A Radical Redesign of Apple’s New Mobile Experience: iOS 7

Apple iPhoneA slight departure from my usual “communities & collaboration” theme, but given the growing trends for mobile working and BYOD, I thought this might be relevant.

Apple likes to generate tons of hype for every new release, but the announcement of the iOS 7 beta has more than a few people talking. Apple told tech geeks the second beta version will be available for developers to examine, says PC Mag. The company claims this new iOS is the most important thing it has done since the iPhone.

Apple made its announcement at the recent Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Apparently there wasn’t enough time to discuss other developments, like its much-hyped Apple TV.  However, it certainly has iPhone and iPad users everywhere sitting up, as some of the new features look extremely exciting.

The Intent of iOS 7

Apple offers a comprehensive look at iOS 7 on its website, where the company discusses the intentions behind the new operating system. Apple explains the importance of design, and how the idea of design for Apple goes far beyond merely looking good. Design, says Apple, is about simplifying even the most complex things into a usable and elegant interface.

While it’s still unclear how successful the company will be in achieving this goal, those who have used the new iOS have mentioned several great new features.

Hidden Gems

  • Visible Timer: The timer everyone uses so frequently will now be visible on the lock screen function. This will prove extremely useful for those who use timers while engaging in activities that leave their hands dirty. Cooking and washing are just a few tasks that come to mind where this feature will be a lifesaver.
  • iCloud Keychain: Entrepreneur discovered that iOS 7 keeps your keychain — all your passwords and credit information — synced and encrypted across all of your devices.
  • Pinch to Zoom Video: Now, when you’re recording video on your device, you can pinch the screen to zoom on your subject.
  • Mark Messages as Read: The whole world hopes this feature will make it to the final release of iOS 7. Veteran iOS users know how annoying it can be to get 20 batch emails, for instance, and then to have to go through and select each one individually to mark them as read. It’s a time consuming and fairly ridiculous process for such an advanced system, and a change that should have happened years before.
  • Block Numbers: Call blocking has been something users have requested for years, according to Cult of Mac, and it’s a good thing Apple is finally responding. There are times when you want to block someone from calling or texting you, and now you should be able to do it fairly easily.
  • Find My iPhone: This is a feature that Apple has confirmed. The new iOS will allow you to wipe or lock your phone remotely using your Apple ID and password, and you can also display a custom message to the person who has it.

A Bright Future

The new features, both potential and confirmed, of iOS 7 are exciting. You will have to wait until Autumn 2013, however, to enjoy them.

Image by William Hook pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.

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Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Most major brand names have made mobile-optimized web a part of their widespread marketing campaigns, along with apps and more traditional forms of media. However, small businesses have been slow to follow.

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Web Mobile PhoneGuest blog by Mary Reed.

Smart phone users are more likely to purchase goods or services from a mobile-optimized website, according to the Google Mobile Ads. This is evidence that mobile-optimized pages are more important than ever, even for small businesses. Smart phones aren’t just for “Angry Birds” and “Words With Friends” anymore; all kinds of businesses are earning customers through simple, well-designed mobile platforms. You don’t have to write code to jump in on the mobile action, though; user-friendly tools will help mobile newbies through the tough stuff.

Small is More Mobile

Most major brand names have made mobile-optimized web a part of their widespread marketing campaigns, along with apps and more traditional forms of media. However, small businesses have been slow to follow. According to an SMB DigitalScape study, 98 percent of small and medium-sized businesses do not have mobile-optimized sites. The same study said that half of mobile users would use a business less often if its website wasn’t mobile friendly.

If these businesses knew mobile-search stats, they might change their tunes. According to Screenwerk.com, Google said that 50 percent of mobile search is local in nature. Put it all together and we’ve got a mobile population searching locally and following results to non-mobile pages, which turn them off — something is missing.

Mobile is Only Growing

If you believe the mobile web is a fad that won’t amount to much, think again. According to a market-research report, smart phone usage in the United States reached more than 100 million units in 2011 and will reach nearly 154 million units by 2015. As network speeds continue to increase, consumers will do more searching and shopping on mobile devices. Internet-wide mobile optimization seems imminent; it’s only a question of which businesses take advantage of the untapped market.

Right now, some young companies are using the mobile surge to their advantage. Used-car dealer DriveTime has a three-button mobile-landing page that entices users to explore its services, which include shopping for vehicles, online approvals and a location finder. A short description of its business and clickable phone number make this optimized page about as user friendly as can be.

Getting Started

If you’re looking to optimize your website for mobile, you don’t need to start from scratch. Tools like zinadoo.com and mobisitegalore.com help mobilize websites without hassle. Once you design a mobile layout, automatic tools translate designs into code and guide you on how to integrate your mobile website.

Keys to a Great Mobile Site

Effective mobile sites capture users’ attention and raise their likelihood of engagement. An ineffective site will drive consumers away, even the ones that would have used the traditional page on their phones. You should have a sense of urgency to create a mobile page, but don’t rush through the design.

Consider these tips as you mobilize your website:

  • Simple navigation: Mobile phones are small and difficult to use for many. A simple navigation will attract smart phone users longer and increase the chance of interaction. Provide large buttons for the user to navigate the site.
  • Speed: Mobile consumers hail speed over all other virtues. If you’re mobile site doesn’t load quickly, the ticking time bombs in their heads will send them to a site that does. Try limiting the amount of pictures and videos on your mobile site, they may look impressive, but performance is the ultimate benchmark.
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BT Bid for all Eight Broadband Procurement Contracts

The UK Government’s Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey has ruled out the introduction of a legal Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband in Britain. This revelation emerges alongside Ed Vaizey confirming that BT is officially bidding on all eight of the currently active superfast broadband procurement contracts.

BT’s move smells of both ambition and canniness; depending on one’s interpretation. The news should hardly come as a surprise however, given that they have already secured contractual rights for both Lancashire and Rutland, and look set to do so in Wales and the Highlands and Islands in Scotland.

Below is a list of the eight contracts available:

  • Rutland
  • Cumbria
  • Hereford and Gloucester
  • North Yorkshire
  • Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen
  • Surrey
  • Highlands and Islands
  • Wales

The agreement of all eight contracts should be sorted by the end of the month. The question that then begs to be asked, is whether BT are efficient enough for them to take upon the responsibility of installing superfast broadband in any of these regions.

A recent broadband speed test has concluded that Virgin provide the fastest internet speeds in the UK. This is measured in download, upload and basic connectivity speeds. Virgin’s success is based upon the usage of coaxial cables linking to the crucial ‘last kilometre’. BT meanwhile still merely relies on the use of fibre optic cables throughout all points of their connection process, and it is this very reason that causes their service to lag behind Virgin’s.

However, BT remain intent on providing superfast broadband to their customers, and it is this drive and determination that raises confidence in the network being able to provide a speedy service to these regions. In fact, BT recently announced the doubling of the download and upload speeds in their Infinity Package Contracts; which though still fall short of Virgin Media’s main packages, definitely signal strong intent and a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, the prohibition of a legal USO in Britain is probably a step in the right direction. This will ensure no single telecommunications network secures a monopoly in the UK, based on anything but superior quality service. It will also challenge network providers to keep trying to up their speeds and services in the broadband speed race.

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Is your mobile phone killing you?

Addiction to your mobile phone (cell phone) can damage your health!

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I think we all know how pervasive the mobile phone has become in our everyday lives. That feeling of anxiety if we haven’t got it in our pocket; being out of touch or disconnected. The need to frequently check if we’ve received a new email or text. However, even I was surprised by some of the statistics revealed in this Infographic.

  • 43% of iPhone users would go without shoes for a week rather than temporarily be without the phone
  • 73% of people sleep with the smarphone on their bed
  • The average person checks their phone 150 times per day
  • 53% feel anxiety if they run out of battery or credit or have no network coverage.

There’s also the problem of “nomophobia” (no mobile phone phobia) – fear of losing your phone. Not sure what treatment is available for this 🙂

I was also unaware that some companies (Microsoft and Apple are mentioned) that encourage tech-free getaways to resorts prohibiting technology. Wether or not the delegates benefit from the experience or return from their break as quivering heaps, with symptoms of nomophobia is anyone’s guess!

I think you can’t go too far wrong with the mantra “everything in moderation” – whether that’s food or mobile phones. But no doubt we’ll soon see the first clinics and treatments for mobile phone addiction springing up – or maybe they already have?

Cell Phones Kill
Created by: Online Masters Degree

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