Android Auto App Everywhere Apple CarPlay B2B Apps Connected Car Mobile Apps Mobile Web Radio Smart Home Smart TVs

Mobile Developer Aims for Growth As It Serves New Industries

Recently, Bob Kernen and Paul Jacobs spoke with Crain’s Detroit Business about investments, growth, and the mobile revolution. In great summary, we are ready to hit some goals this year! Being in the emerging mobile application sector, we topped $1 million revenue in 2017, and we expect that to double this year!!
Alright, so let’s check out what we shared with Crain’s, and how we plan to reach these goals!
We are a software company founded by former WRIF 101.1 FM Program Director Fred Jacob. He is helping companies create efficiencies through mobile applications. Jacobs started the tech firm out of a storage close in his Jacobs Media Strategies offices in Bingham Farms months after Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. launched its App Store in 2008.
We started out with four employees building apps for radio clients including WRIF, WDET 101.9 FM, Michigan Radio and WMGC 105.1 FM to stream radio content to listeners.
“Smartphones have been the transformative device of our lifetime. It creates an unbelievable way to connect businesses to their customers, such as through push notifications,” COO Bob Kernen said. “The average person has about 30 apps on their phone. Once a company can get an app on a customer’s phone, it can become the best marketing tool for them.”

Realizing that other businesses and organizations could benefit from the mobile industry that has now reached nearly every corner of society, we began diversifying our client base in 2013.
Our company picked up a private investor in 2016 to help grow its staff to nine and moved into a new headquarters across the street from the old Jacobs Media at 30300 Telegraph Road, Bingham Farms. jācapps has a six-year lease with Bloomfield Hills-based JFK Investments Co. LLC.
Our workforce grew to 22 in 2017, warranting a $70,000 investment to tear down a wall and nearly double the space to 7,500 square feet this past March.
“We saw the opportunity to become a full-fledged mobile software provider,” Paul Jacobs, Fred’s brother, said. Paul, who also worked for WRIF as a salesman, is now president of the software company. “We broadened out our skill set and found growth in construction, health care, wellness and other businesses that realized that they needed a mobile strategy.”

Since then our company has taken on clients in Partha Nandi, M.D., of the medical TV show “Ask Dr. Nandi,” and Ireland-based building material supplier CRH plc, including two of its subsidiaries in Canton Township-based Cadillac Asphalt LLC and Monroe-based Stoneco of Michigan. Cadillac Asphalt has contracts to rebuild some of the crumbling roads in metro Detroit, including the 696 freeway.
“In the case of Stoneco and Cadillac, what’s important is communication to their customers and employees” for process efficiency, Paul Jacobs said. “Our clients at Stoneco told us if we can get the message out to contractors, they could come pick up more loads and that makes all the world to their business. These are tools that are all about creating efficiencies for the people on the move.”
Because software is constantly changing, Jacobs said the firm is continually investing to keep up with the times as operating systems are constantly changing and new technologies emerge. One of those investments include building an analytics department to allow customers to better utilize their apps.
We are also working with Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. to build programs for mobility and focusing on other products including smart TVs and smart watches, Jacobs said.
Last year, we saw 30 percent growth, topping $1 million in revenue, Jacobs said. He expects to double revenue this year as the company capitalizes on investments made over the past two years.
Lastly, we would love to thank Crain’s Detroit Business for the support! Click here to read more about how we plan to double our growth this year!
If you are interest in us, the apps we’ve built, or a product of your own, contact us at or (248) 353-9030

Connected Car Mobile Apps Smart Home Smart TVs

jācapps Continues to Grow Into the New Year

BINGHAM FARMS, MI – January 30, 2017 — As the mobile application space continues to grow, our team grows as well. We have recently brought in a few new employees to help strengthen our mobile solution abilities and reach beyond our current industry base. Dante Ciullo, Senior Android Developer, brings with him 20 years of software development and 5 years of mobile app development experience. Jacquelyn LaFrance, Marketing Manager, is on course to ramp up our Marketing efforts, define our mark in the business and attract diversity in the industry segments we pursue. Marty Watson, Business Development Manager, will help to expand our mobile solutions beyond the Detroit and media industries. We are very excited to have our newest employees on the jācapps team and anticipate valuable insights from each of them.

We’ve officially begun the expansion into the office space next door!

Along with our team expansion we are also in the process of expanding our office space! We have acquired the office space next door to house our Development and Production teams and give them space to grow their departments. This expansion would not be possible without the hard work put in by all of our employees, but our fantastic clients as well. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
We also want to highlight our entire team for their amazing volunteer work at the end of 2017. In honor of Thanksgiving, we adopted a family to provide them with a Thanksgiving dinner. To celebrate the holidays together, our team also volunteered for Project Remodel to help remodel the previous Durfee School in Detroit, which will open as the Community Innovation Center. We are so excited to watch our team grow and continue their work in the local community.
To learn more about how mobile apps can benefit your business, reach out to us at 248-353-9030 or we love talking mobile!

Connected Car Mobile Apps Smart Home Smart TVs

Reinventing Legacy Brands

By: Bob Kernen
Among all the enormous city state-sized displays, and scrappy start-up booths, one of the things that caught my eye at this year’s CES2018 in Las Vegas was the presence of brands that have been around for a long time, but are hardly associated the cutting edge.
From Blackberry and Kodak to Polaroid and Sylvania, they were all there, some in better shape than others. What was clear is that while there is undoubtedly value in a recognizable name, consumers’ associations with that name are what really matter, and changing those associations is really difficult.
Some of these brands are truly “legacy” and their products have changed little from their pre-digital heydays, others are playing the “retro” card, while a few have truly reinvented themselves.
Companies like RCA and Sylvania are largely in that first category. While their products may be modernized, upon closer inspection they are haven’t really changed that much. RCA showed off a number of pretty standard-looking TVs, and even a portable media player that had a slot for a DVD (kinda retro, right?). Sylvania still makes lightbulbs, they’ve just gotten a little “smart”-er.
The “shake it like a Polaroid picture” guys had a colorful, brightly lit display. And while it had a number of interesting digital elements, the center of attention was the old school polaroid camera, now dubbed the OneStep 2. The camera is still the same boxy shape as it’s been since the 1970s, and it still spits out your picture (on actual photographic paper) from the front. Polaroid has embraced its retro, analog past with gusto, and is trying to make it relevant to a whole new generation of Millennial and GenZ hipsters as the new (old) way of enjoying instant photography. And it just might work: if you use Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that their icon on your phone borrows heavily from the original Polaroid camera. How it ultimately works out for Polaroid is hard to say, but people at CES were definitely enjoying taking their pictures, albeit digitally, sitting on the giant Polaroid camera at the entrance to the booth.
Some of those legacy brands, however, have transformed themselves into something entirely new. Rand McNally, the map people for those of you old enough to remember, has completely changed their business. As printed maps have been almost universally replaced by Google Maps, Rand McNally has morphed their business into one that could be described as a “data” business. They use their massive store of mapping data to drive a number of new products, most of them targeted at a very specific audience segment: truckers and trucking companies. Among their products are digital driver logs, and purpose-built tablets for helping truckers turn any truck into a connected vehicle.
Also in this category is Blackberry. Even though they were arguably among the first smartphones to market, they were overwhelmed by the innovations that came from Apple and Android to the point that their handsets went from being ubiquitous to punchlines. Their devices may have faded in popularity, but at heart Blackberry was always a software company. Now their software operating system QNX has become a popular OS for a variety of embedded systems, including dashboards, where real time processing and high security are important. The “crackberry” may be extinct, but Blackberry has successfully transformed itself into a robust software company.
I was most surprised by the Kodak booth, where I found not a single role of film, but instead drones, solar panels and smart lightbulbs. All of these new products were found beneath the familiar red and yellow “K.” The company even made an announcement about a new crypto-currency (think Bitcoin). Not exactly the Kodak of the flashbulbs and film era. But as a company that has always relied on technology, Kodak was perfectly positioned to put its legions of scientists and engineers to work on new problems. It may be a smaller, more focused company, but Kodak is still in the game, in new games, and it’s got a real shot at redefining this century old brand.
All of these established brands prove that while brands can be durable, the technology world never stands still. Brands must work hard to constantly evolve and redefine themselves for consumers, lest they be consigned to the attic of nostalgia.
To learn more about how mobile apps can benefit your business, reach out to us at 248-353-9030 or we love talking mobile!

Connected Car Mobile Apps Smart Home Smart TVs

CES 2018

Next week, jācapps will be at the Consumer Electronic Show 2018 in Las Vegas. CES 2018 is a must for anyone wanting a glimpse of the newest gadgets, toys, car tech and more. As you’d expect, AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will be hot topics of conversation.
Smartphone technology, as always, will be at the center of much of the technology exhibited at the show. Smart speakers, the hot gift to give of this holiday season, and the voice control technology behind them will be another theme of the show.
Not only will we be exploring what the future of technology holds, our sister company, Jacobs Media, will be leading a select group of radio industry leaders on an exclusive tour of CES. We are looking forward to next week’s event and hope to see you there!
Our founder, Fred Jacobs, talked to the CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro, about this year’s show. Check that out here.
To learn more about how mobile apps can benefit your business, reach out to us at 248-353-9030 or we love talking mobile!

Connected Car Mobile Apps

The Car Continues to Evolve… Thanks to Mobile

The car and mobile technology have both come a long way. Over the years, technology like the radio, cassette player, CD player, and Bluetooth have all made their way into the car. Some have stayed, and some have been phased out. Over the past three years, tech giants Apple and Google have made their way into the car as well. Because of this, consumers are changing how they access their favorite music, personal playlists, and go-to podcasts when on the road.
It’s no secret why Apple and Google are trying to make a name for themselves in the car. Whether it’s the newest iPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy, people consume media on their terms through the device of their choice. Per Techsurvey13, 64% of people can connect their mobile phone in the vehicle they drive or ride in most often. Apple and Google have capitalized on this by allowing drivers to seamlessly connect their mobile phones in the place where they spend hundreds of hours annually – their car.

Who can connect their mobile device in the car?

About 1 out of every 5 respondents to Techsurvey13 like the idea of autonomous cars. Soon the driver will have no need to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Instead, their hands will likely be holding some sort of mobile device and their eyes will be glued to that. This opens the door for your brand to establish its place within the mobile ecosystem. One of the best ways to get your brand into the connected car is to enable your mobile app. That way, you are where your audience is.
Apple and Google getting involved is one indicator that drivers are more loyal to their OS/mobile device than they are to a car brand or radio station. No matter what kind of music your station plays, it won’t be able to compete with listeners’ preferences, subscriptions, and personal playlists. With our App Everywhere® initiative, we can help keep your brand connected within the connected car.
Let’s talk mobile! Click here to set up a conversation. You can also give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email

Android Auto App Everywhere Apple CarPlay Connected Car

Ford Talks Importance of the Connected Car

Inside Radio recently featured an interview with our friend, Scott Burnell from Ford, where he speaks about the importance of the Connected Car.  jācapps has been a preferred development partner of Ford for the past 5 years and was also one of the first app development companies to work with the Connected Car.  It’s exciting to see stations recognizing the opportunities this brings to radio and podcasters.
See full article here.

Connected Car Mobile Apps

The Connected Car Ecosystem is Here to Stay

The number of connected cars on the road is growing quickly and they are changing how people use technology while they drive. For this reason, auto companies and tech companies are jockeying for position within the connected car environment. In fact, Alpine has introduced the first in-dash wireless CarPlay receiver you can install yourself. Today, new car buyers seem more concerned with how they’ll be able to access their personal playlists from the dash than they are with the horsepower under the hood.
Silicon Valley has realized that people are more loyal to the OS on their mobile device than they are a car brand or radio station. Because of this, it has set out to disrupt the automotive industry. And so far, it’s doing a pretty good job. Vehicle manufacturers are rolling out new models with support for Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. This technology allows drivers to access certain apps, like maps, messaging, and media, directly from their smartphone. It also allows companies to collect behavioral data about their consumers.
Businesses can use this data to target drivers with location-based offers or alerts as they pass through specific geographical locations. This creates a more efficient and personalized targeted advertising system not only for the brand, but for the driver as well. Even further, offering drivers content which they can consume on demand is important. And what better way to do that than with a mobile app right on their dashboard screen?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The car is one of the biggest challenges out there for everyone from media companies to restaurants to retailers. But, it’s also one of the biggest opportunities to expand your brand as well as your reach. One thing is for sure: the connected car ecosystem is here to stay. And it’s only going to become more advanced as innovative technologies continue to emerge.

Watch the video below to get a better understanding of how we can help your brand stay connected.

To find out how we can help grow your business using connected car technology, contact us today. You can also call 248-353-9030 or email us at

Connected Car Radio Techsurvey

Techsurvey13: 6 Takeaways Regarding the Connected Car

Every year, our sister company, Jacobs Media, hosts their Techsurvey, the radio broadcasting industry’s largest online survey. Now, in its thirteenth year and with over 50,000 respondents, it allows them to identify key trends in the mobile, social, and connected car spaces. Techsurvey has been quoted throughout the media world by companies such as CNN, The New York Times, and eMarketer.
Techsurvey helps radio stations better understand their brand and, more importantly, their audiences in a world where technology changes quickly. One of the insights this survey provides is what role the connected car plays for radio stations.

We’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways about consumers and their connected cars:
  • 64% of respondents can connect their mobile phone/mp3 in the car they drive or ride in most often.
  • In-car media system ownership rose to 22%. Last year, 20% of respondents owned an in-car media system and the year before, only 18%.
  • 66% said they either like or love their in-car media system.
  • The percentage of time spent in a car with AM/FM totaled 64%. Listeners’ personal music totaled 11%, while streaming audio and podcasts came in at 4% each.
  • AM/FM radio remained the most important feature among those planning on buying/leasing a new vehicle in 2017. Bluetooth comes in at number two, with a 5% percent increase from last year. Not surprisingly, the need for a CD player in the car dropped 18%.
  • Listeners’ attitude towards autonomous cars remained steady with 22% of respondents saying they like the idea. At 32%, millennials are the most enthusiastic about autonomous cars and males seem to like the idea more than females.

The connected car is radio’s biggest challenge, but it’s also radio’s biggest opportunity. One thing is for sure – the car isn’t what it used to be. We can help you maintain your place there as this crucial ecosystem evolves.
The key to staying connected starts with us! Click here to reach out to us today. You can also give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email to learn how your station can stay connected.

App Everywhere Connected Car Smart Home

Voice Commands in the Car and Home Present Many Opportunities

Last week, I mentioned Matt Hartman’s suggestion that voice provides the lowest friction interface between consumers and them getting what they want. This is especially true in the car where voice commands cut back on distracted driving. Controlling the infotainment system in your car makes the driving experience much safer in the long run, and adds value to the overall driving experience.

We understand the power of voice.

jācapps has been in the voice game for a while now. For the past four years we’ve been coding apps to work with Ford’s Sync system, and it’s why we debuted SonicAi, our new company that develops “skills” for voice-command devices, or “smart speakers.” We understand the power of voice and how it has the potential to change the way people listen to radio, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. in their cars and homes.
voice command car home opportunities
Matthew DeBord, Business Insider senior correspondent, offers his review of Apple CarPlay here. In his review, he mentions how natural it feels to speak to Siri, the iPhone’s virtual assistant, in the car. We believe this holds true in the home as well. That’s why our team has been hard at work developing new “skills” for voice-command devices like Amazon Echo. As more and more devices become voice controlled, the opportunity grows for brands to make themselves easily accessible to their audiences.
At jācapps, we can help you sort through the connected car, as well as the smart home, so your brand is easy to find everywhere. That is the whole idea behind our App Everywhere® program.
Click here to reach out today, give us a call at 248-353-9030, or email

Alexa Amazon Echo App Everywhere Connected Car Podcasting Radio Smart Home

3 Tech Trends That Will Impact Your Radio Station This Year

By: Vince Kattoula

Radio has survived countless technological advancements over the years, from TV to iPods to streaming. But, perhaps the most dramatic changes, and most challenging, have yet to come. Below are some important technology trends that we think will influence your station this year.
Smart speakers. Radio’s presence in the home has been eroding since the appearance of the iPod. But new hope for radio has arrived in the form of “smart speakers,” particularly Amazon Echo. By now, you’ve probably heard about (or even used) “Alexa” and experienced all she can do. From setting the temperature on your smart thermostat to dimming the lights in your living room, there are a lot of cool things these speakers can do. For radio stations, however, their opportunity lies with Alexa’s ability to pull in the listener’s favorite station or podcast with a simple voice command. Radio’s at-home challenge – like so many of the others – starts with awareness, and then devising smart strategies to take advantage of this technology.
PodcastingPodcasting, a once-obscure method of consuming audio, has become a leading medium for distributing audio content, whether for business or personal use. In 2016, 71% of podcasts were listened to on a mobile device. It’s no surprise that mobile is the dominant platform being used to stream podcasts, yet radio stations still haven’t embraced podcasting like they should. When combined, podcasting and radio can create exciting programming that brings together broadcasting’s skills at production, content creation and marketing in an exciting, unlimited new form.
Connected cars. The car dashboard is one of the greatest programming challenges for broadcasters today. It’s also one of the greatest opportunities. Radio still has a dominant presence within cars, but this does not mean things won’t change. More technology brings more choices, and there are a lot in connected cars. We can attribute much of this to the driver’s ability to bring in smartphone content as well as dashboard apps, like Pandora and Spotify, right to their screen. So, what does this mean for your station? Simple – your mobile app is the way in. Whether it’s the in-car system, CarPlay or Android Auto, your mobile app makes sure that when your listener is in the car, your brand stays top of mind.
Apps are the best way to engage consumers through their mobile phone since it allows a variety of content (and content types like audio, video, text, etc.) to go with them no matter where they are. We understand the potential of these technologies to redefine the way consumers inform and entertain themselves where they live and while on-the-go. That’s why we’ve been hard at work developing new “skills” for Amazon Echo and Google Home, adding to our App EverywhereSM initiative.
Reach out to us today! Call 248-353-9030, or email for a free consultation.