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Archive for November 2012

Bottle Rocket Takes Home Top Honors at Variety Entertainment App Awards

Variety is the leading publication for business entertainment news, recognized and respected throughout the world of show business. Yesterday, Variety hosted the first annual Entertainment App Conference & Awards to recognize the best apps in the entertainment industry and the companies that built them.

An esteemed panel of judges selected the winners based on the innovation, design, usability and overall experience of the app. We are thrilled to announce we won two awards last night – Mobile Innovation Award for Social TV App and Entertainment App Developer of the Year.

Discovery Channel HD took the top spot for the Mobile Innovation Award for a Social TV App, which recognized the app that expanded the overall Social TV experience for content owners, consumers and advertisers. Using Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, the Discovery Channel HD app enables your device to identify the exact point in the episode you are watching and push relevant content to you – including what is trending on Twitter. This technology works whether you are watching live or catching up on recorded episodes.

We are also proud winners of the much-coveted Entertainment App Developer of the Year award. This award recognizes the company that displays overall excellence in development, including cross-platform delivery, UX, social media, payments and technology.

We could not have won this award without our dedicated employees and remarkable clients. We look forward to what the future holds in 2013.

Thank you for you support along the way!

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Why Designing with a Specific Platform in Mind is Important

                            

Why is it important to design with a specific platform in mind? The simple answer is because your users will notice the difference. It is easy for users to recognize when an app is built with a specific platform in mind and is simply ported over to another platform. However, when the design blends into the device seamlessly the user interface is intuitive and goes unnoticed. It just feels right!

By conforming to the design standards of a specific platform, you allow the user to effortless use the app as it was intended and do not let the interaction with the device distract from the app mission statement, the engaging content or your brand.

To further the point, here are two (of many) design differences between iOS and Android to consider.

  • Navigation - iPhone and iPad users are used to tab icons and on-screen back buttons to navigate through the app. However, Android users expect action bars coupled with dedicated back and menu buttons that are built into the hardware. The structure of apps can also be different. For example, iOS apps are often broken into specific sections using tab icons. Android apps are less structured and allow users to navigate from screen to screen more like a web page.
  • Look and Feel - Android has a native look and feel (especially since the release of Ice Cream Sandwich) of solid, simple colors and wide-open areas. The buttons and icons often appear to float with no visible bounding box. iOS apps tend to use more detailed textures and skeuomorphic design elements to enhance the user experience. A great of example of this is demonstrated in the visual depiction of a camera lens snapping closed when a picture is taken in the Camera app on iOS.

Both Google and Apple have well-documented guidelines and principles to help you design a superlative user interface and experience as it relates to their operating system. To learn more, check out the links below…

Google Design Principles

Apple Design Strategies & Guidelines

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Want To Get Paid for Testing Cool Apps? We Need Your Help!

We are creating a group of mobile users in the Dallas area to participate in usability testing and market research for the apps we develop in partnership with our clients. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old, own and use an iOS or Android device, and be able to come to our offices in Addison during business hours.

Once an app is ready to be tested, we will send the group a message with a short survey to gauge the interest level and relevance. The qualifications for a particular test will depend on each project individually. The people who qualify will be contacted to set up a time to test the app and will receive $100 compensation for their time.

If this sounds intriguing to you, join the group by filling out our brief questionnaire. We simply need your name and contact information to get started and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon gift card. Don’t wait too long, the gift card sweepstakes ends on December 31, 2012.

Also, please help us spread the word! Share this information with your Dallas family and friends. We thank you in advance for your help in shaping our groundbreaking apps and the mobile industry! 

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Bottle Rocket Apps Earns a Spot on the Dallas 100 List

Dallas 100 is an annual awards program that identifies and honors the 100 fastest growing privately held companies in the Dallas Metroplex. Whether the company is three years old and has seen rapid growth, or 25 years old and recently got a boost in sales, these companies and their leaders have interesting ideas about how to run and grow a business. To qualify for the Dallas 100, a company must meet a number of criteria based on its legal status, location, sales history, credit report, and character. 

Founded by Southern Methodist University’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in 1990, Dallas 100 is a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of the emerging businesses North Texas. The companies honored in 2012 have made significant contributions to the area by generating jobs, increasing the tax base and fostering North Texas’ reputation as a premier economic development center.

We are honored to find ourselves on the Dallas 100 list as the #20 fasting growing company in the Metroplex. Last night, Calvin Carter, our Founder and President joined the other Dallas entrepreneurs recognized by the Dallas 100 at an awards ceremony and banquet to celebrate their hard work for the Dallas economy.

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Thruster Releases It’s Fred! Game Based on The Popular Nickelodeon Series

Hey! It’s Fred! Join YouTube sensation Fred Figglehorn in this hilarious 3D app adventure to defeat the evil Kevin and win the love of the beautiful Judy.

With over 1 million YouTube subscribers and 951 million views, Fred Figglehorn became a viral YouTube sensation. As the first channel to gain 1 million subscribers, Fred also became a movie franchise and an animated series on Nickelodeon.

Throughout the game, music notes are hidden around Fred’s living room, garage and backyard.  Find and collect them all to face Kevin in the ultimate dance off for Judy’s affection.  Collecting the music notes might seem like a simple task, yet proves to be difficult when you encounter run away lawnmowers, super bounce couches, crazy “squirrels”, chainsaws, jetpacks and other distractors during his quest to find and collect all the notes.

It’s Fred! contains over 30 objectives in both the main quest and ongoing collection quests, captures photos of your craziest moments so you can share with your friends, and allows you to collect “Taters” to buy t-shits and props that can be added to Fred’s house.

It’s Fred! is now available on iTunes for both iPhone and iPad

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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.”

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