Change is a good thing … but only if you do it right.

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Changing a product once it is in users’ hands is a tricky thing.  Users can and will revolt if changes fail to provide a seamless transition within practices and process already adopted and accepted.  An internet search of Facebook’s long history of platform changes turns up over a million hits documenting user backlash.  Twitter’s recent decision to add promoted topics was met with resistance.   And Hulu’s release of a subscription-based iPad version of content which already streams free on the internet has resulted in well over 2,000 comments – mostly angry – on the app store and a painful collection of negative ratings.

And so it is with careful consideration and trepidation that plans move forward to make some changes to the APPCityLife iPhone app.

Why the changes?  It’s time to make some changes that our users have requested.  Here’s what’s coming:

Revised WORK:  we’ve almost completed a re-design of the Work section in the Albuquerque City Guide in APPCityLife.  Now users will be able to do a sophisticated local Google search, browse through an ever-growing directory of local businesses, check out local community market listings, create their own free entries, and view in-app promotions from the same landing page.  I think users are going to like fingertip access of all these options in one place.

New VISIT: still in its infancy, we’re adding a new Visit tab.  This gives us a chance to reach out in new and creative ways to tourists and locals planning their own staycations.  Expect more content including advice from locals, tourist discount packages, and more.  And if you have ideas of what you’d like to see in this section, I’d really like to hear from you.  After all, it’s your opinion that matters most.

Push Notification: I’m most excited about this change and have been working a very long time with the software team to create a way to notify users of new content in the app, giveaways and new offers from local businesses, and even emergencies within the community.  The first push notification version we’ll implement will be basic, but we’re already working hard on a more sophisticated version so you can opt-in or opt-out of specific notices within the app.  And even further down the road, geo-location technology will be added to allow you to quickly find out what’s happening and what specials are available right around you.

I’m excited about the changes that are coming to the app, but what I want most is to hear from you.  Once the update is available, I’ll let you know.  We’re still testing and hardening the technology and will submit the update very soon to the Apple App Store.  Once it’s out, I hope you’ll let me know what you think – what works for you, what doesn’t, what changes you’d still like to see.

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About APPCityLife

APPCityLife connects people with cities through a complete end-to-end mobile and cloud platform where cities, developers, civic hackers, nonprofits, schools and enterprise can publish robust mobile apps with seamless Open Data integration. Our platform is powerful enough to support rapid prototyping for experienced coders and developers, but it is also easily accessible to those without any previous coding experience; we empower individuals to create solutions and build mobile apps which address challenges they see within their own community.
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