Apple announced big news at its 2014 World Wide Developer Conference, or WWDC. The annual conference kicked off on Monday, June 2 in San Francisco, and the tech giant announced exciting news about its upcoming operating systems, Yosemite and iOS 8.
Mac’s newest version of OS X, called Yosemite, will feature several impressive new features that will greatly enhance the user experience. One great feature will be the addition of an online server called Mail Drop, which will automatically save all large attachments from Mail to the Cloud so recipients can save room on their computers and easily download the attachments at their convenience. Another exciting enhancement will be the addition of private windows in Safari, as well as the ability for users to organize their tabs into “stacks.” Probably the biggest updates to OS X will be those that add to continuity among devices. With the iCloud Drive available in the Finder to synchronize content across all devices (not just Apple devices) and the new Handoff feature, which uses proximity awareness to naturally swap tasks between the phone and the desktop, having multiple devices has never been easier. For instance, with Handoff, users can start an email on their desktop and finish it on their phone when they need to run. These are just a few of the updates we can look forward to on the new Yosemite.
It’s not just the Macs that will be receiving great updates, however. iOS 8 updates were also released during WWDC, so iPhone and iPad junkies, rejoice! One of the new features may not seem too glamorous, but it’s definitely important! The new app, Health, will not only display your personal health data (compiled from your many healthy lifestyle apps), but also translate that data into something that actually makes sense, so that you can keep yourself in tip-top shape. In iOS 8, notifications will actually be interactive from both the notification center and lock screen, allowing you to reply to posts, like a comment or dismiss an alert without going into the individual apps. Siri will also see an improvement, as you will no longer have to touch the phone to activate her services. She will now respond purely from the command “Hey, Siri.” Messaging and typing also improve with a predictive text feature called QuickType, which learns your own linguistic idiosyncrasies to autocomplete your responses. Group messages will also see improvements, as you will be able to drop people (including yourself) from a group chat and name threads. And sending voice messages through text will also be possible. And for the parents out there, get ready to be excited! iOS 8 will finally include family sharing, so up to six devices that share the same credit card can all view the same media purchases—and parents can receive an alert to approve or decline a purchase on their kids’ devices!
It looks like we have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming updates, and these are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of features. What features are you most looking forward to seeing in the new operating systems?
For more information, check out:
“TL;DR: All the News You Need From WWDC” By Mat Honan
A recent study on the 2014 Internet trends by Mary Meeker, has delivered some extremely interesting information on use by gadget and by country. The U.S. is sixth in the world when it comes to screen time, with a whopping 444 minutes a day in front of a screen—that’s a whopping 7.4 hours ON AVERAGE each day. What may or may not be surprising to you is that smartphones take up the majority of our time with 151 minutes, followed by TV (147 minutes), laptops/PCs (103 minutes) and tablets (43 minutes). And at 7.4 hours a day, the U.S. is still only sixth! The top five consist of Indonesia (540 min), Philippines (531 min), China (479 min), Brazil (474 min) and Vietnam (466 min). These numbers are astounding when compared to countries like France and Italy who only spend 326 minutes and 317 minutes, respectively.
Some other key points from the study show that mobile, including smartphones and tablets, are still becoming increasingly important in data consumption. Mobile data traffic increased 81% from last year, and since only 30% of the world’s population has a smartphone at this point, there is plenty of room for mobile traffic to increase. These studies may be alarming to people with static websites, especially since there are over 2B users of smartphones and tablets combined and only 1.5M users of laptop and desktop PC’s combined. By switching to responsive website design, your business could be reaching so many more people! Mobile web design is obviously becoming more and more important. With people spending the majority of their screen time on smartphones, don’t you want your site to be compatible?
Are these astounding figures in line with what you expected? Higher? Lower? What do you think?
For more information, please click below.
2014 Industry Trends Report Slides by Mary Meeker
How Much Time the World Spends Looking at Screens, Visualized by Jamie Condliffe
It was only seven years ago, in 2007, that Apple released its first iPhone and completely changed the way many folks access the Internet. In those few years, the growing prevalence of mobile devices has been continually shaping the world of web design. Today, what began as merely another branch of Internet marketing is shaping how all web design is taking place. How a website appears on a mobile device is now equally as important, if not more so for some businesses, as its appearance on a desktop.
In the early years of the World Wide Web, most websites relied on copy-heavy webpages. This made sense at a time when almost all users accessed the Internet on desktop or laptop computers with large screens fit for reading large bodies of textual information.
But when smartphones hit the market, mobile users refused to zoom in and scroll through long blocks of text on their small screens. Web designers adapted by switching to ‘mobile-switched sites’, which would display content differently if the website sensed that it was being rendered on a mobile device, usually with textual content larger and easier to read. If you have ever gone to a website on a mobile device and seen the url add ‘m.’ to the beginning, you’ve witnessed a ‘mobile-switch.’
The ‘mobile-switch’ strategy sufficed for a short time before tablet devices and the infamous iPad arrived on the scene in 2010. These new devices were neither here nor there on the resolution spectrum between mobile and desktop, and so simply designing two website interfaces, one for desktop and one for mobile, no longer worked. Websites now had to display on anything from a compact smartphone to a smaller iPad to a larger tablet device to a high-res desktop monitor.
Thus, ‘responsive web design’ came into being, with websites being designed to ‘respond’ to any device’s specifications and to render beautifully in any dimensions at any resolution, thus meeting the customer/viewer on whatever device he/she may choose. This design strategy has led to the integration of more visual website configurations that rely less on copy and more on flexible buttons and images, designs fitting for a touchscreen interface.
Nowadays, with almost half of all Internet traffic taking place through mobile and tablet devices, responsive websites tend to be designed with mobile appearance at the forefront. Sleek visual designs and streamlined user experience have replaced the copy-heavy websites of yesteryear, and more and more websites have that overall mobile interface feel, more suited to a touchscreen than a mouse’s cursor. Mobile web design has begun to ‘wag the dog’ – the aesthetic elements of mobile website design, once only a small part of the Internet marketing world, has revolutionized and now defines cutting-edge web design overall.
Further reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2014/05/15/let-it-go-say-farewell-to-these-5-web-design-trends/
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) met Thursday, May 15 to discuss the hotly debated net neutrality issue. It might sound boring, but trust us—it’s important! For those of you who have no clue what net neutrality is, it revolves around the idea that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally by the Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. One of the main splits in opinion refers to the legalization or ban of “fast lanes,” which would give people and businesses the opportunity to pay for prioritized access, making their sites load faster than the sites that do not pay. So for instance, ESPN’s website would load quickly because they can afford to pay for the fast lane, but Average Joe’s sports blog would load much slower.
Ideally with net neutrality, ISPs would not be able to block any legal content or favor certain traffic over others and should be open about how they handle Internet traffic. These were the three principles that formed the basis of the FCC’s Open Internet Order that was enacted in 2010. After the D.C. Court of Appeals deemed this an overstep on the part of the FCC in January, they overturned the act, leaving the FCC to rewrite rules that were publicly announced yesterday.
The rules proposed by the FCC passed narrowly with a 3-2 vote, and while the FCC speaks adamantly about preserving an open Internet, many see the new rules as approval of the “fast lane” system. The new rules emphasize the need to treat all legal Internet traffic equally; however, they allow “fast lanes” for customers who are looking for prioritized access. The FCC did state that these “fast lanes” are acceptable as long as the ISPs don’t slow down other traffic below what the customer has paid for. Now that the regulations have passed the vote, a 120 day comment window opens for the general public to offer their opinions. What do you think? Do you think “fast lanes” count as net neutrality? We’d love to hear your opinions!
For more information on the net neutrality issue, check out the following articles:
“Tentative FCC Internet rules would allow fast lanes” by Mike Snider & Roger Yu
“FCC on Net Neutrality: How it Happened” by the Mashable Team
“FCC and Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Before Today’s Big Meeting” by Jason Abbruzzese
Robmark Web proudly launched the website for retirement plan administrator, Qualified Plans. Qualified Plans’ relationship managers oversee every step throughout retirement planning to simplify the process for their clients, all while finding the most effective plan for clients’ businesses. Their new website, QPlans.com, features a totally responsive web design, allowing for crossover from desktop to tablet to mobile, without losing any functionality or viewing capabilities. Robmark Web created an organized, user-friendly website with easy-to-maneuver navigation. The website provides information about Qualified Plans and their many financial services. Robmark’s Savannah web design team did a great job yet again with this website design for Qualified Plans, so check it out, and give us your thoughts!
We here at Robmark Web are excited to roll out our new, redesigned website. We still offer all the great web-based services like responsive web design, online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), graphic design, online reputation management, social media management, and so much more; however, we think the new site will better match our client’s needs and the services we offer—not to mention look better than ever!
We encourage you to take the time to explore our new site and reintroduce yourself to our large array of offerings and our impressive body of work. You will notice that we offer much more than just website design. We also have 23+ years of experience in Internet marketing, so we know how to make your online marketing goals a reality. We can successfully implement a social media strategy and an email marketing campaign, while simultaneously offering website analysis to ensure that your site is as efficient and effective as possible. We are a full-service agency, so whatever your web wish is, we will not only meet but EXCEED your expectations!
Though our office is located in Savannah, Georgia, we are more than just web design Savannah! We also serve Atlanta, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Hilton Head, SC; Bluffton, SC; and many more areas. We are excited to talk to you about our array of web design services designed especially for you to reach your online business goals, so please drop us a line or give us at call at (912) 921-1040.