5 Things to Look For in Offshore Mobile Developers

By John Houghton on January 6, 2014

Man working at his computer.

Screening offshore developers can be tricky.  Let me share some best practices.  To screen new talent at our company, we come up with small non-critical assignments and give them out to new developers or teams that have already passed the first couple of rounds of non-technical screening.  The non-technical screening shows you if they can keep commitments, read assignments completely before starting, and show up to meetings on time.  Don’t put your new or inexperienced developers on a critical project.  The pitfall here is if one of these new developers or teams is working on a critical project, they might blow through your deadlines and budget, leaving you in a bad spot.  Give them a […]

Should I Offshore My Company’s Mobile App Development?

By John Houghton on January 6, 2014

Picture of the world and people gathered.

As the head of a mobile app development company, I’m always looking to find and mentor new developer talent both onshore and offshore.  In this article I’ll be sharing some best practices for offshore hiring.  In case you didn’t know it, there has been a shortage of talented mobile developers since mobile apps took off in 2008.  The first thing I should say is that you should be offshoring only if you have the extra resources to find and manage a good team.  In effect, what you are doing is using your time to find and manage offshore resources, which almost always requires more time than finding and managing local resources.  The idea is that […]

7 Steps to Design an iPhone App User Interface (UI)

By John Houghton on January 4, 2014

Using iPhone while typing.

So your company is involved in an iPhone application development project and you need to have an iPhone app user interface  (UI) designed by next week.  Rest assured, you can complete the assignment in time if you focus.  This kind of last minute assignment happens at many companies, especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area where mobile development is so popular.  Assuming you have your branding and the rest of your creative aspects in order, if you’re new to designing mobile apps, here’s what I would recommend:

1. Read the Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines.  I would give you the link, but due to Apple’s non-disclosure agreements with developers, you have to have a developer […]

How Much Does it Cost to Move an iOS App to Android?

By John Houghton on December 9, 2013

Picture of a woman using a smartphone.

Suppose you have an iOS app (iPhone/iPad/iPod) that you’ve developed.  It’s already out on the market, and now you want to do the same thing on Android, essentially move it over.  How much cost or effort will it take?

Basically, it’s about the same coding effort as it was to develop the original iOS app.  You see, iOS apps are written in Objective-C, but Android apps are written in Java.  The languages are totally different and use different libraries.  The things you can leverage are the look and feel of the user interface, and since you’ve been through the development process once, chances are, the Android rewrite will be quicker.

Why hasn’t anyone figured out how to […]

Should You Force Users to Login to Your App?

By John Houghton on October 1, 2013

Entering password on smartphone.

This question goes back before apps and even before internet software.  Now the question is raised in the context of apps.  Should you let users browse and take advantage of app features before requiring them to sign in, or force them to create a profile and login first?

On the one hand, giving users an early taste of your app and what it can do can be a great enticement, helping them to develop a connection so that they return.  On the other hand, if you make them login, there is a treasure trove of data that can be collected, which is hard for some app developers to resist.

What should you do?  Having developed software all […]

The Four Top iPhone and Android App Development Best Practices

By John Houghton on December 6, 2012

Using an iPhone next to a laptop.

Let’s face it, of the over one million iPhone, iPad and Android (phone and tablet) apps available, many are of sub-standard design and quality.  As the app development frenzy has pushed non-software developers into software roles, their inexperience has resulted in low quality apps.  Follow these four best practices to improve your odds of success.

Involve Users – You should run the app idea by a set of users and involve them in the initial planning phase and user acceptance testing.  This can be simple or elaborate.  As an example of a simple user test, I gave a prototype app to my friend to try, and I could see in the first few seconds that he […]

Improve Time to Market with Mobile Procurement

By John Houghton on December 4, 2012

Businessman using and iPhone next to an iPad.

Mobility empowers organizations to improve time-to-market, especially for 24/7 operations.  Employees frequently don’t mind working on-the-go, as long as the process is easy and helps them move their projects and careers forward.  If processes are difficult, they won’t get done, but if companies design processes to be straightforward, things get accomplished more efficiently.  Simply put, going mobile makes things easier.

Much project work involves ordering new products and services, and the quicker we can receive these, the faster our organizations can move.  Procurement performed on mobile devices such as iOS or Android, whether it’s phones or tablets, helps organizations move forward.

Faster Time to Utilization – Employees often need to order items to keep projects moving, but […]

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