App Development Software

There are a number of App development software companies offering help on how to build your own app quickly and cheaply, but before you decide on which one to use, it is vital that you understand what the costs of building your app on one of these softwares really is and where to look for the hidden costs.

Different App Development Software Programs

Depending on your technical skills, there are App development software programs to suit your needs and abilities. Many of the App software templates include features specific to certain industries, so looking for a program that includes features that your business can benefit from may just require a little research.

App software platforms are built to make the building process much easier and generally only require the level of skill you might need to build a website such as WordPress or blogger. The simple cut and paste process will ensure that your App is built quickly and with the need for very few technical skills.

Some of the App development companies offer services of building your App to a pre-determined level to ensure that it complies with the App store requirements in order to be accepted. As there are costs involved in submitting your App, it is important to ensure that you comply with all their requirements to keep your costs down.

Hidden Costs Not Often Shown in Prices Quoted

When building your own App there are a number of costs that may or may not be included in the prices quoted on developers websites. These include a developers account which is required if you are going to be submitting your App to the Apple Store. This cost is $99 per year.

Many of the companies also include branding of their company on the App platform and removing this branding can cost you a few hundred dollars. Although this branding is not always invasive, it is sometimes positioned on the splash page of your App or may even appear as a pop up prior to your App loading.

Many of the Application platforms have limitations on the number of push notifications you can send, how many downloads you can have before additional costs are incurred and even a limitation on the number of words or graphics you use.

Finding a quality product that includes unlimited upgrades and the ability to control your own app through an easy to navigate control panel is vital. There is no need to spend a great deal of money on a product that is inferior when there are numerous App development software programs that show you exactly how to build your App quickly and cheaply.

6 Questions Before Choosing a Mobile App Development Company

As the mobile app trend continues to grow and captivate consumers, you might be asking yourself how you can dive into this medium. Maybe you have the perfect idea for an app or maybe you just know that you want one developed for your company. Either way, you’re going to need to pair up with a mobile app developer. But, with so many to choose from, where do you begin? Your needs will dictate what developer you should team up with, but you can ask yourself these questions to help you narrow down your options:

1. Do they have a strong portfolio? Mobile app development is just like any other professional service – you want to be assured they know what they are doing. If they do not have their portfolio published on their website, ask them what apps they have developed. Then check out the apps and their ratings in the app store and/or marketplace.

2. What is their testing process? Testing is a crucial part of app development. Many apps fail because they release their app prematurely. Not only will those that download your app stop using it, the chances are good that they will leave a negative comment which will hinder others from downloading it.

3. What’s the plan for updates? All successful apps release updates, whether it is to correct a bug or to introduce a new feature. Make sure this is covered in your agreement with the developer so you can easily update your app.

4. Are they technical experts? Is the developer capable of troubleshooting the bugs? How do they approach fixing bugs? If they aren’t able to proactively solve the issues you are going to want to find another developer. (You can gain some insight by looking at the customer reviews of other apps they have developed to see how timely they were in fixing bugs users found.)

5. Are they prompt? This is similar to the strong portfolio in that you probably should look for this in all your business relationships. It is particularly crucial to app development because your app may be faced with an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. For example, if you have a major bug just after the launch you’ll need it to be taken care of pronto to save the reputation of your app.

6. Do they offer marketing and promotional services? Promoting your app can make a big difference in its success. Not all developers will offer this service, but it can be very valuable when they do.

Free Apps & Software for Non-Profits

According to the National Day Calendar, February is Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) Month. Open source (OS) software can be a fantastic resource for non-profit organizations that need technology, just as a for-profit business does, but often have fewer resources to pay for expensive solutions.

So, what is an open source software? You probably already use some of the most popular open source packages without even realizing it.

  • WordPress (blogging and website design)
  • Firefox (internet browser)
  • Android (mobile device operating system)

These are all open source software. OS software developers (aka the copyright holders) make the source code available to anyone to view or edit. The software or app is also free for anyone to use, copy, or give away. OS software is often developed in a public collaboration. For example, if you click on About Firefox in the browser’s Help menu, you will see that the Firefox internet browser “is designed by Mozilla, a global community working to keep the Web open, public and accessible to all.”

The idea behind this way of creating software is the theory that programmers, who work for a for-profit business and the business itself, are focusing on protecting their ownership and profit in addition to, or instead of, making the software the highest quality it can be. OS advocates believe that a larger group of programmers, who rely on peers to find and eliminate problems in the code, will create a more useful and higher quality product for everyone.

The big advantage of open source software, of course, is that it’s free. The fact that the code is public means that hundreds or even thousands of programmers and users may test, evaluate, debug, and enhance the app you eventually use. Here are the top 5 reasons open source advocates give for the benefits of open source software, in addition to the zero-dollar price tag:

  • Security: the more people who can see and test a set of code, the more likely security flaws will be found and fixed.
  • Reliability: it’s peer reviewed, with bugs fixed immediately rather than in far-future versions.
  • Identity: it can be customized.
  • Low-resource intensity: open source software can frequently be run on the older computers common in non-profit offices.
  • Freedom of choice: No commitment until you are sure (try as many different packages as you want-they’re free!)

There are downsides, however. The most common, in my experience, is that there probably isn’t a help desk or tech support phone number for users to call. The help desk for an OS software system may be the same blog or website where programmers and testers download code and discuss bugs that they find.

Below is a list of some OS apps and software, which many non-profit organizations will find useful. They are all widely used, award-winning packages. Just remember, that doesn’t mean they are all automatically right for YOUR non-profit. Consider who on your staff (whether in-office or consultants) will

  • install the software
  • maintain the software and any data
  • train new users
  • use the software on a regular basis

Consider also whether this software needs to “talk to” other software in your organization. Will the packages be compatible? If you have existing data that will need to be converted to the new package, who will do that?

Now that we’ve cautioned you about the risks, here are our favorite open source software packages:

  • LibreOffice: office productivity suite including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database, etc. based on, and successor to OpenOffice. Awarded Best Free Office Suite by CNET Magazine
  • GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program photo and image editor. Works on GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and more. Named a Top Free Software Pick for 2013 by PC Magazine
  • Audacity: digital audio editor created by a professor and a student at Carnegie Mellon University. Chosen as one of PC World Magazine’s 100 Best Products of 2008
  • Shotcut: cross-platform video editor and encoder. Named a TechRadar Download of the Day
  • Thunderbird: email and chat client developed by Mozilla (maker of Firefox). PC World Magazine’s Best 100 Products in 2005 and 2008
  • KeePass: password manager. Recommended password manager by the German Federal Office for Information Security and the French Network and Information Security Agency. KeePass has the highest score in the password management grid of G2 Crowd
  • Rocket.Chat: multi-platform web chat, video conferencing, and team communications. InfoWorld Magazine BOSSIE 2016 Award

One of the biggest non-profit needs is for a constituent relationship management (CRM) system that allows the organization to keep track of donors, prospects, volunteers, and other constituents as well as communications with constituents. Here are the free and open source CRMs you might investigate when it’s time for a new CRM at your non-profit.

  • Suite CRM (formerly Sugar CRM) is one of the most popular, although it is not specific to non-profit
  • CiviCRM has been developed specifically for non-profit organizations

If you want to learn more, many non-profit and charitable organizations promote the open source software movement. Here are a few of the largest and longest-lived:

  • Apache Software Foundation: provides support for the community of Apache open-source software products
  • The Document Foundation: German charitable foundation created by a large group of free software advocates
  • The Eclipse Foundation: an independent non-profit funded by member dues to allow a vendor-neutral and open community to steward the IBM-created Eclipse Project
  • Free Software Foundation: works to ensure freedom for computer users worldwide, particularly by promoting the GNU free operating system
  • Linux Foundation: supports many open source projects, including the 25-year-old Linux operating system
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium: worldwide network of educational institutions, organizations, and people who promote openness in education, including collective development and use of open educational materials
  • OpenHatch: matches prospective open source software programmers with communities, tools, and education
  • OpenSourceMatters: offers financial, legal, and organizational support for the Joomla! content management system for websites
  • Open Source Initiative: represents the open source community, maintains the Open Source Definition, and creates open-source licenses

The label “open source” is said to have been coined at a strategy session held in 1998 shortly after the announcement of the release of the Netscape web browser source code. In the almost 20 years since then, the Free and Open Source Software market and products have matured. Non-profits can take advantage of the high-quality, free* software available for productivity, constituent management, and other essential tasks.

*Just remember, not all free software is free or safe to use.

How to Choose an Offshore Mobile Apps Development Company

The world of technology is fast changing and when it comes to developing new software and apps for mobile phones, the competition is tougher. Every app needs to have a unique quality which makes it better than the other apps available in the market such that it can grab the attention of the users.

With so much competition in this field it is not an easy task to find the best offshore mobile app development company. Here are a few tips which would help one to choose a good company:

• Preparing the Project and the Project Requirements – Before deciding on a developer it is very important that the hirer does some homework of his own. It is important that the hirer plans and creates presentations to describe what he needs and how he needs it to be done. He should first prepare content and materials to explain his idea effectively to the prospective developers. This would be extremely helpful during the development phase and would ensure that not much time is wasted on revising the needs. He should then respond properly to all the inquiries which come in from the developers and ask them relevant questions which would help him in zeroing in on the best developer.

• Experience of the developers – Experience in any field is considered to be important and when it comes to finding an offshore mobile app development company experience plays a very crucial role. One should always look for a company who has considerable experience in developing mobile apps as this would help the hirer to get quality apps and any kind of hiccups in the project can be avoided. Before deciding on a company, it is important that the past projects of the companies are checked to see which company can adapt easily to the idea that the person has in mind.

• Budget – One should always make sure not to choose a company which is mediocre just to stick to the budget that they have in mind. On the other hand, high remuneration does not necessarily mean that the company would be able to deliver the goods. Thus, one should look at the past projects and apps that the company has developed and decide accordingly and not only on the basis of the budget.

• Explaining the Ideas in an efficient and effective way – Once the company has been decided on, it is very important, that the hirer communicates his ideas and requirements clearly to the company. He should also make sure that the team working on the project has understood his perspective as this would be very helpful in making sure that there are no delays once the app development is underway.

• Maintaining the project – When hiring an offshore mobile app development company, one should make sure that the company would provide necessary support once the app has been launched in the market.
These tips would definitely go a long way in helping someone who is planning to hire an offshore mobile development company.