Clear Call newsletter.
Good morning dear funders,
Its been a while but we have been busy!
We have some good and bad news for you this month, and as the optimist I am – I'll start with the good – we have a working ClearCall demo! Much credit must go to the technical operations manager Maurice. (Its just Maurice when I'm not congratulating him), who battled through some very difficult coding problems to get the calling mechanics working.
So what does it do? What have we been doing?
Currently we have our UI (use interface – what is displayed on the phone) with our clear navigational menus and the mechanics to tap into the phones calling mechanics. Ie we cn make calls!
From our user tests we have had some valuable feedback. The current back button (the physical button next to the home key) is apparently hard to see and reach. Therefore we have incorporated a big back button in the UI. This cuts down on the space for the menu options but has bemm recieved positively in the user tests. This is one of the great things about this user-centric design, to tailor make the app to our consumer base (those who are unfamiliar with smartphones,) we keep finding problems and designs that would never have occurred to us.
On a personal note it has been a successful month for both of the ClearCall team - in anticipation of leaving the copnfortable bubble of third level education and joining the much feared “real world” (I believe it's called) – have got jobs at their first placed companies!
However now we have the bad news – due to problems with different librarys it is a lot harder than expected to access the stored numbers. (contacts numbers stored in your phone). This is because we have to build our own display mechanisms (an entirely new adress book) to hold the numbers. This is a large task and will take a long time. Following the mantra “if its worth doing something it's worth doing it well” we have taken lengths to design the best possible User interface, that is a simple and intuitive to use as possible. In keeping with the values of ClearCall.
This will be the last newsletter until the end of may unfortunately. As final year students we have to balance the important ClearCall work with our studies. In the next month we have thesis' to hand in in addition to 9 exams so will have our hands full!
Hope everyone is well and enjoying the magnificent may weather!
Simon and Maurice
Hoping everyone is having a great 2012, we know we are!
In this newsletter we will be taking an basic overview of android applications, much like ClearCall.
This will be particularly interested to the technically minded among you, but we wont be going into too much detail (honest!) so everyone should be able to understand and take some meaning from it.
What is an android application?
Well basically applications are programs designed to work on smartphone devices. Like programs work on a computer (eg Word or Google chrome web browser.) They perform tasks – be it fetching and putting information on the web (facebook or youtube apps) or running logic and showing related graphics (like the ever favourite Angry birds game.)
What is the difference between android and Iphone?
This is a question that I'm often asked, and people seem unsure about. Many wonder why you can't run android applications on Iphones and vica versa.
The easiest way to compare the difference is the difference between Apple and Windows computers. The IOS and android are different operating systems, governing how software uses the hardware available. A simple test is how apple and Windows computers use external hardware like printers. Windows are far more reliant with specific drivers than apples. The way they are built up from the processor and kernel (reminder: must not get too technical,) are different.
IOS (used in iphones,) is specific to the hardware in the Iphone, much like mountain lion (an apple operating system) and apple desktops and laptops. So you can't use apple operation systems (phone or copmuter) on other systems. This means Apple can make their OS very specific as they know exactly what processor etc they'll be dealign with. Android – like windows for computers, works on loads of phones. Like Windows 7 works on a dell laptop and a HP desktop, Android will work on the Samsung Galaxy S2 and a HTC Wildfire phone.
Versions of android are like versions of Windows, just with more interesting names. For Ice Cream sandwich read windows 7, Gingerbread – Windows Vista etc.
But why won't my android app (like clearCall) work on an IPhone?
Its like the difference between a mountain and Road bike. Both have the same general purpose but use different parts and specialise in different fields. And you can't really use the tires off a mountain bike on a road bike.
So the reason that Ipone apps won't work on android is that, while they do the same thing, the processor and other hardware is accessed in different ways by the applications.
Why do we care about this stuff?
Well there is backwards comparability issues with different iterations of operating systems – as mentioned in the last newsletter we have chosen a development platform to aim at the most user possible.
Thats a quick overview of the basics,
If there are any questions or feedback, please get in touch, these newsletters are for you, our dear funders after all!
We'd love to now if you enjoyed this type of information based newsletter, or prefered a more hands on approach like the last one.
Feedback to: simon@clearcallIreland.com
Simon and Maurice