Brazil Predictor: Football Without Formulas

May 30th, 2014 in Apps, Development 2014 App brazil cup development ios predictor world

With the World Cup rapidly approaching, everyone wants to work out who’s going to win. Nothing could be easier:

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Or at least, that’s how Stephen Hawking, world-famous physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, would work it out. In a press conference this week, Hawking revealed his equation for calculating England’s chances at the World Cup. All those numbers and symbols boil down to two words: not good.

The scientific validity of Hawking’s formula has already been questioned. So what options are there for those of us without maths PhDs? How can we get to play the great World Cup guessing game?

You might want to try Brazil Predictor, a new app for iDevices that gets into the nitty-gritty of the World Cup without asking you to calculate Pi. Available for iTunes, and designed for both iPhone and iPad, we developed this app to help make everyone an expert pundit.

We love our football at Image Plus, and spend some of our off-hours competing with each other to demonstrate the most detailed, most accurate vision of the beautiful game. Brazil Predictor is our attempt to make this easier to do in every office, and amongst every group of friends.

The app allows you to predict the results of every match, and follows the consequences of those scores right through to that final on July 13th. To add an edge to proceedings, the app also allows users to invite your friends and set-up mini-leagues that monitor how everyone’s predictions are doing.

The app assigns points to each user based on how close their predictions are to the actual results of the games. As the tournament proceeds, each user will creep up that league table on the basis of their knowledge of the game: think Cameroon will beat Mexico? Or that Ghana will triumph over the USA? Brazil Predictor will hold you to it!

Want to prove yourself the football expert amongst your mates? Brazil Predictor lets you do just that. And there won’t be a single bit of algebra in sight.

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Learning By Playing: Apps And iOS7

June 28th, 2013 in Development, Web App beta development ios ios7 Web

There’s nothing developers like more than a new toy to play with. On the other hand, there’s also no bigger challenge than a whole new platform: new software means changes to old applications or websites, to factor in the changes made to the operating systems on which they run.

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That’s why we download iOS 7 Beta as soon as it became available: in part because we just wanted to have a play, and in part because it’s important to our products and those of our customers that we figure out how the new OS for iPads and iPhones actually works.

Apple is a victim of its own success: its iOS system became so successful that it was imitated by competitors the world over, and that led to some starting to argue that Apple was losing its cutting edge. So iOS 7 is an exciting opportunity for the firm to make a new start, but also for the apps and websites we design to be viewed and used on those platforms to take on new lives and new functionalities.

We’re not one of the major app developers who are effectively being part of Apple’s free-of-charge testing community, but that means in many ways that we’re free to explore the Beta release with our own needs in mind. The good news is that we like this release – we prefer it to the previous version, and bar a few glitches we thing it’s almost ready for the market.

Where Apple goes, other companies will follow (this piece at Forbes is a good summary of the current lie of the iOS 7 land), and that’s why it’s been so important for us to start testing the release as soon as we could. The testing stage is crucial for any piece of software, and getting to the capabilities and quirks of an Operating System is particularly key: we can now leverage that knowledge for our clients, after all.

Indeed, bespoke we applications in particular demand an in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the platform on which they will be displayed. The special functionalities we build specifically for our clients will only work if we know how to exploit the features of the latest OS. We’ve just delivered abespoke web app to Peugeot for the launch of their new 208 car – so we know what we’re talking about on the web app front.

And now, with time to spare, we know what we’re talking about on the iOS 7 front, too. Time to have another play, I think…

And They’re Off: Web Apps And The Competitive Edge

April 4th, 2013 in Bespoke, Web App Bespoke Web

Whilst putting together this month’s newsletter (for which you can sign up here), I looked back over our post about the Cheltenham Festival and SEO… and reflected that time is moving so quickly that we’ve already reached Grand National weekend! Time flies when you’re making websites, as the old saying almost goes.

742787371On which note, it’s worth pointing out to you some of the projects which have seen us glued to our screens recently. In particular, two new web applications have taken considerable effort, since they were built from the ground up, bespokely fitted to our clients’ needs.

Web applications are essentially modules you can plug into a website in order to achieve a certain effect or functionality. Many websites are required to fulfil a series of functions which can be applied ‘out of the box’: common demands such as blogging, interactive menus, video galleries and the like have tried-and-tested solutions which we can implement very smoothly, drawing on our experience of the range of options available.

But it’s also true that a website can achieve a great deal more, and if a client wants their online platform to serve a very specific, even unique, function, we’re always excited to help them achieve that. The code which makes websites work can be written from scratch – and the bespoke solutions we devise together may well become the ‘out of the box’ options of the future.

The first of the new applications we have recently developed is an order processing system for a courier company, Pro 21. Pro 21 had some very particular requirements, including the capacity to allow customers to book directly online, monitor the progress of consignments in real-time, and receive invoices smoothly and efficiently. In order to achieve this, the system has to apply a unique customer ID to each user, and handle an array of data, as well as boast an intuitive interface for customers and administrators alike.

Likewise, the web-based facilities management system we developed for Diamond FS had to handle a wide range of variables in such a way that the data outputted to customers made sense to them quickly and cleanly. Facilities management is a key element of any business with significant infrastructure, making not just the services Diamond FS offers, but the medium through which they are requested and monitored, crucial to both their own success and that of their clients. That made this web application a key element of their offering – and worth doing both properly and bespokely.

In fact, like the Grand National racecourse, which is famously tweaked and tested rigorously and continuously, web applications are all about detail: understanding the specific demands, challenges and opportunities of a given ‘course’ – and fitting the solution to them carefully and with a commitment to ongoing improvement. In this way, we can add real power to your website’s elbow – and give it a USP that will keep users coming back for more.