App Planning

Why your mobile app needs a web app too

Mobile apps are great productivity tools for business. Smart phones are a critical resource for professionals, and they are using them to work smarter. We have heard from businesses of all sizes looking to build solutions to meet their workforce where they are — desktops, smart phones, and tablets.

After months of planning, designing, and developing, when you are finally ready to submit your app for approval, you can expect to wait one to two weeks for App Store approval of an iOS app. The wait is frustrating, and the review process can be tedious. We’re thankful for Apple’s quality assurance process, but two weeks can feel like like two months when you’re ready to launch a new mobile app.

If you don’t have a centralized, web-based dashboard to store and update content on your app, you’ll be making that two-week wait all too frequently, even for basic content changes. We recommend building a centralized content management system, with a secure login and specific fields that deliver user-updated content directly to mobile solutions, to most of our business clients. This solution relieves a lot of frustration. It allows you to easily control content from a central point, keep content consistent across your platform, and update content without the tedious two-week Apple approval process. You and your technical team will be much happier, too.

Most companies need to start with some of form of this solution. Generally speaking, a “basic” web application with industry standard security, tiered login access, dynamic fields with the capability to pull and receive content from other places (like mobile apps), and a dashboard to view the information starts somewhere in the $15,000 range. Starting with a $15,000 web application before you even talk about price point on a mobile app is an expensive consideration. However, when you consider the time and maintenance required with app updates and wait periods, the expense can quickly outweigh the time and maintenance. Over the years, we’ve used a lot of third-party solutions, but have never found a solution we like or can consistently recommend.

But, for over a year now, MotionMobs has been working with Spruce to build a platform for business productivity apps. Essentially, Spruce is a web-based dashboard that allows the user to control content that gets pushed to mobile devices. It also has a lot of slick features including user-generated passcodes to limit access to content distribution to only certain people. Right now, Spruce has two publicly available end-user products (MeetingsDirectory) to demonstrate the system’s power.

Also built into Spruce is the ability for our team of developers to create custom solutions for clients who need back-end support for simple mobile apps. Instead of building completely customized web databases for these clients, MotionMobs can now consider building on Spruce’s existing structure to keep the cost down for our clients. This can lead to a far better solution for our clients because we manage the development of Spruce ourselves, and there’s never a third party brought into the mix.

We’re thrilled with the platform we’ve created in Spruce, and we’re even more excited about what our partnership with Spruce means for our clients. We know first hand how beneficial it can be to keep updates in a central location and be able to quickly and easily add, edit, and update content across platforms. We’re excited to have Spruce as a client and a partner, and we are excited to continue using Spruce as a resource for our clients when appropriate.

Want to know more about Spruce? Check it out here!

By Taylor Peake