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Book Review ? The Small Business Guide to Apps by David Howell

Cover of The Small Business Guide to Apps by David Howell Applications, or ?Apps? are big business. There doesn?t seem to be a piece of the marketplace that isn?t covered by one, either for your iPhone, your Android smartphone or for any other of the mobile operating systems. Money can be made using these little programs, but how?

?The Small Business Guide to Apps? by David Howell attempts to answer this question in an ebook from the Brightword Publishing house. It doesn?t tell you how to write an app, but looks at the economics and the reasons why your business might need one.

Included in this guide is a short history of the App and how different platforms (iOs, Android, Palm, Blackberry, Windows) have coped with different approaches to the same problem, namely ?Do we need an App for that??.

The key message that comes from this book is that it is not clear-cut. Whilst an App might seem like a cheap way of locking your customers into a particular brand or product, the better ones have been developed properly. And that costs money. It is always important to ensure that the costs of developing an App do not exceed the benefits that this will give to the company.

With the usual high Brightword Publishing standards present, this is a competent and highly usable ebook. There are practical examples of App development from people who have done it, as well as a handy resources page (with links throughout the book as well) for those of us who think we?d like a go. One slight ommission is that there is no place for Symbian, Nokia?s discarded operating system. Although this has recently been replaced by Windows, it is a shame to lock out a system that is still in widespread use. Having said that, the principles in this book apply readily to Symbian as to the other OS mentioned.

If you are serious about developing an App for your business, then this is a good, solid introduction to the subject and something that should be on all would-be developers reading list.
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