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Top five tips on developing the Learning Technologies 2013 app

This post was written by Gavin Beddow and first appeared on the Epic blog on 25th January 2013.

appYesterday Epic announced the launch of the official Learning Technologies and Learning & Skills event app. As Head of Mobile, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with our talented mobile team on the 2013 app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Based on our experiences working on this project, we’ve created the following ‘Top Five’ tips that really helped us to deliver this multi-platform app in a short space of time.

  1. Know and understand the build requirements for each platform
    When working on an app for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry there are a number of elements which require device specific customisation. Knowing how and where this affects your app means you can comfortably plan for these customisations and ensure you have the right resources to deliver.
  2. Client side review and provisioning
    When developing an app, you need to ensure you have catered for client reviews. With heavy restrictions on app installation, a clear review/testing strategy that enables clients to access the app is essential. For iOS apps we use TestFlight coupled with client iOS profiling to ensure we can easily distribute an app for testing throughout the production phase of the project. Both BlackBerry and Android support over-the-air installs which makes the review process a little easier.
  3. App store submission lead times
    For iPhone especially you must allow a decent lead time for app store submission – plan for as much time as you can! This typically takes around five days but if Apple flag issues with your app you will need time to address these before going through the process again. Apple do of course have an appeal and expedited review process but you should not rely on these for successful acceptance and timely delivery.
  4. Prepare for last-minute changes
    One of the greatest challenges of delivering an event app is the fact that the data changes so frequently right up to the day of the event (and even during it). The Learning Technologies 2013 and Learning & Skills 2013 event app was built using our GoMo authoring tool. With a built-in content update mechanism (iOS version), we can easily update content of the app even once it’s installed on a user’s device. In addition, GoMo allows the user to update content easily and quickly, meaning Epic was able to respond to changes very quickly when building the app.
  5. Market your app
    Launching via the app stores is only part of the delivery. You also need to ensure end users know your app exists. For Learning Technologies 2013, we worked with the event organiser to deliver the app in advance of the event to allow time for promotion. We’ve also designed a flyer to be handed out to attendees when they arrive, to make sure we capture everyone, including last-minute attendees.

So be sure to download the app and come and talk to us on Stand 56 about our multi-device and mobile learning capability.