Build -An- App

Build-iphone-app

These days doesn’t it seem like everyone can build an App, with the exception of you? I am sure you know somebody who knows somebody who created an App. Somewhere in the simplicity and complexity of this great undertaking is the thought “how is it done?” In the great Google machine is a plethora of websites which will either a) create an App for you (for a wee cost), or b) step by step instructions from the best of developers. Some offer tutorials, such as Codelearn, for step by step coding and others brag you don’t need to even learn how to code if you download a program which does it for you. With blogs and websites so user-friendly now, is it possible creating phone Apps are just as easy to build?
The App market is way different now than when there were 25,000 Apps total. The competition is over 1.2 million and growing. Even if you built an exciting, fresh new concept how will people discover it? Before you venture off into App creation, recognize the magical marketing skills you will have to have just to promote the App. This is basic business. Compare it to the self publishing market with books; same principle applies. In business, there is money management, planning, product support, promotion, etc., and every little task will consume even the most brilliant lone wolf independent developer. Consumers may buy Apps like crazy, but only luck of the dice will ‘show you the money’. Sustainability is another factor. With so many Apps being created, say consumers find yours, how long could your App maintain a constant customer purchase. The most delicious App will be duplicated; clones will try to steal your thunder. Let’s say you develop a revolutionary App, one of the approaches would be to present it to companies who have millions of App users. Unless you wait a gazillion years for a patent, your intellectual property could be at risk by deception from the big boys. Think about how you will approach the touchy gray matter of business undertakings.
David Gewirtz, an author and computer scientist offers this advice for App dreamers:
Here’s a simple piece of advice: if you can’t write your app yourself, typing it on your own computer, doing the work yourself, with your own brains and skills, don’t do it.
You will lose. You will lose friends. You will lose money. It will be bad.
• If you’re a serial entrepreneur and know how to plan and put together a team: go for it.
• If you’re already an app programmer: go for it.
• If you have no tech experience: learn to program apps and do it yourself.
• If you have no tech experience and don’t want to learn to program: run, run away.
• If you have no tech experience and want to hire someone else to build it: you are going to be throwing your money away.
• If you have no tech experience and think you can talk someone into doing it for you “as a deal”: good luck, but it will backfire on you both.
If you are hard set to create an App, then remember, software programming is a good life skill and an asset in a highly desirable market today. This is what it all boils down too. There is nothing wrong with another notch of experience and learning on your belt; be sure somewhere in the next technology wave, you may be able to ride that gravy train.

What Exactly Is “Project Ara”?

Oho-idea_Motorola’s Project Ara

Lego’s grew up. Get ready for the complete flip in cell phone technology. The project prototype of Ara, an innovative modular system, is about to blow people’s minds. Think of this like small building blocks in which you pick out personally to customize around your needs. These removable modules make up the phone’s entire components as a whole. Begin with an endoskeleton (a main shell) and insert your modules for functionality and purpose.
Ara, named after the lead mechanical designer, is a crazy concept which will revolutionize the mobile technology market just as smart phones did awhile ago. There are so many directions this project could take and the futures possibilities of a module- initiated, Lego-type are endless. If you want a great camera, you pick the camera module for the phone and not the phone for a good camera. Even customizable health sensors, like a pulse ox meter to test the oxygen in your blood with hardware designed light. Other encouraging aspects of Ara include being able to share modules with your friends and family and certainly, Ara will be a huge bonus in the business arena. Everything about this concept is centered on personal configuration and expression. Wrap your mind around this customizable ability in your own hands.
If Ara still doesn’t sound all so appealing to you, then go a little deeper with this amazing prototype…how about budget costs? Ara has this covered too. Since modules are sold separately, you will be able to replace a broken module instead of the whole phone. The costs of owning an Ara are estimated to come into the marketplace as an entry level device between 50-100 dollars for the endoskeleton. Another curious option to consider is how this will affect the contract phone networks, if Ara will ultimately shake up this system with modularity-customization with users in sharp, personal control.
Many people are familiar with Phoneblocks created by Dave Haskins last year. He is a brilliant designer originating from the Netherlands who now works along side with Project Ara such as focusing on reduction of electronic waste and documenting the Ara progress through videos. Reducing electronic waste is an ultimate plus to this powerful prototype, as technology progresses this will be a top priority in societal and environmental concerns.
Yet hold on, Project Ara is still in testing stage and probably won’t be popped out into the marketplace until the prototype is a sure thing. Because it is in the developmental stage, the limited pilot market won’t be until next year. Project Ara is in Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group (ATAP) but is not solely a Google product, more of a developmental effort.
If you are not familiar with Project Ara, do yourself a favor and glide into some research regarding the mobile prototype. It is coming, and unless at some juncture the technology seems amiss, it will be a solvable problem. Project Ara is a stinging sign of a new generation of brilliance getting ready to conquer the mobile technology frontier. Lego’s grew up.

Google Chrome Opens Up

Google is moving forward by bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, in hopes to bring the two platforms closer together. Later on, then Google can completely merge the two as to have on OS for both the desktop and the mobile. The Android has an incredible amount of apps especially for it, so now this opens the desktop side of Chrome OS to this abundance of apps. What will be interesting to see, if Google can incorporate the Chrome extensions, the smaller apps which operate within the Chrome browser? These extensions are a function of Chrome inside the browser which allows the user to jump to something else never leaving the browser environment.richd-android-chromeos-merge

On the desktop, this would mean they work in OS X, Chrome OS and Windows right away. If Chrome is the default browser for Android now, then with Google’s mobile OS users would be able to enjoy this desktop like feature. The Android is already a solid app system and with Google’s aspirations, the Android would become even more capable. This Google development is significant for a couple reasons.
Having extensions in Chrome Android would offer a second platform for apps to developers. There target market would extend dramatically without much effort. Soon there will be many Android apps on Chrome OS. Not to mention, the users of Chrome OS will discover that with the Android done Google’s way will definitively open up Google’s OS. Consumers will grow with the Chrome-Android idea, and Google will use the two platforms to make them even more appealing in the future.

Google had launched Chrome apps for mobiles back in January, with a tool chain based on Apache Cordova which operates as development framework for creating apps using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This is pushing towards their ultimate goal of getting developers on board to build Chrome apps to run on desktops and of course, on the Android. They achieve this with Cordova plugins and a basic shell application which gives access to a multiple of APis, and even Chrome’s core APis. Distribution for developers through Google Play and Apple’s Store become promising and affluent.

Google showed this new functionality off in the Topeka Polymer Web App at their release conference. This is now available on Google play and packaged as a Chrome App for Android. They also created a new live deploy feature for its developers to preview and change codes they make to the Chrome App. Without a doubt, with the introduction of Google’s Chrome-Android plans, developers are chomping at the bit to see where it takes them; just as users will become curious to capabilities suited for their benefits. Google is moving fast with ideas which may not be understood now, however, a two platform merge reeks of future possibilities.

The Surprise of Wi-Fi

In the latest round of features for smartphones is a quiet one Apple should be shouting about. It is also a feature available now on some of the newest Androids. Imagine for a moment you are out of signal for your mobile network, now you can use Wi-Fi instead of your network to make a call, text, or receive a call. If you are out of range and need to use your phone, using this feature will automatically switch from network to Wi-Fi and back again when a signal appears.wifiguy
There are many benefits to this idea. The fore most mentioned is of course being out of your mobile’s network area. If you are traveling in remote areas, or if a signal is hard to get even in your own home, you won’t have to worry about missing an important call. Another plus to this feature is saving money on your data plan. You won’t be using up those valuable minutes. With the bountifulness of hotspots popping up everywhere, there might even be a good chance you will be connected more often to these Wi-Fi gems than to your own network.
You may be thinking right now that this is nothing new; phones have Skype and VoIP (Voice over internet protocol). Yet there is a difference between these technologies in a rather big way. Skype is forever cool but remember, you do have to initiate a Skype account, install the Skype app on your device and of course, buy the Skype credits to make those calls. Skype also will drop a call if you are out of range on your Wi-Fi network. With VoIP, this service cannot switch automatically from Wi-Fi to your mobile network. The greatest benefit of Wi-Fi calling is no costs to bear, no subscriptions, and no apps to install. This somehow resembles the idea of making a normal call, like from landlines.
This technology has been around for a long time; however mobile device users are becoming more aware of mobile Wi-Fi ability thanks to Apple’s subtle endorsement. Typically, this technology is known as the GAN, or Generic Access Network. Traditionally transmitted using mobile data to Wi-Fi networks instead of cell towers, your call goes on to the GAN controller. This is referred to as a ‘carrier grade’ voice service. Calls are managed inside a core network referred to as an IP Multimedia Subsystem.
The older mobile devices won’t have this automatic feature, but if you are sporting a new Apple iphone or even a later model Android, chances are your phone will have this technology. So, when you are lost inside the masses of mountains, or traversing a long mile free range, this is a comfort worth acknowledging. The benefits to the Apple Wi-Fi capabilities may even save you some money in your pocketbook.

How Safe Is Your Cloud?

How Safe is Your Cloud?

Celebrity Hacker

Celebrity Hacker

Recent leaks of celebrity nude images by a hacker have put people on nervous notice. The attack on cloud cyberspace took only four hours by a novice. He was not even a hacker, but a student earning his degree in Computer Science. He basically fooled around with a utility application which permitted him remote access from the internet. Using a default password, he was able to guess and log on. Once in, he had administrative access to whatever he wanted.

So, why did this happen so easily? CloudPassage, the company hit, had little security beyond the default. Everybody wants a cloud to be easy and fast. Companies like Dropbox, iCloud, Google, and OneDrive have an easy approach to data dumping but do they bring the security? Crashing into this question is the sheer fact individuals and businesses are building a dependence on the cloud capabilities, which is a recipe for ruin. Name the game…it could be financial loss, or perhaps, a cache of deeply personal pictures.
The word here is vulnerability. What guarantee exists that the right security measures are in place and effective? Remember, this was a guy who was a beginner hacker. Think about the word vulnerability again. Cloud data is available for anybody deemed good enough at security breaches; like cyber attacks from pro hackers, government intrusions, and insider threats.
This is a $9.2 billion industry. Let that sink in.

How Safe is Your Cloud

How Safe is Your Cloud

Most of these cloud inspired companies sell security services as a part of the package. The attraction to cloud based platforms is how seamlessly easy it is to put all of your voice, data, and video goodies away in some techno illusionary box. Users can access the cloud from any device they choose. Cloud computing requires you put all your faith in sending data normally reserved for your hard drive to some company who is in charge of protecting the invaluable information. On top of that, you also take a leap of faith you will be able to gain access at any given time to your whole world wrapped up in the cloud.
There are other key points to consider besides these. Such as who owns the data you store online? Can it be sold for marketing purposes? Facebook and Instagram are cloud services. Under their permissions, they can access your information. Ownership. What about crashes or server overloads, could this be a future problem to contend with by using a cloud? There is little governing of the cloud. There are really no established standards for use.

The infrastructure of cloud computing is now under the microscope since the recent breaches. Hopefully, this year will see some significant changes in cloud communications. In security measures, bring your own security. It is critical to have control of encrypted keys, and not leave your fate in the hands of a service where your data is stored.

The protection of your data may or may not be a hundred percent safe on your hard drive but the odds are better there than trusted to a company who can change terms of service at moment’s whim. The chances are better your private pictures are safe in the comfort of your own home base than virtual world vulnerable to any entity floating around in cyberspace with the ability to take it.
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Cooperative Phone Companies Future Trends

Cooperative Phone Companies Future Trends

Phone coop has grown and developed into what is known as a successful telecom service provider to date. It can be recalled that it came about as a cooperative composed of customers themselves and other NGOs which are both in search of an alternative economic model for mass-market industry. The coop’s operation encompasses home phone and broadband; mobile and business telecoms which provide service to residential and business customers.

What sets phone coop apart from other telecom service providers is that it is an independent consumer co-operative which allows every costumer to become its member. As a member, one enjoys the democracy when it comes to decision making and running the cooperative. He or she also gets a fair share of the revenue. The coop is not after a huge profit but instead, it focuses on giving the best possible service to its customers with the most reasonable price. This means the absence of hidden charges hence, an honest and transparent price to pay. Its commitment to providing quality service gives the customers a satisfaction which keeps it in the frontline of the telecom industry.

The Original Social Network

Moreover, phone coop is a social enterprise which supports other co-operatives and social enterprises and buys from ethical suppliers and local businesses. This cross-marketing scheme paves the way for a much bigger audience, thus bringing in returns. With an aim to maintain a high quality telecommunication services to its subscribers, phone coop in collaboration with the Co-operative Group, launched the first co-operative pay-as-you-go (PAYG) sim card which offers competitive rates and mobile packages.

Low Cost International Calls

Specifically, this offers low cost international calls and it allows the users to make short calls for just 1p since it charges by the second without rounding up to the nearest minute. This innovation is another significant breakthrough for cooperative phone companies which are in competition with the big phone companies. There is more to come in the telecom industry that we could not yet predict, but one thing is expected from phone cooperative and that is to retain its mark in terms of service provision and innovation without straying away from ethical standards.

WIN-WIN Situation

Switching from traditional phone companies to phone cooperative is a win-win measure for everybody. The coop gains while its customers pay less for the best quality services, plus they are certain that their cash goes to a good cause. A wide range of community projects is being supported by the cooperative and this is exactly where a portion of its profit is directed. In addition to the ethical and democratic value it upholds, phone coop is also an Earth friendly business entity that runs its functions by being green.

Environmentally Friendly

Unlike other big companies which compromise the environment for an economic boom, the cooperative sees to it that its operations only use electricity from renewable sources and it also reduces its carbon dioxide emission. These are all done not just to achieve a sustainable business but also to maintain a sustainable planet.

Add Wireless Service to Existing Phone Cooperatives

One company specializes in providing a turnkey cloud based solution that allows existing traditional phone cooperatives, which number in the hundreds across the United States, particularly in the Midwest and West.

Global Wireless - Local Phone Company Software

Global Wireless – Local Phone Company Turnkey Software

Global Wireless has developed a local phone company based software that provides over 200 wireless and phone plans that can be sold directly to their existing customers.  While many consumers are cancelling their landbased phones for the more convenient wireless cellphones, Telephone Cooperatives can maintain their customer base and provide these same plans to their customers that utilize the Verizon, ATT, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks.

MVNO Phone Business

MVNO Phone Business

The rapid growth of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the cell phone business is impressive and that is why traditional mobile network operators choose to embrace it instead of treating it as a competitor. Since 2012, big network operators allow it to ride on top of them knowing that hosting such small market player can extend their shelf

MVNO Phone Business

MVNO Phone Business

space and increase their revenue. Because this small player doesn’t own a licensed frequency spectrum, it tends to have a carrier or host which is already an established mobile network operator. It acts as a reseller of its host network’s capacity. As a mobile reseller, it designs package that is compelling to the end user and provides easy access to top-up facilities.

Cell Phone Target Markets

Mobile network operators are actually benefited as hosts of MVNO. The latter offers a personalized mobile deal that is more attractive to its target market. This includes voice and data packages and innovative value added services that cannot be found in other mobile operators. Since the consumers are looking for a mobile offering that is something different, which the mobile virtual network operator is capable of giving, they tend to avail of its package instead of subscribing to other major operators. Therefore, business-wise, being linked to it, the host operators are able to increase the chances of consumers to choose their network.

MNVO Partnerships

This so-called partnership between the two telecommunication market players is mutual. Basically, the host or carrier works directly with MVNO, giving it access to its data network to produce unique plans and in return, the host gets a percentage of the plan’s revenue. As for the mobile network operator, being a carrier is its way of implementing a more specific marketing mix. The fact that this virtual network operator has a strong brand name and a niche focus makes it easier for the mobile network operator to target specific market segments which it usually fails to achieve on its own.

MVNO Advantages

Moreover, having the help of MVNO allows the host mobile operator to eliminate marketing and customer acquisition costs since the former independently covers these areas. Aside from that, utilizing its brand loyalty is the key to increase customer retention which primarily makes a good image to attract more subscribers and thus increase revenue opportunity to both parties. To think about it, the participation of this small market player in the mobile market is more of an advantage than a threat to traditional mobile operators. Its presence does not really take away the market share from mobile operators. It instead opens new business opportunities. This is pretty much the reason why big mobile operators opt to adopt it rather than compete with it and get rid of it, which is honestly difficult to do.

Mobile Markets

The phone business has become even more demanding than it was before and MVNO is just one of those which keep the mobile market alive to date. However, the growing needs of consumers and the future changes in the market may warrant further development and remodeling of mobile virtual network operators.

Cell Phone Usage And Growth In The US

Cell Phone Usage And Growth In The US

Looking back to the turn of the Millennium, an estimated 28 percent of Americans owned cell phones and, of this 28 percent, the majority of users were aged between 18 and 24 years – a demographic keen to ‘discover’ new technologies.

Cell Phone Usage and Growth in the US

Cell Phone Usage and Growth in the US

Today, it’s a different story altogether. More than 90 percent of American residents aged from early teens right through to the elderly now own a cell phone, and reports suggest that the Average Joe now spends more time on a cell (making and receiving calls, sending texts, utilising mobile data, and taking photos) than they do using a PC or watching TV. The uptake of cell phones across the country has been unprecedented, but why exactly has growth within the industry been so strong for so long?

America’s Fastest Growing Industry

Cell phone growth in the United States cannot be attributed to one factor in particular. Rather, it’s due to a number of reasons that make cell phones a necessity – an essential device that most people simply cannot function without. One such reason is the versatility of cell phones today compared with their more limited capabilities in the past. In fact, the ability to make and receive calls is now secondary, with the ability to check emails, take photographs, download games and apps, and use the web taking priority. A further reason is parental peace of mind. The average age for first ownership of a cell phone in the United States is now just 13 years old – while some may scoff at this, believing technology is contributing towards the obesity crisis in the west, there’s no denying that cell phones can be a sensible and safe option for young teens.

The Current State of the US Cell Phone Industry

Interestingly, cell phone uptake across the country has slowed significantly, but is this due to a simple case of mass penetration, or has the cell ship well and truly sailed? Truthfully, it can be attributed to a little bit of both. There’s no doubt that cell phone usage has slowed simply because uptake has hit its peak. Unlike the statistics for 2000 which showed that there were still huge gaps in ownership, today there are only negligible differences in demographics. For example, Pew Internet reports that 87 percent of high school graduates own a cell phone, compared to 93 percent of college graduates, while there’s a difference of just 9 percent in ownership between 18-29 and 30-49 year olds.

However, to really understand the slower growth, the whole picture needs to be examined, and that means looking at potential reasons why Americans may be actively choosing to avoid cell phone ownership. According to the same study by Pew Internet, 72 percent of cell users experience dropped calls on a regular or semi-regular basis, while 68 percent receive unwanted and unwarranted sales or marketing calls.

The Future of Cell Phones

Despite a slower uptake in recent years, the cell phone industry is continuing to thrive, and is expected to become stronger in the near future through increased flexibility and versatility, more attractive data plans, and a continuation of the adoption of technology by the older generations. However, the biggest changes within the cell phone industry are anticipated in developing countries, where penetration has not yet hit its peak.