We are proud to announce the official launch of a TechNode app on Apple and Android, available for free download today. In the Apple store, it is called “TechNode Asia” (someone got Technode first!) and in the Android Market it is called “TechNode”.
For our app, you can read our latest content, check when our next event is on, subscribe to our mailing list, leave a message to our staff, find links to our TechNode Chinese and our Nodeble start-up database.
We were able to make this happen by working closely with Qmobao.com, the Guangzhou based Chinese operation of American based Mobile Roadie. Qmobao is a do-it-yourself web service that allows anyone to create their own mobile app for iOS or Android. It gives you the power to customize the layout and design, instantly update changes, collect real-time visitor analytics and publish it in app stores without any coding! Qmobao is operated by FabriQate, a creative mobile agency.
Since I don’t code but am very interested in mobile apps, I was excited to build the app myself. It was a great learning experience that forced me to consider user experience and functionality. I realized designing an app requires a lot of structured thinking, as well as always considering simplicity and value over ‘nice to have’s’.
Mobile Roadie has a big focus on the entertainment industry such as music and movies, therefore much of the app modules are designed to promote people or events. They already power apps for famous people like Taylor Swift, Madonna and Linkin Park. However, with a little creativity, it is easy to create something for many different purposes, like a blog!
The process of using Qmobao is very intuitive and simple to use. All I had to do was follow the steps from setting up the User Interface with core images such as logos and background images. Next I had to Manage Content by choosing the sections I wanted to include in the app. Once sections are selected, it’s only a matter of populating it with content which simply involves uploading images or typing text. After filling in the content, you can stylize it by choosing the type of buttons, font, images, layouts, colors etc. Finally you have control over ‘User Management’, which allows you to moderate comments, see subscribers and most active mobile app users.
The really cool thing about using Qmobao is that you can instantly preview what your app will look like by downloading ‘Mobile Roadie Connect’, a customer app visualizer. After every key change I made, either to content or design I reviewed it in the visualizer to see what it would look like. Having this preview ability allowed me to iterate quickly and make decisions on the fly.
Since Qmobao understands that many of its customers are not professional app developers, they have a team of people to help you along the way. I constantly spoke with a technical person to help me think about what sections to include, how to lay it out and eventually submit it to the Android Marketplace and Apple App Store for approval.