Conduct’s New Twitter App FeatherDuster is So Good that RIM “Breaks Protocol” and Lets Them Take To The Stage At BackBerry Keynote.
Melbourne based creative digital agency Conduct is leading the charge with a rejuvenated Research In Motion (RIM) to bring back the much loved Blackberry to its former glory. Conduct’s latest app FeatherDuster, an interactive tool for visually discovering live Twitter streams, is considered “so good” by RIM that they in fact broke protocol and gave Conduct the stage in front of the large crowd at their Australian leg of the BlackBerry 10 JAM World Tour.
The Blackberry 10 JAM World Tour is RIM’s largest gathering of BlackBerry developers and is an opportunity to showcase what RIM has to offer in their latest upcoming release. As part of RIM’s keynote in Sydney last week, Conduct was summoned up to join the stage and showcase FeatherDuster, a visually enticing filtering system that burrows through the live twitter stream and unravels the insights of the Twitterspere as issues and topics unfold.
Digital agency Conduct, with a collaboration with artistic designers Colours and Numbers has created FeatherDuster to capitalise on the features of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system that allows users to navigate through the impressive visuals of the app and as RIM pointed out it “take[s] full advantage of every last bit of performance from the hardware.”
Christopher Saunders (@csaunders_ca) from BlackBerry Developer Relations has spoken out and enthusiastically heralds it as “an incredible way of visualizing the data-mining of a real-time feed and determining non-obvious and emerging patterns within a massive data set. Exactly the kind of work that would make Edward Tufte [the leading author in information design] proud!”
Insiders within the industry are saying that FeatherDuster could be the app that others will be measured from for the upcoming BlackBerry release due to its intricate software architecture and agile relationship with the hardware. Rumours have also arisen speculating on that the app’s popularity as it signals in a new way of elegantly interacting with the overwhelming influx of updates that are produced within the Twittersphere.
Charlie Pohl, Managing Director at Conduct, was very enthusiastic about the BlackBerry 10 Jam Word Tour Sydney proclaiming the event “was a great experience!” and in regards to RIM’s offerings in their latest update “It’s very clear that the BB10 platform has a very flexible and advantageous tool chain. The added flexibility allows Conduct to choose which technologies we wish to target while leveraging our iOS and Android skill sets. BlackBerry’s platform is proving a more feasible solution for our clients in comparison to other platforms. ”
The BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour continues to next month in South and Central America with its next stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina before wrapping up from the four month tour. More information about the tour can be found at www.blackberryjamworldtour.com
CONDUCT (www.conducthq.com, twitter:@conduct)
Conduct is a digital agency who help organisations innovate digital products and services that people love, desire and depend on. Conduct was established in 2007 in Melbourne by Simon Krambousanos and Charlie Pohl and is a leading Australian website and mobile development company. Conduct was founded on the principles of specialising in creative solutions that harness the full potential from the latest technologies. Conduct has an outstanding track record within the realm of website creation and is an industry leader in mobile development and who are endorsed by the prominent manufacturers of mobile devices.
Colours and Numbers is the creative partnership of Jarrod Smith and Iain Greenhalgh. Combining years of experience in art direction and games design, they like to think of themselves as creative problem solvers across all mediums, with a particular focus on the emerging field of interactive visualisation.
The Olympics have begun and already frustrations bubbling over when trying to capture any of the action happening over in London. Unless you’re a Foxtel subscriber, you’ll be pretty hard pressed to grab much live action, even more so if you’re not a huge swimming or equestrian fan (seriously, what is with all the equestrian coverage??) and are keen to watch an event you may want to follow in this first week.
So a lot has changed since 2008 with how we source our information and how we like to watch our content. Since the insurgence of smartphones, there are now in 50% of Australians hands, so it’s hard to argue why we can’t get the content we want on devices we’re attached to the most during our day. Why does it seem that Channel 9 is stuck back in the Sydney 2000 era of broadcasting, and why is British cricket commentator Mark Nichols our de facto presenter.
Well, for the tech savvy out there, and who don’t live in the UK or USA, your mobile app selection is somewhat limited, but to drum it in home for how far Channel 9 has missed the mark, we’ve summarised the research Frankie Madden over at Stamford Interactive uncovered as to how we’ve progressed with technology as a nation, and then how far Channel 9 has missed a great opportunity.
As it’s become quite obvious to everyone outside of the Channel 9, we’re no longer glued to our televisions for coverage. If they don’t want to become a dinosaur, they’ll have make some changes quick. Let alone the ban on Olympic coverage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
So what options do Australians have available? What do we have on offer? Let’s ignore Channel 9’s woeful, clunky online Catch-up that is hidden behind lengthy Commonwealth Bank commercials and not optimised for mobiles. Australian iPhone developers and Android developers must be rejoicing with the huge window open to showcase the Olympics. So what are the apps out there for over 50% of Australians with possible coverage in their hands with their smartphones and tablets?
The Official London 2012 Results app (Android and iOS)
Developed from within London’s Olympic committee, they have provided a top notch app for searching through events and getting the latest results and news. With a calendar one tap away, and the simple, colourful squared menu layout reminiscent of Apple’s iOS home screen, the app can tell you in Australian local time zones what time events will be competed for, which will then hopefully give you enough time to run to the pub and watch it unfold from their Foxtel connection.
With their tab layout along the bottom row for Schedule, Sports, Medals and Athletes, most of the information people would generally be after should only be only a few clicks away. In addition they’ve added a My Games tab so visitors can catch up on local news and information regarding their country and other general Olympic news.
Reuters Olympics London 2012 (iPhone and iPad)
Reuters have provided a minimalistic app aimed at a photographic viewpoint of the games and a very basic schedule and medal tally. Although it lack depth for information on the events, it does offer updated news stories that Reuters is generally known for.
Australian Olympic Team (iPhone, iPad and Android)
The official Australian Olympic Team app provides a simple, straight forward app with easy navigation to the different events that are on each day. It also includes the usual athlete profiles and medal tally’s we’ve starting to expect from an Olympic app.
Olympic Medal Alerts (iPhone and Android)
This is the International Olympic Committee’s official app for medal alert. After the lengthy scrolling to set up the app, its offerings are quite lacklustre compared to the other available apps. It does give you mobile and email alerts when your selected event is coming up for a medal contention. so maybe another app to keep on hand if you’re afraid you’ll miss something and can again head to the pub to watch it unfold live (if its open at that hour!).
LONDON 2012 Olympic Games App from FOXTEL (iPad only)
It’s ironic that although much much less than 50% of Australian’s have Foxtel access, that it is the only way to really watch the People’s games here. With the banishment of popular free portals like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, only subscribers to Murdoch’s media empire can you wilfully gain access. So after committing to a 12month subscription can you access streaming video from their Free* app.
But, it is actually a pretty good app. It offers most things that you’d expect for Olympic coverage with streaming video, schedules and updates all easily accessible. Let’s hope we don’t fall into this same problem in 4 years’ time otherwise the Olympics may implode on itself.
May the People’s Games be Free to All.
However, if you are the average Australian and keen to actually watch the Olympics, there is Freecast.com that is offers free coverage if you sign up. Although I’m not confident it will be there by the time the Closing Ceremony arrives.
We live in a mobile world…
It is a simple fact that a considerable population is constantly plugged into online content through their iPhone, Blackberry or Android Devices at any one time, which is great news for businesses that already have an online presence.
However, there is the simple fact that navigating the web through small touch device does have its pitfalls. It’s no secret that a richly dense website is a pain to pinch and zoom in to navigate all the content, and then those simplified mobile website are always too limiting, and let’s not get started on adobe flash enabled sites…
From these common short-comings, it is no wonder that businesses can find it difficult to reach their customers if it’s going to be a clunky ride the whole way. Ultimately, the pathway for the user to get the richest content out of their smartphone is through their array of apps that are made available. By developing an app it is by far the best way to ensure that customers are catered for with the exact experience that matches your businesses qualities.
This is why the large banks such as ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank as well as major retail companies such as Myer and David Jones have all followed suit into providing iPhone and Android applications for their businesses. To round it off, here is a list of advantages developing an app for your business is a good idea.
- Convenience and Accessibility – keeping the app on their home screen ensures you are always visible
- Enhance the Website Experience – no more pinching or zooming and missing out on flash enhanced content.
- Let Users Save Data or Run Tasks – in a simple and well laid out manner, apps are a much more powerful way to engage the customers and entertain them too!
- A Safe and Encapsulated Experience – removing the web browser and plugging straight into an app removes one more barrier between you and the customer and helps you track how they navigate through your offerings.
- Push Notifications – notifying customers of discounts and sales is a very handy tool within iPhone and Android phones to grab your customer’s attention.
- Increase Revenue – If it’s a paid app or you advertise within your app, you can ensure that you can receive new streams of revenue into your business.
Talk to us about your mobile development needs
Finally, if developing an application for smartphones is something that you may be considering, a very crucial and sometimes overlooked necessity is to consider developing your app locally.
Much like most business transaction today, it is still preferable to discuss matters face to face and have your team nearby. So if you’re a Melbourne business then it should be a prominent consideration to find a smartphone application developer in Melbourne as well.
And in case you are a Melbourne business looking for a local developer to produce an iPhone or Android App, then drop a line to …..@conducthq.com, we’d love to talk to you!
Where do you currently sit in the realm of mobile application development? Are you and iPhone application developer wanting to expand into Android? Or maybe its vice-versa? Or are you completely new and keen to get into the industry?
Whichever your case, now more than ever is the best time to get involved in application development and expand your repertoire of talents. This series of articles will hopefully give you some new insight into the two dominant spheres of application development, that being Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
We’ll uncover the basic differences with the developer kits and delve into some of the obstacles you may be faced with between the two platforms. So sit down, get yourself comfy and read on!
Are you a PC or a Mac?
To start with, what do you currently own to write your apps on? Are you a PC user with Windows or possibly even Linux? If that is you, and you’re also in no position to buy a Mac (but how could you resist those sweet new 15″ Retina Macbook Pros!!) well then you’re decision may be pretty much already.
While the Android SDK can be made available on Windows, Linux and Mac, Apple has restricted development of iOS apps from their range of Intel based Mac’s only. So unless you’re the Hackintosh type who can build your own Mac, you’ll already be struggling with choice if you can’t get your hands on a Mac.
(Did I mention the new 15″ Retina Macbook Pro? I should have, it looks amazing. Go on, you know you want it too. Go get it, then you at least have an excuse to at least still have a choice between Android and iOS, amiright?)
Both the Android SDK and the iOS SDK are free to have although there are some catches, especially for iOS. For Android, Google has made it simple and it is available to everyone as a free download after agreeing to their licence. The standard developer environment that comes within the SDK download for Android is Eclipse and Google provides a plug-in for incorporating the Android SDK tools with it.
Apple on the other hand has made things just that bit more trickier. Firstly, you’ll need to an Apple Developer Connection subscriber, which can be free depending on your level of membership, and agreeing to their very strict license. Even then, their license can change and you might have you’re app not accepted any more, which is discussed in the next point below regarding app approval.
Once you are eligible to download the iOS SDK, Apple bundles their same Apple proprietary developer tools that are used to write applications for their Mac OS X applications. The SDK includes Xcode, Interface Builder and Instruments and will either be familiar territory or another learning curve for those who haven’t used this approach before.
App Approval (And Denial)
Apple has been getting media attention from the start with their strict enforcement of their terms and conditions. A consideration when developing for iOS is that it will need to be accepted by Apple first, which may take weeks before your app hit their App Store.
So be aware if you’re developing a possibly murky app, be aware that Apple undertakes a high level of scrutiny over all apps in their ecosystem, which could lead to your denial. That’s a pretty big blow to find out if you’ve put in months of development.
Google however are a little more relaxed and you’ll find your App available almost immediately once you submit it. You’ll also not find there to be as many hurdles to jump over when developing for Android, which may be your game changer on choosing your platform.
That’s it for Part 1, coming up we’ll talk Java and Objective-C and the implicit challenges that will arise from understanding these languages for app development.
3D maps, Facebook and to appear in Apple’s new iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad.
With Apple set to announce their latest major software update, iOS 6, to their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch range at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday; the internet has been abuzz with guessing what new features Apple might be about to unleash.
Although it has been exhaustively reported by many mainstream publishers, below is a roundup of the most popular and highly expected updates, plus a few of the most wanted features.
Firstly, it has been reported by numerous sources that the iOS 6 will indeed have a new maps app, replacing the Google Maps app that’s been there since the original iPhone. There has been little, to no update of Google Maps since it first appeared, which may have to do with the falling out between Apple and Google since the launch of Android smartphones.
With Apple recently purchasing many mapping development companies, they now seem set to release their own Maps App. The new key feature of this app appears to be 3D integration and imagery, technology website BGR reported recently some mock-up images of what this may be.
One of the Mapping technology Apple purchased was C3 Technologies, below is a clip from C3 that indicates what could be possible within iOS 6.
They’re Integrating Social Media Too!
Technology news website TechCrunch has reported that there will be significant integration of Facebook into iOS 6, much like twitter already is in the current version. How far this integration goes is anyone’s guess, but if it’s true, it is the first time Facebook and Apple will have collaborated in any significant way.
Apple news website 9to5mac has made suggestions that Facebook may integrated into the Photos app and allow for iPhone users to post their photos straight onto the social network website. Other features discussed may be a single sign in for all apps on your iPhone or iPad, the ability to Facebook “like” from within apps and the Safari browser.
As already discovered on the desktop version of iTunes, Facebook already has some integration with the app store, so it will be interesting to see how far it goes in Apple’s new update.
Siri is Getting an Update
Next is for iPad users as there is some traction gaining about the rumoured addition of the voice assistant Siri into the iPad. So far the iPad has missed out on the feature that came with iOS 5, so it’ll be interesting to see if now with the release of the New iPad if it is now ready for this feature, although any phone calling abilities may not be included for obvious reasons.
It is also further speculated if Siri’s capabilities will be extended. So far only the USA has the ability within Siri to connect to local businesses for example. So there’s some expectation this will extend internationally. 9to5Mac has also drummed up a mock-up of what Siri on the iPad may look like with a slide up from the bottom feature.
There’s Still More…
With the upcoming release of Apple’s Mountain Lion operating system for its Mac range of computers, 9to5Mac again was first to point out that there may be some features taken from this operating system in iOS 6. Most notably were the features for iCloud Tabs, Mail VIP and a very handy “Do Not Disturb” feature.
iCloud Tabs would be a wireless solution within the Safari web browser to let a user view their iPhone or iPad their opened websites on their Mac. Mail VIP was an addition to the Mail app that lets users “Star” important contacts or emails within their inbox for easy searching later.
Finally, the “Do Not Disturb” feature can temporarily disable all incoming alerts and let you focus on that game of Angry Birds or Bejeweled Blitz without getting distracted by notifications pushed onto your screen.
In addition to these rumours, there’s a long list of most wanted features; some which have been at the top since the launch of the original iPhone. Although some of these features seem out of line with Apple’s ethos, maybe there may a shift in flexibility from the regular old Apple with new CEO Tim Cook.
This most wanted list has generally included: true multitasking of apps, location based profiles/settings, removal of Apple’s apps, communication between downloaded apps and perhaps the allowing of additional widgets within the notification centre. This is just naming a few, but that list could easily extend into the hundreds.
Here’s just hoping that Apple provides not just the expected updates in their new iOS 6, but hopefully also a few surprises. I guess this will be something we all find out after Monday when the WWDC key note speech is delivered.
There was a fantastic lineup of local and international speakers, including some of the industry’s leading professionals. Some of these included:
- Divya Manian (HTML5 Please, CSS3 Please, HTML5 Boilerplate)
- Rob Hawkes (Game developer and Mozilla technical lead on gaming)
- Dave Johnson (originator of the phoneGap project)
- Faruk Ateş (Modernizr)
The opening day was dedicated to HTML5 as an application platform, with sessions on Browser Device APIs, HTML5 Audio and Video, touch events for mobile and tablet devices, offline web apps, HTML5 messaging, the History API, HTML5 technologies for game and interactive application development.
Some of my personal favourite presentations included Damon Oehlman’s HTML5 messaging, particularly his discussion on web-sockets and some example frameworks like Socket.IO and Sock.js. Damon demonstrated this by creating a web socket connection to Twitter to receive messages as they we’re posted to Twitter in real-time.
I also really enjoyed Silvia Pfeiffer’s presentation on implementing video conferencing in HTML5, which she demonstrated through coordinating two browsers connecting to each other to perform a video conferencing call on stage between her and the audience. Of course, there were plenty of other great presentations too but I found these two new technologies particularly exciting.
Coding goodness aside, it was great to catch-up with friends and meet new ones and I think everyone I spoke to agreed that the event was nicely put together. BlackBerry, a key sponsor, gave almost every attendee a PlayBook tablet to help promote the HTML5 capabilities of the new device and push their developer affiliate program forward.
Web Directions Code was the prelude to Web Directions South, happening from October 16-19 in Sydney — a conference focused on all things web, showcasing the latest and greatest in HTML5, best patterns and practises to make the web a more awesome place to be in.
It was widely acclaimed by Apple with the arrival of the original iPad that the beginning of the “post-PC” world is upon us. If this is to be taken with some grain of salt, then what do we have with the release of “PocketPCs” such as the colourfully named Raspberry Pi or the Cotton Candy, and perhaps more generically named MK802 Android PC.
But what are PocketPC’s? And are they here to stay?
A “PocketPC” is generally the size of your regular USB memory stick but with the internal gadgetry of a fully functional computer. However, and of course a big ‘however’, for it to operate like your laptop or desktop computer it requires you to plug in every component such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse and some even require you to plug in a memory card even start it up! So why would anyone want one of these “PocketPCs” if all the required components make it end up almost as big and cumbersome as a normal computer?
Although they have the potential to run like a regular computer, albeit with all the necessary additional components, this may not be its most elusive feature. The PocketPC’s best feature is what it truly is, a true 21st century tinkering kit. Just like Lego sets have been to older generations, these PocketPCs have the possibility for you to build any number of imaginable creations. With its diminutive size and weight, PocketPCs have the potential to become the brains inside an unlimited number of new technologies.
Some of the new PocketPCs to garner some considerable media attention has been the Raspberry Pi from the British non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Cotton Candy designed in Norway by FXI and the MK802 Android PC from Rikomagic in China.
The Raspberry Pi runs the Linux operating system whereas the other two run Google’s Android software, as similarly found in many smartphones and tablets available today. Although the Cotton Candy and the MK802 are housed in a pretty casing, the Raspberry Pi goes without any outer casing and thus leaving all components exposed and begging to be tinkered with by a hobbyist. All three have available ports for a monitor, keyboard or mouse, and the internet, however the MK802 is the only option of the three with onboard memory as the other two require an SD card to get started.
So as new PocketPCs begin to flood the market, keep your eyes peeled for what could be the new dawn of our next technology revolution. It is possibly between the three PocketPCs mentioned above as to which gains the most popularity and perhaps sets the standard for which direction the next generation of hobbyists will lead. Just like the original computer hobby boards that spawned the original Apple computer back in the 1970s, it could be the Raspberry Pi, the Cotton Candy or the MK802 that is the building blocks of our next technology breakthrough.
Thursday 3rd May, 2012 – It’s onwards and upwards for Melbourne based creative digital agency Conduct. The team from Conduct was invited by Research In Motion (RIM) to attend the Blackberry 10 JAM conference held in Orlando, Florida from 1-3 May 2012 as part of BlackBerry World 2012.
RIM have been in discussions with Conduct for a number of months encouraging the talented team to produce apps for the BlackBerry platform. An alliance with RIM adds another ‘notch’ on the belt to Conduct as they look back on their Webby Honouree Award, won last month for an iPad app in the Experimental and Innovation category.
The JAM was an opportunity for app developers to learn about new innovations coming to the Blackberry 10 developer platform. Delegates participated in over 80 sessions, instructor-led lab demos and roundtable discussions with other developers from around the globe.
Conduct software engineer Bassem Farah said, “Day 3 is ‘Unconference Day’ where we get to work side by side within the developer community to generate discussions on relevant tangible topics such as building HTML 5 Apps for BlackBerry Building apps, games and leveraging web content using HTML 5 for BlackBerry products.”
Conduct’s Technical Director and Co-Founder Simon Krambousanos said, “BlackBerry are putting their money where their mouth is! We’re blown away by the level of developer support they’re delivering through various channels. We’re keen to support them 100%.”
“With only 99,500 apps currently in the BlackBerry App World store, we see a huge opportunity for our clients to support BB10,” continued Krambousanos.
Conduct is enthusiastic that their experience and knowledge of BlackBerry’s new initiative will inspire their clients who are forever hungry for new concepts, ideas and development. Krambousanos said, ” We’re very proud to be one of the first to introduce our clients at home to this new platform.”
RIM presented all developers that attended the conference with a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha to assist building and testing future BlackBerry 10 applications.
In 2008, Simon created Conduct alongside his co-founder and University colleague Charlie Pohl. Since then Simon and Charlie have grown Conduct from an idea to a team of 10 experienced and talented professionals servicing clients all over Australia and the world. Conduct’s focus is on online, mobile and creative communication tools.
In 2007, two old university friends were tired of the limits imposed on them through working for other digital agencies. Deciding that they could do things better their own way, they founded Conduct.
Conduct is a digital agency. We help organisations innovate digital products and services that people love, desire and depend on.
Conduct are very pleased to announce that Nawlz Interactive iPad Comic has been selected as an Official Honoree of the 16th Annual Webby Awards in the Experimental & Innovation category.
This award can sit proudly next to the FWA award taken out late last year!
We are very honored to have been apart of this project and to have worked with such an amazing talent the one and only Stuart Campbell.
Well done team!
For more Nawlz visit -- http://www.nawlz.com/hq/