One of the most common questions we get asked is “Is there an app for For Carers for my phone?” We are always very pleased to say “No”.
In today’s multi-connected world that may seem like an odd approach, but for us and what we are working for, it is the right decision for a number of reasons.
Since apps were invented and became all pervasive with every train company, airline, restaurant chain and shopping centre having their own apps, the technology and what people use has changed. The technological train shows no signs of slowing down at all, and that is why For Carers is not an app in the sense that many people understand.
For Carers is browser based, which in simple terms means that it will function on any browser on any device, and will always look the same for everyone using it. This makes explaining it to friends and family far simpler, even over the phone, because you will be looking at the same screens regardless of if using a phone, a tablet or a PC. Research and many businesses now are showing this is a simpler and more efficient way of rolling out tools to a wider audience, many of who may not be totally up to speed with new phones and tablets. In fact use and downloads of apps is actually declining quite rapidly over almost all areas, even games are not as popular as they used to be.
There are a number of reasons for that impact on apps use and availability, one of the key ones being the number of phones and tablets that are released on what seems like a daily basis. On a superficial level they all look the same and have very similar functionality, but on a technical level it is a minefield to work through.
Apple, Android, Microsoft, Samsung and so on. All different phones and operating systems, and for example now we are on iPhone 6 this means that there would need to be a different version of the app to work correctly on each version of each iPhone, depending on what software version it is running. Go into a phone shop and look at the array of phones and tablets, all of which will have new software at least yearly, and you will see the scale of what developers need to manage to make sure everything is working for all phones. Like painting the Forth Bridge, it is a task that never ends.
We decided that rather than employ a large number of developers constantly working and updating the service, we would run on a browser based model, which means we are in charge of any changes and will always be able to help on any technical issues as there is just the one system for us to maintain.
We don’t want to be a technical development company; we want to use our time helping carers and people. That is why we developed For Carers, not to have hundreds of different apps that all need changing every six months.
For our customers and users this means there can be confidence that the service will always work, and work for all, not just for those who update their phone every few weeks. It also means if we get new ideas from customers or changes are needed we can react quickly and efficiently, and nobody has to download an update – every time you open it you will be using the correct version.
Please contact us if you have any questions – or ideas on how you use the service.
Simon Jones Service & Operations Lead