office

December is here, the month that my annual fee for Apple’s App Developer Membership is due. To keep my apps active in the App Store for iOS and Mac devices, developers better not forget to pay. Failure to do so will result in being unpublished. This leads me to a question, why not have the annual fee automatically be deducted from app sale proceeds?

 

Can developers use Apple Pay for the annual membership fee? During the checkout process on the website, I came across this message:

 

Apple Pay Disabled

 

My Apple Card number was automatically selected to pay for the membership. The Apple Pay logo was grayed out further down which made me pause for a few moments. I kept saying to myself that I thought we get 3% back on all Apple services and products. It wasn’t until after I paid for the membership that the Apple Pay inside the Wallet app confirmed the fee was 3% cashback despite the website not disclosing this information. 

Apple Pay Receipt

 

So, even though Apple Pay is grayed out and says it is ineligible for one of the accepted payment types, it is indeed supported for the 3% cashback using the Apple Pay credit card number. Normally we only receive 1% for using the card. I thought I’d share in case this isn’t fixed by the time someone else pays for their annual fee. What an excellent way to receive $3.22, where I wouldn’t have otherwise.

bacon

We are back at it with another review. This time around it isn’t a piece of technology, it is one of the best foods available in the United States of America, bacon!

This perfection comes as no surprise as to why it is so addicting. Bacon is the flappy birds of food. It is beautiful. It sings to us. It inspires us. In all its crispiness, it’s amazing.

Vegans are no longer trending as bacon cannot be resisted. It’s part of life and must be embraced. To help improve morale and in office productivity nothing is more efficient than bringing bacon to work.

Turns out this isn’t a review after all, it is a fascination over bacon. 

Let’s celebrate this time by eating some juicy, watery, crispy bacon. To help gather some unique receipts on bacon I put a list of some great bacon resources to look into below.

Top Bacon Blogs

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in luck. There are a few apps on bacon available including this wonderful game.

Bacon – The Game

Play Store
Itunes App Store

Stay hungry, my friends.

iPhone 11 Max Pro

It has arrived, the iPhone 11 Max Pro. This was the first time I actually purchased an iPhone on the release date via online. I’m all for technology but why waste time being idle sitting in a long line at Apple’s retail store when I can place an order online? I’d rather be productive with my time so, it all worked out. iPhone 11 Max Pro in green was delivered on September 20th, 2019.

 

Back in the day

 

            Previously I owned an iPhone 6 Plus since 2015. The phone works just as new. If it wasn’t for Apple not releasing iOS 13 to iPhone 6 Plus devices, I probably wouldn’t of upgraded. The device was reliable, worked great for so many years but, I also need access to the latest iOS builds. My cellular carrier offered me $30 to trade my phone in while I was going through the process of buying the new phone. Luckily we have access to eBay to where it’s listed at auction, currently over $100 and about 4 days left. Whatever you do, do not trade it in with your carrier.

 

This thing is fast!

 

The speed difference between the 6 Plus and 11 Max Pro is a significant difference in my experience. It has been reported that Apple has intentionally throttled speeds on devices with old batteries. This makes me wonder if that was the reason the 6 Plus felt slower. Regardless these devices seem to be reliable despite all the abuse they go through on a daily basis. I expect the 11 Max Pro to last me 4+ years as the 6 Plus has.

 

The Cons – Apple please fix

 

            Being that this is a new iPhone, why does it not come with Airpods? The cable lineup Apple has for its products is a nightmare. I’m rocking a 2015 Mac Book Pro that only has thunderbolt inputs and yet the 11 Max Pro came with USB-C. The software for iOS is “intuitive” and tailored to the user and yet the cables are not. I would love to have included adapters to work with my other Apple products without needing to go to an electronic store. The included headphones wont connect to my Mac out of the box, that requires an additional adapter. This is all wishful thinking of course. Who knows, by the time we receive the next macOS update I’d have to upgrade my computer next.

 

Should you upgrade?

 

If your device is still supported to receive iOS 13 then I’d say wait. They release new versions every year with new hardware specs and software features. Most of the time the newer devices do not offer significant changes to warrant an upgrade. For me, the change from 6 Plus to 11 Max Pro was big changes and am happy I upgraded.

airplane flight

Getting the cheapest flight while traveling is usually the top priority when planning any type of trip. Sometimes this means planning around early 3:00 AM flights and long delays in hope to save a pretty penny or two. I don’t blame you, I’ve done the same thing before. The thing about planning your vacation trip is, we usually forget all the details of places or events around us. To help identify local places and events we can turn to mobile apps. We are literally holding powerful computers in our pockets, why not take advantage of all this technology? Here are some apps that can help enhance your traveling experience.

 

Google Maps
If anyone hasn’t already used it before, should know, this is one of the vital apps to have while traveling. It allows for GPS for cars, walking, and street view images to help identify buildings. Ensure to save offline maps in the event you do not have cellphone reception.

Itunes App Store Play Store

 

TripIt: Travel Planner
This app has a lot of great features to list but the top I love are creating itineraries, offline mode, access flight details, and map easily navigate through airports.

Itunes App Store Play Store

 

Google Translate
Even if you aren’t flying out of the country, it is good to have a translator accessible. Google Translate allows anyone to translate written text, audio from strangers, and using camera to help translate public signs. Can’t go wrong with this free service.

Itunes App Store Play Store

 

 

No matter how far you travel or what the purpose is for, taking advantage of the latest technology can help make life easier for us all. For further traveling advice, I invite you to take a look at this article about Travel Safety Tips.

 

So, where will you travel to next?

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 fees.
  • No credit card number visible on the titanium card.
  • 3% cashback on Apple products and services.
  • Cashback is available within 24 hours.
  • 2% cashback for all other purchases made using Apple Wallet.
  • 1% cashback for all purchases using the titanium card.
  • The cool factor of owning a titanium credit card. Throw it on a table and it’ll get everyone’s attention.
  • Apple Wallet shows how much you need to pay to avoid paying interest.
  • No international fees.
  • No over-limit fees.
  • No late fees.

 

Too good to be true?

As with everything there are cons. Purchases made using that fancy titanium card is only 1% cashback. The APR ranges between 12.99% to 23.99%regardless of credit. It looks like the way they make money is through higher interest rates.

 

Will everyone get approved?

I signed up more out of curiosity 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.

Will everyone get approved? It appears so, according toBusiness Insider. Goldman Sachs and Apple are offering “subprime” credit cards. This sounds great for people who spend wisely. Yet, it also has consequences if 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. But, that’ll make sure I adjust to never pay on interest.

 

Why did I get one?

I applied for the same reason everyone else did. It was for that titanium card and the 3% cash back for Apple products and services.

 

How fast did I get the card?

I applied on August 8, 2019. The wallet app informed me within a few minutes that I was approved. 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. The delivery driver left it on my porch. All I had to do 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. A thing to remember is every credit card is a liability that needs to be monitored. This card is exclusive to Apple devices, so if you’re 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. Just note most retail stores do not accept Apple Pay yet.

 

Who is this card good for?

This is great for purchasing Apple products and services. Mostly because you get 3% cashback. 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. That is if you remember to spend responsibly.

The titanium credit card has been great talking points with cashiers and restaurant waitresses. The titanium card can be used as a strategy to get attention or break the ice. Yet, it also is embarrassing if everyone knows your only getting 1% cashback 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.

 

 

Update image

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.

computer image

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.

To dive deeper into object-oriented programming I invite you to checkout this article.

design image

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.

computer image

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.

agile image

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.