Perficient Digital Transformation Blog


Posts Tagged ‘android’

Now You Can Buy Bus Tickets With An App

You can file this under slightly self-serving.  Android Police has a short article on the Bolt Bus app (also available on iOS). It’s highly rated and fairly useful.  Why self-serving you ask?  Well, Perficient developed it for the client.  My twin brother Tim Porter was the manager of that project.

Customers can now get their confirmation number and board a bus without having to get their hands on a computer beforehand. The app contains the features found on the website, including searching, booking, and managing rewards.

BoltBus offers riders leather seats, power outlets, Wi-Fi, and other amenities. It currently only services areas in the Northeast and along the West Coast, including Canada. Those of you living in such places can check out the app via the widget below.


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Posted in Mobile

Adobe’s State of Mobile Benchmark

Adobe is making a name for itself in the area of digital marketing.  Marketers know that data is necessary to make key decisions and I’m glad to see Adobe providing leadership in this area. When it comes to data about mobile usage, Adobe has published their State of Mobile study on their website, available to anybody. marquee-di-mobile-benchmark-709x300

This study highlights some important data about mobile usage, including the following:

  • Tablets have overtaken phones in the amount of traffic they drive. Think about that. Modern tablets were introduced in 2010. In just 2+ years, they have taken over smartphone traffic.
  • In the Retail industry, tablets are preferred, while in Telecom phones are preferred by a wide margin.
  • Since February 2012, iOS has overtaken Android (again) for browsing
  • Video has grown by 300% on mobile devices, however, the desktop still accounts for almost 90% of video browsing.
  • For online shoppers, tablet users are 3 times more likely to buy versus smartphone users.

This is all good data for those people who are targeting mobile devices.  I’m looking forward to more of these types of studies from Adobe.

IBM Mobile Strategies

IBM recently published a new presentation on their mobile strategy for social businesses.  This presentation is a comprehensive look at the available IBM mobile technologies across their broad spectrum of systems, including WebSphere Portal, Lotus Notes, Domino, IBM Connections, Sametime, Sterling Commerce, Cognos and Coremetrics.

IBM has a three prong strategy when it comes to mobile:

  • Extend & Transform – extend existing systems to mobile devices to create new business opportunities
  • Build & Connect – build mobile application and connect them to backend systems
  • Manage & Secure – manage mobile devices and provide secure access to my business

While many vendors are specializing in one of these areas, IBM offers strong solutions in all three areas.  As mentioned, many of their core solutions have already been extended to mobile devices. They have native apps for Connections, Sametime, Symphony, Notes Traveler, and Cognos nicely on many devices.  You can extend and enhance WebSphere Portal, Sterling, Cognos and Coremetrics as well.

On the manage & secure front, their recent acquisition of BigFix brings the IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices product, which became available in March.  They also have IBM Lotus Mobile Connect which adds more security to devices running Sametime, Connections and Lotus Notes Traveler.

IBM is also introducing a new Mobile Application Center which allows companies to implement a private app store for their devices.  The Mobile Application Center will support apps from different sources and deliver to both iOS and Android devices.

Finally, they have the build side covered as well.  IBM Worklight now provides native apps for a variety of mobile platforms and makes creation of those apps easier.   They also have XPages mobile for Domino, WebSphere Portal Mobile Accelerator, Web Experience Factory, and WebSphere Portal Mobile Experience.

You can view the presentation on SlideShare.

Mobile Development Best Practices

From Desktops to Mobile and Smart Phones – Lessons Learned

This session at Lotusphere 2012 was presented by Usman Memonand focused on lessons learned and best practices many organizations face today when moving to mobile platforms.  Some of the key lessons learned are highlighted here.

Development Approaches and Considerations

  • Users are attempting to access your sites with mobile devices whether you have a mobile site or not
  • There are trade-offs: Richness of your mobile presence increases total cost of ownership
  • Native applications will be richest but highest cost
  • Hybrid mobile applications are growing in popularity since they are web based but can use device capabilities such as a GPS or camera
  • Cost and complexity goes up exponentially as you try to support custom interfaces for more than 1 device

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10 Tablets that Should Join the HP Touchpad

Categorize this under the funniest article I’ve seen in a while.  eWeek posted an article about the tablets that should die.  Some you may never have heard of but some are really well known.  When I read the list and then thought of popular tablets, it seems like the only tablet NOT on the list was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. ……………………….

Here’s a quick rundown of the funnier ones on the list. Go to the article to ready their reasoning behind it:

  1. RIM Playbook
  2. Cisco Cius (hint, not even released yet)
  3. Motorola Xoom
  4. 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab

So yes, eWeek has given a roundabout recommendation of Samsung Galaxy 10.1.  It’s the most circumspect recommendation I have ever read.

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Posted in News

Google Announces Plans To Bake Android-Like Web Intents Into Chrome

Tech Crunch has an article about new plans for embedding new functionality into the browser.  Actually both Google and Mozilla are working on putting “web intents” into their browsers.

Today, Google has announced that it’s planning to integrate Web Intents into Chrome. The news comes on the heels of Mozilla’s announcement last month that it is also working on the project (Google’s post seems to indicate that the two projects used to be distinct, but that they’re now being unified under a single API).

So what exactly are Web Intents? The name and the purpose are both similar to the Intents system that’s present in Google’s Android platform. In short, Intents allow two separate applications to communicate with each other, without either of them having to actually know what the other one is. Instead, they offer and listen for generic hooks.

There’s also an examples page live here.

For anyone into the portal world, this sounds a lot like portlet to portlet communication.  This shows that the line between a portal and the rest of the world continues to blur.  Web CMS vendors continue to put portal functionality into their tools.  Browser makers continue to enhance the ability of their browsers with html5/css3 and this new web intents functionality.

I’m not all that concerned for the portal vendors because they continue to evolve their products and offerings.  I do see a time when the vendors will have to lower their prices and offer a lot more functionality out of the box though.

Stats Comparing iOS to Android

eWeek has an article out comparing iOS to Android.  Despite the surge in Android shipments, the total of iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad shipments still far surpasses what Android has shipped.  See the article for all the points they make.

  1. 5,200 developers at Apples WWDC
  2. 200 Million iOS devices sold
  3. 425,000 iPhone apps
  4. 90,000 iPad apps
  5. 25 million iPads sold
  6. 14 billion apps downloaded from Apple’s app store
  7. $2.5 billion paid out to Apple’s app store developers
  8. 130 million books downloaded for Apple’s iBook
  9. 15 billion songs from iTunes

Apple paid out $2.5 billion dollars to developers so far


Update: Added link after one of our readers noted that it’s missing.

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Posted in Mobile

Mobile Portal 7

In Q3, IBM will be shipping their Portal 7 Mobile theme (insert applause).  This powerful theme takes advantage of the almost-ubiquitous used mobile web-kit.  This compliments IBM’s Mobile Portal Accelerator (MPA) which provides a much broader solution for multiple mobile device support.  The Mobile Theme provides a lightweight toolkit for extending portals to Android, iPhone and Blackberry (web-kit enabled) phones.

When to use Mobile Theme vs MPA?  It is pretty simple in my mind: when you have to support a very broad range of phones from your basic feature phone to the most complex web-kit smartphones and pads – MPA is your choice.  The downfall of MPA is that you have very little customization/modification abilities.  Otherwise, if your business drivers are to get acceptance with the iPhone/Android/Blackberry market (75-80% of all phones) the Mobile Theme is a pretty good choice.  I should note that there are a few more options such as native app development and rich-web apps.

IBM has done a really nice job in designing this theme to allow full developer extensibility.  The code is lightweight and is agnostic from a JS standpoint with no JQuery or DOJO dependencies – but allows developers to use dijits and other libraries on top of or in replacement their theme and framework.  (see below)

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50% of Smartphone Buyers Choose Android

By way of Tony Karre who emailed me about it comes this article in Beta News by Joe Wilcox.  It’s a really good article with lots of IDC and Nielsen data laying out what’s been happening with smartphones and market share over the last year.  He also notes a skew against Android by these IDC and Nielsen.  For my part, I believe the numbers in the adoption of Android.  I recently dumped my iPhone 3G in favor of the Android G2 and while Apple still has the edge on overall experience, I’m really impressed with some functionality that the iPhone does not match.  It’s also $200 cheaper.  I believe that Android will continue to dominate the smartphone market in 2011.

Android leads the market for those who recently purchased a phone

Go read the entire article. It has a lot more information than what I posted.

Mobility at Verizon Wireless

You’ve all probably heard of Verizon.  Supporting 94 million customers presents quite a challenge. They are at IBM’s Impact conference talking about what they’ve done.  They had quite the crew ranging from the architects to the developers.

Verizon wireless manages their own development, their own network, and their own systems.  That gives Verizon unique access to a lot of data in the network.   In addition, the Verizon team works with Google, Apple, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung, and others.

Quote: 50% of time goes to ‘tradition IT, the other 50% goes to innovation.

Customer Site

Stats: 4.2 billion people will have a toothbrush. 4.6 billion will have a mobile subscription.

Do you build an app on the device or do you build a mobile web site.  If you want to exploit the capabilities of the client, then build a native app instead of the browser. Think of the gps, sensors, and other functionality available in the application itself.  If your needs are more simple, then a mobile browser based app will be sufficient.

Quote: huge challenge with the native applications.  Legacy application in Android is down to 3 months.  So many changes in 3 months.

Verizon uses one common framework on the back end. It’s meant to be device agnostic.   70% of the framework in an app is operating system agnostic.

Enterprise: Security is the MOST important thing when developing apps.

The lifecycle of a consumer app is 3.5 days.  Consumer is 3.5 days. Verizon puts in changes to their apps more than once a month.

Components in use at Verizon

  • Websphere datapower used for security and on the fly xml transformation
  • Websphere Message Broker
  • WebSphere Application Server
  • WebSphere MQ
  • Oracle DB
  • CA Siteminder
  • Multiple data centers use this same set of tools.

The middleware gives access to the sms api, the security api, the web api, etc.  They use WSRR for governance.  Tehere is so  much change and so  many apps in process that they need to govern it.

There are two key components that bring this all together. The client module which resides locally in the phone and the serve module.

DB does not use connection pooling. Too many inserts so they used C3PO connection pooling framework.  Now insert 2,500 messages per second.

Challenge for Verizon and any other mobile carrier

Verizon invested 100 billion dollars in data centers, stores, call centers, etc.  Apple invested <$100 billion and released the iphone to market. Overnight their revenue jumped.    Telecom stock price didn’t budge.  This is the era of partnership. You have to partner. Compete with IBM and partner. Compete with Apple and partner.  Compete like mad with Google and then partner on Android.

Verizon gave up control on the devices. At least they are preparing for it.  So how do you monetize? By giving up control of device, they are gaining access to the whole universe.  Access to customer data, customer loyalty, etc gives you leverage points to monetize based on this data.

Quote: Less presentation, more work.  Show me the results is what the Verizon CEO wants to see.

Tomorrow: miniaturization of computing power.  I blogged on this previously here.  That blog was before the latest set of processors were out.