17 Oct
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Hudson County’s Election Mobile App 

 

Hudson County is ready for the upcoming election on November 10 with new technological improvements for residents in the county.

Most notable is Hudson County’s updated mobile app by county clerk E. Junior Maldonado. The app is available for free on both iOS and Android.

 

The election app helps citizens with a variety of election-related tasks, including:

– Allow citizens to register to vote.

– Provide info on early voting.

– Allow people to request a vote by mail.

– Obtain info on party declaration.

– Access a calendar of important dates.

– View a list of candidates for senator.

– View samples of completed ballots.

– Receive more info on who’s running in the election.

– View election results from the past.

– Access a district map to see what district citizens are voting in.

– Find locations on where to vote.

 

 

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“We believe that our investment will pay dividends for years to come by allowing the public an easier, more secure and transparent way of obtaining necessary and critical information.” said Hudson County Clerk, E. Junior Maldonado.

 

 

Hudson County staff plan to keep residents up to date as election day progresses with push notifications. Citizens can continue with their day as they received election notifications, keeping them engaged. With the mobile app, citizens don’t have to refresh a web browser or a social media page to stay informed; they can just use the app.

 

The Hudson County election app was built using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Info Grove is equipped with a cloud-hosted content management system and allows county staff to independently update and add content to the mobile app. Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

11 Oct
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Info Grove Beacons: Mobile Engagement

Info Grove Beacons

 

As part of the 3.3 release for Info Grove, 14 Oranges added a simple way to install hardware beacons and send location-based notifications or content offerings. In this article, we outline what a beacon is, how it’s different from a geo-fence, and how to set up beacons with Info Grove.

 

What is a Beacon?

 

Definition from Tech Target: “A beacon, in the context of location-based services, is a small hardware device that enables data transmission to mobile devices within a specific range of the device. For most applications, recipients must have Bluetooth turned on, have the associated mobile app installed with location services enabled and must have opted in to accept the sender’s transmissions.”

 

A beacon differentiates itself from geo-fences as geo-fences use GPS technology and not Bluetooth to activate the location-based notifications or content.

 

Photo from: https://estimote.com/press-kit/

 

How does a Beacon work?

 

A beacon is a small physical device that’s often hidden from sight. Beacons take the shape of a rock or a small plastic chip. There are several beacon providers to choose from and all integrate with Info Grove, but for simplicity, we recommend Estimote Beacons.

 

Photo from: https://estimote.com/press-kit/

 

After the beacon is purchased it must be synced with the backend of a mobile app, usually the content management system. Once configured in the backend, the beacon uses Bluetooth to link to the user’s device. When the app gets close to the beacon, a pre-programmed notification will appear or you can unhide location-specific content.

 

Beacons vs. Geo-Fences

 

While beacons and geo-fences may appear to complete the same function, the way they differ is important when deciding which feature to use for location-driven content. Location accuracy is generally better with beacons than geo-fences. Beacons, using Bluetooth, provide location accuracy within a few metres or feet. Geo-fences leverage global positioning technology with longitude and latitude, so they are not equipped to handle multiple location services within close proximity and are better for large areas, such as public parks or large festivals.

 

Beacons provide accuracy within extremely close ranges. A museum, for example, could have multiple beacons in one small room. A geo-fence would only be able to provide one perimeter for the entire museum, while a beacon can provide unique notifications for multiple artifacts or objects in the same room. Also, beacons can be placed on multiple floors of a single building while a geo-fence cannot accommodate multiple heights as it only uses latitude and longitude.

 

Photo: Example of a geo-fence.

 

Photo: Example of beacons.

 

How to set up beacons with Info Grove

 

To set up a beacon with Info Grove you will first need to purchase your beacon(s) from a provider, such as Estimote Beacons. After you have your beacon in hand you can start to create your location-based content.

You will need to define a few important fields in the Info Grove backend, including the UUID, Major, Minor, and Range.  

 

UUID: 

Universally Unique Identifier is a unique long number attached to a single beacon.

Major/Minor: 

Are numbers assigned to your beacons in order to identify them with greater accuracy than using a UUID alone. These are also provided by the beacon provider.

Range: 

Immediate, near, and far. Immediate means within a few feet, near is approximately 5-10 metres, and far being greater than 10 metres. We recommend testing near and immediate to determine the optimal location distance for notifications.

 

The beacons you’ve purchased should come equipped with these numbers. We recommend you follow the instructions from the beacon provider, as each may be slightly different. After you’ve entered the numbers above, place your beacon at your desired location. 

 

 

Next, you will need to decide whether you want to unhide location-based content or provide a notification that links somewhere in your app.

 

 

When choosing your location link, keep in mind that you have two options. Either to unhide content (Access Type) or to send a pre-programmed notification.

 

For access type, you can choose between Normal, Locked, or Hidden. Normal changes nothing and does not make the content location-determined, “Locked” shows the content button but does not make it clickable/accessible until the mobile device is within range. “Hidden” does not show the content button at all until the device is within range. If you choose “Locked”, you can add a locked message, such as “This content is only available for app users located in our museum.”

 

If you want to send a notification instead, you can ignore the “Access type” section and add a notification. The location link you choose will be opened when app users click on the notification. Leave the location link blank if you want to open to the homepage of your app.

 

Conclusion

 

 

There are many ways to use beacons for mobile engagement. Cities can provide tours and place beacons on monuments and landmarks. Associations can place beacons within a conference to remind users to fill out a survey or provide resources, such as a schedule or speaker list. Or museums can provide a mobile tour and easily change beacons when new exhibitions are added. Creating a new mobile engagement campaign is easy with Info Grove. Click here to learn more about Info Grove and schedule a demo today.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

04 Oct
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Info Grove: Accept In-App Payments

 

New to Info Grove is our “Payments” feature for offering in-app purchases with a credit card. Currently, Info Grove payments integrate with Bambora and Stripe accounts.

 

After you’ve created your Bambora/Stripe account and 14 Oranges has enabled the integration for your application, you can begin to add products/services for sale.

 

 

Payment Terminology

Active: Toggle on and off to remove products from your store but keep product information in the backend.

Label: Label is the title of your product.

Description: Describe any relevant details about your product, such as the size of clothing, info about an event, and etc.

Category: If needed, add categories to organize your items on sale, such as events, clothing, or memberships.

Currency: Switch between Canadian and U.S. dollars.

Total Amount: Total amount after all tax and/or shipping costs.

Base Amount: The amount before tax.

Notes: Any additional notes for your sale item.

Transactional Emails: Receive email notifications for completed purchases.

 

 

 

Example: Event tickets

 

Example: Products

 

 

Example: Membership Sign Up

 

 

 

How to add products for sale in Info Grove

 

1) Enable the Bambora, Stripe, integrations for your entity
2) Enable data sources (v3) and enhanced form (v3) on the backend modules and for your app version
3) On the tenant entity, go to Products and create your products
3) Create a data source with a products list. Select the products that you want on this list from the “Values” button.
4) Create an enhanced form (v3)
5) On your enhanced form, select the data source that you created earlier
6) Go to Payment Providers, add your payment provider. Add in the provider specific configuration fields (API key etc – retrieve these from your test payment provider account)

How to display products for sale in Info Grove

 

Displaying products (as shown in the photos above) works well with a “Plain List.” The first step is to create the plain list for what you want to sell.

After filling your products in the plain list your sales page will look something like this:

 

 

 

After finalizing your products, product descriptions, and price information, you will need to create “module links” that create the “purchase button.” The module link will take app users from the product to the purchase page (which you’ve already created with the enhanced form.)

 

When creating your module links, select the product you want to sell (From module) and redirect to the purchase page for the same product (To module).

 

Lastly, create the name of the button, such as “Purchase” or “Buy Now”

 

If you are just selling one product you will need to “add a single record” on the menu management section. If you are selling the entire list of products (the plain list) you need to add the plain list view to the menu and all your products will be displayed.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps. 

28 Sep
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Info Grove: Improving In-App Navigation

 

 

Info Grove has many different ways to provide content in your mobile app. With over 20 modules to choose from, content can be configured in a variety of formats depending on the specific needs of the user.

 

Here we demonstrate a simple way to provide content in a mobile-first format by adding a “clickable” button on an individual page. By using this simple navigation trick, you will provide a better user experience to app users and keep them coming back for more.

 

How to Create Improved In-App Navigation with Plain Lists

 

Step One: Create a “Plain List” for your starting page.

 

 

Step Two: Add a single record to the plain list, such as a report, guide, or any relevant information. For this example, we’ve created a “2018 Annual Report.” From here you can add information, photos, videos, and relevant links.

 

 

Step Three: Create a new view, or, the landing page content. This will become the destination after the button is clicked. The second page can be a PDF list, an event schedule, a content HTML, or any other view in Info Grove. For this example, we created a “PDF List” view. After you created the second view, add the content (we uploaded PDFs to our list).

 

 

Step Four: Go to “Module Links” and create a new module link. The module link is the button that will take you from the plain list to your new landing page. Define your “from module” as the plain list item you’ve just created. Define your “to module” as the view and item you’ve just uploaded (for us, the PDF). Finish by defining your button title (the text the user will read when clicking on the button.)

 

 

Note: If you want to put the button on the bottom of the page, change the “group” to 9 or higher.

 

Step Five: Add the new content to your menu. From here you can either direct users to the entire plain list you just created, or, the single item in the list (ex: 2018 Annual Report.) If you want to add the single item, on menu management click “Add a record” and find the item you created.

 

 

Step Six: Drag and drop your item to the desired place and add an icon to complete the item.

 

Other Examples

 

Example: Training Material

 

 

Example: Voting (add multiple buttons if needed)

 

 

Example: Advocacy Action

 

 

Example: View/purchase event tickets

 

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

Interested in learning more about Info Grove mobile apps? Click here to learn more and schedule a demo today.

 

 

25 Sep
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Info Grove: Advocacy Campaigns for Associations

mobile advocacy campaigns

 

Info Grove Campaigns

 

The latest feature for Info Grove is our “Campaigns” tool for associations and organizations.

 

Campaigns allow organizations to pre-configure an advocacy email for members to send in the mobile app. Emails can be sent to political representatives to encourage action in government.

 

The feature is designed to make grassroots advocacy campaigns as simple as possible in a mobile-first format. Associations can create multiple campaigns to run simultaneously while addressing different issues of need.

 

How to Create a Campaign

 

Step One: Create a new view under “Campaign”

Step One: Configure the campaign details (name, info, videos, photos, etc.) and at the bottom click “campaign action” and create the pre-configured email information. After you’ve created the email, edit the campaign link (this creates the button to click) and define your button title.

 

CMS

 

Step Three: Add the view to your menu and add a new icon (if needed)

Step Four: Send push notifications and take users directly to the campaign button.

Step Five: Members launch the campaign and can send an email in just a few minutes.

 

 

Tips for running a successful campaign:

1. Schedule a series of notifications over several days or weeks to maximize engagement.

2. After you create a new campaign, add it to the top of your menu to emphasize the call-to-action.

3. CC yourself or your organization’s email to see how many emails are sent by your members.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

Interested in learning more about campaigns for grassroots advocacy? Click here to learn more about Info Grove and schedule an online demo today. 

21 Sep
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Town of Arnprior, Ontario Releases a Mobile App

town of arnprior logo

 

The Town of Arnprior, Ontario, with approximately 8,795 residents, has launched a mobile app to improve communication and engagement with citizens.

 

 

Available for free on both iOS and Android, Arnprior residents are now equipped with an on-the-go mobile application to perform daily tasks and navigate within the town.

 

“Arnprior is out front on this issue,” CAO Michael Wildman said. “So it’s all right there at your fingertips.”

 

arnprior app

 

The Town of Arnprior focused heavily on location-based engagement by providing automated notifications with “beacons” to notify residents. Residents will be notified when driving by the Arnprior & District Museum about the latest exhibits, for example. Or, while biking along Robert Simpson Park a message will encourage the user to learn about the upcoming concert in the park. These are just a few of the geographic-based notifications provided by the Town of Arnprior.

 

The app also encourages active mobility in the Town by including locations lists and information for healthcare facilities, parks, libraries, trails, parking lots, and municipal buildings.

 

arnprior app

 

Town staff plan to constantly update and add new content, such as the “Vote 2018” features that help citizens participate in its upcoming municipal election. Residents can view the schedule of events, register to vote, view registered candidates and view FAQs.

 

After the election commences, Arnprior staff can access the Info Grove backend, delete the election content, and add new features to keep the app fresh.

 

arnprior app

 

In order to facilitate two-way communication, the Town has added important information about council and committees, such as meeting calendars, the mayor and council list, agendas and meeting minutes, and a “request to speak” feature.

 

An important focus of the app was to help citizens complete real-world tasks. Citizens can access garbage and recycling schedules and view recreation schedules like public swimming or ice skating.

 

Lastly, citizens can view information on job opportunities, access festival and event details, and information on road closures and other emergency information.

 

 

“It is the wave of the future,” Mayor David Reid said about the Town’s new mobile app.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

The Arnprior mobile app was built and hosted using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps!

14 Sep
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

5 Reasons to Adopt a Mobile-First Strategy

 

According to a study conducted by Google, people are 2x more likely to have a brand experience on a mobile device than they are to interact in person, through the TV or through a computer. – Forbes

 

Developing a mobile-first strategy requires a deep understanding of mobile consumer habits. Going mobile-first will likely require a new focus on content and a shift from the desktop or printed material. ComScore recently released its statistics on mobile usage trends. Here are 5 reasons to develop a mobile-first strategy today. All graphs and statistics are courtesy of ComScore.

 

1. Mobile users consume more than 2x minutes vs. desktop users:

When looking at each region’s desktop users and mobile users separately, mobile users universally consume more digital minutes per person – more than double in the majority of countries.

 

 

2. Smartphone takes the largest share of global digital minutes:

The smartphone is now the dominant platform in terms of total minutes across every market.

 

 

3. Apps account for 80% of mobile time:

When considering mobile (smartphone and tablet) minutes in isolation, they are overwhelmingly dominated by app consumption – over 80% of all mobile time in the markets considered for this report.

 

 

4. Size of ‘mobile only’ audience grew almost universally:

‘Mobile only’ audiences are now second only to ‘multi-platform’ users in the majority of markets, and appear to be increasing their reach among the overall population in many markets.

 

 

5. Mobile-Only usage within the Retail category has increased across all generations:

 

 

 

The statistics do not lie. Across all countries, age groups, and interests, we are seeing increased mobile usage. However, simply building a mobile app will not be enough to maximize return on investment. A mobile app must do more than “exist” on the app stores, the content will need updating and will require adjusting to reflect feedback and analytics. A mobile-first strategy requires adopting new ways of communicating and generating revenue.

If you don’t have a technical background or the budget to develop an app in-house, look for a mobile app solution that comes equipped with a backend content management system. A system like Info Grove has a user-friendly backend that allows for quick content updates, setting geo-fences, adding banner ads, and more. Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps and see if it’s right for you.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

04 Sep
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Unifor Mobile App

 

Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 315,000 members across the country working in every major sector of the Canadian economy.

 

Unifor has launched its new mobile app for union members and the public to stay connected in an easy to use digital platform. The app is available for free on both iOS and Android and operates in both French and English. Primarily, the app focuses on the information most relevant to local Unifor activists, including breaking news, priority solidarity campaigns, and a calendar of events.

 

Unifor mobile app

 

Unifor runs advocacy campaigns, such as “Support Local 597! Send a letter to Dwight Ball” or “Universal Pharmacare” and plans to use the app to gain public momentum. A series of targeted push notifications, based on union sectors, member status, and geographic location, can be sent to members across the country in seconds. Union members have immediate access to campaign links and can send an advocacy email in minutes.

mobile advocacy campaigns

 

The mobile app also includes a breaking news section, which is automatically updated on an ongoing basis. Unifor members can access the latest union news in seconds, making staying informed faster and more convenient.

 

mobile app breaking news

 

“Unifor has a comprehensive online presence. This new tool will help activists and allies stay up-to-date on campaigns and get more involved,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

 

event mobile app

 

UNIFOR brings a modern approach to unionism: adopting new tools, involving and engaging members, and looking for new ways to develop the role and approach of unions to meet demands in the 21st century.

 

custom app experience

 

While the Unifor website remains the most complete source of news and resources about the union’s broad range of activities, the mobile app is designed to be the “at-a-glance” digital tool for staying engaged.

 

Unifor mobile app

 

“Members have told us they want easy access to news they can use about their union, on their mobile phones and we have delivered,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President in charge of the Local Union Task Force.

 

The Unifor app was built using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Info Grove allows Unifor staff to independently add and edit content in the backend CMS. Staff can set geo-fences, add banner ads, and create new campaigns with the content management system. Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps.

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

 

28 Aug
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Education Minnesota Mobile App

Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota has launched its new mobile app for members, students, and the general public to stay engaged with education in Minnesota.

 

The mobile app is available for free on both iOS and Android to members and the general public.

 

Education Minnesota Mobile app

 

 

Comprised of over 89,000 members, Education Minnesota includes K-12 teachers, university faculty, college students, and retired educators all committed to positive educational change in Minnesota.

 

Education Minnesota

 

The app connects union members and industry advocates with an easy-to-navigate mobile platform for advocacy, events, and communication.

 

Available exclusively to members is the membership card section, which allows members to access their benefit card and launch their unique QR code to redeem benefits where accepted.

 

Education Minnesota

 

Also available through the mobile app is a calendar of events, all recent publications from the Minnesota Educator Magazine, links to social media, and information about advocacy action.

 

The mobile app can be used by members to stay up to date regarding industry news and events, and access resources to improve their individual impact.

 

mobile app events

 

Members will have improved access to tools that contact lawmakers and increase legislative action. Education Minnesota can send push notifications immediately to direct users with a call to action.

 

 

The mobile app was built using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Info Grove is a combination of a web-based content management system and a mobile app that gives staff quick access to app content.

 

Education Minnesota staff will be able to quickly update and add new content with a user friendly backend interface.

 

Education Minnesota can also send targeted push notifications, set up geo-fences and beacons, create polls and surveys, and much more.

Click here to learn more about Info Grove mobile apps!

20 Aug
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Macdonald-Laurier Public Policy App

macdonald laurier logo

 

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is a non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Download the app for Android and iOS today!

 

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute mobile app is the touchstone resource for informed, non-partisan commentary on Canadian federal public policy. The mobile app is available for free on iOS and Android.

 

Macdonald laurier mobile app

 

The app provides Canadian opinion leaders, decision makers, and concerned citizens with timely access to the best ideas on vital Canadian issues including national security, global affairs, fiscal policy, innovation, natural resource management, Indigenous rights and criminal justice, to name just a few.

Along with quick and easy access to videos, commentary and podcasts, and social media integration, the app is the best way to receive upcoming MLI event notices.

 

Also included in the MLI mobile app is a list of institute experts with contact information and biographies, and PDF downloads for all recent MLI Inside Policy Magazine.

 

 

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute mobile app was built using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform.

 

Info Grove is an easy-to-use mobile app and content management system for organizations and government bodies. Info Grove allows non-technical individuals to access and edit app content using the cloud-hosted CMS.

 

Interested in a mobile app for your organization? Click here to learn more about Info Grove.

Info Grove mobile apps