5 Stars for I Plan Success App

Apps Magazine awards 5 stars for iPlanSuccess© This comes as no surprise ofcourse but is a welcome addition to other 5 star reviews (see below where a google search reveals CNET and iTunes have also racked up 5 start reviews for the app.)

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iplan successgoogle CNET and iTunes rack up 5 Stars for iplansuccess

Since its release just before Christmas, the iPlanSuccess©  App has been succeeding in the self help space where others have fared less well. The purpose of the app is to enable users to track their progress over a number of key areas of their lives. They plan for success by using the app as a companion to remind, to log and to inspire. Now we all need a bit of help these days to organise and prioritise in as simple and clear a way as possible and that’s why this app has gained a substantial fan base already!

iPlanSuccess© is a practical application that allows you to be more successful. It helps you:

  • Identify what is important to you; what you value and makes you feel good
  • Assess your own capabilities; your strengths and how you might limit yourself
  • Develop well thought through goals and appropriate actions; identify support to draw on, and set realistic timescales
  • Monitor progress with a clear real-time overview and…
  • Achieve more, in all likelihood, than you would have done.

iPlanSuccess© is much more than another one of those task or reminder lists. It is a serious tool for people who really care about achieving their ambitions. It ensures you identify the goals and actions that are right for you.

AppDevelopersUk developed the app on behalf of two professional workplace consultants who have been developing the concept behind their unique approach to this for many years. They came to us with a paper based version which was already tried and tested in many blue chip companies on their client lists. The task of turning this into an iPad app was one we relished. Working across numerous iterations our development team produced a fine tuned final version which was released in December 2012. To date there have been no updates or upgrades (testimony to our developer’s skills as well as to a fantastic brief!) but in the future there is scope for white labelling as well as feature upgrade work. If you are interested in white labelling this app do contact us and we will be happy to put you in touch with the company who designed the app.

The Age of You Tube

Mobile  capture and browsing of the internet via tablets and mobile phones together with laptops and notebooks and the desktop computer have all helped push video sharing. In fact video watching and sharing in particular has grown enormously to the extent that You Tube uploads 100 hours of video content every minute.

imagesOn its 8th anniversary, the popular site has grown beyond expectations to say the least. In 2005 the sharing of personal videos was revolutionary and a relative minority activity. These days You Tube boasts a billion users per month.

But far from being a place to catch merely the weird and wonderful, the pointless and the self-indulgent vanity home movie style nonsense, the site now hosts much useful and frankly liberating content that it has become a first point of reference for many. People don’t just gawp at their  Smartphone’s a  la Homer Simpson but they interact by  teaching themselves how to do things as varied as changing the thermostat of a specific brand and model of fridge, how to do quadratic equations, learning the next belt moves for Karate or Judo .
You Tube hosts a huge bank of content for learning musical instruments, fixing engines, learning to fly. Certainly much dubious, vacuous content remains to entertain and titillate, but overall the YouTube site can serve as a really useful On Demand source to enhance so many of modern life’s necessities.

laurel and hardy - CopyIs there remaining  in the UK a single history teacher who does not link a laptop or tablet to their classroom projector to help with their lessons? What better use of the technology can there be than to have immediate and cost free access to in full colour or stark black and white, the moving images of the historic events, people and places which populate the curriculum. Likewise Geography, Mathematics and English literature, French, Religious Studies and more all are served well by the tremendous choice of content available at the touch of a mouse.  The only danger of course, like Wikipedia, is that some content can be of dubious origin, or inaccurate. But in a democracy there are no content editors so the wide array of content does need gate keeping by the individual or perhaps by a trusted teacher.

As advertising models and user patterns segmentation and reselling have become so much a part of our digital lives the potential business advantages so clear, that the You Tube model will continue to develop. The increasing commercialisation of the service has led to ever more professional content being created especially and doubtless these videos will have a strong market. But for some, the historic archived film remains YouTube’s most intriguing and validating aspect.

Free Apps Rule


imagesMost Apps are downloaded for free, But that doesn’t mean they are not making money for their owner
. In App purchases are really adding up and generating profits for their owners. If you are thinking about app development as a revenue generator then a free app is often the most profitable route to take and why free apps rule in the app stores.

In 2012 the total download was 25 billion apps. Of which 22 billion were free downloads. The total number of apps downloaded across all platforms so far in 2013 is  a staggering 46 billion. Most of these are on the Android and on Apple platforms. According to data from consulting firm App Manifesto, more than half – 58 per cent – of apps in the US Appstore are free, with a further 21 per cent costing just 99p.

So why provide an app for free? Answer:  “In app purchases”.

Most apps which come free contain some form of I app purchase element whereby the user is invited to purchase additional services or functionality once they have the free app. The free app is acting like a shop window. The actual goods for sale are there in the “window” and purchasable seamlessly as in app purchases. App Developers UK have released many such apps and our experience suggests that the trend towards free apps is strengthening rather than decreasing.

May of the gaming apps contain in app purchase opportunities as we featured recently with regard to the Ofcom investigation. However there are also a huge slew of business or self-help apps with in app purchasable content so its important not to think of this mechanism as purely a gaming app phenomenon because it applies across the whole spectrum of apps.

50 Billion Apps on Apple

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The fact that Apple are about to reach the mind boggling milestone of 50 billion app downloads represents  a remarkable moment. Perhaps it’s more remarkable to note that it was only last year that Apple celebrated 25 billion app downloads. The downloads have doubled over less than 12 months! It is only as recent as January 2013 that the 40 billionth app was downloaded….

The other point to notice about these is that over half of them are available as FREE apps. The so called free app has of course engineered its own way to make money; the” in app” purchase. You get the free app with limited content or features and then are lured into downloading additional content or features through the in app offerings. This has been a particular success in the gaming side of the free app market. According to a survey by App Hero, Apple have 800,000 apps available on the store. Of these there will be a huge number presumably, which have enjoyed low levels of success whilst many others will account for huge numbers of downloads. One only has to think Angry Birds, EverNote or Google Maps for instance.

Whatever angle you look at it from, the app market, still a youthful enterprise by any standard, has made a big impression on daily lives of billions of people around the globe, and established a whole new economy. Once the app store matures we shouldn’t be surprised to see whole new avenues of commerce and business thriving and bringing new horizons to the world of apps.

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Apps Mean Business

images FOR APPSIncreasingly we turn to the web or an app for goods and services. Both provide the ideal shop window for any business wanting to be seen and heard. Apps have a further appeal because by their nature they are mobile. Mobile has become the number ONE media for consumers. To ignore this is to limit your business opportunities, reduce your market share and frankly, be left behind…the word on Commercial Street is written large and clear, get a mobile app, bring your website up to speed and link the two. Smartphone ownership is growing, for the first time ever more than 50% of all phone sales during the first quarter of 2013 were SmartPhones. Thats why Apps Mean Business.

Here’s a quick checklist of the benefits of an app for business small or large, established or start up.

  • An App will help grow your business, increase incomes, turnover and cash flow.
  • An app is always on, always available and always putting your brand in front of your customers.
  • An App will help promote your identity, your brand and your perceived image as modern and up to date. Your business icon will be visible on the user’s phone.
  • Add Push Notification and you have an immediate and easy to manage direct communication channel to those of your clients who have downloaded the app. For marketing departments this is the Holy Grail. Engage with your customers!
  • Apps will enable you to collect and collate information from your consumer base. What they like and what they want.
  • Retain existing customers by communicating with them through the app.
  • Keep updating the app either through inbuilt content management system or by refreshing content through your developer periodically.

 

Link the app to your website. A simple URL link will take your customers to your website where they can purchase goods, register their needs and more. All on the move. The mobile website in conjunction with the mobile app is here to stay and whilst many businesses have already seen the opportunities the combination offers, many are yet to adopt this beautiful synergy of app and website. In a couple of years the picture will be different as competition drives business’s investment into this channel. If they ignore it or leave it until later, their competitors will steal a march on them and grab market share. The advice from those who have already shifted gear would be: act now, bring the app and website relationship to life for your business.

There are, in addition, a plethora of productivity apps which have helped business’s . The streamlining of working practice through communications and data collection, formatting and transmission in real time has sped up so many processes, reduced paper trails and increased overall efficiencies. Each month there are new releases and not all of these are distributed widely. There are many thousands of Enterprise release apps which have helped business’s gain an edge on their competitors.

Here at App Developers UK we have created several business apps in this category and know from first hand testimony how powerful these apps can be out there in the field. One client commissioned us to create an app which links to their in house database of over 50 thousand component parts, each with a varying price. These can be schematically created on an iPad on the customer’s premises to give a real immediacy and to create a superb sales opportunity, whether it be fulfilling a need of the customer or up-selling.

 

SMS texts are overtaken by Chat Apps

smstext imageEver since texting began back in the mid eighties  it seemed destined to be the most important communication tool available. Indeed it took off like wildfire beyond all predicted levels. Ever since then the growth has been phenomenal. According to forecast by Informa Telecoms & Media  (www.informatm.com) SMS will remain a source of revenues and traffic for mobile phone companies until at least 2015.

Revenues in 2010 for Global SMS traffic was 110 billion and is expected to be 137 billion by 2015.  Recently there’s been an upturn in the use of SMS in the emerging markets, mostly to deliver financial information to mobile phone users who would otherwise not be reachable.

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But there’s a new pretender and it’s about to knock SMS texts off the top spot. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Informa have now released data and analysis to point us to a future where Chat Apps such as WhatsApp and BBM rule the messaging roost. By the end of 2013 its estimated that there will be 41 billion such messages sent daily across the globe and that’s double the predicted number of SMS messages. On a smaller scale this differential can be appreciated even more starkly: each app user, sending messages, does so an average 32.6 times a day compared to the 5 SMS texts they may also send. The trend is clear. App usage for messaging services are on the increase.

Where this may be felt just as heavily is in the world of social networking site Facebook. Its not that Facebook is losing popularity but there’s a sense that youthful communicators are attracted to the succinct message properties of WhatApp type services. Again it would be a mistake to overstate this but it’s a different medium and probable one which is complemented by rather than than threatened. Perhaps there’s a synergy there waiting to be exploited.

As we noted in an earlier piece, the growth of the Smartphone and the relative decline of the so called Dumb phone sector seems to mirror this trend. But as industry insiders have noted, there’s life in the SMS market purely because the emerging economies by and large are not big consumers of the Smart phone technology. Hence communications via SMS will remain important and potentially grow until such a time as the SmartPhone dominates all regions of the world.