Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Android App Developers in 2019

By Guest Contributor on October 15, 2019

Android is the largest and most used mobile operating system in the world with about 2.7 million application on Play store. Almost everyday 1250 new applications are added to the play store, making android developers the most wanted developers in the IT industry. 

Well, if you are an owner of a business, a recruiter of a company or firm and looking for developers providing custom app development, android game development or any other form of android app development then we would advise you to check out the online recruitment firms, sites and platform like LinkedIn. 

Like we said android developers are the most wanted developers in the industry. However, it’s not easy to become an android developer and catch up with the latest technology and requirements of the market. To stay alive in the market you need to be up with your skills as an android developer.

To help you out with that here we bring to you the top 10 Tips and Tricks for Android App Developers in 2019

Simplicity Is The Key

Nobody likes a complex application that is difficult to understand and hard to operate. So you need to make sure that your application has a simple and easy to use interface. The users of your application should be able to figure out, how to use your application in one go. Also, a complex application is not just bad from the user point of view but also from the performance POV. Most of the applications that have a complex interface show slow performance and problems like lag, glitches, hanging, etc. So its better to keep your app simple as fast. 

Test Thoroughly

Before you launch your application its important that you spend a considerable amount of time to test the application for bugs and errors. Never launch your app in a hurry as this way you will end up with nothing but bad reviews and a lot of bugs. 

MVP(Minimum Viable Product)

Like we said its important to remove bugs and the best way to do this is through your customer’s review. So we would highly recommend you to go for a minimum viable product before launching the actual complete product. An MVP is like an incomplete version of your application having enough features for so that your users can run, test and provide feedback. This way most of the bugs can be removed from the source code and also test your application compatibility and need in the market.  

Budget

Most of the new developers don’t seem to care about their budget at first. However, they soon realize that making a complete android application is not just difficult but also a costly task. As all the work cannot be done by a single developer. If you are a programmer then you can easily write the code, but you will need a professional designer for the frontend work. So before you start working on your application make sure that you specify a budget for yourself. 

Hire Developers

Well if you are a businessman or even a professional developer yourself, you will need a developer in order to complete your application. Especially if you are planning for something big such as android game development or any other thing then you will need a good developer by your side. So make sure to hire a skilled and talented developer than can ease things for you. 

Believe What In Your Idea

Most of the developers don’t even try to implement their idea to the real world, just because they don’t think it’s good enough. Well as they say the second you doubt yourself it’s over. So the most important thing for a developer is to believe in the product he building or else all this is for nothing. You can simply ask yourself the following question in case you are having doubts –

  1. What is the purpose of your app?
  2. How does it impact the life of the people using it?
  3. How efficient and effective can it become?

If you are able to answer all these questions then there is nothing to worry about, you all set to go. 

Learn SQL

If you are not satisfied with just a normal application, then we recommend you to learn SQL. This is a database management system that can help you built a more unique, robust and bug-free application. Currently android uses SQLite as its storage system, so it’s natural for an android developer to be familiar with this database management system. 

Use Only Necessary Tools

There are tools that are necessary for developing an android application such as ADT Plugin, Eclipse, and Android SDK. However, new developers tend to make use of application and software that are not necessary. Well, they do come in handy, however, we suggest that avoid using this software as they restrict you from learning. 

Target Audience

As steve jobs once if you are here to impress everyone then you at the wrong place. And it’s damn true for the IT industry as well. Making an application for everyone is not possible, however, you can make an application for a specific group of people. 

Security

If you are creating an application that requires user information, then you better make sure that your application is secure. Security is a question of trust and if you can’t provide your users with a secure environment then you will for sure lose their trust. 

Tips to Build an Android App for Beginners

By Guest Contributor on October 9, 2019

Honestly, if you own a mobile device, you are dependent on apps, like it or not.

Smartphones cannot run without them. Without them, the “smart” part of phones won’t be there and they will remain ordinary phones. Apps are awesome software that helps us run out smartphones today.

There are apps to perform almost any function but have you ever wondered how they are built? You have? Oh, you want to build your app? Sure! This article will help you with that.

You are not alone there are thousands of adept programmers who are busy, designing their apps and embedding them with their features.

However, before you know how to make an android app, here are several fundamentals for programming android apps.

  • Master the Language

The two most popular programming languages used in building android apps are Java and XML. If you want to build an Android app then the first step is to master them. Some of the fundamentals of java programming language are:

  • Packages
  • Objects & classes
  • Inheritance & interfaces
  • Strings & numbers, generics,
  • Collections
  • Concurrency

You will get knowledge of building robust and elegant Android apps with a clear understanding of Java and XML.

  • Familiarize Yourself with Development Tools

Another important aspect of building Android apps is familiarizing yourself with automation tools used for building mobile apps before getting into action. You should also get acquainted with the integrated development environment.

Some commonly used tools in Android app development are studio IDE and Eclipse. These tools will help you with the basics of app development and how to improve your code.

You will know how to use Apache Maven, Apache Ant and Gradle which are great tools for managing builds. Other tools that are important in your app development process are control tools and concepts.

Familiarize yourself with the git by creating a gut-source repository. The Git Pocket Guide provides the right information on how the platform works.

  • Knowledge of the Application Components

The essential building blocks of Android app development are called application components. Each component provides a different access point where the system enters the app.

Each of the components exists as its entity and performs particular tasks, although some depend on one another and not all of them are actual entry points.

In total, there are five kinds of app components. Each component has a distinctive life circle and purpose that defines how they are created and destroyed. The five components include:

  • Activities – This represents a single screen with a user interface. For example, an email app may have activity for composing emails, another activity for sending created emails and another one for reading received emails. Activities work together to promote cohesion on user experience in an app. However, work independently.
  • Services – This particular component works in the background performing remote processes. It doesn’t have a user interface. A good example is an app that plays music in the background, while you are doing other staff with a different app on your phone.
  • Content providers – A set of shared data are managed using this component. Data that is stored in the file system, the SQLite database, or the web can be queried or modified, using this component. That is if the content provider allows it.
  • Broadcast receivers – A component that responds to system-wide broadcast announcements is called a broadcast receiver. Although they don’t show user interface, they originate from the system. Their purpose is to create status bar notifications to alert users of broadcast events. They do little work since gateways to other components.
  • Activating components – This is a synchronous message known as intent. It activates 3 of the 4 components. It also binds components to each during runtime whether it belongs to your app or not.
  • Awareness of Fragmentations and Android 

Many devices and operating system versions run on Android making it a fragmented market. This means that it requires a lot of maintenance testing leading to high cost. Proper fonts, assets, and layouts are also required to provide the best experience in various screen sizes.

Other considerations that you should have in mind are the android supported sensors or UI facilities. All android apps have one or more activities and one or more fragments and an application class. Sometimes you may have or not have services for background tasks running continuously.

The thread should never get blocked to provide a smooth user interface. You should, therefore, run long operations asynchronously in the background to keep it flowing. That is why mastering the java language concurrency facilities is necessary.

  • Making the Right Choice over Needed Tools

You only tools needed to develop Android apps are Mac or Windows, any type of Linux, and Eclipse, the ADT Plugin, and the Android SDK. All these tools are free. To properly set your development environment, you can go through the installation guide on Google.

You will get documentation of any requirements. When writing an Android app, there are certain parameters that you should consider, including limited resources. The Wake-locks which is a mechanism that forces devices to do certain things despite putting the devices to sleep should never be used unless it’s necessary. Don’t poll hardware because it will run down your battery.

Conclusion

Apps are what make mobile devices popular. Today it’s very hard to use a smartphone without apps. It’s impossible. Android has apps for everything including finance, health, entertainment, religion, communication, and many more.

With mobile devices on the rise, demand mobile app developers are getting high; therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with app writing languages to easily create your Android apps. The beauty of android development is in its simplicity.

Ensure that you have used the right set of tools to develop apps or seek services from professional Android app developers to get exemplary app development solutions. If you want to learn how to build android apps, you can start with Simplilearn’s Google-authorized Certified Android App Developer training course.

7 Questions to Ask PHP Developers While Hiring Them

By Guest Contributor on October 3, 2019

PHP developers are the face of the virtual side of the company. Therefore it is essential to choose the best to represent your company with, especially on a vast platform that is being accessed by people from all over the world.

Portraying your company on online search engines is one of the popular marketing methods in business industry. The higher the ranking is the more increase you’ll see in raising brand awareness. And you can do it too;

If you are the person who’s responsible to interview PHP developers, then here are 7 questions to ask from them; regarding android app development, personal experience and area of expertise.

PHP evaluation question 1:

How to obtain IP address of the user?

This question is going to allow you to explore the creativity of the candidate, since there’s more than one way to acquire IP addresses. The candidate will have a vast array of possibilities to present you with and you’ll get a chance to test their versatility. The candidate can answer the question with an easier solution that is $_SERVER[“REMOTE_ADDR”];  ranging from that to writing x line scripts.

PHP evaluation question 2:

What are the significant inaccuracies in PHP and how are they different?

For that, you’ll be required to be clear about the types of main errors present within PHP:

  • Notifications: Errors which occur during creating scripts. They mostly occur when certain variables have been entered wrongly. They’re simple errors for the most part that can be edited and fixed.
  • Warnings: These errors are more crucial than notifications. Although they will not cause hindrance within the scripts, themselves. A good example would if you used a code that does not exist.
  • Deadly: These are the most important errors, out of all. These errors terminate scripts upon occurring. A good example for a fatal error would be, accessing a site that does not exist; basically a non-existent file.

Having a thorough knowledge on errors is important, as they assist developers understand the processes of android app development, what to look out for and how to tend to it.

PHP evaluation question 3:

What are the 3 different scopes within PHP and how will you explain them?

  • Private: This level of scope is only visible when accessed through its own class. Anyone and anywhere outside will not be able to access it.
  • Public: The second level of scope is available to all. It is accessible through different classes and can be obtained easily.
  • Safe kept: This scope is only visible to classes that are directly linked to it. For example parent classes and extended classes.

This is an important aspect for PHP developers as it shows their understanding on creating applications that breathe and live, it’s more than just writing codes. The developer is required to have a thorough understanding on accessibility of their work; know-how on scopes enables them to protect data within application and develop pathways through coding.

PHP evaluation question 4:

Define the term getters and setters and the reason for their significance?

Gettters and setters are ways to attain utility of variables, often private scopes. These are essential for application development as they allow a central position that is ideal to manage data before transferring it to the developer. With the incorporation of getter and setter, the PHP developer can constantly look into data and eventually pass it on for different functions. For example usernames; without a setter the developer will be bound to declare the username by hand rather than with an automated response. Setter and getter both assist with the form in which the data is being received as, they modify it in a format that is more effective.

This piece of information is very important for a PHP developer. They are often used in dealing with objects, especially those that will be added to the storage system. Due to high demand of PHP in web development and applications; developers tend to face superior levels of getters and setters at working environments. These are massive systems that are crucial for applications, therefore it is best to know about them from the very start.

PHP evaluation question 5:

What MVC stands for and does it do?

MVC’s full form is Model view controller, it’s responsible to look over data transferred to it, later on pass it on to the next system. MVC interprets data sent to it by the view, transferring it furthermore into the designated models that work differently in accordance to their systems. The models priority is to cater certain tasks, confined to a specific area of an application and its functions. They connect to the developers database and storage mediums and maintain business related results.

The view is transferred data given to the controller and portrayed to the viewer. In conclusion, knowing MVC patterns is essential for a PHP developer as they are being widely used in today’s age for applications and their functionalities.

PHP evaluation question 6:

Define SQL injections, how are they disabled and what are the right approaches to dealing with it?

SQL injections are ways to transform queries in SQL statements and transfer them to the data servers. Updated queries might provide a sneak peek of information such as passwords and usernames, which might cause hindrance at instances with intruders trying to hack into information.

To stop SQL injections from occurring one requires to check and remove user inputs. PHP can easily cause the developer to forget about this factor due to their efficient processes of accessing data. And inexperienced developers tend to miscalculate this a lot. However, there are other ways to manipulate through SQL that is through usage of cookies and files. The best way to prevent from this is to have backup statements at all places, working continuously.

It is best to not incorporate functions that have been disposed already but rather use PDO, since it enabled the developer to use other servers.

PHP evaluation question 7:

What PSR standards do you incorporate and why would you follow them?

One must know the ways to follow PSR since coding scale varies when it comes to developers and companies. Without it, making additions or reading another developer’s code can become a tricky task; as code structures depend on the developer themselves. PSR standardization can assist at formatting codes in a more comprehensive manner; a random developer would be able to help out at making changes and improving the application more easily this way. It will only cut down on confusions and entanglements and in certain cases, syntax errors too.

Conclusion

If you are searching for a PHP developer for your site, application or more; then I hope these 7 questions assist you at making the right choice. Someone who caters to all your needs and surpasses expectations by providing you with exceptional work.

Best of luck!

Few Primary Features of Android 10 that everyone should know

By Guest Contributor on September 5, 2019

Tech advancements are continuously evolving rapidly. Bringing to light is Android 10 which is the latest version android and it is about to be launched really soon. It is fully loaded with new features while great emphases have been given to privacy in this new android version. This time it seems that android has given real importance on presenting bold features rather than providing the new version with a tasty name. Yes, the change is true the official name is no longer android Q but has been introduced as “Android 10”.

Introduction

As an operating system android is staying the very same. The image change has been quite a drastic change though the logo is cleaner and much more playful than just having a desert name. Google as introduced the news of the Android’s new release also launched a developer’s preview. While it was also followed by a public beta that anyone could join in which was held in May when it hosted the annual Google I/O Conference. This year things were done much differently as it pushed its first developer preview and public beta on the very same day that was on the 13th March 2019.

Like any new version when being introduced would be expected to be loaded with new exciting features. Likewise, even Android 10 is compacted with premiering features. Being introduced with even more beta updates which will be introduced through the year leading to the final release that will be covered in this post below. Though yet there is a lot to be brought forth. While presently we’ll drive directly in some of the biggest highlights that will be provided to the Android users in Android 10.

  • There is no desert name given to the new Android version and is simply just called “Android 10”

Over the past few months, they have been numerous speculations over the name Android Q. As ever since Android 1.5 Cupcake, since then android has always collaborated a tasty desert name along with every latest version that they have introduced. Though with the recent 2019’s android version being launched things have certainly changed as the name Android 10. Google is done with desert names but it seems to have officially settled for the numerical name scheme.

Even though the name may seem boring but this all is part of a much bigger rebranding strategy that has been implemented by Google for Android. Since 2014 this is the first time Google is changing the complete feel and look of the brand Android. The changes consist of a redesigned logo which conspicuously features a green robots head. Even now whenever using the android logo text you’ll encounter that new little robot. It is intriguing to see Googles such a keen focus on android’s robot friend. Though only the head is presented with the entire body being vanished.  

  • Finally a complete system-wide Dark Mode 

Thankfully android considered the plea of its users as it is even possible that the Dark-Mode is even seen as the most anticipated feature that has been presented by android yet. After years of stimulations and begging from the audience google finally has confirmed that android 10 will possess a system-wide dark theme. Also revealing that it will be used via the Quick Setting toggle to easily access it to turn the mode on and off. A much more appealing aspect that will be presented by Android 10 is that Google has created a new API that can be used by developers and it will allow their apps to go on a dark mode when the system-wide dark theme is turned on.

  • The iconic Back Button has been removed 

A navigation staple of Android which was the back button has officially been removed in the newer version which is in Android 10. Since Pie’s gesture-based navigation had continued the trend while keeping the back button till this time. Instead, now the new version offers a completely gesture-based method of navigation. Allowing the user to go to the home by swiping up, and a swipe up and hold will present the multitasking menu, while a simple swipe to the right or left edge will allow you to go back to your screen. Being a significant shift for Android Navigation. Google also goes on to state that its developing app designs in such a manner that with a swipe the side menu would open and with a double swipe you can return to the menu.

  • New Theming Options 

Having the potential to optimize and customize your phones to the fullest extent is one of the prime feature and possible the core reason that makes Android so extravagant. And now will android 10 being presented there are all kinds of new and anticipated features that could be brought forth. Initially found in Beta 1 when digging through its developer’s option presents settings to change the accent color of the complete UI (User Interface). In beta 2 there was a new app introduced which was named “Pixel Themes” but in Beta 6 there are whole verities of colors being introduced that include Orchid, Purple, Green, Space, Ocean, Cinnamon, Black and Blue (default).

  • Live Caption transcribes media locally in Real-Time

Closed captions are essential for deaf and those that have trouble in hearing what’s being said on a podcast, video, games or any other type of media where a conversation or words are used. To assist Android 10 has come up with a feature that is “Live Captions”. Live Caption provides real-time captions for nearly everything available and operated on your phone. The best part is that it is locally available on the devices which would mean that this feature will be active even without the assistance of any internet connection. You can permit the live caption to turn it on via the Android 10’s accessibility settings and this feature for many users will be proven as a God’s sending.

  • Big changes coming to permissions

Privacy, whenever seen in the present era, will continuously be considered as a huge concern each time. With android 10 google is executing newer features for app permission to help provide a better and wider understanding of the overall control to present which apps exactly have access to your phone. In Google’s blog post it was that the apps that require location will now show a pop-up asking for permission which is eradiating the need to providing continuous access of your location only when the app is in use or not at all.

Author Biography

I have been associated with the tech world for a decade now. I Nathan Enoch Burridge, have held numerous key positions in various reputable Mobile App Development Companies such as RetroCube and many others. Currently, due to my obsession for the Tech World and E-Market Trading System, I have started to write and contribute my knowledge as a Guest Blogger.

5 Tips to Help Improve Your Mobile App Usability

By Guest Contributor on August 28, 2019

One of my colleagues recently started working on search engine optimization. She owns a software house and her focus domain is ‘mobile application development’. So she read all the science behind SEO, and started implementing the relevant SEO practices on her website. But how long do you think it would take for her to get her website ranking for those keywords? It could take months, years. The reason behind this is that there is a lot of competition in the app industry. Just as trying to rank on Google is difficult, trying to rank on the app stores is also getting difficult.

Millions of apps are being launched each year, every new app is better than the previous apps.

And every app development company is trying their best to stand out from the rest of the competition. This means that you have to work extra hard to develop a quality mobile app that stands out from the other apps. Apart from making it interactive, you also need to make sure that it delivers a good user experience and has excellent usability. In this blog post, my primary focus is going to be on mobile app usability. I will offer 5 tips you need to master your mobile app’s usability.

Before we move on, let’s take a few moments to understand what ‘app usability’ actually is:

What is Mobile App Usability?

The first and foremost thing to remember is that mobile app usability is not equivalent to the app’s user experience. Usability is the measure of how effectively a user can interact with the mobile app. Mobile App Usability is a small part of the user experience. It focuses on the user and the product and measures how effective and efficient it is to use the product. Usability is the measure of how easily a user can achieve his goals.

Think about it, which type of app would you prefer to use? An app that has an entire instruction manual that you have to spend hours trying to figure. Or would you prefer using a simple app that is easy to understand and the navigation comes to you smoothly? I’m positive the later will be your answer. All the successful apps on the play store and the app store are intuitive and very easy to learn. The shorter time it takes for a user to get familiar with the mobile apps, the more useful it will be and the more conversions it will derive.

Why Exactly Do I Need to Improve my Mobile App Usability?

The harder it is to interact with an app the fewer downloads it will get, furthermore, users that have already installed the mobile app will choose to uninstall it from their devices. On the contrary, an app that is easy to understand and easy to use will get more installs and users will keep these apps installed on their devices for a longer period of time. A mobile application must be effective and efficient; this means that you need to quickly give the users what they are looking for. If users are unable to reach their goals, they will probably abandon your app faster than they had installed it.

Having good usability is the only way to build a client’s confidence and to generate repeat usage. So in simple words, usability is the key factor for generating loyal users for your mobile app.

Now the main question is, how can you improve your app’s usability?

How to Improve Your Mobile App Usability?

Bring Simplicity in Your App Designs

When users open an app, they have a certain goal to accomplish using the mobile app. They expect to get their work done with efficiency and speed. But, if you start creating obstacles in the way of the users, it will frustrate them. They will lose track of reaching their goal and probably start cursing you for wasting their time. Those obstacles aren’t intentionally inserted by you, but, you can follow certain designing rules to make the goal easier to achieve.

Those obstacles may be a result of overly complex app design and unwanted features that might misguide the users from completing their goals. If you want to improve the usability of your mobile app, you will need to start taking the minimalistic approach during the designing process. By taking the minimalistic UI design approach, you can create a simple yet highly usable application.

To remove any unnecessary features from your app design, you can create wireframes and prototypes to test the simplicity of your mobile app. Make sure you pass your app through multiple test iterations and live interactions to check the simplicity of your mobile app.

Platform Usability

Something that really annoys me is when I really want to install an app on my mobile phone, but, it turns out that the app doesn’t operate on my specific phone model. In another scenario, if I install the mobile app but it doesn’t function correctly on my phone. Android and iOS are two very different operating systems; you can’t expect a mobile app developed for Android to work on iOS.

Both operating systems have different types of design and programming requirements. For example, the navigation for iOS doesn’t host a device ‘back’ button like Android. Keeping this in mind, you should decide which operating system you want to develop for (I would suggest you go for cross-platform app development) and make sure that your app is compatible with various Android and iOS smartphones. This will add to the usability of your mobile app, limit the bounce rate, and improve your conversions.

Clear, Concise Content and Readability

Just like having minimalistic app design features are important, having clear and concise content is also very important. You only need enough content to aid the user in completing their goals, there is no need to complex everything, it will only confuse the user.

For example, in the buying process, Consumers need complete, yet, relevant and concise information to successfully complete a purchase. Including too much information will only result in poor user experience, no one likes to read lengthy paragraphs to find something that could be conveyed in a single sentence.  Make it as easy and as readable as you can.

Asides having concise and relevant content in your mobile app, it’s also important that your users can read what’s on the screen, otherwise, they won’t be able to use your app. In order to make sure that your content is easily readable, you can watch out for the following factors:

  • Text colors that could be hard to read against a certain background.
  • Text that is either too large or too small
  • Unreadable scrip, such as ‘Edwardian Script’
  • Bad writing and lack of clarity
  • Too much or too little spacing

Easy Navigation

One of the top issues that users face is ‘poor navigation’, this is especially true for eCommerce mobile application development. When customers are using the app, they have a hard time finding exactly what they are looking for. They might have to navigate around the app for far too long to find the product that they want to purchase.

So if you’re aiming to deliver better usability, you will have to make sure that your products and services are very easy to find. When a user starts using your app, they clearly have a target to achieve, it’s necessary that they understand how to navigate to complete their goal. Whether they want to purchase a product, find certain information, or book an appointment, it should be done without any barriers. So when focusing on usability, make sure that your products or services are really easy to find. You don’t want to risk triggering the user abandonment rate.

Goal Funneling

I’ve come across multiple apps that have multiple features and functionalities, but they lack proper goal funneling. For example, consider a realtor’s app that aids those looking for houses to buy, apartments to rent, and also includes options for selling houses.

Suppose you are looking to rent an apartment, so you quickly go ahead and install the app in your smartphone, but when you open the app, you come across a search form for selling a house. If you are someone patient, you might stick around to figure out how you can rent an apartment, but, if you’re in a hurry, you might feel frustrated and abandon the app to find something more relevant. This could cause to lose some potential clients.

So what would you do in this situation? The best option would be to have the screen open with three tiles. Each tile for a different goal. This will allow your users to select an objective of their own. Improving the user experience as well as mobile app usability.

Wrapping Up:

So it turns out that mobile app usability is a very important factor for deciding the success of a mobile app. How users perceive and interact with your mobile app has a major impact on whether they will stick around to use your app or move on to something better. The mobile app usability decides how users feel about your app, negative or positive. If they perceive, value, efficiency, and utility of the overall experience, then you have succeeded in developing a successful mobile app that converts. After all, usability is what will help convert visitors, into loyal, long-term customers, and in turn, generate more revenue.

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