We believe in transparency, so in this spirit we thought we'd post some often asked questions we get about what it's like to work with Apptitude, what a typical project and production plan looks like, and some of the tools and technology stacks we use. If you have a question you don't see here please feel free to reach out to us. We like hearing from you.

Should we build a native or web based mobile application?

Depends. Just like any decision around technology there are tradeoffs. In general, web apps work for simple, data driven applications where having a single code base is the driving factor. For applications with more advanced functionality native applications make more sense. We'd be happy to discuss the benefits of both options when we evaluate your application requirements.

Who are your clients?

We do work for big agencies like Pereira & O'Dell, Team One and Ryan Partnership and small agencies like Swirl, Amazon Advertising and Division of Labor. We also work directly with companies like Lego, Cintas and Volcom to help bring mobile products to market.

Do you do creative work?

We consider our work creative, but if you mean creative in the traditional "we have a new product and need an ad campaign" sense then no, we don't start this early in the process. We usually start at the UX phase, and have a pool of visual designers we work with regularly. We do however know a lot of small ad agencies, and we'd be happy to make a recommendation for you.

What's your production process like?

Pretty straight forward, production has four top level phases: UX and Functional Planning, Visual Design, Code Production, and QA & Deployment. The difference you'll see working with us is that you'll have direct access to the people doing the work, and we encourage close collaboration between you (the client) and us. This lets us be fast and work smart.

Do you design and write web services or APIs for use in mobile applications?

Yes, we can help you design web services and APIs that you'll need to power your mobile application, and we'll document everything clearly and succinctly. We'll also build the services using a REST implementation. Our preferred tech stack is Django/Python but if you have other requirements we'll take a look.

Do you build applications for internal use that are not designed for commercial release?

Yes. We like building utilities and tools companies use to increase productivity or help drive sales. Check out Cintas Design to see an example. We distribute these applications using TestFlight and an Enterprise distribution certificate (required for iOS applications only) allowing unlimited distribution. We've also built applications distributed using Mobile Device Management (MDM) suites like AirWatch.

Will you host our application?

Yes. We host internal and client applications on Linode and would be happy to discuss our management plans.

What deliverables should I expect back with my project?

In most cases, all source code is owned by you. Our projects are hosted in private repositories on GitHub that you have access to, and we'd be happy to add you as a user to the repository allowing you to pull code directly. We can also provide code as a zip archive if you would prefer. For design and project management files (PSD, DOC, etc.) we make these files available to you on Dropbox.

Will you help us fix an existing project?

Yes. We've made broken and legacy applications look sparkling new. But, be ready to hear our opinions. Continuing to spend money fixing a lemon may not be the best (or cheapest) thing to do in the long run.

Do you own the code you write?

In most cases, you (the client) own all source code used for your application. We use open source solutions (assuming the appropriate licenses exist) if applicable (and it will save time or money), and the custom code we write also belongs to you. Our source code is hosted in private repositories on GitHub and we'd be happy to provide you with read access so you can manage and use the code however you'd like.

How do you handle QA?

QA for iOS applications is done in house. For Web and Android applications we use a few 3rd party vendors who have access to the many devices, operating systems and/or browser configurations we build for. Like everything we do, the QA process is transparent. You'll know the vendor we use and can be as involved in the process as you'd like.

Do you use cross platform frameworks?

Sometimes. We continuously research the latest releases (products like PhoneGap, Titanium and Xamarin) but find there are tradeoffs. For data-centric applications these products can be a good fit. We are also big fans of Unity3D for applications with heavy interactivity or game mechanics. In general, our first step is to evaluate the requirements for your application. Then we'll make a decision about which is the best tool for the job is.