27 Jun
2018

Sylvain Marcotte

By

Uber Me Mobile App

Over the last little while, we have had a lot a folks approaching us with an idea to build an Uber of “Insert Market here”. All of them very good ideas. Now we are not about to share those ideas with you (we sign strict NDAs with our customers) but what we will discuss here are some of the common aspects these ideas have and also some of the common challenges.

 

The Uber Concept

 

Well unless you have been living under a rock or living in Vancouver where Uber is still not allowed, Uber needs no introduction. The peer-to-peer ride service has revolutionized the transportation industry (much to the chagrin of taxi companies) and demonstrated the power of the web and crowdsourcing allowing to tie customers with locally sourced providers in a very efficient way. You install the app, create an account, and voila, you have a fleet of drivers ready to drive you anywhere at a fraction of the costs that a normal taxi would charge you. All transactions are handled by the service with no physical money being exchanged by the end users. As you can imagine, this delivery model can be applied to many other industries. For the purpose of this example, let’s imagine a Uber service designed to help you find local dog walkers. Your dog needs to go for a stroll, you fire up an app and find people near you that don’t mind walking an extra dog for a fee. They come and pick up your dog, walk it (and clean the stuff), and bring it back to you. Once the dog is returned to you, you don’t even need to pay them directly. The service handles it. Simple enough right? Unfortunately not so. Let’s dive into why.

 

Common Aspects

 

All the Uber like services have some very common aspects that need to considered when designing the service:

  1. A Customer App

     

  2. A Supplier App

     

  3. Locally Sourced Providers/Customers

     

  4. Time Sensitive Behaviour

     

  5. Backend Services

     

Customer App

 

Kind of goes with saying that a service like that would need an app. Now don’t get me wrong, some services such as Craigslist and Kijiji have been very successful as desktop applications but the convenience and ease of use of an app coupled with the ability to use a reliable GPS signal within have really enabled Uber to explode like it did. The key here is that your app needs to be able to easily display the suppliers that are available, their rates, available times, and their details. Maybe they only walk small dogs or big dogs.

Supplier App

 

The supplier app is for the other side of the fence and is often forgotten. The app allows our dog walkers to see a list of customers that are requesting to have their dogs walked, the type of dogs, how many, and their schedule. The user interface may have some common aspects with the customer app but in general will differ quite a bit. Suppliers will need to have buttons/controls to specify when they are available and when they are not, specify when they are on a job or not, have the ability to view job requests and accept or reject them. All things that a customer would not have to deal with.

Locally Sourced Suppliers/Customers

 

For both the Customer app and the Supplier app, it is vital for the Suppliers and Customers respectively to be locally sourced. If you live in San Francisco and are looking to have your dog walked It doesn’t help you if someone from Arkansas sees your request. In fact, it probably hinders you as your request may be buried by hundreds of request from another more popular location.

Time Sensitive Behaviour

 

When looking for a supplier to fulfill your request, you typically need to have it done within a certain time frame. Now dog walking may have a more repeatable nature compared to requiring a car ride which tends to be more ephemeral but in general, you are looking for someone to handle your request sooner rather than later or within a very specific window.

Backend Services

 

Although these type of services are called peer-to-peer since they involve direct connection between customers and suppliers without involvement from a supervisory body, they are (for most) in fact, very much centralized services. If that wasn’t the case, it would be difficult (although not impossible) for the service to collect its fees. Again with Uber, customers and drivers don’t exchange money directly. It all flows through Uber allowing them to take their cut. Moreover, administrators must be able to oversee how the service is running and see logs of requests, services rendered, so on to help with customer service or any refunds or conflict resolutions.

 

Common Challenges

 

Chicken and the Egg

So, we have a good idea, we will help customers find dog walkers. We put all the pieces in place, the customer app and the supplier app are on the respective app stores, we have our backend services all fired up and we launch our service. What happens day one? Nothing. Why? No customer is willing to download the app because they are no dog walkers and no dog walkers are willing to download the app because they are no customers. As you can see we have a pretty chicken and the egg problem. Unfortunately this service is not one that can grow organically one customer at a time. We need to start with a critical mass. How can we resolve that? There are a couple of ways.

 

We can pay to run an ad during the Superbowl to advertise your service which should get a whole bunch of people signed up all at once and you are up and running. All good; however, beside the cost of running the ad (7 figures), we better hope your server is foolproof; otherwise, customers and suppliers will run away very quickly if they find your service to not function properly.

 

The simpler way (and the way Uber took) is to pick a city that we understand well and only deploy with that city and then do some advance leg work to seed the service with both customers and suppliers. Perhaps we tell dog walkers that you guarantee them some customers within X amount of days or you make the service free to customers for the first X days and advertise heavily. Most scenarios involve an investment in time and money (usually the latter) to get the service up and running. Once we got our first city up and running, we can then look to expand to a second city, so on, so forth, and eventually the cost to capture a new city gets cheaper and cheaper as words gets out about the service and we don’t need to advertise as much or discount our service as much to get people to sign up.

Costs

 

As you probably gathered, launching our dog walking service is not going to be on the cheap side. We need to develop 2 apps, an administrator interface and server infrastructure, and finally we need to make a big investment into securing suppliers and customers day one to get our service up and running. So how much are we talking about here? Well in our experience (we have actually launched such a service called Questogo), you are looking easily looking at 6 figures. Yes that’s a number with 5 zeros after.  There is a reason why there aren’t too many competitors for Uber as the technology itself is not earth shattering. If it was cheap, anyone could replicate the model and enter cities where Uber is not in yet and capture it first. Lyft is Uber’s direct competitor and it is probably a safe bet that Lyft is likely more popular in some cities than others.  

Can You Walk the Walk?

 

Now we are not trying to discourage you in building such service (if you want to build a service to walk dogs, you are more than welcome to use our idea). The services do offer some great benefits and really unlock the power of the web and mobile phones. However, you have to be ready to walk the walk and come with a full wallet.

 

 

22 Jun
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

City of Lethbridge Parks & Rec App

city of lethbridge logo

 

The City of Lethbridge has released its new mobile app for citizens and visitors to explore parks and recreation within the city. The Lethbridge Parks app is where users will find information on parks, playgrounds, pathways and other outdoor activities in the city.

 

Available for free on both iOS and Android, the new mobile app demonstrates a mobile-first approach to active engagement within the City of Lethbridge.

 

The mobile app allows users to access a wide variety of city information in a convenient mobile format. The majority of content is available offline, meaning users do not need a data or a wifi connection in order to access information.

 

Lethbridge Parks strongly encourages active engagement with city facilities and public spaces, and the new app will make it easier for citizens who aren’t aware of the opportunities to get engaged.

 

According to the City website, Lethbridge Parks offer many benefits to residents – they connect citizens to the city’s past, help to keep citizens healthy, make them happy and are good for the environment.

city of lethbridge mobile app

Here are some of the top features in the mobile app:

Trails & Pathways

Synced with Google Maps, users can avoid the busy streets and opt to travel via the cities large network of trails and pathways.

 

 

Parks & Recreation

The app provides a list of all parks, green spaces, playgrounds, sports fields, recreation sites, and sites of interest. Users can view the list alphabetically, sort by distance, or search by keyword. Also, users can switch from a list to a map to provide a spatial perspective.

Once a user finds a place of interest, they can click on it and learn more about the space. For example, citizens can learn whether or not a playground has a public washroom, if it’s wheelchair accessible, and learn about the playground material and surface.

If citizens want to visit the space, they can quickly get directions via Google Maps. Or, they can click on the myRIDE feature, which provides a directory of modes of public transportation in the City of Lethbridge.

city of lethbridge mobile app

Service Request

To help facilitate two-way communication, the mobile app allows citizens to report a service request in and around the city. Citizens can report problems such as graffiti, potholes, or broken equipment.

 

City News

The app connects users to city news, via an automatically synced RSS feed.

 

Parks and Rec Guide

The City of Lethbridge recreation and culture guide is a monthly publication that promotes activities, programs, and services for the citizens of Lethbridge. Through the app, citizens have access to the PDF documents to review.

 

Social Media

The app allows citizens to access all City of Lethbridge social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

 

Future updates

The City of Lethbridge mobile app was built using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Info Grove is a combination of a mobile app and a cloud-hosted content management system.

 

Info Grove allows City staff with no technical background to make edits within the app and add new content with ease.

 

Staff can create new buttons and content for temporary events, update resources, and adapt to the opinions of the citizens.

 

The City of Lethbridge will be able to send push notifications to update citizens regarding emergencies or facility breakdowns.

 

Lastly, Info Grove is equipped with geo-fence and beacon technology. The City of Lethbridge will be able to leverage this to create spatial-based triggers to notify users when entering a park or recreation facility, if relevant.

 

 

 

Info Grove Mobile Apps

 

 

07 Jun
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Orica Mining Mobile App: Field Worker Management

Orica mobile app

 

 

Orica is the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems to the mining, quarrying, oil and gas and construction markets, a leading supplier of sodium cyanide for gold extraction, and a specialist provider of ground support services in mining and tunnelling.

 

 

Orica mining

 

The Problem?

 

Orica has over 100 field workers and was looking for a way to improve field worker efficiency. Orica's field workers are required to fill out forms, submit claims, and act quickly in case of emergency. Orica had documents and reference materials that were only available by PDF or hard copy, so they were looking for a solution that could make the documents readily accessible by users on their phones without having to rely on internet connectivity.

 

paper forms

 

The Solution

Orica mining mobile app

 

 

14 Oranges came in and developed a mobile app that allows users to access reference materials, procedures, and contact information without an internet connection.

14 Oranges converted Orica’s unique paper forms into a mobile format that works with smartphones and tablets. As Orica adds new forms, and require edits to forms, they will be able to access the backend and make changes without coming back to 14 Oranges.

 

orica mobile app
orica mobile app

In addition, the app has other forms and quick links to external resources, including a touch-to-dial or touch-to-email feature. Users can fill out forms remotely and choose to send them once they're back in a location with cell service or wifi.

In the case of an emergency, the app provides a step by step process for the field workers to follow. The app uses minimal battery usage, as all content is stored offline and requires no data or wifi connection to operate.

 

orica map

 

 

Info Grove Mobile Apps

 

 

Info Grove Mobile Apps

 

 

Orica uses our Info Grove mobile app platform as an internal app for field workers to complete forms and submit claims on the job.

All forms and data collected in the app are stored in Info Grove’s content management system, along with the email addresses of staff members.

Info Grove is perfect for companies that require a tool for mobile field workers. Info Grove has a variety of complex form features, allowing users to take photos, submit data, and email from the app.

In addition to complex forms and a backend data source, Info Grove provides access to PDF documents, spatial-based triggers (geo-fences and beacons), contact list, location list, footers, targeted push notifications, and can be password protected.

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

18 May
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Geo-Fencing: Location-Based Mobile Engagement

geo-fence mobile app

 

What is a geo-fence?

A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. The virtual area is set up using global positioning system (GPS) technology. The majority of geo-fences work together with a mobile device and a downloaded mobile app. In most cases, as a mobile device enters a geo-fence, it triggers a pre-programmed action on the device.

 

 

How does a geo-fence work?

We will explain the process as if your geo-fence is working in conjunction with a mobile app.

First, the virtual area must be configured by an administrator in the backend of your mobile app. For many applications, this involves accessing a content management system and setting a longitude and latitude for the desired area. The administrator then determines how large the geographic boundary will be, in meters. The size of your geo-fence is set drawing a radius from the latitude and longitude and creates a virtual circle around your defined area. The final step is to determine what type of location-timed service you are going to provide, either a local notification or location-specific content.

Second, the user must have your app installed and they’ll require location services turned on for your app. It’s important to ensure the app users have location services turned on in order for your geo-fence to function.

 

How to use geo-fences

Geo-fencing is most commonly performed with local notifications. As a mobile device enters the pre-defined area, the device will become “activated” within the geo-fence. At 14 Oranges, we provide you two options for using geo-fences:

 

1. Automatically send a local notification to the user within seconds of the app user entering your defined perimeter. The notification can provide information, link them to other pages within the app, external URLs, and mobile resources.

2. Activate content that is only accessible when the app user is physically inside of the pre-defined area. When a user enters the area, they “unlock” new pieces of content in the app that would otherwise be inaccessible when they’re outside of the area.

 

Real-World Example: Snapchat

Snapchat uses geo-fence technology to enable specific filters as mobile devices enter new areas; this an example of “unlocking” location-based content. If you’ve used apps like Snapchat in the past, you’ve probably noticed this location-based service. Location-based filters and stickers are widely used with Snapchat. Most major cities in North America have their own unique Snapchat filter made with a geo-fence which covers city limits.

 

snapchat geo-fence

 

Benefits of geo-fences

There are countless benefits of geo-fence technology working with a mobile app, the most significant being improved mobile engagement. Geo-fencing allows you to notify your app users at the most relevant time or provide more relevant content. Businesses, governments, organizations, and events have a powerful toolkit for reaching their target audience in a timely fashion with geo-fences.

 

Geo-fences for Cities

 

geo-fence cities

 

Cities have a unique opportunity with geo-fence technology. Cities have a guaranteed user base for location-enabled services, as the citizens move around the city every day. Cities can set up geo-fences in the downtown shopping areas, parks and recreation facilities, and relevant boundaries.

Cities can use geo-fences to set up notifications to connect citizens to local deals, discounts, or events, and provide useful information about the physical area they’ve just entered. For example, as a user approaches a trailhead for a hike, they could be greeted with information about rules and safety in the outdoors.

 

Geo-fences for Associations

 

association geo-fence

 

Associations are able to use geo-fences in a few creative ways to enhance member engagement and the overall member (mobile) experience.

 

EVENTS:

Events are a great way to leverage geo-fence technology for associations and organizations. As attendees enter the venue, you’re able to greet them with an automated notification. A geo-fence could remind them about the day’s activities, schedule, or direct them to more content in the app. Add a new geo-fence for every day of the event, or set up a few smaller perimeters for larger events.

Also, associations can enable content that is only accessible when the app user is physically inside of the pre-defined radius. When a user enters the event, they “unlock” new content for the event that would otherwise be inaccessible when they’re outside of the area.

 

ADVOCACY:

Associations are routinely engaging members with grassroots advocacy campaigns. Try setting up a geo-fence around your state legislature or political building and remind users as they cross the radius to contact his or her representative. The notification will likely be viewed as relevant and less obstructive than usual push notifications, as the user is physically located near the building you’ve chosen.

If your mobile app integrates with KnowWho, an online government directory for advocacy, the geo-fence can link users to send an email or phone his or her representative regarding the advocacy issue.

 

MEMBER BENEFITS:

Many associations provide members with a variety of benefits. So many in fact, that members often forget what’s available to them. Enable geo-fence locations around physical storefronts for member benefits.

For example, an association may offer a bank or credit union account or car rental services with membership, so a geo-fence could be set up around those locations to send reminder notifications to members.

You will most likely require members to possess his or her membership card (QR Code) within the mobile app if they wish to redeem their benefits at the locations.

 

Geo-fences for Businesses

 

business geo-fence

 

Businesses with a physical storefront have a competitive advantage with geo-fencing, especially if the business has people returning often, like a restaurant or clothing store. If your business has multiple locations, you can configure separate location-timed notifications.

Sending a local notification to users who already have your app installed will go a long way for increased customer loyalty. For example, configure a geo-fence so when an app user gets within 2km of your storefront, they receive a push notification with a code for 10% off their next purchase. Within the notification, you can list the details of the promo, such as “valid only at our downtown location” or “expires within 24h”.

 

Potential Limitations

 

HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS

 

high rise building

 

It’s important to remember that geo-fences leverage longitude and latitude when generating a perimeter, so a geo-fence can only measure the width of a certain space and not the height.

Why is this important? High rise buildings present a few obstacles for geo-fences.

Example: For a 12 story building, only one geo-fence can be enabled for the entire building. You are not able to add a geo-fence for each floor as the user is passing through the same radius for each floor. If you are attempting to integrate location-based services for this type of scenario, a beacon would be a better fit.

Also, many high rise buildings may interfere with the connectivity of cellular devices to global positioning systems, meaning the geo-fence may not detect the device has entered the area.

 

LOCATION SERVICES

 

location services

We have already touched on location services, but it’s important to discuss again. At the end of the day, if the user does not have location services and data/wifi enabled, they will not receive the geo-fence content.

We recommend reminding users to turn on the feature in their settings, especially for city apps or events. Make sure you explain to the user the benefit of turning these services on and what type of information they will receive.

 

How to set up geo-fences with Info Grove

 

In Info Grove, we define geo-fences as “Location Links.” The reason for this is because geo-fences leverage user locations and often link users to a new location in the mobile app.

 

info grove mobile apps

 

Step 1: Define your geo-fence

The “Name” you choose is only for internal purposes and will not be seen by app users.

 

setting up a geo-fence

 


Step 2: Set your geo-fence

We recommend opening Google Maps and clicking on the centre of your desired location. After you click on the centre, Google Maps will automatically generate a longitude and latitude (example: 49.185974, -123.144002)

 

google maps geo-fence

 

Enter the longitude and latitude in the Info Grove backend. Then, determine how large you want your geo-fence to be. Info Grove recommends making the radius no smaller than 100m to improve accuracy of location services.

setting up a geo-fence

 


Step 3: Set your location-link (if necessary)

Info Grove gives you the option to redirect people when they click on the geo-fence. If you’re providing additional information, you can use this section to define the landing page in the app. You’re able to send users to any of the modules you’ve created in Info Grove. Setting a location is optional; however, if you leave the space blank it will launch the home page of the app when clicked on.

 

setting up a geo-fence

 


 

Step 4: Set local notification (if applicable)

 

 

 


End Result!

As app users enter your geo-fence they will be greeted with a timely local notification!

 

 

If you’re having trouble with your geo-fence, contact us at support@14oranges.com. Or, if you want to learn more about our geo-fence technology and Info Grove, contact us as sales@14oranges.com.

 

Info Grove Mobile Apps

 

26 Apr
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Mobile Apps for Cities: 10 Citizen Engagement Features

city mobile apps

Cities across North America are developing mobile apps as a new way of reaching citizens in a mobile-first environment. In 2017, the average user spent over two hours a day on mobile apps, and over three hours a day for millennials. Mobile apps present a new avenue to reach citizens, gather insight and opinions, and connect them to local services and events. We often see cities tackling mobile communication with a single-focus app, such as a 311 report or garbage schedule app. While we do see immense value in these types of apps, we believe that a complete city app, with a wide-range of services, provides the most value to citizens. For example, the City of Hamilton uses our Info Grove platform to send emergency notifications, promote events, link citizens to jobs and other services.

 

In addition to the City of Hamilton, we’ve worked with the City of Surrey and several U.S. counties to provide new avenues for mobile-first citizen engagement. Here are the top 10 features to include in a city app for citizen engagement:

 

 

 

1. 311 Reports

 

 

311 report mobile app

 

 

Allow citizens to complete reports in the mobile app to notify city staff regarding important issues.

311 reports provide citizens with the tools to report any problems to the city, such as potholes, graffiti, or property damage. Ideally, you’re able to configure each report so it’s emailed to the appropriate staff member.

 

2. Emergency Notifications

 

 

emergency notification mobile app

 

 

Keep citizens up to date with push notifications for city emergencies.

The City of Hamilton uses push notifications to inform citizens about road closures, weather warnings, and changes in hours of operation for public facilities.

 

 

3. Startup Questions

 

 

personalized mobile app

 

 

Allow citizens to personalize their experience with the mobile app with startup questions.

Not every push notification needs to be sent to every app user. Startup questions give the power to the citizen to determine how often they want to be notified.

 

 

4. Spatial-Based Triggers

 

 

geofencing mobile app

 

 

Integrate geo-fence technology to alert citizens who enter a specific location with push notifications or location-specific content.

For example, when an app user reaches the trailhead for a hike, he or she would automatically be sent a push notification with trail details and any relevant information.

 

 

5. Things To Do

 

 

parks and rec mobile app

 

 

Provide an active directory of things to do in the city. Users should be able to sort by “near me”

Connect citizens to public parks, recreation facilities, hiking trails, shopping malls, bike routes, and other points of interest. The City of Surrey links users to its large system of bike routes for easy access.

 

 

6. Event Information

 

 

event mobile app

 

 

Keep citizens informed with everything happening in the city.

Allow citizens to add events to their native calendars, share on social media, and get directions. Create new content to promote new festivals and conferences in the city.

 

 

7. Weather

 

 

weather mobile app

 

 

A good mobile app has features that keep users coming back for more. Every citizen is interested in weather, right?

Including an active weather widget in the app encourages citizens to launch the app on an ongoing basis and will link them to other app features.

 

 

8. Contact Information

 

 

contact list mobile app

 

 

Two-way communication is vital. Provide citizens with a city contact list organized by citizen need or department.

Allow citizens to email, phone, or schedule a meeting with staff representatives.

 

 

9. City Resources

 

 

city job mobile app

 

 

The list of resources will vary depending on each city’s specific needs:

  • Garbage/recycling schedules
  • Jobs and employment opportunities
  • Renew dog licenses
  • Public transit schedules
  • Pay a parking ticket

 

 

10. Social Media Integration

 

 

social media mobile app

 

 

Gaining organic engagement on social media is difficult. Are citizens even viewing your Tweets?

Integrate your social media accounts in the app and connect users to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube account.

 

Conclusion

 

The most important feature to include in a city app is updated content. Whatever features you decide to implement, whether a 311 report, garbage schedule, or local events, if your content is outdated or irrelevant you will not gain a consistent user base. Unfortunately, many cities fall behind in this category and we are left with archaic city apps in the app stores. To combat this challenge, a mobile app should find ways to integrate to current communications, such as a website hosted with WordPress or Drupal.

However, you’ll likely have content that does require ongoing maintenance. If you’re choosing to outsource your development to save costs and gain expertise, look for an app service that provides a backend content management system so non-technical staff can log in and update content — no coding required. Also, don’t forget to set up Google Firebase Analytics to track your success!

 

Interested in building a mobile app for your city? Click here to see if Info Grove is right for you!

 

20 Apr
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

14 Oranges Joins Wavefront’s Trusted Partner Network to Drive Digital Transformation

Wavefront and 14 Oranges partner to jointly deliver innovative mobile app solutions to enterprises looking to digitally transform.

 

 

 

 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wavefront Innovation Society (“Wavefront”), a Centre of Excellence headquartered in Vancouver, BC, announced today a new partnership with 14 Oranges Software Inc. (“14 Oranges”), a premier mobile application development company. 14 Oranges is the latest addition to Wavefront’s trusted partner network, a group of companies dedicated to driving mobile and IoT innovation in Canada.

Wavefront and 14 Oranges will collaborate to deliver mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions into large enterprises. With complementary expertise and resources, the companies are jointly positioned to drive digital transformation across Canada through thought leadership and innovative solutions.

Wavefront works with mobile and IoT companies at all stages of their lifecycle and across multiple industry sectors to launch new business models, change organizational processes and enhance enterprise customers’ experiences. As an innovation intermediary, Wavefront helps large enterprises digitally transform their business by connecting them to innovative Canadian startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

With extensive experience in product and mobile app development, 14 Oranges brings tremendous value to the Wavefront trusted partner network. Founded in 2009, the company serves a range of organizations including government, retail, entertainment and telecom clients. 14 Oranges has been a member of the Wavefront community for many years, participating in Wavefront’s Accelerator programs in the past to grow their business.

“Wavefront chose to work with 14 Oranges for their expertise in product and mobile app development,” says Christian Magsisi, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions with Wavefront. “We are thrilled to have their team support the delivery of mobile solutions into large enterprises who are looking to increase their digital capacity.”

“We are excited to partner with Wavefront to offer our services to organizations across North America. Since joining the Wavefront Entrepreneurship program in 2011, our company has benefited greatly from the mentorship, resources and connections provided by Wavefront and we couldn’t be prouder to now become a trusted partner,” says Sylvain Marcotte, CEO of 14 Oranges.

Wavefront is actively looking to expand the trusted partner network by onboarding Canadian SMEs to jointly deliver mobile and IoT solutions into large enterprise. By partnering with companies who have graduated from Wavefront’s Accelerator and Global Market Entry Programs, Wavefront continues to strengthen Canada’s innovation ecosystem.

About Wavefront

Wavefront is Canada’s leader in transforming business through mobile and IoT innovation. We are a centre for commercialization for companies in the wireless and IoT technologies space. Our vision is to build a globally relevant, nationally connected ecosystem that delivers digital capacity, competitiveness and prosperity for Canadians.

About 14 Oranges

Located in Vancouver, 14 Oranges works with the philosophy of serving our customers by understanding both your business problem and mobile application needs, delivering a complete mobile solution.

For more information, contact:
Elise Asanias, Content Manager, Wavefront
elise.asanias@wavefront.ca
(778) 331-7485

18 Apr
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Mount Seymour Little Leagues Goes Mobile! With a new app available on iOS and Android

mount seymour little league

 

The Mount Seymour Little League has launched its new mobile app for players, parents, coaches, and fans to stay connected with all things baseball in Mount Seymour.

mount seymour baseball mobile app

 

 

 

The MSLL provides baseball for boys and girls ages 5 to 19 in the Deep Cove and Seymour communities of North Vancouver, B.C. The Little League promotes fun, friendship, sportsmanship, volunteerism, and skills development to players of all ages and abilities.

 

The mobile app, available for free on both iOS and Android, acts as an all-in-one toolkit for league information.

 

 

sports team mobile app

 

 

The MSLL mobile app includes game schedules, local weather, rules, field locations, and other league information. People can use the MSLL app to:


– View game schedules for all age divisions
– Filter game schedules by division and/or field location
– Browse the league event calendar and sign up for events
– Check out the local Deep Cove weather forecast

– View the Myrtle Park concession schedule
– Access useful volunteer information about scorekeeping, pitch counting, and field prep
– Download the MSLL division rules
– Verify a player’s Little League baseball age
– Access information and maps for MSLL baseball diamond locations around North Vancouver
– View contact list for the MSLL Executive Committee and Division Coordinators
– Stay up to date with quick access to the website and social media pages
– Watch MSLL videos including coaches training
– Report an injury to our Safety Officer

 

The mobile app allows users to personalize their mobile experience with the Mount Seymour Little League. After first launching the mobile app, users are asked “startup questions” which let them define what baseball teams are relevant to them. 

 

 

startup questions mobile app

 

 

The mobile app uses 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform, which allows league staff to send targeted push notifications to relevant users using the info from the startup questions. For example, parents of Rally Caps would not be notified for a rain delay affecting Minors AA. Users are able to change their answers at anytime by going to the setting option in the app. 

 

The league administrators also plan to use push notifications to alert users about large events, picture days, and coaching clinics. 

 

Download the Mount Seymour Little League mobile app today!

 

 

02 Apr
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

Why Mobile Optimization Should Be Your Focus for 2018 REPOST: From Small Business BC

website development

To view the original post from Small Business BC, click here.


In 2017, nearly 70% of all media time was spent on smartphones, on either a mobile app or a website. Just a few years ago, having a website was the bare minimum for a business. In 2018, a mobile-responsive website is now the benchmark for success. As we move towards a mobile-first society, mobile optimization is necessary for customer engagement and retention. At the same time, we also see increased use of mobile apps by the public. So, what is best for your business? A mobile-responsive website or a mobile app?

Mobile Responsive Websites

Going with a mobile responsive website model has the following advantages:

  • Content is being increasingly consumed on mobile devices over desktop.

  • It helps site usability by improving the user interface and user experience, making it easier for customers to access your content. It’s important to ensure your content consistent across all platforms, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, and desktops.

  • Google values mobile-friendly websites, so it helps search rankings (SEO) while decreasing your bounce rate for mobile traffic.

  • Ideal for your social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., especially if you’re driving traffic back to your website.

  • Mobile ecommerce is on the rise. People are getting more comfortable completing shopping orders on mobile devices. Look at the latest stats from Black Friday and Cyber Monday from 2017.

  • Improves email marketing campaigns that direct traffic to websites, if the user opens emails on their smartphone.

Not sure when it’s time to take mobile engagement one step further? Here’s why a mobile app is better than a website for brand engagement, and when it’s time to upgrade.

Mobile App Advantages

  • Apps are faster than websites.

  • Apps are more convenient and familiar than mobile-websites.

  • Mobile apps can offer offline support to content without needing wifi or data.

  • Apps better integrate with social media and help increase organic engagement.

  • Apps provide improved access to onboard services (i.e. native calendar, GPS, Google Maps, beacons, camera, and targeted push notifications.)

When to Upgrade?

  • When mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic.

  • When you’re ready to adjust to changing demographics (millennials)

  • When you see a high percentage of returning visitors (via analytics) and want to increase brand loyalty, engagement, and grow returning customers.

  • When your email open rate is lower than industry standard.

  • When you want to leverage targeted push notifications (based on age, location, interests, etc.)

  • Promote two-way communication by having forms, surveys, and polls in the app.

  • If you want to run mobile campaigns in 2018 by using notifications for promotions, events, and news. Encourage action by the user, such as “share on social to be entered to win!”, “add the event to your native calendar”, or “One-day sale! Stop by today!”

  • When you want to increase revenue and cut costs by adding banner advertisements in the app and cutting print media.

The first step for any business is to ensure your content is accessible across all devices. It’s important to consider the user interface and user experience as they interact with your mobile website or app. Review your current website analytics and display the primary use cases in easy to spot areas for all devices. For example, items such as contact us and services should be easy to find. Ensuring your website is mobile-responsive is the first step to converting website visitors into leads.

26 Mar
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

City of Pittsburgh Mobile App Allows Citizens to Report Fraud

pittsburgh logo

pittsburgh mobile app

The City of Pittsburgh is taking a mobile-first approach to government accountability and transparency.

 

Pittsburgh residents and employees who suspect the fraud, theft or waste of city dollars can now report it through a mobile app.

“We have employees in every neighborhood in the city. We have citizens who are watching them. This gives an opportunity for citizens to immediately report any of that kind of activity that they believe to be waste or misuse,” said City Controller, Michael Lamb.

This app increases government transparency by bringing mobile accessibility of information to citizens and stakeholders of the City of Pittsburgh. Citizens and staff for the City of Pittsburgh can use the mobile app to:

 

    • Learn more about the Office of the Controller and its role as the independent watchdog of the city’s resources. 
    • Report fraud, waste, and abuse against the City of Pittsburgh. 
    • Search city contracts, campaign donations and expenditures of candidates for City offices, and lobbyist that do business with the City. 
    • Use Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh to create and analyze custom reports on the City’s financial data. 
    • Search Unclaimed Property to see if the City owes citizens or businesses money. 
    • Read Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the detailed explanation of the City’s revenues and expenditures, or the abbreviated version, Popular Annual Financial Report. 
    • Find City Financial and Performance Audits to see how Pittsburgh has ensured your tax dollars are working for citizens. 
    • Connect with Pittsburgh through social media to get all the latest news from the City office and about City finances. 
    • Give Pittsburgh feedback on how to better to protect Pittsburgh’s finances. 

 

The mobile app collects and stores all forms and information from the app in a backend content management system. All reports are submitted anonymously to ensure citizen safety and confidentiality.

 

The City of Pittsburgh mobile app was built and maintained using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove software.

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

Governments across North America are using Info Grove to reach citizens using a mobile-first approach. Info Grove allows multiple levels of government staff to access the backend to add and edit content in real-time. To learn how Info Grove can help your city, visit our government page today.

15 Mar
2018

Kevin Wiens

By

CityApp: A Mobile App for Citizens of Hamilton

city of hamilton logo

The City of Hamilton has launched “CityApp”, a new way for citizens to find news and information in a mobile-first environment.

CityApp was built to provide the most used tools from the City of Hamilton website into a mobile app. After scanning website analytics, City staff identified several primary use cases that became primary integrations in the app. Converting these features into a mobile app environment helps decrease obstacles that citizens face when completing tasks. Download the app for iPhone and Android today!

Mobile-First Approach

hamilton mobile app
 

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says it’s about taking advantage of the tools that people “tend to travel around with and use most often.”
Since the app has launched, Eisenberger notes there are “12 different areas you can delve into” such as transit, recreational services and waste collection. Types of features include:

 

  • Access waste collection resources, including our interactive waste collection calendar and sorting tools.

     

  • View and filter drop-in recreation schedules by date or location. Add classes to your calendar and get notifications when drop-in programs are cancelled or facilities have emergency closures.

     

  • Browse job opportunities in the City.

     

  • ‘Near Me’ GPS functionality – find local events and festival listings based upon distance from your current location.

     

  • Read recent media releases from the City.

     

  • Find and contact Councillors, easily add committee meetings to your smartphone calendar, check meeting agendas and watch videos of Council sessions.

     

  • Check out City of Hamilton’s official Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels.

     

  • Pay and view parking tickets.

     

  • Access public transit routes and schedules.

     

  • Buy or renew your dog license, and find a dog park.

     

  • Access information regarding Food Safety and inspection results of restaurants in the City.

     

  • View city locations, including parking lots, flu shot clinics, fire stations, hospitals, swimming pools, and more.

     

  • Write a feedback survey to provide input about the mobile app, feature set, and what to improve.

 

When users first download CityApp, they are prompted to answer a series of start-up questions to personalize their experience with the app. Users are asked questions such as what area of Hamilton they live in and specific services or topics of interest. This allows the City of Hamilton to send out notifications for emergencies, road closures, program cancellations, and service changes citywide or surrounding areas only.

 

A Dynamic Mobile Experience

 

The City of Hamilton plans to update the app on an ongoing basis and provide new links and resources for citizens. The CityApp is built and maintained using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform, allowing city staff to easily update and edit content in the app. Info Grove is built with a unique framework that allows City staff without a technical background to make changes in the app.

 

At any time, citizens are able to update their preferences to receive more or less push notifications. Citizens are also encouraged to give their opinions about the app and how it can be improved.

 

“We are working hard to grow our digital capacity and provide residents and visitors with a better online experience. Our new CityApp provides more opportunities to access information and interact with the City of Hamilton on the go. I encourage our residents and visitors to download CityApp and take advantage of this new, convenient and fun way to access our programs and services.”  – Mayor Fred Eisenberger

While growing its digital capacity, City of Hamilton staff were trained on how to use the content management system tied to Info Grove. City of Hamilton staff have access to the backend where they can add and edit content, send push notifications, collect forms and data, and create banner ads for emergencies. The system is easy to learn and is able to sync with 3rd party tools, such as WordPress and Drupal.

To learn more about the app platform that the City of Hamilton is using to reach its citizens, visit our Info Grove page today!

Info Grove Mobile Apps