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Roadblocks to Phonebloks

Planned obsolescence in industrial design is the policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.

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Finally! You can Buy Stuff with your Bitcoins!

At Softway Solutions we pride ourselves on staying on top of the latest developments in technology. So, when we heard about Bitcoin, a new experimental virtual currency, we were intrigued. We first heard about it a few years back, but with all the new media attention, we figured it was worth revisiting.

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ToothIQ JR. App Released

A screenshot of the main screen for ToothIQ JR.

Have you ever tried to teach a toddler proper toothbrush procedures? It’s not easy. But it might be a little easier now, with the ToothIQ JR. App, designed and developed by Softway Solutions. The ToothIQ JR. project started about one year ago. iTooth Apps came to us with an idea for an app that was both informative as well as fun for their young patients. After nearly a year of creative design, app development, and even creating custom sound effects, the ToothIQ JR. app just went live for purchase in the App Store.

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Tellepsen Website and Perry Homes iPad App Released

Ah, yes! Nothing like enjoying the end of a busy week, where two projects go live.

Someone bring in Shipley’s for breakfast. We’re going to sushi for lunch. And we’ll wash it all down with a ‘happy hour’ at E.O.D. Job well done!… til Monday comes. Then it’s on to bigger problems and better solutions.

But for now, we celebrate!

This week, Softway is proud to announce the release of Tellepsen Churches as well as the unveiling of, local Houston favorite, Perry Homes’ consumer-facing mobile application in the App Store.

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Look, Simba. Links From Around The Web – Friday January 18th, 2013

Look, Simba.

Everything the internet touches is our kingdom.

With all the creative problem-solving that occurs day-in and day-out throughout Softway’s workscape, staying constantly updated with technology and news is crucial.

Because technology powers innovation. Or, is it the other way around? The chicken? Or, the egg?

Doesn’t matter now. You need both to cultivate.

Here are some links to the latest news in technology around the web:

1.)    Nexus is better than Apple.

According to Japan. The Nexus tablet has supplanted the iPad as the most viable tablet device in the island. Japan techies have always held a reputation as technology experts with proven foresight. Nexus’ overtaking of the iPad resonates loudly and should be taken very seriously.

 

2.)    Facebook rigs your phone.

Facebook, the juggernaut of the social network revolution, is now looking to revolutionize your phone bill and how you call those in your network. Expanding on VoIP capabilities, Facebook is now empowering its users by making internet-based voice calling more accessible and affordable.

 

3.)    Google hates on passwords.

While Facebook is fixing your phone, Google is hacking your keychain. Ok, not literally. But those brilliant minds in Mountain View, Cal., are currently working on a concept that will no longer require you to remember pesky passwords for each login. Instead, Google wants to store all digital authentication into one, simple, cumulative hardware.

 

4.)    Your life in 3D and color…FINALLY!

Yes. You read right. Two great things at once! This may be the year your entire life becomes technicolor and three dimensions. Or, at least what you have on Facebook. Apparently there is a new trend for users to ‘map out’ or ‘design’ 3D objects using their personal data from social networks to generate the dimensions. A little far out there sure, but you gotta see it to believe.

Let us know if we missed any other news and what your thoughts are.

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There Might Be Scrum-thing To This

“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
Working software over comprehensive documentation;
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation;
Responding to change over following a plan.”
-    The Agile Manifesto

    

In every sense of the word we are a growing company. Though we’re reaping the returns of our hard work, external growth outpacing internal growth makes it more challenging to manage projects. Our workload is steadily increasing but our team members still haven’t learned how to clone themselves or how to survive without sleep. The widening employee to project ratio exposed aspects of our project development process that were becoming counterproductive, essentially creating additional hurdles for us to jump over. Hiring employees en masse is not a realistic solution but taking a new approach to project development is.

We knew there was a method out there that would leverage our capabilities with our potential, mitigating the increased workload and increasing our efficiency. The issues we were having stemmed from using the waterfall method to build our projects. Waterfall is strict and compartmentalized, which allowed for unforeseen challenges. We don’t have an overabundance of team members to tackle the challenges that arose on one project while continuing to build other projects. So we decided to investigate an agile project development method called Scrum.

Scrum is structured to support complex project development and correct inefficient steps. It’s adaptable and collaborative framework minimizes both the number and the size of mistakes and prevents lengthy delays from happening. We thought it was our best bet at simplifying the development process and improving our efficiency.

Scrum Framework

It is a given that to turn a concept into a product, a project development plan is essential. However, to turn a concept into a functioning and valuable product, an agile development plan is a necessity. The reality is a concept doesn’t always translate into a good product just because the plan is good in theory.

Scrum emphasizes that effective team collaboration, rather than going through the motions of an unexplored yet concrete plan, uncovers the value the actual process of agile development brings to a project: empiricism. It is within the small steps of Scrum that observations lead to ingenuity and innovation, which enhance the project and enable it to evolve into a turnkey product and solution. Scrum doesn’t force the project to adapt to the development plan; the plan adapts to the project.

Scrum can make our previously counterproductive issues become productive and proactive steps, which is something our growing company will really benefit from. Changes, additions and challenges can occur at any point during the production process without it feeling like a wrench was thrown in the gears.

You’re going to build a better, more quality project when you go through the development process, gradually building the project step-by-step. Scrum puts innovation, collaboration and creativity back into development, making it easy to build a product that not only functions, but truly works for the client’s business and enhances the way they do business.

This has always been our goal on every project we do; we just needed to find a method that enhances our ability to do that. We always say that we work magic. Well, we needed a magic solution to optimize our potential, improve our efficiency and promote future growth without needing to immediately expand internally. And that solution is Scrum.

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Softway Solutions Launches Award-Winning Medical Mobile App

Recently, Softway Solutions was recognized for the great development of a mobile application at the 14th annual 2012 Web Health Awards.  Out of a pool of more than 600 mobile application entries, Softway Solutions was awarded the Bronze Web Health Award for the work done on the Auscultation Primer medical mobile app.

Designed for mobile devices such as iPhone and Android, the Auscultation Primer app improves the user’s auscultation (the ability to hear sounds from within the body) of various sounds made by the heart. The app was developed for the Texas Heart Institute in collaboration with Dr. James Wilson and Coordinator Arnulfo Martinez of the Heart Sounds Laboratory.

Developed primarily for health professionals like doctors, nurses and surgeons, this portable tool is also useful for medical students and all types of clinicians who want to improve their powers of auscultation.

Another great feature this app has is the inclusion of 10 live recordings from a range of real medical care patients. The Auscultation Primer app provides actual examples of common murmurs and other sounds made by the human heart. Each video recording provides clear samples of easily-recognizable audio, crystal clear phonocardiograms and detailed EKG tracings for accurate timing. To help enhance the learning curve, our developers included comprehensive and descriptive textual entries to walk each user through the app’s different options. 

Our Softway Solutions developers who helped to create this award-winning app and who were apart of the development team are proud of their accomplishments. As a company, we are excited about the ongoing and growing role of supporting the nation’s healthcare industry with mobile applications.

By receiving this award, it helps add recognition and honor to Softway Solutions’ already unblemished reputation as one of America’s leading digital resource companies. Congratulations to our mobile application development team on their success!

You can download the app for iPhone Here and for Android Here.

If you are looking for a Medical Mobile App Developer, Feel Free to Contact Us Today!

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Softway Solutions Mobile App, iScout, is featured in local news again

Page Parkes, a client of Softway Solutions, was interviewed by Houston’s ABC 13 evening news on February 22, 2012. Parkes, co-founder of Page Parkes Corporation, is receiving national exposure through her role on the show Scouted with airs 10/9 Central Monday nights on E!. Page Parkes Corporation had Softway Solutions create a scouting mobile application searching for models, artists or singers for the iPhone called iScout. The iScout app allows Parkes, her team and every iPhone user to scout on the go.

The IScout App allows for the general consumer to create an account and submit pictures, video or audio of themselves or potential models, actors or singers. Once you log in to your account, you have the option to send information on the applicant. When submitting information for modeling or singing, you will be prompted to enter personal information including height, weight, eye color and shoe size. After answering these questions, you will then have the option to upload a picture or video of the applicant. When submitting information for a singer, you will be prompted to upload the same information as for a model or actor, but you will also be able to upload a video or audio of the vocalist.

Page Parkes Corporation has a designated person reviewing all of the daily submissions in order to find the next top celebrity. Currently the iScout App is available to iPhone users across the globe. Download it today and find out if you can be a super model!

To view Page Parkes interview visit www.abclocal.go.com.

 

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Difference between a Web App and a Mobile App

There has been an increased attention to mobile applications in the past one to two years due to the rise in use of smart phones and tablets. Yet, most people still do not know that there are two types of mobile applications, web based applications and native applications. I have put together a guide to help you determine which mobile application you may want to choose for your business.

Before we break down the requirements for each type of application, it is important to know some background information about the two applications. A web application is commonly referred to as a mobile website and in order to access it, you must use a mobile browser. While, a native application is installed directly on the phone by the user from a platform specific “app” market place.

Web App and Mobile App Differences

Reach

Depending on your target audience, one application may be better than the other. For example, if you want to reach only a particular group of smart phone users, then a native application is ideal. However, if you want your mobile application to be compatible with all mobile operating systems, then a web application will be better.

Performance

Although a web application can be accessed by all mobile platform systems, the main issue of web applications are the limited features, however, they are good for applications that need and emphasize broad accessibility and searchability. On the other hand, Native applications are better for more complex applications that utilize graphics, calendar integration and mobile features integration with the mobile application.

Limitations

A web application is only limited by the restrictions of your phone’s browser. In other words, a web application can only be used on the web. The native application, on the other hand, is only limited to the restrictions of the mobile phone device.  This means that the native application can utilize all of the smart phones features including web access, camera, contacts, email and mapping system. The downside is that a separate and unique application needs to be developed for each mobile operating system.

Cost

Web applications are usually cheaper than native applications. The reason for this is that native applications require different types of programming and customizations for each type of mobile device platform. Even though there is a higher cost, this is offset by the wide variety of capabilities the app can access within each operating system, while a web app is limited to the capabilities of a mobile browser.

Determining which type of application to utilize for your business can be challenging. Softway Solutions has been developing native and web applications since 2009. For further information on which application is best for you, contact Softway Solutions at 281.914.4381.

 

 

 

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