Mobile Apps Raise Money and Awareness for Non-Profits

With mobile apps being created for all business sectors, the non-profit world is seeing benefits as well. Fundraisers, charitable events, news updates, and awareness campaigns can all experience more participation by including a mobile component.

According to a research paper from fundraising solutions provider Artez Interactive, 18% of traffic to fundraising and donation pages comes from mobile devices. Individuals who solicited money for charities using mobile technology raised up to 2.95 times more. In a blog post about the same paper, Artez’s Director of Digital Philanthropy Claire Kerr said that mobile users also received donations from more sponsors.

Here are some of the best apps developed for non-profit organizations.

Red Cross Apps for iPhone

  • American Red Cross: With no fewer than seven apps, The American Red Cross helps people prepare for and recover from tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires. They also offer apps teaching first aid, locating Red Cross shelters, and allowing users to volunteer their time. That last one uses gamification, offering badges and rewards to volunteers.
  • Charity Miles - Charity Mobile AppsCharity Miles: A number of charities have signed up with this app, enabling them to earn money from users walking, running or biking. The app has already won the SXSW Dewey Wilburne Award as well as two Ignite Good Millennial Impact Grants from The Huffington Post and Heartfelt Foundation. For each mile tracked by GPS, walkers and runners earn 25 cents for their favorite charity; bikers earn 10 cents. Corporate sponsors have provided $1,000,000 in an initial pool. The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Nature Near You - Best Apps for Non Profit OrganizationsNature Near You: This app comes from The Nature Conservancy, which is an international non-profit organization striving to conserve ecologically important lands and waters. It emphasizes awareness and appreciation by providing a guide to local nature preserves as well as photo-sharing capabilities. Other features include maps, wallpaper downloads, a Nature News section, a donations page, and more. It is a free app and is available for both iOS and Android users.

If you are thinking of developing apps for your non-profit organization, then speak with our experts about your idea. Call (603) 881-9200 or email us!


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Free Data Plan Expands Ranks of Smartphone Users

Mobile broadband provider FreedomPop has begun offering its first phone with a free data plan. After paying $99 for the phone, users can enjoy 500MB of data per month at no cost on Sprint’s network.Mobile Broadband provider FreedomPop

Although the particular Android phone and service can’t be called top-tier, the concept could open up smartphone and mobile app usage to a large population that has not previously been able or willing to pay for it. A June Pew Internet report revealed that more than half of all American adults now own smartphones, but cheaper data access will likely boost adoption even further.

In addition to 500MB of 4G or 3G data, the free “Basic 200” plan includes 200 voice minutes and 500 text messages. However, even voice traffic goes over the data connection, not the cellular network, making FreedomPop a mobile VOIP provider. In an interview with GigaOM, company CEO Stephen Stokols said that the VOIP service will still work on 3G connections in places 4G isn’t available.

Users have the option of paying to add more voice minutes and text messages. The “Premium 500” plan includes unlimited texts and increases the voice minutes allowance to 500 for $7.99 per month. The “Unlimited” plan includes unlimited voice minutes and texts for $10.99 per month.

Under all plans, data usage beyond 500MB can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis for 2.5 cents per megabyte. An extra $9.99 per month increases the monthly data allowance to 1GB with overage costing 1 cent per megabyte.

Early Adopters Need Not Apply

Anyone hoping for the latest device will be disappointed. The only phone available for now is a two-year-old refurbished model, according to Prepaid Phone News. The Sprint HTC Evo Design runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and features a 1.2GHz processor, 4-inch screen, 5-megapixel main camera, and 768MB of RAM. The phone’s 4GB built-in storage is supplemented with a bundled 8GB SecureDigital card.

Rather than the more common LTE, the smartphone uses WiMAX for 4G data speeds. Stokols said that he hoped to offer LTE phones in the near future.

Although this is FreedomPop’s first phone offering, they have previously offered free mobile Internet access through hotspots and a sleeve for the iPod Touch.

Would you accept the limitations for a free mobile data connection? Let us know in the comments!


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Mobile Hardware Roundup: Microsoft & Amazon Release New Tablets, Apple Sells 9 Million iPhones, and BlackBerry to Go Private

It's been a busy week for mobile device makers of all stripes. Let's get right to it, shall we?

Microsoft Begins Pre-Orders for Surface Pro 2

On Tuesday, Microsoft held a press event to announce upgrades and new accessories for its Surface line of tablets. Both the Windows RT-based Surface and the Windows 8-based Surface Pro got a "2" added to their names, along with an operating system update and spec bump.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

 

The Surface Pro 2 will still be run by a Core i5 processor, but one built on Intel's power-saving Haswell architecture. The new chip increases battery life by 75 percent over the previous Surface Pro. Windows 8.1 will come preloaded. The price starts at $899 for a model with 4GB memory and 64GB flash storage and goes up to $1,799 for 8GB memory and 512GB storage. Reserving one now will get one shipped to you "by October 21."

The Surface 2 upgrades the screen to the same 1080p display that's always been on the Pro model. The tablet runs on a Tegra 4 processor from NVIDIA, enabling 10-hour battery life. Along with the not at all confusingly named Windows RT 8.1 you get Office 2013 RT, which includes "touch-optimized" versions of Outlook as well as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. It's $449 with 2GB memory and 32GB storage.

Microsoft made sure to mention that the kickstand on both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro now has two positions, so you're not locked to just one angle for the screen. They both come with USB 3.0 connectivity, microSD slots (microSDXC on the Pro), and support for HD external video.

As for accessories, the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 feature backlit keys and thin but "more rigid" designs. The Power Cover is all-new, combining a battery with the keyboard of the Type Cover 2, extending the life of either tablet by 50 percent. There's also a Docking Station for connecting desktop peripherals with one click. The Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 are available for pre-order now for $119.99 and $129.99 respectively; the Power Cover and Docking Station will each be $199.99 when they become available in "early 2014."

Amazon Announces Pixel-Dense Kindle Fire HDX

In the screen-sharpness battle launched by the Retina Display on Apple's iPad, Amazon has fired the latest volley with its Kindle Fire HDX line, announced on Wednesday. The 7-inch model matches the 1920 x 1200 resolution of Google's own Nexus 7 tablet with 323 pixels per inch. The 8.9-inch version is even crisper at 2560 x 1600 with 339 pixels per inch. They run Fire OS 3.0, Amazon's flavor of the Android operating system.Kindle Fire HDX Line

They're no slouch in the processing department either, each packing a quad-core 2.2GHz CPU and 2GB memory. The newest feature this time around is the Mayday button on the device's main menu, which summons a live tech support advisor within 15 seconds. You see them in a little pop-up video box, but they don't see you. Halloween should be a popular day for that feature.

The HDX starts at $229 for the 7-inch model with 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, and those "Special Offers," ads that run on the lockscreen; it starts shipping October 18. Trick out the 8.9-inch model with 64GB storage, 4G LTE connectivity, and no ads for $594, but you'll have to wait until December 10 (or November 7 without LTE).

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones in One Weekend

The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, announced on September 10, went on sale Friday, September 20. On Monday, Apple announced that 9 million of the new smartphones had been sold. CEO Tim Cook said that the company had sold out of the initial supply of the higher-end 5s. The new iPhones were made available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

BlackBerry to Go Private for $4.7 Billion

BlackBerry's news isn't as obviously exciting, but it could be a step in turning the beleaguered company around. The once dominant smartphone maker has agreed to be purchased by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which already owns 10 percent of BlackBerry's common shares. Although BlackBerry handsets were once the smartphone of choice among business users, their market share has dwindled to single digits since the introduction of the iPhone and Android devices.

The transaction is valued at $4.7 billion and values all outstanding shares of BlackBerry stock at $9 per share. Subject to "due diligence, negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement … and customary regulatory approvals," Fairfax plans to take the company private – so it's not going away. What exactly the future holds for it, though, won't be certain for some time.


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The Sticker App Released by Jeff Ceresnie for iPhone and iPad

The free iOS app allows users to create, express, and share.

Stickers, mostly noted for being on your papers in elementary school, are about to become a mobile trend with the launch of a brand new app, The Sticker App. This mobile application gives users a new outlet to create, share, and pin sticker masterpieces. It is available for free on the iTunes App Store.

cool-sticker-appThe drive to create, express, and share lead to the development of The Sticker App. These ideas inspired developing the three features in the application. Creation, the first feature in the app allows users to create custom stickers by combining pre-loaded images and text. The users can express their ideas and views with the help of custom stickers.  Once the sticker is saved, it is added to virtual sticker boards where the images are shared with other sticker fans.

The creator of The Sticker App, Jeff Ceresnie states, “Our smart devices are capable of so much, yet we are very limited in how we can express ourselves. I wanted to bridge that gap by giving users a simple, intuitive and powerful toolset to create virtually limitless possibilities.”

Apart from being a mobile sticker board, the app also integrates with other social media tools. The Sticker App is integrated with Facebook and Twitter that allow the users to share stickers with other people who are yet to get the application. By combining other platforms with The Sticker App, it lets designers display their creations on various sites.

About the Creator
Jeff Ceresnie, The Sticker App creator, is a 26-year-old trendsetter in the industry is headquartered at Neptune Beach, FL. With a media arts and videography background, Ceresnie aspired to give mobile app users a new creative outlet that could be accessed anywhere at any time.


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What is Web Application Development?

Let’s begin with what a web application is.

  • A web application is an application that is retrieved over a network. The application can only be used within a browser, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.
  • Web application development is popular because of the convenience of using it in a web browser. Another popularity factor is having the ability to update and maintain the web application without installing any software onto computers.
  • Examples of web applications are, online retail stores or webmail.
  • It can be a free service, such as Google Docs, or it can be an at cost service.

Next, web application interface will be discussed.

  • Methods like playing sounds or drawing are all part of application methods. Technologies such as Flash Java and DHTML make these functions possible.
  • Client side interface allows for the user to interact with the application, but not reload the page every so often.
  • An example of client side scripting with server side technology is known as PHP. PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor and is used as a general-purpose scripting language.
  • PHP web application development can set a web page apart from all others. PHP provides building blocks to provide rapid application development.

Web application development has a structure to the design. Each application is broken into tiers, and each tier is assigned a role.

  • The most common web application is the three-tiered application. Each tier is represented by a name.
  • In three-tiered development the names are, first to third tier:

Presentation- In this step the web browser is selected.

Application- In this tier you pick and begin developing your web application with the technology you want to develop on.

Storage- In this tier the database is presented. This will allow for queries and updates to be made.

Writing a web application takes expert knowledge.

  • To produce exceptional web sites that effectively marry technology and design you must use a web developer. Using expert PHP developers, functional analysts, and creative designers ensure that your application will not only look good, but will be easy to use, fast, and highly functional.

Business use for web applications is growing rapidly.

  • Demand for custom web applications stretches the efforts and resources of internal IT departments beyond reason. The situation gets worse when new technologies emerge or when sophisticated functionalities have to be introduced.
  • Web applications allow a common interface for everyone using it. It is good for interoffice work because everyone is on a single platform, and removes gaps in functionalities.
  • A popular, and current, example of a successful web application is SalesForce. Salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that is helping companies connect to customers and employees like never before. Their motto is Low Cost. Low Risk. Fast Results.

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