Rumors telegraphed much of what Apple announced on September 9, but the new hardware and software opens up many functionalities developers can take advantage of.
Apple’s tagline for this year’s pair of iPhones is “Bigger than bigger,” because their size is the first thing you notice. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus screen is 5.5 inches. That’s huge compared to the iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen, and positively giant compared to the 3.5-incher on every previous generation.
Click to enlarge. The picture, not your current phone. That doesn't work.
At least the aspect ratio is (almost) the same, so apps designed for the iPhone 5 scale up with no trouble. The iPhone 6 Plus is even full high definition, with a 1920 x 1080 Retina HD display.
Most everything else is an improvement, not a new feature: faster and more power efficient processor, higher quality and slower motion camera, that kind of thing. There is a new barometric sensor, which uses atmospheric pressure to determine altitude, and an NFC chip – which comes into play later.
Apple fans have been predicting an iWatch for years, so the Apple Watch came as welcome news. As much as the technology, the design and variety of the models is impressive. It becomes available in early 2015.
There are two sizes: 42mm and 38mm high. The standard Watch collection comes in stainless steel, and space black stainless steel; the Sport collection in silver aluminum, and space gray aluminum; and the Edition collection in 18-karat yellow gold and 18-karat rose gold. Bands include a metal link bracelet, leather loop, Milanese loop, sport band, and two types of buckle.
Dozens of faces are configurable and customizable, with options like analog and digital styles, appointment reminders, photos, and motion graphics. The dial on the side acts as a zoom and scroll control.
Of course the Apple Watch requires an iPhone for communication. It’s compatible with models back to the iPhone 5, and will support rich notifications from just about any app using the WatchKit SDK.
Apple Watch also has its own NFC chip, which means it works with…
…the other big thing Apple announced. Apple Pay is an encrypted, contactless payment solution. Users can store credit and debit cards along with tickets, coupons, and other cards in the Passbook app. Transactions use one-time tokens, so financial data is never exposed.
Apple Pay can be used not only with contactless readers in checkout lines, but also within apps. Starbucks, Target, Uber, and others have already integrated the technology. The fingerprint reader on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus verifies the user’s identity.
Got a great idea for an Apple Watch app, or extending a current app to the wrist? Want to enable mobile payments through Apple Pay? Give us a call at 603.881.9200 or email us!
On Tuesday, Apple is expected to reveal the hotly anticipated iPhone 6. This week, however, saw announcements of several other mobile devices.
The new smartphones and smartwatches raise the bar significantly for Apple.
Without a doubt, the leading gimmick award has to go to Samsung this week. Its Galaxy Note Edge sports a display that curves partway down its right side. An extra 160 pixels of width give room for media controls, news tickers, detailed notifications, and shortcut buttons.
Access to the narrow strip is available in an SDK, so any developer can take advantage of it, not just Samsung.
Otherwise, the Edge is very similar to the other phone the company announced this week, the Galaxy Note 4 – the latest in its popular line of large-screen “phablets”. Both feature a 3.7-megapixel front camera and a 16-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video. Both also come with a stylus and “Quad HD” screen, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. (The Edge’s is 5.6 inches, while the 4’s is 5.7 inches.)
In addition, Samsung unveiled a virtual reality headset that connects to the Note 4 and the Gear S smartwatch. The watch’s curved 2-inch screen covers a GPS chip and SIM card slot, which means it doesn’t need to sync with a phone to be useful.
The first round smartwatch, the Motorola 360, went on sale today starting at $249.99. While Motorola had everyone’s attention, it announced updates to two of its phones.
The new version of the Moto X has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 4K video capture and a ring flash around the lens. Like its predecessor, the Moto X is customizable with colorful buttons and finishes.
The Moto G was also updated, given a 5-inch 720p screen and 8-megapixel camera. For storage expansion, it now has a microSD slot. But the real attraction is its price: unlocked, with no contract, it sells for $179.99.
Now officially part of Microsoft, Nokia announced three new Windows Phone 8.1 devices. At a glance, their specs seem to lag behind Android flagships, but they focus on beauty and usability.
The Lumia 830’s 10-megapixel camera boasts optical image stabilization and Nokia’s PureView branding. The 5-inch 720p display is slightly curved to reduce glare. The microSD slot supports cards up to 128GB, and the phone includes Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now in the mobile personal assistant battle.
Meanwhile, the Lumia 730 Dual SIM and Lumia 735 share most of their specs. The rear camera is only 6.7 megapixels, but the 5-megapixel front camera has a wide-angle lens for expansive video chatting and group selfies. The phone includes a microSD slot and a 4.7-inch 720p screen.
Are you waiting for the iPhone? Eager to get your hands on a Samsung, Motorola, or Nokia? Let us know in the comments!
Here in New Hampshire, at the Zco Corporation headquarters, the cool mornings have begun and the school buses are all getting ready to bring students to school. In honor of the changing seasons it is the perfect time to reflect and look at some of the great educational and parenting apps our clients have created.
Kicker Rides a Bike created by MySporties is an interactive storybook that encourages young children to learn to read. The book is a combination of animation, sound effects, and interaction to keep young readers engaged while learning life lessons. The app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play.
Created by Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, the Barton Tiles System helps individuals with learning differences ranging from 1st graders to adults improve their reading and writing skills. The mobile app contains short 10-minute pre-loaded lessons and has the ability to track program progress for tutors and students. This app is currently available on iTunes.
The creators of Chores for Rewards believed that positive behavior should be rewarded, and motivation should be a key to success. This app allows parents to control their child’s Android tablet or smartphone from their personal phone. Kids earn time in their favorite apps by completing chores, and app privileges can be revoked and restored by parents. The app is currently available on Google Play!
The last app on our fall list is an app that helps parents in emergencies. This application has two parts, one for the child and one for the parent. The child app is simply a GPS tracker to keep the parents in the know about their child’s whereabouts. The parents’ app has a list of emergency contacts that can be notified if your child goes missing and can hold a child’s basic information to access at the tap of a finger. Along with being a safety app, SafetySnapp acts as a digital scrapbook and photos can be taken within the application. SafetySnapp can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
All of these apps were created will the student and parent in mind. Whether they help your student grow in school or they help the parent manage their hectic schedule they are here to make life a little easier. Let us know some of your favorite fall or back to school apps!
Zco Corporation is excited for the upcoming months full of events. We will be traveling locally in New Hampshire and the Greater Boston area to get to know our community and answer all your mobile app and animation questions!
Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN): Summer Luau
August 13th 5:30 – 7:30pm - World Sports Grille, Manchester NH
Kathryn and Randy kicked off the event tour at the MYPN Summer Luau. They interacted with local businesses specializing in technology, marketing, non-profit, healthcare, and many others. The event was full of entrepreneurs and business professionals discussing their industry of expertise and learning about future business relationships with each other.
Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN): High-Tech Event
September 16th 5:30 - 7:30pm – Dyn, Manchester NH
This year is the 2nd Annual High-Tech event, and we are excited to attend. This event is anticipated to boast a large array of technology companies in the Southern New Hampshire area, so if you are looking for an event highlighting the latest innovations - this is it!
September 18th 3:00 - 7:00pm – Center of NH Expo Center, Manchester NH
We are headed back to Manchester for the 26th Annual Tri-City Expo with Randy and David representing Zco. This event is hosted by the Concord, Manchester, and Nashua Chambers of Commerce and is one of the largest B2B expos in New Hampshire. The expo holds 200 exhibitors with over 1,000 guests anticipated to attend. The expo is sure to be full of food, local vendors, and great businesses, so if you are in the Manchester area I would encourage you to stop by.
Small Business Expo Boston
October 2nd 10:00am-5:00pm – Hynes Convention Center, Boston MA
Finally, we will be heading to Boston for the Small Business Expo. This is the largest small businesses events series in the country, and we are lucky it is coming so close to our headquarters. The event will hold over 20 workshops on business automation, public relations, search engine optimization and many other topics. Courtney, an account executive, will be hosting a mobile apps workshop as well. Along with workshops the event has empowering keynote speakers, speed networking events, and an expo hall that boasts a large array of small businesses and organizations the specialize in working with small businesses. This event was a huge hit in Boston in the past and it is only anticipated to grow this year.
If you are attending any of these events leave us a comment and we will keep an eye out for you! We look forward to seeing you soon.
Just down the road from Zco Corporation in Nashua, New Hampshire, the Lil’ Iguana Children’s Safety Foundation has been operating for 20 years. Now the two have joined forces with SafetySnapp, available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
The mobile app includes GPS tracking, automated emergency contacts, and photo scrapbooking. It’s designed for ease of use by parents or anyone caring for people with memory loss or disabilities.
Daily alarms remind users to take pictures of their kids or other loved ones in case an accurate description becomes necessary. The photos can be assembled into virtual scrapbooks and shared on Facebook, Twitter, and email.
A single tap instantly notifies a pre-configured list of trusted contacts in an emergency. The most recent photo of the loved one in question is automatically included. Even police and hospitals can be part of the emergency contact list.
The alerts also include the loved one’s full name, nickname, eye color, hair color, skin color, height, and date of birth, as well as any allergies, medications, behavioral conditions, and recent changes in appearance, mood, or behavior.
SafetySnapp’s signature feature is called Follow My Loved One. A mini version of the app, called SafetySnapp Finder, is loaded on the phone of everyone the user wants to keep track of. Each person’s location is shown on a map, so caretakers always know where their loved ones are.
The apps themselves are free. There is an annual subscription fee of $11.99, which covers unlimited GPS tracking, loved ones, emergency contacts, online scrapbooking, and sharing of up to 500 photos.
SafetySnapp is the latest development from the Lil’ Iguana’s Children’s Safety Foundation to keep children and our loved ones safe. For 20 years, the Lil’ Iguana’s Children’s Safety Foundation has developed and implemented educational programs and products that keep loved ones safe. This innovative non-profit utilizes prevention programs that have saved children from abduction, sexual abuse, child predators, and serious accidental injuries.
The Foundation has been featured in national publications/national programming, enthusiastically endorsed by safety-officer leagues, acclaimed universities and higher-education institutions, head start programs, and hundreds of schools, child care facilities, police departments, and parenting groups.
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