January 14, 2015
Long ago -- by our standards anyways -- we here at Contactually knew we needed great mobile apps. After all, we all live on our phones, and our heart sinks just like yours when one of our favorite services doesn't have a great app to accompany it.
"They should have a great app!" we say. "Why don't they have a great app? Don't they know this is important?"
As it turns out, making sure that you have high quality, solid mobile apps is a lot harder than you might think, especially if you're a small, growing company trying to do a million other things at the same time, like improve your core product's speed and functionality, overhaul your new user onboarding, and occasionally move your entire company across town.
The point is, we had mobile apps, and they weren't anywhere near good enough, and -- you have to believe me here -- it drove us absolutely crazy that they weren't.
Turns out, the highly functional, continually evolving mobile software you kids love these days is more than just a passing fad -- it's simply how people expect to work now. We knew that the answer to our iOS and Android problems wasn't to throw a bunch of money at a magic person or a company who could temporarily get us up to speed, until technology (and the core Contactually service itself) evolved again in a few months and put us right back where we started. As I mentioned when we launched our brand new Android app last month, our mobile approach is fundamentally different now.
We now build our apps in-house. Nothing against some of the great mobile contractors out there, but after watching Contactually grow like crazy over a few years, we know now that keeping apps on par with an increasingly powerful web service like ours means that we need mobile development experts who are also Contactually experts. Today, we have those people. That changes everything.
Every platform is different. Market analysts might call the whole thing "mobile", but in reality, we have two very different phone applications on two very different platforms -- Android, and iOS. While good small-screen experiences on either one have similarities (not crashing, for instance), there are different best practices that lead to the best kind of apps on each system. That meant starting from scratch with two brand new apps, and doing things the right way for each of them.
On iOS, that "right way" isn't just about methodology and obscure developer preferences (not that those aren't fun). It's about building something that works on an increasing variety of screen sizes, looks great, runs fast, and plays nicely with the rest of your phone. Our old iPhone app didn't do this, which meant it wasn't worth salvaging.
Instead, Contactually 2.0 is the beginning of the next generation of Contactually on your iPhone. It doesn't do everything we want it to do just yet -- not even close -- but as with our Android rebuild back in November, the result is already faster, easier to use, and less frustrating.
Best of all, the days of wondering if this was "it" -- or if we'd simply never get a chance to fix that nagging problem -- are over. Armed with our shiny new code base, we're committed to the kinds of regular, zero-cost updates you've come to expect from great services on the web. We can't promise you everything you've ever wanted overnight, but Justin is working on this bad boy all day, every day. I don't sit that far from him. I can hear him typing.
In short, the new Contactually iOS app (like its Android cousin) is the mobile foundation we've always wanted for Contactually users, and it's available today. So go get it at the App Store, and let us know what part of the puzzle to fill in next.