iOS7 Rundown

index_hero_keyframeQuick rundown of new features in iOS7 revealed at WWDC 2013

  • Apple has gone for flat design, doing away the skeuomorphic look that has been around since the original iPhone.
  • A massive feature added is the control centre, bringing it in line with the capabilities of the Android system. No turning on/off WIFI or Bluetooth will be just a swipe away.
  • iOS 7 has given a revamp to multitasking and added background processing to apps.
  • OS X’s AirDrop will be introduced to iOS7, allowing users to share photos and files with other iOS7 users within range.
  • Safari has been given a new look, similar to chrome, including tabbed view and integrating iCloud’s Keychain with a password generator.
  • The camera has also undergone a redesign, everything being in access of a swipe and introducing square photos and filters.

iOS7 is due to be released in Autumn

Vine – make a scene

I downloaded vine at the weekend, so far I’m impressed. They announced on their blog that they had been acquired by Twitter, then Facebook promptly removed access to finding contacts (war continues).

At the moment I’m just playing around with the concept, I think it will have much more to offer if it becomes a more integrated part of Twitter.

It’s an app I recommend. You can download vine for your iPhone / iPad here.

Space Mining vs. The Moon

This is most likely to be more science fiction than fact, but the recent news that several companies are looking to exploit asteroids by mining as a means to extract rare elements has got me thinking.

I asked Prof Brian Cox for answers:

He is yet to reply but I’m hopeful that he will. My main concern is if Earths gravitational influence is affected, could the moon stop moving away from us and actually reverse and come closer or worse still… crash into the earth.

I’m sure there was a film about this.

[Image Credit: NASA]

Why Your Website Needs To Be Tablet-Optimised

Most modern websites use a fluid design.

Running a successful online business can be a challenge but dotcom entrepreneurs will be comforted by the inexorable and dramatic growth of online retail. The estimated value of the UK online retail market in 2012 is £77bn, according to IMRG.

Maybe less comforting for the website owner is the rapid rate of change in how the consumer accesses their site. Growing numbers of consumers are turning to tablets to make purchases and if your site isn’t tablet friendly you could be losing out on a fair chunk of the online retail pie – after all, 20% of all online sales will be made through smart devices such as phones or tablets by 2012.

Most modern websites when viewed on a mobile device resize themselves according to the display size. However, that is still not the perfect fix as the buttons tend to be small and awkward, so small that one would often miss-click a link and end up lost somewhere unknown and unproductive.

A tablet-optimised site entails a complete redesign, a dedicated site with larger buttons and text for our fat fingers.

There are several ways to optimise your website for the mobile market.

One is Responsive Web Design (RWD). RWD can be a HTML5 site and is based on CSS3 media queries. Using fluid grids and flexible images, it changes the site as the media accessing the site changes.

This is usually detected by the screen or window size. RWD is great if you don’t want to waste time redesigning the whole site for the subdomain.

There are several important factors to take into account when designing your tablet site:

  • No Flash, unless of course you want to exclude the iPhone and iPad users. Use HTML5 instead, supported by JavaScript and CSS3. This will ensure that your content is accessible to everyone
  • Minimalism. Keep it simple; in general, less is more when it comes to a mobile device webpage. Use images to capture the user’s imagination and keep the text brief but informative
  • High Definition! Your visual content will be beautiful on a tablet if it’s in HD. Most tablets are now high resolution and it is only going to get better. HD content on your site is a must.
  • Get your navigation right. Make sure each link is big enough for those thumbs! Using thumbnail images as links as you scroll down pages is one great way to do it. Or just a simple dropdown menu will do.

Most tablet-optimised sites are also designed to be visually compelling. The more beautiful the site, the more personal the experience and the better it is for both the user and the business. The best sites feel somehow natural in your hand, as if you are holding the internet… and it feels good.

Almost £1bn (£920m) is expected to be spent on mobile devices over the Christmas period, up 15% from last year. While it is perhaps unrealistic to expect those who have not yet made a tablet-friendly site to have remedied the situation by Christmas, there’s no excuse for not having one by the festive period of 2013.

If you thinking of getting started in online business and want buy a website to save the effort building one from scratch you should check out the selection on