Creating The Nerdery Holiday Party App – An Integrated iBeacon Experience

Each year The Nerdery has a holiday party. And each year our Nerds try to come up with a new way to engage and interact with fellow party-goers. This year, they created an app that integrated with iBeacon technology (naturally). Watch what happens when our own employees are both the app creators and users. Read more

Filed under Mobile, Technology

How Wearables Will Transform the Mobile Experience


A few years ago, saying that you had a smartwatch put you in the “nerdiest of the nerds” category. You probably had a Casio calculator watch, which while occasionally handy, couldn’t do much beyond basic calculating and telling the time.

The most popular wearables right now are fitness trackers – the likes of FitBit and Nike Fuel Band, which collect data and report it back to your phone or computer. But Google, Microsoft and Apple are all making huge pushes to go the next step and get consumers wearing smarter devices that act as second screens to personal devices, and can serve as standalone devices as well.

With the weight of the biggest tech companies behind them, wearables have the power to do more than ever before and will transform the mobile experience. Read more

Filed under Technology

The Future of Windows 10 and HoloLens

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Microsoft clarified their vision for Windows 10 and provided the world with a glimpse of what is on the horizon for Windows development in an announcement made late last month. From unifying development across their diverse hardware platforms to unveiling a whole new way of interacting with apps, Microsoft is taking bold steps forward to empower developers to dream, build and deliver apps to their consumers. Read more

Quality Assurance Pro Tips – Learn from Apple’s recent HealthKit bug


Many of you already know the buzz going on with iOS 8 and some critical issues which occurred with Apple’s first iOS 8.0.1 software update on Wednesday, September 24th. A major bug with the HealthKit feature was discovered prior to the iOS 8.0 release, which resulted in Apple pulling all HealthKit enabled apps from the App Store ahead of the public release, leaving 3rd-party devs uncertain as to the fate of their Apps.

iOS Health app

The major issue that was reported is unknown, but Apple promised a quick fix for the major bug. One week after the iOS 8.0 release, iOS 8.0.1 was released to the public to fix the HealthKit issue and allow related apps back into the App Store. One hour and 15 minutes after the release, iOS 8.0.1 was taken down after critical issues were discovered with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners. This resulted in users losing cellular service and malfunctions with the Touch ID feature.

“How could a fix for the HealthKit feature that tracks your calories burned, sleep duration, nutrition and other features, be the cause for users being unable to make or receive phone calls?”

iOS 8.0.2 was released the very next day and contained fixes for the critical issues that came with iOS 8.0.1, as well as the HealthKit issue and other minor bug fixes. So you may be asking yourself, “How could a fix for the HealthKit feature that tracks your calories burned, sleep duration, nutrition and other features, be the cause for users being unable to make or receive phone calls?” Well, the answer is, there’s no real way of knowing for sure how it happened. Just that, it happened.

Whenever new code is implemented for a fix, there’s always a possibility of that fix causing new bugs to occur, which can be in a related area of the software or in a seemingly unrelated area from the original issue. That is why after re-testing the fix that was implemented, it is always best practice to perform regression testing around the affected area, to ensure no other issues were caused by the change.

In this particular case where the issue is related to a major firmware/software update which will affect millions of consumers. The best practice in this case would be to not only re-test the fix and perform regression testing around the affected area of functionality, but to also fully test all major functionality of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (as well as all other devices that support the firmware/software update) before releasing the update to the public. Making/receiving phone calls, sending/receiving emails, sending/receiving text/video messages, taking photos/videos, keyboard functionality, the notification center/alerts, wifi, syncing with iTunes, the locked screen, Siri and all other major functionality the iPhones are capable of performing.

There are a couple things we can take away from this situation. First is that more testing will always be better than less testing. If the budget allows for it, perform as much testing as you possibly can if a major update is ready (code complete) before releasing to the general public as well as continuing testing post deployment.

Also be sure to perform a full test sweep of all functionality a device/website/application is capable of performing to ensure nothing was affected by the update and after deployment. Never rush through quality assurance (QA) and always take your time when performing your test sweep, ensuring all critical and major issues have been discovered. The general public will thank you for taking the time to thoroughly test your software so that they don’t have to.

Developing for Next Generation Touchscreen Computers


More than just Mobile Devices: Where touch detection breaks down

When you think of “touch,” mobile phones and tablets may immediately come to mind. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to overlook the newest crop of touch-driven devices, such as Chromebook laptops that employ both a touchscreen and a trackpad, and Windows 8 machines paired with touchscreen monitors. In this article, you’ll learn how to conquer the interesting challenges presented by these “hybrid” devices that can employ both mouse and touch input. In the browser, the Document Object Model (DOM) started with one main interface to facilitate user pointer input: MouseEvent. Over the years, the methods of input have grown to include the pen/stylus, touch, and a plethora of others. Modern web browsers must continually stay on top of these new input devices by either converting to mouse events or adding an additional event interface. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that dividing these forms of input – as opposed to unifying and normalizing – is becoming problematic when hardware supports more than one method of input. Programmers are then forced to write entire libraries just to unify all the event interfaces (mouse, touch, pen, etc). So how did mouse and touch events come to be separate interfaces? Going forward, are all new forms of input going to need their own event interface? How do I unify mouse and touch now?

Is this article for me?

The solutions in this article are specific in nature – only applications that require heavy user interaction (games, HTML canvas application, drag & drop widgets, etc) fall within the target application of the solutions discussed. Click driven interactions (ie. regular websites) do not necessarily need to worry about user-input methods, as click events will be fired regardless of the user’s input method.

Read more

Filed under Tech Tips, Technology

Facebook Like Gates Are Dead


Ever had an offer to get something for free if all you did was click ‘Like’ on the companies Facebook page? The gravy train for consumers that willingly traded their marketing information in exchange for free tacos and car washes are coming to an end. Read more

Filed under Tech News, Technology

Next Generation Mobile Applications and iOS 8 Extensions

Every year Apple stands in front of an audience of devs/fans to announce how the new version of iOS will change the playing field. Sometimes it’s glitzy consumer-facing features like last years iOS 7 flat design – but every-other year Apple tends to feature developer-centric updates. Developers are specifically excited about Extensions – a new set of developer tools found in iOS 8 that eliminates many of the previous barriers that kept mobile applications from communicating with other mobile applications on a users device. Read more

Filed under Technology

Overcoming the iPad Tax With iOS 8 and Adaptive UI

Apple has addressed the device fragmentation issue head-on in a single major release of their iOS 8 operating system. In comparison, the modern web has been iterating for nearly a decade in order to improve the user experience of people accessing the web from a wide spectrum of devices and screen sizes. Developers of native mobile applications on both Android and iOS  have dealt with these same fragmentation issues that the web has been through, as manufacturers have shifted to making phones and tablets with an ever-widening selection of screens and resolutions.  Read more

Filed under Technology

Apple and Google Announcements Point To The Same Horizon


It’s striking how closely Apple’s and Google’s recent slate of announcements parallel each other. Their respective developer conferences both focused on platform integration. Both iOS and Android are moving outside of the phone. The nature of that integration will have lasting effects on the way people interact with the world around them.

“…If you look at the strategy that each company is pursuing regarding their mobile operating systems, you can see mobile devices sitting at the center of a connected web of devices and services – from cars to televisions to wearables.”

In the late nineties, Apple was pushing the idea that your computer was the digital hub of your life. All your other gadgets (e.g. digital camera, iPod, video camera, etc.) were to be managed and coordinated by your computer. Today, if you look at the strategy that each company is pursuing regarding their mobile operating systems, Read more

Filed under Technology

How Google’s I/O Announcements Will Impact Future Product Development


Google’s message is clear: Android isn’t just for phones and tablets anymore

We learned a lot about what will excite developers and product managers at our Google IO Extended event – and what it all means for your app development plans. We had a room full of developers, product managers, and user experience designers in the audience. Their collective claps, murmurs of delight, and excited chatter helped to highlight some of the most exciting announcements.

“Let’s look at all of the places we are putting the Android brand and where you can work with it… On your walk, in your work, in your car, and on your TV, or in your living room. It’s a push for Android to become the focus of what Google is talking about.” – Ben Dolmar

Read more

Filed under Events, Tech News