Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why app stores may be restricting too much of your freedom

Here at Appguppy, we’re often asked where the mobile apps that you create actually live, since they’re not distributed through the app stores.  Our answer?  We’ll we don’t just have one response, we’ve got six: Facebook, Twitter, QR codes, text message, email AND your website.  Technically speaking, it would be most accurate to say that the apps lives in our secure servers, or Appguppy’s cloud.  But since the apps get distributed through these 6 different methodologies, in a sense, they’re living in social media.  But what does it mean for your app if it isn’t being deployed through the stores?  More trouble than you asked for.  Lets find out why:    

1)  Mobile app stores are too restrictive:  Let’s take a look at some of the terms you’ve got to be familiar with if you want your app to wind up in a store -- licensing, certificates, compilation...the list goes on.   Maybe you’re thinking you could rely on another entity, perhaps a company, to submit the app for you.  Unfortunately, even paying that company the big bucks doesn’t guarantee that your app will make it into the stores.  That’s because stores are constantly changing their restrictions, making it more and more difficult day by day, to make it in.  

2)  Mobile app stores take time:  What’s the minimum amount of time that your app will be ready for download by your customers once you submit it?  When it comes the Apple app store, you could be waiting as much as a week.  But what if you’re trying to generate interest in a special promotion you’re having right now or get more people out to your event while it’s still happening?  Unfortunately, the stores can’t help you out there.  

3)  Mobile app stores don’t give you discoverability:  So you get your app into the store, now what?  Chances are, you’ll be competing with hundreds of thousands of other apps for the attention of consumers. So on top of worrying about SEO optimization, you’ve got to be worrying about app discoverability in the stores?  At Appguppy, we don’t think you should have to deal with all of that extra hassle.  Our idea is that you should be able to distribute that app directly to your customers’ phones, harnessing the power of all of your Twitter followers or all of your Facebook likes.  

At Appguppy, we believe you shouldn’t have to struggle with all of the time, money and complexity currently involved in distributing apps through stores.  That’s our ultimate source of inspiration.  It’s also our solution to helping to make sure that your apps work on all smartphones, on all platforms.  So while we may be saying “Saynora!” to the stores, we know we’re saying “Bring it on!” to freedom. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Will generation "mobile" give way to generation "app"?

Generation Mobile: strong majority of Gen X & Gen Y now own smartphones, what’s your strategy?

The kids are alright…with their smartphones that is. Nielsen survey results reported in the New York Times showed 62% market penetration for smartphones among adults aged 25-34. This is a staggering figure, indicative of an entire segment of society that is moving towards mass adoption of mobile computing. The article we linked to quotes a senior Nielsen executive on his opinion that the recently published figures should serve as a wake-up call to advertisers who have been waiting for some sort of “tipping point” before moving into mobile media and advertising.

Those are wise words and we recommend you take note.

The mobile e-commerce market is estimated to reach $119 billion by 2015. If you’ve ever wondered what’s fueling that growth, take a look at the figures we keep publishing on this blog. 62% of an entire generation leapt into mobile computing within less than 5 years. Smartphone usage is growing even amongst adults in the 44+ market. Today’s tweens and teens will reach adulthood with the expectation of owning a smartphone as soon as is financially feasible for them to do so.

Which means that within the next few years, the majority of adults from 18-40 will come to expect a mobile experience from any organization they interact with, including yours. Don’t believe us? Think back to 10 or 15 years ago. We’re actually old enough to remember when having a website was an option rather than a requirement. Then five years later, everyone was mulling over whether they really needed to move into social media and other web 2.0 technologies. Today these aren’t even questions. Consumers will grow to expect mobile connections the same way they grew to expect websites, Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

The Appguppy platform offers the first democratic opportunity for ordinary people, well, ordinary passionate people, to set the standard in meeting the growing demand for to provide consumers, fans and followers with direct mobile connections. Apps built through our platform can function as an extension of your overall business strategy, helping you to deliver news, unique content and e-commerce to forge a closer relationship with your app downloaders through whichever smartphone platform they prefer.

Here’s another fun fact for you. Mobile tablets are so ubiquitous that customers are crashing hotel wi-fi while cruising the internet on free connections. Wouldn’t you rather they be browsing your app?

Sign up for an Appguppy app here!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

RIM is down but not out --Why you need a blackberry mobile app

Life’s been rocky for Research in Motion (RIM) in recent years. The Canadian telecommunications giant that once possessed a rock-solid hold over the smartphone market has seen its brand equity and market penetration significantly diminished by the release of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform.

Along with dwindling profits comes a decreased mobile cultural presence. With its lightning fast product lifecycles, the world of tech practically functions in dog years. Six months constitutes half a decade in this land. Which is how Blackberry, the smartphone that once inspired its own cultish legion of “Crackberry” devotees, has fallen from grace to become the bĂȘte noire of mobile computing.

When we tell people that the Appguppy platform develops mobile apps that work on iPhone, Android AND Blackberry, we usually get an earful about how RIM doesn’t matter anymore or raised eyebrows over why our genius co-founder bothered to write all those lines of specialized code to make sure your customized mobile app would work on Blackberry.

Discounting RIM is both shortsighted and misguided. If you want to go mobile, you need a multi-platform app strategy. And that must include Blackberry. Because what we all know and love about tech is that a speedy comeback is as probable as a tumble off the fanboy pedestal. The good news is that our instincts about Blackberry proved right on the money. Recently, several news outlets made our day when they reported that RIM is rapidly outselling Apple’s iPhone in India.

It comes down to this. We’re the first and only mobile app development software out there that lets you take your business anywhere, and to anyone, through mobile.

Have you ever wanted to take your business to a large market like India? Thanks to Appguppy, you can. By signing up with us, you have a much better chance of reaching 602 million Indian mobile subscribers and potential customers on a Blackberry than you would on an iPhone.

Having your app work on Blackberry starts sounding better all the time, doesn’t it?

Friday, October 14, 2011

4 ways to generate leads with your mobile app

You hear about them everywhere: Mobile apps are the hottest thing, and it seems like every big company has created its own.  Pizza Hut created one that lets its customers order pizza. BestBuy created one that alerts customers about the latest promotions. With a well designed app from Appguppy, your business can achieve a significant ROI by turning one-time sales into long-term relationships.  So how does a mobile app build customer relationships?

Having a mobile app for your business really can help build stronger relationships.  Because apps are fun and interactive, customers often don’t even realize that they are being marketed to.  Apps can mix marketing messages with other interactive content, and marketing messages sent via apps don’t get junked or sent to trash like email.  Moreover, using an app to market provides immediacy: you can distribute your message to your customers, regardless of where they may be, and they can communicate with you as well. The more difficult part is learning to take full advantage of the power of your app.  Becoming proficient at this requires time and planning, but it can be a lot easier if you follow these rules:
  1. Your app should be user-centered, not marketing-centered. The app should provide real functionality for the benefit of its users first, and marketing functionality second.  An example is adding an e-commerce functionality to your app that lets users purchase your products or services on the go.
  2. Your app should facilitate communication.  Users should feel that the app provides as much opportunity for them to speak to you as it does for you to speak to them.  And don’t forget the power of allowing your users to communicate with each other. Integrating other social media is a great way to do this.
  3. Provide a hook.  Provide a reason for the user to download the app.  In the example above, the real estate agency offered coupons to local retailers.  Other things you can offer are prizes and discounts on your products/services.
  4. Make it viral.  Make it easy for users to get their peers to download and use your app.
At Appguppy, our platform is built on helping you to turn one sale into many sales and maximize the return on investment for your brand.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mobile platform fragmentation is a problem...but not at Appguppy

With a wide array of protocols, standards, and regional differences by country, mobile platform fragmentation poses a serious challenge to brands with a need for a mobile marketing strategy.  Platform fragmentation is also one of the major reasons that the mobile technology, HTML 5, is gaining steady buzz as a possible unifying solution. Here at Appguppy, we’re moving beyond HTML 5 to provide a software platform that truly enables you to create a mobile experience on any smartphone, through any OS. But just how big a problem is platform fragmentation and why do we think it’s such a big deal that we’ve gone head to head with this issue?     

Mobile platform fragmentation prohibits market penetration: Compatibility with the top three or four mainstream native platforms (iOS, Android, Symbian and BlackBerry) brings apps to barely more than 20% of devices sold. In stark contrast, compatibility with only two or three mainstream browsers reaches 80% of web users.  Platform choice can mean sacrificing the right customer demographic in order to save money.  And with limited engineering resources, that’s exactly what most companies are doing.  But we don’t think you should have to.  That’s why we’ve created a tool that can help you get your app to any smartphone, through any platform.  

App stores worsen platform complexity: Meanwhile, app stores worsen the platform conundrum: Each of the fifty-plus app stores available has its own developer sign-up, app submission process, artwork and paperwork requirements, app certification and approval criteria, revenue model options, payment terms, taxation and settlement terms.  All of these additional restrictions don’t just keep people from getting their apps into the stores, they keep people from monetizing the apps that they already have in stores.  At Appguppy, we solve this problem posed by stores by bypassing them to create a truly scalable solution to this problem.   

HTML5 is only part of the solution: While HTML5 is a technology that powers platforms to offer apps through browsers, it may solve only a small piece of the puzzle.  After all, different smartphones offer different levels of support for the implementation of HTML5.  At Appguppy, we’ve jumped way ahead of this issue by customizing our code to every single platform so that you don’t have to. 

One thing’s for sure, the mobile application market is on the verge of a disruptive change, fueled by the need for innovation that solves the problem of mobile platform fragmentation. And we’re proud to be pioneers on this front.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why do businesses want mobile apps?

Here at Appguppy, our focus is always on the customer.  After all, that’s who inspired our hacker to code for hours and hours so that our frontend, custom mobile-app creation and dissemination tool would be available in just a couple of weeks, on September 15th.  

So one of the things we’ve done at Appguppy is to take a really close look at what’s driving the demand for mobile apps among our customers.  

Current estimates indicate that combined spending on consumer and business mobile apps will top $13 billion worldwide by 2012, a nearly fivefold increase over 2009.  What we wanted to know is, why? 

Mobile app demand driver #1: There’s been an exponential rise in smartphone usage

The number of phone users in the US currently totals 236.6 million and will grow to 256.2 million by 2015.  Of these, the number of smartphone users just jumped by 10% to 82.2 million in the three months through July, according to a report by metrics company comScore Inc. released today.

Mobile app demand driver #2: Consumers use their smartphones to make purchases

According to Google's “Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”  from April 2011, 74% of smartphone users have made a purchase as a result of using a smartphone.

Mobile app demand driver #3: Mobile apps drive purchasing on smartphones
Among US smartphone owners, 31% who reported completing a purchase as a result of mobile marketing, did so through usage of an app, according to a survey by Mobile Dependence Day conducted in June 2011.  The survey also found that two leading categories of mobile apps downloaded by smartphone users include shopping/retail and dining/restaurant apps.    

Woah, every 1 of out of 3 consumers uses an app to hear about, research and purchase something from a business?!  That’s a number that really got our attention. 

So there you have it:  Based on the behavioral patterns of consumers, mobile apps are getting businesses “made” and “paid.”    

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Inspiration

Great entrepreneurs are always trying to make a novel technology simple and available to everyone so that the public, not just an elite few, can make use of it.

Benjamin Franklin believed in public, rather than individual health, so he invented the flexible urinary catheter and offered it to everyone.

If you fast forward to the mobile era, you get to what’s inspired us, here at Appguppy:

That’s you!

We’re inspired by all of the small businesses, nonprofits and startups in Boston, rising up above the dust of the recession and trying to get the word out about a product or service that they believe in.

We’re inspired by that passion and commitment, whether it’s coming from a brick and mortar business in Jamaica Plain that sells specialty cupcakes or a lean startup founded by college students in Cambridge.

We recognize that you’re feeling the push to go mobile and create a mobile presence to connect with customers but you can’t! It’s too costly, too complicated or too confusing.  And we get that because our team is made up of people who are just like you, and have had experience getting a small business off the ground.

That’s why we’ve come up with Appguppy. We want to make it free and easy for all of you to embrace the latest technologies to grow and monetize your customer base by going mobile.

Cheers to Boston businesses!!!