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Mobile Site vs. Responsive Site vs. Native App vs. Web App

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 05 Feb 2014

We've updated this article for 2014 and turned it into a free downloadable Mobile Strategy eBook. Find out what your options are for mobile development and which platform is right for your business. Once you've decided, take a look at our Mobile Development courses and start learning an essential skill for 2014.

mobile development choices

Last year we wrote about ‘the mobile future’. Well that future has become the present. As a business owner, what are your options for entering the ever-growing mobile market?

In the US, smartphones outnumber feature phones. In India, this year mobile web users will outnumber desktop web users.

Not only is the mobile market growing but it’s becoming more profitable. Google recently added in-app subscriptions to the Play Store, PayPal is taking mobile to the high street and banks are getting in on the act led by Barclays Pingit.

Fears of security have been swept aside as mobile users worldwide devour information & entertainment on the go.

The opportunities for marketing are huge. Last year the mobile market was estimated to be worth $25-50 billion by 2015, but as China’s app market is valued at $35 billion those early figures massively undersell the mobile market.

Download our eBook Now

Mobile at a Glance

Users can access content on their smartphone or tablet in two ways – via a browser or by downloading an app. You should be making sure that potential customers can access your content via one of these options:

  • Browser – Websites (desktop, mobile & responsive) and Web Apps
  • Application – Native Apps

So which one should you choose? Use our helpful guide to decide!

We run an iOS App Developer Course and an Android App Workshop, teaching you how to design, develop and market apps for the two most popular mobile operating systems - with a combined market share of 82% between them!

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7 Key Facts About iOS 7

Written by Aaron Charlie – Tue 11 Jun 2013

ios-7So it's finally here! Apple CEO Tim Cook announced iOS 7 yesterday, hailing it as the "biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone".

It's been long-awaited and much debated but now we can finally see what all the fuss is about.

It's not going to be out for a while yet though, so now's the perfect time to learn how to create apps, on our iOS App Development Course.

Now there a plenty of articles out there which go into great detail about the move away from skeuomorphism and others which wax lyrical over the new Control Center.

We won't do that.

We're going to give you the facts (7 of them to be precise) and a quick summary of the key points you need to know about each one. Just enough knowledge to rattle out to your friends over a skinny chai latte at your local vegan coffee shop (or some other lazily stereotypical hipster activity).

So let's dive into this new apple-y world full of flat buttons, Instagram-esque camera filters and mesmerising translucent displays and see what we can find.

1/ iOS 7 New Design

This is what all the hype is mostly about, and not without reason. The entire look and feel of the system has changed dramatically - modernised even. Take a look at this comparison between the design of the iOS6 and 7 home screen:


Gone are the shadows, the bevels and the semi-bold font. In come bright colours, flat-looking buttons and a thin, stylish type-face.

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An Introduction to SQL (Structured Query Language)

Written by Aaron Charlie – Fri 24 Aug 2012

The widespread development of dynamic websites has been made possible by large proportions of content being handled and generated using databases. SQL, or Structured Query Language has been used for decades to query and edit information stored in database management systems.

Our 3-day SQL Course in Brighton teaches delegates ANSI-standard SQL and some common extensions. The course includes practical and theory elements so that delegates are fully equipped to read and write SQL effectively.

SQL - Where Did it All Begin?

SQL TrainingIn the 1970s in the laboratories of IBM new software was created to create databases called System R. SQL was the language developed to manage the data stored in System R. Initially named SEQUEL, it’s still often referred to by this name, for SQL, but was later renamed SQL.

Relational Software, which later became Oracle, released a modified version called Oracle V2 in 1979.

40 years on SQL is still used due to the flexibility it provides to users by supporting databases that can be run on several computer networks at the same time. SQL has become a database query language standard, and although many new languages have been developed since it still forms the basis of many well established database applications today.

The introduction of many open-source SQL database solutions such as MySQL, SQL-based applications have become increasingly affordable.

The SQL Standard

The SQL Standard has had a lot of new functionality added over the years, like support for XML, triggers, recursive queries, regular expression matching, standardized sequences and much more. Because of the volume of the SQL Standard many of the newer database solutions on which it is based, such as MySQL, do not use the whole standard. This is the reason why, even though all SQL implementations have the same base, they are not necessarily compatible.

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PHP Pointers for Beginners

Written by Guest Author – Mon 31 Oct 2011

PHP Pointers for Beginners

PHP elephantWith Web 2.0, website visitors expect a full-featured custom website that uses their location and other information to display a unique website.  As a developer or designer, you want to find ways to make your website a unique experience for each visitor.  You can use PHP to create a feature-rich, dynamic website for your visitors.

PHP is a scripting language embedded within HTML.  A PHP processor module, which reads the script, is located on the web server.  The module renders a readable web page, so site visitors do not need special software installed on their own computer to view features on the page.  Used on over 20 million web pages, PHP is one of the most popular languages used to create dynamic web pages.

A few of the most popular Web 2.0 websites use PHP to create customized content for their visitors. Facebook, WordPress, Digg and Wikipedia all use PHP to produce websites tailored to each visitor's needs and interests.  Web developers can use PHP scripts to pull information from the database about each user, including location and previously saved data.

PHP has many features you can use to customize your website, but listing all of them would make this article too long ,not to mention too boring, to read.  You will learn more techniques in future articles, but this article will introduce you to six easy ways to use PHP, even if your experience with PHP is limited.

Website Appearance

You can change the appearance of your web page depending on the day or any other factor.  For example, show a picture of the sun during the day and a picture of the moon at night.  This keeps your website fresh for returning visitors and keeps it interesting.
Place this code between the head tags in the HTML code:

$day = date("w");
$color = array("white", "orange", "purple", "pink", "red", "blue", "green");

Place this piece of code inside the and tags of your HTML to change the color:


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#Update2011 Conference Brighton Review : Afternoon (Part 2)

Written by Aaron Charlie – Tue 06 Sep 2011

update2011-conference-brighton-mobile-app-developmentThis is the third and final part of our review of the Update 2011 Conference in Brighton on mobile development and usability on Monday 6th September. You can also check out our posts on BrightonSEO Friday 9th  - see #BrightonSEO 2011 – Attracting Quality Links

Are you looking to get into mobile app development? If so it is unlikely you'll be able to as you need a whole new set of skills. Lucky for you we've just launched iOS App Training, a practical course that teaches developers how to create, style and market iPhone and iPad apps. Don't miss out on the exciting and lucrative world of mobile app development by booking yourself a place on our course today. 

How does your site look on a mobile? Rubbish? You might be interested in our new 5-day Mobile Web Design Course Package

If you haven’t already, check out our reviews of:

The morning session, featuring:

  • Matt Gemmell on Usability
  • Jeremy Keith on The One Web
  • Chris Evans-Roberts – Ithaca Audio
  • The Native vs Web App Debate

The first part of the afternoon, which featured:

  • Seb Lee-Delisle – Angry Birds Corona Workshop
  • Sarah Parmenter – UI Design for iOS
  • Relly Annett-Baker – Arse Over Tit
  • Interview with Ronald Wayne – Apple Co-Founder

Joachim Bondo – Going Beyond Delicious

Following the enthralling interview with Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne, we heard from Joachim Bondo - who Chess fans may be interested to hear is the creator of the Deep Green game – originally for the Apple Newton, and latterly for iPhone and iPad. So a clever chap!

Joachim Bondo - Update 2011

Joachim Bondo at the Update 2011 After Party

As with some of the previous presentations at Update 2011, Joachim’s focus was on user experience. He stressed that ‘delicious’ apps give users more pleasure and are likely to be used and shared more than those that are ‘undelicious’

Joachim is a watch collector, and his presentation essentially used watch design and manufacture as an extended metaphor for app design and development.

In his view – although Apple’s products are designed by ‘dudes’ in California and manufactured on production lines in China where ‘people kill themselves’ (rather than being hand crafted in Switzerland like the watches he loves) – that they are on the right track with their attention to detail and ‘delicious’ product design and user interfaces.

However Joachim maintained that app developers have the opportunity to go beyond delicious – i.e. to look further than just a sleek user interface, and make sure that every component and every line of code is perfect.

His overriding point was that quality takes time – like the manufacture of a carefully crafted wristwatch, if you want your app to go ‘beyond delicious’ take the time to test every component, and that users will flock to a great product.

If I’m honest, I think Joachim’s presentation took rather a long time to make one point via an extended metaphor – and many of the other presentations at Update 2011 provided much more in the way of practical advice. However he’s clearly passionate about attention to detail in both watches and app development, and I’m sure his passion made some of the developers in the audience think twice about rushing half-baked apps to market.

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