Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

January 22 2014

15:55

15 Smart Clocks And Calendar Widgets For Android

Here, we have come up with yet another useful list of Android widgets, and this time we are focusing on clocks and calendar widgets. Android platform is getting popular all over the world and is one of the reasons of the popularity of smartphones. Widgets basically are the iconic feature of the Android Operating System that are used in order to dress up the Android devices home screens. Or you can say that widgets are used to personalize Android devices for your use.

Widgets are there not only for improving the functionality of your Android devices but also to make them look pretty awesome as well. These days, widgets are designed in a pretty stylish manner without compromising on their functionality. Here is the complete list for you. Feel free to share your opinions with us via comment section below. Enjoy!

BobClockD3

Opensource digital style clock widget. Based around the Cowon D3 clock.

Minimalistic Text

Minimalistic Text is a widget app that displays information in a minimalistic way. It can be configured to display time, date, battery and weather information. The layout of the widget is highly customizable through the layout editor.

DashClock Widget

DashClock is a replacement lock screen clock widget for Android 4.2+ phones and tablets. It also exposes additional status items called extensions.

Advanced Clock Widget

Are you running Android 4.0 or later? Please check out also Zooper Widget for more complex customization! Small (<200kb), fully configurable and extremely battery efficient WIDGET with clock, weather, battery status, world clock, uptime, network status and much more.

Jelly Bean Clock Widget

Free 14 Square & Circle Jelly Bean Clocks Widget with 7 Colors: Black, White, Holo Blue, Green, Red, Pink, and Yellow.

MIUI Analog Clock widget

MIUI Analog Clock in 3 sizes, 4×3, 2×2, 1×1. Touch to launch Alarm Clock.

Neon Clock Widget

Neon look, glowing and great feel. Combination of analog and digital clock. Plus! It has complete yet useful additional information.

MIUI Evolution Reload Clock

MIUI Evolution Reload Digital Weather clock widget with Calendar, Time, System info,weather & forecast A Digital Clock widget with size 4×2.

MClock

A digital, text or word clock widget with many options.

Pretty Binary Clock Widget

Lock screen widget support added for 4.2 devices, Most logic for desktop clock & live wallpaper already in app.

Lines Clock

Super sexy, liney home screen clock with the date and today’s weather.

ClockQ – Digital Clock Widget

Simple digital clock widget for your homescreen. The power of this widget is in variety of customization options.

D-Clock Widget

D-Clock Widget is simple digital clock widget.

Minimal Date & Time

A minimal date & time UCCW widget, Widget showing current date, date of week and current time.

Simple Calendar Widget

This widget calendar is analog of standard calendar widget, support a lot of configuration options: Different skins, Possibility to choose which calendars to show, Font style and background customization, Show or hide current day of month

June 02 2013

20:12

HTC One: recensione e impressioni d’uso

SMARTPHONE | Grandi prestazioni e design eccezionale. Ecco il nuovissimo HTC One.
HTC
One
Design e
prestazioni eccellenti
Prestazioni elevatissime, design elegante, materiali costruttivi di qualità, schermo da 4,7″ e durata della batteria apprezzabile.
L’ho preso. Alla fine è arrivato. E sono bastati pochi giorni di utilizzo per convincermi che l’HTC One è quanto di meglio si possa desiderare da uno smartphone Android. A freddo, la considerazione più immediata di noi utilizzatori accaniti di iPhone è proprio che l’iPhone 5, in fin dei conti, non è così insostituibile. Il confronto tra i due è impietoso. Non sforziamoci a ripetere la solita cantilena che “però Apple è sempre Apple” spinti giusto dalla fede. La concorrenza in questi anni ha fatto enormi passi avanti. Android ha raggiunto un livello di maturazione tale che non ha nulla da invidiare a iOS. Le alternative sul mercato ci sono e fanno sentire prepotentemente il loro peso. E questo HTC One si piazza ai primi posti della classifica in termini di qualità complessiva.
BOX
La confezione dell’HTC One
UNBOXING
L’interno della confezione
Esperienza d’uso
ProcessoreQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600, quad-core, 1,7 GHz. Memoria32 GB/64 GB RAM2 GB DDR2

L’esperienza d’uso di questo smartphone Android è molto piacevole. Riesce a farti rimanere incollato al suo schermo facendoti dimenticare il bisogno di avere un tablet tra le mani. Le prestazioni, nel complesso sono eccellenti. L’interfaccia HTC Sense è estremamente fluida e reattiva. La cosa colpisce piacevolmente di più è la durata della batteria da 2300 mAh. Con un utilizzo continuo, restando prevalentemente connessi a Internet sui vari social network, la durata supera le 6 ore e mezzo. Nelle stesse condizioni d’uso, l’iPhone 5 dura appena 4 ore e mezza quando va bene.

INTERFACCIA
L’interfaccia HTC Sense è fluida e piacevole da usare
Volete migliorare l’interfaccia Android? Nova Launcher Prime e MICONS HD sono l’accoppiata perfetta.
Interfaccia HTC Sense

Nel complesso la personalizzazione Sense dell’interfaccia Android presente sull’HTC One è molto più elegante di quella offerta dalla TouchWiz di Samsung. Il BlinkFeed, che vi tiene aggiornati in tempo reale sulle news o sugli aggiornamenti di stato dei vostri amici sui social network è un po’ come avere una versione di Flipboard integrata nell’interfaccia Android del vostro smartphone. Se però siete fanatici dell’Android di stampo nativo presente nei terminali Nexus di Google, vi consiglio di scaricarvi il Nova Launcher con la versione Nova Launcher Prime, quest’ultima a pagamento (costa 3 euro ma li vale tutti), e il pacchetto di icone MICONS HD. Il risultato è quello che vedete nelle foto. Un’interfaccia Android più piacevole ed elegante.

DESIGN
Qualità dei materiali ed eleganza
L’HTC One si conferma come uno degli smartphone dal design più curato degli ultimi anni. Dal punto di vista delle forme e della qualità dei materiali costruttivi non ha rivali tra gli altri smartphone Android presenti sul mercato.
Design: l’HTC One è lo smarpthone Android più “cool” presente sul mercato.

La cura nel design e la scelta dei materiali sono l’aspetto che a prima vista caratterizza maggiormente l’HTC One. Corpo unico in metallo, superficie posteriore leggermente convessa che assicura un’impugnatura solida e comoda. Non ha nulla da invidiare allo stile “cool” di un tipico prodotto Apple. Anzi, credo sia il primo esemplare di smartphone Android a cui è stata riservata sapientemente una profonda attenzione sotto il punto di vista stilistico.

PARTICOLARI
Angoli smussati e scocca in metallo
Nella parte inferiore sono visibili i tasti fisci a sfioramento tipici dei dispositivi Android, gli altoparlanti amplificati anteriori e l’ingresso per il cavo di ricarica.
IL CONFRONTO
iPhone 5 e HTC One
iPhone 5: 112 grammi
HTC One: 143 grammi

Le dimensioni dello schermo e il corpo di metallo contribuiscono ad appesantire l’HTC One.
Design: HTC One o Galaxy S4?

Paragonato al Galaxy S4, il design dell’HTC One segna un vero e proprio abisso. L’effetto plasticoso del Galaxy, le rifiniture intorno alla scocca non proprio precise (anche dovute al fatto che la parte posteriore si stacca per poter cambiare la batteria e inserire la SIM Card) e la sensazione di avere a che fare con materiali di base più scadenti, giocano impietosamente a sfavore dell’ultimo smartphone di Samsung. L’S4 ne guadagna un po’ in leggerezza, con 13 grammi in meno rispetto al peso dell’HTC. Ma l’impatto d’insieme non è in grado di sostenere il confronto con la cura costruttiva riposta da HTC in questo smartphone. Il peso è di 143 grammi contro i 112 grammi dell’iPhone 5 e i 130 del Galaxy S4. In definitiva, l’HTC One non è proprio una piuma, ma rimane comunque ben bilanciato nel rapporto qualità materiali, ampiezza dello schermo e peso complessivo.

SCHERMO
Il display da 4,7 pollici è un vero piacere per gli occhi
Schermo da 4,7 pollici, Full HD 1080p, 468 PPI. Un piacere per gli occhi.
Lo schermo è il secondo carattere distintivo dell’HTC One. La differenza con il Retina Display dell’iPhone è quasi impossibile da riconoscere a occhio nudo. Dal punto di vista della nitidezza delle immagini sono pressoché identici. Lo schermo dell’HTC One è leggeremente (vi assicuro davvero di poco) meno luminoso di quello dell’iPhone 5 ma in confronto la superficie più ampia rende la fruizione dei contenuti molto più piacevole. La tipica impressione che si ha tornando a un iPhone dopo aver utilizzato un qualunque smarpthone dallo schermo più grande è quella di una gabbia troppo stretta. Forse Apple, proprio su questo punto, dovrebbe dare una risposta convincente. Anche se da quello che è trapelato nelle scorse settimane, Tim Cook non avrebbe nessuna intenzione di cedere alla tentazione di equipaggiare l’iPhone con uno schermo più grande.

Tornando all’HTC One, i colori sono molto ben bilanciati. Il nero di una profondità tale che lo smartphone sembra sia spento. Rispetto al Galaxy S4 la differenza che salta immediatamente all’occhio è il livello di saturazione della gamma colori. Eccessivamente carica negli smartphone Samsung, molto più naturale e simile a quella del Retina Display nell’ HTC One.

CAMERA
Sensore HTC UltraPixel da 4 megapixel
Il sensore risente dei pochi megapixel. In condizioni di scarsa luminosità le foto vengono moss e sfocate.
Per anni i consumatori hanno erroneamente pensato che la qualità delle immagini dipendesse dal numero di megapixel. In realtà, il numero di megapixel è solo uno dei molteplici fattori che determinano la qualità della foto, in quanto anche i sensori e i processori dell’immagine hanno un ruolo fondamentale. L’approccio di HTC è quello di offrire un nuovo sensore con pixel più grandi, in grado di catturare il 300% di luce in più rispetto a molte fotocamere da 13 megapixel disponibili sul mercato.
Fotocamera UltraPixel con sensore da 4 megapixel, apertura F2.0 e obiettivo da 28 mm.

La fotocamera è una delle funzionalità più ricercate negli smartphone e sempre più spesso è una discriminante che porta alla scelta di un prodotto piuttosto che un altro. Del sensore foto UltraPixel dell’HTC One non ho mai sentito parlare troppo bene. Solo 4 megapixel contro i 13 megapixel del Galaxy S4. Diciamo subito che il numero di megapixel non è l’unico fattore che determina la qualità d’immagine. La filosofia di HTC è stata quella di puntare su un sensore ottico più sofisticato, con meno pixel ma di più grande dimensione rispetto agli altri concorrenti in grado di catturare più luce rispetto a una tipica camera da 8 e 13 megapixel.

Ho fatto diverse prove scattando foto e registrando qualche video. Contrariamente a quanto ho sempre letto su altri siti, in condizioni di buona luminosità le fotografie e i video sono di ottima qualità, nitidi e dai colori ben definiti. Lo stabilizzatore ottico dell’immagine fa un buon lavoro per evitare che i tremolii compromettano il risultato dello scatto. In condizioni di scarsa luminosità invece il risultato è poco gradevole. I contorni sono sfocati, le foto vengono spesso mosse e c’è parecchio rumore di fondo. Per quanto riguarda i colori è presente un’accentuata prevalenza del giallo sulle altre tonalità, dovuta a un bilanciamento del bianco che spara in modo troppo intenso verso tonalità “calde”. In definitiva non ho rilevato significative criticità. Anzi nei casi di luce sovraesposta le foto appaiono molto più nitide e definite di quelle di un iPhone 5 o un Galaxy S3.

AUDIO
Suono ad alta fedeltà con altoparlanti stereo anteriori amplificati
Prestazioni audio eccellenti con beatsaudio e tecnologia BoomSound.
HTC BoomSound con 2 altoparlanti stereo con amplificatori integrati e suono ad alta fedeltà con Beats Audio.
L’audio è impressionante. Gli altoparlanti anteriori con gli amplificatori integrati che sfruttano la tecnologia BoomSound riproducono suoni chiari, profondi e senza distorsioni anche a livelli di volume elevati. Nulla a che vedere con l’effetto tipicamente metallico dei brani riprodotti utilizzando gli altoparlanti esterni di un’iPhone 5 o di un Galaxy S4. C’è da dire che Samsung con l’S4 è intervenuta migliorando molto questo aspetto, sia in confronto al predecessore sia in termini comparativi con l’iPhone 5. Il risultato sonoro dell’S4 è nel complesso apprezzabile. Il suono risulta migliore di quello riprodotto dagli altoparlanti dell’iPhone ma resta evidente all’ascolto una palese differenza di qualità rispetto al suono riprodotto dall’HTC One.

Per quanto riguarda gli auricolari dell’HTC One, invece, se siete abituati a quelli dell’iPhone 5, in termini di ergonomia, non sono granché comodi. L’isolamento acustico dall’esterno e la qualità del suono riprodotto sono di livello, ma dopo un po’ risultano scomodi. Per apprezzare a pieno l’ascolto vi consiglio un paio di cuffie beatsaudio, in particolare le Dr. Dre SOLO HD che sono l’accoppiata perfetta con questo smartphone.

VOTO FINALE
La scelta più interessante tra i top gamma Android.
9
Considerazioni finali

L’HTC One è uno smartphone di fascia alta, da tenere in assoluta considerazione, dalle prestazioni, dallo schermo e dall’audio eccellenti. L’interfaccia HTC Sense è reativva e fluida. La durata della batteria in condizioni di uso intensivo più che accettabile. Peccato per la fotocamera che non riesce a stare al passo con quella dell’iPhone 5 e del Galaxy S4. L’impressione complessiva è più che positiva. Se siete alla ricerca di un terminale Android top gamma, probabilmente questo HTC One è una scelta da tenere in considerazione.

Sponsored post
feedback2020-admin
04:05

April 04 2013

20:56

Facebook svela Home: ma non chiamatelo «Facebook Phone», perché del telefono non c’è traccia

Mark Zuckerberg: Zuckerberg: «Oggi i telefoni sono progettati attorno alle app, non alle persone».
Alla fine è andata come doveva andare. Nessuno se l’è presa più di tanto anche se magari si poteva sperare in qualcosa di più. Zuckerberg in fondo è stato sempre chiaro sull’argomento: «no plan for that». Non c’è e non ci sarà nessun Facebook Phone. Nessun diretto competitor dell’iPhone 5 o del Galaxy S4 o di qualunque altro smartphone disponibile sul mercato. Niente. Niente del genere targato Facebook.

Durante la presentazione che si è conclusa da poco Mark ha svelato nient’altro che una famiglia di applicazioni per dispositivi Android. Una schermata chiamata Home con tutta una serie di funzionalità che mettono l’utente al centro dell’esperienza dello smartphone. In pratica, quello che in gergo tecnico viene chiamato “launcher”. Capiamoci. Il giochetto vale solo per Android. Perché con iOS figuratevi se potete fare come vi pare.

Tornando a Home, il paradigma della classica schermata con le applicazioni è stato stravolto. L’utente prima di tutto. Le “App”, in qualche modo, sono nascoste, relegate a un ruolo di secondo piano. Come a dire, sappiamo bene che di duecento app scaricate in media, con regolarità, se ne usano tre o quattro. E Facebook la fa da gran padrone.

L’obiettivo della mossa è solo uno. Tenere il più possibile incollati gli utenti non tanto allo smartphone quanto a Facebook. Non bastano più le notifiche. Serve un flusso costante e continuo di informazioni che mantenga attive le connessioni con i nostri amici sul social network senza soluzione di continuità. Alle spicciole, più ore passate sul social network dagli utenti significano più capacità di attrarre investimenti pubblicitari.

Peter Chou, CEO di HTC che svela l'HTC first, il primo smartphone Android con interfaccia nativa Facebook Home.

Peter Chou, CEO di HTC che svela l’HTC first, il primo smartphone Android con interfaccia nativa Facebook Home.

Una curiosità. Mentre presentava Home, Zuckerberg sudava come un canguro in mezzo al deserto. Chissà se anche lui non si stesse chiedendo come l’avremmo presa noi, dopo i rumors stellari dei giorni scorsi. Alla fine poteva andare peggio. E diciamocela tutta, non è andata male. Wall Street ha reagito quasi con indifferenza all’annuncio di oggi. Non ha né premiato né punito Facebook. Gli scambi al Nasdaq in questi minuti segnato un debole +0,78%.

Dimenticavo. Verso la fine ha fatto la sua comparsa lampo sul palco Peter Chou, CEO di HTC. Teneva in mano l’HTC first, il primo smartphone Android che monterà nativa l’interfaccia “Home” di Facebook. Ha parlato sì e no per trenta secondi. Non pareva granché contento. Magari si stava chiedendo cosa ci facesse lì e se di quel terminale ci fosse poi un così gran bisogno. Per Home invece, resta solo la curiosità di provarlo. Basta un dispositivo Android di quelli più recenti e aspettare il 14 aprile.

Chi si fosse perso la presentazione può guardarsela nei video qui sotto.

March 29 2013

13:18

Facebook Phone: in arrivo il 4 aprile lo smartphone Android targato Mark Zuckerberg

L’invito è stringato come da tradizione. “Come see our new home on Android”. L’evento, annunciato per il 4 Aprile 2013, alle 10:00 ora locale di Menlo Park. Qui in Italia saranno le 19:00. Secondo le indiscrezioni che circolano in queste ore sul web pare che la notizia sia quasi certa. Facebook dovrebbe presentare il tanto chiacchierato Facebook Phone uno smartphone HTC con una versione di Android ritagliata ad hoc per il social network di Mark Zuckerberg.

Se la notizia sarà confermata segnerà un importante cambio di strategia nei piani futuri del social network per eccellenza. Per aumentare i ricavi e fare cassa, la pubblicità non basta più. Lo sanno bene quelli di Google che con la gamma Nexus hanno intrapreso da un bel po’ questa strada. E pare che anche dalle parti di Palo Alto il pensiero fosse più che ricorrente. Zuckerberg ha più volte negato ogni interesse verso il progetto: “not plan for that”. E poi aveva aggiunto: «mettiamo anche che realizziamo un telefono e otteniamo come risultato che 10 milioni di persone lo usino, per noi non sposterebbe l’ago della bilancia. Facebook ha un miliardo di utenti». Ragionevole. Ma si sa che in certi casi la regola d’oro è negare sempre e comunque.

I rumors su un possibile Facebook Phone risalgono già al 2010. Lo scorso anno il New York Time aveva riportato la notizia che alcuni ingegneri Apple erano passati alla concorrenza per lavorare proprio a questo progetto. Tra meno di una settimana vedremo.

February 22 2012

10:00

What is the Trend for Web Design in 2012?

Just a month and a half has passed in 2012 and there are some patterns which are quite easy to notice in how people design. Sure, most of them are similar to the ones of 2011 – it seems 2011 and 2012 will not be too different, however there might be some small changes which I will talk about soon. There is no doubt that screen size is not an issue anymore and designing for all sizes is crucial – this is the stand point of web design trends in 2012.

Why is responsive web design crucial? Because there are so many screen sizes out there, that designing a solution for each one of them is too costly and there is no real reason to do this. Responsive web design offers us the solution to designing for all screen sizes in the same time back in 2010 and since then it became a trend. Responsive web design is brilliant and the results are more than satisfying.

Back in 2011 many websites started to be coded responsively and while the concept is still young, it is already well known and popular. Media queries are a great invention and only show how web designs keeps running just behind technology evolution. Having a version of your website for a mobile phone is something everybody needs to have today, because let’s face it, who doesn’t (or will not) have a smartphone or a tablet?. Now we have internet wherever we go, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Images courtesy of mediaqueri.es.

Besides making websites work on all screen sizes, building websites responsively taught us something else as well: that content is as important as ever. Content is also in focus when designing responsively, because we need to cut back on too many design elements and make the content easy to read and clear; fonts have a very important role here as well.

If you thought 2011 was the year of responsive web design, I think you are wrong. Buckle up, 2012 will bring even more exciting things.

Grid systems are also partially involved in responsive web design. More and more of them appear on the web and people have started using them more frequently. Now that they’ve been out for a long time designers are starting to trust them and this only makes the web better. Frameworks were very popular in 2011 and will continue being so in the following years. They offer fluidity and give a sense of discipline to every design built on them.

designinfluences.com/fluid960gs/

cssgrid.net/

960.gs/

Typography is not something that just appeared last year, it’s been out for a long time. Steve Jobs said himself that he studied calligraphy back in college. That was more than 30 years ago. Typography started as a discipline on the web around 5 years ago, when people realized how powerful it can be and the effects it has over how people perceive content. Typography continues to grow, people continue (or start) to read books about it and get better at combining typefaces and using them properly in order to create the desired effect.

However, for the last year something is worthy to note – people started realizing fonts are made to be read and likewise the content. Using too many fancy fonts that were difficult to read disappeared and this will continue in 2012. Education happens really fast on the internet nowadays and people tend to learn about common sense in design more than everything else. Emphasizing content is still something people have to learn more about, but this is exactly what is going to happen in 2012.

englishworkshop.eu/

kantt.dk/

The fold’s importance has been played down a lot in the past couple of years since smartphones emerged. People now think it is OK to scroll. I debated this topic one month ago here. People can have their own opinions and this made some of them start realizing scrolling isn’t a problem for users. And let’s face it, nothing is a problem until you make it a problem. If scrolling is not an issue for you, then the fold’s importance is minimal.

Now that smaller screens have become popular, scrolling is something that people just can’t avoid, so we will have to embrace it. The ones trying to play down the fold’s importance managed to do it thanks to the technology and gadgets which emerged on the market in the last years. With this trend set to continue, it’s clear “the fold” will be history by the end of this year – or at most by the end of the next one.

However, if there is something we will see a lot of during the next years, then this is the parallax effect. It is at its bottom scrolling, but not by using the wheel or the trackpad. You simply scroll to another area of the page by clicking the buttons in the menu. The parallax effect is something I simply love and I can’t wait to see more of it – it is just such a great way to make peace between the fold-lovers and the other people. The only issue is that it doesn’t fit with the responsive web design at all, so this is something that developers will try to sort out during 2012.

Using modular interfaces is also something that has become quite popular lately, although it is still a debatable practice. There is not much research behind it and we are still not sure how well it works – but this is why we have 2012. This year we will see how successful the modular interfaces will get.

Google Web Fonts

People will also keep it minimal. Minimalistic design has been the most popular throughout 2011 and this style will continue dominating the industry – although not very easy to design because of its multiple theories, it is quite easy to code and is very pleasant to the eye. It is simple, gets right down to the point and doesn’t waste anybody’s time – just what everybody looks for – information given as fast as possible.

Simple, eye-catching and elegant designs will emerge even more and will continue to stand out in 2012. People with inspiration and imagination will turn their designs into huge hits. With minimalistic web design being very simple, there are not too many ways of finding something new that nobody thought of before. The designers that manage to do it this year will definitely be the key people of 2013.

wearepropeople.com/

freshness.hu/

Otherwise I don’t see too much new stuff coming in 2012. I see designers and developers continuing on the same track and improving the concepts and tools they use right now. I also see web designers digging motivational articles even more, because this is something that keeps them running.

Until next time… what do you think I missed? Is there something else you consider important enough to mention? Do you have a prediction for this year?

December 20 2011

10:00

The Grim Future of Web Browsers

Nothing new appearing today in the IT world is labelled as a surprise, because everything moves so fast and at some point in time you start to know when the big news hit the market. With the technology advancing so fast, especially all the mobile devices we call smartphones today part of the mainstream and are, maybe, the most important thing in our lives. So by sending a message from your QWERTY Android device or by playing Fruit Ninja on your latest iPhone, have you ever thought that you yourself are changing the IT world?

Well if you haven’t, I can tell you for sure that you do. By using portable devices more often and desktop computers less the latest gadgets quickly become out of date. Without realizing we have become unplugged and do not need computers anymore – which also means we do not need browsers anymore. And why would we? At the end of the day we have our smartphones filled with apps that can keep us busy for a long time. Sometimes I don’t even check my Facebook from my computer, even if I am close to it, because it is much easier to do it from the phone. Ever since the IT world made it possible to connect to the internet wirelessly, nobody has looked back. People invest much more money today in phones and portable devices like tablets or eBook Readers than in computers.

Image by ~jeroen-tje

Internet without a Browser


It is easy to see how we’ve become unplugged. Apple’s iOS and Android do it; Adobe Flash Player 10.2 and AIR technologies as well. HTML5 starts becoming more popular and supported on many portable platforms and other companies like Blackberry or Nokia follow in close. There are over 400,000 applications in the App Store, an incredible growth from 500 in the beginning. Android has around 400,000 applications and the numbers are increasing. The year started with around 300,000 apps for both platforms and ends with, very possibly, close to 1 million of them. Android included Flash from the 2.2 Froyo version and this made the portable devices running on the open-source platform even more popular. And you know what the good part of this is? That you don’t need anything besides a WiFi or 3G/4G connection to access them from all over the World.

Why do we talk about apps when we’re talking about browsers? Because if you think about it, the applications are nothing less than websites which are accessed without a browser. And more than 10 million of them were downloaded in 2011. That’s a huge amount of users who accessed this information from a portable device, avoiding using a browser. And it should be a clear sign about the future of the web. The apps are more intuitive, faster and easier to use, therefore they are preferred to Chrome, Mozilla, Safari or any other application. Another advantage is that the apps can be accessed from everywhere, while for a browser you not only need internet, but also a computer.

Smartphone and the Internet


A smartphone will also always allow you access to the internet, so why have a big laptop when you can have a pocket device that can do the same? A study made two years ago concluded that by 2013 mobile browsing will be more popular than desktop browsing. With the usage of smartphones growing by 110% in the US in 2009 and by 148% all over the world, this seems quite possible. Also, the younger internet users get educated in the world of smartphones, meaning that the computer will mean even less for them than it does for us.

source: BettyArmado via Chrome Store

This could be great news for designers – up til now everybody had to have a webpage, soon everybody will have to have a mobile device version as well. More work, more money for the design industry. China for example is a huge industry with tremendous potential. Not many people there have tablets or smartphones, but many say in 3-4 years everyone there will own one. With a market of almost 1 billion mobile subscribers, there will be a huge need for mobile websites for the companies and business individuals. So, bottom line, the fact that web browsers are on a downhill is not that bad for us – we will still have a lot of work anyway.

Right now there are more than 300 million mobile internet users in China and this is around 60% of all mobile and desktop internet users all over Europe – we’re talking huge numbers here. We’re talking about the Chinese equivalent of eBay, Taobao on which the transactions for the last year totaled roughly $60 billion; and this is while eBay was delighted with a total of only $2 billion. All of these things happen while the major internet providers already update the speeds to 4G. You see where I’m heading? As designers, we might be concerned that our jobs will disappear in 15 years but really, who knows how many other challenges will appear for us by then?

However, the truth is that it always takes up to five years after a new web technology appears until people get a hold of it and learn how it really works. Smartphones are huge today, but I don’t think they reached their maximum potential yet. There is still a lot yet to come and just because we think we know everything, it doesn’t mean we actually do. Web browsers are still popular and widely used, but they will be a thing of the past at some point in time, because nothing lives forever on the web. There is no such thing as a technology which didn’t improve since it was released (unless it was released recently).

Conclusion


The bottom line of this article is that even if the browsers disappear in several years (or at least their use will decrease), there will still be a lot of work for designers and developers. The internet is almost fed up with designs and experts, in five years time it will all move on portable devices. This means, as stated before, much more work for us, both for desktop and portable devices. All the technologies will be available on portable devices as well at some point in time and designing for them will be maybe even more challenging than designing for desktop use.

The beginners of today are the experts of tomorrow. We all know what’s coming in the short term, so why not try to become better at this while letting the current experts do their work? Who knows, in five years it might be you who earns the big bucks from all kind of clients and, as its normal, there will be others taking your place in the “follower seat”. The increasing use of smartphones and tablets bring a new taste in the design industry, with many new challenges yet to come. Get ready to take on all of them!

November 28 2011

10:00

How The Smartphone Invasion Changed The Way We Live

Have you ever went out and realized that you left your smartphone at home? You may feel panicked, maybe even a separation anxiety though you’ve only gone an hour without your phones. These reactions are common, and clear evidence that phones have taken over our lives.

Smartphones have secured a strong place in our lives. We take them everywhere with us, 24/7–even to bed. Smartphones are already an extension of us, an important limb to our body. If phones are taken away from us even for a day, we feel naked, like we can’t function as well without it.

Smartphones have made us more sociable. Or, is it the other way around?

In the workplace, on dates, on parties, even during religious meetings, we bring our phones with us. ‘Mind if I take this?’ is a common phrase we hear everywhere. It seems like now, calls can’t wait until later. Are smartphones merely a fad? Or will it influence humankind’s way of living and communicating?

Analyzing the Numbers

Take a look at today’s teenagers: they sit in front of the TV, texting with their friends or posting a status update on Facebook with their smart phone. During commercials, they pass time by playing Angry Birds on their iPad. This is the life of today’s teenagers. It’s found that the age group consumes 10.5 hours of media in a day, according to Credit Suisse. If this research is really true, the statistics can be a bit worrying.

A telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, from the UK did research about smartphone usage:

  • 37% adults and 60% teenagers admit to being addicted to smartphones.
  • 51% adults and 65% teenagers say they use their smartphones to socialize with others.
  • Many smartphone users use their phones during mealtimes, in bed, and even in the bathroom.
  • 58% males own a smartphone, compared to 42% females.
  • Majority of adults prefer the Apple iPhone, while majority of teenagers prefer the BlackBerry.
Today’s generation is simultaneously consuming various media using things like the iPad, TV, laptop and smartphones. Essentially, today’s youth are now better at multi-tasking, doing many things at the same time. On the down side, we are also very easily distracted. Our lack of concentration can be attributed to the many stimuli in our environment.

Around the world, smartphones now represent 24% of all mobile phone sold around the world, which is up from 15% last year. In the next year, we could expect the numbers to go up to 50% and in a few years, every phone will be a smartphone.

Addiction to smartphones and the internet isn’t uncommon. There are even clinics for internet addicts 0n the other side of the world, South Korea. What is the root of our new found dependability on a tiny gadget?

How the iPhone Revolutionized Smartphones

Phones, for more or less a decade, have been the chosen method of communication. But now, their scope has increased by leaps and bounds, thanks to the iPhone. Smartphones now allow us to stay connected to the internet 24/7, we can connect through social networking sites and blogs wherever and whenever. This phenomenon is fairly new, having started 4 years ago with the introduction of the first iPhone.

The iPhone 4 is currently the bestselling smartphone in the market, but few people know how the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry. It has changed our behavior. We no longer need a calculator to do our math–the iPhone can do that for you. We don’t need the weatherman for our weather forecasts–iPhone does a better job at that.

The App Store, particularly, has been a game changer in the industry. This feature allows users to get free or paid applications for gaming, productivity, literature, music, entertainment and more. Users have the option to update their software and applications, so the iPhone doesn’t get obsolete very fast. Other mobile companies such as Google, Microsoft and Palm have their own App Store versions to emulate the success found by Apple.

The Apple iPhone is quite a unique case such that it has kept its selling price constant since its first release in June 2007. Apple has sold more than 100 million iPhone’s in the past four years. Growth in other countries such as China has reached to 600%.

Apple seems very intent on destroying the PC for good, and is so far doing a great job. The Cloud allows you to keep all your data on the internet, to be readily available for your PCs, tablets, smartphones, etc. There will come a time when you no longer need those bulky hard drives, as Apple’s iCloud makes local storage less important.

Will Smartphones Replace the PC?

In a few years’ time, many of the gadgets will be obsolete because of the smartphone: the calculator, telephone, voice recorder, alarm clock, video camera and even the flashlight. In a few years time it may also replace the PC.

There are already apps for anything and everything you need. Need help with your diet? There’s an app for that. Need to make graphs and tables? Yup, they have it. To-do lists for your daily tasks? Of course. As Apple always says: ‘I have an app for that!’

There are a few weaknesses with smartphones, however. For one, they cannot compare with the PC when it comes to gaming. Limited storage equals limited features, and thus they lose when it comes to hardcore gaming, photo manipulation, 3D animation, video editing, and such. So while smartphones rule in convenience and instant connectivity, they cannot yet compete with PC’s extensive gaming, editing, and others.

Smartphones can do the most necessary tasks that you can do with your PC. It can connect to the internet, use social networking sites, and organize our lives. Thus they’re fast replacing the PC, which used to be the most irreplaceable piece of technology in our lives. But now we see that smartphones are now quickly catching up. PCs have always sold more than smartphones. At the start of 2010, 85 million computers were sold as compared to 55 million smartphones. Many analysts predict that a crossover will happen by 2012–instead, by the end of 2010, 94 million PCs as compared to 100 million smartphones. Where PC sales have gone stagnant, smartphones continue to grow rapidly in sales. Smartphones have come a long way, and many believe that this trend won’t ever reverse.

Despite the growth of smartphones, manufacturers put little emphasis on security. Teenagers make up the largest demographic of smartphone users, and have little concern about hackers and identity thieves. There are still some features that need to be improved (battery life, most specifically). Maybe in the future we can see features to make the smartphone more powerful such as solar battery charging, built-in projectors, 3D imaging, even fingerprint scanners for online buying.

Smartphones are still a fairly young technology with plenty of room to grow. In a few years time, they could be obsolete–or they could make us even more dependent on them than before. For now, it’s a waiting game, and nothing is ever predictable in this world. Right now smartphones are in and PCs are out–a trend that might or might not change. Overall, smartphones are a huge contender in becoming the most influential invention of the decade; and they show no signs of slowing down.

November 30 2010

12:30

Mobile Development Toolkit

Advertisement in Mobile Development Toolkit
 in Mobile Development Toolkit    in Mobile Development Toolkit    in Mobile Development Toolkit

Mobile web design has been around for quite a while. Unfortunately, a lot of mobile design guidelines are out of date and focus on low-resolution, non-touchscreen phones. Despite their popularity, there isn’t a whole lot of information out there for designing websites for the new generation of smartphones (iPhone, Android devices, BlackBerry touchscreens, etc.) — these devices are growing more and more popular in Europe and North America.

Below are some fantastic resources for designing not just mobile websites, but smartphone-friendly sites. We’ve covered everything from basics to tutorials to usability. If there are other resources you’ve found useful, please share them in the comments.

Development Basics

The articles below give a great introduction to designing for mobile devices, plus more in-depth information. There are both basic, theory-driven articles as well as more technical tutorials.

Designing a Mobile Stylesheet for Your Website
This article from Speckyboy Design Magazine goes in-depth into what you need to consider when creating your mobile site design. It covers everything from allowing for fluctuations in your layouts to hiding awkwardly-proportioned content for your mobile visitors.

Mobilestylesheettt in Mobile Development Toolkit

In Depth: How to Make Your Website Mobile Compatible
This article dives into the specifics of mobile site development, including topics like device detection and testing.

Smartphonespda in Mobile Development Toolkit

Website Design for Smartphones – Part 1
This 3 part series from Savvytalk covers all the basics for creating a site optimized for smartphones; also why you’d want to develop for smartphones and how to actually do so.

Savvytalkwebdesign in Mobile Development Toolkit

Tutorial: Making Your WordPress Blog Android and iPhone Friendly
This tutorial gives in-depth instructions on how to make your WP blog show up properly on iPhones and Android devices, without using plug-ins. Androidiphonefriendly in Mobile Development Toolkit

How to Write Web Pages for the iPhone and Other Wireless Devices
This page from About.com talks about the basics of designing sites for smartphones like the iPhone. It’s a good primer for what you need to consider before you actually start designing.

Aboutiphonewebpages in Mobile Development Toolkit
Effective Design for Multiple Screen Sizes
This article from MobiForge talks about some things to keep in mind when designing mobile websites for multiple devices, with multiple screen resolutions. Considering that smartphone screen sizes can range anywhere from a couple hundred pixels square up to the iPhone’s new retina display; it’s a big concern for designers.

Multiplescreensizes in Mobile Development Toolkit
How To: Make Your Mobile Websites Act More Like Native Apps
This Mashable article offers a number of tools for making your mobile website act more like a native application on mobile devices.

Actlikenativeapps in Mobile Development Toolkit
Styling Submit Buttons for Mobile Safari
Here’s a brief tutorial from Think Vitamin about how to style your buttons so they appear correctly in Mobile Safari, including code.

Mobilesafarisubmit in Mobile Development Toolkit
Tutorial: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Devices
This tutorial shows you how to create a smartphone version of your website that’s based on the regular version. It re-uses elements from the original design to create a site that reinforces your branding and create a unique mobile experience that doesn’t look like just another mobile template.

Optimizingmobiledevices in Mobile Development Toolkit
10 Tips for New iPhone Developers
This article gives in-depth information about creating web apps for the iPhone that work like native apps.

10tipsiphone in Mobile Development Toolkit
Create a Slick iPhone/Mobile Interface from any RSS Feed
This tutorial from CSS-Tricks shows you how to use your site’s RSS feed to create a slick smartphone interface. The end result is highly usable and has extra flair that’s often missing from mobile sites.

Slickmobileinterface in Mobile Development Toolkit
How to Make Your Portfolio iPhone Compatible
This tutorial gives complete instructions for how to make an existing portfolio site work on the iPhone. It even includes instructions for creating a webclip icon, so if users make your site a webclip, it won’t just use a generic screenshot as the icon.

Iphonecompatibleportfolio in Mobile Development Toolkit
Create an iPhone Optimised Website Using jQTouch
Here’s a complete tutorial for creating a smartphone-optimized website using jQuery’s Mobile library. Full code is included.

Jqtouchwebsite in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone Microsites – Tutorials
This site offers a ton of tutorials for creating iPhone optimized and targeted microsites. Tutorials include how to target content specifically to iPhone visitors, tips for using inline images and also how to create a touch-based sliding UI.

Iphonemicrosites in Mobile Development Toolkit
Build an iPhone-Optimized Website with iUI
This tutorial from Webmonkey teaches you how to optimize your website for iPhone visitors using Joe Hewitt’s iUI.

Iuisite in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Web Design: Best Practices
This article from Six Revisions is a great primer for what you need to know when designing for mobile devices. It covers everything from the complications that arise due to different delivery methods to the specifics of structure and code for your mobile site.

Mobiledesignbestpractices in Mobile Development Toolkit
Web Apps are Becoming the New Legacy Apps
This article talks about the problems many web apps face in regards to being used on smartphones, and what app creators need to do to be more smartphone-friendly.

Newlegacyapps in Mobile Development Toolkit
8 Ways to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Design Reviver discusses a variety of ways to make your existing website more friendly to mobile devices. It includes tips about fluid layouts, centered content, short pages, and more.

Mobilefriendly in Mobile Development Toolkit
Rethinking the Mobile Web
Here’s a brilliant slideshow from UX Magazine that talks about how to approach mobile web design so that it’s accessible on the largest number of devices (not just iPhones or Android phones).

Rethinkingmobileweb in Mobile Development Toolkit

Usability

Usability on smartphones is vital. Usability on the full version of your website might not necessarily translate to good smartphone usability. The articles below can help you fill in the gaps.

Usability Tips for Smartphone Websites
Here’s a brief article that covers usability considerations specific to smartphone website design. It talks about things that aren’t considerations with traditional web design, like leveraging native device capabilities.

Betternetworkusability in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Usability
This article from Jakob Nielsen talks about mobile usability, why it stinks, and how designers and developers can start to make it better. It includes data from real-world studies to back up the claims it makes.

Mobileusabilitynielsen in Mobile Development Toolkit
7 Usability Guidelines for Websites on Mobile Devices
This article covers seven basic usability guidelines you should keep in mind when developing mobile sites, based on real user research. Covered are things like not repeating navigation on every page and using mobile-friendly page layouts. It’s aimed at general mobile development, but the principles also apply specifically to smartphones.

7usabilityguidelines in Mobile Development Toolkit
5 Can’t-Miss Usability Tips for Mobile Website Designs
Here’s another post with some great specific tips on mobile site usability, though this one definitely focuses more on smartphones.

5cantmisstips in Mobile Development Toolkit
A Three Step Guide to Usability on the Mobile Web
This article includes not only steps for improving usability, but also a download link to a PDF best-practices guide for mobile development.

Threestepguide in Mobile Development Toolkit
Mobile Usability Testing
Here’s a slideshow that gives an overview of what goes into usability testing for mobile sites.

Mobileusabilitytestingslides in Mobile Development Toolkit

Development Kits

When creating mockups, it’s sometimes helpful to see your design as it might actually appear on a smartphone screen. The GUI kits and other tools here will help with that.

Perfect Multi-Column CSS Liquid Layouts – iPhone Compatible
This site provides a number of CSS-based liquid layouts that work with the iPhone’s browser. They use no JavaScript, no CSS hacks, and no images.

Cssliquidlayouts in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone Application Sketch Template v1.3
This printable iPhone template is great for wireframing mobile sites, and includes a grid for accuracy.

Iphonesketchtemplate in Mobile Development Toolkit
RIM BlackBerry PSD
Here’s a free BlackBerry UI template kit PSD file. It has 135 layers included for all aspects of the BlackBerry UI.

Blackberryuikit in Mobile Development Toolkit
Palm Pre GUI PSD
Here’s a PSD file with a variety of Palm Pre UI elements, free from Teehan+Lax.

Palmprepsd in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhone 4 GUI PSD (Retina Display)
Now that the iPhone 4 has a higher-resolution retina display, it’s important to use GUI templates that reflect the higher resolution.

Iphone4gui in Mobile Development Toolkit
Android GUI PSD Vector Kit
Here’s a free Android vector GUI kit with resizeable elements for creating mockups in any size you need.

Androidgui in Mobile Development Toolkit

Testing

You’ll need to test your mobile site to make sure it’s going to appear as you intended. Here are a couple tools to help:

W3C mobileOK Checker
It’s important that your mobile website is W3C compliant, as it makes it more likely to display across a variety of devices and less likely to break as technologies change (just like it is for regular websites).

W3cmobileok in Mobile Development Toolkit
iPhoney
iPhoney is a free iPhone simulator from Market Circle. It uses Safari and offers pixel-accurate rendering of web pages. The only downside: it still uses the 320 x 480 pixel canvas, rather than the new retina display size.

Iphoney in Mobile Development Toolkit

10 Awesome Design Examples

What would a roundup of awesome smartphone design tools and resources be without some examples to help inspire your own designs? The designs below are all exceptionally well-done and show just how a smartphone-optimized site should look.

Forever 21
Forever 21, a clothing retailer for young women, do a great job of optimizing their site for mobile viewing. Their navigation is simplified, they put promotions on top but don’t fill the entire screen with them, and include a store locator.

Forever21 in Mobile Development Toolkit
Bloomingdale’s
Clothing retailer Bloomingdale’s places their store locator link prominently on the mobile home page.

Bloomingdales in Mobile Development Toolkit
Tijuana Flats
Tijuana Flats has obviously what mobile visitors are most likely to want to see: the menu and the restaurant locator, and they place links to each front and center.

Tijuanaflats in Mobile Development Toolkit
Babcock Partners
This is a very polished and professional mobile design, with a simplified navigation and strong visual elements.

Babcockpartners in Mobile Development Toolkit
Plank
Web design firm Plank has a great mobile site that emphasizes what they do and is very usable.

Plank in Mobile Development Toolkit
1 Trick Pony
1 Trick Pony removes navigation on sub-pages on their mobile site, instead opting for a simple “Back” button. It’s a great way to unclutter your design but only works well for sites that don’t have deep navigation.

1trickpony in Mobile Development Toolkit
Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha’s mobile site is a simplified version of their full site, with the search bar right up top.

Wolframalpha in Mobile Development Toolkit
Alex Buga
Alex Buga has done a fantastic job of echoing their full site while optimizing it for a mobile browser window. Keeping the same graphic style and using elements of the full design works exceptionally well and reinforces brand identity.

Alexbuga in Mobile Development Toolkit
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster probably has one of the more complex mobile site designs listed here, yet they still keep it very usable. Featured content is prominently displayed, as are options for finding other content.

Simonandschuster in Mobile Development Toolkit
Google Finance
Google Finance maintains a very uncluttered, almost minimalist layout that makes information most likely to be of interest to users easily accessible.

Googlefinance in Mobile Development Toolkit

Conclusion

Smartphone design is growing more important on what seems like a daily basis. As more and more people switch to smartphones or upgrade to more powerful versions, smartphone optimization for websites is going to be vital to the success of any website or web-based business.
(ik)

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.
(PRO)
No Soup for you

Don't be the product, buy the product!

close
YES, I want to SOUP ●UP for ...