Thursday, 16 July 2015

What Intel XDK IDE brings to Mobile Development

Mobile app development and Intel? Well, we know Intel isn’t really synonymous with mobile app development and is more in the processor and chip design realm. Also Intel’s forays in this space (mobile) have not been very successful as you can see from the reception that the Intel Atom chip has got. But of course, Intel is Intel and they’re not going to go back.

So, they’ve come back to mobile development with something seemingly new up their sleeve again. Yes, we’re talking about the Intel XDK IDE. Developers today need a development environment that allows them to work with multiple technologies and devices. XDK IDENTITY gives you precisely that. It lets you write applications using HTML5, Javascript and CSS 3 and test them against multiple devices. But go a little deeper and there is more to it than merely this.

No Native apps

Intel XDK IDENTITY will not allow you to create native apps. When you build a native app, you build it so that it will have access to more APIs than that are available when you use just HTML5 and Javascript. But that’s just a small bargain for the rest you get.

The advantage with XDK is that you get to develop the app with technologies that you are familiar with, and you can then deploy them in multiple platforms.

The XDK Editor

This is the most important part of any tool where you write the bulk of your code that forms the design of your application. The best part is that the Intel XDK delivers here. With solid syntax highlighting, easy usability, reducing the amount of text, it has got all that a code could possibly ask for. XDK’s code completion stands at par with any commercial editor that you can find.

The only grudge that the coder could have here is that it doesn't come with the ability to install plugins. Poor that.


With XDK, you can also define the positioning of the device, for when you wish to test out code which makes use of the devices accelerometer, as well as changing the screen orientation of the device itself. This is handy for testing your code across multiple devices without having to spend thousands of pounds. Cool!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Top 5 Platforms To Build Your Mobile App

Building an app involves quite an investment of both time and money. So it is essential that you carefully plan your app strategy and find the right tools to execute your plan to perfection. But one of the advantages of mobile app development today is that it doesn't require thousands of dollars or long months of planning. With mobile app platforms that allow you to build an app within a month (that too, on a small budget) your work is much reduced. This article takes a look at 5 of the best mobile app development platforms today.

1. Appery

Well, you knew it, didn’t you? Appery is an enterprise cloud-based mobile app builder that allows you to create apps rapidly and in a cost-effective manner. Integrated with Apache Cordova, Appery allows you to build apps with Android, iOS and Windows., for all its functionality, requires remarkably little in terms of code knowledge from you as the bulk of the work is done by the drag-and-drop visual editor itself.

2. The App Builder

The App Builder is a perfect platform to create multi-platform apps. The objective behind this ‘tool’ itself was to allow just anyone to build mobile apps, the way Wordpress allows anyone (meaning the ones without any technical knowledge) to build a website. Much of The App Builder involves just selection of templates. For example, if you want to create an app for fitness, you have the fitness template with all the related tabs. You can then customize this for your requirement.

3. App Machine

App Machine allows you to build native apps for both Android and iOS. App Machine too, has a drag and drop interface that gives you a variety of features with more than 30 pre-coded building blocks. Easy to use and exciting to design, App Machine is a mobile development platform that promises much more in the future..

4. Appy Pie

As the name suggests, make an app as easy as a pie. Appy Pie is a cloud-based DIN mobile app development platform that allows users with little or no technical knowledge to build apps in Android, iOS, and Windows. With its latest product app builder 2.0 Snappy, built as a single platform application, you can create apps ‘ultra-fast’ and codeless. The new release also comes with lots of customization features that you wouldn’t want to let go of.

5. Mobile roadie

You must be wondering why this didn’t come up earlier. As the rest of the tools in this list, Mobile Roadie too allows you to create apps in iOS, Android and Windows. The advantage with the Mobile Roadie is that it supports all media types with automatic importing of Twitter, RSS or Google News keywords. With formatting and customization options too available in plenty, Mobile Roadie is a tool that’s here to stay.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Common Pitfalls When You Develop a Mobile App

How does one popularise a killer idea? Well, the best way to do it today would be to build a mobile app to implement it. Not only will it be actionable, it will be used by millions all over the world. All you need is a level-headed strategy with proper design and implementation. And of course, some spunk. But why doesn't everyone succeed. Well , there’s no paucity of pitfalls. We’ll look at some of them here:

1. Get your platform right

For all practical purposes, it’s two platforms in mobile now: Android and iOS. Decide which way you’re going to go. If it’s the global market that you’re targeting, Android must be your choice. If you are looking at a US centric market, you could go for iOS. If you want to go for both, the costs could outweigh the benefits (if any).

2. Mobile is NOT the same as web

A majority of website owners do not focus on developing a mobile application that is optimized for all mobile platforms. All that they do is rely on responsive website features or consider that mobile app development should be done with just few necessary elements and features of a website.

3. Designer vs Developer

Remember that design is for development. This means you need to ensure the design follows the functionality since we often find that apps where design dictates functionality fail inevitably.

For instance, if you plan to include a search box in your app, and the designer envisions one with a type-ahead search, it would mean considerable effort on the part of the developer.

4. User experience trumps all

When you say what comes to their mind first? Well, it’s not difficult to guess. The reply would be its elegance/user experience. So, it’s important to know that a mobile user is more demanding and intuitive when it comes to UX. This is borne by the fact that 26% of the apps are opened only to be never used again and 48% are opened less than 10 times. Make sure you test your app with Craigslist or better find early beta testers.

What we’ve mentioned are just some of the pitfalls that mobile designers encounter when they set out to develop an app. For more, keep watching this space!

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Path To a Mobile-Friendly Ecommerce Website

Ecommerce has undergone a sharp shift over the past few years to mcommerce with users not diffident to make payments on their mobile as well. To leverage this advantage though, you need to optimize your mobile ecommerce website. In this article, we look what you need to do to make sure you maximise the mobile potential.

The first thing you notice when you search anything on the net on your mobile is the look and feel of the website. But this alone will not ensure visibility. The site needs to have good content, navigation, check-in and check-out processes and show robust performance in order to get to the top. In case you wanted a bullet list of what to do, we have a checklist ready for you.

1. Keywords - The first thing that comes to the mind of any consumer when he/she searches for content on the internet is the keyword. All important keywords need to be covered during the first phase of writing itself so that it becomes easy to search related material. Also try and make use of the keywords with the help of hyperlinks to attract more traffic to your website. 

2. SiteMap – Just as the contents page of a novel helps the reader easily find the page, so does site-map with links help a user navigate web pages on a mobile website the user is looking for.

3. Social Media - Promotion of websites, blogs, groups, forums, etc. by linking online communities in social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. )

4. Advertisements This involves hard-selling your website through advertisements, pay per click ads and updating relevant content on the website.

5. Email Signatures Here, the customer gets in touch with the owner of the website through the designated signature format used at the end of the emails. 

Here, you need to ensure that your mobile website is appropriate in all respects, i.e. in terms of images, icons,content, tools and more. All said and done, your web pages should not crash or hang as it ensures all the good work gets lost. With a majority of people accessing e-commerce websites through mobile phones, it is important to ensure proper backup of the website during server downtimes as well. Lastly, get the best developer in town to design it for you!