SmartWatch 2 from Sony, it is with unbridled joy that we can note the forthcoming release of a a gadget that may actually be useful. yes, useful. Hooray ! That’s is to say that there are many gadgets ….who whispered “Google Glass”?….which are “invented” using blindingly clever and exciting state of the art technology and amazing interconnectivity combined with beautiful design properties….but which, are just plain daft. Here though, is what we at Appdevelopersuk believe is a genuinely useful gadget which, we think will be a game-changer in the field of wearable technology.
Not only is the SmartWatch2 a useful and arguable beautifully designed device, but its got some great working features too! These include the holy grail of phone protection….waterproofing. Yes, stand under a shower and talk to your loved ones, swim upstream whilst explaining to your boss that you may be late due to adverse river currents, or…well you get the idea. Tip: Maybe best not stand under a shower until you are absolutely sure that the product is fully waterproof.
Lets be honest, the practical value is possible secondary to the fashion value (again we would question the value in that respect of the Google glass product) and this device features an aluminium design, along with the button recognizable from the Xperia Z family of phones and tablets and will come with a range of strap styles and colours. What fun ! For wearable devices similar to this, Mobile Mob has a range of replacement straps available.
In earlier watch/phone devices the screen size has been small and frustrating but this model has a 1.6 inch screen making reading the time, texts or mails is less of a challenge. Its still smaller than a phone screen of course, but what you may miss in screen size, you gain in convenience. This kind of wearable technology is currently predicted to be a strong developing aspect and with devices like this which include Near Field Connectivity as well as a familiar Android interface, then inevitably we can expect exciting and useful development to come.
When technology meets nature, just when you thought it was safe to back out in the countryside….it lurks, it looms ,…. it makes bird calls!
Yes, it seems unlikely but there is a serious problem about apps which can play birdsong and the concern is being aired by the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) amongst others. DWT are fearful of the effect of apps which mimic bird calls on the birds themselves. In general terms these apps are a boon for dedicated twitchers and casual observers alike, enabling them to call up the sounds of the specific birds they are seeking in order to elicit a response or other reaction from the bird. In particular people wanting to get closer to a bird may use these recorded bird calls to lure a bird closer in order to be better placed to take a photograph. In fact, the tactic can be used when abroad on holiday to see the tropical birds in Costa Rica, something that many bird enthusiasts in the region such as Costa Rica Focus may know about. So, what harm could there be in imitating these calls?
According to the DWT it certainly is harmful and they have issued a warning against it, saying that “it causes disturbances and can be harmful to certain species, according to the conservation organization”. Brownsea Island Reserve Manager Chris Thain said: “The apps are becoming quite common, and are great, but their use needs some guidance I feel. I’m sure visitors would be devastated if they realised the possible disturbance they were causing to wildlife. We need to spread the word that use of these apps is not suitable for nature reserves and can be potentially harmful to sensitive species.”
The key problem is that the normal routine of a bird is seasonally driven and these calls may interrupt or disturb the natural daily routines or activities of the birds. The disturbance may even stop the bird nesting, foraging or feeding its young, none of which will protect the species.
In order to minimize the disturbance to wildlife the DWT has taken the step of issuing a statement to advise that the user of smartphone apps (and presumably any other form of playing back recorded birdsong) could cause problems. The 42 reserves in Dorset have also become zones where apps of this sort are discouraged as tools to lure birds closer to the observer.
Appdevelopersuk developed the iOS version of BirdTrack, organised by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). This is not an app which plays recorded birdsong but it helped enthusiasts to track the seasonal movements of different species in conjunction with the BirdTrack website.
Glastonbury Festival app is now available to help all festival goers get the most out of the event. As any festival veterans will testify the most oft heard query over a festival weekend is: “How do I get to the Pyramid stage” or “where am I?”. The great news is that this free app, created for and owned by the telephone network EE, takes the strain out of the weekend and helps you find your way around the vast site. This is a great tool for all those visiting Pilton during the festival at the end of June.
What we at appdevelopersuk especially like is the Map feature where you can mark the position of your tent (or any other specific part of the festival site for that matter) and always know where you are in relation to it no matter where you may be in within the vast festival site. So, no more “I couldn’t find my tent” excuses from now on ….hmmm maybe a downside in there somewhere folks, better get ready with the “my battery is out of charge” excuse too. But with a re charge tent and numerous other portable battery charging devices available throughout the site this blag could fall on deaf ears.
The app allows you to sort out a schedule of events and acts so that you have more chance of seeing the performances you want to rather than the usual frustration of forgetting who is on where and when which often blights a festival day. Broken up into site areas as well as by stage, the app displays information to enable the modern day festival goer take a more organised approach. No more lolling about in your tent wondering what day it is, the app will alert you to every chosen event, direct you to the venue and keep you informed about any changes to schedule as some performer or other gets held up due to” leaves on the heli- pad” or some such minor disaster.
If you are an EE customer with a 4G plan you will be able to take advantage of higher speed services throughout the festival weekend. EE are also providing a free recharging service for all festival goers. If you are going to the festival why not try this app and then post your experience about it on this blog once you get back.
Apple hit 50 Billion downloads. Android poised to overtake! As reported on this blog Apple are now proud to have announced the 50 billionth app download. It’s a breath-taking number in a breath-taking world of technical accomplishment. What makes this so noteworthy is the fact that at present smart phone penetration is still only around 50% of mobile phone users. It is predicted that by 2017 the penetration rates in Europe will reach 80 to 90%, increasing the number of potential customers for the App store and its competitors. Penetration of Smartphones in the USA lags someway behind Europe. There is therefore obvious potential for this number to accelerate towards 100 billion in the coming years is clear.
The App store has only been open for 5 years. Its “doors” opened in July 2005 with only 500 apps available to download. That number has grown to a current choice 850,000 different apps across 23 different categories. As if that’s not enough, these apps are available alongside a further half a million or so across the other major platforms.
In fact whilst Apple celebrates this milestone the fact is that Google’s Android platform is poised to take a more prominent position in the market and currently there are 500 million more Android apps from Google Play per month beingdownloaded. There are now 900 million Android based devices out there as compared to 600 million Apple devices. Google claims that it has had 48 billion downloads to date and is achieving 2.5 billion per month compared to Apple’s 2 billion monthly downloads. The trend is set for the coming months. Android will be pushing for top spot in the app distributing business sooner than those at Apple may wish to admit.