Why Your Small Business Needs a Mobile App

If you are a small business owner and your business does not have a mobile app, you need to get one. Having a web presence alone is no longer sufficient, as online activity continues to shift to mobile. Simply put, smartphone apps have become too important a marketing tool for small business owners to do without.

Smartphone usage has been on a tear as of late. Nearly three-quarters of Americans check their mobile phones at least once per hour, according to a Gallup survey.  Almost all – 90 percent – of that mobile-phone time is now devoted to using apps, analysis reveals. Americans now spend more time looking at their mobile phones than they do watching television.

This rise in mobile-phone usage means that smartphone apps have become a key marketing tool for companies of all sizes, including small businesses. Mobile apps increase engagement with customers. They boost repeat visits, and permit a wide variety of online transactions, including the deployment of loyalty cards, push promotions, and ecommerce transactions.  Apps deliver coupons and send announcements that build your sales with customers. Apps also accelerate contact with your company, which enhances relationships with customers in a world where speedy responses are prized by buyers. Smartphone icons even help build brands by providing a visual design that customers recognize.

Many small-business owners still think that getting an app is expensive and difficult. They are worried about the need to build different apps for the various platforms customers are on – iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry. They are unsure about building dynamic or static apps, and the difficulty of coming up with an app design. Moreover, most small-business owners don’t have the expertise to build apps themselves.

In XeConcepts, we are simplifying the process of creating and testing mobile-phone apps, putting the tools easily in small-business owners’ price range.

For more information, please contact us via email, and we will be happy to help you having your first app  and grow your business!

 

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Ionic #2: Get Started with Ionic!

How much do you know about Ionic technology?

Check out these slides first!

http://ionicframework.com/present-ionic/slides/#/

Now as you know enough, here’s demo on how to start your first app

Go publish your app and let us know what do you think.

 

XeConcepts.com

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Ionic #1: All About Ionic

Ionic is a complete open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development.  Built on top of AngularJS and Apache Cordova, Ionic provides tools and services for developing hybrid mobile apps using Web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and Sass. Apps can be built with these Web technologies and then distributed through native app stores to be installed on devices by leveraging Cordova. Ionic was created by Max Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley of Drifty Co. in 2013.

If you’ve used other mobile development frameworks in the past, you should find Ionic fairly similar to use. But getting started with any framework is always daunting, so we will start simple and expand on some basic concepts. But first, we need to talk a bit about the Ionic project itself, where it fits into the dev stack, and why it was built.

What is Ionic, and where does it fit?

Ionic is an HTML5 mobile app development framework targeted at building hybrid mobile apps. Hybrid apps are essentially small websites running in a browser shell in an app that have access to the native platform layer. Hybrid apps have many benefits over pure native apps, specifically in terms of platform support, speed of development, and access to 3rd party code.

Think of Ionic as the front-end UI framework that handles all of the look and feel and UI interactions your app needs in order to be compelling. Kind of like “Bootstrap for Native,” but with support for a broad range of common native mobile components, slick animations, and beautiful design.

Unlike a responsive framework, Ionic comes with very native-styled mobile UI elements and layouts that you’d get with a native SDK on iOS or Android but didn’t really exist before on the web. Ionic also gives you some opinionated but powerful ways to build mobile applications that eclipse existing HTML5 development frameworks.

Since Ionic is an HTML5 framework, it needs a native wrapper like Cordova or PhoneGap in order to run as a native app. We strongly recommend using Cordova proper for your apps, and the Ionic tools will use Cordova underneath.

Why Ionic was built?

Because the creators of Ionic strongly believed that HTML5 would rule on mobile over time, exactly as it has on the desktop. Once desktop computers became powerful enough and browser technology had advanced enough, almost everyone was spending their computing time in the browser. And developers were overwhelmingly building web applications. With recent advancements in mobile technology, smartphones and tablets are now capable of running many of those same web applications.

With Ionic, the desire was to build an HTML5 mobile development framework that was focused on native or hybrid apps instead of mobile websites, since there were great tools already for mobile website development. So Ionic apps aren’t meant to be run in a mobile browser app like Chrome or Safari, but rather the low-level browser shell like iOS’s UIWebView or Android’s WebView, which are wrapped by tools like Cordova/PhoneGap.

And above all, they wanted to make sure Ionic was as open source as possible, both by having a permissive open source license that could be used in both commercial and open source apps, but by cultivating a strong community around the project. They felt there were too many frameworks that were technically open source, but were not open source in spirit or were not possible to use in both closed source and open source projects without purchasing a commercial license.

Building Hybrid Apps With Ionic

Those familiar with web development will find the structure of an Ionic app straightforward. At its core, it’s just a web page running in an native app shell! That means you can use any kind of HTML, CSS, and Javascript you want. The only difference is, instead of creating a website that others will link to, you are building a self-contained application experience.

The bulk of an Ionic app will be written in HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Eager developers might also dig down into the native layer with custom Cordova plugins or native code, but it’s not necessary to get a great app.

Ionic also uses AngularJS for a lot of the core functionality of the framework. While you can still use Ionic with just the CSS portion, we recommend investing in Angular as it’s one of the best ways to build browser-based applications today.

Get building!

Now that you have and understanding of what Ionic is and why it exists, you are ready to start building your first app with it. Follow our blog to  get everything installed and start building with Ionic!

XeConcepts.com

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