Author - Heena Banga

why you should pick ios for enterprise app development

Why You Should Pick iOS Platform For Enterprise Mobile Applications

If you don’t already know, computers were first built for military and scientific purposes, which businesses later adopted and it finally trickled down to the consumer market. With smartphones, the flow is just the opposite. They were built for the consumer market but now are widely used by businesses to bring operational efficiency and transparency.  And just like computers, mobile platforms too have over time evolved to become a duopoly. That is, if a business wants to build an enterprise application, they have only two feasible options- Android or iOS.

While we won’t be delving into a detailed debate between the two platforms, the crux of the matter remains- Android yields lion’s share of app userbase but iOS has more secure and consistent market. That is, Android remains the preferred choice for businesses who need to reach a large number of users while iOS is tuned for businesses who need to deliver a superior and secure user experience. Upon that matrix, the enterprise applications clearly fall into the second category.  So let’s now take a detailed look at the benefits businesses can have by building an iOS app for their enterprise:

Simplicity

One of the key selling points of iOS devices is its simplicity- the ease of use for even the most technically naive person. And because businesses can’t expect all of their employees to be technically proficient, it is their responsibility to keep enterprise application as simple to use as possible. Not only does it ensure wider acceptability but also brings down the initial barrier of training. Especially if some application is going to be used across all verticals,

Userbase

Although it is used by less number of people as compared to Android, iOS platform claims higher usage in a very niche category of users- those financially well-off and reasonably educated, precisely the class employed by enterprises. That is, enterprises generally have an employee base that is already accustomed to the platform and so instead of introducing a new platform will be far less productive than building on what they are already comfortable with.

Security

Apple is renowned for its tight security leash on both hardware and software levels- making the entire ecosystem much less vulnerable to security leaks and hacks. For businesses that rely on enterprise applications not just for operational efficiency but also handing confidential data, this can be a major priority. While developers are still free to add extra layers of security, the inherent iOS security is alone enough to ward off most of the vulnerabilities.

Better Hardware And Software Integration

At its recent WWDC 2018 event, Apple demonstrated how valuable it can be to have tight integration between hardware and software. Not only most of its devices run the same version of iOS, but it even rolled out the latest update- iOS 12 to its five years old devices. For enterprise mobile application development environment, this is a major blessing. Unlike consumers, businesses do not frequently change hardware and are notorious for running legacy systems. But with such consistent and long-term update cycle, they can rest assured.

Ecosystem

Unlike consumer applications that generally work stand-alone, enterprise applications work in coordination with a host of other apps including cloud apps, system apps, and more. With iOS, you have the option to leverage the entire Apple’s ecosystem- which probably is the best available. Having almost all the solutions, it ensures all your business runs on a secure, stable, and feature-rich platform.

 

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5 Things You Need to Know About Java 9

Java 9

Java has been at the center of software development for a very long time and it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. The reason it doesn’t get outdated is that it evolves faster than it gets old. Plus, there is the immense versatility that makes it the go-to choice for solutions that require many dependencies. From web and mobile apps to IoT and enterprise solutions, there is hardly a domain that Java hasn’t touched and left its mark.

Yes, it did pause on its track for a while. Java 8 was a very popular version- upon which most of the applications still run. But as it seemed, Oracle forgot about it for a while thus updating it only after 3 long years! Now the Java 9, as you would expect, the best Java has ever been and here are 5 things you should know about it:

Release Cycle

No matter how good something is, if you leave it for a long time, it will deteriorate (except wine of course!). The problem with Java release cycle was that it followed a “feature-driven update” meaning an Oracle will work on new features and fixes and when they are done, they would release the next version. As you would expect, with no time timeline, it would continue to perfect those features without the regard of those millions of developers suffering from existing problems.

Java 9 was one suchlast update. Every new update will now follow a time-driven update, which means a new version will be released every 6 months and will include features that are ready by then, leaving the others for the next release.

Modularity

Java is old, very old. Over the last 2 decades its platform has grown tremendously and because it relies on runtime library, classes getting entangled are something we have witnessed. Plus, as we had no other way to encapsulate those classes in JDK, that forced developers to turn to external libraries. Java 9 has now overhauled that entire structure by dividing JDK into 90 different modules. The classes can be encapsulated and packages of module accessed by another only if it is explicitly exported. This makes the life of developers a lot easier and large applications more structured as they can easily keep track of all the dependencies.

Security

In recent years, Java has come under massive security attacks. So much so that many browsers started outright blocking it! Many of those attacks exploited one serious vulnerability- data serialization. With Java 9, developers now have the option of filtering them into a black and white list, thus making applications much more resilient.

Additionally, there are also many network related security improvements- which is important given its usage in IoT development services. It now also supports stapling of certificates.

Performance

If you have a lengthy code of Java lying around, try running it on Java 9 and you would realize that the performance has taken a significant jump and memory usage has taken a slide. It is due to the fact that now every string that can be represented by ASCII code requires only one byte of storage and because most of the strings used in coding are standard strings, it drastically brings down the memory required by the program and improves performance.

Efficiency

It’s every programmer’s nightmare to compile and execute the entire code to test the behavior of even small snippets. Especially at a time when most of the frameworks offer a live-reload feature, Java web application development had started to seem a bit outdated. But Java 9 has introduced JShell where you can directly enter snippets of code to view output instantly.

Also if you are frustrated by the time and effort it takes to create Collections, Collection Factory can help complete the same task with a single statement.

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Magento Trends That Will Shape E commerce in 2018

Magento Trends That Will Shape E-commerceMagento is by accounts, the most popular and powerful eCommerce development platform available on the market. It is feature-rich, secure, scales seamlessly, and houses ample diversity in itself. In fact, even if there are thousands of virtual stores built using Magento, there are so many themes and plugins available that none of them would look or feel similar. This is also perhaps the reason why irrespective of goals, Magento development services do a pretty fine job of fitting-in in every industry and meet unique business requirements for all.

That said, Magento isn’t just a static tool but an evolving technology that partly owing to its open-source tag is consistently endowed with new features. Those features when implemented, ultimately define the course of eCommerce as a whole. That is if you wish to gauge at the larger picture, just follow up with the trends on Magento. Here are the latest ones:

Personalized Shopping

This has been in making for a very long time and has finally started to gain traction. Earlier online stores used to be somewhat like a warehouse where each customer was bombarded with the same set of products. And customers had to simply browse through countless number of products until they found what they were looking for.

That onus now falls on businesses. With personalized shopping, eCommerce businesses now take into account the past purchases, general interests, budget considerations, among many other factors to finally curate a handful of products displayed uniquely to each customer. This is like walking into a store that may have countless number of products stored but only a few- the most meaningful to them are on display.

Related: Vital Tips to Hire the Experienced and Reliable Magento Developers

Enriched Content

Images, though important, aren’t appealing enough to persuade customers on their own. What businesses need to sell is not just a product but a story around it. Magento development is feature-rich to match that as well. Be it through animation, videos, or cutting-edge AR incorporation, we can expect more of these content to feature in eCommerce as we move further into 2018.

Enhanced User Experience

From overall navigation theme to the time it takes to load a page, every aspect of an online store plays a crucial role in customer engagement and retention. For instance, if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, chances are they won’t hang around. If they do not find their preferred payment option during checkout, they might abandon the cart.

Magento development service now takes into account all these tidbits that are as important as core functionalities to improve not just the engagement but also overall business prospects. That is, as we move further, you will find Magento applications to be more engaging, faster, and all-inclusive.

Notifications and Opt-in Forms

Businesses realize that people can’t and will not shop every day. But if they let them loose, they might not ever come back. To ensure engagement and nurture a business-customer relationship, notifications are newsletters are a fantastic channel.

More and more Magento services are now incorporating notifications on their platform to consistently keep nudging their customers and occupy an exclusive mind-space.

Opt-in forms are another sustainable channel to keep users informed by not acting just a destination for shopping but also the source of information.

Mobile Commerce

Yes, there is the responsive design and the mobile-first strategy but we aren’t just talking about how the eCommerce looks and feel on mobile devices but how it works. And with the rise of wireless broadband and mobile wallets, the integration couldn’t be any easier for eCommerce to exploit. Magento, having full range of features for mobile devices, is guaranteed to fuel this segment in coming days

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10 Tips to Creating the Next Great App

10 Tips to Creating the Next Great App

With millions of apps competing for user attention, the road to success is really steep that only a handful of top mobile application development companies have managed to trace. So, no matter how great an idea you have, unless it takes the shape of an equally appealing app, there is little chance that you will achieve the desired success.

Here are 10 tips to ensure the success of your app, which isn’t left to mere luck:

1. Design to captivate

The first thing that a user experiences after launching your app isn’t its features or performance, but the design. And it is this first impression that largely determines the appreciation it evokes in users, that may later turn into loyalty. So, be it Android’s material design or iOS’s flat design concept, be sure to exploit the full potential of the powerful UI/UX customization they offer.

2. Keep it simple

In a rush to create the most appealing and responsive design of all time, do not underestimate the basics. The first rule of creating an elegant UI is to minimize the number of clicks that it takes to do any particular tasks. Expect for one-click solutions, conventionally, if it is more than 4-5 clicks to reach any particular page or task, it is evident that there is something wrong and you may need to take the design back to the drawing board.

3. Target all platforms

Unless you have some specific users in mind or your app performs some functionality that’s acceptable on any particular platform, your app must be available on all platforms. Be it Android, iOS or iPad, each of these platforms has their own set of users, any of which must not be missed if you wish to create a highly successful app.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to hit all those platforms at once and can take your time to test the feasibility and response on one platform and then use that knowledge for subsequent releases.

4. Keep evolving

As the technology evolves, your users expect your app to provide new features. Because if your app offers the same set of functions even after months or years after they installed it, they have every reason to come out looking for a better, more productive alternative.

5. Do not hesitate to experiment

It doesn’t mean you should force your whims on all your existing users. Be it a new feature or a design change, release them first to certain small test groups across different regions. And if the response is positive, you can proceed to a full-scale release.

6. Keep your goals in sight

Most times, in an effort to offer something refreshing, businesses tend to betray the core concept of an app, which as expected, irks the users. If you wish to offer a new service, a separate app is the better path to take and not treat the existing app as a testing ground.

7. Clear monetization strategy

There are instances when an app starts out as free and after a while, when the user base swells and they struggle with the revenues, they bombard the app with ads and in-app purchases. This is something you must not indulge into. Get your revenue channels figured out from the beginning else it will risk the credibility of your app.

8. Make it secure

Perhaps, this goes without saying- no matter what your app does, if it’s not secure, don’t even bother launching it. Especially, if it collects personal, sensitive information, employ the finest encryption methods and try to store data locally than routing it to servers.

Also read: How to Integrate Security in App Development at Early Stage

9. Go for offline

There is possibly nothing more annoying when an app goes useless the moment internet connection is turned off. Especially if your app does something important, try to make some functionalities available offline to help users when they are off-grid.

10. Retention is the key

If you know anything about mobile app business or even marking in general, you may know that referrals are in fact the cheapest way of customer acquisition. So, instead of burning your resources on acquiring users, focus more on retaining those who are already there. Because if you manage to delight a small number of users, they will work as a catalyst to bring new ones.

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The Future of Payments Hinges on IoT and Machine to Machine Interface

The Future of Payments Hinges on IoT and Machine to Machine InterfaceEarlier this year, Amazon made quite a stir when it opened a new brick-and-mortar store. It doesn’t sell anything unusual but there is something special about the store itself. There are no cashiers or checkout counters! Customers have to just walk in, grab anything they want and leave, that’s it.  No, the products aren’t free, they will be later billed to their Amazon account. More than anything, what this futuristic store strongly reaffirms is that “the new age of IoT” isn’t coming anymore, it’s already here.

Then there is also the much talked about M2M that has quietly attained the pole position in virtually all areas of our lives. When was the last time you manually paid the toll on an expressway? Or remember that PoS you used for card payment? Hope you got the picture. And while these technologies have varying applications ranging from smart homes to smart cities, we will be here focusing on one key aspect- digital payments. In fact, it’s much more than that but will come back to it later.

Before we dive into specific applications, there is a shred of doubt that needs to be clarified- M2M and IoT are not the same but still are often used interchangeably. The reason they are different because they use different methods to communicate with their server- M2M uses standard cellular or wired connection while IoT is based on IP connections. Plus, data collected and shared by M2M modules are limited to the point-to-point interface while those collected by IoT are often shared with multiple enterprise applications and are subjected to a whole scrutiny under data science including Big Data, data mining, predictive analysis, and much more.

Then why do we use them interchangeably? 

There are two reasons- 1. It’s all the same for consumers; 2. They are gradually converging. Let’s try an example- a traffic light that sends data to a central control-room is an M2M but when that data is processed to get various metrics of traffic, it becomes an IoT. Now if you are the consumer, it’s all the same to you and as IoT application development progresses to incorporate new domains, that barrier between the two is only going to de-escalate.

Now coming back to payments, deploying IoT and M2M solutions do not only make them digital but when fused with AI and ML, can also make them autonomous- just like Amazon Store did. It is a proof of concept that can easily be applied to all offline transactions- when you make your purchases, merely you presence will authenticate the payments.

But what about security? If merely possessing your phone or your smart watch gives access to your bank account, isn’t that a security nightmare? Plus, there is also the skepticism regarding how do you know you are billed correctly if the payments are happening without even you knowing about them? While both of these are genuine concerns, of which there is no airtight solution, there are still enough safeguards in place to push the transformation further.

As the Bible would say for these problems, the technology giveth and the technology taketh away. If you know anything about digital transactions, you must be aware that there are billion such cases every day amounting to trillions of dollars and we have created intelligent systems that detect fraudulent activities to near perfection. That is, if you walk into a store one day, you have never been before to buy something you generally don’t buy or are spending out of your general habit, the system would automatically flag such payments and ask for additional authentication.

On the closing note, it won’t be an overstatement we say that we are currently underway a seismic transformation in terms of payments, primarily fueled by IoT and M2M. And as mentioned before, the more IoT app developers converge these technologies with those related to artificial intelligence, these systems would only become more practical, robust, ubiquitous, and after a while, a new normal.

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