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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    68

    Default Creating an iPad App for 35 people

    We have a client that would like to have their sales aid put onto an iPad so that their reps can use it when visiting customers.

    The doozy is that they only have 35 people in their rep force i.e. the 'app' will be installed on only 35 iPads.

    I was wondering how we should tackle this. Should we have it as a web page that the reps can view (downside is that if they are in an area without 3G we are stuffed). Should we have it as a PDF and bung it in iBooks? Or, should we create an App and submit it to the App Store. Alternatively, is there a process that we can go through where we tell Apple we only want the App installed on a few iPads....something along the lines of an Enterprise App Store?

    Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any advice?

  2. #2

    Default

    Jailbreaking an iPad allows unauthorized apps to be installed. I have not heard of an app enterprise store.

    You can make a very nice web app using html5 that supports touch motions though, I wonder if there is software that can cache a website for the iPad.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Inner Space
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    5,522
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Yes listen to bartron ... completely disregard any talk of Jailbraking or the like. While Apple aren't very good at providing solutions for business use they don't completely disregard them!
    2007 24" Ali iMac | iPhone 4 32Gb | iPad 3G 32Gb

    Me on paper (well on electronic sheets)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,891

    Default

    Apps can be distributed amongst a group of users within an organisation as long as the number of devices are under 100 and you know the device ID. The best way is to sign up for a developer's account, collect all the iPad device IDs, develop the app and sign it against the devices registered. If you create a web page you're going to have to deal with security and authentication which may become a hindrance for the sales people. If it's a signed up it allows you to control which devices can have that app as well.
    Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz Unibody goodness
    20 Inch Cinema Display
    8Gb 3G iPhone, 3rd gen iPod Nano 4Gb, 3rd gen U2 ipod 20Gb

  6. #6

    Default

    No one has really thought about the target too much here:

    If the requirement is for the salespersons to have access to information (price lists or the like), then a web based solution would be quite sufficient. Simple ordering could be quite easily integrated here, if required by the business. In regards to the 3G comment, depending on the area there is normally coverage by Telstra or Vodafone.

    A native application would be simple to distribute, providing you have initial physical access to the devices (to authorise them). It would only have advantages in that it could have access to offline data (when there is little coverage) and some more interactive features. An application will cost you a significant amount of money, given the target audience.

  7. #7

    Default

    You have 3 good options.

    1// Build a web app (quite capable, but not as polished or as fast). Web apps can use HTML5 local storage and not require a net connection once loaded. It's a good option that would be easier to build for someone who is familiar with web tech but not Objective-C.

    2// Ad Hoc distribution, as per Comet's suggestion. Lets you get your app on ~100 devices. Also a great way to go, if quality and speed is important. You'll need to get the UDID of each device and add it to your developer profile.

    3// Just submit to the App Store and have some kind of account requirement/locking in place. Not the best way to go, but solves some of the issues with Ad Hoc, while introducing others (delays for updates, everyone has access to the app etc).

    Enterprise distribution isn't an option for you, as it's only for companies with 500+ employees.

    The Enterprise Program is intended for companies with 500 or more employees with a valid Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) number and who are creating proprietary, in-house applications for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch that are for internal deployment within the company only.
    Support - iPhone Developer Program - Enrollment
    iPhone Developer Program - Apple Developer

  8. #8

    Default

    Apple tout apps specific to businesses on their website 'somewhere under 'ipad for business'. No links or info on how to go about it though. Best to contact them.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Brigadoon, Western Australia
    Posts
    899

    Default

    One of our reps has an iPad with all their products on and it was done with Keynote. It looks very professional with the products in sliding window on the left and if you click on a particular product all the info is shown on the right. Very much like email presents itself. It looked like a dedicated app but it wasn't.
    iMac 27" i7, 16GB RAM Late 2009 running El Capitan, iPhone 6 64GB and iPad Air 128GB WiFi + 4G, ATV2

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    68

    Default

    We ended up making a Keynote presentation for the iPad. It works a treat. The best thing is that it costed next to nothing and will allow the client to do some field testing before deciding if it is worth rolling out their own custom App.

    The only annoying thing is that Keynote for the iPad doesn't allow hyperlinks. It would have been great to have had buttons on the presentation that allowed the user to 'click' and take them to whatever page corresponded to that button. Maybe the next update of Keynote.

    Thanks everyone for their help!

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