jacAPPS Introduces Android Auto Integrations as part of “App Everywhere” Mobile Strategy

jacAPPS’ breakthrough solidifies radio’s place in the “Connected Car”

Bingham Farms, MI – Leading mobile application developer jacapps has announced the company’s flagship V4 app platform will begin offering support for and integration of Google’s Android Auto, the connected car extension to its Android smartphone platform.

This new functionality will be available as part of jācapps’ App Everywhere™ product and will enable Android smartphone users with an Android Auto enabled car to access apps, including those of their favorite radio stations, from their car’s infotainment system, including the use of voice commands.

Stations with jācapps’ V4 mobile apps will see their apps featured (along with their logos) on in-car infotainment systems alongside other audio apps such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn.

“Consumers’ primary technology loyalty is to their smartphones,” said jācapps COO Bob Kernen, “Android owners want to see their smartphones integrated in their cars’ infotainment ecosystem. That includes messaging, mapping and media choices. jācapps can now enable our clients to compete on more app-driven platforms. That’s the objective of App Everywhere™.”

“As the automotive infotainment ecosystem has evolved with competing platforms from almost every manufacturer, consumer demand has grown, while overall satisfaction hasn’t.  Google’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are inserting themselves into this environment with the intention of unifying the user experience,” adds Paul Jacobs, President of jācapps.

Nearly 30 manufacturers have announced support for Android Auto, and consumers can expect 2016 to be a big year as more and more OEMs make cars with support for Google’s dashboard platform.

“Apple’s and Google’s dashboard ecosystems have been a major topic of conversation at our DASH Conferences,” notes Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. “We have made this project a top jācapps priority and I’m pleased we’ve had this breakthrough.  We are excited that Google will accept station branded mobile apps. Now on to Apple!”

jācapps’ mobile apps with the new Android Auto functionality included will enable streaming of the stations’ broadcast as well as access to podcasts and streaming metadata, including title/artist info and album art.

jācapps is the leading developer of mobile applications for radio.  The company has developed nearly 1,000 apps worldwide for companies that include Entercom, Greater Media, Bonneville, Scripps, Emmis, Hubbard and a wide variety of public radio and Christian radio stations.

More information on jācapps Android Auto mobile app development and a video of how radio stations appear in automobiles can be found by clicking here.

For more information, contact Bob Kernen at Bob@jacapps.com or at 248-353-9030.

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Beta Testers Needed for MTAM Member App

tagly-betaList-headerMTAM member, IZI Mobile, is currently seeking Beta Testers for a new mobile app, Tagly. Join the beta HERE!

Tagly is an app for following exactly what you want from modern fashion & lifestyle brands. Follow whatever is relevant to you whether that’s Warby Parker for new frame releases or designer Yumi Kim for upcoming sample sales. Tagly is your personalized, fashion-forward social feed. Tagly then learns about your favorites and delivers a custom-tailored collection, twice a day at your convenience, catching you up on the best, and recommending new brands for you to fall in love with. You can also get a second opinion on those new shoes you saw on Tagly, by chatting with friends directly in the app.

Learn more about the development firm, IZI Mobile, at http://IZIMobile.com

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Is your firm eligible for a Federal R&D tax credit for the work you do every day?

Part of the work we do at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan is educate our members, and Michigan’s larger mobile/wireless technology community of technologists and technology users, on matters that can be beneficial to their businesses. One opportunity that most mobile/wireless tech firms & mobile/wireless tech user firms we’ve spoken with are not aware of is the opportunity to qualify for a Federal Research & Development tax credit for the work they do.

To help us distribute accurate information to Michigan’s mobile/wireless community, and all industries where these technologies are being used, we have asked one of our member firms, Tri-Merit, located in Ann Arbor, to provide us with an article that shares their expertise on this subject.

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Software developers are very strong candidates for the Federal Research & Development tax credit, due to many of the standard activities involved in software development potentially qualifying for the tax credit. And qualifying for this credit is very important because it may translate into substantial tax savings for your firm!

The information below is intended to assist in identifying potentially qualifying activities and further explain the aspects that need to be considered when quantifying them for the research tax credit. First and foremost, the basic requirement to qualify for the credits is that a project must meet all the elements of the ‘four-part’ test to be eligible.

Elements of the 4-part test:

  1. Permitted Purpose: The project must be intended to be useful in the development of a new or improved business component for the taxpayer. A business component may include a product, process, technique, formula, invention, or software.
  2. Technological in Nature: The project must be undertaken for the purpose of discovering information that is technical in nature. Thus, the activity must rely on the principles of physical sciences such as engineering, biology, or computer science.
  3. Elimination of Uncertainty: The project must be intended to eliminate uncertainty related to the development or improvement of a business component. Uncertainty can relate to the component’s capability, development method, or optimal design.
  4. Process of Experimentation: The project must evaluate one or more alternative solutions through the development, refinement, and testing of different options. This typically involves the use of simulation, modeling or a systematic trial-and-error methodology.

In looking at software developers, it is clear that many of the standard processes they are engaged in can be very R&D tax credit-friendly. However, within the software development umbrella there are several different types of software development activities, each with their own nuances related to the credit, such as:

  • Proprietary Software Product Development

Companies such as Microsoft or Oracle, and firms like them, which develop their own proprietary products that are held for sale or lease are the most straight-forward candidates for qualified software development, as it relates to the research tax credit. The basic requirement is that the qualified research activities meet the ‘4-part test’ requirements.

  • Custom Software Development

Custom software development (i.e. software that is developed under contract as a service for a third-party) can potentially qualify for the credit, assuming the ‘4-part test’ is again met for the research activities.

However, an important consideration for custom software development to qualify is whether the contract the work is performed under passes the exclusion for “funded research” found in IRC §41(d)(4)(H). For the contract to be eligible, two conditions must both be met. First, the payments must be contingent on the development activities being successful. Second, the developer must retain some rights to what is developed.

  • Mobile Apps

A relatively new trend in the software development market is the emergence and rise of developers focusing on applications for mobile devices (such as phones, tablets, etc.). However, as a large percentage of these mobile app developers are early stage companies, the potentially limiting factor here is their profitability and ability to benefit from the credit by reducing taxes due.

  • Web Developers (Website Development)

In general, standard web development (i.e. building a website) is not likely to qualify for the research tax credit. A significant portion of the work is generally related to the aesthetic design, which is specifically excluded from qualified activities, and HTML coding is not likely to rise to the level of technical uncertainty and experimentation required to qualify.

However, there are research activities performed by web developers that may qualify. Specifically, the back-end development of new software applications and platforms such as CRM applications and e-commerce engines utilizing source code developed in a programming language such as C++ or Java, which ties in to a web-based front-end may qualify.

  • Internal Use Software

Software that is developed for internal use (meaning software that is not intended to be sold as a product) is generally excluded from qualified research activities under IRC §41(d)(4)(E).

As with anything, there are exceptions for when internal use software development can still qualify for the research credit. If the software satisfies the following three additional tests, then it could still be eligible: (1) “The Innovation Test” – The software must be intended to be unique or novel and to differ in a significant and inventive way from prior software. (2) “The Economic Risk Test” – The taxpayer must commit substantial resources and there is substantial uncertainty whether the investment will be recovered within a reasonable time. (3) “The Commercial Availability Test” – No commercially available software could be used for the intended purpose without modifications that meet the first two requirements.

Clearly, many of the fundamental areas related to software development can provide meaningful opportunities to explore R&D tax credits. Whether the software development activities are intended to result in a new or improved product, internal-use software, or something else, it is clearly an area of tax savings that should be fully explored.

A significant portion of the activities performed by a company’s employees such as the software programmers, software architects, software analysts, QA testers, and other supporting team members may quality. Because the research credit is primarily a wage-based credit, employee involvement could translate into meaningful tax savings.

Some general examples of software development activities that may qualify for the credit include:

  • Development of specifications and requirements
  • Concept development and ideation
  • Alpha and beta prototype development and testing
  • Design of software architectures
  • Database design
  • Unit, user, and regression testing
  • Developing test cases for functionality and performance analysis.

Additional information about this can be found at http://www.tri-merit.net.

UPDATE 1/7/16:  R&D Tax Credit Now Permanent; a benefit to businesses

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About the author, Andrew Lane:

Andrew Lane is a Partner based out of Tri-Merit’s Ann Arbor, Michigan office. For the past ten years, he has been responsible for managing the execution of Tri-Merit’s R&D tax credit studies, including the calculations of qualified research expenses, credit amounts, and the compilation of supporting engineering documentation and reports. In addition, he has been involved in defending R&D tax credit audits at both the federal and state levels, and has presented on the R&D tax credit to multiple state and local organizations from an engineering viewpoint.

Andrew has spent over 13 years involved in various engineering and manufacturing roles, having worked with a broad range of companies, industries and markets. Prior to founding Tri-Merit, Andrew worked with a number of engineering firms as a technical consultant, focusing on improving new product development processes, and manufacturing process development and improvement, through technology. Andrew has also spent years working in various engineering positions, specifically in both the semi-conductor and automotive industries.

Andrew holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance degree from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from General Motors Institute.

 

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Time Running Out to Register; ‘Mobile Apps for Non-tech Entrepreneurs’ training

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MTAM Membership Incentive Program Extended!

Due to multiple requests from Michigan businesses, MTAM is extending its membership incentive for all new business, education, government and non-profit memberships received thru November 25, 2015

MTAM-LogoThe Mobile Technology Association of Michigan is currently conducting its’ annual membership drive, this year with an incentive for business, education, government and non-profit entities interested in being part of the state’s mobile/wireless technologies trade association and taking advantage of the benefits it offers. Each new organization joining now thru November 25th will receive an extended membership. Rather than a pro-rated renewal at the start of November 2016, instead those members will receive an automatic extension thru December 31, 2016.

This membership incentive is limited to new member organizations, and is not available to Individual or Student members.

Membership information is available at http://GoMobileMichigan.org/membership, and membership application and payment processing may be completed online via PayPal. If an organization prefers manual invoicing, those arrangements may be made by contacting MTAM at info@GoMobileMichigan.org.

Benefits for MTAM member organizations include, but are not limited to (benefits vary depending on level of membership selected; complete details may be found at the membership link above):

  • Ability to submit mobile/wireless-related news releases to MTAM for distribution to our various statewide, national and international audiences
  • Ability to submit mobile/wireless-related events being hosted by the member firm for MTAM promotion
  • Ability to guest on the MTAM podcast, Michigan Mobile Musings to talk about your firm and its work
  • Unique media interview and exhibit opportunities
  • Ability to submit mobile/wireless-related blog articles for publication in the MTAM blog
  • Members-only registration rates for MTAM-produced events
  • MTAM discounts to various local, state and national mobile/wireless-related events where MTAM has been able to negotiate this opportunity (MTAM notifies when these are avaialble)
  • Potential opportunity to host MTAM events at your facility
  • Statewide Advisory Councils by industry
  • Training, business development and networking events
  • Access to industry research
  • Advocacy at the state and national level
  • Ability to post job openings on the ‘Michigan Mobile Jobs’ job board; for any mobile/wireless-related position
  • Unique opportunities that arise as a result of MTAM’s relationships with local, state, national and international organizations in a wide variety of industries that are being impacted by mobile/wireless technologies
  • Much, much more!

MTAM Executive Director, Linda Daichendt notes, “MTAM was the first state-based organization for mobile/wireless technologies in the U.S. and thru the years we’ve developed a wide range of relationships with other associations and businesses that enable us to benefit our members in a variety of ways. We’re a very forward-thinking organization; always seeking new ways to benefit our members and to aid the growth of mobile/wireless technologies innovation in the state as we strive to make Michigan the ‘go to’ state for advances driven by these technologies. We support our members actively and we look forward to bringing more members on-board.”

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Mobile App Bootcamp for Non-tech Entrepreneurs; Learn How to Make Mobile Work for Your Business!

Mobile Technology Association of Michigan and the Michigan Small Business Development Center to host an informative event on mobile app development for non-technical entrepreneurs in any industry.

Event logoDetroit, MI – The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC), the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), Logic Solutions and Automation Alley are partnering to host a “How to Build a Successful Mobile App” Bootcamp on Thursday, December 3rd. Designed to help non-technical entrepreneurs in any industry who want to take advantage of the functions and features of mobile technologies and the flexibility they provide, the event will take place from 7:30am – 1:00 pm at “Automation Alley” in Troy, Michigan

Speakers for the event will include:

  • Keith Brophy, the Michigan State Director for the SBDC.
  • Linda Daichendt, CEO/Executive Director for the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan
  • Al Carpinelli, Business Development Manager for Logic Solutions
  • Angela Kujava, Director of Innovation for Logic Solutions
  • Matt Sarkesian, Chief Technology Officer for Logic Solutions

The workshop will focus on developer basics (understanding app developers and how to work with them to get what you want), creating a value proposition, defining app functionalities, setting priorities, and learning to wire-frame your concept.

“The use of mobile/wireless technologies are fast becoming a critical element in the growth and productivity of companies in every industry. Often we find that there are entrepreneurs with exciting ideas of ways they can use these technologies to facilitate the growth of their firm, or to serve their customers more effectively, but they don’t know where to access the mobile technology expertise they need to make it happen, or how to get what they need from mobile technology experts when they find them. Our goal with this bootcamp is to make using mobile technologies a much easier process for entrepreneurs. If we can help them take advantage of the technologies, they can help our state’s economy grow that much faster!”, states MTAM CEO/Executive Director, Linda Daichendt.

The $50 registration fee includes all required materials, continental breakfast, and a snack. Registration is limited to 40 people and will close on November 26th. You can register at http://dld.bz/dT4g7.

About Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, business education, information based planning and technology commercialization services to Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, growing businesses and innovators. The Michigan SBDC State Headquarters is located at the Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of their nearest Michigan SBDC by calling 616.331.7480 or visiting http://www.SBDCMichigan.org.

About Logic Solutions

Founded in 1995, Logic Solutions, Inc. is a privately held minority-owned corporation with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan and offices in California and China. Logic Solutions provides technology solutions and services including mobile strategy consultation and application development, custom web applications, and comprehensive websites for businesses across the United States. Website: http://LogicSolutions.com

About Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a technology business association and business accelerator dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan and enhancing the region’s reputation around the world. Automation Alley offers talent and business development programs and matchmaking services to tech-focused businesses of all sizes – from startups to large corporations – to help them grow and prosper. Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley’s membership has grown to include nearly 1,000 businesses, educational institutions, government entities and non-profit organizations from the city of Detroit and the surrounding eight-county region. Automation Alley provides a variety of exclusive benefits to its members to help them succeed, including networking opportunities, meeting space and public relations tools. Automation Alley also serves the general business community in five key areas: entrepreneurship, talent development, international business services, emerging technologies, and defense and manufacturing.

Automation Alley collaborates with regional partners to provide its members and clients with the best business resources available, to drive local economic growth, and to positively influence the stories being told around the globe about the people and businesses of Greater Detroit.

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Entrepreneurs; Need a Mobile App & Don’t Know Where to Start? Let Us Help!

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MTAM Offers Mobile Developers Chance at Prizes!

Which IoT platforms are competing with Apple and Google?

Which are the most popular cloud APIs? Does mobile, IoT or cloud development pay better?

300x250These are just some of the questions that our friends at VisionMobile tackle in their latest Developer Economics research. Take their 10-minute National Trends survey and help  piece together 2015’s hottest developer trend: http://vmob.me/DE1Q16GoMoMichigan

Participants can win awesome prizes like an MS Surface 3, Lumia 635, iPhone 6s, Parrot AR Drone 2.0, Blackberry Passport, as well as one of 200 Amazon vouchers!

In addition to prizes, survey participants will also get the chance to see a) how they compare to other developers from their country/region and b) how their country compares to other countries from the developer landscape. Access to graphs will be given upon survey completion and upon survey closing respectively. As always, the key findings will be released as a free report in February.

Now in its 10th edition, the Developer Economics National Trends survey is designed to cover the whole developer spectrum – that means from hobbyists to enterprise developers alike. So whether you’re involved in mobile, IoT, desktop or Cloud, Developer Economics is asking the right questions.

Take the survey and win some prizes while you’re at it: http://vmob.me/DE1Q16GoMoMichigan

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Companies participating in the MTAM Showcase at the Michigan Broadband Conference

Showcase participant logos

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), a non-profit trade association, will be producing a showcase featuring a number of its’ member firms at the upcoming Michigan Broadband Conference on October 2oth in Lansing.

Those participating include:

  • LocalHop
  • NewFoundry
  • Atomic Object
  • Logic Solutions
  • Sahuaro Labs
  • Pixo Group
  • Marvel Apps
  • Priority Health

Birmingham-based LocalHop‘s exhibit will feature the LocalHop app that is designed to increase involvement in community events through increased awareness.

Ann Arbor-based NewFoundry will be exhibiting a Ford Mustang, along with an app that was designed to allow car owners to change the level of a Mustang’s “roar” with a touch on an iPhone or iPad app.

Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object (who also has an office in Ann Arbor), will be exhibiting several apps including, MyGRCityPoints, which is an app that was designed to encourage Grand Rapids residents to recycle.

Ann Arbor-based Logic Solutions will be focusing on their Showcase app which enables a business to showcase their products in the field and eliminates the need for textbook-sized catalogs and stacks of brochures, increasing the ease and professionalism of the sales experience.

Novi-based Sahuaro Labs (also with an office in Sonora, Mexico) will be exhibiting their ibeacon platform that will control ibeacons actions and provide metrics to users.

Southfield-based Pixo Group will be exhibiting Oculus Rift experiences they have developed for clients including MLB Chevy, US Navy, and OnStar.

Royal Oak-based Marvel Apps will be featuring their CARROT Pass app, designed to help people achieve weight loss and save money.

Grand Rapids-based, Priority Health will be exhibiting several apps, including the featured app, MyHealth, which is designed to allow patients to view medical results, schedule appointments, and contact their providers.

MTAM will also have an exhibit where staff will be on-hand to answer questions about mobile/wireless technologies, the impact these technologies are having on Michigan’s economy, and also about benefits provided by MTAM membership.

Additionally, MTAM Executive Director, Linda Daichendt, along with Elaina Farnsworth, CEO of MTAM-member, Mobile Comply, will be speaking at a breakout session at the event entitled, “Michigan’s Mobile Industry – Driving Development“.

MTAM is offering a 30% discount on MI Broadband Conference registration which can be obtained by using the discount code “2015mtam” at http://www.connectmi.org/broadband-summit.

Hope to see you there!

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Industry Experts and Leading Authorities to Convene at IoT Slam 2015 Virtual Internet of Things Conference

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) Supports New Online Conference on December 9th that Analyzes Top ‘Internet of Things’ Trends and Challenges to Encourage Next Generation Enterprise Adoption

logo2IoT Slam 2015, a virtual conference developed to promote collaborative analysis of the latest trends and challenges in the world of IoT (Internet of Things), will commence on December 9th 2015. Registration at MTAM discounted rate is available at dld.bz/dU3qC.

“Cross-industry collaboration is a critical way we will accelerate the benefits of IoT across our business and personal lives, and help create a better future across all continents – this forum is driving key aspects that make this happen”

Created and organized by experts and authorities in the IoT industry, and backed by the IoT industry’s’ movers and shakers, this inaugural online conference will highlight key research, important developments and defining accomplishments in the IoT world.

Key topics covered include:

  • Creating Standards
  • Interoperability, Open Source, Integration
  • Cloud and Fog Computing for IoT
  • Privacy and Security
  • Big Data Analytics and Visualization
  • Infrastructure and Backbone
  • New IoT Business Models
  • Governance, Risk and Regulatory Compliance
  • R&D and Best Practices for the Future direction of IoT

According to leading experts and industry analysts, the broader IoT industry is driving the movement toward an “augmented reality” which is set to gain significant momentum over the next 12 months, and by 2020 more than 50 billion “things” will connect to the internet.

IoT Slam gives industry leaders and professionals key insights into published research, unique and evolving ideas and IoT best practices, as well as an opportunity to network with leading experts in IoT. It is also an ideal opportunity for corporate leaders to acquire information on the latest innovations in IoT, generate new opportunities, exchange cutting edge thought leadership, and develop ideas on how to capitalize on what is estimated to be a market worth nearly 2 Trillion Dollars.

Data and Information analytics combined with seamless secure interoperability will be key components in the evolution of IoT, especially now, as we prepare for continued, industry-wide impact on both small businesses and large corporations. Bill Mortimer, vice president of Strategic Marketing at Spirent Communications, and IoT Slam organizing committee Chairman said, “This conference brings together a global audience featuring members from the world’s largest Internet of Things CxO community – comprised of more than 7,000 C-level executive members, to share and analyze existing research, and tackle core topics including infrastructure, implementation, privacy and standards.”

IoT Slam will feature world class keynotes, thought-provoking panel sessions IOTSlam2015 - visualand contain exclusive presentations from IoT experts on current and future aspects of IoT shared by luminary industry leaders – whose contributions are helping to shape the future direction and outlook of the IoT industry.  Additionally, organizers have arranged for an exclusive next-generation virtual exhibition hall for attendees to meet in the cloud with leading technology and solution providers to get first-hand opportunities to see latest offerings in the IoT space.

“Cross-industry collaboration is a critical way we will accelerate the benefits of IoT across our personal lives, industry and help create a better future across all continents – this forum is driving key aspects that make this happen,” said Jason Cook, BT America’s Security Vice-President and Fellow of the IoT Community Advisory Board.

“We are experiencing a ‘perfect storm’ in the market today with the rapid convergence of BigData, Cloud and IoT. The IoT Slam event is a unique opportunity for participants to not only learn how to survive in this perfect storm, but to thrive in it by getting actionable insights. In other words, it is a ‘suthrival guide’ based on deep expertise from key industry stakeholders and with the backing of the powerhouse IoT community,” said Mac Devine, Vice-President and CTO, Networking and Innovation Services, at IBM Cloud and Fellow member of the IoT Community Advisory Board.

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