It’s iOS 8 time. What can we learn from it?

With the millions of preorders and the increasing interest in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you can already see that Apple are on to a good thing with their new devices. However new specs and refined hardware alone is only one side to the mobile market coin. Without new and improved software to tap into the potential of the new hardware, we wont see an evolution in form and functionality.

As is customary with the new flagship releases, a new version of iOS is to be released. From first glance, you might be mistaken for thinking the new OS has barely changed since last years version 7. It follows the pastel and vibrancy motif started with iOS7, which is sure to show off the improved screen in a great fashion. Aside from tweaks here and there, there’s more than meets the eye.

At least, we should hope so anyway. Apple are touting this version of their mobile operating system as ‘the biggest iOS release yet’. Rather uninspired, but it wouldn’t be an Apple product release without some form of ambiguous, but fundamentally consistently effective, marketing campaign. The numbers alone will tell you that.

Start getting used to the foundations iOS7 has laid. Apple has been experimenting with taking their mobile design concept, and intertwining it with other products such as the new Mac OS release Yosemite, which is due sometime next month. This also extends to the iPod range as seen on the iPod Touch and to a lesser extent the nano. Apple’s newly founded design ‘voice’ will also be seen heavily across the upcoming smart watch, and likely what other products they have up their sleeve. We haven’t yet seen this mark as pronounced on the Apple website just yet, but with the emphasis on a unified experience, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of nod to this.

The concept around a unified platform across multiple devices isn’t anything new. It is however, something that is sadly overlooked often in the design world. The best brands today are the ones that have a sense of familiarity and relation across all their marketing material. These are in turn the most successful marketing campaigns. BBC 1 – 4 (and ITV 1 – 4) for instance all have their own personality to match the programming content and target audience they are targeting, however superficially you can identify them all as being under the same banner. McDonalds have a great multimedia presence, and aim for the direct and simple approach with their TV advertising. Their print based advertising/radio ads/store banners etc all follow this same themes allowing for a sense of parity, and a constantly updating one that ultimately resonates with an audience.

Lets use these conventions as test ground for shaping the identity of your business. Create an instantly recognisable brand across all your marketing material, relating back to the Apple philosophy. Start with a logo design that summarises the core ideologies of your practice, is simple to recognise and versatile to be use on any media at any size. Follow these connotations on your print and digital advertising. Don’t overlook the little details like business cards and transport vinyl. You want people to recognise you, and this will only go on to help with brand identity, familiarity and consumer satisfaction. By taking your brand and marketing seriously, so will others.

Apple get criticised for their annualised rehashes and simplistic marketing campaigns. But lets be honest, love them or hate them aside they are arguably market leaders.  500 million lifetime sales say so.


The New iPhone. Are you web-ready?

Yesterday was a day anticipated by all tech fans. It was also a day to be noticed by the masses, and those looking to upgrade their handset  as we come towards the end of our contracts. It comes yearly, and it gets talked about extensively. It must have been this years Apple Conference.

Apple’s announcement focused primarily on their new phones and wearable.  As with the usual spec increases, thinner and updated chassis design and additional functions and features made possible from new consumer tech, there was one thing that particularly shaped up differently. There were two models announced this year. But whilst last year saw both the announcement of the 5s and the 5c (was this considered a flop?), this year see’s the iPhone 6 come in both 4.7” and 5.5” flavours.

For the majority, 4.7” will suffice, trading a little comfort of one handed use, for larger screen real estate. The 5.5” ‘phablet’ version is slightly more for the bespoke, showing Apple has identified there is a market for those who have jumped on the Galaxy Note and other phones that continue to blur the line between phone and tablet. Both phones come with a new easy reach mode, double tapping the home button to push the top of the screen closer to your fingers. A nice little touch.

So what does this mean for web design? If your website is functionally responsive, not too much. The beauty of responsive web design is the diversity of how it reacts to any  screen size, on any internet connected device. You are already prepared!

If your website isn’t responsive, should you consider the upgrade? Most definitely. Mobile use on the web has skyrocketed in the past few years, and continues to climb, especially with announcements like the new iPhone. With mobile viewing being a staple of modern life now, you will benefit from increased traffic by those who can function and use your site on a smaller screen.

So what does the future hold for the apple smartwatch? Only time will tell. Maybe we’ll start to see smaller, app like sites or even extensions to your website that prepares bites of information to be displayed and presented on smartwatch searches. Wearable’s might be the next step in a connected world, but for all future advancements in tech, stick with CT.