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What are we working on

The SiteBrandBuilder News and Updates section has not seen many updates recently (though we just made a minor update today). We are working on major updates. Curious about what is to come?

First of all I would like to welcome those of you reading this blog for the first time. Prior to this post we decided to add our client list to our blog subscribers list so that you would receive notifications of our postings. This post gives you an update about what we are working on so we felt that this was the perfect way to reconnect with each of you. Feel free to check out other postings on this blog where we discuss topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content writing, mobile web, and web design. You may find them helpful in your own marketing efforts.

What are we working on: Chrome for Android support

Login screen for the Chrome for Android on an ASUS Transformer PRime

Things We Are Working On: Tablet Support For the SiteBrandBuilder

We are very aware that tablet usage is on the rise. We know that more and more people are connecting to the using devices besides a desktop. We want to service your needs. We believe that the screen on smartphones are too small for a person to reasonably be able to manage their website. The screen on a tablet is large enough that you can make basic changes, so that is where we are focusing our efforts.

Our WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) content editor is absolutely critical to your ability to manage your website. Unfortunately, it’s only recently that most mobile devices have gained the functionality necessary for our editor to even run. These features were recently added with the release of iOS 5 and Android 3.0 (though we are officially recommending Android 4.0).  This feature is also present in Firefox Mobile version 1.0 for Android and all versions of Google Chrome mobile, but is not present in Opera Mini or Opera Mobile.

To be clear we can support:

  • iPad’s running iOS 5
  • Android:
    • Stock browser running Android 4.0
    • Google Chrome
    • Firefox mobile

What we cannot support:

  • iPad’s running iOS 4 or lower
  • Opera Mini (iOS or Android)
  • Opera Mobile (Android)
  • Android browsers running 2.3 or below (this includes the Kindle Fire)
  • BlackBerry PlayBook browser (might work, but we do not officially support)
  • HP TouchPad browser (might work, but we do not officially support)

Accessing your module settings window is somewhat changed for mobile as well. You can reach this window by double tapping on any module. Earlier this week we updated the drag and drop code used in places such as the slide show module, and re-order navigation. This code now works with touch screens, though places like the re-order navigation window could use larger buttons to make it easier to touch them.

There are a few more issues that we are working on before we deliver this update:

  • Apple does not support file uploads in a web browser.
  • The size of many of our buttons is too small compared to the size of a finger tip. We are examining these situations to see where we may need to increase the size of these buttons or give an alternative interface to touch screens.
  • Cursor placement on the iPad is not always visible (known bug with our editor’s base library). This happens with Firefox as well.
  • Cut/Copy/Paste is problematic in many situations.
    • Chrome/Android is ok-ish
    • iPad has problems stemming from the cursor placement issue.
    • Firefox is very difficult
  • Moving images/modules does not work.
  • The activation for the module settings window is spotty in the default Android browser. It loads flawlessly while testing in the Builder on my local machine, but does not seem to load when accessing the Builder on the test server we have set up so that others here at the BrandBuilder Company can test things.

Things We Are Working On: File Gallery Changes

Earlier today we updated the file gallery so that it will now remember the last folder you accessed when selecting files. This will simplify the process of working with a slide show or photo gallery module. You can simply create a new directory, upload a bunch of images there, and then select them one. When you go to add the second image it will automatically open the window to the last folder you were in. It will remember this setting for the lifetime of your current session.

We are working on a whole new interface for the file gallery. We are still working on exactly what features will make the cut, but we have an idea from suggestions we have heard on what will be useful. Feel free to leave a comment on other suggestions or to offer your opinion on the current features we are looking to implement in the redesign. The current suggested feature list includes:

  • Folder tree that runs along the side that will make it easier to browse directories. Files will appear on the right side of this dialog.
  • An info button that will display information on a file including:
    • Date of creation
    • What pages / module ID’s include the current file
    • A larger preview of the file in the case of images.
    • A URL you can use to reach the file that can be shared in an e-mail, instant messenger, or on a social media network.
    • A secure (https) version of the above. We feel that listing both is useful because it is rare that you need to list the secure version and, since very few of our clients actually have an SSL configured, the URL for the unsecured version will display your current domain name while the secured one will display a URL containing sitebrandbuilder.com
  • Moving a file should automatically correct the paths for any module that use this file.

Things We Are Working On: Bookmark Icons / Start Up Images

The SiteBrandBuilder software already supports favicons. Favicons are the small images that desktop browsers display on a tab or in the address bar of some browsers next to the domain name. It is helpful for branding purposes.

Mobile devices such as Android, iOS, and BlackBerry OS6 support the ability to add bookmark as an icon to your home screen. These are very cool icons that show off your commitment to delivering a high quality mobile experience, and we are working on the ability for you to add these images yourself.

Right now the mobile world has everyone trying to outdo each other. They are all trying to cram as many pixels on a screen as economically feasible. In doing this, the standard size of these bookmark icons has changed four times in the last few years along, and you need to support all four values if you want everyone to see your icon correctly. Currently the dimensions look like:

  • 57×57 for non-retina iPhone/iPod touch, Android 2.1+, and BlackBerry
  • 72×72 for the iPad and iPad 2
  • 114×114 for the iPhone/iPod touch with retina display
  • 144×144 for the third generation iPad with retina display

As you can tell, with LG working to beat the Apple retina display you do not be surprised to see Apple come out with an even better display that requires an even larger image, or for future versions of Android to support larger icons. Because of this, we are looking to have users upload four separate icons themselves and not just one. That way when a five, larger icon comes out you will be able to easily add it, and not have the icon automatically up scaled and looking pixelated.

Additionally, Apple goes even further to enhance presentation. They allow you to specify an image that displays as soon as a user tries to load your website. It will display this image very quickly while your website takes time to load. This makes one believe there is a faster load time and enhances the user experience. As you may have guessed from the above there are multiple dimensions that you must support for this feature. Apple actually takes it further for the iPad. It allows you to display different images for when the iPad is in portrait or landscape.

Lastly, we are looking to add support for setting an image for Opera’s Speed Dial. There is little demand for this at the moment given Opera’s low market share in America, but given the rumor that Facebook may buy Opera this could change dramatically.  It is fairly trivial to add support for this along with the other bookmark icons, so we are going to add this with everything else.

Those are the three big new features that we are working on at the moment. We hope that you will find these features useful. Are there any other features that you would like to see? Please leave a comment and let us know.

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About

Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.

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