How does one go about creating a “PR app”?
Well first of all, creating an app actually takes a software engineer who knows what they’re doing. A former classmate of mine from high school spent 5 years and many thousands of Euros in prestigious French universities before he got to making apps for a living. But for the purposes of demonstrating a concept that, given the proper shell and content, can actually be put to practice, there is Conduit Mobile.
I used Conduit Mobile to create an app, or rather a semi-functioning app that has all the right imagery and text to demonstrate my concept – with all the normal functionalities that you can expect from a mobile app – like swiping away through menus, scrolling up and down by sliding your thumb vertically along the screen, hyperlinks that take you to your default Internet browser, etc. Now, I say semi because I did have to improvise… a lot. This “app maker” has many limitations in its own functionality. It gives the user the option to choose from preset pages such as News, Events and Albums, but it often forces you into linking them to existing content on Facebook, Gmail or Flickr, not to mention that the choices are not plenty in the first place. There are 21 different page presets which often do the same or serve a similar purpose. For instance, of those 21 pages, 5 are Contact Us, About Us, Email Us, Call Us and Map. I understand that connectivity is important, but given that another 3 are virtually social media plug-ins for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the core 8 or so force you to link content from all kinds of predetermined sites, there is in fact very little that you can “design” yourself. I ended up relying on a page called “Collection” for most of my app’s content and I’m pretty sure that it was not intended to be used the way I did. Alas, it was one of the few that allowed me to put some actual pictorial and textual content of my own.
In the end, however, it is what it is – and like I said in the beginning of my post – Conduit Mobile is more about giving an idea of what you want to do with your app, rather than paying a $199 fee to upload your glorified linkage platform to Google Play (with an annual upkeep cost of $25) or the App Store (annual upkeep of $99).
And before you accuse me of being too harsh, I will say that you must definitely try it for yourself – if you’re feeling techy and creative enough, maybe you can even find application for your business – Conduit Mobile provides excellent tools for e-Commerce and showing off your goods.
For anything more ambitious than that, hire a software engineer!
In my next post, I will tell you how I used Conduit Mobile to create an app that addresses the issue of teen smoking with a PR twist.