The State of Mobile for Nonprofit Needs 2012

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Notes

There's a huge increase in the amount of mobile devises. At the same time the mobile web is different than within the context the desktop.

There's a lot of discussion between developing a native app verses using PhoneGap. PhoneGap is a cross-platform tool that provides a javascript API to hardware features. You don't have access to the native features. It can be slow because of running a whole browser, interpreter on top of an... OS? PhoneGap adds a burden to both platforms.

We talked about the use cases for doing cross-platform work.

In the last year things have pushed toward mobile responsive design, rather than native apps.

Are there multiple frameworks and languages... Java, ruby, objective C.

Android tends to be on lower capacity phones.

NetFlix app is a small objective wrapper to JS and HTML. It streams in a format that devises can play.

With iPhone you cannot test hardware without an iPhone.

There's only one app store for iPhone, while there are many Android app stores.

The process for getting your app included in the Apps store is difficult. The decision process is a bit arbitrary.

It's just as difficult to get an app approved as it is to get a version update included.

There are companies that seem to get referential access to release apps, even though the app store does not admit to preferential access.

It's more difficult to pirate apps on apple devices.

More people buy stuff on apple devises.

Android is the dominant and most popular system, even though it's really fractured in terms of versions in use.

Apple does a very good job at enforcing upgrades. This is great for developers, since they don't have to support multiple OS's.

In the case of building for an end to end environment for specific users or a client, it was preferential to use Android, since you have much more control over the environment.

The other option is not to build a mobile app, but mobile web. There's good javascript libraries that work on all phones, using mobile responsive design.

The release cycle is a big deal for mobile apps. Even to get through the release cycle for Android is really different.

Web development is much more streamlined, you can release any time and as often as you like.

With a mobile app, there's anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for that code is released and installed by users.

Test flight is a tool for testing iOS.

There's an enterprise way to test apps, where you get a different license and test the whole process, where it doesn't show up in an app store. Apple built out a whole public key infrastructure, they're ensuring cryptographically that your computer is the one developing and releasing code. If you have this, than through the primary developers account you can provision additional devises. You can setup up to a 100 beta testers. It's a pain in ... be a beta tester??

Fracturization comes from carriers.

The way google fractured the play store, if it's a free app you have to provide a way to download it directly. Otherwise there's a few [...] that don't get access to the right stores.

There is little market intelligence for orgs that serve the poor. Orgs in developed world have very little actual data about what the poor actually need. [...] Needed to use a cell phone and have off line data. Analytics of that data. [...] $80 smart phone that can make calls over the internet...

Most of the money has been made on the development of these apps.

We discussed different resources for getting started w/ iOS development..

There's an app that records vernal pools, gps, photo, sound, etc, using the facilities of the phone to gather data.

Stanford courses includes an free series of courses called apple university.

Android development "is actually weirder" than iOS. iOS platform stuff is less complicated in many cases.

With the open source community on Android, there's a lot more code sharing. People commonly fork and release their own code.

One of the tools Guardian project supports is SQLCipher. If you want to have data on our phone that's secure, you can drop this library on your phone and it will encrypt it. It's a SQL type database... You have to decrypt it to use it, but the developer determines how to do that...

Another weird thing about mobile development, if you get on the top list on the app store, you continue to get tons of downloads. While most applications will get very little or zero downloads. You can even have a great app, but not get any downloads.

There's a whole PR industry dedicated promoting apps.

1% of Android apps are paid. 20% of iOS apps are paid.

New mobile trends... Most of people's computing time is on tablets.