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.

Testimonial

"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 

 

Podcast

 

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.

Mobile Apps in Review: 2017 Stats (Infographic)

Mobile Applications in 2017: The Stats

We are nearing the final weeks of 2017, which is a perfect time to reflect on recent mobile trends in our society. Mobile app usage continues to rise, with user bases expanding and more apps being developed. Even industries that have traditionally struggled in mobile, such as e-commerce, have experienced increased usage as demonstrated by Cyber Money and Black Friday shopping. This year's statistics show the value of mobile apps heading into 2018. ComScore released their annual mobile app report a few months ago, so we thought we would make the information easy to digest with a handy infographic.

 

 

 

Mobile App Resources

The Polygon Gallery Adds New Mobile Experience

POLYGON’S GRAND OPENING

 

On November 18, 2017, The Polygon Gallery opened its doors to their highly anticipated gallery. Located in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, the 25,000 square foot facility is said to be Western Canada’s most extensive photography focused gallery.

The new opening marks a shift for North Vancouver’s historic gallery. Formerly called the Presentation House Gallery, the new location provides a unique visitor experience to Lonsdale Quay. Thanks to the generous support from BMO, admission is by donation — forever — and open to their members and the public.

 

MULTIMEDIA GALLERY EXPERIENCE


Polygon didn’t stop at opening a new location and rebranding their name; with the opening of their gallery also comes a new mobile app! Available for both iPhone and Android, the mobile app is free to download to the public.

The app is perfect for first time visitors and longtime fans. In addition to standard gallery information — hours of operation, location, and general info — the app provides a new multimedia gallery experience. The mobile experience is available whether a user visits the gallery or not.

By downloading the app, users have access to THE POLYGON OUTSIDE, the Gallery's platform for newly-commissioned digital artist projects. The first series of these interactive audio-visual projects animate sites along the North Shore Spirit Trail, a fully accessible greenway that will extend from Horseshoe Bay all the way to Deep Cove. The artworks hosted on this mobile app can provide a unique perspective on the history of their particular site.

The multimedia experience can be further enhanced with active beacon support. Users can visit the gallery and receive app updates with audio, video, and extra content. So when visitors walk towards a piece of art, a notification pops up with relevant info. Then when visitors move to a different piece of art, a new update is provided. NOTE: Polygon's beacon support will be available early 2018.

 

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS

As expected, the mobile app provides content and information about the ongoing exhibitions taking place at The Polygon. Currently, Polygon is displaying The North Vancouver exhibition until April 30, 2018. The gallery brings together more than 15 regional artists, mainly working in photography, to present pieces on the theme of the exhibit and North Vancouver’s history.

The Polygon doesn't just display amazing artwork, they also host educational events and gatherings. With the mobile app, users can stay up to date with the latest events at The Polygon. When the user finds an event they’re interested in, they can use the app to add it to the native calendar on their phone, and schedule notifications to remind themselves.

The Polygon’s first educational event is one hour lecture on “archaeology of the final decade” offered by Vali Mahlouji and is free to attend by the public. Download the app to learn more.

 

EASY TO UPDATE MOBILE APP


Polygon’s app is powered by 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Software. Info Grove is a self-managed mobile app software used by organizations, governments, and businesses across North America.

By using 14 Oranges’ cloud-hosted backend content management system (CMS), Polygon’s non-technical staff can log into the backend and make changes in the app with ease. As new exhibitions arrive and new events occur, they’ll be able to update content with simple drag and drop mechanisms, and content input tools. All of their buttons, images, and content can be changed in seconds.

 

IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS

With Info Grove, Polygon staff can send push notifications to both gallery members and the public to inform about news, emergencies, and info. Most significant, The Polygon can make push notifications highly targeted. For example, some material may only be relevant to their members and therefore the general public would not be notified. The Polygon app also has links to their social media handles (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) so users can locate the latest updates in real-time. Polygon's decision to build an app is very timely, as mobile app usage rises year after year. If email is preferred, users can choose to subscribe to the Polygon newsletter with the app and receive monthly updates.

 

REVENUE POTENTIAL

The Polygon will be able to use the app as a revenue generator. The highly customizable software allows staff to add banner advertisements on certain (or all) pages within the app. The banners can link users to external URLs and provide call-to-actions for users.

 

INFO GROVE FOR GALLERIES, MUSEUMS, AND ZOOS

 

 

Info Grove is highly customizable to any gallery, museum, or zoo. All logos, graphics, fonts, and content can be unique to any gallery who wants to enhance the visitor experience. Deploying active beacons for a complete mobile experience is simple. Contact 14 Oranges today to find a solution for your gallery!

Michigan & Missouri Education Associations Launch New UI/UX

The Michigan and Missouri Education Associations, in partnership with 14 Oranges, has released their new and improved mobile apps. Members of both associations will notice the apps have been updated to meet the latest system offerings by Android and iPhone. Before, members of both associations had a different user-interface (UI) depending on their device, either Android or iPhone. Using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove Platform, the cross-platform UI design will now provide users on both devices with the same user-experience (UX).

 

OLD Android UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)
OLD iPhone UI/UX: Missouri (left) and Michigan (right)

 

Android users will notice the biggest changes, as they no longer have a “hamburger menu” to navigate between app content. iPhone users, who formerly had a condensed grid that required swiping between pages, now have all buttons located on the main home screen. 

New Missouri Education Association Mobile Interface
New Michigan Education Association Mobile Interface

 

 

Members of the Michigan and Missouri Education Associations will spend less time swiping between pages and searching for information and more time engaging with content. But most important, is the experience and interface are the same across all platforms, including tablets and iPads.

 

Michigan Education Association

 

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) is a self-governing education association, representing about 140,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state. The MEA Mobile App is designed to connect industry personnel to news, advocacy information, events, and resources. Also, the app links members to association benefits, such as “MyDeals” which offers discounts on day to day purchases.

 

Missouri Education Association

 

The Missouri NEA is an advocate for public schools, public school students, and public school employees. The 35,000 members of the Missouri National Education Association are public school teachers, librarians, counselors, coaches, school psychologists and psychiatrists, administrators and faculty in colleges and universities. Association members can use the app for a variety of purposes, such as carrying their MNEA E-Membership card and look up legislators to contact for advocacy purposes.

 

 

Info Grove – Software-as-a-Service Model

 

Info Grove is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communication platform for member-based associations. With the “SaaS” model, association directors don’t need to worry when a new phone is released or a system update is required. 14 Oranges takes care of updating the apps against the ever-changing system offerings by Android and iPhone for the associations. In doing so, 14 Oranges ensures that apps maintain full compatibility against all platform versions.

Using Info Grove’s backend content management system (CMS), association directors are now able to add and edit content within the app without going back to 14 Oranges, saving them time and money. Directors can now send targeted push notifications with ease and reach members in a timely fashion.

 

Are you looking to transition your outdated mobile application? Contact us today to see if Info Grove is right for you!

 

Monetization of Mobile Apps: Is Freemium Right for You?

How to make money with your mobile app

 

There are many ways that developers can monetize their mobile app, here we look into two of the common methods: 

1) Require the public to purchase the app for an upfront cost.

2) The freemium approach. Where you provide a free app, which provides so much value, that people feel motivated to want more (and then make in-app purchases)

CEO of 14 Oranges, Sylvain Marcotte, sat down with Evolution Radio to discuss this trend and the common ways developers are monetizing their mobile apps today.

New Jersey Counties Use Apps For Political Engagement

Union County and Monmouth County are now using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove self-managed mobile app service to engage citizens politically. Both counties have recognized the need to provide political content on the digital screen of the public’s choice in order to increase engagement.

 

 

Mobile-First Political Engagement

As government communication is becoming increasingly mobile, Union County and Monmouth County have adapted quickly to this transition. Both counties are using the app to provide election-related information to help citizens in a variety of ways. Most important is that they are helping citizens determine whether they are registered and where to vote, view district maps, and review candidates.

How Info Grove Helps Political Communication

The app acts as an all-in-one stop for political events, dates, and information. Union County and Monmouth County will be able to continuously update and add content using Info Grove’s backend content management system. This allows non-technical staff to edit their app and fill it with new content every election year to keep the app up to date.

 

Mobile App Features

Voters can view candidate promises and objectives, review past elections, and access PDF resources. This means that citizens will have improved access to information to help them make informed decisions. Both counties even go as far as to assist military and overseas Americans who aren’t physically present to cast their ballot.

 

Interested in learning how a mobile app can help your political objectives? Contact us today for a free online demonstration!

Plugged In Podcast: Mobile Apps for Governments

Mobile Apps For Government Communication

 

14 Oranges CEO Sylvain Marcotte spoke on Evolution Radio about the value of mobile apps for governments. 14 Oranges has deployed apps for governments serving a variety of functions, from citizen engagement apps for the City of Surrey, to mobile workforce management apps for the City of Richmond. Listen to the latest edition of plugged in podcast below.

 

Interested in mobile app statistics from 2017? Check out our infographic here.

City of Surrey’s Citizen Engagement Mobile App

City of Surrey App is LIVE!

 

14 Oranges, in partnership with the City of Surrey, has officially re-launched the MySurrey mobile app available for both iPhone and Android. Effective last week, the all-in-one citizen engagement app can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play Store for free. Surrey leverages our powerful Info Grove software as a communication platform to keep citizens informed about local interests. 

Mobile Apps Made Easy

After the departure of their prior developer, the City of Surrey was left stranded with an unusable mobile app. 14 Oranges answered the call, working with the City of Surrey, allowing for Surrey residents to now have their old app back in their pocket. In just a few weeks all of the old data and information was transferred to a new app using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform. Info Grove is a great option to transform old legacy applications to more modern native technology, thus providing the best user experience. 

 

MySurrey Mobile App

Using the MySurrey app, citizens are able to access all of Surrey’s important information and related content from a centralized platform. Residents can use the app to locate bike routes and wifi hotspots, search job opportunities and events, contact city personnel, and more. Also, MySurrey will link residents to the City of Surrey RCMP, Dinesafe locations, garbage/recycling schedules, and provide the ability to request maintenance. As Surrey continues to grow and expand, the app will be updated to keep providing the most relevant and important information. 

 

Software-as-a-Service Mobile Apps (SaaS)

The City of Surrey was able to accomplish this fast transition by utilizing 14 Oranges’ SaaS (Software as a Service) offering called “Info Grove.” Info Grove is a self-managed mobile app service that is being increasingly used by governments and associations across North America. Governments can use the apps for more than just general communication, it can be a great resource to drive political engagement and report problems. 

If you prefer a podcast, click here to listen to a short clip of our CEO, Sylvain Marcotte, discussing mobile apps for the City of Surrey.

 

Outbound Communication

Info Grove acts as an outbound communication platform. Primarily used by member-based organizations, the self-managed app software allows administrators and other non-technical staff to change and add content without going back to 14 Oranges. Staff at the City of Surrey will now be able to add new events, news stories, and send push notifications with ease using the Info Grove backend management system. Info Grove follows similar guidelines to WordPress and 14 Oranges ensures the platform is as user-friendly as possible. 

 

 

 

Mobile Apps for Political Parties: Engaging Voters, Donors and Volunteers

Mobile Apps for Politics

While political parties and politicians are using Twitter and Facebook to reach their target audience on mobile devices, they are finding their message is simply being echoed back to them, or they are being trolled hard by their opposition, making social media a difficult environment to move political dialog forward in a meaningful way.

Enter mobile applications as a means of engaging the public in a more thoughtful public dialog, linking in capabilities, such as push notifications that allow political organizations to actively mobilize and build their base in a troll-free manner. In this edition of Plugged-In, I share some of my past experience in working with political organizations, and make the case on why more parties, particularly in Canada, should be looking at mobile apps as a measurable means of engaging the public.