People are reading more of their emails on mobiles than ever before. What is important is that emails are delivered responsively designed (RWD) so that on any device the email can be read comfortably with horizontal scroll kept to a minimum. A lot of people that receive emails on their mobile, and the layout is not suitable, will often just delete the email or worse unsubscribe from the list. Marketers and brands should be taking note of the importance of this shift in design and make sure that their correspondence meets the needs of their customers. Responsive Email Design

There are many different templates out in the market though the ones we recommend are Ink from Zurb and Antwort from an independent developer. Each has its merits with each still requiring tweaking to get the layout that you might like for your brand.  Generally the reading of emails through the use of webmail is dropping while desktop is steady. Mobile on the other hand is on the rise. Make sure that your emails are responsive or pay the penalty.

The Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone, leaving us with a glimpse of a future where phones can bend, televisions are curved, and former presidents end up as spokesmen for technology firms. Every kind of hardware you can imagine was on display, and everyone was trying to explain why theirs represented a bigger leap forwards than anyone else's. But what about the apps of the future? At first glance it seems like CES didn't have much to say on the subject. The mobile app showdown was won by MyScript Calculator, a calculator that lets you write numbers and symbols on a touch screen. Useful? Maybe, but not exactly inspiring. Look a little deeper, however, and you'll see that behind a lot of the gadgets on show were apps designed to control them.

The iSmart Alarm is a prime example. A DIY home security startup, the hardware consists of door, window and motion sensors, infra-red video cameras, and tags that let you keep track of children and pets. Where it gets interesting is that it also comes with a mobile app that lets you control the whole lot wherever you are in the world. You can turn it on and off with the push of a button, and if there's a break-in you'll know about it as soon as it happens. The company has a way to go before it meets its investment target, but even if they fail there are others looking to bring similar systems to market. Another useful piece of tech that tells you when disaster is about to strike is Flower Power. The gadget is a simple little thing you stick in your flower pot, but with BlueTooth it can tell you through an iPad app when to water your plants, whether they're getting enough sun, and if it's too hot or cold for them. It's smart too; the app has a database of different plants, and knows the perfect conditions for each one.

Home alarms and smart plant pots are just the tip of the iceberg. Also on display were gadgets to control locks, lights, televisions, thermostats and ovens. If these trends continue it won't be long before every aspect of our homes will controllable by remote, whether we're coming back from the shops, curled up in bed or on the other side of the world. The technology could easily spread to other aspects of our lives as well; devices like Flower Power could spread to gardens and vegetable patches, and if we can turn the heating on before we get into the house there's no reason why we couldn't do the same in our cars. A safer, warmer, more fragrant world... Seems like the future of apps is bright after all.

Eight years after development started HTML5 is gradually taking over the internet, and with it comes an important step forward for mobile web browsers. For those that don't already know, HTML5 is the latest version of the language used to write web pages. It introduces a wide array of new features, some of which have caused controversy among those who'll have to work with it, but one in particular is going to make browsing on your phone a much richer experience. It's called Video.

It used to be that if you wanted to watch a video on the web, odds are you'd use Flash. That was bad news for phones, since Flash was only optimised for mobile browsers last year, and the results weren't impressive. With HTML5 you don't need a plug-in; you can watch what you like, on whatever device you like. Yes, even the iPhone. There's still a fierce debate over which is the better media player, but Adobe seem to have accepted defeat in the phone market. They've announced that development has stopped on Flash for mobile.

It's not just dancing cats on YouTube that benefit from this. Developers of mobile applications and games will be able to reach a wider audience much more easily by using HTML5. Native apps may still be quicker, and that's fine for the big hitters of the industry, but small companies don't have the resources to make several separate versions of their products. If they want to reach the whole world they need to use a language that the whole world recognises, and Video seems to be an excellent solution.

Of course not every mobile browser has caught up yet. Windows, Android, and iOS mobile browsers are fully compatible with Video, but some feature mobile browsers are lagging behind. That's not too much to worry about though; where Microsoft, Google and Apple lead, others will follow. The fact that Flash for mobile is dead in the water will only speed up the process, and as it becomes more widely used by developers it will start to be too big to ignore.

Video is here to stay, and there's no doubt it's going to improve the mobile web experience. Of course HTML5 has a lot of other new features that could make the same claim, like the AppCache which lets web applications store data on the phone or the advanced tools for making online forms that can be easily filled in on your mobile, but none of them have the potential impact of Video. Give it a few years and we'll wonder how we ever managed without it.

The Web App Icon

24th November, 2011

Recognising the gap in the market, Mobgets has collaborated with Skyron to create an icon to represent Web Apps. As a leading mobile app store, Mobgets is acutely aware of the need for this icon. There is no globally recognised icon to indicate a mobile Web App.

Web Apps Web Apps Web Apps Web Apps Web Apps

With the increased supply and demand of Web Apps - apps accessed over a network such as the Internet or an Intranet rather than locally - Mobgets acknowledges that consumers need to be made aware that an app is a Web App as opposed to a Native App as they do sometimes perform differently. With companies like Adobe, Apple and Google all throwing their might behind HTML5 and the development of Web Apps, it is clear that Web Apps are here to stay. Whilst in time, they may perform the same as native apps, we feel consumers need to be aware of the app format before buying.

So Intel has a new chip and smartphones not only get smarter but faster. So why bother creating specific browser builds for mobiles? Mobiles have the inherent problem of dimension so rendering is different to rendering to spaces such as that on a tablet or on the traditional desktop where most CSS designers are pretty much in agreement that they develop to 1024x768, for now, though even that standard is being reviewed because of every increasing screen sizes. Even if it is 1024x768 the context might be different - think iPad where the dimension is the same but the user experience is different compared to a traditional website.

There is no real standard size that can be applied to mobile devices considering there are about 48 main different width and height dimensions used on mobiles though there appears to be a trend to use a standard for smart phones at least with a width and height of 320x480. Please don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting the above to be adopted as a standard. It would be nice to see manufacturers however use more standard dimensions – I guess consumers though lead that game.  

Most people do agree though that the mobile browser war is nothing like the desktop browser war.  Right now there are about 25 major mobile browsers, the list is actually quite extensive if you were to consider all mobile browsers out there, including Safari, Skyfire, NetFront, Iris, Obigo, Blazer, Android browser (which is not an incarnation of Chrome), Internet Explorer Mobile, Opera etc.  Soon I am sure that list will slowly diminish as buyouts and take overs or natural selection kicks. The best that will survive will be those that can display web apps (or mobgets if you want to define web apps in a mobile context) well and in whichever dimension.

Considering web apps will have a long history going forward as they are relatively platform independent, though certainly browser dependant, and that developers and business executives are much happier developing once (and a half) rather than for every mobile platform out there it looks pretty certain that the mobile browser future is rather bright – but hey maybe HTML 5.0 will be replaced by some new technology and then really are browsers the right technology to display 3D content?

Exclusive NXOR Non-Exclusive

14th December, 2010
Orchids pretty much grow anywhere. Life pretty much florishes anywhere it has the chance. With the rise of the exclusive application store (well Apple, OVI, Blackberry and Microsoft now) we are starting to create an either me or you culture, which we all know is a great marketing and branding strategy. But really in the end we will all lose out.  The advent of the exclusive store is certainly not helping the user, they are starting to get annoyed by not finding the applications that they would like to find, or had the chance to find, and the developers are starting to get frustrated by not being able to present their work to the rest of the world. Maybe thats why man eating orchids came about ;) - but seriously.

How hard is it to create a place where the developer uploads their application (the exclusive location) and then have the application made available any time and place with the revenue going back to them? This at least would give the user the confidence in knowing that the application is safe and secure and also some vindication to the developer that the application passes the minimum requirements set.  
Android has risen because Google understands philosophy and are not treating us like blind consumer hungry idiots but rather giving us choice to decide.  They provide the user with the ability to accept the application even if it does not come from its store. This puts the decision firmly back in the hands of the user, allows the developer to be able to distribute the application how they wish. However this approach also makes it possible for the user to install an application that might access their private information without their knowledge - though isnt that how any application we download from the internet these days works? Android asks the user to provide permission to access some personal information when installing. There is nothing stopping having a virus checker on the phone that prevents unsolicited access to information that we would not like to divulge.  

Do we all agree that we should have at least some form of protection and at least know that the application functions as we expect it to function?  Engineers build models of bridges to see if they will withstand the weight, software engineers write test code to ensure that the code does what it is supposed to do. What is wrong with having a place to upload, to have some validation, and then for us to build our bridges where we need to build them once we know that they will work?  Lets stop arguing about whether the stores should be exclusive XOR non-exclusive (one or the other but not both) - why not NXOR? - two rights make a right?

I wonder if one day a mobile device will have enough power to bring someone back to life? Imagine if you could save a life using a couple of mobile phones. There are a few hurdles to get over to say the least. How could a mobile phone ever deliver up to 360 joules of energy? Also, would we really want most of the planet carrying around devices that had the potential to deliver that much power? Think of the headlines - "Man suspected in killing parking attentant with mobile".


It could be possible though with a little bit of help from the local health service and of course our beloved mobile manufacturers, though I doubt that a battery as small as those used in mobile phones could ever deliver that much energy. Whats say that the device had the potential to plug into a greater power source and on sending a text to the health service the device could be remotely activated to enable it to deliver that much energy?  The company kiwok seem to be on the right track.

You are probably asking now what HTML5 has to do with a defibrillator?  Well given that HTML5 aims to reduce the need for proprietary plug-in-based rich internet application (RIA) technologies whats stopping us from creating a few more tags that could help save some lives?