In today’s world, mobile and tablet use is rapidly growing and becoming more integrated into our everyday lives. With over 6 billion mobile phones worldwide, 195 million tablets sold in 2013, and “nomophobia”- the fear of being without a mobile device- being a common occurrence in today’s culture, this growth is no surprise.
So what does this mean for today’s schools and educational communities? Let’s break it down:
- 67% of college students’ smartphones and tablets are being used for academic purposes (a rate that has nearly doubled in one year)
- Mobile applications and tablet computing will have a time-to-adoption of one year or less in higher education (New Media Consortium 2013 Horizon Report)
- 51% of households with 3-15 year olds have a tablet computer
- 42% of children aged 5-15 are using a tablet at home
- According to a 2013 Survey done by Grunwald Associates:
- More than half of K-12 parents surveyed believe schools should make greater use of mobile devices
- 45% of parents said they had already purchased or will purchase a mobile device to support their children’s education
As we see the value of mobile and tablet devices becoming a more powerful communication tool in our culture, schools have an amazing opportunity to use these platforms to create stronger relationships and engagement within their communities.
In the 2013 CIO Review Education Technology special, John Hermes, Vice President of Information Technology at Oklahoma Christian University comments, “I think the most important thing we are trying to do is maintain a conduit of communication with our constituents. Having a mobile app presence has become just as important to us as having a website- and, you could argue, maybe even more important.”
Here at Subsplash, we are here to help.
Introducing Android Tablet to the Subsplash Platform. Last year, Android tablet accounted for 61% of all tablet sales. And today, there’s a tablet in nearly 2/3rds of every US household. There are more ways to engage people today than ever before, and tablets have become a preferred avenue for experiencing media. With that in mind, we’ve thoughtfully spent the last year developing a rich and intuitive experience on Android tablet. Every detail in our apps are crafted with the end user in mind. From incredibly fast speeds, visually stunning media delivery, and a new robust sharing experience tailored to each unique user and their desired sharing outlets.
Android Tablet on the Subsplash Platform:
+ Available on a plethora of devices including: Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Samsung Note, Samsung Note, Samsung Galaxy and many more.
+ We wanted to build something that displayed media beautifully. Leveraging the capabilities of the Android Tablet UX, your media experience has never been better.
+ Video experience improvements.
+ Audio experience improvements.
+ Updated Now Playing experience.
+ Your large high res artwork looks brilliant within the app.
+ We’ve revamped the download experience. Managing and viewing your downloads is simple and intuitive.
+ Our improved sharing experience is delightful! Your audio and video content can now be shared from more places within the app than ever before, and to all of your social networks.
Available for download in the Google Play Store.
Are you ready to go mobile? With the Subsplash platform, you can now offer your own customized app on iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Windows Phone, and Android Tablet. Sign up for the Subsplash Platform today.
Already one of our wonderful clients? Upgrade to add Android Tablet to your suite of apps today.
Our founder and CEO Tim Turner was recently featured in an article by C3 leaders, a local ministry centered on Christ in commerce. The focus of this short article was to highlight the driving force behind our work here at Subsplash. A special thanks to the whole team at C3!
You can read the whole article here: http://www.c3leaders.com/humility-and-innovation-at-subsplash/
We’ve been updating the Android app experience on the Subsplash Platform so that your app will look brilliant! It will be optimized for Android KitKat and the new larger phones like the Galaxy S4, HTC Hero, and the Google Nexus 5! We are in the process of submitting updates to the Google Play Store so keep your eyes peeled for the update to hit! Here are some of the delightful new changes you can expect:
- New design for main navigation that now includes swiping from tab to tab.
- New & improved video experience that’s clean and elegant. When using video, rotate your device to landscape and it will automatically make your video go full screen.
- More intuitive and delightful (not to mention Android-friendly) audio and video sharing!
- We have redesigned the audio experience from the ground up. Not only do the Now Playing, Downloads and Playlist views look more beautiful than ever, we made behind-the-scenes changes to improve performance and usability.
- Your audio and video content can now be shared from more places within the app than ever before, and to all of your social networks (that’s right, even Pinterest!). Not only that, but the sharing experience will feel intuitive and elegant – like an Android app should!
- User interface improvements for the latest versions of Android including: Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKat.
- It’s faster, more stable, and more responsive than ever!
- Optimized for small and large phone screen sizes: mdpi, ldpi, hdpi, xhdpi, and xxhdpi.
- Oh yea, we squashed a bunch of bugs too!
With the plethora of Android devices out there, and the many variables to consider, our goal is to make the user experience as consistent and clean as possible, and that’s exactly what we’ve been working on!
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas season celebrating the birth of our Savior! We had a lovely time at our Christmas party last week and wish you could have joined in on the fun, so here is a glimpse into our evening!
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New Year!
We have so much to be thankful for here at Subsplash! We’re thankful for our clients, an amazing team, and all that God has allowed us to do in getting Gospel content into the hands of millions. We hope you have an amazing day with your friends and family, not to mention enjoying some amazing food!
We had a Thanksgiving party ourselves and it was awesome. The whole team brought in a dish to share, from mashed potato casseroles and turkey, to homemade desserts and cranberry sauce.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Do you share what you’re thankful for in a group? Is there a dish your grandmother makes every year? We’d love to hear it!
Just a few short weeks ago, we made a big move to a big new space! And we love it!
We had a party this week as an excuse to spend some time together as a group, and to eat lots of candy! From a spooky photo booth, to a ton of pizza, a horse mask, several rounds of Jousting, to just enjoying time with family and friends, it was a great day.
Tiny Darth Vader was very intimidating!
What a sweet family!
“Apple has worked some behind-the-scenes magic with its latest and greatest, and made some design changes for the better, too, all of which adds up to a new smartphone market king.”
We’ve got Apple on the brain. Two new iPhones were revealed last week by Apple and we all upgraded our phones to iOS 7 on Wednesday. We thought we would share some of our favorite features.
Check out Windows Phone on The Church App Platform here.
Here’s the skinny on why we’re excited about Windows Phone:
- Adding Windows Phone to complement iOS and Android allows you to cover 99% of today’s smartphone market.
- Windows Phone is projected to represent 10-20% of smartphone sales by the end of 2014.
- Adding Windows Phone to your suite of apps is easy! It instantly integrates with your content, and you don’t have to do any extra work!
-Windows Phone is now 1/3 size of iOS globally.
-8.7 million Windows Phone devices were sold in Q2 of 2013.
How do you keep busy parents up to date on everything that’s happening at their children’s schools? For Grace Christian School, a private K-12 school in Alaska, the answer was simple: with an app!
“The app is simply a great connection tool,” explains Shannon Dow, the school’s Publications Coordinator. The Grace Christian School app includes school announcements, calendars, lunch schedules, blog entries, forms and other tools for parents.
In addition to schools, Subsplash powers apps for radio stations, businesses and a broad variety of organizations. “Our platform is incredibly versatile and can accommodate a wide range of needs,” says Chris Sharpe, Director of Marketing at Subsplash.
Dow and her team first became acquainted with Subsplash when a local church created an app with Subsplash. “We knew we wanted an app as a tool for our families. We wanted to be up-to-date and put all the information they needed right in the palm of their hands in a very accessible way,” says Dow.
In addition to providing parents with all the information they need in one consolidated place, Dow notes that the app also provides a connection point for parents who don’t use social media. “Not everybody is into Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. So when they don’t have an account for one of those social media sites, they usually don’t get to see the content we are sharing there,” Dow explains. “The app bridges this gap for us.”
With close to 1,000 downloads, Dow and her team are thrilled with the app. “We saw the download numbers grow quickly. It was exciting to see our vision play out and to know that we were giving our families the connection point they had been looking for.”
Dow plans to continue to expand the app’s offerings. This school year, she plans to add weekly chapel sermons so that parents can listen to the messages and discuss them with their kids. “It’s all about connecting,” says Dow. ”Connecting our parents to the information they need, as well as giving them an opportunity to connect more deeply with their kids about what is going on during their day, and ultimately it makes them feel more connected to the school,” she explains.
If you’re interested in creating an app for your school or organization, contact us!
Download the Grace Christian School app here.
Happy 5th birthday App Store! What an incredible five years it has been. The App Store has completely changed the software industry, and paved the way for developers to be able to publish apps and content directly to end users. There’s an app for just about everything these days, and most of these are readily accessible to anyone, spare some specialty apps with hefty price tags. But it wasn’t always this way. From its humble beginnings in 2008, the App Store has grown from 500 apps to more than 900,000 at your fingertips today.
The App Store has the world’s largest collection of mobile apps. With over 50,000,000,000 downloads, it is safe to say that just about everyone is downloading apps. In fact, that breaks down to about 800 apps downloaded per second. As of June 10, more than $10 Billion has been paid to developers through the App Store – talk about boosting the economy! The App Store has paid more money to developers than the combined GDP of both Haiti and Fiji. Not only is the App Store’s growth incredibly successful by itself, but when you take into consideration that Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Windows Phone Store, and the Blackberry World store all followed suit behind the App Store, Apple’s reach and contributions with the App Store is that much more impressive.
Because of the App Store, we do things differently now. For example, if you hear a song playing and you are curious what band it is, just use Shazam to find out. How cool is that? Or, if you are waiting at a bus stop, why not play Angry Birds? Ok, maybe that’s played its course, but you get the picture. An app that has made a big difference in my day to day is the Starbucks App. With the swipe of my trusted iPhone sidekick, not only is my coffee paid for, but the juggling game of finding my wallet in the black hole that is my purse is eliminated. There is so much to be said for convenience.
While the three apps I mentioned are certainly not necessities, there are plenty of apps out there that are making a difference. Apps utilizing The Church App platform have gotten over 6,000,000 downloads (across 3 app stores). That’s 6 million downloads helping to share Jesus’ name. Very recently, our friends at You Version announced that their Bible App has been downloaded 100 million times. Isn’t that incredible?
Apple is doing a bit of celebrating in honor of the App Store birthday too, and giving away several apps that are usually paid. “It’s been a remarkably prolific five years for the App Store. To celebrate, we’re giving everyone five landmark games and five groundbreaking apps for a limited time.” Not only that, but they’ve got a nice little timeline that breaks down “the key moments that have made the App Store the world’s most innovative destination for apps.”
Has the app store changed your day to day life?
All the buzz in the tech world so far this week has been heavily occupied by Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference that took place Monday morning in San Francisco. In usual Apple fashion, they put on a pretty good show and had some shiny new stuff to present. The headliners of the keynote were iOS 7, iWork for iCloud, OS X Mavericks, iTunes radio, new Macbook Air, and a sneak peak at the completely redesigned Mac Pro. Seeing that our bread and butter is mobile, I am going to focus on iOS 7.
Perhaps the most drastic update since the original iPhone OS release, iOS 7 is completely redesigned. With an emphasis on simplicity, Senior Vice President Jony Ive has rethought every detail of not only how the OS looks, but how it performs and interacts. Every single app has been refreshed for the operating system upgrade, along with a new control center, and improved multi-tasking to name a few.
“Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment. Where games push the boundaries of realism. And television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap. And you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom tailored to you. And the entertainment you love is all in one place. Welcome to the all-in-one, Xbox One.”
Microsoft revealed the Xbox One last week – the newest and greatest Xbox yet! Although pricing has not been announced, nor can you order just yet, their feature packed presentation was not short of much. It’s hard to put the Xbox One into a box (I made a pun there…) because it is so all encompassing. Is it a gaming console? Yes. Is it a media console? Yes. Can you do just about anything you could want on it? Yes. For gamers, the Xbox One has been a long time coming (Xbox 360 was released in 2005). For everyone else, sure a lot of the features on Xbox One could already be done with the Xbox 360, but Microsoft has boosted up this new device to meet the growing demand for multitasking media. Let’s face it, attention spans are short and we expect it all in one place.
With sleek lines and sharp corners, Xbox One is more than just a pretty face, it is a powerful and impressive piece of technology. The key features presented during the reveal were unmatched and superb gaming, instant and seamless media presentation, the ability to multitask, integration with improved Kinect, and web interaction with the Windows 8 platform. You can get a full and detailed description of the Xbox One with all specs here.
With any product release there are several buzz words and catch phrases that float around. Often these frequently repeated phrases address issues you didn’t necessarily know even existed. For instance, with the Xbox One you will “never have to change the input again!” or “you can three way Skype and watch football at the same time, on the same screen!”. Although these are pretty cool features, and the Xbox One was obviously carefully and considerately created, I am merely poking fun at the emphasis put on these abilites.
So what does this mean for Apple TV and other competitors? It could be a tough road ahead. Not only does Xbox One combine all of your entertainment into one place, but it does it really well. Hats off to you Microsoft, we are genuinely impressed.
We’ve got great news! We have added a new operating system to the Subsplash App Platform and we are now pleased to announce that you can extend your mobile app presence to Windows Phone and the Windows Phone Store!
Windows Phone is on pace to gain a significant segment of the smartphone market within the next few years. Trailing Android and iOS, the Windows Phone platform has been picking up steam and has nearly doubled its market share in just a few months! It has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike. You may have seen the new Lumia 920 from Nokia as well as the HTC 8X. Both phones are stunning and demonstrate how Windows Phone presents content impressively.
Windows Phone. Seriously Awesome.
Vibrant: Windows Phone is vibrant, rich, and powerful. Your content will be presented in a bold new way.
Early advantage: Although there are already millions of users, there are relatively few apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace which means you have more of an opportunity to reach people by being one of the first to get your app published in the store.
Powerful and Beautiful devices: The Nokia Lumia 920 won Engadget’s Smartphone of the Year and Gizmodo’s Best Smartphone Camera.
Although one of the most noteworthy and impactful ideas of the 21st century, Facebook has lost some steam. A company built for moving life and interaction to internet browsers has not adapted as seamlessly with the mobile growth and culture that has occurred in just the last few years.
The biggest mistake Facebook has made (as acknowledged by Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO) was hedging a bet against mobile apps. Predicting that apps were fleeting, and that we would eventually use our phones in the same capacity that we use our desktops, Facebook spent considerable time and effort on optimizing their website for mobile phones. There were a few problems. The multiple bugs that made the site repeatedly crash and painfully slow weren’t just a quick fix. Frustrations and numerous poor reviews by customers were more than Facebook could toss aside. In 2011 they made the decision to start over and build custom apps for each OS, in a move that changed the developing culture at Facebook.
Luminance has new and improved social sharing! You can now share your pictures on Luminance directly to Facebook and Twitter!
If you don’t already have Luminance, download it here. It might be the best $.99 you’ll ever spend!
Thank you for using Luminance, we love your pictures!
If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you’ve probably heard of “The Disney Experience” or “The Disney Difference.” Many regard it as the superlative service benchmark; you can hear it invoked frequently across every spectrum of the service industry. But just like a trending buzz phrase, these Disney-esque ideas seem to propagate through the business landscape with little attention to context or detail. When attempting to emulate Disney magic, we’re often too easily satisfied with a vague notion of smiling faces and the way we felt on that trip to Disneyland. Notions of the ideal only get you so far. There’s an artful science behind the magic, and it applies whether you’re serving dinner, coffee, clothing, theme parks, or mobile app platform support.
It can be said that successful strategies can be applied across industries regardless of diversity. Mickey Drexler is certainly a believer and a proponent of this line of thinking, and has used this mentality to receive the unofficial title of “The King of Retail”. Not only has Mickey breathed life into once mediocre businesses, J. Crew and the Gap, but has lent his expertise into several other businesses and industries including being on the board of directors at Apple for the last 14 years, and the driving force behind Apple’s wildly successful retail stores.
In the early 1990’s, Gap was a relatively small chain without much notoriety, cue Mickey Drexler. He took the brand to lengths never even thought attainable by a retailer. With incredibly successful ad campaigns featuring models and celebrities alike paired with trendy tunes, Gap’s numbers soared and the retailer was considered an iconic part of the 90‘s pop culture. These types of iconic ads that Drexler implemented had seldom been seen before, and it was his thinking that elevated the success of Gap, and this success was noticed and copied by many. After wild success, their quick growth was unsustainable and following a poor turn in profits, Drexler was abruptly fired from Gap in May of 2002.
Luminance 1.5.1 is now available!
4-Inch Retina support, Facebook Captions, New Brena Filter, New Grain Adjustment layer
It has been said for many years that if the first thing you do each
morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the
satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is
going to happen to you all day long.
-Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog!
For most people January is a month for organizing, goal-setting, and looking forward. Here at Subsplash we’re doing the same and thought we’d share some of our tips.
Most of us have way too much to do, so we often approach our tasks randomly. We tackle the tasks directly in front of us, such as the relatively less important emails cluttering our inbox. Completing low-priority tasks can make us feel productive, but may actually take time away from our most important projects.
Identify your most important project, or your frog, everyday. This is the most important task for the day and the one you’re likely to put off. In his book Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy recommends “eating your frog” as soon as possible to ensure this task is completed. Tracy explains, “Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single mindedly until those tasks are complete.”
Make a to-do
Now that you’ve prioritized and identified the most important task, make a to-do list that includes everything you need to get done. My to-do list consists of four categories: today, this week, later, and way later. Today includes my frog and any other top-priority tasks. This week and later include lower-priority tasks, and way later includes some long-term projects or ideas I would like to pursue in the future. As the week goes on, tasks from this week get moved to today.
Stick to it!
Your to-do list is worthless if you don’t stick to it. Don’t let smaller or less important tasks distract or prevent you from completing everything on your list. Completing more enjoyable or easier tasks can make us feel productive but decrease overall effectiveness.
I receive upwards of 100 emails per day, and I’ve found that if I respond to each email the minute it arrives I waste a lot of time and it breaks my concentration. Set aside some time each hour or two to check your email and reply to them all at once rather than flitting back and forth. Make sure that small projects don’t prevent you from eating your frog!
Get the right tools
One of our favorite productivity tools here at Subsplash is Evernote. We can organize images, notes, and lists in notebooks, which are searchable and sharable. I use Evernote for to-do lists, email templates, and miscellaneous information. Evernote is an easy way to organize a lot of information, and you can access Evernote on your computer, through a web browser, and on your phone.
Probably my favorite time-saving tool is Text Expander, an incredible application that allows you to save commonly used text snippets. I use Text Expander for email templates, explanations of features, and frequently used questions. All that typing adds up!
Here’s to a productive year! How do you save time or increase productivity?
2012 was a great year for us at Subsplash and for tech companies everywhere! One of the ongoing stories of the past year has been the incredible growth in the mobile market. There are more people than ever using smartphones, and it’s very clear that this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon, although it currently only represents 1/6 of all mobile devices.
There are over 1.1B smartphone subscribers in the world today. The US is currently only second to China in mobile usage and experienced a 50% growth in 2012, but the real growth has taken place outside the US. Several platforms and operating systems make up the smart phone realm, but far ahead of the rest is Android. Although talk of Apple and iPhones is often ubiquitous, Android growth was nearly 6x that of the iPhone in 2012.
With an ever changing landscape, tablets have to be taken into consideration on the mobile front as well. In the US, 29% of adults own a tablet of some sort, up from 2% less than 3 years ago. This past holiday season proved just how integral tablets are to people’s lives. Adults aren’t the only ones yearning for tablets, in fact 48% of American kids asked for an iPad for Christmas, which I’m sure lead to a lot of animosity toward Santa. Not only that, but mobile devices and tablets made up 24% of Black Friday shopping (which is still the US’s top single day for shopping revenues).
Mobile is changing how people live. It won’t be long before every simple activity can be controlled from your smartphone, and we’re almost there. More than 84% of people worldwide say they can’t go a single day without their mobile device. Could you?
A few more mobile stats:
-1.1 B smartphones in the world
-45% of adults in US use smartphones
-Android makes up 52% of market
-Apple is 35% of market
-Android has had 25 Billion downloads… Apple hit that 6 months ago.
-More than $100 B was spent on mobile media globally
*All information was gathered from Mary Meeker’s presentation ” Internet Trends” which can be found at http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meeker-2012-internet-trends-year-end-update-2012-12?op=1
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is here, and it’s almost the new year! 2012 has been an incredible year of blessings and growth here at Subsplash, and we couldn’t be more thankful!
We hope you had an amazing Christmas with your loved ones, celebrating the birth of our King.
In 2010, two Subsplash designers started imagining a new way to edit and process photos. Their goal was simple: to combine great usability with highly sophisticated photo editing capabilities.
A year later, Luminance was born. Only a few months after it launched, Luminance was named Runner Up App of the Year by Apple. Here’s what Apple had to say about Luminance when it was chosen as iPhone and iPad app of the week: “Our pick pairs professional editing features with a friendly interface, putting extraordinary photos within everyone’s reach.” Today Luminance has over 1.5 million downloads and is still going strong!
What makes Luminance different from all the other photo editing apps? Here are the top five reasons why we love Luminance:
Luminance saves every adjustment, filter, and crop as a layer, similar to many professional photo editing programs. You can add unlimited layers and reorder the layers to create unique effects.
For example, if I want to achieve a softer vintage look, I can increase contrast with one layer and decrease contrast in the next layer, which will give the photo that warm and flattened look of a snapshot from the 1970s. Choosing the order of your layers gives you more control over your photos.
Once you’ve found the perfect settings for your vignette, highlights, shadows, and tint, you can easily copy your edits and add them to another photo.
2. Undo any edit, anytime.
I’m not a professional photographer, and the only way I’ll ever understand split toning is by trying it. Same goes for tone curve and white balance. Once you’ve finished playing with a photo (or in my case often ruining a photo), you can see all of your layers in the timeline tab. The timeline tab keeps a record of every adjustment and allows you to easily see how every layer affects your photo. Luminance is easy to navigate for even the most indecisive user, so experiment without fear!
It has been a very eventful season for tech companies and consumers everywhere. We have seen brand new product releases in the last few weeks from Apple, Google, Samsung, Nokia and more… but it seems that the biggest week of them all was had by Microsoft.
Microsoft kicked off the week with a Windows Phone 8 reveal. With guest appearances by Jessica Alba and even Steve Ballmer himself, the event was by no means lackluster. With the focus of the campaign being ‘personalization’, Microsoft showed off all of the unique, brilliant, and intuitive ways that WP8 will change the way we use our smartphones.
The features that really set WP8 apart from other devices on the market are the Live Tiles, People Hub, Kid’s Corner, Sky Drive, and newly improved Camera. You can get a full and detailed explanation of all of these features here.
Microsoft has started their WP8 campaign with eccentric CEO Steve Ballmer narrating and showing off his own Windows Phone. Microsoft is aggressively launching Windows Phone 8 with a rumored $4 Billion in advertisements. You can pretty much guarantee that even if you don’t end up being a WP8 fan, you’re at least going to hear about it – a lot.
Of course I can’t talk about Microsoft’s great recent innovations without mentioning the Surface Tablet, but that’s an entirely different story. (FYI: We are currently testing on and playing around with our new Surface tablets and love them!)
Although Microsoft has yet to prove its sticking power as a main platform against Android and iOS, it certainly made a great argument as to why it should (and will) be. Critics may still bring up the fact that Microsoft is entering the smartphone market behind the curve, but they’re able to counter that with familiarity and the ability to sync multiple technologies. They were already in a marginal position with XBox (in a market highly saturated with Nintendo and PlayStation) but were able to really discover what their customer’s wanted – and now hold the top spot above all competitors. So yeah, they’re used to being late to the party, but once they’re there… they’re not leaving anytime soon.
As a twenty-something, my generation is in an interesting place because although we grew up with some great technology, we have really seen some incredible advances and innovation take off in our adult lives. We can still appreciate how amazing it is that we are able to carry around tiny computers that make phone calls, search the web, stream music endlessly, and complete any other task we could ever dream of, and yet we still aren’t satisfied. This wasn’t always the case.
I remember my family’s first home computer, it was painfully slow and very limited but it was like nothing we’d ever experienced… until my 3 year old sister put a penny in the CD-rom slot and it started smoking, but that’s besides the point. It was a huge step for technology and for the average American family. When my dad got a laptop (a light 20 lbs.) I couldn’t believe that you could use the computer in any room you wanted!
With how fast things have been changing via the mobile revolution, we are curious to hear how you are engaging with mobile. For example, how many minutes do you spend a day using apps? Did you know the average time spent using apps is 90 minutes day? That may sound like a lot but if you consider every spare minute waiting in line, a short break at work, stopped at a red light (we know you do it), and everything in-between, it really adds up! Which apps do you use the most often? Is it a news app or a Bible, or maybe equally helpful things like Facebook and Angry Birds? Again… we know you do it.
We currently have open positions for designers & developers (web & native) who love making great mobile apps. Submit your resume at subsplash.com/jobs. We would love to meet you!
We’ve had an incredible summer here at Subsplash, and wanted to fill you in on what we’ve been up to!
Apple had a pretty big day last week. In standard Apple fashion, their mystery (not so much) press conference captivated the eyes and ears of millions of people – something they’ve become quite good at. From tech industry execs, to die hard Apple groupies, to Mrs. Peterson’s entire 8th grade classroom, to even your Grandmother, there weren’t many that didn’t know about the release of the new iPhone 5.
Although most were fairly certain that a new iPhone would be the jewel of this San Francisco conference, there was some speculation as to what it would actually be called. These doubts were put to rest, however, when Apple’s official acknowledgment of their announcement was a simple “September 12th” casting a shadow of the number 5. And just like their smooth hint at what was to come, the conference was pretty smooth itself.
When considering a mobile app for your organization, there are a million different directions that you can go in. Not only does this apply to the layout of your app and the features you choose to put inside, but it starts with who (or where) you decide to build your app.
The first approach could be to build an app as inexpensively as possible – or for free. Although it’s pretty incredible that you can do virtually anything these days for free, I think it’s pretty safe to say that free doesn’t always (usually never) mean well done. If you’re on a tight budget, you might believe that something is better than nothing – but that is not necessarily the case. Your brand is closely associated with everything you put out there, so even the smallest of details should have a positive effect. With all of the technology at our fingertips these days, people don’t just prefer quality, they expect it. If your app is designed poorly, has poor UX, or can’t compete with other apps out there, there’s a good chance it will get deleted – or forgotten.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could easily pay upwards of $100,000 for a quality custom mobile app. Sure, it’s going to look fantastic, but there aren’t many organizations out there that actually need an app at this level.
That’s where we come in, the perfect sweet spot. Here at Subsplash, we believe in building quality, affordable, customizable apps. If you have the content, we would love to help you go mobile.
In the realm of technology there are a lot of terms and acronyms, it can get confusing. One fairly common question that we get is; “what is a CMS?”. Well, that is a really good question. CMS stands for Content Management System and there can actually be a few different types. But for our purposes here at Subsplash, when we talk about a CMS, we are referring to online software that acts as one central place where you can control the content, publishing, and editing of your websites, apps, etc. Even something like Facebook is a limited CMS, a place to control your content on a page online. The beauty of a CMS is that it makes managing your end user software incredibly easy and you don’t have to know any code – which is a good thing!
Here at Subsplash, we have created a CMS from the ground up to help churches and ministries very easily control the content, layout, features, and artwork of their mobile apps. You don’t have to deal with Apple or Android, you don’t have to know code, yet you still have complete control of your apps by simply plugging and playing online! We’ve built our system to give our users control of layout, features, artwork, and the content of their apps. You can make changes any time you want!
If you ever have questions about Subsplash, The Church App, or technology in general, we are here to help!
I’ve heard a number of baby-boomers mention how difficult it is to learn technology. They look at the younger generations, and seeing how familiar they are with new technology, they decide they must be wired differently. “It’s easy for kids because they’re born with the chip,” I’ve heard them say.
Being a member of this younger generation, I’ve had a lot of experience with technology; I’ve built computers, written software, and spent the past year working on the Support team at Subsplash (which means I answer lots of tech questions). I’m also aspiring to be a university physics teacher someday, so I eagerly look for better ways to explain difficult concepts, whether they’re in physics, technology, or elsewhere.
I recently read an article by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in which he outlined what he considered to be the main difficulties students have in learning math. As I read, I noticed some interesting parallels between people I know who have difficulties with technology.
Have you ever found yourself trying to remember how you used to do things before you had your latest gizmo or piece of technology? For example, 95% of the news I read is through a mobile app on my phone. Before the app, I would visit websites every day and before that?… well, I guess I never was a big fan of printed newspaper or waiting around for the 11 o’clock local news. I’m amazed at how fast technology changes the way we do simple things. I’m sure my kids will laugh when I tell them about CDs, land line phones or even laptops!
Technology changes our daily life so quickly that we can’t remember the change even occurred. I’ve had computers around since I was in middle school, so I can’t really relate to working without email or the web, but somehow people got stuff done for thousands of years before that. I’m actually quite fascinated with how people used to do stuff, from keeping foods preserved to doing international business, and how we got to the place we are today.
The way we watch the Olympics has changed drastically over the last few years. Immediate satisfaction and consumption have become so commonplace in our culture that the element of surprise is hardly attainable anymore. If you were hoping to find out the results of an Olympic event while tuning in during prime time broadcasting you’d better hold your breath. Well, hold your breath, delete your Twitter and Facebook, and avoid the internet and people altogether.
The Olympics has been an event celebrated worldwide since its origin – an incredible display of patriotism, athleticism, and the perseverance of the human spirit. Advances in technology have made the Olympic games more accessible than ever. This accessibility is both incredible and a target for criticism.
This year’s Olympic broadcasting has received a considerable amount of criticism for NBC producers. Several issues involving time-delays have put the studio under fire – and their reactions to these criticisms have been less than favorable. From a US perspective, the 7-9 hour time difference has been less than ideal. This was evident almost immediately with their decision to time delay and edit the opening ceremonies. Fans were expecting to be able to see big events as they were happening, in addition to during the primetime spots, but it appears that the sentiment is not shared. Numerous outlets and individuals have mentioned their disappointment in NBC, but it’s also gone as far as reporter Guy Adams being suspended from his Twitter account for expressing unfavorable opinions about NBC (along with a head exec’s email address).
Remember when you had to follow a map to get where you were going? Remember when mobile phones were for actually making phone calls? Advances in technology have totally changed the way we do everyday life. Case in point: crowdfunding platforms i.e. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and many more. Although we don’t give these commonplace websites much thought or concern, it really is incredible what they’ve been able to accomplish. Going back to old ways of doing business, it used to be that funding was all about who you know, and now it’s quite literally who you’ve never met.
Regardless of your orientation as a journalist, entrepreneur, investor, artist, or educator, there is absolutely a project near and dear to your heart that just needs a little boost to get off the ground! These sites provide fundraising that help turn ideas and visions into realities. Not only is financial support provided, but also a community of supporters rooting on your cause and watching you achieve your goals!
The projects being created are incredibly diverse and range from bands fundraising to release an album, new inventions and products that need funding to get started on production, to worthwhile charitable causes, and much more. These websites are an incredible tool for raising awareness and bringing great ideas into the public eye.
Microsoft might finally be stepping up to challenge Apple and Google on the mobile front. With the announcement of the Surface tablet, Windows Mobile 8, and their $1.2B acquisition of Yammer, it has been an awfully busy week for Steve Ballmer and company.
The Microsoft Surface tablet is easily the biggest announcement of the bunch, as it’s changing the way that Microsoft has previously done business. The most noteworthy aspect of the Surface tablet is that it is going to be made in-house from start to finish. That’s right – the software AND hardware are going to be 100% Microsoft. It’s very possible that this will be the iPad contender that so many companies have tried to create. In addition to a gaggle of impressive features and specs, what really sets it apart from previous tablets is its built in keyboard/snap case and kickstand. Not only does it have the power that you’d expect from a PC, but it’s as delicate and elegant as any ultrabook or tablet. The Surface is 9.3mm thin, has full size USB 2.0 ports, is a mere 1.5 lbs (made of the extra strong and lightweight magnesium – VaporMg), and is a perfect stage for the new Windows 8 platform. A big question mark is the Surface’s price – Microsoft has only revealed that it will be competitively priced. Although the Surface may not completely replace the iPad, it may just be Microsoft’s heavy weight challenger.
The first WWDC convention since the passing of Steve Jobs (23rd overall) commenced on Monday of this week. Although some may say that it lacked the luster that Jobs used to bring, it certainly wasn’t short on innovation. Developer’s were able to hear the latest news from the company that essentially created a developer ecosystem around iOS with attendees from over 60 countries and over 1000 apple engineers present. Steve Job’s successor Tim Cook and a string of Apple execs took the stage to make some pretty exciting announcements. There were no huge product reveals, no news of a crazy iPhone 5, but rather incredible improvements to the products we’ve already become accustomed to.
The keynote presentation was all about the next generation MacBook Pro. I can say with certainty that it is now one of the best and most powerful laptops money can buy – not to mention sleek and beautiful! The MacBook Pro has a ton of new features including a stunning retina display with more pixels than ever (2280×1800). It truly is a powerhouse with the latest quad core processors, fastest ram available, 7 hour battery life, and best software optimization at only .71 inches and just under 4.5 pounds. In the words of Apple, it is “innovation in every dimension”.
If you couldn’t tell from my slightly skewed voice on all issues Apple (unintentionally), I am an avid iPhone user. I have nothing against Android in any way, what it comes down to is that iPhone is all I’ve ever known. I can FaceTime, I had Instagram before it was cool, and of course – I’m part of the elite iOS club. I think everyone in this club can agree that we’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for a glimpse at the next iPhone – presumably iPhone 5? I have read a slew of rumors from a titanium case, to a USB port, to telepathic qualities (okay not really), to a 4 inch super screen.
So what feature would you appreciate most in the new iPhone? What’s your stance on the screen debacle? Do you think it’s just fine, or could you readily support a bigger screen? Steve Jobs will most likely be rolling over in his grave, as he decided that the current 3.5” screen was the perfect and only acceptable size for the iPhone. He even went as far as to say that some Androids look like skateboards – the guy was not only a genius but quite the joker.
Another prominent rumor is that the black gloss body will be no longer. Instead it is rumored that a titanium-type case will take its place – similar to the bodies of most Apple laptops being produced currently. This would be an incredible new option as it would make the iPhone itself sturdier and less vulnerable to drops and tumbles (which I’ve never done by the way).
The dock connector may finally be out. Although the improvement may make more sense, for the sake of convenience it is going to be a hard adopter. There are countless devices and chargers that currently use the dock connector, and if you own one of these you are going to be straight outta luck.
A welcomed addition would be an improvement in Siri. At this point, Siri is hardly a valuable feature on the iPhone. Something that could certainly improve the experience of using Siri is being able to use Siri within applications. Applications are becoming the preferred experience with mobile users and Siri is not currently able to access content from within them.
When it comes down to it, Apple knows what they’re doing. Any improvements at all will be welcomed with open arms and 24-hour groupies camping outside the Apple store. C’mon, we’re ready for a new iPhone!
Unless you’re hiding under a rock, there’s a good chance you heard about Facebook’s initial public offering on Friday, May 18th. Eight years in the making, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is officially in the big leagues. After months of analysis, a price of $38/share and a valuation of $104 Billion were decided. Clad in one of his infamous hoodies, Zuckerberg rang the opening bell for the Nasdaq and the anticlimactic day was off to a start! What was to follow would be a sad few days for investors in short call positions, and main underwriter (and stabilization agent) Morgan Stanley, as the stock plummeted 12% on its second day of trading.
The initial day of trading was quite stressful as Morgan Stanley spent the majority of its emergency reserves to create a floor of $38 for the stock. This emergency reserve is typical of all IPO’s and can be used to either sell shares if demand is high, or buy shares if the price starts to slip – creating the price floor. This stabilization was required of Morgan Stanley in their terms as an underwriter to keep the price above $38/share. Don’t feel too bad for MS though, this enabled them to acquire the highest saturation of FB stock, virtually risk free. If it were not in their best interest, their support would immediately be revoked.
So what went wrong, you ask? Fundamentally – nothing. Although there are rumors that analyst projections were ignored by Facebook (hence ensuing lawsuits), I don’t believe there is anything in particular that specifically went wrong or could have been avoided (besides glitches in Nasdaq systems that delayed trades by 30 minutes). IPO’s can be incredibly volatile. Considering that Facebook is the highest valued IPO in tech history, some investors were anticipating a ‘pop’ of sorts. This kind of ‘pop’ can only be achieved if the stock is undervalued, and an influx of demand will cause the price to sky rocket. If the price is accurately forecasted, no ‘pop’ will ever occur. In other words, if underwriters do their job correctly, the IPO got the best deal it possibly could.
Are you a hipster? Are you a techie? Are you both? There are different personas that align themselves with different brand categories. So what qualifies someone as an Android or iOS fan? There are several defining factors that make someone loyal to one platform as opposed to another.
There’s something to be said about a hand-written letter. Then again, there’s something to be said about convenience. As technology has evolved over the last few decades there are certain practices in business that have shifted significantly. Where filing cabinets, faxes, and legal pads used to be mainstream, they have now all been replaced with PCs, smartphones, iPads and servers. Is this a good thing, bad thing, or just a necessary evil?
As our culture has evolved it seems that technology rules our life more than ever. There are so many tasks that can be completed faster and more efficiently by utilizing technology. Long gone are the days of typewriters, calligraphy, and even hand-written letters. It’s really a shame though, there are certain aspects of these things that are not easily translated through the use of technology.
There is absolutely nothing more sincere than a hand-written thank you note. To know that someone took the time out of their day to not text or email, but to actually express their gratitude in a tangible form is really something. Whenever we can, we try to take that same warmth and apply it to our products. Those same qualities that we love about the personal connection through pen and paper, can be brought into technology, but it takes focus. We don’t ever want to lose that human connection through our software, but rather enhance that ability to be relational.
The core offering of our product is an outlet to present media on. Not only is the majority of content accessed through technology, but websites aren’t cutting it – mobile devices are more commonplace than ever. That’s why we always try to encourage users to integrate some of the same qualities into technology. When it comes down to it, we are just a bunch of creatives, using the the outlet that we have been given. Where it may not be as utilitarian as it once was, there will always be a special place in my heart for paper and print.
There’s always going to be new technology coming out that is the latest and greatest and has the ability to make a significant difference in your life. I encourage you to embrace this – but please, don’t throw away your pens. Print can be really powerful.
As mobile changes the technology industry, much like the shift caused by social networking or the dot.com bubble, entrepreneurs and people of all sorts are diving in head first to develop their own apps and make a quick $billion (thanks Instagram). Apps are clearly the popular choice, but how do you know if it’s right for you and what should you do to make sure it’s relevant?
There are many great ideas for custom apps, but I want to focus on how to help those that aren’t in the market for a custom app. If you are a mid-size organization, non-profit, church, or individual, how would you go about creating an app that adds value to your brand?
There truly isn’t one key ingredient to making a successful app for your organization, but there certainly are some important strategies that go into it. First and foremost, your app must serve a purpose that keeps people coming back. Let’s hope that’s an obvious conclusion. Apps such as Starbucks, Pulse, and ESPN serve as great tools that keep people engaged because they make something more convenient, are easy to use, and they just work correctly. Since those are all custom apps or highly recognizable brands, how can we learn from their successes?
I consider myself to be a relatively social person. However, there are plenty of times that I find myself stuck in awkward small talk with strangers. Generic weather comment, generic sports team comment, what do you do? This question more often than not leads itself to a slightly more entertaining back and forth. When I reveal that I work for a company that “creates mobile apps” the response I usually receive is “I have a great idea for an app!”. The entrepreneurial culture of the US today leads everyone to believe that the next big idea is just around the corner. It is this kind of thinking, combined with ingenuity, that has started some of the world’s most profitable businesses. However, this thinking does not always lend itself to the best ideas. There is such a thing as a bad app. Whether that means it is completely useless, devoid of interesting content, or poorly made and maintained, they are certainly out there.
There was a time when everyone wanted to be a part of the most exclusive club – they called it Facebook. Since its less than glamorous beginnings, there have been several progressions that have led Facebook to the conglomerate that it is today. Facebook went from Harvard only, to college only, to person only, to businesses, to parents and grandparents, and everything in between. It may have been somewhere in the grandma phase that Facebook lost some of its hip status (no offense grandmas – we think you’re the coolest!), but despite whether all the cool kids are doing it, there’s no denying that Facebook is doing something right and the whole world has taken notice. Judging off of numbers alone, you could assume that anyone and everyone is jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, but that is not necessarily the case. There are several mistakes that have been made along the way that have lost the public’s trust. The most relevant and significant aspect that has affected Facebook is its unfortunate misuse of private information and subsequent loss of trust from many users. Not only has this lost a significant number of Facebook subscribers, but has also left a large number of people with a sour taste for Facebook and all things Zuckerberg. Case in point: Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram for $1,000,000,000.
The much anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 will be available in stores April 8th. This seamless collaboration between Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T will surely be something to take note of. The question is, however, will it be enough to establish credibility in Microsoft Windows as a legitimate platform? It’s something completely different from what you’re used to from the likeness of Apple and Google, but different could be a really great thing.
Microsoft and Nokia have really put all they have into the designing of this phone. You could even say they put all their eggs in one basket (Easter joke..). Sure, there have been some great phones in the past that have run Windows Phone 7 on them, but none quite like this. You can tell that this phone was specifically built for the platform, and this is the most exquisite way of showing off the new Windows Phone 7.5 – Mango.
Anytime a major player in the mobile world releases a new product or update, the tech blogs are filled with rants and raves about said product. Most tech blogs, while making genuine efforts to stay objective, tend to lean in one direction – either for or against a product depending on who the darling is at the moment in the tech world. The one thing that tends to be missed in all these product reviews, however, that will affect each and every consumer, is how the new product affects development on that platform.
Here at Subsplash, one of the main goals of our mobile software is to give our customers the ability to tell a story with their application. There are three main areas of mobile application development that affect an app’s ability to tell a story; the design, its multimedia, and its workflow. What follows is my take on what each of these platforms does that either helps or hinders our ability to tell our client’s story. Though there are numerous players in the mobile OS market (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, HP, Nokia, RIM, and etc.), we’re going to take a look at the top three: Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
One of the perks of being a software company is gaining access to the latest and greatest technology. Much to my delight, I had the new third-generation iPad in my hands by 9:30am on Friday, March 16th (release day).
I know what you’re thinking, “Not another iPad review!”, but just bear with me here. Perhaps a fresh perspective could offer you some helpful insight to whether you absolutely have to have (or not) Apple’s latest product.
The new Retina Display is easily the most obvious and most valuable upgrade to the iPad. With a resolution of 2048x 1536, and 3.1 million pixels (four times the number on the iPad 2) it’s the least expensive Lasik eye surgery on the market. But really – in a side by side comparison with the iPad 2 the significant improvement in clarity will have you exclaiming “I can’t believe my eyes!” (quite literally). Yes the iPhone 4 has a Retina display, but the new iPad has a lot of pixels! In fact, the screen on the new iPad has one million times more pixels than your 1080 HDTV. This is all made possible by the new A5X processor. It achieves the highest resolution of any tablet on the market and it looks fantastic.
As much as we enjoy the luxuries of living in Seattle such as: pouring rain, power outages, bouts of snow, and harsh winds here at Subsplash, we have to admit: we’d rather be at SXSW. This awesome festival located in Austin, TX, is not only blessed with beautiful weather, but it is the place to be for anyone connected to mobile technology. This incredible intersection of creativity and business is changing the way consumers react.
There’s an app for that. Chances are you’ve heard this catchphrase, and chances are it won’t be going away any time soon. Mobile technology and smartphones are here to stay. With 6.8 Billion people in the world, there are an astonishing 4.6 Billion mobile phones – that’s almost as many phones as there are people! In fact, there are four times more smartphones activated daily than there are births!
Mobile is blowing up, and we are too! Check out these recent mobile stats:
- 1.3 Million Android and iOS devices are activated daily.
- Predicted 2.5 Billion smartphones sold between 2010-2015.
- iPhone and Android app users spend 80 mins/day using apps.
- People on average spend 30 minutes per launch of a Subsplash App.
- Over 50% of video traffic is now on mobile.
- There are 91.4 Million smartphones in the United States alone.
- Smartphone sales are up 73% since the start of 2011.
- 9 out of 10 smartphone users use their phone on a daily basis.
- Estimated $15.9 Billion in expected end-user spending with smartphones in 2012.
This year marked the 2nd Annual Christmas party at Subsplash. It far exceeded Christmas from the year before.
While families made introductions around the room, Chris turned and quietly commented
“Last year we had like 10 people huddled around a table eating pizza, now look at this!”
As we glanced around the room it was filled team members that had more than doubled from the last year, families enjoying each other, and co-workers strengthening friendships.
We just wanted to take a quick minute here on this week of Thanksgiving to thank all of our clients for working with us! We have loved every minute of it and are excited to continue to expand our software to reach new levels of delight. We couldn’t do it without you!
We are working on many new things that we can’t wait to show to the world. From new platforms to new features within our Subsplash App Platform, we are working our hardest to make sure that we stay at the forefront of this mobile revolution.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us on the Subsplash Team!
“Do we need an app?” That’s one of the primary tech related questions being asked today by organizations of all sizes. There are a number of reasons to consider taking your message and offerings mobile, but how do you know if it’s right for you?
Today, people are consuming data nearly as much on their mobile devices as they are on their computers. In fact, mobile is projected to become the dominant source for data consumption in the near future. Just two short years ago, app development was largely reserved for game creators or huge corporations with substantial budgets for custom development. Today, apps are being created daily for anyone looking to connect with their audience in a new way. It’s no longer a conversation for the Fortune 500 or tech elite, it’s now mainstream.
What is The Church App? It’s an incredibly flexible platform that helps you develop mobile apps for your ministry!
Every single week, churches and ministries create incredible Gospel-centered content that needs to be shared with the world. Sadly, this content is often never published or is simply trapped within undesirable, clunky technology. So, the big question is; how do we get this incredible content into people’s hands? Here at Subsplash, we want to see the Gospel proclaimed to the ends of the earth. With that vision in mind, we brought our team of world class developers and UX designers together and created The Church App platform. This cutting edge platform allows churches and ministries to very easily create their own mobile applications (apps) for iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows Phone 7, and web. With rich features designed specifically for the presentation of the Gospel through an app, ministries can present full length audio and video messages, share blogs and articles, keep people connected with calendar events and social networks, integrate with online giving, and much more! With the growth of mobile technology, it only makes sense that the Church needs to be at the forefront of this tremendous tech revolution. Today, people actually consume as much data on their mobile device as they do on desktop computers. It’s an incredible cultural shift being led by mobile apps. We truly believe we can help churches and ministries get their Jesus-driven content into the palm of your hand.
The mobile landscape is constantly changing forcing those that develop mobile applications to always be adapting to those changes. As things change, trends become visible which define the mobile world. Here’s our take on the mobile landscape as it stands today. It may be different tomorrow, at which time we’ll reevaluate, adapt, and change.
Most of the mainstream media doesn’t understand the current mobile landscape. They write article after article about Google, HTC, Motorola, and etc wondering if their next device is going to be an “iPhone killer” or an “iPad killer.” I almost cry every day when I see and read articles like that. Not because they’re wrong but because they miss the point. Actually I believe that they don’t understand the point. The goals in the mobile world are different depending on the company. What is important to Apple isn’t important to Google and isn’t important to Microsoft and vice versa.
For Apple, success is defined by popularity of individual devices. This means being number one in every category they’re in but not trying to be number one at everything. They want the most popular phone. But they don’t care if they have the biggest market share. For them having 25% of the market with one line of phones is more important than having 35% of the market with a whole slew of lines. They’ve built their whole revenue structure around that. Apple makes both the operating system and the hardware. This allows them to tightly integrate the two together to create and sell very beautiful very easy to use devices. The side affect of that is that there are not a lot of options as far as shapes or sizes go because that’s not what they care about. They care that the options that they give you work well, work consistently, and look wonderful. So Apple makes 1 phone at a time not 10. The only thing that will vary on an Apple phone is the storage size and the wireless radios that they use.
For Google its quite different. They’re not a hardware manufacturer. They make software, whether it’s the Android operating system, Google search, Gmail, YouTube, or their calendar. Success for them is defined by reach within the market. This is because their revenue structure isn’t built around margins on phones. Their revenue structure is built around integration, search, and advertising. The larger their reach the greater the likelihood that you’ll be clicking on one of their ads or be searching using their search site. So for them getting GMail, Google Maps, the Android Market, etc. into most people’s hands is what defines success for them.
For example, if Apple had 40% of the mobile phone market between their iPhone line of phones (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S) but their current phone had 10% Market share while the HTC Evo had 20% they would consider that failure. Their goal isn’t to get 40% of the market (though they’ll gladly take it). Apple’s goal is to have their phone be the single best on the market. If you don’t believe me just look at their laptop, desktop, and tablet strategies. It’s the exact same strategy. And it works for them because they’ve spent years and years building their business on that strategy. Apple has the most popular phone on the market by a landslide.
On the other hand if the HTC Evo was the most popular phone in the mobile phone world but there were more iOS, WP7, or other devices on the market Google would say they’re failing in the market. That’s because their goal isn’t to have the most popular phone on the market. It’s to have the biggest share of the market. That’s not how their business structure works. They need reach. They need eyeballs looking at their products and fingers touching their products because they don’t make the physical phones. They make things that eventually lead you to search and advertising. In order to help get this reach they give away their operating system. They want it on more phones in the market than anything else. And this strategy works for them. Android is the most popular OS (in the US) on a smartphone by a landslide. Android is also really catching up in the “beauty” field as well. They still have a ways to go to be on par with Apple. But they’re making tremendous strides. Look at what you get with Honeycomb verses what you got with Eclair. It’s a world of difference from a UI standpoint.
What that means is that both Google and Apple are winning in the mobile landscape. How can that be? Because they’re not competing in the same game. Yes they’re both in the same arena and it is possible for one to affect the other. But for the most part they’re playing different matches.
At Subsplash, we’re aware that the mobile landscape is being defined by multiple paradigms. It’s not a one size fits all world. We need to be conscious about the platform we’re building but even more conscious about how the design plays out on any particular platform. The moment we stop doing that is the moment we stop being useful to our clients.
Subsplash is a company that loves the web. We see mobile as a natural extension of the web. We believe in building beautiful products that delight our customers as well as providing them with the greatest reach possible for their content. So naturally we follow what’s going on within the mobile landscape very closely. Being a company that builds both custom applications and supports a content management platform that has a far and deep reach in the mobile landscape it is a requirement for us as a company to stay objective. We take this very seriously and feel as though the moment that we start being emotionally tied to an individual platform is the moment that we’ve failed at being able to deliver the best possible solutions to our customers. We have an obligation to stay informed, to inform our clients, and to stay ahead of the trends.
For us not being emotionally tied to any one platform doesn’t mean that we’re naive enough to believe that all platforms are created equal. They’re not, not by a long shot. And as individuals we all have our own preferences per platform. Some of us at Subsplash are iOS enthusiasts. Others are Android or Windows Phone 7 fans. But in the end we’re all just a bunch of fans of great designs and alluring applications.
Here at Subsplash we think the important thing when tackling any mobile application that will live among many different platforms is to keep the focus on design first. What that means is that our paradigm for designing applications must be different than if we were designing and building a one off platform specific application. Instead of designing within the boundaries of iOS, Android, WP7, or any other specific platform we design for the application first. After we have the application design finished we can then adapt that design to a specific platform so that it feels natural on that platform and so that it takes advantages of the strengths and uniqueness of that platforms capabilities.
So instead of designing a great iOS experience and porting it to Android or WP7 we ask ourselves how can we design a great experience. After that great experience is created it can then be adapted to be a great iOS, Android, WP7, or other experience. Our experience is defined by what we’re trying to build and not by any one device that we’re trying to build it for.
A good example of this is our media player experience on the Subsplash platform (for which The Church App is a part of). It’s pleasant to look at with consistent functionality across all our supported platforms. But as we bring it to any platform we adapt the UI slightly or the functionality slightly to make it feel natural on that device. This has resulted in our media player having a consistent and delightful experience that feels natural on whatever platform you’re using it on.
We’re excited to announce our latest product… Luminance.
Luminance for iPhone and iPad gives you pro photo editing capabilities in a simple and elegant app. Effortlessly add effects to your photos, choose from many built-in presets, and take edits from one photo and apply them to multiple photos.
How the app came to be
We started Luminance about a year ago. A co-worker and I wondered what it would take to create a photo processing app that is a non-destructive editor, using adjustment layers and such. We started working on the concept in off hours a couple hours a week for a few months until we had a pretty good tech in place.
Designing the app layout and UX was a real challenge. We knew that we wanted to keep the user interface very simple, make it feel like it belonged on your device, and kinda create a mashup of the iPhone/iPad Photos app and Aperture/Lightroom.
After a couple more months of fine tuning and testing, we decided that it was time to release it as a product, and here we are today.
We’re really excited about where Luminance is at, and we’re excited about making it better.
- You can keep your eye out for Twitter integration
- Many of you have been asking about a Crop / Rotate feature, or… er… just saying that it’s “missing.” We’re definitely aware of that, and don’t plan to leave it that way. Please be patient with us as we work to increase the power of Luminance.
Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy Luminance!
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