Monthly Archives: June 2014

Infowatch June – The Teks Newsletter

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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Two things are common between the last days of May and June 2014. Both the days are delightfully rainy – and many of our Indian readers must have got soaked in the morning. The second is of more relevance to us though – for both are days on which the monthly issues of ‘Infowatch’ are released. It’s the time when we cast our attention outside our mobile apps company, and take stock of what’s happening in the tech domain across the globe.

 

So, what news bits and trivia make it to the list of ‘Infowatch June’? Let’s start:

Arrival Of The 16 GB iPod Touch

 

There was the 32 GB model, there was the 64 GB model – and Apple Inc. has launched the 16 GB variant of iPod Touch too, this month. It will be available in as many as 6 different colors, and will have a powerful 5 MP iSight rear-end camera. The 16 GB iPod Touch will be powered by iOS 7, and would have built-in Siri voice support too. With a battery backup of 40 hours (audio), there’s a lot to like about this new Apple offering.

Infosys Plans First-Ever Corporate Venture Arm

Bengaluru-based tech giant Infosys is all set to launch a corporate venture arm – the first of its kind in India, ever. Vishal Sikka, the recently appointed CEO, has already been in talks with California-based venture capitalists and company stockholders over this issue. The corporate venture arm, when it is launched, would come in handy for tapping new, original ideas – and trace them back to individual companies.

Asus Smartwatch Is In The Offing

There is yet to be any formal announcement about iWatch, but professionals from leading multinational software and mobile app companies have been impressed by the initial glimpses of the Asus Smartwatch. It would become commercially available in September (as per estimates) and would be priced at somewhere between $100 and $150. We’ll have to wait and watch whether it manages to give the more expensive Samsung Gear Live a run for its money.

 

Saying ‘No’ To Smartphones & Tablets!

 

That’s precisely what happens at Camp Grounded, a ‘digital detox’ camp founded by Levi Felix. This summer camp stepped into its second year in 2014, and it was attended by several current and former employees of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other tech biggies. There was just one rule for attending the camp – everyone had to hand over their smartphones, tablets and other personal electronic gadgets to the volunteers. No browsing or work-related activities for four days – it’s a camp where techies unwind!

Mobile Devices To Give An Idea Of Personal Hygiene?

A survey conducted by the University of Oregon in late-June revealed that, over 80% of the bacteria present on the users’ fingers could be found on the touchscreens of their mobile handsets. More than 7000 varieties of bacteria were discovered during this study. Interestingly, ladies were found to be more connected to their smartphones (as far as this bacteria-reading was concerned) than men.

 

Fifa World Cup Gets New Google Doodles Everyday

 

You have to hand it Ryan Germick – the head of the Google Doodle team – for coming up with innovative and interactive doodles for every matchday of the Fifa World Cup 2014. ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ has been, till date, getting doodles that are closely related to the fixtures and game results. Paul the Octopus (now no longer with us) has featured on several days, as have the tourist destinations across Brazil. The Cup continues till July 13, and we would probably see new doodles till then (maybe on the day after as well, celebrating the champions!).

Tim Cook’s Sexual Orientation Gets Mentioned On American Television

 

“Oh dear, was that an error?” – that was all Simon Hobbs, an anchor of CNBC could utter, after he had accidentally blurted out in front of a panel that Tim Cook is gay. It was a chat show about entrepreneurs who were bold enough to reveal their sexual preferences – but no one at Apple (not Cook, at least) would have found this incident to be in good taste. The remark had Jim Stewart, a renowned New York Times (NYT) journalist shaking his head in disbelief!

Android 4.4.4 Update Is Here

 

Another update to Android Kitkat was rolled out in June – and this one was even smaller than the 4.4.3 performance update. It has been released primarily to fix the CVE-2014-0224 issue – something that was brought to light after the uproar over the Heartbleed bug a couple of months back. In a nutshell, Android 4.4.4 can also be referred to as a ‘security update’.

Formal announcement Of The Google Slides App

 

During this year’s two-day Google I/O event, the company announced that the Slides app (for iOS devices) will be released soon. Google Play Store already contains the Android version of the Slides application. iPhone app development companies are wondering about the types and range of presentation-creation and editing features that would be present in the app.

Mobile App Developers Get A Chance To Win $15000

 

In its bid to promote the ‘Dynamic Perspective’ feature of Fire phones, Amazon announced a competition for app developers – who had to create Fire-optimized applications. According to reports obtained from Android Police, every developer could create three accounts – and there was a $5000 prize money (paid out in Amazon Coins) on every app. Drives like this can give Amazon Appstore the ammunition to compete with iTunes and Play Store over time.

 

Facelock To End The Era Of Passwords?

 

It’s all in the testing stage – but if the Facelock authentication system gets the thumbs-up from people all over, it would be the end of conventional account passwords. In this breakthrough system, a large number of faces, framed in grids, is displayed to users. Only one of them would be familiar to them – while the rest would be just random faces. A personalized locking system like Facelock will make the job of hackers next to impossible.

 

MonkeyParking App Defies Legal Order For Shutdown

 

Mobile app developer Paolo Dobrowolny has ruled out any chance of withdrawing his fairly popular MonkeyParking application. He has refuted allegations from the San Francisco city attorney, about’ ‘selling’ parking spots. Dobrowolny has been recorded as saying that his app offers ‘convenience’ to drivers – and does not flout any regulations whatsoever.

 

Google Glass Ventures Outside The United States

 

The initial lukewarm response among early adopters notwithstanding, Google has gone ahead with its plans to make Glass an internationally available wearable device. In the third week of this month, Glass made its debut in the United Kingdom. The device can currently be ordered online at google.co.uk/glass, and has been priced at one thousand pounds. It will interesting to see if Google Glass finds more approval in Britain.

 

Google Nexus To Stay On

 

There has been a lot of buzz and rumors in software and mobile app development forums, about how Android Silver will be replacing Google’s Nexus line of phones. Such a scenario does not seem likely in the near future though – since the next flagship Nexus handset was formally announced this month. It will run on Android L, and is expected to hit the markets towards the end of the year. Commenting on behalf of Google, senior employee Dave Burke said that the company was still ‘invested in Nexus’.

 

Facebook ‘Secretly’ Manipulates Users’ News Feeds

 

Mark Zuckerberg and his team conducted an interesting ‘emotion test’ of Facebook users – by identifying their status updates as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, and modifying the feed accordingly. The concept was simple enough – it was more likely for a person to post a ‘positive’ update if his/her news feed had a higher percentage of ‘positive’ words. Over 689000 people (unknowingly, of course!) took part in this experiment. Although it was not illegal, the experiment has raised controversy on ethical grounds.

 

Say Goodbye To Quickoffice

 

For creating, viewing and editing Excel, PowerPoint and Word files, Google Sheets, Slides and Docs (respectively) have become hugely popular – rendering the Quickoffice app somewhat redundant. That’s precisely why Google has decided to remove it from the Play Store. Existing users will, of course, still find it in the app drawer – but no updates and/or additional features will be provided on it.

 

‘Search Warrants’ Now Required For Looking Through Handsets

 

This ruling by the American Supreme Court has not pleased everyone from the law enforcement departments – but is a clear indication of how vital a smartphone can be in the context of its owner’s privacy. The order states, the police will have to get a warrant issued, to get the authority to rummage through the details stored in citizens’ cellphones. Exceptions would, however, be made for cases where the accused is suspected to put the lives and/or property of others in danger.

 

YouTube Creator Studio App Makes Its Debut

 

YouTube’s services got a new lift this month, with the launch of the YouTube Creator Studio app at the Google Play Store. It will soon feature among the iPhone apps showcased in iTunes too. The application will facilitate smarter channel content management and would support 48 as well as 60 FPS videos. A revamped desktop version of the app is also expected in the coming months.

A New Twitter Record Is Set

 

The Twitterverse starts buzzing during any global event, and the buzz reached an altogether new level during last week’s Brazil vs Chile Round of 16 match at the Fifa World Cup. As Gonzalo Zara missed the final penalty kick during the tie-breaker, the total tweet-count during the match reached 16.4 million – easily beating the record set during the tournament’s opening fixture. The per minute tweet figure was an astounding 388985, which was way above the previous record (set during the NFL Final 2014). Big matches indeed get the ‘#’ and the ‘@’ fans rocking!

 

Line Apps Touch The One Billion Downloads Mark

 

The target of reaching a user-base of 50 million people in India for Line IM app (based in Japan) is no longer looking unrealistic. The cumulative download figure of Pokopang, Camera, Pop and other members of the Line app family went beyond the magical 1 billion figure (worldwide) in June. Line apps are available on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, and are particularly popular among the younger generation.

 

The news of Xiaomi – a reputed Chinese handset designer – launching its first line of smartphones on Flipkart in India also created quite a bit of flutter in June. In the domain of robot technology, the probability of artificial intelligence getting enhanced through crowdsourcing was discussed. A dedicated Flipkart tablet was also launched in later half of the month (Digiflip), to enhance the convenience of e-shoppers.

 

New smartphones arrive in dozens every month (a few of them succeed, while most others bite the dust!), and this June was no exception. Blackberry Z3 was a much talked-about launch – with the fortunes of the company hinging on this new model. Micromax Canvas Beat and Nokia Lumia 635 were two other high-profile smartphone launches this month. For those who like trying out new mobile devices, the arrival of iBerry Auxus Linea L1 and Intex Aqua i14 was a bit of good news.

 

Before we round things off, a brief look back at what transpired in and about Teknowledge this month. If you have been following our blog or regularly checking our Facebook page, you are probably already aware that ‘Teks Mobile Australia Pty Ltd.’ – our Australian chapter – has already started operations. On the app-front, we launched four new applications at the stores – among which ‘Real Talk’ fetched the best response from analysts as well as users.

Real Talk app was launched in June

It was a busy, busy month for us in June – what with working on new projects, keeping track of the latest trends in mobile technology, and of course, the launch of our Australian chapter. Here’s looking forward to a busier, even more successful July.

 

Infowatch will be back on the 31st of July (you know that already, right?). Till next time then, enjoy the month!

Teknowledge Software – Now In Australia!

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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Grand opening of Teks Mobile Australia

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

Last week was a landmark in the timeline of Teknowledge Software – the company I have nurtured (with more than adequate help from my colleagues, I must add!) over the last 8 years. One of our esteemed clients from Australia – Amber Blumanis – came down for a 6-day visit – and, soon enough, she was no longer a mere client! Oh no, nothing went awry between us – it’s just that Amber and yours truly became business partners, with she taking up the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Teks Mobile Australia, our all-new Australian chapter.

A brief intro about Amber would be, I guess, in order. If you go through the portfolio of our mobile apps company, you will come across an app named ‘Stopover’. Hers was the brain behind this travelers’ application – which has created quite a buzz at the online stores worldwide. She had also served as the sales representative at Labor Options and as the brand ambassador at Let’s Launch with distinction earlier. And now, she will be helming our Android and iPhone development company in Sydney, Australia. I am confident that she’ll do a great job, my team of developers are looking forward to collaborate with her, and self-belief is not lacking on her behalf either. Oh, Amber has also been nominated for the Talent Unleashed 2014 awards – so join me in wishing her luck!

Myself with Amber Blumanis

With this tie-up with Amber, I fully expect our international presence to receive a big boost. Till date, around 30% of our quarterly sales leads used to come from clients Down Under. Having a dedicated mobile app company in Australia (Teks Mobile Australia will be operating as a branch of Teknowledge Software), this figure will surely receive a big boost. When I started out in 2006, all that Teks did was develop Java apps for the web – and the first-generation iPhone was yet to hit the markets. From that to the launch of a dedicated Australian wing – things have surely come a long way for us. My clients, partners, and of course our in-house mobile app developers and UI/UX designers – everyone deserves kudos for our progress over time.

Unveiling Teks Mobile Australia

The day when everything was finalized about the grand opening of Teks Mobile Australia was a festive one indeed. Incidentally, it was also the birthday of one of our senior employees. We got cakes, snapped plenty of photos (of cakes and humans…both!), and generally chatted around about the prospects of our company abroad. Each one of us was confident that we will be able to replicate our success in India and the United States Down Under too. If we can keep up – no, scratch that – continue improving our service standards and technical expertise, I don’t see any reason why we can’t.

 

Speaking of excitements, this business partnership has an aspect that everyone at our India office are going ga-ga about (oh well, if I say I am pretty stoic about it – that would be a lie!). As Amber and her team starts expanding the network of Teks Mobile Australia and takes on new projects, some of our Indian employees might get the chance for exclusive work trips to the ‘land of sun and sand’. Who won’t be thrilled at the prospect of becoming a full-time or part-time iPhone developer in Australia?

Teknowledge Software meets Teks Mobile Australia

Our Sydney-based business partner, Amber Blumanis, is back at her country now – and I have a gut feeling that she would be able to lend the Teks brand greater exposure over there from the next month itself. If her breakthrough app concept for Stopover is anything to go by – we are fortunate to have her as the head of Teknowledge mobile app company in Australia.

Amber and me - trying out the Teks cake

It’s a new dawn for our company – join me in hoping that this would be one to really savor!

AppBoard Tuesday – Why Are Mobile Apps Beneficial For Businesses?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hello, all you fine people out there! Tuesday is back – and so is our weekly newsletter, AppBoard Tuesday (ABT). This week, we will be focusing on the overall advantages that a business can get – by switching from paperwork to using customized mobile applications (to the maximum possible extent). While gaming and entertainment apps, or even mobile apps for kids are pretty much self-explanatory as to what their attractions are – we get many queries from corporate houses as to whether they should go for apps, and if they did, what their advantages would be. Let’s here highlight some of these benefits:

  1. Familiarity – The app-culture is spreading at a rapid rate across the globe, in practically all walks of life. Last quarter, our company developed apps for gaming, shopping, tourism and instant messaging (IM) purposes. It has become almost a habit for most people to simply reach out for a smartphone and look up convenient solutions (regarding whatever they might be interested in) via apps. This feeling of familiarity would make it easy for professionals to start using apps for business purposes. Unlike other ‘new’ things, learning the operations of a business app would not be a time-consuming task.
  2. Employee performance tracking – Any company worth its salt has a HR department, or at least, a HR executive. However, it is a cumbersome (often impossible) task for these HR personnel to constantly track, report and give feedback on the performances of other employees. The alternative option of asking everyone to install a common mobile application and filling up details in it would be a lot simpler and time-saving. Appraisals would become a lot more objective, and workplace favoritism (admit it, that is a raging issue at many offices) would disappear.
  3. Reaching out to more clients – There used to be a time when CEOs could depend on only their websites to generate ample visibility and awareness about their companies. Those days have now been relegated to the pages of history – as more and more people have started to access the World Wide Web on their handsets, while on the move. Recent surveys have revealed that mobile websites are nowhere close to apps in terms of popularity. Distributing a free, user-friendly, easy-to-install app would make it easy for businesses to stay connected with customers, always.
  4. Facilitates two-way communication – What Facebook and Twitter pages can achieve, dedicated company apps can do too – in a much more efficient manner. Leading mobile application development companies include rating systems, feedback sections and (at times) live chat sections in their apps – which enable users to share their suggestions, recommendations and opinions about any product/service. The conventional method of sending email questionnaires is way more time-consuming, and elicits a far lower response rate. With regular, real-time feedback, improving product/service quality becomes simpler too.
  5. Spreading information on special offers – What do shoppers like the most? That’s right, discounts! An iPhone or Android app, which delivers e-coupons (with scannable QR codes) would give people the opportunity to save more. That, in turn, would give a boost to the overall download figures of the application. Ideally, the discounts offered should be small and regular. That way, customers would get updates at frequent intervals on the app – instead of a single update in a year or so!
  6. Visual branding – Right from the splash screen, to the user-interface and other elements of the mobile app development framework – everything can contribute towards the strengthening of the brand presence of any business. Developers emphasize on the importance of including logos, symbols, taglines, colors, and other such signature visual branding elements in a company app. If the application becomes popular, brand recall would automatically go up. No extra promotional expenses would be required.
  7. Simultaneous collection and processing of data – Maintenance of computer databases is not impossible – but it’s not a really efficient process either. Facts and figures need to be properly categorized and stored first, before they can be analyzed for preparing reports. Apps can do away with this unnecessary wastage of time, since they can simultaneously record new data and process the same (with a much higher degree of accuracy too). Our My Budget Tracker app is a classic example of this factor. Imagine having to monitor day-to-day expenses manually!
  8. Offsite inspections would become much easier – For companies which require employees to go on regular offsite inspections, mobile apps with GPS functionality can be of great help. For starters, they can reach the out-of-office locations without any confusions – since all directions would be available on the application. If the app has date and time stamp implementation options too, preparing inspection reports in accordance to company guidelines becomes a hassle-free task. Oh, and risks of any worker submitting mistake-ridden reports would be nil as well.
  9. Businesses need not come to a standstill in the absence of internet – Teknowledge has a high percentage of apps in its portfolio, which remain perfectly functional offline. Most other companies develop similar apps too. These apps can keep the mobile marketing/promotional drives operational – even when there is no internet connection at office (on the business side), or on the mobile devices of users (on the client side). Web support is essential to stay in touch with buyers, but apps can serve their purpose offline too.
  10. Giving people detailed local information – Individuals tend to do business with companies in their locality (city, town, etc.), and smartphone applications can chip in on this regard. A general business-oriented app can be designed to deliver information on the names and contact details of all the service providers located within a specified perimeter of the user’s exact location (once again, GPS-powered apps would be great for this). All that a company has to do is get itself registered on the database of the app – and local customers would start contacting it soon.

Via quick and ongoing customer service, upgrades and special deals, mobile apps can bolster buyer loyalty levels in a manner that no expensive banner ads and hoardings can. They also make it possible for corporate meetings and brainstorming sessions to take place on the cloud network – which is essential for decentralized businesses and/or the ones that offer services across various time zones. Having a responsive website only no longer cuts the ice – unless you make use of mobile apps for business, you are passing up on a great chance generate more profitable sales leads.

 

With these words of wisdom (!), we wrap up this edition of AppBoard Tuesday. If you have any further query about the importance of mobile applications for business, feel free to contact us for a consultation session. Remember, establishing a one-to-one relationship with each customer is important – and there is no better channel to do this than their personal smartphones and tablets.

Stopover mobile app

That’s about it for the week. Let’s finish off with a bit of good news – one of our new apps, Stopover (created for an Australian client) has been shortlisted for the prestigious ‘Talent Unleashed’ award. Wish us luck on that!

 

Till next time then – stay zapped with apps!

 

Coming Soon From Apple!

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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iOS 8 has arrived, the all-new Swift language has got developers from all over interested, but Apple is yet to release any major product this year. The second half of 2014 is expected to make up for this, with iPhone 6, iWatch and several other new/revamped products likely to make their debuts.

Like techies from all over the globe, we love new tools and gadgets launched by big companies. Apart from smartphones and tablets (after all, we are into mobile app development!), each of us regularly follow the buzz and rumors about soon-to-be-released computers, operating systems, smartwatches, and other similar stuff. So, what can be more worthy of a discussion than the line of products that Apple Inc. is likely to release in 2014? Let’s find out what to expect from Tim Cook and his team before the year is out:

 

  1. Macbook Air with Retina Display – If the reports in Digitimes are anything to go by, a new version of the Macbook Air is in the offing. It would have cutting-edge Retina Display features, and is likely to have much slimmer dimensions (probably, 12 inches) than that of the existing model. The design is rumored to be fanless, which would give a boost to the new Macbook Air’s longevity.
  2. iPhone 6 – Easily the most eagerly anticipated release from Apple this year. The new iPhone (which would be available in a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch phablet form) would hit the markets around September – and would delight Apple loyalists clamoring for handsets with larger display screens. From Touch ID and A8 processor functionality, to high-clarity LTPS display – iPhone 6 is expected to be loaded with a host of innovative, high-end properties. If it lives up to the hype, Apple would be able to make a solid turnaround after the flop show of iPhone 5C.
  3. iPad Air with A8 chip – In addition to news filtering in from Apple forums and iPhone app development companies, KGB securities add credibility to this rumor. The new iPad Air would have built-in A8 processor, offering users a much smoother performance than before. If this product indeed arrives in 2014, it would enable Apple to compete more effectively in the tablet market with Intel. It’s a pity that we would not probably see the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) this year though.
  4. iWatch – The product that might determine how Tim Cook’s future is going to shape up at Apple. The smartwatch is likely to release before the other products on this list, and it would be available in two different (AMOLED, 1.3 inch and 1.5 inch) display panels. It remains to be seen how reliable the 250 mAh battery of the iWatch turns out to be – although the wireless charging option would be handy. Since iOS 8 has already been unveiled, it can be assumed that the iWatch would support ‘smart payments’ (paired with iWallet) too. There is an outside chance that Apple might finally make a foray into Near Field Communication (NFC) technology with the iWatch too. Apple is going to adopt an aggressive approach for the shipments of the smartwatch – and that might prove to be a risky gamble though.
  5. A new iPad Mini – By the final quarter of 2014, the latest edition of the iPad Mini should also be launched. There is still quite a bit of confusion about its exact tech specs among professional iPad app developers – although it is almost certain that fingerprint scanner (Touch ID) would be present in it too. This would be the 3rd generation of iPad Mini, and it should prove to be another winner from Apple Inc.
  6. A cheaper iMac – Shipment numbers of the iMac have flattened a bit in the last few quarters, and a more affordably priced model can address this problem easily. This solution, of course, has been thought up by those up top at Apple – and an iMac marked at a significantly lower price-point should make its debut in the international markets this year. According to early estimates, the arrival of a ‘budget iMac’ can bolster the total adoption/purchase figures of Apple desktop systems by nearly 25%. Any compromise with the qualitative aspects might, however, spell doom for the new iMac.
  7. A revamped Apple TV – A completely new television set from Apple does not feature in the company’s product timeline this year – but the existing Apple TV model is more than likely to get an upgrade. The recent launch of Amazon FireTV has made the creation and launch of an improved Apple TV to be even more necessary. It would have a remodeled set-top box – and would have its separate App Store as well, which would absolutely delight gamers. The operating system would be on the lines of iOS, and streaming videos would be a faster, more seamless process. A Wall Street Journal report has also hinted at a deal between Apple and Comcast for the new version of Apple TV.

 

If there had not been problems in the in-cell display of the iWatch, it would probably had been already released. While many software and mobile app developers were disappointed at no ‘products’ being launched at this year’s WWDC – it wasn’t much of a surprise, since Apple does not have a track record of releasing new gadgets at its annual conference. Between August and November this year, all of the above products are likely to become commercially available.

 

The 7-for-1 stock split of Apple Inc earlier this month has given a major thrust to the share prices of the company (at $93.08, it is the highest figure for nearly a year). People are, naturally, expecting a slew of high-quality tools and smart gadgets from Apple – and the latter has a fairly impressive product lineup for 2014. We’ll have to wait and watch whether the new products indeed manage to meet buyers’ expectations or not.

 

The Teknowledge Chronicles

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
Hussain Fakhruddin
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logo: Teknowledge Software

We publish news, views and updates about the latest happenings from the world of mobile technology. At times, we venture into computer software-related topics as well. Our weekly newsletter – AppBoard Tuesday – already has close to 150 subscribers (and counting), and we even have a monthly, more general, newsletter (Infowatch). Our mobile app development services have received unanimous appreciation, from Indian and foreign clients alike. Most of our apps are featured at the online stores, and several of them have won/been nominated for prestigious awards. It’s only fair that we should give a more formal, detailed introduction of Teknowledge to our new readers, right? That will be what this post is precisely all about.

Note: You will find that we have presented all the details of our company in Wikipedia-style. It has been done deliberately, to give you a flow of the Teknowledge timeline. You will find press-releases, and links to our social media pages at the bottom.

So, here goes:

Teknowledge Software (also referred to as Teknowledge Mobile Studio or Teks Mobile) is an Indian mobile application development company. Its registered office is at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Street, Kolkata, West Bengal. Teknowledge develops iOS, Android and Blackberry apps for third-party clients as well as in-house. Currently, the company has an employee strength of 65, including app developers, content editors, testers, UI/UX designers and HR personnel.

The company was founded by Mr. Hussain Fakhruddin in 2006. He continues to serve as the CEO of Teknowledge. The first office of the company was at Netaji Subhash Road (near Tea Board) in Kolkata. The office space at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road was taken in 2011. Till 2008, Teknowledge was only into iPhone app development. The business portfolio of the company expanded rapidly from 2009.

Teknowledge Software currently has a portfolio of 559 mobile apps. Its most successful application is Story Time For Kids, a mobile storytelling app for children. The company boasts of a shade more than 80% success rate (in terms of download figures and revenues) in its app development processes. The iOS department of Teknowledge is its single largest source of revenues.

In 2014, Teknowledge Software launched a book publication wing, named Story Time. Till date, 8 kids’ storybooks, in paperback/hardcover format has been brought out. A limited period sale on eBay yielded enthusiastic response from buyers. Teknowledge has plans to continue its app development business simultaneously with book publications in future.

Of the total clientele of Teknowledge Software, nearly 48% are from European and North American countries (particularly the United States] and the United Kingdom). Since 2012, the popularity of the company’s products has witnessed a spurt in Australia and New Zealand too.

History

2006-2010

Teknowledge Software started its commercial operations as a sole proprietorship company under Mr. Hussain Fakhruddin, in August 2006. At the time, the total number of employees was only 12. In November, the company released its first set of apps, which were chiefly used for testing. By the third quarter of 2007, Teknowledge had started offering iPhone app development services. Within eight months, the company had released 50 apps. Most of them were successful.

From 2008, Teknowledge included Android application development in its portfolio of services. Separate iOS and Android departments were formed. In January 2010, the 100th mobile app was released at Apple iTunes. The employee strength had increased to 44 by that time.

2011-2013

From August 2011, mobile applications of Teknowledge Software started getting prominence at the online stores. I Can Write and Free Your Mind Hypnosis were two apps which got featured in ITunes. By the end of the year, the app portfolio of the company had crossed 200. 2012 was a landmark year in the history of Teknowledge, with the launch of its uniformly well-received Story Time For Kids application. Sachinism and Cinderella Sticker Book apps, released this year, also won rave reviews. The company released over 150 iOS and Android apps in 2013, along with a slightly lower number of Blackberry applications. By mid-2013, the company had started making waves in the international market as a specialist agency for cross-platform mobile app development.

Teknowledge Software released its 500th mobile app in December 2013. From January 2014, the company initiated work on a new project – creating Hindi and French versions of Story Time For Kids. Three months later, the first set of printed kids’ storybooks were published.

Types Of Apps

Teknowledge Software operated as an iPhone app developer company till mid-2008. Since then, it has started working on all other leading mobile platforms, including Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Buyers need to apply for a free quote, following which app concepts are developed and the coding is started. Most of the apps developed by the company have separate versions for the different platforms.

The biggest chunk of Teknowledge Software’s annual operating income accrues from the downloads of iPhone apps. Android apps are fairly popular too, while the Blackberry and Windows platforms are yet to pick up momentum. All iOS apps created by the developers of Teknowledge are optimized for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Apart from promoting existing applications, Teknowledge has been accepting custom mobile app development projects from third-party clients since 2009. Recently, its FitTube application (client: Amanda Smith, Australia) was launched, and it garnered highly positive reviews.

Recruitment & Training

Teknowledge Software recruits new employees via campus drives as well as job portal and print advertisements. Since 2012, the company has recruited 12 new iOS developers, 9 Android developers, 6 PHP developers and 3 graphics/UI/UX designers. All the other employees have been with the company from the start.

Theoretical as well as hands-on training sessions are organized for each new recruit at Teknowledge. The company follows a stringent HR and quality assessment policy. A new employee remains on probation for the first three months, following which his/her job is confirmed or terminated. Dummy projects are assigned to new recruits during the probation period. Since the turn of the decade, Teknowledge has had a 2% attrition rate.

Teams & Contests

All the employees at Teknowledge Software are divided into four separate teams/houses. The house names are Speedy Spawns, Deadly Demons, Dynamic Dudes, Spark Plugs. Regular contests, like Art Beat, Loud Speaker, Game On and Treasure Hunt, are organized on a weekly basis at the company. During the company’s quarterly off-site visits, outdoor games and contests are also organized between the house-members.

Awards & Recognitions

Till date, 344 mobile apps created by Teknowledge Software have been featured at either iTunes or Google Play Store, or both. The Cinderella Sticker app is among the best-performing ones of the company. The recently launched FitTube app has broken into the top-100 list at the online store in Australia, within days of its released.

The most well-received Teks app is Story Time For Kids. In 2012, it received the Adobe Award for the best designs. The app has also been shortlisted (results pending) for the mBillionth South Asia 2014 award. In all, Story Time For Kids has won 7 professional awards.

References

1. http://prwire.com.au/pr/44387/story-time-for-kids-wows-toddlers-across-australia

2. http://prwire.com.au/pr/44387/story-time-for-kids-wows-toddlers-across-australia

3. http://www.teks.co.in/site/aboutus.php

4. http://pressexposure.com/Canton_Fair_iPhone_Application-117369.html

5. http://pressbox.co.uk/Technology/Teknowledge_Software_Announces_Monthly_Market_Surveys_1458808.html

6. http://www.marketpressrelease.com/Teknowledge-Consolidates-Its-Position-As-The-Top-Mobile-Apps-Company-in-Kolkata-1387535360.html

7. http://www.storytimeforkids.info/app/

8. http://www.i-newswire.com/teknowledge-consolidates-its-position/254686

 

External Links

1. http://www.i-newswire.com/teknowledge-consolidates-its-position/254686

2. http://www.pinterest.com/teksstudio/

3. http://www.slideshare.net/teks27/edit_my_uploads

4.https://plus.google.com/b/117870561765273665103/117870561765273665103

5. https://www.facebook.com/TeknowledgeMobileStudio

6. https://twitter.com/Teknowledge_S

 

If you wish to know anything more and/or need a customized mobile app, call us or email us – or simply request for a FREE quote!

 

 

 

 

Features Of iOS 8 To Get Excited About

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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The launch of the final version of iOS 8 mobile platform is still at least three months away. However, the two beta versions already released have generated quite a bit of buzz among the international developer community. In what follows, we take a look at some of the high points of Apple’s latest mobile OS.

It’s already been a fortnight since the launch of iOS 8 (beta version) at the Apple World Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). Following initial feedback and reviews from software analysts, OS experts and mobile app developers, the iOS 8 beta 2 has also been released. Although the new platform still needs a fair bit of improvement, it comes with quite a few new, user-friendly features. We will here deliberate on some of those:

 

  1. Camera timer – Something that Apple should have included in iOS 7, considering how popular ‘selfies’ have now become. In the new iPhone platform, the camera has three and ten second timer options. A light blinks after every second once the timer is set – and a large number of photos can be taken at one go (giving users greater options to choose that ‘perfect’ snap). If you have an iOS 8-powered iPhone, you won’t really need to carry a camera as well!
  2. Arrival of iCloud Drive – Considering the proficiency of Apple in cloud computing over the years, it’s plain strange why iCloud Drive was not conceptualized earlier. Anyways, it finally arrives on iOS 8, and looks a more than adequate alternative option to Google Drive and mobile Dropbox. File syncing is fast enough, and almost all types of data can be shared from Mac systems to handheld iOS devices.
  3. Predictive keyboard – The ho-hum virtual keypad of iPhones finally gets an upgrade in iOS 8. The all-new predictive features include word and spelling suggestions, text scanning, and even offering up words and phrases depending on whether a formal or a casual email/text message is being typed. It’s expected to improve the typing ease and speed on iOS devices in general. Oh, and finally, third-party keyboards can be used on Apple handsets. Customization is coming to town!
  4. iMessage – Professionals from iPhone app development companies feel that iMessage on iOS 8 has the potential to give established IM applications like WhatsApp and Snapchat a run for their money. From seamless group chatting, to high-clarity voice messaging – iMessage comes with all the features users are likely to expect from a messaging app. What’s more, the sharing options also seem to be top-notch. Not a new concept, but it’s refreshing to see that Apple Inc. is making an effort to catch up with its rivals.
  5. Better mail management – With Blackberry’s popularity on the wane, iOS 8 can very well become the preferred mobile email service provider for users across the globe. The built-in email system allows users to add new contacts, whenever a mail arrives from the latter. In case you receive an email from an existing contact but cannot quite recall its context/relevance, you can simply tap on the ‘Show Related Messages’ tab, to check out other related mails from the same sender.
  6. HomeKit – Arguably, the most innovative feature of iOS 8. HomeKit would let users pair their iPhones with other smart appliances at home (think, the lights at your home getting automatically switched on, as you enter it and tap on your mobile). Once again, Apple is playing the catch-up game here, since Microsoft and Google (with Insteon and Nest, respectively) had already started working on this concept. HomeKit, however, can emerge as the winner in this three-way tussle.
  7. The Health application – Don’t have the time to go for weekly health check-ups? If you buy the soon-to-be-released iPhone 6 (which would presumably run on iOS 8), you won’t need to! On the health app dashboard, you can track a wide range of critical health metrics, and find out if anything is awry. There is an option to create an ‘emergency report’ too – which would have the details about your persistent health issues, like allergies. Data from the Health app can be shared with other, third-party mobile apps too.
  8. No more app sandboxes – One of the factors that have got developers really excited about Apple’s new mobile platform. The in-app shareability and extensibility features between iPad/iPhone applications are going to get a major lift in iOS 8. As a result, users would be benefitted from the seamless integration between the apps. For external imaging apps, filters API would also be available. Once again, Android is the benchmark when it comes to app property sharing – but Apple seems to have taken up the challenge at last.
  9. An App Store that ‘learns’ – That’s right, downloading stuff from the iTunes store is likely to become easier than ever on iOS 8 phones. Depending on the type of music you generally listen to on iTunes Radio, or the voice commands you give to Siri – a personalized set of download suggestions will be shown to you. No longer will you have to spend a long time on searching for the music/mobile apps you like.
  10. Wireless voice-calling – iOS 8 supports wi-fi voice calling, although it is currently included as more of an emergency feature. Even so, it is a great relief for people who have often needed to make that one mighty important call – only to find that the mobile network is down. It would be great if the experts at Apple simply make wi-fi calling an alternative to regular network calling.
  11. Surfing the web on Duck Duck Go – The new line of iOS devices would, of course, retain Safari, Google, Bing and Yahoo as the mobile web search engines – but there would be one more alternative present. The Duck Duck Go browser would enable users to browse web pages, without their actions being tracked. The already-present private browsing options, together with the no-tracking option, promises a more personalized online experience.
  12. Family Sharing – There is a plethora of mobile apps for kids at iTunes, and you certainly don’t want your little one randomly downloading all of them, right? Via the new Family Sharing feature on iOS 8, parents can keep a constant tab on the type/number of mobile applications that children are allowed to access and/or download. Windows Phone 8 offers roughly the same function with Kid’s Corner – but its overall functionality is lower than that of Family Sharing. Chances of misplacing a shared iPhone or iPad would also become practically nil.
  13. Battery usage tracker – No, the battery backup of the new line of iOS devices is not going to miraculously shoot up – but users can at least check out the extent of battery consumption attributable to each pre-installed application. All battery usage figures are represented in percentage format – right next to the apps (including the App Store) they are related to. People can toggle between battery usage views over the previous week, or during the last 24 hours as well.
  14. Spotlight and Continuity – Spotlight has received an upgrade in the OS X Yosemite (also unveiled at WWDC ‘14), and its location-based features are available in iOS 8 too. The link to the Wikipedia article on any place, together with an image, is shown – whenever users perform a location search. Continuity, on the other hand, makes sure that people can sync their tasks between Mac systems, iPhones and iPads. Starting something on one iOS device and completing it on another is now an option.

The new ‘Hey, Siri!’ voice command option to activate Siri is somewhat similar to the ‘Ok, Google’ command for Google Now. The Notes app now supports pictures as well as the content in rich text format (RTF). Notification management, a low point in previous iOS versions, has been improved too – and users would no longer have to close an app to check notifications from another. The beta versions of iOS 8 have received the thumbs-up from most developers – it’s now time to see how well its final version turns out to be!

 

15 Facts About Steve Jobs You Did Not Probably Know!

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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There was more to Steve Jobs’ life, than his professional excellence at Apple. Some relatively unknown tidbits about the man behind the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod (and several other gadgets) have been shared here.





Ironically, people who constantly live in the spotlight often have an air of mystery about their lives. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, would be a perfect case in point in this regard. Everyone is aware of the great man’s vision and innovation prowess, and how he managed to pull his company out of trouble in the late 90s. Over here, we will acquaint readers with some rather surprising and little-known facts about Steve Jobs:

 

  1. The tiff with Bob Belleville – Belleville was in charge of the Xerox Star project – billed to be a revolutionary series of personal computers – in the early ‘80s. Jobs once went to check out the product that was being hyped up to the skies, and he did not like what he saw. Never a man to mince his words, he told Belleville in no uncertain terms that all the latter’s creations were ‘shit’. Soon after, Belleville came onboard at Apple!

  2. The tolerance of child labor at Apple offices – Apple Inc. has a policy of not employing kids and teens under the age of 16 in challenging work-environments. Steve Jobs, however, did not bother much to ensure that the policy was being followed. From sources as authentic as the Daily Mail, it was reported that the Apple offices in China (in particular) exploited child labor, and did not face any consequences for that. People point at Walmart for its shabby treatment of workers, without realizing that Apple was not much better in that regard.

  3. The love child – A burning ambition for professional success led Jobs to even disown his own daughter, albeit illegitimate. Apple’s co-founder became a dad at the age of 23, and went to great lengths to prove that the kid, named Lisa, was not his. He even testified in court that he was infertile – and hence, medically incapable of fatherhood. Fortunately, relations between Jobs and his daughter improved over time, and the two of them stayed in touch till Jobs passed away.

  4. The superiority complex – To be fair, Steve Jobs was probably way more efficient than all the other software developers, hardware engineers and mobile app developers working under him at Apple. He did not, however, need to show off his authority in the way he did. According to a report published in Fortune magazine, Jobs once verbally humiliated (with profuse swearing) a team working on MobileMe. He did not think twice about sacking anyone with immediate effect either. With Jobs – there were no notices, the pink slip came directly!

  5. Jobs initially drew a blank with NeXT – After getting voted out from Apple, Steve Jobs founded NeXT – and had hopes to making it a top hardware company. The computers that NeXT churned out were not well-received though, and even the initial response to the NeXTStep OS was not encouraging. The company had to focus on software development, to shore up revenue and profit levels. It’s another thing that Jobs later used NeXTStep as a blueprint for his super-successful iOS platform.

  6. The fight with Joe Nocera – For all his cerebral brilliance, Steve Jobs was never quite in prime physical health. Joe Nocera, a journalist from the New York Times, took it upon himself to highlight how Jobs was bluffing the Apple investors, by keeping the latter in the dark about his health. What followed was the wrath of Jobs – he called up Nocera, addressed him as a ‘slime bucket’, and told him that the entire report was erroneous.

  7. Steve Jobs made Apple an autocratic organization – With Steve Jobs, things like ‘freedom of expression’, or ‘providing information about soon-to-launch Apple products’ were of no value. He once famously sued a young blogger – simply because he had published the correct specifications and features of Mac Mini, before its launch. The ‘Worldwide Loyalty Team’ of Apple and the ‘Freedom From Porn’ drive were also integral components of Apple’s strict authoritarian structure (something Jobs loved). Under Jobs’ instructions, Apple got into altercations with the editors of Gizmodo too – over the ‘leaking’ of information about iPhone 4.

  8. Jobs kept Eric Schmidt in the Apple team for three years – That’s right, the executive chairman of Google served for Apple for three years – without Jobs having an inkling that Schmidt could turn out to be a competitor. Eric Schmidt has used his experience at Apple well, and has managed to make Google a more than worthy competitor in mobile application development, device and OS development, and other related lines of activities. If Jobs had got rid of Schmidt earlier, the competition could have been less fierce.

  9. The problem with Ryan Tate – Unless a jailbreak is done, iPads do not allow installation of third-party apps – and this has been a bone of concern among developers and general users alike. Ryan Tate, of the popular Gawker blog, criticized this policy – and Jobs, understandably, did not take kindly to the published remarks. Instead of having a normal interaction, Jobs indicated that Tate had precious little knowledge of creating anything – and hence, did not have the right to criticize what others were doing. Overpossessive? Yes. Arrogant? Seems so!

  10. Jobs did not look beyond AT&T – The worldwide market share of Android handsets dwarves that of Apple iPhones at present – and Jobs’ over-reliance on AT&T has a lot to do with that. Since Apple was not looking to tie-up with other carrier companies, Motorola grabbed the opportunity to release Droid on Verizon – and the initial sales were huge. Jobs was a very proactive man, and it’s strange that he did not realize that sticking with a single carrier for too long could hurt the popularity of iOS devices.

  11. Jobs tricked many colleagues over stock options – Apple, like many mobile application development companies and software firms at present, offers stock options and performance rewards to employees – instead of regular monetary compensations. Jobs was not very particular about this policy though. He did not bother telling one of the earliest employees at Apple, Daniel Kottke, about the stock options rule – and repeated this trick with several other colleagues/juniors. He did not believe he was doing anything wrong either!

  12. Steve Jobs hired the man who would oust him from Apple – When Jobs famously brought John Sculley onboard from PepsiCo. (an opportunity to ‘change the world’, instead of selling ‘sugared water’), little did he know that the latter would get him out from his own organization. Sculley was instructed by the Board of Directors at Apple Inc. to ‘contain’ Jobs’ irregular methods of conducting meetings and deals – there was a power struggle between the two, which finally led to Jobs getting the boot.

  13. The rude behavior with an old lady at Whole Foods – A classic example of how moody and rude Jobs could be at times. Jonathan Ive had accompanied Steve Jobs for having a smoothie – and the latter suddenly started hurling uncomplimentary remarks at an elderly lady employee about how she was going about her job. Ive recounts that Jobs later realized that his behavior had been unacceptable on the occasion – but the insult still rankled.

  14. Jobs tarnished the reputation of iPhone 4 somewhat – At a time when the Apple iPhone 4 had become almost synonymous with dropped calls and weak (or no) receptions, Jobs did not do the company any favor. In fact, he told a user who had called up to register a complaint, to avoid holding the device in a particular way. That, in turn, indicated the presence of design problems in iPhone 4. The Antennagate incident (as it was called) left Apple red in the face!

  15. The fight with Lee Clow – Mere differences of opinions became full-flown fights – when Steve Jobs was one of the involved parties. This time, the trouble was over the print ads for iMac. Jobs did not like the ‘Bondi Blue’ ads, and did not bother to take a closer look – before calling up Clow and telling him that the ad was all wrong (the f-word was used too!). As things turned out, Clow managed to calm Jobs down, and convince him that the ad designs were perfect. Jobs, ultimately, relented.

Jobs gave one more opening to Google, when it dilly-dallied for too long over the AdMob deal (2009). The man was not known for doing any significant charity-work either (there is the unlikely possibility that he kept his charity work private though). While at college, his relationship with his parents were rather estranged. These facts about Steve Jobs do not, in any way, undermine his greatness – but they do shed some light on hitherto undisclosed portions of his life.

 

After all, all of us love to know more about famous men, right?

AppBoard Tuesday – Are Your App Marketing Strategies Optimized?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Hello everyone – how are you all doing this Tuesday? Some of our Indian readers must be all drowsy and puffy-eyed due to consecutive nights of no sleep – for the FIFA World Cup is on! So, grab a mug of coffee, and let’s just move over to our regular feature – AppBoard Tuesday (ABT). Today, we will be deliberating on an extremely important issue – the issue that can make or break your dreams of making money from mobile apps.

Every newly recruited developer at Teknowledge (and we’ve had a fair few of them coming in over the last fortnight) is made to learn one thing – ensuring that their apps are of great quality is a NECESSARY, but NOT SUFFICIENT condition for the success of the latter. An app might be a technological wonder – but if it does not serve a defined purpose and/or is not marketed well, visibility levels will remain low. And when people do not get to see your app featured at the online stores, how do you expect them to download it?

So, what mistakes might crop up in your mobile app marketing strategies? Well, we have prepared a brief list of some of the most common follies:

  • Not optimizing as per app store algorithms – It’s not by some black magic that certain mobile app companies almost always manage to get their products featured at the Google Play Store/iTunes – while those of others remain dumped in some obscure corner. Over 80% of our apps figure on these featured lists – and for that, we have to keep track of how the optimization algorithms of the app store are changing over time.

 

           Okay, you might now feel how on earth are you supposed to know exactly what these algorithms are, and when/how they are being changed, right? Well, you don’t need to! For starters, start                keeping regular estimates of the marketing expenses and the revenues from app advertising. If you find that the spendings are too high, find out if there are ways to lower them. Every week,                    literally hundreds of new apps make their debut at the stores. Unless you keep a tab on the real-time metrics of your offering as well as the dynamics of the stores – you might soon find yourself              lagging behind professional rivals. Remember, a fully optimized strategy today can become completely obsolete within a month.

Websites need to be utilized for promoting apps

  • Not utilizing your business website – What’s the primary channel via which you connect with potential buyers in the web space? That’s right – it’s your business website, and if you are not using it in your app marketing plans, chances of getting high download figures will never become high. Provided your website is optimized (that’s SEO territory – something we will get into in a later edition of ABT), the daily traffic figures will be on the higher side, and visitors should always have a chance of checking out your applications. No one is going to search by your company name at iTunes!

If you are into cross-platform mobile app development, your website should ideally have separate pages/galleries – showcasing iPhone, Android and Blackberry apps. Research for appropriate             keywords for each application, and include them while writing brief descriptions. Include a direct link to the stores where your app is displayed. If someone likes your app, (s)he should not face           any confusions while trying to download it.

 

  • Over-reliance on traditional advertising agencies – Your responsibilities end with completing the app development process and testing – you don’t need to look into how the agencies are marketing it, right? This is one of the biggest mistakes a company can ever make. Most traditional marketing agencies have a limited set of ad networks through which they publicize apps. While that’s nothing to scoff at, you need to think bigger.

 

Firstly, you need to choose such agencies that have the experience of working on as many broad-based advertising channels as possible. Next, your app(s) have to be promoted via social media           (Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, primarily) as well. There are many cases where the objectives of the mobile apps agency is not in sync with that of the advertising firm – resulting in the ad             spendings being more of a waste. Irrespective of whether you are hiring a marketing company or are planning to do the ads in-house (that’s what we do, for most of our apps) – make sure that               you are being able to reach out to a large audience.

  • Not paying attention to the app’s retention value – A good-looking mobile app, with a host of features and bug-free assurance has the potential to generate impressive initial downloads. However, if you have not considered whether the app would retain its usability over the long-run, the joys can be short-lived. Researches have found that, 8-9 of every 10 newly downloaded apps are deleted by average smartphone users across the world. Your apps need to feature among the remaining 1-2!

 

Once again, avoiding this mistake is not a particularly difficult task. If you have developed a gaming app for kids, don’t make it ridiculously easy to finish. For quiz/news-based applications,                 make sure that new questions and updates are made available on a daily basis. For fitness applications, provide new health tips, videos and such other stuff everyday. In a nutshell, make it a                 point to ensure that your mobile apps provide ‘ongoing benefits’ to users. If an app appears really addictive now, but becomes blah after 3 months – it ain’t of much use.

As a cue, you can check out our Story Time For Kids application. It might only be a mobile storytelling app for kids, but we regularly release new digital storybooks on it. That way, little ones never get the feeling that they have read ‘everything’ on the app. Keeping users engaged is the success mantra.

  • Monitoring only the app download figures – Sure, the number of times your hugely-hyped new app is downloaded is important – but that’s far from being the only metric you need to track. There might be a large percentage of people who end up using the application only once or twice, and some might not even bother to enter their profile information on the app. Make a list of all the figures and metrics that define ‘success’ for an iOS or an Android application. Tracking only the download count often gives a misleading (often, inflated) image of how well (or otherwise) your apps are doing.

  • Spending big pucks on unsuitable advertising media – By unsuitable, we do not mean outdated. Most of you probably already have come across ads of Teks apps on mobile ad networks and social media platforms – but have you ever seen our company’s advertisements pop up on your TV screen? Or looking down at you from a large billboard? You can’t have – simply because these channels (although vital elements in the general marketing and promotional mix for products) have next to little value when it comes to mobile software.

A TV commercial for a smartphone works great, so why shouldn’t that for an app be successful? The reason is straightforward. App-advertisements should always include a call-to-action                     (read: download links) – and that’s simply not possible to give in television/radio spots or print ads. Instead, you need to tie up with ad agencies with proven track records, and start bidding for             mobile traffic. Almost all the advertisement campaigns should be conducted online (from your FB pages, to classified ad sites and partner websites). A television advertisement can give your                   brand some extra exposure – but that’s about it.

  • Adopting the ‘Downloads done: Who cares what happens next?’ approach – Mobile application development is a service – and like all service-providers, you need to be very alert about the quality of your after-sales support. Such post-download support is not limited to sending subscribers emails with your contact number and email ids. People can have a host of confusions/problems after downloading an app (while installing it, for instance). Through the app itself, they should be able to clarify such doubts.

 

At Teknowledge, we stress on the importance of mobile apps serving as viable channels for two-way interaction with users. Almost all our apps allow people to rate them, and leave their questions and feedback. That way, we can a) provide satisfactory solutions to the people (customer-satisfaction really matters) and b) find out the features of our apps that are being most/least liked. Upgrades can be planned accordingly.

The fact that pricing is a key element of overall app marketing strategies is a no-brainer. Even if you are planning to launch free apps, you need to to chalk out potentially profitable in-app advertising schemes, which do not hamper user-experience. Never make any false claims about your app. Such fraudulent approaches can give a spike to first week downloads – but as people find out the truth about your app’s features, the bubble will burst. Make sure that the UI/UX designs of your app do not interfere with its user-friendliness.

 

The final objective of any smartphone app development company are the same – maximizing the ROI figures on their services. If you manage to avoid these mistakes and properly optimize your app marketing plans, that objective is certainly not tough to attain. Without trying to sound vain, Teknowledge has been doing it for almost a decade now.

 

With that, we come to the end of the 6th edition of AppBoard Tuesday. If you feel that the little tidbits we share on our weekly newsletter, do contact other app developers – and ask them to subscribe too (ABT is, and always will be, free!). Next Tuesday, we’ll be back with some new, important facet related to mobile apps.

 

Till then….oh well, by now you must be knowing how to stay zapped with apps!

 

What’s All The Buzz About Swift Programming Language?

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Apple has finally provided developers an alternative to Objective-C, with the launch of Swift during WWDC 2014. In the following discourse, we will take readers through some of the major properties of the new programming language.

The recently concluded World Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) was, by common consensus, one of the best ever for the developer community. Apple bulked up its integrated development environment (IDE) with Xcode 6 – and for the first time in seventeen years, announced the launch of a new programming language, Swift (the previous release was Objective-C). We will here decode the big buzz about Swift, among developers all across the globe:

 

  1. Compatibility with C and Objective-C – To ease coders to gradually start using Swift, the Apple engineers have made the new language completely compatible with both C and Objective-C. In addition, Swift and Objective-C use the same compiler for coding. This, in turn, makes it possible for developers to use both the languages while creating web and mobile apps.
  2. Meant for desktop and mobile OS – Swift comes with holistic support features for both iOS as well as OS X (incidentally, new versions of both were also launched at WWDC ‘14). The codes of the new language can be implemented with Cocoa Touch and Cocoa, without having to replace existing lines of Objective-C codes.
  3. How to create a new Swift project? – The new programming language has got the thumbs-up from professionals of web and mobile app companies, primarily due to its user-friendliness. Developers can create new projects in Swift from the ‘File’ tab – after which the template has to be chosen. All codes automatically get saved in one .swift file, which does away with the need for having a clear distinction between the interface and the implementation platforms. Header files are not required either.
  4. A quicker, easier way to create iOS apps – One of Swift’s main USPs is that, it is nearly 45% faster (on average) than Objective-C. The underlying code syntax is simpler, and users no longer have to declare variable types (numbers or text strings). This function is automatically done by the compiler. Most programmers feel that Swift can make it a lot easier for developers to create iPad and iPhone apps. Apple hopes to boost the profitability figures from app downloads as well.
  5. The ‘import’ function – A vital point for programmers who have been using Objective-C for fairly long periods. Almost all elements of the C-library can be directly imported on Swift, along with popular Objective-C frameworks like SpriteKit, Foundation and UIKit. The frameworks are converted to separate modules, and then imported in the form of Swift APIs. There are options to remap Objective-C concepts and core types too.
  6. Better real-time testing options – A common refrain of mobile app development experts against Objective C was, they had to build and compile the entire code, to find out whether any changes have to be made. Swift boasts of a ‘Playgrounds’ view, which does away with this problem. Code lines are rendered on a real-time basis by the new language, and the effects of all changes are displayed. This makes it simpler to make all the necessary changes before compiling the programs.
  7. More efficient memory management – Developers who move over to Swift programming language would also be able to stop worrying about system memory overloads. All integers, arrays and other data strings are checked prior to their usage, ensuring continuous memory management. Manual allocation of memory space is not required, and the chances of sudden program crashes are minimal. Swift is being hailed as a ‘safer’ language than Objective-C chiefly for this factor.
  8. Final user-experience won’t be affected – While Swift makes things easier for app developers, it does not interfere with how applications perform on users’ devices. The new language can be compiled simultaneously with Objective-C, which ensures that users will not be able to detect whether an app uses Swift or the old language (unless specifically told, of course). Mainining uniformity in user-experience is clearly a high-priority consideration of Apple.
  9. Mapping back to Objective-C – The arrival of Swift is not going to sweep out Objective-C overnight. That’s precisely why the developers of the new programming language have put in an option for mapping back Swift APIs back to Objective-C platforms. The technique is roughly similar to the way in which ‘Objective-C to Swift’ importing is done. However, not all Swift APIs are supported in the older language.
  10. Supports functional programming and concise iterations – Apart from being faster, Swift is optimized for creating ‘expressive’ codes. The generics, tuples and return values are seamlessly generated, while separate structs are created for protocols and extensions. The function pointers of Swift also add to the overall convenience factor of developers.
  11. Basic similarity with other existing languages – As the adoption rate of Swift increases, programmers are likely to find that it is not exactly an ‘entirely unique’ offering from Apple. It borrows several features from Python and Rust (popular programming languages) and bears similarities with a few other coding techniques too. However, nothing is a straight rip-off in Swift – and these resemblances are likely to, in fact, make new developers more confident while using Swift for the first time.
  12. Don’t start using Swift just yet – Until Xcode 6 is officially released at the App Store, it would be inadvisable for web or mobile app development companies to start using Swift in their applications. Apps developed with Swift would be accepted by Apple, only after iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite become publicly available (which should be by autumn this year). Practising on the new language would be a good idea though – all that developers need to do is download the beta version of Xcode 6 from Apple Developer Connection.

Right from the moment Craig Federighi unveiled Swift at the WWDC, techies have been talking about the potential advantages of switching over to the new language. There have been naysayers too – some sceptic about the speed advantage Swift is said to have over Objective-C, while others pointing out that it would not make apps portable from iOS to other mobile platforms (most notably, Android). One thing’s for certain though – everyone is eager to learn Swift. If the language lives up to expectations, it can be a more than satisfactory replacement of C/Objective-C in the long-run.