Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Smartphone-linked Infotainment Systems

In these recent years, there are exploding wave of people of using smartphone-linked infotainment systems in their cars. Most prominently are Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, which are supporting smartphone running on iOS and Android respectively.

The systems are installed in car's display head unit, usually being assembled by the manufacturers or also can be installed as aftermarket. 

About Apple CarPlay 

What is CarPlay? CarPlay is an Apple standard that enables car's head unit / infotainment system to be a display and a controller for connected iOS devices either wired or wireless. 


It was introduced since iPhone 5 with iOS 7.1. Initially Apple called it as 'iOS in the Car', then later renamed it as CarPlay in March 2014.

As default Apple provides CarPlay compatible apps: 

- Phone 

- Apple Music

- Apple Maps 

- Calendar 

- iMessages / SMS

- Audiobook (part of Apple Books)

- Podcasts

Also some other popular apps usually being used inside the car also support CarPlay:

- Spotify

- Google Maps

- Waze 

- Audible

and more...


There are only certain types of apps that are allowed to be deployed to CarPlay:

1. Audio: primarily provide audio content. 

2. Navigation: turn-by-turn navigation.

3. Auto-maker made apps to control vehicle-specific features. But usually those features are inside the original head unit system.

4. Messeging / VoIP. 

5. Food ordering and parking services apps.


Apple discourage typing using CarPlay compatible apps. Apps like Apple Music and Spotify doesn't allow typing for searching the music. Instead there is a button to tell Siri what do you want to play. Therefore, if you want to search something that is not dictatable name of artist, you are out of luck. To meditate that, you have to pull out your phone and type on your phone. 

CarPlay is wonderful to display the content of your apps on the car's unit screen, compared to smaller smartphone's screens. Especially when using navigation, you can see the larger maps and easier to see. For navigation, thankfully, you still can type on the head unit display, or even better just use voice dictation (when the place is easily dictatable). 

SIRI

Usually, we will have a dedicated button on car's steering wheel for Voice Command. In this case is to activate Siri. So you can do a lot of permissible actions on your CarPlay with Siri.


Rearrange the icons on CarPlay Home 

You can rearrange the icons on CarPlay by open settings on your phone, go to General > CarPlay, select vehicle then tap Customize. Refer here https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/ipha5936fe07/ios


Conclusion

I think having CarPlay (or Android Auto) is a great way to manipulate your phone without directly touch your phone while driving. While it has larger screen, it's also optimize for simple operation without needing more accurate button area. Meaning that the user interface only show the most important UI for driving mode. While sometime we wish want to do more, then we have to open back the phone. Therefore, the normal way we use phone on car is to put on the holder is sometimes need but not often. And when I am driving for a while, connecting with wired CarPay can be cumbersome for just playing music. Therefore, some carmaker still providing Bluetooth connectivity for audio, so I can just use Bluetooth only.

Overall, I am positive about the features and looking forward what Apple and Android can bring in the future. 

 





Sunday, 20 March 2022

Design System / Sistem Rekabentuk

Hai, hari ini saya nak bercerita tentang Design System atau Sistem Rekabentuk. OK jom kita refer kepada Design System sahaja lah sebab ia lebih common disebut. 

OK apa itu Design System, ia adalah guideline yang sentiasa dikemas kini untuk kegunaan developer dan designer untuk memastikan sistem yang dibangunkan mempunyai look and feel yang konsisten.

Ia juga penting untuk membentuk identiti sesebuah perniagaan.


Design System yang wujud dalam internet:

Polaris oleh Shopify

Garden oleh Zendesk


Apa yang ada dalam Design Sistem ini:

1. Warna

2. Fonts

3. Kompenen Layout

4. Icons / Illustrations / Photographies / Animations

5. Voice and tone / Sounds





Saturday, 12 February 2022

Precision in Coding

 When we develop a software project we have to be as much precise as possible. 

OK, what kind of stuff we have to be precise?  

1) Features that being used by your users. 

2) The definition that we use in the code.


Let me go more details:

1) Features that being used by your users

As we sometime don’t really know what user want. 

First of all we all need to do some research.

Start small and measure. Before going really massive on deep feature, we have to measure how often people are using the new feature. This give hint of how important the new feature to the users.

When you can see there more and more users new feature, it’s a good sign to further develop the feature and make it as optimized as possible.


2) The definition that we use in the code.

Well this one is goes deep into your code, your table names, variables and so on.

This should give yourself concise meaning of your code. Not only for you to understand now, let think how would you understand your code in 6-12 months in the future. 

Make the variable concise and understandable is a key for precision in coding.


Hopefully this would be helpful in making you become better in software development.






Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Happy New Year 2022!!!


Happy New Year 2022! From iReka Soft & Orderla.my


It has been 2 years since the first birth of Orderla on the Internet on Jan 2020. 

Orderla started as a simple order form going to WhatsApp, and it was on the stealth mode for few months. 

But on 2020 there was something happen that WhatsApp commerce got some serious attention. Also because of Covid-19, more and more people need an avenue to sell online.

We escalated the development, and open it for free on March 2020.

Later on we develop the paid version which is the Plus version a month later.

It's the first time we learnt about Stripe on top of few other payment gateways like Billplz, Toyyibpay and Senangpay. Moving forward we also add more payment gateways.

We also learnt more about the Telegram integration, how to make a bot. Now we can support 2 type of Telegram bots, inside the group and also one-to-one.

We dive deeper on the ecommerce sector, which is about fulfilment. We learnt about delivery services like : Send Parcel, EasyParcel and Delyva.

We also learn about utilizing Google Maps, create boundaries use specific Google API to get the distance.

Recently we have in the midst of developing mobile app with integration with build-in printer. 

All-in-all for the 2 years journey was a blast and exhilarating. We will use the result of what we have build until today to bring more useful products in the future.












Saturday, 18 December 2021

Building Features based on Use Case

As Orderla moving forward, we are keeping our pace to keep update the Orderla with latest features every month.

We put all the request into our idea box repository.

And see is any thing that we can do immediately that ultimately bring values to our merchants.

And sometimes, many of the ideas is quite hard to materialize because of the complexity.

The more we understand the use case the faster we can plan and build it.

Inspiration from others solutions also give us some insight on how things can be implemented. 







Friday, 12 November 2021

Back to Basic

We have a good news that we are shortlisted to enter an online accelerators for businesses.

So I would like to share what kind of learnings or takeaways from the materials they are provided:

Well, firstly, after I go through the materials, it's so much so like going back to basic, or like flashback to the point of time that Orderla (our SaaS business) was started. 

1. Business Model Canvas (BMC):

This is considered as the universal language on the framework of building a business.

BMC starts from :

i) Value Proposition. What kind of value to you want to server your (ii)

ii) Customer Segment : identify your ideal customer, what are their persona

iii) Channels : how do you deliver your (i) to (ii)

iv) Customer Relationship: how do you let your Customer Segment know you, and how do you maintain the relationship.

v) Revenue Steam: how do you charge your (ii)

vi) Key resources : what is your resources to provide your (i), you must have the advantages on providing goods or services to your (ii) in term of knowledge and networks.

vii) Key partners : who else that you need to partner to make sure you can build up the business. You do not build everything from scratch if needed. You can focus on your USP. 

ix) Cost Structure : what cost do you need to spend in order to provide your (i) and (vi)


2. Go To Market 

We had developed the platform earlier than the pandemic. The idea was to create a simple, free platform the send the order as a message to WhatsApp. At first I even didn't know is anyone would like to use that. It was quite a self-doubt of where it could be.

But, on the other side of the world happen there is also the tool on our pipeline pops up and create such a buzz.

From there, we can be certain that our product pipeline could have the potential users or customers. I started to solidify to make the product in term of UX good enough for user to get on board. 

So to flashback, I used social media, and some social media friends helped in term of introducing the system on the group, and it has some initial users.

Feedback from initial users are critical, and make sure to work on them as early as possible to address the concern. Be grateful that your users reaches to you to talk about their concerns otherwise they just can leave you, without you know a clue why they left.

There is good article about how big apps started:

https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-biggest-consumer-apps-got?

And for Orderla it was slow process, but we also polishing the app so that it can cover the most of the issue with early users.

At first the product is not good enough for everybody. But eventually it can be better overtime and can be on par or better with other players.

3. Marketing 

Marketing is everything in business. Even sometimes, you might did not noticed you do marketing.

It's the heart of your business. 

Marketing not necessarily ads, as you can start as Zero Cost Marketing (ZCM), which might consuming time. 

Your product is also marketing. Are they happy with your product, are they feel proud to share their links?

But eventually when you have enough confident that it's good enough for wider audience than we have to pump some ads budget on Facebook for example.

.

That were 3 points of the things that I just reflect back while I got the material of the accelerator.

It can be refreshing to look back and learn how we got until now.




 







Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Orderla.my Hits 10,000 Merchant Accounts

Early this month, Orderla.my hit another milestone of we are having 10,000 merchant accounts. 

We would like to say thank you for using this system and also all the technological partners that we have collaborate to make this platform more meaningful.