The Smartphone train has left the station.
Are you on board?
|Type in “iPhone sales history” in a Google search.
Notice any trends in the results?
“iPhone sales account for nearly half of Apple’s revenue…” “Apple’s $46 billion sales set new tech record.” “iPhone accounted for 80 percent of AT&T Smartphone Sales.” “Sprint announces best sales day in history, thanks to iPhone…” “Apple breaks iPhone sales record again.”
Smartphone technology is out there folks, and the wildly popular Apple iPhone isn’t the only one on the marketplace. That other little company mentioned in the lead sentence of this story – Google – has its own smartphone technology and a slew of companies making phones that use its Android operating system.
When smartphones first hit the markeplace, their prices kept them out of the hands of most citizens. But as prices lowered and service plans from cellular providers became more affordable, the sales numbers skyrocketed.
PC Magazine had an article in December 2011 that said 44 percent of Americans now own smartphones, up from 18 percent in late 2009.
A Nielsen survey, which the article references, says 71 percent of the smartphones in use today are either iPhones or Android-based phones.
A phone is no longer just a phone. It’s information in your pocket, capable of doing everything from managing your grocery list and instantly finding coupons to keeping your calendar up to date, to taking photos and videos, editing them and sending them on their way.
They’re devices that are growing in popularity and growing in capabilities. At the Delavan-Darien School District, we didn’t want to miss the smartphone popularity train that has been picking up steam since it left the station a few short years ago. We wanted to make sure we’re using available technologies our parents and community have to stay connected with them. So…
Over winter, we created a basic smartphone application using online vendor Buzztouch.com. Buzztouch is one of many available online “build” assistants. It helps you write your application in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) environment. It was free to use and compiles or writes the program code needed for both iPhone and Android phones, as well as iPad and iPod touch devices, and other devices that use Android technology, including the Kindle Fire.
Thus far, we’ve published the free application on Apple’s App Store (at a cost of $100) and are in the process of making the app available on Google’s Marketplace (a $25 fee), so it will be available for Android-based devices.
Within six weeks after a soft launch, we’ve had more than application 330 downloads from Apple’s App Store.
The application is basically a menu of options linking mostly to our existing district websites, making the browsing experience from a mobile device simplified and much more user-friendly.
From the app, users can:
The Buzztouch.com interface manages all of the initial code needed for the application and changes can be made easily through the portal on the Buzztouch.com website. If ever a change is needed, it is made on the Buzztouch.com site and then automatically reflected on the user’s device after “refreshing” the application. There’s no need to re-upload the program code to either the App Store or Marketplace, making minor application updates and maintenance a breeze.
There are other online mobile application builders available besides Buzztouch. Some, like Buzztouch, are online-only where you build your application through the interface and with the tools and options provided. Other companies will build the app for you from the ground up to meet your specifications. Like any service, the more you pay, the more features and functionality you can get.
Buzztouch.com fit our needs (get information to our community easily and free) and our budget (next to nothing), and it was easy enough to use and interface with existing tools we already had, such as our website, news blog site and social media accounts. We didn’t have to reinvent the wheel and we were able to bring our news, information, photos and more into the hands, pockets and purses of our district community with just a few clicks.
For questions, contact:
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We hope that you make the decision to renew your membership and once again become part of our active network of individuals who recognize the importance of school public relations and receive support from WSPRA.
Renewal notices will start going out next month.
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