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Baby Biography Mobile App – Project

Baby Biography Mobile App – Projects

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, Xamarin, C#, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+

The mobile app will be developed using dotUK’s cross platform, and multi platform mobile app development skills. This skill set is a niche, and dotUK are one of the few development companies, certainly amongst North East Mobile App Developer’s to offer true, native mobile apps that can be developed simultaneously across the core mobile application platforms, in parallel.

Baby Bio Mobile App

The Baby Biography mobile app will be offered initially as an iPhone app, and also as and Android App, in addition to creating Baby Biographies within the app, other features include;

  • Creation of Multiple Books
  • Sharing of Baby Moments and Photos ‘In App’ to Social Media
  • Free Cloud based storage of all your books and moments
  • Collaboration with other parents
  • Conception and Pregnancy calculators
  • In App Support

Cloud storage and collaboration will be offered through dotUK’s in house cloud storage framework which allows the app to seamlessly synchronise the baby biographies into the cloud in the background when connected to a suitable internet connection, but doesn’t in any way impeded or restrict any app functionality when working offline.

Originally posted at http://www.dotuk.net/news…

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You get what you pay for – Mobile App Security

You get what you pay for – App Security

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, Xamarin, C#, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+

In the course of work this week I had a cause to audit an iOS App that a prospect had had developed by a local competitor here in the North East, the reasoning for this was that the prospective client was looking at moving the hosted back end (ASP .Net, SQL Server – standard stuff) and wanted a price.
The purpose of the audit was to check what network connections the app was making, and correlating with what I knew about the backend hosting, just to make sure there were no surprises, we didn’t have the source code for either end yet, it was just a pricing exercise at this point (As it happens the App is written using PhoneGap so we did have the source code, but my route was quicker).

So, I installed the app, redirected my iPhone through a proxy server, and fired up the app – and proceeded to stare in horror. The app instantly, on first run fired up an un-encrypted, un-authenticated connection to the backend host and promptly downloaded the usernames, password, emails, and more for every user in the system. It then keeps a copy of these locally, and uses those details to authenticate later.

Why is this bad, in laymans terms, because anyone, on the internet, who knew the url the app uses could download the same list. Would people be interested in logging in to this system? Probably not, do people use the same username and password for Amazon, Tesco, Online Banking – absolutely, and there’s the problem.

Solutions, well it’s about paranoia, but key areas;

  • Authentication – Implement simple basic authentication so that the app logs in to the webservice it pulls the data from.
  • Https – Implement and SSL connection, then at least all traffic too and fro is encrypted (important as Basic Authentication is over plain text, so without https it’s still sniffable)
  • Change the login mechanism to completely remove the need to download all user info at all.

What’s really frustrating though, and actually makes the ‘You get what you pay for’ title of this post a misnomer, is this wasn’t a cheap solution.  The client paid a very reasonable amount for this app and solution.  This is the sort of thing we see, and sadly expect, when a ‘cheap’ solution is offered as a counter to ours.  We’re not expensive, but not cheap, we do do things correctly though.  It’s a classic case of the customer not knowing what they’re not getting, they trust, and assume that a professional job is being done, without really asking too many questions about why it’s cheap.

In this case no excuses though, I’ll not name anyone, and we’ve raised the issue with the client – We certainly won’t be taking on the hosting until it’s resolved!

Andy works for dotUK (www.dotuk.net) a North East Based Web and Software Development firm he helped found.

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SEO, Twitter, and Shortened Links – Benefits?

SEO, Twitter, Social Networking and Shortened Links – Of Benefit?

As I relaunch this site, the impending new dotUK site (Anyone got a ’round tuit’ and a tardis to spare!) am looking at ways of promoting them better, getting more work, and ultimately money in my pocket.  Equally in current economic climes, especially up here in the North East, I’m not the only one.  We all want more business, we want more money, but where to we spend it to make it.  SEO unfortunately is not a small investment, it takes a lot of time, a lot of research, education, changes in practive, and potentially more money invested in Marketing and PR to reap the benefits.  I’m hoping to find the middle ground to allow people to ‘self promote’, and ‘self SEO’.

Social Networking, Blogs, Facebook, and in particular Twitter are where we all are, I’m normally some way behind the bandwagon, but Twit I do, and am aiming to use it more, and encourage my clients too.  Not a month ago I told a friend I wouldn’t use Twitter to promote dotUK, it didn’t feel ‘Commerically’ right, not the correct appearance.  Am sucking that one up, dotUK is on Twitter.  Why? and get to the point because this has nothing to do with the title, why I came here, or even saving people in the North East money on SEO.

Ok, well, we promote, especially to smaller business where money has to be well spent and see good investment, our CMS (Content Management System) so they can self populate and manage their sites.  Within this we have added the ability for them to automatically update a Twitter account (Which in turn can feed Facebook and pretty much anywhere else), creating external, short, sweet, keyword heavy external links to their content.  Self SEO, cheap, just needs some setup and some education.  The cost to do this for a client on our CMS system can be a as little as £50, once.

So, the point.  Twitter limits you to 140 characters, less if you allow room for retweets (double bonus!), so we offer the use of bit.ly the url shortener, this is fully automated and gives you a bit more room to play with, but the question, and the title, do url shorteners give you the full SEO benbefit of external links.  In the main they do 301 redirects so yes, any Pagerank inheritance is kept, this is good, but of course any keywords in the url (you are making human friendly url names as best practive aren’t you?) are lost, so benefit from that is gone (much benefit?), and the human factor is gone too, will people click your link when they have no idea what sort of trip it will take them on.  Time will tell on this one I guess, I see no harm, PR (Pagerank) should be kept, and opinions are split on the rest.  Do you have any thoughts?

This posting is the personal opinion of Andy Flisher, and should be considered the thoughts, opinion and ramblings of one man, and one man alone.

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+

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