#ProTip: One simple secret for designing better things

By

Dave Wiskus thinks many designers are in need of an attitude adjustment.
Dave Wiskus thinks many designers are in need of an attitude adjustment.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf, fishing for ProTips. The world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers is a rich hunting ground filled with alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

SAN FRANCISCO — Designers can be a picky bunch, always ready to pick apart a colleague’s creation or slap down an idea with some withering snark.

But interaction designer Dave Wiskus is prescribing an attitude adjustment for his fellow creative types, especially those who seem to be engaged in some sort of bitchy competition to come off as the smartest person in the room.

“Just say no to cynicism,” he said Thursday during his talk at AltConf here. “It’s the enemy of everything.” (You’ll also want to avoid irony, sarcasm and passive aggression, which Wiskus called “gateway drugs” that can lead to full-on cynical addiction.)

#ProTip: How to get users in the habit of using your app

By

Sally Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.
Sally Shepard was speaking at AltConf about how to get users to actually use your app.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf fishing for ProTips. It’s a rich hunting ground — it’s the world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers, the alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

It sounds counterintuitive, but for many iOS developers, the easy part is getting people to download their app from the App Store. The hard part is getting people to use the app. Ideally, developers want them to use the app regularly. They want them to get into the habit of using it.

How do you do that? Sally Shepard, an app consultant who spent many years working with big publishers, has a great little tip.

Repeat this simple mantra if you want to make killer Apple Watch apps

By

Joe Cieplinski, a designer with Bombing Brain Interactive, shares his knowledge about design at AltConf 2015.
Joe Cieplinski, a designer with Bombing Brain Interactive, shares his knowledge about design at AltConf 2015.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — The key to crafting great Apple Watch apps can be summed up with a simple mantra: “Make the user happy.”

That’s designer Joe Cieplinski’s approach to all design, really, but the precept is even more important than ever for developers making apps for Apple’s new wearable. Instead of attempting to cram all the features of an iPhone app onto that tiny screen, devs need to focus as much on what they leave out as what they include.

“That’s how you get a successful product,” Cieplinski, who works for Philadelphia-based Bombing Brain Interactive, told Cult of Mac after his AltConf panel here Tuesday. “It’s not just trying to be philosophical.”

AppSeed Instantly Turns Your Napkin Doodles Into An App’s Interface [Daily Freebie]

By

appseed-1

 

Just as easy-to-use creative apps like iMovie and GarageBand have made it easier to craft music and videos, so AppSeed is poised to make it much easier to build iOS apps. Simply using the app to snap a photo of a rough sketch scribbled onto a notepad or napkin will turn that sketch into working, interactive interface pieces that can be arranged, re-arranged and tested.

Five Ways To Speed Up Your iOS Apps [AltWWDC]

By

Collin Donnell at AltWWDC.
Collin Donnell at AltWWDC.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Collin Donnell wants app developers to learn from his mistakes.

Donnell, a full-time iOS developer  since 2008 whose app credits include Pinbook for Pinboard, shared some tips to a packed room at AltWWDC, which we have been all over like an snuggle iPad case. He divided them into practical and philosophical, but they sort of blend together.

The Son Of An Apple Senior Executive Is Working On Mailbox For iPhone

By

Like father, like son.
Like father, like son.

What do you get when you combine a highly anticipated iPhone app with a fascinating link to a senior executive at the most valuable company on earth? You get Mailbox and Adam Cue, a software engineer working on the hyped email app that’s going public soon. Cue works at Orchestra, the app development company behind Mailbox. You may recognize Adam’s last name because it also happens to be the last name of Eddy Cue, a longtime Apple senior executive who now oversees all of the company’s internet services, including email.

While this doesn’t mean that Apple will acquire Orchestra’s Mailbox app, it’s interesting to note the connection between the two companies.

FileMaker iOS Apps Are Easy To Build Alternatives To Native Apps

By

FileMaker pitches its product line as an alternative to native iOS app development.
FileMaker pitches its product line as an alternative to native iOS app development.

Last week FileMaker launched a new campaign to encourage businesses to adopt the company’s flagship database product line as an app development platform for the iPhone and iPad. The move is unique and the idea of FileMaker as an enterprise development solution does have its appeal – creating FileMaker apps requires no software development knowledge or experience and it can deliver native performance and functionality that HTML 5 web apps can’t.

Seven Surprisingly Helpful iOS App Development Tips From Federal Agencies

By

What lessons can businesses and app developers learn from the federal government?
What lessons can businesses and app developers learn from the federal government?

The U.S. federal government may not be where you’d expect to see mobile innovation or find good app development suggestions. While there’s still a public sector bureaucracy in government, a number of government agencies are beginning to develop new ways to connect with citizens and invest in mobile technologies for internal use.

Granted, most agencies are doing so because of requirements under the Obama administration’s 21st Century Digital Government Strategy. One of which is that every federal agency  must make two high-value, customer-facing services available via mobile devices over the next year.  Still, the innovation is happening and the agencies that have already taken up the challenge are good models for agencies that have yet to do so.

They’re also good sources of advice for any organization that is beginning to develop an iOS or mobile app strategy.

Apple Quietly Embraces The Business To Business App Market

By

Business to business app development is likely to be a growing enterprise trend. Apple has a solution, even if it isn't yet a perfect one.
Business to business app development is likely to be a growing enterprise trend. Apple has a solution, even if it isn't yet a perfect one.

According a study released earlier this month, Apple’s iOS is becoming the most popular platform for enterprise app development – with 53.2% of developers picking iOS for corporate app development compared to 37.4% of developers standing behind Android. RIM’s BlackBerry, the old guard of enterprise mobility, came in a distant fourth behind Windows Phone with only 2% of developers supporting it.

That’s great news for Apple and the iPhone and iPad in business and enterprise environments. Apple even makes enterprise distribution possible outside of the App Store. Mobile App Management (MAM) and enterprise app store solutions provide efficient and effective distribution and update methods for enterprise apps.

Business to business (B2B) apps and solutions, however, present a different kind of challenge – one for which Apple has a solution, even if it isn’t a perfect solution.