Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to Select the Right Platform for Developing Mobile Applications?

There are a number of considerations that go into the selection of a platform for building mobile applications. Yet, it may not always be clear which app platform is best for creating a mobile application. Each has its own pros and cons. Since not all mobile apps are at par with each other in terms of quality, the platform chosen to develop and launch the app can make it or break it. Prior to selecting one, there are some key considerations that enterprises need to take into account. Paying sufficient attention to them will enable businesses in making the right choice as they embark upon the process of developing an app. These considerations are:
  • Identify the Target Audience
Some of the most important questions a business should ask itself are: Who are our customers? Are they also our target audience? Are members of the target audience Android, Windows or iOS users? Depending on the answers to these questions, pick the development platform. Typically, Android and iOS have the largest user base irrespective of geographical location. Although demographic data does reveal that Android's market share comes mainly from South East Asia. So, if your target group belongs to this region, you know what to choose for your application.

  • Earning From Your App
iOS is said to be a high revenue generating platform. iOS developers tend to make comparatively more profits than the average Android app developer. Also, the revenue/app download is greater for iOS than Android. This is primarily due to the fact that most Android apps are free in contrast to the iOS app store. However, both the OSs offer the benefit of a large and ever expanding user base. Therefore, the financial rewards will continue to differ depending on the choice of development platform.
  • Time Required To Develop
If speed is a crucial requirement for your business, it becomes essential to understand the time taken to develop an app for/on various platforms. Some experts believe that Android app development takes longer compared to others. This may be due to the fragmentation present in it. Additionally, unlike Apple's Xcode, Android development frameworks such as Android Studio are not very mature - one factor that adds to the development time. Some organizations may choose to use an alternative route. Cross-platform mobile development using Xamarin, PhoneGap, Sencha and Telerik are increasingly being used for building cross platform mobile apps.
  • App Store Convenience & Popularity
Developers are of the view that it is easier to publish apps to Google Play than it is to the iOS App store. Google Play has a fewer rules in place where Apple follows strict guidelines before any application can be published to its iOS store.

Another aspect to think about is - what category do you want your app to fall under? This also determines the choice of platform. For example, studies have shown that more number of iPhone users make online purchases than Android users. In such a scenario, a retail business can be better off in building their app on an iOS platform.

Ultimately, the enterprise decision makers need to weigh its business priorities and decide which platform works best for them. If speed is a factor, a business should consider Xamarin or PhoneGap. Similarly, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) who want an app that works across platforms can choose either of the two. Large companies who need attributes, may go for the latest in iOS or Android development. Thus, a careful evaluation of enterprise needs and the points described above will help enterprises in the right platform to build their next mobile app.

Friday, 20 November 2015

3 Important Uses of Mobile Apps in Fleet Industry

Mobile devices have proliferated our work places and our homes. As consumers, we demand services on our fingertips, be it booking a taxi or finding a physician close to home. As businesses, mobile technology governs the way day to day operations are carried out. Take the case of transportation industry, while Uber may have radically altered the way we book or hail a cab, large scale automated solutions have made it easier to track and manage vehicle fleets. 

Fleet Management App

Technology, specifically in the form of mobile applications has made a huge contribution in making fleet administration simpler. Here are some ways that illustrate the impact of such apps on fleet planning and management:

1. Optimize use of Time and Money

Fleet management apps may include features that aid in keeping a record of fleet maintenance activities. Through keeping records, enterprises can potentially save money. How? Any oversight of required repairs will be reduced. With scheduled maintenance reminders, the possibility of unnecessary and expensive repairs will be eliminated. In the cab industry, fleet management systems are helpful in tracking costs so business owners know how much the drivers are spending on things such as fuel or parking. They can also capture and compare fuel expenses for all the vehicles in a fleet.

Apart from saving resources, these apps can also remind your drivers to drive safe and draw their attention to probable hazards or bad weather conditions. Companies can also monitor the speed at which a fleet is moving and warn reckless drivers who frequently flout rules. Implementation of safe driving practices prevents accidents. This in turn reduces insurance, repair or vehicle replacement expenses.

2. Integration with Accounting Software

Keeping a tab of mileage and associated expenses has generally been carried out with the help of Excel. With a Fleet management app, businesses no longer have to input rows of data into spreadsheets. Modern mobile applications can connect with and upload the necessary expense data directly to Intuit QuickBooks. This makes it easier to keep an eye on overall fleet expenditure and reimburse staff as needed. 

3.  Keep track of Fleet location

For an organization that uses a large fleet of vehicles, a fleet tracking app can point out precise locations of your fleet. In addition, it becomes easier to see where each driver on your fleet is and whether they need any real-time help with driving routes. Also, drivers can share their trips on social media sites such as Facebook and Google Maps/Earth.

Has your organization invested in a mobile app for fleet tracking and management? Did you face any challenges in implementing it? Share your experience with us. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Why Phonegap Is a Better Choice for Cross Platform Development

Mobile apps are a great way to promote your business, irrespective of the size of your organization.

Android and iOS are the two most popular mobile operating systems, and apps launched on both platforms tend to do well. However, this is an expensive process, so is the additional cost justified?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. One of the most popular cross platform development tools, PhoneGap, makes it easy for anyone to make an application for both Android and iOS devices.

PhoneGap Application Development

What is PhoneGap?

PhoneGap, also known as Apache Cordova, is an open source, cross-platform, mobile development framework that helps developers code various apps for several smart devices in one go. 

It allows the developers to assemble hybrid applications using CSS3, JavaScript, and HTML5 rather than opting for platform-based APIs like iOS, Android, or Windows.

PhoneGap applications are developed with expanded features for JavaScript and HTML. These apps are hybrid and neither local nor web apps. They are usually referred to as packaged apps, as they come in bundles for the end user.

PhoneGap Apps and Their UI

Apps made with PhoneGap run in a windowless, full screen web browser, with the UI layer made up of CSS and HTML components. This makes them responsive and very easy to make, while ensuring maximum compatibility for a wide range of devices and screen sizes.

Why Choose PhoneGap?

Developers prefer PhoneGap for its advanced features and the advantages it offers. Creating native apps for each platform would require separate development teams for each app. 

Additionally, PhoneGap mobile development allows you to create a single base code for all platforms, and simply export the resulting application for both platforms.

Let’s take a look at what makes PhoneGap the better choice over other CPTs:

  • Animations used in PhoneGap apps are usually faster compared to native apps, and CSS animations are more fluid, as compared to jQuery, because they are executed by browsers, which makes them faster and use lesser resources
  • Apps made with PhoneGap use GPS to identify the client’s exact location. Then it extracts their details based on their location
  • The integration of both -  the internal files and web services is more advantageous for clients with different needs
  • Applications designed on PhoneGap can also run offline
  • Apps can be recompiled for other platforms, without any additional coding
  • Application logins can be set up to work with Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts
  • In depth tutorials and developer support community

PhoneGap is a great tool for creating any kind of mobile application. That said, every app development framework and tool may have certain limitations.

Have you considered using PhoneGap for your organization’s app development? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for reading!