July 2018

Moon Technolabs > 2018 > July
Internet Of Things

Internet Of Things (IoT) seems to be too much for some people but in a way, it is quite simple. To put it in simple words, an object placed in the unified network collects data & information from the source when it comes in the same network and later gets transmitted to develop an action. For e.g, a health band that lets you know how much you walked in a day, a way to wake drivers when feeling sleepy on the wheels or merely a message that conveys on exceeding the alcohol intake, etc. Today’s tech world is filled with such tech innovations that it seems yesteryear for these things to be just in our minds and imagination.

But today, IoT has already penetrated into our lives making it more informative, fast and ease-of-doing things. Mostly, IoT can easily be associated with all the things that we add ‘smart’ as a prefix to it, may it be, smart TV, smartphones, and even smart home appliances, etc.

Most of the tech giant companies such as Amazon, Google, IBM are already capturing the IoT market. However, contrary to the downfall of the computer business, IoT is showing a lot of promising areas even though it has just begun the journey. Currently, all the IoT equipment come with an integrated package which cannot be separated but in the standardization phase, all the accessories are expected to interact with each other.

IoT in Smart Homes

No, we aren’t talking about “Clapping Lights”! IoT for smart homes can be used in a much more intelligent way. It could marvelously determine to change the ‘thermostat’ when noticed about the change in weather, or level-up the blinds on sunny days. The home system engineers make use of IoT to design concept homes that are totally depended upon “home automation”.

Smart homes are easily programmable from any of the smart devices such as a smartphone, tablet or even remote controls to adequately manage all the home electronic systems for e.g, temperature, lights, air conditioning, audio, and video.

Moreover, it does present certain benefits for home security as well when it comes to apartments or conventional homes. You can turn on certain systems while you are away on vacation while keeping an eye on the home with CCTV also. Smart home promotes energy savings and environmental care as it allows you to not only shut off any system when not in need but also allows you to control the same based on the weather or schedule.

IoT has an impact on all kinds of aspects of our lives such as in the field of logistics & transport, retail segment, medical & healthcare industry, etc. In all the above mentioned respective industries whether its a patient, driver, etc any professional, IoT is going to change the way human-system interacts. Not only the end-user, but companies also can marginalize the profit by obtaining more information to improve their business and increase customer satisfaction.

The way to move forward is to contact the best mobile app development company that understands your business requirements and have expertise in the same area. Also, it works great in your benefit if the outsourcing company is offering or discussing with you lots of options not only in terms of your organization’s goals & objectives but also collaboratively decide the development model, technology stack, coders & designers involved in the project that relies on the newest but by far seen the most promising technology that is none other than Internet Of Things.

6 Frameworks For Hybrid Mobile Apps

The digital technologies are gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate. Taking hybrid app development into consideration which is a front-runner and favourite among the developers. The reason behind is basically, hybrid mobile app development allows to write code once and use it to run on various platforms at no additional cost. The application can seamlessly operate on Android and iOS and can also be constructively reused for web and even with desktop applications by doing some minor changes and adaptations of the code for the desktop environment.

You can also learn in detail about “Hybrid vs Native Mobile Apps” by clicking here.

Without waiting further, let’s take a look at 6 of the best frameworks to build great & amazing mobile hybrid applications.

1) Xamarin

Xamarin, a software company which was founded in May 2011 in San Francisco, California is owned by Microsoft. Xamarin ventured into cross-platform implementations of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications which is often referred to as ‘Microsoft.NET’.

C# as it’s shared a codebase, Xamarin tools are significantly used to write code for native Android, iOS and Windows app. These are written with native user-interface and shared codebase across multiple platforms, including Windows and MacOS. Xamarin is time efficient as it re-uses code, tools and minimizes team effort in the process and hence, Xamarin has made it to one of our top hybrid mobile app development framework.     

2) PhoneGap

The team working behind the scene for PhoneGap is Apache Cordova. PhoneGap is also one of the cutting-edge cross-platform frameworks for mobile hybrid application development. PhoneGap framework hybrid applications are built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for multiple platforms using the current web development skills with a single codebase which allows you to reach wider audience irrespective of their device operating system.

For Apache Cordova applications, rendering and JavaScript is implemented via CSS3 and HTML5 respectively. Certain native plug-ins can be extended to induce more functionalities from JavaScript, making it feasibly communicate directly between the native layer and HTML5 page. These plugins allow accessing device’s feature such as a camera, microphone, file system, etc.

3) Ionic

Ionic is completely free and open source SDK. Power-packed with more than 100 native device features such as Bluetooth, HealthKit, Finger Print Auth and combined with PhoneGap plugins and TypeScript extensions.

Built on Angular.js & Apache Cordova, it gives access to tools and services to develop using web technologies like CSS & HTML5. Developers use CLI to create, build, test and deploy Ionic apps onto any platform. Moreover, the Ionic framework has numerous app icons which can be further used. It also presents more enhanced features like deep linking, AoT Compiling, and Ionic Native.

4) Titanium Appcelerator

Titanium is a mixed combination of two development environments viz., Xamarin & PhoneGap. Though most of the apps are written in JavaScript, developers may have to use a custom XML and Appcelerator’s API in supporting and enhancing certain features.

An MVC framework, which propels the development time put into mobile apps by using Alloy to reuse across different apps and hence, eliminating the need for re-creating the lines of code. To begin with, you’ll need to download Titanium Studio. The Titanium SDK already comes with platform-independent APIs which can access the phone hardware.

5) Mobile Angular UI

Developers who love Bootstrap and Angular is definitely going to opt for Mobile Angular UI for the hybrid mobile framework. Marking its way with Bootstrap 3 & Angular framework, Mobile Angular UI will pave the way to build best HTML5 mobile applications.

This framework comes with fastclick.js and overthrow.js for seamless and amazing mobile experience. Responsive media queries are kept as separate files out of the bootstrap and can be used as per the need. Mobile Angular UI comes equipped with overlays, switches, sidebars, scrollable areas and navbars which are positioned in a way to not roll off while on the scroll. This framework is an open source and hence free to use under the MIT license.

6) Onsen UI

One of the newest framework for hybrid mobile development as compared to its counterpart, Onsen UI giving run for the money in terms of functionality to Ionic. Onsen UI is an open source framework which can be permitted to use under the license of ‘Apache’.

Not only you get to pick and jump between frameworks such as Angular, Angular2, React, Vue.js, Meteor or JavaScript to build your hybrid apps but also offers enormous feature components and responsive out of the box. It allows you to structure code in HTML5 & JavaScript and push through PhoneGap and Cordova to build hybrid apps. The wide application of this framework is used for commercial projects as it very easy to use, efficient, flexible and induced with markup components.

Android Mobile Apps The Best Foot Forward For This Generation

There used to smartphones everywhere. The scenario has extended with mobile apps now. You can get apps for virtually anything. Mobile Industry has seen the most and advanced level of growth via gaming apps. Games which are highly addictive and immersive with amazing graphics are holding users to their mobile phones more than ever.

Additionally, there are even apps available now for home & kitchen appliances, security, financial and literally for everything. Let’s see what kind of apps and their services have to offer to current techie generation.

 

  •  Banking Apps

Majorly all the banks now have their own apps. These financial institutions are offering to operate many functions via their apps for which originally, a customer had to visit in person such as check account balance, pay bills, confirm deposits and transfer funds to another account. You can perform all these functions on any day, time or location as long as you have an active internet connection on your device.

 

  • Forex Apps

A while back, traders and brokers needed to stick to their desktop computers but not anymore. With mobile apps being introduced for Forex, traders and brokers can do their job while they are on the go. This has introduced new traders to join as previously they didn’t like to sit in front of computers all day long.

 

  • Messenger Apps

Normal messages or as we know SMS (Short Messaging Service) is now replaced with many available messenger apps. There are many messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc which not only enhances the messaging experience by delivering it faster but also allows you to send an image, videos and even doc files. The most important feature of any messenger app is the video calling benefit, as you can connect with anybody around the world.

 

  • Document Apps

These apps allow a user to open documents in MS Word or Excel files on their smartphones, ultimately reducing the need for desktop computers or laptops. One can even now easily read mail attachments on their mobile phone.

 

  • File Transfer Apps

Bluetooth and Infrared are the technology of the past for any file transfer. Now there are apps such as Xender, FileShare, and Flash-Share through which you can send multiple files at a time. All these apps allow transferring files in no time, irrespective of the size or number the files that are being transferred.

 

  • Flashlight Apps

A while back we said, there are apps for virtually everything. Here is the classy example of it. As long as your smartphone has flash, you can use it as a flashlight by downloading one of the many available apps from the store. Such facility of having an immense technology and the power to operate it from the palm of your hands makes us addicted to mobile phones.

 

  • Educational Apps

Educational apps that are available provide both free and paid study materials. While others offer completely free materials. Most famous ones are Amazon Kindle, Google Playbook, Khan Academy and Wikipedia app. Out of this, Khan Academy and Wikipedia app allow students to access material at no cost. Hence, such apps have empowered not only school students but also university graduates, teachers, and even lecturers to access free educational resources and database.

 

  • Dating Apps

There are many dating apps available currently and the favorite amongst all is Tinder. Ever since the dating apps started flowing, the usage of a website has gone down to negligible. As a matter of fact, few of the dating giants have started to transform the business from website towards app too.

 

  • Smart Wallet Apps

These kind of apps are presenting new benefits to the users. Smart wallet apps give out a notification or a reminder text if you move away 50 meters or more from your smart wallet, assuming that you have forgotten it. Smart wallets operate once you purchase any of the wallets and then download & install its app too.

These are just a few handpicked apps to discuss to how Android Mobile Apps have benefitted the generation with its stunning features and functionalities. There are more to come in due time to come and surprise but until then this generation has got a lot in their hands to play with.

10 Ways To Manage The Online App Reputation

Mobile app developers from around the world use different means to promote and market their apps online. Few of the ways include SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and ASO (App Store Optimisation). Moreover, a channel of blogs and creative content also helps to promote their app on the website. However, in the middle all these, they forget to focus on managing their reputation online.

First of all, you’ll need to create the awareness and warmth of your brand in order for them to like first and download the app later. You’ll also need to pay attention to any negative feedback. From time to time, educating on features and benefits of the app will also work great in your interest.

Following are the 10 basic things to ask for your online reputation manager:

1) Where To Start From?

Merely having an app will not do the job. You’ll need to spread presence via digital platforms such as social media by building profiles and digital landmarks. Regularly updating the content and responding to the users via questionnaire/review/feedback comments will start building the relationship between your brand and users. Being a part of online forums adds a cherry on top of the cake.

 

2) Revert Back

It works amazingly if you are socially involved and engaged with the users. Make sure to not only respond to a good review, post or tweet but also revert back to the negative ones as it gives you chance to eliminate the bad impression about your company and gives you chance to rebuild the relationship with a user.

 

3) Well Funded Company With Technology

When the company is sufficiently capable and venture-funded, it can have many options open to access a lot of technology. Moreover, if your technology is patented, that would help to scrap off lots of web scrubbing problems and will help your brand to surface in a nice and neat manner.

 

4) Vanishing Bad Reviews

It does give you an urge to remove or delete the negative reviews or post about your brand. Let’s face it, nobody likes a bad comment on their remark. Unfortunately, you can’t erase those comments, however, it is always better to address the issue of the post or comment rather than to delete it.

 

5) Alternative For Bad Reviews

As you know that you can’t erase negative posts, the best thing to do is to engage in promotion and suppression. Promote your brand with posts, news or feed that you would like it on the first search engine result page. Learn about few tricks to boost the ranking as well. Suppression technique allows you to push negative comment further down.

 

6) Be In Healthy Competition

It does matter to keep an eye on online platforms where your company is mentioned or listed. But it is also more important to know what other companies are referred to so that it offers new possibilities to promote your brand.

 

7) Correlation With The Platform

If you are planning to promote your business on a specific platform/site via an associate, you’ll need to make sure that the said associate has a formal relationship with the site authority. The purpose of doing this activity is to ensure that you’ll not be deceived.

 

8) Online Crisis

Online problems that may come are based on various factors and intensity. Some need more time while others could be handled in a matter of hours. Taking initiative and being proactive is what it counts to deal with such situation. Furthermore, it is advisable to have procedures, guidelines, and strategies in place for any such circumstances.

 

9) Keeping Tracks Of All Platforms

With so many social media platforms around us nowadays, it advisable to develop a bot or program to keep track of the accounts. Also, you could take help by hiring a monitoring firm or online reputation managers to work on SEO result of your company.

 

10) Online Image

Addressing or attending to a bad online reputation is neither a one-time task nor it ends the service. The process of online reputation has to be continuous. Your online community should regularly be engaged and managed. As long as you are in the business, you are ought to look after for your brand and its reputation.

Necessary Steps Involved In The Making Of iPhone, iPad or Android Apps

Smartphones and its apps are constantly surfacing talent from developers in the mobile world and many of them are head-turners with their expertise and knowledge in developing gaming, VR, AR, etc apps for smartphones and tablets.

Here is a list of necessary steps in building apps for different platforms.

1) Competitive Idea

If you have a unique idea, that is great! But chances are in today’s fast paced ever evolving tech world, someone might be already working on or would have developed a related concept. Don’t worry, as long as you and your idea are competitive in terms of service and offerings, your idea is good to go. The main thing is to keep note and track of developments in an idea and let them flow.

 

2) Inspire & Learn

Lookout for the points that makes an application successful. Observe the trends in the app store, understand how and what are the things helpful in making applications. Moreover, you could also learn and inspire from expert app developers and their work.

 

3) Learn To Program

Going with the tech flow is the best one can do and hence, it is advisable to learn to programme for the trending & established platforms such as Google (Android) & Apple (iOS). You can learn from projects by mobile app development companies, e-Learning guides and from the free courses offered online.

 

4) App Design

It’s always suggestive to put your design ideas on paper. Basically, the layout and look of the application will do the job initially. One has to design the app keeping in mind the alignment & appearance of windows/screens/buttons so as to look your app visually attractive and easy to operate. Graphics software such as Gimp or Adobe Creative Suite is helpful in the app design.

 

5) Register As a Developer

It’s good to be a registered app developer for you to easily access development tools, forums & discussions and application store. Apple & Google charges an annual membership fee of $100 & $50 respectively. Free applications are used to get more downloads and usually make for the sale via in-app purchases. On the other hand, for paid apps, iPhone app developers earn 70% of the sold income while Apple is left with 30%.

 

6) Seek Professional Help

If you feel stuck in any step of your app development process, then you could definitely get approach app development companies who can help to develop the idea of the application in lesser time. You can find them via LinkedIn, Search Engines, Friends Referral or specialized networks like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, etc.

 

7) Funding Your Idea

When the test concepts and initial code is set by you for the first app then you can either get your app funded by investors who like your app idea & test version of development or you could even gather the finance to start the project on a smaller scale by crowdfunding. To set the ball rolling for mobile apps, it is possible to start with as little as 5-10 thousand dollars.

 

8) Project Schedule & Testing

It is utmost important to adhere to the project schedule and in order to do that, the best thing is to split it into various functional phases with small tasks such as making a form, designing a button, etc. “Rome was not built in a day” and hence, one step at a time will help you a lot in completing the project. Do not forget to ask for a review or feedback as it will give you a preliminary picture of how your users are going to feel about the app and based on that you could do necessary changes.

 

9) App Store Approval

Once it seems that you have quite a good functional and performing app, you should send it for approval from the app store. Usually, it will take between 5 to 15 days for officials to check whether your app has followed all the guidelines such as no piracy, no pornography and of course free from the known viruses or bugs. Upon clearing this test, your app is ready to be listed in the Google Play Store or iTunes.

 

10) Spread The Word

Let’s say your app received amazing responses from the initial runs and got constructive feedback, app store approved it, there are no any important viruses and yet after all these things, you are not getting enough downloads. That’s probably because not many smartphone users are aware of it. Hence, you’ll need a strong marketing strategy that includes but not limited to videos, memes, blogs, email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, etc. You could also check with any app development company for the app store optimization (ASO) and other marketing techniques.

Flutter Beta 3 Mobile App

Constant updations in mobile app software development kit (SDK) are frequently coming to the sight in mobile app development. With Google releasing its 1st beta version of “Flutter” in February in the Mobile World Congress and recently the 3rd has come in the line showing amazing and promising work towards completing 1.0 release.

Google I/O 2018 showed tremendous potential with ‘Flutter Beta 3 Version’ for building elegant & native mobile user interface for iOS & Android. Google also introduced its official support for the team and simultaneously announced its new tooling partner.

Birth Of Flutter

Mobile app developers started facing trouble maintaining quality and productivity while building the native version of the same app for iOS & Android operating system. Keeping that in mind, Google I/O 2017 introduced ‘Flutter’- the earliest version of the toolkit.

Companies who couldn’t wait for the individual development or rather do not have the resources to invest in the native app development would rather opt for the cross-platform mobile app development services. However, the cross-platform app wasn’t that apt in providing the native-like user experience.

Meanwhile, Google was quick to analyze this pattern and found the need for a new SDK for mobile app development. Flutter came to light with its new SDK, opening the doors for developers to build apps with enhanced visuals and delivering native performance.     

Feature Of Flutter

Google has patched up many components of SDK which are mentioned as below:

  • Revised engine parts for enhanced performance
  • Windows apps development support
  • Integration of Dart 2 with a terser syntax for building Flutter UIs
  • Published tooling for Android & Visual Studio Code
  • Widget inspector to know preview of widgets
  • Visual tree for UI
  • Visual Studio Code with a dedicated Flutter extension
  • Extended support for GIF, online videos, charts, graphs & ads
  • Support to integrate ads via Firebase

Flutter provides a development platform to developers wherein they can experiment & implement innovative features in an application without the need to rebuild it from the scratch. Flutter delivers high-end development experiences across platforms and devices with GPU accelerated renderer, quick compilers and lighting fast machine code.

Flutter collaborated with ‘Material Design’ team to take the UX/UI design elements to the next level. Flutter allows designers to use more interactive & flexible design layout through the use of UI widgets.

Let us now discuss the differentiating elements of Flutter beta 3 version w.r.t fundamentals, ecosystem, and tooling.

Fundamentals:

Few enhancements have been made to Material Design widgets as mentioned below:

  • BottomAppBar element added
  • Improved support for Chips
  •  InputDecorator added
  • Support for animated resources (GIF & WebP)
  • Slider option to customize colors and shapes
  • Positioning flexibility via FloatingActionButton

Ecosystem:

Apart from the plugins such as Firebase Messaging, Firebase Core, Firebase Analytics and Real-time Database which were added last year, the Flutter beta 3 version includes Cloud Firestore, Performance Monitoring and Remote Config.

Tooling:

The UI inspector which is re-designed with ‘Just My Widgets’ feature eliminates the need for auto-generated widgets. Visual Studio & Android studio Code is now branded as the official backbone of development environment for Flutter.

Flutter can be enabled via Flutter extension of Visual Studio Marketplace. Set of refactorings is added in Android Studio and Visual Studio Code.

Conclusion:

Google has definitely raised the bar for developers with the advanced version of Flutter to come up with a best mobile app development platform and more and more research is done to help to create the cutting-edge apps. Developers are looking forward to seeing how utilizing this SDK with the help of plugins and supporting tools to explore the true potential of mobile app design and development.

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