Home » Uncategorized

Category: Uncategorized

How to Create a Mobile App for your Business without Breaking the Bank

Mobile applications are becoming increasingly popular for both big and small businesses. Most American consumers, an estimated 85%, prefer to use a company’s mobile application over visiting the company’s mobile website. Mobile apps tend to be easier to use as they are more streamlined than a mobile website, faster and more convenient. Many business owners, especially those that operate small to medium size businesses, have terrific app ideas, but do not know how to turn those ideas into reality and do not have a conceptualization of the cost. Designing and developing an app for a Long Island business can be quite expensive. However, there are money-saving techniques that can be implemented to ensure that you create a modern and professional application for your business at a price that does not break the bank.

Although it may seem cheaper to attempt to conquer the demanding task of designing and building your own mobile app, hiring a professional can prove to be a cheaper option. Professional Long Island app developers have the experience needed to know what to do, how to do it, and what the basic cost will be upfront. If budget may be an issue, a good app developer will have strategies he or she can suggest to keep you within your budget. Other than having the experience to know how to economically design and develop an app, having a professional app development company handle the development takes the burden off of you. If you and your staff are focused on the app development process, that takes time, and therefore money, away from handling your primary business goals and needs. Overall, hiring a professional to handle the job can lower your costs and improve the outcome.

It is always best to plan ahead and keep it simple. Before you even begin developing an app, you should map out the entire process with your app development team or professional. This will streamline the process, making it quicker and therefore cheaper, as you and the team will have a step-by-step outline of where the app will go and when. Although payment for mockups and other strategic planning options may cost more money upfront, it will certainly help you save money in the long run. Long Island app developers would be able to pinpoint certain areas in the mockups that could be changed to save money, as well as give a complete picture of what you want. If you are looking for something elaborate to set you apart from a competitor, the cost will certainly rise; keeping it simple will prevent the costs from dramatically rising. The developer will be able to tell you which items are easy and cheap to execute, and which will raise the cost so that you may consider the pros and cons of all options.

However, with that being said, if you or an individual from your business can take on a project management role to aid the app developer, costs can be cut dramatically. One of the most time consuming (and therefore expensive) aspects of building an app is project management and the creation of a clear vision of the roadmap to the finish line. Outline the entirety of the project, to the best of your knowledge and ability, prior to contacting a Long Island app developer to minimize the costs in the planning phase. You can begin by looking for similar apps and decide what you do like about them and would want to include. You can work from there to create a feature list and additional branding ideas. If you’re able, sketch the design ideas as well so the app designer will have an idea of the direction you wish to proceed. There are websites that can help you through this process to make it less of a daunting task.

It is a difficult decision to decide on a final road map for your application because you have to weigh the cost versus the functionality and customization. App developers on Long Island can certainly help you weigh the overall strategy when building an app to keep the cost doable while creating the app you envisioned.

We’ve got some news! We’re Excited To Announce Total Frat Move, Man Outfitters, & More New Apps We’re Working On!

We’re excited to announce that we are partnering up with Grandex Inc. to help make their mobile applications such as Total Frat Move, Man Outfitters, Total Sorority Move, and More AMAZING!

Be sure to check out and download these awesome apps!

Apple App Store
Google Play Store

Want to take your app to the next level? Shoot us an email at biz@pioneerapplications.com for a free consultation!

Uploading Your App To TestFlight – Right to the point

  1. Open your projects workspace (projectName.xcworkspace). If there is no workspace, open the project file (projectName.xcodeproj) 
  2. Open your project settings
  3. Increment your Version and Build Number accordingly. (*Note: Each upload to iTunesConnect/Testflight must have a different build number)
  4. Make sure that your Team Profile is selected under the “Signing” Group
  5. Select Product –> Archive  ……. Wait for archive to complete
  6. The organizer will automatically popup once the archive is completed. If it doesn’t just go to Window –> Organizer
  7. Select your build, and then click Upload to App Store 
  8. Select Upload. Once this process completes, iTunesconnect has to process the build. This could take around 20 mins
  9. Log into iTunesconnect.apple.com
  10. Select “My Apps”, then Select your app
  11. Select a version to test
  12. Enter in Test Information, and other information for Internal Testing or External Testing.
  13. Submit for review if External TestingFor a more in-depth tutorial check this out

Who doesn’t love music?

Want to follow all the moves of your new favorite artist? Jacob Whitesides new app is going to your new favorite app. You can keep up with all his latest music, social media, and upcoming shows! Don’t believe me? Download the app and try it out.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jacob-whitesides/id920997821?mt=8

via growmobile.com

How to Launch a New App

We talk about strategy all the time when it comes to developing an app, but it shouldn’t just stop there. With millions of apps in the App Store and Google Play Store, your app won’t magically become successful. This is why it is important to strategize how you are going to launch your new app. This blog post from ladder.io discusses an App Store Launch Plan that can help get you downloads fast, which is critical when it comes to mobile app marketing.

Overview of Phases:

Phase 1: Make sure everything works

  • Beta test your app
  • Build and test a final version
  • Seed early reviews

Phase 2: Get the word out!

  • Inform your insiders
  • Run ads
  • Make sure your App Store Optimization (ASO) is on point
  • Social, blog, and press

Phase 3: Keep the momentum

  • Re-engage your uses
  • Keep everyone updated when you update

Read it all here

SiriKit Tutorial – Right to the Point (Part 2)

Part 2: Adding and responding to intents

Specify which intents your app supports. 

1. In Xcode, select the Info.plist file of your Intents extension.

2. Expand the NSExtension and NSExtensionAttributes keys to reveal the IntentsSupported andIntentsRestrictedWhileLocked keys.

3. In the IntentsSupported key, add a String item for each intent that the extension handles. Set the value of each item to the class name of the intent. (For now, we are going to use the messages intent)

You can view more intents here

addintentspreview

Resolving and Handling Intents

  1. Open up IntentHandler.swift

2. Observe the different functions automatically generated. This is where the logic for your Siri intent is.

Custom Vocabulary

If your app has custom vocabulary, such as terms that Siri might not inherently understand should register these terms. Ex: a ride booking app that refers to a specific vehicle type as a “Vroom” could define that term and provide examples of how it might be used.

There are two ways to define your app’s custom vocabulary:

  • To register terms that are specific to a single user, use the INVocabulary object.

  • To register terms common to all users of your app, add a global vocabulary file to your iOS app. They must belong to the category of either “Ride Options” or “Workout names”

 

To register terms specific to a single user:

registervocabinvc

Creating a Global Vocabulary File

  1. Select New –> File
  2. In iOS –> Resources, select the Property List file Type –> Click Next
  3. Set the name of the file to “AppIntentVocabulary.plist” –> Click Create
  4. Select the AppIntentVocabulary.plist file in your project.

 5. Add two keys under the Root element.

  • Set the name of the first key to ParameterVocabularies. This key defines your app’s custom terms and the intent parameters that apply
  • Set the name of the second key to IntentPhrases. This key contains examples for invoking your services

registervocabpreview

Creating an Intents UI Extension

Since we checked off UI Extension when we first added the Intent, we do not have to do anything in terms of adding new files.

  1. Open up IntentsViewController.swift
     configureintent
  2. Under the “configure” function, you can customize your view here <configure image>
  3. In MainInterface.storyboard, you can add UI Elements and hook them up to outlets to customize the appearance

storyboardintent

Once you run your app, you will see the updated UI

siriintentdemophone

 

Disclosure: This is a brief, straight to the point tutorial. The object is not to go in depth, but to give a quick overview of how to get SiriKit up and running. For more information visit developer.apple.com

SiriKit Tutorial – Right to the Point

In this tutorial you will learn how to get SiriKit working in your iOS App! To learn more about how SiriKit works behind the scenes, check out this article!

Requirements: Xcode 8, Swift 3 Project (this is what the tutorial is built on)

Part 1. Getting a quick and simple demo running

Create & setup iOS app

  1. Create a new ‘Single View Application’ Xcode Project. For this tutorial, lets use the project name “SiriKitDemo”
  2. Once the project is created and opened up, select your iOS app target in project settings.
  3. Enable the Siri capability under the “Capabilities” tab

 

capabilitiesshot

Now its time to add the intent files to your project

4. Select File –> New –> Target

5. Select “Intents Extension”

intents

6. Click Next and specify the name of your extension and configure the language and other options. ***For this tutorial, Check “Include UI Extension”***

intentdetails

Request access to Siri

7. Include the NSSiriUsageDescription key in your iOS app’s Info.plist file. The value for this key is a string that describes what information your app shares with SiriKit

infoplist

8. Open up your ViewController.swift file, import Intents and under viewDidLoad, call the requestSiriAuthorization: class method of INPreferences

viewcontroller-sirikit

Running & Testing

9. Select your iOS app’s target & Run your application

10. Select your Intent Extension and run that by attaching it to your iOS app

extensionrunning

11. Activate Siri and say “Search for messages in <appname>” —Siri should respond with what is listed in the IntentHandler.swift file

***Sometimes it takes a few minutes for Siri to process your extension, if it doesn’t work right away, don’t be alarmed***

 

Want to get a little bit more in depth? Learn how to add more intents, customize the way Siri handles intents, & more in Part 2!

 

 

Building your app for iOS 10

As the date approaches quickly for the public release of Apple’s iOS 10, it’s important to think of how your app can harness the power of all the new features! Apple has taken a major step, opening up many different SDK’s and libraries. Let’s see how we can take advantage of them!

What’s New:

SiriKit

SiriKit enables your iOS 10 apps to work with Siri, so users can get things done with your content and services using just their voice. In addition to extending Siri’s support for messaging, photo search and phone calls to more apps, SiriKit also adds support for new services, including ride booking and personal payments.

 

CallKit

CallKit lets VoIP apps integrate with the iPhone UI and give users a great experience. Use this framework to let users view and answer incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen and manage contacts from VoIP calls in the Phone app’s Favorites and Recents views.CallKit also introduces app extensions that enable call blocking and caller identification. You can create an app extension that can associate a phone number with a name or tell the system when a number should be blocked.

Notifications

The notifications framework got an overhaul and you can now make your notifications more custom and rich. With customizing the UI of a notification and integrating 3D touch to add quick actions, your users will be able to interact with notifications like never before.

 

Integrating with the Messages App

In iOS 10, you can create app extensions that interact with the Messages app and let users send text, stickers, media files, and interactive messages. You can also support interactive messages that update as each recipient responds to the message. You can create two types of app extensions:

  • A Sticker pack provides a set of stickers that users can add to their Messages content.
  • An iMessage app lets you present a custom user interface within the Messages app, create a sticker browser, include text, stickers, and media files within a conversation, and create, send, and update interactive messages.An iMessage app can also help users search images that you host on your app’s related website while they’re in the Messages app.

 

Speech Recognition

This new framework supports continuous speech recognition and helps you build apps that can recognize speech and transcribe it into text. Using the APIs in the Speech framework, you can perform speech transcription of both real-time and recorded audio.

 

ReplayKit

Record or stream video and audio directly from your app, so that users can share their experiences through email, messages, and social media.

 

These are just a handful of cool new frameworks that your apps can work with. For more information check out https://developer.apple.com/ios/

 

Have apps using some of these frameworks and what it featured? Let us know!

Retention is key. How to keep customers using your app

via appcues.com
via appcues.com

Having hundreds, thousands, and millions of downloads is really cool, but those downloads don’t mean anything if you can’t get people to stay on your app. In this post, Ty Magnin will walk you through 10 steps to increase customer retention and make an app that people will be sure to remember.

Summary:

1. Have them at hello

    First impressions are crucial. Humans are hardwired to form lasting opinions on gut instincts. Make you “Welcome Message” personal, clear, and attractive.

2. Start with the Highlight Reel

    On your application’s first launch or login by a user, highlight some of the key features your app provides.

3. Nudge into Endless AHA! Moments

An AHA! moment is when a customer finds value in your app. Always nudge your users to discover these values

4. Give the Scoop on New Products

The tech world is forever changing and improving. It’s important to make sure your app is flexible and stays up to date with software, device features, integrations and more. When you make these updates, share it with your customers!

5. Update to Remind

Keeping your users engaged is HUGEE and you should reach out to them more than just twice a year. Give users updates on their behaviors and check-ins to remind them that you’re still there.

6. Give customers More Than Software

You want to offer your customers as much value as possible. Don’t let it stop with just the features of your app. Provide other resources such as newsletters and content that may be useful to your users.

7. Offer Contextual Help

   When you provide customers with more than just your software, it’s important to give it to them at the right time and in the right context. Ex: Offering an upgrade for more storage during week one is less effective than offering it when a user runs out of space.

8. Ask for Their Two Cents

Make your app a perfect fit for your customers by reaching out to them, giving them surveys and gaining insight on how your app is used, what can be done to improve their experience, and more. Users love it when they see what they asked for come to life!

9. Invite into Beta Program

Make your best customers recognize how valuable they are to you by letting them try out a beta product. This will let them feel like they are part of the team and in turn will lead to loyalty.

10. Foster Community Around Your Product

Sometimes it’s easier for people to learn about your app from other users rather than just you. Enable users to learn and help teach other users. In turn this makes your brand become more personal.

 

All in all, to increase retention you want to

  • Educate
  • Engage
  • Empower

Read the full article here

Branding from nothing with novelty and repetition

To have a successful startup, you must have a strong brand and by brand, we mean a piece of peoples’ brains carved out. The two main things needed to build you brand are novelty and repetition. Novelty is the quality of being new, original, or unusual. Repetition comes into play when you want to carve out space in someone’s brain; getting in their head over and over until you’re there to stay.

“Building a brand is about more than giving out free swag with your logo on it. It’s about creating stories.”

Read more here