Archive for the ‘What in the World?’ Category

The new iPhone and iPad rumor round-up

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

I have held on to my iPhone 4S for about as long as I can stand it. I have previously been able to upgrade with every new iPhone release, but we restructured our phone plans and I was not eligible for an upgrade when the 5 was released, making this 4S the phone I have held onto the longest (aside from my trusty original Motorola Razr flip phone, oh yeah.)

This will be the last time I hang onto my old phone after a new one has been released, and I could not be more excited to be purchasing a new phone in September. For those out there that aren’t anxiously obsessing over every rumor, I have compiled a roundup of everything I can see that’s plausible for the new iPhone that will make us all drool over the new ones.

1. Announcement and Release Date

Apple is holding an event September 10 to announce the new phone. It is widely expected that the phone preorders will ship by the end of the month and the in-store models for purchase will also be available at this time. T-Mobile has blacked out vacation dates at the end of the month, which is usually a surefire sign that the new iPhone will be released during that time.

2. Two Phones

It looks like Apple is seriously weighing (if not already producing) releasing two phones in the fall—the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. The 5S will be their top-of-the-line, most expensive unit featuring (potentially) fancy new colors to choose from: Black, White, Champagne and Graphite. I was originally gunning for the White phone, but I am thinking I may have to go with the Graphite. I was originally thinking White because the Black anodized aluminum tends to show scratches more than the White, and I tend to bang up my phones.

The 5C is rumored to be a lower-end version of the iPhone that will also come in a wide variety of vibrant colors (similar to the new iPod color offering), but the backs of the phones will be plastic like the 3GS was. I’m not holding my breath on this rumor, but I believe there’s a significant chance they’ll release the 5C.

3. 64 BIT

Let me say that again. 64 BIT PROCESSING. With this alteration to the awesome new A7 chip, iPhone users will see a 30% performance boost from the increase to 64 bits alone. Who knows, maybe some fancy features like motion tracking will be on the list because of this performance boost?

4. Fingerprint Sensor Home Button

Now, I’m not entirely sure on this rumor, but I think it’s highly probable that we will see this included on the iPhone in the near future, but how near is really the question. Apple purchased AuthenTec two years ago, so fingerprint technology is only a matter of time.

The rumors state that the new home button will be made from convex Sapphire to allow for this functionality in the button. We’ll see. I hope it is included in this iteration of the iPhone frankly to deter theft of the device. If you don’t have the fingerprint to unlock the phone, what’s the point of stealing it?

5. 12-Megapixel Camera

Hopefully we’ll continue to see large improvements in the cameras on the phones, and I’m crossing my fingers for a jump to at least 12-megapixels. Because Instagram needs larger photos.

Now, the iPad.

I was one of the first to purchase a new iPad in 2009—I remember waiting in line at the Best Buy like it was yesterday. Since then, I have been a die-hard iPad fan and eventually traded in my large iPad for an iPad mini, and my tiny hands have been thanking me every day since. One of the things that has absolutely killed me about the iPad mini is the non-retina screen. It is the only non-retina device in my arsenal, and it’s almost enough to drive me mad, but not quite there yet. I am hoping against hope that the updated iPad mini will be a retina device, and it seems that it will be. One big reason it makes sense for Apple to migrate all devices to retina is that it makes it easier on developers, which I am always supportive of. Pushing the iPad mini to retina would mean that all of their new devices are retina, and that’s a big deal.

There’s the potential for the regular size iPad to have a slight form-factor change, making the bezel more square like the iPad mini, and I think we’ll see that happen. The iPad mini is definitely nicer to hold than the regular iPad because of the change in the bezel curvature.

Regardless of what happens, I’ve sold my iPad and am lucky I haven’t chucked my phone through a wall and will be purchasing all the new things from Apple next month. If you can hold out on purchasing Apple devices until then, I’d suggest doing so. Otherwise, you’re going to be one of the people kicking themselves for buying the new iPad the day before the new new iPad is released. We’ve all been there. Until September 10…

 The new iPhone and iPad rumor round up

The Boss is on Vacation

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The Boss is on Vacation

Google throws down the Mobile Optimization Gauntlet

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

With global mobile internet traffic projected to surpass desktop internet traffic by 20141, Google is gearing up for the pivot by leveraging a search ranking ultimatum: make it mobile-friendly or they’ll hold your rankings hostage.

How can you keep your search rankings as high as possible?2 Avoid these common mistakes:

1. Faulty Redirects

If you have distinct URLs for your desktop and mobile sites, make sure that your redirects send to directly corresponding mobile links set up that directly correspond to the desktop link.

For example, if you have a website.com/about page and a m.website.com/about page, make sure your website.com/about links to m.website.com/about and doesn’t send the user straight to the homepage, website.com.

2. Smartphone-only 404 pages

It is better to serve the desktop site than to serve a 404 page every time a mobile user accesses a non-mobile-optimized site. Better still, make sure every aspect of your site is mobile-optimized. After all, a majority of your site’s traffic will soon be from mobile devices – 2014 is coming!

3. UNPLAYABLE VIDEOS

Flash is almost dead, but we can’t completely send it the way of the Dodo without your help! Most mobile devices have discontinued their Flash support and have transitioned to HTML5 and its supported codecs to serve video content to mobile users.

Google wants to ensure all mobile users can view the content on the web without any issues, but why do they still allow YouTube videos to be set to viewable only on desktop? They need to get with their own program.

4. Page Speed

Load times continue to be an important optimization factor – especially for mobile devices. I average 4 down and 2.5 up 3 bars of my AT&T 4G connection, which isn’t bad, but it’s no Gigabit connection. Keeping render times under 1 second on mobile devices (and desktop, too) will keep mobile users and Google happy.

When mobile devices first began accessing the internet, sites that were optimized for mobile were an afterthought. It won’t be long before all sites are optimized for mobile first, with desktop sites being the afterthought. This is the first of many steps Google and the web as a whole will take to demand that the mobile experience is a top priority for those designing and building those experiences. The only question that remains is how long will it take for you to climb aboard and ensure the best experience possible for your users – desktop and mobile alike.

1Every article known-to-man regarding desktop vs. mobile traffic cites the “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker’s data. She has confirmed that mobile traffic has already (intermittently) eclipsed desktop traffic in India. This article on Business Insider from last week confirms we’re still on track for the 2014 Desktopocalypse.

2These articles will help you dig deeper into Google’s idea of mobile-optimized: Google’s ranking change announcementBuilding Mobile-Optimized Websites and Common mistakes in smartphone sites.

This article was written by Caitlyn Mayers, The Flores Shop’s newest3 secret weapon. She is the shop’s designerd and tech guru extraordinaire – feel free to follow her on Twitter, App.net or drop her a line at caitlyn [at] thefloresshop [dot] com to continue the never-ending tech talk.

3 Caitlyn has been working at The Flores Shop for almost 2 years now. She has been thoroughly vetted and our audience has finally been given clearance to learn about Project Caitlyn. We’re still working on her business cards.

Social Networking in Motion: A 10,000 ft. View

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Social Networking in Motion: A 10,000 ft. View

This video infographic gives a visual understanding of how quickly the news of Egypt’s President Mubarak’s resignation spread on Twitter. Fascinating to watch the power of visual communication!

‘Lose Yourself’ in a Super Bowl Ad

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Super Bowl Monday. The day after the game when everyone is clamoring to give their opinion on this year’s batch of Super Bowl ads—while 99% of them have never had the pressure creating one themselves. The Flores Shop hasn’t had the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl ad (yet), which is why we’ve never taken an official stance on any Super Bowl ads in the past. Truth is, we have so much respect for all agencies that are asked to develop memorable, water-cooler-worthy tv spots for the Super Bowl. There really is no other assignment that generates higher expectations and pressure. Some companies have even been known to put themselves in a ‘make it or break it’ scenario based on the success of their one-time Super Bowl ad! Judging these ads without knowing the behind-the-scenes dialogue, client history, legal limitations, and hundreds of other obstacles that creative teams must account for when developing :30 of pure, money-making gold seems a bit brash. Kudos to all creative and account teams fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on the most highly-anticipated ads of the year!

This year The Flores Shop saw something special that we wanted to recognize as truly unique.
Lose Yourself in a Super Bowl Ad
In our humble opinion, we feel that Weiden+Kennedy’s Chrysler spot was the best Super Bowl Ad we’ve seen in some time. W+K did a great job of creating the emotion of American pride without cliché images of  sweaty farm workers loading dusty hay bails into pickups and soot-covered firefighters celebrating with some cold brews after slaying a towering inferno. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (as Seinfeld would say). Farm workers and fire fighters are certainly mainstays and play extremely important roles that help define American culture. But television spots that use those common images often blend into the noise of self-glorifying, American rhetoric that make us look like the heores of the world. This ad took a different path. Rather than make Americans out to be living in a world that’s hunkey-dorey, it says that we’re human just like everyone else. We’re digging ourselves out of our self-created messes just like every other country. And while the ad is promoting an industry giant, it successfully positions Chrysler, Detroit and America as an underdog—and who doesn’t like to cheer for an underdog?!
Let us know your thoughts…