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Want to find the lease history of a building in Oklahoma City? Check on travel information at Will Rogers World Airport? Get updated info on Oklahoma City University classes? There’s an app for all that.
Mobile applications for smartphones are popping up all over town, and according to business experts, these mobile web tools will be as common and as necessary as websites were for the past decade.
Funnel Design Group unveiled Will Rogers World Airport’s first app, FlyOKC, in September. It provides not only basic travel information, but fun features and games.
The “parking spot finder” uses a GPS locator to help travelers find their spot in the airport’s surface lots, and allows garage parkers to take a picture of their spot to help them find it upon return. So far, FlyOKC is only available for iPhone, but an Android version will follow.
The airport is not the only local business taking advantage of the craze. In fact, says Steve Baranski of Komorka, apps are the wave of the future.
“I’d say their popularity has built up over time, but thousands of iOS devices sold daily justifies the investment in creating your own app,” he says. “It’s becoming more appealing for people to use an app than a website.”
Komorka develops apps for clients, but created Stereomatic for itself, which turns a smartphone into a jukebox.
Oklahoma City commercial real estate firm Price-Edwards & Co. unveiled an app last
November that allows users to pull up the lease and vacancy history and commercial market study for a piece of property in the immediate area. The company also has an in-house app that allows employees to be able to do their work while in the field.
“Basically, we’ve taken our marketing study on the commercial real estate property and made it an app,” says Price-Edwards CIO Phil Jackson. “We are also putting (quick response) codes on retail space so an interested party can just scan the code and grab all the information on that space.”A TASTE OF APPS
Saturn Grill: displays menus and locations.
Oklahoma City University: provides news, event announcements and a campus map.
Coop Ale Works: shows the brewery’s line of beers, with a GPS locator of sellers.
Bank of Oklahoma: allows members to access account info, transfer funds, pay bills and use GPS to find ATMs or banking centers.
Memorial Marathon: provides an interactive route map and tracks runners.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
For Jackson, mobile web is not only an option, but a necessity.
“Mobile web will outgrow traditional websites,” he says. “Everyone has smartphones or tablets now. It’s the evolution of computing; and having the Internet in your pocket is a powerful tool.”
For apps popping out of the woodwork, Baranski says most focus on certain trends.
“Some are made to focus on a product and to generate revenue through sales,” he says. “Others are subscription-based services or (used) to distribute content and brand awareness.”
Daniel Gordon introduced Samuel Gordon Jewelers’ app in 2010, which has been downloaded 2,075 times.
“It’s a social experience with jewelry as the focus,” Gordon says. “Call it a jewelry social network.”
He says having an application is vital, considering 40% of Americans consume Internet content.
“Its purpose is the key,” he says. “If people have no reason to use it, it’s ineffective.”