Tag Archives: How To

Android Oreo

How to Optimize GPS and Background Processes for Android Oreo

As our past article Android Oreo Serves Up the Sweets will show, Android Oreo lived up to expectations upon release and gave both consumers and app developers plenty of enhancements to enjoy.

However, for app developers, enhancements to the UI aimed to conserve battery life affect GPS services and require changes to the code in order to optimize pre-existing apps for the new OS. Specifically, Android Oreo restricts apps that are running in the background with limited access to background services. Additionally, apps can no longer use their manifests to register for most implicit broadcasts. When an app is in the background, it is given several minutes to create and use services, but at the end of that time slot, the app is considered idle and the OS will stop running background services.

These changes directly affect apps with geolocation functionality. Android Oreo limits how frequently apps can gather location in the background. Background apps can only receive location updates a few times each hour. The APIs affected due to these limits include Fused Location Provider, Geofencing, Location Manager, Wifi Manager, GNSS Measurements and GNSS Navigation Messages.

Apps that currently use location services in previous Android OS’s will require an update to optimize for Android Oreo. Apps that use location services range anywhere from navigational apps like Waze and Google Maps to social media apps like Twitter, and food apps like Yelp and Seamless.

For apps that require frequent location updates, increasing the usage of the app in the foreground will ensure that the app gets frequent access to location information. In order to program this, developers must implement startServiceinForeground() instead of startService() in Activity class.

In Service class in onStartCommand(), developers can use the following code:

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 12.46.57 PM

Via StackOverflow

When foreground services running in the background consume high energy, Oreo fires an automatic push notification to the user informing them of the battery-consuming service. With the push notification in place, app users are more likely to uninstall apps that track location without conserving battery life, putting the onus on software developers to deliver battery-efficient apps. One of the biggest issues facing some app developers is ensuring that battery life is not sucked as a result of tracking location in apps. Check out our full rundown of how to build battery-efficient geolocation apps for supplementary reading.

The results of the limits put in place with Android O are increased battery life for the user and the necessity for app owners to consider how their apps interact with location information. Retaining a thorough understanding of how location information will be retrieved and used through out the development process ultimately benefits both software developers and consumers with better UI and more energy efficient processes.

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 5: Marketing Effectively Through Social Media

The Mystic Media Blog has devoted our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing, concluding with this post on writing for social media. The series covered several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, and website copy writing.

The advent of social media had a dramatic affect on culture and society. The entire world became interconnected at the click of a button. Suddenly, everyone’s favorite brands and artists were available for communication anywhere, anytime using your smartphone. The newspaper became even more irrelevant to the younger generation as they could receive news updates directly from their favorite artists and brands, skipping the middleman.

All brands should have their marketing team running multiple social media accounts. It’s the cheapest and most direct route to consumers who want to hear what you have to say; who show by the act of following/liking the brand that they desire information and communication.

In honor of social media, we’ve gathered tips for writing for social media and structured them with the succinct, direct quips fitting of the format.

“BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT”

Most scholars agree Shakespeare would have killed the social media game. This famous quote from Hamlet rings true across all writing, especially social media. Rather than overloading followers with an abundance of wordy content, keep it simple, concise, and witty.

RESPOND/REACT QUICKLY

In order to engage consumers, it’s vital to reply and interact promptly with followers on social media accounts (especially Twitter!). Remember: direct replies don’t overload your Twitter followers’ feed, making them a great, more intimate way to communicate with consumers.

A favorite, retweet, or follow back can also engage a follower as much as a reply.

CROSS-PROMOTE

Tweet “Follow us on Facebook for more updates.” Post “Check out our Twitter page!” on Facebook. Tweet Instagram photos. Grow your fan-base and keep them aware of the multiple platforms of communication by cross-promoting accounts. As in all forms of promotional writing, the call-to-action is among the integral parts of posting to social media.

PLAY IT SAFE

Perhaps this should be the number one rule: don’t make people furious. Play it safe when it comes to topical events. Be respectful of tragedies and don’t post anything politically incorrect. A single tweet can have huge repercussions.

Be extra careful when attempting to create a trend through hashtagging. This McDonald’s horror story serves as a moral tale of how important it is to be conscious of potential reactions to a brand before posting.

BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET CHEEKY

Followers want to see a little personality out of the social media accounts they follow. Although you don’t want to offend anyone, you also won’t get any real response from boring posts. Try to keep it cheeky and create humorous posts. Analyze what connects most to your audience, take notes, and refine techniques over time.

MEME IT UP!

Memes are a great, modern way of effectively promoting a product while imparting humor. Check out this awesome article on memes for marketers.

FIND AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT TOOL

Social Media accounts require around the clock management. When you have separate accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+, it’s difficult to keep track of each account everyday. Social Media Management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and more can be vital not only in managing accounts, but researching your followers and what posts are most effective.

INTERACT WITH CELEBRITIES

Cross-branding can raise awareness of a company and allow them to find their consumers in creative places. Interacting with select celebrities with compatible brands is a great way to attain exposure, gain access to new followers, and grow brand awareness.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE TUMBLR

Tumblr is among the leading social media platforms underutilized by marketing teams. Tumblr hosts over 130.5 million blogs, while WordPress only has 70 million. Tumblr users average 12 minutes of use per day on the network–1.5 minutes more than what’s spent on Facebook.

For more information on Tumblr, check out this article over at Social Media Marketing.

CONTESTS

Social Media, specifically Facebook, is an ideal place to host contests. Any and all action the user takes toward entering a competition through Facebook will be publicized to their friends and followers on their newsfeed. Facebook recently banned Likegating, which certainly represents a roadblock, as well as an opportunity for more innovative approaches to social media contests.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

This has been the theme of our promotional writing series, so it’s fitting close this conclusive article with the most important part of all promotional writing: know your audience. With regard to social media, it’s vital to understand what will connect with those who consume and who may desire the brand being represented. Know the lingo. Know the humor. Know what your audience is reading and redirect them to cool articles.

The goal of promotional social media is not exclusively to attain sales, but to cultivate followers who will pause and consider what you write. Engage and expand your fanbase, give them what they want, and be consistent.

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing and application development for both iOS and Android gives us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from social media, to search engine optimization, copy writing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 2: Perfecting the Method

The Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, website copy writing, and social media.

Last week, we tackled an overview of Promotional Writing and covered some general techniques for writing engaging copy. This week, we’re going in-depth into the processes you can use to ensure the smooth creation of compelling copy.

WRITING AN ENGAGING TITLE

Where to begin is often the hardest part of writing.

When competing with an overload of content aimed at drawing attention (be it emails, newsletters, website copy, advertisements, or what have you), it’s vital to begin by capturing the audience’s attention. The title of any piece will determine if the reader will continue to read it. The key is to connect with your audience immediately by ensuring them that the piece is relevant to them.

Instead of titling a piece with a factual statement on the subject, propose a problem. By proposing a common, easily relatable problem, you’re much more likely to connect with the reader. If the opening message connects with the reader, they will continue to read.

Say you’re working for an application development firm writing a newsletter or advertisement about a business intelligence app.

Instead of opening with: “New App Makes Business Intelligence Easy”,

Ask the viewer: “Trouble Keeping Up with Your Workflow?”

Whereas the first example incites a reaction in which the reader may immediately reject the notion of a new app, the second incites empathy. Most people have occasional trouble with their workflow, thus the headline is directly relevant to them. It’s a problem they need to solve. There’s no risk in reading on, but failure to read may prevent the audience from enriching their life with a solution.

Check out this informative article over at Author’s Den on promotional writing which offers four formulas for writing a good title.

ESTABLISH THE DESIRED ACTION RESPONSE

Unlike an essay, the goal of promotional writing is not to demonstrate a thesis, but to persuade the reader to take action.

The Desired Action Response is whatever the writer intends for the reader to do after they finish the piece. It could be to buy something. It could be to click something. It could be to ingrain the brand in your brain. In the case of a blog, it could be to engage the reader with an opinion and prove your expertise. Before  diving into a piece, it’s vital to phrase the Desired Action Response into a single statement and move forward based on generating the action.

For more on the Desired Action Response, check out this “formula” for good promotional writing.

OUTLINE BASED ON STIMULATING ACTION

Once you’ve established the Desired Action Response, every sentence in a promotional piece must contribute to the goal of triggering it. The process of outlining offers the opportunity to design a piece to induce a specific train of thought which could potentially cause the reader to take action. The process of outlining will strengthen the argument and improve the flow of the writing.

Before writing, create a flow-chart of the streams of thought which would have to go through a consumer’s mind in order to act. Focus on both positive effects caused by the product or service, as well as the negative effects the product or service helps the consumer avoid. As you flesh out your thoughts, strengthen your argument by analyzing how a reluctant consumer might poke holes in your points and actively working to stay a step ahead of the curve by addressing potential pitfalls.

For more information on honing your arguments, check out this cool article over at Mind Tools about analyzing your relationship with your audience.

Upon completing a flow-chart, write an outline of the piece using sub-headings to specify the purpose of each paragraph. Create a logical structure based on how best to order the argument. Ensure that each paragraph pushes forward the ideas from the paragraph preceding it and/or sets-up the next paragraph. Once you’ve created a logical structure, flesh out your paragraphs with complete sentences, cap the piece off with a call-to-action and you will have a complete first draft!

RAVICE, RAVISE, REVISE

A first draft will sometimes suffice when it comes to copy writing, but most businesses hold their work up to a higher standard. For those interested improving their craft, the process of revision is crucial to not only understanding the medium, but to maximizing their skills.

If possible, it’s always helpful to get a proofread from a person who has distance from the piece. When a writer has been working on the same project for hours, it’s hard to get enough cognitive distance from the writing to accurately identify mistakes. An outside proofreader can read without context and therefore give unbiased opinions and observations.

If you don’t have anyone to proofread for you, spend a couple hours doing something else and come back to the piece. When you return, you should have the distance you need to objectively proofread.

During the proofreading process, be sure to consistently link features to benefits. A feature describes a product or service, whereas a benefit describes the positive effects the product or service has on the reader.

Instead of writing: “The new Macbooks come with Retina Display”,

Write: “The new Macbook’s Retina Display screen is easier on your eyes, creating unparalleled clarity in the viewing experience.”

The first statement describes a feature of the product, while the second directly links the feature to a positive effect on the consumer, making for more effective marketing .

The goal of revision is not simply to correct grammatical errors, but to hone what’s on the page and fully realize ideas. Once the benefits of the product or service have been effectively and efficiently communicated with the goal of provoking the desired action response, publish it and get started on the next one.

In the next entry of our Promotional Writing series, we’ll tackle how to write an effective press release. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing  and application development has given us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815