56% of U.S. adults have a smartphone: What is your business doing to take advantage of this?

According to Pew, 56% of American adults now own a smartphone.

What is your business doing to take advantage of this?

If your business does not have a plan in place that reflects this reality, you may be missing opportunities to grow your company or setting up your business for failure in the future (probably both). If your company has not considered a website optimized for tablets/mobile phones or a mobile app on the top smartphone platforms, it is in your best interest to research this and determine what best fits your company moving forward. Please have this conversation and weigh the pros and cons of doing something versus doing nothing.


E-Reading increases and physical books decline

E-Reading increases and physical books decline

With prices that vary considerably (E-Books may be as much as 30-50% cheaper online or more) and with options such as the Nook or Kindle apps for PCs, it is no wonder that electronic reading has jumped and traditional books have declined. Then, if you add in how dedicated E-Readers have gotten cheaper and  tablet and smartphone ownership has spiked, more and more readers have the option of having a decent, cheaper reading experience than traditional books.

This does not mean that E-Books are better than traditional hard copy books, it just means that the value and price equation has convinced many readers to favor e-books over hard copy, physical books.


Tablet ownership has increased

Tablet ownership has increased

Tablets, when compared to other computing devices like Laptops and Desktops, cost a lot less. They do not necessarily have to have subscription service for data, unless you want to have 3G or 4G service supporting it (Smartphone and Tablet plans range anywhere from $35 to over $100  a month, depending on carrier and coverage). So, when the economy retracted between 2007 and 2009, and the recovery was not as robust as many of us have hoped, users were faced with some stark financial choices. They were also compelled to adjust their entertainment dollars as well.

That was the financial side of things. Now, if you look at the functionality, many users just want to check email, respond to social network updates and notifications, and check the news. Tablets are great at this and have battery life far better than most laptops. Apps have also made tablet use more productive and allowed some users to avoid their laptops and desktops unless there is a task that is just more efficient to do on a laptop or desktop. Tablets and smartphones, because of this increased functionality and productivity at a lower initial cost, are probably the biggest reasons that the PC market is in decline (not Windows 8, although some cite it as a reason).

So, it is not a huge surprise that tablet ownership has increased.


The stylus is not dead

Warning! The stylus is not dead!

Touch can be a great addition to the computing experience for a number of users. However, for complex or complicated tasks that require precision, a stylus can make a big difference in the productivity of mobile users. Therefore, it is no surprise that from Samsung includes a stylus with the Galaxy Note and Adobe has recently focused more on the stylus in some of its development plans.


Windows 8 Learning Curve: All true or all hype?

Windows 8 Learning Curve: All true or all hype?

Having used Windows 8 since the launch date, personally I do not see any hurdles for computer literate or tech savvy users. Not productive? Hardly. Windows 8 store contains a number of productivity apps to help a business that does not have a large IT budget. From OneNote and Evernote Modern UI apps to open source software such as GIMP and Paint.NET that are Windows 8 desktop apps, there is a little bit for everyone. Machines boot faster and are more secure than Windows 7 (Still room for improvement of course). The only issues I have seen relate to drivers (Multi-monitor was buggy at first, so was Wi-Fi).

When it comes to regular users, the fact that many of them litter their desktop with numerous documents does not mean that they are necessarily endeared to the Start Screen displaying apps in their face. Many users do not know how to use file explorer. So, the fact that they have to click a Metro UI tile to go to the desktop is already a bother. Also, being unfamiliar with starting Microsoft Office and then opening a file, there could be some users who could get frustrated with the process (may not realize that they can pin a doc to start screen).

People will adapt, but it will take time. By offering some help in Windows 8.1 should allow users to better ease into the new UI.


Lumia 1020 and its camera

What will be the market reception towards the Lumia 1020?

Having a 41 megapixel camera is an impressive stat. The question that will come when tech users examine the hardware is, “Can I take advantage of it?” Case in point, some Android devices have a low heap size. This means that images will not be taken that exceed this memory size, so many phones are set to reduce the resolution to prevent this. Will users notice? Sometimes. Other times, no. Users want cameras that take great photos and provide quick and easy access to them to show and share.

What will Nokia and Windows Phone be able to do? As part of this discussion, it also comes up whether or not Windows Phone is a compelling enough OS to get users interested in and excited about the camera. Only time will tell.



Do you feel more or less connected with family and friends because of the mobile tech that you use?

Has technology made it easier to stay in touch with your family?

Do you feel more or less connected with family and friends because of the mobile tech that you use?

How does your tech make you feel? What impact has it made on your ability to communicate with those who matter in your life and career? Is it too tedious? Does it feel awkward or does it make it easier to respond while on the go?

From a developer standpoint, sometimes you can lose sight of what makes it easier for the user. That is why when designing interfaces and experiences it is important to take an objective view of things as much as possible. If there are unnecessary hurdles, these need to be removed. Applications should be designed with the user in mind while being stable, secure, and intuitive. Otherwise, the experience may be lacking.

Thanks for your support, and if we can be of service to you in the future for your web or mobile needs, please let us know.

Does your company have a mobile app, mobile optimized website, or tablet optimized website?

Does your company have a mobile app, mobile optimized website, or tablet optimized website?

If you do not have one, it would be in your best interest to do so. Tablet and phones ownership is increasing daily and your website that was built for a desktop will not display in a way that best promotes your brand. Furthermore, traditional websites are not conducive to user engagement, namely them buying from you.

Please do yourself a favor. If you do not have any one of these, ask yourself why. You should evaluate any option that offers new opportunities for your business. If you do not know what any of this means, do some research and find out, call and ask, but don’t just assume that your business does not need any of these. Every business can benefit from either a mobile app, or a website that is optimized for tablets or phones.