Tag Archives: Device

Stay Connected: Best Mobile Phones of 2014

Since our post on the top tablets of 2014 was so popular with our readership, we’ve decided to follow-up with an article on the top smartphones of 2014.

The term “mobile” in our industry does not refer to cellular phone, it refers to wherever you are, wherever you want to be.  We live in a world of mobility, where an individual is expected to check his/her email throughout the day, whether they are near a computer or not. Mobile internet access puts a seemingly limitless amount of information and general knowledge at one’s command at any time.  The smartphone has become such an integral part of our daily lives, it’s vital to be equipped with a device capable of boosting one’s general ability to work, post, and consume information on-the-go.  When one understands the device, he/she can make best use of the applications and design.  Here are the leading smartphones on the market right now.

We have dubbed iPhones as the “gourmet” smartphone because of their price and popularity in the US.  One of the major advantages of the iOS operating system with regard to smartphones is the autonomy.  Whereas the Android OS is used for a plethora of devices, Apple limits iOS smartphones to iPhones, assuring all iOS apps will run smoothly on the only device.  The Apple iPhone 5s continues Apple’s reign of dominance in the smartphone field.  While the iPhone 5s has a comparatively slow processor speed (1.3 GHz), screen size (4 inches), and battery life (9 hours, 59 minutes), it is the exclusivity of the iTunes App Store, the intuitive simplicity of the UX design, and the potential of the A7 Processor chip with 64-bit architecture which makes the iPhone 5s THE smartphone to own.

Android is the most popular OS platform and also has the largest variety of devices.  As a result, any given Android app may perform differently on different platforms, unless the app features expert design.  Recently, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has made waves with its ultra-fast 2.5 GHz processor speed, 1920-by-1080 pixel screen resolution and 5.1 inch screen size.  The Galaxy S5 is revered as the most powerful smartphone on the market at the moment.  Alternatively, Samsung also offers the Galaxy Note 3, a “phablet” or phone-tablet hybrid.  The Galaxy Note 3 has a 5.9 inch screen size, 2.3 GHz processor, 1920×1080 display, 18 hour battery life, and uses an S Pen active stylus for handwriting and easy touch screen navigation.

The hottest, newest phone on the market is the Amazon Fire. First launched in Seattle on June 18th, the Amazon Fire phone is currently available for pre-order with expected shipping date of July 25th.  The internet has been buzzing about it, and honestly, it’s not all good.  While the five camera “Dynamic Perspective” tracks your head and to produce 3D-like graphics, many are claiming the phone does more good for Amazon than it does for its user with one of its central features “Firefly” allowing you to scan objects and media and buy them instantly (on Amazon).  Although the consumers have yet to weigh in on the Amazon Fire phone as it has not hit shelves, it’s safe to say it’s not worth the wait.

As we mentioned in our post on top tablets, the Windows OS is best suited for professional use as it seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office.  At the moment, Nokia has a bit of a monopoly on the Windows OS smartphone market, although HTC has developed a couple phones for the OS.  While HTC’s Windows Phone 8x was the signature device in Microsoft’s roll out of Windows 8.1, the Nokia Lumia Icon is not only the premier Windows phone, it’s also a good value starting from $49.99.  With full 1080p HD video and four high performance microphones, the Nokia Lumia Icon offers an exceptional video and audio recording package. The Lumia Icon also features a 2.26 GHz processor 5 inch screen display, and nearly 15 hour battery life. Of the many Lumia models Nokia has put out, there’s no question the Icon is the way to go.

A smartphone is a tool which strengthens you as an individual, an intellect, and a worker. Those not equipped with the latest technology are at a disadvantage. Rather than be parsimonious, consider a smartphone an investment in a lifestyle and an extension of one’s personal brand.

At Mystic Media, we keep our ear to the ground on the latest hardware and stay up to date on the benefits of each device to ensure we make the most of every application web design.  Contact us today by clicking here or give us a call at 801.994.6815

Making the Most of Your Tablet Design Part 2: Custom Device Design

In Part One of our two part series on tablets, we explored the top tablets on the market in 2014 and what they offer to both consumers and developers. This article, explores the perks & advantages of custom device application design and optimization.

Companies design applications to connect with their consumers–to attract eyes to their company or product. As developers, we don’t focus on what device the consumer uses, the goal is to hold the user’s attention and potentially engrain our client’s brand in the consumer’s day. When developing an application, one must remember that each device has its advantages and disadvantages, and one cross-device layout doesn’t always get the job done. By optimizing a mobile application separately for phones and tablets, it portrays your company in the best light and engages the end user with the best possible user experience.

As discussed in the previous article, tablets vary in numerous factors, most notably operating system, processing power and screen size. When optimizing a mobile application, there are a few options. Developing an application optimized for smartphones creates an app which can be used to its fullest potential on any smartphone, but the app’s functionality could suffer on a tablet. Developing a tablet-only application optimizes the app for tablets, but again, it will not work nearly as well on a smartphone.

The third and best option is to optimize the app separately for both phones and tablets. Although creating a phone or tablet-only optimized application is cheaper, when the design is optimized for each screen size and device type, your app always looks great, sacrificing neither functionality nor usability on any given platform and ultimately providing the best possible user experience. At Mystic Media, we recommend investing in both phone and tablet versions of your application to maximize the quality of the app, and vicariously the perception of your company.

Phone only applications can be fixed to have multiple viewing options. We all have seen and experienced the 1x & 2x buttons on iPads, which allow you to adjust the size of the application based on what device you are using. While this seems a reasonable solution in theory, in practice, it appears shoddy and cheap. When one application attempts to optimize only for a phone and utilizes the same general framework for tablets, it often ends up mediocre on the tablet. For big companies, it’s not up for debate–they recognize the importance of appearing on the cutting edge so they invest in multiple device applications

Take a look at the Youtube mobile app. Their iPhone & Android apps limit the app to display vertical orientation on phones, but on tablets they optimize the design to display both vertical and horizontal orientations based on the angle at which one holds the device. By optimizing the design of the app to change based upon the screen size and device orientation, Youtube allows for a customized feel and content placement on all devices, ensuring the end user will spend more time on their app increasing the quality of the user experience.

Device optimization is worth the time and money because it allows the mobile application to live up to its fullest potential functionally and is aesthetically pleasing on every screen. In addition, marketing your app in both the phone and tablet categories within the app store gives your app a major boost in visibility.

When developing an application, the number one goal is to avoid looking amateur. If the application looks amateur, it turns off the user, consequently causing less downloads, uses, and of course,money. In the spirit of app store optimization and attracting downloads, it is critical to maximize the exposure to your mobile application. Having a bad application is worse than having no application—it can degrade the business in the eyes of your customers and potential users. Rather than squander your time and money on a cheap app, satisfy and impress your customers by developing a multiple device optimized application.

At Mystic Media, our team is equipped with all the tools to develop your app, optimize it to devices, and even develop market strategies. We have the knowledge, the work force, and the work ethic to design your mobile app to its fullest potential. Contact us today by clicking here or give us a call at 801.994.6815