Model potential app goes to number one

We had some fantastic news in the Ventutec office last night! The model potential app we designed and developed for out client New Line Media went to number one in the lifestyle category on the app store.

Model Potential is a revolutionary model scouting app, the first of its kind searching for models all over the world.

In collaboration with Select Models, Model Potential allows users to take a picture of their face; upload their vital statistics, hair and eye colour, age and height; and within minutes their image will be in front of the bookers of one of the UK’s top agencies.

Why not see if you have what it takes to be a professional model?

Or even if you may not aspire to walk down the catwalk why not  scan your picture for fun and find out just how beautiful you are!


You can read more and download the app here

Time spent on apps overtakes web browsing

The findings report that an average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet. In June it was reported that an average of 81 minutes a day was spent on mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes on the web. Compared to December 2010 figures of 66 minutes on mobile apps and 70 minutes spent daily on the web.

These findings show that mobile app usage continues to rise in a trend we can expect to see increasing even further.

Sorry HTML 5, mobile apps are used more than the web

Mobile applications are commanding more attention on smartphones than the web, highlighting the need for strong app stores on handset platforms. For the first time since Flurry, a mobile analytics firm, has been reporting engagement time of apps and web on smartphones, software is used on average for 81 minutes per day vs 74 minutes of web use. Just a year ago, mobile web use outnumbered time spent on apps with 64 minutes as compared to 43 minutes. Trends are ever subject to change, but this one indicates that we’ll be waiting longer for HTML 5 web apps to unify the world of mobile devices.

What are our mobile app minutes spent doing? Flurry, which monitors software on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and J2ME platforms, says we’re a growing community of gamers, with 47 percent of our app time spent playing. Social networking followed up with 32 percent, while news, entertainment and other activities each accounted for single digits.

The entertainment figure of only 7 percent seems low to me given that mobile video, a time-intensive activity, is popular: Some data suggests that iPad users watch 2.5 times more video than traditional web users, for example. While YouTube has a solid mobile web interface, many platforms kick users into a native YouTube application. Last July, YouTube said it was serving 100 million videos per day through both its mobile software and website.

Regardless of that potential anomaly, the data underscores a few points I’ve made about mobile app ecosystems: If a platform doesn’t have a strong set of third-party apps available, consumer adoption of the platform becomes a greater challenge. To some degree, we’re now seeing that with Google Android Honeycomb tablets as well as RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. There are other issues facing each of these, but a lack of optimized apps isn’t helping any, especially with the move from web to apps on mobiles.

Flurry’s data also has me pondering the future of web apps; namely, will HTML5 become as strong of an “app” platform as some would hope? As Chetan Sharma noted last year, the beauty of the web as an application distribution point is the reduced fragmentation it brings:

[T]he fragmentation issue in mobile only gets worse with each year with new devices, different implementations and operating systems, the cost of rolling out an app across multiple devices around the world can increase exponentially. As such, the browser provides the prospect of being the great unifier so you can truly design once and run everywhere (where the browser is available). For the simple apps that are less interactive and require less multimedia capability, like the popular social networking and news/weather apps, browser provides the perfect avenue to maximize impact with least amount of development.

Sharma’s thought made perfect sense to me back then, and while I’m still in general agreement with him, I’m beginning to wonder if the situation has changed. Instead of a mobile market with a number of platforms, we’re now witnessing the space become dominated by just two in Android and iOS. The third spot is up for grabs, although Windows Phone 7 has recently gained perceived momentum. BlackBerry / QNX and webOS are in transition, while Symbian is on the way out.

All the smartphone platforms are using WebKit browsers, so there’s still opportunity for web apps to unified across a large number of devices, but with such dominant operating systems in play, there may be less need for the web browser as a “great unifier” in mobile than there was just a year or two ago. And as long as apps keep appearing, the trend indicates consumers will keep buying.

ICANN approves plans for further domain extensions

ICANN have announced the decision to increase the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to allow for customisable suffixes which could include brand names, different languages or scripts.

“ICANN has opened the internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.

Under the new provisions, domain names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, opening up the possibility for brands to apply for their brand names.

Applications will open from January 2012, with pricing thought to be in the region of $185,000 for the initial application.


Read more here

iCloud Logo Infused With Golden Ratio

Apple’s logo artists have infused the iCloud logo with some mathematical elegance. In this case, the golden ratio or φ.

The circles in the ‘puffs’ of the iCloud are sized in a ratio of 1:1.6, an approximation of golden ratio, as discovered by Australian designer Alan van Roemburg. It seems unlikely the proportion was unintentional; Apple’s artists simply have an acute sense of the history of design and mathematics.

The golden ratio has been around since at least Euclid and Pythagoras. Fans of the Da Vinci Code should know it too, as Dan Brown has referenced φ several times in his books. No wonder iCloud seems so elegant and aesthetically pleasing.

Apple in the cloud

Earlier this week Apple announced the launch of the company’s new cloud storage service, iCloud.  Announced by Steve Jobs at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, he said  ‘iCloud’ is the ‘next big insight’ for the company.

When rolled out iCloud will allow users to sync documents, photos and downloads between multiple Apple devises.

The music part of the iCloud, due to launch in the US around September may not be coming to the UK until 2012, due to negotiations with music corporations.

However, when it arrives, iCloud will create a music storage service allowing customers to store their music on an online server, which they can access from any computer or mobile devise, essentially meaning an end to having to carry around an MP3 player or mobile phone.