iPhone App Development On Windows

By John Houghton on January 30, 2014

Laptop running Windows 8

I get a lot of questions about the requirements for iPhone app development, and wanted to write a post to clear up some of the confusion.  In order to create an app, you need a software development kit, or SDK.  It’s best if you get the native SDK from Apple.  “Native” means that it is the primary tool that Apple intends for you to use when writing your iPhone app.  This SDK can also be used to code apps for the iPad.  I recommend that you use the SDK that Apple provides.  It is possible to download non-native SDKs from different providers, such as Appcellerator or Phonegap, but by using these non-native SDKs, you become […]

Increase Your Customer Knowledge with Mobile Analytics

By John Houghton on January 29, 2014

Reviewing a financial chart at a business meeting

Do you want more data about your customers and prospects?  It’s a worthwhile pursuit.  He who has the data, has the power; and if you have the data, you also stand a much better chance of winning.  I remember in my Marketing class at UC Berkeley, when my professor David Aaker explained that in the ‘70s, the grocery store retailers held the power because they controlled the shelf space.  Then when the brands began to harness the data, the power position reversed, so that the brands now told the retailers what to do.  This is because the brands were first to harness customer data.  Information is power, and as the playing field has shifted to mobile, […]

Extreme Mobile Targeting Through iBeacon

By John Houghton on January 29, 2014

iBeacon broadcasting signal

One of the biggest problems companies face in advertising is that the majority of advertising spend is wasted, and this drives up the cost a company has to charge for goods and services.  Enter iOS (iPhone/iPad) apps and iBeacon.  One of the biggest promises in mobile advertising is the ability to put together customer profiles, not only based on online activity, but also physical activity.  What if the supermarket knew that a customer had been to the beach on a hot day?  Why not suggest a six pack of cold beer and a spray can of sunburn reliever?

Enter the iBeacon.  iBeacons work via 2.4 GHz Bluetooth 4.0, which can be powered by small batteries.  The […]

Mobile App Development Cost and Design

By John Houghton on January 28, 2014

iPhone laying on top of an iPad

Two of the toughest issues for mobile app development company stakeholders are cost and design.  On the iOS platform (iPhone/iPad), particular attention is paid to design, and Android also has its own design language; however, the navigation patterns can be quite different between the two platforms.  In this video episode of Mobile App Development TV, we talk to Pete Petras, who is the US Creative Director for Globant.  Globant is a technology service provider focused on developing compelling experiences with particular expertise in mobile app development.  Pete talks about the cost incurred when companies undertake development projects, and how user experience is becoming a driving factor in app success.  Watch the video now:

Watch MP4 (iPhone/iPad)

People […]

How do I Add Twitter Functionality to My Mobile App?

By John Houghton on January 27, 2014

Twitter and Facebook App Icons

Not everybody who is responsible for a mobile app project knows how to use Twitter inside and out, so if you are one of those people, this article is for you.  Whether it’s iPhone, iPad or Android app development, for a while now it’s been possible to add Twitter functionality to an app, so if a user likes a piece of content within a mobile app, they can share it in the form of a tweet.  I sometimes get requests to build a Twitter function exclusively with the ability to tweet a fixed message, or to retweet a message (without the option to edit it).  This post is targeted toward people who want those capabilities […]

A Software Lesson Applied from Orson Wells

By John Houghton on January 24, 2014

Picture of Orsen Wells with a glass of wine.

Winemakers know it, software developers know it, but some people outside these industries sometimes don’t understand.  In 1979, Orson Wells delivered an infamous outtake for a Paul Masson wine commercial when he said, “We will sell no wine before its time.”

Understandably, the pressure is great upon the vintner as well as the software publisher.  You can’t make any money or meet promised deadlines until you release your product.  But the drawback of releasing a poor quality product is that your customers will immediately know what’s going on, and you will tarnish your brand.  When you taste sour wine, the experience is unforgettably unpleasant.  When you use an app that is buggy and crashes, you become […]

Key Metric for App User Acquisition: CPI – Cost Per Install

By John Houghton on January 23, 2014

iPhone 5 on a white background

For those of you that don’t know, and many who call my company are new at this, there is a key metric for marketing your app known as “Cost Per Install.”  It is the marketing cost that you pay to acquire a user to install your app.  I remember last year, the number seemed to be around $1 per install, but now that number is creeping up to $2.  If you’ve read some of the previous articles on this blog, you’ll know that when an app is launched, it needs a boost to raise its visibility and get it moving.  It needs downloads, good ratings, and engaged users, all of which can be boosted by […]

6 Tips to Get Your App Discovered in iTunes: App Store Optimization

By John Houghton on January 22, 2014

App Store Icon on a smart device.

We spoke generally before about promoting your app, see the article 8 Steps to an App Marketing Strategy, so let’s speak specifically now about how to optimize it for the iTunes Store.  We’ll cover the Google Play Store in a future article.  It used to be that users could browse the latest apps by category in the iTunes store, but for some reason that functionality has since been restricted to a limited set of select apps in the top categories.  In order for users to discover your app, they need to query for it and search through the results.  Like it or not, we’re living in a keyword-based world, and apps in the App Store […]

8 Steps to an App Marketing Strategy

By John Houghton on January 21, 2014

Graph showing increase on a smartphone.

So you’ve spent a lot of your budget on building the app, and now you want to release it.  How do you drive adoption?  A lot of first-time app developers don’t consider this crucial next step, and as a result their app doesn’t go anywhere.  How you market your app and drive adoption in the marketplace is as important as the building of the app itself.  A lot of well-known brand marketers will say that it’s less important what the product does than how it’s marketed.  Therefore, app marketing is key to the success of your app.  If you want to go the social/organic marketing route, you need to start at least 6 months before […]

Enterprise Mobile App Development Success Comes in Small Steps

By John Houghton on January 20, 2014

White iPhone 5S running iOS7.

For the conceivable future, iPhone, iPad and Android apps are here to stay.  I see a lot of enterprises holding out or holding back on their mobile app strategy, and this is hurting their competitive position.  I think we are going to see a few companies making quantum leaps by harnessing mobile technology.  As every new innovation occurs, the first company to find a competitive advantage will win.  In order to keep up with innovation, companies need to start investing now in iOS and Android App Development, and start learning by taking small steps.  If you don’t invest now and you see a critical opportunity later, you won’t have the experience to execute your strategy […]

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