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LMK App Introduces a Social Share Feature for iPhone Users

We get it! You don’t always have the phone numbers of everyone you’d like to invite to an event. The new iOS update for LMK App now allows users to share their event with friends to events using social media and email so no one has to miss out on the fun!

Want to know more? View the full press release for LMK App version 1.3.0 here.

Download LMK for iPhone and Android today! Because excuses are hard.

Lmk-Invite-lg

Android vs. iOS from a Developer’s Perspective – Part 1

Development Environment and Project Setup

This is the first post of our five-part series on Android vs. iOS development from our microProduct Lead, Mark Oldytowski.

Android vs. iOS, the debate that stirs the same emotions as the RedSox vs. the Yankees, Ali vs. Frazier, and South Park vs. Family Guy. Everyone has a side, and everyone will defend it until the bitter end.

Whenever a coworker asks the question “Which platform do you prefer developing for: Android or iOS?” I pause for a few seconds, and then rattle off a few negative remarks about whatever is aggravating me about the OS I’m working with at that particular time. This never actually answers the question for anyone involved, just more of a way to push the decision off to a later point. That point has finally come, so it’s time to do some real soul-searching into the Android vs. iOS debate.

This blog is the first in a series that takes a look at the pros and cons when developing mobile apps for two major platforms – iOS and Android. When choosing between Apple’s iOS 8 with Google’s Android 5.0 “Lollipop” the most recent releases for both platforms, how does a developer choose between them? I’m not going to try to convince you about what type of phone you should buy or where you should release your app first (disclaimer: I have been a Windows Phone owner since release, the best OS that nobody will ever use), but I am going to tell you about the good, the bad, and the confusing things I’ve encountered while developing and releasing native apps for both platforms (check out PubRally and LMK App).

Development Environment and Project Setup

So you are all amped up to start coding up the great idea you have. The first thing to do is grab Xcode, Android Studio, or Eclipse. Oops, you don’t have a Mac? Better head to your local computer store / eBay, or else scratch the idea of working on a native iOS app (the only other option is to do it ‘hackintosh’ style on your PC). If you do have a Mac, you will be greeted by the pleasant experience of downloading Xcode from the app store. There are no headaches and no fuss, just grab Xcode and you are ready to start developing iPad, iPhone, and OS X apps for any version of the OS that is still supported.

With Android Studio (built on top of IntelliJ) / Eclipse, right off the bat you are presented with both the biggest advantage and shortfall of Android development: Options. Options for which OS to develop on, which IDE to use (Android Studio is the official choice at the moment, so from here onwards I will refer to that as the Android IDE), which versions of the Android framework and external tools to download / target and where to put them during development (locally, or with the project), and even which build tool to use for the project. The advantage is that a seasoned Java developer will be able to customize everything about the environment to feel familiar and maximize productivity, but someone new to the development world might be overwhelmed by the options, leading to difficulty in finding support for their particular setup if something becomes out-of-whack (and it eventually will).

Once you are up and running with your IDE for Android or iOS, both provide comparable features, such as built in version control integration, auto-complete, a WYSIWYG UI editor (more on this later), and a suite of testing, tuning, debugging, and deployment tools. One aspect they do differ greatly on is the state of the device emulators / simulators included with the IDEs. Xcode includes a suite of simulators representing every iOS device / screen size that is out in the world right now. They load reliably and accurately represent the hardware through the testing phases when physical devices are not available. Android device emulators, on the other hand, only cover a miniscule subset of devices currently on the market, and take eternity to load (if they ever do). The load times take so long that it’s easier to buy a device for every screen size that you want to support than it is to try to utilize the emulator.

New mobile developers will find getting started with iOS development to be a touch easier than Android sildenafil 100mg tablets. Since Xcode packages everything together, a new developer just needs to download it from the app store, enter the repository link in the open project screen, and they are ready to go. With Android, the process is more involved since the team may choose to use external tools, additional libraries, or custom build configurations that have to be setup before the project will build. It usually isn’t terribly complicated, but does add to the startup time for a new member.

This table summarizes the pros and cons for the development environment including what it will take to develop your first mobile app on iOS and Android.

 

Android iOS
+ IDEs for every OS + One click download, setup, and “getting started” process
+ Robust tools for every scenario + Easy for new members to join the team
– Complicated “getting started” process + Reliable device simulators
– More involved for new members to join – Locked to OS X
– Horrible, horrible device emulators

 

Stay tuned for Part 2, Language and Framework Features.

 

 

3 Ways to Send Friendsgiving Invitations

Friendsgiving

The celebration of Thanksgiving with your not-so-blood related family, also known as your best friends. For some of us, Thanksgiving seems a lot more fun when you get to celebrate it with your closest buddies instead of having to worry about scheduling with long-lost family members you talk to three times a year, coupled with the Jersey nightmare of travelling over a major holiday weekend.

Here’s a little background. Friendsgiving works the same way that a traditional Thanksgiving would work, but you get to break some rules. For instance, Friendsgiving offers you the opportunity to make up your own menu. Maybe you don’t like mashed potatoes or stuffing, (it’s true, some people really don’t like those things), that’s okay – you can show up with vegetables and hummus or a caprese salad instead. You also don’t need to bring out your formal tablecloths and fine China. Your friends won’t judge you.

One crucial element to Friendsgiving is being able to know who’s actually going to show up. The host needs to know who’s IN so that they know how big of a turkey to buy and how many dollar store place settings to put around the table. But taking the time to organize an event and send out invitations for these get togethers can be time consuming. Let’s face it, we live in a busy world and we’re always on the go.

So, what’s the easiest tool to use for planning Friendsgiving?

I took the time (and literally timed myself) to try out three different platforms: Facebook, Evite and LMK App. Here are the results.

1. Facebook

It took me just under six and a half minutes to create a Friendsgiving Facebook event, add the time and place, input the minimum details and then Everyone invite all 21 friends to my event. To be fair, this did not include the time it took me to log into my computer (because who creates a Facebook event on their mobile device?) and create the perfect cover photo for my event. I finally gave up on Google images and started creating my own because online images never match the dimensions of the Facebook event cover photo and something was always cut off when I uploaded it to the event page. All in all, I’d guesstimate that it probably took me closer to 15 minutes to complete the task. The response rate wasn’t that bad either. In about 24 hours, I received 13 responses from slightly more than half of the people I invited cheap generic viagra 100mg.

2. Evite

I tried Evite and Ads it took me just under eight and a half minutes to plan the same Friendsgiving event. But this time, I had some serious setbacks. For starters, when I added friends to my invitation, Evite struggled to find more than 50% of friends on my list in my contacts, so I was only able to invite 11 out of the 21 guests I had on the list. The majority of the invitations that I was able to send ended up in people’s junk mail so they didn’t even realize they’d been invited. I ended up spending a little over 8 minutes just to get the invitation out to the initial guests. I had to take extra time to send separate invitations to the remaining guests that were left off of my Evite. But with the headache of the entire process as well as the extra time I had to take to follow up with texts and conversations, I easily tacked on a lot of additional minutes. Here’s the clincher: I only received one response from the people I invited in 24 hours. Though it only took me 8 minutes within the app, it took me more like an hour altogether.

3. LMK (Let Me Know)

The third platform I used was LMK App. This is the new app that was just released on the App Store on November 6th, 2014. It took me less than two minutes to create my Friendsgiving event and invite all 21 people. Everyone was able to confirm receipt of the invitation, including friends that didn’t have LMK on their phone because they received an invite via text. The best part? I received 19 responses in 24 hours. In an age where RSVPs are dead, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Invite Friends Out. LMK App - Free on Google Play & Apple App Store

Here’s the gist of what I learned. If I had to rate the experiences of each from best to worst, LMK App would rank first simply for its ease of use and compatibility with all devices. Facebook comes in at a close second because it provides the opportunity to really customize your event with details, images, and even includes the weather forecast for the day of your event. And Evite? Evite undoubtedly comes in dead last because it was painful to use: 1) I was unable to send out half of the invites and 2) Guests did not even get to see my invitation.

 

Facebook: 6m 28s
Evite: 8m 21s
LMK App: 1m and 46 s

 

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I know what I’m going to use to plan my next Friendsgiving, how about you?