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Case Studies from dotUK

The Apple WWDC 2016 Breakdown

Okay, so that was the WWDC 2016 Keynote, the opening for the annual Apple, Worldwide Developers Conference, and annual pilgrimage to Santa (Tim Cook), to see what goodies they have in store for us for the next year.

wwdc2016

The clue is in the name (D is for Developer), so this conference is very much Software based, for the Software Developers like ourselves who create and develop software, and mobile apps that work on and with Apple Hardware and Services, such as the iPhone and iPad. Typically there are no Hardware announcements, and true to form no new iPhone, iPad or Macbook announcements, but of interest none the least as it gives us an insight into the new features available (normally on our existing devices) in the next release of macOS (as it’s now known, no longer OS X) and iOS, in this case iOS 10.

 

So that’s where we shall start, iOS 10, the big one for us, if for no other reason than between now and September (ish) we need to work through our existing portfolio of iPhone apps and build a compatibility plan to ensure the app is optimised for the new iOS 10 experience (iOS 9 was on over 70% of all handsets within 6 months of launch, we can’t afford to be tardy!).  Luckily for our clients the majority use us to not only develop the existing mobile app but engage us for ongoing support and maintenance so there’s no surprising cost implications each year.

ios10

New features wise, none of note, but don’t be disheartened, the age of the smart phone is now a mature one and the expectation of great new things each year is misguided, for Apple (and indeed all Smartphone manufacturers), it’s about making things better, improving, expanding, and there’s a lot under the hood;

  • Siri – Love her or hate her, she’s getting a facelift, improvements behind the scenes, integration with keyboards, and the big news for us is an SDK, so we can incorporate Siri technologies into the apps we create for you.
  • Homekit – A dedicated Home app from which you can control your smart home devices, think lightbulbs, thermostats and the fridge!
  • VOIP and Messaging – New SDK’s so that VOIP calls from your apps present themselves like normal phone calls, and new iMessage hooks so other apps can hook in, and even dedicated iMessage apps so you can create your own messaging add ons.
  • More – On top of all of that we have an Apple Music makeover, Face and object recognition in photos, prettier maps and improved notifications.

On the desktop we have Mac OSX sorry macOS  (little ‘m’), specifically macOS Sierra (our Beta invite has landed so it’s out there), the big one here (apart from the rebranding) is Siri, fully embedded into the latest Mac operating system, from sending messages, to finding files. to all the other functions we’re used to on the iPhone (love em or hate em!).  We also have tight integration with other Apple devices, Apple Pay on the desktop, start your web purchase as normal and authenticate your payment via the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone.  Or how about binning off your password, let your Mac unlock and awaken automatically by purely being in the presence of you, wearing your Apple Watch of course.

watchunlock

And lastly for our summary, the Watch itself, a difficult new market that’s not yet found it’s feet and other platform vendors are struggling to find their use case.  For Apple Watch owners it’s another big tranche of improvements, the headliners are;

  • Faster App Launches – Always a bugbear, if it’s quicker to get your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, and then launch the app then how does the watch help?  Apple are promising less than a second to launch, and optimisations for your favourite apps.
  • A new ‘Dock’ launched from the side button
  • Scribble, you can literally write messages on the screen and send them that way, some interesting use cases no doubt!
  • Activity Tracking – The Social Sharing, ala Fitbit is coming, so you can see your friend’s accomplishments and motivate yourself
  • Minnie Mouse as a watch face – You heard it here first!

As always there is much, much more, whether we can bring these features into your business and offer improvements, or the MD just fancies a new shiny Macbook, we’re always happy to help.  Give us a call, let’s get a coffee.

dotUK is a cross platform mobile app, desktop  and web based software developer based in the North East of the UK

Google I/O 2016

Google I/O is the Annual Developers conference held to brief Developers on upcoming product changes, announcements, and all things Android, And Google Play (heir Mobile App Store) – see the link below to follow the announcements as they happen.

See an announcement that sparks an idea or you’d like to include in your next Android App project – then talk to us

Source: Google I/O 2016

Supporting local Charity through the Big Tees Sleepout

On Friday 13th November, dotUK, through it’s founder and director Andy Flisher, will be sleeping out on the streets of Middlesbrough in aid of an excellent local charity, the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

The charity has an aim to bring Middlesbrough and Teesside businesses and companies together to help make Teesside a better place to live and work.  The Big Tees Sleepout specificially is an annual event aimed at highlighting and tackling the homelessness situation that is right on our doorsteps, a situation which we all agree should not exist in this day and age.

You can support Andy by donating online or by signing up and raising your own sponsorship at the Big Tees Sleepout site itself.  If you are unable to support financially, as of course we can’t all do, then please support the event, the charity and our efforts by liking, sharing, and in anyway making the region aware of the event, and the problem.

Thank You.

 

 




YC Business Solutions renews Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club Sponsorship

YC Business Solutions has renewed its sponsorship of Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club.

The Yarm-based business IT, software and telecommunications specialist will continue to be the rugby club’s technology partner in a sponsorship deal worth more than £25,000 in IT and telecommunications support.

dmprfc-glennandy

YC Business Solutions will continue to improve the IT facilities at the landmark Northern Echo Arena, which Darlington Mowden Park RFC owns and where it plays its home games, ensuring better communications for fans, visitors and business tenants at the stadium.

In the first year of the sponsorship agreement YC Business Solutions installed a new phone system to provide first class facilities in the arena’s media centre for visiting journalists for the England Under 20s and England Women’s rugby matches in March 2015.

The firm also installed a new wireless network at the arena providing guest Wi-Fi for all fans in time for the visit of the New Zealand rugby team to the arena on Thursday 8 October, where more than 4,000 fans witnessed and took part in a training session with All Blacks stars, and made full use of the Wi-Fi facilities.

“Our sponsorship is about helping the club become a more commercial enterprise. By providing state-of-the-art-communications and technology which fans and journalists have come to expect at top stadiums, then the club is much more likely to attract more England representative games and other major events in the future,”
says Andy Flisher, YC Business Solutions Director.
“Our programme for the second year of our sponsorship will focus on continuing to support the club’s forward thinking attitude toward embracing modern technology by improving facilities for business use at the arena, and helping to attract more tenants and business events, as part of the club’s ambitious growth plans.”

All Blacks at Mowden Park - Credit Chris Booth / Northern Echo

All Blacks at Mowden Park – Credit Chris Booth / Northern Echo

Lee Rust, Mowden Park RFC Managing Director, says:

“We are delighted with the new facilities and support which YC Business Solutions has provided us so far and we look forward to continuing to work with them on the next phase of improvements at the arena.”

Based in Yarm, YC Business Solutions is one the North East’s leading IT and communications companies. The group of companies provides business IT support, and encompasses Synergy Telecoms, its telecommunications arm, dotUK which offers mobile app and bespoke software development services for organisations across the UK, as well as Yarm Computers, its retail presence on Yarm High Street.

For further information, contact Jonathan Reay, Reay Public Relations
Tel: 01325 526530 or 0788 4433 475.
Email: jonathan@reaypr.com

Desktop CRM Software with Loyalty Module

Continuing our technology partnership with Darlington Mowden Park RFC we have been commissioned to build a bespoke, multi user Desktop CRM Solution

dmprfc-glennandy

Our partnership, through parent company YC Business Solutions, encompasses the IT, Telecoms, Web and Technology solutions the club require to grow in line with team’s aspirations.

Mowden Park, and the sports hospitality industry in general, have unique challenges in terms of engaging with their audience which are a wide and varied audience, ‘clients’ in a typical CRM environment include members, players, family, volunteers, corporate clients, retail, hospitality and more, each requiring a unique approach.

As well as traditional CRM functionality such as marketing, client engagement etc we will be focussing on membership management and loyalty functionality, this will encompass technology such as ‘smart’ membership cards that will help simplify match day ticketing, integration with retail and hospitality point of sale systems.

We will also be looking to help the club better engage and manage corporate clients, match day hospitality, and conferencing events.

Exciting times ahead!

Digital Print Template Generation Software

Windows Desktop based Digital Print Generation Software that will allow our client to take source artwork and batch compose digital print ready templates directly into their print process

Continuing our niche abilities in creating bespoke digital print software, this desktop application will take the client’s orders, source artwork and generate digital print templates in the required quantities. Products that the print templates will be generated for include;

  • Greetings Cards
  • Mugs
  • Coasters
  • Teddies
  • Notepads

This software will dramatically reduce the human labour hours involved in fulfilling the orders and allow our client to offer their unique customised products in far larger volumes than would normally be available in a manual process

Resource Planning Software

Windows Based Resource Planning Software, allowing businesses to see at a glance upcoming resource availability and holiday allocations

The second of our recent commissions for bespoke windows desktop software is for an electrical contractor based here in the North East. The challenge to overcome here is the ability to see clearly, quickly the spread of human resources in upcoming months, both those engineers and fitters allocated to existing projects, and of course holiday time when resource is unavailable.

Retroflo Resourcing

Our bespoke solution will record the allocation of staff resources to projects, and allow the categorisation of the labour types. It will also record upcoming staff holidays, with this combination of data managers will be able to scroll to a specific timeline and view, filtering down if need be, the allocation of resources and ability to schedule in, or not, additional work based on the still free resource.

This project is the precursor to a bigger solution, but allows us to focus on and solve immediate business problems for the client in a cost effective and timely manner

dotUK is a cross platform mobile app, desktop & server software, and web based or software as a service developer based in Yarm, Teesside in the North East of England, and all project requests can be made through www.dotuk.net

Service Engineers Reminders Software

The Service Engineers Reminder Software is a simple, single user, windows desktop app that helps tradesmen keep track of scheduled work, services, safety checks etc

dotUK pride themselves on offering function solutions of value to all ends of the business software market. This service reminder app, which has been commissioned by a local heating engineer, will start life as a single user, stand alone, windows desktop application. However it is easily scalable into a multi user networked environment (with little to know infrastructure costs) and even options to sync / backup data through cloud services to make a multi user, multi site product.

The core functionality is to record when clients have products, services, or schedules that are due for renewal and offer a range of reminder options. As an example landlords are required to have annual gas safety checks which is a service the client offers. This app will allow this to be recorded, and when comes due the option to remind via email, text message, or generate a mail merge document that allows letters to be sent out in the post.

As always the focus is on specific functionality, ease of use, and value.

dotUK is a cross platform mobile app, desktop & server software, and web based or software as a service developer based in Yarm, Teesside in the North East of England, and all project requests can be made through www.dotuk.net

Glasgow Watersports Industrial Programming

The Glasgow Watersports project is a multi phased industrial programming project that will ultimately empower the user to control and administer the canoe course pumps and lighting from mobile devices, and place site bookings over the web.

The core control system part of the project allows for programmatic control of the sites pump, lighting, and klaxon systems using the industry standard Modbus protocol. This is being offered in conjunction with Retroflo, a North East based Electrical Contractors and bringing on board their expertise in industrial process control.Canoe Course Control Panel

The full flow of the development will commence with a web based booking system provided by dotUK, end user bookings are then pushed privately to the Glasgow Watersports site where the onsite infrastructure will allow users to access their booking and the control systems via any wifi enabled device.

Local users can then control the pump output (strength of water flow) on demand in accordance with the abilities and expectations of their group.

A full remit of expected industrial safety, and health and safety best practices are of course in place but this investment allows the end user, through dotUK’s software development expertise, to bring control and a more beneficial user experience to the end user.

dotUK is a cross platform mobile app, desktop & server software, and web based or software as a service developer based in Yarm, Teesside in the North East of England, and all project requests can be made through www.dotuk.net

Baby Bio Android and iPhone Mobile App Project

The Baby Biography mobile app project is a cross platform, consumer,  mobile application development tasked with creating an iPhone app, and and Android mobile app to create ‘Baby Biographies’, or a collection of ‘Baby Moments’ through pregnancy, birth, and the early years of your child’s life.  The app will allow you to collect, record, and share those moments through social media and even offer you the chance to order a personalised, professionally printed book of your child’s moments.

Baby Biography Mobile App Home

The mobile app will be developed using dotUK’s cross platform, and multi platform mobile app development skills.  This skill set is a niche, and dotUK are one of the few development companies, certainly amongst North East Mobile App Developer’s to offer true, native mobile apps that can be developed simultaneously across the core mobile application platforms, in parallel.

The Baby Biography mobile app will be offered initially as an iPhone app, and also as and Android App, in addition to creating Baby Biographies within the app, other features include;

  • Creation of Multiple Books
  • Sharing of Baby Moments and Photos ‘In App’ to Social Media
  • Free Cloud based storage of all your books and moments
  • Collaboration with other parents
  • Conception and Pregnancy calculators
  • In App Support

Cloud storage and collaboration will be offered through dotUK’s in house cloud storage framework which allows the app to seamlessly synchronise the baby biographies into the cloud in the background when connected to a suitable internet connection, but doesn’t in any way impeded or restrict any app functionality when working offline.

dotUK is a cross platform mobile app, desktop & server software, and web based or software as a service developer based in Yarm, Teesside in the North East of England, and all project requests can be made through www.dotuk.net

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