October is for Launch. Huge announcements from Microsoft, Apple and Google: Mobile Platforms News Overview

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There were so many announcements this month, that the tech press kept whining about the jetlags and whole difficulty of travelling around the globe. And we’re not talking about the small announcements and launches – all of the three IT giants had something new for the ever growing personal computing market. October was huge for us as mobile developers, because we are the ones who will bring to life our future projects for these platforms.

This column is not about the reviews and mobile platforms news, it’s about catching up and telling about interesting events on the IT landscape.

  • Windows 8 and Windows RT launch
  • Apple event: iMac, Pros, MacMini, new iPads
  • Google Nexus event

Windows 8 / RT launch


We really like Microsoft’s latest design language (#dontsaymetro), and we’ve been trying windows 8 out for almost 2 months now. There are UX details that many of the users might find questionable, but once you got used to Win8, it’s suddenly a pretty good operating system.

Both engadget and the verge stated that despite some unintuitiveness, the OS itself is very compelling once you passed the learning curve.

From the development side, we really like the ability to easily port your Windows 8 solutions to Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, because of the shared kernel. We will aim to write an article about the advantages and flexibility Microsoft gives us with the shared kernel approach, since we have Windows Phone developers in house, but you can already have some examples and tutorials at dev.windows.com

Surface RT announcement


You probably heard about surface: it’s a tablet from Microsoft and the only product within the recent years that created a giant amount of buzz around itself. Fancy ads, modern music, cool video. The Verge gave it 7.0 out of 10, which seems to be pretty reasonable and even good, since Josh doesn’t like anything windows-realted very much.

Engadget rated the tablet pretty good as well, with less criticism. Overall media reception was pretty good, except NY Times and Gizmodo, who crushed the tablet.

The best review was clearly written by anandtech, these guys always make awesome breakdowns and analysis on the tiniest details.

Apple Announcements


Apple annouced the updates to the whole bunch of it’s products, from iPad’s successor “iPad 4th gen” and Nexus 7 / Kindle rival “iPad mini” to the new iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro with Retina 13″.
Retina on 13″ is gorgeous, that’s really great! And the whole lineup was updated. Really massive launch for Apple. The only question is the discontinuation of iPad 3 (aka the New iPad) production, but it’s replaced with the 4th gen iPad, the price is the same. The Verge already reviewd iPad Miniand the new iPad 4th Gen.
What we love the most from the development point of view, is that the iPad mini retains the same resolution the iPad 2 did, so no need to fix / rescale your apps! This is the unification approach by Apple, that is loved by mobile developers.
This year was huge for Apple! The whole-new iPod lineup, 2 iPad revamps, iPad mini, retina laptops, new iMacs and MacMini!

Google announced the next Nexus lineup, along with Jelly Bean 4.2

LG had became the next Nexus maker (Nexus 4), along with Samsung (Nexus 10 tablet). While both of the devices are very balanced, Nexus 10 impresses with the stunning 2500-1600 display!
Check out the big story on the new Nexus line by the Verge. Clearly, Nexus line truly shows Google’s commitment to improve Android user experience, and how the true Android phones should be done. In the next few iterations we can see an ultimate iPhone rival.
So, clearly the audience got a wide choice of new products  this months – whether you are an Apple fan, an Android geek or all nuts about new Windows 8 style, there are new gadgets to stand in line for!

Windows 8 Slates. Moronic Pricing in Russia

Hi everyone, as always I’d like to rant on the following: greediness and insanity of Russian retailers. The latest issue of  Svyaznoy’s catalogue is a great example of utterly insane management and completely moronic pricing amongst almost any hardware company here.

I was pleased by 6 tablets announced to be sold by the retailer this month, all 6 from Sammy, Asus and Acer. I was happy to see my beloved low-cost Acer Iconia W510 ($499 in US) (previews (1) and (2))! But here it’s priced as some crazy-ass magnesium-made premium ultra-fucking-machine. And that’s for Clover Trail! No way!

 Asus Vivo Tab RT (WinRT)

Hi there, Vivo Tab RT =) Long time to see! Had a pretty good review both at the Verge and Engadget. Got a sweet price for the US as well ($499+). Russian Retail Price, anyone? $1130 And that’s for the RT tab! Are you out of your mind? Really? Ok, moving on.


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Codebranch: an external web development team is now active!

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We are Codebranch – an external web development team. For the last couple of months we’ve been preparing the grounds to run – now the website is up, our 3 offices in Finland, Russia and Turkey fully operational, so we’re good to go!

Codebranch Website

We aimed to make our website content-centric, so you won’t find awesome charts and colorful pictures. You can find important information like what we do and how to reach us almost instantly.
The same applies to the whole approach of our company – we work in a transparent, leanand efficient way.

The External Web Development Idea

When we created Codebranch, the idea was simple: we wanted to be team which is not a spare pair of hands, but an extra brain for external development.
So this is what we do:

  • develop stable, reliable solutions;
  • consult on the workflow;
  • aim to point out possible pitfalls.

Our final mission is not just the completed solution, but also complete understanding between developers and client in the course of work.

Our Web Development Team

Each of our developers has between 3+ and 8+ years of experience. We are really proud of our team’s professionalism, but what makes us really great is shared development experience. Our team has been working together for almost 2 years, and we believe that a well-shaped team brings more advantages to the working process.

Our Approach to Development

Everything we do – we execute with care.

  • We ask the right questions to clarify important matters before we start the project. Always.
  • There are usually multiple ways to achieve a goal. We can suggest more flexible solutions.
  • We aim to point out possible pitfalls and think how to avoid them.
  • Clear roadmap, displaying the project stages in dynamics will be given after the contract sign-off.
  • English is a must for everyone in the team.
  • Project Managers are the tech people too. Everyone is very fluent in project’s technical details.

Development Services

We have been developing Web Apps and Websites for a very long time – we live webdev! HTML5 + Canvas, Responsive, Facebook Applications, Complex Frontend and Backend coding – we can help you present yourself in the web, develop an additional module to your website, integrate it with your CRM system.

We can help you with CMS as well!

  • We love the buzz and community around WordPress. In fact, we build our own websites on WordPress as well!
  • In case you are looking for an enterprise solution – here comes our team, ready for some Drupal Develoment.

If you need / use a helpdesk, and Zendesk in particular: we can help you with its customization and integration. That’s something we’ve been working with quite often for the past 2 years.

We build mobile solutions as well. Whether it’s a mobile version of a website, native or a cross-platform app – don’t hesitate to ask a quote on your project.

We will share our thoughts on the industry, as well as development tips and tricks, be sure to visit our blog and leave us a comment =)

Be Microsoft! Screw your shipping up!

I love Surface RT, the way it looks and works. I’m even ok with the lack of *mkv codec support (although, that’s a NO for me, until there’s an app).

However, reading the latest articles on how MS “nailed” shipping Surface Pre-Orders again makes me tip my hat to Apple, because of it’s polished supply / retail lines.

Latest “Where is my Microsoft Surface? Here’s what we know” article sheds some light on the shipping issues inside the software giants. Although zdnet really sucks in 70% of it’s “analytics”, this is a good example of trying to understand what went wrong.

Source: zdnet

Zend guys on their enterprise victories

Oh that is sooooo awesome! I love when the guys speak like that xD /s

Zend and PHP have made significant inroads into the enterprise market in the last few years — Gutmans told me that “when we go up against Java or .Net, we win — and the new integrated development environment for mobile, cloud, and business applications is part of a new mobile-first push for the company.


UPD: Anyway, my tip of a hat for the work they’ve done =)