Smartphone software development is both an art and a science. Developers are incredibly protective of the great work that they produce, graphic designers have a passion for aesthetics and user experience designers have insights into the natural way that the product should interact with the user. The project manager binds it all together; keeping the communication open and the information flow between stakeholders just right. We could call this the dream team.

Then we come onto the customer. They are solely interested in a product that works. They have high expectations too and rightly so; mobile introduces a whole new set of user behaviour.

Of course, the customer has an interest of which tasks the development team are undertaking and an outline of the development methodology used. This however means nothing if it fails the core objective or doesn’t solve the problem.

They will be interested in the developments within the mobile industry and could be dazzled by the rumours of the new technology that will change the way we use a smartphone. They will buy into this and that’s a good thing. But the customer has one key goal – to make the product work for them and their customers. Anything else that came before it becomes pointless.

Become the guide
Between Apple and Android there are nearly 15 million smartphone apps available with a scary download and delete mentality. The need for the mobile application to truly meet the needs of the customer and their customers is as important as it ever was. You want longevity and you want engagement.

We must share the customer objective. We must guide the customer down the correct path and deliver the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). We must try not to dilute this with a list of features to make the app more appealing. That can come later down the line and a new release.

As a customer, if this isn’t happening then you need to think about if what you are doing is right.

The job of the development team is to challenge and question the customer brief. To ignite conversation, promote debate and create an even tighter brief. From this, we can then begin to produce the user stories, create tasks and plan out the development sprints. Does this sound familiar? Well, agile development is perfect for keeping communication between the development team and the customer ‘close’ and ‘regular’ but that’s for another post!

But wait…what about testing?
The dream team isn’t complete without a tester right? If you haven’t got a tester or product developer whose job it is to think beyond the screen then who is going to do it? Have this conversation early as it’s going to require careful planning around resource and project milestones.

Yes, we will test the application, Mr. Customer, that’s part of what we do.
I’ve heard this so many times. The reality of the situation is that if you haven’t created a separate line item of costs on your quote to the customer to test the application, then you are only testing against what you know. Generally, this tends to be on a simulator controlled by a mouse, not in the real world with real people doing different things in different locations with different software versions, battery levels, signal strength, mobile phone settings and differing memory levels all at the same time as using the app. Phew!

Quick tips to remember
The below graphic details six points to consider when developing a mobile application. We could have carried on well beyond twenty but we wanted to keep it short and sweet for you!

Six tips for mobile app development

 

Be flexible – software development is never 100% right
I started the post by saying that software development is an art and science, which is true. It’s also bespoke and no matter if you are Apple or Google, it will never be 100% perfect. So whilst you must test, test, test you must also keep testing and you must also keep iterating your product development.

There are some things that you just can’t predict. Testing wont give you the answer to these unknown situations. Humans are unpredictable but we can set expectations, minimise risk and plan out a healthy life for the mobile application.

Scott Hague is Managing Director of Integrated Change, a leading enterprise and consumer mobile app development agency. Scott has been involved in delivering over 55 mobile applications across all major platforms. You can find Integrated Change on Facebook or Google+, and Scott Hague is on LinkedIn.


Florida based Winning Blimp today announces Mosaique 1.1 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices. Mosaique is a visually elegant puzzle game designed as the perfect pastime for long lines or lunch breaks. The game allows players to participate in the pastime of Vraxian colonial engineers and destroy small, localized gravitational pockets of sand. Users can develop their own strategy by swapping, lining up, and bursting the tiles in the playing field.

Temple Terrace, Florida – Winning Blimp is proud to announce today the release of their mobile game, Mosaique. Mosaique is a visually elegant puzzle game designed as the perfect pastime for long lines or lunch breaks. The game allows players to participate in the pastime of Vraxian colonial engineers and destroy small, localized gravitational pockets of sand. Users can develop their own strategy by swapping, lining up, and bursting the tiles in the playing field.

“Mosaique is a 10 minute brain snack, ideal for those wanting a short, engaging, intellectual distraction via a beautifully realistic visual interface,” said Alex May, co-founder and creative director of Winning Blimp. “The short length of the game, the graphic style, and even the name ‘Mosaique’ are all elements spawned from the feel of the music: intellectual, yet somehow familiar and accessible. We always prefer to create the music to our games first, and then draw inspiration from that.”

With just seven levels, Mosaique can be easily completed in ten minutes. Arrange and clear tiles of matching colors to beat each level and discover the hidden depths behind this addictive puzzle game. By switching to expert mode, players can use strategic elements to challenge themselves, earn more points, and progress further into the Mosaique. The game combines matching mechanics with a sci-fi theme, paying homage to the 16-bit games from the SNES, Genesis and Amiga era. It also features a 10-minute original soundtrack to help you slip away into the alien world of the Vraxian colonists and their intoxicating intellectual pastime.

Features:
* Algorithmically generated levels. Different each game
* Play as you please. Mosaique gives back as much strategic challenge as you put in
* No time limits. It’s a game, not a test
* 10 minute original soundtrack to help you slip away
* Elegantly designed interface and visual experience

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* 33.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Mosaique 1.1 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Mosaique is also available on Google Play and the Amazon App Store. For more information please visit Winning Blimp online and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Winning Blimp
Mosaique 1.1
Purchase and Download (iOS)
Purchase and Download (Google Play)
Purchase and Download (Amazon)
App Icon

Winning Blimp specializes in sci-fi themed games that pay homage to the classic 16-bit games of the Nintendo SNES, Sega Genesis (Megadrive) and Commodore Amiga. Based in both Osaka, Japan and Florida, USA, Winning Blimp is headed by Bear Trickey, a former game designer from Kyoto-based studio Q-Games, and Alex May, a multi-discipline graphic artist and musician. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2013 Winning Blimp. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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Livres Audio is now available in the iTunes App Store

Whether fluent or just beginning to learn the language, Livres Audio is an essential audio companion for iPhone users of all ages.

February 13, 2013 – Portland, Oregon – Learning French is easier and more convenient than ever with the new Livres Audio French audiobook app from Inkstone Mobile.  iPhone users can enjoy access to over 1,180 free French audiobooks, including adaptations of classic novels, short stories and poems.

Learn the proper pronunciation and intonation of the French language from native speakers while doing everyday activities and household chores. Speed up or slow down the audio playback to better enhance study and increase comprehension.

“When learning to speak French, it is typically difficult to keep up with a native speaker. We developed Livres Audio with French students in mind,” says Patrick Thompson, founder of Inkstone Mobile. “We have fine-tuned the playback feature to adjust the speed of speech without altering the pitch. For instance, beginners can slow down a reading to better navigate the proper pronunciation, while a more advanced speaker can speed it up for a greater challenge.”

Livres Audio offers the same features as other popular Inkstone Mobile apps, including a sleep timer for listening before bed and high quality audio playback. The app also features Inkstone’s signature user interface with easy navigation and a sleek audioplayer that allows you to download books over wi-fi and play them back anywhere.

Download Livres Audio today and enjoy:
*A sophisticated player with simple controls to skip forward and back, bookmark, or set sleep timers.
*Controls to speed up or slow down the playback in 40 increments without altering  pitch.
*Easy search functions to discover the most-read books from a variety of well-known authors.
*Leave bookmarks and notes to come back to your favorite parts of the selection, or to review pronunciation of a particularly tricky section.
*Download in advance and listen anywhere. No network connection necessary.
Livres Audio is available now for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id572367360?mt=8

About Inkstone Mobile:
Based in Portland, Oregon, Inkstone Mobile is an independent software development company founded by Patrick Thompson. Combining a strong blend of design and development skills, Inkstone Mobile’s passion is to craft elegant, easy-to-use applications for mobile devices.


Create completely original songs in just seconds by simply singing into your iPhone, share with friends and earn virtual badges and royalties to unlock exclusive bonus features

Jam for iPhone is in the iTunes App Store today Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2013 — Australian developer DreamWalk Interactive announced today that Jam, a new song-creation app for the iPhone, is now available for download. Perfect for anyone who dreams of becoming a star but might not have the vocal ability, Jam allows users to create original songs that can then be shared with friends. Featuring unlockable musical style packs, award badges and streamlined social sharing tools, Jam can now be downloaded for free at the iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/jam-for-iphone/id580366563

“Jam enables absolutely anyone to create original music, regardless of their musical abilities or experience, and best of all it only takes a few seconds!” says Joe Russell, General Manager of DreamWalk Interactive.

Using Jam is simple. First, choose a musical style from a variety of style packs ranging from pop-rock and hip-hop to punk rock, 80’s dance music and more. Then sing, talk, or rap into the device. Jam will automatically detect and adjust the pitch, key and song structure to create a completely unique song – no two tracks are ever the same!

Users can publish their songs to in-app Jam charts and invite their friends to listen via Facebook and Twitter. Earn badges and royalties for each published track to unlock additional style packs, grow a following of fans and even get signed to one of four Jam record labels.

Jam features include:

  • Original song creation in seconds!
  • Social sharing tools and built-in social network for following artists and “liking” songs
  • Unlockable musical style packs
  • Virtual royalties and award badges
  • Four unique record labels to sign the best “Jammers”

Jam for iPhone is available now at iTunes. For more information visit http://www.jamapp.com.au and follow Jam on Facebook and Twitter.

About DreamWalk Interactive:
DreamWalk is a division of Wellcom Group Limited. It was founded by brothers, Joe and Sam Russell in 2008 with the development the world’s first commercial GPS treasure hunting platform, also named DreamWalk. The DreamWalk treasure hunt platform and variations thereof have since been used by dozens of brands and thousands of users in Australia and the US. http://www.dreamwalk.com.au/


Audiobooks HQ from Inkstone MobilePortland, Oregon – Inkstone Mobile, maker of the top-selling speed reading and ebook reader apps, QuickReader, MegaReader, and eBook Search, is expanding their portfolio with the release of a new high quality audiobook app, Audiobooks HQ. Featuring over 5,300 free classic audiobooks, the Audiobooks HQ app gives users unlimited access to more audiobooks than any other app of its kind.

Designed with a stylish user interface and advanced navigation, Audiobooks HQ enables users to easily browse though thousands of their favorite classic audiobooks, download them, and play them back at anytime – no Wi-Fi connection necessary. Audiobooks HQ adjusts to the personal preferences of the user with additional capability to modify the playback speed in 40 steps from .5X to 2.5X without altering the pitch, leave bookmarks, set sleep timers, and skip forward and back through chapters as needed.

Perhaps, the most unique feature of the app, however, is its high quality audio. Audiobooks HQ is the only app that provides access to high quality recordings of its entire catalog.

“Our goal was to give people an easy way to find the best quality free audiobooks available, “says Inkstone Mobile’s founder Patrick Thompson. “Audiobooks HQ does so with its advanced catalog navigation filters, curated recommendations, playback features, and high bitrate downloads to give users the best listening experience available.”

Additional features of Audiobooks HQ include:
* Easy search functions. Find books by most downloaded, top rated, genres, tags, solo read books, language, recent, related books, and Inkstone’s top recommendations
* Leave a note for yourself to come back to your favorite parts of the book with the bookmarks feature
* Exclusive radio theatre audiobooks, originally aired on NPR Playhouse, beautifully performed by Globe Radio Repertory
* Access downloaded audiobooks anytime, anywhere – no network connection needed

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 15.3 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Audiobooks HQ by Inkstone Mobile 1.0.1 is $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category.

Audiobooks HQ 1.0.1
Purchase and Download
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Based in Portland, Oregon, Inkstone Mobile is an independent software development company founded by Patrick Thompson. Combining a strong blend of design and development skills, Inkstone Mobile’s passion is to craft elegant, easy-to-use applications for mobile devices. Copyright (C) 2012 Inkstone Mobile. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

 


Smash Your FoodSeattle, Washington – This Thanksgiving, Smash Your Food becomes a staple at the dinner table. Combining the entertainment of an after dinner food fight with nutrition education resulting in a revolutionary iPhone app the whole family will enjoy. In an ongoing effort to bring awareness and action to the issue of childhood obesity, Smash Your Food incorporates our holiday favorites into a fridge packed full of messy surprises.

“We know that kids and adults tend to overeat during the holidays, starting at Thanksgiving. After playing with the foods in the new Thanksgiving fridge, we’re hoping that kids will think twice about over-filling their plates. Most importantly, we want them to learn about healthy alternatives for the foods they often over indulge in.” adds Marta De Wulf, Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Food N’ Me.

The app provides players with collections of fridges ranging from Messy Breakfast to Sweet Surprises and 10 others including the latest Thanksgiving feast where a wide variety of foods are waiting to be smashed. Choose from a surprise turkey cake, an entire stuffed bird or to a full Thanksgiving Day meal, then watch as shocking amounts of sugar, salt and oil are revealed! The personalized, educational component flows easily, allowing players to compare these foods to their allowances. Smash Your Food is full of in game achievements, tips and challenges to help educate children on the importance of eating healthy while providing players with endless entertainment.

Key Features:
* Pick and choose from a range of fridges & look for the latest holiday fridge
* Creative nutrition tips after every smash
* Earn achievements, accept healthy challenges and unlock new fridges packed with foods
* High definition video & vivid sound effects
* Crazy Food! for even messier splats
* Personalized nutrition tips and advice emailed to parents as children play and learn
* A compelling, fun way for children to get important health information, and – there’s no mess to clean up

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 35.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Smash Your Food 1.1 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.

Smash Your Food 1.1
Download From iTunes
Media Assets

Food N’ Me was created for families interested in helping to guide their children toward a healthier future. Food N’ Me informs and engages families through personalized games, healthy apps, practical tools and positive feedback. Food N’ Me is based on the children nutrition program Marta De Wulf taught to thousands of elementary school students. Copyright (C) 2012 Food N’ Me. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

 


IMGAMarseille, France – The 9th International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) opens for entries today! Developers and studios across the world are invited to submit their games for these prestigious awards. Since 2004, the IMGA has become the most prestigious international competition for mobile games. For the past 8 years, the competition awarded the most talented game developers for the most innovative mobile games, whether they are made for iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Bada, HTML5 or feature phones; whether they are made by a top 10 developer or a start-up studio; whether the developers came from Spain or Singapore, Malaysia or Mexico, Brazil or Belgium.

This year marks a big step for the 9th IMGA as a few significant changes are made to enhance the quality of the entries:
* No categories will be defined for the entries; participants will instead specify their own category
* The Judges’ Honorable Mention will replace the Operator’s Choice Award
* 6 additional prizes will be determined by the jury
* The denomination of these prizes will be announced at the same time as the nominations on January 24, 2013
* Platinum-level sponsor Pro Sieben Sat 1 will award one million Euro in media exposure to the winners

Since 2004, the IMGA Awards Ceremony has been held at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, the exact location of the 9th IMGA has not been confirmed yet.

The IMGA Summit
Traditionally, the Awards are held in conjunction with the one day IMGA Summit consisting of a keynote, panels of leading experts in mobile games and pitching sessions. The Summit and Awards are traditionally attended by leaders in the mobile gaming industry as well as top international developers and studios.

The 9th IMGA Timeline
* October 4, 2012 – Call for entries
* January 14, 2013 – Entries closed
* January 25, 2013 – Nominees announced
* February 28, 2013 – Awards Ceremony, winners announced (TBC)

As of today, developers can submit their game online at www.imgawards.com and compete in an international arena with top studios and individual developers from all over the world. Games must have been published after January 1, 2012, or currently be in development.

International Mobile Gaming Awards

Since 2004, the IMGA has become the most prestigious international competition for mobile games. Copyright (C) 2012 International Mobile Gaming Awards. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

 


Montreal, Canada – Nickelodeon and Budge Studios continue to create endless educational and entertainment experiences for preschoolers by adding Team Umizoomi to the portfolio of their ever-growing storybook app series for iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch. Joining a line of successful apps like Dora’s Ballet Adventure and Dora’s Christmas Carol – Team Umizoomi Carnival introduces new characters and an engaging story that will bring added entertainment to the series.

Designed for preschoolers, the educational app invites kids to read along with their favorite Team Umizoomi characters, Milli, Geo and Bot, as they search through various locations at the carnival to help find their friend Jake’s lost stuffed animal, Bunny. Players can follow along with the story as text is highlighted while being read aloud, or narrate the story themselves.

Team Umizoomi Carnival features 14 story pages with interactive moments on each page, where tasks are changed every time the story is read. Additionally, users will have access to two bonus activities – Sticker Picture Game, inviting players to create their own carnival sticker scene by adding backgrounds from the story and placing tappable animated stickers anywhere on the page.; and Balloon Pop Carnival Game, which will help users strengthen key developmental skills by practicing color and shape recognition, grouping and patterns.

The curriculum in this app includes:
* Visual discrimination
* Positional vocabulary (over, under, around, through)
* Pattern recognition
* Colors
* Shapes
* Groups

“We’re thrilled to see kids getting excited about math and reading. Team Umizoomi makes learning fun, and this storybook app is packed with so many activities that kids won’t be able to put it down,” says Michael Elman, Creative Director at Budge Studios

With over 100 fun animations throughout the story, look for characters and objects that have a special glow to interact with them and find clues or hints to complete the task on each page as kids help Team Umizoomi find Bunny. Using actual character voices and original music, players will be entertained from start to finish time and time again.

About Nickelodeon:
Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years.

Pricing and Availability:
Team Umizoomi Carnival 1.0 is available for $1.99 (iPhone, iPod touch) and $3.99 (iPad) from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Team Umizoomi Carnival 1.0
Purchase and Download (iOS)
Purchase and Download (iPad)
Media Assets

Budge Studios leads the apps for kids industry in innovation and creativity with top tier, category-defining games, books and toys. The company is changing the way kids play and learn by creating more robust and engaging experiences. Played by millions of children worldwide, Budge products are amongst the most acclaimed and popular apps. Copyright (C) 2010 Budge Studios. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc.

 


Happymagenta, an experienced app developer, makes its foray into adventure gaming with the release of Pilot’s Path, a helicopter simulator where players take on the role of an ex-US Air Force helicopter pilot who is forced to enter the criminal underworld

Minsk, Belarus — After disobeying orders from his commanding officers, an ace pilot faces a dishonorable discharge and finds the only way to return to the skies is by going underground. By performing services for criminal kingpins, the pilot must rebuild his reputation in order to once again retake the skies.

In Pilot’s Path, the player will be able to explore 50 islands over two vast locations. Additionally, each map is randomly generated, so every new game is a unique experience. Beautifully rendered picture cut scenes and detailed character design create an engrossing world, and the joystick controls are intuitive and unobtrusive so the player is never pulled out of the experience. The player will be able to perform plenty of missions and search exotic locations for goods to make extra money. The player’s helicopter is also fully upgradeable through the mechanic shop. Using coins earned from missions, exploration, or in-game purchase, the player can improve hull integrity, fuel and cargo capacity, maximum altitude, speed, and radar capabilities.

The game was built from the ground up to turn your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch into a gaming console. As such, the game is meant to be best enjoyed by playing it on a big screen while using another iOS device as a remote controller. It is maximized for retina displays, iPhone 5 and full HD displays out of the box and can also be experienced on a TV or projector (HDMI, VGA, RCA cables, and AirPlay supported)

Players will be able to fly their way to glory today for $0.99 from the App Store.

For more information, please see the media kit located here:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l0zxbqa8p6cmhp5/bxwyqfKaoA

To download the app, please click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pilots-path/id537251466?ls=1&mt=8

Follow Happymagenta on Facebook and Twitter for more information about Pilot’s Path and other releases.

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San Francisco, CA — Welcome to the Magic Forest, a place filled with adorable creatures and fairies, magnificent groves of trees, and enchanting snowy plains, and more. Though things may seem peaceful, the creatures of the forest are unable to get to their homes due to glass blocks, jello, and other items blocking their way. It’s up to you to tap the blocks out of existence so the cuddly little animals can get to their nests.

Magic Forest, the latest game from app developer Alfa Production LLC, is a physics-based puzzle game where players will use critical thinking skills to determine how they can help the creatures of the Magic Forest get to their homes safely. Along the way, players will have the opportunity to collect candies, jewels, and coins to increase their score. With 80 challenging stages across 5 unique levels, both adults and kids will find themselves occupied with this brainy puzzler. The game also has an original, imaginative art design and tons of beautiful, inspired backgrounds that set it apart from others in its class.

“The puzzles are definitely a bit of a challenge,” says Alfa Production General Manager Andrey Dmitrichev, “but I think it will be a great way for younger players to develop their logical thinking skills and for adults to keep their mind sharp. Ultimately, I hope for players of all ages to find something they can like about this game.”

The game, available now on the App Store, is compatible across all iOS devices, and requires iOS 4.3 or later. It is free to download, but requires an upgrade for all 80 levels of the game.

Download Magic Forest for the iPhone:http://bit.ly/QKRRao
Download Magic Forest HD for the iPad: http://bit.ly/PVZDSt
Game Trailer: http://bit.ly/SITyew

About Alfa Production, LLC:

Based in San Francisco, Alfa Production LLC is a developer and publisher of quality gaming and entertainment apps. Viewed as professionals in the business, Alfa Production LLC was actively engaged in web development, web design and SEO since 2004. In 2011 the company shifted their main expertise to the world of mobile app creation and publishing. With over 50 apps to their name, Alfa Production strives to deliver the best, most up-to-date and innovative apps on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.

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