Dec 21, 2013

10 Takeaways From VisionMobile’s Recent Mobile Developer Economics Report

VisionMobile Report

If you’re a mobile fan or developer, VisionMobile is an analysts company you should follow.

I recently downloaded the Mobile Developer Economics report by VisionMobile, and here are my 10 main takeaways from it. I recommend downloading this free report from here.

10 Takeaways From VisionMobile’s Latest Developer Economics Report:

  1. The Mobile Developer Mindshare Q3 2013 shows Android leading at 71% of developers using the platform, followed by iOS (56%), and HTML5 (52%).
  2. Android: Fresh mobile developers have a much stronger preference towards Android, with almost twice as many novice mobile developers preferring Android (40%) than iOS (21%).
  3. iOS: still leads the revenues chart with $5,200 compared to Android ($4,700), Windows Phone ($3,600) and HTML5 ($2,900).
  4. Windows Phone: Despite extensive marketing efforts, slightly increased sales of Windows Phone devices and generous developer programs, Microsoft is still struggling to convince developers that its platform can compete head-to-head with Android or iOS, since the platform lacks in user reach, which is the top motivator for developers to invest in a platform.
  5. BlackBerry 10: BlackBerry has managed to retain Mobile Developer Mindshare, with the new BlackBerry 10 platform having almost the same mindshare as the legacy BlackBerry 5/6/7 had just before the release of BB10 six months ago.
  6. HTML5 developer statistics: 38% of HTML5 developers develop mobile websites, 23% developing
    mobile apps, (i.e. incorporating offline functionality and deeper browser integration), 27% developing Hybrid apps, (with the likes of PhoneGap).
  7. Samsung Bada: Samsung’s bada experiment is coming to an end, having failed to gather Developer Mindshare, despite a promising user reach that saw higher sales than Windows Phone in 2011 and most of 2012.
  8. FireFox OS: 27% of developers are planning to adopt Firefox OS. In terms of Mobile Developer intention, this puts Firefox OS just ahead of iOS (26%) and Android (22%).
  9. Who selects what? The research shows that developers’ platform choices depend very much on the goal they aim to achieve. When it comes to platform selection, contract developers will opt for platforms that will generate more revenue, CIOs will focus on efficiency and low cost, CMOs will focus on reach, while hobbyists will want to experiment with newer platforms…
  10. Mobile developers use 2.9 platforms, typically: Android, iOS and something else (HTML5, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry 10).

 

Mobile Developers Platforms

You can download the full report in here.

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Dec 14, 2013

15 Easy Ways To Save iPhone’s Battery Life [With iOS7]

photo

Away from power source with an empty battery? Don't panic, here's what you need to do:

So here’s what you need to do if you see that disturbing ‘Low Battery’ message saying you have 20% of battery remaining:

  1. Don’t panic, 20% still means you can use your phone for even a couple of hours.
  2. The screen is the biggest battery eater: open the control center and reduce the brightness level to the minimum needed (20%-30% should do). If you have auto-brightness turned on – make sure to turn it off.
  3. Turn off AirDrop and Bluetooth.
  4. Make sure you don’t have any GPS/Map application open, not even in the background. Navigators drain your battery even if you do not actively use them because they run in the background.
  5. Avoid using messages apps like WhatsApp which use Push Notifications. Push Notifications consume a lot of energy.

So those are 5 immediate things to do if that 20% battery remaining message catches you off-guard.

Here are 10 additional tips for keeping that iPhone battery full even with iOS7 installed:

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Dec 12, 2013

So what is the third largest mobile OS in 2013?

Predictions season is here. Towards the new year everyone tries his shot in predicting the next trend in the technology world. Before I give it a try myself, I went back to see some older stuff we had here at the mobile spoon earlier this year.

Smartphones Market - The Mobile Spoon

Almost a year ago I asked myself (here, in writing that is) what will be the third largest Mobile OS in 2013?

Well, 2013 is almost over and I think it’s time to answer this one, but before I do – a few important notes.

First, the mobile sales numbers are often very different between one research to another. The reason is that every research measures different things: some are checking operating systems (resulting in a mixture of devices including music players to tablets) while others are checking specific devices or focusing on specific regions, and therefore the noticeable differences. We do know, however, that today the smartphones sales are higher than PCs and account for more than half of the global mobile phone market.

Close to the end of 2013, some of the new mobile OS mentioned hin my post are still not publicly available and I doubt they will succeed to make a real impact on the market.

And as to the question who comes third after Android and iOS, the answer is Windows Phone which finally starts to make an impact; while BlackBerry’s free fall continues to the area of 2-3% of sales across the US and Europe, Windows Phone climbs all the (short yet noticeable) way to the range of 10% of smartphones sales in Europe, breaking a small record of 12% in Great Britain. 

And speaking of predictions…
In 2011 both Gartner and IDC predicted that Windows Phone will steal second place from iOS by 2015.
Same Gartner company recently predicted that by the same year of 2015 Apple OSes will overtake Windows.

Hmm…
Think about it next time you read a technology prediction…

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Dec 9, 2013

Can a mobile business improve effectiveness?

I had the honor to participate in a debate published by The Telegraph in Business Technology. The topic was: Can a mobile business improve effectiveness, and the answer, as expected, was yes. But how exactly? Here’s my view:

business technology

Mobile Business turns employees into super-employees by making them smarter, faster, and closer to each other.

Accessing information in real-time means users can avoid delays and get answers to things that might slow them down. It can be their own stored data or records taken from back-end systems; everything is accessible within seconds and that makes them smarter, efficient, and always up-to-date.

Speed is a growing success criterion for individuals and companies. Mobility saves time for every individual through automatic processes, scanning technologies, digital invoices, and context aware data capture. It also minimizes errors done by users which are time consuming from many aspects.

More importantly, managers can free up bottlenecks when on the move by replying to an urgent email or approving an urgent budget request.

Mobility turned popular social trends into mega trends and brought knowledge collaboration to the field. Now businesses and employees welcome knowledge collaboration more than in the past and it makes the entire organization closer, knowledgeable and efficient.

Here’s the full post (click to enlarge image)

Mobile Effectiveness

The full digital version of Connected Business

Business Technology Debate

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Dec 3, 2013

ClickMobile Goes Flat with a New User Interface

IT Consumerization is often being mentioned when talking about hardware (mobile devices) or software, while in fact, the trend goes even deeper. It represents a new wave of users’ habits, expectations, and demands.
New technologies and trends from the consumer world are immediately required by enterprise employees or IT departments (or both), pending business security measures of course.

UI

In the consumer world, the UI is key, and the battle for the perfect UI is taking place as we speak. The most recent significant event was, of course, the unveiling of iOS 7; a recreation of Apple’s popular mobile OS, with a clear focus on a flat UI emphasizing the content. The change in direction that Apple took was so significant that it awakened the discussion about the user interface and experience, and started a snowball effect of apps being re-designed based on Apples new flat design.

Today, almost all the modern apps are flat: gradients are gone, shadows are hard to find, icons are simple, with only one or two colors, and the “clickable” elements are harder to locate at first as they are embedded within the rest of the user interface.

From Dull UI to Skeuomorphism

As technology improved, skins and resolutions made it possible to turn any UI component into an “interesting one”, one with depth. Techniques included shadows, 3D icons, gradient colors and more.

When Apple released the first iPhone, the user interface was considered to be amazing. Light years ahead of everything else we were familiar with (sorry BlackBerry, Windows Mobile…). With the incredible resolution of the Retina display, Skeuomorphism, or real-life visual metaphors, were brought to the next level and remained popular for 5-6 years across mobile devices (including Android).  A great example of this is the rich looking leather cover that used to exist in Apple’s iOS Calendar App for iPad.

UI 1   photo1-200x300

From Skeuomorphism to Flat UI

For the past 3-4 years there has been a growing trend in the mobile/web world to go back to simple, 2D, flat design. Microsoft was the first, web designers embraced it, Google and Apple followed.

Flat UI is not just about the way that the elements are presented; it’s about placing the content at the highest priority so that users can focus on the important elements rather than the frames.

calculator

In a world where content is king, and our appetite to consume more and more information grows – a flat UI is a good way to improve the representation of content.

Microsoft:

The first company to adopt a Flat UI was Microsoft with the introduction of Windows Phone 7 “Metro UI” (later renamed to Modern UI, and enhanced to Windows 8 and WP8).

windows-phone-8-540x334

Metro UI was controversial at first as it not only presented a completely flat, even shallow UI, it also had some provoking principles of cut titles, semi-hidden labels, colorless images, large objects, and a radical focus on Typography (text replacing icon-based buttons and action elements). 
Microsoft promoted the idea of “content, not chrome”, but most people found it hard to digest.

I think that even today, 3 years after the release of the Windows Phone – the formally called Metro UI is still one of the best looking interfaces and definitely the most original one, although it did not evolved much over the years.

Google:

Google’s design is not truly flat, but it does borrow a lot of concepts from flat design. This is why it is often called the “Almost Flat” UI. Google’s new user interface is sharp and colorful. It uses mostly 2D images hosted within large buttons with slightly more shadows than other flat UI systems.

05_gmail-flat-design
In a way, Google’s UI evolved slowly into the world of “flat” without being too radical about their changes.

Apple:

The biggest shift in UI philosophy belongs to Apple and iOS7.  Apple’s designers got rid of all shadows and gradient colors, replaced the entire icons kit, and removed all button frames. While I’m not sure I like the new design better than the old one – I must admit that the overall experience has improved dramatically with iOS 7.

iOS7

What about all the others?

Over the years we have seen some new design principles being created from the ground up, representing true market trends, and remaining agnostic to specific OS guidelines (social apps are a good example, but also the likes of Feedly, EverNote, Mailbox). With the release of iOS7 it seems like the flat UI is taking over, almost “officially”, as it is now embraced by the 3 software giants. We already saw hundreds of popular apps being modified in order to become more “flat”.  It will be interesting to see how these changes will affect the success of those apps, and you can bet I will write about that in the future.

ClickMobile Goes Flat

For quite a while now we have wanted to make ClickMobile more focused on the content and less on the frames.  But since most of our customers were (and still are) using iOS and Android based devices, it felt wrong to have a UI philosophy that didn’t match the actual operating systems.

During 2013 things started to change rapidly, even before the release of iOS7. The flat UI trend became real and you could find many popular apps changing their design accordingly. We created a whole new skin for ClickMobile: cleaner, simpler, modern, flat.
The release of iOS7 was perfect timing for us to execute our plan. The new design removes some of the frames and texture in favor of lighter colors and more content. It goes perfectly with ClickMobile’s powerful, responsive UI that automatically adjusts itself to the screen size and the nature of the device it is running on - providing an optimized user experience across all devices – not only smartphones and tablets.
With the new ClickMobile, activities are done with fewer clicks, and it’s easier to find the content you are looking for, especially when working outside in daylight. New gestures and animations will make it more intuitive and fun to use.

CickMobile SP1

I am excited about the new design of ClickMobile and how it will combine perfectly with some new, exciting features coming up at the end of this year. Read more about those features at the MobileFever blog.

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Nov 22, 2013

Beyond Email: Reap the Benefits of Mobile Enterprise Applications

Gil Bouhnick webinar mobile apps enterprise

Modern mobility, BYOD, IT consumerization, they are all here to stay, but what is the next stage?
What lies beyond emails and personal productivity apps?
How can organizations get more out of their mobile investment?
How can organizations reinvent their processes to reap the benefits out of their mobile enterprise applications.

Join me and InfoWorld’s Senior Managing Editor of IDG Enterprises Customer Solutions Group Joyce Chutchin in a webinar that explores ways to increase employees productivity through mobility.

The webinar covers technologies and apps that will help your organization reduce costs, save time, improve employees productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. All mobile style, touching everything, from everywhere, 24/7, beyond traditional working hours or traditional devices, placing the user in the center, with modern mobile usability and experience.

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Nov 21, 2013

How to tell if a certain HTML5 feature is supported on a certain mobile device

HTML5

Developers are often afraid to use new HTML5 features worrying that some of them may not work well on specific mobile devices.

A nice way to tell what features and styles are supported by the different browsers is to use one of the following web sites. It’s not hermetic because some Android devices include “custom” browsers, but it may help you shape your decision and eliminate some risks.

http://www.quirksmode.org/html5/inputs_mobile.html

http://caniuse.com/

In addition to that, general HTML5 capabilities can be explored in the HTML5Test website.

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Nov 19, 2013

Who Is The King Of HTML5? [Mobile Web Browsers]

What is your favorite browser? Is it Chrome? FireFox? IE?

Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, all claim to have the best browser and the strongest alignment with “real” HTML5 standards, desktop and mobile wise.

Chrome is today the most popular browser bypassing FireFox and Internet Explorer (see charts below), but is it also the best one to support HTML5?

Usage_share_of_web_browsers_(Source_StatCounter).svgMost popular web browser

I decided to find out.

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Nov 12, 2013

Presentation: Is HTML5 Ready For Prime Time?

Gil Bouhnick HTML5 Presentation  HTML5 In The Enterprise

A presentation I gave 6 months ago, describing the reasons why we (ClickSoftware) selected to go with HTML5 as our main mobile technology: the experience we had with this technology touching on multiple devices support, responsive UI, sophisticated personal assistants, offline capabilities and more.

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