Posts Tagged iPhone

NCT Centre Finder App for Android (iPhone too!)


If you have ever worked close to an NCT Centre, you are probably familiar with constantly being asked for directions to the nearest NCT Centre. Our offices are based right next door to one very busy centre, Deansgrange NCT Centre. In fairness, it’s not the most obvious of locations and until a couple of months ago, the estate didn’t even exist on Google Maps.

It became quite frustrating when every day on my way to lunch I would be stopped and asked for directions,  when the person asking was parked literally right in front of it. Maybe it’s just my old age, but I ended up resorting to just pointing a finger in the direction of the centre to anyone that started slowing down as I passed their car – I just knew what they were going to ask.

So when at a meeting with a local client who also works from Deansgrange Business Park, discussed the annoyance of this in, they suggested “wouldn’t it be great if their was an app for directions to NCT centres…”!!

We thought this was a great idea and set out to design and develop it as our first Android App.

So here it is!!

The NCT Centre Finder App is FREE and available on the Android App Market. Just search for “NCT” in the market place and you should be able to find it quite easily.

Currently the app is very simple, it lists NCT Centres by county and A-Z. We’ve built it in such a way that most functions can be run offline without a connection to the Internet. So you can see simple maps and addresses etc. Another simple tool we added was a “Checklist”. The checklist is a simple tool that lists all the items needed in preparation for your NCT test.

We wanted to do so much more with this app, but thought we should let it fly first and see if anyone is interested in using it. Please email us with any suggestions or items you’d like added and we’ll see what we can do!

The App is also available for the iPhone, simply visit on your iPhone Web Browser and it will run from there. You can also add it to your desktop on your iPhone, which will mean you will have a lovely glossy icon on your desktop.

And of course – if you’d like an iPhone or Android app for your business – why not call us and see what we can do for you!

P.S. For those who just want to have a nosey look, you can visit in Safari Browser to get an idea of what the App does.

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Maps, Email & Browser on Blackberry Curve 8900 with Meteor (without a BIS)

184/365 Blackberry Messenger
Image by CR Artist via Flickr

A friend of mine recently upgraded his Blackberry to an iPhone and was extremely frustrated at trying to get his email to work on it. Not one for missing out on an opportunity, I jokingly said, I’ll set it up for you and you can give me your Blackberry. Surprisingly he said “that’s no problem at all, I was going to throw it out”. Happy days….

I’ve always steered well clear of the whole Blackberry “always on” scenario. I didn’t like the idea of having email on my phone and being interrupted at dinner with work email that I’d just have to deal with. Being able to leave the office and shut off completely has always been the way I like to work. But I have to admit, I was always interested in a device such as this that allowed me to collect email on demand only.

After becoming the proud new owner of a Blackberry Curve 8900, I was well and truly looking forward to having a good play around with this device. Unfortunately for me, I am with Meteor and they don’t have a Blackberry Data Plan. This means that a lot of the excellent Blackberry features are unavailable. Things like push email (which I didn’t really want anyway), Blackberry Maps, MMS and even their native web browser just wouldn’t function. Unfortunately it’s not just as simple as entering a number of different APNs, in fact you can only add one APN on the whole device. Not happy with being defeated by a little electronic device, I set out to find out how I could crack this little beauty and get it to do all the things I need it to!

I have to admit, it’s been a major struggle trying to find out the information I now have. A lot of forums simply suggest that it’s not possible to use the Blackberry without a BIS plan. But I didn’t give up that easily. After a lot of research, I now have a Blackberry in which I can surf the web, send email and use Blackberry Maps. One thing I still can’t do…. send a MMS – but not too worried about that at the moment…

So how did I do this you ask…

The easiest things to get up and running were email and browser. The email isn’t push, but a manual on demand collection (which is perfect for me). If you use GMail you can get simulated push email.

The first thing to do is set up your Meteor data APN on the Blackberry. You do this by going to Options > Advanced Options > TCP/IP. In here you should check the box beside “APN Settings Enabled”, enter for the APN. The username should be is “my” and the password is “wap”. Click the Blackberry button and choose save.

Check your browser now, if you can surf the web – get over to and download opera mini. If not, try get access to a Wifi network and connect your device to it. You should be able to browse the web now with your Blackberry. Once you’ve installed Opera Mini, you should be able to surf the web with or without WiFi.

My next step was to download and install LogicMail ( – this took me a while to figure out and get it up and running. Basically, you need to set up the SMTP server first. I even had problems with this and in the end needed to use Gmails free SMTP server to send mails. I also tried out the Gmail for Mobile app, which is brilliant. If you use Gmail, I recommend that you install this. The only problem for me was, I don’t use Gmail that much. The Gmail for Mobile app can be left running the background and appear as if you are receiving push email.

In my quest to get the Blackberry Maps and MMS working, I hit many a stumbling block. It just didn’t appear to be possible. That was until I found this forum post – For Blackberry Curve users, take particular note to AmySharren’s post. What you have to do is quite detailed, so to give you a small summary…

Basically you need to update the service books that are on the Blackberry. You do this by using a combination of the Blackberry, a USB cable and the Blackberry Desktop Manager. On the forum above, you will find links to IPD files which are the Service Book files. I played around and whittled down which ones I actually needed.

To date, I still can’t figure out how to set up MMS messaging – so if anyone knows how… please leave a comment!

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Interesting Valentines Breaks search statistics from Google

Valentines Day
Image by Javier Aroche via Flickr

Google have just released some interesting statistics based around their Valentines Breaks searches.

According to Google there is a massive incline in searchers in January and February, which peaks just before valentines day. The graph below gives you an example of the trends for searches for Valentines Breaks, Valentines Holidays and Valentines Hotels.


Aso in the report were the top 7 gifts for Valentines Day. These are; a weekend away, romantic dinner, flowers, jewellery, iPhone, chocolate and an iPod.

Another interesting statistic was where UK shoppers are likely to make their purchases. 20% are expected to purchase the gifts online, while another %49 said to shop equally online or at a store.

What’s the average spend price on a valentines gift in the UK?
33% said £50 to £100.

So if you have products that can target the Valentines Day market, you best get cracking on your campaign or be prepared to get left behind!

Download the full report by clicking here.

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