We've just launched another iPhone app. It's called CNBC Davos Pulse, and it'll help delegates of the World Economic Forum organise their time in Davos, when it comes to finding fringe events to attend, good bars and restaurants, and keeping up with conference info.
To that end we've launched a few sets of features:
- Event listings (for both public and invitation-only events), with the ability to share events with friends by email (and soon, Twitter);
- You can build a personal itinerary of favourite events;
- A searchable database of bars and restaurants in Davos and Klosters, with links through to Google Maps to get directions;
- Blog articles from CNBC journalists throughout the event;
- A Twitter feed live from Davos;
- Regular video updates from CNBC anchors;
There's a few nice little details in there too. The events-searching feature is slightly fuzzy, so that if you mistype a search term there's a good chance we'll find it for you; you can retweet official tweets from the CNBC Davos feed with a single click; and the whole app is designed to sync events and venue details down to your phone when you're online, and work seamlessly when you're out of coverage or have data roaming turned off.
Technically, we built the app using JQTouch and Phonegap; it's the first product this team had launched using these technologies and the learning curve has been interesting (though shallower than some tools we've used). Behind the scenes, we're using Google Docs as the back-end of a content management system: a method we'll be using again on future projects, as it's worked quite well for us here.
Structurally, the project was very much by-the-book: FP did all the design, development, testing and project management of the product, working directly with CNBC. We kicked off with a 1-day workshop with CNBC staff and the whole development team, then spent a month going through a sketch/wireframe/visual design process whilst functional development occurred in parallel. The last couple of weeks, we've brought the two together and introduced styling and visuals into the live app; we put a first version through the Apple approval process before Christmas to get early notice of any problems, and a second version went through in the first week of January - followed by an update last week including all the Twitter features.
Whilst the app itself is probably only useful to delegates of the World Economic Forum, you can download a copy here.
Torsten de Riese, the Digital Director at CNBC, said: "It has been a great experience working with Future Platforms. Tom and his team have shown real expertise and exceptional enthusiasm throughout the project – from the design phase to build and support. Building an app that is going to be judged by top CEOs and world influencers is a nerve-wrecking project at the best of times, but if you have to deliver within 10 weeks it can be the cause for sleepless nights. However, right from the beginning I felt reassured by the calmness and clinical efficiency of the team. During the late stage of the project they always went that extra mile when it came to change requests and tweaks. These guys are brilliant! Thanks Future Platforms!". Then we untied him and sent him home.
Credit due to the team at FP who've worked on this one: Thom Hopper and Adrian Bigland built the product, Ali Driver and Trevor May did all the UX and visual design, Tariq Tamuji did testing. Thanks to Torsten, Bryn, Katya and Ed at CNBC for all their help and input too, and to the Chelsea Apps Factory, in association with whom the product was launched.