AI in Mobile Apps

In acknowledging the pervasive influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on popular culture in 2023, it is imperative for mobile app developers to recognise its continual integration into app development practices. Contrary to misconceptions, our engagement with AI predates ChatGPT, as it has played a significant role in mobile app development for several years, presenting diverse and impactful applications in the evolving landscape of programming technology.

It is crucial to clarify that AI applications have not reached the stage of autonomously designing or creating mobile applications. However, this article focuses on delineating several ways in which AI features can augment the performance and user experience of mobile apps.

Enhanced search functionality

Modern AI technology, rooted in search engine algorithms, offers a notable benefit in enhancing search functionality within mobile applications. With users accustomed to the instant gratification of efficient search engines, integrating an AI-powered search feature into your app can revolutionise the customer experience. This enhancement enables users to make verbal requests and pose general questions, receiving prompt and accurate responses without grappling with keywords or sifting through multiple pages of results.

Customer service chatbots

In-app chatbots, powered by AI, provide users with the ability to communicate on their terms. These AI-driven customer service representatives efficiently handle routine queries, facilitating seamless navigation within the app. This not only saves time for your team but also expedites customer assistance, contributing to a more efficient user experience.

Intelligent data utilisation

Collecting, tracking, and analysing customer data has become integral to modern businesses, facilitating personalised app experiences. AI-powered apps excel in collecting diverse customer data points, enhancing user interfaces through customised product recommendations and targeted advertisements. Machine learning algorithms, although distinct from AI, can be seamlessly integrated to learn from individual customer behaviours, predicting the products or services they may require. These insights enable automatic tailoring of the app interface to align with customer usage patterns and preferences.

Emotional intelligence integration

AI’s innovative use within apps extends to analysing and interpreting human emotional states, allowing for more advanced personalisation efforts. By capturing indicators such as tone, facial expressions, and other emotional signals during customer interactions, AI empowers users to personalise content. This enables the app to offer recommendations and services that align more closely with the user’s emotional state.

What lies ahead?

AI provides developers and brands with an expansive toolkit for mobile app development, fostering innovation and personalisation. As technology continues to evolve, we remain committed to assisting customers in integrating the latest features and plug-ins into their apps to ensure an optimal customer experiences.

Data and Hosting

When considering cloud services, you’ve likely discovered that a universal cloud solution for businesses doesn’t exist. Each organisation has distinct needs and prerequisites.

To pinpoint the ideal cloud service model for your business, it’s essential to comprehend the various categories of cloud-based services and identify the features critical to your operations.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS stands as a cloud computing model that allows convenient access to applications hosted in the cloud. The advantage of SaaS is that you don’t have to concern yourself with the installation, configuration, or maintenance of software on your own servers. Instead, a third-party provider takes on the role of hosting and managing the application, which you can access on-demand via the internet using a web browser or mobile app. Since the provider manages maintenance and updates, the cost of SaaS is often more budget-friendly than buying and keeping on-premises software. It also offers the flexibility to rapidly scale your operations as SaaS applications are designed to be adaptable and accommodate shifts in user demand. Additionally, as most SaaS solutions work on a subscription basis, you can avoid a significant upfront investment and only pay for the services you use.

Typical examples of SaaS solutions are customer relationship management software, office productivity suites, project management tools, instant messaging platforms, and web conferencing solutions.

In summary, SaaS is:

  • Easily accessible over the internet, ready for immediate use
  • Hosted on remote servers managed by a third-party provider
  • Scalable, with various tiers for businesses of assorted sizes
  • Comprehensive, supplying security, compliance, and maintenance within a single fee

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a cloud computing model that equips you with the tools and infrastructure needed to create, test, deploy, check, and manage applications. It significantly reduces the manual work associated with coding, making the rapid development of complex applications and services a more straightforward task. PaaS provides access to essential resources from a central platform, with the provider overseeing the underlying infrastructure, such as servers, storage, networks, and operating systems. This enables your developers to focus on creating applications and services with minimal time and effort.

PaaS can be used to host or develop your own software solutions or to supply support for software used by your employees. While PaaS offers a lower cost of entry compared to on-premises solutions, it does require a solid understanding of software development and cloud computing concepts.

In general, PaaS solutions:

  • Concentrate on application development and deployment
  • Integrate with a broad array of tools and services
  • Offer scalability for adjusting resources as needed

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a cloud computing model that grants you on-demand access to remote servers, storage, and networking hardware, cutting the need to buy, install, and manage the underlying infrastructure.The most prominent IaaS form is the virtual machine, a digital version of a computer or server hosted on a remote server. You can access this virtual machine over the internet to store data, run applications, and develop software solutions without the need for physical hardware investments or the associated setup and management costs.

While IaaS offers cost-effectiveness, it does require a certain level of technical knowledge to set up and manage the infrastructure. Additionally, you manage the security of data stored on the virtual machine and any applications running on it.

In summary, IaaS is:

  • Highly flexible and scalable
  • Capable of accommodating a wide range of applications and services
  • Cost-effective, cutting the need for physical hardware investment
  • Ideal if you seek greater control over your cloud infrastructure

While the choice of a cloud service model depends on your specific business requirements, it is essential to gain a thorough understanding of these different models and how they can align with your goals.

Control Tower

Pipe & Piper has rebranded to PNP Digital. Same people, same expertise, just a new name and a new look.

We originally formed in 2013 and our main focus then was working with small, local business. Ten years on we have undergone some significant progression and we are now at a stage where we want our brand and our message to target our existing and growing client base. We are now proudly working with many national and international organisations.

PNP Digital Logo

We are thrilled to announce a significant milestone in our journey – the rebranding of Pipe & Piper to PNP Digital. After much introspection, strategic planning, and a deep dive into our core values, we are excited to present a fresh and innovative face to the world that better reflects who we are and where we are headed.

Over the years, Pipe & Piper has evolved in tandem with the dynamic landscape of the software industry. Our commitment to innovation, client satisfaction, and pushing the boundaries of technological possibilities has driven us to continuously adapt and grow. As we reflect on our journey, we realise that our brand should not just be a symbol – it should be a representation of our identity, aspirations, and the unique value we bring to our clients. So, why the rebrand?

Reflecting our vision and values…

Our rebrand is a visual and conceptual expression of our core values, mission, and vision for the future. We believe in the transformative power of technology and its ability to shape a better world. Our new brand identity symbolises our commitment to pushing the limits of what is possible, fostering innovation, and delivering solutions that make a meaningful impact.

Evolving to meet changing needs…

The software industry is dynamic and ever-changing. To stay ahead and continue delivering exceptional value, we must evolve. Our rebrand is a strategic move to position ourselves as a leader in the next wave of technological advancements. It reflects our dedication to staying at the forefront of industry trends, embracing emerging technologies, and adapting to the evolving needs of our clients.

Strengthening our connection with you…

Our community – clients, partners, and employees – is at the heart of everything we do. The rebrand is a way for us to strengthen our connection with you. We want our brand to resonate with your experiences, expectations, and the trust you place in us. The new look and feel are designed to enhance your overall interaction with PNP Digital and create a more engaging and memorable experience.

Embracing a unified identity…

As we’ve expanded our offerings and entered new markets, we recognised the need for a more cohesive and unified brand identity. The rebrand brings all facets of our business under a single, harmonious umbrella, streamlining our messaging and making it easier for you to understand the breadth and depth of our capabilities.

Aesthetic and functional enhancements…

Beyond symbolism, our rebranding efforts include aesthetic and functional enhancements. The new visual identity is modern, sleek, and aligned with contemporary design trends. It not only communicates our forward-thinking approach but also enhances the usability and accessibility of our products and services.

How will it affect our clients?

In short it won’t, we have changed our web address, branding literature and contact emails.

We will continue to provide the same level of expert knowledge and commitment you are used to just under a new name. If you have any questions about the change please contact us and we will be happy to talk to you about the change. We are looking forward to the next ten years in our ever changing digital landscape.

What to expect next…

We are genuinely excited about this evolution, and we invite you to explore our new brand, engage with our updated website, and share in the enthusiasm for what lies ahead.

Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Here’s to a future filled with innovation, collaboration, and success!

Business Software

In the shift from on-premises to the cloud, the significance of IT infrastructure audits can often be overlooked due to the absence of physical equipment. This may lead to neglecting the critical role of monitoring and maintenance. Yet, assessing the operational, financial, and security performance of technology has never been more vital. As cloud environments continue to expand rapidly, IT leaders may find themselves unsure about what to focus on.

The cloud era brings a variety of benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, and enhanced performance, but it also introduces a dynamic and constantly evolving landscape. Auditing the IT estate in this complex environment can be overwhelming.

Today, cloud solutions require a renewed commitment to security integrated into the company’s culture and operations. It involves shared responsibilities, addressing growing threats, and following stringent requirements throughout the scaling process.

Here are seven tips to get in control…

Evaluate your existing infrastructure

There is often no need for a complete overhaul. By assessing your organisation’s current architecture, network configuration, storage systems, VMs, and understanding the structure and interdependencies of your tech stack, you can find areas for improvement. This may involve finding vulnerabilities, ensuring compliance with industry standards, or finding redundant elements that drain your budget unnecessarily.

Prioritise security and compliance

In every monitoring and maintenance strategy, security and compliance should be top priorities. Evaluate the effectiveness of security measures such as firewalls, encryption, access management, and intrusion detection systems. Ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. Address any security gaps promptly.

Review software licenses and subscriptions

Take stock of your software licenses and subscriptions. Are you paying for more than you need? Auditing and managing licenses not only improve compliance and security but also cuts unnecessary spending on third-party applications and operating systems.

Assess efficiency and scalability

Regularly evaluate the efficiency of your cloud infrastructure to support best operational performance. Monitor resource utilisation, application response times, to find potential performance issues. Ensuring your infrastructure can manage fluctuating workloads without compromising performance is essential.

Third-party vendors and service providers

Third-party vendors and service providers can be valuable assets, but they can also pose security risks. Establish a holistic security strategy for external partners. Review certifications, audit reports, data protection policies, SLA compliance, and incident response and disaster recovery capabilities.

Maximise endpoint security

With more flexible working models come more entry points to sensitive data and networks. Strengthen endpoint security measures, including robust authentication protocols, regular software updates, and real-time monitoring, to safeguard data and enhance the overall resilience and credibility of cloud-based operations.

Consistency is key

Cloud environments are dynamic, constantly evolving, and undergoing updates. Routine audits should be a part of an ongoing strategy, with the frequency tailored to your business’s size and complexity. Endpoint audits every three years, while physical infrastructure and security measures at least once every three months.

A comprehensive audit of the entire cloud environment should be annually to evaluate implemented changes, support compliance, and show current issues.

Collaborate with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) or auditor to address concerns and update documentation approximately twelve months later, ensuring the effectiveness of implemented changes and ongoing compliance.

AWS migrations

In today’s digital landscape, safeguarding your online data from a spectrum of potential threats, from cybercriminals to government entities, is of paramount importance. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can provide that much-needed layer of security by encrypting data transmitted from your computer to the internet. However, the effectiveness of VPNs can vary significantly.

To make an informed choice when selecting one, it’s crucial to take the following factors into account:

Data encryption and logging policies

The choice of encryption protocol is a primary factor in deciding the level of security offered by your VPN. Different protocols, such as OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2, are available. opt for a VPN service that employs the latest encryption standards like AES-256, considered military-grade encryption. Be cautious of VPN providers that keep logs of user activity, potentially compromising your anonymity and privacy. For truly anonymous browsing, seek a VPN service that does not log user data.


While free VPN services may appear attractive, they often come with hidden costs, such as compromising data privacy through activity logs or displaying intrusive ads. Paid options typically offer a wider range of servers, configurations, and advanced security features.

Server location

The geographical proximity of VPN servers significantly influences performance. Distant servers may result in latency and slower browsing. Select a VPN with servers found near your physical location for a smoother online experience. If you aim to bypass geo-restrictions, opt for a VPN with servers strategically positioned in regions where your desired content is accessible. This approach ensures the user has the best browsing speeds and unhindered access.

Data capacity

Understand the data limits imposed by your chosen VPN, especially if your online activities require large bandwidth. Review the provider’s data cap and terms of service to ensure it aligns with your needs. Additionally, assess the provider’s server count, as a larger server network shows better support for data-intensive tasks.

Cross-platform functionality

Ensure the VPN is compatible with various platforms, including laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Choose a VPN that seamlessly integrates with your preferred devices, supplying consistent protection across your digital ecosystem. Prioritise VPN providers offering dedicated apps or robust configuration options for different devices.

Customer support

Explore the customer support options offered by the VPN provider. Look for readily available support channels like live chat, email, or phone, and consider user reviews to gauge the quality of help.

Software Modernisation

The workforce of the future is rapidly evolving, with a digital, dynamic, and decentralised landscape taking centre stage.

At the heart of this transformation lies the human cloud, a phenomenon akin to the gig economy that is reshaping the way we work. As businesses look for innovative and cost-effective solutions to meet their workforce needs, the human cloud has appeared as a game-changing trend.

The human cloud is an online ecosystem that runs in a decentralised manner, connecting individuals or businesses needing specific tasks or skills with a vast global network of freelancers and independent professionals. Diverging from traditional employment models, the human cloud functions through digital platforms and marketplaces, offering an on-demand, scalable workforce.

How the human cloud works

Digital platforms: Online intermediaries like Upwork and Fiverr serve as bridges between employers and freelancers.

Matching: Algorithms on these platforms use criteria such as skills, availability, and pricing to match employers with suitable freelancers. Employers can evaluate freelancers’ profiles and earlier work to make informed hiring decisions.

Task execution: Once a matched, the worker undertakes the task remotely. These tasks span a wide spectrum, encompassing services like graphic design, web development, content creation, data entry, and even driving or delivery services.

Payment and review: Payment for completed work processed through the platform, ensuring secure transactions.

Benefits of embracing the human cloud

Access to a global talent pool: The human cloud allows businesses to access a diverse global talent pool, which is especially valuable for companies found in regions with limited access to skilled workers. It enables easy sourcing of highly specialised skills for specific projects.

Scalable operations: Businesses can swiftly adjust their workforce size to match demand, easing the handling of projects of any scale without incurring significant overheads. This flexibility is invaluable for seasonal or project-based work that needs temporary workers within a brief period.

Cost-effectiveness: By paying for work only when needed, businesses can reduce labour costs and minimise the expenses associated with physical office space.

Speed and efficiency: The human cloud accelerates project timelines, enabling employers to quickly find the right talent. Freelancers can also find work more easily, minimising downtime between projects.

Reduced administrative burden: Human cloud platforms supply an all-in-one solution, simplifying the administrative aspects of hiring and managing freelancers. These platforms manage everything from sourcing to payment and review.

Innovation and experimentation: new companies may use the human cloud to explore new business ideas, prototype concepts, or access specialised skills they may not have in-house.

iOS 17 Preview

Apple recently revealed all in their upcoming iOS 17 update. It is expected to become publicly available some time in September, alongside the reveal of the new iPhone and other devices during their summer reveals.

Here’s some of the standout features from iOS 17 which you can expect…

StandBy Mode

StandBy is puts your device into a low power mode, and shows customisable information such as a clock, the weather, or basic information from the same widgets which are available on the home screen. StandBy can show incoming notifications, and other information. This mode could be used to replace an alarm clock if paired with a phone charging stand, as shown in the image above, making it seamless to turn off the alarm, grab your phone, and start your day.

AirDrop Upgrades

AirDrop is being improved, allowing you to share contacts, photos, videos, and more all from a quick tap of your phone to theirs. This improves on the previous method of having to select from a menu who you want to send the info to if you were sat next to the person at the time.

iOS 17 brings in “NameDrop” which will allow the sharing of contacts, simply by tapping the phones with each other. This can be the full contact, just the phone number, or the email.


Journal is a new app which automatically brings photos, music, and location, & more, all together from each day to give an outline of your day. Users are able to add notes and memories to these automatically generated days, as well as edit them to their liking. Apple claims that machine learning is used to build an understanding of how you like your journal to be, and make it more tailored to your preferences.

For anyone who is active, and a traveller, this will be a perfect addition to their phone, being able to make and share the memories which they have made each day with others.

Offline Maps

For the first time, Apple are allowing the downloading of certain sections of maps with Apple Maps. This has been possible with other maps such as Google Maps, for quite some time, but nevertheless, this is a welcome feature if you are going to be going somewhere with limited or no GPS signal or data.

And More…

We’ve listed just some of the major updates which have been introduced with iOS 17 so far, there are plenty of other smaller changes and updates to make iOS 17 the best version of iOS yet.

A full list of all new iOS 17 features can be found on Apple’s website:


E3 has served as the gaming industry’s landmark event, where developers, publishers, and enthusiasts gather to witness exciting game reveals, cutting-edge technology showcases, and engaging presentations. However, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the body responsible for organizing E3, had to make the difficult choice to cancel the event due to a combination of factors.

The Decline After COVID

Due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the ESA prioritized the well-being of attendees, exhibitors, and staff. Despite efforts to adapt the event to a virtual or hybrid format, the challenges associated with ensuring a secure and immersive experience for all involved proved to not be up to the previous experience offered by E3.

Other exhibitors, such as Nintendo, Sony, & Microsoft now all offer their own online announcement events which have meant they have no use in attending E3, and over the recent years, more and more developers have been pulling out from attending, preferring their own events which they have sole control over, and take all of the attention, with no rivals.

The End of the Biggest Gaming Event

With the future of E3 in doubt, gamers are having to turn to the individual events hosted by publishers. This could mark the turning point as E3 served as an important event before the rise of the internet and rapid communication where being able to show off to the press was more important to make an impact and generate hype, whereas this can now be done at any time and with more modern marketing techniques.

This demonstrates more than ever how important it is to keep up with the ever moving market and times. And how continual improvements and revisions are needed to ideas to keep them in the public’s eye. Staying stationary in technology is the fastest way to get left behind and forgotten.

PNP can revamp your existing systems and apps to make them modern and user friendly, constantly pushing forward with new and innovative ideas to keep your business relevant.


Traditionally, coding has been a meticulous and time-consuming task that required developers to possess a deep understanding of programming languages and syntax. However, ChatGPT has introduced a new level of simplicity and efficiency by providing developers with an intuitive and conversational interface to interact with their code.

Get a Helping Hand

One of the most significant advantages of ChatGPT is its ability to assist programmers in generating code snippets, solving programming problems, and offering suggestions. With a few simple prompts, developers can ask questions, seek guidance, and receive immediate responses from ChatGPT, which draws upon its vast knowledge base to offer relevant and accurate solutions. This feature not only saves time but also encourages collaborative problem-solving, as developers can engage in dynamic conversations with the AI model.

Furthermore, ChatGPT’s natural language processing capabilities enable it to understand and interpret code-related queries in plain English, making it more accessible to developers of all skill levels. It can break down complex concepts, explain intricate algorithms, and even assist in debugging code. This empowers novice programmers to overcome hurdles more easily and learn from experienced developers, as ChatGPT acts as a knowledgeable and patient mentor.

Not a Replacement For a Human

Whilst ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it requires an exact and well formed request to be asked to get the best results out of it. Even then, the ending result is likely not usable within an existing system as coding standards and methods will differ, and the code may not even compile/run. It is intended for more as a base, or aid when stuck on an issue as it will provide different solutions which a developer may not have considered.

Paired with an experienced and knowledgeable coder, ChatGPT can be leveraged to simplify a complex request and give the developer a new perspective on the problem which can allow them to reach the end result faster.

AI is no replacement for a human, it can’t deal with specific client requests, or interact with clients like a developer can. It may be able to generate small snippets of code, but it is unable to make anything bigger than a few lines of code. Meaning it is unable to generate entire complex systems at one request. Even if it could generate a base system, there would be no way it could mould it into what a client would want, and make a system which could be well maintained and built on for many years to come.

If you are in need of a CMS made by humans who care, and lovingly craft each system/app, then consider PNP.

CRM Trends 2023

A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is behind any business which needs to manage and use large amounts of customer data. CRM’s have greatly developed and transformed over recent years into highly streamlined tools for businesses. This article will take a look at some of the new trends for CRM’s in 2023.

Dashboard Customisation

Dashboard CRM PNP Digital

Movable dashboard tiles provide a better workflow

Creating one dashboard for all users, or one for each user type is becoming less common. Customisable dashboards where each section is a component which can be rearranged and dragged to anywhere to suit the user are now becoming on trend. It gives the end user a more personalised experience, and has been shown to improve their workflow.

Process Automation

Being able to set-up automated processed to import/export and process data is a powerful tool being utilised in more modern CRM’s, some even going as far as to let the user create tasks for the CRM to run as scheduled events, or just when they are needed.

While giving the user these tools is incredibly powerful, it can be a sharp learning curve, and should only be limited to users who need the ability to run & create the tasks. Having a customisable tool which can automatically process data build right into the CRM can save countless hours over a year from repetitive tasks.

XaaS (Everything as a Service)

Younger generations, most commonly Gen X, are pushing for businesses to offer “everything” as a service. From 2017 to 2023, there was a rise of 72% in the profitability and usage of subscription services, and an estimated 75% of CRM’s offering a subscription service by 2024. With some of this being down to the pandemic, but also due to the convenience & ease of subscription services.

A modern CRM is most likely to offer a subscription service, especially CRM’s offering cloud services. In 2023, customers are more likely to pick a subscription service than a regular service when shopping online.

As with anything, it is important to evaluate what will be best for your CRM. If you are unsure and need a website/CRM building you can contact us.