Connecting Your Pre-Order App To Your Square Account
The Quick Explanation
Square has created this secure, industry-standard way of connecting (ie. authorizing) any 3rd party application/tool to your Square Account. It utilizes something called OAuth, which is a way of giving approval (or "authorization) to a 3rd party back-end (not person) to "talk" to your Account. This is how we "connect" your Square Account to your new mobile app! Keep reading for a more in depth look at Square "Permissions"...
Our "Loyalty" Application Requests Various Permissions
Our Square "Application" is actually titled "Loyalty" (but we're in the process of changing it to "Pre-Order") because we originally started out as a Loyalty Solution for Square. So what happens is a 3rd party application can be set to request a variety of "access" or "permissions" from your Account.
We Won't Actually Ever Get/Have Access To Your Square Account
Once you allow our "Loyalty" Square Application to get access to these various permissions, then your App's back-end can talk to your Square Account through/via Square's API. We will never actually have any human access to your account - and we don't want it (and Square doesn't want us to have it either). It would just create an unwanted liability where if something goes wrong you may think it's our fault or something we did.
Why So Many Permissions?
It might look like we request a lot of permissions, but that's because we have one of, if not the most, Square-integrated solution that currently exists. When you think about all the things a mobile app should do - it really is like an extension of your entire operation and in some ways needs to possibly do even more - because you're expecting a Customer to do the job of a Cashier and a Customer. Meaning, the Customer has to select the items they want, checkout, pay and submit the order to your "system" to ready it for being prepared for "fulfillment".
OAuth Is Completely Safe!
Not only is OAuth completely safe and the mandated method required by Square, but our particular utilization doesn't really require much "write" access - meaning our App doesn't really "edit" or change anything in your actual Square Account.
Our Application Mostly "Reads" & Keeps The App In Sync With Your Menu Items, Pricing, etc.
The "permissions" we request basically allow your App to be in sync with your Square Account. It mostly allows the App to pull and display (ie. read) locations, categories, products/menu items and pricing. Our Application mostly utilizes "read" access, which means the App won’t be changing anything in your account other than inserting orders from the mobile app. In fact, it would be way more expensive, time consuming and cumbersome for us to create a mobile app (or dashboard) that had a lot of "write" (or editing) access too.
So, Speaking of Edit, How Do I Edit?
Easy. You keep doing everything like you already normally do - right in your Square Account. Our goal was to create a solution that didn't create a lot of extra or additional work for you. Our Apps are pretty-hands off. We designed them to mostly pull and display.
Tons of Editing If You Want It
We do have an awesome Admin Dashboard that allows you (or our Support Team) to edit various things IN your mobile app. For example, we created a way for your mobile app to stay in sync with Square, yet be able to display slightly different things - like some restaurants have "back-end" only Categories (that allow their Cashiers) to select items from, but you may not want your Mobile App Customers to see that - so we've made a way to "hide" and/or change the display name of a Category. We've also done this for Locations and Menu Items (Names).
What If I Change A Category, Location, Menu Item Name or Price In Square?
If you edit a category, location, etc in Square then you would basically click a "Refresh" button in your Admin Dashboard and it’ll instantly pull the change into the App. However, you won’t have to do that for Menu Items/Products - those are updated in real-time and will reflect a pricing or name change instantly.
We really tried to give our Customers/Clients editing power where needed, but not too much because we know you're busy trying to run your business.
Update: March 2021 - this is the current way the permissions page looks like in Square now...
We make it a point to know all of our competition, as well as the various global technology markets
very well. That means Agencies all the way down to 3rd world countries where people hire lower
cost developers. We also understand all the various frameworks, practices, “in” things
to do, etc.
Every now and then we do a sort of stealth survey for RFPs (Requests for Proposals) where we’ll
show Agencies or Freelancers a Mobile App or Website (ie. something we made, but we don’t
tell them that). We let them think we’re a client who “just wants something similar”.
And, then we get bids (and timelines) from them.
From these bids, we essentially know that anywhere on earth it would take any team, group of individuals
or company about $5M+ (and god knows how much actual time) to re-create our entire IP Portfolio.
And, by the time they actually did, it would all be obsolete - and we’d already
have the next wave of technology developed.
Who We Are
We’re a Chicago-based Technology Solutions company -
that specializes in creating high quality Native Mobile Apps, Responsive Websites, Web Apps, Software,
APIs, Frameworks, SDKs (software development kits for apps), etc.
We’ve been creating solutions for 20+ years and in that time we’ve
amassed a heck of a lot of technology, expertise, best practices, etc.
Our current digital IP Portfolio
is worth about $5M+. IP = Intellectual Property. That means all the
stuff we make that’s unique that can be used to create mobile apps, websites, etc. How do we know it’s
worth $5M+? Good question. Here’s that answer »
Yes, we’ve tried the VC-route and it wasted more valuable time than it helped. And, since we’re typically
2-5 years ahead of everybody, which has secured us some very big partnerships, we figured it was about time
we tried a different approach.
What Is A Fractional Partner?
To elaborate - just about everyone these days has a variety of side gigs, jobs and hustles.
So, it doesn’t make sense asking for any sort of major commitment in an effort to build something bigger.
So we came up with the idea of “fractional” partners.
Keep doing what you do - that, makes you valuable and connected. Then, if all the Partners simply give 5% of their
time - together we can create traction, opportunities and economies of scale that generate more value
and return for that 5% than we would’ve been able to do otherwise. Simple.
It’s really no different than what VCs are doing these days with pool investments. We’re just doing
it with effort, time, sweat equity, a few bucks a month, existing clients, etc.
Getting Started Is Easy
We want this program to be really easy and even fun for our Partners. Mostly, just keep doing what you
do - just also keep Pre-Order in mind as you go through the course of your normal week.
We believe Apps already effect everybody. Just look at the world around you. We also believe our Apps can
help just about any businesses or person imaginable because they have so many features already built-in.
So here's a list of suggestions for you:
1. Simply mention it to your clients, customers or just people in general
2. Do they already use Square?
Take note of what a business, cafe or restaurant uses for payments (Square is really recognizable
and if they already use it, then it makes them an easy target).
3. Share our Media Kits!
We've created 2 super cool PDF Media Kits for clients, customers, etc. One if for the Apps, the other
is for Branding & Design. Now, if you do design, then obviously don't share that one! We don't
want to take business from you! We want YOU to use these Apps to boost your business and demand!
We've learned from experience the Media Kits basically do all the heavy lifting for you, so you
don't even have to explain or know the product that well in the beginning.
You can think of it (if you want) as sort of just referring or relaying potential customers over
to us. You line em up, we'll knock em out! Then, send you a check (or technically a deposit or
4. Ask people if they want a free demo.
This is such a simple thing, but we've found that it's the
single most powerful thing that gets people to try our service. When they can hold an App in their
hands that has their logo and branding and their services or products - it's really jaw-dropping for
most people and instantly shifts their perspective to what it would be like to really have an App. It
sort of "sells" itself.
"Rich" Push Notifications
"Rich" Push Notifications are extremely powerful, built-in notifications that are even more advanced than
regular push notifications and almost no one outside of various multi-billion dollar companies has or
is offering them, yet alone offers them by default in an App.
Most businesses pay for the ability to send SMS Text Messages - we offer those AND Rich Push Notifications
for free - by default - already built in.
"Rich" Push Notifications allow you to embed video or images, plus
clickable website links. So just imagine the marketing power.
For example: You could behaviorially target Customers, then show them an image or video of their
favorite menu item, retail product or service, then put a clickable link at the end of the push
notification text that takes them directly to a special landing page that you've already built
analytics tracking into.
First and foremost, we’re almost like an extinct species. We make “Native”
Mobile Apps, whereas SO much of the tech industry centers around “Hybrid” Cross-Platforms.
Simply put - those are stupid. But, only because we exist and what we do is proof that it’s
Native - means, native to the environment of the devices that the App is made for. ie.
XCode (the platform) and Swift (the language)
are Apple's native App ecosystem. And, Android Studio and Java are Google's.
Basically, in a nutshell - a hybrid platform attempts to create mobile apps as one body of code, which
is supposed to make it easier to maintain, update and all of that (vs 2 separate ones). When in reality
it ends up costing
way more than just making 2 separate apps on each respective platform (ie. Apple and Google Play Android),
taking way longer and being way less stable.
For the most part, famous brands don't do that. They make Native Apps - but yeah, they have more money.
But if hybrids were so great, why don't famous brands do it more? And do you actually know of any famous
apps that ARE hybrid apps?
Think about it - you're trying to make one code base for 2 very distinctly different platforms owned by
2 very competitive behemoths (Apple and Google). That doesn't sound very smart.
We used to do it. And, we found out fast - it's murky. You're muddying the waters and chasing a moving
No matter how smart all these geniuses who support this madness are or claim to be - you know who they
aren't smarter than? Both Apple and Google. THEY have hundreds, if not thousands of the most talented
engineers on earth - and in case you missed it, they are BOTH device companies now.
In Apple's case, that's
the primary thing that's making them billions. So they are constantly working on new chipsets and hardware
to keep their phones (and tablets) fresh, so they can get people to buy or upgrade to the new ones.
And everytime they change
the insides of those phones, it sends a ripple effect down their ecosystem. And, do you know what's last
in the totem pole? Apps.
That whole device thing makes Apps a nightmare to keep updated and working, which
is precisely why it's stupid to even try to do it with hybrids.
Who can keep up with Apple and Google? They can't even keep up with
themselves, which is precisely why they release new phones and then constantly have to come out with OS
updates to fix stuff for months after a new phone releases.
The wiser thing to do, that is way more sustainable, way less expensive, way faster, etc. is to just
follow the damn rules that both Apple and Google layout for THEIR App systems. Simple. If they tell you
to do something a certain way, do it. Not because you're a follower or something. It doesn't mean you're
not talented and independent. It just means you acknowledge that THEY are the ones who control that platform
and it's inevitable that in 6 months (that's about how often they both release primary versions + S versions of
their phones and devices, right?) those App coding functions, logic and rules are going to change.
So when you go hybrid what you have to do is wait for some team to update THEIR platform to reflect Apple
and Google's recent changes, THEN update your App(s) vs just getting right now to updating your App(s)