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A rough guide to… Interpretive Apps
What is a mobile App? ‘Apps’ are small Applications that can be downloaded and installed on most smart devices – particularly ‘smartphones’ such as the Apple iPhone. The term has only recently achieved mass proliferation however, with the enormous growth of the ‘mobile App’. This is largely thanks to Apple and the launching of their ‘App store’ for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Other stores have followed suit for Android phones, Blackberrys and Windows 7 offering Apps to their mobile devices. Apps can be downloaded directly onto the mobile or downloaded to a computer and transferred to the device.
What is a smart device? Smart devices now include all smartphones, many MP3 players (such as the iPod touch), tablet PCs (such as the iPad & Samsung Galaxy) and laptop computers. The mobile phone market is moving away from the old ‘feature phones’ which cannot have their software updated to the smart phones. They normally feature: • A large, high quality touchscreen • Wi-fi / 3G compatibility and internet browsing • An accelerometer. A small element within the phone that allows it to know what orientation and angle the phone is • GPS tracking. Most smart devices now include GPS that tracks where the mobile device is in the world. Many also come with a compass, meaning the device can pinpoint the direction in which it is facing, in addition to its general location • Digital music and video players. Integrated MP3 / MP4 media players (e.g. the iPhone has an integrated iPod)
How many platforms exist? Apple currently leads as they were the first to market Apps for their iPhone. However, other operating system are now competing successfully with their own App stores.
Operating systems include: • • • • • • Apple Google Android Blackberry Symbian (Nokia) Windows Mobile Palm
Google Android is the major competitor to Apple with the operating system being loaded onto many of the most popular new phones from companies such as HTC and Samsung. Android phones tend to be cheaper to buy on contract and are therefore a sensible alternative to the iPhone.
Are Apps cross compatible? Currently each operating system has a variety of differences both in the way they are built and the way that they are used which makes it impossible to create a single App that will work across all platforms. Whilst the iPhone is not the number one phone in the smart phone market Apple have the advantage of having the other devices which can download Apps such as the iPod Touch and iPad. Collectively this makes Apple the most used platform for Apps. With the power of Google behind Android they are a close second and therefore people tend to either produce a single iPhone App or both an iPhone and Android App. Creating an App for both Apple and Android platforms requires changes to both the design style and also time to develop each version separately. As a rough guide you could expect almost twice the cost for creating the same App across both platforms.
How many Apps have been sold? Over 350,000 are currently available in Apple’s App store, with over 10 billion having been downloaded worldwide since its launch in July 2008 (Apple). The iPad was launched in April 2010 and now has over 60,000 dedicated Apps available with 35 million having already been downloaded (Reuters). The Android App store is catching up with 150,000 Apps available and over 1 billion have been downloaded (AndroLib.com).
How do you register / upload an App? How do users then download it? Apps are uploaded to virtual ‘stores’ (such as Apple’s App store on its iTunes service), which users then access through their PC or mobile device to purchase (if charged) and download. They can be uploaded through an approved developer (Imagemakers is an approved developer) or a limited company can register as an approved developer and launch an App themselves. Apple require that each App be individually approved by them. This review process can take up to three weeks from the time the App is submitted to Apple. We always build this time into the timeline for each project. Android Apps do not have the same review process and can be uploaded within days.
How much do Apps cost to buy? Apps can be offered to the user for free or charged for. Charging starts at around £0.59 and ‘premium’ Apps can be between £5 and £100 with the average App price now being £2.39 (Distimo). Generally, 30% of the sale goes to the App store developer (Apple, Google etc) with 70% being returned to the developer. Whilst there are no definitive figures currently available, it is generally accepted that people will only pay for Apps that offer them a unique experience. The top selling paid Apps are games (e.g. Angry Birds) and service utilities (e.g. To-do lists). If you charge for your App you should expect roughly two-thirds less downloads than if you offered it for free.
What costs are involved in designing and launching an App? Imagemakers offers the following options for designing and launching an App. These have been developed to fit with individual client budgets, aspirations and target audience demographics, and are intended to provide a guideline as to costs. They can be further tailored as necessary. iSpy framework Apps Our intention with creating this framework has been to build a system that allows a variety of Apps to be built using the same basic functionality. The features would let visitors explore parks, country houses, museums, cities, canals and any number of sites with their own mobile device in a fun and engaging manner. We wanted the App to allow family groups to play together, help move them to spaces they may not have
visited independently and create a layering of multimedia to help interpret the content. The iSpy framework allows people to search for features in the environment (e.g. wildlife, shops, landmarks, architectural features), learn more about each one by viewing photos and hearing associated sounds, and collect them to gain points against the other players. The iSpy framework has been used to create the following Apps: WildSpy: A Walk in the Woods (available in Apple App Store) WildSpy: Seashore Ramble (available in Apple App Store) Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust (available in Apple App Store) Chester: Revealing the Rows (available in Apple App Store) Discover Wildspace (available in Apple App Store and Android Marketplace) Bridgewater Canal: A Waterside Trail (available soon in Apple App Store) Edinburgh – World Heritage City (available soon in Apple App Store) The Wildspy App is very adaptable and can be customised for other uses in the heritage market. We have launched an App for Chester called ‘Revealing the Rows’ which allows people to be introduced to Chester or discover some quirky and unusual features they may not have known. The App is an engaging way to move people around the area and has proved to be a good way to increase the footfall to less visited parts of the city.
As a guide we are able to offer the use of the iSpy framework for £8,000 + VAT. This includes the following: • • • • • • • • 1 x site visits (commissioning meeting / visualisation workshop) Production of a detailed concept note, including a ‘mini’ interpretation plan (setting out interpretive themes and objectives) Full research and copywriting for 30 features / items / artefacts / species of interest Design and image / audio sourcing and licensing Programming and upload to App store Design and hosting of App ‘web page’ containing App details and a link to the App store Full project management (scheduling and budgeting) Quarterly performance updates (number of downloads, demographics etc) for three years
The £8,000 indicated does not include any bespoke additions to the basic iSpy programming infrastructure or bespoke content creation (newly commissioned photography, video etc) – if required, we’d be delighted to discuss. We also offer a tailored marketing / PR service to ensure the App reaches its target demographic. This can be discussed in more detail upon project start up. This cost is for producing the App onto a single platform (i.e. Apple or Android). iSpy Framework Plus We can add more functionality to the iSpy Framework to fulfil a great many purposes. We have previously included: – – – – The ability to send a virtual postcard from the App that helps to promote the App and the site to a wider audience; The ability to share experiences via Facebook and Twitter directly from the App; The ability to take photos in the App and submit to a collective database online; Augmented Reality to allow people to see data on top of their camera view as they navigate an area.
We would be more than happy to talk about features that would create a perfect App for your requirements and can consult on the latest technology and usage statistics to make sure we maximise its effectiveness. Bespoke Apps We are also able to produce completely ‘bespoke’ Apps with specific aims, audiences and functionality in mind that are completely distinct to the iSpy Framework infrastructure. The complexity of this will have an influence on final costs, but we would be delighted to explore this opportunity with clients. We have developed the following custom Apps: Natural History Museum’s “Bugs Count”
(available soon in Apple App Store and Android Marketplace)
Chester: Walls Quest
(available soon in Apple App Store)
Who would ‘own’ the App once it is in the store? App programming is built on ‘source codes’. Imagemakers has invested heavily in creating programming source codes for the ‘iSpy Framework’. Clients purchasing Apps built with these source codes are charged only for the project planning, design, research / copywriting and project scheduling time (as agreed). Imagemakers would therefore retain ownership and intellectual property rights over the source code, and any additions to it. The client would own all content (designs, copywriting, audio clips etc) produced for the App upon financial completion of the project. The client would hold ownership and intellectual property rights over any source code developed for a bespoke App (in addition to content elements), as this would be developed ‘from scratch’ at cost to the client team.
How would an App be developed? An outline methodology for developing an App with Imagemakers is provided below. This would be amended, where necessary, upon full understanding of client requirements and the specific functionality of the App: Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 Commissioning meeting / visualisation workshop Production of concept note Research and copywriting Concept design Image / audio / video sourcing Programming of App Upload to App store Agreement of PR / marketing strategy and launch of webpage Project sign off
NB: Opportunities for client review / sign off would be integrated at Appropriate points within the above methodology.
How does the relationship between the client, Imagemakers and Apple work? As an Approved developer, Imagemakers has a licensing agreement with Apple to host the Apps in their on-line App store and will have similar arrangements with other
App stores. This agreement includes forwarding the App for trial and Approval prior to it being launched. Imagemakers does not pass any cost for this to the client. Clients’ Apps will remain in the on-line store/s until the client requests Imagemakers to remove them. Clients can also request Imagemakers, at any time, to change or amend the App. There will be a charge for this, depending on the nature of the change/s required. The App will then be submitted by Imagemakers to Apple for relaunch. Users who have previously downloaded the App will be automatically notified of the update and will be able to access it free of charge.
How are the numbers of App downloads and user feedback monitored? Imagemakers can access reports showing how many Apps have been downloaded. You will be given log-in details to keep up-to-date with your App’s statistics. This cost is included within the overall project costs. Customers downloading Apps can leave feedback on the App store. Clients can monitor this individually by accessing the relevant page on iTunes themselves.
How can you make money from Apps? It is possible to make money from Apps although many clients choose to make downloads free of charge to raise awareness and encourage greater uptake. Apple provides Imagemakers with financial reports showing how much money an App has made. Payments from Apple to developers are made monthly in arrears, subject to a minimum figure being attained. Should clients wish to charge for downloads Imagemakers will agree with clients how the income will be paid.
Consultancy: Interpretive strategies & plans Access plans Audience development plans Training plans Marketing plans Evaluation studies Funding packages Community consultation programmes Tailored training Design & build: Museum galleries Visitor centres Interactives Outdoor displays Public art Literature Digital media Website Heritage Apps QR code trails
Interpretive Design & Consulting email@example.com www.imagemakers.uk.com
The Old School, Sticklepath, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2NJ +44 (0)1837 840717
Atomic House 50 High Pavement The Lace Market Nottingham NG1 1HW +44 (0)115 853 2191
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