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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Infinitely scalable Google Play badge

Time to give a little something back to the community in the form of a Google Play badge that is infinitely scalable (in other words, it is a vector version).

Even though Google is one of the most recognised brands on the planet they are actually pretty terrible at managing their branding and disseminating the necessary files to the developer community to use for consistent branding (at least compared to the likes of Apple) ... and so as we were creating the artwork for a pull-up print banner (850mm x 2000mm in size) and needed a resizable "Get it on Google Play" badge that could scale up to half the width of the banner, it was nowhere to be had.

Sure, Google Play have a developer resource page that lets you create the various badges, but they only ever output as PNG files that look absolutely terrible at large size.

We had the same problem a few years ago when creating signage for our old office that needed a huge Google logo (we were doing SEO at the time).

So, we created a scalable version of the "Get it on Google Play" badge by pulling together a number of different resources. Any developers or publishers needing to create large artwork (for print, usually), feel free to take it and use it as you wish. We claim no copyright over it, but would love a hat tip via Facebook, Twitter, or an email if you find it useful.

Need a scalable version of the "Get it on Google Play" badge?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Android Pay coming to Australia in 2016

On the back of the recent launch of the Apple Pay service in Australia (tied to American Express cards only), Google have announced that they have signed up ANZ, Westpac, IGNG Direct, Bendigo Bank, Bank SA, and a number of major Aussie retailers to their Android Pay service and will be launching it in Australia sometime in the first half of 2016.

The feature-set of the Android Pay service is almost identical to the Apple Pay service, in that it works with contactless payment systems already in place at many retail locations in the form of "PayPass" and other branded services ... as well as offering app developers the ability to integrate the service into their apps for fast in-app payment for real-world items such as T-shirts, hotel bookings, etc.

Android Pay will be able to store your Mastercard and Visa credit (and debit) cards. No word on whether bank-based American Express cards (or direct Amex cards) will work.

This is all good news for app publishers because it further cements the use of the mobile phone as a method of payment and thereby provides even more opportunities to make a grab for customers' wallets at points in time that are convenient to them.

Android Pay is hitting stores in Australia in the first half of 2016 (pic courtesy of Google/Android Pay)

If you have an app idea or would like to know more about what we do, give us a shout.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Got an App Idea? Win a Free In-depth Analysis

This month we are trying something new at Creative Intersection ... A competition!

We usually provide a free meeting to come and discuss an app idea with our experts at our Milton office, and then our clients either engage us to flesh out that idea or do some more homework themselves before we can properly quote on the costs and time needed to make the idea come to life.

This month, however, we are going to try something a little different:

For every Like on Facebook or Retweet on Twitter, we'll enter you into a draw to win a 10-hour scoping project worth just under $2,000.00!

This is an awesome chance to find out if your cool idea is worth pursuing. Get in front of our app experts and get the benefit of their years of experience in designing and developing mobile and web applications.

Get Social and Win ... Like or Retweet to win a Free In-depth Analysis "Scoping" Project

The Prize:

We have a chat over a cup of coffee (or your favourite beverage), after putting in place our normal Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so your idea is protected.

We meet with you for a couple of hours, getting a good understanding of what your concept entails and giving you some immediate feedback and thoughts as we go.

We then work through the technical and market potential of your idea to see if it has legs, and provide you with a report outlining our findings and an initial scoping document that you can take to other developers for costing (and of course we will provide a quote too).

How to give yourself the best chance to win:

Facebook ... Like our Creative Intersection Facebook page for a chance to win
Facebook ...  Like our competition post for another chance to win

Twitter ... Retweet the link to this blog post and mention us (@C_Intersection) for a chance to win

Best of all, the scoping project prize is transferable ... so if you have an idea just get your mates or followers to Like or Retweet ... and if your friends win the prize but don't have their own cool app idea to get off their chest then they can give the prize to you.

So, if you - or a friend - have an idea and you'd like to flesh out and see if it's a go-er, do your thing!

When will we draw this cool prize?

We will draw the prize on 1st January 2016 and will announce it via Twitter, Facebook, and this blog.

Update 1/1/16:  We have had such a great response that we have decided to extend the competition until 11:59pm on Sunday 3rd January 2016. Enter before then and we will include you in the draw.

Note:  Unfortunately this competition is for Aussie residents only so although anyone can enter if you are not in Australia then if you win you will have to give your prize to someone who is an Australian resident.

Visit our website for more information about who we are and what we do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Apple Pay coming to Australia VERY soon (actually today)

With American Express recently emailing all Australian customers to let them know that Apple Pay is being launched in Australia soon, we thought it an opportune time to explain a bit about what this is and what it means to the average consumer.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, also confirmed the launch of Apple Pay in Australia and Canada in an investor call a couple of weeks ago, and our own inquiries confirm that Amex and Apple are indeed planning to launch the Apple Pay service very soon in a shared launch.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a service that allows the encoding of credit card information inside a device (like a mobile phone) in such a way that it can be safely transmitted when requested by another device (like a credit card terminal).

If you have ever used "Visa payWave" or a similar payment method by touching your credit card on a terminal in a shop (as opposed to swiping or inserting it into the machine), then you have already used the technology that underpins the financial transaction side of Apple Pay.

In the above case, the card contains an "NFC" (or Near Field Communication) chip that activates when it receives a magnetic jolt from the terminal. Incidentally, that magnetic jolt is why your credit card doesn't need to have a battery attached - it provides the power for the chip.

From a technical perspective, the point-of-sale service works a little like a secret knock. Think of the payment terminal tapping out the first part of "Shave and a Hair Cut", to which your NFC-enabled card or device responds with "Two Bits". Add a bunch of technical complexity of talking between different computers around the world in the blink of an eye and you have a credit card system that can safely authenticate that a card is a real card because it knows the secret knock when asked. ... and of course ignore the fact that everyone knows this particular sequence so it's hardly a secret knock.

Now, if we take the NFC chip that's embedded into a single credit card and we put it into a phone (or even a watch) and make it programmable so it can contain more than one credit card's worth of information and you have a system that can learn and contain all of a user's credit cards without having to re-issue a new device with every card ... and that's the beauty of the NFC phone payment revolution.

To add further security, we then make the user confirm their identity to ensure that their phone hasn't just been stolen. The simplest way of doing that is by a fingerprint scan, which Apple's compatible devices can already use as a key to unlock data within its encryption store.

Apple didn't invent this, and in fact many Android devices been able to do this for years ... however when three 500-pound gorillas get involved we all tend to want to sit up and pay attention.

American Express / Apple Pay, Coming Soon (image courtesy of American Express)
American Express / Apple Pay, Coming Soon (image courtesy of American Express)

Gorillas ?  What The ??

So, if two of the 500-pound gorillas are American Express and Apple, who is the third ?

If you wanted to launch a new payment service in Australia, you would want a major retailer on board if for no other reason than it provides great B-roll for a news story. There really are only two retailers with a large-enough footprint in Australia to matter .... so which of Coles or Woolies is our third gorilla then ?

The answer is simple ... look at the back of your American Express card. If it has a symbol that looks like a sideways WiFi icon,  take it to both stores and grab some groceries. Which one lets you wave your card past the terminal for payment ?  We did exactly that and ... Bingo! Woolies is our third gorilla.

Granted, the existence of the third gorilla in this equation is speculation on our part, so let's all watch the nightly news and breakfast shows in a week or two when the official launch happens.

Which Apple Devices Can I Use ?

The Apple devices that incorporate NFC chips currently are: iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6/6s Plus, and Apple Watch.

Oooooh - So I'll Be Able to Use My Apple Watch to Pay at the Supermarket ?

Yep!  And you'll look very cool doing it. Remember to wear your "I Love Apple" t-shirt as many selfies will be requested.

What's Next ?

The next exciting thing will hopefully be for developers (such as ourselves) to gain access to the NFC chips on Apple devices and program them to respond to proprietary NFC systems, such as keyless entry to cars and other doors.

UPDATE 19-Nov-2015 .... 

Apple Pay and Amex have officially launched in Australia today.

As of this morning, however, only the Apple Watch app is allowing the adding of a card to that device. The iPhone/iPad Wallet apps have not yet been activated. This is a fairly common strategy of releasing a system/feature to only a subset of users for a few hours to check load capacities and any real-world bugs that might come up ... so we expect that iPhone 6/6Plus/6s/6sPlus devices will be activated later today.

... and who is the third 500-pound gorilla ?  Actually it turns out Amex and Apple have done quite a bit of negotiation behind the scenes because the following major Aussie retailers are already able to accept Apple Pay payments as of this morning:  David Jones, McDonalds, Kmart, Bunnings, Coles and Woolworth. Some checkouts in some stores may be unable to accept the contact-less method of payment but for the most part this is working fine as of this morning.

Here's what the screen looks like on your Apple Watch when paying via Apple Pay

Media inquiries

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple App Store Price Rises for Australia October 2015

Along with the rest of the developer community, we have been notified this morning of price rises happening to apps and subscriptions in the Australian Apple App Store (as well as Indonesia and Sweden).

These price rises take effect in the next 36 hours and are due to exchange rates and actually offer a good opportunity for Australian developers to earn higher royalties than before, particularly if their main income base is in Australia (the current exchange rate takes care of the rest of the world for us).

For example, Australian Developers will now receive $0.95 for a Tier 1 app which is charged at $1.49 (Aussie Dollars). The below table shows this (remember, Aussie devs pay GST so Apple's actual commission is still 30% but the remainder - the developer's royalty - then has GST taken out before Apple transfers to our banks in Australia).

Updated Apple App Store Pricing for Australia, commencing Mid October 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

We are Australian Made and Owned

We are extremely happy to announce that our home-grown Content Management System (CMS), ciSUITE:, has been approved to carry the prestigious Australian Made and Owned logo.

Our development team has worked on this product (and many others) over the years from our office in Brisbane, and ciSUITE: has powered a huge number of websites since 2003 when it was in its infancy.

ciSUITE: by Creative Intersection is Australian Made and Owned
ciSUITE: by Creative Intersection ... Australian Made and Owned
Unlike many open-source CMS platforms (such as Joomla!, Drupal, and WordPress), ciSUITE: is inherently safer because we protect our source code from the prying eyes of nasty hackers. In fact, we are often asked to migrate open-source CMS sites that keep being constantly hacked into our more secure ciSUITE: platform.

Whilst ciSUITE: is currently the only one of our products formally licensed to carry the Australian Made and Owned logo, all of our other services such as Mobile App Development and ongoing support are also performed by our own in-house designers, developers, analysts, and testers - all of whom are onshore. We don't offshore work. Ever.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Financing Your App Idea

Do you have an app idea that's burning a hole in your brain but can't afford to pay to develop it straight away ?

We are currently working on an app financing option that could see your idea start coming to life straight away, while giving you 12, 18, or 24 months to pay it off.

Finance will be provided by a professional, national funding firm backed by one of Australia's largest financial institutions.

App development often takes 3-6 months, by the end of which you will usually have paid for our entire development effort (and commenced our 90-day support period). By using Creative Intersection's App Development Financing, payments can be spread out across a longer period of time, freeing up capital while you promote and market your app.
Talk to Creative Intersection about financing your app idea

A monthly amount is then deducted (via Direct Debit) from your own bank account until the development costs have been paid off.

Terms and conditions will, of course, apply - but if you are interested in having a chat with us about financing your app development, just give us a shout via our Contact Us page.

If you do not need financing, but still want to smooth out your cashflow, remember that we also offer Credit Card payment options at 0% fees (Visa, Mastercard, American Express - via Paypal).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our Pal Steve Wozniak on Apple Watch and Lots More

Our favourite geek Steve "Woz" Wozniak was recently interviewed by The Australian Financial Review on a bunch of topics including why he doesn't have an Apple Watch (yet).

As usual, it shows a warm and generous side to the Uber-geek who a while back was our inaugural recipient of the Creative Intersection "Certificate of Awesomeness".

Woz receives our Certificate of Awesomeness

Woz - you can borrow one of our loaner Apple Watches (usually reserved for clients to test apps) for a month and see if you like it! :-)

For the full interview in AFR, click here.