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Mobile apps for all

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The app isn’t just for the large enterprise anymore, now it can provide a highly specialised and customised solution for clients of all business sizes, writes JOHN EIGELAAR of Keystone Electronics.

Until recently the mobile app has been seen as an expensive, time consuming and challenging solution to develop, something that only the large enterprise can afford or implement. This has now changed. Apps are easy to build and they allow for the small business to develop a solution that is customisable and completely structured around the business and the brand. Through an app, the small enterprise (SME) can create a native environment that captures client loyalty and keeps them engaged.

A recent study undertaken by the mobile analytics firm Mobidia [https://www.internetretailer.com/2014/01/09/exclusive-how-consumers-interact-20-top-shopping-apps] focused on the use of customised apps in the consumer space and found that an average 48% of Android users shopped online through mobile commerce apps. The same principles can be applied in the B2B space – create apps that make accessing content, capabilities and features a simple endeavour and you have a solution that keeps your customers coming back for more.  It is no longer a question of whether to build an app for the business or the products it sells, but rather what needs to be done to ensure that it is done well.

It is essential that a business app be easy to use. Complex user interfaces with steep learning curves will alienate the client and are unlikely to keep them engaged. It is also vital that an app be focused on delivering one very specific solution – it’s easy to try and cram a diverse range of capabilities into one app, but this potentially can result in a confused mess that makes little sense to anyone. Keystone Electronics recently designed an app called BlueGoo that allows for the supervision of all IP-enabled equipment on a site over LAN with SNMP. It is a targeted solution that addresses a certain need. It isn’t diluted by other products or solutions and provides clients with a reliable and easy method for configuring the Keystone RSM Blue system. The app took away the need for the client to use a laptop and working network in order to do their work, and replaced it with any Android device from anywhere.

Keystone has created other apps to work in conjunction with other products such as GLAM Bluetooth and ATC Interlock and Job Card Tracker. Each one is focused on resolving a particular problem or addressing a certain client requirement. This then leads to the next point – personalisation.

When creating an app, especially if it is being developed as part of an overall solution or implementation, adding in layers of personalised content can make all the difference. By adding in layers that are client or solution specific, the experience becomes a far more compelling one. The process also does not demand that suddenly the SME hire developers or spend terrifying quantities of cash on getting apps developed. Costs have come down and many organisations offer this service at a price point that doesn’t massively impact the bottom line over the long term, especially if an app can be used across multiple clients and installations. Ultimately, however, the real value lies in keeping clients loyal and engaged and coming back for more and it is in this arena that the app truly shines. It is a tool that can now be used by businesses of any size to boost business capabilities and enhance products and solutions.

* John Eigelaar, co-founder and director of Keystone Electronics.

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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