Mobbase Review : An App builder Software

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Posted September 12, 2012 by in
mobbase logo

Rating

Business Features
 
 
 
 
 


Community Features
 
 
 
 
 


Monetization
 
 
 
 
 


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 


GPS & Events
 
 
 
 
 


MultiMedia
 
 
 
 
 


Integration
 
 
 
 
 


Design
 
 
 
 
 


Tools & Analytics
 
 
 
 
 


Cost
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

Price: $250 to launch on iOS, $20 to launch on Android, and then $20/month per native platform; $5 to launch on mobile web and then $5/month. Some premium features will require additional fee.
 
Platforms: Android, iPhone (works on iPad, but not optimized), HTML5 (mobile web). Mobile web not part of this review.
 
Target Audience: Music Industry (including Musicians, DJs, Record Labels, Radio Stations, and Music Blogs), Comedians, Actors, Authors, Artists, Speakers, Entertainers, and Apparel Companies
 
Customization: Coded customization not available.
 
Free Trial?: Free to try and launch on mobile web, but set-up fee is required before seeing preview of native app
 
Customer Support: Free support available by phone, email, support articles, and social media. $200 for 3 months of premium support.
 
App Preview: Client can either schedule a time to walk through their app via virtual conference (using an app simulator) or receive app screenshots. Also, recommended that people launch their free mobile web app first, which goes live instantly and mimics the native apps, and then they can get a real demo before submitting to Apple/Google.
 
 

Strengths:

Low ongoing cost. Strong multimedia features. Platform allows for many design options. Relatively easy to use.
 

Weaknesses:

App preview is not live. Limited (albeit targeted) features. High upfront cost (compared to similar tools - low compared to custom development). Coded design not available. Not optimized for iPad.
 
Bottom Line

Mobbase is designed for use primarily by the entertainment industry. It has many features, such as strong multimedia functionality, to meet many of the needs of such clients. In reviewing Mobbase, our two biggest issues were (1) limited community networking & communication tools, and (2) the inability to see a preview as you build the app.

by Rob Wilson
Full Article

Mobbase FoundersMobbase is the brainchild of Charles Feinn & Alan Khalfin of MixMatchMusic.com. Both are accomplished musicians and heavily involved in the intersection of technology and music.

While Mobbase can be used by non-music entities, it is very clear from its features and design, that their target audience is anyone involved in the music industry.

It is one of the most affordable of the DIY mobile app making solutions, with targeted features that will meet most of the needs of most people in the entertainment industry.

We found the interface straightforward, collecting the needed information and images to put the app together. However, we would have liked to have seen a preview prior to being required to pay the upfront fee.

When we inquired about previews we were told that Mobbase “can either schedule a time to walk clients through their app via virtual conference (using an app simulator) or send app screenshots.” Another solution is to launch a mobile web app for free first, which goes live instantly and mimics the native apps, and then clients can request a full native app demo before submitting to Apple/Google.

This is a perfectly reasonable way to do previews, but in my impatient “I wanna see it, wanna tweak it and see the changes–now” approach to design, I would find this frustrating.

Perhaps, the biggest weakness we found was in user interaction. While it has a strong selection of multimedia options, it is missing many of the tools needed to communicate with users, such as push notifications, ability to exchange photos, as well a basic social networking tool.

Still, for those on a budget, Mobbase has many relevant features and can be considered as a potential solution for many in the entertainment industry.

Business Features – 3.5 Stars

Listings & Directories

Mobbase is ready to handle the “listing” needs of most musicians in the form of discographies, song listings, bios, etc. Still their listing offering as part of their basic service is limited to basic lists and directories.

Another disappointment was the lack of QR code capabilities, and limited GPS functionality. This essentially eliminates the ability to create localization based apps. GPS is limited to events, as a way to help attendees find performances. Given that this solution is targeted towards entertainers, that may be just enough, but for others, it may not be what they need.

Mobbase is able to link to a database, but this would require an additional development fee, which would vary depending on the nature of the integration.

  • Lists
  • Directory (without database)
  • Directory with database ($)
  • Product listings (including Real Estate, Food etc) ($)
  • Business & Membership listings ($)
  • Forms*
  • Newsletter sign-up*

The forms and newsletter sign-up are based on web-views that can be used to integrate whatever form/feedback solution a user wants (as long as it doesn’t use Flash). The way this works is by the client providing a link to the needed form, which is then opened directly in the app. Users never leave the app during this time so they can resume using the app upon completion of the form. According to Alan Khalfin of Mobbase ” This strategy allows us to integrate with any third party service that clients may use for their newsletters/forms (constant contact, aweber, etc). “

Monetization – 3 Stars

Monetization includes such features as tools for ads, ecommerce solutions/integrations, as well as the ability to sell the app, make in-app sales, and sell downloaded content.

Mobbase is not targeting retailers and developers that may need a robust shopping cart or are looking to rely on ad revenue. Their core customers are more concerned with promoting their music, selling downloadable content, and perhaps selling their app. Each of these things can be done with Mobbase. For those who need it, web-views can be used to integrate whatever commerce solution a user wants to use, as long as it doesn’t use Flash.

So, while we had to dock Mobbase in this category, some of the core features may be enough to satisfy their target client base.

It is worth noting that Mobbase integrates with Tunecore.com which is an online music distribution service. It is also possible to link to a webview of bandcamp, which many artists use to offer a free song in return for an email (this is a good solution to iOS devices restricting song downloads on native apps to iTunes.

  • Webview ecommerce
  • Sell App
  • Sell downloadable content (through TuneCore.com)

Social Media and Community – 2.5 Stars

Our biggest disappointment with Mobbase is the lack of community building tools. We would have liked to have seen more ways to send pictures or other multimedia back and forth, in-app communication, and integration with more social networks than Twitter.

In fairness, it should be noted that other social networks can be added using webviews.

Here are the features which can be found on Mobbase for communication with fans:

  • Click to call
  • Video Player
  • Youtube Integration
  • Picture Gallery
  • Audio Player
  • Twitter Integration
  • Webviews of other social networks

GPS & Events – 4 Stars

MobBase uses BandsInTown to import and manage events. They import shows from Facebook, ArtistData, MySpace, and venues from around the world so the events are probably already in BandsInTown!

  • GPS Maps to Events
  • Event Listings
  • BandsInTown.com Integration

Tools & Analytics – 3.5 Stars

Mobbase offers basic analytics, tracking the number of installs per platform over time (daily, weekly, yearly, etc) and location.

Multimedia – 4.5 Stars

As a mobile app solution geared towards the entertainment industry in general, and the music industry in particular, Mobbase has done a good job in putting together the tools needed to keep fans up to date on sound, video, and images.

Integrations with Picassa, Flickr & Youtube meets the needs of most developers.

We would love to have seen another video integration, and live streaming would have given them a perfect 5, but overall they offer a very strong array of multi-media options.

  • Bandcamp
  • Tunecore
  • SoundCloud
  • Radio Streaming
  • Shoutcast Streaming
  • Podcast Streaming
  • Internal Audio
  • Picassa
  • Flickr
  • Photo Galleries
  • Youtube Integration

Design Options – 4 Stars

Mobbase offers a number of design options, including:

  • Animated Page Transitions
  • Standard & Landscape Views
  • Slide to Next Page
  • Change Colors
  • Custom Backgrounds
  • Custom Icons & Buttons

The only other thing we would have liked to see is the ability to do additional custom designing with code as needed.

 

About Mobbase

(In their own words)

MobBase is a service for musicians that makes it easy for them to create, launch and manage their own, custom iPhone, Android, and mobile web applications. MobBase is a low cost way for musicians to share music, photos, videos, tweets, news, information about shows, merchandise and other content with fans on their mobile devices. MobBase is built on an advanced content management system that makes it easy to add, manage and update content in real-time.

Try Now!

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