5 Ways The Sharing Economy Changed Your Life

Have you ever rented someone’s apartment in the summer? Taken an Uber home on a Saturday night? Maybe washed someone’s car or mowed someone’s front lawn?

Technology has made sharing and selling so simple. It has never been easier to take part in the sharing economy. Networking technologies like social media, apps or forums allow any type of transaction possible.

Do you know what the sharing economy is? It is as simple as renting a holiday house from someone. If you have rented an asset owned by another person, the sharing economy has entered your life.

Through this culture shift, giants like:

  • Airbnb allows you to rent property from a stranger.
  • Airtasker lets you complete stranger’s chores for money.
  • eBay lets you buy and sell second-hand goods.
  • Uber orders a person to pick you up from the location of your choice.

Will you get in a strangers car?

Are you a frequent Uber user? Car sharing platforms have flipped the taxi industry on its head. People have jumped into their cars and become their own taxi service. The sharing economy is taking the power away from the big businesses. People are using their assets to help other people for money. This is the sharing economy in full force.

Technology on demand

Uber Driver

Skills to pay the bills

Do you have skills that are being wasted? Do you love mowing the lawn or planting flowers but have no garden? Airtasker allows people to complete day to day tasks for anyone. Whether it’s teaching, fixing, building or digging, your skills are required. If you have a unique skillset, Airtasker will give you the opportunity to use it.

Different skills to achieve success

Skills to pay the bills

Shelter

Would you like to be a local everywhere you go? If you plan a beach holiday or travel through countries, you need a roof over your head. The streets are not always so kind. Airbnb and Couchsurfing give you that feeling of living like a local. You can rent apartments or sleep on strangers’ couches to have that authentic, interesting experience.

Welcome you to the world of tech

Home away from home

Pet Sitting

Do you love pets but cannot afford or do not have space/time to look after one? Now you can with Mad Paws. This is obvious for every parent, you need to feel safe with your babysitter. But what happens when you go on holiday without your pet? I see my dog as a family member and Mad Paws gives me the security knowing that my dog is safe. That a stranger will open their home for my dog.

We will guide you to app success

How simple life can be

Foodies

What does an authentic Italian pasta taste like? What about a delicious Indian butter chicken? Do you love local cuisines but don’t have time to travel? Chefly is about people cooking local delicacies for strangers to buy. This is a perfect example of people sharing their skillset with one another.

We develop all our designs in house

Nothing like a home cooked meal

 

Before technology became such a powerful force, the concept of a sharing economy seemed impossible. With such efficient networking technologies, the options are endless. These days if you feel like, need or want anything, an option is not far away.

 

If you are thinking of creating a sharing economy app, whether it’s for travel, food or leisure, get in touch with Launchpad for a free quote.

 

Are you curious to find out what will make your life more productive? Have a look at our blog to find productivity hacks.

Are you yet to experience Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is one of the greatest upcoming technologies. It’s taking leaps and bounds in its advancements. But is it the future, or just a fad?

 

I play games and watch a lot of entertainment, so it appeals to me. But does Virtual Reality appeal to others? What are the other applications of Virtual Reality to ensure its accessibility and longevity?

In this blog, I’m going to discuss the current and developing applications of Virtual Reality. I’m sorry about all the images, but this is a technology that has to be seen!

Cover Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

Entertainment

 

Let’s start with the most obvious application for Virtual Reality, entertainment. Poised to turn the entertainment industry on its head. Virtual Reality brings us the immersion in entertainment.

 

Gaming has been one of the most adopted points of Virtual Reality. Headsets mainly designed for gaming like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.

Gaming

Gaming with Virtual Reality takes a first-person experience and immersion to a new level. It allows you to fill the shoes of the game character and control them as you like.

Image Source: twentynext.com

Social

Facebook funded the Oculus Rift VR headset. Meaning it’s very likely we will see Virtual Reality chat rooms and experiences. Meaning you can stand there, see your friends and interact. All done over the internet. Alt Space VR already has released a social experience, allowing you to chat, interact and play games with friends.

Image Source: digitalbodies.net

Sports

With Virtual Reality, viewers can feel as if you’re sitting courtside at the game. Or have the view from the player’s perspective, ring or goal post. It might seem counter-intuitive, but this presents a big opportunity for stadiums and sports organisations. If you sell these VR experiences per ticket or even a year of VR experience in a stadium. You may sell to someone that was never able or interested to buy a ticket.

Image Source: roadtovr.com

Live Music

Next VR already offers the ability for you to experience a live music event. From you can see in the image, on stage is a 360 camera rig. So you can experience whatever live music, wherever in the world, whenever you want. All minus the sweat of a mosh pit and the next day ear-ringing. Virtual Reality will be able to offer you something better than the front row seats.

Image Source: uploadvr.com

Movies

This might sound lame, but I’ve used it and it’s pretty cool. I haven’t used it enough to decide if it’s just a gimmick. But, some VR apps offer the feeling of sitting in a cinema or random lounge room and watch whatever you want. I mean, it’s better than sitting in an actual cinema with people on their phones.

Image Source: riftinfo.com

Tourism

With Virtual Reality, you can experience wherever you want in the world! Only if someone has made the experience. Without the 20 hour flight and boiling weather, all from the comfort of your couch. This technology will be used to sell holidays to places you didn’t even think of going.

Image Source: videoblocks.com

Education

 

Education experiences have been shown to be incredibly effective in Virtual Reality. With retention rates through VR education higher than traditional teaching. This could be due to immersion or gamify an education experience.

Storytelling

Imagine every time you were bored in high school from the story your teacher was telling. Now the teacher could put you into the experience. Like a history lesson from the middle of the castle. You could immerse yourself in what you are being told.

Image Source: vrscout.com

Military

This level of immersion is used to train people in extreme situations. Situations that people in the military can’t experience until they are faced with it.

Image Source: wareable.com

Disaster Response

Unfortunately, many more than just the military are faced with extreme situations. Those in the police force and emergency services regularly face these challenges. LAPD, FEMA, OEM already use virtual reality to train their employees.

Image Source: trainingfordisastermanagement.com

Design

Virtual Reality is being used to help create designs in a 3-Dimensional world. Adding depth and the ability for someone to stand in the middle of the artist’s vision. This allows the artist to offer an experience that hasn’t been done before.

Image Source: machinedesign.com

Engineering

With a virtual reality headset, you can view your 3D designs in a 3D world around you. Giving you the ability to really dive into how things work and function. The ability to practice and test things, without consequence.

Image Source: blogs.ptc.com

Advertising

A problem with advertising products is that the customer doesn’t always know, or believe what they are going to get. However, with Virtual Reality, you essentially try before you buy.

Product Demonstrations – Now you’ll be able to test and see things in ways you never could before. With virtual reality, you could look down and see what the clothes will look like on you. Or you could see what furniture will look like in your apartment, making it easier to match. How about what it’s like sitting in the car of your dreams? These experience may make a sale, and looking forward they will only get better.

Image Source: scanlab.ca

Immersive Content Marketing

Companies like JauntVR offer immersive content like games and 360 videos, that help sell a product. Like a virtual reality trailer for a movie or video game.

Image Source: jauntvr.com

 

Health Care

Exposure Therapy

PTSD, phobias and anxieties can be helped through Virtual Reality. All done without actually exposing them to their fear. It offers them a safe, yet realistic environment. While still a realistic enough experience to be considered exposure.

Image Source: ignisvr.com

Surgery Training

Training doctors and surgeons. So they can face scenarios through virtual reality to help them be prepared for anything.

Image Source: infinityleap.com

 

Real Estate

Soon you’ll be able to explore homes and cities like never before. Given the ability to fly through the city and build the city as you please!

City Planning

VU.CITY is a program that offers incredible levels of city detail. Designed for city planning, VU.CITY lets you feel as if you are walking in the city. On which you can look at proposed developments and city boundaries. Look at the protected views and study traffic. It’s being used to improve city design and flow.

Image Source: vu.city

Purchasing Homes

Try before you buy, but for homes! You’ll be able to visit a home. Even before it’s built and take a walk around the generated design. Imagine one day designing your home in VR, then having it built. The ability to see what it will look like inside and out.

Image Source: augment.com

 

This isn’t even all the applications of Virtual Reality. This is just a few that I enjoy the idea of. Things that I hope will become mainstream in the coming years.

 

I don’t believe that Virtual Reality is just a fad or gimmick. I think it will have great applications for entertainment and education.

 

The most commonly adopted Virtual Reality platform is mobile. This is because mobile headsets can be bought cheaply and use the mobile screen as the VR screen. This allows everyone with a (reasonably) new phone access to this new technology.

 

So, if you would like to be involved in the ever-growing Virtual Reality technology, visit the Launchpad Quote Page. Let us help you create you a successful and unique app!

 

Or if you just want to know more about app development, check out our blog!

 

App innovation and opportunity with the iPhone X.

What do Instagram and Snapchat have in common?

 

They are apps that only exists because of developments in mobile technology. Just by adding a camera to a mobile phone. So what does the iPhone X change?

 

Cover Image Source: theverge.com

 

Apple has just held their annual keynote event. During which, they announced 3 new iPhones, a new Apple smartwatch and Apple TV. But today, I’m going to talk about the iPhone X. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, it’s “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”. So I’m going to talk about its features and what you can hope to see coming on the app store.

Image Source: theverge.com

New Screen Applications

 

The iPhone X boasts Apple’s super retina display. A 1125×2436 OLED screen with HDR10 and Dolby Vision for video. These improvements to the screen and video display could mean more developers start creating iPhone Virtual Reality games and applications.

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

Virtual Reality Applications

 

Compared to the HTC Vive, which is solely a virtual reality headset. It has 2 similar size OLED screens. One screen for each eye. The iPhone holds up in comparison. Which means that VR can be used without VR sickness, as low resolution and screen density causes VR sickness. Which unfortunately a lot of other phones have. Just imagine the games and apps you love on the app store. All turned into virtual reality. Could you see yourself using this?

 

However, if Virtual Reality is a bit too much. What about Augmented Reality?

Image Source: theverge.com

Augmented Reality Applications

 

The new TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X can track more than ever. Along with the Apple ARKit, an Augmented Reality Framework. Which uses Visual Inertial Odometry to track the world around it. This means it can detect lighting in the room. Then match the augmented object to it. It can also find horizontal planes in the room.

 

If you’re confused as to what this means, remember Pokemon GO?

For the Pokemon to appear if they are on the ground, that is horizontal plane detection. Which will be improved, thanks to the Apple ARKit and the new camera.

 

Along with that, the Facial Recognition has new application features. The Facial Recognition technology will be used to unlock the phone.  But it will also be used for much more. Like the Apple Animoji, which is a new way to use emojis. Using face-mapping, the face you pull will change the emoji. Similar to the Snapchat app.

Image Source: dpreview.com

New Camera Applications

 

If you aren’t interested in augmenting or changing your reality. There is more that can be done with the camera. The new camera offers 4K video recording capability. And 240 frames per second slow motion recording. It will increase the quality of the video being produced. Which will bring video editing apps. Video editing on mobile can be quite power demanding. This likely won’t be a problem to the new six-core A11 processor.

 

You can now take slow-mo videos of your food! Welcome to the future.

Image Source: rediff.com

Internet of Things Applications

 

If you haven’t heard of the Internet of Things, I’d recommend reading our blog. The changes in the iPhone increase Apple’s depth in the IoT.  Apple already has a few IoT applications. Like connections to the Apple watch and Apple TV. As well as the ability to pay with your iPhone using Apple pay.

 

However, new to this iPhone is wireless charging. This technology allows wireless charging on tables everywhere. Imagine if you had a charger built into your desk at work. Your phone would never go flat again. Or you’re at a cafe and your phone goes flat. You can just charge your phone right there. No need for a cable or to plug anything in.

 

What are you most looking forward to from the iPhone X?

 

Will you buy one?

 

If you want to have a unique app developed for the iPhone X. Please visit our quote page for more information.

 

Also, check out our blog while you’re here. If you’re curious about apps and startup innovation.

 

Amazons Internet Jungle

Amazon has a complex internet “jungle”. Curious to explore it?

Amazon and their Internet of Things.

Cover Image: techcrunch.com

Amazon is one of the biggest players in the IoT. This is because Amazon is creating devices, platforms and ways to connect. Amazon seems like they aren’t going to miss a beat on the IoT. If you are unsure what the Internet of Things is, please check out our other blog.

 

Image Source: techcrunch.com

 

 

Image Source: techcrunch.com

Amazon Echo

Let’s start with Amazon devices that you can buy today. Devices like Amazon’s Echo device. Amazon’s Echo device is a home assistant. I have no doubt you’ve heard of these home assistants. Google has one and Apple is working on one. These devices listen for your voice. So, whenever you say something, it listens and responds accordingly.

 

Much like Apple’s assistant Siri, Amazon named their assistant, Alexa.  You can ask Alexa anything. Well, almost anything. Alexa can answer your questions through the Google search engine. She can read you news, books and information like the weather. She can play music on request, message or call through your phone. Amazon’s Alexa can connect to all your smart devices, like your TV and lights. It’d be as simple as saying “Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights”. Or “Alexa, open the pod bay doors”.  Very futuristic.

 

Amazon has partnered with businesses to take this even further! Through Alexa, you can order a pizza or an Uber. However, the Echo’s reach is limited. Amazon has realised this and has released the Echo Dot. The Echo Dot adds the Echo to whatever room it is in. So, walking around the house, Alexa can help.

 

Additionally, Amazon released Echo devices with cameras. To be used for videos calls and more. Like being used get a visual representation of your requests. For example, “what does ‘X’ look like?”. The newest Echo device was created just for Fashion. It was made to take daily photos of what you’re wearing. With those photos, it rates the outfit for you.

Image Source: http://blog.wink.com/wink-blog

Amazon IoT Platform

 

Amazon connects all these products and services using their IoT platform. According to Amazon, it can support billions of devices. And from those devices, trillions of messages!

 

The messages come from your devices and go to the cloud, then to a connected device. The messages are like signals, or instructions. Messages like button presses from the Amazon Dash. Or messages from the Echo telling your lights to turn on. These messages are sent safely and securely. Stopping people from hacking into your home!

 

Think of what an IoT hacker could do, control your lights, fans and order you food!

 

Personally, I think this sounds like a great way to live more efficiently. Just don’t let Alexa know you’re going to disconnect her.

Image Source: aws.amazon.com/iot-platform/

Amazon Dash

 

The next Amazon device is the already mentioned Amazon Dash. The Amazon Dash is a button when pressed fulfils an order. It’s as simple as that.  You press a button and it’s added to your shopping list and sent to you.  

This could be dangerous for animals and children, so I’d keep this out of reach. As it could be pressed out of curiosity or accident. It’d be a dream to have an unlimited chocolate button as a kid. So maybe keep the Amazon Dash to boring stuff. Or don’t, whatever, it’s your money.

 

What’s cool about the Amazon Dash, is that you can buy pre-made ones. Buttons that are made for a certain product. But you can also create programmable Dash devices. You can place buttons around your home that serves a certain purpose. For example, a button to call or alert someone. A button to order a service like a standard pizza order. A button to turn something on or off, like a light. Revolutionary!

Image Source: themanufacturer.com

Amazon Connections

 

As the IoT grows, it will need connections beyond WiFi. This is because WiFi has a limited range. Amazon is reportedly partnering with the Dish network. The aim of the partnership is to create a 5G network. This network will connect anything and everything.  The network gives Amazon drones the ability to go anywhere in the network’s range. Potentially littering the sky with drones.

Image Source: amazon.com

 

Do any of these devices interest you? Or do you already own one or more?

 

Have you got an app idea that can integrate into the IoT?

 

Please visit the Launchpad quote page. Where we can turn your idea into a unique, successful app.

 

For more information on drone covered skies and having your home hacked. Read our other blogs on the Internet of Technology.

Or read our blog on tech trends, like the Internet of Things.

 

If you think we live in a connected world, you may not be thinking big enough.

The Internet of Things is the future.

Cover Image Source: WIRED

What am I talking about?

 

You may have heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT) and what it means. It refers to the connected world we live in. The fact that everything you buy today is smart or connected. Whether it be a smart TV, smart fridge or smart car. Everything has a digital connection. Like a web, they all connect, becoming an Internet of Things.

 

It might seem futuristic. But large companies are doing this now. And they are pushing it further every year, companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook. These brands are either creating systems or devices that can be used to create these networks.

 

The Internet of Things is the future, and it will likely change every industry it can be used by or with.

Does that sound like something you’d want to be a part of? Or is your startup already involved with the internet of things? Let these 7 Government Grants help finance you!

 

We at Launchpad are here to tell you what is possible with the Internet of Things in 2017!

Image Source: Monitis

Internet of Things at Home

 

Imagine walking up to your front door. But don’t pull your keys out as it’s already unlocked. Now it doesn’t unlock for everyone, it just unlocks for you. Your door has recognised your phone and unlocked itself as you approach. If that’s not enough security for you? Your doorbell has a built-in camera and unlocks the door for recognised members of the household. The doorbell also provides you with a live feed to your phone. So you can watch who is going in and out.

 

As you walk into your home it’s at the perfect room temperature for you, which is controlled from your phone. 30 minutes before you got home you turned on the heating or cooling. The blinds open or the lights turn on depending on the time of day.

 

You’ve brought in your bags of groceries that you knew you needed because you looked through the camera in your fridge. Your kettle is ready to use, as you turned it on from your driveway. You put your dinner in the oven and take your coffee with you to the couch. You watch your dinner cooking through your phone, but you don’t need to change anything. Your oven has built in surface and temperature sensors. So your oven can tell if your food is overcooking, or it knows how to cook what you’ve put in it.

 

After having dinner on your smart table, which you used to read the news. You go to bed an hour early. This is because your smart bed sent a notification to your phone telling you that you didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Image Source: Monitis

Internet of Things Outside the Home

It’s the weekend and you decide to go for a run with your dog. Your smartwatch sends information to your phone, letting you know how your run is going. Your smart shoe which tracks your movements. Telling you how hard your feet are landing and posture. This gives you an idea of how you’re tracking as a runner.

You stop running as you get a warning that your dog is exhausted, which you found out through the smart dog collar. As you approach your home, your garage door opens for you and you take your dog inside.

Image Source: Waking Times Media

Internet of Things in the Workplace

 

After your run, you need to go to work. While you’re at work there are many things that could be connected to the internet. Like in your home you set the lights, aircon and appliances how you like. You use the vending machine connected to your phone. The whole time, the company tracks you and your movements through your phone.

 

Taking you out of this little word for a second. Three Square Market, a company in Wisconsin, United States, has held a chip party. The purpose of the party was to volunteer their employees for microchips. Which they can use the chip to unlock doors, use printers and buy snacks and drinks, at the wave of a hand. They did this partnering with Biohax Sweden. Biohax slogan is “Turning the Internet of Things, into the Internet of Us!” Surprisingly, 41 of their 85 employees actually said yes.

Image Source: CISCO

Internet of Things in Public

 

Getting our story back on track. On your way out for the night, you stop to buy some petrol. You pay for the petrol using your phones near field communications chip. You then use your phone to find the nearest car park (which is happening in Barcelona). After a few drinks, you decide to catch the bus home. You charge your phone using the bus stop then use the bus WiFi on the way home.

Image Source: Smart Company

Internet of Things and Launchpad

 

Launchpad is currently making two of our clients part of Internet of Things.

 

The first application in our Internet of Things is Buddy. Created by Danny Simmonds (above). Buddy will send you a notification to your phone when you walk past a restaurant or bar with a deal happening.

 

And Anywheel, a company where you can unlock, pay for and use bikes.  Anywheel will be located in Sydney for you to use, all through your mobile phone. No need to hop online, just do it all through the app.

Points to consider

 

While this all sounds good, this isn’t yet as achievable as I may have made it out to be. Currently, there is no app that will control everything. As every brand has their own app. It’s likely we will never see a universal app, as companies just don’t work together that way. For them, it’s more beneficial for a company to have you download their app, and collect your information.

 

Another point to consider is, if every appliance in and around your home is connected, what if you get hacked? What’s to stop a hacker controlling everything in your home. Or have someone on your network use these devices to watch what you do, know how you’re interacting with your devices. The Internet of Things could become a major breach of privacy.

 

Are you excited to see this technology develop?

 

What would you like to be able to do connected to all your things?

 

Stay Tuned!

In the coming weeks, we at Launchpad will release blogs about the Internet of Things. We will be detailing the companies that create their own web and what the future could look like.

 

Protect more than just your things! For ways to protect your app idea visit our blog.

 

Also visit the Launchpad quote page, if you have a brilliant idea for an app. Launchpad wants to help you create a unique, successful app.

 

5 Coolest Tech from Mobile World Congress 2017

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), one of the biggest events in the Mobile Industry, was recently in Barcelona. The event draws together the big names of the Mobile Industry, ranging from smartphone manufacturers, iOT (internet of things) industry leaders and professionals from around the world.  With the variety of gadgets and technology, here are the 5 that stood out.

 

Related: 4 Mobile App Trends for 2017

1. 5G Network

5G is the latest generation of mobile networks that will increase the speed of your phone usage. At the moment, 5G is still in development and there are no official 5G networks as of yet. However 5G capable products are being tested by companies to prepare for its arrival.

 

The main benefit of the new network is increased speeds, which means you can download apps, surf the web and programs faster than ever, compared to 4G, which  is great for entrepreneurs and consumers when travelling.

 

As a result, this will benefit and build the foundation for Internet of Things (IOT) devices, such as smart fridges and smart cars. The current release period is around the year 2020.

 

2. Smart shoes

Smart watches won’t be the only wearables, with the introduction of smart shoes. Different tech companies are creating shoes that integrate with your smartphone to improve your daily routines.

A startup backed by Samsung called IOFit, created a line of golf shoes with technology that can help improve your golfing skills.

 

It measures your balance, weight and golf swing, which is then transferred to the IOFit app on your smartphone. While the golf shoes are available to pre-order, IOFit will also be launching a range of general fitness smart shoes.

Additionally, an Indian startup, Ducere Technologies showcased shoes with Smart Sole technology that links with Google Maps on the user’s smartphone. 

The shoes vibrate to indicate which direction that users need to take to reach their destination.

 

3. Driverless cars

In the future, you’ll be able to watch Netflix while your car drives and race cars will be able to drive themselves. Peugeot and Roborace showcased their driverless cars at the Mobile World Congress.

The Peugeot instinct has a futuristic look on the outside and inside. Drivers can choose between taking control of the wheel or putting it in self-driving mode, where the car drives itself.

The car connects to the internet and works with Samsung’s cloud technology, which will communicate with other devices. For example, it can communicate with your smart fridge and notify low stocked groceries.

Roborace is the latest racing vehicle in the Formula E Grand Prix. It has no cockpit and able to reach speeds of over 320 KM per hour. It has a aerodynamic body design with a Tron-inspired look. The car has inbuilt technology with sensors, radars and cameras to help it avoid collisions. Roborace are looking towards launching the cars before the 2017 Formula E season finishes.

4. AI Assistants

Currently, we have Siri on iPhone, Amazon’s Alexa and Window’s Cortana. But in the future, AI Assistants will be the norm on mobile devices and other Internet of Things technology. By 2019, Gartner predicts that 20% of mobile devices will be using virtual AI assistants.

Other smartphones and devices will follow by either joining an existing AI assistant or creating their own. For example, Samsung announced that it will be releasing its own AI for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 phones. Additionally, Sony will release their Sony Agent in the upcoming Xperia earphones.  

 

5. Holocube

The Holocube is a holographic toy created by Merge VR to create a new educational experience. Essentially, the cube brings objects and games  life right in the user’s hands using Augmented Reality (AR).

It works through the user’s smartphone, using Merge’s app. The user holds the block that projects the holograms. These holograms are seen by the user through a Virtual Reality headset.

Demos showed some of the apps and games featured on the Holocube, such as games where users created their own virtual city  and educational app showing the human brain’s functions.

The Holocube not only benefits users but also app developers. The cube will give app developers the opportunity to create apps and be innovative using Merge VR’s development toolkit.

 

 

Have you been keeping up with the MWC? Which products caught your attention?

Let us know on social media or in the comments below!

Why Everyone’s Talking about Snapchat’s Latest Update

A new year equals a new you. This is the case with one of the most popular social media platforms, Snapchat. Recently, the company announced updates to the app which will be released in the near future on iOS and Android.

What’s new?

The most groundbreaking change in the update is the addition of a universal search bar that allows users to find friends and people they want to follow. Another new change is the inclusion of a quick access chat directory screen, which lists out friends, groups, and contacts.

 

This update is great for businesses and startups. As users can discover other profiles easier, the new search bar will allow users to also discover businesses, allowing them to increase their brand and content exposure.

 

At this stage, Snapchat hasn’t announced plans for ads in search. However, this will be highly likely to be implemented as a response to Instagram, who is planning to implement advertisements in their Stories feature.

 

Another update has been added to the “Our Story” feature, where users can submit snaps wherever they are at any time. Snaps curate based on holidays, events and what’s trending around the world. This will provide businesses with the opportunity to utilise creative occasion-based marketing and create user engagement.

 

One of the main reasons for the update could be to improve the app’s user experience. On the business end, this could be a tool to motivate businesses to produce more content. The final reason might be a move to help Snapchat keep up with its close competitors.

At the end of the day, only time will tell.

 

What are your thoughts on the new search bar? Let us know on Facebook
We’re also now on Snapchat! Connect with us by scanning the Snapcode below.

4 Mobile App Trends for 2017

What a year it has been, time has definitely flown by! We’re at the business end of 2016 and about to welcome 2017 in a few weeks.

There have been a lot of interesting and exciting things happen in the world of mobile apps this year. We’ve seen the rise of On-Demand apps, live streaming on social media platforms, which we predicted. Additionally, we saw the booming of augmented reality through Pokémon Go.

As the barriers of innovation continue to be pushed with breakthroughs in mobile technology, there will be more to come in the new year ahead. Without further ado here are the mobile app trends we predict will happen in 2017.

1. Increased Adoption of Mobile Payment

Smartphones have made it easier and more convenient for us to shop and checkout. They are now an alternative to credit cards and cash, becoming the most popular payment method. There are various mobile wallets and payment apps available, such as PayPal, Apple’s Passbook and Samsung Pay.

From current observations, mobile payments are expected to increase and become more common. It is estimated that in 2017, total payments by mobile will comprise of $60 billion.

This is most likely due to the increase of the app adoption rate within businesses and industries, such as Hospitality. Companies, such as Domino’s, Taco Bell and Starbucks, have already implemented apps, which payment occurs. It is expected that more businesses will follow and create their own apps, such as McDonald’s.


What this could mean for businesses is that they will need to modify their current payment methods by 
adopting apps or try to find a way to make payments easier.

starbucks-my-rewards

Starbucks’ mobile app has been very successful

2. The Internet of Things App Revolution

According to an article by Business Insider, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network that consists of devices that can connect to the internet. Examples of devices include mobile devices, buildings, electrical appliances, smart vehicles and smart houses.

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An overview of IoT

While the total IoT objects this year was 17.68 billion globally, it will further trend in 2017 and become even bigger in the future.  According to an analysis from Intel, it is estimated that the number will rise to 200 billion objects by 2020.

In the future, IoT apps will enable us to lock doors, track inventory and record health reports all on our smartphone. It will be widely used among different industries, such as retail, health, IT, manufacturing and security.

Users of IoT technology will be adopted by various entities, such as governments, but a majority being businesses. This is because of its benefits, such as increasing productivity, lowering costs and increasing innovation.

guide-to-iot-infographicThe Internet of Things (IoT) will be massive in the future

Some of the most popular IoT technologies we expect to be prevalent are in the areas of security, analytics and device management. For instance, beacon technology is a popular tool that is used in the mobile apps of businesses, especially retailers. Essentially, it enables them to gain analytics on consumers, track where they are and push personalised promotions.

3. The Continued Rise of Enterprise Apps

With a positive outlook in Australia’s mobile app development industry, we’ve seen an increase in the adoption of mobile apps by businesses this year, especially in Hospitality, as mentioned previously. In 2017,  it is expected that there will be a major increase of custom-made enterprise apps being developed for businesses.

More businesses are contributing more investments in the mobile tools market that it is approaching $5.5 billion. The demand for enterprise apps is expected to be so big that by the end of 2017, enterprise apps will outgrow the businesses’ IT capacity to deliver them.

One of the main reasons is due to businesses moving towards increasing productivity and efficiency through being more mobile in the workplace. Currently, the use of tablet in business is growing. By 2017, 900 million tablets will be used by enterprises, with 70% being used for business purposes.

enterprise_mobility_trends_in_2016We will expect to see a move towards mobility in the workplace

4. Increase of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) apps

While Augmented Reality hasn’t been mainstream in the past, it has definitely taken off this year with the release of widely acclaimed mobile game, Pokémon GO. As a result of its success, Augmented Reality apps will get bigger next year and beyond.

In fact, the total revenue in VR and AR market was an estimated amount of $5.2 billion this year and will be expected to grow to $162 billion in 2020. As more developers realise the capabilities of Augmented Reality, mobile apps will expand beyond gaming and move into the business environment.

We suspect to see these AR apps used in industries mainly health, retail and fashion to enhance customer experience. There will most likely be apps where consumers can virtually try on products. This is what cosmetics giant, Sephora implemented at the start of this year.

In addition, Virtual Reality apps are also expected to increase next year. It is estimated that the number of Virtual Reality user will reach 171 million by 2018. This may result from the affordability of mobile VR headsets. They can range from $15 to high-end headsets, costing around the $200 mark

While Virtual Reality will be used mainly by mobile games, it will also used by businesses to implement innovative operations. For instance, apps that allow users to watch events though VR or shop online in a Virtual Reality department store.

virtual_realityVirtual Reality is predicted to be even bigger in 2017 and beyond

Key Takeaways:

2017 is going to be an even bigger year with lots of opportunities for mobile apps, especially for businesses. As more consumers are making payment using their mobile, more businesses will move towards mobile payment to increase convenience and remain competitive.

With the focus of mobility, increasing productivity and lowering costs,  there will be an emphasis on enterprise apps and the Internet of things. Finally, Virtual and Augmented Reality will continue to be used by businesses and immerse consumers.

What app trends do you think will arise next year?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Why 2016 is the Year of On-Demand Apps

One of the most common phrases in mobile is “there’s an app for that”. Now, it should be “there’s an Uber for that”.

 

This year, we’ve seen the “uberisation” of mobile apps – the increase of on-demand mobile apps in the market. There are lots of on-demand apps that offer different services, such as food deliveries,  postal services and many more.  These apps are part of a market that is known as the On-Demand Economy, also called the Sharing Economy.

the-uber-of

The Uber of different categories

 

The On-Demand Economy

on-demand-economyA diagram of the On-Demand Economy

 

The On-Demand Economy refers to activity that is focused on providing goods and services to consumers efficiently and immediately. A majority of the key players consist of technological entrepreneurs and startups. The leader market is Uber. Valued at $85 Billion, Uber is dominating the transportation market with the highest funding.

There has been a high interest in on-demand apps with investors resulting in a lot of money being invested in on-demand apps. Since 2010, $9.4 billion has been invested in the on-demand industry and we’ve seen a major jump in funding for on-demand service apps.

The tech-savvy and constantly connected millennial generation (18-34 year olds), make up most demand in the sharing economy. As a result, an increase of apps catered towards this group  can be expected in the future.

on-demand-australia-1The On-Demand Economy is revolutionary

 

The Future of the On-Demand Economy

The on-demand app economy is expected to grow thanks to the positive outlook in the Australian app economy.

App entrepreneurs will look for new opportunities, while current on-demand apps will expand. As a result, others will compete with the big on-demand app players.

There will also be expected growth in various industries in the future due to the on-demand economy, such as groceries, transportation, home services and food delivery.

 

Why are On-Demand Apps so popular?

The on-demand economy is booming because of our consumption behaviour. On-demand apps are easily accessible, very convenient and easy to use.

These on-demand apps help make life easier for us by fulfilling our daily needs. With the touch of a button all our chores are done, at a low cost.

On-demand apps are also popular with app entrepreneurs and startups. This is because it enables them to bring their idea to life faster and more cheaply.

On-demand services like Dispatch help startups list and source their services to customers. It gives app entrepreneurs and startups the opportunity to capitalise on markets that have been untapped. These include B2B On-Demand Services, drone deliveries and B2B shipping.

 

What are the most popular categories of On-Demand apps?

 

  • Food Delivery

This popular service trend began with a company called Suppertime, now called Foodora, which delivered food to late working business people and entrepreneurs.

Food delivery is now one the largest and most popular areas, with lots of service operators, such as Deliveroo, UberEats, Menulog and Foodora. In fact, restaurants offer a whole diverse range of cuisines so consumers can purchase food from any nationality.

With Australia’s multi-billion dollar takeaway industry, this sector will continue to grow as more restaurants take on these services.

 

  • Outsourcing

Outsourcing services have become very popular in the United States. Being influenced by the success in America, these on-demand services are currently trending in Australia with major platforms such as Airtasker and Sidekicker. These services help consumers with daily tasks such as general cleaning and home improvements.

In addition, there are now on-demand clothes washing startups, such as Dryz and LaundryRun, launching in Australia. This area could potentially grow further in the future.

 

  • Transportation

Ride-sharing was the pioneering sector, which started the on-demand app trend. Uber was the first app to disrupt the transportation service and on-demand platform. Ridesharing services are growing and used more often by commuters.

The most popular apps in this category include Uber, GoCatch and Shofer. This is very popular because it’s cheaper compared to taking taxis. Consumers have a range of different services and tiers, which range from budget to luxurious rides.

 

Tips on entering the On-Demand app industry

 

  • Convenience is key

Your app should give consumers and users a simple purchasing experience. Here, you should implement features and technology that makes the app easier to use, e.g. live tracking, easy payment options, have a service progress screen etc.

To complement the intuitiveness, your app should have a UI and UX design that is visually appealing and intuitive. Users should be able to navigate the app easily and identify which buttons are interactive.

 

  • Create an app that solves a need

With the various on-demand apps out in the market, you’ll need to identify how your app will stand out among others. Here, find out if your app idea solves a need that hasn’t been met.

For instance, in 2015 the on-demand dog helping service, Wag!, was launched to help busy people take care of their dog. If there are other apps that solve an existing problem, think about how you can do it better than competitors?

 

  • Identify your industry

During the planning stage of your on-demand app idea, you should try to find an industry or market where you can get a competitive advantage. Focusing on one market when first starting out allows you to stay focused on a specific target audience and avoid competing with others and market leaders. This is how current ride-sharing platforms became successful. You can do this by either targeting a niche market or trying to disrupt an existing market.

For instance, Drive Yello disrupted the food delivery market by enabling restaurants to post delivery jobs; essentially being a job board for drivers.

 

Key takeaways

The on-demand economy has been booming this year and will be expected to grow in the coming years. These platforms have changed our lives, making daily chores like preparing dinner and postal delivery more conveniently.

With the most common apps being food delivery, outsourcing tasks and transportation, there is the potential for other markets to be disrupted. If you are looking towards creating your own on-demand app, remember to make sure that it solves a problem of a defined market with a design and features that are easy to use.

 

What are your thoughts on the on-demand economy? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

Contact us if you have an app idea and we’ll help you bring it to life.

 

How Apple Helps Your Business Put Its Best Foot Forward

Over the years, Apple has consistently maintained their position on the front line for all things business. These products have helped businesses with organisation and productivity. They’ve also offering companies a new platform to engage with their audiences using innovative software. In doing this Apple has become an embedded part of modern and mobile business.

 

The iPhone  

Since its release, the iPhone has set the benchmark for all mobile businesses. By creating a top of the line device that values user experience and speed whilst simultaneously offering companies an innovative platform to reach new audiences Apple has essentially created a product that seamlessly mixes business and pleasure.

With the release of the iPhone 7/7 Plus we have seen major updates to the hardware of the iPhone itself that will put pressure on companies to revamp their apps in order to stay current.

iphone-app-development

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch of the iPhone 7. Source: Daily Mail

 

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, recently announced the next generation of iPhones. They will include a longer battery life, updated software, improved hardware performance, and new A10 Fusion microprocessor.

The Apple A10 Fusion microprocessor boosts speed, making iPhones the ability to work 40% faster. than its iPhone6/6 plus predecessors, or more profoundly, the new microprocessor will allow the iPhone 7 Plus to work 120 times faster than the first generation iPhone.

App Developers Australia

The Apple A10 Fusion microprocessor is 120 times faster than the original iPhone. Source: ExtremeTech

We can only conclude that these updates in the iPhone’s 7’s hardware will have a direct impact on business’ bottom line.

It is only natural that users will be expecting mobile apps, sites, and games to react and behave as fast as the rest of the phone.

This update will put significant pressure on developers to optimise their apps to improve the speed and interactivity in order to distinguish themselves against their competitors and keep their audience engaged.

 

iOS

iOS software is known for its cross-generational usability that can effortlessly be applied to any business model. iOS 10 is no different. In the most recent update Apple has partnered with Deloitte to help enterprises engage with iOS in order to help businesses drive their mobile strategies.

Additionally, IOS 10 offers an improved usability. This makes it easier for businesses to connect their devices to maximise productivity and efficiency. Business apps such as Evernote can now be quickly accessed as a widget in Today, offering users the ability to operate features of the app without having to leave today. Additionally, the iOS app Workflow has been updated to allow users to automate functions across other apps and can easily be launched from inside other apps.  

Some of the best business based apps for iOS10 include:

  • Box, for importing documents
  • Skitch, for annotating images and maps
  • SignalMe, for meeting room efficiency
  • iAuditor, for safety inspections.

Handoff is another awesome cross-platform iOS app that allows you to begin work on one device and seamlessly transition to another to complete a project.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Handoff Mail. Source: MacRumors

 

Overall, iOS is an incredible software that has the ability to support, nurture and boost the productivity of a business. It is a software that utilises apps to offer a complex and in depth support system to your business, yet is easy to understand at an entry level.

What really separates iOS 10 from previous updates is the latest updates to Siri.

 

Siri

Siri is the inbuilt AI system that Apple employs across the iOS software. In iOS 10 Apple has broken ground by opening up Siri to third party developers. This is a huge step that not even Google has taken.

Siri can now communicate with your client’s favorite apps to search for photos, message their friends, make payments, place calls, book rides and start workouts just by using their voice. This is a super impressive development and one that businesses and their apps should definitely capitalise on. As a result, The update makes it easier for people to interact with their favourite apps. For customers who favour Siri, this could be the difference between what apps they use within their daily life.

Apps such as Uber and WhatsApp, are currently in the process of already developing software to support the updated Siri.

Melbourne App Developers

You can now use Siri to book a ride on Uber and Lyft. Source: Apple Newsroom

Overall, Apple is making leaps and bounds in the business world. Their software is aimed to support the growth of businesses internally. Finally, it is also creating a platform for businesses to reach and grow client base. Now, Apple is a commonly loved brand with sleek designs, social status and business prowess, mixing business and pleasure seamlessly.

Guest written by Ash Donovan from Digital8.