limiter on mobile technology. Maybe somebody’ll solve it or maybe we just get used to it.

Pockets full of Smartphones

Now his time is shot and he takes Q&A. I think it’s a good presentation. I learned somethin’ and had a good time. Before we break into groups, I meet him one-on-one. Guys got FIVE—count ‘em—5 smartphones on his person. Pockets full of ‘em. What’s with that? So I ask him what gives. “It’s my business,” he says. Simple answer. Direct. Honest. One thing I learn dealing with this new crop of technical business people—they’re intense. And they get the job done.

Your editor invited me down here ‘cause he don’t own no smart phone and he wants I should meet with these people. Yeah, you heard right—no smartphone. Hard to believe but it’s true. Says his Palm Pilot ain’t broke yet. Palm pilot? That thing belongs in the Field Museum with the dinosaurs. The guy carries that piece o’—that piece of hardware around everywhere. Calls it a classic. I call it dumb. Weber GrillHe coulda been here, eatin’ this great food at the Weber Grill. www.webergrillrestaurant.com. So, John, I raise one to you. Cheers!

CONTACTS

Find Hugh Jedwill, CEO of Mobile Anthem, at http://mobileanthem.com, an agency that bridges marketing with mobile technology. See him on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2oY4vrZFDc

Find the Tektite Group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheTektiteGroup and their blog at http://tektitegroup.wordpress.com. These events are organized by Jean Pickering www.facebook.com/jean.pickering who for years has run most o’ the best stuff in this town. Was always behind the scenes till now. I might just mosey on down next time. Had a blast. This ain’t no waste-of-time networking group. I took in a terrific presentation and made three solid business connections.

And check out the great food at the Weber Grill. http://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/

All my best regards,
Loop Lonagan

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