App DEV : Documentation can make or break your project

Documentation is a very important part of your whole project and it’s going to be critical long term. Many developers do a really good at managing new features while they are engrossed in the project, however as soon as you have any time break between development most or all that information is forgotten. So when developers return to add new features or make changes they have to look back to understand how everything is organized again. Also when moving from one developer to another developer documentation is absolutely critical.

The purpose of documentation is so that others can easily understand what is going on and carry-on development or make changes as needed.

Outsourcing – Their main concern is the end product, in order to have you sign off on it. This type of hiring almost always leads to absolutely no documentation. The biggest problem with this is that you really don’t understand what is going on and if you have any bugs or problems it takes time to think through and find those.

  • [bottom line] You are going to have to create the expectations and ensure the documentation is updated on a daily basis.
  • [pitfalls] You do not know the technical requirements needed and there is going to be a lot of critical information missing.

In-House – Their main concern is usually quality, and their documentation comes in two different types. Either way too little and not informative, or much too detailed and confusing for others. They will be focused on what they require and not what others require.

  • [bottom line] You will be responsible for controlling the documentation, and somehow knowing what is missing.
  • [pitfalls] Most developers are not used to working in teams and thus make low quality documentation.

Contracting – Their concern is with your end product. Most of the time they run the project fully in-house which means that their teams communicate on a daily basis, and use whiteboards or project boards. The downside of this is that a lot of the documentation is discussed and organized but never written down for long term retention.

  • [bottom line] You will need to ensure that they provide all relevant documentation when the project is completed.
  • [pitfalls] Many companies do not bother to provide that documentation or have it in a proper format to provide.

GM Vehicle Apps

In News // By

We have been working with GM Vehicle development platform since Jan 2013. As one of their early program adopters, we got exclusive access to their backend as well as direct contact to their tech and support teams. We spent some time developing some beta apps and trying them out on their systems. This gave us a chance to access their features and put them to real world use and see what we could do with their vehicles.

The GM developers portal is now accepting application submissions.

GM has just launched their own app store, and finally going to be beginning to publish apps to their vehicles. This is great news, as we have been patiently waiting for them to publicly launch the program. As one of the newest markets for apps, I see this is going to be a exciting year and hopefully a profitable market segment int he next 2~3 years ahead. Keep an eye out for some new apps coming out in GM vehicles as we work on things over the next few months.

App Ideas & NDA (Non Disclosure Agreements)

In Education // By

Do I need a NDA?

Many clients come to me with ideas about apps they want to create, and most are worried about protecting their idea. And more often than not, the term NDA (Non Disclosure Agreements) comes up. It’s usually the first and usually default step someone takes to make them feel more secure. There was a great article written about NDA’s by Dan Shapiro a few years back, I really suggest you read the whole article What You Probably Don’t Know About Non Disclosure Agreements . My favorite except from his article really boils down NDA’s;

It’s almost never going to happen that you actually sue someone for disclosing a secret and prevail. It’s just too hard, too complicated, and frankly too easy to lie your way out of getting caught. How are they going to prove they didn’t just think of the idea themselves, or hear it from a different, third party that wasn’t covered by an NDA? Remember that if you have 99 people sign an NDA and 1 person doesn’t, that person can publish your idea in the Wall Street Journal – and to add insult to injury, when they do, the other NDAs all become invalid since they only apply to confidential information.

I believe if you want true protection, you should invest some money in patents. They are very complicated and hard to get approved but if your idea is truly unique, once your patents are approved then you have some real leverage with enforcement.

Unique Idea

99% of ideas are not new! Every single day someone comes to me with a “revolutionary money making” idea, however these are almost always based on existing products or ideas. They only take a small twist on the idea, or apply it in a new and interesting way. The most important factor you need to account for, is execution! You can have the greatest and newest idea in the world but with bad execution, nothing will come of it. Even a old idea can become successful with proper execution. Two great examples of these are POOL NOODLES and PHONE FINGERPRINT SCANNER.

POOL NOODLES: Initially used in construction to fill gaps and holes, the inventor added a bit of color and persevered 6 years before they became a huge success. A great example of a old boring idea, but executed properly in a new market.

PHONE FINGERPRINT SCANNER: Motorola originally had finger print scanners on their 2011 Atrix phone, years before iPhone received theirs. A great new idea, executed poorly by Motorola led to failure to gain any traction in the market.

Based on these two examples, you can understand my belief in finding the right team with the experience to properly execute your idea. This will be the difference between success and failure for your app idea!

Android versions market share

Android versions market share

The most recent numbers as of September 2013 are in. With over 36% of users on Jelly Bean and 21% on Ice Cream Sandwich, you can see the move of the market over the past year. Most people are getting rid of their older devices and moving over to newer and more upgradeable devices. There is some new features in these newer versions, but the main thing you need to focus on it device hardware and your app performance. With the majority of the market in newer more powerful devices, we can push apps to do more and demand more from devices which still providing a very good user experience.

Casino Baccarat – Zuan Xin Lucky Dragon Baccarat

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Baccarat Solved – Zuan Xin Lucky Dragon Baccarat is a mobile entertainment app, the definitive mobile expert app for the world’s biggest game, developed by Baccarat experts for Baccarat enthusiasts the world over. The famous Baccarat solution of the Zuan Xin group is integrated into the app as well as the Chinese themes and metaphors used to bring that famous solution to life and make it easy to understand. There are seven levels, four freemium, three purchasable in-app apps.

Freemium includes three unique Baccarat training methods and one Baccarat game all of which contain the Zuan Xin group’s solution, two very special Baccarat games and Zuan Xin’s Ultra High Speed Simulator that runs at more than five hands per second are available as purchasable in-app apps. Virtual Zuan Xin Lucky Dragon money and awards are also available for in-app purchase.

Type: Casino Gambling
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Platforms: Android – SmartPhone & Tablet

Weera Thai – Restaurant App

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Weera Thai Restaurant! For 30 years, We have served authentic Thai-Issan cuisine in northern Thailand, Chiangmai. Well-known through out Thailand for our distinctive flavorful dishes. At Weera Thai, we take our pride in serving fresh quality ingredients.

Type: Restraunt
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Platforms: iPhone
itunes Play: View / Download Here

Jim Marsh – Auto Dealership

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Enjoy our mobile app for searching for a new or used vehicle. Jim Marsh Automotive has been servicing Las Vegas’ automobile needs for over 30 years. We are proud to announce that we are now selling and servicing Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Kia motors. We moved to the growing northwest in 2001 and we are easy to find off US-95 and the 215 beltway at 8555 West Centennial Parkway.

We offer our customers a comfortable, low pressure environment and great selection of new and pre-owned vehicles with a knowledgeable sales staff.

Drive out and see for yourself why we have a very high percentage of repeat and referral customers.
You’ll love the experience because No One Beats a Jim Marsh Deal.

Type: Auto Dealership
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Platforms: iPad
itunes Play: View / Download Here

VFMobile – Video Farm Mobile

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We’re VideoFarm – The most advanced video platform created specifically for the promotional industry and quite possibly your greatest resource for putting your products in front of hundreds of potential customers FAST!

It’s so EASY – We not only offer the best video production value anywhere, we also host and stream your videos. Then by combining all of this with our premier video presentation and tracking tools, you will clearly see that it’s the best new way to communicate directly to your end market.

Overview:

  • Targets promotional industry
  • Brands videos for manufactures

Key Features:

  • Browse all product videos
  • Search manufactures
  • Save favorite videos
  • Create playlists for customers

Type: Product Video Library
Location: Parker, CO
Platforms: iPhone
iTunes:

Mobile Website VS Mobile App

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Many people are confused over the differences of mobile website compared to a mobile app. And many belive that by having a mobile website, they are taking care of their customers mobile needs.

In reality there is a very large gap between a mobile website and smart phone app. One is basic and “stupid” while the other one is dynamic and “smart”.

Speed & Access

The main thing you are going to notice is speed. And when mobile users are trying to get information; they are on just leaving, on their way or right around the corner and need that information ASAP!

Mobile websites are at a disadvantage here because they have to load every page of information from the internet. Even here in Las Vegas, internet can get very slow when your on the strip with tens of thousands of other people. Sometimes when your in large buildings, under ground, or a parking garage your network might not work until you get a stronger signal. This makes mobile websites very slow and sometimes even non responsive. Any delay will turn visitors away and loose you customers.

Mobile Apps can work 100% offline and have instant response time! So no matter where your customer is, they can get the information they need immediately even without a phone signal. By having all the information already preloaded on their phone, customers can quickly jump through the app and find exactly what they want…immediately.

Customized Experience & Relevant Information

Mobile websites are static and must provide access to all information. Which makes them cluttered and not very friendly to use. Its hard for customers to find what they need, and if they do they need to load each page to find the information they needed.

Mobile Apps can by dynamic and smart. They can remember the users previous use, and store only the relevant information the customers accesses most. This way you can have the information pre-loaded and ready for the customer, even before they know they are looking for it.

Data Capturing

Mobile websites can only record a minimal amount of information about the user. Making it hard to track or learn more about your customer. You are limited to access times, estimated location by state and have no way to connect with them once they close your website.

Mobile Apps have a million features that you can put to use, to track, locate, tag, remember every customer! The most common is user preferences, allowing the customer to customize their experience and make it their own. When they have control, they are more likely to use your app and use it more often. However you can take this a step further and track and data gather from your customers. You can implement GPS to know where they are using your app. Data tracking to know how often and when they use your app. Networks so you know who they are using the app with and who they are interacting with. The sky is the limit!

Push notifications

Mobile websites have no way for you to market to visitors unless they willingly signup for your newsletter and verify their email address.

Mobile Apps have integrated “push notification” options, which 93% of people “ALLOW” by default. This means that you can now send popup messages to almost all your users phone at any time! Instantly turning a visitor into a marketing campaign!

8 Day Delay for Apple Apps @ iTunes Connect

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Typical app approval process over at Apple iTunes Connect runs 4-5 business days most of the time. However recently I have seen a huge increase in the delay for app approvals. This could either be due to a increase amount of developers re-releasing their app to support iOS 6 or the new screen dimensions of the iPhone 5.

The current approval time frame is: 8 days!

Currently the iOS app approval process is very delayed, so expect and plan on the extra time it will take you to get approved.

I submitted app on September 12, 2012 08:17 (Waiting For Review) and it was just approved on September 20, 2012 15:48 (Ready for Sale). I typically submit new apps every 48 hours, so I will keep you posted on these delays.

Adrian K. – Apps Las Vegas