The other week at work we needed to cancel an event due to weather. With hundreds of people in from all over the state for this event we needed to get them the information. We used our website, Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls to get the word out. It actually worked out very well, but something didn’t quite sit well with me. What if everyone would have had just one spot to go? Our Facebook and Twitter feeds are both public but people not using those services won’t see those feeds.
A mobile app was something we had been talking about but we all know the barriers that can exist with app development:
- You typically need to find multiple developers for the different platforms and that can be very pricey
- Maintenance is difficult if not impossible
- And you still need a good mobile site and keeping that maintained
The bottom line is that it’s been difficult to find one service that is all things to all users that is affordable in the mobile world. Then came . . . Conduit Mobile!
I remembered seeing ads for this service and figured I’d give it a try that weekend. In less than a day I had a draft app for our organization that would eventually work on iOS (5.0+), Android, and a Mobile Site version for other mobile platforms that included our Facebook feed, Twitter feed, photos from Facebook albums, Instagram, our news feed, and more. And the investment . . . under $200 up front and $40/month after that.
Here’s some of the features I like with Conduit and where I see it being a great fit for Parishes:
- An online visual builder and management of your app. No software to download, and you can see the layout on the various screens right as you build the app.
- Build it once easily for all platforms. You build and they make it available for all platforms. iOS and Android get native apps that can appear in those app stores and you get a mobile browser version for other platforms (i.e. Windows Phone).
- A test app prior to deploying initially or major changes.
- Updates are simple and the only time you need to resubmit to app stores is for a graphics changes (i.e. new splash screen). All other changes can be made instantly. For example, this past weekend we decided to add 2 new sections for an event schedule. We logged on, added them, clicked “Update”, and all users get those new sections on their app.
- They are our Developer accounts with Android and Apple. We have control over our app market displays.
Granted if you need a highly specialized and function specific app, Conduit is probably not the best service. But for our parishes this is a great platform that serves your parishioners and overcomes barriers of “scattered” social profiles and feeds.
Check it out. Have you tried other similar services? What do you recommend?