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It was another epic Halloween at Bottle Rocket

In keeping with a Rocketeer tradition, we are proud to share photos from our epic Halloween Party.  Rocketeers once again demonstrated that we are not only creative in the apps we make – but also in our costume creation abilities!

We hope that you all have a safe and fun Halloween – Keep dreaming, designing and creating! 

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What is new in the Android Ecosystem?

At Bottle Rocket, we love developing for the latest technology.  There were a lot of announcements this week regarding the entire Android ecosystem, so we thought we would provide a summary of the highlights.  We have grouped them by category with a short overview of each. 

Hardware

The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 were announced, providing a new baseline for phones and tablets. Along with this, a new Android TV device dubbed the Nexus Player debuted, and was shown launching with Watch Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV, all developed by Bottle Rocket.  We’ve been working on this for the past few weeks and we look forward to it’s official launch on November 3rd. 

The Nexus 6 comes with a 5.96” display, and the Nexus 9 is a 64-bit device that’s in a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is new for Google’s Nexus tablets. The resolution is the same as the current Retina iPads, but it’s hard to know if that means other tablets will follow suit. The Nexus Player utilizes the new lean back experience that Google showed at I/O, but also includes Google Cast support (the same technology in the Chromecast).

Here are the links if you want to read more: Nexus 6Nexus 9 Nexus Player

Software

Up until now, we’ve only known it as Android L, but from now on it will be known as Android 5.0, Lollipop! It brings a huge number of changes, the largest being to notifications and the new Material Design standard, but there have also been lots of efficiencies and lower level changes added. Ask your neighborhood Android developer for more details, and how we might use any of the new technology in our apps.

For more details on all the changes (and there are a lot) in Android 5.0, see here.

Visuals

The Material Design guidelines have been further extended and formalized, with a lot of demos of how it will work in Android 5.0. Make sure to take a look at http://www.google.com/design/.

If you want to read the official announcement, it is here.

So, what should our clients be thinking about?

Google will be looking for apps that showcase Material Design, and that use the newest APIs. Integrating with wearables will become more important as more wearable devices are launched, and TV apps are now a first-class component of the Android ecosystem.  Apps will need to consider their behavior on all devices, and will need to make significant adjustments for wearables and TV. Deployment for these extra platforms is simplified since they are all combined into a single app.  The unified standard of Material Design has been designed to work on all the platforms, so there should be consistency in an app, regardless of how and when it is used.

All of this leads to a consistent, beautiful and engaging experience for users.

Contact us today to learn how we can help elevate your brand on mobile. 

Contact us

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Food Network, Travel Channel and HGTV featured the Nexus Player debut

This week, Google announced the new Android TV device dubbed the Nexus Player, and was shown launching with Watch Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV, all developed by Bottle Rocket.  We’ve been working on this for the past few weeks and we look forward to it’s official launch on November 3rd. 

We all know that content is king and getting best in class content to users in beautifully crafted experiences is our passion.  This was an amazing opportunity to do it again on this new platform.  We were thrilled to be able to partner with brands as powerful as Food Network, Travel Channel and HGTV.

 

At Bottle Rocket, we love developing for the latest technology.  Contact us to see how we can launch your brand on the latest and greatest! 

 

Contact us

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When it comes to Second Screen, it's not one size fits all

Rocketeer Judy Johnson, recently spoke on a second screen panel at the Digital Hollywood conference in San Francisco.  When asked about second screen, she explained that a lot of people are approaching the idea of the second screen completely wrong. “Up until recently, [second screen] has been mobile, but now, we’re seeing that any screen can be the second screen.”

If you’re on the second screen, you’re likely doing something other than what’s on TV.  If you think about Sundays and fantasy football, a football game on the big screen is likely background noise to the fantasy football player, checking team stats on a second screen. Whatever screen you’re looking at, that’s you’re primary screen.  Increasingly, people in most every age group are multitasking, using more than one screen whenever content is playing. 
 
If second screen companies want to capitalize, they need to better-tailor their offerings based on the content.  What works for sports won’t work for a scripted TV drama. What works for a live TV show won’t work for movie.  It’s not one size fits all.

   

Bottle Rocket’s experience with TV Everywhere, Video Delivery and Second Screen runs deep.  To learn more about our work for networks such as NBC, Showtime, and the family of Scripps Networks, contact us today.

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Rocketeer Charity: Pencils of Promise

This month, Rocketeers are supporting Pencils of Promise, which is a non-profit organization that builds schools in the developing world.  As of 2013, the charity has built over than 150 schools throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Pencils of Promise believes every child should have access to quality education. They create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.  Need, sustainability, cost efficiency, impact and commitment are all taken into account when picking a location for a school. The facilities are built with local labor and material. The charity also supports projects through ongoing education programs, curriculums, scholarships, sister programs. Local staff are provided with professional development training to grow as professionals and take on leadership and mentor-ship roles. 

Quick Stats: 

  • 100% of online donations goes directly to their programs on the ground.
  • Teachers enrolled in our teacher training program attend school with 97% frequency
  • Our scholarship students progress to secondary school 2X more than the regional average

This organization was chosen by Mike LeDuc who said, “This organization is important to me because it helps provide an education to children around the world who would be unable to break out of the poverty cycle. I personally know the power of education to improve lives.  I became aware of this cause because my Yoga instructor Tracy Carruth mentioned the book “Promise of a Pencil” during one of her classes. I read this book at it inspired me to help raise money to build a school.”

For more information, visit http://pencilsofpromise.org 

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Judy Johnson, director of product innovation for Dallas-based app developer Bottle Rocket, thinks a lot of people are approaching the idea of the second screen completely wrong.

“Up until now, [second screen] has been mobile,” she said Oct. 20, speaking during a second screen panel at the Digital Hollywood conference. “Now, we’re seeing any screen can be the second screen.”

Read More