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What is a “Template” vs. a “Platform” App?

Deciding which model app is right for your company is crucial to delivering the best solution for your brand.

Each type of app can bring different advantages for your company. Understanding those advantages help shape the goal of your app.

Deciding which type of app is right for your company is crucial  

When jācapps was formed back in 2008, we built every app from scratch. Development took a long time, repairs and updates were tedious, and flexibility was minimal. As we became more sophisticated, our development leaders had a vision to create a platform that would enable us to not only build, service, and update apps faster, but also provide an incredible amount of flexibility to our clients in layout, design, features, and functionality.
Concurrently, other developers were working on their own version, and a few have created a “templated” approach. In this model, app design, features, and functionality are uniform. The only thing different is the content in the app (the stream, links to social media, etc.).
Two approaches – both are credible and deliver on the promise to clients. Our approach is a modular, customizable platform. The other approach is a template.
Here’s why we believe the modular platform approach delivers more advantages to our clients than a template:

  1.  No two radio stations are the same. Sure, most radio station apps have streams, podcasts, social media, and more. But each radio station is its own brand. A Top 40 station in Wichita should reflect their brand and their market, and shouldn’t look like a Christian radio station in Madison. Some stations have huge morning shows that should be featured. Others should highlight social media. A template can’t provide that flexibility. A platform can.
  2. Different formats require different functionality. When our partner company, Jacobs Media, began conducting the TechSurvey, it became clear to us that audiences of different formats interact with their favorite radio station in unique ways. For example, Twitter use by Sports radio fans is through the roof, so our sports station clients can feature that on the main screen in their app. News stations in commercial and public radio feature a headline news feed on their main page, and music-oriented stations feature last-song played. A template can’t provide that flexibility. A platform can.
  3. A platform app can best reflect what’s on the air. One of the main advantages of a platform app is that it can be “programmed” to be responsive to what’s on the air. So, if the morning show has a special guest, the app can instantly be changed to feature a picture of the guest prior to them appearing, and then taken down when the interview is complete. Station promotions, contests and events can be showcased, and removed when the event is over. Templated apps are static, and cannot promote the station in as timely and effective a manner as a platform app.

 There are many other reasons why a flexible platform is the best solution for your mobile strategy. We have been fortunate to work with hundreds of radio stations over the past 8+ years, and they have inspired us to design our platform with the unique needs of their business in mind. The result is the most flexible, customizable, and reasonably priced solution going.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of the jācapps platform, contact us at