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What’s the Role of IoT in Mobile App Development?

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We now live in an app-based world. Mobile applications have simplified the way we perform tasks, from something as mundane as writing a grocery checklist to something as complex as checking your blood pressure.

With the rise of IoT comes a new wave of app development: IoT mobile apps. Developers are now able to interweave the cloud, analytics, networking, sensors and other systems into mobile apps, all to further enhance user experience.

But first: what is IoT?
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is the concept of streamlining the engagement of gadgets with the Internet. This includes mobile phones, lamps, headphones, coffee makers and almost any device you can think of.

If an object has an on and off switch, says Jacob Morgan for Forbes, then IoT can be integrated into its operating system.

How exactly does IoT affect the development of mobile apps?

Wearable IoT
Many people are looking forward to more wearable IoT inventions. These gadgets have the potential to revolutionise the health and medicine industry by monitoring body temperature and measuring heart rates.

Businesses can also utilise wearable IoT to assess the happiness and satisfaction levels of their employees. With wearable technology, you can provide individuals and organisations with measurable data that helps them strengthen their operations.

Remote monitoring
IoT apps enable you to observe and manipulate elements of your home or office through your mobile phone. With an IoT app, you can see the systems of your gadgets, appliances and thermostat settings even when you are enjoying a night out. People can also operate cars while outside of the car. All you need are cameras, sensors, an IoT-integrated app and a good smartphone.

A better sense of direction
Another fascinating function of IoT in enhancing mobile app technology is improving geographic location information. Big apps like Google Maps and Waze are becoming household names for their efficiency in navigation. Imagine how easier it would be to drive on unfamiliar roads if we could get a live coverage of the destination as we cruise through it. With IoT, that vision becomes a reality.

Hands-free
Another effect of IoT to mobile app development is how easily engineers can now program devices to pick up cues from users without the need to press buttons or touch screens. In the next few years, people can expect more WiFi-capable gadgets to read body language or differentiate voices effortlessly.

The IoT ecosystem is constantly evolving, paving way for more advanced and precise applications that would make our lives easier. IoT will continue to contribute to the expansion of technology and the excellent connectivity among users worldwide.

The App Team
We are an Australian mobile application development agency with a wealth of experience in the mobile app industry. Our company offers an extensive range of tech solutions with mobile app development at the core. From website design and development to digital strategy consulting, we have what you need to create the mobile app of your dreams. We are proudly Australian-owned and operated, servicing clients in Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

The app industry is rapidly growing – don’t get left behind. For a quote, feel free to call us today.

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Apps are an E-Commerce Dream

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Smartphones have quickly gone beyond the basic function of calling and texting. Today, people use them to shop, search, find a good restaurant – and basically, to function in everyday life. Thanks to the birth of apps, the smartphone boom won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

The advantage of apps is a two-way street. Users find that apps make their lives easy, while the people behind the app benefit from its revenue-generating power. More and more, brands and businesses are using apps as a direct channel to interact with their target audience. And at an impressive rate, apps have paved a new way to succeed in the current competitive market.

Why Apps for E-commerce?
The beauty of mobile apps can easily be attributed to accessibility. Mobile apps allow users to learn about a company’s products or services in the easiest and fastest way. Prospective clients can view product or service details by simply tapping their phone’s screen. It’s no surprise that experts project that sales initiated through mobile apps will increase by 30 per cent in the next five years.

One of the most distinct advantages of e-commerce mobile apps is its ability to instantly alert users of any new updates about the company, whether it’s a new product, a limited time offer, or any upcoming events.

Global E-commerce Transactions
According to a report from Business Insider, mobile apps were the most popular e-commerce platform for retailers with shopping apps in the last quarter (Q4) of 2017. Global e-commerce transactions only accounted for 31 per cent in Q4 of 2016; however, the global market spiked up to 46 per cent in Q4 2017.

Focusing on User-Experience
If you want to capitalise on mobile apps’ growing share of transactions, today may be the best time to do it. But make sure you have the right people and the right technology with you to develop and launch the app.

Based on the Business Insider report, 61 per cent of smartphone users expect mobile app pages to download in four seconds or less. However, many retail apps do not meet this demand, with some pages taking over thirty seconds to download. Slow loading apps can drive users away, causing businesses to lose sales in the process.

At the App Team, we have the solution to that.

Work with Us
With over six billion apps downloaded since 2010, there is no doubt that the app industry is growing at an extraordinary rate. The App Team helps you take advantage of these opportunities by transforming your business ideas into engaging, user-friendly apps.

We specialise in app design and development for various platforms such as Android, iOS and hybrid apps. From solution design to quality assurance testing, we cover all bases to ensure that your app looks sophisticated and functions with technical excellence.

We also focus on responsiveness. We make sure that your app works smoothly across all devices regardless of operating system, screen size and processors. As a leading app development company in Australia, we know how to get the best out of Android and Apple’s operating system.

Wherever you are in the creative process of developing an app, we will gladly step in to help you make it operational. Call 1300 683 287 for more details on our app development services.

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Sure Win: Guarantee Huge App Downloads Before the Big Launch

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In the crowded digital world, it takes more than design and quality for upcoming technologies to succeed. The ability to market them effectively is just as vital to success.

As of March 2017, there are 2.8 million apps in the Google Play store and 2.2 million in Apple’s App Store. In Google Play store alone, almost 6,000 mobile apps are released every day.

Now more than ever, developers must push for innovative marketing efforts to see maximum returns on their app. So, how do you make your app stand out from the crowd?

Generate a buzz prior to your launch with these tips:

Start with your Audience
You already have an audience in mind when you created your app, but do you know how to market your product to them? Conducting an in-depth research on your audience and competitors gives you valuable insight on crafting your marketing strategy.

Knowing your audience allows you to understand or even predict their marketing preferences as well as spending and usage constraint. Likewise, looking into what your competitors are doing gives you an idea on how your target audience responds to their strategy along with keywords to target.

Use PreApps
PreApps has a community of app enthusiasts who are always on the lookout for interesting applications. Putting your app on PreApps creates traction for your product and attracts beta testers. You will receive e-mails from people who are willing to test your app, building you an e-mail list of prospect consumers while garnering valuable feedback about your product.

Get Your App an Ambassador
There are two groups of people you can reach out to promote your app: your very own target audience and industry influencers.

Weeks before launching your app, you can invite influencers to review your product. This can be a powerful first introduction of your app and can attract the interest of possibly large followings.

You can also get your audience involved in the promotion. Consumers often look to their peers to influence their purchasing decision. Asking real people to try your product and provide feedback will boost the authenticity and value of the product for your audience. You can do this by organising a contest, giving a sneak peek of the product to the winners and promoting their responses.

Utilise Social Networks
With almost 8 out of 10 Australians using social media, social networking platforms provide a great venue for increasing awareness about your app and engaging possible users. If your business does not have social profiles yet, it’s best to start one today for your app.

Roll out quality content that effectively engages audience. Ask them for feedback and suggestions. Make sure to build a good mix of content including bits of text with high-quality images, GIFs, illustrations and compelling videos. If memes work for your brand, don’t be afraid to use them. If your target audience like it, chances are it’ll be an effective call to action.

Create a Pre-Launch Buzz for Your App
Creating a buzz for your app prior to its launch is a two-pronged move. It gets people talking about your app, consequently expanding your reach. If successfully sustained, the excitement created around the product primes users to download the app upon release, regardless if it’s free or paid.

If you need help with marketing your app, you’ve come to the best place.

Contact us today for a winning app marketing strategy.

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The Increasing Value and Purpose of Apps to Non-profits

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Most non-profit organisations operate with two core functions: communication and fundraising. These organisations conduct various operations that embody the two core functions. Unlike other organisations in different sectors who embrace mobile applications, non-profit organisations have been reluctant to adopt the use of mobile apps due to its price, maintenance and hiring people who specialise in managing the app.

Changes Happen
As the old saying goes, change is the only constant in life. Today, non-profit organisations have started pursuing development services for building mobile apps. According to a report from Econsultancy, the charity sector is one of the slowest to adopt new technology. Specifically, small charities struggle to keep up with costs and demands of digital innovation.

Charities could be losing potential volunteers or donations because of a lack of focus on mobile apps. With a user-friendly mobile app, charities or other non-profit organisations can increase their audience’s awareness, engagement and advocacy.

The Value of a Younger Audience
Research suggests that millennials tend to spend more on brands that promote corporate responsibility projects. The majority prefer digital payment methods rather than cash.

Results from a survey conducted by Moneymailme states that 72 per cent of eighteen to twenty-five year olds would donate to non-profit organisations via mobile app, if they had the option. Another result shows that 62 per cent would feel frustrated if they could only donate via cash.

While millennials prefer donating via mobile app, not everyone prefers to download an app just to donate. Non-profit organisations need to make sure there are options across various channels. A mobile app serves as a way to access additional features such as having control over donating or a feature to track what you donate.

Meaningful Brand Experience
Fast and easy donations are not the only reason why a mobile app is valuable for non-profit organisations. Regardless of the type of company, apps provide users with engaging content that helps educate and entertain users.

The key is to have an app that provides a relevant service to the user or solves a specific problem. Some users might look for an app for advice on their own fundraising, or some might look for advice about a difficult issue in their life.

Building Trust in Charity
One of the biggest hindrances for non-profit organisations asking for donations is their audience’s concern about where their money is going. To address this concern, non-profit organisations should demonstrate value by emphasising the impact of their audience’s donations. With the ability to incorporate tailored elements, a mobile app is the right platform to achieve this.

A mobile app for a charity organisation can provide users with details about the beneficiaries that have and continue to benefit from donations. With a simple tap or swipe, users can control the amount they donate. An app also has the real-time element of notifying users about current and on-going issues they can provide support to.

Visit The App Team
If you want to develop a mobile app for your non-profit organisation, The App Team can make that happen. We have a team of highly experienced mobile app developers who help you transform your app idea into a scalable and functional solution. We develop mobile apps for iOS, Android and hybrid platforms.

Call 1300 683 287 to inquire about how we can make your app idea into a reality.

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Search Engine Optimisation for Apps – What?

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As of March 2017, there are more than 2.8 million apps listed in Google Play and 2.2 million in the Apple App Store. Given the astounding figures, it is important that your app appears in app store search results. This is where search engine optimisation comes in.

ASO Is the SEO for Mobile Apps
ASO or App Store Optimisation boosts app discovery and rankings in app store search results. It even allows your app to rank in top apps for its respective categories.

Similar to SEO for websites, ASO takes into consideration the meta title, meta description and keywords. Its goal is to convert app searches into app downloads with good reviews. And just like SEO for web search engines, ASO results don’t happen overnight. The process takes time, patience, dedication and constant monitoring and analysis.

A Guide to Optimising Mobile Apps

Focus on your app’s searchable elements: title, description and the app publisher’s name
Your app’s title is one of the trickiest parts of ASO. You have to resist the urge of naming your app solely after your brand. Why? Try searching for your brand in Play Store or App Store. Even if you don’t have an app yet, other apps will most likely appear while using your brand name as a promotional tactic.

Naming your app goes beyond brand identity. To get the most out of your ASO strategy, it is ideal to include relevant keywords in your app title. According to a study conducted by TUNE, a mobile marketing authority in the US, apps with relevant keywords rank 10.3 per cent higher than apps with no keywords in their title.

The name of your app should fit 30 (iOS) or 50 (Android) characters and should be limited to URL-friendly characters. Using special characters will lower your discoverability and weaken your ASO strategy.

Go slowly but surely with your keywords
If your app is new to the app store and has yet to gain reviews and installs, target low difficulty keywords first. Find specific keywords that are most relevant to your app’s service and integrate them in the description. This allows your app to be discoverable in less competitive, low-traffic searches. You can do your own keyword research as well by using available online tools and resources.

Once your app has received a decent amount of downloads and positive reviews, you can now compete for keywords with higher traffic. Maximise your app’s description, as this is your biggest opportunity to make use of all your relevant keywords. Keep in mind that ASO — like SEO — takes quality and authority into consideration, so don’t just stuff 4,000 characters worth of keywords.

Remember that design matters
Web design and user interface (UI) play important roles in SEO, especially when it comes to converting web page visitors into customers. Similarly, the design of app icons has a huge impact on installs. Statistics show that a great icon design can boost your app downloads by up to 560 per cent.

Full End-to-End App Development in Australia
If you want to have a well-designed app that will rank high for relevant keywords, The App Team can do the job. We are a team of expert mobile app and software developers who turn innovative ideas into practical technology. We provide full end-to-end app development services and ongoing support and maintenance.

Contact us today for more information. Drop us a line at info@theappteam.com.au.

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The App Trends of 2018 is All About the Future We Foresaw

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The future is here and now. What used to be seen only in movies and television shows are gradually becoming actual technologies used in the real world. The year 2018 will see the acceleration of technological development that even the wildest predictions of 50 years ago could not have imagined.

A recent infographic by international digital marketing company Dot Com Infoway revealed the following mobile app development trends and statistics for 2018:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Around six billion everyday products and common household appliances are targeted to connect to the use of AI in one way or another.

Many businesses have shown interest in integrating AI into their marketing strategy and customer service. Through AI, businesses can have a more personalised approach to the products and services they offer, which can boost sales conversion rates.

AI can collect, memorise and analyse data, which partly explains the technology that allows marketers to target consumers with relevant adverts based on their online activities.

But beyond analysing consumer behaviour and buying patterns, businesses can create marketing strategies based on data collected by AI. Businesses can use this data to approach their marketing strategy on a case-by-case basis rather than targeting a demographic.

Chat Bots
Among the various forms of AI, chatbots are becoming the most popular regarding usage and interest. Statistics found that more than half of companies across the globe will be using chatbots to communicate with customers, some even equipped with voice chat features.

Chatbots will be the answer to the demand for fast communication and fast transactions. Customer service statistics in 2017 revealed that more than 66 percent of consumers expect businesses to be reachable via social media and that customers expect a response within 24 hours. A separate review found that response times are directly linked to sales conversion rates: faster replies mean higher conversions.

Augmented Reality (AR)
The Dot Com Infoway statistics show that more than 1.58 billion apps this year and 4.67 billion in 2022 will have pre-built AR features. The global market for AR has been projected to hit close to four billion US dollars before the year 2020 ends.

While AR is widely known for dog and floral filters on Instagram and Snapchat, businesses have managed to integrate AR to improve customer experiences and attract clients. Gap’s DressingRoom app, for example, allows users to view garments fitted to their selected size. Online furniture retailer Wayfair also has an app with AR features that allows customers to visualise a product in their own home just by holding up their smartphone. There are other potential uses for AR that businesses are starting to tap into, and this is only the beginning.

Is Your App Future-Ready?
If you want to have a future-ready app for your business, The App Team experts are your guys. We collaborate with our clients to create practical technology from the most innovative ideas. We are a team of expert mobile app and software developers who provide full end-to-end service and ongoing support and maintenance. We develop mobile apps for iOS, Android and hybrid platforms and offer an obligation free consultation.

Get in touch with us today. Send us an e-mail at info@theappteam.com.au.

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Apps’ Spectacular Usage Rate Caps Lopsided Win Over Websites

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Apps or websites? Apps turn 10 years old in 2018, yet the heated debate continues.

From audience reach to customer satisfaction, businesses and tech specialists have mulled over the advantages of apps over websites and vice versa.

Arguments in favour of websites won when it came to speed of upgrading, shareability and findability. In terms of interactivity, personalisation, offline accessibility and functionality, apps were the clear winner.

Over the years, technologies have changed along with consumer preferences and behaviour. So there are now new arguments for both technologies.

To bring in a new factor to the equation, let’s talk about the latest app usage.

Figures in Australia and the Global Arena
The global usage rate of apps has reached astounding heights. In 2017, the total mobile app downloads amounted to 197 billion. That makes an almost 50 million jump from the previous year’s total number of downloads reaching 149 billion. Every day, consumers spend 3 hours in apps and use around 40 apps per month.

In Australia, consumers spend a whopping 85 percent of mobile device usage in-app and use an average of 36 apps per month. In a month, consumers spend almost 33 hours using smartphone apps and only spend four hours on web browsers.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Mobile Consumer Survey, consumers prefer apps for entertainment, such as social networking, playing games, streaming videos and navigation. Australians also prefer apps for banking, searching for real estate, finding local businesses, and comparing products and prices when shopping.

What’s driving this phenomenon? Artyom Dogtiev of Business of Apps believes that the regular hardware updates of mobile devices and the introduction of new features are fuelling the exponential growth of mobile app downloads. Dogtiev adds that it’s all about communication and entertainment, things that help people cope with stress.

As many consumers also use apps for banking, finding businesses, and shopping, the convenience provided by apps is also considered as a factor to the app boom.

So how can businesses tap into the app-consuming Aussies?
In Google and Ipsos’ research, results revealed there are two crucial points in developing an effective mobile app-marketing strategy: boosting awareness of apps and keeping the audience engaged.

In boosting awareness, the researchers found that apart from app stores, one out of four people found apps through search engines and half of the people surveyed found apps through ads. Google and Ipsos recommend increasing visibility by using mobile app install campaigns and extending the campaign across ad formats such as displays and videos.

As for keeping customers engaged, the researchers emphasise the importance of proving the value of an app. How? Through the improvement of the app’s utility and features, as well as by incentivising users.

Thirty percent of the respondents stated that they’d use an app again if they got a discount on a purchase. Meanwhile, nearly 25% said they would use an app again if they received bonuses or exclusive perks.

Businesses can leverage these valuable insights and realign their efforts to offer something that fulfils consumer demands.

So, should all businesses have apps?
The answer depends on the nature of the business, its products and services, and the preference and behaviour of its consumers. Budget and other factors also come into play when determining whether an app can benefit the business and is aligned with its goals. You can also consider developing your site first, then proceed to app development, or use a hybrid or focus on an app alone.

If you need help to decide, our team of specialists can give you advice on the best tech for your current operations.

Dedicated to helping Australia’s businesses, we provide free consultations. Talk to us today.

Internet of Things (IoT) – The Next Revolution.

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​There’s a lot of buzz around IoT (Internet of Things). Some technology visionaries are proclaiming IoT to be the next Internet or even the next Industrial Revolution. If it maintains the current growth, the Internet of Things will reach 24 billion devices by 2020 – that’s roughly four devices for every human being on Earth. But what exactly is IoT? And is it worth all this hype?

The Internet of Things (IoT) 
IoT is a network of internet-connected devices able to collect and exchange data with each other. The term “thing” can refer to almost anything, not just smartphones and computers. It can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a kitchen appliance, an animal with a biochip transporter or any other man-made object that can be assigned an IP Address and equipped with the ability to transfer data over a network.

There are a number of key factors that created the perfect ecosystem for IoT to skyrocket. First, broadband Internet is everywhere and is getting faster with each passing year. Then, you have the rise of cloud computing, coupled with the reduction of cost in data-gathering sensors. As technology costs are going down, more objects are created with Wi-Fi capabilities, eager to join the IoT revolution. This holds the promise of a future “smart” world in which everything that can be connected will eventually become a part of the IoT.

IoT is already changing our lives
The truth of the matter is, IoT is already changing the way some people interact with their everyday objects. But let’s put this technology into perspective by analysing some tangible examples of IoT products:

1. Healthpatch MD
Think of Healthpatch MD like a bionic Band-Aid. It has a whole suite of sensors that watch over body temperature, respiration, stress levels, heart rate, steps taken, etc. It’s even able to tell if the user has fallen or is incapacitated. This device is extremely lightweight and runs on a watch battery for about three days.

Healthpatch is smart enough to pair over Bluetooth with a mobile device, so both the patient and the doctor have access to real-time data through a cloud platform. Doctors have access to a detailed window into their patients’ health and receive instant notifications when there’s a sign of a troubling signal.

2. Samsung Family Hub 2.0
Samsung is already adding on their IoT products with the Family Hub 2.0. This smart refrigerator has a generous 21.5-inch touchscreen that can be used to leave messages for other family members, share photos or look at shared calendars. You can use the internal cameras to view the contents of your fridge if you’re too lazy to open it. The fridge takes pictures of all your items and can easily reorder anything online if you run out of stuff.

Of course, it wouldn’t really be smart if you weren’t able to talk to it. Users can issue voice commands to learn the weather and time, order new groceries online or manage to-do-lists, among other things. Samsung is reportedly working with Spotify, LiDL, Glympse, and iHeartRadio to add a whole suite of different functions to the fridge.

3. Connected Masscara
Hey ladies, what if your eye shadow palette can tell you what colours will complement your look? It seems like L’Oreal is already exploring the possibilities of IoT. The development team is tinkering with the idea of a smart makeup capable of beaming meaningful feedback back to the company in order to pinpoint trends and encourage customer engagement. On top of that, the company is planning to provide a lot of how-to content with their smart makeup lineup in the near future.

4. Samsung SmartThings Hub
Samsung is betting big on IoT, and SmartThings is definitely one of the most reliable systems for users who want a fully automated home. SmartThings lets you control lights, locks, thermostats, cameras, plugs, speakers and nearly everything else from a neatly designed central hub that you can access from your smartphone. The system is also compatible with a lot of sensors that can be used to create a security solution compatible with all the electronics present in your home.

5. Oceanit Laboratories Smart Cement
At a first glance, cement is the least thing you would expect to become “smart”. But some clever engineers at Oceanit Laboratories are changing all that by embedding nanosensors into the cement, making it capable of transmitting and responding to various signals. This technology could help workers better understand the integrity of the construction they are working on and avoiding unwanted accidents.

What will become of IoT?

Even those people who are already buying IoT products exclusively will agree that the technology is still in its infancy. There are still some issues that need to be addressed in order for IoT to become the norm.

The main problem is, of course, security. Many white hat hackers are stating that IoT is running ahead of the game with a big target on its back. It is believed that more than 7.3 billion devices need to be secured by 2020 in order to remove any major vulnerability. The good news is the big players are already taking steps towards making IoT a safe place – both Microsoft and Google are working on platforms that will secure and simplify the creation of IoT networks.

IoT vertical applications like home appliances and thermostats are scheduled for a steady rise in the next few years. It’s likely that other industries like smart cars, home security, and climate control will adopt more and more IoT devices until we’ll reach a point where every vertical will connect like a dot.

Another likely trend in the near future is IoT analytics. Big data is already on every top executive’s mind. But imagine combining IoT devices with cloud platforms capable of storing large amounts of data. An IoT algorithm can theoretically be used to gain insights into target audiences. This holds the promise of small businesses benefiting from big data analytics, previously only accessible by giant corporations.
It remains to be seen what the future holds, but we think IoT is here to stay. With so many development teams working on incredible IoT applications, the next two years will likely serve as a turning point for the full adoption of this technology.

If you have an IoT project in mind, reach out to us today! We’re working on some really cool projects right now. Request a free IoT consultation now.

Apple Users: Get ready for massive change with iOS 11

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Are you excited for Apple’s next update on their operating system? We certainly are. With powerful new features like augmented reality integration, smarter Siri, and a revamped control center, iOS 11 is set to change the way we use our Apple mobile devices.

From where we’re standing, it looks like Apple is finally willing to slow down on their quest for simplicity with a lot of tweaks clearly focused on boosting productivity for the end users. Scheduled to launch this fall, iOS 11 is undoubtedly the most ambitious Apple software update in a very long time.

Although the list of new features is virtually endless, we are going to showcase those changes that will directly impact the way we use our iOS devices on an everyday basis.

Smarter Siri with more soothing voices

Siri’s contextual learning will get a lot better once iOS 11 launches. Aside from an interface refresh, Siri will get enhanced capabilities for third party apps. Stuff like paying your bills or asking for a cab ride will be possible by only using voice command. Among other things, Siri is getting translation capabilities, multiple results for each search query and automatic follow-up questions.

The new and improved Siri voices will use machine learning to get closer to how actual humans speak. Apple’s AI assistant will also do a better job at suggesting what you’d want to type – similar to Google’s virtual assistant, Siri will study the words you use most frequently and suggest them back at you when you’re trying to type something.

The thing we are most excited about is the fact that Siri will be able to learn from our usage patterns by monitoring apps like Mail, Messages, and Safari in order to deliver enhanced personal search results.

​Person-to-person payments with Apple Pay

If this sounds exactly like what PayPal or Venmo are already doing, you are right. The difference is, iOS 11 will do this via an app-free solution which is much, much more convenable.

Peer-to-peer payments will be possible straight from iMessage and your fingerprint will serve as the authentication method. The money will be transferred into an Apple Pay Cash account which you can then use to make purchases or redirect the money to your bank account.

The bad news is, with the new and improved Apple Pay, there aren’t many credible reasons to avoid paying back your friends.

​Redesigned control and notification center

Instead of three separate panels that iOS 10 has, iOS 11 introduces one giant panel of buttons that is fully customisable. It will let you swipe up to find the settings you use more often instead of having to search for them in three separate panels.

Another big visual change is the notification center unified with the lock screen. This means you will need to scroll down from the top of the screen to reach your lock screen and then swipe up to access the notification center. While this seems like an unnecessary step, it does make things look a lot cleaner.

AR is Apple’s next big bet

With iOS 11, Apple is officially entering the forefront of augmented reality innovation. With the new Apple ARKit, developers will be able to insert virtual objects into the real word just by using the camera from your iPhone or iPad.

If you unsure about this technology, you should definitely check out Peter Jackson’s Wingut AR demo that Apple showed off. Ikea is also reportedly partnering up with Apple for an iOS 11 AR feature – it will let you place imaginary furniture in your house and figure out if they fit the decor.

Although this technology holds incredible promise, don’t expect a whole lot of content once iOS 11 comes out. We have to remember this is still emergent technology, so there is still some uncertainty on what it will end up becoming.

Still, it’s good to see that Apple is betting big on AR by providing the tools to create an augmented reality future for the iPhone and iPad. All in all, it will certainly help the AR industry take off given how many iOS users are out there.

Better photos and videos

A whole new variety of filters and modes are coming along with iOS 11. If were talking pictures, low-light portraits will become much more efficient in taking advantage of HDR and image stabilization. Long exposure shots will be assisted by new machine learning tools that will eliminate the need for a tripod setup.

Videos will use the new HEVC compression instead of H.264, which is said to reduce the overall size of a video by as much as 50%. Images will continue to use HEIF size-reduction technology that was introduced with the iPhone 7.

And last but not least, Live Photos will become fully editable. You will be able to apply special effects, bounce, and loop to make your Live Photos even more awesome.

​The list goes on…

iOS 11’s list of new feature is huge, so huge that we couldn’t possibly discuss each and every one in detail. Nevertheless, here are some more that you should know about:

•    NFC won’t be restricted to Apple Pay only, so other apps can take advantage of this technology.
•    Seamless iCloud syncing across iPod, iPad, and Mac means iMessages won’t take up device storage anymore.
•    App Store will get a redesign with separate tabs for Games, Apps and Featured apps
•    You will finally be able to make screen-recording videos without having to jailbreak your device.
•    iOS 11 will have a file system on both iPhone and iPad called Files.
•    You will be able to share a Wi-Fi password with your contacts.
•    New driving safety system that won’t let you use your phone while driving.

Although it isn’t confirmed yet, iOS 11 is most likely going to launch somewhere in mid-September along with the iPhone 8. If you simply can’t wait, the beta version is already out. But please keep in mind that since the software is work-in-progress, some of the features may not work as they should.

​However, if you decide to try it out, it’s a good idea to back up your phone first or use a secondary device.

The Benefit of Prototyping Your App Idea First

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What is Prototyping?
In mobile app development, a prototype is essentially an early simulation of the final app product. Think of it as an enriched mockup without any functionality. A prototype is a collection of UX pieces, animations, interactions and other graphic elements meant to showcase the app’s purpose and functionality.

Although it’s not required, prototyping your app idea before the actual app making process starts is one of the best decisions you could make. Prototypes are invaluable in terms of validating ideas, assessing time, and calculating the funds required to build an app.

A lot of early development problems can be entirely avoided with a prototype. Not to mention it’s an immense help for both developers and investors to get a firmer grasp on the app idea before the actual development starts. In some cases, prototyping an app can help the involved parties explore multiple concepts and make an informed decision on which one to go with. A good prototype will also provide valuable insight into the user interaction at various levels.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a thorough explanation with the biggest benefits of starting with an app prototype. It might just change your mind.

1. Concept validation

It’s always good to test an idea before investing a lot of money and time in it. Prototyping allows you to experiment with ideas and build upon the ones with a higher rate of success. You can easily add, remove or modify features as the project advances. The earlier you start implementing these new ideas, the better off you’ll be – it’s less resource-demanding (time and money-wise).

Market-testing an app reveals whether there’s a demand for a certain app on the market. Nobody wants to waste a lot of time and money on something that will never catch on.

App testing helps in collecting invaluable feedback from the users. That feedback should be used to learn how you can improve your app’s functionality, features, design, etc. The end game here is to ensure that your app meets not only your company’s or your investors’ needs but more importantly, the end user’s needs.

2. Better stakeholder engagement

Stakeholders involved in this phase of the development usually have a better understanding of what it takes to develop a mobile app. What better way to improve their engagement than with a powerful demonstration of the purpose and functionality of the app?

An early app prototype is also a valuable opportunity for clients, investors, and designers to brainstorm together about possible improvements.

3. Present your design in style

Sometimes even the best ideas do not get a green light because of the bad or unconvincing presentation. Pitching an app idea to the investor can be tricky if the only thing you have is a basic drawing of a future app. What people need is to feel how your app is going to add value to their lives. You can accomplish this effectively with a prototype that demonstrates your design concept. Chances are your idea will be okayed if you provide your clients or investors with something tangible, like a prototype.

Clients and investors aside, it’s much easier to demonstrate your concept to the team of coders if you have a prototype. They can point out potential issues and limitations of your idea early on.

4. Identify potential issues as early as possible

Bugs and glitches discovered in the latest stages of the app development process will require the app makers to operate complex modifications to the app code. This will most likely consume a lot of time, which is guaranteed to be translated into more money.

By designing a prototype, some of these bugs can be identified in the early stages of the development and fixed without adding to the expenses. Also, during the prototyping phase, you can decide if certain steps can be skipped altogether or combined in order to save some precious developing time.
Are you convinced?

A good prototype will bring your design to life and make your presentation much more effective. It also prevents overlooking important issues and leaves nothing to chance.

All in all, investors and stakeholders will surely thank you for it, as they will be able to tell if the idea is worth investing in. If a happy investor isn’t what makes you tick, prototype your app idea first to ensure that the end product is going to add value to the user.

After all, we always try on the shoes before buying them, right?