When referring to Apadmi's now somewhat legendary BBC iPlayer app, Simon speaks of an app that has changed the way he uses his phone, saying 'it changed the nature of how I perceived the device'. It is this ability to truly grasp end user needs, that is Apadmi's genius; creating intuitive, seamless apps that effortlessly become the center of users' mobile experience.
Apadmi seems to have a deep understanding of apps' technical development stage that coupled with an 'intelligently simple' design, has led to the Manchester based team creating apps and server solutions for the likes of BT, The British Museum, The X Factor, The Guardian, Lexus and Aviva among others.
I ask Apadmi's Operations Director Howard Simms about the team's groundbreaking apps, the fast evolving digital user market and why so many companies are slow to embrace the mobile future.
Why are so many companies so slow at realising that the future is fast shifting towards mobile/on the go use?
For a few years, companies were able to get away with not adapting their websites for mobile. This was largely because modern smartphone web browsers are so good at displaying desktop sites. But, as more websites become responsive (mobile-friendly), users have increasingly come to expect it and frustrated by non-responsive sites.
To what do you attribute your success?
We are incredibly humbled by much of the success we have enjoyed in recent times and attribute much of this to our incredibly capable and passionate team; many of which have over 15 years mobile industry experience - some of which even helped to develop the first smartphone, back in 1998! Our desire to do a excellent job, combined with our honest, open and flexible approach enables us to establish long term relationships with our clients and help to fix complex, technical problems. We understand the entire technical landscape from 'back end' architecture and development, through to 'front end' user experience and engagement. This enables us to develop apps that are not only robust and reliable but also intuitive and innovative in their design.
What did the BBC hope to achieve with the iPlayer Radio app and how did you set about delivering it?
Apadmi were commissioned to develop, test and deliver the BBC iPlayer Radio app; the new home of BBC radio. The objective established at the start of the project was to deliver a mobile solution that would transform access to the 57 BBC radio programmes and enable live streaming and easy access whilst on the move. In order to achieve the objectives Apadmi developed an app that provided tight integration against multiple data sources to provide a user focussed interface and also a swipe feature that improves catch-up and access to on-demand content, clips, videos and downloads. An intuitive spin through touchscreen dial was also integrated to allow users to switch effortlessly between radio programmes along with an alarm clock allowing users to wake up to their favourite BBC stations. Upon the release of the app, it received over 1.5m downloads within the first 2 months and secured a 4.5* app store rating. The app has generated record-breaking audiences for the BBC with over 6 million weekly browses.
What is App in A Day?
Here at Apadmi we are incredibly passionate about educating the youth of today in an area which is greatly underrepresented within the general ICT curriculum; that of mobile app development.
The brain child of Apadmi Technical Consultant, Ian Joyner, and Operation's Director, Howard Simms, the course enables students of year 9 level to experience building a fully functioning iPhone app within 4 hours through the use of industry standard software including MacBooks, iPhones and Xcode. The course has been rolled out successfully into a number of schools within the North and has been praised for its benefits and engaging content by teachers and students alike.
The course has also been spun out as CPD option, allowing teachers to incorporate the course into their classroom learning. Those interested in partaking are invited to Apadmi HQ for a full day workshop which covers the course content and key learning solutions and materials. In recent times the course has been recognised by Apple themselves and the Sunday Times Festival of Education.
What does the future hold for Apadmi?
The future looks incredibly bright for us here at Apadmi. We are continuing to work on a number of exciting mobile projects and are establishing long-term relationships with many of our existing clients to help them to expand their mobile portfolio.
These include companies such as the BBC, the Guardian and Alere - one of the largest healthcare diagnostic companies in the world. We also anticipate working more closely within the enterprise space as the gap closes between the number of consumer and enterprise development projects at Apadmi HQ. These apps are for internal use by large corporate companies and are used for tasks such as monitoring operational and sales performance, KPI dashboards, staff training, work flow management and content sharing to name but a few.