Blog : Mobile App Development & Marketing

Wearable Technology Trends for Mobile Applications

Wearable Technology Trends for Mobile Applications

Wearable technologies have become part of both our personal and corporate landscapes. As each day passes, we see new wearable applications being introduced to the marketplace. Multiple industries are integrating the technologies into their operations. Runners and athletes of all capabilities use wearable computers to document tremendous amounts of data about their physical status. We may take the wearables for granted as part of our everyday lives, but it has been a path that developers have been embracing for years:

  • Medical applications – Years ago we heard a TV commercial describe a patient who had fallen but could not get up to call for help. Those same patients today can communicate with emergency responders by transmitting critical medical data through a wearable computer. Although a patient may not be conscious, their wearable computer is still able to intercede with life-saving communications. Techcrunch.com took a look at the advantages of pairing wearable technologies with the medical community.
  • Google Glass – In April, 2012 Google started the public discussion of their eyeglass-mounted computer, “Project Glass”. This was the beginning of “Google Glass”. The evolution of Google Glass has encountered not only a technology growth curve, but also a social growth curve. Community members react differently to social norms being challenged when someone arrives in crowded a room wearing a camera on their face. The history of the Glass project has been well documented by glassalmanac.com.
  • The Apple Corporation – Apple has invested heavily, banking on the success of their smart watch, called the “iWatch”. Many see the iWatch as the next step of the wearables revolution. While many ‘smart watches’ temporarily record data, they are anchored to a larger smart phone to download and process data. The recently announced upgrades for the iWatch demonstrate it to be a more of a self-sustaining platform. “This new version will have great new capabilities and bring native apps right to your wrist,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent announcement. The first generation needs to dock with an iPhone 5 (or later) but is setting the basis for an independent system with future developments. 

Being able to stay current involves not only understanding your clients’ current needs, but also appreciating the trends in the marketplace that affect our daily lives. Writing mobile apps for wearables is the next step in our evolution for programmers, runners and patients. Being able to communicate intelligently is critical to our growth.

The Software Development Process

The Software Development Process

The Software Development Process is an organized, systematic approach to developing software. It’s an organized pathway traveled together by both the client and a software development team. The development cycle is an upward spiral that allows for discovery, new growth, consideration of new ideas, inspiration and change.

The process begins when a client approaches a development team with an idea for a new ‘digital mousetrap’. It’s critical that the software team listen to all the concerns of the client. These may include a timetable, budget concerns, support, logistics and so on. In turn, the clients must understand that the development team will do everything in their power to assist them.

During your application’s development, you will encounter numerous pressures that will divert you from your end goal. It is critical that you have a focused plan and a development team who can appreciate these concerns. A solid team will keep your project focused toward a specific goal.

The Software Development Process includes the:

  • development phase – it starts as an idea, quickly followed by an analysis; quality standards are established; specific goals are set.
  • design phase – you’ll discuss form, function and the delegation of duties.
  • implementation phase – The actual program code is written during the implementation phase.
  • testing and verification phase – after the development team has a working copy of the project, they will usually issue it out to a limited group for beta testing. Here, they gather data on what works and what can be refined. Quality standards are met.
  • documentation phase – here the data is brought together and assessments are made.
  • maintenance phase – this is the longest phase. It consists of the constant updating of the program and customer management. This phase continues long after the final release of the project.
The key to success is open communication.

The process is often met with long hours, varied opinions, and strong emotions for a project. This mixture of blood, sweat and tears is critical to the creative process. For as much as a client is passionate about the function of an application, the creative team has similar motivations. They view the project from the inside-out. Ones and zeros take on form, function and texture.

It is this marriage of visions that brings life to the original idea. Each project is more than just the sum total of the various parts. The project evolves with each new idea, inspiration, and dream. Contact Colure’s Development Team to discuss bringing your software dreams to life.

SEO For Small Businesses

SEO For Small Businesses

Efficient search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to every business. Regardless of size or industry, the critical need to analyze your internet data is key to every business owner. Small business owners are often challenged by not having a staffer dedicated to looking after these affairs. This frequently leaves business owners facilitating both the mechanical end of their business and needing to extend themselves to cover their digital concerns.

Keeping a few tips in mind can help you as wade through these waters:

  1. Never consider you website complete. Because of the dynamic nature of the market, your clients, and your business, you need to constantly tweak your site. It cannot be seen as static, nor can your business.
  2. Learn the mechanics of Google. They’re a dominant force in the internet industry today. In order to understand how your site will interact with the internet, you need to learn how Google operates. Here are three SEO tools to investigate:
      1. Google Webmaster Tools – Explore these tools. They will help you understand how Google views your site and provides you the tools to interact with Google.
      2. Google Analytics – Here you will learn the statistical background of your customers.
      3. Google My Business – Set up a ‘Google My Business’ account. This is a social networking platform to share digital content with businesses and customers. By establishing an account, you increase your visibility across the entire Google network. One of the most critical things to do here is to categorize your business properly. Google allows you to place your business into two of five categories. The purpose for this is so Goggle can better understand your business and is able to provide cleaner search placement results.
  1. Be sure that your content is relevant and up to date. When a customer looks at your page you’ll have less than eight seconds to hold their attention. Make the effort to keep your data current and competitive. It’s important to have clean, easy-to-access information for your customer’s needs.

No matter your size or need, clean and efficient SEO operations are critical to everyone. Contact Colure about helping your organization rise to the surface in the search engine rankings.

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools for advertising agencies

Project management tools are designed to help agencies to bring their projects from conception to completion. The ways in which you manage every idea, resource, and staffer will affect your ultimate destination. Given the span of variables in the creation process, it’s impossible to find one simple answer to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you are a team of one or 50 members, success is built upon a systematic approach.

A simple starting point to determine your PM (project management) needs, is to look back at your last three projects. What went wrong? What worked well? Was your problem time management? Was it information management? Was it the way you utilized your teams? Were you able to reconcile your billable hours against your accounts? Did you have an organized plan of attack or did you feel as though you were trying to round-up a bunch of wild cats?

The completion of your project is based on the premise that you have a solid footing in project management. This requires being able to wear multiple managerial hats. When it comes to project management skills, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s critical to identify what skills you have mastered and which may need a bit of help. It’s safe to say that almost everyone needs a bit of assistance with at least one skill.

An organized approach to your project is critical. Here are a few tools that can help you and your team better understand your project needs. Each of these applications has their own feel; all of these are strong tools to move you closer to a successful completion.

Suggested Project Management Tools:
  • Tomsplanner.com This is a simple, Gantt chart subscription service. This offers a strong starting point to organize your thoughts. This is a great place to organize a project’s multiple needs and resources.
  • Basecamp.com Organize your teams’ efforts around multiple projects. This system works well by internalizing conversations.
  • Wrike.com This platform likes to expand its communications across email platforms.
  • Getharvest.com This system does a great job of integrating your various finances.
  • Pivotstack.com offers a multitude of services from PM, accounting, and communications.

Every journey begins with a first step. Be sure that you move your project forward, towards a successful destination. Contact Colure’s Project Managers to discuss your visions for successful software development, marketing and concept development.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (or MVP)?

What is a Minimum Viable Product (or MVP)?

Every entrepreneur wants to release their product with a complete set of features and functions. They want to be able to solve the needs of their customers within the first product release. The reality is that in order to gain insight to your customer, you need to get your product into their hands so they can provide feedback. In this way, you have direct insight to their tastes, needs and wants. What is the absolute basic commodity that can be built in order to answer those needs?

Every development opportunity presents the creative team the same question: “What problem do we need to solve and what is the most cost efficient way to solve that problem? The answer is the development of a minimum viable product (MVP). The “MVP is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters.[1]

How barebones is ‘minimum’?

In short, the MVP is the absolute base model of an application or website, one which offers the fewest number of features to make it a viable entity in the marketplace. This model presents the very basics of your concept to which the customer can both interact and react. It is from this interaction you gain valuable insights to your customer’s wants and needs.

The key to this process is gaining information. You will be able to craft the development of your idea to specifically reach the needs of your customer. Without this insight, you can very easily waste time, money, and effort building features that will take you down a rabbit-hole, which might offer a limited ROI.

The MVP is an ongoing process that constantly redefines the concept, the customer, and the market. It starts with an idea to meet a need in the market. In order to understand the market needs you will need insight to your customers. To understand your customers, you must understand how the market is or is not facilitating their needs. As you learn more about each leg of the puzzle, you gain a greater insight to the whole process. It creates an upwards spiral that leads to a more sophisticated development of your original concept.

Almost every product or service has passed through some form of the MVP process. Everyone in the marketplace, from entrepreneur to Google and Apple, have all explored this process.

The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” [2] Your goal as a entrepreneur is to develop your idea with the least cost and effort; reaching out to an audience to gain the most information about them; offering a product in the marketplace that customers will use and purchase with the absolute minimal number of features.

Contact Colure’s Development Team to discuss a strategic approach to your concepts and dreams. Our team has developed numerous apps, some with 10 million+ downloads.

Top 10 Mobile Applications of 2014

Top 10 Mobile Applications of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we look back at a few of the many mobile applications that were released this year. Developers worked to create a new set of tools to aid us in our mobile travels. This collection represents examples of outstanding form, function, and flavor. This is not a listing of the most popular apps of the year. These are presented in no particular order, only as a group of outstanding finalists. Each app is a shining example, demonstrating its ease of use and functionality.

The Mobile App Finalists

  • WunderStation by Weather Underground (iOS)   This wonderful weather app is incredibly flexible for your travel needs.
  • Wickr-Top Secret Messenger (Android / iOS)   Secure and entertaining messaging.
  • Monument Valley(Android / iOS / Kindle)   A visually stimulating game.
  • Google Analytics (Android / iOS)   Not a new program, but a new app. Analyze the web in your hand.
  • Lingua.ly (Android / iOS)   A new school of thought to learn a new language.
  • Scout (Android, iOS)   A strong navigation tool.
  • avast! Mobile Security (Android)   Security in the palm of your hand.
  • Seamless (Android, BlackBerry, iOS)   Your city’s food at your fingertips!
  • Evernote (Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Windows Phone)   Organize your thoughts and your notes.
  • Microsoft Office (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)   The power of editing Microsoft documents in you mobile device.

This is a wonderful selection of apps available for your mobile device. However, no discussion of 2014 would be complete without addressing the issue of cloud security. Repeated invasions of cloud facilities emphasize the need for everyone to be careful of where and how they store their prized data. One mobile app that challenges the norm is not a new release for 2014, but it is incredibly relevant to this year’s events. For this reason, we include as a bonus app:

  • Spider Oak (Android / iOS)   Encoded Cloud Storage. Your data is encoded before it is stored in the cloud.

Thank you for following our blog this year. We wish you the very best in 2015!

Marketing mobile applications

Marketing mobile applications

How should you approach the marketing of your newly designed mobile application? Competition within the mobile apps market has never been more fierce. Both Google Play and The Apple Store each offer over 1.3 million apps available for download. Each day, the competition grows tighter. The fight for market share grows tougher. At every turn, someone smarter, faster, and possessing a potentially better mouse trap releases a new application.

So how do you compete? How do you possibly fight for elbow room on the worldwide stage? How do you struggle against a competition with seemingly endless resources? The answer is to be smart in the way you prepare for the fight. To paraphrase an ancient (4th or 5th Century) text ‘the best victory is achieved when the war is won before the battle begins.’

Create a Marketing Strategy

  • Establish a solid Pre-Launch Strategy

Before you spend your limited resources on development, you need to know if you have a place in the market. Do your homework with a competitive market analysis. Find out if there is a viable market for your product. If so, use this exercise to define that market. You must know exactly who are your customers, the market, and your competition. Learn these things before you begin your development. If not, you are wasting your resources.

  • Maximize social media

Create an impressive demo video of your product or service. Utilize social media to maximize your message. Craft your message to reach a very specific audience. Be sure that you are marketing your ideas is a way that communicates to your customer base. You can’t just toss out an app and expect people to find it. Create media kits you’ll provide to industry icons who review and promote new applications.

  • Maximize the resources of the app stores

If you plan to release in one of the major application stores, be sure to research how to best make use of their resources. Find out how other competitors have marketed their products and learn from their experiences.

Regardless of your strengths, you must first understand your own weaknesses. No matter how smart, how fast, or how rich you are, there is always someone faster, smarter, better and less expensive than yourself. That’s a reality of life. Position yourself to compete in the marketplace wisely. Learn from the mistakes of others. Grow from the guidance of those who have successfully completed the process. Be sure you understand that while you may feel your plan may be battle-ready, your competition will do everything they can, to destroy your market share.

The failure to plan is planning to fail.

Contact Colure to speak to our team about establishing a focused plan of attack for your mobile application.

Application (app) Store Optimization – ASO

Application (app) Store Optimization – ASO

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the act of improving the visibility of an app amongst the competition.

Proper marketing for your application is critical to your business’ success. Customers must be able to

easily find your app, and have all of their questions answered within a very limited space.

 

According to a 2013 Forrester Research report, 63% of apps are located in app store searches.

Today’s app marketplace is ruled by two major app stores – Google Play and the Apple Store.

Millions of apps are being marketed to an ever growing audience. How you position yourself against

the competition can determine your success in the marketplace.

 

Before you start, you must have a crystal clear vision of your company, your application’s functions,

your specific audience, and the mechanisms you’ll use to bring those parties together. The way in

which you craft the release of your new application is as critical as the design of the application itself.

 

ASO Ideas

These are a few key themes for your app store listing:

  • Optimize your Title – be sure that the title is clean and simple. This is the biggest opportunity to describe your application and its function to the audience. Try to keep it under 25 characters. It’s tempting to be ‘cute’ with an app name. Be sure you keep your focus when you select the name.
  • Optimize your Keywords – Separate all keywords with commas, no spaces. Be sure to leave no empty spaces in keywords area. Empty spaces are wasted characters – don’t waste opportunities to squeeze in possibly one more word into the keyword area. Maximize your searchability with crafted words.
  • Description – This is your key opportunity to explain your app to the world. Be sure that you are focused in your words. Check the limits for text allowed in each posting. If you need, hire someone who writes professionally, to maximize this opportunity. Here, you must be crystal clear with your customer. Be sure to address the ASO needs of both your human and search engine audiences.
  • Unique Icon – Each app should have a unique visual icon that identifies the application. Try to avoid words in the icon.
  • Screenshots – Most customers examine the screenshots to see if they like the ‘feel’ of the app’s layout.
  • Fill out the “What’s New” area – Update this area frequently, as changes are made to your app. This demonstrates that you are actively listening to the needs of the customers and the industry.
  • Preview everything – Be sure the layouts are displayed the way you intended, before publication.

 

These are the foundations for any ASO effort. Be sure that you enter the marketplace with a strong

footing. Contact the Colure staff about both building and marketing your next mobile application.

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

Why is the mobile app industry worth $25 billion?

 

Mobile apps usage continues to grow. They’re a tool used by more and more companies. As the volume of applications grow in the business world, so do the dollars spent on app development. In a MarketsandMarkets report, the mobile app industry will be worth an estimated $25 billion (US) in 2015. Does your company need a mobile app developed? If so, how will you proceed?

You need to keep a few thoughts in mind while you consider developing an app:

  • The first questions you should ask yourself are, “Is this a task-oriented mobile app?” “Does it have a function, a purpose?” “Is it filling some void in the market?” “If so, specifically – what is that need?” Don’t put out an app ‘just to put out an app’.
  • This app should be the justification for all of the effort, pain, time, money and stress that you and your staff will allocate for its creation. In other words, ‘will it be worth all of the effort?’
  • Who is my target audience? Am I putting this together to help my customers understand my services or products? Am I creating this to aid my sales staff to better market their products? Will this app help streamline our employee’s workflow by eliminating paperwork?
  • Is it affordable? Should we try to do this ourselves or hire an outside firm to do the work? Is it possible to go mobile on a budget?

Your answers will help shape your course of action.

Here are several other considerations that may modify your choices. Remember that:

  • customers establish a strong connection between the value of your website and the value of your company. They will make the same connection between the quality of your app and quality of your company. If your app comes off as cheesy, or as having little value, that same correlation may very well be made to your company.
  • affordable apps can be made quickly and cheaply, but the real value is measured in terms how that app connects to your customer. If your customers see ‘older looking’ graphics, or find less functionality in the application (than should be reasonably expected), those deficiencies will translate into a loss of customer trust in your company.
  • To you, what is the true value of your customers’ experience? To which level do you honestly appreciate their quality of interaction with your company? To which extent are you willing to invest to provide a positive, proactive experience to your customer?
  • What happens if there are problems with you mobile app? Will you have support, if any (in terms of expertise and time) to help you? What happens if things go sideways?

In the end, the questions of quality, support, cost (expenses vs. effort), and the cost-benefits gained will determine how you establish your budgets for the application. You know your business better than anyone else. If you are not impressed with the application, there’s a good chance you customers too, will not be impressed.

With that said, apps have a critical role in today’s business world. They facilitate function and access. As with everything in life, you only have one chance to make a good 1st impression. Be sure that your app is the finest that it can be, for both you and your customer. Embrace the challenge. Speak with Colure to define your application’s development and marketing.

 

 

Why invest in mobile?

Why invest in mobile?

95% of people looked up information on their smartphone. 61% would call that business. 59% will visit that business. 44% will make a purchase.
87% of people use their Smartphone on the go.
48% of people use phone while eating.
79% of people have used a smartphone to help with shopping.

(Source: Google)

Is Mobile Marketing Worth The Investment?

Is Mobile Marketing Worth The Investment?

91% of smart phone users keep their phone within an arms reach literally 24/7! Mobile internet usage will overtake PC internet usage by the end of 2014! 1 of our 2 mobile searches converts into a purchase! 61% of mobile searches converts into a phone call! Now let’s ask that question again “Is Mobile Marketing Worth the Investment?” (Source: Infographic courtesy of EverythingMobile, http://www.mobile-marketing-blog.net/2013/07/quick-stats-on-effectiveness-of-mobile.html) 

Mobile Marketing