Native Apps

  • A New View on Mobile Apps

    Like most folks, we here at MobiFlex believe mobile devices, in all their different forms and languages, hold a certain power that, when effectively tapped, can help businesses work and communicate more efficiently and provide a far more effective forum for engagement with end customers.

    We do not believe, however, that the mobile device’s power should rest solely in the hands of specialized application developers knowledgeable in various elements of source code.

    Everyone – and every business – should be able to build their own mobile apps, and we are here to help.

    If you have ever stared down at that device in your hand and said, “This is pretty good, but I really wish my phone could do THIS,” than this is the place for you. The fact is, with a little work and a little help, your phone probably can do that, and you don’t need a degree in computer science to get it done. We have developed an interface-based platform that can help almost anyone build their own mobile apps without coding and at a minimal cost. Check it out and we think you will be surprised by what’s possible.

    If you’d like a second opinion, read John Brandon’s recent column in Inc. Magazine titled “Can You Make Your Own App?

    But the power to create your own business and personal apps also comes with a lot of questions, and that is the true reason behind this blog. How do you make the most from your new apps? How and where to publish? Native or web-based? How does one market and make money with your new app? These are the kinds of questions we will be addressing over the coming months, not to mention the more detailed technical questions that will inevitably come up.

    If you’ve decided to build your own mobile apps, you’re not alone. You are part of a growing community. To that, we say “Welcome” and hope you will bookmark the Rethink Mobile Apps blog to enjoy our ongoing commentary and education on mobile app creation.

  • App Publishing – App Stores or Direct?

    So you have a mobile app developed and ready to go. What comes next? How do you get your app into the hands — or, rather, onto the devices — of the people you want to use it?

    You may not realize it, but you have a few options. The one you probably thought of first is the Apple iTunes App Store, where — no surprise — you can publish iPhone apps. On the Android side of the spectrum, Google’s Android Market is the primary public option for Android apps.

    But other publishing options are emerging. Amazon, for one, has introduced its own Appstore for Android, and others are certain to follow. And alternately, web apps can be published directly from their source — think your website — because they’re primarily web pages that are being sent to people’s phones through RSS feeds.

    It comes down to this: the best way to distribute and publish your app depends on the nature of the app itself. If it’s for consumers, or if you want to give it away or sell it broadly to a whole range of public users, including B2B customers or partners, then iTunes and Android Market are attractive options.

    However, the requirements for publishing within each are different. Both iTunes and Android Market require you to have an app developer license. For iTunes, the license is free for an individual, but in most cases you’ll need a $99 per year company license. You apply through Apple.com, and you need to supply specific information about your certificate of incorporation or other evidence that you’re a legitimate business entity. It typically takes 30 or more days for Apple to approve new licenses of this type, so users should start this process right away when they want to get their app into the iTunes App Store. Click on this link to register as an Apple developer.

    Android Market works a bit differently. There, a developer license can be purchased for a one-time $25 fee, and you can typically get approval within 24 hours and be publishing your app immediately thereafter. Click on this link to register as an Android developer.

    So where do we come in? At MobiFlex, you create and test your app for free. When it’s ready to publish, we provide you with the app file, which you simply submit to Apple or Android Market just like a custom-developed app. Bear in mind: Apple does a very careful review of every app submitted. They’re looking for security backdoors and technical bugs, as well as objectionable material. These are all very logical and understandable criteria. But Apple also has other rules that you can see at the Apple developer site after you register as a developer. For instance, Apple can reject apps that they, in their sole judgment, believe are “only for marketing purposes with no intrinsic value” or that lack real commercial or entertainment value. This review process usually takes a week, but it can take longer. When apps are rejected, they need to be carefully restructured to address the issues before they’re resubmitted.

    On the flip side, there’s no review in the Android Market. Apps submitted there will typically appear within a few hours for access by users.

    But what if you’re not interested in sharing your app with the public? Say you’re a corporation and you have an app that you want to distribute strictly to your employees? Apple offers an option for “enterprise distribution.” This is for apps that are intended for a company’s internal users, and there are some authorization and authentication requirements.

    As you can see, businesses have a number of options for publishing their mobile apps, with others on the horizon. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how we can help you get your app into the market.

  • As Employees Hit the Road, ViziApps Provides A Better Way to Create Mobile Apps

    According to a new IDC report, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast, we can expect the global workforce to become increasingly mobile in the coming years.

    “Our forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015,” said Stacy Crook, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Enterprise Research program.

    The report predicts that the region that includes the United States, Canada, and Latin America will have 212.1 million mobile workers in 2015. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will see the largest increase in total number of mobile workers, with a jump from 601.7 million mobile workers in 2010 to 838.7 million in 2015. IDC attributes much of that increase to strong economic expansion in China and India, the two most populous nations in the world.

    Although those numbers may be daunting, businesses cannot afford to ignore them. Instead they need to find ways to turn the increasingly flexible way the workforce operates into a business driver.

    How? By assessing what their employees will need to take advantage of rapidly changing mobile technologies. Both enterprises and small businesses need to ensure that their mobile workers are not merely moving more than ever, but that they also have all the tools they need to access key business data and stay productive, wherever they are.

    Some of the most important resources they will require to do that are mobile business apps, designed to provide the types of up-to-date data, reporting capabilities, and decision making tools they would use if they went into the same office every day.

    ViziApps was launched to help businesses meet just that need. In significantly less time than it takes to build software applications using traditional methods, the ViziApps online tool enables non-programmers to develop custom, branded native apps for iOS and Android devices and web apps for any mobile device with a full browser. Because the tool provides a drag-and-drop approach that uses widgets and requires no coding, much of the technical expertise and time-consuming challenges of a software engineering project can be avoided.

    Companies in a number of vertical markets are using ViziApps to develop innovative mobile apps. Employing a do-it-yourself approach that requires the same types of computer skills needed to convey information in a PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet, they are addressing the growing demand for apps that not only promote worker productivity but also engage customers and partners in new ways.

  • Build Hybrid Mobile Apps With ViziApps

    Hybrid mobile apps provide the advantages of native and web technologies in a single application. And now, with ViziApps, you can build a hybrid mobile business app with robust data access using a drag-and-drop approach, without coding.

    To users, hybrid apps are like native apps, in that they can take advantage of device features, such as the camera and GPS. And they are distributed through an app market, like the Apple App Store or Google Play, for installation on a mobile device.

    But unlike native apps, hybrid apps also seamlessly integrate web content and add web features where needed with coded extensions. As a result, hybrid apps provide the flexibility for mobile business apps to access web content and integrate advanced functionality, such as that needed for mobile games and complex app logic.

    Key advantages of ViziApps hybrid mobile apps include:

    Standard drag-and-drop WYSIWYG design, plus advanced functionality that allows you to use JavaScript for apps that require more complex operations. Most mobile business apps only need ViziApps’ standard functionality, which can be used without coding. For those apps that need to include more complex features, adding “glue logic” with JavaScript enables more complex data operations. For example, glue logic could be used to get GPS data and then transform it into a URL for a map on another page.

    JavaScript

    The power of HTML5 across devices. Now, you can easily integrate rich HTML content with native feature access and control. Because HTML5 is supported on all major device browsers, ViziApps hybrid apps look the same on all supported devices. For instance, the picker function, which allows a user to select among different options, like times and dates, looks different using the native controls for Android and iOS. On Android the picker is a drop-down while on iOS the picker is a large spinner. With ViziApps hybrid apps, the picker works the same way on iOS and Android devices. On both tablets and smartphones, the picker functionality is provided in a drop-down menu. HTML5 also offers a wide range of design options and enables third-party web plug-ins, expanding the ways you can distinguish your apps’ appearance.

    Html5

    Faster Page Transitions. For very complex apps, with 10+ pages and 50+ fields, hybrid apps provide faster page transitions. Greater responsiveness means an enhanced user experience.

    As with native apps and web apps, designing and building a hybrid mobile app with ViziApps is free. You can publish a ViziApps hybrid app for the same low pricing as a native app.

  • Build Native iPad and Android Tablet Apps with ViziApps

    You can now use ViziApps to build both native and web apps for the iPad. Newly integrated functionality for native apps allows for use of the impressive iPad display in mobile business apps. Native apps allow apps to take advantage of iPad native functions like the camera and GPS.

    Using the same drag-and-drop approach you’d take to build an app for an iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones, you can now use ViziApps to produce apps that take advantage of 10-inch screens on tablets running Android 2.2 or later.

    If you have already created an iPad app with ViziApps or have been considering one, you now have more choices: you can build an iPad app, an Android tablet app, or both.

    Tablets offer a number of advantages for business apps. For sales presentations, they provide a way to display information in visually compelling ways. A 10-inch screen is ideal for displaying business data, product schematics, videos and other types of content that would overwhelm a smartphone screen.

    Also, if you have designed an app with ViziApps for a smartphone, it will now look good on both iPads and Android tablets without any design changes. The design will scale up proportionally but keep the crisp edges of fonts in HD.

  • Choosing Between Development Platforms for Your Mobile Apps

    When it comes to creating a mobile app, you have a number of different kinds of development platforms to choose from. Terrific, right? Well, only if you understand your options.

    For starters, there are platforms that allow mobile software engineers to code their apps in a structured and efficient way. These platforms are essentially software development kits — SDKs — for engineers that provide a library of functions, thereby eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel for basic app functions.

    One such platform is Titanium Mobile from Appcelerator. Titanium Mobile provides a set of tools for engineers to develop mobile apps using languages and tools such as Javascript, CSS, HTML, and Ruby. Another coding platform solution for mobile software engineers is provided by PhoneGap. This option is an open-source set of tools, based on HTML5, that leverages web technologies HTML and JavaScript in a free, open-source framework to give access to a smartphone’s SDK APIs using standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices.

    The second major category is that of non-coding solutions for native apps. Of course, you already know one of the key players here: MobiFlex’s ViziApps, which provides a visual means for building and creating native apps that run native features on iPhones and Android phones; and web apps that run on any mobile device with a full browser. With ViziApps, users can design and test the apps for free; publishing them involves a modest monthly subscription fee or, is even free in some cases.

    Another company that offers a non-coding solution — though it may require coding in some cases — is Pyxis Mobile. Pyxis provides a toolkit for creating apps that is downloaded to the user’s server and runs within the user’s site. While a robust solution, it is also very expensive: license fees can start at over $50,000, and the complexity of the system often requires users to take training courses costing thousands of dollars.

    The third major category of platforms includes those that enable the user to create web apps, generally without coding. Some web-app solutions require HTML or Javascript, but many web apps can be created without coding, and there are a number of startup companies offering such services. These web app suppliers provide a means for reformatting web pages to fit the mobile form factor. Web apps are typically inexpensive to create and publish; they can also be created and published quickly because they generally use existing content available on the user’s web site or other marketing materials. Web apps can be published directly from the user’s web site, rather than going through the app market and store review and publishing processes.

    MobiFlex’s ViziApps recently added web app capabilities, making it the first and only no-coding solution for creating both web apps and native apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones in the same integrated ViziApps Studio. Web apps created with ViziApps are available for immediate use on any of the more than 5,000 mobile devices that support full browser capabilities.

  • Demand for enterprise mobile apps to drastically outstrip supply

    ViziApps is pleased that the need and value of Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) platforms like the ViziApps Visual RMAD have been recognized in the fast paced mobile industry.

    Chris Nerney is a technology writer who covers mobile technology, big data and analytics, Android, data centers and cloud computing. Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts in CSC Blogs:

    Even the best of the best mobile apps development best practices may not be enough to enable enterprises to meet the expected demand for serious business apps, according to a new report by technology research and consulting firm Gartner:

    By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them. Gartner forecasts mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will fuel demand for apps in the enterprise that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.

    The driving force behind the growing demand for mobile apps by enterprise users is the increasing number of devices employees are expected to use in the workplace, including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearables. The Internet of Things also will generate more demand for mobile apps.

    Gartner recommends four specific steps enterprises can take to offset mobile apps development challenges:

    1. Prioritize app development

    Rather than develop apps for whomever asks first or the loudest, “mobile development teams need to formulate a process of mobile app prioritization that involves understanding the needs of business stakeholders,” Gartner says.

    2. Adopt a bimodal IT model

    Gartner urges the scrapping of the “traditional IT development approach” with a bimodal approach that delivers apps more efficiently and quickly. Bimodal approaches consist of two modes: “Mode 1 drives the creation of stable infrastructure and APIs to allow apps to retrieve and deliver data to back-end systems without impacting those enterprise applications, while Mode 2 uses high-productivity, agile approaches to quickly deliver front-end app features required by the business.”

    3. Deploy RMAD tools

    Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools enable enterprises to turn out apps much faster. Examples include drag-and-drop codeless tools, model-driven development and other approaches that allow non-developers and people in business units to get involved in creating mobile apps.

    4. Used a mixed-sourcing approach

    While Gartner says enterprises eventually will upgrade their in-house mobile development, only 26% of organizations now use in-house-only development, while more than half (55%) are “successfully delivering apps using mixed sourcing.”

    The bottom line, if Gartner’s forecast is accurate, is that enterprises need to ramp up mobile apps development in a strategic way. If they don’t, they may cede market opportunities to their competitors.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Make A Mobile App for Conferences and Convention Centers

    Taking part in conferences and trade shows can be overwhelming. Participants find themselves in an unfamiliar, often hectic environment, and typically put in long hours on their feet.

    A well-designed mobile conference app can improve that experience significantly. Serving as a useful event guide, it can provide an easy way to consult session and special event schedules, find a good restaurant, and navigate the conference venue. By placing all the information participants need right in their hands, a mobile app eliminates confusion, simplifies scheduling and allows both attendees and exhibitors to focus on business.

    ViziApps lets conference and convention center management, as well as show sponsors, build custom mobile apps for use on the iPhone, iPad or Android smartphones or tablets. Using a drag-and-drop approach and without coding, they use ViziApps to design and make a mobile app like the sample shown here.

    Conference App Generic

    Or, if they prefer, a ViziApps mobile app design professional will build one, tailored to their business requirements.

    And now, with newly integrated in-app payment processing capability from ROAM Data, a conference app built with ViziApps can be used for on-the-go payments on a conference show floor.

    By offering access to rich data sources, like Google Docs spreadsheets, SQL databases, and web content, a mobile conference app can also provide an easy, convenient way to keep internal users, like convention center staff, informed and productive.

    To understand your options for building a hybrid, native, or web conference app, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or check out a sampling of the types of app you can build with ViziApps here.

  • Mobile Apps Are Hot: Is Your Company in the Game?

    According to the results of a recent survey by Symantec, 71 percent of companies are “at least discussing mobile applications.” And one-third are deploying them.

    What is stopping your business from getting past the talking stage and taking advantage of the flexibility mobile apps offer your customers, employees and partners?

    The process of developing mobile business apps can be much more straightforward than you might expect. Without requiring any coding at all, ViziApps enables the creation of both native and web business apps for Apple iOS and Android devices. Its drag-and-drop approach eliminates the need for coding, resulting in significant savings in time and project costs.

    If you’re looking to publish a mobile app quickly, using either with a URL link or QR code, consider creating web apps with ViziApps. If you want to take advantage of on-device resources, such as a GPS, calendar, contacts, or camera, you can use ViziApps to build native apps. Regardless of which type of mobile app your business requires, you can create one quickly and cost effectively, without coding. (For more on the differences between web and native apps and how to decide which type would meet your needs, see an earlier post in this blog.)

    Symantec’s survey revealed that nearly half of companies find mobility “somewhat to extremely challenging.” With ViziApps, the app creation phase, a critical step in enterprise mobility, does not have to be the least bit daunting.

  • Mobile First … Moving Beyond Responsive Web Design to Mobile Apps

    Geoff Bock just posted interesting insights on Mobile First Strategy at TechTarget.

    Mobile First

    Here’s an summary

    Websites that perform well across multiple devices are the hallmark of a strong mobile-first strategy, but custom-built mobile apps can improve productivity by expediting specific activities.

    If your Web Content Management System supports Responsive Web Design and dynamic templates, you can create the content once and adapt the presentations to the form factors and navigation links of different device types.

    But there is more to Mobile First than consistent content presentation. Beyond keeping tabs on the latest weather reports or sharing immediate thoughts on Twitter, consider how mobile apps can engage users and simplify work-related tasks. With smart devices in our pockets and handbags, content in the palms of our hands can expedite user engagement.

    A mobile-first strategy can spawn a new generation of apps designed to support the micro-moments, when getting access to just the right information at the right time assists decision making. These are task-oriented apps that connect to multiple information sources and diverse content collections running in the cloud, and that provides the tools to mobilize moments of engagement.

    In short, content presentation is only the initial step in the mobile journey. A mobile-first strategy can evolve to support task-oriented mobile apps that transform business processes, remove communication barriers and increase productivity.

    For his full post, go to: Mobile First Apps

  • Offline Data Access for Mobile Apps Now Available

    ViziApps is the first mobile app creation without coding service to introduce a revolutionary new capability for mobile apps: Offline Data Access & Remote Sync.

    Mobile users worldwide have become dependent on their smartphones and apps to provide them with capabilities and data wherever and whenever they want. And now companies using ViziApps are enabling more and more corporate data to be available from our mobile devices.

    But the reality is that mobile data connections are often unreliable, very low bandwidth, too expensive to use, or completely unavailable in needed work sites. Yet these issues can hit at exactly the time and place we need to get our jobs done. A mobile device without a data connection suddenly becomes frustrating and useless.

    Offline Data Access & Remote Sync

    ViziApp’s approach to Offline Data Access & Remote Sync, like the rest of our no-coding platform for mobile app creation, couldn’t be simpler for the user and even for the app creator. In fact it’s practically transparent.

    Data Access While Offline

    For a user, the synchronization between a remote database and their mobile device happens automatically as a background process. There is no action the user needs to take. When a user makes a data query, their app will use a local copy of the synchronized data which not only gives them access to their data while offline, but also allows the app to perform much faster than normal online operation.

    Data Updates While Offline

    Mobile users without a network connection can now continue working and updating their data sets, such as filing reports and even submitting photos. The next time that the user runs their app with a network connection, the new data will be automatically synchronized back to the remote database in both directions.

    Simple To Enable

    For the app creator, in ViziApps Studio just go to the App Properties selection for “Setup Offline Operations”, then select “Use offline operation.” That’s it – the rest is automatically handled for you. There is no difficult middleware to install or configure or worry about for scalability.

    Offline Data Access & Remote Sync is now available for Intuit QuickBase and Android devices. ViziApps will soon be releasing Offline Data Access & Remote Sync for iPhone and iPad users, and then expanding to other remote data sources.

  • Options for Making A Mobile App for Your Business

    If you’ve been thinking about creating a mobile app for your business but haven’t made much progress, consider two approaches that could help you reach your goal.

    #1 Make a do-it-yourself mobile app.

    New, disruptive technologies are making it possible for business people with basic office software skills to develop effective, visually appealing mobile apps. And with a robust DIY mobile app platform like ViziApps, enterprise business units, as well as small and medium sized businesses, can create mobile applications without skilled engineering resources. This approach does not require a sizable mobile app development budget or the technical expertise of an internal IT group or an outside programmer.

    Mobile application development platforms that provide a drag-and-drop process for designing and creating mobile apps offer a way to meet the mobile app gap many businesses are experiencing. In significantly less time that it can take to design and develop an enterprise-quality application, a business can design and build a custom mobile app and publish it in the Apple App Store or in Google Play.

    At a time when businesses are looking at ways to provide better customer service, the DIY approach offers significant cost and time savings, putting affordable mobile business apps within reach of organizations of all sizes.

    #2 Enlist Expert Services to Build A DIY Mobile App

    Producing a sophisticated mobile business app that incorporates business data from a Google Docs spreadsheet or SQL server can be accomplished in days on a platform like ViziApps. But for some people, even a day or two is more than they can spare to build a mobile app.

    Those businesses can still take advantage of the cost and time savings the ViziApps “no coding” mobile app platform offers. ViziApps app development professionals work with business owners and enterprise managers to design and create mobile apps for a tenth the cost (or even less) than the cost of a traditional enterprise application. Now, those businesses can get a branded web, native, or hybrid app to meet their functional and aesthetic specifications built for them at very low cost.

    Depending on their preferences, we can utilize the features of an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet and provide access to whatever data our customers require. For example, we work on apps designed to expand revenue-generating channels, incorporating features such as geo-location marketing, mobile payments and mobile social media integration, as well as apps for internal use.

    Whichever approach a business takes to creating a mobile app, the DIY path or the route leveraging ViziApps professional app design services, the result is an attractive, low-cost mobile app tailored to meet current business needs and be updated easily whenever those needs change.

  • Part 2 in the Series - How Three Businesses Benefited from ViziApps Mobile Apps

    Now, let’s walk thru some use cases showing how three companies have solved key issues with mobile apps.

    Construction – Home Maintenance Services

    The home maintenance industry has been comprised of individual and small business contractors and handymen, interacting with each homeowner by phone. HomeSquare is disrupting this traditional model, increasing engagement with homeowners and lowering home maintenance costs, by giving each homeowner a private mobile app connection wherever they are. This makes it quick and easy to request new services, and keep apprised of all their projects’ progress and status, making it easy to consume more home maintenance services by breaking down the barriers of finding the right people for a project and negotiating the terms and pricing.

    The solution was to put a mobile app in the hands of every customer, making it easy to request services, provide details and explanations, and even take photos to clarify needed work orders. With this successful customer-facing app, HomeSquare is looking to increase their productivity with mobile business process apps.

    Retail Channel Engagement

    One of the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies based in Asia, which we’ll refer to here as FMCG, saw the need for a mobile app to carry their business forward with their network of thousands of retailing partners in Asia. Mobile apps presented a new opportunity to significantly increase engagement with them. It opened a new direct marketing vehicle with the partners, increasing the productivity of these relationships and encouraging increased loyalty and teamwork. In addition to reinforcing FMCG’s brand, benefits also included increased sales and reduced call center volume.

    FMCG’s marketing and sales team was very keen to make sure that the mobile app’s user experience was optimized. A critical technology requirement for this project was a secure real-time connection to the FMCG’s corporate SQL partner database. Now released for iOS and Android devices in the three languages needed across the region, and the mobile app is achieving high adoption and increasing FMCG’s engagement and business results with their retail partners.

    Farm Operations

    Spiech Farms has over 600 employees processing fruit and vegetables. They had built out desktop applications for use at the corporate office, but out in the field, they needed something mobile.

    Using bar-code scanning functionality from their smartphones, their field workers could take inventory of all the produce and report updates directly back to the corporate office. Additional mobile apps were built in a matter of days, enabling the company to adapt quickly, based on their stakeholder’s needs. Instead of training their filed employees for hours on desktop applications, they chose the route of mobile apps for easy and fast task workflow for their young and mobile workforce.

    No longer are they chasing their field workers to update systems when they return to the office. Instead, real-time updates from the field provide fast visibility and significant increases in productivity for the whole organization.

    Next up: How they accomplished these benefits!

  • Publish Your Mobile Apps In An Instant

    ViziApps has pioneered fast creation of custom mobile apps without the need for coding. However, you may need a faster more controlled way to distribute your apps than available through the public app stores.

    Now you can also publish your custom mobile apps directly into the hands of your iPhone, iPad, and Android users, literally in minutes, with ViziApps Instant Publisher.

    The Need for Instant Publishing

    There are a number of situations where you may not want your custom mobile app to be distributed through a public app store:

    • Your app is only to be used by company insiders and channel/supply partners
    • Your app contains ideas, concepts, or intellectual property you don’t want competitors to see
    • You want to avoid the complexity, delays, and cost of publishing through public app markets
    • You need fast distribution to a limited set of users
    • Your user population is small
    • You are conducting a Beta or Pilot test

    How It Works

    ViziApps Instant Publisher™ creates a special App Installation Web Page, unique for your app, that guides your users through a simple and fast installation process.

    ViziApps also creates a unique App Invitation Card which contains a bit.ly short URL and QR code that will bring your users directly to the App Installation Web Page.

    State Capitols Invitation Card

    App Invitation Card

    Your users open your installed app directly from your custom branded App Icon on their device home screen, and the same published app can run on both Apple and Android devices. ViziApps Instant Publisher is available to use with the latest version of ViziApps from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

    Try installing the demo app shown in the Invitation Card above to see how Instant Publisher works.