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

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

Government

Associations

Other Apps

 

Plugged In Podcast: Mobile Apps for Governments

Congress

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.

Cabo Transfers Deploys New Mobile-First Website In Its Unending Commitment to Serving Its Customers and Travel Partners

Cabo Transfers Mobile Web

Cabo Transfers today announced the release of its revised website to simplify booking and paying for private and group transfers from the San Jose de Cabo (SJD) airport to any of the resorts in the surrounding area. The new website, developed by 14 Oranges, allows customers and partners to book their premium services from a website or smartphone on the go.

PRWeb: Feb 28, 2017, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo Transfers, the premiere, private, full concierge transfer and excursion service for visitors to Cabo San Lucas and the surrounding area, today announced the launch of their new website supporting both standard web and mobile browsers. The website allows visitors and partners to easily book and pay for a comfortable and luxurious transfer from the airport to their preferred Cabo San Lucas vacation destination.

Cabo Transfers Web View

In addition to airport transfer services, Cabo Transfers also offers roundtrip private driver services for dinners, trips to the grocery store and excursions to noted local attractions such as Hotel California, the Palmilla Golf Club or Cabo Dolphin Encounters. With more travellers booking their accommodations through services such as Airbnb and VRBO, grocery store trips have become increasingly popular.

The website is designed to simplify quoting, booking and confirmation and provides an integrated payment system for their fleet of vehicles ranging from a Ford Expedition up to a full-sized motor coaches to accommodate any sized group.

One of the more innovative services supported by the website is Cabo Transfers’ new partner booking portal, allowing travel agents, wedding planners and hotel partners to easily book transfer services on behalf of their clients. As a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) this service fits tightly into the mission of shared knowledge and access to services between member organizations. The portal will be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

“Our new website shows our commitment to our customers and partners as the safest and most trusted private hired car service serving Cabo San Lucas,” said Mark Diesvelt, the Online Systems Manager at Cabo Transfers, “14 Oranges has delivered an exceptional user website experience in line with this goal, helping us to service our stakeholders on the web or on the smartphone platform of their choice.”

14 Oranges is a leading provider of web and mobile services supporting on-demand services and the uberfication of everything. Supporting web and mobile solutions for the tourism, government and enterprise markets, our customers trust us with their most critical revenue generating and operations management systems.

About Cabo Transfers
At Cabo Transfers, we strive to provide the most elite transportation service in the Los Cabos area. It starts with our luxurious and comfortable vehicles. It continues with our high level of transportation service with our staff. Finally, our competitive rates will showcase why we are able to exceed our guest’s expectations. Cabo Transfers will keep you from worrying about your transportation needs any time you travel to beautiful, sunny Los Cabos. Cabo Transfers is a long standing member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and the only transportation company in Los Cabos with NLA (National Limousine Association) accreditation.

Contact: Mark Diesvelt, mark(AT)cabotransfers.com

About 14 Oranges
14 Oranges, is a leading provider of turnkey web and mobile application services to support our customer’s key requirement for simple end user engagement and efficient operational management. Headquartered in Richmond, BC with offices in Ottawa and Halifax, 14 Oranges sells its services to governments, retail organizations and enterprises. 14 Oranges’ web and mobile application services brings a mobile-first design approach, enabling our customers’ end users to connect with their organization on-the-go, while they in turn manage their organization from their smartphone. Managers realize an immediate return on investment (ROI) from increased end user engagement and an increase in their organization’s productivity.

How apps have killed the video star

Apps Killed The Video Star

As a child of the 80s, I can remember running home to tape Video Hits on my VHS and of course, that first MTV video dance held at school. Video may have wounded the radio star, but today apps and direct video streaming from content providers (called over-the-top delivery) are bypassing the traditional business models of cable and television networks. In this episode of Evolution 107.9’s Plugged In, I discuss with Camille Iverson how the world of television is changing. Listen in here.

Nimble Quotes: Look Smarter, Without Working Harder

I remember finding a copy of my father’s 637 Best Things Anyone Ever Said by Robert Byrne when I was just entering the workforce and consuming these brainy, and often witty quotes, from people as diverse as Hemmingway, Plato and Einstein.

My father used to use these quotes in speeches and talks he’d give to make his audience ponder the wisdom of the wise and famous while he shared the latest business innovation of his firm.

This is the premise behind the service we developed for our customer Nimble Quotes. Nimble Quotes is a web service that automatically tweets famous quotes on your behalf on a random or set time interval. It’s based on five very easy setup pages, that allow you to choose the categories of quotes you want to draw from, the hashtags that go along with the quote, and the pictures and colours to go along with your quotes. No need to leaf through thousands of pages of quotes to find that bon mot … Nimble Quotes has them all.

nimble-quotes-page-3

It’s a set and forget service! So along with your standard marketing tweets sharing your latest news, you get to add in some quotes from your favorite author or historical figure to add some wise words that can capture the imagination of your followers.

That’s because we quote connoisseurs all know … “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein.

Pokémon GO Has Created the World’s Largest Mobile Workforce!

So I have to admit when I got home from work a few weeks ago, I was tired and ready to relax, when I heard my wife say, “Sure … Dad will know how to get that game on your tablet.”

I cringed a bit.

But I bit the bullet and got it done! I installed the Pokémon Go app and signed my son up to give it a try. He immediately caught a Charmander. Being over 40, Pokémon was not a ‘thing’ for my generation, and I wasn’t personally familiar with the game until my oldest started talking about it a couple years ago. My wife had found someone on Craigslist giving away thousands of Pokémon cards and the game 52 pickup took on a whole new meaning. Pokémon Go is 250 pickup … with a lot of walking.

So for those unfamiliar I will give a total ground level view of the Pokémon world as I know it. Basically, it is a collection of games, trading cards, etc. that revolve around a world where humans live in conjunction with Pokémon; creatures with various special powers. These creatures are captured and trained by humans known as Trainers. Trainers then pit their Pokémon against others in mini-battles.

There are actually more than 700 different Pokémon and it has grown in popularity for more than 15 years now crossing through a couple of generations.

pokecrowd

So what is Pokémon Go?

Well I will give you two versions of the same answer. Tech and non tech.

The Non-Tech Answer

Pokémon Go is an interactive video game, played on tablets and phones, where players assume to role of Pokémon Trainers attempting to Level Up by gaining experience points. Players explore the world by navigating around their actual physical location, using a map interface, attempting to find/capture Pokémon, visit Poke Stops to get rewards and Gyms. Pokémon appear from time to time or can be enticed to appear using various lures found at Poke Stops. At higher levels players go to Gyms to battle using their Pokémon against other Trainers’ Pokémon.

Tech Answer

Pokémon Go is an interactive video game developed to run on GPS enabled mobile devices with a data connection. Players create a persona in the game and are encouraged to explore the literal world in search of data points corresponding to characters/locations in the game. The game takes place on top of a Google Maps interface where the whole Earth is represented.

My Assumption – Data points are created worldwide algorithmically allowing users to play the game nearly everywhere. The locations are often in public places like schools and parks.

Cultural Phenomena

As a side note, at this point I want to mention some interesting cultural phenomena which have become apparent as a result of the launch of this new game.

First, it doesn’t appear twenty-somethings are embarrassed to play this game. This may not seem a big deal to many of you but to me I was really surprised that these late teens to mid twenties are right out there playing it and loving it.

Second, this game is really social. When my son and I went out on a bike ride to play the first week this game was released we ran into a dozen people playing and all of them would come running over to say hey and ask what we had found. I just about fell of my bike. At one point it was me (40), my son (7), and a collection of guys and gals in their 20’s. Totally inclusive.

A New Age Of GPS Enabled Games (and Businesses?!)

What has really struck me as interesting about this game is the successful use of GPS and world maps along with a game. This is by no means the first time this has been done but I would certainly argue this is the most viral example to date. This is such an excellent example of a creative blend of pop culture and technology. Geocaching has been around for years and we at 14 Oranges developed a product called Questogo that allows organizations to create location enabled scavenger hunts. Check out Questogo it is a really cool product and a very useful tool in teaching and team building.

What Pokémon Go has done is to leverage an existing group of kids already familiar with the Pokémon universe, with ready access to the required technology. This made its growth viral. I absolutely anticipate a huge number of these types of games to come in the near future, many likely to use the same platform with different character sets.

Would this Apply to Mobile Workers?

For sure! Again, Pokémon Go is really just an excellent example of leveraging technology to provide a new interface into how we work. Gaming (or Gamification as this approach is sometimes called) is just an approach that could create a more interactive and enjoyable experience for field service workers and their customers. Now, there is no real job (yet) that pays money to collect Pokémon, but there are ways this technology could be applied to improve and measure how mobile workforces function.

Now there is nothing all that new about Pokémon Go. The technology of GPS and mobile data access has been around for a long time, and we have used it to underpin our new Mobile Workforce Management Service. But Pokémon Go has shown how changing the interface and introducing novel themes and rewards can drive rapid engagement towards greater productivity. In its own right, it has instantly created a crowd sourced workforce collecting Pokémon!

Getting back to business … think about the ROI in these terms for a second:

1 Mobile worker can complete an average of 5 tasks per day
1 Dispatcher/admin person is required per 15 mobile workers.

Effectively leveraging mobile software tools that are location enabled and aware could change this scenario to:

1 Mobile worker can now complete 8 tasks per day.
1 Dispatcher/admin person can now handle 30 or more mobile workers.

These numbers are not made up. They are actually based on our experience with a real customer using our Mobile Workforce Management Service. Now our service doesn’t have as many battles with Bubasaurs and Rattatas (sounds like furniture from an Ikea catalog …), but if you do the math on the return in productivity, solutions like this pay for themselves in short order.

In summary, Pokémon Go is definitely a novel new use of GPS and data technology, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty fun. However, I won’t be playing it much unless my son twists my arm. It does illustrate to me that the next generation of mobile enabled software is on its way pulling together real time data with location + context aware software. Pulling in open data as required these apps are already changing the way we play outside, and there is more innovation to come from this.

We see customers adopting these technologies see startup costs as a barrier to entry, but the benefits in productivity and customer satisfaction stand to change the way we are served in the future.

Now excuse me while I go help my son catch a Pikachu! download