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How about a VMB Iphone app?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Dutchfly, Jun 14, 2014.

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  1. Dutchfly

    Dutchfly Tourist

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    I would love it if there was an app of VMB. I know it has to be developed andthat costs money, but I a, willing to pay 2-3$ in the app-store for it.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    There already is an app. It's called Tapatalk. I'm using it right now on my iPhone.
     
  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    What kind of app are you talking about? We've got a mobile version of the board we're working on. There's also the ability to browse with Tapatalk and I can turn on ForumRunner for this board too if there's an interest.

    As far as a more developed app like with maps and tips and tools, yeah, that's kind of far down my ToDo list.
     
  4. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Would the app be different than viewing this web site via the browser on the phone?
    I have used the browser on my phone to read and even post a thread.
    Not sure exactly what an app would do differently.
     
  5. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    My clients often have this conversation with me...

    client: We want an app
    me: why do you want an app?
    c: our competitors have one
    m: what do your competitors use it for?
    c: providing real time information on their system
    m: do you have that capability?
    c: no, but we feel like we should have an app
    m: you should get an app when you have a specific need for one.

    In short, get an app when you have a business need to fill. A website, generally doesn't need one.
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Good advice, wigwam. I read the industry mags and experience the "(GASP!) I need an app!" thing too.

    I absolutely think that addressing the use of mobile phones and tablets by our members is an issue that should be at the top of our list. Being able to provide as much info as we can to people actually IN Vegas on vacation is a wonderful thing. Plus, I love getting to live vicariously through our members who share live reports. Making that easier is a huge priority here.

    Tapatalk has been a great resource for the board, but I'm always looking for ways to expand on that. This version of the software has the ability to create an app for mobile browsing, but I'm not sure it's any better than what we have. SH0CK was working on a mobile style, but we haven't set it up to autodetect phones, etc yet.

    I am constantly jotting down ideas for things we "could" do with mobile, or especially with an app. But then good old reality smacks me in the face and I'm still neck deep in this upgrade weeks later. We have so many tools and toys we still want to add here, but both Scott and I have lives and jobs outside the board and have been confronted with how limited our skills are in this arena. Let's just say that there is a LOT of trial and error that happens behind the scenes.. and sometimes right here on the live board.. that make things very exciting.. like when we hosed the board and it completely disappeared the other day. That was exciting. :wink2:

    Right now, this weekend, our priority is to get the Countdown Timer interface functioning and easy to use for you guys. (and self-expiring, for me!).

    Next projects, besides the odd tweaks we're doing constantly, are the mobile interface(s) and photo album/gallery work.

    After that we've got the super long "like to have" list for the board. Those are things like some more social networking elements, a "like" or "+1" button, chat, etc.

    So the list is already REALLY long. I am reluctant to add much more, especially something that's a giant undertaking like an app for iPhones (especially because I'd probably have to get my hands on an iPhone for that project :haha:).

    I am so thankful that I've got SH0CK [strike]locked forever into indentured serv[/strike]... uh.. helping me as such a wonderful and generous volunteer. I have no idea how I'd tackle any of this without him Even if he's just PMing me every day saying "DO IT!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!!!" :nworthy:

    But, hey, I'm not proud. If you have skills - programming, (vbulletin, php, javascript, flash, etc) graphic design, marketing, etc. - and happen to have way too much free time and a love of Vegas, let me know. I'm always looking for help. The pay and benefits suck, but I buy food & drinks in Vegas a couple times a year if you can get there. ;)
     
  7. Dutchfly

    Dutchfly Tourist

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    Honestly Sonya I havnt tried that.. But I will!
     
  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    If you want to try the mobile style of the board, I can ask SH0CK to post the URL you can use too.
     
  9. Dutchfly

    Dutchfly Tourist

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    Please do! Thanks!
     
  10. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I'm happy to give you a bit of digital strategy advice (I head up operations at a digital agency, but I know the basics of the strategy side and can just fire questions at the strategy team if I get confused).

    Ultimately though, tapatalk has the forum market sewn up as an app. If you need to present information that it can't handle then you need to be looking at an app, but a web app (and this is where it gets a bit tricky as you have mobile specific websites, responsive websites and web apps to choose from) should cover it unless you specifically need stuff to be available offline (no data connection) or you want to store a large amount of content or access hardware on the device....anyway, all of this is a few junctions down the freeway yet.

    The first thing to do is work out what are features and what are benefits - I.E - everything the app could do is a feature, but they are only benefits if they are relevant to your users. You should probably start by making a list of what is required functionality (ask people and check your google analytics for what content is accessed on mobile devices to start with). There is no point building in a load of stuff people prefer to use tapatalk or the mobile website for.

    Responsive website - one that adapts its layout for many different screensizes automatically (it responds to the resolution of the device)
    Mobile website - a specific set of templates for mobile devices
    Web app - performs some app type functionality (remember, app is just short for application - we have been using then since the 80's, word is an app, Chrome is an app, Photoshop is an app - Apple just sexed it up and got mass buy in of the terminology)

    Do you have Google Analytics installed? It is the single most useful thing you can install for insight if not. www.google.com/analytics

    Roughly though, about 80% of the time when we complete due diligence and the discovery stage of a project (requirements gathering, budget estimates etc) an app is not actually what is required.

    They are also expensive to build and need maintaining (new hardware comes out that needs to be catered for etc etc) on multiple platforms).

    You may come up with an idea for an app that can be given a price tag, but Apple will take 30% of each sale (plus you need a developer account with them to publish and blah blah blah) and Google do similar for Android apps. You'd need to sell a lot of apps to cover the startup and ongoing costs of any app that was worth the money you wanted people to part with.

    You'll probably also find that there are already a few apps out there that do what your ideas do. There may be a clear stand out winner with millions of users or a bunch that have only a few downloads but work brilliantly. This is because taking an app to market is a ball ache. Half the time it's sheer luck whether or not your app gains traction and the other half is because it has the support of a major brand to push it. Even with a major brand and unlimited marketing budget it might flop. Apps are seen as transient and disposable unless they have a killer USP and people toss them aside at the first minor hickup they find.

    So anyway, recap...

    1) think of some ideas for your app (and really each idea should be an app itself, the good apps work because they do one thing and they do it well)
    2) find out if anyone else wants an app (or web app) that runs off your ideas
    3) start planning a product roadmap (crucial for software development - a tool called www.aha.io is very good or www.teamwork.com but the latter is more project management rather than product management)
    4) see what it will cost and how feasible it is

    If you came to us (which you shouldn't, you don't need commercial agencies for this I'm just using it as an example) we'd usually put a three month lead time on a basic app with planning taking about a month of that as apps are designed to be used on the move the interface and usability has to be spot on.

    I could go on about this subject for days, but there isn't much point giving any more advice until you have got to point 2 above.
     
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Here ya go, Dutchfly: http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/?styleid=17 That will load the board with the mobile style. It hasn't had much testing yet so... :)

    More great advice in there wigwam. I am using analytics, but until recently it has only been data to me. :) I've recently been tracking mobile, but not long enough for real trends. As we add more mobile functionality, I'll be watching what people use and what they don't.

    You're right about the cost:benefit issues. I'm not sure we need an app, but sometimes the magazines tell me so. :haha:
     
  12. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I'd be inclined to skip building an app, and use the money to buy Apple stock instead!
     
  13. soled905

    soled905 Low-Roller

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    I just clicked on that link with my laptop and now this is the only version I see for anything on this board.
     
  14. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

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    You can scroll to the bottom and click the link that says Full Site
     
  15. soled905

    soled905 Low-Roller

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    Thank you, Shock. I wound up clearing my cache before I saw your post and that did the trick.
     
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