Category Archives: Mobile Development

Expansion of Android Landscape Increasing App Developers’ Pain Part 3

Fragmentation on Testing for Android
Fragmentation on Testing for Android

Previously in part 1 and par 2, we have analyzed acute fragmentation issues on Android OS and now in this post, we will go to see its effects on testing process and quality maintenance of Android application during and after the app development process.

Testing a Big Challenge

Now, we know that numerous Android OS are running on the litany of Android devices with acute hardware fragmentation. Thus, testing on different hardware competency and screen sizes poses big challenges to the Android app programmers as well as Android app development companies to invest on in terms of time, resources, and money to buy rang of devices with different OS.

Infeasible Manual Testing

At other hand, testing manually on range of devices is not economically feasible at all. Therefore, thinking of automated testing is not a kooky idea at all. If we are going to test everything manually on numerous devices, we can’t touch our deadlines so we need to reduce the number of devices for testing. This again proves hazardous to our quality maintenance promises made to the clienteles.

Testing on Cloud

Unfortunately, not all tests are giving satisfactory results if we run on automated software or simulators and Test Cloud for Android developers is a bit new thing. No doubt, numbers of Android app developers taking interests in Xamarin Test Cloud are increasing day-by-day and they cautiously anticipate targeting the latest features of Lollipop on various cloud testing solutions.

Reliability of Remote Testing Labs

For freelancers and small scale Android app development companies, spending on Android devices for testing are nearly impossible burden to bear at financial point of view and at ROI aspect. Therefore, many smart developers and companies have created testing labs in regional bases as well as offering remote testing facilities for charges.

Unfortunately, it has many limitations and offering better user experiences through such testing method is never preferable. Therefore, fragmentation on Android platform exert acute pain on testing fronts.

Features to Test the Most

With introduction of Lollipop, Android platform has begun new era of Material design so Android developers are more cautious to craft excellent user experiences and testing them frequently. Beacon and Bluetooth related technologies are touching new high and their innovative applications are exciting Android developers to test various parameters using Cloud testing as well as manual testing with real devices. Enterprise Android developers are more focused on new release Android for Work and testing its security as well as management aspects.

Fortunately, Lujayn has expert Android application developers who know how to beat such fragmentation issues on testing fronts and have adequate infrastructure to meet the needs.

Continuous Input (CI) Designing in Mobile A UX Challenge

Continuous Input - CI - Designing
Continuous Input – CI – Designing

In high-tech mobility era, we have more than on input methods for our modern handheld sets. Keyboard, be it virtual form or actual form, becomes the primary methods of input for our tiny computers like smartphones and tablets. Recent invention of voice recognition software has gain good favor, but unable to replace traditional keyboards at all.

Text Inputs Are Trendy

No doubt, numbers of high-end voice recognition software have abilities to translate your words into the texts, but they are useless when privacy and public places are in question. Therefore, our new generation and tech-savvy elders are chat-o-holic and found constantly engaged with their mobile devices whether standstill or on the go.

Continuous Input Methods

Considering the trends, many innovators have created innovative keyboards to help texts chats lovers on the fly. They have developed keyboards capable to do continuous inputs without any interruption occurred by lifting and again pushing the keys because they have implemented swipe gesture where finger constantly moving without losing its contact with touch screen and simply push desired keys with a bit more pressure on the fingertip.

CI Software

No doubt, Android mobile platform is ahead in development and popularization of such continuous input (CI) software for Android devices and OS. Recently, iOS 8 has declared its support for the 3rd party keyboards in somewhat selective and restrictive manners so we have SwiftKey, Fleksy, and Swype like high-end virtual keyboards available for our iPhone and iPad devices.

Characteristics of CI Software

SwiftKey has great autocorrect, autosuggestions, and swipe-to-type functionality. It also uses Facebook, Google, and Evernote account synchronization and storage through SwiftKey Cloud to use your history for accurate and personalized prediction algorithm. Unfortunately, Swype has all features that SwiftKey has, except these sync and Cloud.

However, Fleksy is outstanding keyboard being extremely simple, but working in extraordinary ways. It offers emoji support and intuitive to do highly rapid typing against its all rivals. Whatever, pros and cons of such continuous input devices, they are great to ease and make typing rapid and forcing modern mobile app designers to incorporate them in their designing and prototyping the best user experiences.

Problems of CI Designing in UX and Usability

In due course, many designers have run guerrilla and in-depth surveys to know UX and usability issues of CI designing. During such tests, designers have found few problems that leaving deep impacts on the UX and usability of prevailing CI software paradigm. For instance, if user is not using her memory to recall the key location, she has to look at the keyboard and recognize the key hidden behind the fatty finger. This is the most frustrating experience for majority of newbie and some mid-level experts too.

Possible Solution of CI Designing in UX and Usability

Researchers have found out that recalling memory is the main cause of problem or chain of problems. Therefore, they put emphasis on recognition rather than recall for keys hidden behind the finger. Unfortunately, we have not advance technologies that can simulate the 3D interfaces used in many Sci-Fi movies or TV serials including “Star Treck” where users have ample room to see keys in 3D space and above as well as below the finger.

The practical solution is to create one more keyboard on the screen that simply refers the portion of the actual keyboard in somewhat miniature size keys. If we refer actual keyboard as AK and reference of it as RK, we can place these semitransparent RK on the top lines of the screen to avoid further congestion on the tiny screen of mobile handsets. Of course, addition of virtual spot tracker is essential to know your current finger position.

No doubt, this sort of solution when incorporate with CI software or implement mobile devices, chances are high to consume processing power as well. However, the true usability and user experiences issues may come on the surface when actual solution will developed and tested with real users in practical world. Meanwhile, we have to rely on the smart solutions offered by smart mobile app developers particularly iPhone app developers belong to the reputed mobile application development companies like Lujayn.

Mobile App Checklist for Startups Part 1

In recent high-tech era, all sorts of startups have several challenges as well as opportunities too. If I am going to give some hints regarding opportunities, covering vast global audience is quite easy due to higher penetration of Internet and steadily increases in mobile usage. Internet is representing web-o-sphere while mobile applications have several faces to gain momentum.

This advent of technologies and presence of audience have obsolete traditional marketing and advertising practices. Today we have new words in the air like Internet marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, in-app purchase, mobile app ads, and mobile applications customized for businesses, and so forth. However, ubiquitous presence of Internet across the devices in form of responsive web designs is solving many problems to address vast audience at a time.

Startups’ Dilemma

Therefore, when startups release or unveiled their business first time, they have a big dilemma that where to invest and how much. As, they have two ultimate options to select one or both and those options are whether creating web presence or going to mobile application development tailored to their needs and budget. However, temptations towards mobile app development are greater than simple or responsive web designing.

Since mobile app development is not rocket science, but also not easy to neglect and left only on the designers or programmers wits. There is a checklist like exercise that need to keep in mind before, while, and after mobile app development. Let’s see what are important points that need to check when we are going to mobile app development process.

Mobile App Design Considerations

For mobile apps, simple layout, graphics, and some images are not the part of the design as they serve mere presentations on the screen. User experiences specific to the mobile devices like smartphones and tablets matter more here. You have challenges in form of various touch gestures used on mobile or handheld devices.

Gestures on Mobiles

Modern devices are offering innovative gestures like speech, air, and body gestures. For instance, in Windows 8 like OS supporting such gestures along with common tough gestures are inducing more intricacies in mobile app design and development in order to address excellent user experiences.

Therefore, your first duty is to gather data of your audience and list which devices they use the most and what are their expectations with your mobile app. Thus, you can check whether you have some sample devices available for testing and other QA purposes during entire development process. Secondly, design layout and other interactions based on the device types and OS used on those devices. Therefore, thorough audience research prior to mobile app development is mandatory step and worth the process to invest in.

Hardware Constraints

Many CEO of small to big companies underestimate mobile app designing process and simply think it is just 2X factor for desktop design, particularly in case of responsive web designing. The third point to consider is resource constraints for mobile devices such as battery life that don’t allow anything to consume excess power or power for longer duration.

CPU processing power is limited in mobile devices so client devices side processing load is not allowed at all, while server side load is good, but connectivity and bandwidth issues need to mitigate further. Finally, memory consumption has many roadblocks despite steady increase in memory allocations in the latest mobile devices.

Content Constraints

Integration of multimedia content seems lucrative for developers as well as owners, but addressing support over highly fragmented mobile landscape put many questions at first place. Therefore, you need to determine rich media content inclusion and heavy interactions or animations according to the devices used by your majority of target audience, as backward compatibility of hardware and OS place many restrictions over your dream of awesome mobile app for all.

Lujayn has team of mobile application developers who have enough knowledge and awareness regarding the above given checklist for the design considerations for your mobile app development project.

Smart Mobile Developers Using Cutting-Edge Mobile Development Tools Part 2

In previous part 1, I have thoroughly discussed about the two major cross-platform tools for the mobile developers to create robust apps with least investment of time, resources, and hard-earned money of their patrons. Now, in this episode I would like to bet on the browser based apps or can term web apps for mobiles, which are now giving excellent native like user experiences due to enhanced HTML5, CSS3, and advance JavaScript.

Visual App Builder– Sencha Architect

Sencha Architect comes with ready-to-go features and interface based on HTML5 so any web developer familiar with HTML5, CSS3, and advance JavaScript can go to coding and create some outstanding outcomes for multiple platforms like iPhone, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows mobile apps programming easily.

This framework is capable to manage the layouts, widget managements, and event juggling easily because it has options to select themes, UI components, and user extension to get custom results with desired features and functionality.

Technically code is runs in WebKit supported browsers, means almost all modern mobile browsers. You can turn code into the native like app by wrapping them with PhoneGap or Corodova like tools for awesome native like user experiences.

Mine of Mobile Development Tools—AppGvyer

This company has made a number of useful tools for the mobile developer community in contemporary ways where it supports the PhoneGap with an awesome extension call Steroid. Same the way Prototyper is another product that create tools to glue a few pages together into the flexible prototypes where you can test your ideas before jumping into the development ship.

Steroid has Hybrid UI so you can get excellent native like user experiences without much wetting your legs in CSS and JavaScript. Instead you can banking on HTML5 through simple JavaScript API. The most alluring offering is its easy sharing using a QR code so you can go at any extent to test your product.

Juggle the Data using Firebase

Today our all mobile apps have either fatty database or critical data at security point of views. Therefore, safely storing and sharing all the data or information needs especial tools and Firebase is providing exclusively. Mobile application developer has to setup the project and Firebase will manage the rest by setting up a key-value store.

This tool will give you a powerful API to store and sync your data in real-time, not only this, but also offer offline support and will update your data while your devices restore the connectivity. Its full-featured libraries support all major web and mobile platforms as well as offer seamless binding for most popular frameworks for mobile development including cross-platforms and native ones using its REST API.

Besides these, collaboration with Firebase is simpler as its particularly tuned to push changes made by all team members working on the app. Thus, you have easy backend development and let you focus on frontend more.

Apart from the above described cross-platform and supporting extension tools, there are some more modern popular mobile app development aides and that we will discuss in our final part. Thanks for reading in advance.

 

Present Cloud Computing Services for Mobile App Developers Part 1

Today we are living in device agnostic era where Internet is ubiquitous, with cord or without. This nature of device consumption creates some unique scenario for software developers who may be opt for web or mobile programming. On big devices, we have enough computing power in form of fast processors and huge storage power in form of large disk space. Against these, mobile devices lacking all and force us to look at different solutions.

It is true that we can’t take much risks with mobile devices where we don’t know that when our user will lost the device with all critical data. Therefore, storing data outside the devices is a mandatory provision. Cloud computing is one of the best solutions for this data trade off as internet accessibility is not much big issue. Thus, dependency on cloud is opening new avenues for small business to large enterprises where you are charged bit-by-bit you consume.

Before a year, thinking about taking cloud services was somewhat costly affairs and used this option is some inevitable cases only. Now, things have changes at 360 degree and recent explosion in cloud computing services makes the lives of web developers, mobile developers, all sorts of businesses, and finally, end users easy. Therefore, I have decided to discuss something about present cloud computing services for mobile developers who are reluctant to take advantages of cloud services for their universal mobile programming platform and in favour of their patrons in this short series.

Amazon Cloud and Web Services

Today Amazon is symbol of reliability and security for cloud computing, cloud storage, and web services seekers. Amazon is offering various storage services for your fatty data such as:

Amazon S3 or Simple Storage Service. Here you can get simple and intuitive interface of AWS management console to streamline your tasks. However, pricing of Amazon is bit higher in compare to others, but recent slashing has made now affordable for all including e-commerce businesses where frequency of data interaction is higher.

Against these, Amazon Glacier has devised for infrequent users who mostly opted dead storage services for their critical but less frequenting data usage. Here you web developers and mobile programmers can recommend their clients to take advantages of low-cost storage services for their data archiving and data backup needs.

At present, we web developer and most of the time mobile developers looking for the web services for our applications, which are demanding fine granular updates, with high frequency and persistency. In such conditions we have to access to raw and unformatted data storage at block level i.e., hard drive like storage. This in mainly happens in case we use Amazon EC2 instances. Thus, our best solution lies in the Amazon Elastic Block Storage or Amazon EBS in short.

With Amazon EBS mobile programmers can predictably scale data volumes upto thousands of IOPS per Amazon EC2 instance and grant access at different geo-locations as per needs by placing snapshots of Amazon EBS volumes in different blocks of different zones.

Recent mobile application development trends suggest an increase in offline services where absolute and constant connectivity is not possible. On such occasions, mobile developers have AWS Import/Export services for large amount of data transfer whenever the client devices get reconnections. Moreover, AWS Import/Export services are faster than normal Internet transfers that save you from bearing Internet upgrading cost.

For more, you need to wait for the next part.

Be Smart While Hiring Mobile App Talent

To know the latest news about what is going on today in the IT job market check your mobile device and mobile web. You will get to know about the latest trend. The numbers of mobile web connected devices are increasing day by day very rapidly. Mobile development for iOS and Android both are increasing on a fast pace and they are considered as today’s newest tech skills. On an average, tech pros with the mobile development skills are getting four to five job offers per day.

The constant fast-paced growth in mobile market the demand is exceeding the supply. The trouble arising for the companies is how to get the mobile skills in form of mobile designers and mobile programmers from the market as quickly as possible to accomplish their mobile strategies. Following are a few ideas, with their help recruiters and IT professionals can handle this issue efficiently.

Join Hands with Marketing

The marketing function of the business increases more and more interest in the mobility and it will put behind the IT departments in terms of technology investment in the near future. It is a great change seen as for the first time in the history the marketing department is spending more on technology solutions then IT department to earn revenues and shareholder values. A remarkable amount of competition is seen at the marketing level for the technology resources. Therefore, it is imperative to take help of marketing department and their experience in hiring mobile developers with desired skills sets.

Be On Your Feet

Planning to hire a tech pro with the mobile development skills, be ready on your feet, and just jump on any opportunity you see. Companies need to act and make decisions as quickly as possible and prepare aligned budgets and keep people ready.

Go Old School

Mobile development skills tech pros are getting into the lime light lately due to the shortage of skilled tech pros. In order to find tech pros with the mobile development skills the companies need to go old school way. As due to the shortage of tech pros, it is very difficult to find a suitable one. If you want to find a tech pro with mobile development skills, activate your networks with the help of staff, peers and colleagues.

Encourage Your Present Staff

It is quite difficult to hunt down a tech pro with mobile development skills due to the shortage of skilled tech pros in the market. However, companies to overcome this hurdle can encourage their own present staff and help them take interest and learn mobile development skills. This will reduce the burden of finding a tech pro and will develop your own staff skills. Just give your staff an opportunity and see them succeed. However, you need to invest in the resources that help them to learn and grant enough time to learn new skills.

Stay A Step Ahead

Companies can also do is provide their staff with the latest technologies in the market and encourage them to learn it. A few people in the staff will give in to curiosity, they will also try acquiring new skills in mobility, and it will benefit the company. Therefore, identifying right prospective candidates and righteously encouraging them to acquire such tough skills demanding some patience and commitments from you.

Some Valuable Tips for Mobile Application Developers Part 2

In previous part 1, we have discussed about some distinct observations made in regards to mobile app development. Now, keeping thread continue, we will discuss some other aspects of successful mobile application programming.

Design for All Ages

Unlike web, mobile devices are vary in sizes and processing power as well as have performance issues altogether different than its big sister devices on the web. For instance, small texts are unreadable for middle aged to old aged audience where our team takes help of retina display and somewhat larger fonts as defaults. Scrolling is easy on touch devices so we expand mobile layout vertically instead horizontally.

Same the way image optimization is our prime concern so low capacity mobile processors never feel performance issues and our teen age and toddler audience can enjoy various games and entertainment application in engaging ways. We know the differences in the size of fingers of our audiences so our UI elements focus first on the biggest size fingers when drawing hotspots.

It is true that our younger generation is tech-savvy and quick learner against their elders so we keep these psychological and behavioral aspects during our mobile app designing and programming. We take through research of user experiences prior to and in between the mobile development process. Thus, we assure comfort for the all age people and make app self-learning and easy to operate without losing its charms by experimenting new paradigm for new generation.

Smart Prototyping

Today our mobile apps comes with enough intricacy in features as well as functionality therefore, translating them into drawings is tough and inadequate to understand the whole picture of the app. In due course, our team is banking on latest prototyping tools that allow designing click-through prototypes from the simple hand drawings or make all prototypes on the mobile devices showing all interactivities we want to design. We know excellent wireframing techniques and tools to offer nearly accurate simulation of app for the patrons who are seated faraway places in different time zones.

Balance in Design

Our team never makes extremely simple design that looks flat and boring using bit variations in UI components while we never make too complicated design that users either can’t use or feel frustrations. Our UX professionals spending enough brainstorming over each stage of designing and programming.

Take Gradual Advancements

We offer some special things to our first time users so they find app useful and valuable. Our design also offering some more utilities for the subsequent or repeat users so they stick with app with enough attachments. Moreover, we take regular updates of the mobile app so our loyal users find it contemporary and something latest updated features and functionality. Thus, we never leave our user to see at other apps in app store and fulfil relevant needs with the same app design by us.