Revisiting Appsbar with Craigs Tech Blog
Posted by Craig Jackson
Some of you might recall I presented at the 2013 MECA state conference in Jackson, MS. One of the sessions washow to create your own app using Appsbar. During the session, the participants raised several questions about the service, and I promised I would get the questions to Appsbar and the answers back to you. Well, here is what you have been waiting for.
1. On the sign in screen, the video sometimes blocked the submission button if the screen resolution was not large enough. They wondered if the video could be moved perhaps?
2. On the events calendar, they wondered if there are plans to include an import from Google Calendar, Outlook calendar or some external calendar system.
3. Also on the events calendar, they wondered since they are educators, is there a possibility of putting Monday-Friday as a repeat option, since schools are in session M-F.
4. On the social media page, the question was are there plans to includePinterest as an option, rather than just putting it in the “other” category with a question mark as the icon.
5. On the shopping cart feature, the question was is there a way that as a user, could the reposition the shopping cart somewhere else on the page other than the first icon.
6. On the Contact page, I explained that is a page that can not be deleted. Has to be completed. The question came up if someone added a second contact page, and then wanted to delete it, what can they do? I just shrugged my shoulders and said I would send it to you for your advise!
7. The question came up about native Apple app code vs HTML5. I told them I would ask, because that is something I could not answer.
8. The final question they had, was if Appsbar is free, how are you making money? The concern was if they create an app, and it hits big in their schools, will they have to start paying for it? Will their users start getting hit with span advertising? It is a valid questions in my mind for educators. Can you shed any light on that?
Here are the responses to the questions
1. This is something that happens quite often when using Internet Explorer. We do NOT suggest using explorer with our website. We have experienced a host of problems with IE and quite honestly, we’ve become frustrated with the browser. We continue to try and improve it, but we ALWAYS suggest using other browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. It is not only IE that issue occurs though. I brought it to the attention of our IT team and they will be looking into the issue to get it amended as soon as possible.
2. We do have plans to incorporate external calendars as well as external data files. Currently, the “reminder” imports the event directly into your phone’s default calendar.
3. This is a request that we haven’t received yet. I will provide this suggestion this week in our meeting and see what our developers think. My initial thought would be that they haven’t done it because they essentially mirrored the information fields of the Google Calendar.
a. If you click on the “reminder” button for the app, you will see that you can edit the fields of your devices calendar so that you receive the alert whether the app is running or not.
4. We currently have plans to add a host of social networks to the social links module. We also have plans to allow the user to add an “other” social link but upload their own icon (to prevent from the question mark image).
5. The option to move the shopping cart icon around was introduced in the early stages. Our studies showed that many of our users were inserting the shopping cart last, causing the app holder to forget that it was there (in turn reducing the number of people who used it). Our company leaders decided it would be best to keep it as the first module to influence app holders to utilize it.
a. With that said, that was a decision that was made when we first introduced this feature. The feature has since expanded and so has our user’s understanding of the module. With such increase in efficient use of it, it may be time that we give our users more freedom in the placement. I will strongly advocate for this change to be made.
6. Unfortunately the system limits the removal of contact pages. In order to have them removed it is simple, just shoot us an email with the name of the app and name of the page that you want removed and we can delete it on our end. If your app contains only 1 contact page we will not remove the page though.
7. We are currently in the process of developing our Apple Binaries. It’s a long process essentially because we are putting a lot of time, money, and energy into ensuring that we create the best possible apps; especially because of the strict guidelines of the App Store.
8. Appsbar is free. As of right now, we currently do not make any money as a company. We do own the rights to add advertisements to the apps – we only foresee that happening if the time comes that our funds are too low to continue production efficiently. If so any ads will be minute and will not disrupt the functionality of the app.
Our founder’s name is Scott Hirsch. He has a great reputation of developing companies in his years as a businessman. When I initially asked him this question two years ago (when I first started with the company), his answer to me was, “Is Facebook free? Is Google free? We’ll worry about making money when the time comes. For now, let’s just change the world.”
Be sure to remember that our developers tackle issues on a priority basis. For instance, our tech team has prioritized the Apple app, thus production on other things are a lot slower. Before the Apple app, it was the Games module. Since we are a free service, we have a small team, which means we may not fix things as fast as a large revenue company would. That’s just something I figured I’d tell you to keep in mind.