Apps and Tools

The "other" technical projects

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So, what's an app?

Applications... we built quite a few back in the days before mobiles became smart. These days "app" could mean a variety of things - mobile, Facebook or just good old web app. What's a tool? Well, it's probably an app too... just one that might do sums...

When projects come in that are "off platform", that is they don't require the might of a CMS like Sitecore or Umbraco, they usually fall to our Apps & Tools team. These guys are masters of the universe when it comes to unique projects, ideas and creations, and deploy the latest technologies to realise your dreams.

Some of this work is creative, and some is functional. In either case there are serious skills at play behind the scenes, and our developers are at the sharp end of things.

Mobile.

There was a moment not so long ago when everyone wanted an app. Then common sense prevailed. At Dog we know when a mobile app is actually a mobile website, and vice versa, and will advise accordingly. We'll make sure you get the right tool app for the job.

We've delivered mobile apps for a variety of clients and for a variety or purposes. From the less-than-glamerous Market Prices app for the livestock industry, to the super-slick Gigs in Scotland app. We know our Android and iOS devices and have a solid understanding of what works for app users, and what kind of app will generate demand.

We also know the ins and outs of getting your app accepted on the Apple App Store, which can be make or break for the idea in itself.

Mobile, of course, extends to tablet-specific projects too. We've worked on iPad exclusive projects for Baillie Gifford, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Enterprise. These allow for some real creativity to flourish on the larger screen, where swipeability, video embeds and truly interactive user journeys come into play.

Go see what we mean - jump onto the App Store and download the free digital NewsStand publication for Scottish Ballet.

Facebook.

Nobody can deny the effect of Facebook on the world. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay. It's good fun chortling at cats and kids, but we want to make Facebook work for our clients. Besides, for our devs, building Facebook apps is fun.

We don't need to talk about how to engage your audience on social here - this is the technical section. We can however,. talk about our work on Facebook apps and how we're all over their OpenGraph API, and integrating that with our clients' websites.

Our project for UEFA - "Light Up Europe" has a great case study on here. Behind the scenes we were hooking up user profile info on the app to their live check-ins to watch Europa Cup games. Plotting those on a custom Google Map, and adding people's avatars to a dynamic mosaic with a chance to win ticket to the final. How's that for dynamic?

Then there's the MyTeam app for Powerleague. Users involved in regular league games at their local Powerleague 5-a-side centre can build a network of their team-mates and competitors, see their results live, add images of themselves in action, and organise their games through Facebook events. All of this fed from Powerleague's back-end systems and delivered in a seamless Single Page Application.

All we need is someone to ask us for a hilarious cat app, although that might've been done.

Tools - the business end.

When apps get tough, the tough get together.

While app development is rarely straight-forward, when we get into business systems things step up a gear. This is where data becomes the most important factor, and gathering that data needs to be as seamless as possible for your users.

We were building complex dynamic web applications before .NET and JQuery (that's a good while ago). Sales applications for ScottishPower, diagnostic tools for the NHS, and pension calculators for Prudential.

Business application development requires real attention to detail, strong coding standards and mature testing methodologies. These are foundations of all the development work we do across the board, but our applications developers and QA testers work to the highest standards to ensure there are no mistakes. Ever.

Quality of performance in web apps is rarely life or death, but if someone got the wrong diagnosis from NHS24 then the latter might be a real possibility.