In our modern world of iPhones, Android powered devices, tablets and portable, long lasting laptops, it is more important than ever for Web content to be available on such devices. As you know by now, we are introducing an iPhone app later this spring. It will contain a specific set of features that will serve the ever-growing iOS market. At the same time, we do not want to ignore the vast numbers of Android and other Smartphone device owners who use our site for news and information. We have a plan….
Beginning April 1, we will roll out a mobile version of our Client Services site, the subscription service that we offer for those wishing to access more features than we can offer on the free site. The cornerstone of our Client Services site is the live video ability. Since 2005, we have offered multiple live video feeds during our hurricane field missions. Since that time, we have added satellite and radar loops, live chat, a daily video blog (live broadcast and then archived) as well as many other features that have made the service the success that it is today.
The plan is to create a unique directory within the Client Services site that subscribers may bookmark within their own mobile device. While not a native, stand alone app per se, the simple bookmark will take the subscriber to the mobile homepage where every thing will be tailored and formatted for mobile device screens. This includes live video. While not every mobile device can play live video, for those that can, this will be a fantastic way to keep up with our progress during the hurricane season ahead. In fact, subscribers who access the mobile site will be able to watch the live daily Hurricane Outlook and Discussion. Furthermore, during our field missions, the live feeds, complete with a chat box, will be activated for our mobile users to take full advantage of.
How much will it cost? Our Client Services plans begin at $29.95 per month, $59.95 for the hurricane season or $99.95 for the year. However, beginning May 1, we will offer a special $9.95 per month plan for the first 100 people who sign up. This plan will allow full access to the entire Client Services site, including the new mobile site in development now. The special must be signed up for during the month of May in order to lock it in for the hurricane season. On June 1, the standard three rate plans will be in effect.
So while we work on the iPhone app, we are also working on content for Android devices as well. I will post an update to this info on the April 1 release date, including detailed info on which versions of Android the site will work most effective on and what browser you will want to use in order to take full advantage. Ask any programmer of Web content or app development, there is never an easy solution to everyone’s needs. Don’t understand that? Consider this: according to Google Analytics for HurricaneTrack.com, 18 people accessed the site last month using Windows 95 and a 640 by 480 screen resolution and AOL as their Web browser. Glad to have their visit but impossible to program modern, dynamic content for an OS that 99.996% of our visitors no longer use.