There are no silly questions in life and there definitely aren’t any silly questions when it comes to finding the answers that make your product a hit. Semaphore Mobile’s founder and president Eric Silverthorn, a leader in the mobile app industry since day one, is happy to confide, provide, and share the not-so-secrets of success.
The Dallas-area-based Semaphore Mobile team, which has developed close to 400 iPhone Apps and nearly 300 Android operating system products, has hit the mark from health care and business apps to entertainment and productivity tools and they’re APPsolutely on top of it.
I bought it but .. is “my” app really mine?
When you hire a developer, and pay the bills, the coding for your product belongs to YOU – or it should! When the time comes to update, reskin, or provide any support for your app, you don’t want to have to find the developer and hope your materials are available.
It’s built, it’s done – how to get my app published?
Apps can be posted by a developer or the product’s owner. Allowing a team with history with the APP Store and Google Play to load for you can bring experience and connections. While the app owner can have success, a company like Semaphore Mobile, with hundreds of apps posted, might likely see the product cleared and posted more quickly.
What will it cost – why so expensive?
What does the burger cost when you go out to dinner? There’s the burger price, then the add-ons of mushrooms and onions and maybe an avocado! There’s sauces and more and before you’re done – that burger price has changed! It doesn’t mean you won’t order it, or you don’t “need” it, but it’s tough to give a flat fee. Your app? Same thing! Any developer who can promise a flat fee without sincere discussion and requirement research – is promising trouble because it’s not very likely possible. Pricing can be firm-fixed, a flat-rate fee where the developer assumes the risk – and that’s usually higher so they don’t get caught! Otherwise, investigate the concept of an hourly rate, usually paid against a retainer, but one that allows the client to see – every step of the way, where money is needed. Want more, add more! Budget tight? Easy to reevaluate “needs” vs “wants.”
You develop – it’s my product. How much input do I have?
This is YOUR product – your end goal – your vision! Your input is what brings about the final results. As your developer hits milestones, and together you test and clear, the reigns become yours to push forth. Your developer is just that – the team to create, build, and make it happen per YOUR voice, YOUR decisions, YOUR insight.
Never stop asking questions – none are without value – and the more you understand the process, the more you’re likely to succeed. At Semaphore Mobile, it’s a weekly call, a conference video review, team testing from all sides. Q&A all the way. Contact Semaphore Mobile and you’ll be hAPPy you did!
This month marks a decade since the Apple Store opened and Dallas-area based mobile app developer Semaphore Mobile has been there from the start. With a dozen apps loaded from the go, and nearly 400 since – along with almost 300 Android system apps, the Dallas-based company isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
“It’s been a great 10 years and we look forward to continuing the service and success we have in the future,” said Semaphore Mobile’s founder and President, Eric Silverthorn, whose development team is locally based, more than 20-percent of the company’s business from organizations who first ventured with overseas groups. “Everyday this business changes and we are growing right along with it. Our experience, and the value of our developers, managers, and admin team, is something our clients can count on.”
Millions have found an “app for that,” and Silverthorn – his team at Semaphore Mobile one of the mobile app industry’s development forerunners, long before the Apple tree was planted.
In 2002, a Liberia-based client of Semaphore Mobile requested the ability for security and productivity tools. With Blackberry and Nokia at the helm of the market, Semaphore Mobile created a format that focused on the provision of mobile application software solutions to enterprise customers. The product line expanded to include the prototyping and development of industrial control systems that interconnect to mobile networks, and Semaphore Mobile’s products allowed users to transmit and receive data in remote environments – services which continue today.
With the 2008 announcement that Apple would be hosting software applications used on iPhone and iTouch devices, it was a natural transition for Semaphore Mobile to enter the mobile app development arena.
There were 500 apps available on the App Store in its premiere summer, today that number is over two million, and for Android users there are nearly another four million. That’s a lot of competition, and the Dallas mobile development field has grown – with many companies that come – and go – in a blink. The Semaphore Mobile App development team has survived, and grown stronger.
“It was seamless for us to take the internal communication tools we’d been building for years and develop them for the masses, for industry, for entertainment, for social communications, and really in an unlimited realm for public market,” said Silverthorn. “Day one on the App Store we loaded a Craigslist App and from there we’ve built hundreds for dozens of industries and interests. The possibilities are as varied as the need and the creative concepts that cross our desks.”
Throughout the country and indeed in North Texas, entrepreneurship has flourished and continues to do so with co-working spaces, online commerce, and businesses small and large being introduced it seems weekly. For Semaphore Mobile, that community has provided opportunity, and for the community, Semaphore Mobile provides fulfillment.
“We work both with established businesses and startups, assisting with developing mobile applications and backend systems,” said Silverthorn, an entrepreneur who understands the mind, needs, and dreams of his clientele.
Semaphore Mobile’s mobile application development has supported entertainment, health care, browser, e-commerce, mobile network monitoring tools, points of interest GPS/triangulation location, GSM remote command and control of industrial equipment, security software message encryption, and more.
“We have clients who’ve come back to us for updates and upgrades, for second and third new applications,” said Silverthorn. “The idea that there’s an ‘App for that’ is real, and despite the millions out there, at Semaphore Mobile, we aren’t slowing down and our creativity, and ability to help our clients succeed, builds with every opportunity.”
Happy Birthday App Store – Semaphore Mobile looks forward to another decade, and those that follow.
The Internet of Things (IoT) allows for the constant advancement of that which is good – and making it better. As mobile app developers for more than a decade, long before an “app” was called an “app” – Dallas’ Semaphore Mobile was building “productivity tools,” so too has the team been creating IoT products long before there was such a moniker.
“IoT is all about access to information and the opportunities are limitless from phones or any other internet access,” said Semaphore’s Founder and President, Eric Silverthorn, whose company has developed nearly 400 iPhone apps and close to 300 for Android. “We’ve been building the technology since it was simply called ‘engineering,’ – now, it’s IoT. Whatever you want to call it, it can make any industry, any company, any user, stronger.”
The industry isn’t mellowing any time soon, more products, more tools, and more options available and always on the horizon. With the population using their phones, for much more than talking – lots more than they are talking the opportunities for apps to be received, used, and relied upon grows literally every second – of every day – for every product.
Semaphore has developed apps for iPhone and Android devices in numerous fields, from a lighting company who can control the illumination in their stores or on billboards to a utility company to determining how much, and how, its customers are using electricity. A softdrink company is determining its inventory in any given machine, how much money is being held, and what needs replacing.
“We have a definite understanding both the hardware and software needs of our customers and of how I0T can be implemented to meet their needs,” said Silverthorn, “Our expertise enables our customers to cost effectively use the technology – and the technology to support our customers’ best.”
Dallas’ Startup community is celebrating itself this week as Dallas Startup Week 2018 begins. For five days from early morn til the wee hours strike, founders and funders, hopefuls and hiring types will make their way from Uptown through Downtown and far up to Frisco with events dotted along the way.
Semaphore Mobile not at all a startup – the company celebrating 10 years and nearly 400 iPhone and close to 300 Android apps developed is proud to be a part of DSW ’18 and all connected!
From the time that Semaphore’s previously produced for private sector clients “productivity tools” became known as apps – with the launch of the Google Store and AppStore providing a market for the greater public to enjoy – Semaphore’s founder and president Eric Silverthorn has remained present in all areas of the market.
Semaphore Mobile’s locally based team, with admin and project development management and developers local, is of great benefit. “About 20 percent of our customers have come to us as a second resource, their first ‘across the pond,’” said Silverthorn. “It very rarely is cheaper, faster, or better when outsourcing development projects and we’re proud to have our team here in the Dallas area, available when our clients need to reach us.”
Starting up is something Silverthorn knows much about – his career starting as a radio engineer then morphing into a satellite systems designer. Traveling the globe, 100+ countries in a few short years, Silverthorn was a pioneer in that industry as well.
Still, connecting to Dallas’ Startup community has been about learning, teaching, and growing. Meeting new faces, and learning about new product and resource, has made for new clientele – referrals – and relationships. “Being out there and getting to know who are the up-and-comers, and seeing who we can help succeed is what it’s all about,” said Silverthorn. “As an entrepreneur, you are always starting, growing, and building. The day you think you are above those coming in – you’ll be on your way out.”
Taking the capabilities he once offered to clients around the world to be in touch with their teams, Silverthorn, who is a Houston native who has made North Texas his home since 1990, and Semaphore Mobile have made startups its sendup.
“We’ve worked with companies large and small and there’s almost no area we haven’t addressed,” said Silverthorn, noting that games are the only format not in his wheelhouse. “From health to shopping, food plans to plumbing inventory and music programming – we’ve done it all and we’re always looking or the next great challenge.”
Since 2008 millions have found an “App for that,” and millions more have tried. Eric Silverthorn and Semaphore Mobile stepped into the arena at the start, one of Dallas’ mobile app development forerunners, creating productivity tools before the word “app” came to be.
In 2002, a Liberia-based client requested the ability for security and productivity tools. With Blackberry and Nokia at the helm of the market, Semaphore created a format that focused on the provision of mobile application software solutions to enterprise customers. The allowance expanded to include the prototyping and development of industrial control systems that interconnect to mobile networks, and Semaphore’s products allowed users to transmit and receive data in remote environments – services which continue today through the Dallas mobile app home-base.
With the 2008 announcement that Apple would be hosting software applications used on iPhone and iTouch devices, it was a natural transition for Semaphore Mobile to enter the mobile app development arena and the last eight years have seen Semaphore’s production of nearly 400 iPhone Apps, including more than 100 for iPad, and close to 300 for Android operating systems. There were 500 apps available on the App Store in its premiere summer, today that number is over 1.5 million, and for Android users there are another million. That’s a lot of competition, and the Dallas mobile development field has grown – with many companies that come – and go – in a blink. The Semaphore Mobile App development team has survived, and grown stronger.
“The world changed with the opening of the App Store and what we’d built as internal communications tools quickly became a format opening to the public market as well,” said Silverthorn, Semaphore’s founder and President. “One of our first public Apps was a Craigslist App and in a quick flash, the opportunity to build entertainment, health-related, and countless other subjects came about. We stepped in and the mobile application development opportunities are now seemingly endless.”
As the startup and entrepreneurial market has grown, Dallas’ mobile app development needs have expanded significantly. Co-working spaces, filled with companies on their way up – provide a bevy of prospect.
Semaphore’s capabilities include mobile application development to support entertainment, health care, browser, e-commerce, mobile network monitoring tools, points of interest GPS/triangulation location, GSM remote command and control of industrial equipment, security software message encryption.
“We’ve been in the Dallas mobile app development market since before the market opened and I’m proud of the work we’ve done,” said Silverthorn. “We have clients who’ve returned for enhancements and second and third new applications and it’s been a great experience. The idea that there’s an ‘App for that’ is a great truism and at Semaphore, we haven’t been stumped yet.”
As we come to the end of another year we reflect on the changes and growth in our own lives; personally and professionally and – in doing so – stop to review how the world of technology is constantly enhanced, making improvements to every aspect of our workspace daily. The functionality of an app will determine if server development is required to support the app.
If we roll back 15 years, a lifetime in this development space, companies needing a server had to buy a piece of hardware, find a place to host it, deal with the burden of maintenance and capital expenditures for an item that was constently depreciating.
With the introduction of cloud services and hosted solutions the need to physically own the hardware became unnecessary. “Click here” on a website and reach server backend hosts such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and Rackspace, and pull more services, or downsize if necessary, allowing customers to manage the backend themselves.
“All three of these companies, and there are others, who provide excellent service. We all have a responsibility to perform an analysis to determine which server host best fits the requirements,” said Eric Silverthorn, president of Dallas-area based Semaphore Mobile which, since 2008, has produced nearly 400 iPhone apps and close to 300 for Android users. “User login for instance requires a database that holds its client’s information. In some instances, such as apps that allow users to play videos, an app may need content management to support the backend system to hold the videos.”
There are third party companies, such as Twilio, that allow app owners to leverage the functionality such as user authentication or build of chat rooms. These services, offered through API connections can save a significant amount of time and money when building an app.
“Semaphore Mobile’s team of programmers, for IOS, Android, and Ruby on Rails, provide superior development services for our clients,” said Silverthorn. “New year, new season, and for our Semaphore’s team in our tenth year in the market providing development, strong service and support, and good guidance.”
It’s the end of the year and people are fitting in their last minute medical checkups, dental appointments, and treatments to be sure they are healthy – ready for the New Year more wealthy and wise! With many upgrades and new products on the market, and millions of products being purchased between Black Friday and after-Christmas sales, making sure the products you are providing to your clients – and moreso the products you want to provide to new customers are fresh, clean, and able to meet and beat the needs of the ever-growing mobile market.
“You can’t just build, release, and watch and wait – you have to test, and retest – to update and be ahead of the market,” said Eric Silverthorn, president of Dallas-area based Semaphore Mobile which has produced nearly 400 iPhone apps and close to 300 for Android users. With its full team working in the DFW Metroplex, Semaphore Mobile creates from the start, and is able to update, and upgrade, its own products and those built by others. “The millions of apps that are out there and being used are pulling from your product and you need to be sure than when a user comes to you, it’s working – and it’s sharp.”
With each new model of phone, tablet, and more, even the slightest of updates to an app brings the possibility for bugs to creep into the programs. Testing, testing, and testing again is of course key, but even with the greatest of preparation, given the combinations of technology, it’s sometimes difficult to beat the bugs.
“Bugs are the beast and they’re out there but the more we test, the more we communicate with our clients, the better chance we have of being polished,” said Silverthorn, his team dedicated to working with their clients; regular testing, regular follow-up meetings, and support available once the product is released. “Short of our customers each having a fulltime team – and that comes at a mighty overhead, allowing our team to be involved with your product and review on a regular schedule, will save time, frustration, and negative response from users. It’s not always ‘easy’ to beat the bugs – but that’s what we do. Moving apps ahead with operating systems upgrades is a must.”
It isn’t about reinventing the wheel, just making the wheels you have spin sleeker, perhaps be shinier, hold more tread, and most certainly perform – and out-perform – out on the road.
Semaphore Mobile joins the App and Google stores now in a decade in providing creative, responsive, and reliable products to the market – with many of its clients returning for their support and referring their service.
Check-in, and check up, your product with Semaphore Mobile’s team and ready yourself, and your users, with a fresh start, to a fresh year.
Semaphore Mobile and the Apple iPhone are turning 10 this year and a celebration of the future that is now is happening!
Your Momma may have taught you that looks aren’t everything – still true – but that you have a look is something and something big beginning this fall with Apple’s new iPhone X with Face ID and a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio bringing every color to its truest value. The enhanced cameras, wireless charging, a 5.8” screen that fills the body with little framing at all and no home button! Apple is all in with cameras on the front and back making augmented reality absolute reality, animojies that bring your expressions and words to life.
Also new, and slightly less pricey, is the iPhone 8 and 8-plus – if anything Apple does can be considered “standard,” with better cameras and general upgrades to the 2016 models that include wireless charging, shiny glass backs, an A11 Bionic processor, two gigs of RAM, and they can shoot video in 4K.
“Watch” out for the newest wrist manager – Apple’s third edition, cellular version, allows the user to make calls while away from the phone and Apple TV 4K, with HDR and more are also on the way. Sitting still – or surfing the seas – Apple goes ahead of the flow to make it possible for the user to stay ahead, taking one bite at a time.
Steve Jobs would be proud – he thought different, and wanted us all to do the same! Semaphore Mobile thinks different, we think ahead and ready, and we’re here to bring your new apps to the audience, and to update your already posted products to market too.
“We’re motivated and we’re excited at the introductions and our team is ready to design and create for the next generation of Apple greatness,” said Eric Silverthorn, president of Dallas-area based Semaphore Mobile. “The business is absolutely different than when we both came on the scene but we’re strong and successful and thrilled to still be producing the best products for the market.”
Semaphore Mobile had 12 apps posted the day the APPle Store opened, and another almost 400 in the decade since – along with almost 300 Android apps. Semaphore Mobile, with its whole team and production in the DFW Metroplex, is ready to bring you to the newest future – the future which is here.
Welcome to double digits iPhone. Semaphore Mobile is honored to share a decade of excellence with you!
Almost a decade into the technology of mobile applications – as the public clicks, swipes, and types, the stakes are high for the millions of apps posted to the market and patience for products that misfire, is rare.
While the products that apps are built for have changed over the years – evolving constantly with updates and new forums and formats posting by the minute – so too have the ways for developers to test for those products and the learning curve – is but quick!
“When the Appstore opened, everything was tested manually – an easy trial as Apple’s product format is one background,” said Eric Silverthorn, President of Dallas-area based Semaphore Mobile – the area’s longest standing development house. “Testing for Android presents an issue regarding manual testing because with so many device types, so many manufacturers, the many users have Android operating systems that are several years old. Android – not a one-stop test all.”
“Automated testing can be helpful however scripts have to be written correctly because errors likely create situations where developers are chasing bugs that don’t truly exist,” said Silverthorn, whose Semaphore Mobile posted 12 products to the 2008 opening of the App Store, and followed with Google almost immediately. “Developers testing have to answer the question of ‘are problems in the code I have deployed a part of the app, or is the issue related to the test platform we are using.’”
With a 100 percent of the Semaphore Mobile development team in Dallas, the group is able to be on task, and on the money, for its clients. Testing is done in-house and then with the client, before sending products to market.
For Semaphore Mobile, in its tenth year of developing for Apple and Android operating systems – with close to 400 iPhone apps and nearly 300 for Android – their design, and testing capabilities, put them at the top of the class.