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It’s no secret that technology has transformed the education sector. Digitization has taken over in education. And while the role of technology in education may not always seem obvious, modern education relies on high tech digital technology. This has resulted in the creation of a new subsector within the technology sector, edtechnology, or edtech. Education and Technology To realize the effect of this technology, just look at the rise of online education. Most of the top universities in the world have Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), according to this Forbes report. Many schools now have smartboards playing digital learning content. Tablets are essential in many schools that use software to impart education to the students. Indeed, edtech has made distance education a more effective and fulfilling system. The need for technology is such that companies have sprung up to exclusively provide infrastructure and edtech software for digitized education. There are startups as well as billion-dollar companies in the edtechnology sector. As a result, education is being transformed though it is one of those industries most resistant to change. According to this TechCrunch report, the education market is worth $5 trillion per annum globally. In spite of the massive potential in here, there hasn’t been much awareness among investors about this. Over the years the potential is being realized, and the same report states that the global edtech industry could hit $252 billion by 2020. Digitization is set to transform education. How Important Is Technology in Education? While the classroom set up at schools and colleges has largely remained unchanged, smartboards are beginning to replace the conventional blackboards and whiteboards. Paper notebooks, files and textbooks are also making way for laptops and tablets, but at a gradual pace. The change towards digitization has been slow, but we certainly are getting there now. The online interactive lessons that are available these days enable students in classrooms to learn at their own pace and in a more in-depth and interactive manner. These advantages are hastening the movement towards digitization. There are other factors too, as pointed out in the TechCrunch report: Students Are Digitally Inclined Youngsters are more tuned towards digitization these days. And these youngsters are the customers of educational institutions who need to cater to their needs and expectations. These students are exposed to smartphones, laptops, tablets, gaming, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other influences outside their school or college hours. When in the school or college, they expect something more than a teacher or lecturer standing at the head of the classroom and narrating a lesson from a book. They have begun to equate a great educational institution with one that adopts unconventional teaching methods including digitized learning. Professionals Need to Be Digitally Skilled The other factor is, of course, the burning need for digitally skilled professionals. There’s digitization everywhere – in engineering, hospitality, medicine, law, real estate, manufacturing, and of course information technology and software. Graduates churned out need to be digitally proficient to be truly successful in their field of work. But are educational institutions providing the digital environment to their students? This infographic by Intel created 2 or 3 years back indicated that while 65% of primary school students would end up working at jobs that don’t currently exist, 90% of schools aren’t quite prepared for this since they don’t offer sufficient computer science education. Now, a few years after that report, this glaring inconsistency has been realized and the digitization drive has well and truly begun in the educational sector. This skill inadequacy cannot be made to continue. Role of Mobile Enablement in EdTech One of the factors that could transform Edtech is the growing use of mobile devices. This is a trend that was noticed back in 2014 itself, as this article by Michael Trucano states. Schools are increasingly adopting mobile devices. While laptops and tablets are already being widely adopted, the mobile phone is much more an integral part of our daily living and defines our routine. The mobile phone is therefore considered something that must be linked to the technology being used in schools. In his article in EdTech Magazine, Wylie Wong gives an example of a school that has adopted mobile technology. This school in central California has wireless access points in each classroom and mobile devices are used to impart education. This helps cater to the unique needs of individual students through project-based learning. Helping this are cloud applications such as Google Apps for Education. No more traditional lectures here. Check out our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed Role of Service Providers in EdTech The efficiency of the service providers or Edtech companies is also a major contributory factor in the success of EdTech. As schools and colleges keep adopting Wi-Fi, laptops and even smartphones in imparting education, service providers play an important role in cloud services, app development, designing lessons and curriculum, and so on. Service providers can play a major role in ensuring that the technological solutions are adopted smoothly by the school and college and, in terms of student satisfaction, fulfill the requirements of students with varying levels of grasping capability. In short, service providers ensure that the educational technology employed in schools and colleges is user-friendly, cost-effective and fully integrating with the academic system. Classroom Knowledge to Real World Application This Forbes article talks about some other unique edtech companies. MindSumo is one of these top edtech companies and worth mentioning since it demonstrates the amazing potential and reach of digitized education. This online platform enables college students to solve corporate challenges in the real world. It gives them an opportunity to apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom to practical issues. Among the more than 300 companies posting projects in MindSumo are Caterpillar, Ericsson and Delta Airlines. 90 of these companies and Fortune 500 ones. When students manage to excel in these challenges, MindSumo rewards students. MindSumo is doing well too, claiming to have attained $2 million in terms of sales in 2016 which was an over year growth of 90%. Their services are being sought by over 3000 universities globally, and the company runs with just 10 employees. SaaS an Important Edtech Software Model SaaS is an important technology model in digital learning. An example is the BenchPrep platform that helps assessment companies and professional certification organizations provide customized exam preparation programs digitally to candidates online. These programs are also accessible through multiple devices such as smartphones and tablets. AR and VR Other technologies proving crucial to edtech are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), as this report states. They provide a learning experience that’s totally different to conventional learning. That’s because AR and VR can take students to places and environments they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. That helps them get up close to the things they’re learning about and immerse themselves in that environment through virtual reality headgear. Developers are also able to create simulated environments. As a result the experience stays in their mind longer, resulting in greater retention of what they’ve learnt. It brings out the best in students. Technologies such as these are already being provided as auxiliary support in classrooms. VR products by major tech companies, such as HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, Microsoft Hololens, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR have already been used for creating educational apps. Gamification Closely connected to VR is gamification. Gamification refers to creating an experience similar to gaming for non-gaming activities. This is a perfect example of the potential of technology in education. The advantage here is that even monotonous tasks and lessons can be made engaging. Law Dojo is an educational app for Android and iOS that employs gamification. It focuses on law students and helps them acquire knowledge on a specific legal area. It is a collection of games that involve teaching users about criminal law, contract law, rights, international laws, etc. Users win points as they perform well, and there are various levels to the game. With in-app purchases, players can use shortcuts to new game levels. A similar app for doctors, medical students, and others interested in medicine is Doctor Games and Apps. Now that’s really taking education to an unseen level. This is a peek at the sheer potential of technology in education. This is the present, and very much the future and that makes it a great investment opportunity

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Most people involved in one form of commercial activity or the other make the mistake of assuming that only the prominent brands needs a mobile app for their business. That is just ridiculous, because, believe it or not, mobile apps are one of the most productive product awareness platforms in the business world today. In this post, I will be explaining to you why your business needs a mobile app as well as development options that should be considered like mobile app development costs, the platforms of execution and much more. Why does your business need an app? To start with, more small-scale businesses are building mobile apps for their businesses because they are quite aware that a mobile-friendly website is no longer enough when talking about effective mobile strategies. Moreover, a mobile app gives you an unlimited and easy access to a service and this freedom could be the key to achieving the goals listed below;

  • Increase visibility of your business to your clients.
  • Brand Awareness.
  • Sales leads.
  • Direct marketing channel with every client/customer.
  • Cultivation of customer loyalty and increasing their dependence on your service.
  • Increase customer/client engagement.
  • Improve employee collaboration.
However, if at least four of these points are part of your long or short term business goals, then a mobile app is important to your business than you think. What purpose will your app be serving? The main reasons why your business’s need for a mobile app have been classified into;
  • Your Customers
  • Your Operations
  • For Branding
Now that it is crystal clear that your business needs an app let's dive into how best to go about it. Apart from configuring an app to interact with your customers, apps can also be developed for branding. Moreover, it is also important to reach and engage other stakeholders which include employees and shareholders. Besides, the app you will be developing your business should at least serve one of these purposes.
  • Sales and Customer Service Mobile apps
Apart from having a mobile app where products and services displayed are accessible by your clients (which are the most popular these days), having a reliable support system is important to every business structures. Moreover, while satisfying your client; if the business goes smoothly, profits will roll in even during the weekend because the customers that need immediate assistance do not have to wait for opening hours to be attended to. Moreover, you could have a business app that allows customers to write the support for assistance and which will in turn alert the necessary officials to take action.
  • Reporting Mobile apps
Giving a regular and detailed update to all stakeholders of the business is another way to make them happy. You can develop a mobile app that generates and send all the periodic results of your business activities to every stakeholder and concerned parties. With apps, you can present this data in readable formats such as charts, infographics, and images.
  • Broadcast and Collaboration mobile apps
Instead of newsletters and emails, you can easily get an app that sends vital information to all your employees. However, instead of using a graphic design app, and compiling reports into pages of documents, before mailing it to your employees, you could use an app where you only have to edit certain values and update it for your staff to see.
  • Mobile apps for quotation
This type of apps helps field workers and sales agents generate quotes easily through their mobile devices. Also, this ensures deals are closed faster than before when they had to make calls or ask to come back with quotations. IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU DECIDE TO GET AN APP FOR YOUR BUSINESS Different mobile app platforms work for different business types, and it is important to understand them so that you know how they work. It is no doubt that the iOS and Android platforms are the leading mobile device operating systems in the world today. However, some factors such as target audience, demographics, type of service/product influences the platform you choose for your business app.
  • Trying to run multiple and older versions of these platforms can be relatively expensive and complex. Therefore, you need to decide which version exactly your app will be running on.
  • After consultations with mobile app developers, you have to choose whether you will prefer to maximize returns from multiple operating systems or stick with a native app.
  • Your business needs, target audience, budget, and time required to complete the mobile app project should not be overlooked because they are also very important.
  • Furthermore, it is very important to make sure that the business app is designed in a way that they offer the same user interface (UX) and are responsive regardless of whether they are used on smartphones, tablets, or any other digital devices.
SHOULD YOU BUILD YOUR MOBILE APP INTERNALLY, OR BUY FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE? With these requirements, one might be forced to wonder if outsourcing an app developing job would be a better decision than having someone work on it internally. When it comes to outsourcing, you might not be able to communicate every bit of information at once, so visiting the developer frequently might be stressful. Moreover, this type of project requires a constant revision of processes and procedure, and this can only be done if you supervise the app developing process from start to finish. Hence, to ensure a close supervision of the entire process, and to make sure your idea is well executed, it is advisable to choose someone from your team to build the app. But if you cannot get any of your team members to do it, then you might have to hire the developer as a contract staff till the app is completed. Also, remember to include a scheduled quarterly maintenance in the deal if you hire an external or freelance developer. Check out our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed NATIVE PLATFORMS, CROSS PLATFORMS OR HYBRID PLATFORMS - WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
  • Native Platforms:
Native apps are apps that use languages and development tools supported by both platforms (Android or iOS) to create a specific platform. Therefore, different apps with the same working model have to be developed across different platforms – namely, Android, IOS, among others. (i.e., the Android app is developed separately from the iOS app, etc.) Moreover; this works when you need a custom app that’s specially designed for your business. It gives each user a native feel and also eliminates the need to spend a lot of time and money, testing a particular app modification across all platforms. As a bonus, the app looks stylish and sleek, and according to reviews, users tend to have better experiences.
  • HTML5 apps
Hypertext Mark-up Language apps make use of standard Web technologies such as the HTML5 and JavaScript. This approach is called the write-once-run-anywhere approach among app developers, and it helps to ensure that your mobile app runs across all devices. Technically, HTML5 is a web app that can be accessed through your device’s web browser. The major benefits of this platform are:
  • It is cheaper to build.
  • It works for all platforms.
However, there is a big difference between the interface; and this is determined by the choice and quality of browser preferred by each user.
  • Cross-platform
As the name implies, this type of app is a combination of native plug-ins and HTML5 languages. It is cost-effective and affordable. With just a simple design, every user can get the best out of multi-platform mobile apps.
  • Hybrid Mobile Applications
Hybrid mobile apps help to combine the best elements of HTML5 and native apps. They have HTML5 apps embedded into a thin native container which helps to provide access to native platform features. BUDGETING FOR THE APP Now that you understand the role apps play in making your business more accessible and appealing to potential customers, you can place its budget under your advertisement and business development budgets. However, while the type of app you are trying to develop for your business might have an impact on your budget, you must ensure that it will produce the desired results in terms of speed, growth, leveraging tech, and innovation among other factors. Conclusion Every business likes an app that will enhance their capacity in terms of increased employee productivity, seamless internal reporting as well as ease of accessibility to information among other factors. Moreover, this goes a long way to attract more customers and to ensure a speedy sale. Besides, all the benefits mention above guarantee the growth of your business and the most important thing is to make sure you take advantage of the app revolution to scale your business. Download our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed

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Progressive web app (PWA) refers to the kind of web experience that offers the best of the web and apps. It goes even beyond responsive web design (RWD) in providing the optimum experience for a visitor to your e-commerce website. What Is a Progressive Web App? Developer Pete LePage explains the myriad advantages of progressive apps. They are something that builds upon the user experience:

  • PWAs don’t need to be installed and connect to the user through a browser tab.
  • The functionality and features of the apps improve as users keep building up a relationship with them over time.
  • They can load quickly, even if the network isn’t particularly strong, and can even work offline since they are equipped with service workers.
  • A PWA loads as a full-screen experience and the app’s icon gets loaded on the home screen.
  • A progressive web app works for just about any user regardless of whatever browser they choose, thanks to the progressive enhancement feature that these apps are inbuilt with.
  • Like responsive web designs, they fit into any form factor, be it a desktop, tablet or mobile, or anything else.
  • The constant service worker updating keeps the apps fresh and updated.
  • These apps are served through HTTPS, ensuring security and preventing any kind of content tampering.
  • Search engines can find these apps easily since service worker registration and W3C manifest makes them identifiable as applications.
Push notifications ensure easy re-engagement. Users can add apps most useful to them to their home screen instead of having to visit an app store. These apps are linkable, meaning they can be shared easily through URL without any need for installation, as we mentioned before. Progressive vs. Responsive Web Designs As we go through these features, we find a progressive web app is quite similar to responsive web design. Web design experts believe that progressive and responsive web designs are complementary to each other and not competing against each other. Both these approaches are essential, and ensure that the website provides “an elevated customer experience.” According to Lau, responsive web design (RWD) provides an engaging and attractive user experience, but progressive design can do much more. However, e-commerce website owners often stop at responsive design because it’s easier for their tech team to manage. Your technical team finds it easier to handle RWD and solve problems. Indeed, responsive web design can help you solve various problems such as detecting different kinds of devices, carrying out layout management, and improving SEO performance through a single URL, unlike the earlier m.dot approach. Responsive Design Has Attained Its Full Potential RWD has reached its saturation point as a Forrester study quoted by Lau indicates. The study has estimated that 87% of digital experience creators resort to responsive web design. But the web is continuing to evolve further. New innovations and standards in the web have helped unlock conventional native features to be used on browsers and not just apps. These features include touch ID, Bluetooth and cameras. Customer expectations have also shifted. They now prefer functional experiences tailored for the particular context - what apps do - on the web. These further evolutions have made the once avant-garde responsive web design now merely a baseline for a richer ecommerce and web experience. It’s become mandatory now, with the continual mobile ecommerce growth, thanks to its popularity. For the current evolving web experience, Forrester recommends keeping responsive design as the base and then building on it. Responsive design alone is not enough, and progressive design gives that something more. Check out our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed Progressive Design Takes over from Responsive Design Incorporating progressive concepts enables the optimization of the website based on not just the device but also on capability and context. Progressive web apps exploit features already provided by responsive web apps such as being able to work on just about any device, and function more like an app. But progressive web apps also go much further than that and exploit other features, according to this Techathlon article. These features include:
  • Getting an icon added to the home screen
  • Launching in full-screen
  • Accessing the clipboard
  • 2D/3D graphics accelerated by hardware through WebGL or HTLM5 Canvas
  • Filesystem access on Opera and Chrome
  • Reading files selected by the user in any browser
  • Smoother UIs with animations of 60fps
  • Inclusion in the apps list, thanks to progressive web apps being able to be packaged in installable Android packages
To consider an example, here’s a user navigating an ecommerce website on an Android mobile phone through the latest version of the Chrome browser. With responsive web design plus progressive design, here’s how you can enrich the user experience:
  • Fluid layout set by the responsive web design
  • Progressive design on the checkout page for recognizing user permissions and browser capabilities to autofill forms on the basis of auto-detected location, sending web push notification for confirming customer’s order, one-touch checkout with credit cards stored through Android Pay or Payment Request API, etc.
  • More progressive capabilities in native app environment for leveraging beacons, camera and GPS
This helps the customer enjoy a fully optimized experience, much more than the potential of responsive web design. Combining tried and tested responsive concepts and new progressive approaches provide an experience that fully satisfies users. PWA in the Mobile Technology Landscape Progressive web apps are important for mobile technology since, due to many of the features discussed above, they can make mobile websites a lot better. The great thing about progressive apps is that they function like native apps. They provide the website with the capability for offline browsing, home screen access and full-screen viewing. They retain the advantages of browsers in that they can be directly accessed in the web browser. The app functionality brought about by the progressive approach enables higher conversions that lead to a larger audience getting attracted to the web app. Google also ranks progressive web apps higher. Progressive web apps are the future of e-commerce and other mobile websites. The aforementioned observations by expert developers prove that you need PWA to ensure your mobile site satisfies the contextual needs of your customers and does not hassle them. It can really help your website satisfy your requirements for great SEO performance, visibility, traffic, sales and revenue.

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October 30, 2017 – Chicago – Netrix Worldwide Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Netrix, LLC announced today that it has acquired Kochi-based app dev firm, Empressem Technologies. Netrix Worldwide has signed a definitive agreement to complete the acquisition of Empressem Tech, as announced in a local press conference Monday, October 23. The acquisition, along with most recent Ideamine Technologies, is the largest IT services acquisitions in the state of Kerala, India to date, solidifies Netrix Worldwide’s intentions on expanding its global reach, creating access to high-end talent, and investing in IT firms that can help bring value to Netrix’s global clients. Earlier in 2017, Netrix Worldwide announced the acquisition of NetGlobal Solutions and relocated operations to Pune, India. “Netrix has an amazing team of designers and developers and adding Empressem Tech allows us to expand our reach and scale on demand,” said Matthew Feely, a partner, and Netrix creative and digital services practice director. “We work with clients across the world, continuing to expand our teams in APAC is a huge advantage.” Adding Empressem into the Netrix practice supplements its existing application development team with specific mobile app dev expertise, and introduces augmented application development into the practice. With this acquisition businesses and customers can evaluate multiple IT options under a single Netrix brand. From business optimization to a mobile strategy, the acquisition would provide expertise at every phase of IT and software adoption to the customer. Ajeesh Kumar, co-founder Empressem Technologies, said, “Netrix’s expertise and growing focus in application development made the partnership an easy decision and we can continue to focus on our clients’ needs and providing value. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with a team of highly talented individuals globally to now service our mutual clients” The leadership team’s both at Netrix and Empressem are entrepreneurs who have created and grown successful tech businesses in the past, combining their prowess in providing directional growth at Netrix.

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It is difficult to predict where the technology will head in the future especially in 2017 in which changes are happening expeditiously. It seems that the confluence of devices with multiple functionalities are getting prominence over stand-alone devices, which accelerates the growth of digital eco systems like Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. These systems are able to interact with real objects or human beings and capable of assimilating information for the functionalities of the devices. How are these objects able to interact with the real world? Well, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the science behind all such communication facilities.  AI is capable of performing functions which were earlier possible only by human intelligence. So the extent at which the technology replaces human intelligence can be considered as the growth rate of AI.  Like the flexibility of water which takes the form of the container, AI can be implemented in every device and system for specified requirements. The use of AI in mobile apps makes it more interactive and convenient to employ. It includes implementation of visual perception, decision-making, speech recognition, and translation of the languages. This blog provides you the insights on why AI is being integrated into mobile apps. Check out our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed

The AI Integration in Mobile Apps

Mobile phones have an unequivocal platform for complex communication which is channelized to support human lives in multiple ways. Mobile apps have become the major interface between people and devices. In fact, the implementation of Artificial Intelligence into mobile phones has further improved the quality of the performances of various devices. Mobile apps are not confined to Smartphones but it embraces different smart devices such as iPads, Tablets, Wearable, Smart Televisions, Etc. We are able to get a more personal level of virtual assistance with the integration of AI in mobile apps. The machines (means devices) are able to perform more simplistic, but specific tasks through features which are made to meet advanced - visualization, decision making, and communication requirements. AI makes devices to perform activities which were believed to be possible only with human intelligence. Artificial intelligence can be integrated into mobile apps with the support of technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, GPS, etc. Google Tango, the reality computing platform, developed and authored by Google, is an example of how AI is used in mobile apps with the support of Augmented Reality to provide enchanting visual experience. The app uses the computer vision to enable mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, with the ability to detect their position relative to the world around them without even using GPS or other external signals. The AI capabilities are used here to understand the locations and shapes of objects & it’s relation to the environment.   Virtual Personal Assistance like SIRI and Cortana are used in mobile to provide users with necessary decision-making support.  In fact, such a system is more user-friendly than the conventional touch system. People can use their smart devices even without touching it. The apps are capable of detecting the voices and respond accordingly. Smartphone almost act as a personal assistant and thereby provides services such as information on rescheduling of meetings, notification when the car is running out of gas, alerts on train and flight schedules, intimation of the accident occurred, on your way to the office, etc. Internet of things (IoT) is another facet of technology which integrates AI into mobile apps.  When Augmented Reality and Virtual Personal Assistances are used for improving visualization and decision-making capabilities respectively, IoT is used for higher connectivity and communication facilities. For example, IoT sensors are used in shopping malls to inform customers about new product features. Here the sensors even detect the person who is passing nearby the showroom and provides information on new product features. So a product can find its own customers with the help of IoT which means we are able to break all limitations of connectivity and communication using AI enabled mobile apps. So in all aspects, AI reduces the gap between human and machine intelligence.

Conclusion

The growth of AI with mobile apps provides intuitive experiences to the users. The issues like manual errors, human malpractices, and intentional acts can be abandoned by deploying automated and intelligent systems. IoT, Augmented Reality and Virtual reality are converging with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in mobile apps to help us take the next significant step in machine intelligence which reduces the gap between human and machine intelligence. It reduces the complexities of the human tasks by allowing devices to learn, analyze, optimize, diagnose, configure and deliver your personal data in the form of customized solutions. In fact, customers are demanding AI integrated apps for their requirements; perhaps they may be driven by the ease of such apps.  The AI enabled apps is expected to dominate the conventional mobile apps in no time.

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What we experience as our world is mainly formed according to our perception. When we change our perception, what we experience today will be felt in a different way. So all it is matter is our perception. Today technology is grown to a stage where it can alter our perception. Virtual reality and augmented reality are such technologies which serve this.

The major difference between virtual reality and augmented reality is, augmented reality adds something to the world which we are living. It makes some changes in the real time scenario and does not bring us anywhere else. Instead, virtual reality totally changes the situation into something else. Here we will feel as if we are in a different world. For this, the closed visors, VR blocks, etc were used. Both the technologies alter the perception but augmented reality maintains a connection and virtual reality not. The majority of us are confused by these two terms. Let us examine these two separately.

Virtual Reality and Its Features

The literal meaning of ‘virtual reality’ is the reality which is near. And we could define it in a technical way like this, a three-dimensional, computer-generated an environment which paves the way for personal interaction and exploration.

Virtual reality brings a person into a different environment and cuts the connection with the real world. It is usually implemented using computer technology. Various devices are used for this. It includes Omni – directional treadmills, headsets, and gloves. These components together with reality created an illusion which user thinks real. Virtual reality is not only a 3d visual provider but it makes the user follow certain actions. As virtual reality is mainly used to convince a person. Here the physiology of humans needs to be taken care of. Anything which contradicts natural vision of a person will make the presentation a failure. In order to achieve virtual reality, there should be sync in hardware, software sensory components involved in it.

Application Areas of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is having a wide range of applicability. One of the major areas where virtual reality is used is entertainment sector. Virtual reality is widely used in video games. Virtual games having high user acceptance in the current scenario. It not only involves the eyes of a person but the whole body is involved in that. Virtual reality enabled 3d, 5d films were very much engaging section in today’s shopping malls. Here the higher realms of sensory perception are utilised. Other areas include,

  • Arts
  • Architecture
  • Medical field
  • Military
  • Sports
  • Construction

When it becomes difficult, expensive, dangerous or impractical to something, over there virtual reality is used. It is a better way of forming simulation. It allows the user to take virtual risks. Through that, the risks in real time can be reduced.

Augmented reality apps

Augmented Reality and Its Features

The blending of virtual components into real life is known as augmented reality. Here the users could interact with virtual components at the same time maintains real time life connection. Here certain visuals of reality are modified and thus alter our perception. A lot of augmented reality apps were available in the current market. Augmented reality integrates technology into the real life in a smooth way. It creates a fine bridge between the real-time world and the virtual world. Here the user not going to an illusionary virtual world.

Augmented reality is having hardware and software components. Processors, sensors, input devices and display are the main hardware components. Augmented reality is well used in smartphones, tablet computers etc. In that, it is used for the camera, accelerometer, GPS and so on. The integration of augmentation with real world determines the success of the augmented reality apps. One of the standards used in augmented reality is Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML). This standard is developed by Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).

The augmented device needs particular targets. Augmented reality targets are like a 2d image printed on something like posters of the movie. A lot of augmented reality apps are available to provide amazing illusionary visuals. Projection mapping is one of the methods used for augmented reality. There are other methods too, but it is quite a popular one.

Applications of Augmented Reality Apps

Like virtual reality, augmented reality apps also having widespread applications. The consumer smart devices and computer technology paves the way for this. The two major areas where augmented reality applied were education and gaming. Xbox and Playstation are the two major gaming companies who made the AR popular in the gaming industry. There are augmented reality mirrors; it makes you feels as if you are the room or in the game location. Along with this, there are mobile augmented reality apps too. It also is getting wide popularity. Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita are examples for this.

In the education sector, one of the prime areas where augmented reality being used was by the medical students. There the students benefits from live 3D models. Here the existing learning material (The pages from the textbook) also can be used. Apart from these two industries, there are also other industries. They are

  • Education
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Greeting cards
  • Commerce
  • Construction
  • Emergency management / search and rescue

Summary

Virtual reality and augmented reality both deals with the virtual components. The difference is, in augmented reality, the connection with the real world will not be loosed. It never takes you to any illusionary world. It adds some virtual components and gives you an illusionary reality. Whereas, virtual reality takes you to an illusionary world. For this Certain VR device is being used. Both are used to alter the perception of human beings, it is the similarities between them. We feel the world around us only according to the perception we are having. The major industries virtual realities and augmented reality used is mainly entertainment sector. Both technologies open thousands of opportunities to the future. The areas where taking direct real-time effort is a risk or impractical, this VR and AR can be used.

As per a recent study, small businesses are able to save more than 800 million man hours annually by using relevant mobile apps. The study further revealed that approximately 31% of the small businesses with employees between 20 and 25 or less are using mobile applications and are eyeing to go green with reduced usage of paper, enhance employee productivity and better mobile experience for their customers. Statistics also reveals that Apple's App Store made over $10 billion revenue for the app developers in 2014. This could be one of the reasons why many mobile app developers are honing their skills to create better apps to make it stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Mobile App Development – What The Small Business Owner Should Do

Mobile devices are an indispensable mode of communication and the apps are part of everyday life of a consumer. Therefore, it's high time that the small businesses who do not have their own business apps in place to contemplate about having one in the near future to understand as well as keep track of their prospects, clients, and new customers.

A small business owner should also be aware that a mobile application development requires a lot of planning and brainstorming with the team of developers. Here we have put together a few mobile app development questions that small businesses should do before creating an application that is eye-catching and easy to use and the one that stands out in the crowd.

  • Why my business needs an app? A small business owner should know the specific reason for creating a mobile app. Whether you want an application for the employees or for communicating with the customers. You need to have a clear idea about how an app will enhance the productivity of your employees or motivate the customers to download and use it communicate with you.
  • Define your target audience? You need to know your target audience as this will make it easier to develop the right kind of app to reach out to your customers. Also, conduct a small survey or get feedback from your customers to understand the type of app that will resonate with them. These factors are vital for the development team as it will help them visualize as well as come up with a well-defined app development strategy.
  • Budget How much money can be set aside for the app development project? It’s a fact that no one wishes to reveal their cards. However, you should be able to give a range that will be useful for the development firm when creating a proposal. This will help the development firm to create an app within your budget while keeping in mind your unique needs.
  • Sharing your brand information If you already have your branding in place, share the information such as logos, colors, fonts and so on with the development company. Else, the design team of the development firm can provide the necessary solution.
  • Do you anticipate support post launch? Most of the reputed development firms make provisions to fix bugs, minor changes as well as upgrade the app to meet the ever evolving market. So you need to decide whether you want external support for your mobile application post launch.

Mobile Development Process Followed By Reputed Development Firms

  • Personal consultation The team of developers whom you have hired to develop your app will brainstorm with you at the personal level to ensure that the final product meets your standard. Also, give various suggestions and options of keeping in mind the requirements of your business.
  • Signing a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement(NDA) This is an important document that is signed by both the owner and the development firm to avoid a breach of trust. In this document, you have to mention how you are going to charge your client, whether it's a time-based model or flat fee. If its time-based model, you need to have deliverables outlined in the contract. Similarly, with the flat fee model, you also need to mention the time-frame within which the project can be completed.
  • Wireframing A market research targeting your consumer is conducted before the designing stage. This is an essential step that defines the visual architecture of what will be seen on each page of the app and they are linked together. This is an important step in the development process as it will define the complete scope of the app project. It’s a mutual understanding of what will elements will go into the app. This phase comes before the design phase.
  • People-oriented designs Designing experts understand the importance of developing a mobile application that appeals to your customers. They would spend time with your business team to understand your business, clients as well as your employees. Once the team is satisfied with the inputs they have received, they would brainstorm among themselves to develop an appealing design. In the designing stage, the development team will flesh out fonts, styling, colors, logos and so on. The look and the feel of the app will be sent to the client on a high resolution .psd files. There are mock-ups of the app. Once the small business owner is happy with the visual design and gives green signal, the team will move to the development stage.
  • Multiple Platforms The development team has to find out the various platforms options their client is looking at. For instance, whether the app should be compatible with the platforms such as Android, Windows, and iOS. As a developer, you should be able to give supportive reasons why it’s essential to develop an app that is compatible with for multiple platforms instead for just one platform. An app that is compatible with multiple platforms will widen the business horizon to reach out to more customers. Again, if a business has the majority of its customers on Apple iPhone it’s wise to stick to iOS platform and if they have customers on Android, the app should cater to them.
  • Development process Use a project management tool to update the client progress of the app project at every step of the process. The client also needs to communicate with the development team at regular intervals to understand what is happening. The reason is mistakes made at this stage of app development can be cost you dearly.
  • Beta Testing Once the final version of the app is approved, it has to test under various conditions and environments to ensure that it has no major bugs. Also, it gives an idea whether the end-users are comfortable using the application. The small business owner has to ensure that beta testing is included in the development contract.
  • Launching the app There are many stores where the app can be published. However, for iOS platform, the app can be published only in the Apple Store. Here the app submissions are reviewed manually and if there are any changes to be made, you will be asked make the requisite changes before publishing it. Google Play is the best for the apps compatible with Android devices. It’s imperative to get the feedback from the users. This will help to make future updates and incorporates the changes.
  • Free download or paid This needs to be discussed with the small business owner. If he wants to offer his app free of cost to his customers, it will undoubtedly have intrusive ads running on it. This may annoy the user and compel them to uninstall the app. If the business wants to apply changes to its app, it needs to work out the pricing. The reason being if it is heavily priced, the customers are likely to be scared away and if the price is very low, its value can be doubted. Therefore, the pricing has to be nominal.

There are reputed mobile solutions firms who understand the intricacies of the different mobile platforms. They have the expertise to create a perfect solution that resonates with your customer base as well as meet your business requirements. The team will walk you through the various stages of design and development process of the app creation.

Anyone who is curious about the technological changes will be aware of the drastic change happening in business. From traditional platforms, business has reached to online or digital platforms. In fact from online business, it has grown further into MCommerce. Why is it important to implement Mobility Solutions? Implement only if it adds value to your business & customers, not by following your competitor’s footsteps. Not only the customer requirements but also the technology they are using is also changing periodically. To be precise, most of the customers are now using mobile platforms to make purchases. So keeping in mind the end goal to reach to your potential purchasers, you have grasp the stages where they drawing in the most. The top 5 tips to select the ideal mobility partner include:

  1. Productive Brainstorming Sessions.
It is from the people who had gathered for casual discussions, that great ideas had been produced. Successful mobility partners are the active advocates of collaboration. They will facilitate regular meetings to leverage their experience and creativity. The eagerness to collaborate is one of the sign of a good mobility partner.
  1. Bunch of Good UI/UX Designers
Providing a good user interface will make the customers to give an emotional and satisfying response to your app. Such companies will deliver the service of designers who are committed to give an intuitive and beautiful design to your app. Skilled designers, will start with the customer preferences and can provide you apps which are evolved out of the study on human aesthetic senses. Check out our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed
  1. Asses their Testing Services
Check whether they have automated QA processes in their Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It will help you to reduce bugs and thereby save time. An ideal mobile app development company will have On-device testing and beta testing to ensure supreme quality of the app. Check if they have the relevant hardware and software required to deliver bug free applications.
  1. Make Thorough Evaluation of Their Cost Estimates and Project Timelines
After fixing the business requirement, insist vendors to submit a proposal for app development cost and timeline. It helps you to identify the company which delivers you the best solution in reasonable price. It should include valid reasoning of the budget allocated to each service. Include the expected project delivery time in your tender. It is a crucial step in finding the ideal mobility partner.
  1. Choose a Result Driven Company
It is one of the crucial steps in selecting the right mobility partner. An ideal company will have a track record of working successfully with companies in diverse industry verticals. It ranges from disruptive start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. So the decision is all yours. Conclusion Getting the mobility service is comparatively easier, considering the numerous mobile app development companies out there to serve you. Choosing the right one involves a lot of research. Of course, it is difficult, but in the long run, you will be benefitted with delighted customers and attain competence over your rivals in the market. Sweat a little now and reap the harvest forever. Download our eBook: Trusted Tips to ensure your Mobile App Development is well managed

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Have you heard of this cool technology called Augmented Reality (AR)? Augmented Reality heightens the experience of reality by adding computer generated sensory inputs such as visual cues, sound, video, etc. It is still in its early stages, and has been found in numerous gaming applications. Businesses have also started to adopt this hip new technology to make their businesses smarter. Read on to find out more about AR, and how it can help businesses.

Remote Guidance

Businesses often involve employees like salespersons, field engineers, etc. who work outside the office. They might need assistance from someone at the base in case any tricky situations arise. Augmented Reality can lend a helping hand when it comes to this matter. He/she can use AR glasses like Google glass, or smartphone AR apps to receive relevant information about the task at hand.

The information can be fed by a human expert or a smart software from the base. It will help to give the employee precise instructions to follow, for example giving a mechanic precise description about the parts of a particular engine. The system can even be used to give the person clear step-by-step demo on how to solve the problem at hand. This will help to avoid a great deal of confusion and save a lot of time. AR headsets are always recommended for such jobs since they will have the advantage of freeing the worker’s hand.

Better Training

Augmented reality holds a lot of promise when it comes to training the personnel. Using an AR app designed specifically for training purposes can help an employee learn without having to run to the trainer every time he needs help. He/she can also play the AR app as many times as he/she deems fit. Workers will be able to go through their training exercises again and again until they have grasped the concept fully.

AR in training and education makes the task a lot easier, and adds room to make the field much more elaborate that it is with the conventional methods. For example, it is much easier to virtually disassemble the parts of a car than to do it for real. It can be repeated as many times as one wants without having to manually reassemble it. One of the greatest advantages of using AR for training is the provision to learn repeatedly as one wants and the individual attention it can render.

Visualizing Products

Augmented Reality is used to place virtual objects in real space. This process is known as visualization. This can come handy for designing purposes.

Engineers or designers will be able to project their design to the real world using an AR headset and test it out based on physical, real world designs. For example, a car designer needs to get the design right for countless amounts of parts, varying in sizes and design. It can be a daunting task if one uses the conventional methods of design, where the designs are projected onto a 2D screen. With the aid of visualization supplemented by computer graphics and immersive techniques, he/she will be able to interact with virtual 3D models of their own designs. The designer can then make changes to the design as he/she deems fit by manipulating the virtual 3D model. Also, using AR glasses and apps, designers will be able to visualize what the end product will look like in 3D space unlike the 2D screens provided by the conventional technologies.

Customer Service

With the aid of Augmented Reality apps, businesses now have the opportunity to make the customers happier than ever. It has the potential to make the lives of the customers much easier and convenient by assisting the workers who come in contact with the customers.

For example, consider a retail store that sells make-up. Finding the right cosmetic products for a particular skin can be a tricky task unless you have the awesome technology called AR to guide you. Using AR glasses, a salesperson at the shop could visualize how the customer will look putting on a particular kind of make-up. This will help the salesperson to guide the customer better, leading to better customer satisfaction.

Businesses can also offer AR experience to the customers directly. AR will make it possible to give the customers a taste of what they are buying into without having to have the product in their hands. They could do it sitting at the comfort of their own homes. One example would be using AR apps to give the customer a feel of different bathroom suites or kitchen modules, etc.

Innovation

Augmented Reality apps have the potential to change the whole ball game when it comes to how businesses are done. For example, consider an insurance company personnel examining the damage caused by a car accident. He/she can use AR glasses to scan the wreckage and send the feed to a software that accurately estimates that damage caused by the accident. This will help the worker close the deal much faster than usual.

AR can have similar application in the health industry as well. It could aid in diagnosing a particular disease by capturing the symptoms seen on a particular patient.

Augment Reality is still in its baby steps. But it has the potential to change the way perceive the world. With the aid of AR it is possible for businesses to be smarter, and much more efficient. The possibilities are endless.

The one term that’s becoming famous in an increasing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world is Mobile Center of Excellence (MCoE). Forrester Research team defined this term as a coordinating force majeure consisting of around 25 to 100 enterprise and technology personnel led by a senior executive and a supporting mobile architecture group. In layman's language, MCoE is a group of professionals with the skills to deliver mobile solutions and craft an efficient mobility plan.

What is Mobile Center of Excellence?

The term 'Mobile Center of Excellence' is yet one that certain organizations and professionals will be unfamiliar with. Fewer entities have the first-hand experience of this concept. This term indicates different things to different entities. Also, what an MCoE represents is unique to each business and varies depending on infrastructure, resources, size, culture and other factors.

The concept is about crafting a consolidated organizational competence to have the capacity to work with different mobile technologies, changing the way an enterprise operates from inside and to be able to successfully implement mobile initiatives seamlessly across the entire company. Basically, an MCoE is a console for companies to both optimize as well as standardize mobility.

The most significant advantage is a workforce which is more streamlined. While deploying apps as well as mobile devices, there can be several setbacks. By having a dedicated team of tech savvy professionals, operations can be more seamless and problems fewer. The team members can craft optimal solutions for their organization, build apt apps and develop an infrastructure that makes all's life simpler.

With several industries constantly developing mobility solutions, an MCoE can keep pace with changes and adjust accordingly. This lets an enterprise stay ahead of the existing competition and hence flourish. In companies with the absence of a dedicated team, the few employees assigned to address mobile issues come under a lot of pressure. The latter can lower an organization's productivity significantly.

The following are three ways to craft an MCoE

  • Pinpoint Goals- Every organization has its own unique aims when utilizing mobile devices. Identifying specific goals for the organization will decide the size of the team, their responsibilities, the kinds of devices that are deployed, security as well as general policies. That's the reason why it is critical to brainstorm and prepare for all situations at the onset.
  • Craft an Infrastructure - Organize the different aspects of the project into an effective and efficient unit. This involves delegating work to team members, building apps and giving them off to the workforce. The company can harness APIs to incorporate additional features to the infrastructure or boost the security level. After changing the infrastructure, it is important to have training sessions to update employees on how the whole system operates and what are the reasons for utilizing mobile technology.
  • Handle and maintain- As new things come up, it is essential to adjust accordingly. For instance, upgrades as well update to apps as well as devices have to be implemented to keep pace with new technologies.

The following are the benefits of MCoE to enterprises

  • Closer Collaboration - It can function as a coordination center between different business units to decrease gaps, slash repetitive procedures and minimize expenses. It enhances alignment across different mobile programs started by various business units and makes sure these programs are prepared towards achieving the bigger objective.
  • Minimize development time - An excellence center can help quicken mobile development processes by crafting and utilizing present reusable frameworks as well as streamlining procedures.
  • Consistent user experience- A frequent cause of failure of several enterprise apps is the absence of consistency in user experience (UX) as well as a user interface (UI). Users desire experiences that they are accustomed to in their personal lives. A mobile CoE can develop a checklist for design as well as user interaction to deliver a user experience that is consistent.
  • Superior security- With information, as well as data security, becoming an important issue, an MCoE offers standardized as well as centralized governance resulting in better tracking and handling of apps as well as devices. Also, more security audits from the MCoE will assist companies in improving their existing security architecture.
  • A transformation center - Presently mobile is the base of strategy for organizations adopting the mobile-first approach. An MCoE with an incorporated architecture as well as the approach will help organizations embrace the mobile-first mindset faster. Also, it will be a catalyst for new ideas by providing thought leadership and assisting organizations find and leverage fresh opportunities in the mobile space.

As the enterprise world increasingly embraces technology, establishing a mobile center of excellence is likely to attract more and more enterprises. Coming on board will help companies be state-of-the-art, boost productivity as well as sales. Enterprise mobility provides fresh opportunities for enterprises to be lean, agile and more responsive to the requirements of their customers.

It’s hard to deny the potential positive impacts which the connected devices have brought to the society for the last few years. The application of connected devices is well utilized in Internet of Things (IoT). The technology is changing the way in which Governments, businesses, and consumers are interacting with the world. The prominence of IoT leads to the proliferation of connected devices which thereby started an analytical revolution. The Business Insider’s Internet of Things Report – 2017 states that enterprises are going to spend roughly $5 trillion on IoT in the next five years. The study included a wide array of industries and over 500 correspondences around the world. Well, how Internet of Things (IoT) is going to help businesses to drive ROI in 2017 and in coming years? This blog provides insights on how the technology drives both direct revenue and indirect value to organizations which explore its exceptional capabilities.

Increase ROI through IoT applications

Companies can drive revenue from an IoT-connected product in a variety of forms. It includes new product sales, new service models, indirect revenue streams and finally through cost savings. Leveraging the exclusive benefits of connected devices helps companies to accelerate new product sales and thereby to achieve higher ROI. The new features make differentiation and value in connected products than unconnected products. For example, a connected thermostat makes the users to remotely control their device through a mobile app. The thermostat utilizes multiple sensors to regulate the temperature inside the home or office. Amazon Dash Button is an example of how IoT can increase revenue through new sales and service models. The device is an excellent replenishment system where the users can hit the button when they need to refill the products. In order to create a recurring revenue stream with an end customer, this auto-replenishment model is an ideal option. Connected products open new opportunities for the monetization of data. The service models deliver through connected devices is an example for this. For example, the smart air conditioner program provided by the utility company, Con Edison. The company manages peak electricity demand to promote better end user behavior through smart air conditioner program. Since the products in IoT are interconnected with each other, companies get the real-time view to the usage and depreciation of the product. It helps them to drive higher revenue through cost saving measures such as risk avoidance and improved product quality.

Conclusion

IoT is a powerful technology using which companies can drive ROI in different ways. Leveraging the exceptional features, delivering better customer models, monetization of data with connected products and effective product monitoring are the effectual means by which companies can drive ROI both directly and indirectly. It is sure that with the increased demand and capabilities which connected devices possess, IoT Is a Right Investment for Your Business to Drive ROI in 2017.

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There are multiple reasons why countries demonetize their local units of currency. It includes combating corruption, to combat inflation and to discourage a cash system. The process involves either introducing new coins, equivalent to the value of the legal tender, or the currency notes. Another way of Demonetization is completely replacing the old currency with the new currency. Even though the impact of demonetization is different in multiple nations, it generates the requirement of a cashless economy which is almost similar in adverse countries. In a cashless economy, the use of mobile payments get accelerated along with other digital payments systems such as Internet Banking, E-wallets, M-wallets, etc. Among all these digital payment gateways, mobile payments are getting prominence due to its higher convenience and connectivity. In fact, demonetization has a great role in strengthening the mobile payment services in a country. This blog ensures how demonetization will pave the way for mobilization in a country.

Demonetization - the global Analysis

The act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender is known as Demonetization. It is not a new measure and many countries have embraced it in the past. Wherever the demonetization is applied, the old unit of currency was withdrawn and replaced with the new currency. The Zimbabwean government in 2015 demonetized the Zimbabwean dollar in order to combat the country’s hyperinflation which was recorded at 231,000,000%. The process had lasted for three months and which has expunged the Zimbabwean dollar from the country’s financial system and solidified Botswana Pula, US Dollar and South African Rand as the country’s legal tender in a bid to stabilize the economy. Likewise, when the European Monetary Union adopted the Euro in 2002, it has lead to demonetization in Europe. For switching into the euro, the authorities in Europe fixed the exchange rates for the varied national currencies into Euros which have lead to the demonetization of the old currencies. The process was smooth for the people across Europe since the old currencies remained convertible into Euros for long period of time. Another example is Nigeria where in 1984; the government of Muhammadu Buhari introduced the new currency and banned the old notes. The process wasn’t successful and the economy collapsed. Pakistan has implemented Demonetization in 2015, in which they have announced the withdrawal of Rs.5 and Rs.500. The last date to change the old currency was December 1, 2016, and which comprise 1 year period of time. The other countries which implemented demonetization include Zaire (1990), United States of America (1969), and Australia (1996). Recently the Indian government (November 8, 2016) has demonetized the 500- and 1000- rupee notes which were the two biggest denomination notes in the country and a accounted for 86% of the country’s cash supply. The goal was to eradicate counterfeit currency, to fight tax evasion, to eliminate black money involved in money laundering and terrorist financing activities, and finally to promote a cashless economy.

Will Demonetization Strengthen Mobile Payments

People have recognized the requirement of a cashless payment system solely through the economic changes created by Demonetization. It has channelized the thinking of people into the requirement of an alternative for the cash-based payment system. Since smart phones are more popular and have wide acceptance among people across the world, compared to other payment gateways, mobile payments are getting higher momentum as well. Due to the demonetization the people across the world realized the uncertainties of the cash-based system and the benefits of Mobile Payments which include: • The financial transactions can be completed within a short span of time. At the same time, postal or wire transfers take even days for completing transactions. • Using the virtual accounts, the users can store the history of all transactions indicating the store and the amount which they spent and any financial information can be retrieved at any point of time. • Since financial accounts are maintained virtually, mobile payment services ensure the reduced risk of loss and theft. • Comparatively fewer commissions. • Mobile payments systems are linked to other payment gateways such as internet banking, credit cards, debit cards, etc • The traditional payment system, especially in banks, consists of application forms and long procedures but mobile payment systems have the intuitively understandable user interface which often works 24/7. Mobile payments are getting a warm welcome across the globe. There are many payment applications which facilitate a smooth financial transaction with simple steps. For example, PayTM, Tap Cash Rewards, Hike, mCent, Ladooo , FreeCharge, etc can be used to pay bills across shops, autos, to make mobile recharge, other services like Uber in a single tap. No need of a/c details, OTP, 3d secure code, etc. Similarly, Government of India has developed an app called “BHIM” which enable fast, secure, reliable cashless payments through the mobile phone. BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts.

Conclusion

Demonetization is necessary when a country is affected by the issues of cash based transactions. A surgery is required when our disease is incurable with mere medicine. Of course, surgery is painful but it saves us from the severe disease and its future implications. Likewise, it is true that demonetization has created difficulties for the people all over the world but in long run, the initiative is going to prevent the overflow of fake currencies, transactions with black money and will open new possibilities through Mobilization. Mobilization is not the removal of the cash from the economy rather it is the promotion of the cashless and online payment gateways. Demonetization is supporting the growth of mobile payment gateways which are relatively inexpensive and operable without much sophisticated technical knowledge. In fact, it is the best way to convert the challenges created by demonetization as an opportunity.

It is not only the software or technology inbuilt in smart devices that are undergoing changes but also the user interfaces are showing remarkable transformation. The recent study made by Gartner point out that 20% of user interactions with smartphones will take place via Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) by 2019. The study shows the higher possibility of switching from touch UIs to VPAs. In fact, the intelligence incorporated with VPAs provides immediate and wise responses which are tailor made to user requirements. The change to VPA is not going to affect the smartphones alone but also all kinds of smart devices such as, wearable, smart TVs, devices which are part of digital ecosystems like Internet of Things (IoTs). This blog analyze the impact which VPAs are expected to trigger in various smart devices with reference to Gartner Study.

VPA – Analysis On The Basis Of Gartner Study

The software agent that performs a task for services for an individual through a smart device is known as Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA). The commonly used virtual assistances are Google Now, Microsoft Cortana, the open source Lucida, Braina, Samsung's S Voice, Facebook's M (app) and One Voice Technologies (IVAN), Voice Mate, BlackBerry's Assistant, etc. Gartner made the study in the fourth quarter of 2016 among 3021 consumers across 2 countries, the US, UK. Among the total respondents of US and UK, 42 % & 32% respectively, used VPAs on their smartphones in the last three months. An average percentage of respondents of US and UK say 37% used VPA at least one or more times a day. The use of VPAs started with the voice intelligence systems such as Siri part of Apple Inc and Google Now which are the current popular VPAs used by smartphone users. Well, Gartner also gives the percentage of Siri and Google Now usage as well. 41% of U.K respondents and 48 percentages of U.S respondents used Google now and 50 percentage of U.K. and U.S. respondents used Siri in the last three months. VPAs are now in its growing stage, but quiet in a faster way. Now the technology is being used for setting alarm or getting information but in future, VPAs will have an impact on the way in which users interact with devices and will be able to handle more complex tasks such as completing a transaction based on the past, present and predicted context.

Conclusion

Even though VPA is commonly used as an alternative to touch UIs in smartphones, the impact of it will be reflected in all kinds of smart devices due to the emergence of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and IoT which embrace various kinds of smart gadgets. Gartner predicts VPA as one of the strategic battlegrounds from 2017 onwards and they also point out that sooner more mobile apps will become the sub servants of VPAs. The numbers of smart devices are getting increased day by day and according to Gartner study, by the time of 2020, there will be 7 billion personal devices, 1.3 billion wearable and 5.7 billion other consumer internet of things. The majority of these devices are expected to function with minimal or zero touch. Instead of touch screens, the future smart devices are going to witness the increased use of voice, ambient technology, biometrics, movement, and gestures. In fact, the UIs like VPA provide users the necessary assistance with much contextual information by understanding user surroundings.

The mainstay feature which the ‘mobile phones’ and ‘smart phones’ held for all this while seems to be diminishing with the announcement of T-Mobile as part of their new feature called ‘Digits’ on Wednesday, 21st December 2016. Through their new initiative, the company wants to centralize the usage of the phone number for all the smart devices. Even though different communication channels are available for leveraging phone calls, it is for the first time in the history of the digital world that a company launches the facility to make and receive live calls using different smart devices. This blog provides everything you should know to utilize the cutting edge innovation.

Make Phone Calls Never Before

Using an optimal internet connection, T- Mobile app allows the users to make calls or texts, using any of their smart devices. It means the user is allowed to make phone calls or texts with his/her iPads, Tablets, and Laptops. The recipient can see your number and once they respond back, the call will be available on any of your devices. The Devices which are set to make or receive call or text message can be assigned from the company website or T-Mobile app itself. Of course, the new feature is quite similar to apps like Google Voice, Viber, and Skype which the user registers with their phone numbers. But T-Mobile uses actual phone numbers, and as a value addition, it allows the user to get more connections if they want additional numbers. T-Mobile launched the new feature on Wednesday and for the time being, it is made available only to the testers as a free beta version. A widespread and profound launch will reach the users early in 2017. The app will be available on Android & iOS devices and for desktop users; the application can be accessed through their web browsers and the app. The company is not confining their products to smart devices but extends it to wearable such as non-smart phone devices like a flip phone and Samsung's Gear S3 smart watch. The T-Mobile connected phone helps you to make calls even if you are using a Verizon or AT&T phone. Using the internet connection, the user will be able to make free calls even if they are staying abroad. Conclusion There was a constant demand to leverage phone numbers across different devices. When emails and Social Media are available on different devices at a time, accessing phone calls were only limited to a single device, say a mobile phone or smartphone. It is not only facilitating calling feature but also shows its commitment towards the growing trend of digital systems. Digital ecosystems make multiple devices to interconnect and exchange information, even without much human involvement. Incorporating calling features using apps like T-Mobile helps the organization to communicate interact with employees and the clients. An innovative solution like ‘Digits’ was not an out of the blue incident but collectively they are developing technical environment where efficiency and cost effectiveness are achieved with more automated solutions.

There has been a time when people used to depend on computers with large screens (bigger enough to occupy a room) as their digital medium. Functions such as calculations, documentations, data storage, and data processing were accomplished using such digital platforms. They were limited in their capabilities and served a few requirements as well. New technologies were invented and computer screens became smaller with the introduction of desktop computers. After the evolution of computers as laptops, mobile phones were innovated to a more sophisticated device called ‘Smart Phones’. Smart Phones now serves almost like a computer with equal configuration and memory capabilities. Technology has given rise to new devices such as tablets, smart TVs, smart watches, etc. Now, every device works together as a whole system rather than independent functioning. For example Home automation system. It is difficult to measure the current technological changes as new innovative ideas are sprouting every day. With current frontier in technology- Internet of Things (IoT), the digital ecosystems turn out to be more functional. With this technology, every object is connected to the internet. It helps people to manage their digital lives in a smarter way using data sensors, cloud storage, applications, devices etc. It has embraced every facet of human lives and now the technology is being used for payment as well. How Internet of Things accomplishes its monetary transactions? Well, this blog provides you insights on the role of IoT as a payment gateway.

Internet of Things as a Payment Gateway

In fact, what IoT achieves now was believed to be impossible a few years back. Products that attract customers, thermostats that pay bills, airline baggage tags that authorize payments for luggage allowances became reality with the cutting edge technology, Internet of Things. The world’s leading information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner defines IoT as “Internet of Things is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment”. The technology makes devices, and objects to transfer information over a network and thus facilitates connectivity and communication like never before.

Unlimited Opportunities

It is possible to add any device or even systems to the digital ecosystem of IoT. Internet of Things will incorporate 26 billion smart devices by 2020, says Gartner. Not only the end user but also the payment companies, retailers, and technology manufacturers too benefit out of IoT with its greater convenience and smarter transactions. More opportunities are arising out of IoT and as per Wall Street Journal report; items currently under design include toothbrushes, smart door locks, surveillance cameras, toys and other devices such as thermostats which can be controlled by the smartphones. Such developments help different industries to create new revenue streams and embrace new payment options. The connected ecosystem enables anything from watch to car to initiate and makes payments. What if, if you are able to make payments for rent, food, home, gas, parking, etc even without leaving the car? IoT makes every objects and location capable of making financial transactions.

Internet of Payments

Internet of Things turns into Internet of Payments (IoP) when it is capable of making payments. It provides new oversight and monitoring mechanisms to financial transactions. One of the biggest examples of IoP is the internet connected refrigerator which identifies the requirement of food and brewery items and allows consumers to shop for groceries from home. Another example is Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service which consists of devices that directly order from Amazon when their supplies are running low. In all these connected devices intelligence is applied and which helps the devices to operate and respond even without human involvement. IoP is not confined to a one-time product purchase but suitable for EMIs and ‘pay as you use’ also; for example, the Thermostats could interact with utility companies to make payments as per usage. One proposed scenario is the paying of maintenance cost by the devices itself.

Conclusion

IoT is revolutionizing every industry by creating an effective digital ecosystem. Devices of any functionality can be clubbed together and can form collaborative system. Financial transactions had performed solely through banks in earlier times, but currently, the devices are capable of making payments with the support of Internet of Payments (IoP). The digital ecosystem which the technology creates with physical objects will change the way financial institutions interact with customers at each level of service. The way in which customer interact with companies will change through online devices which are actualised through Internet of Things. We are moving into an era of smart objects, the devices to devices communication open more opportunities without prior human involvement. The technology such as IoT reduces the complexities of any kind of operations and the users are assigned with a monitoring role rather than direct involvement. With Automated devices, the operations at the home, office, and all other premises can be achieved without any errors and with advanced supervision.

An ‘Innovation’ becomes a ‘revolution’ when it generates remarkable changes in human life. Augmented Reality is a technology which can embrace every industry and channelize their operations into higher realms of efficiency. According to VR/AR advisor Digi-Capital, Augmented reality is expected to grow into a $90 billion industry by 2020. Healthcare industry leverages AR in order to complete its operations which range from day to day tasks to treatments with the support of 3d simulations. In medical world, the 3d demonstrations through AR have great role in the treatment of a disease. The support which AR extends to treatments, include mechanisms to locate human veins easily, solutions such as 3d demonstrations to teach life skills to Autism affected students, etc. As another icing on the cake the cutting edge technology can be utilized for reducing the pain of patients who are suffering from the Phantom limb which is a mysterious ailment. Those who suffer from Phantom pain experiences aches, in their virtual arms or legs which thus make the problem more complex to solve. This blog reveals the way in which the new therapy reduces the most intractable phantom pain.

Augmented Reality in order to Reduce Phantom Pain

The perceptions which an individual experience related to a limb or an organ that is not physically a part of the body is known as Phantom pain. The limb loss occurs either through the removal by amputation or with congenital limb deficiency. The nerve avulsion or spinal cord injury can also be the reason for Phantom limb. Max Ortiz Catalan of the Chalmers University of Technology proposed the AR therapy in 2014. The first trial was completed with selected 14 amputees who were suffering from chronic phantom limb pain. The study was made by connecting myoelectric sensors to the muscles that once controlled the missing limb. The sensors detect signals according to the movements in the virtual environment. The movement patterns include opening the hand, twisting the wrist etc. All these movement changes were linked to an on-screen limb, not a real body part. On a live webcam image of the patient, after calibration, the virtual limb was fixed to an exact point where the real limb was missing. After the fixing process, the virtual limb acts like the real limb of the patient and execute all the movements the person wanted to try. Over the 12 semi-monthly sessions, the patient was able to put the virtual limb into various positions like controlling a car in a racing game. The pain was reduced to half by the end of the 12 sessions and the interruptions to sleep were also cut down. Four patients reduced their dosage of medication and two of them by 81 percent. After six months, the therapy exhibited further improvements and proved to be beneficial. The results were encouraging and the study became highly successful.

Conclusion

All the selected patients were suffered from severe Phantom limb pain and were desperate by trying all other treatment methods. For them, through the AR therapy, the pain continuously decreased. It was difficult to stop the pain in the limb which is not physically present. The mirror therapy was used before AR therapy. However, the Augmented Reality therapy is a kind of mirror therapy taken to the next logical level. Augmented Reality enhances higher realms of imagination through visual 3d simulations. Unlike other sectors, conducting demonstrations is quite difficult in healthcare sector. A failure may affect even the life of the person. So the virtual models created using AR helps check experiments without harming anybody.  So AR adds power to the innovation.

In reality, what is the function of a mirror? Well, it tells how you really look like. Everyone needs a better appearance and that wish makes you use mirrors. So Apple provides a better reflection which you may not have experienced before. The company has launched new ‘Apple mirror’ which extends the functionality of an ordinary mirror. As part of a personal project, Rafael Dymek- New York was developed the new ‘Apple mirror. The mirror uses popular platform and technology – iOS and Augmented Reality (AR). Both together provide an augmented interface to the mirror. The user can touch and complete their tasks in the mirror as if the person does on his smartphone/tablet. Apple combines the cutting edge technology augmented reality with one of the user’s routine item, say a mirror. In Apple mirror, all the functionalities which are available on the ios devices are implemented into the mirror’s surface. In top right corner of the mirror, you can see the ‘Date and Time’ and at the top left corner, the ‘weather forecast ‘is placed. Several working iOS app icons are placed under these two features and the user can easily rearrange them with the drag of a finger. When you tap on an icon, the apps open in a familiar manner indeed in a windowed mode. So it helps the user in multi-tasking. Even though the mirror is like a computer display, it opens like iOS - icons to launch various apps. Well, you may think what augmented mirror interface can does for you. The innovation from apple brings technology into your day to day life much more closely with Apple mirror. In fact, with Apple Mirror, the time which you spend in front of the mirror becomes more productive. Everything which you do with the smartphone can now be performed with the Apple mirror. Quite unbelievable, isn’t it? Yes, Apple makes it a reality. The possibilities of Apple mirror include easiness to request an Uber, playing videos on the mirror screen, watch Netflix, read the news, control a Nest thermostat and smart light bulbs, etc. Apple mirror is not confined to these limited features; the interface is highly flexible and is open for more innovations in future. Agreed, a bigger screen and doesn't launch apps in full-screen glory as they would on an iOS device. Since the mirror is similar to a desktop, every program appears in windows and provides easy multi-tasking. Apple mirror support cross-platform compatibility and apps such as Netflix, Facebook Messenger, Uber, Sonos, and Twitter are fully functional on the conceptual device. The device respond to the user activity in quite a good manner, it goes to sleep after 45 seconds of inactivity and wakes up with a tap on the screen. It is highly appreciable that the tech giants such as Apple lead the world with such innovative concepts. The device such as Apple mirror not only augments technology but also chooses real time application which helps users to do their tasks in an effective manner without disturbing their personal life.

Real-time mapping technology is used to capture the land related data from cars, trains, and airplanes in a digital form. The technology is evolved out of ‘spatial data’, the storage systems containing the most confidential and crucial information across the world. The spatial data handles information ranges from the ordinary indoor and outdoor location data to each country’s top secret security and information. The technologies such as RTM can be included under Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in which the spatial data is the foundation. Why is GIS important? Probably you may have heard about this everywhere, but have you ever thought about this? Because, in simple words, it connects ‘data’ with ‘geography’ and tells you ‘what’ belongs to ‘where’. Real Time Mapping provides current and accurate spatial data to GIS. In this blog, we are examining the increasing popularity of Real Time Mapping technologies through its applications.

Higher Disaster Response

The natural disasters such as hurricanes, flood, earthquake, mudslides and forest fires drastically change the landscape of a place. The damaged roads, rerouted rivers, collapsed bridges are the post disastrous effects which create problems even after the adversity. In order to avoid the dangers and to guide the survivors and other peoples with safe paths, Real Time Mapping Applications can be used. Such applications become crucial when the satellite and other technologies fail to capture the data due to poor weather conditions, clouds, dust, and smoke in the atmosphere. The sophisticated image processing algorithms in RTA provides quality digital images which facilitate better mapping.

Real Time Election Mapping

Election procedures all over the world are now embracing by various edge cutting technologies. Real Time Mapping is one of the technologies, which is used in election campaigns, various polls, real-time election maps, and to assist people in election polling places. The election candidates are also using such mapping solutions to inform and motivate citizens, in order to produce better election outcomes. Since elections have geographic implications, RTA is a comprehensive solution for the election procedures.

Better Tool for Real Estate Operations

Whether you are a seller or buyer in real estate sector, Real-time mapping applications help you to get the property as per your requirement by leveraging geographic knowledge. Real-time mapping applications help to achieve more precise market analysis, in terms of up-to-date and fresh land data. It helps the seller to showcase the characteristics and advantages of the property with respect to its location in an effective manner. For example, the buyer gets clear information of the position of schools, hospitals and other shops from the particular property. It helps the buyer to make the decision more easily than ever before. Real-time applications facilitate the painless sale and a well-informed buyer reduces the pressure of a realtor and provides benefits to every stakeholder in the real estate transaction.

Empowers the Educational System

Real-time applications empower the educational system by developing the skill sets in students such as investigating, integrating, and analyzing of issues and information with the support of real-time geographic data. It helps students to learn their study materials with the help of real geographic demonstrations. It makes them understand the concepts of the subjects such as geography, history, mathematics etc more precisely. Like the major subjects, now many universities provide courses related to spatial information and which substantiate the relevance of Real Time Mapping Applications. So the job opportunities are also increasing in association with such cutting edge technologies. Real Time Mapping Application can also be used as a tool for educational administration. The technology leverages support to activities such recruiting students, constructing new buildings, managing alumni networks etc. So it is an all in one solution for Educational sector.

Real Time Location Tracking For Warehouses

The technology detects and records assets, equipment, labors which are part of a typical warehouse system. The technology helps to accomplish warehouse operations with minimal human interaction and error. It helps the warehouse manager to track the position of the equipment, working status of the labors, movement of the materials, etc with the support real-time geographical reports. It increases the warehouse productivity and at the same time ensures process efficiency and warehouse safety.

Conclusion

Location-based solutions are crucial in every industry and operations because all the sectors have their own connections with the geography. GIS based applications smoothen the operations and provide detailed information to the participants. Real-time mapping applications provide more fresh and unique data to its users and which makes it different from other geographic applications. Accurate information which RTMT provides to its users improves the efficiency of operations. Unlike other applications which provide geographical information, RTMT is not vulnerable to distractions in the atmosphere. The cutting edge technology influences and serves people through tiny location based services to highly comprehensive security solution which has potential impacts on the security of the country.

The concept of business started from the ancient times itself. The methods of business and the forms of the commodities have changed but the process existed all this time. Business changes according to time and place. Those who participated in business defined the values being exchanged, in a different manner. Business has evolved a lot and every new technology which was prominent over time embraced the business operations and made remarkable changes on that. Earlier times, people followed barter system where they used to exchange commodities with equal value. Later the ‘cash’ based transactions replaced the barter systems and people fixed a monetary value for all goods and services. Cash system drastically changed the business and new mediums emerged. Internet became the foundation for this and business migrated into the new realm called ‘online platform’. Of course, there is no end for innovation in technology. The possibilities of transactions through mobile platforms have given rise to the revolution in business called ‘M-commerce’. It includes ordering of goods or services, product display, payment, feedbacks, etc through mobile platforms. This blog throws light to the way in which enterprises or app publishers can monetise an m-commerce application for their 2017 operations.

Know Your Customers – Google Analytics

Always have a clear idea about your customers, which will help you to make the necessary changes in your app. The goal in monitoring customer is not to understand what they are doing; In fact, what you observe ultimately helps you to improve the application. It provides you insights about the features which the customers are interested and spending most of their time. You may think “The concept is ok, then how to achieve this in real time? Well, the tools like Google Analytics help you to track down your viewer behaviour. It helps you to get data about how people are using your mobile commerce app. The process helps you to improve your marketing efforts and provides necessary support, in taking decisions regarding the need to implement push notification strategies and the requirement of adopting A/B tests etc. With Google Analytics, all the information the user requires reaches the person in no time.

Make It More User-Friendly

The more user-friendly your app is the lesser the bounce rate and which ultimately generates more revenue. Avoid large menus and instead use the 3-line approach. In three line approach, there is a vertical menu on the left, search bar and the shopping cart on the right. It helps the user to easily navigate through your app. Companies like Facebook, New York Times, ModCloth have made the ‘navigation’ popular. Another method is to design your app in such a way that the user can operate it with a minimum set of taps. The best way to achieve this is to think the user preferences while designing the app itself.

Provide Paid Downloads

The Method of ‘paid download’ is considered as the most straightforward technique for generating revenue out of the mobile apps. Here the user is charged before they access the app. It is a one-time monetization strategy and works well for productivity tools, books and games. It is the most predictable method and guarantees the revenue for the user.

Go for In-App Advertising

In-app advertising is a good option if you want a less reliable, but potentially more scalable monetization method. The ad in the app sometimes affects the user experience but is an excellent option for apps with fresh and unique content. Engaging and interesting content easily grabs user attention and retains those who are already using the app. The ad click rate can range from 0.5 percent to 6 percent and which often generate more revenue than downloads. So In-App advertising is a better way for generating higher revenue. Facilitate In-App Purchase It is a broad method and is suitable for different types of apps. In-app purchase is related to what the customer is doing right now. Here the Google Analytics helps you to study the exact customer behaviour. The tool helps you to track the customer response to the different features of the application in detail. The only thing you have to take care is to offer the purchase option without distracting the user experience. If you win on that, definitely you can convert the app users as your potential customers. Conclusion In the current business scenario where business is driven by mobile technology, enterprises get a parallel income out of Mobile apps. Of course, the mobile apps are meant to serve the customers with their service. But most of the apps offer the publishers higher revenue through in-app ads, app purchase and download charges. Often the ads in the apps generate more revenue than the app itself. There are different methods of generating income out of your MCommerce apps. Understanding the customer behaviour is the key in monetising the M-commerce apps. Identify the customer requirements and approach them in the manner in which their user experience will not be affected.

Do you believe your eyes? If your answer is ‘yes’, then Google makes you re-think. The new Google Tango provides you a better vision and makes you see things which are out of your eyes. Are you excited? Want to know what your virtual pets are doing? Wish to know which furniture suits you most? Then explore the world around you with new Google Tango, the Augmented Reality application which rebuilds your vision. Hold on your phone and see virtual objects on top of your own surroundings. No matter where you are, Google Tango provides you deeper, richer experience to engage with, explore and enjoy.

What Is Google Tango?

The technology platform owned by Google utilizes computer vision to enable mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to spot their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals. It alters the surrounding of the user with virtual objects or components. Tango technology has three main parts. First one is the motion tracking technology which can tell your movement with a device. It includes where and how it’s moving and towards what the device is pointing. The motion tracking technology uses 3D depth sensor, motion tracking camera, accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope and GPS to track your movements. The second and third features together provide you depth perception and area learning. The technology has certain intelligence through which it responds to the space in which you are moving. For example, if you are walking through a narrow corridor and turned the corner by holding the device, the technology remembers it correctly. It knows where you have come from and tracks where you are going. The technology can remind you where the walls are and how close you are to a specific object. It is the perfect solution for guiding customers in shopping malls and other places where the user may get confused about the directions. It can even tell whether the object is small or large, close to or far away. The technology can easily calculate the distance between the object and the person, size of the object, its relative place with other objects in the same surrounding.

Applications of Google Tango Technology

Tango creates a framework out of which the users and other technology experts can build innovative solutions. However, some key benefits (which are popular now) are addressed here. Google Tango makes the application of Augmented Technology much more innovative. The biggest advantage of Google Tango is its highly advanced sensors which use the cameras to detect the surroundings, and then position virtual items in the scene, in relation to the real time physical objects. The technology helps you to measure your surroundings with 3D tools and to re-imagine them with appliances, furniture and more. You can explore the places such as museums, stores, indoor locations with guidelines overlaid onto your surroundings. Another important application is in gaming sector. Tango provides intense gaming session to gamers and there are a few games already developed for Project Tango. For example Bullseye’s Playground is a game which essentially builds an entirely virtual 3D world modeled on a building’s physical layout. In the game, users are able to interact with virtual characters or can throw snowballs and various surprises on the way. Tango technology brings the virtual characters closer to you. In fact, the sensors are capable of making you feel as if you live with such virtual characters or objects which together provides you exceptional gaming experience.

Conclusion

Augmented Reality is a technology which is capable of changing how we perceive our world. Google tango is an advanced form of augmented technology where the virtual characters seem to be more realistic. In fact, the technology opens new possibilities with its advanced sensors and motion tracking capabilities. Tango devices can respond more intelligently to your surroundings. The technology has already reached the users with tablet development kit and Lenovo Phab2 Pro smartphone and more devices will reach users in future. Google Tango provides a framework where technology aspirants and enterprises can build their own innovative solution. So the company which directed the globe with ever time popular cutting edging technologies has already channelized the augmented reality into more productive realms.

A brand is said to be actualized, when it is known for a segment of a product or service. Such brands explore its maximum potential and open infinite possibilities to the products. We have the real time examples, like the brand name ‘Fridge’ is used for ‘Refrigerator products’ and the ‘Photostat’ is known in the name of the brand ‘Xerox’. A good brand name implies success and it provides a huge round of opportunities to the products/ service. The GIF sharing application - Giphy is approaching towards this goal. Giphy helps its users to search and share GIF across all the social channels. The company is planning to become synonymous with the format and to make people relate Giphy for GIF. The blog describes the essential features of Giphy and analyses its possibility of establishing its brand name with the digital format category itself.

Overview of Giphy Application

In February 2013, Alex Chung and Jace Cooke founded GIPHY. It is not from the solemn brainstorming session from which the app was evolved but the idea of the app generated out of a casual talk between the two, regarding the rising trends of visual communication. In the initial stages, the website of Giphy functioned solely as a search engine for GIFs. The application has attained a rapid growth and acquired abundant popularity in a short span of time. Till last year, the application was availble only on iOS, as an add-on for Facebook's Messenger app. Now Giphy is available on Android phones through its Giphy Cam app which allows the users to record GIFs, apply various filters and fades, as well as overlay text, and emoji.

How Giphy Works?

Communication in digital media seems to be becoming more precise and is evident through the immense popularity of GIFs, infographics, emojis, etc. Perhaps, an emoji is more effective in communicating feelings than the words. The various chat applications available in the smartphones make communication more economical. The Giphy app becomes more relevant in this scenario. The preeminent GIF repository, Giphy makes creation and sharing of GIF, smoother in both iOS and Android operating systems. Even though GIF is high-priced than emoji, it is more dynamic compared to the later. A huge database which consists of around 15000 GIFs is associated with Giphy app. The users of Giphy can search for GIF using the related keywords. These images can be copied and pasted into text messages and can share it on social media. The Giphy application is pretty basic in terms of functionality. Unlike other GIF applications, Giphy is free, but the price tag comes at the cost of space-saving tools such as compression, custom frame-rate settings, and cropping. Drag the capture selection over the video which you want to convert into GIF and hit the record button and the GIF file is created. Along with this, you can tag the GIF with friends or can share on any social networking website. The interesting thing is that all these can be achieved without leaving the program window. While creating the GIF files, the resulting file can be saved as MP4 too. The large count of words can be replaced by short and attractive GIF files, and it indeed saves your time and smoothen the communication.

Conclusion

The success of Giphy application happened in relation to the copious popularity it gained in a short period of time. The application of GIF is not only limited to personal chats but also becomes vital on a business perspective. Now individuals and businesses can create their own GIFs on the Giphy website and it helps artists with tools to create dynamic and effective GIF with footage and animation. Giphy explores the possibilities of GIF files and helps the users to apply it in various channels of communication. It includes text messages, emails, social networking platforms, messengers etc. The importance of GIF seems to be increasing, and thus it becomes crucial for the business. Since it is present in every mode of communication and popular among people, marketers can’t deny the innovative animated files. GIF files induce a call to action and are a better way to reach the mass audience instantly. In a world where communication is important and the time is limited, the short tools of communication such as emoji, infographics, and GIFs become imperative for business.

The great inventions happen out of severe problems. It is evident through the life of Tyler Skluzacek, who was an ordinary student in Minnesota till he invented the myBivy app. Now, he is very popular across the USA. His application helps people over the USA to overcome the horrifying disease called the ‘Night terror’. His father was an Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD and night terrors, and this has made Tyler make the app which provides relief to the people of USA. So what made the app popular over the USA? The blog unfolds the story of the brilliant student and his application called myBivy.

What Is Night Terror?

The disease which causes sleep disruption and almost similar to nightmare is known as Night Terror. Usually, night terrors happen in Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and during the periods of arousal from delta sleep. It is a far more dramatic presentation. For those who witness such patients experiences, it as an alarming situation.

The inconsolability of night terrors makes it similar to a panic attack. People who suffer from night terrors are described as “bolting upright" with their eyes wide open and a look of dread and terror on their faces. Often such patients scream and exhibit sweating, hasty breathing and rapid heart rate. In some cases, the patients appear to be thrashing on limbs and it includes punching, fleeing motions and swinging.

What makes myBivy popular in the US?

According to the study made by RAND Corporation, as of 2013, among 2.8 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 20% accounts for the disease PTSD. The main symptom of the disease is night terrors. This disorder is triggered through recurring traumatic thoughts and of emotional experiences.

According to a country, military forces and soldiers are important because they sacrifice their life for the country and people admire them as well. Many of the greatest technologies which revolutionised human lives were initially developed for war or as a support to the military. Tyler made the myBivy app for his father who was a soldier suffered from Night terrors. Since the early users of the app were soldiers, it gained abundant popularity in a short span of time. myBivy tracks user’s sleeping habits through heart rate and movement and predicts the night terrors. The pattern which is formulated by the app collects data during user’s sleep. When the night terror occurs, the app recognises it, and the watch or the android phone disrupts the condition and takes them out of deep sleep but keep them asleep. It involves a couple of week’s observation. The application is “Very data-driven, and it learns” which makes the app unique from others. The vibration which the smart watch creates helps the user to return to the normal sleep. In short, the app changes the course of the sleeper’s deep panic thought. The Kick-starter goal of myBivy was $1194 and in less than a week, they have 342 ‘backers’.

Conclusion

myBivy application was developed for soldiers since they suffer from severe PTSD. In fact, the reason behind the development of the app contributed to the popularity of the application. Adopting anything which was evolved from Military or defence sector into real life situation is part of a social trait. The Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans easily get attention among Americans. Since the first users of the app were the soldiers, it has grabbed more user attention. Along with this, a lot of people have identified the app as a solution for their disease. There are more victims of night terrors. Soldiers are not the only set of people, who suffer from Night Terrors; the disease creates sleeping difficulties for a lot of people. In fact, it has generated a favourable situation for myBivy.

When an infection affects more body parts, it is said to be stronger. There was a disease which affected our ‘palms’ years back and from the last two years, it is affecting our ‘wrist ‘too. What is the infection? Have any idea..? The infection is called the ‘fervour towards the android apps’. Even though the above statement is quite symbolic, it is exactly what has happened to Android applications.

In the last year alone, Google has launched 4000 new Android wear apps to play store to provide users more functionality out of their wearable. Android wearable apps are getting progressively better since the first version launched in two years back. Android wears are an extension of Android platforms. The powerful devices which worn on body possess useful information and provide that through spoken or typed questions and holds tools to reach fitness. The blog provides you information on the 8 Android smart watch apps which deliver a delighting experience to customers across the world.

Shazam

Shazam is an application which allows users to identify music, TV and media around them. The free application is best known for its music recognition capabilities. The application is not only available in android but also on iOS and windows devices. The app provides one-tap access to lyrics, video clips and related tracks along with the buying facility. The app reached more than 500 million users in 200 countries and is growing with over 13 million new users each month.

1Weather

1Weather is one of the best weather apps which have Android wear support. The app makes the user aware of weather conditions and weather forecast. With simple swipes or taps, the user gets the necessary information. It is useful for both serious and casual weather watchers. The features of the app include weather forecasts for up to 12 locations, precipitation forecast, access graphs, maps and informative weather videos.

IFTTT

The app helps the user to create connections between, Instagram, Gmail, Dropbox, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter and other devices like Fitbit, Nest Thermostat, etc. The free web-based service allows the users to create recipes (chains of simple conditional statements). The name ‘IFTTT‘is abbreviated form ‘If This Then That’.

Google Keep

The note taking service developed by Google is known as Google Keep. The app was launched on March 20, 2013, and is available not only for Android but also for the iOS mobile operating system. The features of the app include colour coding notes, list creation, geo-fencing, image inserting, shareable notes and search by colour. The user can search notes based on colour and can categorise it using labels.

Endomondo

The popular fitness platform allows the user to tag their hikes, cycles, runs and climbs in an easy manner. The application helps the user to track their fitness and health statistics with a mobile application and website. The app was launched in 2007 and it holds the vision of motivating people to lead healthier lives.

Wear Messenger

The app that allows you to send and receive text messages on android wear is known as Wear messenger. The app provides you conversations, one touch away, and using the app you can reply to a friend without accessing the phone from the pocket. The features of the app include emoji list, support for third party IMEs, 4 different keyboards, Touch One feature, etc.

Toggles Wear

The Toggles Wear application helps the users to control mobile toggles from Android Wear watch when it is difficult to access the phone from the pocket or is away from the user. With the help of Toggles wear, you can transfer the necessary switches to your wrist. It includes turning settings on and off, adjusting phone volume, checking battery life, mobile data check, etc.

Hole19

Hole19 is a mobile platform which allows golfers to plan & track their rounds of golf. It is also a social platform where golfers can connect with co-players as well as with the support of free GPS, Rangefinder & Digital Scorecard, the application always connects the user with the golf course. The app is available in 150 countries. Hole19 features include tea-time booking, performance optimisation, social networking, GPS Rangefinder, Scorecard, Agile development, user experience, etc.

Conclusion

Android smart watch apps can’t be considered as standalone applications. Most of the applications work as a support to people in performing actions with diverse functionalities. The apps act according to the situation. It may guide you to keep your fitness, remind you to attend a function, entertain you with music, help you to manage your phone and the list goes on. It is well routed with real life situations. Smartwatch apps enhance efficiency in both personal as well as professional life operations. In fact the position ‘the wrist’ makes such apps more convenient to use and has definitely contributed to the popularity of such app. When the most wanted device category, which serves diverse needs of people, clubbed with the user-friendly android, users are getting more delighting experience. We have changed the world with a single smartphone hold in our hands and now it seems the same revolution is expected to happen from our wrist where we wear our smart watches.

The search engine Giant Google is on its way to revolutionize the mobility world. Mobile platforms are ahead of desktop platforms in the total search over the internet with the support of its devices which are user-friendly and more aligned to people’s daily lives. As a part of the new mobile innovations, Google has started to give preferential rankings to websites which are optimized for mobile devices. The company has already deployed a test which analyzes the URL and reports whether the website is mobile friendly or not. Google gives importance to new initiatives and efforts which revolve around mobility, and it has started prioritizing websites based on its more mobile friendliness.

When mobile technology embraces all wings of technology, Google not only acts as a facilitator by merely indexing information over the internet but they have already published applications which are great in number. The company entranced to a “mobile first” organisation. The restructuring is also part of changing the revenue model, and the Adwords and its pay per click embraced the mobile platforms through the apps. The blog provides you insights on the impact of mobility on Google through presenting their top 5 new mobile applications.

Google Allo

Google Allo is a messaging application developed by Google. The application was announced at Google I/O on May 18, 2016, on and launched on September 21, 2016.

The app really amazes people by its unique features. It includes a feature such virtual Assistant and “smart reply” which allows users to reply back without even typing. The application is available for both android and iOS users.

Google Trips

Thus application from Google team is exclusively built for people who are passionate towards travelling. The app serves as a trip planner and a travel guide for anyone who is exploring the new places.

The app provides services which include ticket booking, reservation in hotels, editorial guides to more than 200 cities and also provides personalized recommendations based on the user’s Google history. The app even works offline and without an expensive international plan, you will be guided with maps and walking directions throughout your journey. Even though Google releases its applications with short gaps in between, there are years of efforts and preparation which the user may not be aware of. Google Trip is also not an exception; it is a culmination of more than two years of work.

Google Duo

Duo is a video chat mobile app from Google team which is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The app was announced at Google I/O on May 18, 2016, along with the instant messaging app Allo. The app was first launched in the US on August 16, 2016, and made available globally after few days.

The features of the app include 720 HD support for video calling, an end to end encryption, Google assistance support, easy calling option and automatic switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data. The app became the number one free app on Google Play within two days after the launch.

Google Play Books

The Kindle version of Google is termed as Google Play Book. The application provides the users an opportunity to read eBooks which include best sellers and classics. Of course, It seems that an application which facilitates reading is not that much exciting. Then, what makes Google Play Books special. There are some features which make the app unique from others. It includes a built-in dictionary, facility to sync your bookmarks across devices which help you to continue the reading without hindering the flow. Google Play is an active platform which offers millions of books as PDF, from which users can purchase and download their favourite eBooks. Also, those who are interested in publishing books can use the platform by uploading their eBooks to the store. So whether it is a reader or a writer, this Google application is an ideal platform.

Google Wallet with Automatic Transfer Facility

Technology has reduced the complexities associated with purchasing a product or service. Thanks to the modern age payment gateways. The Google Wallet is an example for this. The application lets the users store credit card, loyalty cards, debit cards and gift card on the phones to be used for online and in-store purchases. The card information is stored on secure cloud services and makes the purchase simple as you only have to tap your phone to an NFC terminal at the checkout, to complete the procedure.

Google demonstrated inertial version at a press conference on May 26, 2011. The first app was released in the US only on September 19, 2011. The updated version includes an Automatic transfer facility which supports automatic transfers to bank accounts. The new version allows the users to select a bank account or debit card for automatic transfers within the app or via the web. Google Wallet is an application which constantly adheres to change, by providing exciting features to users and is expected to delight the customer in future too.

Conclusion

Even the applications of Google provide different services; all addresses the basic need of the user. Whether it is travel based service, book reading platform or messaging application, all their apps are beneficial for day to day life. In fact, users are able to relate the apps with their real life scenarios which have contributed to the abundant popularity of Google applications. The drive behind the launch of apps which caters to a different set of experiences is the company’s adoption of changing mobile strategy. They have experimented, various categories of apps wisely on the mobile platforms with the right placement of the revenue structure through Adwords. What we are seeing is the pure mobile revolution, and Google seems to lead us from the front.

The influence of mobile technology is growing and new business opportunities are emerging as it embraces different industries. Even the “mobile-first” concept is changing into “mobile only”. The desktop applications are already behind the race and rather than going wider, it seems the technology and innovations are going deeper into the mobile platform. The blog provides you insights on the top 5 technologies which are expected to dominate the mobility world in 2016.

Mobile Device Management Software

Mobile Device Management software (MDM), one of the leading technologies, is anticipated to rule the mobility sector in 2016. MDM will be useful for enterprises which believe in existing software or enterprises which are planning to migrate into new systems which take advantage of different features such as consolidated functions, and better pricing. The demand for such solutions is increasing and Microsoft, SAP, Citrix etc are the pioneers and major providers of MDM software.

BYOD policies are getting more importance with the evolving MDM software. It generates a sense of creditability and security to the users. The major advantage of the devices which belongs to the BYOD category is that such devices help the employees to get connected with the resources of the organization anytime from anywhere. So it smoothens the communication between both the parties and attains productivity. The application of MDM is not confined to business but it also provides solutions which improve the personal life of people around the world.

Mobile Cloud Platforms

In Mobile cloud computing, the devices such as smartphones, cloud computing and tablets are well converged. The three unique possibilities are now clubbed together and provide something far better and because of this more enterprises are migrating to the mobile cloud platforms. The benefits of Mobile Cloud Platforms to businesses include reduced TCO and increased profits, greater app performance, better reliability and scalability, and accelerated development and deployment time. The cloud platforms help people to integrate cloud platform into their business without the need to install and maintain the infrastructure.

Threat management enhance

As mobility platforms are getting more importance, the threats associated with the technology are expected to increase. It includes malware, viruses, and intrusions. So organizations need to adopt defensive mechanisms as a solution against threats. Security becomes crucial especially when financial information or other confidential information is managed through mobile platforms. So as a remedy to this, organizations need to perform regular security checks at data, application, device and network levels. In this regard, the technical alliance with security solution providers will be a possible solution.

Increase in Mobile-Connected Smart Objects

The year 2016 is expected to see the emergence of more mobile connected smart objects and its application across the wide business spectrum. Such devices can be used as a diagnostic tool, remote control or a way to view and analyze the information collected by sensors. The marginalization of MDM software, valuation of EMM solutions are the anticipated changes in the coming years. The practice such as the balancing of user mobility and application of mobility from end to the end or from location to location are seemed to acquire more priorities. Other than depending on mobile-centric devices, the enterprises will also begin to tie into mobile-centric analytics and cloud-powered efficiencies. Mobilising or integrating smart devices for achieving total organizational effectiveness can’t be attained solely by the company. It requires partnerships with other companies and, after all, it is a collaborative effort.

Internet of Things

Industry experts and business professionals consider IoT as the future of the way businesses, governments, and consumers interact with the physical world. The world’s usage of internet related services also paves way for widespread popularity of Internet of Things. The trustworthy technology which is expected to revolutionize business operations in 2016 are:

  • Healthcare wearable which enables doctors and clinicians to monitor patients and their treatments.
  • Beacons for shopping malls or retail outlets.
  • The emergence of assortment tools.
  • Devices and sensors designed to empower agriculture and other industries.

Conclusion

Mobility in all its possibilities is expected to embrace organizations irrespective of the industry. For this reason, all the possible future trends in mobility are expected to evolve around enterprise operations. Either in the form of performance enhancement or as a threat management, in any case, the criteria of the emergence of a mobility technology is going to be enterprise-centric. More innovations are anticipated to happen, related to enterprise mobility and organizations which take a proactive stance on mobility solutions will yield good results such as happier employees, more profit, and increased security.

Apple is always a trending topic. Being the favorite topic of bloggers, it grabs great attention from the readers. As usual, a huge round of rumors were produced prior to the iOS launch. After much speculation, Apple has launched iOS 10 on June 13. The next generation operating system addresses iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, mentioned it as the biggest release ever for iOS users. The new version includes a lot of magical features to the users including redesigned lock screen, notifications with 3D touch, new widget screens, the new “raise to wake “ feature and so on. The new features helped all apple platforms and generated an impact on the entire iPhone application development activities. This blog discusses the top 10 reasons which make the user fall in love with iOS 10.

1. The Grand New Lock Screen

The lock screen of the new iOS 10 has exciting features. It includes the redesigned control centre, revamped notifications and widgets side panel. The usual 'Slide to unlock' feature is removed from iOS 10. The new iOS 10 lock screen comes with a much more dynamic look where the wallpaper will not be dimmed due to the incoming notifications. The new 'Raise to Wake' feature enables the user to see information on the screen without the need to touch ID home screen.

2. Home Screen

Even though the home screen of iOS 10 looks almost same to that of previous versions, there are some remarkable changes. Expanded 3D touch capabilities are one among them. If you touch on an app which has an accompanying widget, it pops up along with quick action options. New animations are added to the actions like open/close of apps and folders.

3. Smart Typing

The new iOS version provides you better typing experience with the implementation of artificial intelligence and context cues. Apple has brought Siri intelligence to the keyboard. The new feature gives you suggestions while typing. Quick type ensures user, a time-saving typing experience.

4. Photos

iOS 10 comes with much more exciting photo management features. The face and location detection features are added advantages. Along with this, the new 'memories' feature help you to create highlight reels based on location and people. Users get more personalised experience with photos, highlighting your memorable moments.

5. Maps

Like other features, iOS provides maps with more customised features. It includes extensions for developers. In iOS 10, map apps could directly integrate with other apps. So here the need to open multiple apps doesn't arise. An example is, with Open Table integration, users could book for dinner, can call Uber without leaving the map app.

6. Home App

The new home app makes all Home-connected products available in one central spot. The new app is available on iPhone and iPad, provides the user with quick access to favorite homeKit scenes and accessories. It facilitates control of several accessories at one place.

7. Apple Music

Apple music comes with major visual changes. It's quite good. If you add the lyrics for your favorite songs, you will get an online display for the songs while playing. The facility to have uninterrupted music play makes you hear songs even while taking live photos. The redefining of the apple music is purely based on the user requirements. Apple tried to improve the user experience even with insights on minute user habits.

8. Apple News

iOS 10 has given a cleaner and simpler look to apple news. The redefining is quite good. The interesting fact is that apple has added subscriptions in news. You will be informed with the latest news through the new 'Breaking News feature'. The paid subscriptions make you read articles from various publications. The widget is also available for the news app.

9. The Voice Transcription

The voice transcription is the key feature in apple phone app. You could have a glance at the voice mail without even listening to it. The new feature converts the voice to text and makes it easy to understand. What else you need during your busy schedules. It's quite amazing. Of course, you will not be provided with high grammatical text but it is enough for a quick glance.

10. Messaging

The new messaging app helps you to use rich links in messages. Same as in Slacks or Twitter, links can be included with precise of the article. Your friends will get the idea even without a click. Apple really understood what the user needs.

Apple always heads the users with innovative and exciting features. The new iOS 10 is not away from that. The new version can be summarised as redefined version of iOS 9. Nothing is new in iOS 10 but everything was presented in a different way. The grand new lock screen, raise to wake option, memories feature of photos, smart voice description were enough to prove this. Apple always starts their innovations from the user requirements and this time with iOS 10, they even went deeper.

Advance in the Internet technology has made it possible for the users to access the Internet from anywhere anytime from various mobile devices including smartphones, tablets. Keeping in mind the Internet usage of the new age users, enterprises today are introducing their mobile apps to talk to their customers. In today's market scenario, Mobile apps are not optional anymore. Businesses are looking at different technologies to design, create and develop mobile applications that would make it easier and simpler for their valued clients, and customers to engage and communicate with them.

The two most popular apps types that are commonly seen in the market today are the Native and Hybrid apps. Here we would be focusing on Native Apps, that too basically on the security aspects of native apps. However, before we delve deep into the subject matter, it's necessary to know what is meant by native apps.

What Is A Native Application

A Native application is a program that has been coded for a specific platform, that is either for Google's Android or Apple's iOS. A native app interacts with and also uses the features of the OS (operating system) as well as the other software that is installed on that platform.

Another advantage that a native application has over the hybrid app is that when a native application is developed for a specific device as well as its OS, the application has the advantage of using the latest technology available on these smart mobile devices. This includes global positioning system and camera.

The native app got its name because the developers created separate app version for each mobile device platform. Here the native app data can be stored either on the device or remotely.

Native apps are different from hybrid or alternative apps because it's designed and developed for a specific type of device or platform. For example, Android apps are mostly written in Java and similar languages, while iPhone, iPad apps are written in Objective-C or Swift.

When a native app is developed for a specific platform, the developers use the interface, development tools and standardized SDK (Software Development Kit) pertaining to that platform. This makes work easier for the developers of the native application.

Advantages Of Developing Native Apps

  • Native Apps offer the users the most reliable, quickest and very responsive experience.
  • The app can use the functionality of the devices in which its installed such as camera, microphone, swipe gestures, accelerometer, and compass.
  • Engagement with the users is simple and easier as the publishers make use of push notification to alert the users when a new piece of content is available.
  • Whether it's a Native or Hybrid app, security is a major concern.

Best Practices To Write Secure Native Apps For iOS And Android

Whatever be the platform, when it comes to the security even the native applications are vulnerable to the attacks. Some of the common security issues with native apps include the following

  • Insecure local data storage
  • reverse engineering
  • Data leaks
  • Weak SSL (Secure Socket layer) implementation
  • Code injections
  • Let's look at some of the security measures that you need to take care while coding for either iOS or Android Apps apart from the standard coding practices.
  • Avoid third party libraries as they are more vulnerable to attacks. The pre-compiled third-party libraries could be either encryption libraries, graphics libraries or ad libraries. Also never download library files from unknown and non-trusted parties. Instead, use the native SSL libraries specific to the OS.
  • To prevent man-in-the-middle attacks use pin certificates for encrypted communication as well as mutual authentication. The reason you cannot rely on root certificates is because new roots can be added and the app will become vulnerable to attacks.
  • It's wise to use mutual SSL authentication to verify the server connections to make certain that the application is communicating with the relevant server and not a man-in-the-middle.
  • An inter-app communication should be encrypted. Ensure to enable inter-app communication between apps that you trust.
  • Never store unencrypted files and also ensure that the encryption libraries are totally utilized.
  • Avoid using development tools as well as code from non-trusted vendors. Ensure to download development tools and core libraries only from Google or Apple's original download sites.
  • While compiling the application code, enable Position Independent Execution(PIE). This will reduce the possibility of malware from accessing the known memory locations.
  • It's not safe to copy a permission list from a generic app, therefore give permissions only for what you actually would be using in the app.
  • It's better to avoid embedding API keys into the app where it's used to access critical data. The reason is they can be copied from any jailbroken phone.
  • The developers also have to put a privacy policy the describes what the app, as well as the servers, do with the information. It's always better to review the privacy policy by the internal legal counsel and it should also be linked to the app store entry.
  • The native app should be analyzed using a reputed mobile application defense tools to verify the performance of the app before its release.

Native apps offer a user an amazing experience. To build a custom native app from the scratch can be very expensive. However, a reputable agency will be able to create a custom native app with all the required security features.

The impact of mobile devices on us, in the current scenario, is vast. Smartphones have almost become a part of our day to day life. We are living in an era where the involvement of virtual components over real world is very high. Now people not only interact with real-time objects but also with virtual objects. Amidst such a scenario, we can feel the relevance of smartphones. It acts as the inter phase between us and our operations or tasks. People now prefer the small screens rather than big ones. On this background, the importance of data visualization in mobile phones is very much high.

All the tasks which we perform on desktop applications or screens were now being done on small screens. Mobile app designers are now engaged in creating responsive designs for this purpose. The reduction in screen size is the main challenge over here. So to overcome these challenges certain practices can be followed. Below mentioned are the 5 best practices to do better data visualization on mobile devices.

1. Identify the User and Their Need

The first thing the mobile app designers need to consider is the type of audience and what data actually they need. The authors need to gather information on what type of data is needed for the audience. According to the requirement of data, the visualization has to be planned. For example, the way in which weather reports are mentioned differs from the representation of stock reports. The types of graphs, content alignment everything changes according to the purpose. The intention is to make the reader understand the information with minimal effort.

2. Make It Easy to Understand

The apps should be designed in such a way, that it enables the user to use the application without the need for reading any user manual. Here the mobile app designers have a great role. By using some visual elements such as colours, fonts, and textures cleverly, the user friendliness can be designed. So here, the data presenters and designers need to think from the point of view of a user.

3. Make Use of Unique Mobile Capabilities

Mobile phones have unique features compared to desktop applications. It includes the facility to shift in between portrait and landscape views. Here it will be useful in the case of diagrams or charts. For example portrait view will be suitable for bar charts with fewer data points and for line graphs, the landscape view is suitable. As most of the smartphones today have touchscreens, it gives the user the facility to zoom in and out the data displayed on the screen easily. So it provides a close look of data to the user.

4. Ensure Quality

Smartphones make the user access data anytime from anywhere. So the data is exposed to the user all the time. The output of data visualisation should be always packed with quality. The application developers, mobile app designers, authors all need to keep the same at the back of their mind as they plan the data visualisation for mobile app devices.

5. Should Be Adaptable

The data presentations are mainly done through the mobile apps. Mobile app designers need to focus on apps that are customizable and are respectively functional. Along with this, it should be adaptable to changing data requirements of the user. The app should be capable of handling any user related data effortlessly.

As we are in an era where small screens carry more importance than large screens, the data presentation across it, needed to be taken care of. The main medium of information when mobile phones are concerned are apps. So apps should be flexible enough to meet any user related data. Data visualization through mobile phones should be done in a simple and user-friendly manner with an eye on the quality of the output delivered.

Wikipedia describes Swift as a general purpose compiled and multi-paradigm programming language developed by Apple Inc, to develop codes for iOS, MacOS, WatchOS, TVOS, and Linux. The swift programming language was created using an approach that is both modern and is of ease of use to create software patterns, and enhance the performance of an application. Swift has several key features that make it a perfect programming language to replace Objective-C, and C Language to create embedded programs that are responsive, immersive and user-friendly applications on Apple platforms. Here are the following reasons why Apple App developers should consider using Swift.

Why Is Swift Fast Becoming Popular?

Simplified syntax and grammar- Swift is not built on “C” language; therefore, do not suffer the warts of Objective-C. Objective-C was built on C. To differentiate the types and keywords from that of C, @ symbol was used by the developers using Objective-C.

  • Swift dropped that legacy and therefore, it can unify all the keywords. Also, the programmer no longer has to end the codes using a semicolon in Swift. Similarly, parenthesis that is used to close the conditional expressions has been dropped.
  • Another notable feature of swift is that the method calls are no longer nest inside each other resulting in multiple brackets. In this new language, methods are a comma separated list of parameters enclosed in parentheses.
  • Swift is an expressive language where the codes resemble the English language making it easier to read. This makes it easier for those programmers who are familiar with the tools such as Java, JavaScript, C# and C++ to work with Swift.

Less bookkeeping and easier to maintain- Objective-C cannot evolve without the “C” language while Swift is independent of the “C” language. Therefore, there is no legacy to hold it back. Objective-C programmers have to maintain the two code files to enhance the efficiency of the executable app as well as to improve the build time.

  • The concept of the two code files is dropped in Swift.
  • The compilers Xcode as well as the LLVM have the ability to find out the dependencies and automatically perform the incremental builds. This has done away with the repetitive task of having a header file and an implementation file. In swift, you have only one single code file with an extension “. swift."
  • The file system in Objective-C means an additional task for the programmers. Also, you have to manually synchronize the comments and method names between the files using the standard convention. Whereas in Swift the compilers take care of everything, thereby lessening the burden of bookkeeping for the programmers.
  • Swift makes it possible for the programmers to concentrate more on improving the app logic and creating quality codes, comments and other features in a short time.

Easier to correct errors and safer- In Objective-C when you call a method with a pointer variable that’s not initialized, the expression/line of the code becomes a no-op. Though the code will not show errors, it can be a potential source of bugs. A no-operational expression may lead to unpredictable behavior and it will be difficult for the programmers to trace it out and rectify the error. This may lead to a delay in the completion of the project.

  • The advantage of using Swift is that the compiler will generate an error whenever the programmer writes a bad code.
  • In Swift, a short feedback loop is created that reduces the time that a programmer would spend on fixing the bugs that are related to the pointer logic.
  • In Objective-C, it’s the responsibility of the programmers to document, using comments as well as method-naming conventions, the behavior of the variable that is returned. On the other hand, the optional, as well as value types in Swift, will make it clear at the time of defining the method if a variable has a potential to be null or has a value.
  • To ensure a predictable behavior, if a variable of null type is defined, Swift triggers a runtime crash. Thus making the bug-fixing processes relatively easier. An important factor is the runtime crash will be highlighted on the line of the code that needs to be fixed. This means the error rectification will be faster.

Impeccable memory management possible with Swift- In Objective-C, Automatic Reference Counting(ARC) is available only within the object oriented code and Cocoa APIs. However, this support is not extended to the procedural C code and Core Graphics; and the developer has to manage the memory while working on the low-level as well as the core graphics APIs available on iOS. This leads to memory leakages.

  • On the other hand, Swift supports ARC across all the object-oriented codes as well as the procedures. There is no possibility of memory leaks in Swift as ARC manages the memory at the time of compilation, thereby solving the problem of memory management.
Swift is fast and powerful- From its conception, the Swift language was created to be fast. The codes written in this language are compatible with the latest hardware and gets most out of them.
  • The syntax, as well as the standard library, are tuned to ensure that the Swift codes functions well.
  • Swift is a successor to the languages C as well as Objective-C. Therefore, it includes the primitives of programming such as types, operators as well as the flow controls. It also has borrowed features such as protocols, classes, generic and so on, from the object-oriented language. These give the Cocoa as well as the Cocoa Touch developers the power and ease of programming that is a pre-requisite to create a superior quality app.

Swift Playgrounds- The interactive feature of Swift Playgrounds makes it possible for the programmers to spot test the codes without compiling huge chunks of codes. Playgrounds allow the programmers to visualize the data and quickly correct the errors as they move to the next stage of the development. This is an important highlight of this language.

  • Swift is an amazing language developed by Apple for meeting the requirements of the present day programmers who develop applications on iOS platform. It is a flexible language where you can create entirely new apps or implement a new functionality as well as features in your current apps.
  • Another interesting feature of this language is that codes written in Swift can co-exist with the existing Objective-C files in the same applications and the program will get the full access to the APIs of Objective-C, thus making it easy to adopt.

Overall Swift has many advantageous over Objective-C and would be the language of the future for the iOS application developers.

Security has become a top priority in most organizations. The need to manage as well as monitor the visitors at premises is need of the hour. The manual logging of the visitor’s entry and exit are being replaced by automated systems. These sophisticated systems compile relevant data about those who have visited the firm and allows real-time integration with security-related and access control systems. Another interesting capability of visitor's management system is the mobile functionality of the system. This feature gives the specific as well as the vital information regarding the visitors to the mobile security team.

Visitor Management System

The practice of receiving, processing as well as monitoring the visitors who come to your premises is known as visitor management. When you use a set of tools to perform the mentioned practices instead of a manual log book, it is known as visitor management systems.

Important Reasons Why You Need To Implement Visitor Management System

Times have changed- When the entrances to the office premises are not secure, the firms that operate in those buildings are vulnerable to industrial espionage, workplace violence, and global terrorism. By combining a visitor management software with physical barriers as well as a well-designed lobby, you are empowering your security personnel to let only the right people inside the premises.

Digital is better than paper when it comes to security- When you implement a sound visitor management software, it allows an audit trail that is easy to create as well as access. There is a possibility of security breaches occurring if the offices and commercial building rely on manual logging and reusable visitor badges. The reasons are information written in the logbook can be unclear, there are times the visitors do not sign out and forget to return their badges. Again, if the logbook falls into the hands of wrong doers, it can harm your business. Also, multiple visitors can be screened simultaneously if you use an automated system.

Office lobby is your first line of defense- This is the entrance through which the traffic flows into your inner offices. Therefore, it’s important to have implement visitor management system that is capable of accurately capturing your guests’ photos, signatures, business card or a valid identification information. It should also be capable of creating one-time-use guest’s badges that contain the visitors photo, host name, authorized accessible areas and the expiration time of the badges. An ideal feature is that this software should allow the employees who are expecting guests to register visitors online ahead of the time. The system should notify them either electronically or by telephone once the guest arrives. This makes the employees more accountable.

Other benefits- Apart from strengthening the security of your premises, integrating a good visitor management system can enhance your professional image, improve visitor service, makes it easier to arrange meetings and create attendee lists.

The following are the benefits of implementing a visitor management system.

How Can Visitor Management System Help You

  • Information Accuracy- There is a uniformity in recording the visitor information. This enables accuracy. Similarly, the scanner scans the business card or the driver's license that will enable the entry of correct data.
  • Reporting and Analyzing- All vital information regarding all visitors are stored in the database and this can be retrieved any time to analyze and create visitor activity reports. Analyzing these report will reveal the time-frame of the visit, whom he/she visited and the purpose of the visit and how often has he visited the office. This information is critical at the time of emergency or during security investigations.
  • Enables pre-registration- If an employee is expecting a visitor, he can enter their details of the visitor and as well as the expected time in the system. This will speed up the sign-in process.
  • Speedy sign-in process- A business card or driver's license reader shortens the process as well as the time for the sign-in. The scanner can collect all the required details from the business/driver's license in a jiffy.
  • Issuing one-time use photo badges- This is an important feature. The camera can capture the picture of the visitor and it can be printed and stuck onto the on-time use badge. At the time of a security emergency, the investigation team can compare the photos with those footages captured by the security cameras installed in the premises.
  • The system can recognize the returning visitor- Remember all the vital information regarding the visitors are stored in the system. This makes it easier for the returning visitors to sign in without many hassles as the system remember them. If a returning visitor has previous security issues, he can be stopped at the lobby itself, as the security department will be alerted in short notice.

Best Practices For Implementing A Visitor Management System In Your Facility

  • Install a user-friendly system - Your office guests interact with the visitor management software before meeting with you. Therefore, choose a user-friendly system to enhance the user experience. Choose a system with an easy to understand and use interface and also you should be able to customize as per your needs. Also, note that if you have a user-friendly system, it should take less than a minute for the guest to check-in.
  • Create a brand experience- Customize your visitor management system to relate with your brand. For instance, when you issue a one-time-use badge, ensure that it has your office logo and address. Create an experience that the visitors who walk into your facility can associate with your business.
  • Integrate a system that has a built-in camera- This is an essential feature- When the visitor gets his identification card scanned by the machine, there should be a provision to capture a clear picture of his. The printed badge should contain his details as well as his photo. This will give the visual information of all those visitors who visited your office on a given day.
  • Keep the kiosk where it is easily visible- This is important. Most businesses implement a visitor management system using a self-service kiosk. Therefore, place your kiosk in a location where it is easily noticeable by the visitors.
  • Ensure that your visitors check out before they leave- The visitor log should contain the check-in as well as the check-out time. An accurate visitor log ensures that the data of everyone who entered your premises is recorded at the time of entry as well as before they leave. This is essential when there is an emergency evacuation.
  • Analyze your visitor data- Last but not the least, make time to generate visitor reports and analyze your data. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your security. You can also keep track of your office operations. For instance, you can fix a time for the courier service or UPS to pick up the outgoing mails once a day instead of making multiple pickups in a day.
  • Enable automatic alerts and message forwarding- Integrate a system where the employee can pre-register the visitor details so he is alerted once the visitor arrives. In addition, customize a message forwarding system, so in case if an employee who was expecting a visitor is held up in a meeting and he forgets to cancel the appointments. In this case, someone in his place will be notified when the visitor shows up.

There is a gamut of visitor management systems available in the market today. You can choose from a basic package to a more advanced software that can be seamlessly integrated with options such as a biometric scanner, surveillance cameras and also a list of unwelcomed guests. An advanced software can also keep track of the guest, limit where they are allowed access, screen them against the information that is available with the security as well as control the length of their stay.

There is an age old proverb, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As in all trade, this is applicable to software development too. The Systems Development Life Cycle or the SDLC is the planning methodology that gives the structure to the application development from the beginning to end; ensures that the team of developers does not forget a single step in any phase of the project and the deadlines are met. There are close to six commonly used planning methodologies. Here we would be discussing the pros and cons of two popularly used methodologies- Waterfall and Scrum.

Waterfall Model: What it is

This was the first methodology that was introduced in the SLDC. It’s also known as the linear-sequential life cycle model. In this methodology, all the phases from requirement gathering and analysis, implementation, system design, testing, deployment to maintenance are done in a sequential manner. Also, only after the completion of one phase will the developers move to another phase.

This model is usually used for a small project where the project manager is sure that there are no uncertain requirements. Additionally, to know whether the project is moving on the right track, it's reviewed at the end of each phase, i.e. before moving onto the next phase and in this model, phases do not overlap. Also, note that in waterfall model the testing commences only after the completion of the project.

Pros Of Waterfall Model

Here are a few reasons why waterfall model is used in some projects.

  • Timely completion- Before the onset of the coding, the design as well as the functional requirements are agreed upon. Therefore, there is no probability of any surprises that can affect the budget or the timely completion of the project.
  • Transferring project knowledge is easier- Production documentation is written in tandem with the code development. Similarly, since the documentation is complete and is more than adequate, it ensures that there are no hassles in the knowledge transfer of the project even if one of the team members leaves in the midst of the project.
  • Structured process- Waterfall methodology is a highly structured process that has concrete milestones. This makes it possible for both the development firm as well as the client to keep track of the progress of the project.
  • Better user experience- This is possible for the simple reason that the necessary troubleshooting and resolutions are done prior to coding.

Cons Of Waterfall Model

  • Difficult to make changes once the life cycle of the project reaches the testing stage. The client has to define his requirements at the conceptual stage. Again if the client wants a say in the phase of the project, there is a possibility that project will not be completed on time. It will lead to client frustration. Remember, waterfall model features minimal client interaction.
  • Not a suitable model for complex, as well as the object-oriented project. It’s better to avoid this model for longer and ongoing projects.
  • Unsuitable for projects where there is the probability of changing the requirements are moderate to high.

When to use Waterfall Method.

  • It’s wise to use this model if client requirements are well defined at the conceptualization phase of the project. Also, if the project head is confident that he can give a good final product on time.
  • Waterfall methodology is used when a client gives a defined schedule and budget.
  • This methodology will be a success only if there is minimal involvement of the client in the development process.
  • Waterfall model works well if there is a high probability of team members being changed now and then or if there are too many members on the project.

Before delving into the pros and cons of Scrum model, you need to have a brief understanding of the agile model.

Agile Methodology.

The agile model uses an iterative approach where all the essential phases that are required for the completion of the project can be done simultaneously. The agile model has many different types of frameworks. However, all the frameworks have effectively the same empirical structure, where a task can be broken down into small planning cycles. It also takes into consideration that there is a possibility of the requirements, solutions, discipline and priorities evolving continuously. Scrum is one of the most preferred frameworks of Agile and it’s also the most popularly used methodology by the product developers today.

Scrum Model

Scrum is one of the many models of the agile framework. It’s used to manage, develop and complete projects that are both innovative as well as complex. This is the best methodology used product development where there the team has to come up with an innovative and creative approach to meet the unpredictable challenges of the client demand from time to time. Like other models, Scrum also has its set of pros and cons. However, let's understand the Scrum framework before moving to its pros and cons.

Scrum Framework

  • The client creates a wish list of the tasks that has to be given topmost priority in the project. That is the product owner shares a product backlog with the Scrum team.
  • The Scrum team understands and analyses the requirement during the sprint planning session and breaks down the task list into small chunks.
  • Using the analyses, the team makes a sprint backlog, a list of tasks/wish list, and also creates a plan to implement the same.
  • Then a schedule is set for every sprint.
  • The Scrum team along with the Scrum Master sits together to assess the work completed on day to day basis. This assessment helps to keep track of the progress of the project.
  • The Scrum Master calculates the remaining task in the sprint and graphs it to create a sprint burndown chart. He guides, keeps the team focused and motivated to ensure that the project is completed on time.
  • The client and the stakeholders review the progress at the end of each sprint.

In brief, a Scrum framework consists of the Client/Product owner, Scrum team and Scrum Master. Here are a few reasons why this framework is popular among the product developers.

Pros of Scrum

  • Saves time as well as money as regular sprint is held to review the task.
  • Involves the customer and stakeholders at each phase.
  • The best methodology to follow for large projects as it can be divided into smaller cycles.
  • It also works best for all fast-moving product developments.
  • Regular Scrum meetings let the team know where they stand, and how much more needs to be achieved in a given time frame.
  • Scrum takes feedback from product owner and stakeholders.
  • The individual effort of each and every team member is transparent and appreciated.
  • The developments are coded and tested during each phase. Offers maximum flexibility to make required changes at any stage.
Cons of Scrum
  • There can be a delay in the deliverables if there are no fixed deadlines.
  • This methodology requires a team of highly skilled, experienced and dedicated and committed team members. Else the completion of the project will suffer.
  • This methodology works best with small teams than a large team of developers. Adopting this methodology for a large team can be challenging.
  • The project is likely to suffer if any of the members leaves the project in the middle.
  • Daily sprint meet with the Scrum Master can be frustrating as it gobbles up a lot of time.
  • Implementing quality becomes tough unless the team is will to go through the aggressive testing process.

However, it goes without saying that with proper planning and by making the smart decision to include skilled and dedicated members the above-mentioned cons can be reduced to a large extent.

To sum up, when it comes down to deciding whether the Scrum method or Waterfall method is better, let’s say that each method has its own merits as well as pitfalls. Waterfall is best for projects where many changes are not likely to be made or where the client intervention is less. Scrum is a better option for smaller projects that requires changes to be made rapidly and there is a possibility of client intervention.

Let’s be straight forward; no professional iOS application development company is going to quote the price of an application out of the blue. Also, there is no such thing as a price list that can be cross-checked with to calculate the cost of a mobile app development. The price calculators that are available on the Internet are cheap marketing tactics.

A reputed and professional iOS app development firm usually charges on an hourly basis and most of the times these rates are also negotiable. The cost of making an application for iOS devices is calculated on the complexity of the product and the number of man hours that are required to complete the project. Mobile apps for iOS platform are broken down into three categories. They are as the following

  • 1. Simple Apps- The features of simple apps include only the basic functionality such as standard User Interface(UI)components, simple filters, a feed list and map markers. These apps may not require third-party Application Programming Integration(API) as well as backend development. The timeframe for developing a simple iOS application is less and the cost would also not be very high.
  • 2. Medium-Complex Applications- As the complexity increases, the time frame and the cost of the development also increases. An iOS app of medium complexity may include not only the basic functionality but also customized UI features, payment features, real-time chats, integration with APIs, handset as well as tablet adaptation and a simple backend server.
  • 3. Highly complex apps- Here not only the timeframe for developing the complex apps is more, but rates are also high as it requires the collaboration of highly skilled professionals. Highly complex apps have advanced functionality such as real-time synchronization, integration with third-party services, custom animations, complex backend development with several different types of database relationships and more.

The Factors That Influence The Cost Of iOS Application

There are several other factors apart from the development and the hourly rates that determine the cost of an iOS project. As measured by the Apple store on March 7, 2016, 79% of the Apple devices use the operating system iOS 9 while 16% use iOS 8 and 5% uses the earlier versions.

  • The iOS app development team- The number of members in the development is determined by the complexity of the project. The team can be either a basic or an extended team. A basic iOS development team consists of a project manager, a User Experience(UX) or User Interface designer, two developers, and a quality analyst engineer. A backend developer would also join the team if the product requires an API development.
  • Technical complexity- There can be umpteen number of attributes that add to the technical complexity of an iOS project. Some of the features that can increase the technical complexity include the following.
  • Third-party integration where the some of the functionalities of the app require being integrated with third-party frameworks, libraries as well as services. For instance, social media sharing capabilities can be integrated into the app using the social network APIs of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on.
  • The backend development to implement the business logic of the application. In brief, it’s an OS that provides APIs to ensure seamless exchange of data between the mobile application and a database.
  • The admin panel is the tool used to manage users, view statistics, content, and more. It’s better to develop a customized solution that is unique to the business needs as finding an admin template of superior quality and flexibility is not so easy.
  • Compatibility with various iOS devices- It’s a common practice of Apple to encourage its users to upgrade to its latest Operating System(OS). The reason is Apple deprecates some of its functionalities available previously in the older version of its OS. Therefore, developing an application that will function well on WatchOS, iPad, Apple TV, and iPhone is likely to be expensive to develop as each device has a unique user experience and interface. Even optimizing from iPad to iPhone devices or vice versa all requires relevant logic as well as a user interface to give a superior user experience in various states of the display.
  • Optimization of the Orientation - Optimizing landscape as well as portrait orientation for an iPhone app will increase the complexity of presenting the user interface and experience to the users. This, in turn, will lead to a hike in the cost.
  • Hardware- The older versions of iPhones have smaller screen size and slower processing capabilities compared to the latest version. Therefore, making the mobile app compatible with older versions can at times be a costly affair.

There are many good and efficient iOS app developers around the globe. however, ensure to choose a team who have the relevant experience in the domain that you wish to target your apps. The reason is they would have the expertise as well as the resources to complete your project on time. Choosing an expensive company will not always guarantee great results. Indeed, lower-priced companies too can give excellent results. Based on the geographic location companies charge different rates. It is good to outsource to a location that offers both cheap and high-quality expertise.

With the dramatic increase in smartphone sales and smartphones becoming more affordable, there are much more people on the Internet. It is estimated there would exist more than 10 billion devices on the Internet by the end of this year. Enterprises are looking to have their own mobile apps to generate more revenue, to capture real-time customer data, make the life of those employees on the field simpler and efficient, and also for publicity purposes. The mobile app industry is fast becoming very large. There are a plethora of entities offering mobile app development services. Therefore, it is imperative to select the right mobile app developer.

Here are the following questions that a small and mid-sized business should ask a prospective app developer before signing a contract with him or his firm. 1. Give me instances of mobile apps created by you?

Candidates should provide a listing of apps they created or played a significant role in creating along with links to them in BlackBerry App World, Apple's iOS App Store and Google Play, Google's Android app store. Then you can evaluate whether they possess the expertise and experience to create the kind mobile app you are seeking.

2. How will communication take place in the development cycle?

The app’s quality hinges on how lucidly and frequently one communicates your app design as well as functionality needs in the development cycle. Does the app coder prefer to talk face to face or through Skype, phone, email or instant message and how frequently? Does he prefer interacting by the project as well as task management software? How frequently he will give you status updates.

3. May I get the names of your clients?

There's no method to make out who actually created an app. Talking with candidate's clients is necessary to verify that the coders actually produced the apps they say they have been involved with. Evaluating references give a chance to inquire how results-oriented, reliable and responsive the candidates are.

Some candidates provide only favorable references. Visit the coder's LinkedIn profile to know if you happen to have any connections in common. In case you happen to, then speak to the common connections and inquire about the candidate's work ethic, capabilities as well as experience.

4. What type of Smartphone do you utilize?

This query tells how interested and savvies a coder is regarding specific mobile platforms. If a candidate is claiming that he can create an app for an iPhone, then he should possess an iPhone, he should be using the apps that he is developing and also using other folk's apps regularly. The same applies for BlackBerry as well as Android. 5. What type of novel features can you build?

Innovative as well as useful features are required to get consumer's attention. List down the features you want and evaluate the developer's capabilities.

6. Which entity will have ownership of the mobile app?

Usually, the entity paying for a mobile app will have ownership rights. You as well as the app developer should have a copyright assignment contract. The document should ensure confidentiality and assert that you have ownership rights of the app's source code, design as well as all the content.

7. The process by which the testing of the app is carried out?

Usually, the best method to test any app is to operate it on the type of mobile it will be put on. The coder should give a comprehensive description of how he carries out an extensive test to eliminate any bugs. If flaws are discovered what is the method by which the coder will resolve them and in how much time?

8. Will the developer submit the mobile app to app stores?

Subsequent to your final approval of the app, the final stage is for the candidate to submit it to an app store for permission to be traded there. The submission of an app is usually a lengthy, multi-step method that the candidate should know how to successfully go through.

9. What are the terms of payment?

Make a written document stating that you will pay the coder at an hourly rate or with a fixed sum. Most developers demand a single payment at the start. Others ask a sum at the start of a project with the balance to be paid at the time the app is fully developed. The simplest mobile apps don’t cost much. However, if you pay the developer on an hourly basis, you may spend much more. Complex mobile apps such as ones that have 3-D gaming or are database driven are much more expensive.

10. How will the app generate money?

In case, your main objective is to produce money from your app, the coder requires to know precisely how to include features that will help generate money. One can choose a pay-per-download revenue model asking for money based on the number of features your app has. If you want a free app to ensure the coder knows how to include in-app purchases, mobile display advertisements or charged subscription services.

You should be clear about your requirements regarding the mobile app. Research to shortlist mobile app developers. Take your time to evaluate their credentials before approaching them. Selecting the right mobile developer is key to having a quality app.

If we have missed out any relevant pointers, please share it in the comments sections of the blog.

Integration of mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with marketing automation is an unbeatable combination. Today's customers browse, compare and talk with their peers on the social channels to find about a particular brand before making a purchase. Once they decide to make a purchase, they do it while on the move using their mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. If they are satisfied with a product and a specific online marketplace, they would return again and again and also recommend the same to their peers. To ease the task of shopping, many online marketplaces have come up with their proprietary mobile applications.

Why mobile CRM matters

Mobile CRM systems have re-examined the process of sales and customer service. Though many mobile CRM solutions have integrated specific marketing tools as per the industry type, these systems have not been able to provide solutions that are required for implementing integrated marketing campaigns. It’s not an adequate tool for planning and organizing real-time marketing strategies to meet the current requirements of the competitive business world.

For creating foolproof marketing strategies, the marketers need complete information such as the contact info, likes and dislikes of a prospect right from the prospecting stage till he completes the cycle of purchase. The evaluation after the purchase process including the knowledge whether the customer is satisfied with the product/service is also critical data. To evaluate the data for marketing purposes seamlessly it is the necessary to merge CRM with marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a solution that is used in many B2B and B2C organizations to modernize their marketing processes. When a business implements marketing automation into its system, it makes the life of the marketers easier. Automating the process of marketing helps to streamline

  • lead generation
  • lead nurturing
  • lead scoring
  • segmentation
  • customer lifecycle marketing
  • cross-sell
  • up-sell
  • retention of customers
  • to measure the market ROI

The above mentioned processes need a

1. Centralized marketing database- This is where all the necessary information regarding the prospects and customer behavior as well as interactions are stored. Once the stored data is segmented, the marketing team can send a relevant marketing message to each customer.

2. Marketing engine to engage the prospects and customers- Marketing automation creates an environment to manage and automate the marketing processes as well as the conversations of the customers across various online and offline channels.

3. Analytics engine- Using the store data as well as the customer conversations, the marketing team can understand which marketing campaign worked and what didn't as well as the areas which require improvement.

Before delving into the benefits of integrating CRM with Marketing Automation, you need to understand the role of mobile marketing automation in delivering personal interaction in the virtual world.

Importance of Mobile Marketing Automation

A study by VB Insight, reveals that Mobile Marketing Automation (MMA) will deliver a cutting edge technology for businesses in the near future. Further the study revealed that the market for this technology is likely to double or even triple by the end of 2015. One of the reasons for the rise in the MMA is the way the consumers are using smartphones or similar mobile devices to leverage their day to day life.

Mobile Marketing Automation provides real-time analytics- Mobile marketing automation is the cherry on the cake for the present day marketers as it provides real-time data analytics at the individual user level. That is when a customer uses a mobile app of a brand, the location, buying patterns, behavior, mobile app usage, preferences, and more are triggered. These MMA triggers are used by the marketers to interact with customers to create a new level of personalized experience.

Help to design real-time marketing strategies- The study by VB Insights reveal that marketing automation vendors have realized the need to pair with CRM partner solutions that cater to the mobile device market. Integrated MMA systems help marketers chart out real-time customized marketing strategies for thousands of their potentials customers and clients for a personalized shopping experience.

Benefits of integrating Mobile CRM with Marketing Automation

Giving only hot leads to sales team- As per the reports of Marketing Sherpa, 67% of marketers send the non-processed leads directly to the sales team. Out of which 27% of the prospects can be called as a potential customer who is prepared to make a purchase. By integrating Mobile CRM with Marketing Automation, the marketing team needs to send only the "hottest" leads to the sales team. That is only the leads who are really ready to make a purchase is sent to the salespeople, who in turn will take them through the various stages of the sales funnel. Using mobile CRM integrated marketing automation systems one can send customized as well as personalized one-to-one messages to the leads as per the data entered in the system.

Increases the efficiency of the marketing team- When a marketing automation software is integrated with mobile CRM, you get an insight into the online interactions of a potential customer such as visit history,click and open rates and so on. For instance, page visit history will give the details of the time and number of times a customer clicks on the price list towards the end of the site visit, it’s the data that potential prospect is ready to make a purchase. In a mobile CRM integrated marketing automation system, the system awards suitable score points to the prospect and then passes on the lead data to the sales team without any delay.

Lead nurturing- As per the Forrester Research report, the companies that took advantage of CRM integrated marketing automation system showed an increase in lead nurturing of 50%. The research also reported a decrease in the expense of new lead acquisition by 33%.Marketers can make purchase cycle smooth, they can send customized promotional videos and emails to the leads. Therefore, the companies should consider implementing mobile CRM integrated marketing automation in their business system.

As a marketer, you should consider pairing mobile CRM with marketing automation to completely revolutionize the marketing endeavors, and to take the sales and return on investment (ROI) to the next best level. Individually, CRM and Marketing Automation are useful sales and marketing solutions. By integrating the two, the marketers have a truly formidable marketing tool at their disposal.

There is a major change happening in the digital payments space. As a number of digital payment technologies are maturing, the way in which payments are made will change as well. There is a migration from paper payments and plastic debit/credit card payments to digital payments. As more folk use digital payments, it's critical for enterprises to ensure the security of the online transactions. Organizations may use facial recognition and biometrics for addressing the security worries that users could have. The advantage of mobile wallets is that they cannot be stolen or misplaced. It is a significant technology advance in terms of carrying money around.

What is mobile POS?

A mobile POS is a wireless product that does the function of a conventional cash register. It refers to both the software and hardware utilized for payment. Mobile POS operate along with mobile wallets. The latter is the software on a wireless gadget that stores debit and/or credit card data and enables digital payments. For several enterprises, the objective is to leverage technology such as NFC (near field communication) to transform smartphones to mobile wallets.

Emergence of the digital payments market

The market for digital payments is promising, rising and big now. By the end of 2016, around 1 in 5 smartphones will utilize mobile payments. This is more than two-fold growth from 2015. As per sources, funding for digital payments startup was $3.8 billion last year. These figures demonstrate that investors in this space have faith on the progress and mass attraction that digital payments would have in the coming years.

A payment processing organization has predicted that digital Wallets will become the preferred payment method worldwide in the coming few years leaving debit as well as credit cards behind.

As per Worldpay, a payment processing organization $647 billion of customer payments to enterprises will be done via digital wallets in 2019 while $577 billion will be done via credit cards and $412 billion via debit cards. This means that credit and debit cards which make up two-thirds of total payments will account for half of total payments by 2019.

Many factors are responsible for this dramatic increase in mobile wallets. Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Wallet are among the popular digital wallets in the market today. They are expected to be standard on every smartphone gadget.

Increased deployment of POS systems

As the trend of digital payment increases, more retailers will deploy POS systems which accept mobile wallets. Organizations are likely to offer discounts, loyalty programs and more incentives to retain present digital payment users and appealing to new ones. As an increasing number of users realize the ease as well as the convenience of digital payments, the more possibility of sales rising.

Success of Starbucks and Paypal

Starbucks and Paypal are digital payment’s success stories. In the first quarter of this year, more than 21% of total American transactions for Starbucks were made utilizing the mobile apps. Starbucks has over 8 million mobile app payments per week which make up 16% of total transactions. Last year, Paypal's yearly mobile payment volume was $66 billion.

Progress in digital payment services through mobile POS has enabled digital payments more accessible to everybody. Organizations such as Square are letting retailers accept payments through mobile devices. Square's success has resulted in a transformation in payments at the POS. Yearly, Square is handling $15 billion in payments.

Big companies such as Google and Apple are participating in the development of the technology as banks debut mobile apps in order to retain clients. Digital wallets such as Yandex, Money, Qiqi, AliPay and PayPal let users place cash on their smartphones by entering card information to purchase online or in shops. This get rids of the requirement to enter long card numbers and other data for every purchase.

Technology organizations are trying to ensure client loyalty by incorporating their know-how into the latter's lifestyles. Hence, there are a number of technology organizations providing payment systems incorporated into mobile phones. Banks are striking partnerships with technology payments providers. Some traditional banks are debuting their own digital wallets to capitalize on the increasing number of users utilizing their smartphones for transactions.

As over 90% transactions happen in stores, in-store payments will lead to widespread adoption for mobile wallets. It is to be seen whether NFC or app/barcode-based payments will lead to a standard for in-store purchases.

Chief product officer at Worldpay, Kevin Dallas said the mushrooming of mobile apps had increased the standard for convenience and ease in payments. He added that with several payment options in the marketplace, customers and merchants were concerned about the need of multiple digital wallets.

The need for appealing to older customers

Younger customers have fewer worries when it comes to using new technologies. That's also the fact for mobile payments, where older customers have more security concerns. Eventually, mobile wallets will require a sound security track record to appeal to more users in all demographics.

As the world begins to adopt smartphones on a wider scale and customers start trusting mobile wallets, the future of digital payments looks bright.

Mobile CRM is a CRM solution designed for mobile tools such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile CRM lets employees utilize mobile gadgets to modify, access and interact with customer information from any geographical location and at any time. By linking via mobile CRM, the sales team can access customer information via a CRM mobile app or via a web-based browser with cloud CRM. Quality, mobile CRM solutions, let mobile users do everything that they could do with desktop CRMs. This type of app is fast gaining popularity as mobile penetration increases.

Why Enterprises Should Consider Adopting Mobile CRM?

Work anytime anywhere

A mobile CRM gives sales personnel immediate access to vital information such as goods recently purchased, account history and the latest pricing information. This will assist sales personnel to prepare as well as plan for a meeting or help to follow up with a prospect while on the move.

Earlier being out of office meant that no information could be accessed. With a mobile CRM, sales personnel can contact prospects even away from the office. Mobile CRM's help collect data at the source. Minimizing the number of steps between the collection of data and the original repository of data decreases the probability of not updating the CRM.

Rise in sales

Research shows that more sales personnel who work for organizations that use a mobile CRM reached their sales targets as compared to sales personnel who work for organizations that don’t use mobile CRM. By having access to all the needed information instantly, sales personnel don’t waste time. This lets the sales personnel focus on closing the sales.

Making the sales cycle shorter

One of the main benefits of having a mobile CRM is making the sales cycle shorter. Closing sales with lesser interactions give sales personnel more time to work on fresh opportunities thus boosting their earnings. As each business varies in terms of sales cycle and requirements, a mobile CRM should be customized to offer vital data on the spot that the sales team needs.

Quicker response time

When sales personnel are on the move or attending several meetings, a mobile CRM can be utilized to organize the data. The mobile CRM can be used to dispatch orders immediately after they are finalized instead of waiting till the sales person reaches office. The quicker an order is submitted, the quicker the final goods or service will be ready for delivery which results in lesser delivery times and more satisfied clients.

Management can pre-empt problems

An average prospect is not just a name and phone number. With the amount of data each sales person gathers, data overload can be too much for a sales team and adversely affect performance. People should have access only to the relevant information for efficiency and effectiveness. Senior managers can go through real time sales reports from sales persons on the move. They can set up alerts which come up when a deal is closed. Instead of monthly or quarterly reports, management can have real-time access to information and solve any problems before they crop up.

Calendar and contact features on the move

Having calendar and contact apps integrated into the CRM solution can save a considerable amount of time. If you have an upcoming meeting, you will receive a notification on your device along with contact information and CRM notes. There will be no requirement to attempt to navigate separate applications which can be a hassle on a mobile device. Mobile CRM eliminates the hassle.

Receive notifications

Instead of dispatching messages to team members, individuals can opt to be notified when certain actions occur in the CRM system. This is excellent for cross-department collaboration. The CRM solution lets each entity know about stuff that interests them irrespective of geographical location.

Fill in for unavailable staff

A mobile CRM cannot take up the place of a dedicated contact. However, it enables an organization to operate in the absence of staff. As information is already available in the database, another team member can utilize it to service customers effectively and efficiently.

Three things that you need to do before implementing Mobile CRM

  • Get internal approval The sales team will be the entity that will be utilizing the mobile CRM daily. User guides, as well as training programs, will help them learn how to use the application. It is also necessary to explain to the sales benefit the multiple benefits of using the mobile CRM.
  • Provide the gadget A great way to get the sales team to use a mobile CRM is to give the device pre-installed with the software. Make sure that the mobile devices are compatible with the latest version of the mobile CRM.
  • Impart superior training The more well versed the sales and marketing team is in using the mobile CRM, the more they can leverage its power and benefits. Make sure systematic and comprehensive training on using the software is given to all employees who are going to use it. Verify that they are adept at the software before using it in real-time.

By implementing mobile CRMs enterprises become more productive, effective as well as connected. Mobile CRM solutions are the future. As smartphones become more widespread and more powerful, better mobile CRMs can be crafted and implemented. Soon mobile CRM will be an essential and integral feature across multiple organizations.

The new buzz around town is about IoT. But what is IoT and what does it do exactly? IoT is expanded into Internet of Things, as most of you would know. But not many are aware of what IoT can do. Mobile applications are things that everyone knows about. They are those small packed files, which are designed to serve a purpose such as booking cabs or networking through your phone itself. Mobile applications have made life simpler and the world smaller. You can access anything and everything (except classified information) through just a few swipes and touches.

What is IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT), in brief is the connection of devices and people through the internet. A net is a connection of different things to form a large, tangled mass, and internet is just a derivative of it. Therefore, by Internet of Things, it refers to the ever growing network of physical objects connected via internet through the use of an IP address and the communication that takes place between the connected objects. The physical object may be a smart phone, a laptop, a desktop, a tab, or even the long forgotten pager. Wherever information is shared via Internet Protocol (better known as IP), it becomes a part of IoT.

IoT is not simply restricted to the devices mentioned above. It is like an extra hand to the already existing internet. It is the extension of internet based applications to devices in the external environment through the use of embedded technology. The scope of Internet of Things is as vast as the universe in itself. Interconnected security systems, televisions, thermostats, car GPS, etc. all fall into the scope of Internet of Things. Most security cameras, inbuilt with sensors, are a part of what IoT is capable of. Managing a system in the real world is when you will need IoT. It can be used to automate safety tasks at locations, which are too harmful to humans to intervene manually during an emergency.

The Future with IoT

IoT is the present, and IoT is the future too. Just like Tom Marvolo Riddle is the past, present, and future of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, IoT is in the real world. It is harmful when used by someone like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. If it is used for the good, it will be like the Harry Potter of the wizarding world. IoT has made people realize that this is the future.

If 12 billion connected devices from the IoT now surprises you, you will be taken aback by the fact it is expected to become 26 billion just in another 4 to 5 years. Such connectivity will be making the world a smaller place, and you can sit at one place and glimpse the whole world in HD, like as if you are just there.

The number of interconnected IP devices is predicted to burgeon to a value greater than 30 billion in another four years. IoT has already made up a significant part of us. Almost all devices that people use today are connected in this intricate web of IoT. These smart entities communicate with each other.

The Moment that Changed the World

IoT has changed the world like none else. It was after the invention of mobile applications that the possibility of connecting devices with the IP of the devices came into the picture. Once this idea was invented, it was a simple task of integrating it into many household devices that people use daily to form this network. Toys, home appliances, cars, gas pumps, etc. are a major part of IoT.

After the discovery of IoT, mobile application growth has increased exponentially. The growth of mobile applications has paved the way for an even more intricate web on the internet. Here are a few things that came about due to the mobile application and IoT integration.

  • Diversification of the Mobile Ecosystem: With the introduction of mobile application based systems on the internet, many huge companies have caught that as an opportunity to expand their markets globally through simple means. It has also formed a platform for developing and new companies to participate globally with other great companies. Many new companies have grown into big ones through this. You can develop globally just by sitting at home.
  • App Development Improvement: App development companies are facing stiff competition from new companies with fresh ideas. Putting them all out on a global platform means that they have to compete globally with the smallest companies and companies with the brightest ideas. Fresh ideas, newer minds, younger people, and better management have brought about an improvement in app development through IoT.
  • Has Brought about Greater for Connectivity: IoT, as discussed earlier, has made the world a smaller place by allowing connectivity throughout. This has brought about the need for connectivity even in the remotest of places. Therefore, IoT and mobiles together have made it possible to connect from anywhere to anywhere with just a phone in hand. Therefore, the need for connectivity throughout the world has increased just like the number of mobile phone users.

Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaas) is an easy and efficient process to build mobile as well as web applications. It permits you to connect easily applications to back end cloud storage and application programming interfaces (APIs) made public by business applications. MBaaS also is the best method to integrate functionality such as push notification services, user handling and linking with social networking services into the mobile app. Its services are supplied through the use of tailor-made software development kits(SDKs) as well as APIs. Though it is a relatively recent trend, it is widely being adopted across organizations.

How does MBaaS work

An app consists of two main parts

Client side (front end)- Client side is what the users views namely the user interface. Server side (back end) - Server side can be divided into two main parts. 1. Business logic of the app (business rules as well as workflows) 2. Data processing & management (file storage, users, etc.)

It is recommended to segregate the data processing code from the business logic. MBaaS makes it simpler to re-utilize data processing code. Thus, the latter becomes generic, can be packaged as a reusable component and can be utilized by any client-server application. So functions such as push notifications, geolocation services, file uploads and user logins could be identical and independent of what the application does.

Creating the business logic over the data processing component permits the app to utilize the data in the manner the client side of the application requires. It also makes it simpler to modify and maintain the business logic when you desire to make alterations to it without affecting the data processing and management layer.

To utilize the backend services, the client side app links through an API. Usually, you would utilize pre-packaged API formats for specific client types. Generally, these are packaged as native client libraries (known as Software Development Kits) for developers to use the backend APIs. By this, programmers can lessen the development process, make maintenance simpler and construct apps where server side code can be packaged and reutilized on other app projects.

Advantages of Developing Apps on MBaaS

There are many benefits of developing apps on MBaaS.

  • Saving of time and effort - Firstly, there is a large decrease in terms of time and effort to set up and maintain a customized backend permitting you to create apps faster compared to a scenario in which no MBaaS is utilized. Thus, developers can roll out apps faster.
  • Focus on important areas- App development can be focused on other areas instead of handling a cloud backend. This results in better quality of apps.
  • Low maintenance- There is lower maintenance expenditure as there is no backend installation to handle, maintain as well as upgrade as the app use increases.
  • Scaling is seamless - MBaaS provides a standardized backend. Hence, it is simpler to scale. Future apps are simpler and economical to maintain.
  • Good for analytics- As the MBaaS handles API traffic from and to your app, it is the ideal location to analyze what’s occurring within your app, which users are active and which users are most engaged.
  • Brings predictability into the app - Not only are app building costs inexpensive, operational costs are comparatively more predictable. This makes the planning of expenditure simpler and easier.

Role of MBaaS Solutions in Enterprise Agility

MBaaS solutions enable business agility by helping programmers to be more responsive to enterprise requirements. The following are the ways by which MBaaS solutions aid companies deliver enterprise agility.

1. Minimizing development expenses - A large quantity of development effort goes into the structure of a mobile app. This needs specialized programming knowledge that incudes comprehension of native data APIs. MBaaS abstracts the infrastructure so there is no need of programming knowledge and programming teams can slash costs.

2. Reaching market quicker - Majority of mobile applications utilize identical backend services. In the absence of MBaaS, programmers have to include all of these services into each mobile app they are developing. This platform gives one unified API as well as SDK to put into the application. This enables programmers to devote more time as well as effort on the GUI of the app and complete the app faster.

3. Joint app development - Certain MBaaS platforms have virtual collaboration features that let teams collaborate. Members of the team can collaborate on source code as well as shared APIs.

4. Real time availability of information - MBaaS solutions enable programmers to give mobile apps access to real-time information. Using an MBaaS solution, programmers can link to data repositories such as ERP and CRM databases without needing to shift or change them. The data is given to the mobile app via APIs or SDKs.

5. Building for several platforms - A large amount of work is needed to build backend services for mobile systems. In the absence of MBaaS, programmers have to build functionality to get into backend systems, produce push notifications and activate geolocation functionality in every platform. MBaaS supplies SDK for every platform that abstract most of the difficulty in handling the backend of mobile applications.

By minimizing backend application building effort, MBaaS solutions facilitate enterprise agility. Programmers can better deliver when it comes to frontend business features and functionality.

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