Siri shortcuts may turn out to be one of the most impactful new features in iOS 12. In short they allow users to assign a spoken phrase of their choosing to quickly take a specific action in an app. It’s easy to think of shortcuts which could be added to an app. To get you started here are some examples. Restaurant app: Quickly start a booking for the user’s favourite restaurant.
Finding the right someone to develop an app for you or your client isn’t easy. Here are some questions to ask them to improve your chances of making the right choice. One. What apps have you got on the App Store and Google Play? Your potential developer should be able to point to some apps they’ve published. Even if they are new to working with clients they should have written an app for themselves.
A common scenario: “We are an award winning agency and have the go ahead to develop an app for a fantastic client. We haven’t developed a mobile app before but out client wants one and we should give it a go.” What happens all too frequently is that an agency goes through discovery, creates mockups and specs an app. All without anyone involved who has been on app project before.
A question to ask, ideally before you start coding: “What operating systems should I support?” Let’s look at some popular apps: App Min iOS Min Android Facebook 8.0+ 4.1 Twitter 9.0+ 4.0 iA Writer 10.0+ 4.0 Buffer 10.0 2.2 1Password 11.0 4.0 (Note: for Android it can be a little tricky to quickly find out the minimum version required for the latest version of the app just by looking on Google Play)
My phone is amazing. On an average day it will: Be my book when I take my asleep 7 month daughter downstairs first thing in morning (Kindle app) Check traffic on the school run before heading out (Google Maps) Take phone calls from clients looking for an update on their app See if it’s going to rain before going for a walk at lunchtime (Dark Sky) Generating a banner image for a blog post (Adobe Spark Post) Check and respond to email if out of the office (Inbox by Gmail) Play a podcast on the way home from work (Overcast) Help get my daughter to sleep with some white noise when it’s my wife’s turn to do our son’s bath (Spotify) Catching up on RSS feeds (Reeder), Twitter (Tweetbot), Reddit (Apollo) whilst she’s falling asleep Draft an idea for my latest blog post (Drafts/iA Writer) Keep track of something I’ve thought needs to be done tomorrow (beorg) Put something from Netflix on the Apple TV when the remote had gone missing again (iOS 11 Apple TV control centre function) Thanks to my phone and all the apps I use everyday!
A short while ago I was asked the following question, “I use Trunk Notes to keep a log of my activities. I tag pages with ‘log’ and then have a page which lists all of those entries. It would be great if I could list the entries with the latest at the top.” This isn’t something Trunk Notes can do out of the box; however with a bit of Lua scripting it’s easily achieved.
I’ve worked on too many projects to not have learnt the importance of careful and realistic scheduling. Early on in discussions with a client it is vital to spend time working out when a project can be delivered. If a client has unrealistic expectations and is unwilling to collaborate on an achievable schedule it is better to part company rather than risk disapppointment and frustration later on. A project schedule should be a living document, frequently reviewed and updated.
You’ve just had a fantastic app developed and are looking forward to watching the downloads rack up. If you’ve had an app developed by a freelancer or agency it’s time to check you actually have full ownership of your app. Freelancers and agencies come and go. Relationships between client and developer can be great or go off the boil. If you’ve had an app developed you should be free to decide to take development in-house or find someone else to continue to make your app great.
beorg 1.2 is now on the App Store. WebDAV support Dropbox is great but many people prefer to store files on their own server or use another solution which better meets their needs. WebDAV is a standard way of providing generic file server capabilities over the Internet and is supported by services such as OpenDrive, Nextcloud and ownCloud. If you use Org-mode and want to keep your org files out of the hands of providers such as Dropbox then beorg 1.
This is a slightly belated post about the release of beorg - a new iOS Org-mode app. I’m going to admit to being a relative newcomer to Emacs and Org-mode. Whilst I’ve toyed with Emacs over the years I stuck with Vim since first using it at university in the late 1990s. The concept and polished implementation of Org-mode lead me finally to reconsider Emacs as my main editing environment1 a few months back.