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21Nov

With the Holiday season just around the corner, there’s no better time to start reskinning app templates to drive sales and engagement. Chupamobile will help you along the way with the best 6 apps of the week! Get festive, stand out and maximize your impact!

Christmas Gift List

christmas gift list appChristmas gets messy sometimes but thanks to this app everything is well organized! It includes: user profile with name and budget, budget progress bar, friends list with name, budget and relationship, manage gift list, Christmas time count down and much more! Monetize with RevMob and Chartboost!

PhotoLab

photolab appA powerful tool for photo editing. Three app themes and in-app purchases to remove watermark included! All features are customizable, from textures, to borders, fonts and app themes. This app can completely be reskinned in order to make it look and feel like your own great photo editor app!

Tap the Circles

tap the circles appThis game is super simple to play and gets very addictive. Improve your hand eye coordination metrics with the Tap the Circles. Precision, accuracy (being able to repeat precision), and reaction time. Three game modes provided: arcade, rush, relay.

Christmas Live Wallpaper

christmas wallpaper appBe original and create your own beautiful animated X-Mas Live Wallpapers. Choose among five different background images or use your own design! There are also snowflakes falling from the sky and Santa’s sleigh motion in loop! AdMod is already integrated.

Blasting Words

blasting words appBlasting Words is the number one android word game to play against your Android phone or tablet. Four difficulty levels, background music, amazing graphics, banner and interstitial ads…all in one!

Live-score Football

live score footballFive leagues in 1 app: Premier League, La Liga, BundesLiga, Serie A and Ligue1 are ready for you! This provides Live score, Auto update and Push notification enable football fan be updated in minutes.

Hope you enjoyed the post and we wish you all a wonderful week! ;)

21Nov

Over the past years, the holiday season has been considered one of the most profitable periods for mobile applications. This is due to the increased purchase of mobile devices which are then opened as gifts over the holidays and used to purchase new apps so that users can start enjoying them right away.

top-app-salesGetting your app to top the sales list this 2014 holiday season will be the goal of many mobile app publishers around the world, but only a selected number will actually make it. It’s not easy to be part of this exclusive list and be one of the most downloaded apps, but there are some steps you can take that will help you stay ahead of the game and put you in an advantageous position for the holidays. It only takes some strategic planning and determination, and your 2015 will surely be an auspicious one!

Timing is your main objective

Timing is the key here. The success or failure of your app will entirely depend on that. You want to make sure your application is fully functional and ready to be downloaded for the peak period. The key periods to have your app live and running for purchase include:

  • Thanksgiving Week
  • Christmas Day
  • Digital Week

Generally these are dates where users are opening up new devices and want to start adding to their entertainment and game apps right away. And that’s the time when app purchases increase up to 400% ; isn’t this enough of a reason to have your app ready for the holidays?

The optimal time to launch your new app would be mid-November. This will make it available during all of the peak app sales dates, and ensure that holiday mobile device users have the chance to make your app a top purchase this year.

So be sure you plan well ahead of time when you intend to launch the app on the market and remember to consider all the steps that are involved in developing an app, including those unwanted bugs you might have to fix.

Testing, Testing 1,2,3…

The initial testing period is a step you should not miss. This is the time where you’ll learn everything you need to know about directing your application at the right groups, you will make sure that your app works seamlessly on all devices with the same operating systems, you will understand which type of ad works best for you, and you’ll learn where potential bugs or problems are. This should be done at least a month before your app release date.

Get the Word Out

Once your app is on the market, the only way it will be anywhere near the top of the app list is if you get plenty of people on board right away, and steadily increase your number of users. Advertising through your partners in every possible way will ensure that your application is well-known by the time the holiday purchases begin. Pay close attention to which partners and advertising techniques are returning the best results, and hit these areas harder. Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive, and sometimes a massive number of simple ads is more effective than anything else. Most importantly target the right audience, don’t make the mistake of randomly sending your app to people that wouldn’t be interested in it.

What Does Success Mean For You?

You need to have a clear idea in mind of your what you expect to gain from your application, and that means defining success for your particular app. If you will charge for initial installation, how many people need to make that purchase to get you where you want? Strategy will vary widely according to your expected outcome and type of app you will sell, but I believe that most of you want to get the as much as possible out of it.

I’m late! How can I save time?

If you still haven’t launched your app but don’t want to miss the chance of making some money, there’s a quick path you can take. Instead of building an app from scratch use a template! You won’t have to spend time developing the app or fixing bugs as it will already be ‘’bug-free” ; all you’ll have to do is customize it, and for those of you that don’t have coding skills we can do it for you. If you want to keep your app in the holiday spirit, in a previous posts we had suggested 6 app templates for Christmas. If instead you prefer a game or something more basic here you’ll find thousands of different app templates. This way you won’t have to worry at all about the whole ‘making the app’ process but just focus your energies on marketing it correctly.

Now, follow these 5 steps and your app will have high chances to be one of the top sellers list! And if you do, or if you found it helpful in any way, don’t forget to let us know in the comment below!

20Nov

The chicken and the egg dilemma

Before you disregard this post because you don’t have an app in the 2 platforms, read carefully my little grasshopper, because if you find out what came first: the chicken or the egg… I bet you can cook the most delicious app omelette.

chicken-egg-dilemma-aso

Now that I have your attention let’s move on to understanding why it’s important to consider on which platform you should do ASO for first.

Before we start with the considerations we need to refresh our understanding of the differences between the two app stores regarding how their algorithms work.

I’m not going to write a whole blueprint about the indexing and ranking differences between Apple App Store and Google Play (I already wrote a book about that), but to make things easier to understand let’s just highlight that Google Play works on keywords inside the description of the app page whereas Apple just considers title and keywords in the meta section.

So Apple will look at your keywords in the meta section of iTunes connect and with those keywords, you can rank for a series of potential combinations.

In the case of Google Play the ranking is more complex, the keywords are “part of the content” and therefore there are a series of factors that make a difference in the ranking.

  • Keyword density
  • Context of the keyword vs. the content
  • Content length

The purpose of this post is not to explore in depth Google Play but to understand why you may want to consider starting your ASO process with Google Play vs. Apple.

The first point to understand is that ASO tools suck at providing data for Google Play.  And although “suck” may be a hard word to describe the accuracy of ASO tools, it seems nobody out there is willing to point the finger to this huge hole that ASO tools fail to patch.

The reason why ASO tools are not brave enough to dive into the Google arena is because they can’t really tell us anything “amazing” “or “extremely unique” about Google Play that we can’t witness ourselves.

You see under Apple, ASO tools tend to tell us amazing data that in one way or another we can’t prove.

Can you prove how popular one keyword is in the Apple App Store?

No, you can’t.

Therefore the relationship developers and ASO tools have regarding the data they obtain about Apple is a bit like the relationship you have with your physiologist.  You want to trust your physiologist, but deep inside there is no clear way to know if you are more, or less, crazy than before. (Trust me: I’m an expert)

Google is so honest that doing ASO is a pleasure, but at the same time makes it pretty confusing initially. Google give us everything we need.

The number of competitors is limited: Therefore the crappy competitors are weeded out during the initial filtering process

We can see the number of downloads of the top positions: therefore we can really understand if a keyword delivers downloads or not. If you believe a keyword is “the next wonder thing” and you see that the top position in Google Play has from 50 to 100 downloads after 6 months… it’s time to think again champ.

Also the most obvious factor with Google Play is that keywords are right there in front of you, voila… no need of mega amazing keyword spy systems! You have the keywords right there in the content, your only requirement is some brain cells, and try to find what keywords they are targeting in the content: easy.

So why start with Google Play.

First, if you are going to do the whole research without ASO tools initially (that I highly recommend) it’s important to understand that when we use the App Store itself to navigate, ideas seem to flow easily. No UI (user interface) of any ASO tool is going to highlight anomalies or unusual results as easily as you can identify them using the App Store.

The second part is that you can use Google Play flawlessly from your browser, making it easy to move from app to app and gather data.

The auto suggest of Google Play will provide you with the first batch of potential keywords you can start using to build your spreadsheet of potential long tail keywords and in a very fast an efficient way you can test how popular the apps ranking in top position are.

Trust Google before an ASO tool

If the ASO tool has things right, a popular keyword on Google play should be popular on iOS.

And the reason is not a technical one…. It’s a human one.

App Store Optimization is more about humans, about emotion, about our weird behaviors like when we are looking for something in the app store at 2 am in the morning, or when our kids are screaming at the airport: “I want the iPad!!!!”

The typical search in the App Store is quick, emotional and is never analytical; it flows fast and keeps the same constant variables.

Those variables are our human needs; our curiosity as humans, as users, as gamers, therefore the human behavior doesn’t change 100% from one store to another.

You may think that my statement is a fallacy… but you see, I just said good bye to my iPhone and switch to Samsung… and funny wise, my search patterns are still the same!

A device doesn’t change the way our search behavior is shaped … therefore it’s important for us to find those patterns when we start our ASO process.

So then what? Where do we start?

Well, my suggestion is to always start any market research, any ASO research directly in Google Play. And before you scream: “But hey Gab! I don’t have apps in Google Play!!!!! What is the point of going to Google Play when I only want to work with Apple”, let me ask you a question: Who cares?

Really – let’s think about this for 2 seconds.

Who cares that you use a different app store to find ideas to another app store that potentially has the same type of users same demographics, same behavior, same age, same irrational patterns.

Google Play is an oracle of information, an oracle full of opportunities ready to let you browse its pages and spy its competitors. Google Play lets you analyze categories, provides you all the data you need… and the best part… oh the best part… this awesome tool for market research is in fact FREE.

You can use it before launching the ASO tool, or before wondering how much traffic a keyword really has in Apple.

Instead of wondering about the mysteries of Apple, let’s embrace the openness Google provides. Be your own human scrapper, gather data, do your own keyword CSI and take ASO from the Google Play horns.

Good luck matador! ;)

20Nov

How many hundreds – thousands – of apps are there jostling for your attention out there, begging for screen space on your smartphone, making claims to revolutionize your life? We’ve brought together 6 apps that you’ll use every day: because they really do make your life easier. Which, after all, is what apps are all about.

Sunrise

sunrise-app

When you wake up in the morning, you want to check your agenda for the day. Not a problem if you have Sunrise, which syncs perfectly with Google Calendar and Facebook as well as other standard calendar formats, and allows easy synchronization with other pre-loaded calendars such as public holidays. This calendar app stands out because of its design and ease of use. Interchangeable views make it easy to see at a glance what you’ve got on that day –or that week– and the fact that it works offline which has distinct advantages.

Weather Underground

weather underground appSo now you know what you’re doing today, why not check out the weather. We love Weather Underground which, thanks to iOS 8 allowing widgets in the drop down notification center, has the best widget for checking the weather at a glance.

Digg

digg app

If you want something good to read while you’re on your commute or eating breakfast, Digg is the app to have. Since Google Reader is no more, Digg allows you to keep up to date with the blogs and news sources you follow, compiling your RSS feeds in one place. You can add your favourite websites to create your own library, to read at your leisure.

Pocket

pocket app

And talking of reading at leisure, if you’re finding it hard to keep track of all those interesting articles and links you stumble across during your working day and mean to go back to, Pocket allows you to install an extension in your browser which doesn’t just bookmark the article, it sends it to an app on your phone so you can read it later. You can email links to Pocket too, and the app integrates with other apps such as Twitter allowing you to curate all your ‘read later’ material in one place. You can also read saved articles off line which makes this a great option.

Slack

slack appThere are plenty of apps that allow you to chat and collaborate with colleagues, chat room style, but the great design of Slack makes it incredibly easy to share links and documents. Great team communication all in one place, a new and updated version has been available since October 31st 2014.

Tweetbot

tweetbot app

Finally, whether you’re addicted to Twitter or not, Tweetbot is definitely the app to have – dare we suggest that we prefer it to the official Twitter app? There are a number of features that make this the Twitter client of choice – from background content fetch and a customizable tab bar, the power to mute a hashtag or take a break from someone’s tweets, and a user friendly list creation and management function, Tweetbot is the Twitter client people come back to.

So there you have it – 6 apps you should really be using every day. They will certainly help to make life easier, and will definitely ensure you have plenty of time for the fun things in life so get downloading, if you haven’t already! And you like the idea of having your own app Chupamobile offers you thousands of app templates that can be entirely customized in a quick and easy way. Choose yours!

19Nov

Starting from today, all iOS developers can start making apps for the Apple Watch. The tech company yesterday released the WatchKit, a development platform for their upcoming smartwatch. Luckily, developers won’t have to build new apps specifically for the device, instead, they’ll have to create extensions of existing apps.

apple watchkit

The WatchKit was launched yesterday, November 18th. The kit offers developers a set of tools that allows them to easily create and design app (or app extensions) for the Apple watch before it hits the markets in early 2015. On the company’s website developers can take a look at a 28 minute long video that will explain them how to get started on developing an app for the Apple Watch.

“Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine.”

How does it work?

The WatchKit has two main components: a WatchKit extension that works on your iPhone and a set of User Interface elements that are installed in the Apple Watch itself. When you launch an app on the device, the extension on your iPhone will run in the background collecting data that are sent through the smartwatch. As you may understand, the main player will still be the iPhone, without it, there is very little you can do. So if you’re planning to buy the Apple Watch but you don’t already own an iPhone, you better get one soon.

What can you do with it?

The device allows you to answer and interact with social notification right from its screen, additionally you’ll be able to control other features like your house lights, travel details and much more. Developers will also be able to incorporate Glances which will inform users about updates ‘they most care about’ like news, sport, alarm, recepies, etc.

During the press release Apple announced also that fully native apps for the Apple Watch will be created starting from next year.

The User Interface documentation showed that the 38mm smartwatch will be 272 x 340 pixels and the larger one of 42mm will be of 312 x 390 pixels which has the same ratio of 4:5.

That’s it for the overview. Now, stay tuned for a technical post that will get into all the nitty-gritty details from a developer’s point of view! If you’re exited to start a new project with the WatchKit like this post and let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

19Nov

Every day, software developers and technology enthusiasts are coming up with apps aimed at improving the quality of life of smartphone users across the globe. For some, it is all about increasing convenience while for others, it is a way of making the impossible possible. When it comes to the work/life balance however, there is not one single app that will instantly balance your life, however, there are apps that will work together to ensure you don’t spend so much time on the mundane tasks, leaving you at least a little freer to get on with the things you love to do.

WunWun

wunwun app

Do you keep forgetting an item on your shopping list whenever you go shopping? Then WunWun is one of the apps for you. By saving your list in the app, you will get a reminder when an item is not marked as purchased on the shopping list. Additionally, you’ll enjoy free delivery of any purchases from your favorite shops and restaurants within an hour wherever you are.

Circa

circa app

For news enthusiasts, save time searching for the news you want to know, Circa can be downloaded on your iPhone or Android phone and will keep you abreast of all you really need to know. This app is unique because it not only allows you to watch every news update but also keeps a record of the news items you are following closely and gives you periodic updates as these stories unfold.

Shyp

Shyp app

How do you send gifts during the holidays? Download Shyp today and have their attendants pick your items up, package them and ship to whatever destination in the world you choose quickly, effectively and cheaply too!

Brewster

brewster app

What if you missed a message from a contact updating their details through one of your social media platforms? Worry not, you have Brester. It puts together all your contacts from all of the messaging platforms you use and updates this information as the details change. In addition to this, these contacts will be available automatically on other devices which you can sync with your Google account.

Zirtual

zirtual app

Zirtual is an application that performs administrative tasks for you. It’s just like having a PA! Some of these tasks include: responding to your emails, coordinating your travel plans. The upside is, you won’t have to pay overtime!

Snapguide

snapguide app

Snapguide lets you learn new things every day. All those basic questions that you’re too embarrassed to ask will be answered in a tap. The app has plenty of how to’s for everyone. From cooking to tech tips you’ve got all under control at any time!

We hope you found your timesaving app in this list and if this inspired you to create your own app, head over to Chupamobile where you’ll find thousands of app templates of any kind easy to customize. What are you waiting for? Start now!

18Nov

We are back with the third step of a very interesting tutorial. If you haven’t read it already, here are the step 1 and two on how to build your Android app. Without much more talking, let’s get into it!

build-android-phone-app2

Step 3: The Look (User Interface)

For this app, we simply want to enter the number of ounces and let the app calculate the number of cups.  Recall that we define the appearance of a screen by modifying the XML file found in res | layout, so navigate to that folder in the pane on the right and open activity_main.xml.  In Windows, you can do this by double clicking on the file, which will open it in a tab in the large pane to the right.

build android app

Once the file is open, simply:

  1. Click on the little tab that says xml near the center of your screen (not at the top), to see the XML instead of the graphical view.
  2. Find the line that says android:text=”@string/hello_world” />. That line tells Android to display the value of the string “hello_world”.  We are going to change that.  We could go into the xml file in the values folder to edit it, but for demonstration purposes, we are just going to change the XML so that instead of looking at the string, it looks at static text.  To do this, select everything within the quotes and replace it with “Enter number of ounces” so the line will now read android:text=” Enter number of ounces” />.  You may see (and ignore) the warning about hardcoding strings.
  3. Click on the Graphical Layout tab beside the tab clicked in step 1 and notice that our text is now displayed instead of “Hello World”
  4. Click the button that says Text Fields. Eclipse will now provide you several options scroll until you see one that says 42.  You can hover over it to confirm this is the option for Number Fields.
  5. Click on the 42 and drag it to the center of your activity a little bit below where your text is located. I wanted mine centered so when the vertical dotted line appeared, I released. When you do this, note that Eclipse tells you how it is defining the position you select.  For example, in the screenshot below it says “below: textView1 centerHorizontal: true”.

build android app

  1. Now let’s put some more text on the screen by clicking on the Form Widgets folder, then dragging the word “Large” onto the screen a little below our last element. (See screenshot below for guidance on this step and the next two.)
  2. The element we just dragged onto the screen is called a TextView, and it defaults to have the text “Large Text”. We want to change that.  Changing the properties of any element you put on your screen is easy with the Outline feature.  If the Outline feature is not showing on the far right of your screen, you may see the word “Structure” written vertically or an icon that has a couple of little boxes with some vertical lines.  Click on either of those, OR from the drop down menu at the top, click Window, then select Reset Perspective.  You can play with all of these view options and (probably) not do any irreversible damage.
  3. Once you see the Outline on the far right, select textView2 and change the entry in the Text field below from “Large text” to read “Ounces is equal to”. The default width and height will be “wrap_content” which means the field will expand or contract to match the size of the contents.  Feel free to edit any of these settings to see how they work.

build android app

  1. Now we want another number field where the number of cups will be displayed. As in step 4, click the button that says Text Fields, then scroll until you see one that says 42.  Click on the 42 and drag and drop it on the center of your activity a little bit below your text “is equal to”.
  2. Now let’s put a label on the screen to make it clear that the numbers in the field we just created is the number of cups. Click on the Form Widgets folder again, then drag the word “Large” onto the screen a little below our last element then change the text to “Cups”.
  3. The final element on our screen will be a button that the user will press to tell the app to convert ounces to cups. Buttons are found under Form Widgets.  As with other elements, just drag and drop the button a little below your last element then change the text to read “Convert”.

At this point the screen you created should look similar to the one in the image below.  It is fine if yours looks a little different. However, do ensure that the elements listed in your Outline matches mine and be sure to save your work.

dan 4

This is a great time for you to move things around and change parameters using the Outline/Properties window and by editing the XML directly in the editor view.  You can make this little app look nicer, but the real goal is to get comfortable making simple user interface changes to Android apps.

Below is my activity_main.XML in its entirety.  If you encounter issues that you cannot resolve, simply remove your XML and paste this into your file.

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"

xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"

android:layout_width="match_parent"

android:layout_height="match_parent"

android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"

android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"

android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"

android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"

tools:context="com.example.calcup.MainActivity" >

<TextView

android:id="@+id/textView1"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:text="Enter number of ounces" />

<EditText

android:id="@+id/editText1"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:layout_below="@+id/textView1"

android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"

android:layout_marginTop="54dp"

android:ems="10"

android:inputType="number" >

<requestFocus />

</EditText>

<TextView

android:id="@+id/textView2"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:layout_below="@+id/editText1"

android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"

android:layout_marginTop="43dp"

android:text="Ounces is equal to"

android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceLarge" />

<EditText

android:id="@+id/editText2"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:layout_below="@+id/textView2"

android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"

android:layout_marginTop="46dp"

android:ems="10"

android:inputType="number" />

<TextView

android:id="@+id/textView3"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:layout_below="@+id/editText2"

android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"

android:layout_marginTop="49dp"

android:text="Cups"

android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceLarge" />

<Button

android:id="@+id/button1"

android:layout_width="wrap_content"

android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:layout_below="@+id/textView3"

android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"

android:layout_marginTop="23dp"

android:text="Convert" />

</RelativeLayout>

That’s it for today. Stay tuned for the next step as we are going to “wire up” what we have done to make it functional by editing the Java file.

Did you like this post? Like it! :)

Got something to say? Comment! :D

Think someone else should see it? Share it! ;)

18Nov

Once again, it’s that magical time of the year; music everywhere, streets filled with lights, people are more friendly… the countdown for Christmas has officially begun! As we prepare ourselves for the holidays, this year why not surprise you’re loved ones with a very special gift: a personalized app!

We came up with a list of 6 app templates that anyone can customize. Just choose the template you like best and we’ll tailor it to your preference. And if you’re a developer looking for a good opportunity, you’re still on time create an app for Christmas and launch it on the app stores; this app might be your golden ticket. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Full Christmas App

full christmas app

Perfect for all your Christmas photos, this app gives you the chance to personalize your photos and make them Christmas-appropriate. With the use of stickers, frames and songs you can create the perfect Christmas card to send to all you r family and friends. The app is easy to use, you can add as many stickers as you like and best of all is iOS 8 ready!

Christmas Live Wallpaper

christmas wallpaper app

Here’s an app for all the Android users. Personalize all your smartphones with great Christmas themed wallpapers and snowflake falling to get in the holiday mood. The app includes 5 different background images and you can add your own wallpapers when reskinning it. The app has AdMob in the setting screen.

Christmas Gift List

christmas gift list app

For all those people who love to stay organized here’s an app you don’t want to miss. Christmas gift list will help you plan and keep track of all your gifts so that you make sure not to forget anyone. The app includes a countdown for Christmas and is optimized for iOS 8!

Blur – Christmas Wallpapers

blur effect app

This source code allows you to create beautiful blurred wallpapers with Christmas theme by using any of your photos or graphics available in the app. You will be amazed when you see how simple it is to turn a photo into beautiful wallpaper. The app has minimalist user interface and come with 26 unique graphics.

Christmas Bomb

christmas bomb

For all the game lovers Christmas Bomb is a brand new puzzle game that has 80 explosively fun and challenging levels that will keep you busy for a while. These levels are spread across 4 distinct worlds that will provide fun for the whole family. How can you play? Drop the bomb close to the stars while avoiding the presents.

Christmas Physics Game! Santa’s Cookie & Milk Gulp

christmas game app

Here’s another game to keep you entertained during your Christmas morning.  Santa’s Cookie Gulp is a simple arcade and physics game. It’s easy to reskin and you have tons of settings that you can customize. You can add music and other sound effects of your choice. The app is iOS 8 ready and can be used for both iPhone and iPad.

We hope you enjoyed this list of Christmas apps and found yours among them. If you haven’t or if you were looking for something more general you can always look through the 1,500 app templates in our marketplace. Don’t forget to let  us know how it went!

17Nov

Welcome to the future, Apple has provided developers with tools to make real some of the common scenes we can see in sci-fi films: controlling our home with just a gesture of our hand or reproducing one order with our voice thanks to Siri.

apple-home-kit-for developers

With the new framework HomeKit we can create applications that can detect accessories (HMAccessory) such as lights or the garage door and add them to a database that will be available to all our devices.

The framework also permits to display and edit the accessories database and also communicate with them to perform some action (HMAction).

In HomeKit we can find a hierarchy formed by five different entities: homes (HMHome), rooms (HMRoom), accessories (HMAccessory), services (HMService), and zones (HMZone).

HMHome

This class can be considered the root node, as it will contain the rest of entities. In most cases it will represent a single home but it allow users to define several homes such as vacation or guest home.

Some of its properties:

  • accessories: A NSArray of HMAccesory instances.
  • rooms: A NSArray of HMRoom instances.
  • zones: A NSArray of HMZone instances in the home.
  • users: A NSArray of HMUser instances associated with the home.

And some of its interesting methods:

  • addAccessory: Adds a new HMAccessory to the home.
  • assignAccessory:toRoom: Links a HMAccessory to a HMRoom instance.
  • roomForEntireHome: Retrieves the room representing all parts of the home that has not specific room representing them.
  • addRoomWithName: Creates a new room.
  • addZoneWithName: Adds a new zone to the home.
  • addServiceGroupWithName: Adds a service group to the home.
  • executeActionSet: Executes a set of actions

HMRoom

Once we have a defined home we can optionally set different parts of the house to easily modify the status of the accessories in a room. Note that this class just defines a grouping entity, it doesn’t represents the size or its location.

A room has two properties:

  • name: A NSString for the name.
  • accessories: A NSArray of HMAccesory instances.

And one method:

  • updateName: To modify the room name.

HMAccessory

This class represents the automated objects itself such as the lights or the entrance door. These accessories can be assigned to a specific room or directly to a home (a special default room in fact) to divide the functionality.

Some of its interesting properties:

  • room: A HMRoom instance that makes reference to the room that contains it.
  • services: A NSArray of services the accessory provides.
  • reachable: Indicates if the accessory can be communicated.

And methods:

  • identifyWithCompletionHandler: Method used to have an accessory identify itself.

HMService

It represents the functionality provided by an accessory. A service could be for example opening or closing the garage door or even turning the light on when opening the entrance door.

Some of its properties:

  • serviceType: The type of the service identified by a constant string such as HMServiceTypeLightbulb, HMServiceTypeSwitch, HMServiceTypeThermostat, HMServiceTypeGarageDoorOpener, HMServiceTypeFan.
  • accessory: The HMAccesory that provides the service.
  • characteristics: A NSArray for the characteristics of the service such as power state, door state, rotation direction, or heating threshold.

HMZone

In HomeKit, a zone is a grouping of rooms and can be instantiated to ease the services functionality. A common example of zones is grouping upstairs and downstairs rooms in separated zones.

A zone has two properties:

  • name: A NSString for the name.
  • rooms: A NSArray of HMRoom instances.

Some of its methods:

  • addRoom: Allows to add a new room to the zone.
  • removeRoom: Remove room from the zone.

However, this framework seems to be reserved to the lucky developers who create apps for the demotic industry. If some of you are reading this article, please share your experience with this amazing framework!

17Nov

Whatever you think about SnapChat, it’s fair to say that the app has been a popular one. There are various developers who are trying to cash in on the self-destructing messaging phenomenon, and one app aiming to take it to the next level, is the recently released Boop, available on iOS and Android phones.

boop_gif

What  is Boop?

Created by Londoner Dave Ganly, and developed for iOS by James L. Nicholson, the newest ephemeral messenger aiming to capitalize on SnapChat’s success allows you to create animated emoticon messages that are only received one word at a time. These animations, or “Boopmations” are then played out and destroyed, perfect for keeping your private life private. The basic idea here is to ensure users have as much fun as they can while chatting.

So, is Boop that much fun?

The general concept behind the app is pretty good, and yes, it’s quite cute. However, without knowing you can change the speed of the animations, it tends to be pretty useless. Once you’ve got the hang of it though and changed the animation to a speed that suits you, you’re likely to find it strangely addictive, although many messages lose their meaning if you have to blink or sneeze whilst watching them, and you can’t get them back again, which leads to a lot of Boopmation having to be recreated and resent to get the message across.

How private is it?

The app does not care about your real name, as you will only need to have a username so your privacy is assured for the moment. However, in the future Boop is set to come in with updates that will involve syncing your phone’s contacts and updating you on which of your friends have Boop installed. With regards to your messages, not only will they be deleted from your app once sent, they’ll also be deleted from Boop’s server too, and as you’d have to be pretty quick to screen grab each frame of the animation, you’re likely not to have to suffer the problems that come with screen grabbed “private messages” either.

Should I download it?

It’s worth taking a look at if you like emoticons, as you can have great fun creating your little animated messages, and as long as you’re constantly looking at your phone whilst the Boopmation is running, you’ll be able to converse pretty well with those that have Boop installed. It’s also good for messages you don’t want others to see and it’s free to try so there’s no reason not to…… unless you’re in need of a record of your conversations of course!

If you want to create your own messaging app similar to this one you can easily start with these app templates: Nocly, Quickie, Sneakpeek, Snapit. Pick your favorite and start creating your app. Don’t worry if you don’t have coding skills, you won’t need them, our customization team will follow you thoroughly.