Useful Resources

8 Tips to Design Apps for Android Screens

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

8 Tips to Design Apps for Android Screens

Is it really difficult to create apps specifically meant for Android devices? Is Android being an “open source” platform a concern for app developers owing to which safe and secure apps seem to be out of Android’s dictionary? A lot of developers and competitors believe that the open source is a cause of concern especially when it becomes the source of costly and time consuming app development. Nobody can deny the fact that developing apps for Android is indeed a challenging affair, but it is not secure or it is too difficult would be exaggerating the matter. There are developers who vouch for the fact, that though it is difficult and challenging, it is one of the best platforms to develop an app for. It is a robust ecosystem, but the only hitch is that you should know the trick of the trade. Here are 8 tips that might just help you design an app for Android screens. Use Relative References An app developer should always maintain relative references when trying to create an app specifically for Android screens. It is important to understand that Android does not understand or comprehend absolute references. A relative layout view group container is the perfect solution for the apps that you will plan to develop using Android platform. The whole issue with absolute layout view group container is that it works best for old Android devices that run on cupcake platform. Avoid Hard Coding Image Sizes As an app designer and developer, try avoiding hard coding the image sizes. Instead of giving them the specifics, try using codes like wrap_ content or match_parent which can match the dimensions of the image in a much better way. With wrap_content you will see that the image and its contents are resized on their own. With match_parent you will need to specify a size which will be the benchmark for resizing. Define Values of DIP If you are specifying actual values for the dimensions of the images, try to use density independent pixels instead of mentioning the pixel size. This has been introduced on Android SDK to perfect the dimensions of your images. With this DIP being specified, you can always gain optimal resolutions and sizes of your images on Android based devices. You would never have to deal with specific resolutions or densities. You can easily play in the world of generalized solutions. Using Resource Folders Have you tried scaling Bitmaps for your app? You would see that scaling and perfecting a bitmap can become a strangulating affair. With Android, there is a feature that allows you to define the various resources like density etc. specifically for the various bitmaps. All you need to do is use the resource folders and recreate a bitmap atmosphere. Res/<resources_name>-<config_qualifier> is the code that you would need to use to create resource folder and place the specific resources within these folders. The resource folders would be called in when the app begins and thus the various resources would be specified. You can define as many resources as you want using this tool. Use XML Shapes Here is yet another tip to work with Android apps. Try creating XML based drawables for the Android screens instead of hitting on custom shapes that you might get easily. This approach not just reduces the number of bitmaps and hence the resolution required for the screen, but also lowers the use of overheads and custom assets. This in short helps you reduce the size of the Android SDK, and thus fastens the app without any hiccups. 9 Patch Bubbles Instead of creating...

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What Is More Sought After: Native or Web Application

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

What Is More Sought After: Native or Web Application

The evolution of Smartphones has introduced mobile applications as a harmonious whole. Ever since its emergence, the mobile application development has amazingly gathered the attention of innumerable developers across the world. Today, we have myriads of mobile applications in the app stores that are used by the consumers to perform high end complex or day-to-day activities with a flair. Observing their growing popularity, it can be said that mobile is dominant in every way. For the folks, who want to develop an application either for promoting their businesses or increasing their productivity, it is essential to thoroughly research. Since, developing a mobile application is not an easy task, it is advisable to perform elaborate research and planning before diving into the development process. An application development requires several processes including, • Basic idea of app, • Creating a plan for app, • Defining the app design, • Developing the app using programming language and other development tools, • Testing the app for bugs and other vulnerabilities, • After executing all these steps successfully, the developed application is deployed over suitable mobile devices. Is there something missing? Yes, the most important thing that is needed to be decided even before executing any of the above-mentioned application development stages, and it is to choose between a native app or web app for defining an approach for creating and deploying the application. Native Application: These are specifically designed for a particular mobile device. Users can download it from the dedicated app store like Google Play store for Android applications and Apple App Store for iOS applications. Mobile Web Application: these Internet-enabled apps run in the device’s web browser. Users can execute these applications without downloading them on their mobile devices. Let’s ponder into the benefits and pitfalls of both native and web app; and consider their behavior under certain factors. 1. How the rapidly increasing diverse mobile devices can affect your choice If we consider the mobile platforms, obviously the native applications will be a preferable choice. The development factors would be user interface fluency, screen size, touch gestures and more. Those who are interested in creating an Android or iOS application are advised to get their hands on the Java or Objective-C respectively. The upcoming Samsung Tizen platform will allow one to develop an app in HTML5. Choosing between the two options of web or native primarily depends on your requirements. For instance, there is no need of creating a native location based application for a mobile platform, when you already have one that identifies and indicates the empty parking spots. Hence, it can be said that instead of treating the web apps and native apps as a counterpart, developers must reap the benefits of both the approaches by integrating the functionalities of both into one software. For example, Facebook offers an app to its users for a convenient access and facilitates mobile users including (iOS, Windows Phones, and Android) with Facebook Messenger and other mobile apps for enhanced mobile experience. 2. Which one offers more accessibility Both Native and web applications have different kind of accessibility. If we consider web application, it will integrate only limited native features of a device and it can be accessed in a browser on a mobile device, whereas native applications are standalone entity, which are completely compatible with the native features and hardware of a mobile device. However, unlike web applications that get updated on its own, users are required to update their native applications from time to time. Thus, both of them have some pros and cons, it’s hard to choose one until...

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Typography Inspiration: Using Typography For Interior Design

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

Typography Inspiration: Using Typography For Interior Design

There is a reason that designers tend to be obsessed with typography, whether they are involved in graphic or interior designing industries. The combination of words and a visual medium can be a powerful one. For that reason, many people will seek out inspiration using typography for their own designs, including interior. Having such a wonderful fountain for creative inspiration is good for anyone. Here are some examples of typography brought to life in different rooms. 1. Coffee Shop Sign Via Pinterest This is such a cool idea, and so simple. Rather than a traditional sign, they have used basic typography for a custom, clean looking, but dynamic business sign. This might not technically count as an ‘interior’, but I thought it belonged on the list. If only to show how clever even the smallest touches can be when typeface was the initial inspiration. Chalk Backgrounds Via serialthriller.com I have seen chalk paint used on walls for children, and occasionally in spaces like living rooms in order to make household lists. But this was a new idea using an old concept that was really cool. You can use chalk boards or paint for more than just practical reasons… they can also be decorative. The different styles of font really make these special, and there is something early-America vintage about the overall look. Like something you would see advertising a traveling carnival. Since you can erase and change it, this makes a great and adaptive form of design. Typewriter and Type Via Houzz These two (the typewriter on the table and the type on the wall) create an awesome combination! COATRACK Via contraforma.com Who says you have to be subtle? This is a ridiculous cute, if somewhat cheeky, coatrack that says exactly what it is while being just as functional as any other. I can only imagine that passing by this every day would cause a certain amount of wry amusement, no matter how long you owned it. Though the price is pretty steep, it is a cool idea that anyone with a bit of wood or metal working experience could probably expand on. Love Pillows Via ideastosteal.com All you need is love, right? Having some throw pillows around can also be helpful. Combine the two and you have a great and simple way of adding a bit of panache to a room. This is a great compilation of various styles of love pillows with different fonts. Eye Charts Cushion Via Houzz Here’s another awesome typography cushion. Not only it is stylish, it also a 3D! The 3-D effect is achieved through anaglyph printing Scrabble Tiles Found at Etsy.com A lot of people have been doing this lately, so I think it could officially be titled a trend. But what makes this so great is how simple it would be to put together. A couple of equal sized slats of wood, some stencils and paint, and you will be ready to mount them anywhere. This would be such a cute idea for a child or teen’s room, as well. Typography Poster Via Susieharrisblog.com Back to the wall art topic, here’s another awesome idea for you: A typography-based post that motivates. It looks like it’s hand-written and thus creates such a strong personal message. Wall Monograms Found at ElegantRooms.com Super classy way to decorate a small space, right here. These utilize traditional looking monograms and place them right onto the wall with sweeping letters. You could do this with any typeface, but there is no denying how good this fancier style looks. Type Chair Via Pinterest You can put the typeface...

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10 Of The Best Apps For Graphic Designers On IOS

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

10 Of The Best Apps For Graphic Designers On IOS

No matter where inspiration strikes every graphic designer can nowadays take note and make the most of it. The advent of amazing apps and the increasing power of mobile phone processors mean that the average graphic designer has a whole range of great software and tools no matter where they are. We’re going to take a look at some of the great apps that are available for that graphic designer’s favourite, the Apple iPad. Of course, these apps will also work on an iPhone too – so there are plenty of options no matter what Apple device you have. These apps allow people to take note and develop their graphic design ideas on the go in a manner that was once only available on quite powerful computers – amazing what a tablet can do. It’s always good to be up to date with the best apps available currently and that’s what we’re going to take a look at now. Adobe Ideas Adobe Ideas works wonderfully with the designer’s best friend – Adobe Illustrator. The app allows you to work on vectors on the go and in a multi-coloured manner. The app itself is pressure sensitive, which is a very exciting addition. The app is currently available on Apple’s AppStore and is the perfect addition for drawing on the go. Beware that uploading and downloading files can be quite data heavy. Whatthefont Aside from the interesting name, this app is a very useful one for the always on graphic designer. It allows you to simply take a photo of a font and then the app will identify it for you, meaning you’ll be able to use it when needs be, not matter where the need strikes you. FontBook The app is constantly updated with new fonts from 134 different international foundries. There are almost 750,000 font types on there and a variety of ways with which to find them – searches by year, designer, foundry, genre, style and period are all available among others. It’s a quite comprehensive list of fonts that should keep even the best designers interested for the long haul. Design Duet It’s not really possible to carry all your work with you on your phone or tablet – this is what design duet is for. If you’re caught short without a Photoshop image you can simply use the app to connect to your desktop and download it. You can’t edit the image via the app, but it’s ideal for showcasing if it’s suddenly required. Adobe Kuler Yes, it’s another Adobe app, but it’s certainly one worth having if you ask us. Kuler allows you to simply extract colours from images and will create a palate around the extracted colour. It also works with images in your library too, meaning you can extract and create colour wheels from images there also. It’s a great app and one a lot of graphic designers would profess that they can’t live without. Skitch Owned by Evernote and a great tool for taking notes, Skitch is a fantastic way to take notes in a variety of manners. Write down information on photos, images or elsewhere and save them to the cloud. The app is also part of the Evernote family, which means not only is it of very high quality, but there’s a smorgasbord of other options to complement it. The app’s also free – which is always a great thing if you ask us at Fusewave. Sketchbook Mobile A great app for painting and drawing, Sketchbook Mobile has a number of fantastic options for designers including layers, a range of...

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20 Amazing WordPress Themes for 2014

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

20 Amazing WordPress Themes for 2014

Last year was a big year for both WordPress theme developers as well as end users. Looking back over the trends, it’s safe to say that 2014 is going to be another great year. Looking for good WordPress themes used to be difficult, but there are plenty of premium ones available now. You can find free WordPress themes as well as premium paid themes that offer more functionality. Below you’ll find that we picked some themes to watch out for in this upcoming year. You will notice, keeping up with the web design trends, that the majority of the themes listed below are responsive themes. The benefit to having a responsive WordPress theme is how they automatically adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions. Are you ready? Let’s begin. AVADA Avada was released quite some time ago, but continues to be one of the most popular themes currently available for WordPress. There have been over 50,000 satisfied users download the theme and use it for their WordPress based site. It offers unlimited color and font options as well as premium sliders and several different header designs. Enfold Enfold was created by the well known wordpress themes author, Kriesi. This theme has been downloaded well over 18,000 times and is very flexible. It’s a clean designed theme and fully responsive. Enfold includes 18 predefined skins as well as the ability to create your own. X – The Ultimate WordPress Theme WordPress “X” Theme was released in November 2013 and is sure to be a big hit this year! Theme X is great for those who love clean design and a typography. It includes well over 600 Google fonts and an easy to use pagebuilder called Visual Composer. Salient Salient was created by ThemeNectar and is available on ThemeForest. The theme features an easy to use drag & drop page builder and is both responsive and retina ready. Salient has been downloaded well over 10,000 times already and is going to be a theme to watch out for in 2014. Another huge benefit is the easy to use shortcode generator and WooCommerce integration. The7 Don’t let the simple name full you, The7 WordPress theme is full of premium features! It is a responsive and easy to use theme. Similar to the Chamelion theme, it is very customizable. The7 includes 4 header layouts, 6 skins, 600+ fonts, and multiple background and color selections. It has been downloaded over 5,000 times and is a great theme to choose this year. Porto Porto was another best-seller last year and will continue to be in 2014. It is fully responsive and built upon the well respected Bootstrap 3. Porto includes unlimited color options as well as multiple header and footer options. Be sure to check out other themes by the author, Crivos. Porto also includes an optional one page parallax template. Brooklyn Brooklyn is a one page multi-purpose theme created by UnitedThemes last year. It features a very easy to use shortcode builder and unlimited parallax background support. Brooklyn includes a dark and light header/footer selection and over 650+ Google fonts. If you’re looking for a well designed parallax theme this is it! Impreza Impreza hasn’t been available for very long but is a very strong contender for this year! Impreza is sure to.. impress! It is retina ready and fully responsive. Impreza also fully supports WooCommerce and is a good option for those looking to create an online store powered by WordPress. Like many other popular themes, it includes an easy to use page-builder. Elision Elision was released in December 2013 and has quickly...

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Exclusive Icon Pack From Freepik

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

Exclusive Icon Pack From Freepik

Are you looking for DIY icons? Sometimes it’s difficult to find full packs on the same topic, but today we bring you an awesome iconset that Freepik has prepared for us. This is 300 icons DIY, masonry, painting, carpentry, etc., in two versions: full and stroke. Download it now and enjoy! And, if you need more free graphic resources about DIY, look for them on Freepik. You will find thousands of images, vectors, and PSD about hundreds of...

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