Spring Clean

It was long overdue, but I’ve finally updated this website to remove many of the references and details from back when we were a ‘proper company’. MultiPie is now just me working the occasional evening or weekend, as I’ve started a job elsewhere and Annie is still on maternity leave. I’ll continue to support and improve Calibre Companion on iOS, albeit with infrequent updates.

Who's working on Calibre Companion?

The question of who’s working on Calibre Companion (CC) comes up frequently, so I’d like to write this quick post to answer the question. The original Android version was written by Charles Haley and me, Steve Haley, in mid-2012. Charles has been working on it on his own since then, and most of CC’s success is down to his efforts over the last few years.

We were frequently asked about making an iOS version, and finally in mid-2016 I started work on that. Charles doesn’t have an iPhone or a Mac, and thus he wasn’t involved. At the time, MultiPie (my company) had a few employees, and they worked on ...

MultiPie is now on hold

MultiPie is now on hold; we are no longer taking new projects and are in the process of wrapping up all existing client projects. I will keep Calibre Companion iOS going, though it is now an evenings & weekends project.

To explain, Annie and I are expecting our first child in January. We originally planned to keep MultiPie going while she was on leave, but that plan changed after discussion with the team. We mutually decided it would be a good time for everyone to find new jobs, and I’m pleased to say that all our employees found a new job within a few short weeks. This means it’s back ...

MultiPie join the 2016 Creative Class

” A diverse range of businesses were praised for their innovation, dedication and exciting work in Nottingham during the Creative Class 2016 last night (7 July), an event celebrating the next generation of creative businesses in the city.” 

Find out more here.

 

Business and Enterprise Apps

Many of the bespoke apps we build for our clients are specific to their business needs and so are not of interest to the general pubic. Sometimes they may also be new and innovative solutions, and in that case there could be a competitive advantage to not making them available to their competitors. This means standard app store distribution is not the right choice. In this post I will outline some really valuable alternative options that can help businesses make the most of mobile technology.

 


 

The most common way to distribute an app is to publish it on the app stores, the Apple Appstore and Google ...

Birthday Post 1: What Does the App Market Look Like? A Celebration in Numbers!

This summer marks MultiPie’s 5th birthday! To celebrate we’re eating cake… and writing a series of blog posts looking back over 5 years of the app industry. Post number 1: What does the app market look like? Here is a celebration in numbers!

Remember when smartphones fitted in your pocket? Welcome back to 2010. I’ve snuck back a little further than 5 years here, but it was mid 2010 when our app story started with the HTC Hero running the new Android operating system. The Android Market, later to become Google Play, was a mere two years old and boasted a catalogue of 250, 000 apps, just ...

Hack24 2016!

After last year’s triumph of a weekend we, along with much of Nottingham’s tech community, were poised over our refresh buttons at 11:59 on the day of the midday Hack24 2016 ticket release. I think we broke some sort of record this year snaffling up our 6 tickets in less than 30 seconds.

As with last year, we then spent the next month musing over the challenges and various hare-brained schemes for apps we could design and build in just 24 hours. Here are a few of the ideas that fell by the wayside:

The Mars Communicator- Using open source APIs made available by NASA to build an app ...

Joining the team

It’s a good time to be a mobile app developer. Many companies in Nottingham are hiring, and there’s a wide variety of roles available. We have a good relationship with the other companies in Nottingham, and I’d like to take a moment to explain how our role is different from those elsewhere. There are three main differences:

  1. Our work gives you greater variety
  2. Our company is smaller
  3. We’re awesome

Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK

On the 21st and 22nd November Digital Women UK are hosting a two day event at Nottingham University and I am delighted to be part of the “ask the experts” panel discussions.

Over the two days digital academics and creative entrepreneurs will be getting together to discuss challenges, issues and experiences of working in the digital industries. There will be speakers from across the UK’s digital sector as well as panel discussions and coaching sessions. If you are a women working in the digital/creative industries, or are aspiring to be, then do come along.


A Needle in a Haystack- Getting Your App Noticed

If you opened a small food store in a crowded city, you wouldn’t expect to immediately have the visibility and sales of the market heavyweights like Tesco or Asda. But with careful planning, clever marketing and great products you could still expect to carve out your own profit making business. The same applies for apps. The days of releasing your app into the wilds of the app stores and having it receive tens of thousands of downloads overnight have gone (if indeed they ever existed!) and that great game idea that you’ve got is not likely to be the next Flappy Birds style viral hit whilst your ...

Practical Steps Towards Diversity

Each month the Tech Nottingham meetup is held at Antenna (the business hub where MultiPie is based). It’s an opportunity for all those working in software around Nottingham to get together and discuss all things tech. Joining the speakers this month was Jessica Rose. Jessica is a self-taught technologist and founder of Birmingham based meetup group Open Code. She joined us for the evening to speak about “Practical Steps Towards Diversity”. Jessica spoke about the importance of opening up discussions about diversity in the tech industry and how we, small groups and individuals, can work towards fixing inequality in the sector.

Since I had attended ...

Hack24

Usually over the Mayday bank holiday weekend Steve and I put our feet up, maybe do a bit of gardening. But this year we decided to do things a bit differently and enter MultiPie into Tech Nottingham’s Hack24 event; a 24 hour coding challenge.

Still "Male, Pale and Stale"?

On Tuesday 19 May 2015, the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (part of Nottingham University Business School), hosted the “Business Incubation: Male, Pale and Stale?” seminar, which asked whether it was time for change. Professor of gender in enterprise Susan Marlow from the University of Nottingham and Maggie O’Carroll chief executive officer of The Women’s Organisation, came together to discuss gender equality in the current entrepreneurial environment and what, if anything, needs to be done to improve the picture. You can read more about this event and my thoughts in my blog post on the Digital Women UK website.

Hack 24

We took part in Hack24 this weekend and had a lot of fun. This is a quick note to thank the organisers, Broadway Cinema and the various sponsors for making it happen.

Serious Android 'bricking' bug

We came across a serious bug in Android this morning which I’d like to write about. The bug nearly bricked two of our test devices: one device became completely unresponsive as soon as we installed our app onto it, except for being able to tap the “Power Off” on-screen button after holding down the physical power button. The second device likewise became completely unresponsive once the homescreen app drawer button was tapped. Rebooting the devices did not help; the devices finish booting as the Android text is written across the screen, but then the screen stays black. We had to factory reset the devices from within the recovery menu, or uninstall ...

BBC Women in Technology- Networking and Development Day

Last week I attended a networking and development day for women working in the technology industry. The event was hosted by the BBC at their studios in Salford. The day included talks and workshops by industry leaders and inspirational speakers such as BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGoven and tech journalist and BBC Click presenter Kate Russell. You can read more about the day and my thoughts on some of the areas that interested me in my blog post on the Digital Women UK website.

Guest blog in Digital Woman UK's "Geek Corner"

I recently wrote a guest article for Digital Women UK. I talked about how MultiPie started and the realities of app development as well as what it’s like to work with my husband. I also commented on the lack of women entering the digital sector. See the full article here.

Apps World 2014- How to Market your Android App

This November we once again travelled down to London for the Annual Apps World conference. This year the conference was packed with useful talks and panel discussions on all sorts of subjects from how to design a beautiful app to funding options for game development.

Tech Nottingham: Android V iOS- Fight!

This month we’ve taken a little break from the blog to prepare and present an actual talk. Steve and Dave did an excellent job presenting the pros and cons of the iOS and Android development platforms.

They first presented some of the main features of both platforms and debunked a few myths along the way. They then ran a practical session giving the audience the opportunity to make their own app.

After a little wrangling with Eclipse, one of the Android development programs, two teams presented their prototypes and a winner was announced.

Well done to 8th July 2014

Native App vs Web App

When it comes to building an app, there are two routes you can take. A native app, or a web app. Here I will try to explain what each one is, and how each has its benefits.

Native

A native app is an app developed for a single mobile platform and is installed directly onto the device. Native apps are downloaded from the marketplace of choice for that platform, iOS devices use the Apple App Store, and Android devices mainly access Google Play for their app downloads. Native apps are what we develop here at MultiPie, they have multiple advantages over Web Apps which we ...

How Bad is App Piracy Really?

We recently posted about the different options for monetising apps, this led on to an interesting discussion about piracy and the effect it has had on the app market. So, I thought I would write a post to look at some of the myths and facts surrounding app piracy.

Piracy has long been an issue for all digital media, there are so many sites available to download pirated games, music, films and apps and it’s been a hot topic among record and film companies for many years. But how bad is piracy really? Is it having any effect on the booming app market?

It’s hard to find ...

Free or Paid? Mobile App Monetisation Discussion

You have an idea for a Mobile App or Game but you’re not sure how to monetise it? Or if you should even monetise it at all? I’m going to outline my thoughts on what monetisation model you may want to use for your app, and talk about the benefits each model brings along with the disadvantages of each.

“How can you make money from a Free App?” is a great question and there are a few different reasons you would want to make your app or game free.

Free, promoting a product or advertising something

If your app is ...

Welcome to Andy Droid - April 1st

We would like to announce the arrival of our newest member of staff Andy Droid. Andy will take responsibility for a number of tasks in the MultiPie office from secretarial work:

Giving financial advice:

Fetching hot beverages:

 

Andy will be joining us on the 1st of April.

OK, OK, I’ll get back to work now! 🙂

Antenna Podcast: Start-Ups

So this week sees the first of Antenna’s new podcast series about all things Start-Up and this weeks interview is with our very own Steve Haley.  Listen here to his chat with Antenna’s Hollie Brooks and find out what he thinks about the world of Start-Ups.

 

N’Tech- How it worked for us.

Steve and I have been asked quite a few times now about how we got the N’Tech funding and there seems to be quite a mixture of thoughts about the funding scheme and the size of business you need to be to apply. So I thought it might be useful if I wrote a little about our experience.

Hi! We are MultiPie.

Hi! I’m Annie and I founded MultiPie Ltd in 2011 with my husband Steve.We build apps for Android, iPhones and iPads. We’re based at the Antenna Media Centre in the heart of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter. Here is a little bit about how MultiPie came to be.