Tech Trends: March 2012

We have one word for you:

iPad3

The roar around the arrival of Apple’s latest version of their market-dominating tablet drowned out pretty much anything else tech in the last few weeks. Even the buzz at SXSWi had a distinctly “when will I get my hands on my new iPad?” character. Most of the big voices in mobile that we follow came home fast from SXSWi so they could crack open the shipping boxes on their new iPads.

Pete Cashmore of Mashable said this about his iPad3 on Facebook:

It’s certainly worth getting if you have an iPad 1, but if you have the iPad 2 it’s probably only worth the upgrade if you use it a lot … Or if you work in the tech industry and are expected to know about these things!

And speaking of iPads, the company that designs that tablet’s chips has designs on something else:

ARM wants to crush Intel

Who is ARM, you might ask? If you’ve got a mobile device, it probably has an ARM chip in it. The British chipmaker has gone on record that their goal is to snag 60% of the microprocessor market. They’re currently at 30%, which isn’t bad for a company that most people have never heard of. Our bet is that Intel has heard of them. There’s a good piece CNN Money about ARM and its plans for world domination. We love mobile tech. We also could love the idea of investing in ARM’s stock, particularly based on their established track record and their audacious-but-achievable goals. [Just an observation, not investing advice!]

Samsung: there’s a camera for that?

Samsung has rocked the Android smartphone space, and they’re now looking at creating stand-alone Android-enabled cameras. Obviously, they’re already in the smartphone camera space given that they include cameras on their smartphones, but we’re looking forward to seeing what an Android camera from Samsung might look like.  Would make sharing high-quality pictures on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook easier than ever.

Got a trend you’re watching? Let us know!

March Mobile News & Trends

We’ve got some hot news: our buddies at Appcelerator won the GSMA Global Mobile 2012 Best Cloud Based Tech Award in Barcelona last week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The judge’s comment on the award announcement: “Quintessential cloud, write once, deploy many times drives speed and cost reductions.”

Titanium is indeed a powerful development platform that allows you to build and deploy mobile apps quickly that will work on any platform. We’re proud of Appcelerator’s win, since we can bask in the glow ourselves as Titanium developers and trainers. Our CEO, Edwin Huertas, just picked up a Master Certification in Titanium last month, and on the way back home to Richmond he stopped by Accenture-Austin to teach mobile development and best practices to their developer team.

So that’s the local mobile news, with a global spin. Here are some other trends we’re watching:

iPad 3 launch

Apple is launching the iPad 3 this week (if they want to take advantage of SXSW crowd hype) or next week. We’ll be watching closely to see what changes are really in the tablet after all the pre-launch speculation is either proven or myth-busted. One big question: will it include LTE? GigaOm’s Kevin Fitchard has a great post on what LTE’s inclusion, or exclusion, would mean for the mobile space. Stay tuned for that answer.

Augmented reality for navigation

Texting while driving is a bad idea. There are, however, a few apps in development that use augmented reality to help drivers navigate traffic by using the camera lens on their smartphone. One in particular got a lot of attention at Mobile World Congress last month: iOnRoad, an Android app developed by an Israeli company who envisions the technology being integrated into existing vehicle navigation systems.

Are you looking to build a mobile business?

That’s one trend that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, as more people across the globe get connected via mobile devices even when terrestrial connections aren’t available. If you need help exploring the idea of making your business, your idea, or your cause mobile, we’ve got expertise and the tech savvy to make it happen. And the training programs to help you build your own mobile developer team.

Got a trend you’re watching? Let us know!

February Mobile News & Trends

The world gets smaller every time someone uses a mobile device to connect to the web. We celebrate that shrinkage here at Shockoe. In fact, we like to think we help enable it with our mobile web projects! We’re kicking off a new blog series on mobile news and trends that will post the first Tuesday of each month.

We’ll share what we think are the most interesting, or provoking, or challenging, or [insert your favorite adjective here] trends and topics in mobile – our goal is to start a conversation about our core interest: the mobile web.

Here’s our list for February:

400+ gigabyte download gets one lucky Russian a nice vacation

(and the rest of us get some ammo in our battle for mobile bandwidth) For most wireless customers in the US and Europe, “unlimited” data plans mean being able to download about 2 gigabytes of data per month. Russian wireless telecom MegaFon encouraged its customers to see how much they could download in November, December, and January, with the winner downloading 419 gigabytes in one week. This shows that not only are Russian mobile users hungry for content and data; it also shows that MegaFon can handle monster bandwidth demand. This should be an example to wireless providers in the US and elsewhere who put a cap on usage.

What’s in your [mobile] wallet?

It’s surprising to us that the US has lagged behind some Third World countries in mobile payment development. Some of that lag could be due to the highly-regulated banking systems of the US and Europe, but that gap will continue to close this year. As NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is included in more and more mobile devices – think Mobil Speed-Pass in your phone – you’ll see more and more opportunities in 2012 to simply wave your phone at a checkout terminal, get an electronic confirmation, and head home with your purchases. If you can do it in Kenya, why not in Kalamazoo?

One word: HTML5

OK, so it’s not really a word, it’s four letters and a number. However, that alphanumeric string is the future of the web. As Brett McLaughlin put it on O’Reilly Radar, “what’s important is not that HTML5 works on phones. What’s important is that HTML5 ‘just works.’” HTML5 removes much of the heavy lifting required by previous iterations of HTML when it comes to delivering content on multiple device platforms.  Like Brett said, it “just works”.

That’s our short list for February. If you’d like to have a conversation with us about the mobile web, throw us a comment or shoot us an email – and if you’d like to explore the possibilities of putting your ideas on a mobile platform, we’d be happy to have that conversation, too. Give us a call!

Let the games begin.

Suite Tips Picks Up Steam

Your time is valuable. We’ll make this short.

Let’s face it- the last thing we need is more useless information.
The average user is heavily bombarded by digital data every day. Pop-ups, advertisements, and junk mail hedge in at every turn. It’s gotten to the point where instead of seeking information out, we just want to hide from it. Believe it or not, these factors influenced the creation of Suite Tips.

Thankfully, Suite Tips can provide a panic-free way to get access to what you need, and fast (and without wading through that other stuff). It’s a unique little app made for iPhone by Adobe users, for Adobe users. It’s not a design panacea, or a reason to ditch your pristine Adobe CS5 manuals, but it is quick, reliable and to the point.

We like to think that what makes the app truly unique is the double tutorial feature. As avid students and pros send us their own sweet shortcuts and design tips, our web development team transforms them into text and video tutorials (for all you visual learners out there, *sigh*) that provide specific data to solve design issues. Each tutorial is under a minute long, too. Not bad.

We hope you’ll try it out. Check it out at www.suite-tips.com, and then get back to that important work you were doing.

Get directly from the Apple Store

Your time is valuable. We’ll make this short.

Let’s face it- the last thing we need is more useless information.
The average user is heavily bombarded by digital data every day. Pop-ups, advertisements, and junk mail hedge in at every turn. It’s gotten to the point where instead of seeking information out, we just want to hide from it. Believe it or not, these factors influenced the creation of Suite Tips.

Thankfully, Suite Tips can provide a panic-free way to get access to what you need, and fast (and without wading through that other stuff). It’s a unique little app made for iPhone by Adobe users, for Adobe users. It’s not a design panacea, or a reason to ditch your pristine Adobe CS5 manuals, but it is quick, reliable and to the point.

We like to think that what makes the app truly unique is the double tutorial feature. As avid students and pros send us their own sweet shortcuts and design tips, our web development team transforms them into text and video tutorials (for all you visual learners out there, *sigh*) that provide specific data to solve design issues. Each tutorial is under a minute long, too. Not bad.

We hope you’ll try it out. Check it out at www.suite-tips.com, and then get back to that important work you were doing.

Integrating with Amazon S3 for fun, profit, and epic speed boosts.

The benefits of using Amazon S3 to store static resources is already well documented. It’s almost a no-brainer if you are building an app that hosts a lot of static files.

We just converted an app that we’re working on to use S3 for all user uploads. It not only sped up our development time, it also basically eliminated the need to worry about file-server scaling in our prototyping stage. And we may not need to worry about it for a quite a while after that.

Check out http://getcloudfusion.com/ for more information on the Amazon S3 SDK for PHP.