Apple Card

Apple Card is here. While this is new to us all, rumor has it that Steve Jobs attempted to release a credit card back in 2004. So, what is the big deal? What makes this credit card so special?

The top selling features of this credit card are:

  • ZERO annual fee.
  • No credit card number visible on the titanium card.
  • 3% cash back on Apple products and services.
  • Cash back is available within 24 hours.
  • 2% cash back for all other purchases made using Apple Wallet.
  • 1% cash back for all purchases using the titanium card.
  • Cool factor of owning a titanium credit card. Throw it on a table and it’ll get everyone’s attention.
  • Apple Wallet visually shows how much you need to pay to avoid paying interest.
  • Purchase history shows company location and contact information if user forgot where they made the purchase or help track purchases.
  • No international fees.
  • No over limit fees.
  • No late fees.

 

Too good to be true?

As with everything there are cons. One of the cons is that this card offers high interest rates of 23.99% and any purchase made using that fancy titanium card is only 1% cash back. The APR is between 12.99% to 23.99% so even with good credit it looks like the way they make money is through higher interest rates.

To be honest I don’t like the fact that Goldman Sachs is the bank behind this card but I do see benefits enough for my personal uses.

 

Will everyone get approved?

I signed up to be notified when the Apple Card would become available. When I received the e-mail from Apple in August 2019, I did what a lot of people did, tapped on Apply inside the Apple Wallet app. It was more of a curiosity thing at first but lo and behold I was accepted. Mind you, my credit isn’t all that worthy to begin with, so I was a bit surprised. My credit limit is a higher amount than my previous credit card vendor granted me as well. I was excited and worrisome at the same time.

 

Will everyone get approved? It appears so, according to Business Insider. Goldman Sachs and Apple are offering “subprime” credit cards. While this idea sounds great for people who spend wisely, it can lead to bad financial consequences if these people are not careful. Not going to lie, it reminded me of the 2008 financial crash. This whole idea to be doing business with Golden Sachs feels iffy. However, that’ll make sure I adjust to never pay on interest.

 

Why did I get one?

I applied for probably the same reason everyone else did – was for that titanium card and the 3% cash back for Apple products and services. 2% on anything else purchased with my phone is not bad either. To be honest I am still getting used to the idea of using my phone to make purchases at local retail stores. I think this card will be used mostly for Apple purchases to be completely honest though.

 

How fast did I get the card?

I first signed to be notified via email once the new Apple Card would be available for me. I then applied on August 8, 2019, the same day I received the email invite from Apple. The application was simple, just asked for verification of income and last four of my social security number. Told me within a few minutes that I was approved. It allowed me to easily switch my Apple Card to be used as default purchases on my Apple account. To get the titanium card, there was an option I could request one for free. I finally received mine on August 21, 2019 via UPS 2nd Day Air. Delivery driver just left it on my porch. All that was required to activate the card was a tap inside the Apple Wallet app.

 

Is this card for everyone?

From a financial standpoint, no this is not. I think the interest rates are too high to carry a balance over 30 days. If used responsibly it could be a great benefit but as with every credit card, it’s a liability that needs to be monitored often. This card is exclusive to Apple devices, so if your wanting to use another phone then this may not be a good idea. Who knows, maybe Apple Wallet will be available on all other devices soon. On a personal note, I am not benefiting enough because the stores I shop for do not accept Apple Pay which means I am stuck with using titanium card or other means.

 

Who is this card good for?

This is great for purchasing Apple products and services. Mostly because you get 3% cash back. As an app developer who needs the latest devices anyways it is a no brainer for myself as I have to buy it anyways.

The approval rate seems to be wide open right now. So, if you need to build your credit history this may be beneficial but just remember to spend responsibly and pay it off before 30 days.

The titanium credit card has been great talking points with cashiers around town and restaurant waitresses. It can be used as a strategy to get attention or “break the ice”, but also can be embarrassing if everyone knows your only getting 1% cash back with high interest rates.

 

So, all in all what do you think? Are you interested in applying for the Apple Card? I hope this helps someone answer any questions they may have about the Apple Card.

 

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Computers and smartphones are not that different, as in they both use similar hardware. After years of using them they both can be bogged down or appear to be sluggish. Here are some ways to help optimize your smartphone:

 

Update Apps, Security patches, and Operating System.
Ensuring your using the latest software is vital for the security aspect of your devices. It also serves to provide best bug fixes that could of resulted in poor performance prior to updating. Majority of issues and security threats occur on devices that are not updated to the latest software. Since updating apps and smartphone devices are easy to do, it is best to just rule out to see if this fixes the issue first.
 
iOS: Settings → General → Software Update.
Android: Settings → About Phone → System Updates. 


Widgets

Widgets are great resources to view information without needing to opening up the app. However, if we setup too many, it can cause the device to lag or slow down. A thing to consider is if having it turned on really worth it for you.

iOS: Swipe right from the Home screen → Edit → Tap all red negative buttons to remove → Done.

Android: Hold down on widget → Remove/Delete.

 

Live Wallpaper

This is a cool feature that may look great but will also slow down your Android device. This is usually very noticeable in sluggish feeling once applied.

Android: Tap and hold on home screen → Wallpapers → Select wallpaper image → Set Wallpaper.

 

Apps, Text Messages, Photos, Videos, and Documents

Ensuring we remove apps that are not used can free up additional space that our device may need to function properly. Our devices are slower if we are almost to storage capacity so to help keep the device run smoothly, less is more. This applies to everything on our device such as apps, text messages, photos, videos, and documents.

 

Prevent Apps From Tracking Your Location / Run in Background

Some apps run in the background even if they are not being used. Some common apps that use such methods are weather, navigation, and bank apps.

iOS: Settings → General → Background App Refresh → Toggle off app(s).
Android: Settings → Data Usage → Restrict Background Data. 
 

Delete Social Media and Messenger Apps

This may not be an option for most but to be completely honest, these top social media apps are data and performance hogs on your devices. Not only will the battery life improve but also the performance of your devices if removed.

 

If All Else Fails, Factory Reset Device

I find this is mostly for Android devices as I personally have ran into situations where the only thing I could do to boost performance was to factory reset my device. Not sure what it was or why but these Android devices aren’t built as effective as the iOS devices I’ve experienced. 

iOS: Settings → General → Reset → Erase All Content and Settings.
Android: Settings → Backup and Reset → Factory Data Reset → Reset Phone → Input password → Erase Everything.

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Object-oriented programming (OOP)is a way to treat everything as objects. These objects can contain data that is then manipulated or setup in such a way to perform certain tasks through methods. For instance, let’s pick a car as an example. In the real world what are some of the characteristics that make up a car? What about its color, size of the wheels, number of doors, how much horse power is it? Is it a manual transmission? Creating an object in code is much like this, the programmer has control in including any characteristics needed for this car object. On top of that, the best part of OOP is creating methods that perform tasks. For instance, we could create a method to what happens when this car is put into drive, will it move forward without user pressing on the gas pedal? In essence, the programmer is the creator of his own little universe. He can define the world as it is in our reality or create a different one that goes against physics.

Why does this matter?

OOP is great for code reusability, testing, maintenance, and cleaner code. The last thing a programmer wants to deal with is by reading spaghetti code. I view programming as an art and OOP helps me paint my masterpiece. Ideally the less code needed to write, the better. We get this help through encapsulation,inheritance, and overloading.

Does OOP have any cons?

The learning curve is high for most to fully grasp this concept. Also it can be inefficient if the objects become too bloated.

Final thoughts

All in all, objective-oriented programming is a blessing for all programmers for all its features.

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When it comes to designing your app, few things are as critical as the actual look and feel your customer experiences using your mobile application. In fact, it is not uncommon to see up to 75% of apps downloaded, deleting after first use due to an unforgiving or difficult first usage.

 

Navigation must be intuitive

Using recognizable patterns immediately identifies how a user can get around your mobile app. This is achieved through hamburger buttons, for example, using recognizable icons such as the ‘home’ icon for the home screen or a chat bubble to indicate messaging. When users have to think about navigating, they will lose interest and begin to disengage from the mobile app.

 

Seamless across all devices

All design elements must mirror one another, irrespective of the device used. Not only will this help the user it will also build brand trust in your company.

 

Focusing on user goals

Goals expected for a mobile user are or might be different from those on a desktop. Let’s use a restraint app for example. Mobile users may only want to see the menu, make a reservation or get directions as their main priority. Desktop users though may take the time to look for reviews, history of the restaurant etc. The desktop information can be hidden under sub-menus on the mobile app instead.

 

Allow for personalization

Personalization is always the key when it comes to mobile apps. Using this approach, pushes the user toward content that they were originally looking for and away from anything irrelevant to them at the time. This will eliminate distractions and allows for things like streamlining the purchase process.

Keep in mind that too much personalization can also be a trap to avoid. Levels in personalization need to match the level of user trust the customer already has with the company or the app.

 

Final thoughts

The above user experience design principles will create a better customer experience for your app. Designers have mere seconds to keep the attention of an unforgiving public on their initial first use. The bar has been raised. No longer can companies think of mobile design as an afterthought.

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In a recent survey by Gartner, the future of app development rests with multi-experience. This is based on user application touchpoints, changes in modalities and the expansion of device types coming to market.

 

Enterprise applications

Regardless of the popularity of browser base application touchpoints, mobile device apps are continuously on the rise. Smartwatches, smartphones and voice-driven devices, all immersive devices, permeate the industry today. Their modes of interaction; type, touch, gestures and natural language all expand across the digital user’s journey.

Out of enterprises who have developed at least three different types of applications (other than web apps), the most common one out of them is mobile apps, reaching 91 percent inclusion. Conversational applications are the second-most commonly developed application, coming in at 73 percent for voice apps and 60 percent for chatbots.

 

The tech behind multi-experience development

Among the most popular developments used to support multi-experience app development are cloud-hosted artificial intelligence (AI) services, followed by native iOS and Android development. As image and voice recognition grows so does the demand for these applications.

 

Business impact

It remains true that mobile apps are still in high demand. They are expected to remain in the lead for applications projected to have the most impact on business success in 2020. Following mobile apps are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.

 

Barriers to overcome

The top barrier to building a compelling multi-experience application is the need for companies and their IT to be in alignment. Over 25 percent of a recent survey noted that shortcomings in developer skills and user experience expertise posed a barrier. Skills gaps must be identified and addressed in relation to emerging technologies and digital initiatives. This may mean training for some and bringing in a developer with prior experience on contract or as a consulting third party to provide the solution.

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What is Agile?

Agile methodology is a practice used to promote continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) of a project. Think of these iterations as sprints. Each one takes you to the next as you work to completing the project.

 

Agile roles

 

Research:The goal here is to gather as much information as possible from clients to meet the requirements laid out earlier. Product needs are finalized at this stage.

 

Design:Usually one or two sprints are created for the client. The first is a prototype of the product that goes to the client to see what it will look like. The second may be in response to changes the client now wishes to add or formal development begins at this point.

The agile process is broken into individual models that designers can work on. This benefits the smaller projects of the app development which can be initiated and concluded quicker, being ready for integration to the main project application when it is time. Errors for each area are spotted much faster using small project groups focused on parts of the project software and not the whole software code.

 

Advantages of Agile in Mobile App Development

  • Focuses more on client process and requires continuous involvement of the client.
  • Teams are more motivated and self-organized
  • Assures that the quality of the development is maintained through sprints and check points along the way.
  • The entire process is based on incremental progress. Both client and teams are aware of what is and isn’t complete. Risk of communication issues is reduced.

 

Limitations of Agilein Mobile App Development

  • Not a useful method for very small development projects
  • It does require an experienced leader to make important decisions in the meeting
  • Cost of implementing agile is a bit more than other methodologies.
  • If the project manager is not clear in communicating the outcome they want, the project can easily go off track.
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It comes as no surprise that mobile apps have been reshaping business for years now and have become an essential part of the eCommerce ecosystem. Regardless of what the business is, every organization benefit from app technology to maximize growth and audience reach. With the evolution of smartphones alone, it became easier to millions of users on no time at all.

 

AI makes apps smarter

Not only does AI (artificial intelligence) make apps smarter, it also saves a lot of money for companies. Think about how companies have leveraged chatbots. According to Gartner, chatbots will have saved companies about $8 billion between 2018 and 2020.

AI will integrate with apps for more enhanced voice assistance to users in customer support circles. Think of Googles introduction of Duplex. This AI program can make calls on behalf of humans and will accept calls from humans looking to book appointments with local businesses.

 

IoT

IoT (Internet of Things)has become an industry unto itself. This technology allows people to control the non-IT equipment near them via remote controls in apps. This convenience has become essential to users lives, and making developers keep up the pace of making apps IoT friendly.

 

Wearable apps

Most tech giants now offer some type of wearable device, including smartwatches and fitness bands as the most popular. Most of these devices operate on their own OS keeping to a true mobile operating system. Developers will need to consider wearable devices separately when choosing the platform for their applications. Integration with smartphones will also need to be built-in.

Business Insider holds true to their claim that the wearable market for these devices will increase at least 35 percent by the end of 2019.

code

Progressive Web Applications (PWA)is the bridge between mobile and web applications. They are built upon using standard web technologies. JavaScript, HTML and CSS are used to provide an app-like experience to the user. eCommerce businesses favor PWAs due to their app-like user experience, offline features and high-performance capabilities.

Key Features of PWAs

  • Reliable and work offline. Great when the network is unpredictable.
  • User experience similar to native apps.
  • No download required from a play or app store.
  • Fast, very responsive and do not occupy larger memory space.
  • Economical vs their native app cousins. Reduction in development and maintenance costs.
  • Platform independent. Compatible with multiple differing operating systems and device browsers.

Native mobile applications (a.k.a. Native apps) have already proved themselves to be great to work with. Developers have access to low level hardware that is not available in PWA. They’ve been largely developed for Android and iOS platforms and make use of Java for Android, Swift for iOS and C# for Windows systems.

Key Features of Native Apps

  • Easily integrated with mobile device hardware and software – Bluetooth, camera WiFi etc.
  • Uses built-in features like GPS, Camera, Sensor.
  • Auto memory management.
  • Auto-updates makes it more secure.
  • Play store offers variations of mobile applications easily discoverable.

So, PWA or Native apps?

PWAs are great for small businesses who look for a fast go-to-market solution that is easier on the budget. For those new to online presence, PWAs can help save on development time and cost. They’ve proven themselves very useful for some well-established businesses as well (Starbucks, Twitter, Pinterest, Trivago to name a few). If the goal is to publish outside the various app stores, then PWA is definitely the way to go.

Native apps on the other hand should not be ruled out so fast. PWAs cannot take advantage of device features nor can it surpass the high performance and security offered by native app development solutions. News publishers, blog sites, B2B eCommerce companies are a few whose best interest is in adopting Native application development.

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When you think about successful people and how they achieved success what comes to mind on how they were able to reach such possibilities? Do you think it was luck? Oh he was destined to be wealthy because of this or that? Do you really think wealth happens without earning it?I can’t speak for miracles but I can from personal experiences of putting in the hard work, day in and day out persistently. My friends and colleagues remember my first app published and are still in awe when they hear I’m still doing apps as if they thought I was going to quit years ago. Nope, I don’t give up that easily! I’m also not an expert but I am trying my best at what I do.

There’s something about writing a piece of code and watching these devices do exactly how and what you want it to do that amazes me.

Call it passion, obsession, or a habit of wanting to learn and try new things with new technologies and programming languages. I had my first light bulb moment when playing around with C++, but I finally have found my outlet in mobile app development. This all didn’t happen overnight, it took time of learning, trying new things, and taking risks.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

~ Calvin Coolidge

So let’s start today to put your idea in execution! Keep at it and let me know how it turns out in 5, 10, and 15 years from now. We have to remind people who want it now and quick, that success doesn’t come overnight. Those stories you read about “overnight success” is not the full story! Here are some examples:

James Dyson – created dyson vacuums, it took 5,127 failed prototypes and 15 years before his “overnight success”.

Gary Vaynerchuck – turned his families wine business from $3 million to $60 million in 5 years.

Colonel Sanders – the KFC guy got rejected over 1,000 times for his chicken recipe but still went for it.

So whatever your passion is go for it, don’t let family or friends tell you what to do because they failed in life, do what drives you so that success can find you. Don’t take advice from a quitter. If the person you take advice from never had a business, failed and gave up, or never take risks in life then its probably good idea to ignore it.

Cheers!

Back to school image

It’s that time of year again where students prepare for back to school! Before you send off the kiddos, make sure they grab a few of these apps to have them be more organized and prepared for school.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links.

 

  1. Citation Generator by JG

When it comes to APA format essays, this app is your best friend! Citation Generator creates the in-text citations and references for your APA format essays. It features over 25 sources to choose from, tutorials, and template of an APA format sample document that’s already configured to meet all APA format document requirements.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store
  1. Thesis Generator by JG

This app goes hand in hand with Citation Generator as it helps speed up your thinking process and get the essay started. Ever get stuck trying to know what to say in your essay or how to start it? Then this is the app for you! It takes in your opinions and spits out a thesis statement, over 9 to choose from with essay outline guidelines. This is a must have for any essay writer!

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store Amazon App Store
  1. MLA Citation Generator by JG

For those pesky MLA format essay requirements, we have MLA Citation Generator! Not all school use MLA format but if they do, make sure to download MLA Citation Generator to help you generate in-text citations and references! Same features as APA Citation Generator with a template sample document to download. Very useful app to have.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store   Play Store Amazon App Store
  1. iHomework 2 by Paul Pilone

This app is great at keeping you organized. Track your classes, teachers, and projects. Available on iPhone and Apple Watch. Give it a try, it might be a great solution for you.

Itunes App Store
  1. Flashcard Hero by Kitestack Software

The good old days have making flash cards on index cards are long gone. Flashcard Hero let’s you easily create cards and quizzes by syncing between Mac and iPhone.

Itunes App Store Mac App Store
  1. WiFi Scanner by AccessAgility

Nice app for the Mac that let’s you scan Wifi signals and can access all kinds of information. This app isn’t just great for trying to find wifi access at school but also for around town such as coffee shops.

Mac App Store
  1. My Grades & Homework by Roxanne Brittain

Cool grade tracking app for your iPhone!

Itunes App Store
  1. StudyBlue by StudyBlue Inc

This app does it all! Create flash cards, take quizzes, write and view class notes from other students.

Itunes App Store
  1. Notability by Ginger Labs

Notes galore! Very cool app that lets you write notes and be creative, check it out!

Itunes App Store Mac App Store
  1. Scanner Pro 7 by Riddle

Forget about this big machines that scan your documents, with Scanner Pro 7 you can scan any document and edit the text from your iPhone!

Itunes App Store