Mobile

Your phone’s not just a phone anymore. We explore what’s possible.

Why I Love Dropbox

May 12, 2016

Two Words.  It’s Easy.

Dropbox has been mentioned in this blog before by a few people.  And as Summer rolls up dropbox-iconto the curb, Alex reminded us about the fact that our phones WILL run out of memory.  And if “Murphy” (of the famed Murphy’s Law) has anything to say about it, you will be at your nephew’s wedding or some other event when all of a sudden you cannot store any more photos.

Memory Impacts and Your Phone

The best thing about our phones is that we use them.  We stay in touch with everything. This is also the worst thing about them.  When we run out of memory in our phones, functions are affected.  Emails, attachments all kinds of stuff that we may need access to while we are “taking the afternoon off” to do something with family.

Off-site Storage

Comes in all shapes and sizes.  Google has some, dropbox and many others.  I love dropbox because it is easy to access and you get 2G of space for FREE and you can try it out first.  2 G is enough to see if you use it or not.  Samsung often has deals with Dropbox when you buy a new Galaxy.  This is how I really got hooked.  We use at Sephone too.

Organize by Folder – Share by Image

Recently we had a death in the family.  As in most funerals,  there is some sort of Memory Board shared.  It was easy for me to share images (at full resolution) with people (and funeral homes.)  There is never a better time for things to be easy than these.

I also have client folders that are shared with them and people working on the projects that are completely separate and unique to that project. These folders can include .pdf and other documents as well as photos and images.

Take A Photo and Synchronize Automatically

You can synchronize over wireless if you want to – you never have to worry about losing these documents or memories again.  It happens when you want it or when you don’t want to think about it.

That, my friends, is why I love Dropbox.  Go on, download it now, or in the App or Google Play Store and be ready for anything that this great summer will bring!

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Kelly's been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she's old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!

Your phone WILL run out of space one day! Are you ready?

April 21, 2016

Are you a person who likes to travel or spend time with your kids?  Summer is right upon us and that means taking lots of photos.  One thing that you do not want to forget to do is backup those precious memories.  There are a lot of inexpensive options out there to help you.

  1. Create a Dropbox account and allow your photos to upload right after you take them.
  2. Connect your phone to iCloud.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer.
  4. Use a micro SD card (if your phone allows it).

There are many other options that you can take advantage of as well.  But these are just a few that I have been doing recently and they have been working out pretty well.  Keeping all the photos backed up on a flash drive and/or your computer plus Dropbox for me is the better way to go.  This way when I erase my photos on my phone, I know they are backed up and I do not have to worry about losing them.

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Alex is a developer at Sephone, helping to build apps and websites. He is also working on his Master's degree in Computer Science.

Mobile Impact on your Business’s Website

April 1, 2016

Since the dawn of the smartphone, more and more people have been using their mobile devices to search and find things.  This includes businesses related to travel and tourism, healthcare, automotive repair and more.   When it comes to mobile, people want to find quick and accurate information at the tip of their finger.  This means making sure that your business’s website is mobile friendly.  We have been talking about responsive design for a while now, and we are going to keep harping on it.  Making sure your site is tailored to meet the needs of your mobile visitor as well as your desktop visitor is paramount to a successful online presence for the future.  Here are some tips for making the most of your responsive website.

Call to action

Every website should have some sort of call to action.  This is the thing that gets people to do something, whether it is to fill out a form, complete an order, or just signup for an email newsletter.  Making sure that your call to action doesn’t get lost on your responsive site is key to getting visitors to do what you want them to do.

Keep important information visible

It is very frustrating for a website visitor to come to your site and not be able to find the information that they need.  Calling attention to things is easier on a large desktop display than it is on a mobile device.  Keeping this in mind and making important things easy to find on your responsive site is a great way to make your customers happy.

Don’t be afraid to scroll

It is hard to fit all of the information from your desktop website into a single view on a mobile device.  Don’t be afraid to let people scroll on your responsive site.  You can use different interactions and visible elements to queue them in to different parts of the site as they scroll through.

If you would like help making your business’s website responsive to accommodate your mobile visitors, get in touch with us.

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.

Permission To Land

March 11, 2016

There are many kinds of apps out there, apps that can perform all sorts of tasks – from keeping track of your daily “To-Dos,” letting you show off your vocabulary to your friends, to pushing a button and hearing any one of many silly sounds. Some apps, especially those which rely on physical hardware to perform these actions, require certain permissions to function fully and properly. In the past, the list of permissions an app needed to function was displayed during installation on Android devices. This is no longer true, as recent Android updates have reformed how apps in the mobile OS interact with phones.

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Out With The Old

Previous versions of Android required apps to display a list of necessary permissions during app installation. This meant that, upon trying to install an app, you’d see a screen much like the one to the left. This screen gives you a breakdown of exactly what information to which the app will have access. This is important because whomever developed the app also have access to this information. We should all be careful when it comes to this data. It’s our data. While it is completely understandable that a GPS app would need access to your physical location via your phone, there are apps out there that request your location that don’t really need it.

In With The New

As of Android 6.0, playfully dubbed ‘Marshmallow,’ apps will now ask for permissions during runtime instead of during installation. For consumers, this is good news in more than one way. First, it really shortens the amount of time it takes to install applications. Rather than having a bunch of screens to click through, clicking install really just installs the app.

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Next, having the app ask for permission at runtime gives users a sense of when, and perhaps why, the software needs certain details. For instance, when loading a camera app, a screen may appear asking for permission to utilize the phone camera. This is expected, but the user can actually deny the app from accessing the camera at this screen. While in this example the app is rendered useless, this is not always the case. There’s a game called Alphabear, and during start-up, this screen is displayed:

While we realize that this feature is used to verify the identity of the phone should there be a purchase of an  in-app purchase, we may choose ‘deny’ for our own piece of mind. Spry Fox, the game creators, make some of our favorite mobile games, and though they proobably wouldn’t misuse the data, but it’s OUR personal information, and until a purchase is made in the game, we would continue to deny the app from accessing these files. And the game plays just as it should otherwise – and is quite fun!

 

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

Getting AMP’ed Up

February 12, 2016

If you’re a web developer, you’ve probably heard about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – the newest trend in lightweight pages for cleaner, faster mobile browsing. Perhaps you aren’t so familiar with them, though. What exactly is an AMP, and how do we make one? Furthermore, why is it important?
Google's Email Alert about AMP read more

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

OMG I Can’t Find My Phone!

October 13, 2015

Last week a friend of mine, who also is a business owner, told me a story about her ripping her car apart looking for her cell phone.  Her heart was pounding.  Then she realized, she was talking on it.

While this seemed amusing to both of us, I certainly could identify with it. It got me to thinking, “When was the last time I disconnected and what did it feel like?”  Most importantly, did I do it on purpose or was I just out of cell service range and had no choice?

Digital Detox

Yes, it is a “Thing.”  Since Sephone started back in 2001, I have managed to grow my connectedness significantly as technology advanced.  Now, my cell phone is a computer that follows me to bed and into the bathroom. I feel lost without it.

When I started doing a little research, I found an incredible library of great articles on Huffington Post on this very subject. Coincidentally, here is an article from one of the writers describing how he disconnected and went to Acadia National Park (which is about 50 miles from here.)

There is a Community of people and corporations with a website called Digital Detox.  They describe themselves: “Digital Detox® is a slow-down, not a start-up…We think deep, work smart and play harder.”

There is real research that shows that disconnecting allows for better focus upon return. Read this Manifesto they put together and see if you nod your head a couple times.  AND if you look over the list of businesses that support it, this is BIG.

As the human race evolves, our kids would rather play video games alone over board games with the family. In the Manifesto, it says 50% of people prefer to communicate digitally than in person. Are we hiding from one another?

Forbes Magazine offers this on “How to Do a Digital Detox.”  This week I am on vacation.  I wrote this article ahead of time and scheduled it to publish while I was gone.  I am trying my own version – sitting in the Western Maine Mountains with nature.  Wish me luck!

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Kelly's been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she's old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!

My Old Friend Google Earth

October 2, 2015

Unlike most Google Earth Logoeveryone else at Sephone, I own a phone with an Android operating system and not an iPhone.  Every time I get a new phone I manage to leave several “apps” that I have tried and no longer use on my phone. They get carried over from phone to phone, I seldom seem to uninstall anything unless I really don’t like it.  One of these apps I had not used in a very long time was Google Earth.

I love Google Maps and I have lots of Google apps naturally, because of the Android operating system on the phone itself.  But Google Earth seemed to get lost in the shuffle.  (As I swipe and swipe past it on my screen 100 times a day.)

Recently, I was hiking and scouting an area of Maine and my GPS was less than helpful,  the GS sheets I had and could find were several years (some more than 10), old.  Given this area is shared by loggers and logging operations, roads are changed all the time.  This summer, the local ATV, snowmobile and bike clubs have been in the area blazing trails for their users – it seemed pretty hard to figure out where the trails were, where they went and most importantly how not to get lost!

I got back to camp and looked up where I was  on Google Earth and it showed me such a better overall view of what I was actually at and where I was looking.  It gave me a new appreciation for what I originally thought of as a “cute video game.”  I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

One thing you must know if you want to use Google Earth. It’s like a compass, you need to check it before you need it.  If you are out in the wild and there is no cell signal, Google Earth cannot help you. Check before you leave or if you have a cell signal then Google Earth can find you and lead you home.

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Kelly's been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she's old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

August 18, 2015

                                                                                 Download to Print

For Immediate Release:  BANGOR, MAINE
Local business, Sephone Interactive Media, has updated and expanded the AFF mobile APP aimed to help 2015 American Folk Festival attendees navigate this year’s Festival easily and “paperless.”

The American Folk Festival app features the following:

  • Complete Artists information
  • Scheduled times of Performances
  • Maps of Stage and Venue Locations
  • Ability to take photos and share with other Festival Attendees

If someone would prefer not to download the app, Tablet and SmartPhone users can still go to the Festival website (http://www.americanfolkfestival.com), which is responsive to all web browsers.

This APP is the Official APP of the American Folk Festival, Sephone Interactive Media has been the creator of the APP and the website from the beginning in 2011. And since 2011, there have been annual updates and enhancements.

“This is our latest version of the American Folk Festival APP. It puts information about our Festival right at your fingertips,” says Justin Russell, lead developer at Sephone and veteran Festival volunteer.  “If there is some change in the location or time of an event, the APP will update itself, so unlike paper schedules, it is up to the minute information and always with you.”

This year’s APP includes automatic alerts, notifications from the Festival with news and updates. Notifications will also show festival-goers, who is currently performing on the stage where they are and provide a chance to see when the artist will be performing next over festival weekend.

Russell adds, “We love developing these kinds of tools for businesses, organizations and the region as a whole. We’re excited to add new features as more people use the American Folk Festival APP, and we can’t wait to work on more projects like it in the future.”

Sephone Interactive Media is a Bangor-based web and moblle development company, helping businesses and people use technology to grow and increase efficiency.

FMI contact: Kelly H. Cotiaux, Partner and Marketing Maven, Sephone Interactive Media 207.262.5040 blog.sephone.com ~ sephone.com , Twitter: @ladyotrout ~ @sephone, Facebook
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Kelly's been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she's old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!