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PCOA Launches New Mobile Content

April 3, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

PCOA adds another phone feature for campers.

The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) announced the launch of its new mobile content at http://pacamping.mobi.

This site allows users to see the most essential content of the full PCOA website at http://pacamping.com, optimized for the display size and functionality of SmartPhones, according to a news release.

Studies have shown that most SmartPhone users are much further along in their decision-making process, typically looking for a place to camp this weekend rather than two months from now. With those usage patterns in mind, the new PCOA mobile site provides basic search capabilities (by campground name, town name, or region) and presents special camping deals from participating campgrounds.

Search results include basic information, one photo, and links to the campground’s website, online reservations page, e-mail, telephone, and integration with the device’s native mapping application, which takes advantage of the navigational features offered by those apps. Members with enhanced listings will also have links to their Facebook page.

Users may also obtain more information about the six regions in Pennsylvania, order a printed directory, or even download the full directory (which might be a useful option for people using i-Pads or netbooks). They also have access to essential information about PCOA and camping in Pennsylvania. Of course, the site provides direct access to the main website for those who would like to access the full range of content. Additional features may be added to the mobile site as users express their interests.

There are different approaches to the presentation of mobile content. One is to simply produce an alternate, “mobile-friendly” site, with slimmed down content and minimal text and graphics. Another option is to produce a native app that must be downloaded, installed, and frequently updated by users. This is a more expensive option and generally requires the production of separate apps for i-Phones and Android devices. It can also present a potential drain on your phone battery.

The PCOA mobile site takes a third approach, developing a hosted mobile framework web app that is developed using the jQuery Mobile framework. No downloads are required and content is dynamically generated, simulating the features of a native app, and always up to date. The framework is compatible with all major mobile and desktop applications including iOS (i-Phones and i-Pads), Android, Blackberry, Palm WebOS, Nokia/Symbian, Windows Mobile, Opera Mobile/Mini, Firefox Mobile and all modern desktop browsers. The resulting site is lightweight and fast.

Statistics show that many mobile apps are downloaded, installed, then used only once. Downloaded apps can be found on a phone’s app store and can be added to a phone’s desktop screen, but most people are likely to find the type of content that PCOA is providing through a direct link on our main website or a link or QR code on a directory or other print advertising. The development of mobile Web content is still in its infancy, but we feel that we have taken the proper approach at this time, with a product that came at about half the cost of the development of separate downloaded apps for the two major platforms.

PCOA’s new mobile content was developed by Pelland Advertising (https://pelland.com/), PCOA’s website development and hosting services partner since 2002.

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