AppGlu today released its new mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) that aims to help mobile app developers and business people with speeding up development time and post-launch operations. AppGlu is a San Francisco-based company, which spun out from ArcTouch, a mobile app developer that makes apps for other companies like the Chatter app for Salesforce, the Star Trek PADD app for CBS and the native mobile app for Walmart.
To help steer an app to success post-launch, the company developed a dashboard for its AppGlu product dubbed Control Center, which has three components to it. First, is the Control Center’s content component, allowing anyone, such as business people who work on a mobile app, to update and publish new content for an app without going through mobile app developers. Content is updated dynamically, meaning the mobile app doesn’t have to be updated in the app store and re-downloaded by consumers in order to make changes. Second, is the engagement component, where business people can see their user engagement metrics via graphs, reports and more to understand how content is performing. For example, in ArcTouch’s Star Trek PADD app, business people can see which captain from each of the Star Trek series is most popular among users. Lastly, the insights component allows business people to segment their app’s user base, so they can target and then send personalized content or push notifications to customers to improve things such as engagement and retention.
“What we found in our experience at ArcTouch is that companies spend a lot of time thinking about the development and the launch phases of their app’s lifecycle, but they don’t spend much time thinking about what happens after they launch it,” says Adam Fingerman, co-founder and CEO of AppGlu. “The post-launch management and maintenance is where apps truly succeed or fail.”
For developers in particular, AppGlu’s Content Sync Engine feature, which is patent-pending, allows developers to speed up development time by creating what AppGlu calls a “connected app.” Basically, developers can sync and integrate their app’s locally stored data — from either Core Data for iOS apps or SQLite for Android apps — to a managed backend database in the cloud run by AppGlu, creating a connected app in the same way a developer would create a non-connected local app.
“The real magic and the heavily lifting is done through the Sync Engine,” Fingerman says. “When you’re building an app, you have a local data model. We’ve mirrored the cloud data model to your local model using the Sync Engine.”
There are competitors to AppGlu that provide the same solutions for mobile app development on an individual basis. Competitors like Flurry, Google Analytics and Mixpanel provide business insights for mobile apps.
“The difference between us and traditional analytics is that we’re not capturing taps and page views,” says Eric Shapiro, co-founder and chief technology officer of AppGlu. “Instead, we are capturing how users are using the content. We call that content analytics. It’s automatic and it’s based on the actual content that’s being delivered through the dynamic content aspect.”
Shapiro says he doesn’t suggest that mobile app developers replace their existing analytics with AppGlu. He adds that AppGlu is a complimentary solution that gives people different and useful information. There’s also competitors to AppGlu in the user engagement space such as Xtify and Urban Airship, which handle push notifications for mobile apps. AppGlu’s differentiator with push notifications is its ability to analyze a particular push notification that’s driving a user to a specific piece of content, and how that all directly relates to the ROI of the push notification. Lastly, there are many cloud-based CMS companies for mobile apps, but none of those companies allow its customers to modify content without the help of a developer, Fingerman says.
Fingerman says AppGlu is meant specifically for content-centric apps — such as product catalog, sales brochure, marketing, HR, event apps and more — for the B2E, B2B or B2C space. Apps already using AppGlu include the previously mentioned Star Trek PADD app.
Developers interested in the service can go here to learn about the service’s cost and to download its lightweight, open-source (under the Apache license) SDKs for iOS, Android or HTML5 apps or pre-written sample apps with full source code.