iOS vs. Android: The Case for iOS

iphones

Last week my co-founder Brandon laid out the case for Android. While I agree that Android has some benefits like customizability, there are a few key factors that put the iPhone ahead.

Reliability & Smoothness

The iPhone is a reliable machine that runs at about the same performance throughout its lifetime. There’s a reason iPhone users rarely turn off their phone, and that’s because it performs reliably even after heavy usage. With reliability comes a consistent user experience, providing a smooth user interface. With Android, I’ve seen many phones start out zippy but degrade over time or lag periodically.

Updates

Apple has done a great service to developers and users alike by essentially forcing you to update your phone. Updates are simple on the iPhone, and users are quick to update iOS for new features. For developers, this means they don’t have to support the older versions of iOS, which increases time spent on things that matter. Android phones usually are customized on a phone-by-phone basis, meaning the version of Android they run becomes outdated and doesn’t get updated as frequently, which is bad for developers and users alike and probably only good for new phone sales.

Simplicity

iOS is very consistent and simple across apps. Apple’s design standard has made apps converge on “best” practices (sometimes they might not be the best, but they’re common). An example of this is swiping on an item in a list. The home screen on iOS is quite simple, where each app gets its own space. The counter-point for Android is customizability, but that comes at the expense of simplicity. Personally, I like an environment to be plug and play, where I can start using something and be productive in a matter of minutes and continue to be productive over time. iOS does this well.

Other Benefits

  • Quality of apps (largely due to Apple screening every app in the App Store)
  • Integration with Mac. If you use a MacBook, you’ll agree that some of the desktop apps don’t feel complete unless they’re used with the phone (i.e. Messages, Notes, etc.).
  • The lure of Android is always there to explore something unfamiliar, but I’m a “no-nonsense” user, so you can leave me here…I’ll be ok.

What are you favorite or least-favorite parts about owning an iPhone or an Android? Let us know in the comments below!

Sincerely,
Matt from the Bunch

iOS vs. Android: The Case for Android

android

Which is better: the iPhone or Android? Well, if we say iPhone vs. Android it’s actually as if we’re comparing apples and oranges. iPhone is the name of the device made by Apple. Android is an operating system (OS) made by Google. For the purposes of this blog post, let’s discuss iOS and Android, because there are too many devices that run Android to compare devices, and people usually argue about the OS, not the device it’s running on.

Both operating systems are pretty niche, in my opinion. I believe that’s why this argument can get so heated sometimes. iOS users are typically (in my experience) no-nonsense people who want a quality device that won’t slow them down in any way. This can range from cool hipsters who are more occupied with their other hobbies to worry about a cell phone to older people (like my grandparents) who just want a reliable device to handle the occasional call. Android users tend to be more into tinkering (with a few exceptions here and there). There’s the possibility of rooting the device (gaining root access to the device to bypass certain rules the OS has baked in), and there are undoubtedly more customizations to be made on the Android platform.

So, which is better? I’ve personally owned both. I’ve owned numerous Android devices but temporarily switched to an iPhone 5 for a few years. While there are great things about each, I would like to argue that the Android operating system is superior to iOS. But after you’ve heard my reasoning, you should comment below to let me know what you think!

iOS has a beautiful interface. I will never tell anybody differently. iOS is reliable and quick, all the time. There’s a reason no-nonsense users tend to find themselves on iPhones. iOS is simple. It’s clean. It’s very sexy. There’s no doubt about that. However, for me, this is where it ends. Its simplicity and beauty only go so far for me. I need more.

The Android platform can almost compete with iOS in terms of being clean and beautiful. I’ll admit that it’s not as fast and responsive and can get bogged down under heavy usage. However, this is rare and doesn’t at all ruin the system for me. Where it wins, though, is its customizability. I’m not talking about the ability to root and flash different system images on the devices. And I’m just talking about sheer customization and user experience. When you use an Android, you get the feeling that the phone was made for you. Google Now will tell you where you parked your car, what you wanted to buy at the store (via Wunderlist integration), what your schedule looks like today, how your stocks are doing, how your team did last night, and display articles of interest (that are actually relevant), all on the same screen! Oh, and saying ‘OK Google’ and searching the web actually returns super accurate results, unlike Siri. The great thing about Android is that if you don’t want to customize it or use all of its features, that’s totally fine. The phone still will deliver the same value that an iPhone does.

Also, you can get a phone running the latest Android version for a few hundred bucks, while iPhones cost an arm and a leg.

But this is just my opinion; what do I know? Let me know what you think–and why–by commenting below!

Sincerely,
Brandon from the Bunch

Happy First Birthday!

birthday_cake
One candle for one year; the 44 is for April 4th 😉

The Bunch turns one year old today! 366 days ago, Matt, Brandon, and I had our first video conference to discuss the idea of developing LunchBunch into a fully-realized mobile application. In November of 2015, we launched LunchBunch publicly, and over the past few months, we’ve been updating it and adding new features. It’s time to start growing, so be sure to tell all of your friends about LunchBunch!

I’ve had a ton of fun working on LunchBunch over the past year, and I’d like to thank Brandon and Matt for all of the work they’ve put into making LunchBunch awesome. Seeing the app progress over the past 12 months has been amazing, and their diligence is why LunchBunch has come as far as it has. I couldn’t be prouder of my team and all of the time they’ve devoted to this project.

I especially want to thank you, our blog readers, app users, and general supporters of LunchBunch! This project wouldn’t be possible without you, and we really do appreciate all of the feedback and encouragement you’ve provided along the way. Thanks for cheering us on this past year! With so many exciting changes in the pipeline, I can’t wait to see where LunchBunch ends up on its second birthday!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch

Timed Broadcast

hourglass

We’ve been hard at work to bring you new features to enhance the LunchBunch experience, and one of our recent updates modified the way that broadcasting works.

Before our public launch, a user suggested this feature to make it easier to broadcast accurate information. She said she wanted her broadcast to terminate automatically because she didn’t “want to lose [her] LunchBunch integrity.” We thought this was a great idea because it’s easy to forget to switch back to “not hungry” after you’ve eaten.

Timed broadcasts will keep you hungry for one hour before automatically expiring. (Soon you will be able to change this length.) A few minutes before it’s switched off, you will get a push notification asking if you are still hungry with the option to extend your broadcast. Ignoring the notification will terminate the broadcast at the end of the timed period.

Timed broadcasts make it easier for you to use LunchBunch because you don’t need to remember to set your status to “not hungry” after a meal. This also helps hungry buddies know that you are ready to eat (instead of wondering if you simply forgot to edit your broadcast after your last meal).

What do you think of this new feature? Are there any other features we could add to make broadcasting even easier? Let us know in the comments below!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch

Use Case: Not on a Campus or in an Office?

coffee_shop

I’ve talked about how useful LunchBunch is in college and in the office, but what about the rest of us?

I organized many meals on campus while attending the University of Delaware and also in work settings during various internships over the past few years. But since graduating in May 2014, I’ve been working on LunchBunch from home which means a lot of meals by myself. So how is LunchBunch useful for those of us who aren’t on a college campus or working in an office? Here are a few of the ways I use LunchBunch that might help you, too.

Trivia

A pizza place in Pittsburgh hosts a trivia night every Tuesday, and one of my friends was the trivia host there for a while. A bunch of us would go most weeks to eat pizza and compete in the trivia, and LunchBunch was a great way to see who was going on a particular night. The time and location were already decided, and seeing everyone’s RSVP helped us to decide if we should go or wait until the next week when more friends could make it. Trivia is a specific use case, but LunchBunch is helpful for planning similar weekly events.

Last-Minute Plans

You just returned home after running errands, and you have some free time. There’s a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try out, so you hop on LunchBunch to see who wants to join you. You know it’s last-minute, and it’s too much work to message people individually. With LunchBunch, you see who is hungry and available, and in no time, you’re eating at a new place with a friend or two!

Scheduling Plans

Besides giving you the ability to see who’s available right now, LunchBunch can help you to schedule meals in advance. If you schedule lunch or dinner with a group, it’s easy to track who’s going and update the time or location if plans change. Additionally, when you’re getting ready to head out, you can check for hungry buddies who weren’t included in the original invitation so they don’t feel left out.

What are the unique ways that you use LunchBunch? Do you have suggestions for how we could make LunchBunch even better for you? Please let us know in the comments below!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch

Use Case: LunchBunch at the Office

buildings

LunchBunch can be just as useful in the office as it is on a university campus. When it comes to meals, there are a lot of similarities between users in these demographics–both tend to have schedules that change day-to-day, it’s hard to keep track of friends’ availability, and it’s often difficult to organize meals.

Group Emails

Group emails are great for getting information out to many coworkers, but they get disorganized very quickly. Some people might reply to the sender only, others click “reply all”, and they’re hard to search through. It’s difficult to keep track of RSVPs and make sure everyone has the most-recent information when using email to organize a meal. And if you join an email chain late, it takes too long to get caught up. With LunchBunch, everyone is on the same page (pun intended) with easy access to the time, location, and RSVPs for lunch. Sending messages to everyone is easy, and it’s much easier to search through than an email chain. And adding someone to the invitation is a breeze. With just a few taps, any of your Buddies can view the invitation.

Know when Coworkers are Busy

Sometimes it’s tough to know when coworkers are busy and shouldn’t be interrupted. When you’re ready to eat, you don’t need to interrupt anyone’s work to see who’s available. Instead, simply start broadcasting on LunchBunch, and when everyone is at a good stopping point and ready for a lunch break, you can create an invitation. Alternatively, you don’t even need to wait until everyone is hungry–you can create the invitation and add Buddies whenever you’re ready (even if they’re not broadcasting yet).

New People

If your office/building/block is large enough, lunch can be a great way to network with people you otherwise might not meet. You can connect with these people on LunchBunch and organize them into Bunches. You can even schedule times in advance to plan your networking meals at the beginning of each week.

New Places

Whether you’re eating with the same coworkers or networking with new people each day, it’s nice to switch up the location. We’re currently working on a few new features for LunchBunch that will help you find new places nearby, so stay tuned for future updates!

So next time you’re hungry at work and don’t know who’s available, check LunchBunch!

How do you use LunchBunch at work? Do you have suggestions for how we could make LunchBunch even better for your office? Please let us know in the comments below!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch

Use Case: College Students

university

YOICO–You’re Only In College Once. I did my best to popularize this phrase at The University of Delaware when YOLO was a big deal. YOICO was a great excuse to get a pizza and watch a movie at 3am instead of studying, and the only downside (obviously there aren’t others…) is that I can’t use it anymore now that I’ve graduated.

College is fun, and having the freedom to manage your own time is great. However, sometimes flexible schedules can make it difficult to meet up with people–especially for meals. If I had LunchBunch in college, I would have used it every day.

Eating Alone

Sometimes you only have 5 minutes to eat before class starts or you just want to eat alone, but usually eating with people is more fun. Schedules change every day, but LunchBunch makes it easy to find hungry friends. Instead of texting all of your friends to see who is available, you can check LunchBunch for the friends who–just like you–are ready to eat.

Regular Groups

LunchBunch is great for finding people right now, but it is also useful for regular meals. Let’s say you and your roommates always get lunch together on Tuesdays. You can create a Roommate bunch in the app, and when you’re ready to eat, you can invite all of them at the same time.

Availability

With LunchBunch, you don’t have to worry about messaging people who aren’t available. Sometimes it’s hard to text people before a meal because they might not respond immediately, they may have already eaten, or they’re otherwise not available. When I don’t get an immediate response to a text message, I wonder how long I should wait before asking someone else or going alone. But with LunchBunch, I can see which friends want to eat now, and it’s super easy for me to suggest a place.

So next time you’re hungry, whether you’re getting out of class, you need a study break, or you simply want to see if anyone is available, check LunchBunch!

How do you use LunchBunch in college? Do you have suggestions for how we could make LunchBunch even better for your campus? Please let us know in the comments below!

And remember, you may only be in college once, but YCALB (You Can Always LunchBunch)!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch

Lunch–Hold the Bunch

I have known about LunchBunch since the day its development started—even before that, really, when its concept was one outcome of several days of brainstorming between Matt, Ryan, and Brandon (The Bunch) early last April. I must admit, however, that I have not loved LunchBunch since the day it started. (Which is probably bad, considering Matt is my fiancé.)

I had my hesitations. From the moment the idea first sprung into existence, to the moment I saw the beta-testing release, even until the moment that the live app was on my phone and in my hands—I was hesitant. I was not hesitant that LunchBunch would succeed and be used by many people—only that it would be used by me.

Ask Matt, and he will tell you that throughout the development of LunchBunch, I have been both his biggest fan and his most annoying critic. I was skeptical.

“My friends won’t use LunchBunch.”

“My school is too small, and we only have one place to eat. We usually just walk in and find somebody.”

“I usually eat by myself if I only have a few minutes in between classes.”

I wouldn’t call myself Negative Nancy, but I wanted to be sure that LunchBunch would achieve what it needed to for the audience it was meant to. Some days I didn’t like the colors; some days I thought the swiping function between screens was too slow. (In fact, the last time I was with Matt, he confessed that he only asks me about LunchBunch when he is feeling particularly open-minded and patient.)

The date was November 10, 2015, and LunchBunch had been available for download for three days–-but I hadn’t used it yet. “It isn’t practical for me,” I thought. It was 5:00pm, and I was hungry—but it was dark, raining and I was considering eating microwave popcorn for dinner instead of walking six cold, lonely minutes to the Dining Commons at school.

Then, it occurred to me that now would be the perfect time to try this LunchBunch thing. I started broadcasting to my mere 12 buddies, and to my surprise, three of them were also broadcasting. I wrote an invitation for 5:07pm at the Dining Commons, and suddenly, I was eating a meal with eight friends—all because of LunchBunch. That night, not only were we eating a meal initiated by LunchBunch, but so were at least two other groups of people in the same room!

Since the launch of LunchBunch, I have been the recipient of admiration, applause, and constructive criticism on behalf of The Bunch, and it has been incredible to see people all over using something on their personal phones that The Bunch dreamt of, created and now actually exists. Thanks to LunchBunch, people are easily partaking in meals together, and enjoying one of the most valuable aspects of community—whether that is in a large corporation or a small university (or anything in between).

Happy LunchBunching!

Sincerely,
Megan (kind of) from The Bunch

Productivity Tools

tools

Teamwork requires effective communication, clear divisions of responsibility, and efficient workflows. When it comes to productivity tools, there are so many options that sometimes more work can be put into picking the right one than into actually completing the project! I’ve put together a list of three great tools that could make your next project a little bit easier to manage. Hopefully, it helps to narrow your search!

Trello

Whether you are working solo, with a partner, or with a whole team, Trello breaks down projects into tasks that are easy to manage and track. The online interface and mobile app feature a board containing lists. You create a card for each task and place it in the list associated with that task. For example, LunchBunch has a list for new features. Some cards on that list might be “Add Buddy from Contacts” and “Emoji Support”. Users can add a description and due date to the card, and anyone on the team can comment on the card to share their thoughts. Cards can be assigned to a user to make it easy to see who is responsible for which tasks. The card owner creates checklists to update as the task nears completion. Trello is very easy to use and great for keeping projects on track.

Google Apps for Work

Gmail is the most-popular email service in the world, and Google Apps for Work allows you to use Gmail with your own domain name which gives your business a more-professional appearance. While the pricing is worth it for that reason alone, it also comes with 30GB of Google Drive space and a bunch of other integrations that come with Gmail accounts. For example, included are Google Hangouts (which is great for internal meetings and meetings outside of your company), Google Calendar, and Google Docs. Google Docs documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings don’t count towards your 30GB of Drive storage, which is a nice bonus!

You can use Google Voice with your account as well. Google Voice gives you a phone number (for free!) that you can attach to your existing work, home, and/or cell phone(s). You can schedule different phones to ring and configure multiple voicemail greetings depending on the time of day, who’s calling, etc.

Google Apps for Work is a must-have for any small business, and Google Voice is a nice feature to separate personal and work calls.

Slack

Of all the tools we use at LunchBunch, Slack is my favorite. “Slack is a messaging app for teams that is on a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.” This is how Slack describes itself on its website, and I think that sums it up very well. Communication is organized in channels. So your business might have separate channels for marketing, sales, design, and development. This way, team members can join discussions that they need to be part of, and all of the messages stay organized.

Slack also offers features for sharing files and has plenty of third-party integrations–including Trello and Google Apps for Work–which make it a powerful service. The desktop application and mobile app make team communication extremely efficient. Additionally, the free tier is remarkably generous, and it doesn’t expire.

 
A list of only three services is pretty short, but I think these are great solutions for teams of all sizes and needs. Do you have any favorite tools your team likes to use? Let me know in the comments below!

Sincerely,
Ryan from The Bunch