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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.

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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.

Key Lessons from Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak

Last weekend, Margaret Court Arena was filled with the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. The event wasn’t Nick Kyrgios’ latest dummy spit on the tennis court, but a ‘must-see’ event of a different kind. “An Evening with Woz” was an informal, insightful and inspiring presentation from Steve “Woz” Wozniak – the co-founder of Apple and the inventor of the personal computer.

Along with other technology entrepreneurs, myself and our Product Director Marc sat at the edge of our seats in awe as Woz shared his stories and experiences of founding Apple. Overall, we learnt a lot at the event and in this post we’ll be sharing some key takeaways from the night.

 

Who is Woz?

Born in August 11, 1950, Woz is an electronics engineer and programmer who dropped out of college and co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976. Before Apple he worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP) as a calculator designer in 1971. During that period he developed his first computer, the Apple 1 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now with an estimated net worth of $100 million, Woz continues to be an influencer and hero in the world of computers and technology. Starting out with humble beginnings,  Apple now has an estimated net worth of $586 billion.

 

Key Takeaways

 

1. Love what you do

Quote 1

 

Throughout the event Woz spoke about how he loved what he did and was passionate about technology and computers. He discovered his passion at age 12 when his parents gave him a transistor radio kit. He was able to assemble it without a book or manual. His love for electronics enabled him to create technology like a tic tac toe game and a device for phones that let you call worldwide for free. This was one of the main reasons why Apple and Woz became successful when starting out.

There are lots of benefits when you love what you do:

 

  • Boosts your mood

As the philosopher Confucius once said: if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life. There are many advantages when you’re happier at work. For instance, it will boost your creativity, productivity and motivation. This is also beneficial if you’re in a higher organisational position, such as a manager, supervisor or CEO. Your positive mood will influence your employees and result in a positive workplace.

 

  • You’ll work harder

Loving what you do will increase your overall work ethic. You’ll work harder, even putting in more time and effort. Woz pulled all-nighters to create the floppy disk to further sell the Apple II, Apple’s second computer, at an electronics show in Las Vegas. He was able to finish a few hours before the event. Another benefit is that you’ll also go beyond what is expected, taking initiative and doing other tasks in your extra time. In his college years, Woz would pull all-nighters helping other students with their coding projects for other students for 5 cents, after a day’s work at HP.

 

  • Increases perseverance

There will be times in life where you’ll experience setbacks and barriers that prevent you from reaching your goals. Having persistence is one of the traits that will help you push through those times. When you love what you do, hurdles and problems turn into opportunities, such as continuous improvement. For example, Woz continually persevered through problems with his inventions by taking apart his creations to identify why functions didn’t work and made improvements.

 

2. Marketing and branding is vital

 

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Apple’s iconic silhouette ad

Apple are well known for their captivating storytelling marketing and innovative advertising. Examples of their notable work include the infamous Super Bowl ad for the first Macintosh in 1984 and their Silhouette iPod television ad. In fact, their marketing and branding strategies were one of the main contributors towards the success of Apple.

This was also discussed at the event, where Woz emphasised the importance of marketing and how it is one of the main ways you can differentiate yourself from competitors.

One of the methods that Apple has used is through a positioning strategy, which focuses on you standing out from your competitors. You can differentiate yourself through a product or service offering, quality, innovation, price or brand. This strategy is based on building a reputation and creating an imprint of your company at the back of the mind of consumers. For example, you might associate a low cost airlines with Jetstar or Airasia.

In the case of Apple, they primarily focused on their brand, which became their biggest asset. Apple’s brand mainly focused on the customer’s needs, simplicity and breaking the status quo, which was a philosophy instilled by Apple’s first investor and mentor, Mike Markkula. This is also influenced by the origins of the company brand name, where it was created due to positive associations, which Woz touched on at the event.

 

3.  Dream big and follow it

Quote 2

 

Back in the 90s, computers were gigantic, expensive and only used by the government. No one envisioned that computers could be used for personal use in homes. However, Woz thought differently and it sparked a vision of personal computers being used in homes.

His vision boosted his persistence and he was able to successfully pitch his idea to Hewlett Packard after multiple attempts. Coupled with passion, having a vision made him stand strong and helped Apple become a success. Through Woz’s experience, we can learn that when you have a dream or a vision, follow it no matter what anyone else says or thinks.

 

BONUS: Don’t forget to have fun!

Steve Wozniak loved to having fun at college and while working on his inventions. That was part of his view on life and work. He created a formula on being happy, where “happiness equals smiles minus frowns”. Woz regularly pranked his friends, colleagues and school teachers. It’s important take time off work and do things you enjoy.

There are many benefits when balancing work and fun. For instance, it can help increase your productivity, prevents you from burning out, improves your mood and also makes you healthier. Woz’s pranking years not only entertained but also reminded us that to have fun outside of work.

 

So there you have it, the key lessons we learnt from one of Apple’s founders. Were you at the event as well? Let us know in the comments section or through our Facebook and Twitter page.

Keen to learn more? Check out our latest blogs for more insightful knowledge.

 

Apple Wants YOU to Develop TV Apps

At their September Keynote event, Apple launched their fourth-generation Apple TV with a vague release date of October sometime. With a week to spare, it looks like Apple will squeak in their latest set-top box right before the end of the month.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at WSJD Live to announce that “the foundation of the future of TV” is available for order as of today and that shipping will begin by the end of this week (Friday, October 30).

As discussed in my ‘Are Apps The Future of TV?’ post, the biggest new feature of the Apple TV is its new App Store. So that you don’t turn on your new set-top box to be greeted with a barren App Store, Apple has just started accepting app and game submissions from its development community.

Apple has provided app developers, like us, with guidelines for supporting major Apple TV features and submitting tvOS apps. Now they’re calling out potential app entrepreneurs and startups, like YOU, to change the way we consume and connect with television.

So what do disruptive app developers and entrepreneurs need to know about the fourth-generation Apple TV?

In this post, we examine Apple’s next big product and how you, as an early adopter, can create apps that change the way we gather around our big screens.

 

What’s in the Box?

Made entirely from glossy and matte black plastics, the new Apple TV looks just like its two predecessors, only around 50% taller with two rear port changes. All audio has to go through HDMI and the previous micro-USB port has given way to a USB-C connector. As iFixit notes, a giant heat sink inside makes it noticeably heavier than before.

The new Apple TV will also be shipped with a new Siri Remote, which is black on top and silver on the bottom. To make scrolling quicker, Apple has replaced the prior four-direction navigation circle with a small matte glass surface that can be used for navigational swipe and gentler positing. Gyroscope/accelerometer sensors are hidden inside the remote for future games, and not user within the main Apple TV interface.

applesiriremotefamily

The evolution of the Apple TV Remote.

Four new buttons have been added to enable the Siri Remote to control your TV’s volume, activate twin built-in microphones for Siri voice input, and quickly return to the Apple TV’s main menu. Apple has also included a multi-month rechargeable battery this time that can be refuelled with an included Lightning to USB cable.

 

What’s the new Software?

Apple has substantially redesigned the Apple TV’s user interface with an ambitious, visually appealing set of improvements. Everything’s been whitewashed with a brighter colour palette, text has been flipped to Apple’s new San Francisco font, and drop shadows have been added. Translucent panes introduced in iOS7 have made their way to tvOS, with even better results.

One big change that isn’t obvious from screenshots is speed: the new Apple TV lets you zip rather than plodding through menus, thanks in equal parts to a considerably beefier A8 processor and the more responsive Siri Remote. Additionally, app icons and cover art images now wiggle in 3D thanks to an Apple mandate that developers include 2-5 parallax layers to create depth.

Much of the new UI, including Apple-developer widgets like Weather and Stocks that aren’t represented by app icons, can be navigated using Siri voice commands. You have to hold down the Siri Remote’s microphone button while you speak to get Siri to “hear” and process whatever you say. This takes a little adjustment, but is better than killing the Siri Remote’s by having it endlessly listen for the words “Hey Siri” or, even worse, trolling questions like “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuckwood”

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Siri’s answer to the age-old-troll question. Source: MacRumors

By holding down the mic button, Siri can be activated in the middle of pretty much anything, including videos. You can use Siri for voice-controlled navigation, “What did they just say?” type inquires, and lookups of information related to whatever’s currently playing.

Along with the new UI and Siri Remote, the biggest new addition to Apple TV’s Software – well, for us app developers and entrepreneurs – is the soon to be opened App Store. More than likely, the set-top box will arrive with only a handful of Apple-developed apps pre-installed, leaving you to choose which third-party developed apps will be filling up your Home screen.

 

What To Expect From TV Apps and Games

The A8 processor inside the new Apple TV is one year and three generations old, which is to say that it’s already been surpassed in power by the iPhone 6s/6s Plus’s A9 and iPad Pro’s A9X. But with at least as much horsepower as these other Apple products, the Apple TV will be well-equipped to play new games, as well as thousands of games previously released on iOS devices, assuming that they’re updated to support the tvOS operating system.

Expect the graphics in 3D games to be roughly on par with consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with no shortage of ability to handle 2D games of any type.

One note of caution about tvOS games: for all of the set-top box’s incredible potential as a gaming platform, Apple continue to ignore requests from serious gamers regarding basic controller issues, such as allowing developers to offer games without support for the restrictive Siri Remote. It remains to be seen whether software and hardware decisions like this, which have upset many within the gaming community, kills the Apple TV’s ability to win over major game developers and their customers.

While apps are a lot easier to code than games, the Apple TV’s living room-focused interface hints that Apple’s not looking to see it turn into a cut-rate Mac. Basic widgets to extend the functionality of traditional TV features – watching sports, learning about the weather – will appear quickly, as will tvOS versions of Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu Plus and other channels.

However, don’t expect Apple to endorse creation apps, web browsers, or other Mac mainstays for the platform. Well, not yet, at least. Similarly, it will be interesting to see whether compromised apps with audio and/or one-way video calling take off in the absence of integrated FaceTime-caliber hardware.

 

Have An Idea for a TV App?

Even though prior versions of the Apple TV haven’t been mega-hits, the second- and third-generation models proved to be quite handy for everything from watching videos to occasionally putting FaceTime calls on the big screen.

I’m personally very excited about the fourth-generation Apple TV’s potential and think the next year will be a wild ride for early adopters. The first two or three months may be chaotic for developers and entrepreneurs as they rush to get hastily completed apps and games into the Apple TV App Store. In time though, the right kind of apps will change the way we experience television for the better.

What kind of apps would you like to see on a television platform? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Are Apps The Future of TV?

“The future of TV is apps,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he launched the fourth-generation Apple TV. But are we set to transform the way we consume and connect with television? We examine the latest Apple TV and its new App Store to find out.

During the much-anticipated September Keynote event, Apple showcased a host of revamped devices, including the iPhone 6S and an iPad Pro with a swanky smart keyboard accessory (A.K.A. Apple’s version of the Microsoft Surface Pro). But the show-stealing product was the fourth-generation Apple TV and the vision bestowed upon the new set-top box.

“It’s the golden age of television,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative. We believe the future of television is apps.”

To me, the word ‘provocative’ sticks out here. Will having a TV App Store challenge the channel-browsing habits that have defined the television experience for decades?

Short answer: Yes. Slightly longer answer: Yes – And it’s about time!

In 2007, the first generation Apple TV was released. A year later, the iPhone App Store was launched with only 500 apps. That number has grown to well over a million apps in just seven years.

Now that Apple TV will finally have an App Store, it’s where the iPhone was back in 2008: open to third-party apps.

The App Store has changed the world by encouraging app developers to create mobile experiences that transcended industry, entrepreneurship and international distribution boundaries. Will allowing developers to create apps for the Apple TV lead to a similar revolution in the channel-browsing experience?

To assess this question in detail, we have examined the latest Apple TV set-top box and its new App Store to find out if apps are set to transform the way we consume content and interact with television.

 

The New App Store

The long-awaited overhaul to Apple TV is centred on Apple’s vision that apps are the future of television. The biggest new feature of the Apple TV is its new App Store.

In conjunction with the launch of the tvOS Operating System, the newly built-in App Store allows Apple and third-party developers to expand Apple TV’s software ecosystem and widen its core functionality.

“When you experience TV in this way through an app, you realise how much better it can be. You can search for what you want, you can interact with it where and when you want.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Apple TV Remote

Source: VentureBeat

As Chris Welch from The Verge notes, this is the next step in Apple’s attempt to own the living room. It arrives ahead of Apple’s own TV subscription service, expected to come sometime in the next year.

To achieve such an objective, you can understand why Apple has taken the same route that allowed them to capture the smartphone experience. The App Store for TV is almost identical to its iPhone equivalent. There are top charts and a single purchase of an app means you can install it across all your Apple devices. Apps even have continuity among devices that allows you to buy an app on your Apple TV and run it on your iPhone.

Apple launched the new App Store for TV by referring to it as “the golden age of television”. This may be a ‘provocative’ vision, but it’s unlikely to prove as disruptive to the TV industry as the iPod and iTunes proved to be to the music industry. When you consider the strikingly similar launch of the revolutionary iPhone App Store over seven years ago, Apple could just as easily referred to the new App Store for TV as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

 

The New Siri Remote

The new Apple TV provides a ‘hands-on’ approach to interacting with television using Siri, Apple’s personal assistant technology. The new Siri touch remote allows viewers to shop, listen to music, and search using vague descriptions. E.g. ‘best movies from the ‘90s’ will see Siri searching in the box before displaying all the results.

Apple TV and Remote

Source: Daily Star

As seen above, the top of the remote features a touch surface for easier navigation. It maintains the simplicity accustomed to Apple products with just a few buttons — Menu, Airplay, Siri/Voice control, play/pause, and an option to adjust the volume. And to top it off, as you watch shows and movies, Siri can also provide current weather conditions or keep you updated on sports scores.

 

The New Gaming Platform

With new features, it is the remote’s game controller functionality that will change the way we interact with our TVs. The new tvOS Operating System means that game developers can new create gaming experiences that feature touch surface navigation and voice command functionality.

Apple has made games a primary selling point of its new Apple TV product. This is not surprising when many of the components necessary for an innovative game experience will come with the device. This includes the new Siri remote and an App Store to buy and download games. Furthermore, Apple already had unexpected success with Games being the top category of apps for both iPhone and iPad.

“I think Apple’s going to create a big new category in gaming, one that others have tried and failed to create before,” said Jan Dawson from technology research firm Jackdaw Research. “What the Apple TV has the potential to do is to bring casual gaming to the living room and make it a much more social activity.”

 

So what is the future of TV? Stay tuned…

The launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV could bring an innovative change to content consumption and interaction.

The App Store will allow developers to change what we can expect from the television experience. The Siri Remote will allow users to change how to navigate and interact with their big screen. The Gaming Platform will allow Apple to change casual gaming by bringing it to the living room TV.

These innovative changes are the future of Apple TV, but that doesn’t mean that apps are the future of TV.

The future of TV is the right kind of apps. Streaming apps likes Netflix and casual games like Crossy Road make sense as apps for TV. But would browsing Social Media or shopping on your TV provide a better user experience than your iPhone or computer? I don’t think so.

Note to the future of TV: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Do you think apps are the future of TV? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

The Most Popular iPhone and iPad Apps of All Time

With Apple’s much-anticipated keynote happening today, a list of the most popular iPhone and iPad Apps has been released. We take a look at the iOS App Store’s history and your favourite apps in the past five years.

Today Apple announced three things coming this spring: an updated Apple TV, a gigantic iPad and new iPhones. With the iOS9, it’s extraordinary to see how far the iPhone has come in less than a decade.

When the original iPhone was released in 2007, there was no App Store at all. In 2008, the App Store was first launched with only 500 apps. That number has grown to over a million apps that are creating mobile experiences, enriching and empowering our lives.

So what are the iOS Apps that have stood out from the crowd to top the App Store rankings?

The latest report from analytics firm App Annie have crowned the most popular iOS apps of all time. We review the top downloaded and grossing apps to see how they have become so widely used today.

 

Top Apps by Downloads

Top All-Time Worldwide Downloads

Facebook, Google and Apple dominate the list of the top 10 most-downloaded apps with 8 of the spots. Facebook alone claims 4 of the spots. Along with their main app coming in first, others on the list include Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Skype and Twitter are the only apps from other companies, coming in at fifth and ninth place, respectively.

So what do these rankings tell us about the iOS app market?

Well, they do reveal that even as iPhones are updated and operating systems evolve, user habits have not changed much in the past few years when it comes to our favourite apps. Although most of the apps featured in the top 10 are over 4 years old, they all continue to attract millions of downloads per month.

Also of note is that over half of the apps are based around strong social networking and sharing features. This should be no surprise when most users install social apps first after getting a new iPhone or iPad.

 

Top Apps by Revenue

Top All-Time Worldwide Revenue

When it comes to the apps that make the most money, the top 10 is a lot different from the All-Time Downloads, with Skype being the only one featured on both lists. However, the winners on this list seem quite logical considering that most of the top-grossing apps are entertainment and dating apps.

When compared to the top-downloaded apps, the top-grossing apps are represented by a much wider selection of companies, with LINE being the only one to claim multiple top 10 spots. As noted by The Cheat Sheet, Pandora Radio’s top ranking was driven by the US, which contributed practically all of it’s revenue.

At $9.99, Apple’s word processer Pages is the only app featured that generated revenue entirely from paid downloads. All the other apps on the list apply a variation of the freemium model. To find out more about the monetisation models you can apply to generate app income here.

 

Top Apps by Usage

Using the top 10 most-downloaded and highest-grossing lists, all of the most popular iOS apps were compared based on monthly active users (MAU).

Tops App by Usage

When it comes to app usage, many of the most downloaded and top revenue apps are also ranked in the top 10 by MAU. The exception here is China where, quite remarkably, none of the 19 apps in the download and revenue rankings are among the top 50 apps by MAU. This can be attributed to users in China having a strong preference for local apps that provide similar functionality to their global App Store counterparts.

 

Key Takeaways

Everyone has their personal favourite apps.  Then there are those universal ones that seem nearly required for every iPhone and iPad, e.g. Facebook. You might have guessed the most popular apps correctly or been close, just by looking at your phone.

Also note that apps with strong social and sharing features take up over half of the top 10 most-downloaded list. Referred as ‘The App Effect’, mobile users are looking for the next app experience that will change their lives. The most popular iPhone and iPad apps provide this.

So what are some of your favourite iOS apps? Let us know in the comments below.