iPhone Life magazine

Apps: Business

Marketing Secrets of 
Top Selling App Developers

FlightTrackProSo your app was approved by Apple, it's for sale on the App Store, and sales are… slow or non-existent. Now what? With over 120,000 titles, your app isn't just going to sell itself. Proloquo2GoFor an app to be successful, it not only has to stand out from the crowd, you need to get the word out.


Apple provides access to some basic materials but, unfortunately, doesn't do much else to help developers.


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Gist Develops Business Acuity 
and Information Readiness

The ability to develop clear and meaningful conversations often hinges on the first thing you say. If you can spark a relationship based on awareness, common understanding, or a philosophical viewpoint, you have a better chance of achieving your business and personal objectives.


Being “in the know” is a critical business requirement these days. The emergence of real-time social networks challenges professional workers to be “always-on” and aware of everything that’s happening in their business segment.


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Apple Using iPod Touch for POS Purchases


Point-of-Sale purchases at Apple Stores are now accomplished with an iPod touch equipped with a barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader.

Pogo’s Sketch Stylus is used to capture customers signatures for credit card transactions



EasyPayPogo's Sketch StylusBelieve it or not, for the last several years Apple has been using Microsoft Windows-powered handhelds to process purchases at its chain of Apple Stores.


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Three for the SOHO


Three apps you need to run your Small Office or Home Office from the palm of your hand

With over 2,000 business apps available, how do you find the essential ones—the few that will handle most of what you need to do and integrate them into your business life in a SOHO (Small Office or Home Office)? Here’s a rundown on the three apps I use most often.

Skype

Free (subscription and user fees for certain calls); skype.com/mobile


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Use MobileAppLoader.com to Build Your iPhone App

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I recently had the chance to chat with Zvika Ashkenazi, the CEO of MobileAppLoader.com and I was able to learn some very interesting things about his company, the services it provides and I also learned how to track App Store sales.

Zvika sent me a graphic detailing January 2010 metrics for DIY iPhone apps. According to the graphic, MobileAppLoader was responsible for creating 436 apps for their customers which include realtors, auto dealers, restaurants, and hotels to name just a few categories.

As you know from my previous posts here, a number of companies have launched in the last year or so to help people and businesses create their own applications, not just for iPhones, but also for other platforms like Android and Windows Mobile. Previously, this sort of service was unheard of. If one wanted software developed, it could get pretty pricey. For large corporations, this was considered 'the cost of business', but for individuals and smaller companies, personalized or customized software was often out of reach.

Now, some people themselves are talented programmers themselves and can make their own apps. Some companies have developers on staff, while some companies can afford to hire an outside developer for a specific project  - at a cost of $5,000 to $25,000 - to develop an application from scratch, that kind of budget is out of the reach for many people. Of course, one can get it for less, but even so, a ball-park bargain-basement sort of figure is still around $2,500. And most aren't looking to create super-sophisticated software, and don't really need to consider spending that sort of money anyway.

At the present time, MobileAppLoader claims that they are the #1 Do-It-Yourself iPhone App company. These stats do not include companies which build apps from RSS feeds or companies with less than 30 apps. Zvika explained that he generated this information by typing the name of the developer into iTunes. Now that I know how to do this, I anticipate hours of fun

Since MobileAppLoader doesn't build their apps via RSS feeds, I was curious as to their process. It's done by what Zvika described as a unique "App in a Snap" Wizard. A user signs up for an account on their site, and selects their business category. Then they chose a design from Iron, Bronze, Silver and Gold offerings and upload four images and type in certain details (contact info, URLs, feeds, text, etc...) and finally hits 'submit'. Behind the scenes, the content is then converted to a native iPhone app using objective-C using the Apple X-code development tool, and that process is then followed by a a quick quality assurance to make sure everything is working properly before the app is sent to Apple for review.

Apps built from RSS feeds can be very handy, but MobileAppLoader is very proud of the real-time interactivity of the apps they build using this method. For example, they've built a number of apps for towing companies and the apps include the ability to tell the towing company where you've broken down, show them a picture of your car and ask them to come and get you. So the app makes use of notifications, GPS and the camera. And that's just one example. Auto dealer apps include the ability of the dealer to notify a customer of their next service appointment. Prices start at $59.99 for setup and $4.99 a month.

 



MailTones — different sound alerts for different e-mail senders

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MailTones at $2.99 is a bit pricey, but it's a great idea and may suit a particular need you have. It lets you assign different sounds to different e-mail senders and uses the iPhone's push notification to alert you when you receive important e-mails. This is apparently the only app that offers this function. And in their just-released update they've added a feature popular with IT managers: messages to their pagers can be forwarded to their iPhones and use a unique sound to alert them that they have a support call that needs attention. And if they're sleeping when that alert comes through?



Pocket Dictate — free software for recording dictation

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Even though you have Voice Memo on your iPhone you might also be interested in the free Pocket Dictate, which lets you make recordings and then tap the send button to e-mail it to your typist from within the app. You can also send it via ftp. The app automatically compresses the WAV file. There are other useful controls, too, including the ability to overwrite and insert. A voice activation feature lets you set it so that it only records when you're speaking. And while it's designed to emulate — and replace — a dictaphone, obviously it could be used for other purposes, such as interviews.



Mashable.com's 700+ Apps Reviewed by Category

For 2010, Mashable.com - which has just retooled its look for the new year - had compilied a list of all 700+ iPhone Apps they reviewed in 2009. 

As we begin 2010, there are over 100,000 iPhone apps available for download — an overwhelming array of choices, but plenty of gems if you know where to look.



Preparing Powerful Presentations


Improve your presentation skills with Presenter Pro

There are only two things people fear more than speaking in public—a tax audit and death. Even if you’ve had extensive experience making presentations, the days or hours before you speak can be nerve-wracking. About the only thing you can do is to prepare and practice. You need to make sure that you have a dynamite presentation and run through it until you feel comfortable with the material.


Preparation and practice


Putting together an exceptional presentation isn’t a natural activity—otherwise none of us would be afraid of the prospect.


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11 Apps for the Business Professional

These apps help you stay connected and productive

With more than 100,000 apps and two billion downloads, the App Store has truly reached critical mass. Both consumers and business professionals alike have come to expect that there is an app to solve almost any need that arises. Here is a look at some of the best iPhone apps available to improve your business productivity.

An app for almost anything

In truth, there’s not an iPhone app for everything just yet. But the collection of iPhone apps for business continues to grow rapidly. We’re at the point of critical mass now; the number of apps available through the App Store is exploding.


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