React Native App Development Part 1: A Beginners Guide to React Native Architecture

React Native App Development Part 1

Let’s take a look at one screen from an app that is purely React Native and ask ourselves what is the UI that we see here.

react native mobile app

Is this an HTML? Is this a webview like other implementations like PhoneGap or Cordova?

The answer is, without a doubt, No. The views in React Native are purely native views so from our app the navigation controller that you see here the top bar is UINavigationController. Now, if you are an iOS developer you would these are the same UI views that you use in your native apps.

react native FunctionIf I had shown you the same screen on Android, you would see that the implementation is completely different. It renders to the native views. If the UI is completely native with React Native, where is the JavaScript?

Where is the JavaScript?

JavaScript is what running under the hood. Where you as a developer specify the business logic and which components you want and then the framework renders it for you. To understand this better, let’s dive into React Native a little deeper and see the architecture from the inside.

Understanding React Native Architecture

Consider there are two realms running side by side in your app. You have the JavaScript realm and you have the native realm.

React Native Architecture

JavaScript Realm

The JavaScript realm is where you program in JavaScript, naturally. The code there is running on a JavaScript engine. Specifically in React Native it uses jscore, that is the open source JavaScript engine for WebKit. You are probably familiar with other engines like V8. They do the same things and this engine is running inside your app on one of the threads. Your app is a process that has several threads in it. JavaScript is just one of them.

Native Realm

In the native Realm, you still develop an objective C and Swift if you are on iOS or with Java if you are on Android. You use the native platform specific languages that you use before and you have the main UI thread as usual. In all platforms, you can usually change UI only from the main UI thread and you can create as many background threads as you want.

The Bridge

These two realms are different and connecting these two realms is the bridge. The React Native is a very important construct in this entire setup. Did you ever try to debug a React Native application using Chrome for example, so when you debug a React Native application using Chrome, then you have the two realms actually running on different computers. You can run the JavaScript role entirely inside Chrome itself.

You can debug it inside Chrome debugger and you have the native realm still running on your phone. Then instead of going inside your app, you would go through a WebSocket. The bridge, which is just a communication protocol, can travel over WebSocket as well.

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Will React Native mark the demise of Native App Development?

React Native Main Image

You can use your existing web development skills and can produce native iOS and Android app using those skills. It’s completely possible to utilize your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills to develop native Android and iOS apps.

I’m not talking about hybrid apps or just an app wrapper around a mobile website but actual native apps–pure, native apps that you design in iOS using Swift or in Android using Java or Kotlin. Thanks to React Native, native apps can now also be developed with common web technologies: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

If you still don’t believe me that these apps can be really be awesome. Take out your phone and have a look at one of these apps: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Skype, and Airbnb. They are developed in React Native.

Companies using react native

What is React Native?

Facebook was facing a lot of problems about redesigning their apps and everything. The problem was handling many users and rolling out new features. Facebook needed something more robust, fasts that can handle a lot of traffic as well as can be designed really quickly. The brilliant team at Facebook started working on a JavaScript library, which came to known as React.

The best part is React employs faster virtual DOM. Although React is a library, lightweight component can be injected anywhere. You can use react with PHP, MySQL, Firebase, MongoDB or any database system of your choice.

You must be wondering isn’t React for designing web applications? Consider React Native as the successor of ReactJS for mobile app development. All the things that you learned in React like components props, States, Redux, Modal, etc. are part of React Native as well.

The things that you learned in React can be applied in React Native in the same workflow. Components, props and states are all used in react native and thus you got your native application.

The dual advantage of React Native

In React Native unlike native Java and Swift codes, you don’t ever compile your app. You just reload it just like do you a website in a web browser.

Moreover, you don’t have to maintain two separate codebase for your application. For example, let’s say you are a business and I am application development company whom you have outsourced a mobile app project.

Of course, you want an app for both Android and iOS in addition to the web. It requires two teams one for each mobile platform: one team for Android application and one team for iOS application. Those you aren’t aware implementing the same, exact features in iOS and Android app require a lot of communication exchange between those teams: app features, deadline, delivery, client expectation and requirements, etc.

Performance vs. Native Code

React Native apps perform, more or less, like an app written in Native iOS code. A Medium user ran a few tests to compare its performance with the native code and found performance at par with an equivalent app in Swift, sometimes even better. The Medium article measured performance in three areas: CPU, GPU and Memory utilization at the run time.

In CPU usage the performance was similar although maps performed better in Swift.

CPU Usage

To calculate GPU performance, Native vs React Native, the author calculated frames per second (FPS) of the application under GPU load. Surprisingly, although by small margins, React Native outperformed Swift code by more 6.25 frames per second.

GPU Usage

For memory tests, the author concentrated on maps as the memory footprints of other features was negligible to figure out a contrast. Evidently, at the peak performance, React Native used a whopping 61.11 MiB less memory than Swift. While performing the task and recording the measurements, a spike in Memory usage was observed at the exact moment, he pressed the “Maps” tab, which prompted the MapView to find my current location and highlight it with a blue, pulsating dot.

Memory Usage

React Native is the smartest way to develop Mobile Apps

In the React Native, you just have to maintain a single codebase and that code will produce native Android app as well as iOS app. React Native is getting a lot of attention nowadays and people are loving how the things are shaping for React Native and the community is growing. You must be jumping on your couch. Finally, you can use cheaper web developers to design native Android and iOS app. You no more have to hire programmers or train them in Java, Kotlin, or Swift.

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Is this the end of Native App development?

No, there existed always side-by-side technologies. Some businesses prefer React Native while others prefer native codes in Kotlin or Swift. It’s always good to have many mobile technologies around to choose from. Desktop application developers always had a lot of programming languages and technologies to choose from and most of them are still here, going strong.

For example, there are still apps that are being developed in Ruby on Rails, Django, PHP as well as node.js. Technologies evolve as per the demand.

The biggest takeaway of React Native is now there are more options than ever. Developers can go with Android development using Java or maybe Kotlin. Likewise, they can go for iOS development using Swift. With React Native, they have one more option to native development. Not to mention, now everyday web developers can also be part of native app development party.

The Tremendous Growth and the Future

Nevertheless, React Native is growing at a tremendous pace and if the growth sustains, soon, we will find more React Native developers than those into Swift or Kotlin development. This development in mobile ecosystem will mark a huge shift from the traditional form of mobile development. The field will evolve to absorb React Native development or any similar emerging or upcoming technologies into mobile app development.

React Native Trends

Google Trends is a popular tool to understand people’s interest in a search term. When used to forecast people interest in technology or a mobile development technique in this context, it can tell which of them are growing which are plummeting.

React native Google trends

Source: Google Trends

Clearly, while React Native, as I said, has grown exponentially and iOS development has remained static, Android development has a seen a huge plunge. This made me think. Is the growth in React Native at the expense of Android development? It is too early to say but one thing is for sure: iOS development is here to stay while the future of Android because of React Native is in quite a disarray.

Android developers have a consistent complaint. They don’t earn as much as their iOS counterparts and the ROI is hard to come by. And the revenue gap is almost twice in a few demographics.

World wide app store revenue

Source: App Annie

Perhaps, app platforms find React Native as the answers to their Android development vows.

Blurring lines between Android, iOS and Web development

The popularity of React Native and similar JavaScript frameworks are blurring the lines between web and mobile app developers. For the first in the history of mobile development, a developer can say I don’t want to learn Java or Objective C and still can build a mobile app.

For businesses looking to develop mobile apps, React Native brings a sea of opportunities. They can target both the mobile platforms at the fraction of the cost. As businesses prefer iOS to Android for the reason I mentioned, React Native will give a new lease of life to Android development.

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Android Pie: What’s in there for Developers

Android Pie 9

Android 9 or P will be called simply Android Pie. Google launched the 9th iteration of Android after more than an year of testing by early adopters. Android Pie is high on machine learning that is your phone will become smarter with time.

For developers, Android Pie gives you new ways to drive engagements and enhance your apps. So let’s look at what Android Pie brings for Android app developers. As I said, the highlight of this year’s Android release is machine learning. Machine learning makes the smartphone faster, long lasting, and easy to use.

  • Adaptive Battery

Adaptive Battery

Source: Google Blogs

To save battery, Android Pie will restrict background activity of rarely used apps. If you’re a developer, make sure your app is optimized for Doze, App Standby, and Background Limits or adaptive battery will inhibit your app’s activities when the user will upgrade to Android Pie.

  • Slices

Slices

With Slices, you can enable UI templates that will display outside your app’s full screen experience. User can interact with these rich, dynamic elements belonging to your app from outside it like Google Search app.

  • Content Awareness

Content Awareness

Developers can take advantage of the TextClassifiermodels which revolves around TextClassifier API. The model via Linkify API lets developers enable augmented options for quick follow-on user actions.

The machine learning model can identify object like Dates and Flight Numbers.

  • ‘Notch’ is Supported

Notch is supported

Android Pie officially supports notched displays now. The display cutout APIs contemplates the place, size and shape of the ‘notch’ and request full-screen layout around it. A developer Option simulates several cutout shapes to shape apps around them.

  • Smart Replies

The new MessagingStyle API displays conversations, adds photographs and stickers, and suggests smart replies. Developers can use ML Kit to enable smart replies on their app.

  • Text Magnifier

Android app developers can enable magnifier for all the view options. The Magnifier widget can zoom any view or surface, not mere text.

  • Biometric Methods

Biometric Methods

Developers no more have to build their own dialog for an app. Android Pie introduces BiometricPrompt API that has a stock system dialog. The API at this moment supports Fingerprint, Face and Iris authentication.

  • Android Protected Confirmation

Android 9 introduces Android Protected Confirmation to ensure that a prompt is indeed confirmed by the user and happened in a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). The app can only verify prompt when TEE does.

This will keep the apps safe from false prompts that mimic system prompts.

  • StrongBox

StrongBox is the new KeyStore type that provides API support for devices that have secure, dedicated hardware to store keys. Keys should be protected by a StrongBox security chip in your KeyGenParameterSpec.

  • Default SSL

To raise user’s security, all the traffic to and fro from your app and application server will happen over a secure connection. Android Pie will block by default all exchanges between cleartext traffic.

  • More permissions

Android Pie will restrict idle apps to gain access to mic, camera and other sensors. Moreover, developers will now need READ_PHONE_STATE permission too to access build.serial. Android app developers can use Build.getSerial() method.

  • Multi-camera API

Multi-camera API

Android Pie natively supports more one streams of open camera in an app for the devices that support multi-camera API and have two or more camera setup. You enable features like loss less zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision.

  • HEIF and HDR VP9 image encoding

Android Pie support HDR VP9 Profile 2 on HDR capable devices. In addition, it adds HEIF image encoding. HEIF format compresses image without loss in quality. Developers can use ImageDecode for jpeg-to-heic conversion.

  • Dynamics Processing API

With the API, developers can filter out certain sound frequencies when a user plays audio from their app. If a person is speaking in loud environment, the API can filter out the noise.

  • ImageDecoder API

The API makes it easier to decode images to bitmaps or drawables. Apps can create bitmaps from URI, byte buffer and file.

  • Indoor positioning

Indoor positioning

Android developers with Android Pie can build indoor positioning support in their apps with native support for Wi-Fi Round-Trip-Time (RTT). If the hardware is present on the device, they can use RTT APIs to find relative distance from an absolute Wi-Fi Access Point.

  • Open Mobile API

Google brings GlobalPlatform Open Mobile API to Android Pie. Android app developers can now enable apps to use the OMAPI API to access secure elements (SE) to enable smart-card payments and other secure services.

  • Optimizations around Kotlin

Android Pie brings several compiler optimizations to Kotlin, especially those that target loops, to extract better performance.

A Modern Android

As part of Android 9 we are modernizing the foundations of Android and the apps that run on it, as part of our deep, sustained investments in security, performance, and stability.

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How Personalized App Experience Around AI will Shape Mobile App Development?

AI and Mobile App Development

The speaker orders Google Assistant to book him a hair-cutting appointment. Google Assistant places a call to a nearby salon. The reception picks the call. Google Assistant talked its way out with the receptionist and in a very human manner asked it to book an appointment, which she obediently did. All this happened during Google’s annual keynote event I/O 2018 in the front of thousands of people and the speaker was none another than Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. This was the first time in the history of humankind we witnessed an active conversation with a human and machine. To Google’s perfection, it didn’t feel like one. Google Assistant passed Turing Test with flying colors because the receptionist had no idea she’s was talking to a robot.

Google_Assistant

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, gives abilities to machines we thought only living beings are capable of. With intelligence, machines can self-train themselves to learn new thing very much like humans do by seeing, listening, talking, and observing others.

Today’s portable devices such as smartphones and tablets sport more sensors than any other computing device. They not only can see and hear. They can catch variation in temperatures, tell orientation with the ground, and even calculate real-time speed and humidity of the device. But sensors alone aren’t enough for AI.

AI capabilities need insane amount of processing power. One such capability is Natural language understanding (NLU). Another one is intelligent routing in content delivery network. There is a reason these battery-operated devices are always connected to the internet and draw high on cloud computing.

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AI in Mobile App Development and NLU

A mobile app is nothing but an assemblage of services borrowed from various service providers by means of APIs packed inside a native software package. Third party APIs give capabilities to applications to fetch weather information, status of a stock, make payment at an ecommerce websites, etc. on a user’s requests.

In a similar way, AI capabilities can be added with third party APIs to an app, particularly Natural language understanding (NLU). There are many such APIs available to enable this functionality in your app. For mobile devices running on Android and iOS, Actions for the Google Assistant and SiriKit are the most popular.

google-vs-siri

With close integration of Siri and Google Assistant with iOS and Android, they are the perfect candidates to bring AI capabilities in our everyday apps.

App Integration: Intent, Action, Fulfillment

With AI becoming an integral of the app ecosystem, future user interaction will revolve around three things:

  • Intent: A goal or task that users want to do such as ordering coffee or finding a piece of music.
  • Action: An interaction you build for the Assistant or Siri that supports a specific intent and has a corresponding fulfillment that processes the intent.
  • Fulfillment: A service, app, feed, conversation, or other logic that handles an intent and carries out the corresponding Action.

If you want to order a cup of coffee from your phone, you have to open the coffee-ordering app, select the coffee you want, add toppings, and make payment. Too long a process? This is the way we do things now with our smartphones.

With AI integration such as SiriKit, every of your mobile interactions will revolve around three things: intent, action, fulfillment. The user just has to clear his intent.The phone will take care of the rest. It will interact with the necessary apps, make payment, and even share your location. Gone are the days, when you have to install tens of hundreds of app on your phone.

So when you have to order a burger, fries, and book a cab, just tell your phone and it’ll take care of the rest. You’ll soon receive your food and ride.

Delivering Personalized Experience with AI

A user can express his intent to a smartphone in two ways: text and speech. However, there is more to AI than just giving users’ intent a direction. What about personalized experience? The purpose of apps is to provide a personalized experience to each user. Let’s take an example; you use maps in the morning to check traffic status and Facebook before going to bed. As an AI program can train itself with the data available, it will get better with time. It will get better at predicting your behavior. The OS will suggest different apps at different point of time. In the morning, it will suggest maps, and during bedtime, Facebook.

Lock Screen Apps

Suggesting apps is one thing delivering personalized experience is another. To understand, how important is AI to app experience. How it will shape the future of mobile app development. Let me give you an example:

James uses his favorite food delivery app to order lunch every day. Every day 30 minutes before the lunchtime, he picks his phone, opens the food delivery app and chooses a restaurant and an item on it menu, pays for it and wait for the food to get delivered. This takes every day 10 minutes of his time.

Another app comes in the market. It’s very similar to the one James has on in his phone; expect this one is integrated with an AI engine. Think of it a future version of Siri. James tired of doing the same thing every time he has to order his lunch,gave this new app a try.

It looked the same for the first ten days, except a few cosmetic changes. However, the app learned James’s too many preferences in those 10 days: James have chicken on Saturdays and salad on Mondays. He tries burger and pizza on Wednesday and Tuesdays. On Friday, he often orders fish and chips. He orders fish and chips from Johnny’s Diner, pizza from PizzaHut and Burger from White Castle.

It was Wednesday and an hour before his lunch he receives a system notification generated by the AI system: “Order Pizza from Pizza Hut?” A similar notification pops up, “50% discount on American Style Pizza at Pizza Hut. “James clicks the other notification and soon an American pizza was on his way.

This is the kind of personal experience we want to receive from the apps we use.

Final Words

AI will reshape the way we interact with apps. Time will come when platforms like Google Assistant and Siri will replace the OS to become the center of a user’s phone experience. The AI engine inside them will deliver the whole flow from action to fulfillment upon a user’s ‘intent’. The AI engine will interact with the apps, system, server, payment gateways, etc.

In a near future, when you are lying on your bed, the phone in your pocket will check if you’re well or not by monitoring your vital health statistics. If you’re ill, it will take a doctor’s appointment, share your medical info with the doctor, call a cab on the day of appointment, note down your prescription, order medicines … Welcome to the future.

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How to Determine the Target Audience of Your Mobile App

Target Audience of Your Mobile App

One of the biggest mistakes made in app development world is putting the technical details first and neglecting the target customer base. Coming up with a unique idea is just not enough to climb the ladder of success; you will have to create an app that delivers value for the target group of people. It is crucial to define target market so that you can know whether they will use the app and can even identify if there’s a demand for the type of mobile app you’re developing.

By figuring out the target audience for your app, you can:-

  • Develop features as the per user preferences
  • Plan strategies for the marketing campaign
  • Use the best monetization techniques

But, how would you identify the right target audience for your mobile app? Let’s dive-in deep to know more…

General Understanding

Knowing target audience is the first step of mobile app development process. For instance, if you are planning to develop a food delivery mobile app in New York, one can assume that your target audience will be the one who is living in New York. In –case, if you are unable to decide on who is your end-customer, you need to work on your app concept to come up with the refined target audience.

Secondary Research

Secondary research includes in-depth analysis of the industry, competitors and actual customers.  For instance, food delivery app, it would be boon for the people who are busy working late-nights or get back home late. You can even focus on how often people order from your app, what are the common items they generally buy, which factor is driving them to buy – new products, discounts, reviews etc. and you must keep an eye intact on competitor’s audience.

Understand buyer’s demography, behavior and lifestyle

You need to know the nitty-gritty of your ideal customers! The more granular you can get with the information, the better you can know the buyer’s persona. Look at the traits such as:

  • Demographics: This information can include gender, age, location and culture. This becomes very important if you are looking to develop food app, travel app, restaurant app or lifestyle app. The demographic information will help in determining the specific group of audience who will be interested in using your mobile app
  • Psychographics: This information goes beyond demographics and identifies more about customer’s psychology, interests, values, attitudes, behaviors and much more. The psychographic information will help you to know the reason for using your mobile app
  • Technographic Segmentation: This information is related to the devices! The number of customers engaging with your product via mobile device, type of device – smart-phone, feature phone, tablet, brand, version, model and other technical attributes. The technographic information will help you to learn where to reach your different audience and on what device.

The above-mentioned information is essential in basic profiling of your customer…

Conduct surveys

You can conduct surveys by directly interacting with the target audience and asking about their preferences. However, there are different ways of conducting the survey.

  • Combining survey and interactive prototype where an interactive prototype is created to draw traffic to your app and survey is done to know the likes and dislikes of the customers
  • Combining mobile MVP with the actual feedback; Opt for this, if you have gathered information about your target audience. You can develop an app with sufficient features and gather feedback from various groups and communities.

Use marketing strategies

  • Focus on the groups to know what users look for
  • Take up social media platforms to promote your app idea just to know what audience think about your product

By using effective marketing strategies, you can gather deep insights about your app’s target audience.

Research competitor’s app

Apart from figuring out the behavior of the customer, closely monitoring competitor’s app will help you to know what they are doing right and their weaknesses. Check out features and designs that are missing in your app and peep through the review to know what people are saying. Make a note of positive and negative reviews; check out what users say about the app speed and performance. With all this insights, you can develop an app which is more in line with the preferences of your target audience.

Wrapping it up…

Now, you may have clear idea for whom you’re developing your app for, what are the opportunities and how your app can fill the gap and gain popularity on app stores. Doing thorough research and developing effective strategies can help to know your potential customers and can aid in getting ahead of the competition.

Would you like to know more about how to define the right target audience for your app to open up countless opportunities? Connect with our experts to know how TOPS Infosolutions can help to get you an edge over your competitors.

Mobile App Development Process – Steps to Create Successful Mobile Application

Mobile App Development Process

In 2022, nearly 258.2 billion smart-phone applications will be downloaded and the worldwide revenue generated by the mobile app industry is also expected to witness huge jump – from an already impressive $45 billion in 2016 to a staggering $80.6 billion by 2020.

Mobile app ecosystem is crowded with the apps for all needs; each day, thousands of apps are getting developed and published on app store and play store, but only few app gets to the top position. Although, developing a useful mobile app is easier but developing an app by considering each step of the development cycle is something that can give you success. When it comes to mobile app development, every step is important; cutting the corners may affect the sustainability of the final product.

Below-mentioned steps will help you to focus on each task, while not missing the key aspects of mobile app development process.

Step 1: Market Research

When you think of developing an app, it is important to do the basic groundwork for the app. You should research about the target market, target audience, competitor analysis before beginning the development process. You may think that your idea is great, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit in the current market trends. If your idea already exists, research on what unique things you can add to attract user’s attention. Behind every thought in developing an app, keep the end user in mind and do extensive research on the following question…

  • What problem your app will solve?
  • Will this feature benefit the user?
  • What you want your app to do

Define your budget and do the detailed survey in the early stages for the smoother development process.

Step 2: Wire Framing

Once you are done with the thorough market research, the next phase of developing a mobile app is preparing the detailed scope of the work. Develop a wireframe of your app and draw detailed sketches of the envisioned product that can help you to check usability issues. Wire framing includes details on the platform, features, feasibility and specifications and ensures that mobile app development process is in sync with your requirements. Take the feedback from the industry experts and figure out the loopholes because at this stage changes can be easily incorporated. Now, you will have a clear understanding of how your ideas will combine together into a functional app.

Step 3: Technical Feasibility Assessment

Having a visual understanding of the app is just not enough, you need to check out whether the backend systems will support the app functionality or not. To know it, you need to get access to the public data by sourcing public APIs. Moreover, an app will have different requirements depending on the platform like iOS, Android etc and the device like smart phone, tablet, wearables etc. You may need to alter the wireframe if there are any technical limitations during technical feasibility assessment.

Step 4: Design

To make your app look great, you need to know the features and outcomes to deliver great user experience. You can create multiple variations of a screen by playing around with the layout, navigation buttons, graphics, colors, styling, fonts and other visual elements.  Your goal must be to develop aesthetically pleasing app enough to attract the target audience. The team must consider all the parameters necessary including functionality, design concepts, budget, timeline etc. to create engaging user interface. Developing static mockups will provide you a clear idea of how your app will look like and how the user will navigate through the app.

Step 5: App Development

As the development progresses, the app passes through couple of phases:

  • Alpha phase: In this phase, only the core functionality of the app is presented which is error-prone and not tested
  • Beta phase: In this phase, the app is lightly tested and bugs are solved and most of the proposed functionality is integrated

Agile and Scrum development approach is preferable as it provides collaboration, transparency and rapid iteration benefits which can adapt to the changes easily. During this stage, it is vital to consider multiple factors like multitasking, form factor, device and OS fragmentation. It’s of no use to incorporate the features that are not compatible with the majority of the smart phones.

Step 6: Testing

After developing the app, it is crucial to test the app to find out the bugs in the application. This is all about putting the plan into action and coming up with the first iteration of your developed app. The app is tested for usability, compatibility, security, interface checks, stress and performance to ensure it is bug-free and that users are comfortable with the interface. In User Acceptance Testing (UAT), you would get a clear idea whether your mobile app worked for the intended users or not. If the feedback calls for the major changes, you need to repeat the process right from the wire framing till the app becomes bug free.

Step 7: Deployment & Maintenance

Finally, your app is developed, tested and ready to launch! Understand the norms of publishing the app on App stores. App stores have specific quality standards and security requirements for publishing an app. For different categories the policies of submitting an app are different.

The release of the app on the App stores is not the end. The app required regular updates and there’s always room for improvements and enhancements. Working regularly with your development team, you’ll be able to keep your app up-to-date and maintain its relevancy with the changing times.

Conclusion

Every app is different from another in one or the other way. But the step involved in mobile app development process remains consistent as mentioned above. To make your app successful, you need to follow each step carefully. The process of mobile app development is never ending process; you need to update your app and launch a newer version as and when the trend changes. When users start using your app, you will get reviews about how much satisfied/unsatisfied your customers are. Seeing their feedback, you need to incorporate features in the next versions of the app.

Looking for an experienced mobile app development company who can create your app from scratch or help you in one or more of these steps? We’re just a click away.

Emerging Technologies: The Future of Real Estate Industry

Real Estate

“There is no substitute for innovation. Original and Revolutionary idea will always rise on top”- Richard Branson

Looking at the current scenario, real estate business is cluttered with too much of services under one roof with no transaction transparency and uniqueness. When searching for a property, potential buyers have to meet the realtors, view property and at last, discuss about pricing. Moreover, the chances of fraud are always at its peak.

How can we overcome these challenges?

With the increased mobile penetration in the daily lives of people, businesses can operate from anywhere. Mobile apps  as well as web apps enables real estate business to view and showcase the property on the smart device and also provides easy access to check space details, appointments, reports, tracking of leads etc.

Adapting the emerging technologies is becoming imperative and helps the real estate industry to hit the mark. Let’s run down through the emerging technologies that can help realtors.

Chatbots

As the digital world is growing, customers expect impromptu interaction with the right information at a regular interval of time. Realtors may struggle to meet this need! But thanks to the Chatbot, they can provide right information anytime. Customers generally turn to internet for buying and selling houses but feel reluctant to fill the registration form. However, they may be ready to talk with the person who is sitting at the backend (chat bots). Chat bots interacts with the customer by making use of internal and external databases to offer personalized interactions and provide specific data to each prospect; resulting into higher lead conversions.  By automating the initial conversations between agents and prospects, Chabot can surely be an effective and efficient tool in engaging visitors and higher lead conversions. If used in a right way, they can be a key part of realtor’s marketing approach lead conversion.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain has the ability to transform real estate industry through recording and combining transactions into decentralized secure ledger system. It creates block of transactions that are linked and secured using cryptography that no party has control of. In present situation, the transactions in real estate sector are non-transparent and take place through brokers, lawyers, and inspectors and so on. This involves high risk. To avoid this, Blockchain technology can be used where anyone can record information, without being censored or without needing any permission. Moreover, Blockchain technology cuts off third party cost; to prove authenticity, the seller can legitimately transfer the ownership to the buyer without having to pay for third-party verification. This technology can also be helpful in creating smart contracts, where seller can get away from slow loan process by creating a digital id. And by doing so, transfer of ownership would become seamless and much quicker. These smart contracts are permanently stored on Blockchain and become irreversible and unalterable.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be used in predictive analysis where, real estate investors can set the growth goals and have them monitored with AI tools which can predict risk based on investor parameters and make adjustments to reach financial goals. AI plays a main role in property management where it can predict when maintenance system expires or are ready for replacement. AI can help buyers in decision making; when machine tells you that, “property you are browsing is a good deal”, it’s because AI algorithms have calculated that answer based on the data that was made available. When a human real estate agent tells you it’s a good deal, it may be because of their instinct or because they may be interested in getting more profit or selling property faster.

Virtual Reality

Before deciding which property to buy, client has to visit multiple properties to find the best one and this consumes more time and money. Moreover, if client is staying miles far, it is not always a feasible option to visit each property. But, Virtual Reality can solve this problem enabling millions of people to visit the property without leaving their homes. Real Estate agent can use VR headset to get three-dimensional walkthrough property and immersive experience of the property. If client has to check multiple properties, in matter of minutes they can virtually check out a good number of locations and decide which is worth buying. Another reason of using VR technology is, it helps the realtors to market staged properties with little investments.

For instance, Company named Roomy offer VR staging services to the real estate agents. It enables to create 3D real estate tours and get property staged so that their clients can check that out easily.

Conclusion

Today, emerging technology has become more reliable, integrated and robust and using this technology is not an option today. In order to stand out from the crowd, using technology in real estate can increase leads and surely takes your business to the next level. With the advancement in these emerging technologies, real estate companies need to stay abreast with the current trends in technology world.

Whether, you are an owner, property manager or real estate company, TOPS Infosolutions provides exceptional software solutions for streamlining real estate services. Our responsive mobile app portals and web app development have helped real estate client across the globe to generate more leads and increase ROI.

5 Key Benefits of Mobile App Development

5 Key Benefits of Mobile App Development

Adaption and Evolution are the two necessary ingredients for any business to succeed.  But what they need to keep up with the growing trends? The digital fascination in today’s era is imposing a challenging question for the startups:  how to sustain a business from failing because of innovation? One thing that can help the businesses get an extra edge is having a mobile app for its customers.

Technology is expanding… and so is the business!!! The traditional approach like handing out leaflets, printing advertisements, and the hanging billboard is an age-old way solution to establish a connection with the customers and cannot succeed in today’s world. Hence it is necessary to have a mobile app for streamlining workflow and reaching their customers effectively. Mobile apps serve as a platform for your business to expand and reach global avenues. Moreover, custom mobile app development ensures that your brand’s voice is heard by a targeted audience and geared towards your business goals.

Some of the popular brands like Zara, Starbucks, and Domino’s Pizza etc. prove that mobile app development can considerably help to boost sales.

  • When Zara developed a mobile app, their sales increased over 60%.
  • Rebecca Minkoff launched a mobile app and observed 3 times increase in sales of apparels.
  • Domino’s Pizza online sales grew by 28% in the UK after releasing the app.


But how mobile app development can prove to be the boon for your business? Let’s check out…

    1. Cultivates Brand Loyalty: If the business wants to retain their customers and capitalize their digitally savvy behavior, they must build a compelling mobile presence through apps. Creative and unique mobile apps help the brands to connect and engage with the customers and help to stand tall amongst the crowded marketplace. By using the loyalty campaigns, offering discounts, using geo-fenced pushed notifications, brands can have a strong foundation of their customer base.
      For instance: Starbucks is the best example of in-app based loyalty programs as it provides loyalty award stars as in-app points. If the customer is registered at Star Bucks; have La Boulange or Teavana card and earns sufficient points, they can get a free drink. This Starbucks mobile loyalty app presents personalized service and because of this reason, it is highly admired by the customers.
    2. Builds Brand Recognition: The more the audience trusts you, more likely they will listen to your sales pitches and even commit to your brand. Mobile app development will provide you an opportunity to demonstrate your users, why they should trust your brand. Developing user friendly mobile app with intuitive features will help the customers to get involved in your app. And when the customer thinks of a product or service, your business will be the first they recall.
    3. Connects you with on-the-go customers: People always seem to be on the go… Going to work… Going to the gym… Going to a café and much more. They may not have access to the laptops or desktop when they are traveling but they always have their smart-phone with them.
      Today most of the people are active on their mobile phones and having a mobile app gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand anywhere across the globe.  One of the recent researches reveals that, adult people spend about 3 and half hours a day using various apps! This means through a mobile app you can convert your app visitorts into loyal customers and connect with them whenever they are on-the-go.
    4. Personalization makes user feel special: By offering mobile apps to the customers, a business can establish an emotional bond with their customers… How? With the help of personalization! By knowing customer’s likes, dislikes, their shopping habits, wish lists, shopping carts etc. you can send them personalized offers and show your care towards them. Amalgamating behavioral data and profile data gives you an ability to offer personalization to your customers through offers and discounts. With tailored content, you are more likely to meet the specific needs of your audience and convert them into frequent users.
    5. Boosts Profits: When customer satisfaction builds up, it results into increased sales. As per the research, buying experiences are influenced by how customers are being treated. The more your customers will be pleased, the more they will be inclined to visit your app and make a purchase. This increase in demand is going to provide you some serious returns. If you launch a mobile app, in addition to your responsive website, you’ll see a significant increase in sales while also enhancing customer experience.

Example to follow: When Domino’s Pizza developed a mobile app for ordering delivery or in-store pickup of their food, they saw an e-commerce growth of 28 percent in the first six months in the UK. In fact, mobile devices now account for 77 percent of their online orders.

With the help of a mobile app you can increase your brand’s visibility. With advanced features, user-friendly app interface and optimum app performance, your app will do wonders for your business. We at TOPS Infosolutions have expert developers to address your custom needs for mobile app development for both the popular platforms – iOS and Android. Get in touch with us today to discuss your mobile app requirements.

Importance of APIs in Mobile App Development

APIs in Mobile App Development

You might have come across the term ‘API’ while discussing mobile or web application development. In layman terms, APIs are the language through which applications speak to each other. Today, APIs serve as a foundation in the app development process and allow companies to grow their businesses by using services provided by external firms.

What is an API?

API is an acronym for “application program interface.” It is a set of routines and protocols that enables access to another party’s application or platform. An API is a software-to-software interface, through which the applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention.

Let me explain you with an example: When you buy tickets through a movie ticket booking application on your smart phone, the application uses an API to send your credit card data to a 3rd party application for verification. The remote application then retrieves that data, interprets it, verify your card details and sends it back to the application. The application then interprets that data and confirm your tickets.

What is a SDK?

A Software Development Kit (SDK) is a set of software development tools that allows creation of applications for a specific development platform and software framework. Both SDK and API are related to each other. Technically speaking, APIs are a part of a SDK and executes tasks when a call is made. Going little deeper, an API is a part of a build that is used to feed information while a SDK is a set of tools used to build an application.

Increasing Importance of APIs:

APIs, if referred to as the one of the most important technologies behind mobile application development won’t be an overstatement. The increasing importance of APIs can be attributed to their role in defining the way developers build their apps as well as the ease with which they integrate various web services into them. App users today seek various services on the fly to perform multiple tasks and APIs are the ones that make this possible.

Advantage of using API

  • Saves Developer’s time

APIs can save considerable amount of time, as it eliminates the task of writing endless lines of code. There are pre-built APIs available from top web services which can be used to shorten the app development cycle and reduces the coding errors.

  • Convenient

Today many apps comes with the functionality of social media logins. Without creating a need to sign up for the app separately, users can directly sign-in through their Google or Facebook credentials. This becomes extremely convenient for users as they need not create a different username. This is done through the integration of APIs provided by respective social media companies.

  • Ensures Faster development

Mobile apps today have a robust API backend which makes sure that the repetitive steps are eliminated by the using the existing web API services. By connecting the SDKs with the existing APIs, developers can get the app developed faster while ensuring high quality standards. APIs eliminate the repetitive process, thus making sure the developer focuses more on core features of the app and help gain competitive advantage.

  • Help Automate App Testing

With the help of APIs, developers can automate the app testing process and save the time which otherwise would have consumed in manual testing process. Test automation feature makes sure none of the bugs remain undetected and thus help developers deliver an app which stands high on both – quality and user expectations.

Widely Used APIs

  • Facebook API: The Facebook API is used to access the login database of Facebook.  It offers social plugins that display Facebook posts and “Like” buttons to your website. Facebook offers several APIs including Internationalization, Ads and Chat.
  • Google Maps API: Google provide a set of Google Maps APIs that allows you to add maps feature in your mobile app. A user can use the app without leaving the app through JavaScript or Flash. You can various map functions such as embedding a Google Map, Static Map or Google Earth, adding Geocoding and Google Directions Functionality.
  • YouTube API: YouTube provides several APIs that allows access to the engaging content on the platform. It allows developers to access the video analytics and channel data through two calls – REST and XML-RPC.
  • Amazon Product Advertising API: The Amazon Product Advertising API give developers access to lots of Amazon data such as product listings, customer reviews, seller ratings as well product ads. Through Amazon’s Affiliate program, you can showcase product ads in the app and earn affiliate commission.

Conclusion

APIs serves as bridge for apps to interact with each other. By integrating popular APIs in your app, you can enhance the user experience and increase the popularity of your app. For developers, APIs help build apps faster by eliminating the need to code repetitively. Mobile app development companies foresee the important role that APIs will play in creating a successful app and thus the importance of APIs in mobile app development will grow day by day.

We at TOPS Infosolutions use several API services in Mobile App Development to provide user-friendly, easily accessible apps for our clients. For more information visit www.topsinfosolutions.com or drop us an email at contact@topsinfosolutions.com

Mobile App Development: Top 5 Things to Consider

Mobile App Development

The popularity of enterprise and consumer based mobile app development is dominating the market since last decade. App Store and Play Store is flooded with millions of mobile apps covering countless industries; hence for the upcoming Appreneurs, it becomes difficult to stand tall and bolster their branding with mobile app.

Choosing the right mobile app development platform and keeping up with the best strategies is not the only thing that makes a mobile app successful. Mobile apps are deemed successful by various parameters such user engagement, UI/UX, etc. But, how does that happen?

Sustainable mobile apps are built by strategizing before laying the first brick of pillar. Helping you to march ahead, let’s dive in deep to make the decision right for your business.

  • Target Audience

Before you invest in the mobile app development, do some research about the target audience. This will help you to get proper insight of the customer profile, preferences and what device they are using. Moreover, put more focus on the geographical location of your target audience as platform varies widely by region. Identifying the target market in a right way plays a very crucial role while starting with your mobile app development process. You can select the target audience by considering demographic factors such as education, age, socio-economic culture and occupation.

  • Native vs. Cross Platform vs. Hybrid:

Selecting the right platform for mobile app development leads to increased ROI, app retention and user-engagement. Before figuring out the best platform for your business, it is important to consider the user experience and user engagement; the ideal platform is something that can offer optimized user experience and addresses the unique requirements for customer and business. You can consider the segments like user-friendliness, interactivity, reliability, responsiveness, app updates, customization and much more while selecting them.

Native Mobile App: Native mobile apps are developed in programming language which is native to the device & operating system and requires one specific app to create for one platform. To be precise, user can use the in-built features of the OS; for instance if camera support is needed in your app, developer can easily integrate app with camera.

Cross-Platform Mobile App:  This refers to the mobile app development that is compatible with the single code base and can be used across multiple OS such – android, iOS, Windows. This enables the developers to reduce time to market, low development cost, code re-usability etc.

Hybrid Mobile app: Hybrid mobile app is also referred as cross-platform apps but renders the user-interface using embedded web browser, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This helps with advancements and leads to reduced time in developing apps for individual platforms.

  • Development Cost

The cost of developing the mobile app largely depends on:-
– Types of application
– Project complexities
– Resources required
– Technology Used

Moreover, application maintenance, upgrades and development efforts can vary significantly; it can be expensive and varies from vendor to vendor and there is always a hidden cost involved.  Open source tools can be an attractive option as it results into cost-saving but you need to spend hours in integrating them. Mobile app service provider can help in evaluating total cost analysis and estimate of the overall scope and timeline of the project.

  • App maintenance

Just because you published your mobile app, it doesn’t mean you are all set to earn profits. The world surrounding your app is constantly evolving and hence, your app also needs to upgrade from time to time. If you want your app to sustain in the market, you always need to add enhanced features, test and host, deploy, and update UI/UX and much more.  Thousands of mobile apps are released each day; it is naïve to think that just because your app is wonderful, it will flourish. Be it on Android, iOS or Windows, there are many crucial things that you need to maintain your mobile app for long-term. You will need to

– Extend the features and functionalities of your app iteratively
– Enhance it on various grounds like performance, app store listings, user behavior and so on
– Keeping up with the latest UI/UX app trends
– Mobile app analytics for data driven improvements
– Providing quick bug fixes and security patches

  • Security

Opting for the mobile app development frameworks unofficially, exposes you to certain degree of risk as you are using layers of abstraction on decided platform and the coding language which is operating on it. Additionally, you must make note of norms of industry standards, system monitoring and data encryption capabilities when building mobile app. In-case, if you are using cloud services, you need to make sure that it complies with the rules-regulations and standard norms. Although it may sound easier to engage in cross-platform mobile app development, but getting highest level of security can be bit difficult.

If all the above points are taken into consideration, it can ensure a successful end product. TOPS Infosolutions’ team of developers makes sure to concentrate on all the above points and ensures your business growth while taking care of all technical requirements.

If you have got an app idea; it’s time to convert your idea into reality. Connect with us today!

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