The Changing Mobile Web

August 15th 2014 in Blog, The Web

Change.

That’s a scary word, isn’t it?

“Let’s make some changes.”

“It’s time for a change.”

“Our way of life is changing.”

None of these are necessarily comforting statements to hear.

What about familiarity?

Now that’s a word. After all, familiarity is comfort, isn’t it? It’s safe. It’s relatable. Often, it’s home. Change is not any of those things. Change upends and reshapes what has come before.

But looking back on the history of technology, we witness much change in very short windows of time. In a century’s time, we went from massive steam-powered industrial machines to small convenient automobiles, not to mention flying. The telephone was introduced towards the end of that century and in a hundred years, mobile phones where taking the form of portable satellite powered devices. By the end of the 20th century, we had the internet which, in less than half a decade, had become as ubiquitous to staying informed and connected as the five o’clock news. If there is one thread that we can trace through the remarkable progress in technology through our lifetimes it’s change.

And there’s that word again.

As a means of public telecommunication, the internet is barely two decades old. But we have certainly seen it change many times over. The internet is a tool that relies on speed and ease of use. And the content has always reflected how we access it.

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Early internet users on their way to buy a faster modem. Photographed c. 1995

The internet of today is not the internet of 1996 for example. Those were the days. The days of the wild west internet where 56k modems roamed free, severely inhibiting web designers. Design and presentation were often sacrificed at the altar of efficiency and speed.

Now designers are only limited by their imaginations; our internet speeds are instant and immediate. And it’s in our pocket.

We have pocket computers now.

Let that sink in for a moment. Really think about what it means.

Pocket computers. Content is no longer limited to heavy desktops or a coffee shop table to settle down with your laptop. It’s in the palm of your hand whenever you need it to be. And once again, the design of the web has changed.

On a computer, the amount of screen real estate to work with is nearly unlimited. Mobile devices require a different kind of browsing. It needs to be easily accessible, clean, and easy to read with absolutely no clutter in sight.

And with over half of the web’s traffic now on mobile devices,  you have two choices.

The first choice is to stay in the familiar. The same ol’ desktop site with its gorgeous real estate and five acres of prime ad space. You can let your users access the desktop site from their mobile devices. After all, those things have mobile browsers don’t they? They do indeed. And everyone hates them. Mobile browsers are an afterthought for the on-the-go reader. It’s the thing you grudgingly resort to when it turns out that your favorite cooking blog or fashion review didn’t get on the ball and put out a mobile-friendly app.

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Our favorite shopping site on a mobile browser.

The other choice is change. But this kind of change isn’t scary. It’s the same amount of old and whole lot of new. The website that you and your readers know and love gets to stay. But those readers now have a new option for their mobile devices; an app that makes it easier than ever to stay connected and keep doing all the things they have been. Interaction via commenting, seeing mobile-friendly ads that don’t frustratingly explode across their small phone screens. It’s all there in a new package that doesn’t replace any of the current infrastructure, but rather is a compliment. And the advertising that keeps your lights on? It gets to come along too.

Even so, the attitude of website owners has been akin to that of the family dog when a newborn is brought home from the hospital. It’s a big change. It’s loud and smelly and leads to a whole lot of trepidation on how to approach the situation.

But it’s fine to relax. No one is getting replaced. There’s a new addition to the family but no one else is going anywhere. Desktop web is here and for now, it is staying. And now there’s the mobile web to deal with. It’s not just around the corner. It’s not the next big thing. It’s already here and it is thriving, growing even bigger and stronger in traffic than it’s previous incarnation.

It’s change. And at Wovax, we truly believe that we can assist in making it a familiar one.

Why Moscow?

August 13th 2014 in Wovax

Let’s play some word association. Idaho! Did you say “potatoes?” That’s okay. Lots of people do. While the rest of Idaho does indeed produce a third of potatoes in the United States, out here in our corner of the Gem State, there are no potatoes in sight.

Wovax is located in Moscow, a tiny town tucked away in the beautiful Palouse.

The Palouse is a region full of rolling hills that primarily grow wheat and legumes. Throughout the intense summers and long frigid winters, the hills cycle through three primary colors – green, light brown, and white.

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Moscow is home to around 24,000 people, many of whom are students. The University of Idaho is located here and Pullman’s Washington State University is less than a ten minute drive across the state border. These two institutions certainly play a big part in making Moscow what it is. Like many classic American small towns, Moscow enjoys an enriching and often tight-knit community that sees the downtown transformed into a gathering center for young and old. Summers bring the Farmer’s Market, a vibrant bazaar that frequently boosts popular vendors to more permanent brick-and-mortar eateries. There’s the internationally renowned Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest. Artwalk brings out the very best in local craftsmanship, painting, photography, and so much more.

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There are wine bars and brunch hangouts. A trendy consignment store that has separate locations for infants and their grown-ups. An arthouse theater to catch the latest from across the pond or from the Far East. Coffee shops and pubs that host live music on a regular basis and give the many students a relaxed atmosphere to plow through a book.

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Nature lovers thrive here. Fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, biking…it’s all accessible just a Subaru’s drive from town.

So what is a tech company like us doing in Idaho?

While Moscow is known as “Heart of Arts,” the arts aren’t the only area in which creative people are thriving. Several tech companies have been on the rise here in the last few years, and several of them have been wildly successful.

Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. has grown to over a hundred employees and was purchased by CareerBuilder back in 2012. Populi, a growing online directory system for colleges is also located here. While they are growing into what many would consider something to be more at home in a place like, say, Silicon Valley, these companies have proven to be so successful because of the hard work and close community that this small wheat field town has enriched them with.

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Wovax is proud to be a part of this thriving community of the Palouse. Just as many other creative industries have been decentralized by new innovations in tech and staying connected, so has ours. And since there’s plenty of room to grow out here, we look forward to seeing what other new companies the creatives of Moscow are brewing.

If you’re ever in the area, stop by and say hi. On the Palouse, our doors are always open.

Apple partners with IBM to sell iPads & iPhones

July 15th 2014 in Apple, Blog

Apple and IBM today announced a wide-ranging partnership that will see IBM help sell the iPhone and iPad to its business clients bundled with new mobile management technology for iOS.

The deal will bring “more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions” to Apple’s mobile devices, along with IBM’s suite of cloud services such as “device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.” Apple will also offer enterprise-tailored AppleCare plans, and IBM will bundle packages that include “device activation, supply and management.”
“For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

While the new partnership makes perfect business sense, it still feels odd for the companies to work together.

Decades ago, the two were fierce competitors, though they’ve since gone their separate ways as Apple focused on consumer technology and IBM burrowed deeper into the enterprise.

Apple partners with IBM

Apple on its own has been successful at reaching the top tiers of the business world, especially with new bring-your-own-device IT policies. The company’s mobile devices are deployed at most Fortune 500 and Global 500 corporations. IBM, however, can help Apple target specific industries in order to capture even more market share.

At its Worldwide Developer Conference last month, Apple touted new enterprise features on iOS 8, such as enhanced data protection and improved document sharing.

 

source TNW

SCOTUSblog iPhone app goes live

November 10th 2013 in Blog, Wovax

We’re pleased to inform you that the Supreme Court of the United States blog app is now available. Download the free app from the App Store here. The SCOTUSblog website is built using WordPress and their app is using the Wovax service to meet their mobile needs.

Your complete resource for the Supreme Court of the United States. Features of the app include:

· Direct notifications to your mobile device relating to major Court actions, breaking news, and editor’s notes
· Briefs and analysis for every case on the Supreme Court’s merits docket and cert. petitions that could be granted
· Opinions and oral arguments for major cases explained in Plain English
· Live coverage of major decisions and announcements
· Continuous review and analysis of the Court’s actions
· Daily round-up of national articles and interviews about the Court
· Regular symposiums and guest posts from top law professors and practitioners
· Content clearly organized sequentially and by category, with very capable search function
· Multimedia sketches and videos relating to the Supreme Court
· Incorporated SCOTUSblog Twitter handle
· Access to Bloomberg Law

iOS 7 is here and our app is ready

September 22nd 2013 in Blog, Wovax

Over the past few months Wovax developers have been busy playing with the latest offering from the Cupertino giant, Apple.

iOS 7 is here and our app is reaping the benefits already.

Look forward to the roll out of our new app framework over the coming weeks free to all Wovax customers.

Does my company need a mobile app? Why iNeed an iOS app for brand growth

May 31st 2013 in Blog, Wovax

Everyone with a brand must have an iPhone app for growth and survival. That was the message from the CES panel discussion for iPhone apps and their impact on culture, technology, advertising and entertainment.

“It’s like 10 years ago when the debate was: ‘do I have to get a website or not?”

“People were unsure, but these days, the answer is obvious: if you’re not on the Web, it’s like you don’t exist.”

said Walker Fenton, Vice President, Mobile & Data Services at NewsGator. Fenton added that companies must be on the iPhone.

“It’s almost a requirement,” he said. “You’ve got to be on the iPhone; same as you’ve got to be on the Web.”

He concluded:

“If you are wondering about whether or not to get on the mobile, the answer is ‘yes’.’ Get on the mobile now.”

Does my company need a mobile app? 13 reasons why your brand needs an app.

  1. iPhone apps are a part of people’s daily routine
  2. Your blog is just one touch away on your readers iPhone
  3. It’s more convenient for your following
  4. You can announce an “Event” with push notifications
  5. The mobile internet market is growing at a much faster rate than fixed internet
  6. The developing world’s connection to the internet is much more mobile centric than the Western world’s fixed line communications infrastructure
  7. 75% of our planet is still not connected to the Internet so the potential over the coming decades is substantial
  8. It will differentiate you from your competition
  9. You create a deeper engagement
  10. Drive more reader loyalty
  11. Your branding will be on your followers iPhones
  12. It will drive more traffic on your blog and ultimately more profits for your site
  13. It enables easy social network sharing of your content between your readers and their friends.