App Spotlight: Wilkins Harley-Davidson

 

spotlight wilkins1 App Spotlight: Wilkins Harley Davidson

Here @shoutem we talked with Mary Kilroy from Wilkins Harley-Davidson, the family-owned Harley Davidson dealership with over 60 years of experience. They’ve decided to offer useful iPhone and Android apps to easily share with and get information from customers. Mary discussed her thoughts about the advantages of mobiles for dealerships and the most important features within mobile apps.

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Infographic: Smartphone and tablet app downloads in 2013

Analysts forecast that even more smartphone and tablet apps will be downloaded in 2013 as the number of purchased smartphone and tablet devices continues to grow. Recent findings by ABI Research estimate that approximately 70 billion smartphone and tablet apps will be downloaded in 2013. Android will dominate in the smartphone segment while iOS leads the way among tablets.

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ShoutEm V4 is live. Our biggest release ever.

I’m thrilled to announce new version of the ShoutEm Mobile App Maker!

Each day thousands of our customers are using our platform to create and manage their apps and we wanted to make that the best experience possible. Here is a two minute video showcasing the new user interface and some of the new V4 features.
Enjoy!

Viktor Marohnic, ShoutEm CEO

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ShoutEm “Austin Party Guide 2013″ App for SXSW

flyer A4 01 ShoutEm Austin Party Guide 2013 App for SXSW

“Don’t miss a party”

Is this year moto. Last year we had more than 8000 downloads in just five days of SXSW Interactive. This year app is ready for a prime time and even better than last years.

  • >250 parties listed
  • Directions and RSVP buttons
  • Selected (“Hot”) events of our choice for each day
  • Drinkups, film premieres or label showcases, the list grows by the day.
  • Detailed event descriptions let you know more about the event or its sponsors and much more.

On top of this we will run a blog inside an app that will announce hottest parties for each day and also will have a wrap-up of previous nights with latest buzz, photos and videos. .

If you’re one of many with a hectic schedule, leave the rest to the Austin Party Guide, your personal party-planner.

Available for Download Now!

Be the one to confidently lead your team to the next event. Be the one who’s first in line and first to the bar. Be the one who buys ShoutEm their first drink… kidding, kidding, but seriously…

Download the Austin Party Guide today!

Austin Party Guide – iTunes

Austin Party Guide – Android Market

Going mobile? Responsive Web Design (RWD) vs HTML5 app approach.

Fast-growing mobile traffic is forcing most websites to refresh their mobile versions that are focused on high-end touch-screen iPhone and Android phones  and move away from the mobile themes that were built for screens of dying Nokia and Blackberry phones. There are two major approaches:

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD)
  • Separate HTML5/JS app (mobile web app, running on m. domain)

Think Vertical When Creating a Mobile Business Strategy

verticalpost Think Vertical When Creating a Mobile Business Strategy

 

Each new year offers new ways to latch onto emerging trends and start a business anew, or revamp your existing strategy.  For upstart app creators looking to take advantage of opportunities afforded by more devices in hands than ever, the issue many face is a vision that encompasses every opportunity possible. Vertical markets, oft-shortened as “verticals”, can help hone your focus when considering app creation as a business, saving you time and ultimately increasing your profitability.

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Here’s to the New Year!

newyears Heres to the New Year!

On behalf of the entire ShoutEm team, we’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year in 2013!

Your support in 2012 allowed us to make quite a few positive changes, offering the most responsive and robust apps around, and your continued feedback helped us shape our vision for the coming year. Here are a few things you can expect in the coming months:

  • In-app notification center – Your in-app social activity, including likes, comments on your statuses and more, will be easier to follow.
  • E-commerce – Build a mobile app for your web shop, expanding your earning potential.
  • More detailed statistics – We’re making it easier to track user engagement with user statistics, deal usage and location-based statistics and more.
  • REST API – Our JSON-based API will provide an interface for client developers to interact with content stored on ShoutEm, allowing you to build new applications on top of the ShoutEm infrastructure.

More devices are in hands than ever before, and the new year brings fresh opportunities to create apps for clients or anyone who has a need. If you’re looking for new business opportunities, we highly suggest considering becoming a part of our Agency program in 2013.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not a “Mobile First” strategy is important this coming year, check out this piece by our CEO, Viktor Marohnić. Very simply, think of which device you spend a majority of your time interacting with. In that context it makes more sense than ever to have a mobile presence.

May 2013 bring nothing but success and good health to you and yours. We’ll see you on the other side!

30% off new apps before the world ends!

newsletter header 30% off new apps before the world ends!

You think we’ve escaped unscathed just because we’ve all woken up? Maybe the apocalypse is taking one last lunch break, because there’s still time for the world to end.

As a reminder, we’re offering 30% off all new, single-app plan purchases until 23:59PM EST tonight. Your app must be published by December 28th to receive this discount, as we’re counting on the fact that we will indeed live to see another day.

To receive your discounted promo code, email us at shoutem@shoutem.com, or use our handy contact form to request yours.

May humanity live on!

Acing the App Store Approval, Part 2: In the Waiting Line

app store badge transp Acing the App Store Approval, Part 2: In the Waiting Line

Last week, we dove in to our discussion of the App Store approval process by talking about all the little details you might overlook when submitting your app. But we didn’t really delve into the timeline and what the process looks like once your app is officially submitted.

How long does the approval process take?

Although the total time required for the review and approval of applications has varied in recent years, it now takes approximately 8 days (including Saturdays and Sundays). Out of those 8 days, the application will wait for the review for around 7 of them, and once it enters the actual review, it will be approved or rejected within 24 hours in most cases. The twist is if the app gets stuck in the review process for more than 24 hours—that’s usually a clear indicator that something is probably not in accordance with the rules. The reviewer is likely seeking for help from senior staff in order to decide whether the application should be approved or not.

If the application gets rejected, and the reason for the rejection is a simple misunderstanding (e.g., you mention that you support Augmented Reality in the app description, but the reviewer can’t find the feature), the process will continue after you send an email with an additional explanation to Apple. Such a conflict is usually resolved within the next 24 hours, but depending on the complexity of the decision, or how many instances there are, it may even take several days or weeks.

The thing that will definitely set you back in time is if you send a new version of the existing application to the App Store while the old one is still waiting for its review. Then you will definitely be thrown to the back of the queue and you will need to wait an additional 8 days.

Expedited Procedure

The team at Apple is somewhat sympathetic to urgent situations when you can’t wait for the standard approval time of 8 days. If you discover a critical bug, or if you are late with the development of an app for an event, you can send a request for a so-called Expedited Review.

You will be notified by an email whether your request qualifies for the fast procedure or not. If it does, your application will usually be reviewed within 24 hours (sometimes it can take up to three days). Expedited reviews are granted on limited basis and is not advisable to rely on the fact that each request for such review will be accepted.

Filing Complaints

No matter how hard you try, there are situations in which you do everything right, but the application may still be rejected. For example, our application for the famous rapper, 50 Cent, was rejected on the grounds that it did not provide enough value to be released in the App Store. (By the way, this application currently has over 100,000 users and an average rating of 5 stars in the opinion of 300 of them.) Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, so in a similar situation, you will have to file a complaint.

Filing a complaint will result in a change of your reviewer. More precisely, you will get a board of reviewers. This committee will consider your comments and review the application much more carefully than during the “normal” process. Being rejected by the App Review Board, means that there is no higher authority that you can continue to appeal to. Some developers, whose appeal was rejected, tried to fight with Apple in the media, but we don’t know any case that ended up with a positive outcome for the developer. Once the decision is made by the board, it’s done.

Conclusion

Although the App Store Review Guidelines ​​helped the consistency of the review process, the fact remains that it’s still dependent on subjective assessment of Apple ‘s reviewers. The good news is that, in our experience, the situations in which applications are being unfairly rejected are extremely rare. And when things get complicated, it’s worth remembering that the folks in Cupertino are people like us. They  might make mistakes sometimes, but they want what our customers and what we want: top-quality software and a mobile application that is a pleasure to use.

3 things why Android might disrupt iPhone market share

My excitement about Android is like a roller coaster ride. We were one of the companies that applied for Android challenge in 2008 and were very excited about Mobile First designed brand new OS, but after it took more than a year to actually get first Android device on the market and those first devices looked and worked/looked pretty bad compared to iPhone I cooled down on Android completely. These days I have some new thoughts. Even though Android OS still have some big challenges like hardware and screen size fragmentation there are few things that look promising.

I think it could happen that iPhone might quickly start loosing its advantage over Android. To be clear at the moment I see iPhone as a market leader and not buying any of those numbers about iPhone market share vs Android market share as an argument. iPhone is currently wining all important aspects like user engagement, AppStore revenue, quality of apps, amount of money that developers are making etc, etc…

Here are few reasons why this might change:

1. Hardware advantage is disappearing

samsung galaxy s3 iphone 5 3 things why Android might disrupt iPhone market shareFor years Apple was ahead everyone else when it comes to hardware, most of the Android devices looked cheap and unpolished, definitely not something that you wanted to use with joy or to impress your friends.

But for example new Samsung Galaxy S3 is a different story. It looks very modern and fresh and is a very well done piece of hardware. Nokia Lumia (Win 8, though) is also solid looking device. Those two devices show that it is not just Apple any more that can produce high end hardware. As I discussed in one of my previous blog posts Apple hardware inovations are not that exciting for end users as they used to be few years ago and other hardware manufacturers are quickly catching up.

Think different, yes, but with Android

There is also an angle where iPhone at some point was a cool new device that made you look different. It was statement. I’m not sure if that is the argument these days. Do you really want to have exactly the same device as everyone else? Where is excitement in that or why would same old, same old iPhone be a topic of discussion while you are sitting at the bar with friends. ‘Social’ advantage of iPhone is gone. Everyone saw it, everyone has it and it is not that cool anymore.

2. Simplicity of iPhone UI is not an advantage any more

When first iPhone got out it was amazing how simple an easy to use it was. Four year old kids were able to use it. Remember all those phones before iPhone and how you had to read the manual to actually start using it. It was terrible. And than came iPhone, with its simple, limited and therefore very easy to use UI. Not sure if that is the advantage any more. Why?

Everyone is a tech geek today

Recently I sat down with my friend who is a medical doctor and always had the cheapest feature phone on him to used it for calls only. He didn’t even use email and still don’t have a Facebook account, he is very different from most people I hang out with. But just few weeks ago he bought new Android phone. All of the sudden he started asking me questions about mobile operating systems, Android vs iOS, Windows, data packages etc. I was shocked him asking me all that stuff and where all of the sudden he came up with all those informations. Also I’ve seen some of my family members that just a year ago opened Facebook accounts, people that were never interested in technology, commenting the acquisition of Instagram and opening up Instagram accounts to check it out. News about the acquisition reached them before they even heard about Instagram from friends. That tells me that technology have gone completely mainstream and absolutely everyone is into it deep.

With above in mind I believe average user is no more satisfied with limited and simple device and UI. They are  ready to take on new, bit more complex UX, more features and flexibility. Android had that angle from start and appealed more to geeks, than ‘normal’ people. So if today everyone is becoming a geek, that might make Android more appealing to the masses than iPhone. Maybe users are ready for home screen widgets, few more hardware buttons, maybe they want to customize their home screen layouts and such.

3. Android is becoming more appealing to developers

High end and more expensive android devices mean users with higher buying power and that means more money for Android developers. Lot of developers got burned in early days of Android and move on to iPhone because they weren’t able to monetize their apps easier. With Google Wallet and Carrier payments that is changing for better. If first two assumptions above are correct than Android is gaining advantage here as well.

iTunes AppStore process is a frustration for most of the developers and it looks like Apple has no plans to back up. Enough said.

Google is committed to HTML5/js technology and time of HTML5 apps is definitely coming. Even if you decide to go native Java language you have much more developers out there that can start coding Java Android apps than ObjectiveC developers.

I even heard from one developer that for them is so much easier to develop and push Android apps live to the Google Play and iterate than doing the same for iPhone, that they decided to do Android first in order to test the UX/UI and fine tune the app, before they publish anything to the AppStore.

 

What do you think? Android has much bigger market share in numbers but it many peoples eyes (including mine) iPhone is still a leader. How soon we will see Android starting to really threaten and tap into iPhone customer base?