Our 5 Favorite Apps for Halloween

Halloween is yet another holiday that can be made better through our do-all smartphones. From games to recipes and everything in between, these Halloween apps give us all something to do over the scary holiday (which falls on a Friday this year, by the way).

Have a look below for our 5 favorite apps for Halloween:

  1. GoblinCount: GoblinCount is an app for counting trick-or-treaters. Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. Year-over-year, GoblinCount lets you track how many trick-or-treaters stop by so you know how much (or how little) candy to buy next year. It may be simple, but you’ll be glad you have it when you end up with the exact right amount of candy next year.
  2. Halloween City: No Halloween app would be complete without a game, and Halloween City happens to be a great one. Halloween City lets you build your own city, customize characters, and duel opponents from other cities. This one would make an excellent time sink while you wait between trick-or-treaters.
  3. Foodie Recipes: The #PumpkinSpiceLatte is all the rage around Halloween, and Foodie Recipes capitalizes on the fall pumpkin trend by offering up dozens of tasty pumpkin-based recipes for you to make your friends and family. We haven’t made everything in the app just yet, but we’re certainly making it a point to try.
  4. American Red Cross First Aid: Unfortunately, most of us don’t know as much about first aid as we should. That can be a problem around Halloween time, when putting on costumes and running around at night can lead to scrapes and bruises. Keep this app on you so you’re prepared for whatever comes when you’re out trick or treating with the kids.
  5. Trick or Tracker 3.0: If your kids are getting old enough to trick-or-treat on their own but you’re not quite ready to let them be completely independent, check out this app which lets you send messages, locate a parent (from the child’s phone) or a child (from the parent’s phone), and send pre-programmed messages from preset coordinates. A great way to utilize modern tech to keep your kids safe.

Have a favorite Halloween app we missed, or want to add something else to our list? Respond in the comments or get in touch on Twitter via @App47. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks | Leave a comment

Help Us Out By Taking Our Brief Survey On Enterprise Mobility!

Next week, we’re headed out to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange in Las Vegas. As we’ve talked about the last couple of weeks on our blog, we’re excited about this opportunity to learn more about what’s new around the industry and to bump elbows with some of the big players in the enterprise mobility space.

One of our key objectives in attending this conference is taking the suggestions we hear at this conference and making sure we’re implementing them to give all of our clients the best service and product possible. To that end, we thought we’d try something new with the folks we meet out in Vegas: a survey!

To gauge perspectives on enterprise mobility and get a better feel for where businesses are at with enterprise mobility today, we put together a brief survey. It’s only 8 questions and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. (Chris wants everyone to know he completed it in 90 seconds.) We’ll be giving it out to everyone we meet, but would love to have a little help from our readers and Twitter followers.

You can find and take the survey at the link below:

App47 Survey: Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2014

Following our trip out to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange next week, we’ll report back with our findings. (We’ll also let you know what interesting things we learned at the conference.) We appreciate your participation and look forward to learning a thing or two from this survey.

To connect with us about this survey or anything else App47 does, reach out directly in the comments, or give us a shout on Twitter @App47.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

The Enterprise Mobility Exchange Is (Almost) Upon Us!

Last week, we announced that the App47 team would be headed to Las Vegas for the Enterprise Mobility Exchange on October 27-29, 2014. And with the conference a little more than a week away, we thought we’d take another opportunity to talk a little more about our game plan and what we hope to glean from the event.

As the event’s website notes, Gartner estimates that a typical Fortune 1000 company that deploys business-to-employee or business-to-consumer mobile applications will use at least six different combinations of mobile platform, architecture and development tools. However, Gartner also estimates that even by 2014, 60% of these organizations will have failed to put a comprehensive mobile strategy in place–leading to considerable overspending and ever increasing data security risks. As you can imagine, that’s a bit of a problem.

As a company operating within this industry where some 60% of companies may be working without a comprehensive mobile strategy, it’s our job to make sure we’re presenting the best possible tool for businesses hoping to develop, deploy, and monitor enterprise mobile apps. Although we may not be able to help you determine your mobile strategy outright, we can do our part to make sure that we offer an easy-to-use, highly useful enterprise mobility platform.

Part of that offering involves feedback from our current customers, but part of it also involves predicting future enterprise mobility needs and preparing for them now. By attending the Enterprise Mobility Exchange, App47 plans to gain insights from around the industry and apply them to making the App47 platform better than ever before.

We can’t predict the future, but we can make a concerted effort to make educated guesses and build future needs into our platform. In a lot of ways, we’re already doing that to some degree now with our mobile app analytics, but that’s not to say there couldn’t be other needs for us to work in or at least consider.

The Enterprise Mobility Exchange should be a great opportunity for us to connect with industry experts and make sure we’re on the top of our game. We’ll check back in next week with a survey we’ll be handing out to the folks we meet out in Vegas. And of course, we’d love your participation too, so stop by the blog next week to see what we’re up to.

Are you or your business headed to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange? Interested in connecting with App47? Reach out via the comments or by Twitter (@App47) and let us know! We’d love to connect. And as always, if you have any other questions or want more information about App47, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

App47 Is Headed to Vegas! (for the Enterprise Mobility Exchange)

We have exciting news, everybody: App47 is headed to Vegas!

No, we’re not planning a bachelor party or going to see a Cirque de Soleil show. We’re headed to Vegas to attend the Enterprise Mobility Exchange, a three-day event that brings together 100 CIOs, VPs and Directors of IT, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Architecture, Field Service and Operations from leading enterprises across the USA and Canada to network and discuss how to overcome their trickiest problems in their latest mobility projects.

As we see it, industry awareness is an essential part of running any business, but it’s especially important in enterprise mobility, where the space is rapidly changing and so are the needs of the customers. (See our post about the state of MAM in 2014 for a few of our observations.) And although we get a good snapshot of what’s going on in the industry through our client interactions, we also think it’s important to look at the mile-high view and make sure we’re considering the big picture.

At the Enterprise Mobility Exchange here in a couple of weeks, we’re planning on doing just that. Speakers include Fred Balboni, Global Managing Partner, Strategy and Analytics at IBM, and Sam Phillips, Chief Information Security Officer at Samsung Telecommunications America. We think this conference should be a great opportunity to hear the best and brightest talk about enterprise mobility, and perhaps more importantly, we’re looking forward to taking the suggestions we hear at this conference and making sure we’re implementing them to give all of our clients the best service and product possible.

Be sure to check in over the next few weeks—we’ll have one more event preview, and after the event, we’ll have a recap right here on the blog. But for now, it’s time to start planning our trip…

If you’re planning on attending Enterprise Mobility Exchange in Las Vegas, be sure to reach out via the comments or Twitter (@App47) and let us know! We’d love to connect. And as always, if you have any questions about App47, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM | Leave a comment

What’s Your Ideal Solution for Identity Management?

Ask any business these days what their biggest concern is, and we think you’d be hard pressed to find one that didn’t mention security. With more devices, apps, and logins than ever, security is top of mind all across the enterprise.

One security dilemma we’ve run into with several clients is the issue of identity management: how do you tie authorization and authentication from the cloud back to corporate systems? Traditionally, that’s done through active directory or LDAP, but many enterprises we talk to don’t support an outside entity talking to their AD or LDAP server through the firewall. So what’s an enterprise to do?

Enter the world of single sign-on. With single sign-on, the cloud service provider forwards its authentication request back to the enterprise, and the enterprise passes back a ‘token’ saying who the user is and what they have the right to do. Single sign-on isn’t a new concept per se—it’s already seen some use before with LDAP infrastructures outside of the cloud—but the cloud has given it a new vehicle for actual use in the enterprise. And with more apps than ever in the enterprise, there’s as much of a need for single sign-on solutions as ever.

The maturation of MAM has given us a concrete use case for identity management and single sign-on in the cloud. Here at App47, we think this is a great sign of maturity in the MAM market. We have clients asking us ways to do single sign-on that don’t require complex workarounds for enterprises not prepared for them, and this is about as close to that sort of solution as we think the enterprise is going to see.

For our team here at App47, this may well be the ideal solution for identity management, but we’d love to know your thoughts. Have a different opinion or want to weigh in on your ideal solution for identity management? Let us know in the comments or by reaching out to us on Twitter—we welcome your comments!

Posted in Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | 1 Comment

Why Mobile App Analytics Are Almost at Critical Mass

The other day, someone asked me what needs to happen before mobile app analytics are relevant on a broad scale. I didn’t have to think for long before responding that the time he was asking about is just around the corner.

For MDM, the point of critical mass was when we finally started seeing lots of devices on the market. When that happened, many businesses adopted their own unique BYOD policies. Others still adopted custom management suites to combat the security issues that come along with software across devices from home. In all cases, though, there was a very clear point when MDM went from below the radar to right in the middle of it for businesses of all sizes.

We’re reaching a very similar point with mobile app analytics. Even just a few years ago, people were still asking whether or not enterprise mobile apps would take off. But as software spending in the enterprise continues to increase, hitting over $320 billion this year, questions about the need for enterprise mobile apps have quickly disappeared. The next frontier, not just in mobile apps, but across functions in the enterprise, is analytics.

Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs) have enabled businesses to develop apps that work across platforms. This is enabling the enterprise to build apps more quickly—and to overcome the multi-platform cost problem—and also means that businesses are churning out apps more quickly. The need for analytics seemed lessened when you’re dealing with only one app, but as enterprises are quickly finding out, get to two or three apps, and all of a sudden that need for mobile app analytics and an easy-to-use management platform becomes that much clearer.

As spending on mobile apps continues to increase, so too will the need for analytics, which allow businesses to track ROI and see how their investments are being used. And given the way things seem to be moving so quickly, we’ll soon start to see businesses across many different industries hitting that sweet spot for management of two to three apps.

So there you have it. If things keep heading in the same direction—and I think they will—then it won’t be long at all before the need for mobile app analytics hits near universal levels.

Posted in Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

How Much Will Your Mobile App Cost?

Browsing LinkedIn, I recently came across an article I thought was worth sharing: “How Much Your Mobile App Costs.” Though as Mobidev notes, ‘vague’ is often used to describe the costs of a software product, it’s not altogether impossible to tell how much time and money your mobile app development project will take.

In their rundown, Mobidev estimates that a simple app with an hourly rate of $75 would take about 200 hours, for a total of $15,000. A much more complex app at the same rate could cost upwards of $75,000. There are ways to reduce costs during mobile app development—hiring a good team from the beginning, investing into documentation, etc.—but no matter how much you spend, Mobidev’s big takeaway is that “app costs don’t stop at the launch.”

If you’re thinking about developing a mobile app, Mobidev’s article is an excellent read. But I do have two important points to add. One, don’t let the cost of an app scare you away from developing one. Apps can be huge value-adds when executed correctly. And two, don’t forget to include ROI as part of the equation. That’s how you’ll figure out if your app is a value-add or a resource sink, and it’s also how you can build better apps and continue to make your business more efficient.

Costs really are only half of the equation—you can’t forget to track how your app is being used, who’s using it, how often it’s being used, and everything in between. Businesses don’t spend money for the sake of spending money—they spend them to invest, innovate, and improve their offerings. It’s up to you to expect, demand, and measure a return on your investment with mobile app analytics that allow you to track those important metrics.

So when developing an app, make sure you also spend some time finding out how you’re going to track ROI. How often are people downloading your app? Are they actually using it, or is it sitting on their screen unused? What functions within the app are being used? If you can find a mobile app analytics platform that allows you to do that, you’ll be much further on the track towards getting return on your app investment.

It’s one thing to know how much your app costs. It’s another thing entirely to know how much your app is making you. Make sure you don’t forget the latter when the time comes to launch that shiny new app.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Commerce-Based App Stores 101

One of our long-standing customers, ProPack (formerly known as CloudLink), is a great partner of ours. For one of their projects, ProPack, a productivity app provider for Android, needed an app store. Their needs were unique, however, because they also wanted to charge for the apps. Those needs extend past the capabilities of the curated app store, and ProPack needed a solution to fit.

This isn’t unique to ProPack—another customer of ours, Game Tree, had a similar need for its product App Legions. We also have several prospects that want to do similar things for different markets, making this a trend worth talking about.

Enter the commerce-based app store. Through our partnerships with Propack, Game Tree, and others, we worked to develop a commerce-based app store tailored to each client’s specific needs. They’re interesting use cases, and the commerce-based app store is also a potential prospect for the rest of the enterprise app market.

Here’s the gist of it: commerce-based app stores are only possible on the Android platform. For a few reasons, they’re not technically (or legally) possible through iOs. That said, they allow people to purchase, download, and use apps, make in-app purchases (one-time and subscription-based), and handle digital rights management, all in a curated platform. There are cases where a curated app store makes sense, but there are also cases where companies need an app store they can charge for apps in, and commerce-based app stores obviously fall into the latter category.

The commerce-based app store is certainly a departure from the normal enterprise app store—in fact, we’d describe it as completely separate from most enterprise app stores—but it’s an exciting new development and a potential new revenue source that we’re glad to be a part of. Developing new solutions and adapting existing ones with current clients is always fun, and especially here, we think this idea as it’s being discussed could be very promising. 

Though these are only a couple of examples of commerce-based app stores in use, across the industry, we’re seeing the pipeline starting to fill as companies look to expand into new niches and grow their businesses.

It’s not a matter of competing with Google Play—trying to be cheaper, or prettier, or faster—it’s trying to address the same thing we talk about when we mention curated app stores. There are millions of apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and it can be exceedingly difficult for employees to find apps. When companies pick a niche and stick with it—from productivity tools to games to other very well-defined markets—they have the opportunity to have a big impact and generate new revenue.

Commerce-based app stores aren’t an ideal solution across all situations for businesses, but in some cases, they can be very useful. They’re becoming more and more common, so if you’re thinking about targeting a specific niche and looking for a new way to generate revenue, a commerce-based app store may be the way to go.

Are they the way of the future? Hard to tell. But at the very least, commerce-based app stores could be an interesting avenue for companies to pursue.

Want to learn more about the logistics of running a commerce-based app store, or interested in any of App47’s other enterprise app store solutions? Reach out in the comments, or get in touch via the contact page of our site and let us know—we’d love to hear from you!

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, MAM | Leave a comment

2 More Ways Companies Are Using App47

A large food manufacturer uses App47 to curate useful apps for producers all over the country. Businesses can use App47 to do A/B testing of apps, in real-time. And many of our clients use App47 to streamline app deployment and app store enrollment across their workforce.

Believe it or not, that’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as the different ways companies are using our platform. With many unique features, there are myriad ways for companies to use App47, all of which reflect the unique needs of each business.

So what else is App47 good for? To give you some more ideas, here are two more ways companies are using App47:

  • Remote configuration: A number of companies are using App47 to remotely configure, and thus control, their mobile applications after deployment. This can happen through their own app store, or through App47’s app store. With the ability to do everything from change the skin, color, font, and logos, to more sophisticated uses where we remotely connect to API endpoints for the app, remote configuration is a valuable feature for many of our clients.
  • Deep user behavior analytics: There’s more to analytics than knowing how long the app is being used, or how often the app is being used for. We can track what buttons users are clicking on, how long operations or users actions are taking, and how often those operations and user actions happen, among other things. It’s one thing to know how often an app is being used, and another thing entirely to know how the app is being used. The latter can help greatly in development, revision, and tracking of ROI, to name a few ways it helps.

Of course, different companies are going to use our platform in different ways (that’s part of the beauty of it). But these two uses here do represent some of the more common uses we’re seeing today—so it may be worth considering how they may apply to your business.

If you’d like to learn more about different ways to use App47, we recommend taking a look at the App47 feature roundup, a collection of detailed explanations of some of our most popular features. And if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out in the comments or via our Contact Us page!

Posted in App47 Customer Success Stories, App47 Product Tips/Tricks, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

The State of MAM in 2014

2014 has been a very exciting year for us. We’re growing, which is always a plus. But there’s more to it than that. All around the industry, there have been continued signs that mobile apps and MAM are in the big leagues, from Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight earlier this year to Yahoo’s more recent acquisition of Flurry.

MAM is finally starting to get the attention it deserves, and we think that’s a very good thing.

Now that we’re over halfway through 2014 (can you believe it?), we thought it would be a good time to take a moment and hash out some of our observations about what’s going on in MAM. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way even since just a year ago. Have a look below:

  • More people are more educated than ever about MAM: Prospects are coming to us far more educated than before. For us, this is making the conversation (and sales cycle) much easier all the way around. And across the board, this means that more people know exactly what they want—no more fluff.
  • Some people’s needs still aren’t being met: We’ve also seen an insurgence of businesses with their own MDM plans in place already. Many of these businesses also have their own app stores in place, too. The trouble is, their needs aren’t being completely met. Even those businesses with MDM in place often haven’t paid enough attention to full MAM solutions.
  • It’s all about the systems management approach: Which brings us to our next point: it’s not just about the app store anymore. Businesses need and want crash logs, analytics, remote configuration, and security all on a data private platform. This is a trend we’ve seen coming for a while now, but it’s good to see businesses realizing that it’s not enough to just have an app or an app store. Analytics are essential.
  • Businesses are looking for quicker turnarounds: Finally, more businesses are coming to us with active projects that need deployment within 1 to 2 months—in contrast to research projects for next year’s budget like we saw so much in years prior. This points to an increased sense of urgency, and likely reflects the broader education we mentioned above.

With more awareness than ever about MAM, now’s a great time to be involved in the space. And as a business, it’s also as good a time as ever to get on board and start developing your enterprise app store and MAM plan if you haven’t already.

At this point along the line, the tools are out there—it’s up to you whether or not you use them. We think you can guess which path we’d recommend.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

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