App Development

  • Differentiate Your Customer Service With A Data-Rich Mobile Business App

    If you’re looking for a low-cost way to enhance the service you provide your customers, consider a mobile business app. With ViziApps, it’s free to design, build and test a mobile app. Then, for modest fees for cloud-based services to maintain your app, your company can provide a branded mobile app that provides customers valuable information wherever they need it.

    And because many companies don’t yet have mobile apps tailored to meet their customers’ data needs, you have the opportunity to clearly differentiate your business.

    That’s right. Today you can still make your business stand apart from your competitors with a data-rich mobile app. But that climate is changing. Offering a mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, and/or Android devices is rapidly becoming more than a nice-to-have option for companies. Soon mobile apps will be mandatory for a successful business.

    Forbes contributor and CRM consultant Gene Marks makes a strong argument for the value of mobile apps for businesses of all sizes in his recent post titled “Your Business Checklist: A Website, A Phone Number, A Mobile App.”

    “It’s time to stop playing games,” Marks writes. “Smart, boring, conservative companies are getting serious about mobile applications. Slowly but surely, they’re waking up to the potential..no, the need…to utilize these applications to develop more business and keep their customers coming back.”

    A cornerstone of his argument is the fact that businesses can provide mobile apps that provide access to the types of data needed to do business – and with minimal investment.

    “Think about it: we can all save whatever files, music, videos and photos, for next to nothing on Amazon, Dropbox, or other such services… [People are asking] Why can’t I view product specs, safety information and environmental releases about the products I’ve purchased” on my choice of mobile device?

    It’s a fair question. But not every mobile app development platform provides easy robust data access. ViziApps does. With ViziApps, you can easily create a mobile app that provides the data your customers need. And it won’t require an expensive, months-long engineering project.

    ViziApps provides a drag-and-drop approach to building a data-rich mobile app for free. (Ongoing maintenance starts at $29 per month for web apps and $49 per month for native apps. See pricing details here.)

    What makes ViziApps different from other app development platforms is the way it allows the integration of databases, web services and Google Docs spreadsheets for mobile apps. Without doing any coding, people with minimal computer skills can create mobile apps that make use of backend data resources to provide a rich user experience. The online ViziApps tool can be used to create mobile apps for the iPhone, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, and to build web apps for any device with a full browser.

    Start thinking about building a mobile app for your business now. Because, as Gene Marks says, “every business should be thinking about building mobile applications today. It’s not a fad or a passing trend. It’s customer service.”

  • Don’t Overcomplicate Mobile Business Apps

    Facing a highly competitive market, mobile app creators may welcome advice from successful entrepreneurs. Often the type of advice they hear is designed to help them navigate their way through complex business issues. But sound counsel can also suggest ways to eliminate unnecessary complexity.

    Fierce Wireless attended Web Summit 2012 in Dublin earlier this month and summarized advice speakers and panelists offered to mobile app developers. That advice included ideas that go beyond the typical guidance conference attendees might have expected to hear.

    In an article titled “Seven mobile developer success strategies from Web Summit 2012,” Shane Schick highlighted one strategy might surprise mobile app creators:

    Don’t ignore the one-off apps.

    That’s a very straightforward suggestion, but it might not be obvious to everyone planning to create a mobile business app.

    From Schick’s article:

    “Tomer Kagan, the co-founder and CEO of Quixey, focuses on a discovery service that helps users find other apps. He told the Web Summit crowd that not all developers need to wrack their brains thinking of ways to get users coming back to an app over and over again once they’ve installed it. He gave the example of a consumer app created by a grocery store chain, whose goal was to increase sales by 10 percent by offering information and discounts to customers that were already spending money in the store. It worked.”

    Another recommendation from the same event: Leave room for non-social behavior.

    For some other interesting ideas for mobile app developers, read the entire article.

  • Easily Include Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter Social Logins in your mobile apps

    ViziApps makes it Easy to add Social Logins to your mobile apps. Quickly enable your mobile app users to register and/or login with their Facebook, Google or LinkedIn user credentials! Social Logins are an easy way for end users to register and login to mobile apps. Instead of adding a username and password fields to your app, just add a button with the action of social login and you can get the name, email and profile picture of the end user to use in your app. Then, you can store the credentials for future logins. To add Social Login to an app's Button, just open the Button Property sheet and enter the properties for your choice of Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. That's it! Social Logins in your mobile app in about a minute! Check it out today, by adding the Social Login Demo Template App to your ViziApps account.
  • Emerson College Entrepreneurship Program using ViziApps for Business Mobile Apps

    Emerson College Entrepreneurship Program is now using ViziApps for students to create their own mobile apps for their new businesses. ViziApps gave a two0day workshop on Using Mobile Apps to Impact Business Results, followed by hands-on training in how to quickly create mobile apps with ViziApps. Here, two of the students had their "Wow! Aha Moment” when they created and saw their own first ViziApps app on their phones - and in only about 30 minutes into the hands-on class session!
  • Enhance Your Mobile App with a Navigation Bar

    ViziApps helps you enhance the user experience for your mobile apps with an easy to use Navigation Bar. By adding this feature to the mobile apps you create with ViziApps, you make it easier for users to move through your apps and access the features and data they need. No longer will you need to place a unique Home button, for example, on every page of your app.

    Navigation bar for your mobile app

    With the Navigation Bar displayed at the top or bottom of each page, your mobile apps will provide a straightforward way for users to immediately find and use the features they need. ViziApps’ new Navigation Bar capability also streamlines the app building process, by allowing you to incorporate one consistent set of icons that will appear throughout your app.

  • Financial Advisor Uses ViziApps Mobile App

    Professional Investment Advisors are looking to mobile apps as a way to deepen connections with clients. They are also employing them to showcase their brands, with current clients, as well as prospects.

    In a recent article in RIA Biz magazine (a publication for registered financial advisors), Bill Hayes, principal of Charles Carroll Financial Partners, described the ViziApps-built iPad application he uses to work more efficiently. Now, instead of carrying around lots of paper, Hayes uses the app to access the various types of documents that his clients need to complete or review and approve when he meets with them.

    “I travel quite a bit to meet with clients, and it was getting more difficult to get the necessary information and this makes it much easier,” Hayes told the magazine. “This allows me to show prospects all of the necessary documents that will need to be filled out if they become my client.”

    The app Hayes uses was created with ViziApps 2.0, which features powerful data management capabilities for accessing and managing information stored in Google Docs spreadsheets for use in both native mobile and web apps. ViziApps also supports accessing and managing information stored in SQL. ViziApps 2.0 is now available for download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play (formerly Android Market).

  • Financial Advisory Firm Chooses ViziApps Platform To Create Custom iPad App

    Charles Carroll Financial Partners, which manages over $30 million in assets, selected the ViziApps online tool over other mobile development solutions because of its simple, straightforward design process. The iPad app Charles Carroll created with ViziApps eliminates the need to carry a large set of documents to client meetings. In this way, it has streamlined business processes to the point where employees no longer rely on a paper-based approach to opening and closing discretionary management accounts.

    “The iPad app that we created with ViziApps has added value and depth to the services we provide to our client base,” said Bill Hayes, Charles Carroll CEO. “Not only does this app give us a more professional appearance, it also helps us do business faster and affords us control over who has access to the accounts and documentation necessary in our line of work.”

    Watch a video where Bill Hayes explains why he selected ViziApps.

    “At one point, we actually tried to hire a development team to work on this project,” said Hayes. “Given the high costs and long time-to-market of their approach, we sought another option to help us implement our mobility strategy. With ViziApps, the ability for us to create our custom app, without having sophisticated development skills, was huge. We were able to accomplish exactly what we wanted in a constructive way during the build-out because we, and not an outside development team, controlled that process.”

    • Using ViziApps, Charles Carroll was able to quickly create and publish their iPad app without the need for coding.
    • The company was able to test and can upgrade their app for free; they only pay a modest publishing fee once published.
    • With ViziApps, the app accesses data from Google Docs, and the necessary security and redundancy measures are provided to meet data protection compliance requirements

    “More and more businesses are realizing how easy it is to create, publish, and update powerful mobile apps using ViziApps, where they have direct control over the entire process,” said George Adams, Co-Founder and CEO, ViziApps. “Using ViziApps, financial services firms and other organizations can now create their own branded iPad apps to access business forms, brochures, client lists, videos and other data resources to make highly visual presentations, wherever their meetings take place.”

    Thousands of users are now utilizing the ViziApps platform, with its drag-and-drop approach to creating mobile apps that include enterprise-class data management capabilities not available with any other solution. ViziApps 2.0 features powerful data management capabilities for accessing and managing information stored in Google Docs spreadsheets for use in both native mobile and web apps. ViziApps also supports accessing and managing information stored in SQL databases and other backend resources via web services for native mobile apps.

  • Five requirements for creating effective mobile-first business workflow apps

    You’re on the road, getting ready to make a sales call. In fact, it’s one of several this week. How do you get prepared? How do you get access to the information you need, when you need it? How can you best leverage your company’s data and business workflow applications, securely, all from the touch of your phone? You want those apps in your hands without the need for an extra device like a laptop. You want the apps developed for mobile-first, not as an afterthought.

    You can picture the scenario. You’re at the client’s site. You have access to their profile including the products they currently own and the client’s history with your company. Your client asks you a technical question that you can’t answer, but you know of a subject matter expert (SME) you can call on. Right then and there, within the app, you initiate a video conference call with the SME. Question answered. Problem averted. Client satisfied.
  • Forrester Research ranks ViziApps as a General Purpose Low Code App Platform

    Forrester Research’s new Low Code Application Platform Vendor Landscape report says that Low-code App Platforms have become an important way for businesses to quickly deliver software to win, serve, and retain customers — and keep that software evolving. They speed development and delivery of new apps, and their self-service development capabilities allow them to be used by developers and employees who may lack formal programming skills and experience, but bring just enough technical skill to visually configure new business apps. The report defines five types of Low-Code Application Platforms, as shown above.
  • They ranked ViziApps in the broad General Purpose Low-Code Platform category. These platforms s provide a wide range of web and mobile applications with extensive tools that address app creation, integration, deployment, life-cycle management, and distribution. The report includes four case studies showing the ROI impact Low Code App Platforms can have for businesses:

    How Small Businesses Benefit From Building Their Own Apps

    Who says it’s all bad news in the business world? These days, small businesses actually have a lot to be thankful for. No longer must they rely solely on e-mail and social media campaigns, while watching bigger (and more financially endowed) companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on mobile apps that give them more comprehensive, intimate, and immediate contact with their customers.Now, with options like MobiFlex, even small businesses can afford to develop mobile apps that allow them to communicate and interact more effectively with their target audiences. Sure, print and electronic media have traditionally been an adequate way for small businesses to reach their customers. But apps literally put small businesses and brands into the hands of their customers, who can check for product information, prices, new services, special sales, and more with the simple touch of a smartphone screen. Small businesses can finally look and feel like the big boys they’re competing with.

    What kind of business can benefit from a mobile app? You name it. From an auto repair shop that can push service reminders to its clients, to a courier service that can update delivery schedules in real time, to a contractor who can check the availability of a part while at a customer’s home, the value of and possibilities for small-business apps are endless.

    And mobile apps don’t just allow businesses to communicate more efficiently with their customers. Apps also offer a vehicle for a company’s own employees to manage their tasks and time more productively. Have a technician in the field? Your app could map out his service calls and update their sequence throughout the day, putting a stop to endless rounds of phone calls and text messages. Have sales people on the road? Your app could keep your teams up to date on inventory, pricing, and incentives.

    So what would stop every small business and its brother from developing an app? Until recently, price. Historically, the cost of producing a mobile app has been prohibitive for all but the biggest companies, and once in production, most apps became black holes into which increasing amounts of cash had to be dumped. But new technology like MobiFlex isn’t just low-cost; it’s a predictable-cost: for between $10 and $199 per month, small businesses can create and customize their own native mobile apps that effectively level the business playing field.

  • How to Incorporate Camera and GPS Features in Your Mobile App

    The camera and GPS are two features of mobile devices that users particularly enjoy using. To help businesses use ViziApps to create hybrid mobile apps with those features, we have a new a tutorial video.

    Watch this video to allow users to take pictures within the app you’re creating with ViziApps. The video also demonstrates how to easily save photos for use in a mobile business app

    In addition to the camera, the GPS is another powerful function that many app creators want to make available to their users. The video shows how to insert a GPS field anywhere in an app and use the latitude and longitude variables to load a map. It also explains how to save location data to a web data source for address detection or distance calculations. The GPS field is particularly useful for displaying a list of nearby stores or other businesses, for example, or to store a user’s location for other purposes.

    For help using other ViziApps features to create mobile apps, check out the full set of tutorial videos here.

  • In-App Advertising and Mobile App Downloads Predicted To Soar

    A new report from Juniper Research predicts that in-app advertising spend across all mobile devices will reach $7.1 billion by 2015. That’s an increase of $4.7B from 2012 figures. The additional spend on in-app ads will result from greater use of rich media in ads related to greater app usage.

    “Mobile advertising gives marketers the chance to reach consumers on a more personal level than any other type of advertising,” according to report author Charlotte Miller. “Creating immersive and entertaining experiences to attract the attention of the consumer is essential for marketers wanting to take advantage of the massive increase in app usage.”

    Earlier this year, another Juniper Research report, “Mobile Apps Stores: Future Business Models & Ecosystem Analysis 2012-2016‘”predicted that mobile app downloads will top 66 billion annually by 2016. That forecast is for twice the number (31B) downloaded in 2011.

    Anyone deciding whether to develop an app for a smartphone or tablet might be interested to know that Juniper Research expects that growth in downloads to be primarily driven by smartphones, but that by 2016 nearly one in four downloads will occur on a tablet.

    Dr. Windsor Holden, who authored the download study report, provided some insight into the marketing and CRM benefits of mobile apps.

    “Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services – retail, financial, information, entertainment – wherever they are. As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of an integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn.”

  • Include Push Notifications in your mobile apps

    You can use ViziApps to create mobile apps that can push the right messages to your employees, partners, and customers at the right time, in the right context, based on the stage of work flow they are in and/or the category they are in.

    Quickblock Logo

    Our new Push Notifications, using QuickBlox, enables multiple kinds of notifications. These include notifying a sub-group of users based on their category defined by your app. QuickBlox pushes over 2.5 Billion messages per month.

    Here’s all you need to do to include Push Notifications in your mobile app:

    1. Create your QuickBlox account and create a messaging app there. You can get a free account with up to 1 Million Push messages per month.
    2. Then, login to your ViziApps account, select the app feature for push notification and configure a few QuickBlox keys and set the JavaScript function you want to handle the messages when they come in.

    Now you’re ready to start sending messages to your test ViziApps app on your mobile device and include sending Push messages in your app.

  • Incorporate Google Spreadsheet Data in Your Mobile Business App

    Check out the latest ViziApps video for step-by-step instructions on how to set up, access, and manage Google spreadsheet data as an easy to use a database when you design and build a mobile business app. Using ViziApps, you have the advantage of being able to connect your app to a full-fledged database across the Internet while avoiding many of the hassles of managing a dedicated database system. You can follow the instructions the video provides when building iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

    In the 4-minute video, you will see how to use the ViziApps drag and drop tool to create a database for your mobile business app, then build and test a query that enables your app to interact with that database. The video demonstrates a step-by-step approach for integrating Google spreadsheet data using Google Docs. Alternatively, you could follow the same approach using Google Apps for Business to integrate Google spreadsheet data in your app.

    For guidance on using other ViziApps’ capabilities to create data-rich mobile business apps, see the full portfolio of ViziApps tutorial videos here. They cover topics such as creating your mobile business app layout; designing tables; using the camera, picker, and GPS field; and adding JavaScript to further enhance your app.

  • InfoWorld review names ViziApps as a no-code and low-code tool for building mobile apps fast

    In his April 13th article, Martin Heller wrote, “While the great debate rages on between the various mobile development camps -- businesses still have to create and maintain mobile applications for their employees, business partners, and customers.”

  • Interest in Creating Mobile Apps is Red Hot

    Around the world, people of all ages are learning to build mobile apps. Some are self-taught and others take classes, at universities, technical schools, high schools or after-school programs.

    To comprehend the extent of the world’s fascination with mobile apps, consider some recent data on the mobile app market.

    At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June, CEO Tim Cook revealed some impressive facts about the company’s App Store, which can now claim: 400M accounts, 650,000 apps (including 225,000 specifically created for the iPad) and 30B downloads to date.

    Cook also told the WWDC gathering that the Apple has paid mobile app developers more than $5B for apps sold in the App Store – so far.

    And just last week, at the Google I/O Developer Conference, it was revealed that Google Play can now boast 20B downloads and that is has surpassed the 600,000 mark for mobile apps and games.

    So, now the two largest markets combined offer 1.25M mobile apps. And if that number isn’t sufficiently stunning, mobile app revenue forecasts may be.

    ABI Research predicts that “total mobile app revenues from pay-per-download, in-app purchase, subscriptions, and in-app advertising will soar over the next five years, growing from $8.5 billion in 2011 to $46 billion in 2016.”

    That may explain why interest in building mobile apps is burgeoning, and even middle schoolers are getting into the act.

    “This year, Apple opened up its developers event for the first time to 13- to 17-year-olds,” wrote Jessica E. Vascellaro in an article published on the All Things Digital site. “The Cupertino, Calif., company supplied 150 teens with scholarships to cover the event’s $1,599 entrance fee, arranged a student lounge with beanbag chairs and Skittles, and invited their parents to chaperone. The teens, or their parents, still had to sign Apple’s customary nondisclosure agreements.”

    Budding app developers have a lot of options available to them and one of the most fundamental is deciding how they will create their app. They can learn programming and code their mobile apps, becoming proficient in iOS or Android or whichever platform they choose. Alternatively, they can employ a do-it-yourself mobile app development tool like ViziApps.

    With the right DIY tool, anyone with basic desktop computing capabilities can build a mobile business app for use on iOS or Android devices in just hours or days. But not all DIY tools are the same. App creators planning to build a business app should look for a tool like ViziApps that provides the ability to produce apps that access business data; build hybrid, as well as native and web mobile apps; and allow customization that supports their business brand – all with no coding.

  • Introducing ViziApps

    ViziApps

    No news may be good news, but sometimes the news is good. There are changes afoot at MobiFlex, and we’re excited to announce them to you. Today, we’re rolling out ViziApps, our flagship visual mobile app development tool, and we’re certain the mobile app landscape will never be the same.

    Sounds like a big deal, right? We think so. This new self-service platform will build on the first-generation mobile-app platform that we launched earlier this year, and the features and capabilities it offers — enhanced visual app design tools, visual data integration access, and more — allowing business owners and managers to quickly create and publish mobile apps. And all work is done visually, eliminating the need for technical expertise, coding skills, and major time commitments.

    ViziApps also eliminates the need for massive capital budgets. Our proprietary system of drag-and-drop wizards, selection tools, widgets, and graphic interface features is free to use to create and test mobile apps. Only when you are ready to publish your app do you pay a $99 provisioning fee. From there, a monthly subscription fee of $10 to $199 — based on the app’s number of users and screens — is the only remaining cost.

    As you’re undoubtedly aware, mobile apps are becoming crucial for small- and mid-sized businesses to encourage engagement and build community. With the new ViziApps platform, we make it easier, faster, and cheaper than ever for you to create and publish them. Come visit us atViziApps and we’ll show you how we do it.

    Also, please read this great article about MobiFlex and ViziApps from Xconomy.

  • Introducing ViziApps Free Plans

    Last week, we told you about ViziApps 2.0 and its new web appcapabilities, which make it the first and only no-coding solution for creating both web and native apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones.

    We also told you how inexpensive those solutions are.

    But what’s even better than inexpensive? How about free?

    That’s right: to celebrate the launch of ViziApps 2.0, MobiFlex has introduced the ViziApps Free plans, which allow users to publish aViziApps web app with unlimited static-content pages for up to 2 million page views per month. ViziApps native apps for a single user are also free; think personal apps to keep track of schedules, product pricing, customer information, and more.

    For complete information on all the pricing options available, visit www.viziapps.com.

  • Is your mobile app nimble?

    The bad news: no matter how well you plan and execute your mobile app, at some point after publication, it is going to have to be changed.

    The good news: Change is good. Change is beneficial. And with ViziApps, change is easy and free!

    Nimbleness is a key factor in the core development of any mobile app, be it business-to-business, business-to-consumer or business-to-employee, and it is a factor that needs to be considered from the very beginning of your development process.

    Why would you want to change your already published app? It could be for any number of reasons – maybe you want to change an offer or coupon to customers, or maybe your users suggested you integrate a camera or location-based functionality to you app. The decision to make a change may also have to do with your internal decisions. You may make strategic decisions that warrant a change, or your employees may make discoveries after using the app for a while that further increases productivity.

    But if you have had your mobile app custom built, such changes can be timely and costly. The change needs to go back to the development team, which needs to implement it into the overall architecture, and then needs the programmers to code the actual changes. Then, there are more costs for testing the changes.

    With an app that has already been quickly deployed using ViziApps, the process of change is far easier, and free. Just log into the ViziApps Studio, make your changes, and update the app.

    Truth be told, this is the way app development should be – like updating a blog.

    And aside from giving you flexibility in your app, this nimbleness also extends the life of your mobile app. There is no reason to release multiple apps over the years to keep up with change. This can eliminate the need to hold off on needed app changes.

    Flexibility also allows you to keep up with technological change. Any standard features that are added to the ViziApps arsenal of functionality will be available for use on your already published app, for free.

    So go ahead – publish your app with ViziApps. Don’t worry about what changes may come down the pike, as when you are ready, you can make the change quickly, easily and on budget.

  • IT’s Move to Mobile Worldwide Means Greater Need for Mobile Apps

    Mobile business apps will assume a larger role in the enterprise, as the IT industry relies more than ever on mobile devices, cloud services and other technologies.

    In a new report, IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, International Data Corporation predicts that the coming year will witness the IT industry’s accelerated move to “the 3rd platform” – built on mobile computing and cloud services, as well as social networking and big data analytics.

    “The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the 3rd Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90% of all the growth in the IT market,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “Companies that are not putting 80% or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP.”

    In 2013, IDC expects IT spending to surpass $2.1 trillion, up 5.7% from 2012, with smart mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and eReaders) experiencing nearly 20% growth. “Mini tablets” will enjoy wide acceptance during that period, IDC predicts, and will represent as much as 60% of the 170 million tablets expected to be shipped. Other analyst firms also see a bright future for tablets, forecasting that global sales of those devices will span from $49 billion to more than $77 billion in 2015.

    (For a concise overview of tablets in the enterprise, see James Kendrick’s ZDNet article, which points out the benefits and challenges those mobile devices present for IT.)

    For all the different mobile devices that will be deployed for business use in the coming months and years, enterprises will require well-crafted, data-rich mobile business apps. The most effective mobile apps will afford enterprise users access to the data they need to work effectively wherever they are. DIY mobile app development tools like ViziApps, which streamline the app building process and hold down mobile app costs, will help enterprises build the apps they need. The no coding data management capabilities of ViziApps make it especially well-suited for this business need. Any company planning for the transition to the 3rd Platform needs to include a plan for providing employees, customers, partners and others with mobile business apps that give them easy access to information wherever and whenever they perform their jobs.