Tag Archives: Mobile

CityGrid Local, Mobile Stack: Urban Airship

Urban Airship came out with some new push notification tools this week, including services that allow you to slice-and-dice your mobile application audiences by location, time, context and preference–allowing you to improve the relevancy and targeting of messages and offers.

Some examples they give are:

  • a national retailer could off-load excess inventory held by various stores by targeting offers to people in those cities or multiple ZIP codes that have a preference for that product category.
  • a sports or entertainment venue could target people that are nearby right now to drive attendance on a slow day, or offer longer-term promotions for people that were visitors within the last six months but not in the prior three months.
  • a media site could define custom segments called Travelers or Movers based on changes in cities, states or countries over time, and bolster its breaking news pushes with useful local content.

The new Urban Airship products are Push and Rich Push® composers, allowing users to construct targeted segments that join location information with in-app behaviors, preferences and device profiles.

“As an always-on-you device, smart-phones and apps offer the ability to accurately know where people are and what they care about, but too often marketers cast a wide net using only snapshots of insight,” said Scott Kveton, CEO and co-founder, Urban Airship. “In ignoring individuals’ context and behavior over time, marketers risk losing the privilege of leveraging the most intimate communications channel available.”

The entire Urban Airship platform which now includes Push Notifications, Rich Push, Push Composer, In-App Purchase, Subscriptions and Reports, has API access for developers, including iOS and Android libraries ready to go.

I’m adding Urban Airship to the CityGrid Local, Mobile Stack and will be weaving more of their services into what we offer here in the CityGrid Developer Center as well as our hackathon tools.

CityGrid Publisher Showcase: Store Locator Component from Verious

Mobile-ready software component marketplace, Verious has another mobile component designed using CityGrid, this time it is a store locator component that allows you to drive foot traffic into retail locations with a product offer or local deal, that any mobile developer can use in their own apps.

This component is like a mini app with all of the functionality you would expect from a standalone location application. It is the quickest way to add a store locator functionality to your iPad app, without doing the development yourself.

The store locator component would be a perfect addition to applications for major retailers, hotel chains, regional retailers, or anyone with an app that is looking to drive people to a specific location.

This component handles all of the real-time calls, back-end content parsing, data presentation and caching necessary to bring the store locator functionality into a native mobile app. It is integrated with our CityGrid Places API, providing access to 15M local businesses and over 1M local advertisers in the US.

Component features include:

  • Location Awareness that defaults to current location, but user can change location
  • Branded Pins
  • Coupon that can be saved to gallery
  • Built-in Social Sharing
  • Built-in Local Search
  • This component also has comprehensive configuration options so you can change the look and feel to best match your application’s user interface.

The store locator component from Verious provides a quick, yet powerful way for developers to drive foot traffic to retail locations via your mobile app, using CityGrid places.   Also a great showcase of a CityGrid publisher, and what is possible with our APIs.  The component is one of thousands of modules, mobile developers can take advantage of on the Verious platform.

Mobile Backend as a Service Drives Next Round of Apps

While many people at SXSW were talking about mobile applications Highlight and Glancee, I was busy thinking about the growing movement of mobile backend as a service providers popping up.

These mobile backend as a service providers are providing services to mobile developer to help them rapidly build HTML5, iOS, Android and other mobile applications.

I wanted to do a quick round-up of the mobile backend service providers I’m tracking on:

Apigee UserGrid


Buddy Platform




Feed Henry






These platforms don’t represent the latest mobile craze or fad, they represent the platforms that will allow developers to rapidly iterate, fail and ultimately succeed in building the next Foursquare, Twitter and mobile apps that change the way our world works.

As I flush out what more about what each of these mobile backend as a service providers do, I will publish here on the CityGrid blog.