Mobile

Blocks – Modular Smartwatch

June 2, 2015
Blocks-design-round-display-on-launch

Project Ara has evolved.

A few years ago Project Ara was announced by Motorola and since then the project has been moving ahead and they’ve even done a public demo. If you’re not aware of what Project Ara is, it’s a modular smartphone – meaning you can choose what you want more of in your phone, need more battery life? Add the larger battery module. Want more storage? Add the large storage module. It’s a one-size-fits-all smartphone.

Well move over Project Ara, Blocks is here. Blocks is a modular smartwatch, it uses the band and face to connect all the modules together, which is a really clever use of space – every other smart watch has used the band as… well a band.

Watch the video below, it explains the concept and it’s awesome.

 

Is your website mobile friendly? If not you’re missing out

May 7, 2015
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Google have announced that more searches are taking place on mobile devices than desktop.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly you’re missing out on traffic and conversions.

It’s already been announced by Google that they have updated their system to give mobile friendly websites more weight in their listings, but this latest announcement is a double blow for sites that aren’t mobile friendly.

More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

Have a read through their latest blog post. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, ask yourself why not… We can help make your site work on mobile devices.

Google loves mobiles – especially Androids

April 22, 2015
Android-Device-Manager

More information from Google about mobile handsets, but this is different. We’re not talking about mobile-friendly websites we are talking about finding a lost Android Handset.

iPhone users might be a bit jealous about this, but Google now have a smart features to find your handset by simply searching on Google for it.

If you’ve got an Android and it’s got the latest update installed, jump into Google and search “Find my phone”.

Their Android device manager will pop up and show you the location of your phone, allow you to ring, lock or erase all data from the handset.

Ring Handset

Thanks Google, I’ll never need someone to call my phone again so I can find it.

 

 

Want more visitors? Is your site Mobile Friendly?

April 21, 2015
Mobile Friendly - Google

Google are updating their smart sorting algorithm every day by constantly A+B testing and making minor tweaks to improve their search results.

As it’s been for a while Google are focusing more and more on Mobile Friendly websites as they give the user the best experience.

On Wednesday Google is going to put more priority on companies that have mobile friendly websites. Is your site mobile friendly? Are you ready to disappear from the search results?

How can you check? It’s fairly simple to check if your site is mobile friendly. If you go to Google on your smart-phone or tablet then find your listing, does it have a little tag ‘Mobile Friendly’

mobile-friendly

 

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, get in contact with us today and we’ll be able to help you out.

 

 

Read more about the upcoming changes.

Passwordless – Token Based Passwords

October 17, 2014
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It has been a while since my last blog post. I want to start writing regularly again so I’ll start of with an interesting concept I stumbled across today.

Passwordless is a concept Florian Heinemann has implemented into Node.js

It’s a token based authentication method. Instead of remembering usernames and passwords you simply need to enter your email address into their registration/login box and you’re sent a one time link which will allow you to login to your account.

The main benefits of the concept are users don’t need to remember application specific passwords and accounts can’t be brute force attacked to gain access.

One time passwords greatly strengthen account defences,  I use Google Authenticator (GA) on every 3rd party website I can. A while ago I put together a very basic Symfony2 example and posted it to GitHub to show how to implement GA to your project because I really believe it’s a good idea to include on your projects.

The passwordless concept would work great in conjunction with GA. If an attacker gains access to your email address there is no stopping them from accessing all your passwordless sites, however if you have GA linked with your passwordless authentication then they only have one key to the puzzle.

The workflow wouldn’t differ too much, generate a one time link through passwordless, click the link and be directed to a GA prompt, enter the one time password and you’ve logged in.

It will slow down user interaction with the site as they have to use two methods to get in, but it would greatly secure the service.

Over the coming weeks I’ll try and update my GitHub page and show a working implementation with my Symfony2 example.

QuitBit – A smart lighter to help you quick smoking.

May 19, 2014
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An amazing Kick Starter campaign in on track to reach its goal of $50,000 by the 11th of June. It’s a smart lighter that tracks your smoking habits. The projects founder believes if you can track it, you can manage it.

Quit Australia should keep it’s eyes on this project as it’s got the potential to help people quit smoking and think more about what they are breathing into their bodies. Right now it looks to only show basic statistics about how often and when you smoke, but if it can get deeper and tell you more statistics about how much nicotine you are inhaling and how much damage your causing your body it will make the project so much more powerful.

 

What is Facebook Anonymous?

May 1, 2014
Facebook-Anonymous

The development community is talking loudly about Facebook’s new Anonymous login for third party applications. When signing up to new applications online there is sometimes an option to sign up using Facebook. The application then requests your Facebook details, such as your email address, age, gender, friends list, profile photo, wall posts and so-on. It’s always been a concern to me that some of these applications are asking for / getting too much of my personal information – so I opt to sign up with my email address instead.

Anonymous login will allow you to login without sharing this information to the third party application you are using. I look forward to seeing it used in applications – if and when that will happen. I’m assuming that the Anonymous login will be an optional decision made by the third-party application, which app developers may opt not to use, so they then don’t receive any of the important information that they can use for mining / advertising. We’ll see if it takes off – my guess is the big players like Flipboard and Spotify type applications will use it – however smaller players that you don’t trust with your information won’t opt to use the Anonymous login feature.

Smart Phone – Smart Cover

April 7, 2014
smart-cover

HTC have a new model, the HTC One M8. It’s an improvement on the original HTC One, but the most exciting thing for me is the smart cover that you can get for the handset.

I assume that the cover communicates to the handset via bluetooth or NFC and shows a summary of handset information, such as missed call or SMS notifications, as well as weather conditions.

It’s an interesting concept, I would think that people might try and tweak the covers so they can run similar functionality to smart watches like the pebble.

HTC One M8 Case

 

MWC2014 – Nokia & Android

February 11, 2014
Nokia with Android

Nokia can live without Microsoft – but can Microsoft live without Nokia? Not that the two are breaking up, but Nokia will be releasing a new handset this month that runs Android.

Microsoft have a exclusive deal with Nokia to be the only handset company with the rights for the Windows mobile operating system. Microsoft haven’t had great growth when it comes mobile. Nokia has been struggling to stay afloat since Android and Apple came and took over the handset market.

This new development by Nokia has been long awaited and might help the company jump back to its former state of mobile dominance that it had in the 90’s & 00’s.

I wonder what it will happen to Microsoft Mobile…

Read more about the new handset.

Wearable – Pebble Smart Watch

January 30, 2014
Pebble Logo

Pebble has released it’s new SDK, Pebble 2.0. This opens the doors for a large range of products to integrate with the watch. GoPro is releasing it’s own app that lets you use the pebble as a remote control. As a seasonal snow boarder who loves their GoPro this feature would be unreal and would make taking photos while on the go so much easier.

I’m going to give Pebble programming a go and try and make a basic application that interacts with my handset. I’m unsure of what I’m going to make / do yet, but I’m keen to hear from anyone that has some ideas. Tweet me at @sketchthat