AWS re:Invent

AWS re:Invent 2017 Highlights

Amazon’s annual AWS re:Invent conference, held last week in Las Vegas, did not disappoint. With over 40,000 global attendees and 500+ breakout sessions and workshops, the week was packed with a host of new product and service announcements from Amazon.

InspiringApps is committed to staying on the forefront of new cloud services and products that can benefit our clients, so we too were eager to tune in. While we can’t do justice in one blog post to the breadth of information we gathered, here’s our wrap-up of three new AWS products that our tech-savvy readers can start using now. Read More

Gift Guide 2017

Great Gifts for the 2017 Holidays

Looking for some great gifts to give this holiday season? Finding the perfect holiday gift for those you love is no small task. To help ease the challenge and inspire your own gift-giving creativity, we have curated a list of fun toys and exciting new tech that we think would delight even the pickiest recipient. (In fact, you may want to put a few of them on your own list!)

This year’s holiday gift guide includes ideas to help keep you connected, let you explore, jam to your favorite music, stimulate your mind, and just plain have fun.

Prices listed are MSRP. Follow the links below or try a browser extension like Honey to help ensure you have the best deal. If you happen to be an Amazon shopper, consider buying via AmazonSmile. You receive all the same benefits, plus Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. Read More

Monetization: Make Money with Apps

Show Me the Money: How Mobile Apps Make Money

It’s estimated that somewhere around 90% of apps in the app stores are able to be downloaded for free, causing many clients to wonder how app creators are able to actually make money. There are a number of different ways to earn revenue, or “monetize” your app, but no one of them is a silver bullet. The right paid user experience is heavily dependent on your target market, so it’s important to make sure you understand your audience before selecting a monetization model.

We don’t have the space in this post to talk about how to familiarize yourself with your market and competition, but we do provide those insights in our free e-book Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. In this post, we’ll review the most common monetization strategies available so you can figure out the best way to make money off your app.

As you read the options, we encourage you to think about what’s unique about your app and what people would pay for the ability to use it. Likewise, it’s important to contemplate your financial situation and timetable as you select a monetization model – can you initially forego revenue to gather users and perhaps gain more revenue overall? Some models earn more money initially while profits come later in others. Read More

App Accessibility for All

App Accessibility: Valuable for All Apps

App accessibility refers to the concept of building an app in such a way that it is usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, including those who are living with disabilities. While the ADA’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 standards do not specifically address mobile apps, we think app accessibility is the right thing to do on many levels. Even from a pragmatic perspective, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, so overlooking app accessibility reduces your potential user base significantly. Read More

Creativity: Creative Confidence Cover

Practice Creativity to Inspire Creativity

Creativity, according to dictionary.com, is the “ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.” Creativity generates jobs, drives economic growth, and forges new industries. It’s a highly regarded skill, but often only attributed to entrepreneurs, innovators, and change makers.

A creative-minded team of brothers, David and Tom Kelley, would like to change that perception. David is the founder of the Stanford d.school and the well-known design firm IDEO, where Tom is a partner. They are authors of the book Creative Confidence, written in part “to help individuals and organizations unleash their full potential – and build their own creative confidence.” The Kelleys argue that everyone has a creative side, even those who claim not to, but not everyone has the courage to be creative. They believe that creativity can be nurtured and mastered, but that we are constrained by the fear of failing. Read More

Top Tech Disruption Timeline

Top 10 Tech Disruptions over the Past 10 Years

A disruptive technology could be defined as one that displaces an established technology, thereby shaking up an industry and reshaping the trajectory of its future. It could also be a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that we have seen a significant number of tech disruptions in a relatively short time. In honor of our ten-year anniversary as a company (today!!), we thought we would take a look back over the past ten years and highlight those technologies that have had – and continue to have – significant impact on the way we live, work, and play. Read More

Grow your Business

Using Apps to Help Grow Your Business: The Trispective Group

Some apps stand alone as businesses in and of themselves, while others are used to expand an existing business. Expansion can happen in a variety of ways, such as increasing current customer engagement or providing tools to a sales team. We recently had the privilege of working with The Trispective Group to help grow their business by creating an app that opens up their services to new markets. The new app makes their expertise accessible to those beyond their current core audience. Read More

Cost of Cloud Computing

Cost of Cloud Computing: Virtual Server vs Serverless Model

Cloud computing refers to the practice of using a network of remote servers (rather than a local server or personal computer) to host, manage, and process data. The cloud offers numerous benefits from reliability to operational agility to cost effectiveness. About a year ago we expounded on some of the top reasons to choose cloud computing, speaking at a high level of the reasons why many businesses opt to utilize cloud services.

Since that time, clients have asked us for more details about the cost of cloud computing. A valid question, but challenging to answer since “the cloud” isn’t a single entity or type of service, despite what the name suggests. In the same way physical clouds come in different forms (stratus, cumulus, cirrus, to name a few), cloud computing is often broken into different services: IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). And a few years ago, the Functions-as-a-Service (also known as “Serverless”) model entered the scene. Read More

App Developer Questions

Best Questions to Ask to Find the Right Mobile App Developer

How do you determine which mobile app developer is the best one to hire for your project? It’s a question many businesses are asking themselves these days, and rightly so. StrategyAnalytics predicts that by 2022, 59% of the world’s population will own smartphones. With that comes mobile apps and the opportunity to use them to engage customers, grow your business, or sell your product.

Finding the right mobile app development company takes time, effort, research, and knowing the right questions to ask. If you’re totally new to mobile app development, you may find it helpful to first obtain a basic understanding of the app design and development process, before digging into the qualifications of a specific company. Consider reading our book, Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. It’s free to download and was written to help leaders gain a foundational understanding of the business and technical considerations involved in building an app.

If you already have the lay of the land, you can learn a lot about mobile app development companies by reviewing their web sites, evaluating their client list, and looking at their past work. Once you’ve done that, we recommend you dig a little deeper for additional insights by asking questions like the ones we’ve compiled here. Read More

Product Companion App - monkii

Using Mobile Apps to Enhance a Physical Product: The monkii App

Apps are a regular part of life these days, doing everything from connecting us to friends to helping us buy products we like to guiding our adventures in a new town. Most of the time, apps stand alone in their functionality, but apps can also be utilized to enhance user experience with a physical product. We recently built such a companion app for fitness company, monkii.co, and you might find your company’s product could benefit from something similar. When done well, a product/app combination can lead to new market opportunities and increased sales. Read More

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