Help & FAQs

We've answered quite a few questions in our time. Here's a list of the most frequently asked...
Q01. What are the benefits of an app for travel?

Today’s smart phones and apps can translate words live on a screen, give real-time transportation advice and maps, act as a boarding pass, make reservations and help find a last-minute hotel room or the nearest happening bar or café.

Smart phones are a constant companion, surpassing digital cameras as the number one device for taking photos. Tablets act as personal in-flight entertainment units and a weightless bookshelf.

Different type of apps can meet the needs of consumers at different stages of the travel cycle, whether they’re; Planning – Dreaming – Researching – Booking – On the Road or Sharing & Boasting.

By the very nature of their activity, your market is mobile.

You should also note that due to the openness of the app stores, if you don’t meet a need, rest assured someone else in the app community will take the liberty of doing it for you.

Q02. What’s the difference between an iPhone app and a website built for an iPhone?

An iPhone app (application) is built by a specialist developer then submitted to Apple, and once approved, downloaded from Apple’s iTunes App store and installed on the iPhone itself.

A mobile website is accessed as you would a website on any computer with internet access, by typing in the address and viewing it through a browser (normally Safari on an iPhone).

Most do not accommodate an alternate for viewing a website on mobile, however, and you may view the same website (the one built for a big screen) on a mobile (the one with a little screen). The experience is awful! The experience may be further compromised when a website is built in flash, as the iPhone cannot currently view flash websites.

There is a time and place for both apps and mobile websites.

Q03. Can someone who builds websites build an iPhone app?

iPhone apps are coded in a specific language, Objective C using the Cocoa framework. If your developer knows how to code in Objective C, then yes, however, it is not a language commonly used to build websites and most developers are proficient in html, java, flash etc. There are, however, tools and technologies emerging that enable apps to be built using these more common frameworks.

In terms of specialist skills, it is also worth considering that the experience on a mobile phone is different to a website. Content for mobile is less indulgent. There’s less room or ‘real estate’ to play around with and the user needs to get to content with fewer taps. Generally activities undertaken on a phone are much more purpose driven.

Q04. Is an app better than a website?

It’s not a case of either/or. You’ll increasingly find mobile sites and apps becoming part of a more extensive online offering to cover different communication channels, markets and objectives.

Mobile is truly personal mass media. It’s always on, it’s portable and consumers have a more personal relationship with their phone (even sleeping with it in many cases!). The phone knows who’s in your contacts, who you call, what apps you download, transactions you make, and exactly where you are at any given moment.

iPhone apps are incredibly powerful because, unlike websites, they can take advantage of the functionality existing within the phone itself.

Options include:

  • the Global Positioning System (GPS), maps, compass, camera, click to call, contacts, touch, accelerator (iPhone’s ability to respond to any physical motion of the handset).
  • They enable you to interact in real-time, on the go, in context.
  • They enable a brand to create their own, self-contained experience (no intrusive ads, engaging full screen images and video).
  • Push notifications – SMS-like messages and alerts, may offer unique messages specifically tailored to the iPhone user, even pertinent to their location.

The location-aware features of a mobile, in particular, enable new and unique opportunities.

Q05. How big is the app market?

In short, numbers are HUGE.

Apple hold a developer conference (WWDC) in June each year where new products, features and the latest sales figures are announced.

As of June 2013:

  • 900,000,000 app in the app store.
  • 375,000 are designed for the iPad.
  • Apple estimates 93% of those apps are downloaded at least once per month.
  • 1 million people visit an Apple retail store each day.
  • 407 Apple retail stores in 14 countries.
  • 240 million people play games connected to Apple’s Game Center for iOS and Mac.
  • 575 million iTunes accounts, many of which are attached to a credit card. CEO Tim Cook claims that iTunes is the single largest repository of stored credit card numbers on the Internet.
  • 600 million iOS devices (iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads) sold to date.
  • $10 billion paid out to developers to date.
  • 50 billion iOS apps downloaded so far.

The success of Apple’s revolutionary app ecosystem has spawn rival stores and an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Though Apple’s App store is the biggest, Blackberry, Android, Nokia, Palm (US) and Windows Mobile all have growing app stores, with plans for expansion.

 

Q06. Will apps be published under my own company/brand name?

Yes, we can publish under your name.

For iOS, this involves signing up to Apple’s Developer Program.  The costs of the program is $99 per year.  There is a similar process to publish to Android’s, Google Play store. We are unable to sign up for you as proof of ownership is required during the process.

Sign up is a straight forward process, which we can guide you through.

Sign up for Developer accounts at:

IOS Developer Program: here

Google Play Developer: here

Windows Developer Program: here

Q07. How long does it take to submit an app to the App Stores?

Apps submitted to Apple’s App Store go through an approval process which can take 2-4 weeks. Usually the average timeframe is 10 days.

There is no approval process for apps submitted to Google Play for Android devices.  Apps submitted are usually available for download within 24 hours.

These timelines should be factored into your launch plan, particularly if your app is time sensitive.

Q08. What do all these app terms mean?

Just like the web, mobile and apps have their own unique terminology.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of commons terms and app lingo. You’re not really required to know any of these, but just in case you’re curious and would like to talk the talk…

Check out our Guide to App Terminology under the Help & FAQs menu

Q09. How do I market my app?

If you think the hard work is done once your app is developed and submitted, think again.

Given the sheer volume of apps in the iTunes App Store alone, there is no such thing as ‘build and they will come’. You need to proactively promote your app.

All of our clients receive our guidance and list of 50+ ways to promote their app. Many of the ideas are straight-forward common sense activities you would undertake for any product launch.

In essence, you should:

  • Be clear about who your app is for
  • Be clear about where they source their information, recommendations and ideas
  • Brainstorm how you can get your messages into those places, both online and offline.
Q10. How do I get a feature promotion in the App Store?

A feature promotion spot in the App Store is the holy grail of app marketing.

Apps are hand picked by Apple and there is no sure way to secure one of these coveted places. From our experience, there are however, a few tips to increase your chances:

  • Make a great app, something that’s unique and timely.
  • Apple is all about design. They like to associate with and promote design excellence. Ensure you have a well designed app. Simple.
  • Invest in your icon and all the design assets that go along with your App Store profile.
  • Ensure you are updating and evolving your app. Show you are invested and in for the long haul.
  • Take reviews and customer service seriously and address issues.

As part of our services we also offer ideas on how to promote your app.

Q11. Do I need technical skills?

No, we handle the technical side of things. We’re also good at deciphering geek speak for you.

Q12. Should my app be paid or free? How do I make money from apps?

It’s entirely up to you whether you choose to make your app free or charge to download. Note that if you decide to charge, Apple take 30% of your nominated price.

Your price point depends on your strategy for launching an app, whether your goals are:

  • Easy access to information, on-the go and in context
  • Brand awareness and exposure
  • Customer feedback
  • Customer engagement
  • Social sharing
  • Competitor Differentiation
  • Monetizing archive content or valuable knowledge and expertise
  • just to name a few…

Apart from charging for an app, you may decide to incorporate advertising in your app, either through a formal advertising network or by charging your own network of partners or sponsors to be incorporated in your app.

Tablet brochures and magazines, in particular, enable more engaging advertisements with the possible inclusion of video, audio, image galleries and links back to websites and social networks.

Q13. My brochures are available on my website. Isn’t that enough?

By adding your brochures to the app store you’re extending their reach and opening up alternate communication channels to expose your brand.

You may also be positioning yourself to leverage a unique competitor advantage.

Dedicated apps also tend to offer a better experience: full screen images/videos, easier navigation and no intrusive advertising, popups or distractions.

Q14. Are Tablets considered Mobile?

A tablet obviously can’t make phone calls, but it can use the internet and built-in camera to interact with others (for example, to use Skype).

Whilst it is possible to develop a similar app for iPhone and iPad, the context within which both devices are used is different.

Tablets are replacing laptops and televisions as devices for viewing and consuming content (usually on the couch, in bed and in transit). There is also a significant trend known a ‘couch commerce’ (shopping using the iPad using whilst watching tv).

We’re seeing traditional media and publishers adopting tablets for magazines, airlines for in-flight entertainment units, restaurants for their menu and wine lists, stores, museums, hospitals, schools… The list of creative ways businesses and individuals are using the iPad is staggering.

Tablets are also being used as more portable and affordable self-serve kiosks.

Q16. Do you offer solutions in both IOS and Android?

Yes, we deliver for both platforms, however, in some instances we only offer a solution for a particular device, as it is the most popular or dominant player in the marketplace.

Whilst there are more Android devices in the marketplace, there is significantly more engagement and activity coming from IOS users. Due to the range of different Android devices and the differing experiences on each, there is sometimes not sufficient return on investment to warrant building (and maintaining) an app that caters to the nuances of such a broad spectrum of phones.

Q17. How much do apps cost?

We offer efficient, fast to market solutions that are dramatically more cost effective than custom development.

Pricing depends on the extent of customizations and the number of publications you would like to publish.  Our pricing structure incorporates a set up charge and monthly hosting and maintenance fee.

Our service also includes:

  • guidance on enrolling in the developer programs
  • submission of your app to the App Stores
  • app Store profile and assets (icons, screenshots etc)
  • app marketing advice

Please contact us to discuss options and your budget. Ideally, please include details such as:

For tablet brochures, magazines and ebooks:

  • what you would like to digitize
  • whether it is an existing publication and the number of pages

For audio tour apps:

  • the number of tours
  • whether you have existing MP3 audio files or if you require us to record them for you

For itinerary builder apps:

  • the source and breadth of your content
Q18. Can I use one of your solutions for an app that is not travel related?

Yes, of course.

Please contact us with your ideas.