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  • LiquidSpace app for iOS

    By Toaster Post | May 4, 2015 |

    LiquidSpace is the world’s largest marketplace connecting people to workspaces. The company’s mobile app and website give professionals the power to find and book a workspace by the hour, day or month. The team chose Two Toasters to redesign and develop a rich, graphically appealing mobile experience for finding and booking office space, meeting rooms and co-working desks on the go with the added utility that eases the anxiety of getting to a new place and up and running quickly to start an important meeting or finish a critical “heads down” project.

    Two Toasters’ development and design teams put in significant effort to make everything easy and to deliver the right information at the right time for the mobile user. A clean and beautiful presentation of the venues and workspace details, detailed search filters, use-case scenarios and importing of a calendar event further help users find the right workspace for them.  We also ensured that the app incorporated features tailored to iPhone users, including calendar integration, Passbook, Apple Pay and a best-in-class Today Widget. The overall result is an app that enables users to find a place to work, book it and be up and running quickly, streamlining the overall meeting process.

    Features We Love

    Detailed Search

    LiquidSpace iOS app screenshot
    LiquidSpace already had a robust search function to help guests find the perfect work space. For the app, Two Toasters enhanced the overall search, browsing and filtering experiences by implementing larger images and expanding filters to include amenities. We created custom icons to represent amenities, and included additional photographs of each workspace wherever possible to further assist users in making a reservation decision.

     

    Scheduling and Calendar Integration

    calendars_inPhoneScheduling is a key part of the LiquidSpace app; like everything else Two Toasters creates, we wanted to ensure a delightful experience here. Users can select a time directly from the workspace screen, or browse the calendar, scrolling horizontally through days of the week and vertically through the times of the day. We put a considerable amount of effort into rendering these effects, using masks to show transitions between dates on the calendar, and optimizing CPU usage while browsing the schedule. We also integrated Apple’s calendar into the app, so users could access existing events and meetings and use them as the basis for booking a location and inviting additional attendees.

    Meeting Support

    LiquidSpace iOS app screenshotLiquidSpace’s goal is to help mobile users easily transition from digital to physical (i.e., identify and book meetings in the digital space that will occur in a real location). We built in a plethora of meeting support features that provide relevant information at the right time and in the right context, serving as a virtual assistant or concierge. For example, half an hour prior to a meeting, or when crossing the geo-fence, a guest will receive check-in information, wi-fi password, parking tips, instructions for how to use key amenities, how to get into the building and other important meeting information. Ten minutes before a meeting ends, users receive an option to extend the reservation with one tap, negating the need to leave the meeting and contact the workspace host. Rebooking options are presented immediately following the conclusion of a meeting, and meetings are saved in “My LiquidSpace” for reference and easier meeting scheduling. These dynamic touch points occur in the app, notifications, Passbook, and Today Widgets (and through Email and on the LiquidSpace website for users and venue hosts who are helping to manage the reservations). The overall goal is to take meeting management out of a calendar and into post-booking workflow, anticipating needs and quickly providing answers.

    About LiquidSpace

    LiquidSpace is the world’s largest marketplace connecting people to workspace. The company’s mobile app and website give professionals the power to find and book a workspace by the hour, day or month. More than 5,500 vetted and customer-reviewed workspaces in nearly 600 cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia are available through its marketplace. LiquidSpace gives professionals the freedom to choose the best place to do their best work, whether in a private office, a coworking spot or a meeting room. Real estate owners and workspace venues with extra workspace can market, manage and monetize their space by connecting to a vibrant community of professionals through the LiquidSpace marketplace.

     

  • It’s Official: Two Toasters Acquired by Ticketmaster

    By Toaster Post | April 1, 2015 |

    Hi everyone. As you may have heard, we were acquired by Ticketmaster this week. Below are the official details, and we look forward to the exciting new opportunities the future will hold for us as Ticketmaster Mobile Studio!


    Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment, announced today that it acquired Raleigh-Durham based Two Toasters, a leading design and development agency for native iOS and Android mobile applications.

    The acquisition of Two Toasters further demonstrates Ticketmaster’s commitment to expanding its mobile capacity and creating a truly end-to-end platform unlike any other in the live event and entertainment space. Further, establishing a presence in Raleigh-Durham, one of the nation’s most important hubs of innovation, is an important and strategic undertaking for Ticketmaster as the company expands new technology offerings and continues to attract top talent.

    As a leading app developer, Two Toasters helped to bring industry-leading mobile app design and discovery capabilities to some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Airbnb, Birchbox, Ebates, and Regal Entertainment Group.

    The company, founded in part by brothers Rachit and Adit Shukla, has successfully launched over 50 mobile products. It operates out of offices in Durham, North Carolina’s historic American Tobacco Campus.

    “We’ve assembled one of the best mobile teams in the region and Two Toasters has become a magnet for new talent,” said Rachit Shukla, chief executive officer for Two Toasters. “Joining Ticketmaster expands our vision and provides our talented team with the opportunity to build and take ownership of an entirely new mobile standard in the industry as Ticketmaster Mobile Studio.”

  • Get Revved for Biz Dev – Meet Sean Schultz

    By Toaster Post | March 19, 2015 |

    Though Sean Schultz has been a stellar part of our dynamic biz-dev duo for nine-ish months now, it’s time to introduce him to the world! Where did this biz wizard come from and what makes him tick? Read on in our interview.

    Sean, what did your journey to Two Toasters look like?

    Seattle SkylineAfter graduating from Dartmouth in 2013, I went to live on the total opposite side of country in Seattle, where I barely knew anyone. I was working as a Brand Specialist in Hardlines on the retail side within Amazon on a team of about 15. Seattle was cool; it’s about as overcast as people talk about, but not as rainy as I expected. Three months of the year (in the summer) it’s beautiful.

    Amazon was a great first learning experience, but after being there for ten months I wanted to be somewhere smaller. I wanted to have a bit more agency and impact within a tighter community. I found Two Toasters through a friend of a friend … of a friend. I really liked the company, the vibe, the culture, what they were doing, and thought it would be an exciting place to work.

    Since getting here, what’s been your most rewarding project to work on with Two Toasters?

    In my work so far, my first deal was a big move. The company we signed (whom we can’t talk about yet …) are very exciting and doing big things in an important way. Second to that would be Google Ara, which was a very different project. It was a lot more structured: we had to think strategically and long-term about resource allocation, and we had to solve complex problems in a space that’s completely greenfield. Being part of that process was very cool conceptually. It was great to work with [Two Toasters director of business development] Simon Kirk to bring Two Toasters’ specific piece to that puzzle. The amount of coordination between Simon, me, and our Android team was massive.

    With your many insights into the mobile world, what do you personally look for in an app?

    I look for the app that has “The Thing” that you always thought should be there, but never was. Like Mailbox; it makes so much sense to swipe to archive, or swipe to snooze. I like apps that do one thing and do it really well, so typically they’re not overreaching. In other words, apps that know their space and stay in their lane.

    On the other hand, what annoys you most in an app?

    I’m rarely annoyed by apps. Usually an app is just an added convenience to my life, meaning I don’t use it if it’s not useful. If there’s not a valid, valuable use case, then it’s just occupying screen real estate until I delete it.

    Which work-efficiency tricks and tools make your life easier?

    Boomerang app logoDefinitely the email scheduler Boomerang. It allows you to schedule emails to send in advance, which saves time from managing reminders. Trello is also useful. As well as simply scheduling everything into my Google calendar—even time to work on projects. The calendar app Sunrise saves my life every day, with push notifications telling me when my next meeting is and what I need to do.

    Oh and here’s an interesting fact.

    Great, what’s your interesting fact?

    Adit Shukla [director of creative services at Two Toasters] clued me into a small web app that analyzes your email. It shows I’ve written nearly 1,000,000 of them since joining in May of last year!

    Do you mainly communicate by email then? Or do you prefer other forums for contacting colleagues and clients?

    Within the company, Hipchat is definitely the best way to communicate. It’s immediate, most people can answer it without disrupting their work flow, and it’s very quick and easy to send files back and forth. Especially as our team in the New York office is separated off from everybody in the Durham HQ, it’s important to keep in quick contact. Hipchat is the life-blood of the company; if you want to feel the pulse of Two Toasters, it’s in the Hipchat rooms where we check in on music, games, interesting articles, and more.

    I’m also big fan of phone calls, of cutting through it and getting to the point.

    Tea or coffee?

    Coffee. Gobs of coffee.

    Life beyond Two Toasters?

    Sean SchultzYou could call me a cinephile if you like; I watch a lot of movies. Book-wise, I’m typically someone who reads 20th-century American fiction, though recently I’ve been on a non-fiction and business management kick. Right now I’m reading My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan. I’m also constantly listening to music, and Palisade’s in New York is a cool venue.

     

  • Regal Cinemas App for iOS and Android

    By Toaster Post | February 17, 2015 |

    Regal Cinemas iOS app - movie selectionRegal Cinemas, the largest movie theatre chain in North America, selected Two Toasters to overhaul their existing mobile app to provide consumers with a cleaner and more robust discovery and ticket purchasing experience, while also offering incentives to use the app through mobile-specific concession coupons and simplified access to Regal Cinema’s Crown Club (Regal’s loyalty program).

    We designed a graphics-rich app with tab-based and color-coded navigation that allows users to locate theatres, find showtimes, or purchase tickets with a single tap, as well as learn more about selected movies through enhanced content.

    Regal was an integral partner with us in strategizing and developing the app, and offered a deep level of access to their analytics and content management systems that facilitated all aspects of development from discovery to implementation. As of early 2015, the new Regal iOS app has increased average purchase conversion by nearly 300 percent, and we look forward to seeing the same great results from the Android app.

    Features We Love

    Movie content and sharing

    Regal Cinemas iOS app - Twitter feedRegal Cinemas iOS app - buy ticketsWorking with Regal, we learned that it’s important to provide moviegoers with as much information as possible to help with purchase decisions. With that in mind, we incorporated a feed of information from Regal’s content management system to supply high-resolution screenshots, trailers, and detailed movie descriptions, which also results in an engaging and immersive browsing experience.

    For both platforms, we used YouTube to enable movie trailers to be played seamlessly within the app itself (without opening a separate window and leaving the app). Film descriptions appear as three lines of text, but can be expanded and collapsed to show pertinent details such as movie synopsis, cast, ratings, and runtimes. Accessibility, viewing options (e.g., IMAX, RPX, RealD 3D), and amenities are also displayed for each showing. In addition, so users could also see in real time what others were saying about the films they were considering, we integrated Twitter’s Fabric SDK into the app to show movie-specific feeds (read more in Twitter’s case study).

    And because movies are always more fun with friends, we made sharing easy in the Regal Cinemas app. Users can send upcoming showtimes and theatre options for specific movies via text and email.

    Regal Cinemas iOS app - search

    Location search

    One helpful feature of the Regal cinemas app is that users can easily find nearby theatres either by using the device’s location or by typing the city, state, and/or zip code. To make this even better, we provided suggestions so that users only need to type a few characters to find their location.

    Users can save a theatre (or theatres) as favorites for future searches, and can also obtain directions to a desired location through their device’s built-in map functionality. Searches are not limited by proximity or even the current date; both can be easily changed on the fly to see what’s playing at theatres across the country and to find showtimes in the near future.

    Coupons and Regal Crown Club integration

    Regal Cinemas Android app - coupon and crown clubMany of us enjoy popcorn or other snacks while we’re at the movies. At the beginning of each month, the Regal Cinemas app offers mobile users a new concessions coupon and notifies them based on the preferences set on their mobile device; the coupon appears within the app as a QR code that can be used immediately at the theatre of their choice. In addition, customers can easily access—or enroll in—the Regal Crown Club loyalty program through their smartphone, which uses a QR code that can be scanned at a theatre’s point of sale to earn points toward additional discounts and other member-exclusive benefits.

    To render the QR codes, we used Apple’s built-in QR code generation (part of the Core Image framework) and QR code scanning (part of AV Foundation) for iOS; for Android, we restyled a third-party library. Both implementations enable users to enjoy streamlined, paper-free coupons and club membership access.

    About Regal Entertainment Group

    Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) operates the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in the United States,consisting of 7,367 screens in 574 theatres in 42 states along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan as of January 1, 2015, with approximately 229 million attendees for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2013 (“fiscal 2013″). Our geographically diverse circuit includes theatres in 46 of the top 50 U.S. designated market areas. We operate multi-screen theatres and, as of December 26, 2013, had an average of 12.7 screens per location, which is well above the North American motion picture exhibition industry average. We develop, acquire and operate multi-screen theatres primarily in mid-sized metropolitan markets and suburban growth areas of larger metropolitan markets throughout the United States.

  • Romantic Gift-Giving Apps for Valentine’s Day

    By Toaster Post | February 11, 2015 |

    Valentine’s Day is almost here; for the procrastinators among us there’s still a little time left to pick the perfect gift for that special someone. Here are a few of the apps that can help you select just the right thing for this most romantic of holidays.

    Birchbox (developed by Two Toasters) offers a curated selection of goodies to pamper your sweetheart, helpful articles to discover new products, and—best of all—gift box subscriptions with personalized beauty, grooming, or lifestyle samples delivered every month. It’s a great option for the hard-to-please person in your life.

    Birchbox iOS appBirchbox iOS app
    Tasty treats, especially those covered in chocolate, are always a favorite. Shari’s Berries offers fresh-dipped fruits and delights for any occasion, but really shines during Valentine’s Day. (more…)

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