When making a purchasing decision many people weigh the cost/benefit to confirm that its a straightforward decision. For example when you are buying tires one type of tire is $100 per tire and the other is $110. Certainly, you may notice a difference between the different sets of tires if you bought them and used them, however the fundamental experience of driving a car doesn’t change. If you did buy the cheaper tires you may have a different experience but it won’t stop the car from functioning. You should still be able to drive from point A to point B. When people are searching for a mobile app developer this theory does NOT apply. If you hire a “cheaper” developer you may actually get nothing, because they aren’t able to deliver an end product. Or perhaps they build an app that is unusable and if you actually presented it to customers it would only damage your reputation. We have seen this happen many times where people think that they have saved some money on their app when actually at best they have likely shot themselves in the foot and set themselves up for having to rebuild the app from scratch in the future. Simply put: purchasing tires and purchasing an app are very different. We wanted to cover some of the things that makes CollegeMobile different. List is below.
Building apps natively increases the quality of the app almost immediately. You will find almost every popular app on the store will be built natively because its an inherent part of creating a great app. With native the user experience is faster and more responsive, things work correctly and in line with what users expect. Users now demand apps that are high quality and if you build a low quality app you are only going to damage your reputation as a company and the app you built won’t get used anyway. Doing it right the first time ensures you get an app that functions correctly and will keep users coming back.
There are four main platforms for mobile: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry. Many app developers only build for one platform (often for iPhone). If you want to reach your customers you need to support multiple platforms. Most development shops develop for one or two platforms and if their client needs another platform they may contract it out to a different firm. Make sure when you are developing an app you think about reaching your users and that means supporting iPhone and Android and increasingly Windows Phone as well.
Building for the Future
At CollegeMobile when we develop our apps we think about what the app will need to do in the future. We build a solid structural foundation on which to build additional features. When we developed an app Federated Cooperatives we put in the right foundation to accommodate future development. Anytime they brainstorm ideas to add to their app they know that it will be possible with the strong foundation we have in place. This also goes for another App we built for Affinity Credit Union. The initial app we developed the app the only functionality was locating branches, ATMs and Insurance locations. The current version is a full native mobile banking app and even includes a feature that allows you to take a picture of a cheque and deposit it to your bank. Again when developing their app initially we built the proposal foundation to accommodate for these big features.
Experience and Track Record in Mobile Development
CollegeMobile has a long track record of building apps. I founded the company in 2009 right after teaching the first in Canada (3rd in North America) Univeristy Accredited iPhone programming class. Since then we have developed many apps. In our public facing portfolio we have 41 apps and in our private portfolio (which we can’t share due to Non-Discolosure Agreements) we have another 2o. In any case our work includes banking apps, workforce automation, partnerships with companies like Google, as well as working on projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Few companies you will find that type of work and across such a broad spectrum of industries. We deliver each time no matter what the industry is.
This is more of a differentiator than people realize. With Agile development you get to see the project as it developers. We send periodic builds so our clients gets to see the app as its being built. Seeing an app in your hand and interacting with it is imperative to developing a quality end product. Something that looked great on paper may not work well when you actually hold that in your hand and you may only realize this by interacting with the app; this is the concept of Agile development. Many shops will only show the customer the project at the end, assuming they deliver at all. When you get the project at the very end the developers may have faithfully built what you though you wanted. However, when you interact with it you see problems you didn’t realize when you were designing everything on paper. With Agile development you get this feedback sooner and it saves everyone time and money.
Based on my experience at Apple, where I dealt with large companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Symantec and many others including the internal Apple development team, I realized that proper communication is paramount to solving technical problems correctly. In fact you could completely build the wrong solution if you don’t communicate effectively with the customer at each stage of development. You will find that our team is excellent at communicating with customers. CollegeMobile is run with a mindset with the customer in mind and it is our main focus.
We have two professional designers on staff. One has a 4-year Bachelor in this field the other our more senior designer has a Ph.D. in Human Computer interaction and (between the two of them over a decade of experience in design). Our designers have also designed apps such as the Co-op CRS App used by thousands of people across Canada. They can help you flesh out and polish your idea in a iterative design process.
Our company focuses on our customers and on developing mobile apps. Mobile apps is a quickly changing field and you have to keep up to date all the time. Here a great example for you: just three days ago Apple required all developers to start using XCode 5 if they want to publish to the App Store. This is a big change in developing for iOS because before you could use any version of XCode that worked. We keep on top of these impending changes and have dedicated individuals on our teams to keep up to date with coming changes.
All the members on our development team have at least a 4-year Bachelor from a University in their field. Our team also includes people with Masters and PhD degrees. In other small development shops you will find that the developers simply taught themselves mobile programming and are now charging out their services. We pride ourselves on our collective and individual knowledge.
In conclusion I encourage you to think about the above when considering our company.