Novasa Documents is now Presentor March 5, 2014 by

Today we are announcing that our popular sales presentation app and service, Novasa Documents will be known as Presentor henceforth. Novasa Documents was a decent name, but we wanted something that could stand on its own and also say a bit more about the core mission of the product: perfecting sales presentations for our customers.

With the name change to Presentor, we are also introducing a couple of new features, that we have worked on for quite a while.

The biggest one is without a doubt MyPresentor. In essence, MyPresentor is a gateway for the sales reps to feed their own custom presentations and documents into a personal section of the app. This is incredibly useful for when you need a presentation with some customer-specific data for a big meeting. It’s all beautifully simple: you just connect to a network drive on your Mac or PC in which you place the files that you want to use in the app.

Another big feature is analytics. We’ve built analytics right into the admin system, allowing admins to monitor app and content usage – both in general or on per-user basis. This will give admins a clear picture of the popularity of their content and also a good idea of the activity of their sales reps.

Other new features include the ability to add favorites for easy access to frequently used content, and support for “locking” files, so that they cannot be shared from within the app – useful if you have a lot of confidential material.

To mark the name change to Presentor, we thought it would be fitting to ask one of our customers, TDC, about their experience with the solution. This little video is the result:

To learn more about Presentor, please check out our product page.

Thanks to our office mates at Signifly for making the great video!

Wanted: talented humans February 21, 2014 by

Would you like to work for the most awesome app agency in Denmark, with lots of great fun and perks, including steak frites for lunch every day*? If so, we would (possibly) like to hear from you. Currently, we have two open job offerings: a web developer and a UI/UX designer. You can read the job ads here (in Danish):

Web developer

UI/UX designer

UPDATE: The web developer job has been taken.

* Technically not every day.

New app releases February 17, 2014 by

The past few months have been incredibly busy around here, which would explain the drought in updates to this Web site. Luckily, we’ve got some grade A projects to show you, including some of our best work yet:

Momondo Places

First up is Momondo Places, which is probably the nicest iPad city guide that you’ve ever seen. The app covers cities such as London, Paris, Berlin and New York with extensive tips on what to see during your trip. To make it easier to find something that suits your mood, you can use the mood wheel to select your current mood. The wheel includes such great moods as “romantic”, “cultural” and “fancy”. The app also has offline maps of all the supported cities, ensuring that your mobile operator does not declare you bankrupt upon the return of your journey.

The app is the result of an extremely close collaboration between Momondo and Novasa. We practically moved in with Momondo for several months, working closely with their designers and editorial staff.

CPH China

China has quickly become the most important source of tourists for Copenhagen, which has become evidently clear to our client, Copenhagen Airports. Chinese shoppers tend to spend more than any other nationality, and since studies at the airport revealed that most Chinese are also smartphone users, it made sense to make an app that helps our Chinese guests to have a more pleasant and stress-free stay. Therefore, we made CPH China, or 哥本哈根机场, which contains all the stuff that you need if you’re a Chinese tourist in Copenhagen Airport, including a currated guide to shopping and eating, flight schedules with Chinese place names, information about practical stuff like smoking lounges (lots of Chinese smoke, apparently) and an extremely cool automatic translator, that will translate (almost) any sign in the airport into nice, crisp hanzi. The app is available for both Android and iPhone.

Akut Smerte

Akut Smerte is a medical app for iPhone and Android that we made for Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen’s largest hospital. The app can help doctors, nurses and others to convert doses between different types of opioids (morphine). This is often a time-consuming task, so hopefully Acute Pain app will mean that more time can be used on other tasks. The app also includes an overview of pain scales that can improve communication between staff and patients about their level of pain.

 

 

MAN Turbocharger Retrofit

For MAN Diesel & Turbo we made this clever little app for iPhone, targeted at professionals in the marine and industrial engine industry. The app gives the user a super easy way to determine your options with regards to retrofitting a turbocharger to your MAN engine.

TDC adopts Novasa Documents for its sales teams August 27, 2013 by

We’re very happy to announce that Denmark’s #1 telecom, TDC, has decided to adopt Novasa Documents for its sales teams across its organisation. This marks another important milestone for Novasa Documents. So far this year, we’ve added some really great customers to the service, including Danfoss, Berendsen and NKT Cables.

What makes us particularly proud of welcoming TDC as a customer is the fact that they are among the premier experts in mobile technology in our country. They’re also known to have a very efficient sales organisation with 73% of all Danish companies in its customer database. So their stamp of approval must mean that we’re on the right track.

This year, we have introduced a lot of useful features to the system, such as improved file handling and Internet Explorer support (don’t laugh). We’ve also improved the performance of the iPad app tremendeously when handling huge amounts of content. Basically, it will run buttery smooth even on the original 2010 iPad.

Coming up this year, we have some really nice new app features that we think current and new customers will love, and something that will further distance Novasa Documents from competing solutions.

Branching out: new counter screen design for Copenhagen Airports July 25, 2013 by

We’ve always been very strict about only working with mobile. After all, if you want to be really good at something, you need to stay focused. However, from time to time, we do branch out and do other types of work for our clients. One example of this is a redesign of the screens at the check-in counters that we did recently for Copenhagen Airports.

The old design had been in service since the early to mid 90′s and even at it’s inception, it wasn’t exactly a typographical masterpiece, but it was functional. Since the airport wanted to tout their terrific Novasa-developed mobile apps, they asked us to redesign the screens to include an ad for the apps. The signs still run on the same old hardware, so we did have some very limited constraints to work within.

While the new screens are in no way groundbreaking, they do adhere to the general signing policies of the airport in addition to being a bit more vibrant and contemporary. But most of all, it’s an example of how we try our best to help our clients, even if we have to branch out.

FOSS launches our meatiest app yet May 8, 2013 by

Let me just say this straight up: this app ain’t for vegetarians, pescatatians, vegans, fruitarians, lacto vegetarians or raw vegans. What we’re talking about here is an app for serious meat lovers.

Quite simply, the FOSS Hamburger Fat Analyzer for iPhone is exactly what it sounds like. First, you grab some ground beef and form it as a patty. Then, take the app and snap a picture approximately 10 cm above the patty in natural lighting (this means that it won’t work in your walk-in meat freezer – the part with natural lighting is important). Then finally, let the app analyze the image and calculate the fat percentage.

The app is remarkably precise – an achievement that can be attributed to the talented folks at FOSS who developed the fat analyzing algorithm. FOSS makes extremely advanced analytical machinery for the food industry, so they know a thing or two about this type of thing.

To embark on your meat scanning hobby, grab the app at the App Store.

Meet someone with Single.dk’s app April 22, 2013 by

Recent studies show that an overwhelming majority of people prefer not to be depressed and lonely. But how do you meet someone in todays fast-paced world? If you’re in Denmark, it may very well be through popular dating site Single.dk, who recently debuted their brand new iPhone app, developed by Novasa.

The development process was an extremely close collaboration between Single.dk and Novasa’s team. In a way, our teams merged during the development of the app, resulting in a fast and effecient creative process.

Design-wise, we wanted to create a wam and modern feel while also retaining the Single.dk brand ID. Additionally, we wanted animation to play a role in gluing the experience together. From the avatar mosaic on the login screen to the parallax scrolling on profile pages, I think we’ve succeeded in making an app that you just want to fiddle with.

And it looks like we’ve done something right. The app is already in the top 10 of the highest grossing apps in the Danish App Store.

 

Single.dk TV ad featuring the app

LEGO® unleaches Brainify December 3, 2012 by

Finally we can answer the age old question – what would you look like if you were attacked by an evil brain from outer space? The answer is in the new Brainify app for iPhone and iPad that we’ve developed with the crazy talented people at Advance. The app is based on the popular LEGO Hero Factory universe. Advance has worked with LEGO for more than 35 years, and are the developers of several successful LEGO product lines, including Hero Factory.

Using the app is simple – first, snap a photo of you or someone else, then pick one of six brains, sit back and enjoy your transformation from human (I hope) to space monster!

Developing the app was an immensely complex project, requiring us to work closely with Advance’s 3D artist and creative people to achieve the level of fit and finish and entertainment value associated with the LEGO brand. It also harkened back to our humble beginnings as mobile game developers. All in all, this was a fun project!

Introducing the official Android app for Danish App Awards November 22, 2012 by

Danish App Awards (on which yours truly is a jury member) is Denmark’s biggest celebration of outstanding achievement and excellence in Danish app development. If you’re involved with app making in Denmark, winning a DAA is the ultimate recognition.

In addition to the jury-chosen winners (such as the prestigious App of the Year), a special People’s Choice award is given to an app selected by you, the general populace. To vote for your favorite app, use the DAA app for Android (made by Novasa) or iPhone (made by the nice guys at SHAPE). Happy voting!

New versions of CPH Airport for iPhone and Android November 20, 2012 by

Like anything in the universe, apps grow old. That doesn’t necessarily always have to be a bad thing, but in some instances it can be problematic. As smartphone operating systems change and progress, so should the apps that run on them.

This was evidently clear with two of our most popular apps: Copenhagen Airport’s CPH Airport for iPhone and Android. For the former, user interface design trends had evolved since the app’s inception, making it appear stale and old. For the latter, the Android platform had gone through several major OS upgrades, rendering the old app an anachronism in todays Holo world.

For the iOS app, we decided to replace all the standard navigation elements with new, custom designed ones. We also injected a can of Botox in areas such as Flight Details, making it appear younger and hipper. Even the icon has been refined slightly. Furthermore, we added a much requested new feature: Followed Flights. Finally you can have a screen with all the flights that you are following. This is immensely useful for frequent fliers, who rely on the app every week. Additionally, we updated the app to take advantage of the 4-inch display on the new iPhone 5.

So while the iOS app could be brought up to modern standards with a few nicks and tucks, the situation was more severe with the Android app. When the original CPH Airport was released for Android, version 1.6 of the OS was the minimum requirement – as of this writing, we’re on version 4.2! In other words, major reinventions have happened on Android since the 1.6 days.

In addition, Google has addressed one of the major grumbles that developers have complained about for a long time. Finally, Android has a set of coherent user interface guidelines for developers to follow. This may not seem like such a big deal, but it is. When the original CPH was released, the UI guidelines from Google was so lacking and visually unpleasant, that we largely had to disregard them. With the new “Holo” theme introduced in Android 4 (but backwards compatible for third party apps), we finally have a beautiful and original UI system to use. With the release of CPH Airport 2.0, we are in full compliance with the guidelines, and honestly, the new app is perhaps one of the most beautiful apps that we have ever created.

So there you have it. The two old ladies that are the iOS and Android versions of CPH Airport are now wrinkle free and just as pretty as the new and younger apps. They’re not kiddy apps anymore, but you wouldn’t want that anyway when your travels depend on them.

Introducing Better Hearing October 19, 2012 by

If I told you that we have created an app for iPhone that can improve your ability to hear certain frequencies with up to 10%, would you believe me? Well, you should, because through the magic of Threshold Sound Conditioning (TSC), this is possible.

The app works by first testing your hearing to determine if you have a decreased ability to hear certain frequencies. When the test has been completed, you will be able to initiate sound conditioning on any problematic frequencies (upon unlocking the TSC functionality with an in app purchase, of course).

Better Hearing was developed in close collaboration with The Good Ear Company of South Korea, who are the inventors of Threshold Sound Conditioning. The technology behind the app is currently used with great results on hundreds of patients in South Korea and is currently being tested with Stanford University and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. The app recently won the MobileBeat 2012 Smartphone App Competition hosted by VentureBeat.

Better Hearing on the App Store.

Say hello to Novasa Documents September 24, 2012 by


We are pleased to introduce a new app and service called Novasa Documents.

So what is it? Well, Novasa Documents is a beautiful, easy-to-use enterprise iPad app that displays documents, presentations, movies, photos and other files that have been set up using the best web-based admin system that we have ever designed.

So what can you use it for? There are many potential use cases, but we think the most popular one is going to be as a presentation tool for sales people, who will be able to show up at sales meetings with a stunning, branded iPad app containing all their sales material. Previously, this type of solution would have to be developed expensively from scratch (and we have done a few of them), but not anymore. Since the app is extremely versatile, it can be modified with any necessary modifications and additional features.

The app itself is so simple and obvious. All your files are represented by large, beautiful icons that resemble the actual content. Navigating your content is so easy and intuitive, that it doesn’t need a manual. Just select a category from the sidebar to view its contents. Tap a file, and it will zoom into view. To share files, simply tap the “Share files” button to select and send files by e-mail. Everything is guided by smooth animations to provide a seamless experience.

The admin system is just as impressive as the app. To add files to the app, just drag them from your desktop into the web page. Give them tags, so that you can easily identify them later on, and then add them to the folder in the app, where you want them to appear. It’s really simple and really intuitive. We did write a manual for the admin system, but we think that most of our customers are going to do just fine without reading it.

We are very pleased to welcome our first two Novasa Documents customers: legendary fashion brand Georg Jensen and Pharmacosmos, the world-leader in treatment of iron deficiencies. This means that despite being brand new, Novasa Documents is already being used on a large scale by two global companies, making it a market-leading solution from day 1 in terms of usage.

Novasa Documents is available as a fully hosted solution, enabling you to get going in hours, or as a solution that you can host yourself. Both are extremely competitively priced and include integration of your brand identity in the app. To hear more, please contact us.

Also, check out our Novasa Documents product page where you can also download a demo of the iPad app.

CPH Airport: Reimagined for Windows Phone June 21, 2012 by

It’s not often that we get the opportunity to take an existing app and rethink it completely from the ground up. However, that is what we have done with the brand new version of Copenhagen Airports’ CPH Airport for Windows Phone.

The user interface has been completely redesigned for Microsoft’s beautiful Metro-style design language. We have worked really hard to make an app that is 100% Metro while also having an unmistaken CPH look and feel. It turned out that a design language inspired by airport signage works really well for an airport app! The result is an application that looks just amazing, especially on the gorgeous new Lumia handsets from Nokia.

The app includes all the same popular features as its iPhone, Android, MeeGo and Symbian siblings, such as waiting time in security, flight info with flight updates through push notifications, a shopping and eating guide with user reviews, maps, plus much more.

Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could easily follow your flight without launching the app? Well, now you can. Just select ‘Pin to start’ on any flight to add it as a live tile to your start screen, and it will automatically update in the background with minimal battery usage.

In closing, we would like to thank our friends at Microsoft and Nokia for their support during the development of the app.

You can get CPH Airport right here on Windows Marketplace.

Native vs. web vs. cross-compiled apps June 5, 2012 by

One question that pops up again and again from prospective clients is this: “Should we make a native app for each platform, or just a web app or cross-compiled app that can run on any platform?” In fact, if I had a Greek bond every time someone asked us this, I would be able to purchase a small glass of beer.

So, before we get started on what you should and shouldn’t do, let’s examine the three primary types of app development technologies for a moment:

Native apps: Developed in the native programming language for each platform that the app is made available for. If you want to make the app for both iOS and Android, you’ll need to do most of the coding twice since they use different programming languages.

Web apps: It’s a diplomatic way of saying that it’s a website. The obvious upside is that you can support all platforms without having to do the work all over for each operating system.

Cross-compiled apps: They’re written in one common programming language (such as JavaScript) but with a special development tool, they’re compiled natively for multiple platforms.

To the untrained beholder, web apps and cross-compiled apps sound mighty tempting. Being able to support multiple platforms by writing an app once sounds almost too good to be true, and unfortunately, I am here to tell you that it is.

Design

First, there’s design. Design is important. It’s how you interact with the app, and it’s how the app interacts with you. Since all platforms look, feel and work differently, great apps need to be designed specifically for the platforms they are appearing on.

Designing an app one time and then using the same design on all platforms will almost certainly result in an awful experience for your users. For example, Android users are usually less than stoked to use an app that looks and behaves exactly like an iPhone app, and vice versa. It’s even more pronounced with Windows Phone’s Metro interface, which is very different from all other platforms on the market. Android 4.0 has also taken a step further away from its iPhone-inspired roots towards a more unique look and feel. This makes it pretty intolerable to reuse the same user experience across multiple platforms.

You could of course create a design that looks nothing like any platform. That way you don’t offend anyone, right? Well, as we see it, you might offend everyone, since you will end up with something that looks nothing like an app.

This is very much a usability issue. An iPhone user will instantly know how to use a good iPhone app, but an app that does not adhere to the iOS Human Interface Guidelines will likely lead to frustration. The same goes for Android and Windows Phone, and as these platforms evolve in separate directions, this divide in user experience methodology is only going to increase, making one size fits all solutions less and less adept.

There are of course design elements and concepts that can be used across platforms, but the point is that if you want to be taken seriously, you need to respect the design languages and navigational methods of the various platforms.

Web apps

The primary upside of doing web apps is that web development skills are much more common among coders. However, while it may be tempting to base large projects entirely on web content, we advice against it.

As any experienced web developer will know, web projects quickly grow in complexity as more and more functionality is added. Making very small and limited apps web based may work out alright in terms of development time, but larger projects quickly become much more complex compared to similar apps written in native code, where new functionality can quickly be added.

Also note that when writing native apps, we get a lot of the UI elements that users take for granted for free: lists, menus, transitions, etc. When writing web apps, you have to do all these elements manually. And since the various platforms look and work differently, you may end up spending a LOT of time developing all these basic things from scratch, that you would get for “free” if you made your project as a native app. This is time that could have been used on making user-facing functionality that you are now spending on making these very basic elements. And even with hours and hours poured into replicating native UI interaction in your web app, it will still not look and behave with the same feel and fluidity as a native app. It is simply not possible to achieve this with current browser technology. This may change in the future, but we need to act according to how things are today and for the forseeable future.

Cross-compiled apps

So, if web app development does not provide a good way of making beautiful and advanced apps on multiple platforms, then maybe development of cross-compiled apps do? There are several different tools that can be used to make cross-compiled apps. One of the most popular ones is Appcelerator Titanium. Using mainstream programming languages such as JavaScript, developers are able to write apps once for multiple platforms that are executed natively on the supported platforms.

This sounds great, but in reality it is not so fantastic. One of the many issues with this approach is that you are technically limited by the boundaries of the cross-compiler’s framework. If Apple, Google or Microsoft releases a cool new feature for developers to utilize, then you can’t use it until the vendor of the cross-compiler implements support for it. This means that cross-compilers are mostly unusable for more than very simple apps. If you want to make something that is cutting-edge, you will run into these boundaries rather quickly. With the rapid development of mobile OS’es, this means that you are always one step behind developers of native apps.

Additionally, if there are bugs in the compiler, resulting in bugs in your software, there is nothing that you can do about it. This is why we (and other skilled developers) tend to advice strongly against making apps this way. It is simply not desirable to invest time and money in an app that is entirely dependent on a third party, based on a technology that is one step away from the platform vendor.

Also, just as with web apps, cross-compiled apps simply do not feel right. It may not be evidently obvious to many of your users, but they will notice that your app feels laggy and unpolished, since the sort of manic optimization and polish that makes a good app great isn’t something that lends to the way that these cross-compilers are used. And since the bar for great UI design is constantly going upwards, it is getting more and more difficult to make competitive apps using these tools.

Conclusion

So how does traditional native app development stack up against these alternative approaches? With development of native apps, you will:

  • Be closer to the core of the operating system enabling you to utilize the latest hardware and OS functionality
  • Be able to make more advanced apps that scale better without becoming too complex to manage
  • Be able to optimize your app so that it runs great on older devices
  • Be able to more easily ensure an optimal design and user experience for each individual smartphone platform.

In addition, Apple, Google and Microsoft are more likely to highlight your app on their stores if you make a beautiful native app. In fact, most OS vendors tend to steer away from apps that are the products of cutting corners.

So unless you want to spend a substantial amount of money on an app that performs worse, is not as beautiful, not as user-friendly, not as stable, and forces you to work with limited functionality set forth by a third party, then we advice you to make a native app.

Nokia launches Amazing Everyday Shortstories February 1, 2012 by

How much can you tell in a 10 second video? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Nokia just launched Amazing Everyday Shortstories as part of its Nokia Lumia 800 launch. 100 celebrities and bloggers were given a Lumia 800 with a nifty app pre-installed, allowing them to record byte sized videos of exactly 10 seconds. Their task is to use the app (developed by us together with Naked) to capture everyday situations of interest, and post them to Nokia’s YouTube channel. When the experiment is finished, all the clips will be edited into 3 movies by 3 prominent directors. Check it out here.

New talents wanted! January 27, 2012 by

Do you enjoy information technology? Do you dislike dull working enviroments? If so, we might have a job for you!

We are looking for skilled mobile developers to join us in creating the world’s most beautiful and successful mobile apps.

We are primarily looking for great full-time iOS developers, but experience with Android and Windows Phone is a big plus. It’s very design-focused work, so if you are used to implementing pixel perfect designs, that is a big plus as well.

If you think that you have what it takes, then drop os a line on jobs@novasa.com.

TV 2 launches new tvtid app for Nokia devices January 19, 2012 by

I am pleased to tell you about something called Television. It is sort of like a gramophone, only it is live and has pictures appearing on a displayscreen. On Television there are shows, and sometimes it can be hard to remember when something of interest is broadcast through the air or cables. This is why you need the great new tvtid app for your Nokia N9 or Symbian touch device. The app gives you TV listings for pretty much any channel imaginable in addition to summaries and the ability to easily schedule reminders in the calendar (only on the N9). You can get this app for N9/MeeGo here and for Symbian over here.

Note that our Symbian app is a completely new app, but released as an update to the old tvtid app that was not developed by Novasa. This means that our new app has inherited all the user reviews from the old app on Ovi Market.

CPH Airport is now Symbian friendly December 22, 2011 by

In the smartphone world, Symbian users are known to miss planes constantly. “I don’t have a reliable, good source for flight information” they say. However, that excuse is of no relevancy henceforth. As of this moment, Symbian users will miss planes no more, as CPH Airport is now available for the veteran smartphone platform (the 4th supported platform so far). To be precise, it is compatible with Symbian Anna, which runs on handsets such as the Nokia N8. The app contains the same dynamite features as its MeeGo counterpart, including the popular Guide section. You can obtain this splendid piece of digital software via this “HYPER-LINK”.

Android fans to pay less for plane tickets December 13, 2011 by

The Android community (and Planet Earth in general) has been blessed with an awesome new app: Momondo Flight Search for Android! The app contains pretty much the same palette of features as its critically acclaimed iPhone counterpart: the ability to find the lowest air fares in a nice and simple interface, filter results according to your odd requirements, save offers for later perusal, send offers by electronic post or even carry out the booking right on your mobile terminal!

The app is available right now on Android Market.

Say good morning to TV 2 GO November 18, 2011 by

We’re pleased to introduce TV 2 GO’, the official app of Denmark’s favorite morning and evening shows. Compatible with cellular telephones running iOS or Android, the app offers the ability to read the latest articles from go.tv2.dk in addition to watch clips from the shows.

Missed the recipe for that green bean pudding? No problem! The iPhone app has a complete recipe section, with all the great recipes from the show. Now, hold on to your glasses, because it even has a shopping list, allowing you easily track when you have purchased an ingredient for the night’s dinner. No more buying the same ingredient multiple times!

You can download the app wirelessly through the “Internet” on the iPhone App Store or Android Market right now.