News Around the Mobile Metaverse – July 20-24, 2015

mobile app news

The Sourcebits team use Slack, that oh-so-popular team communication tool, to pass around our favorite industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development – others are just plain fun (like the history of icons). Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we’ve uncovered this week around the mobile metaverse.

Dropdowns Should be the UI of Last Resort

by Luke Wroblewski
All too often mobile app forms make use of dropdown menus for input when simpler or more appropriate controls would work better. Here’s several alternatives to dropdowns to consider in your mobile app designs and why.

How iOS 9’s Safari View Controller Could Completely Change Your App’s Onboarding Experience

by Rizwan Sattar
Mobile app onboarding is no easy task – but it’s critical to user engagement and retention. In his article on Medium, Rizwan Sattar breaks down design issues mobile apps face with user onboarding, including the pros and cons of several ways to tackle app onboarding. He shares a real-world example of how his mobile app, Cluster, uses Apple’s new Safari View Controller – announced at WWDC 2015 in June – for mobile app onboarding. And speaking of WWDC, here’s Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer Piotr Gajos’ list of 11 must-watch videos from Apple’s developer conference.

Personalization: The Pillar of the Mobile User Experience

by UX Magazine
Alon Even at UX Magazine describes the shift from customization to personalization on mobile devices. Personalization brings value to mobile app users and also increases loyalty. But as Alon describes, there are mobile personalization bottlenecks. He goes on to share 4 real-world examples of how brands utilize their data to personalize the mobile experience.

Apple + IBM Unveil 10 New MobileFirst Enterprise Apps for iPhone, iPad, & Apple Watch

by Apple Insider
Apple and IBM announced 10 new enterprise mobile apps – bringing the total to 32 apps the companies have worked on together as part of their MobileFirst for iOS partnership. The 10 new enterprise apps include apps geared for the first time towards government inspectors, business travelers and managers, and field service professionals.

Google acquires Pixate, a Y Combinator-Backed Mobile App Prototyping Tool

by VentureBeat
Native mobile application prototyping tool Pixate has been acquired by Google. Pixate CEO Paul Colton shared the announcement on Pixate’s blog. As a result of the Google acquisition, Pixate Studio is now free and the cost of Pixate cloud service has been reduced. Pixate is a handy mobile app prototyping tool that members of our design team use to create exceptional user experiences for mobile.

The Evolution of AR, Wearable Tech, and Opportunities for the Enterprise

by EnterpriseAppsTech
Wearable technology isn’t new; however, the meteoric rise of Apple Watch is an illustration of how wearables are becoming much more mainstream. Within AR, too, there are augmented reality-based trends that are already being used to disrupt everyday experiences such as real-time analytics and and surgical assistance.

Security Matters: How to Ensure Your Productivity Apps Are Fully Protected

by Tech Cocktail
Security is a vital part of every enterprise mobile application. Although an encrypted network with a firewall, malware detection, and antivirus software can help keep business information secure, it’s also important to inspect the security of every app utilized by a business. Tech Cocktail’s Bobby Emamian lists 3 ingredients to help ensure a secure enterprise mobile app.

History of Icons

by Futuramo
Here’s a fun one! Computers weren’t born with a graphical user interface; it happened after more than 40 years of computers being in use. Along with this concept came the idea of using icons. Futuramo walks you through the history of icons, starting with the black and white icons of the 1980s and going through today’s trend of flat icon design.

Dieter Rams: 10 Principles for Good Design

by Shuffle Magazine
This article, while a couple years old, is worth checking out if you missed it. It’s a list Dieter Rams put together in the 1970s, but is as relevant as ever today. The Sourcebits design team has this on their mandatory reading list.

4 iOS Rules to Break

by Nielsen Norman Group
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken – and that’s what the folks at Nielsen Norman Group explain when it comes to iOS and mobile usability testing. They list 4 common iOS patterns that Apple has used extensively in its apps, and that have been followed by many designers but should be ignored when designing mobile apps.

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Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.