Showing posts from: Mobile Apps

instant articles
October 6, 2016

Indoona blog in the Instant Articles format!

As we have told in the recent past, internet browsing from mobile it’s increasingly outperforming desktop navigation. Our blog is no exception and most of its mobile readers come directly from our Facebook page. Our purpose has always been to enhance the reading experience of our blog, for this reason from today our blog posts from Facebook app for smartphones will be in the Instant Articles format.

What are the Instant Articles? They are a new format for reading content, designed for those who navigate within the Facebook application for smartphones. This new format has two great advantages: it makes a website content loading faster and improves the users’ reading experience. On average an article whose link is posted in the Facebook app takes about eight seconds to load. Although Facebook for smartphones has long adopted its own browser, the load time is still quite long. The Instant articles format allows to pre-load blog posts directly within Facebook and with a more essential graphics, which favors the article content (text, photos and video) more than the site template. The loading thus becomes up to ten times faster.

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apple innovation
September 19, 2016

Has Apple run out of innovation?

With the recent launch of the iPhone 7 and the controversial decision to eliminate the audio jack from it, Apple once again has given rise to much debate among experts. In particular, many wonder if Cupertino has already begun its decline, since they have not launched truly innovative products for a long time.

Unlike its competitors, Apple has always launched on the market “complete” and finished products: the approach of Steve Jobs was “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Jobs was convinced he knew better than his customers what they needed. With the arrival of Tim Cook the approach has remained the same, except for the lack of new products: the first iPhone was released almost ten years ago, in 2007, and the latest novelty from Apple, the Apple watch, can be considered nothing more than a simple extension of the iPhone.

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whatsapp facebook
August 29, 2016

Sharing data with Facebook: a turning point for WhatsApp?

Many of us imagined that sooner or later it would happen: despite a bigger protection of users’ privacy – thanks to end-to-end messages encryption – WhatsApp has started to share personal data from its users with Facebook, which in 2014 bought the Instant Messaging app for about $20 billion.

The popup that is appearing in these hours when starting Whatsapp informs that many users’ information – the operating system, the screen resolution, the telephone operator, the phone number and the frequency with which the user opens WhatsApp – will be collected and shared. The aim, says WhatsApp, is to allow Facebook to provide users of the social network with most targeted advertising or, if you prefer to see it from another perspective, to offer advertisers more information for profiling potential customers.

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Pokemon GO Augmented Reality
July 13, 2016

A new beginning for Augmented Reality?

Four days after its debut on the market, Pokémon GO, the new video game for smartphone developed by Nintendo, has already surpassed the dating app Tinder in total number of downloads on Android devices in the US and is poised to pass the number of Twitter daily users. What is the reason for this incredible success? No doubt the fact that the game allows players to catch Pokémon exploring the real world, thanks to the so-called Augmented Reality, the mechanism by which fictional digital elements are added to the images of reality, displayed by the smartphone camera.

Basically, the app allows anyone to run into Pokémon specimens (among the most famous: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander etc) to try to capture them and earn points. The success of the app – which in just four days broke all records for download and use – is certainly due to the popularity and affection that Pokémon has achieved over the years (many of those who now play Pokémon GO are the same who watched them on TV as children) but mostly it is due to the idea of ​​intelligently leverage Augmented Reality to make it a mass market technology.

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emoticons emojis
July 8, 2016

Communication beyond emoticons: the power of Emojis

In a previous post we have shown that written communication has changed a lot over the last years thanks to the new technologies: when we write emails and chat we tend now to use a lot of punctuation to clarify the tone of the text and avoid misunderstandings. We also resort to emoticons and, for some time, also to emojis: the latter are ideograms and smileys used in Japanese electronic mobile messages since the late 1990s and recently adopted by Apple, Android and various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The word Emoji (絵文字) in japanese means “picture character”.

The great success of emojis is mainly due to three factors: they are more visually appealing than emoticons (which are composed of punctuation marks, numbers and letters), they are easier to insert into the text (they consist of a single character) and furthermore for some years they have been incorporated into Unicode, the international standard system for indexing characters and standardizing them across different electronic platforms. This means that the emojis that join Unicode standard can be used and displayed without problems on the major operating systems and instant messaging softwares that adhere to Unicode consortium.

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mobile digital divide
June 10, 2016

How Mobile helps to overcome the Digital Divide

In recent years, the spread of mobile communications has enabled more and more people to access Internet and more generally to communicate more effectively. For those who live in industrialized countries or in large cities, the lack of access to telecommunications is a difficult concept to imagine and understand, but there are vast areas, even in Western countries, where telephony and connectivity are poorly available and only the emergence of mobile has allowed the creation of a telecommunications network and the overcoming of the so-called digital divide.

Only in the United States, for example, 10% of residents, especially low-income individuals and people in rural areas, are not reached by fixed broadband – which is now considered to all intents and purposes an utility – and get online through their smartphones and the 4G network. In a country like USA the problem can be seen as probably intended to be solved in a few years, but in poor countries the issue shows us a different scenario.

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aac mobile apps
May 13, 2016

Tearing down barriers: how mobile apps drive social inclusion

Technology has made the world smaller, reducing distances and breaking down barriers. The use of smartphones, via mobile apps, has marked a further step in this direction, combining mobile communications with the power of modern softwares. The apps – thanks to the smartphone hardware sensors – are opening up a whole new world and allow users to enjoy services which normal desktop softwares hardly can offer, and above all, they allow to do it on the move.

This means that anyone with a smartphone now has an amazing set of means that allow to overcome language and communication barriers, and broaden the horizons of the interaction. It is not just about utility, mobile apps also are a source of useful tools to support non-autonomous people and make them fully autonomous: in one word, they can be an instrument to drive social inclusion. Translating apps are a perfect example of this evolution: translation softwares exist for many years, but today these mobile apps allow unmatched levels of dynamism, interactivity and customization. Let’s think about Word Lens, the Google app that reads printed texts through the smartphone camera and translates them live on the phone screen without requiring an Internet connection, or let’s consider chatbots that act as personal interpreter directly in the chat, like our indoona translator app.

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internet surfing desktop decline mobile most
May 4, 2016

2016 Trends in web navigation: from Mobile-first to Mobile-most

Mobile is finally killing the desktop Internet: the time spent on the Internet from computers and laptops in the first months of 2016 has collapsed. After a couple of years during which the growing use of smartphones and tablets had surpassed – but did not hurt – the share of desktop web usage that much, there are now the signs that probably mobile devices are definitely supplanting traditional computers in web browsing.

The analysis was conducted by the company comScore: in the first three months of 2016 the decline in the internet surfing from Pc has averaged 5.2% over the same period last year. However, the decline had already begun in December 2015, although at the end of a year where the desktop navigation had even increased, as a previous comScore report showed: this growth, however, happened together with a general growth of time spent online.

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smartphone production and use
April 22, 2016

Rethinking smartphones production and use: towards a more sustainable future

Smartphones are probably the most common device in industrialized countries and are also the most daily used object – recent statistics reveal that navigation on the Internet from mobile devices is indeed growing quickly. Furthermore, every six months new models are launched on the market, possibly to encourage users to upgrade sooner their “old”, although still functional, phones. This enormous amount of devices around, however, has a great impact on the environment in terms of CO2 emissions and dispersion of harmful substances, and many organizations are beginning to deal seriously with this problem.

Several research studies are conducted periodically to calculate the environmental impact of smartphones: they take into account of the greenhouse gas emissions along the entire lifespan of a device, from the procurement of material input to its disposal or reuse. This method is called Life Cycle Assessment, and it not only considers emissions along the way but also any form of danger for the natural environment and human welfare too, including the use of rare minerals, extremely hard to recycle and often recovered in poor countries under controversial conditions.

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mobile apps
April 5, 2016

Mobile Apps Design: trends for 2016 (+ a tiny news from us)

In our day to day life, we all are using mobile apps: we rely on them for news, information, booking, weather, navigation, and connecting with others. However, we almost never know how much work is behind the development of an app, or how often it is updated. How many apps are successful and conversely how many are abandoned or what the trends and patterns that guide the evolution and redesign of an app are.

Mobile apps (a shortening of the term “application software”) began appearing in 2008 with the diffusion of iPhone and Android smartphones. Unlike traditional computer software programs, apps have immediately taken advantage of the built-in sensors of smartphones (accelerometer, microphone, GPS, touch screen, bluetooth, camera etc) to enhance the user experience and offer a new and different way to use the smartphone: video games, musical instruments, barcode readers, photography apps were only a few examples. In July 2008, when the App Store was launched it contained 500 apps. Now it counts more than 1.5 million apps, including more than 200000 educational apps.

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