LinkedIn Facebook Twitter bemoko blog bemoko technical pages
Tel: +44 1256 581028 Email: info@bemoko.com

Bemoko blog > iphone

21

Nov

The Camera API – More than just your name in lights!

Posted By Emily Nicholls Wednesday, November 21, 2012. No Comments

New mobile technologies are nothing new! Javascript geolocation functionality has become common place in mobile websites over the past 3 years, allowing a mobile site to pinpoint user location.

Other breakthroughs include sensory device capabilities.

“Accelerometers in mobile phones are used to detect the orientation of the phone. The gyroscope, or gyro for short, adds an additional dimension to the information supplied by the accelerometer by tracking rotation or twist.” – GSM Arena glossary (sensors)

Such sensors, inter alia, permit the user to control the device in new ‘never before imagined’ ways.

Probably the newest kid on the block, however, is the Camera API. This API gives the user the ability to take an image from their device’s camera and upload it to a mobile site. The possibilities are endless. For example, the uploaded picture could be used as the user’s avatar. A mobile site could facilitate the sharing of the image on social networks. But, being at mobile’s bleeding edge, we refuse to halt our imaginations there.

The most exciting innovations in mobile have always come through the collaboration of new mobile technologies with pre-existing services. For example, geolocation when coupled with readily available public APIs permitted not just location detection but location information. The user is now advised that Acme Plc’s nearest store is situated 5 miles away and is presented with a map detailing user and store location information plus driving directions.

And so it shall be with the Camera API. It’s most exciting uses shall emerge through innovation. What would happen if we coupled the camera API with the HTML5 canvas’ 3D rendering capabilities? One could imagine a spinning 3D bauble with the user’s face painted on it and light reflecting therefrom.

A festive treat for any web user. Or let’s twin the camera API with Google Maps, geolocation and a social network. We can now plot the user’s friends on a Google Map, detailing not just their current locations but using their latest uploaded photos as map pins.

The possibilities are endless.

Of course, the bemoko platform not only supports such functionality but seeks to enhance it. The bemoko platform, for instance, is readily used to dynamically transcode images received from the camera, making the photo web-ready for the accessing device both in terms of file size and image size.

Other issues remain. For example, the orientation of the image has proved a challenge, the device having no knowledge of which way up is the right way up.

bemoko, however, being experienced market leaders have everything needed to respond to such emerging concerns. The first ingredient is awareness – know your enemy – and the second item for the pot being the expertise to confidently tackle such issues. Yet more reasons why the bemoko choice is the right choice.

By Dan Lewis- Senior Developer

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: iphone, java, mcommerce, mobile, mobile design, mobile search, mobile technology, mobile UX, mobile web

1

Oct

Where are you in the digital evolution of your business?

Posted By Emily Nicholls Monday, October 1, 2012. No Comments

I was at a mobile conference last week (yes another one!) and the speaker… a “leader” in mobile (yes another one!) asked the audience if anyone 5 years ago thought that mobile would be as big as it is today.

I was the only one in the audience to put up my hand. “really?” the speaker boomed over the microphone! Looking particularly annoyed as I had seemed to have completely ruined his presentation…”how can you justify that?” “well” I replied. “In 2007 I along with three other like minded mobile experts put a little over £1m of our own money into building a mobile platform that would deliver mobile web and cloud based apps to any and all mobile devices regardless of OS, screen size and network”

My point here is that if you are still evaluating if mobile is a good idea for your business then it might already be too late for you! The debate has moved on I’m afraid, it’s now not whether to do it but how to do it well – those that are doing mobile are using old techniques adopted from creative agencies still stuck in the dark ages of PC web and are gradually feeling the pain of cost, complexity and poorly performing mobile sites.

 

blog Where are you in the digital evolution of your business?

I think

There is a repreave for anyone without a mobile site…skip the “early adopter” poor attempts and move straight into dynamic delivery using tools and software designed for mobile, this might just speed you through the process and might even leapfrog you past your competition.

Please feel free to share or comment

by Phillip Clement

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: iphone, mcommerce, mobile, mobile design, mobile UX, mobile web, multichannel, web optimisation

18

Sep

4 Easy Steps To Mobile Web Payments

Posted By Ian Homer Tuesday, September 18, 2012. No Comments

Mobile has always thrived for applications where immediacy is paramount and retailers should not fall short of allowing the customer to complete their transaction whenever and wherever the customer may be. Waiting until the user is back at their PC may push your customer to connect with one of your competitors. Taking payments is not difficult, so let’s take a look at how you can take payment on your mobile web site and complete the customer’s journey.

Payment options at your disposal include:

  • Online wallets
  • Credit card – similar to what you might expect on a PC site
  • Direct operator billing – payment taken of the customers bill
  • Premium SMS (a.k.a PSMS) – SMS sent to customer that gets

Various on-line payment service providers, such as Bango, CellPoint Mobile, Braintree and PayPal provide hosted solutions that allow you to get up and running quickly for these different payment options. Note that service providers may not give you all of the 4 payment options above.

These hosted solutions work by taking the user to a payment page provided by the payment service provider so that payment can be taken. A typical flow for this is :-

  1. The user makes the product choices on your web site filling up their basket
  2. When the user is ready to purchase the products the user is directed the payment service provider page. This is typically by an HTML form that takes the user off your site, although you should be able to customise this page so that it looks like your brand.  If you decide to take payment details on your site rather than redirecting, be sure you understand the PCI compliance rules that govern storing credit card data.
  3. When the payment has been confirmed a back-end callback can be made to your web site to confirm the purchase is OK and the user is taken to a thanks page on your side. The callback is necessary to reduce chances of unscrupulous users fooling your site into thinking that the payment has been received.
  4. Your site delivers a thank you page AND sends out email or SMS confirmation to the user that the order is on its way.
  5. Note that the callback may occur in a couple of stages 1) payment has been authorised – i.e. funds reserved and 2) payment captured – i.e. funds transferred to your account. So do be ready to handle either of these signals – if you’re dealing time sensitive products, e.g. take away delivery, then you’ll want to put the order in motion as soon as the payment as been authorised. Otherwise you may want to hold off on putting the order in motion until you’ve had confirmation that the payment has been captured.

Note that Braintree has a nice variation on this where you can handle this payment integration with a javascript client library.

Do compare the commission that each of the service providers takes on each payment as this can vary significantly from one provider to another and from one payment option to another (e.g. credit card vs PSMS).

When it comes to 3D secure, the user experience has not yet been optimised for mobile, although it does work. If you choose to disable it then you may improve the user experience, but you will be taking the risk that payment is fraudulent since 3D secure does give you extra security for your payment.

As always – monitor your site. When you start taking payments, ensure that you monitor how much your site takes every hour and send out alerts if orders drop off during an hour.  This can be an early warning signal that something is misfiring.  If you are using a platform to deliver your site, such as bemokoLive, then these alerts and the monitoring come built in, making it much easier to ensure that every order gets fulfilled.

If you want to talk to us about how to start taking payments on your mobile web site and take use of some of our existing payment integrations modules then please get in touch, feel free to share or comment on this blog

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: business, iphone, java, mcommerce, mobile, mobile design, mobile search, mobile technology, mobile UX, mobile web, multichannel, public website news, responsive design, smartphone, social, tablet, transactional, web optimisation

22

Aug

PIZZA HUT DELIVERY LAUNCHES MOBILE ORDERING

Posted By Emily Nicholls Wednesday, August 22, 2012. No Comments

PIZZA HUT DELIVERY LAUNCHES MOBILE ORDERING

Pizza Hut Delivery has launched a new mobile version of its UK website to allow customers to easily place orders for delivery or collection from their mobile.

The site is a mobile-optimised version of the main Pizza Hut website. When a customer visits www.pizzahut.co.uk from a mobile device to order a delivery and enters their postcode, the site automatically appears in the format which best suits their screen.

The exciting new version of the site enables customers to pick the ‘Hut’ they want to order from, and gives them the ability to place future orders, see the latest deals and promotions and share their orders with their friends by linking directly to social media.

Mags Dixon, Chief Marketing Office for  Pizza Hut , said “The customer experience is always a priority for us, so we’re delighted to be able to give people the opportunity to order online from any mobile device in such an innovative way. We’re giving our customers exactly what they told us they wanted, and we’re expecting a large proportion of our sales to now come from mobile.”

To build the site, Pizza Hut Delivery commissioned Bemoko, who gave the mobile optimised website all the functionality anyone would ever want, including click to call, a location map, a deals maker, the option to enter a voucher code into your basket, and the ability to make an order via Facebook Connect.

Phillip Clement, Sales and Marketing Director for Bemoko, said “Pizza Hut Delivery wanted the best user experience across the widest range of handsets with fast download times and full analytics. They wanted maximum flexibility and agility moving forward, but they also wanted it delivered fast.”


About Pizza Hut Delivery:

Pizza Hut Delivery opened its first UK store in 1988, and its first franchised store in 2011. There are now 300 Pizza Hut Delivery units across England, Scotland and Wales. Pizza Hut Delivery is a wholly owned subsidiary of YUM!, one of the world’s largest franchisors; around 76% of the 13,000 Pizza Huts around the world are franchise owned. Pizza Hut is one of the UK’s most popular social media brands, according to a SocialBakers 2012 report.

About Bemoko:

Bemoko creates an unrivalled mobile user experience from your existing web content – with the crucial operational simplicity needed to meet your business goals. Bemoko allows you to quickly gain access to unbeatable performance across smartphones, tablets, e-commerce, social media…and whatever comes next.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: business, facebook, fast food, iphone, mobile, mobile design, mobile search, mobile technology, mobile UX, mobile web, multichannel, PC website, pizza hut, press, public website news, retail, smartphone, social, tablet, transactional, web optimisation

6

Jun

Designing the User Experience 5 year Plan

Over the next five years user experience design will be most affected and influenced by three things: Consumers’ ability to engage electronically anywhere – any time, the disposability and adoption rates of new hardware technology and the speed that social media is giving consumers in their ability to share experiences and choices globally and within minutes. Together these three elements are so powerful that consumers now have a direct say in user experience and ultimately what survives.

User Experience (UX) designers are just beginning to get to grips with the shift from “small screen” design to ‘mobile design’ i.e. actually designing for mobile devices and the way they are used. But just as designers master this, they also need to embrace the next phase of mobile; Computing Mobility. The new breed of mobiles, smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices are the new ‘PC’ and are meshing the online and the real world environments into one, which means that user experiences will need to dynamically adapt to the situation, the moment, the place and even the mood of their customers.

Data from Microsoft’s internal analysis of their mobile search query data reveals that 70% of PC “query chains” (essentially search tasks) are completed in about one week, while 70% of mobile users do so in an hour. Computing Mobility allows users to act fast and spontaneously, using information that is directly around them either in the real world; for example trying to find a product or service and information about it, or prompted by advice from friends and contacts over social media. User experience design has to match this requirement, long menu systems, endless graphics and deeply hidden information suited to a PC will prove fatal for a brand’s website. Integrating UX into the way people use mobile computers as part of everything that they do, augmenting these experiences and enhancing the combination of the multiple elements of an activity, building in and delivering interactive and intelligently dynamic pages that adapt to the surroundings and the immediate needs of the user will be key in the design process.

In the business of our everyday lives it is easy to allow the pace that things are moving to simply happen without giving it a thought – our willingness to change and our ability to forget what was ‘in’ yesterday is incredible! Adoption is so fast that technology trends don’t have a chance to languish as ‘old’. The landscape is constantly ‘new’.

This speed of change will be a UX designer or web developer’s biggest challenge – developers predicting there will be fewer platforms or form factors over time and hoping that developing in technology silos will do the job, will find themselves chasing their tails on a continual basis. Smart developers will seek out development platforms to enable them to keep pace with the changes, maintain their market position and keep costs under control.

Not only will the UX designer need to cope with a widening device set, they will also need to consider multiple devices for each user. The trend for consumers to use multiple devices, selecting the most appropriate for a given situation and often using more than one device at a time will continue to grow. A recent survey suggested that already as many as 80% of people watching TV are also using a tablet or smartphone! User experience design will need to give people the ability to switch from mobile to tablet, to TV or to a bricks and mortar store seamlessly and remember both the customer and where they are in their journey.

As Computing Mobility increasingly weaves itself into our every-day lives and activities the ability to be always connected will take multitasking to new levels. Brands will no longer have a user’s undivided attention; they will have to share space with multiples of other activities – browsing, shopping, reading, chatting, watching TV, socialising, eating, drinking and perhaps even sleeping! User experience design will need to allow users to carry on with these activities without losing continuity, allowing them to pause what they are doing or engage and interact with other simultaneous activities, perhaps allowing friends to watch and share an online shopping experience, helping them to browse, choose and select, so rather than competing with other activities brands will be able to augment the whole experience.

Commercial drivers will also have a significant effect on UX design, especially in the payments world – we are already seeing contactless payment creeping into every-day use. The relaxation of credit card companies and banks obsession with security means that small purchases can now be made using contactless credit cards or stickers that hold your card details stuck on your mobile. As these early POC’s become common place and the commercial and technical backbones of virtual wallets become mainstream, UX design will need to respond and adapt to different user flows and user expectation to speed and availability.

Planning the next 5 years will require both technology and user experience collaboration. Currently most developers think in silos – online, offline, mobile, PC. Bringing these together into one cohesive package will need a catalyst rather like the iPhone that made listening to music, checking voicemail and browsing completely different to anything we had seen before.

The use of dedicated delivery platforms which make delivering a consistent brand image over multiple devices will grow exponentially as managing sites on multiple devices becomes increasingly difficult and expensive. Designers should not need to worry about the capabilities of the range of devices and should be able to rely on a technology platform that handles the differences for them.

UX designers and developers will need to embrace methodologies that deliver a write once and actively deliver the right experience to whatever device is accessing the site and at the same time control the cost of maintaining a growing codebase, the use of platforms that deal with all of this will be increasingly used to cost effectively deliver the experiences necessary in agile channels and Computing Mobility.

Please feel free to comment and share

http://internetretailing.net/magazine/current-issue/ – Source of Article from Internet Retailing June 2012

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: business, iphone, mobile, mobile design, mobile search, mobile technology, mobile UX, mobile web, multichannel, PC website, press, public website news, retail, smartphone, tablet, web optimisation

21

Jan

“If I were an artist”…

Posted By Phillip clement Friday, January 21, 2011. No Comments

“A picture tells a thousand words”!

App of Dreams

I love this; it hits the nail on the head! Perhaps I should not spend time writing blogs and just find some artistic talent and produce a piece of art to make a point…on second thoughts I could go to http://tomfishburne.com whose website and angle on marketing is great!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: business, iphone, mobile, mobile design, mobile web

19

Aug

Handling iPhone orientation changes in mobile websites

Posted By Mat Diss Thursday, August 19, 2010. No Comments

If you are going to the trouble of designing mobile sites for different devices and screen sizes, then you should be taking into account that many smartphones have the abilitiy to change orientation from portrait to landscape, giving a much wider screen width.

You can use Javascript to register the change in orientation, but how can you deliver a different user experience when the user flips the phone?

With bemokoLive, it’s very easy to use the context rules to change the behaviour of your site when the user flips the device.

Context rules allow you to change the behaviour of the bemoko rendering engine with parameters on the URL.  In this case we can use some javascript to note the change in orientation and call a URL with the relevant parameters set.  The javascript looks like this:

<script type="text/javascript"> 
 var landscape = isLandscape();
 function updateOrientation(){  
   var landscapeToUpdate = isLandscape();
 [#--
 Only redirect if landscape flag has changed
 --]
   if (landscape != landscapeToUpdate) {
     landscape = landscapeToUpdate;
   if (landscape) {
     window.location = "${intent.serverRelativeSiteEndPoint}/landscape/${intent.name}"
   } else {
     window.location = "${intent.serverRelativeSiteEndPoint}/${intent.name}"
   }            
  }
 }
 
 function isLandscape() {
   switch(window.orientation) {  
   case -90:  
   case 90:  
      return true;  
      break;  
   default:
      return false;  
  }
 }
</script>

The important piece in this script are the lines where the window.location is changed.  Note the addition of the landscape parameter.  As this parameter is before the intent in the URL it acts as a context rule.

To get bemokoLive to recognise the context rule, it has to be registered in the site-config.xml

<context>
 <rules>
     <rule name="landscape">
         <param action="add" name="type">l</param>
     </rule>
 </rules>  
 </context>

This makes bemoko add a parameter called “type” to the context if the landscape context rule is present.  We can use this parameter to change the device category recognition for the device, again in the site-config.xml

<uigroup>
    <ui name="landscape" expr="intent.get('type') == 'l'" fallback="ajax" />
</uigroup>

This change has the effect of overidding the standard device identification, adding the landscape category into the fallback chain.  This means that any files or fragments in the landscape category will be delivered to the device, allowing you do do anything from simply delivering wider images to changing the whole look and feel of the page.

You can find more on context rules at http://bemoko.com/wiki/Context_Rules

For a live demo showing one use of context rules, take a look at http://bemoko.com/addons/imagetranscoder/test/i – the alternative rendering links at the bottom of the page use context rules to change the way the device is recognised.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: iphone, mobile, mobile design, mobile UX, mobile web

30

Mar

How to build dynamic mobile sites with bemokoLive

Posted By Mat Diss Tuesday, March 30, 2010. No Comments

In this tutorial we will start exploring some of the features that bemokoLive provides to allow you to develop dynamic, intelligent and reusable multi-channel websites.
We will start with a run through of intents – that is, mapping what a user wants to do – through to extending your website using the plugin architecture to integrate dynamic content into your pages. Along the way we will again look at some best-practices that can be applied to speed up your own development work and some of the features the bemokoLive provides to add intelligence to your pages.

This is an extract from our new tutorial on building dynamic sites using the bemokoLive platform.  If you would like to read more, please download the full tutorial from our developer wiki at http://bemoko.com/wiki

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: iphone, mobile, mobile design, mobile web

4

Mar

iPhone Apps for everyone, for less

Posted By Mat Diss Thursday, March 4, 2010. No Comments

iPhone Apps – the current sensation in marketing circles.  Every brand wants a piece of the iPhone action.  Are brands jumping on this bandwagon as part of an overall mobile strategy or is it just the current trendy thing to do?  Are brands becoming pre-occupied with mobile apps?

Many people forget that an iPhone app can only be used by people who have an iPhone.  Whilst the iPhone is undoubtedly popular, it only has at most 5% of the market, so brands are effectively ignoring a majority of their consumers.  Can this really be part of a considered mobile strategy?

There are a number of solutions to this problem:

1) Ignore it.

2) Create apps for other devices.  This is expensive as it means a seperate development for each class of device, in a different programming language

3) Get the best of both worlds with a combined app and mobile web strategy.  This can reach more consumers for a lower .

Save money, get a bigger audience

If you could have a solution that delivered the coveted iPhone app and also addressed consumers on all other devices you would have maximum coverage for your brand.  And if it cost less than developing the native iPhone App, what’s not to like?

Using the latest release of the bemoko multi-channel web development framework, web developers can create a mobile website which works on all devices.  The framework very easily allows the site to be tweaked for the iPhone, allowing it to be styled as an app with all the sliding page transitions and fancy effects associated with an app.  So now you have a website that looks like an app, the icing on the cake comes with our integration of the PhoneGap framework to wrap the website in native code so it can be placed in the app store as a normal app and downloaded by consumers.

Now you have the iPhone App for the iPhone users and also a website that can be used by all your consumers whatever device they are on.  And, because developing a website is much cheaper than developing a specialised app, you’ve only paid a fraction of the price of a native iPhone app with a limited audience.

Finally, a mobile strategy to keep everyone happy!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Posted in: iphone, mobile, mobile web