Posts Tagged ‘mobile app development’

Impact of iOS14 on the Mobile Advertising

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Apple is in sensational headlines for iOS14. There have released a ton of new security features with substantial implications for app developers. It will cause a significant change in the mobile advertising industry. This post is all about the impact of iOS14 on Mobile advertising.

Improved Security is always better. But is it? It depends on who you ask.

Have a look:

Let’s begin with the WWDC 2020 Event!

The Impact of WWDC 2020 Event

It all began with the WWDC 2020 event. The privacy landscape of iOS is by far the most critical news in the mobile advertising industry. These changes will have long-term consequences. Also, it will help in solving problems associated with the user experience.

Will iOS14 Bring A New Privacy Standard?

iOS14 IDFA opt-in functionality represents a significant impact in the mobile advertising industry for next-gen mobile marketing.

Regardless IDFA gets eliminated or not the mobile advertising will have to adapt. It will also change how iOS targets get addressed in mobile marketing. Ad blockades introduction will be a positive change in the mobile industry. Another great thing: it will be a first building block to context-based advertising approach.

A shift to a paid model will also be there. Why? Two reasons:

  • New trend that iOS14 ad blocking will entail.
  • Decline of ad revenues by app developers.

Publishers will face ad blockades impact on mobile marketing strategy. App developers will need to customize their marketing strategies under iOS14 changes. This attitude alone will bring a massive change in the mobile market.

Trust me; if you are a mobile advertising blogger, it will be difficult for you to survive the iOS 14 advertising impact. It will also impact revenue.

The BIG Question: How Advertisers can Prepare for Transition?

Transition to a paid model on iOS14 & beyond is a prime concern for every mobile advertiser. It includes the following three queries:

  1. What are the changes, what is its future in the mobile advertising market, & how can we prepare for the change?
  2. How can advertisers create ad-free content on Apple’s mobile platform?
  3. What new impact status quo will have in the mobile ad market & where will it lead?

How does iOS14 Work?

WWDC event clearly stated that iOS14 is just like iOS11 and iOS12. Apple also announced a new rule: Apps on Apple will need to obtain explicit user consent before using device ID. That means apps will ask users for permission before tracking them with IDFA.

Users can also disclose their approximate location with apps instead of the precise location. As a result, apps won’t be able to identify your exact location.

The Outcome for Advertisers & Publishers

There are heated arguments about disruptive consequences for publishers. Why? Because ads are the prime income source for publishers, especially for small ones. PageFair and Adode report say ad blockers will result in a $22 billion revenue loss this year.

This ad revenue loss threat has forced the publisher to look for another approach to make money.

  • Native Ads Growth: Mobile ecosystem will shift from script-based ads to native ads. It will avoid blocking the system.
  • Less Free Content: Publishers might now shift their free content in exchange for displaying ads into paywalls. They will switch from web to mobile apps, where ad blockades are not available.

Marissa Mayer- Yahoo CEO comment:

” We are big believers in native ads because they enhance the user experience and are much less disruptive, and they are great properties in terms of the value they give to advertisers.”

How will iOS14 Change Mobile Advertising?

This concept of a shift from more intrusive to the less has raised the controversial question: Who will identify if an ad format is good or bad for the user?

In a conversation with Eyeo GmbH, creator of a popular desktop ad-blocking tool Adblock Plus, we got to know he is connecting with other adblocking app developers to build a mutual policy to allow few apps to bypass the filters.

Final Thoughts– iOS 14 Advertising Impact

Gear up yourself for iOS14 & Apple new privacy regulations. Why? Because iOS14 is all set to change the mobile advertising future. While some are happy with a smart solution ensuring user privacy, others are concerning about a sustainable future.

Start preparing yourself to avoid surprises & revenue loss.

Get set go!

Go vs Rust: Which is the better Programming Language and Why?

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

Summary: Both Rust and Go are system-level programming languages. They have a lot in common, yet there exist some significant differences between them. In this article, we’ll be briefing you about both the compelling programming languages and how they vary from each other. 

The right programming language is essential to thrive in the evolving IT landscape. It helps to deliver a compelling user experience and ensures business growth. With so many new programming languages, it is tough to select one that suits best. Rust and Go are the two most powerful and versatile programming languages in the past decade. But, which is best to develop reliable and friendly frameworks or apps. Confused? Let’s delve deeper and identify which is best for your development need. 

Go Programming Language

Go or Golang is a statically-typed, open-source programming language. It makes server-side applications robust and effective. Go is expressive, high performing, and fastest-growing language of 2019. It acts as a compiler that compiles the program and ensures transformation & compatibility. You can write code parallel to your code to make it simple and straightforward.

Popular for: Inbuilt Concurrency, Dependency Management, and Garbage Collection

Advantages of Go

  • Excellent Documentation
  • Easy Threads of Goroutines
  • Static Analysis Tools
  • Flexible and Concurrent Process
  • Robust Interoperability
  • Profiling Framework and Built-in Testing
  • Availability of Standard and Broad Libraries
  • Best Suitable for Writing DevOps Tasks and Microservices
Top companies using GOLang

Rust Programming Language

Rust is an extension of one of the ML languages. It delivers better security, greater modularity, performance, and improved parallelism. It allows you to write codes fast with less memory.  Mozilla, a renowned web browser, is based on Rust. Writing a program in Rust is a blend of Scala, Haskell, and Ruby programming languages. You can use Rust for systems programming. 

Advantages of Rust

  • Zero-Cost Abstraction
  • Extensive Support Community
  • Predictable Run-time Behavior
  • Achieve More with Less Coding
  • Faster Debugging and Testing
  • Robust Performance and High Run Speed
  • Secured Memory & Less Garbage
  • Better Code Execution
Top companies using Rust

Now that you have a clear understanding of both Rust & Go, let’s have a quick overview of how they varies.

Comparison: Go vs. Rust

Choose Go When:

  • ‘Higher-Performance’ is your top priority.
  • You require interoperability with C.
  • When you have maintenance budget constraints.
  • When you need to launch product quickly.

Choose Rust When:

  • Readability, Simplicity, and Uniformity are crucial for you.
  • You need ‘Guaranteed Memory Safety’
  • When ‘Application Performance’ is your priority
  • When you have a ‘Robust Development Team’

Conclusion

Who won the battle? Well, both the programming languages are best—extremely versatile and competitive. It’s up to you to select the one that best suits your development and business needs. Successive Technologies is a pioneer in web and mobile app development. Our technology-driven and creative solutions add value to your performance-savvy hardware systems and enterprise applications. Contact our experts, to get started with your app development journey.

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.

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.

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. 

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!

Significance of Iconography

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words” you must have come across these words more than you can recall, but when it comes to the market for the companies this picture can be worth much more than a thousand dollars too.

Iconography is the art of developing and using icons to capture audiences, remove ambiguity from concepts, and make the data provided easy to handle and more presentable. That must have sounded like too much for a picture, but believe me, all of these things and more do hinge upon the types of icons a company uses. Iconography today is playing a pivotal role in defining the good user experience and it is a testimony of just how germane this tool is that billions of dollars are spent annually by companies like Google, Facebook, Walmart, Samsung, etc. in this field.

The significance of iconography can be easily understood — just think of a brand, any brand. What are the first five things that come to mind? Several pieces of research conducted by experts in human behavior unanimously point out that it is the brand’s standard icon. For example, if I think of Gmail, one of the first things that pop into my head is that red M in an envelope. So, it is needless to say that the first and most primary importance of iconography is- assigning an identity to a company. The icons register in the brains of the users much easily as compared to any other feature and they have a higher chance of being identified when coming across randomly. The best example to demonstrate my last analysis would be the simple fact that how on any random web page when we see a little blue bird we know its twitter, even when no prior context is provided, same happens with the white f in a blue box or the white camera with a pink background.

Next on the list is — the implicit use of iconography. An icon does not just operate as an ID card for companies, they are also the tool that companies use to help navigate the users through the various pages present on their websites, etc. Suppose you want to read an article on sports and you open a news website then instead of scrolling through until you reach the desired section you can just click on the sports icon and directly reach it. Or suppose you just want to take a print out of the page, the print icon will be easily available and identifiable from the beginning and thus much easier to access if instead the word “print” was scribbled somewhere in the corner. Going back or forward on web pages, skipping pages icons make all these tasks much easy to perform owing to their easy to spot and convenient to access nature.

In a page full of text an icon provides perspective to the user. It draws attention to products, services, menu, and features. You would not have to comb through tons and tons of words to finally reach the place you actually wanted to see. The amount of energy and time wasted otherwise would be much more than what anybody can afford to waste in today’s day and time. Moreover, icons provide a compact display of information in a more attractive and user-friendly manner. For example, my taskbar is currently displaying a few icons — word, google chrome, files, music. Now just imagine if instead of showing these as icons my taskbar would have just had these same written down in words, or on your smartphone instead of the bright little pictures of all those apps, you would just have the said names typed in normal Arial, font size 10. How dull would all that be?

Our speed of using these devices would reduce considerably and we would not want to spend as much time on these devices as we do, for the simple reason that they won’t be as attractive or comfortable to use. But with icons, we have an inherent escape from these mundane problems. Moreover, with money flowing in from every crevice the R&D in iconography is so developed that all the colors, angles, edges, figures everything you come across in these icons are scientifically designed to provide you with aesthetically pleasing sensation. So they are not just helping you in all these other tasks they are also making your subconscious happier just by being there- how great is that?

It started since the 18th-century iconography has become an irreplaceable part of user-company interaction. It defines the user experience and plays a pivotal role in marketing and advertisement of products. Aside from conveying a tremendous amount of information in a compact yet comprehensive way it makes navigation faster by multiple folds. Adding to the attractiveness, comfort accessibility iconography provides an identity to a company. It is a burning ground in both electronic and paper operated industries and has reached a point where both the biggest giants in the industries as well as the feeble infants are pouring in large sums of money in developing icons and pursuing more and more dynamic and developed standards of iconography. A result of which can be seen all around on your desktops, mobile phones, billboards, etc. Where from every nook and corner there is one bright little icon peering over, grabbing your attention and holding your hand and taking you to wherever you want to go.

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.

Don’t vex. Focus on UX!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Even if you aren’t a technology junkie or a design major, there is one term that has been used so many times that it has carved a niche for itself in the back of your mind, much like a constantly buzzing bee — ‘user experience (UX).’ It may seem like a voguish trend but has in fact, been around for quite some time. With an increasing dependence on mobile phones and other devices, it has gained immense popularity in the last few years.

Aimed at increasing customers’ satisfaction towards a product by making it easier to use and access, UX Design has become an inseparable part of technology. All design and engineering must be carried out keeping in mind that at the end of the day, the product has to be used by the customer. As Steve Jobs says — start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.

UX engineering encompasses better navigation, findability, usefulness, and credibility. Not just this, it focuses on content strategy, information architecture, interactive design, typography and much more. From small-scale benefits to vast influences, it also has a wide range of applications in business. Stay with us to know more about these!

1. Be the puppeteer

With more and more entrepreneurs and startups popping on the landscape, the business world is becoming fiercer by the day. Hence, one of the main motives of each enterprise is to rise above its competitors. For achieving this, it is essential to have user experience engineering skills in the arsenal as they can have a huge impact in mobilisation of prospective customers.

This is evaluated with the help of conversion rates (defined by Wikipedia as the proportion of visitors to a website who take action to go beyond a casual content view or website visit, as a result of subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators). A case study by Masha Kokovina from Vintage Web Production highlights how they were able to improve conversion rates by 75% by just fixing minor UX problems. These can include placing the call to action button at the right position, having a video on the landing page, increasing the font size of the text, etc. Analysing why customers are leaving or being retained is pivotal to enhance the user experience and consequently, improve the conversion rate.

2. Smaller hole in your pocket

It is rightly said that a stitch in time saves nine. Instead of resolving an issue much after it has already caused damage, it is better to enhance usability and fix the problem during the design phase itself. UX engineering helps achieve this by incorporating the right set of features at the grassroots level through different usability testing tactics. Feedback obtained from customers at an early stage can be used to rectify errors using user-centered design processes. This leads to formation of an apt product and circumvents large expenditures.

3. Do you exist?

The first thing that entrepreneurs do when they have a light-bulb moment for a startup is go to GoDaddy.com and register the domain name for the respective website. From the biggest multinational companies to the smallest restaurants, official websites have pretty much become the existential proof of any organisation. They help businesses interact with customers by making information easily accessible to them at any hour of the day. However, since this has become a requisite now, just having a website does not suffice. It must be accompanied with an amazing user experience which hence, boosts businesses as explained above.

4. Oh, won’t you stay with me?

At the end of the day, what really matters is how content your customers are with your product or service. The success of your mobile or web app is interlinked with its ability to satisfy its users. Just because an application is built doesn’t guarantee that it will experience a surge of utilisation. With immense competition in the digital world these days, users are more than willing to switch to a different product or app if they are dissatisfied with the former.

Statistics have also revealed that organisations that focus on user experience tend to retain customers much more than those that don’t. The question ‘do i like using this product/service/app?’ bears much more weight than ‘what is its worth?’ or ‘is it even useful?’ Enhancing user experience is key. Happy customers also tend to spread a good word about your product and this helps in popularising businesses.

..

“User experience is everything. It always has been but it’s still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.” — Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter

My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike conversation with us!

Psychology and UX

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

You probably come across various billboards, hoardings, posters, notices, messages, letters or even just images and text on paper every day. Some of these may be important and would require your attention, and others would be just be something you saw while traveling to work, scrolling through your feed or going through a magazine/ newspaper casually. All these are just images for our brain to analyze, sort through and dispose of eventually. But some of these are a bit more interesting to our brain even though they don’t need to be. There is a reason to why particular designs or layouts catch your eye or get your heart pumping.

Enter Neuroscience.

Wait, did you just mention Neuroscience in a UX blog?

Let me explain. Cognition is complex, and many factors play into gut reactions or any instant and random impression. When you ask someone, “Why’d you do that?” there’s a high chance they won’t be able to answer or that you’ll misinterpret their response for a bias. The thing is, our human brain is lazy, repetitive and prone to shortcuts

While research methods like observation and interviewing often require the UX researcher and participant to make guesses, modern technology like eye tracking allows researchers to study nearly imperceptible reactions and preferences.

In the case of products with substantial traffic, seemingly tiny details like the width of a button or the color contrast of text can make millions of dollars of difference. That’s why tech giants like Facebook and Google are beginning to employ neuroscience-based techniques to study how people use their products.

Let’s start with a few design principles which harness the knowledge of neuroscience and psychology and can help designers by understanding the mind of the user.

1. Spoilt For Choice

psychological study was done at a gourmet market, in which people could choose from 24 different jam flavors at one stand, and only six jams at another. While 60% of customers were drawn to the stand with a bigger number of choices, only 3% of them actually made a purchase.

On the flipside, 30% of those who had only six jam options bought themselves a jar.

This is related to Hick’s Law, which states that people take more time to choose if there is a greater number of choices in front of them. UX design is about helping users get what they need — quickly. The best approach for your design is to present a limited number of options, rolled out at optimal points while they are browsing through your interface.

Avoid overwhelming your audience. Even though many people think they are great at managing multiple things at the same time, most aren’t truly adept multitaskers. And those are the people for whom you need to design.

2. Hack Into The User’s Mind

It is no secret that much of what drives human behavior is subconscious. In the milliseconds after a person encounters a new app or website, millions of neurons fire and the brain makes hundreds of subconscious decisions.

Am I in the “right” place? Should I trust this site?

A 2012 study found that people form aesthetic reactions to a web page in the first 17 to 50 milliseconds after exposure.

To put that into perspective, it takes the eye 300–400 milliseconds to blink. Your product may receive its trial, judgment, and sentence all in less than the blink of an eye.

For example, if a site loads slowly and the brain reads the first items that load as “off-topic” the user may navigate away immediately rather than wait for the site to load.

Companies like Facebook invest significant resources into studying load order of elements. If someone logs into Facebook and doesn’t see any notification badges, they may navigate away instantly. If the badges load first, they may wait while the content-heavy News Feed loads.

Human brain’s decision making can be classified into 2 simple categories

System 1: fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious.

System 1 thinking is reactive — responsible for complex but instinctive cognition like determining the distance between objects or determining emotional responses.

System 2: slow, effortful, logical, calculating, conscious, infrequent.

System 2: thinking is analytical and is applied to more complex scenarios, like determining appropriate social behavior or comparing two products with different prices and characteristics.

Since the brain doesn’t want to re-process information or make novel decisions every time it is faced with a new scenario, much of human decision-making falls into System 1, or “fast thinking.”

When making decisions quickly the brain can over-rely upon schemas or mental models — familiar patterns of information and interaction. When System 1 thinking is engaged, System 2 never kicks into effect. People may not be aware of their brain’s decision-making, but it strongly impacts their behaviors and perception of the product

3. Make It Standout

Everyone arrives at a website or an app with some expectation of what it should look like. Staying close to that expectation helps designers benefit from instant subconscious decision making.

The person who opens your app or website wants to know a) does this have what I am looking for; and b) is this high quality? Keeping designs simple and keeping brand, services, and products front and center help people orient themselves.

Putting some information front and center means keeping other information from crowding it out. Decluttering a design is just as important as re-arranging components.

These minimalist designs outperform more complex designs in task completion and visual clarity is shown to impact purchasing decisions on and offline.

It’s been scientifically proven that visually simple and clean designs perform better. The lazy brain can grasp the site’s purpose instantly and understand what action to take.

4. Organize and Profit

Eye tracking studies are able to follow a person’s gaze as they interact with a product. They can produce heat maps that show the length of time spent focused on one part of the screen, or maps of how the eye jumps around the page.

We know that, across industries and app types, the brain commonly scans for information in an F-pattern (or E-pattern). The person looks at the information at the top, reading to the right, and then scanning down the page for relevant information or icons.

Breaking the F-pattern — for example, putting important information in the bottom-right corner — will make it harder to find.

5. Go Easy On The Text

According to a study, people read only about 20% of the text on a page. Worse, on sites with more content, people dedicated only about 4 extra seconds for each additional 100 words of text.

In a world where people don’t read word-for-word, Nielsen Norman employs the following guidelines for scannable text.Highlighted keywords

Meaningful subheadings

Bulleted lists

One idea per paragraph

The inverted pyramid style — start with the conclusion

Half the word count (or less) of conventional writing

Color theory, weights, and contrast can be used to direct user attention. NASA’s cockpit design team uses luminance to help manage the pilot’s attention in an area crowded with competing for information. The cockpit design team uses color and contrast to give visual prominence to the most important elements.

Contrast and luminance are just a first step. Color theory suggests balancing your product’s colors by using the dominant color 60% of the time, secondary 30%, and accent 10%. This breakdown is consistent with the neuroscience behind what draws the eye. Because the accent color is used the least, it draws the eye the most.

Just as the use of bright color can draw the eye, use of more muted colors can help a user determine which information is secondary or less important. For example, most websites use footer areas with a more neutral color to show separation from the rest of the information on the page.

Your User’s Memory Is Complex, But Their Recall Is Limited

In order to remember something, the human mind reconstructs memories. This explains why you could get four different versions of the same event from four different people.

Translating this knowledge into UX design, you mustn’t force users to remember too many steps when they use your product. If there are too many steps to recall, they are bound to forget a few.

It’s essential that your designs respect the restrictions of the brain’s cognitive load. If a user is forced to think too much in order to complete a task, they’re likely to avoid it in the future or to forget steps and become frustrated if they do try it again. Frustration does not create an optimal user experience.

A common web design best practice is to provide no more than three or four steps in any given user task. If you over-complicate your tasks, you run the risk of unpleasant user experience. This leads to lower quality website signals, lower search rankings, and of course, abandoned carts and lead generation forms.

A good solution is serial positioning, or the human brain’s tendency to best recall the first and last steps in a process. This is why many popular apps position “home” and “profile” either to the far left or the far right.

Wrapping Up

Your task as a designer is to come up with an efficient design that will help your users solve problems. Psychology is an essential factor in delivering on that objective in user experience. You need to understand the human psyche: how people come up with different thoughts and ideas to solve an issue. This way, you can create designs with true meaning and exceptional usability.

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.

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.

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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