Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mobile Commerce & iBeacon Developments

I've been writing a lot about iBeacon and it's impact on Mobile Commerce and it's other applications, because I think it has tremendous potential to combine the virtual online world with the physical world in amazing new ways. And when you add in the giant technology advance that Apple Watch will bring, the mind boggles at the possibilities.

Here are the highlights in this article:
  • Apple's Rumored Loyalty Rewards Program 
  • Apple Pay Advances Mobile Commerce Dramatically 
  • Apple Stores and Disney Stores Rolling out new iBeacon Transmitters
  • Apple working on iBeacon Transmitter Tech
  • More iBeacon Transmitter Vendors
  • Virgin Atlantic to Integrate iBeacon in London's Heathrow Airport
  • New Innovative use of iBeacon

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Is a Home Automation Revolution Coming ?


This year has seen a lot of big activity in the home automation market.
  • Why hasn't a Home Automation Revolution happened already ?
  • Why is a central controller is needed ?
  • Home automation integration in an Internet TV device ?
  • What moves is Apple making ?

I have been interested in and experimenting with home automation since around the time when X10 remote control technology was first created decades ago. And although many home automation technologies have been created since, X10 is still alive and kicking today. I think that's not a indication of how good X10 is, because it's actually pretty awful tech. But an indicator of how little home automation has advanced.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Extra Benefits of Using Apple Pay

There are some extras you get for using Apple Pay that I think are very much worth mentioning.

  • Instant notifications of all transactions on your cards.
  • The banks want to pay you to use Apple Pay.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How is Apple Pay Doing ?


Apple Pay on iPhone
Early last month I wrote at article titled Why will Apple Pay make Mobile Payments a Reality ? , predicting that Apple Pay would have a huge impact on the mobile payments market.  So.....  ?

  • How's Apple Pay Doing ?
  • Does MCX's CurrentC have a chance to compete ?
  • What would be a Great UX Design for Loyalty and Promotion programs ?
  • How could we integrate Apple Watch in to the customer experience ?
  • Why will Apple Pay win ?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How To make JIRA Agile sing a great Scrum tune: Part 1

JIRA Agile
JIRA is an excellent tracking tool from Atlassian.  And now JIRA Agile (previously known as Greenhopper) is an excellent Agile Project Management tool built on top of the power of JIRA.

So how do you put JIRA Agile to work and make it sing a great Scrum song ?

In this article I'll detail out:
  • How to get JIRA Agile up and running fast.
  • How to understand and reconcile the differences between the way JIRA Agile works and the way a true Scrum process works.
  • How to configure JIRA Agile to take full advantage of the Scrum development management framework.
  • How to use JIRA Agile to manage a Scrum process fast and easy.
  • How to simplify the process related work that your engineers need to do, so they can focus on what they do best.

I've been using the Atlasssian tools for many years now and have a lot of experience doing many of the things you can do with JIRA and Confluence.  From implementations and migrations from other tools like Bugzilla and others.  To multi-day workshops with engineering teams at tech companies, some of which are very well recognized big tech names, to understand the teams processes and optimize the JIRA configuration to best support them and bring their processes up to the next level.  To custom software development to extend JIRA's functionality, build migration tools and connect and sync it with other platforms like Salesforce and ServiceNow.

I've also optimized the configurations of JIRA Agile and what it was previously called in older versions, Greenhopper, to manage software development projects using Scrum.  And in this article I'll share some of those techniques and best practices that I've learned based on real world, on the ground, experience.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Why will Apple Pay make Mobile Payments a Reality ?


Apple Pay is extremely likely to finally make mobile payments a reality for regular people.  But why ?
  • What's so special about Apple Pay ?
  • What market forces are in play that will force change ?
  • How secure is mobile payment tech ?
  • What about privacy concerns ?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Apple's Next Big THINGS Coming Tue

This Tue, Sept 9th, Apple's big Sept event is happening.  What might they have in store this time ?

  • The new iPhone 6 models ?  For sure.
  • iOS 8 released very soon ?  Of course.
  • But what else might be coming from Apple ?
  • What areas are ripe for some major game changing disruption ?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Design Inspiration: The Ultimate Internet TV Product & UX Design

To follow up my last article Design Inspiration: Smart TV, Internet TV & Gaming, where I discussed the current state of the market, the convergence that is occurring and opportunities that are emerging.  

In this article I dive into:

  • What would a great TV User eXperience (UX) look like ?
  • What specifically will make the ultimate Internet TV / Smart TV device ?
  • What features should the ultimate Internet TV / Smart TV have ?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yosemite Dev Preview 6 Update

OS X Yosemite
On Monday, Apple updated only Mac OS X Yosemite to Developer Preview 6 (DP6), but not iOS 8.  This article gives some thoughts on my experience with Yosemite as my primary OS and some useful links to learn more about Yosemite.

For Yosemite Dev Preview installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta.  Also check out all of my articles on iOS 8 and articles on Yosemite.

Processor Leaps to Drive Tech Innovations in 2015

A7 Circuit Image
Apple's A7 Circuit Image
Processors, both mobile and desktop, typically evolve in regular cycles with bumps in performance, power management = battery life, integrated components, like a GPU, that reduce the number of chips required and more.  But they rarely leap.  Some of those leaps are coming soon though, and have a direct and measurable impact on users and the mobile tech that they love, from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and wearables.  And other cool tech you use in your home, like Internet TV, gaming and home automation.

This article connects the dots from the most fundamental tech of processors to some of these tech innovations that we will see make a major difference in 2015 in devices that will begin shipping this holiday season.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

iOS 8 Beta 5 & Yosemite Dev Preview 5 Update

On Monday, Apple updated the iOS 8 to Beta 5 and Mac OS X Yosemite to Developer Preview 5 (DP5).  This article gives some useful links to learn more about iOS 8 and Yosemite.

For iOS 8 Beta installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test iOS 8 Beta.  For Yosemite Dev Preview installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta.  Also check out all of my articles on iOS 8 and articles on Yosemite.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

iOS 8 Beta 4 & Yosemite Dev Preview 4 Update

On Monday, Apple updated the iOS 8 Beta to Beta 4 and Mac OS X Yosemite to Developer Preview 4 (DP4).  This article gives some useful links to learn more about iOS 8 and Yosemite.

For iOS 8 Beta installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test iOS 8 Beta.  For Yosemite Dev Preview installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta.

The upgrade of iOS 8 on my iPad Air took about 37 minutes, a little longer than Beta 3.  The download took about 11 minutes and the rest of the time was on the device preparing, installing and rebooting.  On an iPod Touch 5th gen (the latest model available) it took about 38 minutes, so nearly the same as on the latest iPad Air.  The Yosemite update took about 19 minutes total.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Design Inspiration: Smart TV, Internet TV & Gaming

In my Feb article Design Inspiration: Second Screen Designs I wrote about some TV applications.  In this article in the Design Inspiration series, I'll talk about some of the many cool opportunities that I think are in the TV and gaming tech market, but no one is taking full advantage of yet.

  • Current Smart TV / Internet TV products.
  • Smart TV / Internet TV and gaming convergence.
  • Opportunities for innovation in TV and gaming.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to enter a conference call phone number into a meeting invitation

I love my iPhone. I love that I can open meeting invitations on it and that the meeting phone number is recognized and highlighted, so that, if I touch it, the iPhone dials it for me. I love it even more if the meeting organizer entered the next bit of information correctly. That would be the conference access code. If entered correctly, the iPhone either pauses for a couple seconds, then dials it, or the iPhone displays a button (or maybe just the words - depends on the iOS version) that says “Dial xxxxxxx#” (where “xxxxxxx#” is the conference access code, which in this example ends with the pound/hash sign.
Trouble is, many users don’t know how to enter the phone information so that the iPhone (and probably the Android, too) will work this way. The way you do it is like one of these:
nnnnnnnnnn,xxxxxxx#
or
nnnnnnnnnn;xxxxxxx#
The n’s are the phone number. The x’s are the conference access code. In the first example, they are separated by a comma, which causes the phone to pause two seconds, then continue with the next string of numerals. In the second example, they are separated by a semicolon, which causes the phone to pause until you signal it to continue, which you do, on my iPhone, by touching the words “Dial xxxxxxx#”.
This works with extensions too. And it works with successive strings. For example, someone the other day told me that his phone number was (xxx)xxx-xxxx, then dial 8, then dial 123. In my contact record for him, I entered this: (xxx)xxx-xxxx,8,123
Here’s what people do that I hate, In the meeting invitation, they (oh, so helpfully) enter this sort of thing:
Conference Dial-in Number: (xxx)xxx-xxxxParticipant Access Code: xxxxxxx#
Now, when I want to dial in, I have to do one of the following:
  • Write down the access code, then dial in, then manually enter the access code.
  • Memorize the access code, then dial in, then manually enter the access code.
  • Dial in, go back to the calendar app and look at the access code, memorize it or write it down, then return to the phone app and manually enter the access code.
This is a drag.
Not helpful.
No thanks.
The next time someone does this to you, send them the URL to this blog post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

iOS 8 Beta 3 & Yosemite Dev Preview 3 Update

On Monday, Apple updated the iOS 8 Beta to Beta 3 and Mac OS X Yosemite to Developer Preview 3 (DP3).  This article gives some useful links to learn more about iOS 8 and Yosemite.

The upgrade of iOS 8 on my iPad Air took about 31 minutes.  The download only took a few minutes and the rest of the time was on the device preparing, installing and rebooting.  While the Yosemite update took about 16 minutes total.

For iOS 8 Beta installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test iOS 8 Beta. For Yosemite Dev Preview installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mobile App Design Part 2: Lessons Learned

If your organization has not been developing mobile apps for several years, you're going to make some major strategic mistakes as you plan your mobile development.  And if you're using waterfall or some other non-agile methods, then transitioning to Agile principles and the Scrum process is a significant paradigm shift.  So it’s extremely likely that without professional Agile transition guidance, you will encounter one or more of some common major Agile implementation mistakes.

In Part 1 of this Mobile App Design multi-part series, I covered some design and project management strategy.  In Part 2 I'll drop down a level and discuss some lessons learned through pain and triumph in the real world, and try to boil them down to some Dos and Don'ts.  Such as:

  • Do choose your platforms wisely
    iOS and Android stats and tips that app developers care about and which is more profitable.
  • Do make quality and working software a top priority
    Tips to ensure that developers and Quality Assurance (QA) engineers are the most productive.
  • Don't take shortcuts with Scrum
    Learn how not to make mistakes with Agile and Scrum.
  • And much much more...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

VMware Fusion now supports Mac OS X Yosemite as Host OS

VMware Fusion now working on Yosemite
VMware Fusion now working on Yosemite
VMware has updated Fusion to v6.0.4 on July 1, 2014, which now allows you to use Mac OS X Yosemite Developer Preview as the host OS.  For those not familiar with VM tech, this means you can now run the VMware Fusion app on Yosemite - making Yosemite the host OS of Fusion.

As I explained in my first blog article on Yosemite How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta, VMware Fusion v6.0.3 would not run on a Yosemite host.  But Yosemite could be run as a guest OS (inside a VM).  Although the v6.0.4 Release Notes makes no mention of this, it is working for me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Design Inspiration: Second Screen Developments

A few of the very cool design ideas that I discussed in my blog article Design Inspiration: Second Screen Designs are starting to appear.  Since I wrote that article, Apple's CarPlay has been launched and now Avatron has released Air Stylus an app that lets you use your iPad as a touch screen tablet for your Mac.  And Apple announced that iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite will have several app functionality sharing features like Hand Off and Continuity.

Second Screen Designs are coming more and more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yosemite Dev Preview 2 Update

Apple updated the  Mac OS X Yosemite Developer Preview today to Dev Preview 2 (DP2).  This article gives a quick update on my first observations and some useful links to learn more about Yosemite.

For Yosemite Dev Preview installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta.  Also check out all articles on Yosemite in this blog.

iOS 8 Beta 2 Update

Apple updated the iOS 8 Beta today to Beta 2.  This article gives a quick update on my first observations and some useful links to learn more about iOS 8.

For iOS 8 Beta installation steps, tips and more check out my blog article How To Safely Test iOS 8 Beta.  Also check out all articles on iOS 8 in this blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How To Safely Test OS X Yosemite Beta

Last year when the first Mavericks Developer Preview was released after WWDC 2013, I wrote an article on How To Install Mac OS X Mavericks in VMware Fusion.  This year I've added a lot more information, lessons learned and methods to test Yosemite that I've discovered.  Also check out all articles on Yosemite in this blog.

This article covers:
  • How To Install Yosemite in VMware Fusion & on a local partition.
  • High performance USB 3 flash drives.
  • Be safe by backing up your Mac and using VMs.
  • All the things I've tested regarding Yosemite installs, VMware and Time Machine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How To Safely Test iOS 8 Beta

iOS 8
This year installing the iOS 8 Beta is much easier than it was last year when I detailed out How To Install iOS 7 Betas in one of my blog articles.  This year is much simpler and in this article I detail out the steps you can take to install iOS 8 betas, take precautions to do it safely, recommendations for testing iOS, and even how to downgrade a device back to iOS 7 (something that the Apple Developer site still warns is not possible).

In this article I've updated the content from my How To Install iOS 7 Betas blog article for use with iOS 8.  And through some experimentation, I've also discovered how to downgrade to iOS 7 from iOS 8, so I detail out those steps as well.  

This article covers:
  • How To Install iOS 8 on a Device
  • How To Downgrade to iOS 7 from iOS 8
  • How To Recover a Device
Also check out all articles on iOS 8 in this blog.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Funny secret session titles in WWDC App

WWDC App Schedule
WWDC App Schedule
Apple’s WWDC app is showing a lot of session placeholders throughout the week that are still secret.  The secret sessions have funny titles like “Wouldn’t you like to know”, “Shhhh, Can’t tell you yet”, “This one’s a doozy” and more.

Nice to see the humor :-D  Well done Apple’s WWDC organizers.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Design Inspiration: Health Tech

Apple is expected to announce a health app initiative at WWDC 2014 on Monday, as part of iOS 8.  The center of this initiative is expected to be an app called Healthbook.  It addition I think there will be an API and perhaps a health focused app ecosystem as well.

The rumors about Healthbook have been circulating for months.  And just yesterday MacRumors discovered that trademarks for Healthbook, HealthKit, and iResearch had been filed months ago, likely by or on the behalf of Apple.

I think this will be huge.  Competitors are already begin to ship simple products and announce plans for bigger things.

Friday, May 30, 2014

WWDC iOS 8 Banner Hinting at Something ?

iOS 8 Banner at WWDC 2014
iOS 8 Banner at WWDC 2014
When the iOS 8 banner went up today at Moscone Center for WWDC 2014, I noticed something interesting.  It’s water background.  Reminiscent of the OS X Mavericks banner that went up last year and very different than the iOS 7 banner also at WWDC 2013.

Is something meaningful behind this ?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apple Acquires Beats: Something Big is in the Works

The tech rumor mill has been buzzin’ very loudly all month about Apple acquiring Beats.  And now it’s actually happened.

It’s the biggest acquisition that Apple has ever done, so that in itself, makes this very significant.  Apple’s strategy, unlike many tech titans, is to do small, strategic acquisitions.  And they do a lot.  But they are very smart and very quiet about it.  They decide what tech they want, then decide to build or buy it, and go for it.  Some are just for R&D and don’t evolve into a product or product feature, but many do.

By contrast, Beats brings with it fully mature and very well known products - entire product lines actually.  Which is another thing that makes this acquisition very different for Apple.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Big iBeacon Developments in Q1 2014

A lot continues to development with iBeacon local positioning tech since my iBeacon articles in November and January.  Here are the highlights:
  • Apple may be considering iBeacon for use in mobile payments.
  • More retailers rolling out iBeacon trials.
  • More rumors of Apple developing mobile payment tech.
  • Starwood Hotels pilots using smartphones to unlock rooms.
  • iBeacon transmitter inside your car.
  • Major League Baseball rolling out 1,000s of iBeacons.
  • Apple is now certifying iBeacon transmitters.
  • Home Automation begins to see use of iBeacons.
  • NBA Team implements iBeacon.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Design Inspiration: Apple announces CarPlay

Apple CarPlay
Apple CarPlay
As I anticipated in my article Design Inspiration: Second Screen Designs, Apple has announced CarPlay to offer even more integration of iOS with in car systems.  This is a breakthrough in mobile second screen designs, and represents an important milestone towards extensive local interconnectivity of our devices.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Design Inspiration: Second Screen Designs

Design Inspiration
Second screen designs have the potential to revolutionize many types of applications.  And to date, app developers have barely scratched the surface of that enormous potential.  In this, my first article in a series of articles on design that I’m calling Design Inspiration, I begin to explore some of the current and the future design ideas for second screen applications that have yet to be built by anyone.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

iBeacon developments coming fast and furious

iBeacon Logo
There have been lots of new developments in the area of Apple's iBeacon tech over the last few weeks since I published my last post on iBeacon tech news.

Some highlights:
  • iBeacon publishing - Cool idea !!!
  • Apple deploys iBeacon in stores.  That's HUGE !!!
  • Qualcomm launches an iBeacon like tech.  Interesting, but not quite ready.
  • Apple patent hints at local positioning tech in cars.
  • Next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will use iBeacon tech in their mobile apps for promotions.