June 2017

Moon Technolabs > 2017 > June
VR and AR help you Get Ahead of the Competition

The IT and Digital worlds are Universes of Constant Evolution. New technologies, New App Development Services, New products emerge every day – and some of them are powerful enough to reform our lives.

One such recent development is the emergence of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies. Shortly known as VR and AR, Virtual Reality creates and simulates an artificial environment that can capture the imagination of the users. AR adds virtual elements to real life to further enhance the viewing and interpreting experience.

Harness the power of Reality Technology

While Mobile App Development Services by various Top Mobile App Development Company have revolutionised the way businesses are conducted, using VR and AR Apps can take your operational success to the next level.

VR and AR Apps are unique in the way they add to the User Experience. They can be of immense use in many industry verticals and domains and change the way a customer experiences a project or a product.

Advantages of VR and AR Apps

  • VR and AR apps represent the cutting-edge technologies. They can completely change the way your customers see, experience and shop your products. Better looking Apps mean intelligent shopping decisions that will go in your favour.
  • With VR and AR apps, it is very easy to create visually rich presentations and demos that have a maximum level of customer engagement. Changes and iterations can be performed quickly without too many complications.
    These Reality Apps are highly interactive in nature. They offer the best UI and UX experience possible when compared to traditional mobile apps.
  • VR and AR apps present yet another interesting and innovative marketing opportunity that other business owners don’t have. Moreover, customers too tend to be loyal to companies that ready to embrace the futuristic technologies that promise a better customer experience.
  • Reality Apps present an exciting option to enhance and fortify your brand presence and recollection in the minds of the customers.
    VR and AR apps can be developed for almost the same cost and time frame, but are loaded with Reality features – and that can get you the best ROI for your business investment.

Domains that can benefit

While Reality Apps present unlimited opportunities, businesses belonging to particular domains can benefit more – namely

  • Education and Training
  • Online Retail
  • Gaming & Entertainment
  • Construction & Real Estate
  • Tourism & Travel
  • Lifestyle & Decor
  • Architecture & Interior Decor

Be a step ahead of your competition

Come, experience and exploit the huge benefits of VR and AR Apps by partnering with Moon Technolabs Pvt. Ltd, one of the Top Mobile App Development Company in India. At Moon Technolabs, we are pioneers in integrating reality technology in Mobile App Development Services to create Apps that are visually stunning and high on user engagement, customer conversion.

With an impressive portfolio of more than 300+ Apps and more than 500 projects delivered to an excess of 250+ clients across the world, it suffices to say that your search for the Best VR App Development Company ends here.

Give a ring or drop a mail. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can stay ahead of your competitors, at sales@moontechnolabs.com or +1(951)801 5251.

Kotlin – New Programming Language for Android App Development

The annual Google I/O conference is one of the most awaited ones, for the new tech surprises and announcements it heralds. This year too was no different, with Google announcing its first-class support for Kotlin as a key language for Android App Development.

More on Kotlin

Kotlin is basically a statically typed programming language that runs on Java Virtual Machine, like Java. Named after an island near St. Petersburgh, Russia, Kotlin has been developed by JetBrains, the same company that has developed tools like IntelliJ.

Java, along with C++ had so far been Google’s principle language for developing Android Apps. But, maybe not anymore, as here come Kotlin that is completely interoperable with Java. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin will come included, so additional setup or installation will not be required for the Android developers.

Kotlin and Java

As a language, Kotlin is a lot similar to Java, like being statically typed and object-oriented. Being a new language, Kotlin comes loaded with lots of new features, cleaner syntax and more such enhancements which are not present in Java. On the other hand, Java is a very old language, more prone to errors, run time exceptions and is verbose.

Kotlin for Android App Development

Kotlin is an incredible language for developing Apps by Android App Development Company, as it is cutting edge and comes with a lot of features and functionalities that are not present in other programming languages like Java. There are many benefits for an Android App Development company to go with Kotlin, namely

  • Speed and Performance – A Kotlin application with its support for an inline function, and similar bytecode structure, runs faster than the same code developed in Java.
  • Compatibility – Kotlin is entirely compatible with JDK 6, which makes it run even on older Android devices without any issues.
  • Interoperability – Kotlin is completely and seamlessly interoperable with Java, which means developers can use all the existing Android libraries in a Kotlin application. This interoperable feature is one of the major enticing factors for Android App Developers.
  • More efficient – Kotlin takes 20% fewer lines of code than Java, which means fewer bugs, faster to develop and compile, and therefore lower costs. The best part is, there are no Null Pointer Extensions, which means no crashes. Moreover, Kotlin being Open Source means it is entirely free to use and develop.
  • Easier to learn and adopt – For developers who are already familiar with Java, taking to Kotlin is easier, as the syntax is lean, intuitive, simple, and similar. The Java to Kotlin converter plugin is of great help when you get started.

Will Kotlin replace Java?

There are no two thoughts that Java is the Dad here. Java has been around for a very long time, as compared to Kotlin. While Java being extensively used my millions of developers till date, it is safe to assume that Java is here to stay for some more time. It may be a smart idea to combine and use Kotlin along with Java in the applications. Google has also clarified that Kotlin will only be an additional programming language, and is not a replacement for either Java or C++.

The Future of Kotlin

Google is tying up with JetBrains to create a nonprofit foundation to foster the Kotlin language. Kotlin is expected to run natively on other platforms like iOS and MacOS and compile on JS for web development. With a strong support and backing from the IT giant Google and commitment from JetBrains, Kotlin seems to have started with a firm footing and even may rule in the next few years.

iOS 11 WatchOS 4 macOS 10.13 High Sierra

Apple released first beta versions for iOS 11, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, watchOS 4 and TVOS 11 for testing to the developers at the WWDC 2017 developer conference. Let’s dig in to find how fresh the features are and how they will elate the user experience.

iOS11

The developer preview of brand-new iOS 11 is available now and first public beta will arrive later this month.

The definitive version of the OS will be released later this year on:

  • iPhone 5S and later
  • all iPad Air and iPad Pro models,
  • iPad 5th generation,
  • iPad mini 2 and later, and
  • iPod touch 6th generation devices.

The latest version of iOS brings:

  • Updated Message app
  • A redesigned app drawer, along with the ability to synchronize messages across multiple devices via iCloud
  • Apple Pay enabling person to person payments.
  • All these transactions will be authenticated via Touch ID.

The Other Notable Releases

  • Siri gets some elegant improvements with the iOS 11 release like the use of deep learning technologies with better natural-sounding voice output.
  • Camera has been updated for recording videos in the HEVC format which means less storage consumption, similar technique is utilized for clicking life moments.
  • Control Center includes all the options in one window.All this can be expanded with the 3D Touch feature.
  • Additionally, apps such as Apple Maps, Home Kit and Apple Music were given a face lift with contemporary design and features.
  • Oh yes! the App Store also has a better interface now.

iPhone app development companies must be well prepared to bring out apps that are up to mark with all these latest updates from the smartphone giant.

Read Also: Top 10 Biggest Keynote Announcements at Google IO 2017

MacOS High Sierra (MacOS 10.13)

  • An updated version of macOS is now available for desktops and laptops.
  • The OS, dubbed macOS High Sierra is provided with more enhanced and powerful Safari browser including a built-in functionality that blocks video and audio auto play.
  • For user privacy, an Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature has been provided that uses machine learning and prevents ads from tracking users.
  • Full Screen split view for better multitasking by using 35% less disk space.
  • A boosted UI that gets a new viewing grid for the latest photos app along with an improved face recognition feature and new improved editing options.
  • MacOS has ditched HFS file system and High Sierra has the 64-bit Apple File System (APFS). With native encryption, this latest OS is much safer to use.

All these latest features mean that every macOS app development company will be brimming to get their hands on it. We see stiff competition in the app development market.

WatchOS 4

  • The platform comes up with some new watch faces.
  • The OS now has fast and smoother access to the company’s virtual assistant.
  • Machine learning studies user data to adapt to the wearer’s daily activities.
  • The watch face updates dynamically after the wearer raises the wrist.
  • An access for controlling home app functionalities is also present now.
  • The OS also has an up-to-date Activity app that provides more personalized updates with a new monthly challenges feature.
  • New animations that celebrate health goals achievement.
  • The OS has been upgraded with gym equipment support too.
  • An updated Music app that auto syncs music based users’ music taste.
  • A new album art that allows users to just tap and play the music playlist.

Read Also: How To Stay On-course in the Wearable App Development Market

Other Updates

Kaleidoscope watch face:

A fascinating design with multiple styles based on color patterns of a selected image.

Toy Story watch Face includes three sub watch faces

  • Woody
  • Jesse, and
  • Buzz Lightyear

tvOS

The tvOS 11 operating system is available to developers for testing purposes.

What a developer should do?

If you are a registered developer you can

  • Download tvOS 11 by connecting any Apple TV to a computer
  • Use a USB-C cable for establishing the connection
  • Install the beta software from iTunes.

As per the Apple’s release notes the tvOS 11 has:

  • An automatic light/dark appearance switching
  • Home screen synchronizing options
  • Latest background modes and notification support
  • Focus API improvements
  • Custom sound support
  • Network-based pairing and development support, and
  • Improvements to Mobile Device Management

So, what does it mean?

Many more public versions are lined up, because all these beta version updates have been released to see how they will perform with the masses.

We think this is the right time for every digital product development organization that is into macOS, iPhone and iOS app development, to get ready for the rumble that these updates will create. The competition just became trendier!

frequency Mobile App Updates

It is essential to approach right listeners, stick to your organization’s goal and set an achievable target. Updates do have a direct or indirect impact on users. A regular notification may annoy them, while a no notification might make them think that app is inefficient. Find out what works in case of app updates.

Rationality behind App Updates

A two-week sprint is considered apt to release an app for review. Thus, ideally a mobile app ought to be updated in two weeks time.However, what is the need to update an app when the current version is working smoothly?

  • With enhanced features, it helps customer focus on your app.
  • Development sprints have become a standard now and Mobile App Development Companies iterate quickly to keep up with compeers.
  • Customers do not appraise apps with less than nine updates in a single financial year. An above-average rating is must for an app to contend well in market.
  • Frequent updating also helps increase user engagement for your app and simultaneously check likes and dislikes of customers.
  • Shorter product life cycles contributes to breakage at lesser extent.

Why is App Updates Important?

App updates act as a beneficial marketing tool.

  • Regular updates have more chance of reaching out to customers as compared to the ones, which have never been updated
  • It helps fix relevant bugs and append features that customers want in the app
  • Release notes that come after an app update is an essential platform to interact with customers
  • Frequent OS updates by Android and iOS is likely to break the functionality of the app, therefore frequent updating is required
  • To keep up with changing customer expectations and dynamic business scenario
  • A bug fix or next version upgrades the software one step at a time and also enables it to be in line with external changes

Difference in Version and Bug Fix Update

A major or version update causes the version of the app change from v2.1 to v2.2. A bug fix or minor update causes the version change from v2.1 to v2.1.1. Here, ‘2’ at first place indicates second major release. The ‘1’ at second place indicates third major revision. The ‘1’at third place indicates that it is first revision / bug fix to that minor release.

A subsequent update must focus on a particular bug fix, if that caused any functional error in the application rather than simply adding new features to enhance cosmetic features of the app.

An Incomparable Update Schedule

App updates can be proactive, reactive, major or minor. Most of the apps just include most important or core functionality at the time of initial release while they are updated in subsequent versions, depending upon customer demand and reaction. In such cases, a proactive update is more important than a reactive one.

Major app update also depend upon the usage of the app. E-commerce apps are not required to be updated frequently or weekly as usage is transactional or occasional.

Developers need to follow a maintenance code and update each feature according to customer feedback.

What can be the advantages and disadvantages of releasing an update to an app?

An update to an app will not cost anything from existing users. A simple update also helps to market that app easily with exactly the same link that is available on Play Store.

New customers have to pay the development cost and they are forced to update the app unless they otherwise willingly choose not to do so.

Summary

A mobile app must undergo a complete software development life cycle and testing life cycle in order to remain relevant and successful. Refinements in form of bug fixes and enhanced features must be an essential part of each improved version of the app. Larger mobile app development companies might come up with 3-4 major updates in a month while smaller ones or individuals might come up with 1 quality release in a month.

Everything you want to know about Beacons

The term “Beacons,” has been creating a lot of buzz of late in the Tech, and business circles. Simply put, the word Beacons refer to a guiding light, and it is for this very same purpose they are used in Tech related sales and marketing promotions. Let us now learn more about what Beacons are, how they work, and how they can help your business.

What are Beacons?

A Beacon is basically a wireless Bluetooth sensor, that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), to send and receive data to smartphones to perform certain actions, like app notifications, messages or prompts.

Beacons are small, cost-effective, battery powered, and can be strategically placed in a way that when a customer comes in their vicinity, they will receive appropriate messages and notifications.

How do Beacons work?

Beacons use BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy signal to send ID and data to specific Apps in your smartphone in the form of individual notifications. It is important to note that Beacons only send info and not receive them. This data transfer happens only when the customer has switched on his Bluetooth, has given location access permission, as well as has opted to receive notifications.

Each Beacon has its unique ID that reaches out to an App on your smartphone so that you receive relevant App information. This ensures that you get only the right notifications thereby providing high levels of privacy.

Why are Beacons important to Retailers, Marketers, and Businessmen?

With the number of smartphone users growing day by day, Beacons are a terrific way to engage, and connect with prospective customers. And gently nudge them to make a purchase once they are within the range of your Beacons.

Beacons provide the following crucial insights about Customers

  • Customer’s spending habits
  • Track customer movements within a mall or shop
  • Shopping patterns and interests
  • Time spent in a particular shop
  • Time spent in hanging around a particular product group
  • Preferred products

This information that Beacons provide, is further used to create various Marketing and Selling strategies like

  • Proximity Marketing

Otherwise known as Hyperlocal Marketing, this method gives an incredible opportunity to Retailers and Marketers to sell to shoppers, based on their location. Messages and push notifications can be directed to the buyers who are near a store to enter the store and buy, by offering exclusive discounts and coupons.

  • Contextual Targeting

This strategy uses the info from the Mobile App of the shopper to deliver targeted messaging based on a particular context. This might include a combo of info like the customer location, shopping patterns, history, in-store activity, etc.

  • Merging the Online and Store experiences

Beacon Technology makes use of the Online or App data of the shopper to deliver apt in-store shopping experience for the users and vice versa. Using the In-store data, the retailers can entice the users to make a purchase on their ecommerce site by offering suitable discounts.

  • Analytics

Beacons also provide a wealth of data that help in creating various Analytics and Reports. They can give you info also about

  • The number of footfalls that happen in a shop or mall
  • Customer shopping patterns based on their In-store activity
  • Frequency of customer visits

This intelligence info helps in determining not just consumer behavior, but also identify the most attractive sections, busiest hours in a shop, etc. This will be of immense use when it comes to planning your product placement, merchandising, stock planning, resource allocation, etc.

The main idea that makes Beacons stand out, is that they not just deliver messages and notifications, but they deliver relevant, customized, and contextually apt messages and notifications that make a customer more likely to take action.

What do the Numbers say?

 

BeaconsThe Beacon Platform, Swirl, in its study says that around 73% of customers who received a Beacon initiated App notification in their smartphone were nudged to make a purchase. 61% of the shoppers said that these notifications would motivate them to visit a shop or mall more often.

A BI Intelligence study stated that In-Store sale prompted by Beacons touched an astonishing figure of $44 Billion for the Top US Retailers in 2016.

The Fine Balance in using Beacons

Beacons have opened up an exciting world of incredible opportunities by providing the customized shopping experience to customers. And also increased sales and customer intelligence for the business owners. But like any other technology, Beacons also should be used with care and caution.

A study conducted by inMarket states that while the Beacons helped in a 45% increase in customer interaction rate, it also says that when shoppers received multiple notifications on a trip, their App usage fell down by 313%.

It is, therefore, wise to employ a delicate balance between enticing customers to make a purchase. And bombarding them with too many coupons and discounts which may end up annoying them.

It is imperative that you understand the technology and App to use it to the best. Employ an experienced Tech partner like Moon Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., India, for all your iBeacon App Development needs, to revolutionize the way your customer’s shop.

Get in touch with us today at sales@moontechnolabs.com, to know more about Beacon Technology and how we can help you create awesome Apps to leverage it.

The iOS 10.3 is a major Update for App Owners and Developers

Apple File System (APFS) can be updated to device’ file system (HFS+) by iOS 10.3. This will help save 1-7 GB of storage space. iCloud section displays the settings for icloud backup, keychain and Find My iPhone App etc. It recommends backing up of existing data before updates.

With its compatibility with varied devices like – iPad mini 2 and higher, iPhone 5S and , iPad higher, iPod pro range and iPod 6 and above, iOS 10.3 presents gamut of functionality and has been a most awaited release for iphone users.

Free Wi-Fi Calling

iOS 10.3 now allows free wi-fi calling through connected devices like Apple Watches, Macbooks, iMacs and iPads etc., without direct routing.

Dynamic App Icon

IOS App Developers make seasoned updates with help of suggestions from users but they cannot respond to reviews. iOS users can share their feedback by clicking “helpful” or “not helpful”.

New Menu Settings

Now, users can get all information about their Apple id with details of all connected devices on menu itself. This device also shows all devices connected to iTunes, iCloud, App Store and Family Sharing.

Animation

IOS App Development has come up with some delightful features like animation at opening and closing of apps.

Shortcuts via Carplay

Users get to know their most recently used apps and play it quickly via shortcuts.

Auto Unlock and Notifications

Phone wakes up as soon as holds it. Notifications remain on home screen.

Listen Music Without Air Pods

In case you lose your AirPod and do not wish to spend £65/$69/AU$99 to buy a new one, ‘Find my iphone app’ with its latest feature – ‘Find my Air Pod’ can save you. Especially designed to keep track of Apple’s Wireless Ear Buds and you can still play music.

Water Resistant

iOS 10 notifies its users for a possible damage due to water and provides instructions to avoid it.

De-cluttered Home Screen

Menus are divided into several panels, when swiped up from the bottom. Features like stopwatch, flashlight, calculator, and camera are provided as shortcuts at bottom of screen. iOS app developers have shifted an iOS 9.3 feature, ‘Night Shift’, above this quartet.

Personal Assistant Support

  • Instruction given to Siri in simple language, can help ease the communication and also save lot of time. iPhone App Development has shared this feature with third party IOS App development companies. It gives results that are more accurate the very first time instructions are given.
  • Another interesting feature where Siri is used, with iOS 10.3 is that it can update users with live cricket scores and statistics from ICC and IPL.
  • Siri can now access various apps and used for paying bills, checking payment status, and scheduling future cab rides.

Automated Photo Albums

iOS 10 helps put static pictures together and form a creative photo album. Also, it creates mini movies with pictures and videos

Apple Maps App

  • Although Apple Maps cannot compete with Google Maps still iOS 10 fix, many of its drawbacks like inability to move ahead on the route. It used to springs the user back to the start point, whenever he tries to walk ahead on the route.
  • Now a 3D touch feature in Apple Maps can take quick actions. Weather forecast for current location is displayed, by pushing down weather icon on Maps app.

News Notifications

  • Breaking news notifications are displayed, on home screen even when they are locked.
  • Storekit API can notify users, when developers or app owners share their reviews or reply to any comment.

Summary

Now users can enjoy ‘imessages’ in the same way as they used to do via Facebook, as they can be illustrated with graphics and emoticons. Editing a single document by multiple users has become easy with iOS 10.3. Music streaming has become easy. Room temperature, fan, window blinds, lights everything is managed via home-kit app. Home screen is un-locked by swiping it right. All these and more features, released with final update of release 10 has eased various tasks of iphone developers and users. Apple users await the support for 32 Bit Apps.

Mobile Commerce Emerging Trends 2017

Revolution in Payments

Making payments from your mobile device is the most efficient way of doing the task.

Apart from being trendy it has boosted the sales of numerous online businesses that have their m-commerce app.

All these online brands have been coming up with various deals and discounts attracting the customers to make more mobile payments giving rise to the m-commerce payment in 2017.

Increasing market share of Smartphones

Mobile brands have provided plethora of smartphones having numerous features that appeal to the customers in many ways and the result is the increase in the number of smartphone users all over the world. So, one more trend is the increase in the number of smartphone users for the year 2017.

Rise of eCommerce

Smartphones are the front runner when it comes to the promotion of e-commerce.

Mobile devices are being used heavily by everyone which in turn gives rise to e-Commerce.

And this trend will keep increasing this year too.

B2B Mobile Commerce

As per a survey carried out by International Data Group (IDG)

  • three quarters of B2B tech buyers carried at least two mobile devices,
  • 41% of B2B tech buyers bought a product within six months after watching a mobile ad,
  • 40% sought a product in a retail store after watching an adon their mobile device, and
  • 36% clicked the mobile ad regarding a technology product.

This tells that m-commerce is not just limited to the B2C scenario and has extended its arena to the B2B segment also and it will keep up with this trend.

Related: E-Commerce Mobile App trends 2017

Mobile Commerce Apps

M-commerce app development will become challenging in near future as mobile commerce is constantly evolving through desktops, mobile browsers, and mobile applications.

Mobile devices have almost replaced desktops when it comes to e-commerce.

With the development of mobile technologies, the trend of mobile commerce apps will keep on growing.

Mobile Image Recognition (MIR)

This technology allows users to upload picture of a product on their mobile and MIR-driven app to support comparative shopping.

Video Content

Multimedia advertisements mainly include animations and videos attracting huge user traffic making it one more technology in the rising m-commerce trends list.

Related: Top 5 Trends in Internet of Things on 2017

Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

Augmented Reality has given an interactive and immersive understanding to its users regarding the products they use, making the best use of wearables and smartphone features for a seamless m-commerce experience.

Near Field Communication (NFC) – Enabled Payments

NFC technologies are promoting the safest and quickest way for smartphone transactions. By utilizing the NFC features of the smartphones buyers can be done with their shopping without waiting in long queues.

Future of M-Commerce

The future of M-commerce is bright with various technological advancements that are taking place. These advancements are enriching the customer’s overall shopping experience and will continue to do so for the years to come.

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