Entrepreneurs – Creating Your First Mobile App

So you came up with a great app idea and have been thinking about it for a while now but aren’t sure where to start. I am writing this article from my personal experiences of being involved in the field, in hopes to guide you in the right direction.

Determine platform to support

After the idea stage, you will need to start planning what your target market is, and what will be the best avenue to reach that target market. In other words: Is your target market mainly an Android crowd, Apple crowd, Blackberry or a combination of them?

Mockups/Wireframe

The next step is to begin planning out your app on paper or using a mockup tool. This will help you visualize your app and it will help you when approaching developers to explain your idea. These mockups do not have to be very detailed, just some basic screen layouts will suffice. Below is an example of a wireframe in its beginning stages; a good group of developers can take these and provide suggestions based on their experience in the field.

wireframe example
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Android guide to setting a single or repeating alarm

If you are developing an app which deals with alarms, you might be confused as to how to set either a single alarm or a repeating alarm, I will walk you through it so you can get a better understanding of how it works.

In this example, we will say we are trying to create an alarm that triggers some piece of code at 8:30 AM, either once or repeating everyday.
Use this code snippet wherever it is that you want to create your alarm.

AlarmManager alarmMgr = (AlarmManager) c.getSystemService(Context.ALARM_SERVICE);
Intent receiverIntent = new Intent(c, WakeupReceiver.class);
PendingIntent alarmIntent = PendingIntent.getBroadcast(c, 0, receiverIntent, 0); //The second parameter is unique to this PendingIntent,
                                                                                 //if you want to make more alarms, 
                                                                                 //make sure to change the 0 to another integer
int hour = 8;
int minute = 30;

Calendar alarmCalendarTime = Calendar.getInstance(); //Convert to a Calendar instance to be able to get the time in milliseconds to trigger the alarm
alarmCalendarTime.set(Calendar.HOUR_OF_DAY, hour);
alarmCalendarTime.set(Calendar.MINUTE, minute);
alarmCalendarTime.set(Calendar.SECOND, 0); //Must be set to 0 to start the alarm right when the minute hits 30

//Add a day if alarm is set for before current time, so the alarm is triggered the next day
if (alarmCalendarTime.before(Calendar.getInstance())) {
   alarmCalendarTime.add(Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH, 1);
}

alarmMgr.set(AlarmManager.RTC_WAKEUP, alarmCalendarTime.getTimeInMillis(), alarmIntent);

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Intro to Mobile Apps for Businesses

How can your business benefit from having an app?

Mobile apps are among the fastest growing markets in the world. In Canada, more than 55% of the population now owns a smartphone and have an average of 25 apps installed. Having a mobile app gives your business a new presence and allows your potential customers to find your information, products & services as easily as finding tomorrow’s weather forecast.

By having a mobile app for your business you will be able to build a community around your products and services by allowing users to interact with the business and between each other. As soon as somebody installs your app you know they are a potential client. An app will allow you to make money, save time and get new leads by selling or communicating directly through the app. Your business will be able to reach app users 24/7 through push notifications & promotional offers.

Lastly, your business can increase brand awareness and showcase products or services in a fast and intuitive manner. Think of it like another form of marketing.

This all sounds great, but how much will it cost?

The cost of app development is greatly affected by the development process that the contracting app development company chooses to persue. Generally speaking, Hybrid apps will usually cost about half the price and will take less time to develop over Native apps, however you may be sacrificing some user experience.

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