15 Mar

Kevin Wiens


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

13 Mar

Kevin Wiens


Mobile Apps for Associations: 6 Must-Have Features Member Engagement & Communication

association mobile apps

Advocacy associations often have a difficult time connecting with members regarding industry news and events. As email open rates decline, association executives are searching for new ways of reaching members to keep everyone informed. In order to match the changing demographics (millennials), associations are beginning to migrate to mobile apps.

Within the last few years, many advocacy associations have begun developing mobile apps to provide members with a mobile-first approach to engagement. Mobile-first strategies are implemented with the goal of allowing members to access content on the platform of their choice, and not limiting the user to a desktop. If your association is considering a mobile app for member engagement, here are six must-have features to guarantee mobile engagement.

1) Targeted push notifications

Sending a mass push notification is the same as sending a mass email, though useful, segmenting communication will increase engagement and open rates. Mobile apps for associations must be equipped with targeted push notifications so members don’t feel overwhelmed with constant alerts.

Associations should target members based on a variety of factors, such as age, location, personal interests, profession, etc. When members first launch the mobile app, they should be asked a series of questions to personalize their experience with your new app.

The Washington State Pharmacy Association asks users to list their profession (either pharmacist, retired, student, or pharmacist technician). In doing so, the WSPA can send news and information to those who it’s most relevant; meaning students will not be notified for events regarding retired professionals in Washington.

arkansas education association mobile app

2) Polls, surveys, and forms

When adopting a mobile-first strategy, integrating polls and surveys is critical for two-way communication. Associations are able to collect data and information that help better understand the needs and opinions of members for future development. It’s important to eliminate barriers that members face when attempting to engage with your association – make engagement as easy as possible.

Use polls to ask members about recent legislative initiatives, their favourite parts of the app, or whatever your association finds most important. Coupled with targeted push notifications, quick polls are a powerful tool to receive member insight fast.

It’s important to ensure that the polls you create are linked to a backend data source for collection and organization. If the poll requires immediate attention, such as a live event or political policy action, it would help for association staff to receive the forms via email or text if needed.

association mobile apps

3) Event integration

Gone are the days of “one-and-done” event apps. Associations are now realizing the value of a year-round mobile app as a platform for member engagement. As many marketers are aware, the hardest part of marketing your mobile app is getting people to download it to their personal devices. It’s believed that once a user has downloaded the app, you’ve passed the largest hurdle for mobile engagement. Provide the event schedule, speaker lists, sponsor list, etc., for event attendees to make the mobile app a must download.

It’s common for associations to have multiple events per year, whether an annual general conference, a local meeting, or even online webinars. A mobile app should allow your staff to create new pages and content for every event your association hosts.

Event pages in the app should allow users to add events to their native calendars and schedule reminders. To improve engagement, event pages should let users seamlessly share on social media to promote attendance by more members. Further, users should be able to find key information, such as directions, contact info, and links to sign up for the event.

Coupled with targeted push notifications and polls, your mobile app will provide a next-level event engagement strategy and create a new event experience for members.

Event app

4) Political contacts

At its foundation, advocacy associations strive to make positive change with respect to political policy and government action. An association mobile app should link users to their local state/provincial/municipal representative to contact via email or phone.

One mobile app integration to consider for political advocacy is KnowWho, a membership engagement service to contact legislature representatives. By adding a third party service like KnowWho, associations can run a mass advocacy campaign in a mobile environment with targeted push notifications. Send call-to-actions to members and ask them to send an email to their state representative through the app or share information on social media.

mobile app advocacy

5) Backend content management system

Mobile apps must make the life of association staff easier, not harder. Many mobile apps developed today are equipped with a backend content management system to allow staff to easily add and edit content. 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform is easy to learn and offers drag and drop mechanisms along with simple data import capabilities.

A second way to reduce the workload for association staff is to provide unique logins for the backend of the mobile app. Specific staff should have their own login information and authority within the backend, meaning not all staff would have the same power to change content. Association executives should be able to appoint new staff to edit content or send a notification without fear of a mass application error. The backend should require no coding knowledge to make changes and add content!

Info Grove mobile apps CMS

6) Donation Portals

It’s essential for your mobile app to feature donation portals in easy to locate places to help streamline fundraising campaigns on mobile devices. For member donations, it works best to link members to your existing association web page from the app.

The Missouri Education Association uses its mobile app to link members to three separate donation portals: The PAC, the Hope Fund, and the Cheer Fund. By providing a donation portal in your mobile app, you are making the donation process as easy as possible for members.

association mobile apps infographic

Read more about Why Associations need a mobile app here.

14 Oranges provides mobile apps for associations across the U.S. and Canada. Info Grove is the platform designed to make mobile apps easy. With Info Grove, association staff can build a unique mobile app with features specific for each association. No coding required. Contact us today to see if Info Grove is right for your association.

Info Grove

08 Mar

Kevin Wiens


Why Associations Need a Mobile App (Infographic)

arkansas association mobile app

14 Oranges develops mobile apps for advocacy associations and non-profits across the U.S. and Canada. As mobile media consumption rises, more associations are migrating to mobile apps to engage their members and the general public. From the Arkansas Education Association to the Washington State Pharmacy Association, advocacy groups are turning to mobile to find new ways of informing members about industry news, events, and resources. Several associations are also using mobile apps and push notifications to streamline donation campaigns in a mobile-first environment.


WSPA mobile app


Mobile apps offer a unique opportunity for member-based associations to stand out, attract new members, and improve engagement. Here’s a brief infographic outlining why your association needs a mobile app in 2018!



association mobile apps infographic



association mobile apps


Mobile Apps for Advocacy Associations

Looking for a mobile-first engagement strategy for your association? Click here to see if Info Grove mobile apps is right for your association.



Info Grove mobile apps



01 Mar

Kevin Wiens


The Washington State Pharmacy App for Mobile Advocacy

Washington State Pharmacy association


The Washington State Pharmacy Association has launched its new mobile app for association members and pharmacy advocates. The WSPARX mobile app is available on both iPhone and Android and offers resources, news, and tools to connect users to the pharmaceutical industry. 

washington state pharmacy mobile app

Member Engagement Mobile App

The mobile app allows association members to access resources and information in a mobile-first environment, with content stored offline for quick access. Members use the app as an all-in-one toolkit to perform advocacy actions, attend events, and share content on social media.

wsparx mobile app


Click here to Read More

28 Feb

Kevin Wiens


Manitoba Egg Farmers Association Launch Mobile App

MEF logo mobile app


The Manitoba Egg Farmers Association has launched its mobile app for association members and provincial farming advocates. The Manitoba Egg Farmers (MEF) represents 170 regulated egg and pullet farmers across Manitoba and is an independent organization, funded entirely by egg and pullet farmers. The MEF mobile app is available for free on both iOS and Android.


manitoba egg farmers association mobile app Click here to Read More

01 Feb

Kevin Wiens


14 Oranges Ranked as Western Canada’s #1 App Development Company

Top MOBILE APP Developers in Canada in 2018

2017 was a big year for the team at 14 Oranges Software. We are delighted to announce that Clutch.co has listed us as the #1 mobile app development company in Western Canada! Also, 14 Oranges was ranked as the top app development company in Vancouver and #3 in all of Canada. Largely due to the success of our new Info Grove mobile app service, 14 Oranges saw substantial growth over the last year. To date, 14 Oranges has released over 15 mobile apps with Info Grove (with many more in the pipeline for the coming months). Info Grove makes mobile apps easier for governments, associations, and businesses by allowing them to reach their target audience with a mobile-first approach.


Top App Development Companies in Canada

Clutch reviewed mobile app development companies on the following criteria:

  1. Public reviews: 14 Oranges received 19/20

  2. Clients and experience: 14 Oranges received 8.6/10

  3. Market presence: 14 Oranges received 9.2/10


To review the complete leaders matrix for Canada, visit the link here.

To review the complete leaders matrix for Vancouver, visit the link here.

To view the full press release by Clutch, click the link here.

Mobile App Launches in 2017



Other Apps


16 Jan

Kevin Wiens


Mobile App Trends for 2018

This article was originally posted on the BC Tech Association blog, to view the original post please click here



The mobile app industry is continuously evolving, and every year offers new trends in mobile engagement and best practices. As the new year is upon us, here are three industry trends to look for in 2018:

1. Increased Mobile Engagement

In 2018, expect companies to find new ways of improving their mobile engagement. Companies will focus on not just getting app downloads, but also making sure the user comes back for more. Content creation will be developed with a mobile audience in mind, not just desktop. Just last month, during Cyber Monday, mobile shopping time and mobile sales set new records. We can expect an increasing emphasis on developing sound user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI) that consider the consumer first.

Click here to Read More

18 Dec

Kevin Wiens


Last Minute Tech Gifts for Christmas

Finding the Right Gift

tech Christmas gifts


Christmas is just one week away! If you’re last-minute gift shopping, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few techy gifts to consider for Christmas.


Kindle Paperwhite, 6 inches

Price: $139.99 CDN

Amazon Link.

Great for the bookworms out there who have too much paper in their life.

Echo Plus with built-in Smart Home Hub

Price: $169.99 CDN

Amazon Link.

Echo Plus connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set timers and alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more—instantly.

Fitness tracker

Price: $38.99 CDN

Amazon Link.

This smart bracelet can track your heart rate and all-day activities. It can display steps taken, distance traveled, calorie burned, etc. You can also check your latest history sports data by long pressing the side button for 2 seconds.


Plugged In Podcast


Listen here as 14 Oranges CEO, Sylvain Marcotte speaks on BCIT’s Plugged In Podcast about buying the right Christmas gift. What age is too young for techy gifts? Maybe a tech gift isn’t always the right gift…


14 Dec

Kevin Wiens


BC Tech Industry: What To Expect In 2018

BC Technology Sector



The British Columbian tech sector has grown into a hotbed for talent and economic growth. Over the past decade, BC tech has been the fastest growing industry in the province and currently accounts for 26 billion in annual revenue. Just a few months ago, Amazon committed to expanding its Vancouver office by adding over 1,000 jobs in the next 10 years.



BC’s rapid tech expansion, in combination with the political landscape in the United States, could mean more job openings and opportunities to come. With over 90,000 employees, the tech industry already employs more people than oil and gas, forest and mining industries combined. For years, politicians and high-level executives have been pushing for a more efficient process to obtain new talent abroad. Companies are finding new ways to lure talent to the beautiful west coast, with desirable working conditions and quality of life.


Slack’s Vancouver office: Photo via Betakit https://betakit.com/an-inside-look-at-slacks-renovated-vancouver-office/


What does all of this mean heading into 2018? As demand for corporate expansion increases and the need for high-quality workers grows, we could see increased government intervention to aid the process. The average salary for a BC tech employee is 75% higher than BC’s provincial average; earning an average weekly salary of $1,590. Will demand outweigh supply? Will wages rise even more? Will the BC NDP party take action to match the rapid growth?


Plugged In Podcast

14 Oranges CEO and founder, Sylvain Marcotte, has been in the BC tech sector for a number of years. Sylvain shares some of the challenges small businesses face in BC and what to expect for the future. Check it out below in the latest edition of BCIT’s Plugged In Podcast.



06 Dec

Kevin Wiens


3 Ways Mobile Apps Rally Voters


Election Mobile Apps

A few weeks ago, we released an article about Union County and Monmouth County and their push to increase political engagement. Both counties use our Info Grove service to manage their apps and communicate with local citizens. The mobile apps are used before, during, and after the election process. 14 Oranges partnered with New Jersey counties to change the way people learn about local elections. The county elections have been over for a few weeks now and here is what we learned.  


3 Ways Mobile Apps Rally Voters


1. Real-Time Election Updates



The New Jersey counties used their apps to keep citizens up to date throughout election day. Push notifications were sent to inform citizens of polling station hours, and they sent updates as votes were counted. Citizens continued with their day as they received election notifications, keeping them engaged. With the political mobile app, citizens don’t have to refresh a web browser or a social media page to stay up to date; they just use the app.

2. Political Candidate ID Cards



A common reason why people don’t vote is that they don’t know who’s running and who’s running for what. A mobile app, operated by a nonpartisan body, gives a centralized platform for those running in political campaigns. Each candidate can have a section in the app, controlled by the unbiased officials so that citizens can read an objective overview of candidate bios, promises, and beliefs.

3. Provide the Election Basics



In addition to candidate ID cards, the mobile app is used to provide the basics, and we mean the basics. The apps answer the obvious questions, such as “Am I registered?” or “Where do I vote?” The political mobile apps make the voting process as easy as possible. Governments need to find ways to take down the barriers of the past, and a mobile app is a solution for the 21st century.


"We wanted to make the app as user-friendly as possible so voters could easily pinpoint the information they were searching for. To achieve this, I worked with 14 Oranges to design a sleek menu that utilizes round icons to organize our elections information. I also wanted to utilize push notifications so voters were instantly informed about the latest election deadlines. The overall goal was to make information more readily available to the public and increase voter awareness and turnout." - U.S. County Official 




Listen here to learn about the political apps in New Jersey, and how it changes election day engagement with active push notifications. Will this trend push to British Columbia?


Are you looking to create a mobile app for your county, region, province, state, or city? Contact us today to see how 14 Oranges can help you meet your political objectives.