uCast FAQ

What is uCast?

uCast is an App for the iPhone and the Android that includes an admin control portal that allows the organization to make changes to the App after it is deployed to the iTunes and Google Play App Stores.  uCast also does Push Notifications, Texts, Email and Robo-Calls, allowing an organization to communicate with the uCast App users. 

Why is it important to be able to change the App after it is in the App Stores?

A significant limitation of Apps these days is that the buttons, layout and other important content is static and cannot be changed after the App is deployed to the app stores.  Changing even the smallest element of the app can takes up to two weeks before your users can download the update.   The process is also very expensive and requires programmers to make the changes.  With uCast anyone authorized by the organization to use the control website can make the changes easily and quickly.

Can the App be changed after it is on a users phone or tablet?

uCast’s content/layout can be updated at any time even after the user has downloaded the app to the phone.  Each time the user opens the App it goes to the organization’s admin portal and downloads any changes that have been made to the App.  All this without having to download a new version from the site.

What Phones and Operating Systems do uCast Apps support?

uCast will run on Android 2.3 or greater and iOS 4.3 or greater.

Will uCast work on a tablet?

uCast works on both iPad and Android tablets.

How quickly do changes appear in the uCast App on a users phone?

Every time the users opens the app or brings it to the foreground to use it the app will download any new information that has been updated on the website.  There is also a refresh button in the app that will immediately bring down any changes.

How does a uCast App user subscribe to activity channels/messages?

A user can choose the notification tab at the bottom of the app and a list of available activities with communication channels.  This allows the user to subscribe to a channel by checking a box in the list for that activity.  In the case of texts and emails the user will be prompted to enter their phone number and/or email address (your organization will need to pay for the SMS/Robo calling service for these options to appear for your user to subscribe). 

These channels can be un-subscribed at any time from the notification tab and the user will stop receiving messages.

Can a user turn off notifications if they no longer want to receive them?

From the notifications list the user can unsubscribe from a channel at any time by simply unchecking a checkbox.  If the user has multiple numbers subscribed they will all be unsubscribed or the user can go into a menu and subscribe each number individually.

What channels can I broadcast messages for?

Users that have been authorized by the organization to send messages are given logins and passwords.  They enter them into the phone and a messaging interface comes up allowing them to enter the message by typing it in or using a voice recorder to send robo-calls.

They are granted the channels allowed by the application portal administrator.  They are only allowed to see/broadcast channels permissioned on their behalf.  So, the wrestling coach can only send messages to his wrestling channel and not do the same for the chess club for instance.

Your admin sets up these permissions on the admin portal.

Who is an authorized message sender?

Message senders are authorized to send messages by the organization from the website admin portal’s “Users” tab.  When an authorized broadcaster is set up, they are given a login and password to log into the broadcast interface.  A message sender is then set up for only the notification channels from which they are authorized to send messages.

What am I buying when I purchase the uCast App and Service?

When you buy uCast you get access to your admin portal that allows the organization to enter, design and make changes to the app’s content/layout/channels.  You also get your own custom app in both iTunes and Google Play for your users to download.

How much does uCast cost my organization?

Please contact us today (ucast@optimo-it.com or 1-877-564-8552) for a quote for your organization.  The cost of uCast is dependent on the size of your organization and the features you select. 

Is there an extra charge for Texts and Robo-Calls?

Texts and Robo-calls are available at a small additional cost per call. The organization must pre-pay for call credits that can be used as they go.  There is no additional charge for push notifications or emails.

Push Notifications come with the core system for no additional charge.  The limitation of push notifications is that they are only received by users with the app on their smartphones, while texts and robo-calls can be received by any phone.

Is there an annual fee to use the uCast service?

Yes. There are costs to run the servers that update the user's app every time they re-start the app. The annual cost is typically ~ 50% of the initial purchase of the app. This can vary if your user base increases or decreases significantly as well.

What does uCast cost for the App user?

In most cases the App can be downloaded from the store for free.  The organization can charge a price for the App if they want.

How long does it take to get my uCast App?

After payment is received, we setup the initial consultation to get the graphics for your organization for the App’s Splash Screen and Icons.  You will also need to provide the text and info required for the App Stores.  After payment is received you will get access to your admin panel login. The final app will be available on the iTunes and Google Play store within 2 weeks from receipt of payment, graphics, and info.

How hard is it to maintain the uCast App?

A uCast app does not have to be changed after the initial setup and will run with no maintenance.  Most customers actively change the uCast app as their organization evolves.  These changes can be made by non-technical staff with little training.  In a recent case an organization set up their entire app in one day after limited training.