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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!

How Google Play Store Does Better Than the Apple App Store

Apple or Android, let’s have a glance at some critical features and find out who stands to win:

Sturdy Interface

Google Play undoubtedly features a robust web interface as equated to Apple’s App Store. Searching and selection of apps is easy with Android web interface.

Easy to Install Apps

Smartphone users find it easy to download, install and make use of apps from Google Play Store rather than from Apple App Store.

Adaptability / Compatibility by Smart Devices (Smart Phones / Tablets)

While it is easy to install and adapt to Android apps, this is not the case with Apple. Although Apple App Store has stretched out to include four major platforms – iOS, Mac OS, tvOS, watchOS but still these applications cannot be used by every smart phone.

Featured Apps

Apple app store features only the most downloaded applications conspicuously while with Google Applications are featured based on user recommendations and ratings, which also make them discoverable.

Apps have Global Reach

To publish a game or application on Google Play Store makes these available to over a Billion Android users spread in more than 190 countries.

Enterprise Connect

Educational institutions, big and small organizations can deploy free Google Apps in bulk from Google App Store.

Billing can be checked

Charges for apps, subscriptions and in app products can be granularly controlled by help of Google Play Billing. This method is secure, quick and convenient and users in over 135 countries make use of it.

Helpful in Business Expansion

Google Play Developer Console helps users to publish their games and applications on all Android Platforms.

Open doors to Innovation on Android

Distribution of games and apps on Google Play paves way for style, size, shape, position and layout of latest and ever evolving features like Android TV and Chromecast, Android Auto, Android Wear, Immersive Virtual Reality etc. Superior quality, trusted games and apps are designed for teens, kids and parents to suit their needs.

Trust, assistance and backing

Google ensures that users particularly Android App Developers get optimal experience with help of their Developer Console Help Center. Support team can be reached for any specific issues related to transactions, publications, subscriptions etc.

Google vs. Android Publicity

Google features more than 2, 50,000 apps as compared to Apple which features around 1, 00,000 apps and that too with restrictive inclusion policies.

Read also: Apple Vs Android – A comparative study 2017

iOS App Developer vs. Android App Developer Registration

While Android developers just have to pay $25 to get started with development; it’s not an easy task for iOS developers. One has to pay a $99 / year to develop under Apple Developer Program. A similar structure is followed for getting registered for MFi program and iOS developer University Program.

Functional Features

  • Clock: Better Super daydream clock in Android
  • Keypad: Upper and Lowercase keys better in Android as compared to Apple
  • App Organization: App organization is better in Android than in Apple
  • Priority Notifications: Easy to set notification priority in Android
  • Email Accounts: Switching email accounts is easy with Android as compared to Apple
  • Contacts, Searching, Google Map: All designed systematically and make navigation easy.

Conclusion

Mobile app development companies have to learn how to utilize the quintessential features and potentialities of App Stores, be it Google or Apple. It takes great effort to engage global users and get your app monetized. Five of Apple’s features makes it win over Android – TouchID Fingerprint, Facetime, A physical switch to log into your phone, voice assistant that writes what you speak and default messenger app (to send free messages to other Apple users). Android still wins the game and remains OS of choice.

Tizen vs Android

Linux Foundation has started a new project by name of Tizen, which is regulated by Technical Steering Group (TSG). Samsung took charge to formally plan, design, develop and distribute this operating system. As its Bada project was merged, first smart camera featuring Tizen OS was released in October 2013. Although most of tech gigs boast that Tizen is simply a copy of Android but there are few differences that cannot be overlooked.

Have a look at our comparison on Tizen vs Android:

  • Easy and Convenient Navigation: Scrolling and navigation becomes smooth with Tizen
  • Fast and Lightweight: Tizen Operating System is easy to operate and fast as compared to Google’s Android Wear
  • Visual Effects: Tizen extends 3D visual effects of various gaming apps installed on the device
  • UI: TouchWiz UI
  • Resizable boxes: One of the amazing features of Tizen is its ability to dynamically resize the icons on screen to display more information or less
  • Enhanced Processors: Tizen 3.0 will bring 64 bit processors with it, compatible with x86 processors and 64 bit RAM, which Google is also anticipating with its update.
  • Tizen vs. Android Gaming Platform: Tizen 3.0 will be able to make use of Vulkan API’s and will prove to be a good gaming platform unlike Android.
  • Supporting Devices: Tizen is being used in smart TV’s, refrigerators, smart watches, smart phones, washing machines, light bulbs, vacuum cleaners while Android is visible only in smart phones, computers or smart watches.
  • IoT Devices: Tizen 3.0 is compatible with Artik cloud which will extend cloud services for IoT devices.
  • Battery Consumption: Samsung’s devices with Tizen OS consume less power than Android devices according to mobile experts.
  • Pricing: Devices with Tizen support will be made available at various price points but focus will be on lower end markets. Unlike Android, that has its presence in both upper as well as lower end markets.
  • Tizen based phones fear getting swiped by Android based phones manufactured by Chinese companies as their overall cost comes out to be far less than other manufacturers. People who would love to own a smart device just for $35 would obviously deter from spending $700 for a similar one.
  • Samsung’s handsets with Tizen support will be a low cost alternative to users. Android users have facility to preserve their data and download if they wish to change their device. Lower end Android devices like Moto E, Xiomi and ZTE etc provide similar experience as Tizen.

Read also: Apple Vs Android – A comparative study 2017

  • Support for IOS Features: Tizen powered gear supports many IOS features which Android Wear does not provide. Very soon Samsung pay will be enabled on Tizen powered devices which will enable users to make payments right from their smart watch.
  • Nonetheless, introduction of Tizen is going to weaken Samsung’s Android market and is going to cost them more than expected, according to technical experts. To cater to low end markets, few Android App Development Companies have made a shift towards Tizen App Development and Samsung is doing its bit to encourage more people to get involved into Tizen App Development by introducing incentive programs.

Summary

Samsung’s migration from Android to Tizen could save its drowning smart devices market. Approximately 25% of US Android market and a slightly higher percentage of Asian market would be directly hit by this. It would be more economic to create and work out with devices based on in-house OS rather than fighting it out with Android and IOS markets. It seems difficult to convince an already established customer base who would mind topping up Samsung Tizen App Store with all the apps and services people love would be herculean. So why move to Tizen when you are an existing Android user?

Factors that will mold Android App Development in 2017

Cloud-Based Android App Development

I am excited while writing on this point. The reason?

  1. Well, cloud finally got the attention and position that it deserved in this market.
  2. Small and medium-sized enterprises have gained a lot from cloud computing.
  3. Because cloud offers seamless integration and multi-device synchronization of apps the whole transition has been smooth especially from a business point of view.
  4. From a developer point of view, Cloud has helped them decrease the overall app development cycle, making android app development less lengthy.

Google’s Own Nougat

Android nougat has taken the world with frenzy. Everyone is talking about the smart strategy that Google has applied to the whole Software-Hardware integration.

  1. The updates are timely, meaning that the device that runs will never have clock speed issue.
  2. The user base of Android Nougat has drastically increased, the reason being the users who had incompatible devices are now moving towards devices that run Nougat.
  3. The retaining customer base is itching to have the new Nougat update on their compatible device.

Big Data Applications

Big data is always an integral part of the technological discussion. It’s like raw taste of coffee that you simply cannot avoid.

1. Big data will manage to be the show runner as more enterprises will be implementing big data tools.
2. In a bid to increase customer reach, many enterprises are working towards marketing their apps based on data analytics.
3. Data analytics will get more upgrades as per the industry requirements and we will see many more developments in the field of Mobile App Development.

Location Based Applications

Many apps now use the GPS feature.

1. The dependency of apps on GPS will result in the development of apps that have more accuracy with location.
2. Location-based services are already booming and users use these apps to book a cab or track their orders.
3. In 2017, many mobile app development companies will keep this feature in mind while developing apps.

AR & VR

Pokemon Go broke all the records of app gaming and with it, a new era of apps are destined to make a mark.

1. AR tools will explore more productive ground with social media syncing and location tracking for businesses.
2. The estimation of $162 billion for the AR/VR market is set for 2020 means the technological giants such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook will strive harder and make huge investments towards its development, opening up a vast avenue for users.

Wrapping It Up

As we are talking about apps in the mobile app development segment, let’s talk about the various classes of apps available or being developed. Nowadays apps are not just focused on mobile devices. Developers are now focusing on IoT-enabled devices, wearables connected homes, AR/VR and much more.

Tapping into the world of mobility with innovation will be the key for many developers and the fierce rise of Mobile App Development opportunities has left the battlefield open for disruptive technologies.

Apple Vs Android A comparative study report 2017

The last few years the smartphone segment has been witnessing a familiar battle on a year-on-year basis. Apple Vs Android is a classic tug of war of the Tech giants, each vying for a leading market share and supremacy.

Together, they have created a Duopoly and account for more than 99% in smartphone sales. We can say that this trend repeats itself when it comes to the respective OS too.

Let us know look at this competition scenario from various parameters. Viz. OS, Smartphone market share, Performance, etc.

Apple Vs Android – A comparative study

Worldwide Market Share in OS

Worldwide Market Share in OS

Android OS, belonging to Google, is Linux-based and is partly an open source. Originally developed by Android Inc., the company was later acquired by Google in 2005. iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system. Android dominates the market with a whopping 87%, while iOS comes at a distant second at 12%.

While Apple tended to dominate the market in the early stages, it is now clearly dominated by Android.

Geography Distribution

Geography Distribution

Android has a more market share in developing nations like Asia and Africa while iOS leads the market in developed countries like US, Australia, Europe etc. This may be due to the various cultural and socio-economic factors that are in play in the local geographies.

RelatedAPPLE VS ANDROID 2015 STATISTICS – Global Survey Report

Device Fragmentation

 

Android exhibits a high level of device fragmentation due to the huge variety of models and varieties available, not just in Samsung but from other OEMs too. This becomes a problem when a lot of Android users are still running their devices on older versions of the OS. This is a big headache when it comes to fixing the bugs, and it creates vulnerability and security concerns. This is not a problem in the case of Apple with fewer models.

User Experience

Mobile OS User Experience

In terms of User Interface and experience, Apple seems to clearly top the charts, followed closely by Android at the second place. iOS offers a simple and clean interface, that is easy to use and navigate, but Android offers a deep-set of menus to choose and use and is ideal if you need QWERTY keyboard.

Security and Privacy

iOS and Android Security and Privacy

As the OS model is more open in Android compared to Apple, it is slightly more vulnerable to hacks and cyber threats. The device fragmentation and openness of installing apps that are from third-party makes Android OS susceptible to security concerns.
Apple iOS very rigid in giving access to your locations and contact info to your Apps, which is not the case with Android OS Apps.

Applications – Apple Vs Android

When it comes to Android App development and iOS App development, there are few clear demarcations which make for obvious preferences.

Android App development is easy due to a deeper access to their OS, and high levels of customization are possible, whereas this is not the case with Apple App development.

App development in Android takes more than 40% of code lines and is 30% more expensive than iOS of Apple. But, once developed, it is easier and quicker to publish in the Play Store. Apple Developers find it more of a stricter and longer process in iTunes.

Maintenance and Bug fixing are difficult in Android OS compared to iOS, due to high levels of device fragmentation.

User Engagement

 

Mobile App User Engagement

Apple Apps are more beautifully designed, easy to use and are presented in a well-organized iTunes Store. Android offers an extensive range of Apps in the Google Play store.

Apple Users access more content categories and do more online shopping than Android users. This means that they have higher mCommerce engagement than Android users.

iPhone users tend to make more In-App purchases compared to Android. Ad-displays is the main source of revenue generation in Android Apps.

As per App Annie reports, revenue generation is 60% more on iTunes store of Apple, as compared to Google Play of Android.

Apple Vs Android – The Future Trends

Operating System

Mobile App Downloads

Apple and Android, together dominate the market and are equally good in their own right. Choosing one over the other becomes a matter of personal preferences or by one that is governed by your business needs. So, if you are an individual planning to buy a new Mobile phone or a Business Owner who has hired an App Development Company to build his first App – do your homework. Identify your needs, preferences, time and budget and use these as a criterion for your decision-making, as both are Tech giants come with awesome products.

Source: Android Vs Apple – A comparative study 2017
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