Had enough with annoying iOS Notifications?

notificationsIf you’re like us, you (or a younger version) may have installed a Game or app on your device that insists on using Notifications. Often at the most inappropriate times. Notifications are handy for the developers to keep you engaged with their app or game. However there’s nothing worse than being notified that your “Gold storage has been updated!” in the middle of your company presentation.

Admittedly it’s better than it used to be. In previous iOS versions, you had to deal with Alerts!

So with iOS 5, Apple added the Notification center, so users could decide which apps could send them alerts.  However its not clear enough IMO why you still get banner notifications (see next paragraph.) To properly disable the notifications, of choose which will appear, switch off “Badge App Icon“, “Sounds“, “Show in Notification Center“, “Show on Lock Screen” AND set the Alert Style to “None“. (The last part is the one area I keep forgetting. It’s not that obvious).

Once you’ve set most (but maybe not all) of these settings, the app will move to the “Do Not Include” list. However one or more of these items may still be active. Annoying is to light a term IMO. So make sure you make all the settings you need. (maybe Apple should add a “Partial List” of apps.)

Xcode – Missing content in Quick Help Inspector found!

For the past couple of months, I have not been able to see any content in Xcode 5’s “Quick Help Inspector” pane. Having googled around and asked other senior developers, I could not find a solution to the mystery. I almost resorted to the most helpful suggestion – wipe the screen with a damp cloth.

I just discovered the solution by accident (I suppose I could have read the documentation or watched an online video  course.) However I just discovered the solution… in any Inspector pane you can hide or show the content by double-clicking the section title. (A really annoying feature IMO!) I had just happened to notice that hovering over the hidden section will reveal a “Show” quick tip, which disappears in short order.

So I’m posting this article in case any other developers are stumped by a missing section in Xcode.

Quick Help Inspector content hidden
Quick Help Inspector content hidden
Quick Help Inspector content revealed.
Quick Help Inspector content revealed.

Does your business need an app?

About 10 to 15 years ago, it seemed that every company needed a website. A few years later, the growing popularity of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn companies needed to have a presence of those sites as well. Currently nearly every one of your clients has a smartphone using some sort mobile app. For many businesses, having a business app on a smartphone is more and more a necessity. Which begs the question; does your business need an app?


Branding.

Undoubtedly branding is possibly the biggest reason for your business to have an app. Not simply a rehash of your web site but an app that reinforces your brand and your company’s promise. More and more loyal customers are accessing information via a mobile device. They look of your information on web searches, or on an app that aggregates and lists business services; apps such as, Yelp, Apple Maps and Google Maps. Whether you know it or not your customers may be creating reviews  and providing information to future clients through these social network aware apps. Without your knowledge your brand could also be suffering from unfavorable reviews.  Worse it could lose favor through bad online experience for a site that doesn’t fit well on to a smartphone.

By creating your own app you have the opportunity to control your own brand and make sure your marketing message is clear. An app gives you the opportunity to provide a more compelling experience to you clients. Your products and services wouldn’t escape your potential clients notice. It is your opportunity to curate your future clients impression of your brand.


Client Services

Creating a pleasant client experience through an app is a way to provide customer information, and build client loyalty. Many industries have come to create apps to provide extended services to clients. Built in services like Apple’s Passbook allowed Airlines, Movie theatres, Concert promoters to provide ticketing services through easy access for smartphone. Passbook and similar services can also be used to integrate client loyalty rewards.

Starbucks introduced an app that allows users to load up cash online and pay for services by flashing their smart phone. Pizza and fast food companies enable users to build and place orders through an app. Apps and services like Über, have turned the taxi and private car industries on their ear. By allowing taxi cabs and black cars with spare time to respond  to clients and get fares that would otherwise go unused. Cab drivers love it because they know they are going to paid and passengers feel secure as drivers are rated and known by name.

Positive customer engagement though these types of connections are create for retaining existing customer and building relationships with new clients.

Business Process

Every business has some process or industry knowledge that can be transformed into a compelling app. These processes can be developed and even streamlined through the ubiquity of smart phones. Enabling clients to make informed decisions can actually help businesses. The previous example, Über, enables cabs to get fares without centralized dispatch services – cutting out the middle man, so to speak. Actually the Über becomes the middle man. A smart app can enable and empower field agents by giving them tools to use away from the office. Insurance agents and instantly provide client quotes. Service personnel can be dispatched based on knowledge provided through look ups on a smartphone app. There are many new tie-ins to hardware that can report to or be controlled by mobile apps, to expand your business offerings.

Mobile apps can enable staff to monitor services, manage business process and customer support. Tying in back end systems, gives your front line staff access to marketing information, customer support information and other resources. Field agents can download the latest updates on your products and services. They can also create work orders and provide timely service to your clients and prospects. It can be a simple as what’s currently in your restaurant’s wine cellar or as complex as creating an insurance quote.

Getting Feedback

Clearly another benefit is getting feedback from your customers. Knowing how your business is perceived in the market is invaluable to any business. Providing a form or simple buttons could ask the client to provide a review, a star rating or add a fee suggestions. Thanking a client for positive or negative feedback goes a long way. Rewarding a client for there efforts adds kudos to your business. Often new clients are gain through references from past clients.

An app that connects to a back-end service can also provide some metrics about your business. Recently this author was involved in apps that provided localized content. Surprisingly the apps were far better received in European and Asian markets. Rather than relying on online store downloads (the equivalent to measuring a web site’s page hits) the apps provide insights that redirect future marketing efforts. Stories abound on successful companies who were surprised to find that their clients weren’t who they expected. The successful brands adapted to new found knowledge and redirected their product offerings to their new fans.

Getting Started

If you think your ready to get started creating an app, there are a few approaches you can take. Technologies seem to run in 10 year cycles, so that puts us near the middle age of native app development. If you’re the do it yourself type, you can read some books, such as the Big Nerd Ranch Guide – 4th edition for iOS, or their new Android Programming guide. They also offer one week long courses in the US and Europe. This author also teaches iOS courses at Witz Education in Toronto. There are also some great conferences you can attend; Apple’s WWDC, iOS Tech Talks, 360iDev, CocoaConf among many others. They cover the how to’s and the business of apps and app publishing.

There are also plenty of independent development companies who can consult on the viability of your app and even lend their skills to your pursuit of an app.  Look for a local chapter of Cocoaheads, or on Meetup. The bottom line is that the resources are there for you to get started.

 

iPhone 5c

For the first time ever, Apple introduces two new distinct lines of iPhone: iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. iPhone 5c features an all-new colorful design combined with the amazing technologies that customers love in iPhone 5, including the 4-inch Retina display, the blazing-fast A6 chip, iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, ultrafast LTE wireless, and great battery life—up to 10 hours of talk time and up to 10 hours of browsing on LTE. Its hard-coated polycarbonate enclosure comes in five vibrant colors—Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, and White. A new Apple-designed case with a soft-touch silicone exterior and microfiber lining complements iPhone 5c perfectly and is available in six gorgeous colors—White, Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Black—for up to 30 fun combinations. iPhone 5c comes with iOS 7. A new iPhone 4s 8GB model will also be available.

Available – September 20, 2013

2life – New & Notable in at least 19 countries

 

2life app is trending and already being featured in New & Notable in at least 8 App Stores world wide; France, Germany, Italy (#1), Spain, Switzerland (Editor’s Choice), Austria, United Kingdom and Brazil.

Update: As of 5PM  we have reached top 100 in 9 countries on iPhone and top 100 in 10 countries on iPad

Update: as of 2:00 AM 2life is at number 1 in Guatemala, in top 100 in 19 countries on iPhone and top 100 in 16 countries on iPad

2life, the app for your most important relationship


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2life, the app for your most important relationship, now available on the App Store

Toronto, ON – July 17, 2013 – 2 For Life Media Inc. today announced the launch of 2life, the app for your most important relationship, available now for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Designed for two people, 2life is a private, secure network that lets you chat, share, collaborate and coordinate with your partner, all in one place.

“In a hyper-connected world, the relationship that matters most to you can get lost amidst cluttered inboxes and social media newsfeeds,” says 2life founder, Diane Hall. “Once you create a free 2life joint account with your partner, you can easily stay connected and share with the person you care most about in real time.”

Ideal for couples, family members, friends or co-workers, 2life makes it simple, efficient and fun to communicate, coordinate schedules and make plans. 2life is available worldwide in 14 languages.

2life lets you and your partner do the following:

• Chat in a private space
• Create shared calendar events
• Make and manage lists together in real time, from groceries to a bucket list
• Bookmark and share web links in the in-app browser
• Add information your partner may need (e.g., clothing sizes) in your personal profile
• Collect and comment on photos that tell your relationship story or help you accomplish your joint projects
• Write in the journal, individually or together
• Enjoy and share daily lifestyle content and shopping picks from 2life and its partners (i.e., decor, music, news, beauty, fashion, date ideas, gardening and men’s lifestyle)

“More than a communication tool, 2life offers inspiring and carefully curated lifestyle content that will help you get the most out of your relationship,” says Neil Morton, Editorial Director, 2life. “Plus, by downloading the app, you’ll help make a difference for others through our Power of 2 fundraising campaign.”
For every twosome that creates a free 2life joint account with the promo code #powerof2, 2life will donate $1 to Dare to Wear Love in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s commitment to turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. The goal for this launch campaign is $25,000.

The 2life App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.AppStore.com/2life.

Download 2life press images here.

For more info, go to http://2life.io, follow and tweet us on twitter.com/2lifeapp, “Like” us on facebook.com/2life and visit Dare to Wear Love.

##

About 2 For Life Media Inc.

2 For Life Media Inc. is a lifestage media company specializing in relationships, lifestyle and weddings. Our properties include apps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, online, social media channels, blogs and a digital magazine. http://2life.io

Media contacts: Diane Hall and Neil Morton
press@2life.io; 416-469-1429 ext. 223 or 647-267-5741 (mobile)

if you miss WWDC 2013 tickets – try ALTWWDC dot com

In 2012, Appsterdam hosted a week long alternative WWDC conference. We had some awesome speakers, lunch, coffee and wifi. It was such a success last year that we are doing it again, but bigger and better! Plans aren’t finalised yet, but here are some of the things you can expect to see:

  • Location – We loved being at Stackmob last year, but we’ve moved to SF State within a block of Moscone
  • Speakers – Check them out!
  • Keynote breakfast – Food, chat and live blogs
  • Free Lunch!
  • Co-working – Wifi, coffee and peace

http://altwwdc.com

WWDC 2013 announced – tickets on sale Apr 25 @ 10am PDT

Apple has announced the dates for WWDC 2013. The conference will take place June 10-14, in San Francisco. It will offer new insights on future versions of iOS and OSX.

Eligibility

To buy a ticket, you must be a member of the iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or the Mac Developer Program as of the announcement of WWDC (5:30 a.m. PDT, April 24, 2013) and at the time of your ticket purchase. Developers between 13 and 17 years of age must have their ticket purchased by their parent or guardian who is an eligible member.

Purchasing

Ticket purchases are limited to one (1) per person and five (5) per organization. The same credit card may be used up to five (5) times to purchase all of the tickets for your organization. However, each team member must sign in with their own Apple ID and purchase their own ticket.

So now we can set our calendars and stop taking our iPhones to bed.

Finalist in Best Tablet Edition in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Our app, 2 For Couples, built in concert with 2 For Life Media, is a Finalist in the 2012 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. Fingers crossed we’ll find out at the Awards on Oct 23, 2012.

Three of the apps that we developed together are also featured on the iTunes App Store.

Please wish us luck and congrats to the team:

2 For Life Media Inc.
Neil Morton, Editorial Director
Lisa Walker, Creative Director
Diane Hall, Publisher
Charles Kim, Digital Designer
Kate Drummond, Assistant Editor
Karen Hall, Copy Editor
Tim Mitra (iT Guy Technologies), Developer

Follow 2 on Facebook, Pinterest and their 2 For Couples web site