Convert Your Confusing Win32 Apps to Touch First Mobile Apps

Philadephia

Migrate confusing Win32 apps with tiny controls to touch first mobile apps with large fonts and UI elements while including gesture support and proper spacing.

The advent of a mouse connected to every computer gave users a pixel-precision pointing device. Coupled with ever-growing computer monitors and higher resolution screens, UI elements got smaller and smaller. This wasn’t a problem until mobile devices with their small screens became popular. The developers that crammed lots of small buttons and data grids on big PC screens brought those bad UI habits to mobile.

At first, these new mobile developers got away with it because personal digital assistants (PDAs) like the Palm, Handspring, Zaurus and Pocket PC used a stylus with plastic, resistive touch screens. Until the touchable iPhone was released in 2007, many smartphones used a stylus as a replacement for the mouse’s precision pointing. This facilitated tiny, touchable UI elements that were hard to see.

When developing today’s mobile apps (native + web), touchable UI elements like buttons must be finger-friendly and at least 44 x 44 pixels in size. To prevent the “fat-finger” problem, they must also be at least 20 pixels apart from each other. This will vary based on screen size and pixel density. Implementing responsive design principles is also a must. UI elements must scale smoothly to different smartphone and tablet screen sizes and support gestures like swiping. They must also reorient themselves when a device shifts between portrait and landscape and implement “hamburger” menus to conserve screen space.

Improve user productivity by creating touchable apps that are easy to use to get employees up and running while reducing training requirements and expenses. What is your organization doing to improve app productivity?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Make your Apps More Personal and Contextual or Risk Losing Customers

Awaken those one-dimensional, client/server applications to all the sensors found on mobile devices that make them richly personal.

The desktop apps of the 90s could really only sense mouse clicks. While they could communicate over dial-up modems, those apps were unable to discern the world around them until smartphones arrived and became the most personal computing platform ever. Sensors helped make smartphones disruptive and they will do the same for all the apps you’re migrating:

  • Barometer: Apps can detect elevation or changing weather conditions
  • Camera: Apps can take photos, videos, scan 2D/3D barcodes and authenticate via facial recognition
  • Microphone: Apps can respond to commands via Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, or Google Now
  • Accelerometer: Apps can measure steps, switch from portrait to landscape, respond to device position, and control in-app, game or drone behavior
  • Magnetometer/Compass: Apps know direction
  • Gyroscope: Apps can detect movement
  • GPS: Apps know where you are and how to get you where you’re going with maps
  • Proximity: Apps change behavior when your phone is close to something
  • Bluetooth: Apps can pair with other devices, stream audio and respond to beacons
  • Wireless radios: Apps can connect to anything
  • Fingerprint scanner: Apps can authenticate users biometrically and authorize purchases

Improve user experience by taking advantage of sensors that help employees and customers complete tasks more quickly. What is your company doing to enrich its mobile apps?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Business Risk by Deploying EMM Solutions with Conditional Access Capabilities

Chicago

EMM solutions that deliver conditional access to desired services like email, storage and cloud services motivate BYOD users to enroll.

Let’s face it, your BYOD employees aren’t too thrilled about installing an EMM app, agent or container on their device. It feels like an intrusion on one of your most personal possessions and breeds mistrust. That said, the BYOD world is all about gives and gets. Unless your company enforces a corporate-liable policy and buys every employee a smartphone, a compromise must be made to ensure the security of corporate data. This is where the use of the carrot comes into play.

While the BYOD trend was initially about allowing employees to use their mobile devices for work, the trend has shifted. Now you encourage your employees to use their devices because it makes them more productive anywhere, anytime. Whether your company is just allowing or actually encouraging employees to use their devices for work, you have to overcome the “hassle factor” and suspicions of company spying that deters them from EMM enrollment.

First, your Mobile COE must perform exhaustive due diligence to select the most unobtrusive EMM package available with the fewest steps to install that still meets your company’s needs. Next, this system must prohibit access to the systems, apps and data employees want most until they enroll. Some packages even limit access via MAM functionality. Anyway, if you want email, you have to enroll. If you want to access SharePoint, you have to enroll. You get the idea. Gives and gets.

Reduce risk to your business by restricting corporate system access to only those devices enrolled in an EMM solution. What is your company doing to prevent unmanaged devices from accessing sensitive data?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Business Risk by Enforcing Security Policies on Data with Digital Rights Management

Denver

To enforce data security policies directly, get an EMM solution with digital rights management to protect data where it flows & rests.

So far, our EMM journey to secure corporate data has dealt with the issue by broadly securing the entire device via MDM or more narrowly securing the apps that deliver the data using various MAM techniques. The application of security can get narrower still.

The use of digital rights management (DRM) allows IT departments to apply policies directly to documents keeping data secure no matter where it flows or resides. Sometimes DRM is clumped-in with the broader mobile content management (MCM) component of EMM. This security applied directly to data is an effective method of DLP using a combination of enterprise directory services, encryption, user identity along with server and client software to keep information in sensitive files from being viewed by the wrong people or systems.

Imagine the scenario where a confidential business document is uploaded to an Internet file sharing provider or emailed to a competitor. Traditional corporate security mechanisms like firewalls or file server access controls lists won’t save you in this situation. If DRM encryption and security policies were previously applied to this document, it would be unreadable by anyone who tried to open it. This is arguably the most difficult of the EMM security components so not many vendors will offer this.

Reduce risk to your organization by keeping sensitive data secure no matter where it travels or where it rests. What is your company doing to protect its critical data?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Enterprise Mobility for 2015 and Beyond

iPhone 6

This last year was full of spectacular moments as mobility continued to consume the world.

We now have almost three billion people online and most of that number is due to smartphones. Mobile apps eclipsed the web as the place people spend more of their time and an estimated 80% of adults will be using a smartphone by 2020. Since the best way to review the most important mobile events of 2014 is through a long, run-on sentence, take a breath and dive in:

Microsoft acquired Nokia, tablet growth slowed, VMware acquired AirWatch, mobile games outsold mobile apps, MobileIron went public, Apple shipped a phablet, Good acquired BoxTone, Gartner’s MDM Magic Quadrant became their EMM Magic Quadrant, Xiaomi ate everyone’s lunch in China, IBM and Apple got together to build business apps, Microsoft brought Office to the iPad, MEAP vanished while MBaaS appeared, Apple launched a Swift way to Pay, HTML5 became a recommendation, Android dominated market share, Apple dominated revenue and the Internet of Things won the hype award. Whew!

With the ‘Year in Review’ out of the way, let’s talk about the things that will make the most impact in the enterprise mobility space in 2015. Expect the ‘Bring Your Own App’ (BYOA) trend to hit a speed bump by corporate mobile centers of excellence that require enterprise mobile apps to meet security standards around authentication, data at rest and data in transit. Mobile developers need to up their game to break into the enterprise. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) companies will continue their move from Mobile Device Management (MDM) to Mobile Application Management (MAM) to data protection and on to Identity and Access Management (IAM). The goalposts will always be moving in this space.

In the smartphone space, low-cost devices will continue to garner the most market share. Remember, once you leave the world of subsidized phone plans, economics takes over. The trick for enterprises looking to use them in corporate-liable scenarios is to ensure the mobile operating system meets security and manageability needs while performing well on low-end hardware.

With millions of Win32 apps currently running most global businesses, large investments will be made in moving these apps to modern, sandboxed, mobile operating systems. Unlike many of the large, monolithic desktop apps built for Windows over the last two decades, mobile apps focus on specific tasks. This means for every Win32 app, multiple mobile apps will be built. Additionally, they will take advantage of device sensors to provide employees with better contextual experiences.

With the back end systems of most enterprises unable to speak the language of mobile devices, let alone support their performance and scalability requirements, upgrading these on-premises systems or moving them to the cloud represents another large investment companies will be making. Some companies will wrap their existing systems in REST/JSON APIs; others will connect them to MBaaS offerings, while others purchase new vertically-integrated mobile packages.

Rapidly shrinking wireless and sensor-enabled chipsets with low power consumption have given rise to the Internet of Things (IoT) with IPv6 ensuring there are enough addresses to go around. When combined with things like streaming analytics, machine learning and cloud scale, this descendant of SCADA and M2M is going to help companies unlock insights that lead to cost savings and new revenue opportunities.

In the end, the promise of personal computing is being realized via small, portable, sensor-filled, picture-taking, supercomputing, payment processing, low-powered communication devices that connect the citizens of the world and that’s a good thing.

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

HTC One (M8)

HTCOneM8

I spent some time with HTC’s flagship Android phone, the HTC One (M8), on launch day and I have to say I’m really impressed.

The larger, 5 inch, 1080p screen and all-aluminum body is truly a sight to behold.  The build quality has no equal in the smartphone space and the same was true last year with the M7.  With its quad-core, Snapdragon 801 chipset and 2 GB of RAM, the M8 was super-responsive and the KitKat OS never lagged no matter how many apps and web pages I loaded.  Those of you that like to take pictures will love how it allows you to refocus after you taken the picture.  It pulls off this feat by utilizing a second lens to perform depth-sensing operations.  The camera snaps pictures blazingly fast and the sensor lets in more light which makes it perfect for low-light settings.  With Selfies being all the rage these days, HTC stepped up to the plate for a 5 megapixel front-facing camera.

HTCOneM8

I’m really digging the optional Dot View case.  With the case closed, you can see things like the time, temperature and current weather.  You can also receive notifications for things like SMS, the phone, email, and calendar.  It’s a very innovative way to protect your phone while increasing its utility.

DotView

It’s fair to say that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the few features found in the 2014 model of the HTC One.  The high-end Android market is extremely competitive and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will be launching soon.  In the brushed aluminum vs. plastic competition, the new HTC wins hands-down.  I just returned from Mobile World Congress and all I saw was an endless sea of rectangular, identical Android phones.  Like the first HTC-designed device I ever used, the Compaq iPaq, this new smartphone is a refreshing departure from the rest of the pack.

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Windows Phone 8 and the Enterprise Feature Pack

I’m pleased to announce that we are enhancing the business capabilities of Windows Phone 8 with the Enterprise Feature Pack.

Building on technologies like Secure UEFI Boot, BitLocker, and TPM, an update to Windows Phone 8 will arrive in the first half of calendar year 2014 that increases IT control while boosting employee productivity.  The Enterprise Feature Pack includes:

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections that are automatically triggered by the apps that need them.  This means you won’t have to manually create a VPN tunnel in advance of running an app that needs to connect to your corporate network.
  • Certificate management to enroll, update, and revoke certificates for user authentication.
  • Enhanced mobile device management (MDM) policies to lock down functionality on the phone for more enterprise control.  Additionally, richer mobile application management (MAM) including allowing or blocking the installation of certain apps.
  • Enterprise Wi-Fi support with EAP-TLS that uses a client-side certificate.
  • Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) to sign and encrypt email.

We’re also boosting our commitment to corporate customers by increasing the length of our support lifecycle from 18 months to 36 months.  This means that starting with Windows Phone 8, we’ll make feature, functionality, and security updates available for 36 months.

With Windows Phone 8, your investment in our mobile platform is secure.

– Rob

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

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Proximity Sensors and Bluetooth in Windows Phone 8

During this video, Andy and I cover local communication with Windows Phone 8.

After a Bluetooth overview, we show you how to use Bluetooth from an application, Near Field Communications (NFC), bump-to-connect, as well as the proximity API functionality.

Be sure to check out previous Windows Phone 8 Jump Start videos from Rob and Andy:

– Rob

Network Communications in Windows Phone 8

During this video, Andy and I show developers how to leverage patterns for the asynchronous use of networking APIs in Windows Phone 8.

Topics include WebClient, HttpWebRequest, Listener Sockets, Web Services, OData V3, Data Compression support, Simulation Dashboard, Data Sense and apps. Storing data in Skydrive, encryption and authentication are also covered. Accessing services running on localhost from the emulator is demystified.

Be sure to check out previous Windows Phone 8 Jump Start videos from Rob and Andy:

– Rob