Fierce Fun at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards

A Dojo as many of you know is a Japanese word for a place to train in the ‘way’. The ‘way’ is synonymous with the training of the martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Aikido and even for the training of the famous Japanese ultra warriors, known as Samurai.

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It is apt then that the Dojo is referenced in CoderDojo, which is also a place to train in the ‘way’, although this is the way of coding and it is creating today’s new technology Samurai, although I believe they prefer the title Ninja. Either way, you better look around there may be one sitting beside you as you read this blog. This is the clever core element of the CoderDojo movement throughout the world freedom of information. They are essentially freeing up the knowledge of coding and passing on the ‘way’ and bringing about the training of young and some not so young in the arts of the digital world.

CoderDojo was set up in Cork, Ireland in 2011 and has spread all over the globe since that date. It is a grassroots organisation which is volunteer led and sets up clubs in an effort to teach coding in a fun and social environment to young people. There are now in excess of 600 Dojos in over 60 countries, proof of the popularity of the idea. Its purpose is to provide ICT skills to young people of school age which will stand to them throughout their lives. With a skills shortage in ICT this makes perfect sense and can encourage a young mind to pursue a career in this area or even better become creative and design and devise their own response using code and technology to make the world a better place.

Enter the Dragon that is CoderDojo Coolest Projects. This is a showcase event in Dublin’s RDS for the disciples. It encourages young talented coders to compete for a project award, but probably more importantly to demonstrate apps, websites, games and the odd robot or two, that they have themselves developed. It is a great target for Dojo member to aim for and drives a new type of creativity, as past winners exemplify. The event focuses on the core skills which will be needed for tomorrow’s great creative digital innovators and entrepreneurs.

In 2015 the event moved to the RDS, a sign of its growing popularity with 500 entries from all over Europe and over 5000 visitors to the event. For 2016 the organisers are promising an even more dynamic production with a line up of world class speakers and state of the art tech, gaming and education companies in attendance. Fierce Fun Games and Development will be there, to chat to budding gamers and coders. We will also be presenting a great competition to attendees who think they they have the brains outwit the Bag Man, our resident Fierce Fun genius. We invite all comers to take the QuizTime Trivia TIME challenge if you have the guts. Find us on the event map and come over and say hello, you may win a bespoke designed game just for you and your friends or your company.

For more info: http://coolestprojects.org

Fierce Fun Booth at CoderDojo Coolest Project – http://4sq.com/1UQrnbA
(Merrion Road, Dublin, Dublin, DUBLIN 4, IE)

Connacht on a Rugby Rampage

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The fates often conspire to challenge us and confuse us. When the three sister from Greek legend, (that represent the fates), attended the birth of professional Irish rugby in Connacht you would wonder what they had in mind? One sister spins the thread the other allots the fate and the other makes it unturnable. Well Connacht seem to have unravelled the thread and turned it around as only they can do in this wild western province. After all this is the place of other famous fighters who made their own luck such as Queen Maeve and the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. In Connacht people dictate their own fate and Connacht Rugby, proved this as they went on a spectacular rugby rampage in the Guinness Pro 12 championship this year. Defeating all comers and trouncing their old rivals Leinster in the final. They went on to win the Guinness Pro12 title in Murrayfield, Scotland proving you never can write off Connacht rugby.

Curious then back in 2003, the IRFU were all set to do just that, disband Connacht after the team hit financial difficulties and seemed to lose every three matches in four. The IRFU backed down but not out of love for the team or the west. It was primarily a device to prop up the other three provinces, that is using Connacht as a feeder province for the more successful Munster, Leinster and Ulster teams. But Connacht was having none of it, with steady resolve and a young strong team they decided to fight their way back. In 2006 they restored team belief by defeating Glasgow Warriors again in their first season in the Heineken Cup a heartening win against Toulon seems to have created a mystique about Connacht rugby as potential giant killers. Big teams were wary of Connacht, they were capable of unleashing a rugby rampage on the game and turning over the odd giant or two.

Up and under, the relentless rugby rampage of Connacht had not yet hit its peak in the mid noughties. It took time and patience for Connacht to reveal their great intention, that they were were not just there to make up the numbers, they intended to win. An able defeat of the multi million euro team Toulouse in 2013, shocked the rugby pundits and delivered a message to the european rugby elite, Connacht represent a clear and present danger do not underestimate them. This seems to have worked in the team’s favour as all comers give them their best game, and this has honed the Connacht from mere, also rans, to champions.

Todays captain John Muldoon started his professional career, during this turmoil in 2003 at Connacht Rugby, as did many of his team mates. They collectively learned through adversity, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes they flew the only way allowed them, upward. Helped by the inspired vision of the team’s coaches, led by Kiwi legend Pat Lam, and former Ireland international player and local Galway lad, Eric Elwood and Nigel Carolan (Academy manager) they have supported and seeded young talented players bringing us the champions we see today.

The good people of Connacht can thank this talented bunch for keeping the west’s honour intact, and causing the western rugby rampage that we have all enjoyed over the last few months, long may it last.

Connacht Rugby

Generation Z and Social Media

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In a recent U.S. college survey by Fluent marketing and insights, conducted in March 2016, students between the ages of 17-24, (a.k.a. Gen Z)  were asked about the social media platforms they use most. The results are not surprising with Facebook getting a resounding, 67%, Snapchat at 51% and Instagram at 50%. Predictably the Snapchat phenomenon is continuing unabated with the steady rise of this platform worrying the Facebook executives.  33% of respondent stated they have increased usage of Snapchat and no major increase in the use of  Facebook.

However, it was found that Facebook retains its dominant position in the social media sphere, being the favoured platform for friends, family, and brands. But the findings indicate it needs to keep evolving if it is to keep its position as the default social media platform of choice. Snapchat and Instagram appear to be used by Gen Z for tighter close-knit friendships or groups.

The survey’s most interesting findings revealed what the platforms are being primarily used for.  

Facebook is the Daddy. Primarily being used for general digital profiles and regarded as necessary. Regarding advertising on Facebook, respondents indicated they preferred display ads as opposed to news feed ads. Despite Facebook heavily promoting  video lately, respondents still favour using specific video platforms like You Tube.

Snapchat & Instagram: The good buddy platforms. These platforms are used several times a day by the respondents and are used to communicate with close friends and their campus community. They are open to ads on these platforms if they are brief and not pretending to be content which is perceived as disingenuous.  

YouTube & Pinterest are brand central. Respondents follow brands and celebrities on all channels, but they seem to favour interaction with  brands on Youtube and Pinterest. They also like following celebrities on these platforms. Twitter is also popular for following celebs. Respondents expect  ads on these platforms, as they seem more brand oriented.  Adverts that service a need or address issues they care about are usually clicked on. The quality of visual content in Snapchat and You Tube, promote repeat visits, in contrast,  branded stories or celebrity endorsements do not engage respondent enough to buy a product.

Time is of the essence, but video is king.   Most respondents (74%) spend more than two hours a day on social media with just under half  (44%)  spending more than four hours a day. Video is popular on all platforms with You Tube, as expected being the top provider. Two-thirds of respondent watch up to two hours of video a day for entertainment, this may happen over several visits during this time. Unusually live streaming video conversation were not as popular as these figures would suggest, with in-person contact being the preferred method of communication.

 

Snapchat vs Facebook

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We all know Facebook loves your photos and family videos, for what reason, we shudder to think? They are now, yet again I may add, trying to move into the Snapchat space and create a cloned Facebook version of the popular app, we are reliably informed. This is an effort to push their 1.6 billion users to generate more images and videos. Why? Possibly for their data mining operation? The planned app will be compatible with Instagram whom facebook already own and there will also be a video app to feed to your facebook account directly.  

But I hear you say, this has all happened before, and you would be correct in saying that. 

In 2012 Facebook launched the facebook camera almost in sync with its Instagram takeover. It bombed, probably because they realised they were re-inventing the wheel i.e Instagram were already doing it and they were doing it better.

Later in 2012,  they tried Facebook Poke an unashamed copycat of Snapchat, it lacked integrity and people saw through it. It bombed in 2014.

Also in 2014, came Bolt, designed by the Instagram boffins in their secret hideaway lab (probably located under some obscure mountain range). A  secret weapon perhaps? No! It bombed as well,  a year later.

Then came Slingshot another Snapchat clone, a stand alone app requiring no Facebook affiliation at all. It bombed in 2015.

Last but not least, they gave us Riff devised in the bowels of the innovative but not defunct Creative Labs at FB, a remix and editing app, which also bombed like the team that built it.

So we are sad to say the track record does not inspire confidence for Facebook’s attempt to take the Snapchat space. Some would ask, why can’t they leave other successful apps alone? What’s with this megalomaniacal attitude of destroying all potential competition?

Earth to Facebook, competition is good, it drives innovation and just throwing wads of cash at something does not buy success. Hunger drives success that’s where Snapchat came from, that’s where Facebook came from for pity’s sake.

 

How to make Dublin the start-up capital of Europe

Many of the components are already in place to make Dublin the start-up capital of Europe. We believe Dublin (and Ireland) has real identifiable strengths in software development, rather than hardware. Owing to their nature, software businesses require less resources to start and, in general, grow faster. With the right focus and structures, Dublin has the potential to become the focal point for European start-ups looking to target the US and international markets.

We believe the following action points as important to further increase Dublin’s potential as a leading start-up hub:

  • Form a focus group of start-up CEOs to work with the various state bodies and give quick feedback on proposed initiatives
  • Create a virtual start-up package in partnership with Irish multinationals including Microsoft (Azure), Google (App Engine), Amazon (AWS) and Facebook (social platform).
  • Provide a ‘pitching platform’ to increase the number of start-up proposals reaching Irish and international funders and VCs.
  • Create a large open office space area for qualifying startups. If you ask most start-ups, office space is more important than funding during the very early stages. Even with virtual offices, physical teams work faster and more efficiently.

In Ireland and particularly Dublin, there are multiple stakeholders involved in the start-up ecosystem including incubators, banks, VCs, universities, multinationals and government enterprise agencies. Some of these organisations work well together. Others either overlap or do not communicate. This is a key area where the we need to ensure a more efficient start-up ecosystem.

QuizTime Trivia has landed – Try it free on Android now


Fierce Fun Apps

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.quiztimetrivia&hl=en

Download URL  http://fiercefun.com/quiztime_download/download.html

Video  https://youtu.be/qD3wZNSuUo8

QuizTime Trivia Rapid Fire Fast Paced Quiz

Quizzes, like University Challenge, Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, have been tricking us with trivia, puzzling us with puzzles and probing our knowledge on the most obscure topics you can find, and we never grow tired of it. The fact is we love it. But why?  Quizzes are not new, they are the age old test of acquired knowledge. Well here at Fierce Fun we want to offer something new to the genre, with our new generation trivia sensation, QuizTime Trivia. It offers the player endless trivia quiz fun and is the fastest game online to test your trivia knowledge. If you are a fan of trivia quiz games and want to test your knowledge? Then look no further and try this, it never gets dull.

The Quiz reflects the highest form of human achievement.

So why is the quiz, such an essential part of the human condition?  People are natural exhibitionists and posers when it comes to what they know (or think they know) and seek the validation of their intellect by their peers. This is our basic competitive nature and is one of our unique human traits. I see the quiz and quizzes in general as the zenith of human development and it is a key ingredient in what separates us from the animals.

Some say that our ability to manage fire, speak, develop agriculture, write, and cooperate are the benchmarks for human evolution. These are indeed great achievements. But I say the quiz is our greatest. One of the most important human achievements is the pursuit of knowledge and the retrieval of it when needed. This along with our imagination, which we may use to create scenarios for our challenges is unique to humans, and has allowed us to make sense of our world and find answers to all the problems that assail us as a species.

 Origins of the Quiz

So what is the origin of the Quiz? Testing of ability has always been a feature of human society. The testing of knowledge, was common in early civilisations as far apart as Ancient Egypt in the Mediterranean to the Han dynasty in China.Most ancient societies offered education to certain members of the populace and passing tests of knowledge was a way of advancing yourself in society, just as it is today. Testing and examination through the ages came under a variety of names but the term quiz is relatively new. The use of the word Quiz for an intelligence test was first recorded in mid 19th century, when first used as a verb for interrogate. Later in that century it came to mean what it does today, i.e. an entertainment based on a testing of someone’s knowledge.

Earlier uses of the word conveyed that of an odd or eccentric person, as used by the English novelist, Fanny Burney  in a diary entry by her in 1782. The most interesting origin theory of the word is a Dublin tall tale, whereby the Impresario Richard Daly, bet he could introduce an unknown and nonsensical word to the English language and let the public decide its meaning within 48 hours. He had people graffiti the word all over the city and in two days it was the talk of the town and entered the English language. Whether or not the meaning was agreed upon by the Dubliners of the day is unclear but the meaning eventually evolved into the Quiz, we understand today.

Change of use.

How has the quiz changed over the years. Initially a parlor games for the middle classes it eventually gained respectability, when it was used as the basis for the IQ test. Intelligence Quotient or IQ as we more commonly know it, was devised to measure the ratio of the mental age of a person to their actual age. This was carried out by what came to be known as Mensa. Also known as the international high IQ society, Mensa, provide a forum for people of high intelligence, as judged by their quiz or test, to become members and to show off to each other, seriously, they do.

So the quiz had attracted the super brainy people. Mensa was set up in 1946 and was advertised as a club for those with high IQ’s, no dummies need apply. It was was set up by a British psychologist named Cyril Burt. The problem with Burt was that he was a eugenicist, meaning he believed intelligence was hereditary and that society could enhance the human race by allowing the brightest and best to breed. Eugenics had it roots in the selective breeding movements, popular at the time in Germany and Sweden. So is that why he set up this social club? For the intelligentsia to copulate? Possibly, but the interbreeding of the ruling Royal families of Europe over centuries, never produced one Einstein. So the evidence suggests it is codswallop. Mensa now say they are a social club of intelligent friends.

So dont worry if you cannot get into Mensa, all intelligence can be learned and help is at hand with QuizTime Trivia. This quiz is ready to take your brain on a rapidly moving roller coaster ride of unparallelled dimensions. You will be examined on your knowledge of, news, sports, music ,films, history, science, celebrities and much more. There are 150 levels of ultra fast rapid fire rounds. You will have to react with speed dexterity and wit, and every level you climb will get just a little bit more difficult. QuizTime Trivia takes no prisoners. Survive this and a Mensa test will be a walk in the park. Now you too can show off, take on the Bag Man in QuizTime Trivia.

When you reach the top level in QuizTime Trivia you too will believe, the Quiz is the highest form of human achievement.

 

The Olympic Gamers and E-sports

The Olympic Gamers

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The Olympics games for gamers is near at hand my friends. Not a separate Olympic Games but the actual one. Remember you heard it first here at FierceFun.Com. While Game developers like us at Fierce Fun have tried to emulate the excitement of live sports with our ground breaking animations and technology, check out our Rugby Rampage game, by the way. We never thought that the games themselves could become a sporting competition. But then when one thinks of it. Why not? Many seemingly strange pursuits have become Olympics sports over the years of its existence. I was surprised to see the following being regarded as feats of herculean effort.

Walking, I mean come on almost everyone, fortunate enough to have full use of their legs can walk, how is that a sport? Trampoline jumping, that’s just fun, so very dubious in my eyes. Synchronised swimming, hard yes, but a sport? I don’t think so. Roller Hockey, like ice hockey, but on wheels. Sounds a bit contrived. Live Pigeon Shooting, now that’s just wrong, at least us gamers only shoot at pixels. And what about this extended list which I will try not to pick apart as their combined silliness speaks for itself, Obstacle swimming, Tug of War, Le Canne (cane fencing), Club swinging, and Beach Volleyball. Oh sorry my mistake Beach Volleyball is actually very acceptable in my eyes.

Ok so anything can potentially become an Olympic sport with the right amount of money and pressure, I imagine. So next thing we need to do is explore the concept of the Gamer as an Athlete. Athletes are normally ultra-healthy. They need perseverance, fitness, stamina, single mindedness and determination. In fact athletes seem to be the complete opposite of gamers. Are not gamers anaemic, obese, house bound nerds that cannot even get up to make food, hence the need for copious amounts of take outs, which compounds the problem with regard to fitness. Well not necessarily. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes these days. The demographic has changed. “People of all ages play video games. There is no longer a ‘stereotype game player,’ but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor.” —Jason Allaire, Ph.D., Psychology, North Carolina State University and co-director of the Gains through Gaming Lab. In fact research has shown there is nearly an equal split in gender terms with today’s gamers. Yes guys the fairer sex likes gaming just like you do.

Okay, after discounting the stereotype view of gamers, let us look at the facts – Gamers do possess stamina as anyone who has done a 24 hour marathon session of gaming would know. In my case it was, GTA followed by HALO 4 then a few hours of Assassin's Creed. Gamers are dedicated for the same reason as athletes. They have determination to win at all odds, they are definitely single minded and with regard to fitness they may possess a unique dexterity and hand to eye coordination that is unique to their game playing. In other words they are very fit for performing in the gamer’s world or fit for purpose.

E-sports – As far back as 2015 E-sport has been sowing the seeds for its inclusion at some level in the Olympics games of the future. Initially a South Korean idea, this was an initiative brought about by their highly evolved E-sports network, the South Korean International e-Sports Federation (IeSF). But the critical event that points to E-sports becoming more mainstream is that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has agreed to look at the idea of competitive e gaming as a sporting activity. This is monumental, we all know how EA and other developers use the world of sports as a template for their games, but now the games themselves will be the sport.

So this is the playing field at the moment, excuse the pun, there is some interest by some reputable sporting bodies in providing a competitive sporting platform for E-sports. But the IOC , International Olympic Committee, are still some way away from allowing us gamers into those hallowed halls of Olympic respectability. But favourably, the gaming community has shown, they can host massive events and run them in a fair and professional manner such as the World Cyber Games (WCG) an international E-sport event in South Korea which attracted pro gamers from across the planet. Soon pro gamers will become the new elite sports men and women of this E-sports world. And just as pro athletes inspire amateurs in their chosen field. Pro gamers, will inspire ordinary gamers to go pro.

BOOT CAMP FOR THE BRAIN

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‘It’s a boot camp for the brain, well that’s the way I like to look at it’ said my good friend Donal as we both played the pre-release version of the Big Bad Quiz. He is right about that if you like questions about trivia and a good cerebral work out take up the challenge and register now for the free apps trivia download or sign up on our facebook page Big Bad Quiz.

As part of the Fierce Fun family of games this free trivia app promises to raise the bar of mobile trivia games worldwide. Big Bad Quiz gives you questions and answers, so whether you have been a fan of quizzes such trivial pursuit,  jeopardy, mastermind or an egg head or even a university challenger there are questions here to test your knowledge and to suit all tastes. The random selection of  competitive trivia questions is a challenge to test all ranks of quiz masters and remember this is a free apps trivia game.        

So what are the defining and differentiating characteristics of this fascinating new trivia quiz game?  It is not just The Bag Man with his razor sharp repartee. Other trivia games may have that. It is not the fact that he will guide you and encourage you if you deserve it. Or that if you don’t deserve it he will cut you down to size. It is not even the quiz itself extending over a fuller range of topics than most others including celebs trivia, sports trivia,  history trivia, movie trivia  places trivia, tech trivia, to name a few.

The main differentiating characteristic of this trivia game is – None of the above, this game is different because of the heightened level of competition, it revels in it. Or should I say The Bag Man revels in it. He has thrown down the gauntlet to quiz masters around the globe. Are you clued in or clued out?  Find out! Vindicate yourself, we insist upon it.

Take on the Bag Man and stand out as a quiz master with no fear. But do not unduly fear the Bag Man, it is true, he does not suffer fools lightly, but he has his heart in the right place. You will live to fight another day, with more questions for you to answer, more risks to take and more trivia quiz magic to enjoy. See how high can you go? Can you hit the high score table, will you be a global ranked numero uno? Can you handle the boot camp for the brain?

Try and see, believe it or not it is actually free.

http://apps.facebook.com/bigbadquizgame/

Free to Play (F2P)

 

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Free to play (F2P)  is the only way or that is what we like to say here at Fierce Fun. Bag Man here to acquaint you with the best in F2P game in trivia today. Let just say I am the compere with the severe stare or if you could see under my bag ..what  wondrous sight you would see. Sorry I dont want to be vainglorious, but have you checked out the size of my bag, well this may give you an indication of the size of my head and continue down that avenue and yes it implies I have an enormous brain.  Ok, ok self praise is no praise, I know that, but I dont know who said that? Let me jot that down as a quiz question for future versions of Big Bad Quiz, the best trivia quiz game for free for your smartphone or tablet, designed with your smart self in mind.

Freemium
Some say the huge popularity of free to play games is in the ease and speed that you can download them. To try our games there is no long winded typing in of the credit card number or hoping you have money in your paypal account or hoping the student grant or wages have been put into your debit card account. No those days are over my friend. This is free to play. But nothing is free I hear you say, but Bag Man says yes the best things in life are free and one of them is Big Bad Quiz. Ok, it is freemium, so where is the catch with freemium games? Ok, Fierce Fun, we use the freemium model. We believe that choice is the key to a good user experience when considering moving into the game more deeply. With a good game you should not feel the monetisation mechanics. (F2P) games like Fierce Funs Big Bad Quiz,  Supercell’s Clash of Clans, King’s Candy Crush Saga are hugely popular despite having some in app purchases. But players who demand more are increasingly  likely  to invest a small amount of cash to heighten their gaming experience. After all gamers invest a lot of time  playing their favourite games and is not time, the most precious commodity we have, as humans.?   Yes Bag Man is H-U-M-A-N.

Ok I believe, some people are down in the mouth about freemium, but that is only if the user experience does not warrant the investment. Here at Fierce Fun, we believe in empowering our players, and bringing them back again and again and that is why we have such modest monetisation expectations. But it is up to you the gamer to choose stay put, or pay to play a little harder.

Out of your house into your phone
Gaming online, it seems to me has shifted locations in the last few years. And it is only reasonable that with the incredible smartphones and tablets available today, it makes perfect sense to use these little gadgets to play your favourite game. This saves you the bother of buying big consoles and being tied to the living room or bedroom just to enjoy the thrill of a good gaming experience. This doesn’t mean you cannot share the experience, with more connected devices such as smartphones and tablets, you can play solo or with others anywhere.

F2P The biggest game in town
Okay its time for numbers, this one is good, 16 of the top grossing iPhone apps ( not just in the games section) in the USA are freemium games and this set to increase ongoing. Nickelodeon has conducted  research to suggest that 34% of children under 11 years of age, have tablets. Tablets are being used in schools as learning devices and replacing copybooks. The new kids on the block will be the swipe generation. The swipe generation want to move in and out of the digital and real world with ease and so this is being made possible. We now have many toys inspired by games, and soon we will have theme parks as well. We also have games inspired by toys for example Lego now has many games on the shelf. They even have games that interact in real time with their Legoland theme parks.

Games and social media
There is a great sense of sharing when you use your game in tandem with your social media accounts. Fierce Funs Big Bad quiz allows you do this and interact with your Facebook account and even encourages you to log in with Facebook. This along with all the great feature which are yours to download free, will I am sure bring you back repeatedly to me the Bag Man, compere of comperes and brain to the gods.

 

 

Tempting us with an Apple – One way Apple are targeting the Android user.

smartphones

Is the Apple attempt to coax Android users to the iphone/pad a bit cheeky? Using their Move to iOS for Android app, makes this now possible. The reasonable man would say Apple are just giving new or potential Apple customers an easier way to change from Android to Apple? The unreasonable man would say encroachment on the competition smacks of desperation.

Whatever the answer, it is not the only Apple made App that will be accessing their main competitors operating system as next year they plan to launch Apple music on Android. But rest assured mobile games fans Fierce Fun will provide the best range in mobile entertainment on the widest range of OSes.

Move to iOS9

The Move to iOS9 is a free download available on the Google Play store, and it makes it easier for people who want to change device to bring their data with them. You will need both an Android and iOS device to complete the switch process.

The Move to iOS App will allow the existing Android user move all their precious files to the iOS ecosystem. This will include files containing your photos, your calendar, your message files, your contacts and even your email accounts. So how does it work in practice? Your new Iphone or Ipad device will need to set up a secure Wi-Fi network when prompted by the App you can then go on to download all that precious, never to be found again data that for some reason you have been carting around on your phone for years. Yes I do that too.

So all this begs the question, why would one want to switch to Apple? Or why Apple feel they must smooth out the switching process with this new App. Just to let you know, here at Fierce Fun we ensure our mobile games run beautifully on both OSes. But in reality, the smartphone market has been regenerating itself frantically with upgrade after upgrade all through 2014 and 2015. Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, HTC One M9 and LG G4 are state of the art hardware and represent each of the named company’s flagship smartphone. Apple in response have given us the its new iPhone 6S and S6 Plus and a new ecosystem i0S9.

Statistics for worldwide sales on smartphones first quarter 2015 –

Table 1

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 1Q15 (Thousands of Units)

Company 1Q15Units 1Q15 Market Share (%) 1Q14Units 1Q14 Market Share (%)
Samsung 81,123 24.2 85,507 30.4
Apple 60,177 17.9 43,062 15.3
Lenovo* 18,888 5.6 16,721 5.9
Huawei 18,102 5.4 13,450 4.8
LG Electronics 15,428 4.6 11,200 4.0
Others 142,335.6 42.4 111,697.8 39.7
Total 336,054.4 100.0 281,636.8 100.0

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

All do what they say on the tin, all perform little miracles for us every day that would have seemed like science fiction to us 20 or even 10 years ago. So apart from sales figures the question seems to be what smartphone pushes your buttons and not as I had previously thought, who makes the better smartphone?

What Smartphone pushes your buttons?

I have my own sentimental preference for Nokia, a Scandinavian toilet and kitchen roll maker turned tech world leader, just that alone, will always get my vote. I heard on the Grapevine that Nokia were flirting with Android systems some time ago and liked it, but since the Microsoft corporation got wind of this treachery, that little dalliance became history. Which is a pity because as I said Nokia will always have a special place in my top pocket. Blackberry also should be given our respect for holding out in the face of insurmountable odds, that is, the obvious popularity of touchscreen technology, almost the the brink of bankruptcy. A friend in Capetown informed me,  they were still moving Blackberrys in healthy numbers in South Africa until 2013, but even there, now in 2015, the touch screen has all but leveled that field. They had it all once, however they gave away their advantage, but I am glad to hear that they may have embraced Android in tandem with developing some new technology for themselves,  as to go it alone can becoming very lonely.

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Okay the above title is an unfortunate and bloody saying but proof of the pudding, another awful phrase is that two great tech companies fire at the same target, you and me, the customer, but come up with completely different creatures essentially doing the same thing. I speak of course of Samsung and Apple. What Apple Iphone and Samsung Android phones have shown us is that “there is more than one way to skin a cat”.Both have flagship phones that are exceptional and I could not favour one above the other. My only buying decision would be price and here Samsung win over Apple nine times out of ten.

I use a Samsung Galaxy, my partner uses an Apple Iphone, I like both, and would not care if I changed, she only likes her Iphone, she is in love with her Iphone, and would never change, even if she received a free Android. This is cultism which is an intrinsic part of the Apple brand and is to be commended but also ridiculed at every turn. I would not find it hard to switch from one to the other and have done so in the past, dumping an early Apple PC for a far better and cheaper Dell version. It is easy if you do not buy into the cult of Apple, after all they are not the Kardashians.

Summary

The devil seems to be in the detail, the small differences of functionality that may appear on the OS of your phone and not the other. But both OSes have phenomenal capability and this is a indication of how far technologically the smartphone has evolved. Our personal preferences may impact on the phone we choose, maybe because of the interplay with the phone, how it feels in the hand and where certain buttons are positioned. But also our personal preference for which company we would like to entrust our information. This will increasingly play a part in our choice.

Apple and Google seem to be two heads of the one beast but they do have different agendas and see the world through different lenses. This is something to consider when choosing your hardware and software products in phones PC or cloud services. You must ask yourself with whom do I trust with my digital existence?