Shoutem Review : Mobile App Builder Solution

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Posted September 17, 2012 by in
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Rating

Business Features
 
 
 
 
 


Community Features
 
 
 
 
 


Monetization
 
 
 
 
 


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 


GPS & Events
 
 
 
 
 


MultiMedia
 
 
 
 
 


Integration
 
 
 
 
 


Design
 
 
 
 
 


Tools & Analytics
 
 
 
 
 


Cost
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

4.5/ 5

Price: Basic: $22.90/mo or $238.80/year. Includes 2000 users and some features limited. Advanced: $69.90/mo or $718.80/year. Includes 5000 users, and all features. Pro: $139.90/mo or $1438.80/year. Includes unlimited users and all features.
 
Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad
 
Target Audience: Communities, Schools, Churches, Radio Stations & Shows, and location based applications
 
Customization: Plenty of non-coding customization potential, and ability to customize with coding.
 
Free Trial?: Unlimited time to try platform until publishing app.
 
Customer Support: Email, Support Articles, Social Media
 
App Preview: iPhone
 
 

Strengths:

Intuitive interface, and ability to connect to API for database access. Plenty of tools for location based apps.
 

Weaknesses:

Plans have download limit. Weak ecommerce tools.
 
Bottom Line

Shoutem is a robust app development tool, which is easy to use and comes equipped with many robust features and integrations. The GPS related functionality, community networking tools, and multimedia integrations all worked together to make this a viable tool. We were pleased to see that a recent pricing restructuring now allows for unlimited users when signed up on Shoutem’s pro plan.

by Rob Wilson
Full Article
Mobile apps should be affordable for everyone, launch fast, require no coding skills and be simple to set up. That is our mission!

ShoutEm is a spinoff of Five Minutes Ltd., a mobile development company with more than 35 employees and an extensive client list. Over the years, Shoutem’s focus on building mobile apps for their clients has allowed them to accumulate significant expertise in the areas of mobile app design, interfaces and user experiences.

Launched in January 2011, ShoutEm Mobilizer offered a cost-effective way to deploy mobile apps for individuals, clubs, and small budget SMEs, etc. In addition to the plans included in this review, Shoutem’s Enterprise Edition serves the needs of larger publishers with dozens of properties who need to run their mobile strategies on a unified publishing platform.

As a venture backed company by RSG Capital with $1.7mil in funding raised to date, Shoutem has the wherewithal to be around for the long haul.

Business Features – 4.5 Stars

Listings & Directories

Do you need a list? A directory? A menu? You got it. Need them to be powered by a database? No problem. Need end users to be able to add to your database from the app? Also not a problem. Shoutem is a clear 5 star winner for lists and directories.

Their robust localization and GPS tools are also impressive. The one thing that would be nice is to be able to incorporate QR codes for promotion and couponing.

  • Lists
  • Directory (with our without database)
  • Product listings (including Real Estate, Food etc)
  • Business & Membership listings

If there is one area where Shoutem falls short, that is the lack of tools to make a form. I doesn’t have an integrated solution (with Wufoo forms for instance), or a native solution for forms. However, as with some other solutions, it does allow for webviews, which accesses forms that would be on the web.

Shoutem does have a newsletter sign-up tool, and this can integrate with Mailchimp & Constant Contact.

Shoutem also has an integration with Open Table which is helpful for restaurant apps:

  • Native Newsletter Sign-up
  • Constant Contact
  • Mailchimp
  • Open Table

Monetization – 3.5 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.

While Shoutem has a native e-commerce tool, we find that it falls short as it requires linking to your online product, one by one. This just doesn’t seem optimal. First off, who wants to add the product one by one, and secondly, it doesn’t seem very seamless.

Shoutem did score points however for their integration with Mopub.com which is “a one-stop ad serving platform designed for mobile application publishers to manage their ad inventory on iOS and Android devices.” This essentially gives Shoutem developers access to popular ad networks like AdMob, iAds, etc.

  • AdMob & iAds via Mopub.com
  • Basic Native Ecommerce Tools
  • Sell App

Social Media and Community – 5 Stars

Shoutem has a strong arsenal of social media and community building tools:

  • Push notifications
  • Two-Way Messaging
  • Click to call
  • Video Player
  • Picture Gallery
  • Audio Player
  • Fan Wall
  • Community Network
  • Tell A Friend/Share App ($ – Pro)
  • Badges
  • Four Square Integration
  • Twitter Integration
  • Facebook Integration
  • Ning Integration

GPS & Events – 5 Stars

Shoutem also has excellent options based on location, but this is available on the Advanced & Pro plans. Their event calendar & listings can integrate with iCal and Eventbrite , they also offer event listings, but where they fall short is GPS mapping capability and event integration. Event integration is not a problem for users that need to list a small number of events, but for musicians and other that have heavy performance schedules, it is a pain to create these listings manually, not to mention keeping multiple platforms up to date.

(All the above features are only available with the Advanced & Pro Plans)

 

More About Events:

Create detailed event listings with time, location and description. Enable users to RSVP, send photos, comment, check-in, etc.

More About GPS & Location Tools:

Shoutem allows you to create custom local categories, tag locations with custom information, promote local businesses to your users, allow user-generated venue comments, reviews, photos, offer maps and 3D-augmented reality views.

Places are already categorized into many default categories (e.g. Food > Restaurants > Fast food : Joe’s happy burger).
You can also define your own custom categories and add selected places into them.

Tools & Analytics – 4.5 Stars

Shoutem utilizes Flurry.com as part of it’s analytics. This provides their app makers with robust analytics such as:

  • Estimates of the age, gender, and interests of users
  • App Engagement Benchmarks (see how your app usage performance compares to your category and the market)
  • App Category and Consumer Interests (your app audience’s affinity to other app categories and segments your audience by interests such as parenting or shopping with Flurry Personas)
  • Track usage, retention, and geography
  • Apply filters to track demographics over time and by app versions.

Flurry is one of the leading analytics companies, so it is great that Shoutem has partnered with them.

Multimedia – 4.5 Stars

Shoutem has done an excellent job with its multimedia options. While the list isn’t quite as extensive as Mobile Roadie, it hits the major players and for most developers, it will have everything they need.

For audio, they hit the major ways to stream music, podcasts, news, etc. In terms of images, with the options of Picassa, Flickr, and Instagram, you should have all you need. Likewise with video, integrations with YouTube and Vimeo should meet the needs of most developers.

Looking forward to a live streaming integration, which will allow us to move them to a full 5 star rating for multimedia.

  • SoundCloud
  • Radio Streaming
  • Podcast Streaming
  • Internal Audio
  • Picassa
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • Photo Galleries
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo

Design Options – 4.5 Stars

Shoutem offers a number of design options, including:

  • Animated Page Transitions
  • Change Colors
  • Custom Backgrounds
  • Custom Icons & Buttons
  • Additional customization with coding possible

It is always good to know that you can fall back on custom coding as needed.

 

Videos

About Shoutem

March 2011: ShoutEm is a VC-backed provider of advanced mobile publishing platforms with offices in New York, London and Croatia. Our private label social networking platform powers over 25,000 local communities. The ShoutEm mobile application builder is a powerful yet easy-to-use tool for small and medium businesses. We are a SeedCamp finalist and were named “One of the top 5 Web 2.0 companies to watch” by PCWorld.

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