Last month App School was mentioned here on the IIA blog and since then it has had its first run. There was a really great cross-section of students from all over the industry, which included professional developers, a CEO, a third level student and a staff member from an Institute of Technology. Most had never programmed on any Apple system before, and a few did not even own one, but by the end of the week everyone had made a lot of progress. A few days in a couple of students managed to get a 2D physics simulation going, with a button rolling around the screen and bouncing off the edges! On the last day we had a couple of Twitter clients working (and that’s including profile picture support!)
Some of the students were developing their own personal or business applications during the course, and now there are four apps (that I know about at least) on their way to the App Store from App School students. Some of these apps will display information to users that they would normally access through a website, but what can an iPhone app do that a website can’t? Well, there are few obvious ways that the user experience can be enhanced for your customers with iPhone-specific features.
Looking at the very tip top of the iceberg:
- The iPhone can store data to be made available offline. This has worked out very well for Patrick Collison‘s Encyclopedia app, which gives users access to Wikipedia when they do not have internet connectivity.
- Apps can use the iPhone’s GPS location to find information local to your customer. This is core to many travel apps, restaurant review apps, hotel reservation apps, and social networking apps.
- The user can take photos and upload them to you. Yelp‘s app allows users take photos of restaurants and upload these for other users to see. Just about any Flickr app will let you do this too.
- With a bit of effort, the multi-touch screen and the 3D graphics support can be leveraged to allow customers interact with your business in a way not possible on a desktop computer.
While on the topic of interaction, people enjoy using their iPhones and this can really help if you rely on user-submitted data for you service (“Web 2.0”, if you like to call it that). Above, I mentioned getting the phone’s GPS location, and getting access to the phone’s camera. You can go beyond GPS co-ordinates, photos, bits of user-entered text, email address/phone numbers selected from the address book though, and upload data-types specific to your service. Ocarina is one of my favourite apps and allows users play music by blowing into the microphone while pressing “holes” on the screen. This lets the iPhone work as an ocarina, a wind instrument. Music played by the user is uploaded to some server, along with the user’s location. Users than then explore a 3D earth and hear songs played by users from all around the world.
If you allow customers upload this information to you, what could you do with it? Can you think of how that could add value to your service?
There are so many exciting possibilities with this platform. If you don’t have access to an iPhone or iPod touch to try out some apps for yourself, there are plenty of video demonstrations online. There is definitely something there for everyone… after all, the App Store really does have an app for everything!
This Online Marketing Training course is being delivered by the Digital Marketing Institute and has been created FOR the digital marketing community BY the digital marketing community.
The Irish Internet Association and SureSkills today announced that they have teamed up to provide an Executive Education Program in Online & Digital Marketing. This 12 week course is being delivered by some of Ireland’s leading Online Marketing professionals and is designed to meet the rapidly growing demands for up-skilling digital marketing experts. Further information is available at www.DigitalMarketingInstitute.ie
"The demand from our members for professional training in this fast-moving sector is immense", explains Fergal O’Byrne, CEO of the Irish Internet Association (IIA). "A recent survey of Ireland’s marketing decision-makers by IIA member company Amas found that 56% of marketing professionals spend over 10% of their budget online. Respondents to this survey cited value for money and measurement as the key factors in choosing to spend their budget online. (See State of the Net Issue 10)
"In challenging times, marketing professionals need to be able to offer their clients a full range of services." O’Byrne continues, "They must be aware of the marketing their clients are being exposed to and will therefore seek to emulate. This training program will provide marketers with access to the latest thinking and techniques in online and digital marketing. Delivered by Ireland’s leading practitioners in digital marketing, this program will provide the highest quality knowledge to attendees."
Steven Long of SureSkills adds: "As leaders in the provision of high level management and technical training, we have been actively searching for partners in this area. The IIA is the logical fit. Our initial feedback is that there is a huge demand for this course."
About the Course
This course is delivered in 24 separate modules, including Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per Click Advertising, Blogging, Site Analytics, Banner Advertising and Email Marketing. This course commences on Thursday 22nd January 2009. To suit busy timetables, delegates can elect to attend the course by day or as an evening course. More details and registration available at www.DigitalMarketingInstitute.ie
The SureSkills training division provides the most comprehensive training schedule available in Ireland. SureSkills also provides a fully managed training service and has extensive experience developing and implementing bespoke training solutions for its larger corporate clients. More information available at www.SureSkills.com
Welcome to the IIA’s newest member, SureSkills. They are an accredited IT Advice and Training Services company and as one of their customers testifies “SureSkills changed certain parts of our IT workload from a management and time headache into contract-based service delivery issue, in the process minimising risk, capital cost and the IT overhead footprint.” Their business focuses on four key areas:
- Managed IT Services
- IT Deployment
- IT Training Services
- Business Skills