Tag: iPhone

iPhone 5S’ fingerprint scanner; real or no?


We talked yesterday about the iPhone 5C and how, despite being the “ugly sister” of the 5S, it’s the one getting all the attention, mainly cause it’s new. Apple have never done budget before, so we’re all curious to see what it can do with the 5C.

Having said that though, we do still have the 5s on the way, and from what scant details we’ve had, there is highly likely to be a dual LED flash there, as well as; potentially, a fingerprint scanner. Now we’ve been hearing about fingerprint scanning tech in smartphones for years. The way we interact with them it seems almost like a done deal to the imagination.

We’re always putting our fingers on the screens, we don’t need to let anyone else use our phones so we don’t need multiple user accounts and also, it’s some mission impossible style stuff. Having a biometric lock, or using biometrics in general is something that makes perfect sense in a smartphone. Google are already doing it with Face Unlock (not that it works very well, but the sentiment is there) and the Moto X has its “always listening” voice activation.

Apple have always been trend setters and disruptors. If they release a phone with fingerprint scanning tech, it will only be a matter of time before the major Android manufacturers are out in force doing the same thing. Although there is even a rumour that the 5s may even sport NFC, despite Jobs having said that he didn’t see any point in the technology (yeah, cause Apple have been doing a great job of listening to those mantras).

As always, the “s” models of the iPhone are only a stepped upgrade rather than a leap and a bound, but we hope that fingerprint scanning tech isn’t the only thing the 5s brings to the table. After a fairly stale 5 launch and nothing exciting all year, Apple needs something to knock it out of the park. So now all eyes turn to Sept. 10th. We shall see what Apple brings to the fore.

Until then, if you’re an iOS app developer that wants to grab the new 5s excitement but need a Mobile Backend, talk to us at Kumulos. We’ve got you covered with a Mobile Backend as a Service that’s powerful, customisable and there for you in whatever form you need it to be. So why not talk to us today?

The iPhone 5C, Apple’s salvation or poison?


The rumour mill has been turning in overdrive since Apple’s announced September 10th 2013 conference date. We all speculating exactly what Cupertino are going to bring to the table after what feels like a long hiatus.

The 5C has had a lot of attention in the leaks circuit. Photos are cropping up daily, but we’ve not had an official yay or nay from Apple (not that’d we expect one, honestly).

The question, and we’ve looked at this a little bit before, is just what the 5C is going to do for Apple upon its release.

Apple is built on a premium branding, it’s whole design ethos is aesthetics, user experience and quality based. Releasing a budget handset seems like a step in the wrong direction when you take all that into account. It seems like it will cheapen the brand, add that plasticy tinge to an otherwise shiny metallic logo.

But then, the 5C isn’t for the premium crowd to begin with.

It’s for the emerging markets in India and China, and it’s for those of us who like our SIM only packages and aren’t as fussed as to whether we have the latest and greatest piece of hardware. After all, and it’s sometimes hard to believe when your daily existence is to keep yourself up to date with the cutting edge, but not everyone wants to be running a 2 month old handset that can run half the stock market on its own. A good majority of customers just want a handset that’s capable, reliable and of good quality; and the 5C will likely provide all that in spades.

It also makes business sense for Apple because their only budget offerings right now are the 4 and 4S, and they’re still being manufactured with aluminium and glass, which is expensive. The margins are low on these handsets now, and their 3.5inch form factor just doesn’t really cut it these days. The 5C will have the same size and shape as the 5 but will be much cheaper for Apple to produce.

When thought of that way, it looks like we could be onto a winner. What it may also do is inspire a whole new range of iOS app opportunities as those who couldn’t afford an iPhone before now suddenly have one in their grasp.

Whatever the case, Kumulos will be here to support your app development project from its initial conception all the way through to its launch and beyond. Our Mobile Backend as a Service is designed by app developers, for app developers. So why not contact us today?


The future of Apple, is it really that uncertain?


There’s been a lot of speculation in recent days about the future of Apple. They have been quiet essentially all year, with the biggest update to any of their products being the the MacBook Pro. Not that that was any slouch, the jet-engine looking computer promising to be a mid-range server instead of a computer in terms of power.

And it’s not like they haven’t got things in the pipeline, the iPhone 5s is almost certainly coming, and the budget iPhone has been heavily rumoured to be in the works; oh and there’s probably some kind of iPad update coming too. So lots of stuff on the horizon, but it’s being met with an overwhelming “meh”.

Don’t get us wrong, there will still be people lined up around the block to get their latest iCrack; a good number of us at Kumulos will be right there with them. Apple isn’t one of the biggest companies in the world for no reason after all. The trouble is that we all want more.

And that “we” happens to include the company’s board of directors, who are getting increasingly antsy with Tim Cook, claiming that the company isn’t “innovating fast enough”. Aside from the somewhat questionable untone that innovation is somehow something you can just control the pace of rather than something that comes in unpredictable fits and starts, there’s also the issue of whether Apple is really doing badly.

The answer is no.

Of course it is, they have more money than half of the developing world. Even if they start to bleed money for a couple of years whilst they look for that next big thing; they’ll still be doing better than Microsoft or Google in terms of pure profit. And if money is the goal, then why is everyone worried?

The unlying issue here is of course, that Apple showed absurd growth during the end of the 00s and they kept doing it for years. Whereas most company growth is only in spurts, Apple kept a consistent push going all the way through from the release of the iPhone to around Jobs’ death. And now they’re still growing, but they’re not growing fast enough. Wall St wants them to be pushing that 80% growth mark still, but since when has any company ever managed to do that? The answer is not one (that we know of at least).

Like an athelete who, due to a perfect storm of events, sets a near unbeatable record during one Olympics, Apple have raised the bar so high that they themselves can’t measure up in the long run. But that doesn’t mean they’re doomed, just returning to a more sustainable pattern of growth. Sure, it’s anti-climactic and a little disappointed, but what do you want? A flash in the pan, or a slow burn that lasts as long as you want it to?

Using Kumulos with the OSX Lion App Store

This month brought another high-brow Apple media event, and with it more juicy news for Apple iOS developers. Only this time the news isn’t centred on iOS, its all about OSX. In a nutshell Apple’s much respected and coveted app store distribution model is coming to OSX. As of OSX Lion coming 2011, iMacs, Mac Pros, MacBooks and Mac Minis will all have their own app store – presumably separate from iTunes.

This is absolutely fabulous news for developers. There are literally hundreds of thousands of developers world wide who, although perhaps never having actually done it, are equipped with the skills and expertise to build Mac OSX applications. Personally I was both amused and astonished at how similar the two systems are to build for. This is hardly surprising when you actually think about it, iOS is essentially a stripped out version of OSX and even runs the mach kernel. So this awesome distribution channel extends an iOS developers skill set across across an extra 20 million or so machines, almost instantly.

Developers can start submitting applications to OSX in November and we can’t wait.

So what does this mean for Kumulos? Well you can actually start building OSX apps with Kumulos immediately, and theres nothing stopping a cross over between devices – fancy building an iPhone app that talks to the same database as a native desktop OSX app? No problem, couldn’t be simpler – just load use the same bindings for both apps.

Getting stuff into Mac users hands has always been a little more difficult, but with a 70/30 split on sales this business model makes a tonne of sense. Removing all the distribution headaches from development studios allows them to focus on good software, not payment gateways and invoice processing.

Got an idea for an OSX app that uses Kumulos? We’d love to hear about it.

Make PHP & MySQL Vanish from iPhone Database-driven Apps


Our initial look at the tools available for working with databases and push notifications in iPhone app development showed us that there was nothing currently ready for what we wanted. We were fed up of writing PHP and MySQL code to glue databases into iPhone apps and send push notifications. We thought there should be a better way than re-writing the same core functionality time and time again. With that in mind, we set off to develop a tool to reduce our development costs.

So now you understand a little about why we developed Kumulos, let’s take a look at what it does, and why it’s more than slightly magical.

First off, Kumulos gives you a really simple way to create a database for your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iTouch) and OSX applications. No need to write any SQL or worry about managing the database from a command line. Our database tool was the first stage of the project and it gives you the ability to work with databases via a drag-and-drop interface.

We thought about how to make the developer’s life easier and so we started to take the repetition out of database design. Kumulos gives all of your tables a primary key (unique identifier for each record), and time created & updated fields by default. The time fields get filled in as if by magic every time you work with data, and can provide useful information for your apps.

Something we really wanted was to be able to define the relationships between data so that there’s less to think about in your iPhone app when it works with the database. We chose to abstract relationship modelling into a “belongs to” phrase. Data in the database can “belong to” other data. Pretty simple, but incredibly powerful.

Once we’d got the database tools working smoothly, we set about tackling the next challenge: how to allow you to design methods that work with the database without having to write SQL or know a web scripting language?

“I know! We can have drag-and-drop ‘actions’ that will let people build API methods from a set of building blocks!”

So, after a quick sketch, we developed an amazing interface to design API methods. It allows you to tell Kumulos what you want to do with your iPhone app’s database. By dragging. And dropping.

Once you lay out a set of instructions and hit “save”, the methods are simultaneously turned into native server-side code, and Objective-C libraries. You can achieve seamless iPhone database integration without having to write ANY of the PHP or MySQL yourself. That’s a pretty good deal if you think about it.

Kumulos manages all the nitty-gritty, repetitive stuff that slows down creating database-driven mobile applications.

We wanted to make it intuitive and fast to develop databases that could instantly talk to iPhone and iPad apps. We wanted to enable the developer to feel as if they could just jump in and start working, letting Kumulos make sure things line up properly.

The result is an incredible new tool for creating databases that can interface with mobile applications.

Sound good? Get started in Kumulos today with a FREE trial.