Monthly Archives: August 2013

Snapshot: 5 Reasons Why The HTC ONE Is Turning Heads

“Look at all the smart phones of note today. The consistent change is screen size. They keep getting bigger. Today’s Iphones, S4′s, Galaxy Notes are all an expression of what was first promoted by the Samsung P1000 36 months ago. After all, who enjoys squinting?”

The new HTC One has been on my desk for the last 2 days and the initial signs are promising. The HTC One is definitely a suave little number. Here are the 5 reasons I chose it:

htc-box

Design

A great looking device. Thin, smooth, curved and metallic; the HTC One feels like it is worth the $1000.00 it retails for. Resembling the OneX, HTC’s latest edition has gone a step further in sophistication. The back mount camera has been minimized to adhere with the minimalist styling that dominates the new model’s aesthetic. The One has a unique look and feel that sets it apart from other Androids and/or manufacturers.

HTCb

 

HTC’s Rep:

HTC phones first came to our attention when they released the Sensation in 2011. Their devices had a great sense of style and speed. Since then HTC have cleverly crafted an admirable level of brand reputation and perception. This perception is reminiscent of Sony’s glory days in the 80s and 90s. HTC marketing understand the value of perception and are pushing further in a more literal sense. Brand perception is the most lethal subliminal marketing asset. A huge motivator when it comes to selecting a device in a crowded and competitive market.

HTCmovieHTC have recruited Robert Downey Jr for their latest Marketing Drive

Image courtesy of www.htc.com

Camera:

This was the closer. The Sony Xperia Z was my preferred choice until I discovered its camera speed. The Xperia had a delayed shutter action. This is a bane if you want to use your smart phone for quick fire imagery. All Iphone users will know and appreciate the feeling of an immediate shutter response that rifles off snaps as fast as your finger can tap. The HTC One has a very responsive shutter action.

HTC’s camera is a staggering 4 megapixels! (This is not a typo). HTC have used new tech called “Ultra pixel technology” which, according to the HTC web site, has “The largest available smartphone camera aperture, it lets in 44% more light than the iPhone 5.” Early reviews say that HTC have a winner. This lower-megapixel-camera approach may start a new trend when manufacturers prep new devices for the future.

HTCcA refined and advanced camera

Speed:

Chipset    Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600

CPU        Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300

The One is awfully quick and this shouldn’t be a surprise considering the price bracket. Users undoubtedly require apps and upgrades over a 24 month term. A fast device will easily see out this period. Such speed also helps to maintain re-sale value if a user decides to upgrade and sell there current device.

snappySnapdragon chips are very quick.

Android = Freedom:

If the HTC One was not available I would have bought an Iphone. The Iphone is still an incredible and alluring device. The reason we didn’t go the Apple route was due to the practical power of Android. Android’s plug and play open source approach suits my working style and computer setup. I like the fact that I have a device that can literally do anything my PC can do. Transferring files should be as easy as connecting the device and opening a folder. Android delivers this functionality with ease.

droidAndroid: Free and easy, for now.

What about the S4?:

The S4 lost out due to being the popular kid at school. Everyone has a Samsung Galaxy these days. This shouldn’t matter if one were to make a choice based on logic and performance alone. However, style and brand affinity are a constant and hidden force in the smart phone world. Some people cringe at the fact that phones are perceived, by designers and users alike, as a very personal choice. Some cringe further knowing that we spend more time with our phone than any other personal device, or person, for that matter.

Today’s smart phone purchase trends reflect a level of conformity (Iphone and Galaxy S4). This illustrates a mass consumption teething process that will soon subside. Like fashion, customisation and technology may eventually combine to allow for a more personal product that caters for self expression.

The HTC One looks different. This fact may have been the real closer.

HTCa

 

Jared Neems is a Business Development Manager for Veratech Web Solutions.

 

 

 

Twitter Bootstrap. All you need to know.

Twitter Bootstrap is a mobile responsive framework for cutting edge web sites.  Here are the reasons why your next site should be on the amazing and formidable: Twitter Bootstrap.

Looks, style and substance.

“I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.”
Marilyn Monroe

Seasoned visual designers might say that Bootstrap sites are a “little tired” and contrived, however the average user and web site owner would probably disagree. The truth is that a web site doesn’t need to look brilliant, it needs to look good. In most cases, looking “kosher” will suffice. It can even be the preferred approach.

From my experience web site’s that suffer from “style vanity” end up hurting themselves. They usually falter on multiple browsers, have excruciating download times, lack strategic focus and ultimately struggle to eventuate. The style vs. substance argument will continue forever but Bootstrap conveniently balances the scales. Bootstrap sites “tick all the boxes” and look professional.

The Veratech web platform, built on bootstrap: www.veratech.co.nz

verasite 

These sharp looks are partly due to the simple infrastructure of Twitter Bootstrap. The Bootstrap grid style framework (currently on a 12 grid system) allows for simple design strategies. Designers can map out a basic plan to execute an online platform. The grid layout is undeniably easy. If you can play noughts and crosses, you can design the layout of a new Twitter Bootstrap site.

Bootstrap Scaffolding provided by: http://getbootstrap.com/2.3.2/

scaffold

“If you can play noughts and crosses, you can design the layout of a new Twitter Bootstrap site.”

Bootstrap also ships with CSS3 styling, built in Jquery, icon platforms like http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/ Font Awesome. This creates a framework that allows a developer to build a very clear and impressive site. Networking also comes into play. You don’t have to be Roberto Cavalli to design a great site. If you have $20.00 in your account just visit a template provider and your home free.

Mobile Responsive Capabilities

Sausage Fingers and the folk in Korea town

korea

If Koreans can use sausages to swipe their smartphones in cold weather, developers can at least build sites to make it easy for them. You will be glad to know that Twitter Bootstrap is 100% Mobile Responsive. This means that you can customize the look of your site for different devices. A Bootstrap site will automatically re-size to push key information clearly to the end users on different platforms. Here is an example on our company site on mobile:

verasitemob

Bootstrap sites re-size to promote key info on tablets and smartphones 

This multi device format requires a little more planning by the owner and/or developer, however, it creates a very convenient system of pushing users in the right direction when they come to your site. It is a marketers dream as different or similar messages can be constantly promoted, no matter what device the user is on. In case you wondered why this matters check out these stats:

” More than half of New Zealander’s are now accessing the internet via their mobile phone” 
Statistics NZ

“A report by Nielsen found 45 per cent of the 1.8 million Kiwis who shop online researched their purchases on a smartphone or tablet”
NZ Herald

” 80% of Smartphone users have looked for local information and 88% have taken action” 
Google research data

 

Speed

“Because in a split second, it’s gone.”
Ayrton Senna

As a developer the most amazing part of working with Bootstrap is speed. The speed factor when building on Twitter Bootstrap occurs on multiple levels.

Veratech is currently building Twitter Bootstrap sites from $799 +GST. This is an insanely cheap web offer. The reason we can do this is because Veratech can churn one of these puppies out within 5 days. We really mean it. You can have a 5 – 7 page site, that looks professional, is 100% mobile responsive and built within a week. The nimble HTML, CSS Twitter Bootstrap framework is forgiving, immediate and pliable. This means lower prices for clients, a faster turn-around and more effective outcomes.

wrapstrapb

 A basic Bootstrap site draft from a recent Veratech Project. Bootstrap allows for faster build times and faster performance.

The second key factor concerning speed is Twitter Bootstrap’s load time. Since the framework has been professionally mapped out by the wizz kids at Twitter; Bootstrap behaves accordingly and presents your Web Site at pace. Add to this, the fact that the client has made the smart decision to avoid a CMS, and you have a lightning fast site that looks incredible for a reasonable price.

Lets be honest, CMS’s like Joomla and Worpress drag their rear ends along the gravel on a good day. This can be embarrassing. You’ve spent 2 to 4 grand on a slick new CMS site that takes an age to load. The old adage is true: Speed matters and users care.

Some savvy developers will argue that, with correct implementation and hosting credentials, WordPress and even Joomla sites can be very quick. I don’t care for this nonsensical dribble. As a development company we do not have time to investigate the mysteries of making Joomla or WordPress run faster. Why would we, when we can build a better, faster HTML/CSS site on Twitter Bootstrap right now with no hassle. More importantly Twitter Bootstrap sites promote work with real mark-up whilst avoiding CMS backends that require developers to click, then wait, then click….and so on.

Joomla, WordPress and Twitter Bootstrap = All together now?

CMS implementation:

All the CMS lovers out there can rest well knowing that Joomla 3 ships with Bootstrap. Veratech recently built a site that used this technology for Impact Research. In contrast, our own Company Web Site used Bootstrap in combination with a WordPress Blog. WordPress allows for bootstrap implementation/combination. So if your really keen on having a CMS on Bootstrap, it is possible.

impact

 Impact Research is a Bootstrap site built on Joomla3.0

Sadly the templates are far more expensive for CMS systems like WordPress and Joomla. Additionally, some Bootstrap features do not co-operate so willingly within the confines of an additional CMS framework. This means that if Veratech has a client who has their heart set on a Joomla enabled Bootstrap Web Site; more expenditure will be required and the CMS build time will be extended.

For the record: Veratech’s Take on CMS

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
John F. Kennedy

Twitter Bootstrap is not a CMS. This needs to be understood and celebrated. The widespread use of CMS systems is partially driven by managers who require a false sense of security. You may have heard this around the workplace “We just built the new site, it’s on Drupal/Joomla/Wordpress, have you heard of it? The new intern is learning how to use it.”.

cmsdollar

What approach really is the cheapest? Logos courtesy of Bootstrap, Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. 

In truth, most small to medium enterprise businesses struggle to use CMS systems. When and if they finally get past the login, they tend to break things, require additional training or end up adding content and styling that is detrimental to their own web site. All this time, money and fuss is poured into a CMS so organizations can avoid paying a developer $50 – $800 annually. If one were to calculate the money spent on training, fixing errors and the overall decrease in output and efficiency, the previously mentioned attempt at avoiding expenditure seems illogical.

Take our advice. If you do not require an E-commerce site or a blog, build an HTML/CSS Twitter Bootstrap site and get your developer to make any adjustments. Your stress levels will remain minimal and your web site will be better off. Just make sure the adjustment/content management fees are viable.

Hesitation’s opposing force is action:

With a new site built on Twitter Bootstrap your business will have a clean platform to build on it’s Google ranking. If this is combined with good design and the effective use of Google’s affiliated services, you will have a very formidable tool for online commerce and digital marketing.

Make the smart decision. Build a Twitter Bootstrap Site and get your Google Identity sorted. If you take this step today and develop it over a 6 – 12 month period your business will dramatically improve. It doesn’t cost a small fortune and the entire site build process can be executed by Veratech within 2 weeks.

Check out our latest offer at: Veratech’s Winter Warm Up. Also look out for our next post revealing the emerging market of Google Identity Services and how these basic online methods can draw customers and generate revenue with SPEED.

veraoffer

Jared Neems is the Business Development Manager Veratech Web Solutions.