Mobile App Development for Companies

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 10:10 AM on August 5, 2010:

I wrote a company needs a mobile app and I wrote our company needs a mobile app.  Okay!  We're making a mobile app.

The beta test for our app will be on the Android platform.

What's a company founder to do when an email arrives from the mobile app developer entitled "Here's the app!" with a file attached?

I joined the citizens of the world - I Googled it.  "How do i install a non-market app on my droid x" was my search phrase. (I got the term "non-market" from our app developer's email.) Thanks Jerry Hildenbrand, writing for Android Central!

When Jerry wrote, "Apps you download to your PC need copied over to your card. Hook up to your computer and copy them over just like you would a song," I thought, "But I've never copied over a song." 

To get that file onto my Droid X to beta test our app, I had to use what I know, create workarounds for what I didn't, and comfort myself knowing my Droid X is still under warranty from Wireless Zone and if I blew it up, they would fix it.

For fellow company founders who may be as new to mobile apps as I am, and who receive a file with the extension .apk in their email inboxes from their mobile app developers, I offer the directions that I gave myself:

  • Use Droid X's browser to go to Astro File Manager's site. Go to Download and click the "Here" in "If you are browsing from an Android phone, click Here."
  • From mobile app developer’s email, download attached .apk file and save in easy-to-access location. Desktop is good.
  • Plug in wire to laptop and Droid X. Laugh when the phone says, “Droi-Droid,” in a robot’s voice.
  • Open Computer (I’m using Windows 7).
  • Drag file from Desktop to Removable Disk, i.e. Droid X’s SD card.
  • Click to open Removable Disk to make sure file is there.
  • Unplug Droid X.
  • Unlock Droid X for the one billionth time.
  • Launch Apps.
  • Launch Astro.
  • Scroll to find file name.
  • Click file name.
  • Between the choices of Browse File and Open App Manager, choose the latter.
  • Choose Install.
  • When the installation is done, you’ll be given an option to Open it. Click that.
  • Feel moved to point of being overwhelmed by the amazing beauty of the creation. Feel wonder that it even exists at all.
  • Close app, launch apps, and see the icon for your own company’s app among all those others.
  • Feel awe.

***

The video is a continuation of my determination to participate in what I see as an imperative to create not only mobile apps, but corporate videos, given the numbers for corporate online video.  This video was filmed on two different days in three locations, filming the beginning and the end at one time with the help of Mr. Handshake 2.0, then the sessions with the laptop and Droid in several stages.  I ended up wanting to write the introductory section of the post before I knew how I wanted to be succinct and to the point in the final takes with the Droid.  Our Droid X Video Production Studio makes videos happen cheaply, quickly and easily. 

Sometimes uploading my amateur efforts to YouTube, knowing that the world will see what I know and what I don't, my strengths and weaknesses, all in a few minutes, is the hardest part of corporate video production.

I bought my Droid X on July 17, 2010.  It got its pink case 10 days later.

You're invited to read more about our experiences with the Droid X on Handshake 2.0.

Droid X Learning Curve - Foursquare

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:30 AM on July 29, 2010:

I purchased a Droid X on July 17, 2010 and shared the beginning of my Droid X learning curve through video three days later.  On day twelve with my new machine, here's a video showing how I use Foursquare on the Droid X.

This video is a continuation of my determination to participate in what I see as an imperative to create corporate videos, given the numbers for corporate online video.  I did this video in one take in what gave me great amusement to dub the Droid X Video Production Studio.  It's closer to the 2-minute-that's-all-they'll-watch standard than the first one and it took a quarter of the time to make.

I seem to have other reasons for making videos, too.

According to Dan Pallotta, writing for the Harvard Business Review, at the core of entrepreneurship is vulnerability.

Did I feel vulnerable posting an amateur video of my inexpertise with the Droid X on YouTube, a medium that receives two billion views per day?

Yes, I did. 

If you view the comments on the first Droid X video on YouTube, you'll see that public vulnerability risks public ridicule. Ah, well. For me - and this is a personal decision, not by any means a moral or ethical standard for all - the potential reward outweighs the risk.

And for that risk, I received this unexpected delight:  help.  Viewers of the video who noticed my problems left comments explaining how to solve them. 

One of the people who left a comment, Dan Burdi, I know.  It's still who you know.

The other person?  Someone I don't know.  Kindness from a stranger.  That's a delight, too.

***

Why am I working hard so learn the Droid X?  A company needs a mobile app.

You're invited to read more about our experiences with the Droid X on Handshake 2.0 and with Foursquare on Handshake 2.0.

Droid X Video Production Studio

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on July 21, 2010:

To make the Droid X Learning Curve video, I needed two items, one insight, and one piece of software.

The  items:  1) a camera that took videos and 2) a way to show my hands without using them.  I'm a fan of the Sony Cybershot in pink and Z. Kelly Quiejo gave me a small, light-weight, flexible tripod - the Gorillapod - a perfect assistant to the solo corporate video maker.  So the image shows my "Droid X Video Production Studio."

Handshake 2.0's state-of-the-art video production studioThe insight:  A well-intentioned amateur corporate video up on YouTube is better than a professional corporate video still in production, considered not quite good enough for YouTube. 

Yesterday, the relationship between my corporate brand and the topic of the video was unknown. Under 24 hours later, the video had 184 views.  Good enough does do.

To create the video, I thought about what I would say and do, started the camera, spoke and did some demo, then stopped the camera.  I repeated that process.  I got stuck one time, started again, and redid that segment.  Otherwise, the segments were one-take.

The software: On my previous Windows Vista machine, I used Windows Movie Maker.  I looked frustratedly for it on my new Windows 7 machine, then typed that frustration into Google and learned I had to download Movie Maker.  One review urged choosing the Vista version over the Windows 7 version because it retained advanced features.  The new version was stripped down for uploading to YouTube.  New version of Movie Maker installed.  Good enough does do. 

I opened Windows (now "Live") Movie Maker and clicked, "Add videos and photos," selected the 9 files that resulted from my stop-and-start videography, deleted my dud "Uhh..." segment, then watched the result.  I listened to myself say, "I downloaded the Twitter application for Foursquare" and groaned, because I should have said, "I downloaded the Twitter application for the Droid."  I debated about making a correction.  Some video mistakes - like shifty eyes - undermine credibility.  Others are just human.  This one was human.  I let it go.

I looked around Movie Maker for the horrible process of exporting a project to some kind of other file format that never worked the first time and saw a YouTube icon!  I clicked!  YouTube user name and password and the file converted and uploaded without my thrashing.  I added text in private mode, then I made my brand new video public on YouTube.

Time elapsed from twirling the camera onto the tripod to public YouTube video?  1 hour.  (Amount of that time spent de-selecting items included with the new Movie Maker download?  No comment.)

What's the point?

A company's got to get on YouTube.  Now rather than later.  And good enough will do.

"...video marketing is poised for a huge year in 2010. The reason is clear: video simply engages people in a way that static text and images cannot. There are dozens of studies that show the power of video to boost customer interaction, drive sales, encourage viral sharing, and build brand awareness."
- Patrick Moran, Mashable, 5 Tips for Using Video to Grow Your Business in 2010

***

We welcome featuring corporate videos in our Warm Handshake posts on Handshake 2.0.

These Handshake 2.0 posts on corporate online video PR and marketing may be of interest:

Should My Company Use Online Video Marketing in 2010?
Video Yourself
Why the Contest Prize is a Flip Video Camera
The Handshake Video

Droid X Learning Curve

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:51 AM on July 20, 2010:

As I mentioned in The App Effect, I am part of a team testing a web application currently in private beta.  After contemplating the Droid X, then buying one on July 17, 2010, I feel as if I'm part of another beta test. 

I live in a small town. The Droid X is brand new.  I don't know anyone else locally who has bought a Droid X and the salesperson from the local shop from which I bought mine, while earnest and willing, had not touched a Droid X until she opened the box that held my phone.  The shop will become an invaluable source information in the future. But they're beta testing, too.  For now, I'm on my own.   

Having seen the video of the toddler figuring out how to use an iPad almost instantaneously, and having read the numbers on corporate online video, I thought I'd video my own progress. This is how far I've gotten in three days in my own private beta test.

An Android Pretty in Pink

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:30 AM on June 28, 2010:

Anne Clelland's new BlackBerry CurveI love my BlackBerry Curve in its pink cover.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I got a one-year contract, not a two-year, which has now expired.

Renew, upgrade, or switch?

For a mobile device, connection is my top priority - both human and electronic.  I want to have the most-used mobile device and platform so I can be connected to the many, not the few.

According to comScore, RIM, manufacturers of the BlackBerry, was the leading mobile smartphone platform with 41% of U.S. smartphone subscribers in February 2010.

Verizon is my carrier and AT&T has intermittent coverage in my area.  Keeping with the top priority, to stay connected, I need to stay with Verizon.  Verizon offers service for the BlackBerry and the Android.

If I go with the current numbers, for greatest connectivity, I need to stick with the BlackBerry.  But I'll be in for a two-year contract this time.  What numbers do the next two years hold?

According to TechCrunch's reading of the comScore data, the Android is gaining on the iPhone.  And according to an AdMob survey, developers have plans for the Android platform.  TechCrunch announced on June 23, 2010 that 160,000 Androids are being sold per day.

My future may hold a Droid.

ReadWriteWeb asks, "Why are so many Android owners male?"  It cites ad copy from a 2009 TV commercial:  "Droid. Should a phone be pretty?.... No. It's not a princess. It's a robot. A phone that trades hair-do for can-do."

Sigh.

Get the Droid Incredible now?  Wait for the heart-stealing Droid X?

A case for the Droid Incredible comes in hot pink. Ah, now here's a cover for the Droid X

Princess pink.