Archive for the ‘Mobile App Development’ Category

Mobile App ideas to consider using Javascript(Js)

Monday, August 31st, 2020

JavaScript is the most popular language on our planet. Even back-end developers who write server-side code tend to research more questions on JavaScript than any other language. That’s because JS is pretty inescapable. One of the most powerful things you can do with JS is to build mobile apps for both Android and iPhone. Here are some JavaScript frameworks and mobile app ideas that you can use.

Build hybrid mobile apps

Hybrid apps merge components of the web and native applications. They are a mobile version of a website that runs on a web browser. Unlike Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, this is a default browser that does not use an address bar. They are cross-platform compatible and can run on multiple mobile operating systems.

JavaScript frameworks that can be used to create hybrid mobile apps include Phonegap, Sencha touch, Onsen UI, and Ionic.

Build native mobile apps

These apps work with only one component for an operating system. Some components of a native app will change as the features of the operating system change; for example, buttons and preloaders. These apps are written in programming languages like Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. The advantage of native apps is that they are fast and reliable when compared to hybrid mobile apps.

Today, you can use a JavaScript framework to build native mobile apps that are cross-platform compatible. You can convert a JavaScript code to render the native components to the platform it runs on.

Here is a list of JavaScript frameworks you can use to build native apps.

React Native

An open-source framework that has been created and maintained by Facebook. Although not a new framework, it is one of the most popular. You can create an entire mobile app using only JavaScript. It uses the same design as React and lets you build a rich mobile user interface from declarative components. Apps built using React Native include Instagram, Uber, Facebook, and Walmart.

Tabris.js

Build native iOS and Android apps from a single code with Tabris.js. If you know how to use PhoneGap and/or Ionic, you won’t have trouble using tabris.js, and it won’t be a difficult destination to migrate. Tabris.js follows the same format as PhoneGap and Ionic config.xml.

Native script

For great UI performance, Telerik Native Script is just right. This open-source framework allows you to build both Android and iOS mobile apps.

Of all the above apps, Tabris.js framework is definitely the best as it also supports cloud build without the requirement of huge SDK installations that consume both space and memory.

Benefits of Creating Microservices Apps in an Advanced Production Environment

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Nowadays, containers are highly utilized as a deployment vehicle for applications. According to experts, the expedition of legacy app modernization and net-new development will lead to 45% of production applications being cloud-native using containers, microservices, and dynamic orchestration, by 2022.  As a result, containers will still house the monolithic apps which are directly packed in containers or refactored in the microservices. However, the maintenance, operations, and management of such applications won’t require any certain changes in the business IT operations.

The cloud-native apps by their nature are microservices-based applications and they are constituted of “set of microservices” which is owned by one or mixed company lines and consolidated from various resources. A cloud-native app can easily contain 35+ microservices. Usually in an organization, there are about 150+ business applications, and recreating them as cloud-native apps can lead to 3500+ microservices, all deployed on a single container platform at once. As a result, there will a consistent change in your production environment. 

The cloud-native applications on a container platform need an absolute redesigning of the entire IT operations and management. These changes are driven by:

  • Integrating constant deployment of cloud-native applications
  • Reconstructing the relationship and cooperation model with the organization
  • Tooling for microservices monitoring, management, and logging

How to deal with the cloud-native apps in production?

To seamlessly integrate the continuous deployment of the cloud-native apps, you need to re-evaluate the management of your testing, staging, and production conditions along with an integrated toolchain. You also need to observe the flow control through all the various stages. The development phase must mirror the production stage so that the business lines can effectively test the microservices under the close-to-production provisions and operations. Likewise, businesses can verify the development progress and classify the possible issues before moving towards the production stage by performing intense monitoring and logging.

Moreover, businesses should support rollback if the new microservices creates an error in the production environment. Secondly, the container platforms must maintain the Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process and implement constant monitoring, resourcing, and tooling access over the testing, staging, and production phase.

Synchronizing with the Business

Enterprises are more focused on re-creating their relationship and interactive model with the businesses. IT leaders are now jointly operating with the developers and LOB users to create an effective microservices architecture and process model across the business.

Benefits of having a Microservice-Based Solution

Easy to Manage and Evolve Especially:

  • Developers find it quite easy to learn and get started instantly with excellent productivity. For instance, containers start quickly making it more productive for developers. 
  • An IDE like Visual Studio can load tinier projects quickly.
  • Each microservice can be created, developed, and deployed individually of other microservices providing agility since it is easy to deploy new versions of microservices often.

Effective Work Division Every service can be controlled by a single development team and each team can control, develop, deploy, and estimate their service independently.

Isolated Issues Error in a single service does not hinder the entire structure, only the particular service is impacted. Besides, when a problem in a microservice is resolved, you can easily deploy just the affected microservice without influencing the rest of the application.

Importance of APIs in the World of Social Media

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

You have probably heard of the acronym tossed around in recent years. API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface which is a set of instructions, standards, or requirements that enables a software or app to employ features/services of another app, platform, or device for better services. Concisely, it’s something that lets apps communicate with each other. One of the major aspects of API is that it has made the internet experience much more pleasant for every person. The acronym has helped you compare the best prices for flights, allowed you to embed a map into your store’s website, and even seamlessly processed your credit card payments. If you want to explore more of it, then this blog will give an overview of APIs and how they relate to social media platforms.

Role of APIs for Social Media

Social media has exploded in recent years. Today, the number of people on social media has grown to nearly 3 billion, and the numbers are projected to continue their upward trend. As we know, there are numerous platforms, from Facebook, Instagram to Twitter, Imgur to Foursquare, and more, cater to a remarkable range of digital interactions to people around the world. 

APIs make social media possible and they are crucial to successfully exchanging all of this information and delivering the experience that users expect. Without APIs, it would be difficult for your website to link your Facebook page or Twitter account to your website or to combine your Google Plus account to your blog posts in order to promote your authorship reputation. In like manner, you will not be able to use the Google Analytics tool in auditing and optimizing your e-commerce website for better search performance. The social media marketing tools that are used in encouraging businesses are powered by APIs. As far now, there are many marketing values that are derived from social media APIs which include but not limited to the following:

  • Showing ad campaigns to your site as a publisher.
  • Application development to expand the benefits of using marketing tools.
  • Displaying social media buttons to optimize the social shares of your post.
  • Seamless launching of an email marketing campaign using APIs for customer subscription lists and ad campaigns.
  • Tracking down the data analytics information from your website to the analytic monitoring tool or software.

Big Examples of Social Media API Functionalities

As mentioned above, APIs are being used in countless ways by every social media platform today. Here are a few popular examples:

Facebook Graph API:

At present, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, with more than 2.4 billion active users worldwide. The Facebook Graph API is an HTTP-based API that provides the main way of accessing the platform’s data. Third-party developers and creators use this tool to retrieve information such as username, email, birthday, and hometown of users. Besides, popular chains such as Subway and Starbucks use the Graph API to collect user information to assist in their marketing and advertising strategies.

Twitter Ads API: 

The Twitter API mainly allows you to add Twitter functionalities to your application. Moreover, the Twitter Ads API is a key part of their business; it not only helps promote Twitter accounts but also allows organizations to launch their scheduled advertising campaigns. With the help of API, marketers can reach out to people of a certain age group from a certain city. From one ad account, an organization can roll out about 200 active advertisement campaigns.

Imgur API: 

Imgur is another amazing social media platform where people share entertaining images. It has a global user base with high engagement, and these users are particularly interested in technology, video games, food, and music. Brands outside of Imgur can utilize its API functionality to expose these users to new gaming and tech items and products. Currently, Imgur offers its third version of APIs which use OAuth 2.0. Therefore, you won’t have to encrypt your requests, but simply send them to https:// via SSL/TLS. 

LinkedIn API:

LinkedIn can be described as the world’s number-one social network for business users. It was established in 2003, and currently serves millions of users in more than 200 countries worldwide. LinkedIn also offers API access to developers (RESTful), so that all contacts, jobs, relationships, companies, and interactions would be displayed by third-party providers. Likewise, there are many more: Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, and other social media brands all have created APIs. These APIs will act as potent technologies supporting the ever-expanding promise of social media.

Conclusion

With the aforementioned information, I hope you will find an API that you can use to add versatile social engagement capabilities to your applications! For more information, you can connect with our business consultants. 

Status Codes in API Testing

Friday, June 19th, 2020

What is API?

API is an Application Programming Interface. It is an interface among software and within the software. To understand it we must go through a basic example as a user.

To get to know the API, follow the below steps:

  • Let us suppose a user is on ‘You Tube’ and observes the URL field on the screen. If a user enters any keyword for which the user wishes to view the video, say ‘Hello’ and click on the search button. The API of the videos related to’ hello ‘will get hit and users may observe the part after youtube.com/{This}.
  • If the user clicks any video from the page again, he/she will observe the API’s being hit at that moment. So, what is basically happening here?
  • The user is requesting a request from a provider and it is giving back the required response. Some of the times it happens that there is a working site say ‘www.ABC.com users search it and its API gets hit, it opens.

What are Status Codes?

  • Now if the company ‘ABC’ changes its name to ‘ABD’ and the user enters the same old URL which has not yet been redirected to the new company name it will show an error ‘Page not found‘.
  • How can users view it? For more understanding, right-click on the screen, Select ‘inspect’ and click on the ‘console’ tab. It will display a 404 page not found. These results tell us the responses are known as status codes.

Status Codes are the HTTP RESPONSE standard status code.

What are some common API status codes?

Status codes are divided into 5 categories:

  • 1xx – Informational messages
  • 2xx – Success messages
  • 3xx – Redirection messages
  • 4xx – Client error
  • 5xx – Server error

To understand categories of status codes in API’s testing, let us think of a way the user can easily catch. Consider a website, the screen user can view with the eyes is the user interface.

On this website, there is a page where the user can add its details to create the account.

Users enter fields such as ‘Name’,’ DOB’ (and other personal details) and click on ‘Submit’. Now considering the above scenario, we can understand status codes.

  • If during the submit request, which was received and understood. It requests the response consuming resource to wait for a final response. Just an information message while the request continues to proceed are Information messages.
  • When the request is requested by the client was received, understood and accepted. It states as Success messages.
  • If while entering the Name field which has a validation to accept only 15 alphabets, user-entered more than that and submit the request. On the UI, an error message is displayed. Now, this error was caused by the client. hence Client error.
  • If during the submit request, the server is unable to perform the request due to any situation, that is known as Server-side error.
  • For a Redirection message, the website name changes its name to ‘www.AND.com’ and you enter the same old URL which has not yet been redirected to the new website name, this is the case for redirection found.

Conclusion

APIs are a means by which two different programs can communicate within the software and among software’s and status codes are the responses that are the results of the requests sent.

What is an API?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface.

It enables communication and data exchange between two separate software systems. A software system implementing an API contains functions/subroutines which can be executed by another software system.

What is API Testing?

API Testing is entirely different from GUI Testing and mainly concentrates on the business logic layer of the software architecture. This testing won’t concentrate on the look and feel of an application.

Instead of using standard user inputs(keyboard) and outputs, in API Testing, you use software to send calls to the API, get output, and note down the system’s response.

API Testing requires an application to interact with API. In order to test an API, you will need to

  • Use Testing Tool to drive the API
  • Write your own code to test the API

Set-up of API Test environment

  • API Testing is different from other software testing types as GUI is not available, and yet you are required to set up an initial environment that invokes API with a required set of parameters and then finally examines the test result.
  • Hence, Setting up a testing environment for API testing seems a little complex.
  • Database and server should be configured as per the application requirements.
  • Once the installation is done, the API Function should be called to check whether that API is working.

Types of Output of an API

An output of API could be:

  1. Any type of data
  2. Status (say Pass or Fail)
  3. Call another API function.

Test Cases for API Testing:

Test cases of API testing are based on:

  • Return value based on input conditionit is relatively easy to test, as input can be defined and results can be authenticated.
  • Does not return anythingWhen there is no return value, the behavior of the API on the system to be checked.
  • Trigger some other API/event/interruptIf an output of an API triggers some event or interrupt, then those events and interrupt listeners should be tracked.
  • Update data structureUpdating data structure will have some outcome or effect on the system, and that should be authenticated
  • Modify certain resourcesIf API call modifies some resources then it should be validated by accessing respective resources.

Approach of API Testing

Following points helps the user to do API Testing approach:

  1. Understanding the functionality of the API program and clearly defining the scope of the program.
  2. Apply testing techniques such as equivalence classes, boundary value analysis, and error guessing and write test cases for the API.
  3. Input Parameters for the API need to be planned and defined appropriately.
  4. Execute the test cases and compare expected and actual results.

How to do API Testing

API testing should cover at least following testing methods apart from usual SDLC process:

  • Discovery TestingThe test group should manually execute the set of calls documented in the API like verifying that a specific resource exposed by the API can be listed, created and deleted as appropriate.
  • Usability Testing – This testing verifies whether the API is functional and user-friendly. And does API integrate well with another platform as well.
  • Security TestingThis testing includes what type of authentication is required and whether sensitive data is encrypted over HTTP or both.
  • Automated TestingAPI testing should culminate in the creation of a set of scripts or a tool that can be used to execute the API regularly.
  • DocumentationThe test team has to make sure that the documentation is adequate and provides enough information to interact with the API. Documentation should be a part of the final deliverable

Best Practices of API Testing

  • Test cases should be grouped by test category.
  • On top of each test, you should include the declarations of the APIs being called.
  • Parameters selection should be explicitly mentioned in the test case itself.
  • Prioritize API function calls so that it will be easy for testers to test.
  • Each test case should be as self-contained and independent from dependencies as possible.
  • Avoid “test chaining” in your development.
  • Special care must be taken while handling one-time call functions like – Delete, CloseWindow, etc…
  • Call sequencing should be performed and well planned.
  • To ensure complete test coverage, create test cases for all possible input combinations of the API.

Types of Bugs that API testing detects

  • Fails to handle error conditions gracefully.
  • Unused flags
  • Missing or duplicate functionality.
  • Reliability Issues. Difficulty in connecting and getting a response from API.
  • Security Issues
  • Multi-threading issues.
  • Performance Issues. API response time is very high.
  • Improper errors/warning to a caller.
  • Incorrect handling of valid argument values.
  • Response Data is not structured correctly (JSON or XML).

Tools for API testing

Since API and Unit Testing both target source code, tools/frameworks can be used for their automation.

  • Parasoft SOAtest
  • Runscope
  • Postman
  • Curl
  • Cfix
  • Check
  • CTESK
  • dotTEST
  • Eclipse SDK tool- Automated API testing

Check out top API Testing Tools List

Challenges of API Testing

Challenges of API testing includes:

  • Main challenges in Web API testing are Parameter Combination, Parameter Selection, and Call Sequencing.
  • There is no GUI available to test the application which makes it difficult to give input values.
  • Validating and Verifying the output in a different system is little difficult for testers.
  • Parameters selection and categorization is required to be known to the testers.
  • Exception handling function needs to be tested
  • Coding knowledge is necessary for testers

Conclusion:

API consists of a set of classes/functions/procedures which represent the business logic layer. If the API is not tested properly, it may cause problems not only in the API application but also in the calling application. It is an indispensable test in software engineering.

What is Appium?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Appium is an open-source test automation tool developed and supported by Sauce Labs to automate native and hybrid mobile apps. It is basically known as a Cross-Platform Mobile Automation Tool.

Features of Appium

  • Appium can run on a variety of devices and emulators making it an apt choice for mobile test automation.
  • Automating hybrid and native mobile applications for Android and iOS is a key function handled by Appium, a node.js server.
  • One of the main principles of Appium is that test codes can be written in any framework or language like Ruby on Rails, C#, and Java without having to modify the apps for automation purposes.
  • Most of those tools require an extra agent that needs to be compiled with application code so that the tool can interact with the mobile app. In Appium, extra agents are not required. It removes the problem that the app which will be tested is not the same app which will be submitting in the App Store. We need to remove those automation agent libraries before submitting the app.

Appium Architecture

Appium is an HTTP server written in node.js which creates and handles multiple WebDriver sessions for different platforms like iOS and Android.

It is almost the same as the Selenium server which perceives HTTP requests from Selenium client libraries, and it handles those requests in different ways depending upon the platforms. Each vendor like iOS and Android has a different way and mechanism to run a test case on the device so Appium kind of hacks into it and runs this test case after listening commands from the Appium server.

Appium Advantages

  • All the complexities come under the Appium server only and for an automation developer the programming language and the whole experience would remain the same irrespective of the platform he is automating (iOS or Android).
  • Same test would work on multiple platforms.
  • Appium doesn’t require you to include some extra agents in your app to make it automation friendly.
  • It is developed and supported by Sauce Labs and it is getting picked really fast within the WebDriver community for mobile automation.
  • It can automate Web, Hybrid and Native mobile applications.

Appium LimitationsWe can only run one instance on instruments per Mac OS so we can only run our iOS scripts on one device per mac machine. So, if we want to run our tests on multiple iOS devices at the same time then we would need to arrange the same number of Mac machines, which would be a costly affair.

But this limitation can be resolved if we execute our scripts in Sauce Lab’s mobile cloud which supports running scripts on multiple iOS simulators at the same time.

Prerequisite to use Appium

  • Install the Java Development Kit
  • Set Up Java Environment Variable Path
  • Install Android SDK / ADB on Windows
  • Install Android SDK Packages
  • Set up Android Environment Variable
  • Download and Install NodeJs
  • Install Microsoft .net Framework
  • Download and Install Appium Desktop Client
  • Enabling Developer Mode Options on Android Phone or Tablet
  • Set Up Appium Project – Add java client dependency for Appium

Run First Appium Test

  • Launch Appium Node Server
Appium1
  • Click on Android icon to open the configuration of the Appium run.
  • Select the check box of No Reset. This will ensure that the Appium will not install or uninstall App on every run.
Appium2
  • Click on General Setting icon and make sure that Server Address and Port is populated.
  • Do not alter the IP address or port number. Appium console starts at 127.0.0.1:4723 as shown in below.
Appium3

Click on the Launch Appium Node Server button on the top right corner of Appium window and wait for few seconds. Appium server started and running on your system.

Appium4

Sample of basic code

Appium5

Whatsapp has launched the much-awaited dark mode theme

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Your most anticipated wait is finally over. Whatsapp has ultimately launched the dark mode theme for your favorite social media app for iOS and Android. Reportedly, the firm had been working for more than two years for this upgrade. Users initially had the beta version a few months ago; now the final version has been rolling out.

Salient features of the new theme

The dark theme is appealing to some users. Moreover, the darker shades are intended to give out less amount of glare in a dark environment like during the night. The light shades are known to emit more blue rays that can disrupt the user’s sleep patterns. Besides, even for day time users, looking at lighter shades for a more extended period may result in foggy-headedness.

The other essential feature of the darker shade is that with devices using AMOLED displays, the darker shades can help them reduce power consumption.

100% due diligence before roll out

Wonder why it took this long for the software and social media giant to finalize this? Well, Whatsapp did not want to make a spontaneous transition in their app. During their update process, they worked more keenly on two aspects; namely, Legibility and Information hierarchy.

Legibility  The spokesperson stated that they did not want the upgrade to involve colour choice causing fatigue or strain to the users? eyes. They wanted to use colours that resemble the default colours of iPhone and Android.

Information Hierarchy The designers wanted their users to focus their attention easily on each screen. They did this by choosing colours and other design elements to ascertain that the information stands out according to their importance.

Dark mode ? the new frontier in app UI?

Whatsapp has revolutionized digital communication because it offers chatting, video calls and audio calls too. Moreover, it gives an aesthetical feel to the users with customizable wallpapers, emojis, and so on. They have taken a farther leap with the introduction of the dark mode theme. They saw the preference in the pattern of choice pervading in much other software and digital fields.

After all, it depends on the users to decide how useful, outstanding and appealing the latest update is. Some users might have liked Whatsapp the OLED dark themes for Apple iPhone 11 Pro, and Google Pixel 4 XL; nevertheless, it looks regardless. In case your smartphone is on Android 10 or iOS 13, then the Whatsapp dark theme is controlled through the settings that control the device?s colour and light themes.

Whereas, if your device is on Android 9 or Apple iOS 12, or lower than you can change the settings through Whatsapp settings>Chats>Theme>Dark.

There is also a Whatsapp dark mode for desktop users. It is in the process yet. It has not been finalized; however, the surfacing images show that the palette of the desktop, i.e. Microsoft Windows version matches the Google Android and Apple iOS apps.

Ending Note

This was the information about the latest release of Whatsapp; i.e. the dark mode theme. It can help users reduce their eyes? strains, and it looks cool.

Five best mobile app development software

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

The year 2020 will witness approximately 3.5 billion smartphone users across the globe. That half the population of the world, and you might wonder how having your business mobile app can benefit you? Well, people spend 90% of their mobile time using apps.

So, it’s an excellent opportunity for your business to attract more customers and skyrocket your profits. There are many stellar mobile app development software available. By using those apps, you can create a seamless business mobile app for your potential customers. Below are our five best recommendations.

1. Appy Pie 

Appy Pie is a software that enables you to develop mobile apps without coding. The software provides numerous tools and options that allow creating the app easily. The process is pretty simple; you need to select an app design and add the desired features to it. Finally, you can publish it on the App Store or Google Play. The software offers you drag and drop editor, AI integration, training, and support too.     

2. Appian

Appian’s app development software focuses on enterprise apps. The software uses AI and automotive processes to present your company data most effectively. In the development process, you will need to use the visual editor to select the functions you want in your app. The software makes it possible to make complex tasks much simpler for the app user. If you run an enterprise, then Appian is your best bet.

3. Verivo 

Verivo is an app development provider, which offers you its AppStudio platform to create the app. You can comfortably develop an app, owing to the drag and drop interface. You can select the data sources of your choice and also use HTML 5 and JavaScript as per your requirement. The most significant advantage of Verivo is it offers faster development, flexible and extensible software, and you can create numerous apps by keeping the same base.    

4. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator provides you with apps for multiple platforms; you can develop your app or use the ready-made one. The software is suitable for a business who wants to simplify their tasks by accepting more automation. It can provide you practical functions like event management, sales management, order management, logistics, etc. You can fully customize the app using drag and drop editor and various integration options.  

5. AppSheet 

AppSheet allows you to develop apps without coding and using spreadsheet inputs. With the data stored on your cloud in spreadsheet formats, you can choose a template and further pick the options and features you want in the app. You can integrate the data from Google Sheets and office 365 as well. AppSheet is not only easy to use, but you can develop apps using spreadsheet inputs and countless other features. 

Conclusion

Games are indeed the most popular mobile app category. But, you would be happy to know that the business apps with a share of 10.12% are the second most popular category on the Apple store. By having your business mobile app, you can indeed benefit your company. You can also consider hiring a development company.

AI-based Hyper-Personalization in Fintech

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Have you experienced AI-based hyper-personalization? No? I bet you have. Remember the notifications from Swiggy, Zomato, or Uber Eats during your lunch hour, reminding you of your favorite dishes? It is a simple example of the use of hyper-specialization through AI. 

What is hyper-specialization?

It is a step ahead of the old school definition of specialization. Brands portraying that they know about you and care for your choices, preferences, etc. through notifications pop up reminders and specially crafted emails are hyper-personalization.

What is the role of AI in hyper-specialization?

AI helps in the functioning of the whole idea behind the hyper-specialization. It works through consumer data. Using consumer data like past experiences, reviews, purchases, and even clicks, the AI draws patterns and reaches conclusions that are further used by the companies in the hyper-specialization. 

Role of AI-based hyper-specialization in today’s world-

In today’s world, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. As they are tech-savvy and well informed, they want the technology to make their life easier. They prefer the websites and brands which show what they want exactly when they want that and, when this connection is poor, they move on to a better one. As per cmo.com, consumers are willing to pay even more for consumer-friendly experiences, which are speedy as well as efficient.

And, this advancement has not left the Finance industry untouched. Fintech companies have also started using AI-based hyper-specialization for providing better customer services and winning their trust. 

What is Fintech

It is a term used to describe the use of technology in rendering financial services to consumers. When a company uses software or other technology for payment and other commercial purposes, it is described as fintech.

Fintech and AI-based Hyper-Personalized

Everyone has a different source of finance, needs, and ways of using it. One structure cannot be suitable for all. Here is where data of financial institutions can be used to develop personalized structures as per the preferences and needs of the consumers. 

Today, what consumers want are not limited services but various options that show their needs, choices, and requirements covering more and more areas of their financial sphere. 

For example, financial companies use emails and notifications for advertising about insurance based on your age, nature of the job, and types of expenses. 

By drawing patterns and deriving conclusions, banks send notifications of car loans and home loans, etc. Even though there are numerous benefits of personalization through AI, according to The Digital Banking Report, only 6% of financial institutions say they are deploying advanced personalization technology. Nowadays, the consumers want their fintech providers as any other retailer which takes care of their needs and suggests relevant product and services. 

Nearly 90% of retail banking customers who are provided with personalization services are highly satisfied with the advice provided by their financial institution say they “definitely will” reuse their bank or credit union for another product. Time has come that the institutions develop themselves from personal connections to personalized connections to get the most advantage of the technologies and succeed in the game. It has become important that they rise above just basic transactions.

How to develop a food delivery app?

Friday, March 6th, 2020

The online food ordering business has witnessed some of the most rapid growths in the e-commerce segment. The food delivery apps, in particular, are the handiest choice for order food for hunger pangs. As an estimation, the food delivery business via apps in the USA reached up to 40 million users last year. Some forecasts say that by 2021 more than 1/5th smartphone users ought to have food delivery apps. Designing a food delivery app needs thorough planning and due diligence.

Factors like UI/UX of the app, its visual appeal, quick checkout process, and the biggest number of hotels and restaurants partnered up to provide a wide selection pool. An app that meets the customers’ requirements is the one going to stand apart from the rest in the market.

Here are some essential features that can help you get the best result from the app:

1. Business Models for Food Delivery

The current online food ordering market is based on two prominent start-up business models. These models have been developed by taking the customers’ convenience and benefits to the food joints and restaurants into consideration. Choosing the right model of business can help you in the right manner. The models are as follows.

a) The Aggregator Model 

The model of business in the food ordering app helps small firms to work as just vendors. The vendors are the mediators who manage the food joints and customers. They help customers to come to know about the different restaurants, their specialties, and prices. This is like having menus of all the restaurants on the phone itself in one place. Besides, one can view the restaurants’ reviews and ratings and can give theirs too. 

Once a customer using this app orders food, the data is sent by the mediator to the right food company or restaurant. The restaurant itself handles the process from there. 

b) Food ordering and delivery model

This model is more involved in the transaction and communication between the customer and the restaurant. Once the customer places an order on the app, the app company itself takes the payment and forwards it to the restaurant (subtracting its share of profit, of course) and handles the delivery to the customer. 

Aside from the ability for a customer to view the different restaurants’ food lists their prices, reviews, and ratings; the customers can also rest assured about the delivery time, one company handling the delivery can offer uniformity across times. Most small food joints and outlets can easily benefit from this model as they lack logistical support. Also, by not employing more workers, a company can have more profits. 

While choosing the right business model, give the necessary inputs like a centralized contact number for ordering or feedback.

2. The Essential Feature of the App

Although the food quality, quantity, price, review, and rating of the restaurants matter the most. The other aspects, like the menu loading time and the attractiveness of the website, can make the app the most preferred one. 

The following points can help an app be the preferred choice. 

a) Availability of data

The amount of data available on a food delivery app can help the customer to get more information. The information on the number of restaurants, their food items, calories, ingredients, vegan, vegetarian, halal or kosher certifications and the estimated delivery time can make a customer decide whether to go for it or not. 

The market for food delivery is all about convenience and speed. With rich informative data about the menu or different types of foods, you empower the users to make better choices in ordering the preferred type of food. Providing a list of filters to fine-tune the selection will elevate the overall user experience by several notches.

b) Payment options and integration

Ordering things on an app is like buying it online. Most customers like making a payment with inbuilt services like Apple pay or third party payment processing apps. The integrated payment methods give convenience to the customers of not carrying credit and debit cards. Besides, with touch or password-protected payment features, the customer can also rest assured of safe transactions. 

Some customers don’t prefer online transactions. They usually do not integrate their plastic with a payment gateway. They may prefer entering card details every time they buy something. Some customers, on the other hand, do still like only the traditional payment methods like cash on delivery despite their limitations. A rounded payment option can make you lead in the market. 

3. Include food delivery and tracking options

Customers ordering food on apps are at times time-bound, they don’t like waiting around and want precise estimates in their delivery time. Right from choosing the order if the customer gets the right evaluation of time, then they can make sure to select the correct order or manage time until the delivery arrives. If they can track their order in real-time and get the estimated remaining time, then they can plan out other sequences of their party. 

Delivering later than the quoted time can be considered misleading. With the display of accurate estimate time and traceability, you can build better credibility in the market; thus, patronize existing customers and attract new customers due to a positive word of mouth. 

Summing Up

These were some essential features of a food ordering app that can help you get the best result from the app. With these features, you can make sure that your app reaches every corner of the market and get the best response. 

Thumb rule of building mobile navigation

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Building an app is about building it with design attracting the users. It is also about user-friendliness. The easy navigation of an app is going to make appealing to the users. Navigation is like a conversation. Besides, being catchy, the users don’t feel bored while using the app. An app should, therefore, be easy to use as well as attractive. 

Nowadays, there are apps for almost everything; naturally, an app that is easy in navigation and intuitive at the same time is the one going to persist in the market or crush its competition. Some business statistics also say that optimum navigation has given an almost 15.68% increase in sales. We shall discuss more in detail as to what the basics of building mobile app navigation are.

The thumb rules

A mobile phone is designed such that we can handle the device with our palm and other four fingers and the thumb is the tool we use for navigation. Even with smartphones with larger screens, almost 50% of people using only the thumb and therefore, nearly all smartphones have adjustable screens at a swipe. 

Navigation with thumb also makes the app ambidextrous; the users of right as well as left hands can use the app without any difficulty. For all these reasons, using the apps should be designed as easy to navigate only with the thumb. One of the ways to make the app thumb-friendly is by placing the essential tabs of the app closer to the thumb. This way, a user need not use the other hand and navigate only with one hand’s thumb.

Make the bottom bar noticeable

The bottom bar is the most central place for navigation. Most prominent companies are opting for adding tools there. A single bar can contain tools like search tool, home, ‘add to favorite,’ and compare. The bottom bar is also essential because it gives quick links to the app. We recommend you have a bottom bar with quick links for the centralization of the navigation. The bottom bar also makes the app more user-friendly with the thumb. 

Add the search tool

Looking up the information is far more convenient than looking around for it through different tabs. New app users or those who do not understand technology can find it difficult or daunting to search different tabs for the thing they need. Remember that for the ease of convenience, most people like looking up information on the search engine instead of directly logging on to a website. 

The search tool in an app has proven to be very useful, especially if the app has several tabs and a vaster repository of information. Also, the search results show results of a related search; once a user finds the information that he or she initially desired, then they can view the related search results to deepen their knowledge or extend it. 

The process of developing a mobile app from an idea

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Mobile applications are software indented for use on smart-phones and tablets. As of now, there are more than 2 million apps are available on the Google store, while 1.83 million apps are available on the Apple store. The number shows an enormous availability of mobile applications across app stores. And if you have a fantastic idea that can simplify the lives of users, then your app may rank top in the list of million apps.

The number of mobile apps is increasing rapidly with each passing day; however, the user retention rate of mobile applications seems to be decreasing. Until last year only 32% of the users returned to the app at least 11 times or more.

The earlier retention percentage was 38%, and this drop is quite evidence that mobile apps are not helping people as much.  

If you want your app to work well in the market and get significant exposure, then you have to be meticulous at every step of the way to create the app. To begin with, you have to put your idea on paper by writing the application’s requirements. If your requirements have clarity and the right details, then the mobile app developer will be able to deliver the perfect app. 

How to process the idea from scratch?  

1. Pick a problem to resolve

If you already have an idea for the mobile app, then you can skip this point. But if you don’t have an idea, but you want to develop an app, then look around for problems. And the good news is problems are all around you. If you have noticed, then you will realize that every product and service that you know got created to solve a specific problem. 

You can start by listing down the problems you face in your life. Once you have a list of problems, you can start to think of a solution. Finally, filter out the most helpful solutions from others. Now, you have a problem and its optimal solutions, which can form the foundational idea for your mobile app. 

2. Validate your idea 

Validation from the potential user and other people will prove that the app will have an audience upon its release. In simple words, demand exists for your mobile application. You may use the Google keyword planner tool to know the number of people who are already searching for what you are planning to provide them.

You can also consider creating a landing page that mentions your idea for the app. And you can know how many users have the interest to use the app by incorporating email signup. When you validate the need, you will be more confident while making the app as you will be creating something meaningful.

3. Choose the operating system

It’s crucial to know that your app will run on which operating system. Android and iOS are two the most prevalently used operating systems out there. Are you developing an app for iPhone users or Android users? The answer to that will help your mobile app developer to design the app. 

Both the operating system works differently, and the process of developing an app will be different as well. Also, note that you can also have your app on both platforms.   

4. Describe the features and flow 

You need to put down your idea on paper with the maximum possible details. You should not only include the flow of the app, that is, how users will navigate through your app. But also include detailed features and functionality of the app. It will help the app developer to know your expectations. 

The standard features you can include are login page, menu, screen, fonts, link to social media platforms, push notifications, data caching for offline mode, payment gateway, app reviews and Geo-locations, and so on. You should include all the necessary features and additional features according to the need of your audience.

Conclusion

The revenues from in-app advertising and paid downloads of mobile apps are going to cross 581 billion US dollars in 2020. Indeed, the mobile apps industry is going to be massive.

When you use the tips above for writing mobile app requirements, then the developer will be able to create a flawless application that will earn you valuable profits. And then, you could also be among the leading mobile app revenue generators. 

UI Android vs iOS UI

Friday, January 24th, 2020

User Interface (UI) as dynamic as it is, individually takes yet another turn in the diversity section when we come to Android vs IOS.

You must have heard sagas of the differences between the android and iOS users each pleading a case of how their operating system is better than the other. But what you may not know is that this isn’t new, it has been the case for ages now. And, on no account can you term it as superficial. Android users do have a very tough time adjusting to iOS and vice versa. The “why” to this problem has a lot of little aspects and one major aspect. The major one is the differences in the UI of the two. Think about it, for instance, a layman while comparing two devices with these two operating systems may ignore for once, the differences in the complex configurations behind the processors in the two, but what he will always keep in mind is “how does is screen look?” “which icon goes where?” “how do you navigate through different pages?” and all of these have only one thing in common- UI.

Thus, it becomes essential for us to understand the differences between the UI in the two operating systems so that if need be we can make an informed choice and in a more competent fashion.

Now that we have started, we need to know where all will we be able to spot these differences. The best answer to this is — “If you scrutinize the subtle, then everywhere.” These differences are present everywhere — in the navigation bars, toolbars, types of control, buttons, and whatnot.

Out of these hundreds our focus first, obviously goes to navigation. Android is based on the material design guidelines, which is something widely accepted and followed globally even google uses them while developing its own applications. iOS, on the other hand, is based on the human interface design. One of the most noticeable differences in navigation is how android uses a “universal navigation bar” present at the bottom of the screen but iOS uses a combination of gestures and the home button. It also presents itself with an inbuilt “back button” in almost every one of its apps to help with the simple retracing of steps. Now you may be able to see how even a simple action as “going back” becomes so different with a change of UI.

Similar to navigation is another aspect — Menu. In Android, they generally have it in the form of a sidebar where you just tap and pull and voilà — you will have five to six apps ready to access. iOS, on the contrary, prefers a tab bar, which is placed at the bottom of the screen. These tab bars though according to various consumer analysis reports are easier to use, provide a lesser array of apps to be at the user’s disposal at one point of time.

The search field too is not left behind in this gabble of differences. In fact, the amount of comfort drawn from a device has a huge dependence on the accessibility of the search field, and its placing and presentation in the two operating systems play a pivotal role in materializing the differences between the two. One of the most distinguishing in this arena is the placement. iOS demonstrates a certain amount of rigidity as the full search bar is placed at the top of the screen. Whereas Android provides its users with a little bit of flexibility on the matter. It gives the users an option to place the search bar on the top, which is majorly different from what was provided by iOS because this one only expands into a full search bar upon tapping the search icon. The second option enables the search bar to gain much-deserved mobility as Android presents the users with an option to access the search field in the form of a widget that can be placed according to the user’s whim.

Pages on the second or lower level of hierarchy use segmented control in iOS and a tab on the Android. Furthermore, all text tabs in Android are present in uppercase and in iOS as a title case. This coupled with a fact that Android UI comes with a “text-only” policy for these tabs, which allows no icons and texts to be present simultaneously on the tabs and that iOS has no such policy, gives another important point of distinction to the two operating systems.

Another fundamental difference between the UI of the two can be observed in the color and size of the apps provided, Android usually has a more multi-color approach, with icons which are big in size and have reasonable spacing in between, on the other hand, iOS prefers a black and white pallet with a more compressed outlook.

A large difference further exists in the form of buttons, dialogues, alerts, etc. But as we explore these and many more, we must also understand the fact that these are all very temporary. The general trend today shows enough cases that indicate that we are moving towards a more converging user interface present in Android and iOS. The addition of the “switch” option to Android from the exclusive domain of iOS being one of the many examples of the same.

So, after understanding the differences in the two UIs and analyzing the various trends associated to it, one may also draw a parallel conclusion that with the passage of time as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable and demands for more and more freedom in mobility, structure, and outlook, the products will begin to have more and more fluid user interfaces and thus skipping the boundaries drawn by the differences in the operating systems and ultimately being a junction of the two categories we see today!

Progressive Web Apps

Friday, January 24th, 2020

In the era where our mobile phone devices have come to satisfy so many of our needs and have become so minutely integrated into all our daily functioning, it is only logical that the features of the older machines that we had all been such vehement users of, in the past be adapted and enhanced in these mobile devices. Just think about it- when was the last time you used your laptop or computer to run a quick google search or even perform any other simple activity that required the internet?

The answer to this usually is a long time ago, so now that mobiles have become our window to the internet it was almost essential for it to be evolved accordingly. While most of the mobile-internet interaction occurs via the usage of mobile applications, in this age of diverse dynamism it is simply impossible to store an app for every activity you want to do. The amount of storage space you’d need for that would just be a preposterous number! Hence comes access to websites on mobile phones and hence comes the PWAs.

PWAs or Progressive Web Application is a kind of software development methodology, they can be understood as a hybrid model of traditional web pages and mobile applications. In simpler terms, you may just say that PWA is the combination of the advantages and best features of mobile apps and web pages. It is this, that enables the browser to have a more mobile-friendly, more comprehensive and more immersive experience.

By now I think you may have come to realize the importance of PWA in our mobile-internet interaction. There is however much more that it brings to the table. As an example, think you have admitted one of the web pages opened in the browser to the home screen (the option is provided on the pages). Now every time you would open the home screen, you shall have a little badge of this web page, which upon clicking shall enable you to skip the tedious process of typing and take you directly to the desired web page. It is not just that, it starts providing you notifications and at times even hides the UI and the page actually does start functioning as an app. The web pages are easier to access, faster to load, and even have an offline presence. And with the onset of features like providing notifications and updates to the users, they have induced a much sought-after experience in the browser-user interaction. The best part is that it is not limited to mobile phones, it is also a feature just as actively present and exploited in your computers, bringing the two devices closer than they were ever before.

With an analysis of PWAs in progression, it is of absolute importance that we discuss the Service Worker. It is if loosely defined, a script run by the browser in the background, and it is that which enables PWAs to load almost immediately without any concern for the state of the internet connection or speed. They add the feature of reliability to the PWAs as they enable intelligent caching, push notifications, and other background functions.

The speed factor provided as a result of this entire charade should not be overlooked either. As numerous studies have suggested and you may yourself observe that as much as 53% of the users leave a website if takes more than 3 seconds to load. Thus, for companies developing such internet services, the use of PWAs may as well be one of the biggest arrows in the quiver with it ensuring high-speed loading of web pages even on the diciest network conditions.

Another way to assess the importance of this incredible feature is the results it has yielded since its onset in the recent past. Google Chrome seems to have grown to 1 Billion users from a mere 400 Million in 2016. This monstrous growth and that too the short time of just two years is indicative of how the integration of the PWA with the browser has moved the users. It is, in fact, being suggested by the most notable experts in this field that the earlier trend to abandon a website and open an app (as done by companies like Flipkart) has in reality backfired. The rationalization is pretty simple, that with PWAs already bringing in the ‘best of the applications’ going through the trouble to download an app and follow the entire arduous process and then at the end compromise the limited data storage space that we have on our devices seems not to be worth the trouble.

With such grand tales of the accomplishments of the PWA, it is important that in the end some flaws are pointed out as well. A major shortcoming would be that while many browsers like google and Samsung support this format, there still exist quite a few that don’t. Further, the competition between the mobile apps and web pages is still going strong and will take some more time to resolve, thus the inclusion of companies and users in this arena though on the rise, is yet to reach its true potential. Further, many of the added advanced features that are otherwise present in apps and devices like the fingerprint scanner are yet to make a notable presence in the PWAs.

Thus, its integration in every device still remains a question that can only be answered in time. Recent trends certainly give an optimistic result but at the same time, there is a need for PWAs to evolve constantly and immerse the latest of advancement that has become common in most devices and be even handier to its dynamic set of users.

React Native vs Xamarin

Friday, January 24th, 2020

With an overly increasing market for mobile applications in both of its major platforms- Android and iOS, it is only probable that the developers continue to hunt for a faster, a more comprehensive way of creating these. This is where open source cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Xamarin comes to play. With both these frameworks topping the charts in their fields it is only necessary to closely examine and compare their features so that the user is better equipped to make a choice.

If simple facts are to be believed then React native has about three times more users than Xamarin, on the various platforms where the users of these frameworks form communities and interact we can see a wide disparity in the number of people committed to one of the two, be it Github or Reddit. But this does not necessarily indicate better technical process. What it does show is that Facebook is making extra efforts in securing a community for its framework, a field where Microsoft effectively lacks.

If we examine the technical aspects of the two, we see the amount of ease of usage that React native provides to its customers- basic knowledge of the Java Script and you are ready to develop mobile apps. Xamarin, on the other hand, uses the C# language, which is more popular with the native users of Android or iOS.

This also introduces to one of the areas where React Native falls short of customer expectations is that it has no provisions for the native features of Android or iOS, the need to be created from scratch every time you have to include them in your development process, this tedious task compels you to write in both Java and Objective C. On the other hand, Xamarin offers no such problems.

As far as the need for emulators is concerned, in Xamarin one has the compulsion to integrate them in order create anything, whereas React native can function without it, but for a better or more complex application your work has to be integrated with these external emulators at the end.

Another area where React native has not been scoring high is the lack of maturity in its framework, it is easily susceptible to damage and prone to attack via bugs, etc. It has taken a lot of public heat, since often, these bugs are hard to fix, and time taken in doing so might range to days.

So, while React native might appear to be more lucrative a strong proposition can be made claiming that Xamarin with its impeccable centralized support among other things is a better boat to sail in for the long term.

A Facelift to the Business World - Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of areas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

Self Storage Application Service Request Workflow

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Introduction and background

For our client 10 Federal, which is a US-based company, our team had to work on a project known as Work Order. Work Order is aimed at self-storage facility operators who are in need of an efficient and effective work order system. Work Order would help them manage their day to day orders as well as maintenance tasks they need to complete in order to run their self-storage facility business.

The project required us to build an SaaS-based system, meaning that it will be a web-based, on-demand software that runs on the provider’s servers. It has been designed in such a way that it will have three major deliverables in it. These deliverables include –

A super admin web application

An all-encompassing web application for the admin so that they can run Work Order smoothly and work on complaints as quickly as possible.

A client-side web application

A web application that can be accessed by the clients so that they can use Work Order effectively and manage all their tasks from one platform.

A client-side mobile application

A mobile application for the clients to use so Work Order can be easily accessed from anywhere, anytime.

Challenge

For this project, our main challenge was that we had to work on Work Order, keeping in mind the complex processes involved in maintenance related tasks within self-storage facilities.

On top of this, we had to design the architecture of the system based on microservices to support SaaS model. The complex processes, combined with SaaS model was challenging our aim of building a system that is fast, smooth, efficient and user-friendly. Our team had to take time and learn to fully understand the complexities of the self-storage facilities processes so that we could deliver a practical, sustainable solution.

Solution

Dot Net or .NET was used to develop the Work Order system, including the admin web application, the client-side web application, and the client-side mobile application. Dot Net is a software framework that is developed by Microsoft and is used to develop software that can run on Windows-based operating systems.

A SaaS based solution was our approach so that the client can sell the software to clients, and clients can access it with ease. All they would need is a browser and an internet connection for the web application, and a smartphone with an internet connection for the mobile application.

After our team successfully completed the project and provided solutions for Work Order, the system was equipped with the following features:

Management of maintenance works

Allocation of tasks to property managers

Subscription management, and more.

Now, with Work Order, self-storage facility operators can organize their tasks better, and improve their efficiency and productivity. Put simply, the system helps them to run their business operations better.

Facebook To End Android Dependency: Here’s How

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The social media scenario has been developing over the years. The beginning was with Google’s hangout, then came along Orkut and along that line came the creation of Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, you are right! We are talking about Facebook.

This online social directory became available first to the students of Harvard and later, to anyone who claimed to be of at least age 13. This rule was in place since 2006 and still ongoing. Any person with an account on Facebook can share digital content; it can be text, photo, and other multimedia files in their profile. They can have conversations with other people who are their “friend”, comment on other persons’ posts and even have one-on-one chats. There are several in-built apps that can also be used to complete different tasks or serve specific purposes.

Climbing into stardom

The rise of Facebook to become “the” social media was not slow but not instant either. After changing the name from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook” in 2005, this social media channel was opened to the general public in 2006. Within the year 2009, the company had 350 million users joining in its list and in the summer of 2012, the number finally rose to the magic number of 100 million. By the end of 2018, the number had grown to 2.32 billion, which is more than half of the world’s population and they are all present in the program written in the Harvard dorm room. In 2019, the numbers are becoming less, but with an average of 52%, Facebook is still the top contender in social media sites. However, the introduction of sites like Instagram, Twitter decreased its popularity. Another favorite social media messaging service called WhatsApp has been recently acquired by Facebook. Still, novel services like Snapchat are gradually making their presence felt. However, the company is taking the necessary step to address this particular issue.

The range of devices

Unlike the programs of its predecessor companies, Facebook did not need the user to download or install any installer file in their device. Although in the time when the only digital device was computers, only an internet connection was sufficient to connect and use the social media program. Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones, tabs and other handheld digital devices, it has become necessary to download the app onto the device. Thereafter, the user has to input their information and can access their profile. In the case of security measures, the program or “app” in the new OS vernacular has made some major changes to ensure the security of the user data. Certainly, maintaining an appealing UI is a priority to drive user engagement that both Android and iOS have their own restrictions around. Still, in recent cases, the company has faced some serious problems in the matters of fake accounts, fake posts, and information with a debatable source. Facebook has employed third-party companies to perform the fact-check and other necessary data.

The operating systems

The main limitation the company was facing from the start was the dependence on other operating systems. From the start, it was either accessed from mainly Windows or the Macintosh operating system. When the era of the smartphone or handheld devices came into existence, it was either Android or the specific operating system of Apple Inc, the iOS. Being dependent on these operating systems posed two specific problems:

  1. The coding and the necessary programming tasks become complex when it comes to two different operating systems. Moreover, if only the example of the Android is taken, the OS essentially dictates Facebook about the hardware requirement it will need. Having to depend on a third-party OS makes it impossible to add features because it may or may not suit the specification requirement allowed by the OS.
  2. Facebook has been developing devices like Oculus, and voice-calling services like Portal, which are essentially the development of Facebook. Having to depend on the operating system like Android practically determines that the company cannot add necessary hardware as it may clash with the inherent limitations of Android. Furthermore, the development of new versions or upgrades of this operating system will force the social media company to change the specification of its devices every time, adding to the production and implementation costs.

To cope up with these problems and ensure the independence of its programs and devices from the operating systems of other parties, Facebook has announced that it is now going to build its own operating system from the scratch. According to the general pulse, this step was eventually coming, but the effect on the market and among its users is yet to be seen.

The changeover to its own

The bid to stand on its own two legs in terms of an operating system was abuzz in the grapevine of the computer technology world, and the news was confirmed by the company itself later. Facebook told its users and the general public worldwide that it is appointing one of the creators and developers on Microsoft’s Windows NT OS, Mark Lucovsky. The step taken was supported by the Vice President of Hardware, Facebook, and confirmed in the statement that the company is seriously considering the fact that the future generation should have space for them. In the light of dependency on third-party systems, especially operating systems, it may not be possible for Facebook to achieve the target in terms of penetration and digital presence. For that reason, they are thinking of doing it on their own.

Expert’s opinion

According to the experts also, this step was in the pipeline for some time. Development of VR devices, Other machines like Oculus, a voice-calling feature like Portal, and even the AI-enabled program the company is developing, depending upon OS by Google, or any other company would have been limiting. For one, the developments had to be done according to the changes happening to the OS, and secondly, the hindrance of faster development in the case of Hardware would surface; as the Other OS may not be compatible with the hardware specification of the new development by Facebook.

Signing off

The development of a new OS is certainly exciting to Facebook users, however, there are other factors to consider too. In the future, although not certain, Facebook can become the next Apple, where you have to buy their devices to enjoy their programs. With the world’s majority using android by Google and the number still increasing, the outcome of the project and the decision of the company regarding it will determine the fate of this development.

Tips on Designing PWAs to Boost User Experience

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Businesses want to make their services and products accessible to a large number of people possible. To achieve a high level of accessibility, technological capabilities, and bandwidth reliability have stood continuously as a hurdle. This scenario is where PWAs come to the fore. These are nothing but a website that looks and behaves exactly like mobile apps.

Companies like Forbes have used PWAs to great success. They saw 2x increase in average user session length and 20% more impressions. However, to get such exceptional numbers, it is important to focus on UI/UX of the PWAs to boost user experience:

Below are some of the tips on designing PWA to get a much better User Experience (UX).

Search giant Google recommends some tips to ensure that users enjoy rich, fast, reactive web experiences

1. Focus on loading time

  • PRPL pattern — This pattern optimizes minimum time interaction and makes sure it acquires maximum efficiency in caching.
  • Service worker caching — Even if the pages are not open, service worker caching is a script that runs in the background of your browser. As they are excellent in caching, it allows PWA to serve the instant response on slow networks.
  • Server-side rendering — when the JavaScript fails or is disabled, users can get faster content with server-side rendering. It even allows the search engine to index it quickly.

2. Makes it User-centric

Making the PWA user-friendly is the ultimate goal that too fast and efficient as possible. For instance, ensure that the progress of the user is shown for every significant interaction. Also, ensure every item in your PWA has a purpose. Less and useful things usually make better User Experience (UX).

3. Make it seamless

The things, instant loading, and providing smooth experience are both different. Ensure there are quiet and seamless transitions without any downtime, especially when users are processing payment and submitting forms. Users often bounce at clunky changes during these types of instances. So always keep this in mind when it regards your design.

4. Make it shareable

PWAs do not provide easily accessible URLs. Therefore you need to ensure that users could still share whatever page they are looking at easily. To apply this on PWA, you can have a share button that allows the users to copy the URL on the clipboard. Make sure the loading of the third-party JavaScript is delayed when sharing social buttons until the primary content of the page is loaded.

5. Ensure flawless touch interactions

As a thumb rule, communications must be implemented flawlessly or not at all. It is because it is disgracefully difficult to implement advanced touch interactions like swipe to dismiss and pull to refresh. You can instead use a bottom navigation bar that does not suggest the possibility of advanced touch interactions.

6. Be iconic

When the PWA is added to the home screen of the user, you will want it to blend well with the native apps. Along with making it a natural fit, you will also want to ensure that it is flexible to the requirement of different platforms like IOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

When considering the low cost of building a single PWA for multiple devices and platforms, it makes a lot of sense for businesses. It is evident why PWA is the only one to replace traditional native apps in the upcoming future.

Growing Revolution of Apache Cordova from PhoneGap

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Transformation is the core mantra of new-age businesses. Throughout their operational cycles, business strive to transform and turn into something better. Quite naturally, enterprises are always on the lookout for adopting new technologies that define innovation in a whole new way!

It’s here that we come across Apache Cordova, which also has been through a great transformation. This mobile application, previously known as PhoneGap, was a development framework created by Nitobi which was purchased by Adobe Systems in 2011. Then Adobe rebranded it as PhoneGap. In 2011 again, Adobe/Nitobi gave away the PhoneGap codebase to Apache Software Foundation, a mobile app development company in USA. At Apache, the application was renamed as Apache Cordova. PhoneGap was handed over to Apache to keep it an open source always and follow standards. AppBrain suggests that Phonegap / Cordova powers up 7.94% of the app market share overall. It is ranked #5 in app development frameworks.

So basically Apache Cordova serves as an engine to power the PhoneGap, similar to how a WebKit powers Chrome or Safari. These two frameworks are basically same; however, there are some noticeable key differences that will be useful to a developer.

What Are The Key Differences Between Apache Cordova And PhoneGap?

Since Cordova was born from the PhoneGap codebase, there are bound to be some similarities between the two platforms. However, one thing is for sure that Cordova and PhoneGap are both cross-platform frameworks. PhoneGap is powered by Apache Cordova. The PhoneGap is a product of Adobe that contains additional tools by Adobe that tie with other Adobe services. Therefore, an Apache project is not ideal for adobe services. However, PhoneGap is open source software, and will always be free to use and it will always remain a free distribution of Apache Cordova.

Another thing to note is that Apache Cordova lets you build apps suitable for android, iOS and Windows using web technologies like HTML, JavaScript, CSS and with PhoneGap you can do the same. However, Adobe might charge for added Adobe services integrated into PhoneGap codebase.

Other than this, there is not much difference between the frameworks. If you are a developer, you might want to use PhoneGap if you want to build apps in the cloud without installing any additional local SDK. Otherwise, you can use any of the two frameworks to build app. Note that Apache Cordova is always free to use and always will be distributed by Apache.

How The Transition Changed The Framework?

Apparently, there is not much difference between the two frameworks. Any developer who wants to build a cross platform application with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can use PhoneGap or Apache Cordova — there will not be much difference in that regard since Apache Cordova uses the same codebase as PhoneGap. However, you will Apache Cordova if you want to contribute to open source project powering PhoneGap. If you want to improve the Apache Cordova codebase, you have to use the Cordova framework. Apache is preferred by big names like Salesforce and Facebook who have customized versions for their SDK and Apache Cordova helps them to enable this use case.

One of the reasons that might make you want to prefer Apache Cordova over PhoneGap is Ionic Framework. The Ionic framework is a distribution of Cordova as well but it comes with additional ionic services. It also includes a full set of native-like controls and user interface bindings. The features/services of Ionic make it much easier to use it with Cordova that ensures a smooth performing application across all platforms.

PhoneGap lets you build applications that are platform independent or hybrid. However, Apache Cordova also lets you build application for platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Blackberry 10, Amazon Fire etc. Apache Cordova may be a little complex than PhoneGap, but it is much more reliable when it comes to application performance, it allows you more control and is more of an open source. You can test the features and develop your application using Cordova. Although you do need to test features for an iOS on an authentic Apple device, however, in terms of performance Cordova has become much more trustworthy. Basically, the transformation of Cordova from PhoneGap has made it more powerful in its execution.

What Apache Cordova Offers

Cordova is flexible in the way it lets the developer build the application. You can use and re-use codes across platforms when you are building application for different platforms or hybrid apps. Cordova also supports offline scenarios. It will help you build your application by letting you access native device APIs so that the app you build is compatible with the native device.

The tools Apache Cordova offers have a wide range of command tools, JavaScript frameworks and cloud services that augments Cordova. When you are using Apache Cordova, you will get tools like Adobe PhoneGap, ionic, Monaca, Onsen UI, Visual Studio, App Builder, Framework 7, Evothings Studio, NSB/AppStudio, Mobiscroll, Instabug that will allow you to build simple as well as complex application across platforms.

Currently Apache Cordova is favoured by developers who are trying to bring Webview, Web App, Plugins etc. The freedom Cordova allows developers to build across platforms or build focusing a single platform has popularized it. Embedding Cordova allows the app to be mixed with native components.

Signing off

From PhoneGap to Apache Cordova — the journey was short and full of changes. PhoneGap is currently owned by Adobe and Cordova is a product of Apache. To sum up, both the frameworks can be used to develop mobile apps from scratch and can be used to develop mobiles apps across different platforms. However, you can think of Apache as the more powerful version of PhoneGap. PhoneGap originally was not an open source framework, but now it is open source and free and it will always remain that way. While Adobe PhoneGap may charge you for extra Adobe services, there will be no charges to use Apache Cordova. Any leading mobile app development company in USA prefers Apache Cordova as it is flexible, promises smooth running of mobile apps and is easy to download and install.

The journey from PhoneGap to Apache Cordova has been revolutionizing. While PhoneGap began in a schizophrenic manner, Cordova is more orderly and well-managed and therein lies the success of Cordova.

Unique And Famous Apps Built On React Native

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Internet and Smartphones have become an inseparable part of our lives. We depend on our Smartphone for everything — from setting an alarm to scheduling a meeting or booking a table at a restaurant.

A smartphone is a phone that has a great number of utility applications for easy execution of your tasks. Not that all, business owners and enterprise leaders across the world are relying on smartphone apps to promote their products and reach out to target prospects.

However, behind these easy to use apps lies a lot of hard work. Developing a software program is not an easy task. A lot of time and energy needs to be invested in order to build a smooth-running, error-free application. Most importantly, the application needs to be user friendly and to do that developers need to make the User Interface or the UI simple and easy to understand for every user. If we are talking about building UI, React Native becomes an indispensable option.

What Is React Native?

React Native is a cross-platform mobile application framework that was created by Facebook. It is a JavaScript library to build user interfaces. React Native will combine the parts of native development with React. It can be used to edit the UI of your existing android or iOS apps, or you can simply build a whole new user interface with the help of React native.

The best thing about React Native is that it can create platform-specific versions of elements so that a single codebase can be shared across all platforms. Basically, two different platforms can use one common technology. React renders to native platform UI, so your app will use the same native platform APIs as other apps. React native also lets you build native apps that will not compromise with the user’s experience. It can also wrap existing native code and interact with native APIs using React’s UI paradigm and JavaScript.

React native has proven to be extremely useful when building a user interface. It contains a good variety of new features that other platforms lack. Therefore mobile app developers rely on React native to create mobile apps. It has become popular among both the android app developers and also iOS app developers.

React has contributed immensely to create many successful apps. Not only has it proven to be useful, but it also promises a good deal of future possibilities for app developers. Now React is used by many of the World’s top tech companies like Facebook and the best node js development agency. Here’s a list of few famous and successful apps that were built using React Native.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager was built using react native and it has proven to be extremely useful. This particular app enables organizations to keep track of and control their advertisement no matter where they are. This app lets you build your own Facebook ads very easily from your phone. You can use photographs and recordings on your phone to create your advertisement. The Facebook ads manager is smooth running and the UI is route natural, so it is very easy to make advertisements using Facebook ads manager.

Instagram

Instagram is another famous and successful app that is used by 1 Billion monthly users. Instagram was built using React Native, which has helped the app to build a super user-friendly interface. One can easily follow or unfollow an account, easily look up people they know, or follow pages and contents they like. It is extremely easy to like an Instagram picture — you simply need to double-tap on it! React native has also made it easy for Instagram users to upload and edit a photo. React native has made the app easy to use on both android and iOS platforms.

SoundCloud Pulse

SoundCloud is one of the biggest music libraries in the world with more than 150 million tracks and allowing new artists to upload new music all the time. SoundCloud is also built using React Native which lets you deal with your record, check your details, answer to remarks and so much more.
If you are an independent music composer, then SoundCloud is the right place for you to be. Here you can easily deal with your content and keep track of them. SoundCloud adopted the react-native model despite the difficulties they encountered because it is much simpler than unadulterated native methods.

Uber Eats

We all have used Uber Eats sometimes in our lives, whether to order lunch or to satisfy the midnight craving. Uber Eats is an extremely popular app all around the world. The developers of Uber Eats chose to React native to build the UI of the app which is used mainly by Smartphone users. The Uber Eats app used web application to render interface on client’s portable which often resulted in delayed or incomplete service. To get over this crisis, Uber Eats used to React native to give their client a better user experience.

Skype

Skype is a video calling platform where you can chat with your loved ones. Microsoft used React Native to make Skype available on Windows smartphones. React native not only lets you save money and time, but it also lets you use Skype more easily and swiftly so there is no hindrance in your important ongoing video conferences. React native has enabled Microsoft to integrate Skype in mobile phones in a way that voice calls, video calls, sharing photographs, and recordings are very easy.

Pinterest

It is another mobile app that has millions of users worldwide. Pinterest is used to search for any topic — from art, music, tv shows, anything, and everything. You can simply download, or save an image in your board, or create a list or pin a particular post you like. You can also add comments to the posts. React native has enabled the app to be user friendly so you can browse easily anything you want.

So, if you wish to leverage React native for your venture, getting in touch with the best node js development agency would be the best thing to do.

What’s New in Xamarin Image Editor?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin.Forms Image Editor introduced several improvements, thereby allowing users such as top UX design firms an enhanced experience. Below, we take a close look at the new features which were added this year:

Image filter effects support

This effect enables users to choose from a wide range of color filters that can be added to their image. In other words, the original colors of the image are manipulated to achieve a different texture and color. There are six types of options that users have access to, including Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Blur, and Sharpen. Users can apply these effects either by using the Image Editor toolbar or through code using the ApplyImageEffect method.

While the hue refers to the dominant wavelength of an image’s color, and its value ranges from -180 to 180, saturation refers to the intensity of the color. Its value ranges from -100 to 100. The brightness of an image represents how bright the image’s color is, with its value ranging between -100 and 100. The contrast of an image means the difference between the colors of an image. Its value ranges between -100 and 100.

Blur, on the other hand, means the clarity of an image, and its effect ranges from 0 to 6. Finally, the Sharpen feature is used for highlighting and enhancing the edges of objects found in an image. Its value ranges from 0 to 6 as well.

You even have the option of creating your own image color style in the new Xamarin Image Editor. All you have to do is apply a combination of various filter effects to your image.

Option for adding read-only text

The 2019 Volume 3 release of Xamarin Image Editor allows users to add read-only text to images. To do so, it restricts the text pop-up while you tap on an added text. If you want to add read-only text, you have to set the IsEditable property in TextSettings to false (which is set in true by default) before you add the text to the image.

Option to enable or disable resize functionality for added objects

Users now have the option of enabling or disabling the resize functionality for added objects, including images, shapes, as well as custom views. To do so, you have to use the IsResizable property of PenSettings, TextSettings, as well as CustomViewSettings in the Image Editor.

Apart from these main new features, there have also been several minor improvements made to Xamarin Image Editor, along with bug fixes.

NeTFacilities| An AMT Direct Company

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Product introduction

NETFacilities is a part of the AMTdirect group. The company helps businesses manage their facilities and assets by deploying efficient solutions. The company also provides companies with expert resources to manage their assets and facilities. NETFacilities has created the ultimate maintenance and management solution and now services more than 14,000 locations and thousands of users.

Domain: Service ERP

Platform: Mobile App

The aim of the project

The goal was to rebuild a Mobile App with the same functionality as a mobile forms app. We were to also include a tastefully-designed dashboard within the app. The app had to be created together with UI and UX professionals, who would be able to design the dashboard.

The mobile app was to be based on a subscription model as it contained certain features that were available only after payment or a paid subscription.

We were to create the Mobile ERP App from scratch while reusing the existing code of Xamarin Forms by converting it into Xamarin Native.

The challenges we faced

The first challenge that we faced was to create an entire platform right from scratch and automate certain processes. These processes were earlier managed and controlled via a mobile app at an enterprise level.

The second challenge was to reuse the existing code that was specifically written in Xamarin Forms. Xamarin Forms are especially used to build native apps. Reusing the Xamarin Forms code was difficult.

A third challenge was to frequently change the way we worked on the project, as the client was not familiar with the Agile framework.

Solution

We created a mobile app version of AMT direct using agile methodology, with scrum implementation.

We made additional suggestions to the client based on our understanding of their requirements. These suggestions were much appreciated and were taken on board.

We implemented Google Analytics that would help NetFacilities to measure the user bounce rate on the Mobile App, and also to help them boost their sales.

Since the end-users are in the minimum age category of 45–50, we developed the entire Mobile App from Xamarin Native to give the users a better and seamless user experience. The user interface was designed so that the end-user had no problems using the interface.

Project impact

We were able to do much more than just create a Mobile ERP App for NETFacilities. We also provided the company with ideas to manage the assets, assessments, domains, work orders through a well-designed dashboard. The dashboard is easy to use and sits within the app that boasts of an easy-to-use user interface and superb user experience.

We also included features like signature capture, offline/online sync, and on-the-fly sync to increase the usage and flexibility of the platform.

Queuing Tasks with Redis

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

Redis is an open-source data structure that is used for in-memory storage and helps developers across the globe with the quick and efficient organization and utilization of data. Even though many developers worldwide are still struggling to decide which open-source software application to use, Redis is quickly growing to be a widely popular choice. Currently, more than 3000 tech joints, including our team, are using Redis.

Redis supports several data structures, including lists, sets, sorted sets, hashes, binary-safe strings, and HyperLogLogs. Our team uses Redis to support queuing in this project.

Queuing is the storing or deferring of tasks of operation inside a queue so that they can be used later. It comes into use for operations which are large in number and/or takes up a lot of time. Tasks can be executed in two different methods –

  • Tasks can be executed in the same order they were inserted, or
  • Tasks can be executed at a specific time.

Challenges

For this project, we needed to download large files, which is extremely time-consuming. To make the process more time-efficient, we decided to use queuing to effectively manage the download request. These download requests were added and served in the FIFO order.

Moreover, we wanted to retry the request in the time interval of one hour if it fails, until it fails three times. After this, the request is marked as failed and then removed from the queue. Our team soon found that manually creating and managing separate queues was rather inefficient, time-consuming, and troublesome, which hinted that we needed a new solution. This is where Redis comes in.

Solution

To create and manage separate queues more effectively, we put Kue npm package to the test. We hoped that it would make our task less time-consuming and more efficient.

And what exactly is Kue? Kue is a priority job queue package that is built for node.js and backed by Redis. What makes Kue so appealing for developers is that it provides us with a UI where the status of queues is displayed. This means that we can see the current status of the queues in real-time, thus helping us work better and smarter.

To use Kue, you have to first install it, then create a job Queue with Kue.createQueue(). The next step is to create a job of type email with arbitrary job data using create() method. This enables the return of a job, which will be saved in Redis using save() method.

Then, after the jobs are created, the next step is to process them using process() method, after which failed jobs should be removed. You can then add Kue UI if you choose and install kue-UI package.

With this, you will be able to store your request in the Redis queue and then process them in FIFO order.

Node.js 13 Brings Enhanced Programming Features and Worker Threads

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In October, Node.js foundation released Node.js 13, much to the joy of Node.js developers across the globe. This release was significant because it marked the transition of Node.js 12 to Long Term Support (LTS). So, even though the new release from Node.js is now the current release, it is not recommended for production used by top UI UX design firms and others since Node.js 12 is still the Long Term Support (LTS) release.

As the latest version of the JavaScript runtime, Node.js 13 brings with it various improvements including programming enhancements, worker threads, as well as internationalization capabilities.

Although Node.js 13 may not be used by developers for production, it is still important when it comes to building and testing the latest features, as it allows them to see whether their applications and packages will be compatible with future versions that are yet to be developed.

In short, the new release is capable of delivering faster startup as well as improved default heap limits. It also includes updates to TLS, V8 engine and Http, and new features such as bundled heap dump capability, diagnostic report, and updates to N-API, Worker Threads, etc.

Below, we take a look at the key features that the latest release Node.js 13 brings:

Stable worker threads

With the new release, worker threads that are used for performing CPU-intensive JavaScript operations are stable in not only Node.js 13 but also in Node.js 12. Even though Node.js performs well enough with the single-threaded event loop, results could be improved with additional threads in some use-cases, and the new release bridges this gap.

V8 is upgraded to V8 7.8

The Google V8 JavaScript engine that Node.js runs on has been updated to the latest version, which is V8 7.8. The new and improved engine means that you can expect improvements in performance such as memory usage, object destructuring, as well as WebAssembly startup time.

Changes in HTTP communications

With the new Node.js release, data will not be emitted after a socket error anymore when it comes to HTTP communications. The legacy HTTP parser has also been removed, and the runtime of the request. connection and response.connection properties have been deprecated. Instead, request. socket and response.socket should be used.

Full ICU is enabled by default

Full-ICU (International Components for Unicode) is available as default with the new release. This means that Node.js now supports hundreds of other local languages, which will result in the simplification of deployment and deployment of apps for non-English deployments.

Getting Started with Testing React Component

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

ReactJs is a very popular open-source JavaScript library that is used for front-end development. It is extremely flexible and user-friendly, which makes it easy for developers to play around with state and props in React Components. This, in turn, helps to make the app more attractive and interactive.

React is maintained by Facebook, along with a worldwide community of companies and individual developers. It is great for fetching data that changes rapidly and which needs to be recorded and is therefore used as a base in the development of mobile apps and single-page applications.

In simple words, React allows developers to create web applications that are capable of changing data without having to reload the page. The main advantages that React offers include ease of use, simplicity, and scalability. It is also very fast, making it highly efficient.

Challenge

When developers work on a React app, they often play with state and props to make their apps more interactive and appealing. During development, everything may seem to work fine, but in many cases, the app faces issues once it is rolled out into the market when it is used by real people in the real world. This is because, oftentimes, some of the use cases of the app fail.

When you develop a web application, and you don’t run any test, it means that the beta testers will be the users in the real world, which is extremely risky. Besides, if your app fails, you cannot blame others for not trusting an untested code.

Unit testing of apps is required for the following reasons –

  • To ensure that each part of the program is correct individually.
  • To check out input validation logic and data transformation.
  • To check any isolated operation.
  • It helps in writing a test-driven approach.
  • Make sure the right things render when they are meant to.

Solution

To carry out efficient and reliable unit testing, Jest and Enzyme are required. Jest is a JavaScript testing framework that is developed by Facebook, with its main advantage being that it is very easy to use while being fast and safe. Code coverage, great expectations, snapshots, and easy mocking are other benefits. Create React App is then shipped with a ready-to-use Jest setup.

The Enzyme is a JavaScript testing utility for React, which can be used for easily asserting, manipulating, and traversing the output of your React Component. It was created by Airbnb and is quite popular since it adds several additional utility methods that are used for rendering a component(s), as well as finding and interacting with elements.

So, Jest is used as the test runner, assertion library, and mocking library, while Enzyme is used to provide additional testing utilities to interact with elements.

RCS Messaging

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Promising Successor to SMS.

Rich Communication Services Messaging, or RCS Messaging, is a protocol that is designed to enhance and succeed what we know today as SMS or Short Message Service. As a protocol between phone manufacturers and mobile operators, the goal is to eventually replace SMS and MMS so users can have a more enhanced texting experience designed by the best UI UX design services.

First formed in 2007, the GSM Association (GSMA) took over RCS, and in 2016, the members of GSMA, which are several mobile operators across the globe, agreed on a Universal Profile. This was a set of standards that every mobile operator, phone manufacturer, and software providers can follow to help implement rich communication services messaging on mobile devices.

What is the need for RCS messaging?

Despite its shortcomings compared to popular messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, SMS is still very popular today. Many users, both individuals, and businesses continue to use it even though it lacks features like group messaging features, read receipts, and fun, animated stickers.

Text messages can only be 160 characters in length and not a character more, which means that you have to keep them short and concise. On top of this, if you don’t have a mobile signal, or if you are on roaming, you cannot send a text message since the service depends on a cellular connection.

Ever since SMS was first proposed in 1982 and developed in the 90s, they haven’t been improved much since today. Especially when you compare them to advanced and user-friendly messaging apps today that support all kinds of features, SMS seem to be a thing of the past. Yet, it remains the most commonly used feature on a smartphone since 97 percent of smartphone users still communicate using text messages.

This is where Rich Communication Services messaging comes in. It combines all the best features of popular messaging apps today such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage to give users a platform that will be the successor of SMS.

As a result of the work of top UX design firms, RCS will look very similar to iMessage and other popular messaging platforms we use today. It is more interactive than SMS, allowing users to form group chats, send high-resolution images, as well as audio and video messages. It will also have features like reading receipts and will show you in real-time when someone is replying to your message.

RCS messaging is championed heavily by the GSMA, as well as the biggest names in tech such as Google and Android, Samsung, along with many other mobile phone manufacturers and carriers.

Airbnb Now Bookable with Bitcoin and Lightning Network via Fold App

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

One of the most popular Bitcoin payments app Fold has recently announced that users can now book Airbnb using the app. The short-term rental giant is now a part of Fold’s rewards program known as Fold Kickbacks, which supports Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s second layer. It allows users to buy gift cards for Bitcoin with a reward of 3 percent cashback.

This means that with every stay and/or experience booked on Airbnb using Fold, users can get 3 percent cashback in Bitcoin (BTC). The announcement is surely an exciting feature on the Fold Kickbacks rewards program, which already has some well-known brands such as Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks.

Currently, the Fold app only works in few selected countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Soon, Europe is expected to be able to use the app as well.

Fold facing new competition

The Fold may be among the oldest and the biggest Bitcoin shopping rewards apps in the market today, but it definitely isn’t alone app. There are several similar apps that have come up in recent years, offering users with an increasing number of options to “stack sats”.

One of the biggest competitors of Fold may be Lolli, which has partnered with Petco, a popular American pet retailer. In addition to this, the Bitcoin rewards shopping app also partnered with Safeway, a huge grocery chain in the US in order to provide users with an attractive offer of 3.5 percent cashback in BTC on all of the purchases they make at Safeway.

In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition and provide users with more payment options, Fold added a new feature that allows the app to accept fiat currency as payment at in-store and online retailers apart from Bitcoin. Users can do so by adding either their Bitcoin Lightning wallet or credit card. This new feature was added after the firm managed to raise $2.5 million in late September 2019.

Even Asia is not far behind and is rolling out Bitcoin rewards shopping options. Earlier this year, Amaten, which is the largest gift card platform in Japan announced that it partnered with Aelf, a blockchain network provider in order to issue tokenized gift cards to users.

With the growing popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, we can expect to see more of similar services in the coming years with investors, tech companies and top UX design firms working together to bring improved services.

Advantages of Developing Modern Apps with ReactJS

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Reasons to build Mobile Applications in ReactJS.

React.js is a Facebook- and developer-community-managed, 2013-launched, JavaScript repository for building modern user interfaces. It can be used as a base to develop mobile applications or single-page applications. It’s viewed as a superb tool because it can do a great job fetching rapidly changing data that requires to be recorded. It’s so popular that companies like Netflix, PayPal, Apple rely on it, as do over 32,000 other websites that are built using this framework. So, what makes it so popular? Why do app design agencies prefer React.js?

React.js boosts productivity

Ask developers, what is the one remarkable feature about React.js, and they will swear that it’s the ability to increase productivity and facilitate maintenance. When applications have complex logic, changes in a single component can adversely affect the others. This makes updates a pain. Facebook has resolved this issue by extending the tool’s ability to reuse system components. This a great way to save development time.

React.js ensures faster rendering with virtual DOM

When creating a high-load application, it is necessary to ensure the structure will not negatively impact the overall performance of the app. Even minor changes at the upper layer can cause problems in lower levels. Now, developers can first make changes to the virtual representation of the DOM and then calculate the minimal scope of required DOM operations. Once done, the real DOM tree can be updated. By doing this, the developer can ensure better user experience and higher app performance.

React.js guarantees stable code

We know that HTML and JavaScript are two technologies that work side-by-side. React.js ensures that codes are reusable when these two technologies are combined. React.js also makes use of only downward data flow. So, even small changes made to the child structures will not affect their parents. When changing an object, developers have to modify their state and make the necessary change. Only the relevant components will be updated when this is done. This type of data binding ensures code stability and the continuous performance of the app.

React.js is SEO-friendly

Content is king. One of the relevant challenges that developers face is to ensure that an app is SEO-friendly. This is especially necessary for businesses in this day and age when there are several hundreds of apps out there, all vying to be the best. React.js ensures an app is SEO-friendly by effectively dealing with typical search engine failures to read heavily loaded, JavaScript apps.

Optical Character Recognition Implementation

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Introduction and background

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the technology to read and convert typed, printed, or handwritten characters into machine-encoded text or a format that the computer can manipulate. As a subset of image recognition, it is commonly used as a form of data entry with the input being some sort of printed document or data records such as bank statements, passports, sales invoices, resumes, and business cards.

Android version

For this, the services/APIs which were used for implementation was Xamarin. Google Play Services. Vision, Our team, was successful in this project as the response rate to be expected in less than one second. The system will be able to read the text in grey and red color with a 65 to 75 percent accuracy in grey text and a 90 percent accuracy in red text.

The process flow includes the user opening the camera and placing it above the lock, followed by the camera detecting the surface. After this, it captures the text and returns the value after processing it.

The Android version of the application can have a custom camera that will capture the video stream of the lock, then divide it into frames, capture the text, and adding it into a list of text. This cycle will repeat until two texts are found to be similar. This procedure will increase the chances of correct detection of the lock instead of just capturing the image, detecting the text within the captured image, and then presenting the output. However, it will also affect the processing time/response rate of the complete operation.

The more efficient working of the application will depend on the latest version of the Xamarin.GooglePlayServices.Vision

iOS version

For the iOS version, the services/APIS used for implementation was text recognition. ML Kit’s text recognition APIs can help you recognize any Latin-based language. This translates into the automation of data entry for receipts, credit cards, and business cards.

With a response rate of less than one second, the system has the ability to read the text in grey and red color. With grey text, the accuracy is at 60 to 70 percent, while the red text is at 80 percent.

The iOS version is supposed to have a custom camera that can capture the lock’s video stream, which will be divided into several frames. From the frames, the system will capture the text and adding it to a list of texts. Until two texts are found to be similar, the system will populate it as the lock code does to the user.

One limitation is that accurate capturing of data depends on the lighting condition of the surroundings as well as the condition of the lock.

Hooks Vision for Future

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

At React Conf 2018, Hooks was introduced by Sophie Alpert and Dan Abramov, followed by Ryan Florence demonstrating how to refactor an application to use them. While giving his presentation, Ryan stated that hooks are the vision for the future.

According to React, “Hooks are a new addition in React 16.8. They let you use state and other React features without writing a class.” To explain this further, hooks are a backwards-compatible function that allows you to ‘hook into’ react state and lifecycle from a function component without having to depend on

There are three different types of hooks. We discuss these below:

useState

useState is the simplest Hook that you can use. It does exactly what you would expect from its name. All you have to do is declare a variable (state) and a function, that is also called setter and this sets the value of that variable.

useRef

Sometimes, while coding, you may want to store a value for future reference in your component, but without triggering a re-render. This is a situation where useRef is used. It allows you to store a variable in the scope of the function, while still preserving its value across the renders. useRef receives an initial value and returns the ref variable.

In fact, useRef is a special case of useState. However, it allows you to set its value directly instead of using a setter function, which persists the value across renders without triggering a re-render.

useEffect

The useEffect hook may be tricky for you to understand if you think too much of it in terms of the old React class lifecycles. Although its subtleties are not immediate, they do make sense.

For example, if you have a component that fetches data in the form of a list by hitting an API, you would want the component to hit the API and fetch the data list once the component is rendered (mounted).

What are the benefits of Hooks?

Below, we list out several benefits of using React Hooks:

  • No rewrites to include or exclude state, just adding/deleting lines
  • No need to memorize lifecycle methods with useEffects
  • Customizable and reusable across components unlike class component state
  • Much cleaner code
  • No breaking changes

Put simply, React Hooks allows you to “hook into” React specific functionality such as its state and lifecycles, while also letting you keep your functional components as functions. It is not difficult to understand why it has so much potential.

Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In this increasingly digital world we live in today, thousands of mobile apps are released every single day. Our reliance on our smartphones has made mobile app development one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and businesses are investing heavily in it.

To reap maximum benefits from this investment, cross-platform app development is the way to go for businesses. Here are a few reasons why:

Reduced development costs and time

Any app design agency knows that cross-platform app development means quicker turnaround since there is only one app to be developed for all platforms. Rather than having to build multiple apps for each platform, which would take a lot of time, you just have to develop a single app that can function across platforms. Not only does this reduce development time, but it also reduces the cost.

Easier maintenance with reduced costs

The fact that there is only one app to focus on for all platforms is what makes maintenance and updates so easy. You can sync updates across all platforms, thus saving a lot of time and money. Besides, cross-platform apps can be updated automatically for each user since they are accessed using the internet. This means that users can have the latest version of the app at all times.

Ability to effectively reach the target audience

If you want maximum exposure to your target audience, then a cross-platform app is one of the best ways to go about it. This allows top UX design firms to make use of various platforms, whether Android or iOS, or even the web, with just a single app that is capable of running smoothly and efficiently on these platforms.

Reusable code

Cross-platform app development is a lot more efficient in all ways because you can use reusable code. There is no need for app design agency developers to write new and unique code for every platform. Instead, you can use a single code, again and again, thereby saving time and resources. For instance, Xamarin allows easy code sharing across platforms, making the entire development process a whole lot easier.

Simple cloud integration

Another reason why cross-platform apps are great for your business is that they can be easily integrated with the cloud for hosting services. This means that the app is more functional and scalable as the single code source can be coordinated with different extensions and plug-ins. For example, with nodeJS, you can build a cloud-native app very easily. In other words, a top UI UX design agency can give you an almost universally-compatible app.

How DevOps Changed the Face of Application Development?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, the top UX design firms are investing heavily in advanced technologies that can help them in the faster development and delivery of products. As competition rises, the need to stand out from the crowd by delivering high-quality and reliable apps in shorter periods increases.

To achieve this, DevOps has emerged as one of the best technologies for the best app design agency developers, allowing them smooth integration and deployment. We discuss the benefits of DevOps below:

Better build quality

Through DevOps, companies can combine operations and development smoothly, thereby creating a suitable environment where build quality can be nurtured. It brings together development-centric focuses, including performance, features, reusability, and so on, along with ops-centric focuses, such as maintainability and deployability, thereby bringing together the best of both worlds to positively impact the build quality.

Accelerated time to market

With DevOps, apps can reach your target audience faster, thanks to Disciplined Agile Delivery. Rather than having the development team building and testing in an environment that is separate from the operations teams working on productions, DevOps allows every change to be delivered to a production-like environment, thereby ensuring that the code is deployed to the production environment.

This puts away any chance of complexities that arise due to misunderstandings and miscommunication between the two teams, thereby accelerating the entire production process. This allows the best UI UX design services to cut down release time so that the app can reach the audience faster, and you can stay ahead of your competitors.

Automated and reliable processes

With DevOps, you have access to various tools and principles that can help you develop apps through automated and reliable processes. This makes way for a better application quality as your teams can thwart many drawbacks of version control, continuous planning, continuous integration, configuration testing and management, deployment, as well as continuous monitoring.

Thanks to this automation, you don’t have to worry about the chances of errors caused by time-consuming manual processes. This means that you can develop, package, and deploy an app with increased ease, accuracy, and reliability.

Improved team collaboration

Last but not least, DevOps leads to improved team collaboration between development and operations. Initially, these two teams worked separately on their specific tasks, which was not very efficient or productive. Now, thanks to DevOps, both of these teams understand the other’s workflow and processes better, thereby enabling a culture of collaboration and increased efficiency within the app design agency.

Benefits of React Native vs Xamarin: An Easy Comparison Guide

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

React Native and Xamarin both offer their own sets of pros and cons when it comes to cross-platform app development. Which one is right for you?

Today, React Native and Xamarin are among the most popular tools used for cross-platform app development. But how do you know which one is the right choice for your project?

Using the right tools is critical for app developers because it affects the usability and success of the app. Especially for apps that are to be available on both iOS and Android, seamless functioning on both platforms can be achieved with the right tool.

To help you make the right choice, we compare React Native and Xamarin on various criteria below:

Availability

React Native is completely free, even for businesses. It is an open-source JavaScript-based framework. It also has a very large developer community compared to Xamarin.

Xamarin is also open-source. However, despite there being a free version, you need to spend for enterprise-level applications because the free version doesn’t do much.

Market share

React Native is widely used by tons of top graphic designing companies as well as corporations worldwide, including Fortune500 companies. The Guardian, Skype, Facebook, Walmart, and Tesla are just a few of the companies that use React Native.

For the past six years, Xamarin has been used by tens of thousands of companies everywhere, right from startups to huge corporations. Notable apps such as CA Mobile and Story have been developed using Xamarin. Top UX design firms have built many successful apps and websites using this tool.

Code compilation

For developing apps for Android, React Native uses JIT (Just-in-time) compilation. However, this is not applicable for iOS apps as Apple does not allow dynamically generated codes to be executed on its devices. So, React Native has no option but to interpret the JavaScript code.

When it comes to code compilation, a top app design agency would prefer Xamarin. This is because it uses C# as its codebase, which uses JIT compilation for Android apps while using AOT (Ahead-of-Time) compilation for iOS apps. Thus, compiling managed codes is much easier.

Development environment

React Native allows developers to use an IDE and text editor that they are comfortable with. It also has a Live Reload feature, whereby developers can see the effects of the changes they have made in real-time.

Xamarin is a winner here because of how user-friendly it is, allowing developers to write code on both Windows and iPhone app. The code can be later compiled on a Mac after writing on Windows.

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