Essential Elements of Internet of Things Strategy

May 08, 2017
The Internet of Things is all about new creating a world of opportunities. But with opportunities come challenges. The long journey of Internet of Things requires careful planning and evaluation of objectives to ensure your business can leverage IoT opportunities.Before installing sensors, deciding on the infrastructure, working from the cloud and analyzing data, organizations should pause to deeply consider what IoT means to them and how it can work to the highest potential. The journey requires innovative thinking and technological breakthrough.Here are essential elements of Internet of Things Solutions strategy:

Evolution & Planning phase

A strategy begins with idea and scales to new heights over a period of time. To put it in simple terms a strategy begins with just the basics. It could be the stage of gathering information, planning and strategizing. The rough vision provides a first-hand idea of what could be achieved. Once you have a rough vision it is about time to validate and incorporate ideas into prototype. The validated strategy provides a roadmap for final strategy. This will be the strategy document for any additional IoT projects in the future.

Select the Right IoT Platform and Solution Provider

IoT is a complex system requiring running of multiple systems. Beware of the pitfalls of complexity that come with running multiple systems based on multiple point solutions. Experts recommend partnering with an Internet of Things development company and IoT platform vendor or for a seamless experience for all your project requirements.Many midsized-to-large enterprise software vendors have ventured into the IoT market in recent years, offering IoT products, but few are complete IoT platforms that solve objectives. With a robust platform, there might be need to depend on different partners to deliver IoT products and services. This will increase level of complexity and costs, as well as expanding capabilities.

Getting Smarter with IoT

IoT and smart home automation system developers need to think about the big picture. IoT is about making lives of users smarter, healthier, safer and more comfortable. Whether it is home automation, energy monitoring, entertainment automation, or security automation, it is all about understanding consumers and making their lives simpler. The home devices need to connect to the cloud, understand home-related tasks to efficiently meet the needs of the residents, ensuring their comfort and security.

Driving Operational Efficiencies

The value of IoT is clear. It should drive operational efficiencies and reintroduce new business models. Your IoT strategy should provide effective way to improve cut costs and improve the possibility of adding revenue streams. By using computers, devices, sensors and real-time data, organizations can move to a data-centric approach.

Conclusion

While IoT is in nascent stage, many challenges remain. Customer expectations are hard to gauge and millions of endpoints need to be integrated. This is a humongous task considering security and reliability. Users are now becoming more aware about controlling their personal data and concerned about tracking of information, as well as vulnerability of the devices and clouds that make up the IoT.In such scenario, companies and perhaps some highly regulated industries might be unwilling to share data in an IoT context, especially given the ambiguity about stability and security....

Tips for Apple Watch App Development

May 03, 2017
According to CSS Insight's global wearables forecast, sales of wearable will jump from 29 million units in 2014 to 172 million by 2018. Juniper Research predicts global revenues from wearables reaching an all-time high of $53.2 billion by 2019, a nearly 12-fold increase compared to 2014. Apple released its Apple Watch smartwatch in 2015 and it is redefining the power and reach of wearable technology. If you are taking a plunge into Apple Watch app development, here are few pointers that will help you leverage the power of Apple Watch.

Go Minimalistic

Remember, minimalistic design is the key to Apple Watch design and development. Stay above the clutter and keep the use of graphic elements to the bare minimum. Real estate screen space is premium: so don’t clutter the screen space. Think in terms of characters to persuasively display impactful content that users will connect with just one look at their wrists.

Don’t create replica of iPhone app

Remember, creating a replica of iPhone app is not the right strategy. Think about designing your app from ground up. Don’t forget the screen size of Apple Watch. It is important to focus only on essential elements which accentuate on Apple Watch screen and highlight on core functionality. You can use the entire space of the screen, edge-to-edge. There is no need for margins, as the wearable’s bezel provides the much needed visual padding.Your app should not be like an app designed for a smartphone or tablet: it has to be truly modified and adapted to be used on a wearable device.

Glances and Actionable Notifications

Glances and Actionable Notifications display only glimpses of information on the Apple Watch. A Glance provides context-driven overview of app content. The only interaction available is tapping on the notification to open the app to the appropriate screen.Notifications goes a step further by providing text and app icon. Users can activate the long notification by keeping their wrist raised or interacting with the screen. Long notifications provide additional information and optional actions (like a dismiss button). Like the Glance, users can tap on the notification to open the app and view a screen of the developer’s choosing.

User Interfaces on watchOS

Apple Watch comes about as one of the most personalized device ever. This makes designing Watch app one of the most challenging tasks. User interface for Apple Watch needs to display information effectively, quickly as well as facilitate seamless navigation and interactions. In order to create such kind of interface means you need custom approach and not just porting your existing iOS app behavior over to Apple Watch.

Make Apps Contextual:

Apple Watch apps needs to anticipate the user’s needs and the best way to achieve this goal is to ensure that the information on screen is highly relevant and contextual. Your app should take complete advantage to update information, use background to get new data, and update complication or refresh snapshot. The custom notification interfaces include common actions to handle most frequent tasks without opening the app.

Conclusion

Apple Watch’s guidelines for developers advise that interactions with the device should be limited to 30 seconds or preferably less. With just a raise of the wrist, users can receive and respond to notifications, the challenge has a lot to do with the ability to seek simplicity. Developing for Apple Watch means providing app users with helpful and impactful information in the most convenient way...

How much does an AR App Cost? – Augmented Reality

Mar 06, 2017
Augmented Reality is gaining popularity at a phenomenal pace. The AR market is poised to grow to $90 billion by 2020. With the success of Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality has gone mainstream. With more than 20 million active users daily, this groundbreaking app has been downloaded more than 100 million times. Augmented Reality is expected to grow by 35% with expected revenue to reach $100 billion by 2020.If you think Augmented Reality is limited to gaming apps, you are mistaken. Many businesses right from startups to large enterprises have started to embrace the power of Augmented Reality to streamline efficiency, improve client satisfaction ratio and help the workforce prioritize and execute tasks faster, minimizing errors and increasing overall accountability.However, businesses have just scratched the surface. There are plenty of opportunities yet to be discovered. For companies and entrepreneurs looking to build augmented reality app, there are several questions about its practical applications, platform support to picking the right development partner. However, the concern that tops the list is how much it costs to build an augmented reality application.

Related Case Study:

 Here are the factors that determine the cost of augmented reality application

Complexity & Platform

The main critical factor determining the pricing of AR app is its complexity and user interface. The user interface of an app for web or desktop application is far more complex compared to interface for smart phones and tablets. In smartphone apps, Augmented reality app development for Android might be challenging due to wide variety of screen sizes of devices and the highly fragmented world of Android. On the other hand, iOS offers a great degree of standardization.The more devices and operating systems your app supports, it would require more testing as well as adapting for various screen sizes and resolutions.

Application Features and Design

Whether you are opting for minimal or all inclusive features, the cost of an AR app is directly proportional to features, design, and functionality. The technical specifications of the app, whether it’s a list based, or a database based application or one with or without a server can affect the cost. There are several free solutions for implementing augmented reality functionality. However, such free solutions might work for initial testing and gaining skills in this technology. But these free tools might not serve the purpose if you are looking for customized solutions to enhance your business operations.

In-app Purchase or Free to Download

Augmented reality can connect the physical, digital and human experience completely changing everything, from education, manufacturing to sales. This revolutionary technology is changing the way businesses react with its customer. The cost of Augmented Reality app depends on whether you opt for free to download model or in-app purchases. Should there be in-app purchase options or does the AR app require full eCommerce functionality to increase bottom-line results? All these things can and will affect the overall cost of your augmented reality app.

Industry based AR Solutions

Several organizations across diverse industries such as ecommerce, travel and education are using scalable AR solutions. Pricing models significantly change based on factors such as support and volume of usage fees. The costs of an AR mobile app development transcends beyond the initial concept and interface development. There are various costs which might just add up to the cost such as app monitoring and maintenance, administration, testing, updates and server costs.

Got an idea for an AR app?

If you have an idea for an AR app or looking for specific pricing information related to your project, contact us today. You can also check our case studies for exclusive projects related to Augmented Reality. ...

Build an Instant Messaging App like Whatsapp for Android and

Apr 26, 2016
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Instant messaging apps have grown in popularity at phenomenal pace. These apps have seemingly replaced traditional text(sms) messaging. With a user base of one billion, WhatsApp continues to be leading force to reckon and one of the most popular messaging applications across the globe.Hidden Brains, we have extensive experience building WhatsApp like instant messaging apps using Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). We can partner with you to build instant messaging app so that you don’t have to worry about the hassles of managing source code of this complex app.Given the extensive experience in developing messaging/chatting apps, our team of mobile app developers at Hidden Brains excels in providing custom chatting application solutions depending upon client's specifications. We have successfully developed WhatsApp like apps that allow exploring new groups and finding new people across the globe in a secure manner.Instant Message Apps FeaturesOffline Connectivity Now you can connect with users even when they are offline. Hidden Brains’ suite of instant messaging app development solutions offline messaging feature support allows users to stay in touch by ensuring that a user is able to deliver necessary information even if the recipient is not online.Image and Video SharingHidden Brains has designed excellent chat experience allowing users to share multimedia files and high resolution images, videos and much more with the option to share any number of multimedia files with contacts.Screen Sharing OptionThe screen sharing option in the chat app solution enables users to share screens with other users at a remote location. As a result, users in remote location can monitor what is being performed on the screen.Creating GroupsChat applications that let users to create groups and add multiple contacts in group. Just like Whatsapp you can assign group name, status and group profile pics. Also you can share image, videos, contacts, and location in the group with the option to leave or delete group.
Related: Group Chat & Security Notifications App by our Expert Chat App Developers
Benefits of Partnering with Hidden BrainsCertified and Expert DevelopersLooking to develop a Android Whatsapp Clone app at affordable rate? Well, look no further. Hidden Brains offers a team of professional mobile app developers with extensive knowledge to implement your instant messaging app development projects.InfrastructureWe offer world-class solutions to take your idea to the next level, using secure and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. Our cutting-edge infrastructure enables us to provide high performance apps that are scalable, robust and secure.Quality PolicyWe adhere to ISO: 9000 Quality Policy across all the processes, communication and outcomes. Our team travel extra mile to provide the deliverables with primary focus on long-term excellence in projects. Get the perfect solution in line with your needs.Confidentiality and SecurityWe ensure consistent compliance and security planning to ensure seamless performance of critical processes. We ensure 100% confidentiality and strict NDA terms.Competitive PricingGet affordable rates, with flexible pricing models fit for your business. You can hire mobile app developers according to your needs on hourly, full-time and part-time basis. Our transparent pricing strategies with a combination of ‘right’ elements are at par with the industry standards.Dedicated SupportOur dedicated support staff solves your technical and non-technical questions without any hassles. We ensure that your questions related to customization will be forwarded to technical expert for swift problem solving.If you are looking to build instant messaging apps, get in touch with Hidden Brains to transform your vision into reality. ...

Open Source Swift – Now Ready for Android App Developm

Jan 25, 2016
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Apple at the WWDC 2015, had promised of making its popular SWIFT programming language available under an Open-Source license by the end of 2015. One of the main take away from such an announcement according to Apple Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi was to “make Swift available everywhere and used by everyone".As we move into 2016, we find developers across platforms having a gala time getting the best of the lightning fast Swift language (initially intended for iOS and OS X applications) that has made development faster and easier.How Android Developers can Harness Apple’s SwiftWith Swift becoming available for Android development as part of Apple's decision to open-source the programming language, it has opened up opportunities for developers to run Swift code on an Android device. So how does it work?
Related: Mobile App Development Trends 2016
Well, Swift uses the LLVM compiler (interestingly both LLVM and Swift were designed by Chris Lattner) – wherein, the current Swift compiler built on top of LLVM plugs into LLVM to generate binaries.
apple-swift-compiler
Being a compiler infrastructure that leverages the very interesting concept of a retargetable compiler, LLVM instead of generating machine code targeting a specific architecture generates assembly code for an imaginary machine. It then converts that intermediary representation to actual code for the architecture as per requirement.The Process: How to Build Android App with SwiftOn requesting the Swift compiler to generate LLVM-IR (intermediate representation); LLVM also generates the ARM ELF file format used from the IR. Thereafter, the Android NDK that allows for use of native-code languages on Android generates a binary linking against the generated object file. So the file that you get is packaged as an Android app.The most evitable question hereafter is what issues developers will face. Well, the biggest issue is going to be the absence of SwiftCore library, for Apple as of now won’t be shipping an Android version. But experts opine that there can be an alternate way out, for not all Swift code require the SwiftCore library. Thereby, as long as you use the subset of Swift that do not hit SwiftCore it’s pretty much sorted. Another limitation developers might face is the absence of Swift UI framework on Android yet.The road ahead…..With Swift being made available via open source, development tool companies will be able to write IDEs in which developers can write in Swift and directly compile to Android. This makes it all the more important for Apple's Swift open-sourcing effort to include SwiftCore, and then getting a SwiftCore library on Android - as a matter of rebuilding it.
Visit our Swift app development page for more info. on latest offerings.
Being a programming language very similar to Java and C#, it is not very difficult to get Swift to compile toward Android. The only difference is that Swift is newer and has some newer concepts, even though Java keeps getting upgraded.
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Top Security Flaws to Avoid In Android App Development

Jan 21, 2016
security flaws to avoid in android app development
The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report revealed statistics on the much expected lines, with Android dominating the market with an 82.8% share in 2015 Q2. However, like every good things, Android platform faces the flak of being the most targeted when it comes to security.Android as an operating system comes with security features built into it that significantly diminish the frequency and impact of app security issues. In fact, the Android OS is such designed so as to allow you to typically build your apps with default system and file permissions and avoid difficult decisions about security.Considering that Android users are aware of platform weaknesses and application security, here are a few significant security flaws Android app developers need to avoid during Android app development:  
Executing Input Validation One of the most common security problems affecting Android application is Insufficient Input Validation. Android does have platform-level countermeasures that reduce the exposure of applications to input validation issues and those features should be used wherever possible.So, in case you are using native code, then any data read from files, received over the network, or received from an IPC has the potential to introduce a security issue. Here, the most common problems faced are buffer overflows, use after free, and off-by-one errors.WHAT TO DO: Even though Android offers a number of technologies like ASLR and DEP so as to help reduce the exploitability of these errors, they do not necessarily solve the primary problem. Such vulnerabilities can be prevented by carefully handling pointers and managing buffers.  
Client-Side Injection Mobile apps often process and store data locally - particularly those that offer the flexibility of offline sync. So, if input is not appropriately validated, these apps can easily fall prey to code injection attacks on the client side, which may vary in scope and severity subject to the knowledge level of the attacker and the authorization set for the application.It is a fact that such kind of attack in mobile apps is not always foreseen by developers as they are more tuned to HTML injections and cross-site scripting that is common in web applications. While client-side code injection is a definite possibility in any app that accepts input; in Android, this could manifest as a piece of Java code passed through a text field that could unsettle the functioning of the app.WHAT TO DO: Include validation of input fields into your Android security testing checklist.  
Involuntary Data Leaks One may not really believe that all data leaks are unintended. However, it is a fact that in spite ofInformation loss due to sloppy and insecure data storage implementation, app developers are totally oblivious to this kind of data leakage. The risks of unintended data leakage refers to situations where a developer fail to realize that sensitive information is being stored/cached/logged elsewhere in the device. This may be easily accessible to other apps, malicious or otherwise - mostly as a side-effect due to peculiarities in the mobile OS.WHAT TO DO: Try threat modelling of the operating system during security testing to see how it handles these features, so as to control the imminent danger. Even though copy/paste buffer caching cannot be avoided entirely, it can be ensured that no sensitive data is copied into buffer during development.  
Weak Server-Side Controls Server-side vulnerabilities is undeniably the most feared mobile security threats, and such flaws often rise from the delusion that a mobile OS takes full responsibility for security - resulting in developers failing to impose security mechanisms they would typically do in the case of a web application.Considering data residing on your application servers can be hacked, and every request from the app can be replicated or tampered with, with or without the help of a mobile phone. All that is required to cause the rumpus is an API requester since most of these applications work on REST API or SOAP API structure.WHAT TO DO: Enforce secure coding practices at the server end. Harness experienced development partners to rule out server-side weakness arising out of cross-platform development.  
Faulty Cryptography Considered to be one of the commonly adopted means of protecting sensitive information, Cryptography is also implemented in mobile application, so as to encrypt information before it is stored or transferred. However, it is important to take care of broken or faulty encryption mechanism, as liberties cannot be taken with sensitive data. While poor implementation can expose all of the information contained in your Android app, it can result in code or information theft and violation of privacy as well.WHAT TO DO: Choose the right algorithm, right key length, and correct implementation protocol.What measures are you taking on your Android app development process so as to avoid security flaws in Android App. We’d love to hear from you....

Top 5 Qualities of a Successful Mobile Application

Dec 16, 2015
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The app economy is booming at a phenomenal pace. It is now an industry worth billions of dollars. According to Statista, the global mobile app revenues in the U.S. are expected to grow to 76.52 billion US dollars in 2017. There are millions of apps out there in iTunes and Google Play Store for each and every category imaginable. But how many apps are getting noticed and generating revenue? (more…)...

Native, Web or Hybrid Apps Development? Which One Works for

Nov 24, 2015
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The app world is redefining the way we live and the way we do business. It opens up a whole new world of limitless opportunities. Mobile apps have played a vital role in making today’s world more social, open and connected. The focus has now shifted from what’s on the web to what’s on the apps on our mobile devices.While the app world could be extremely exciting, it could be equally confusing. The very question that is likely to bog you down in the very initial stage is which type of app development method should you go for? Well, there is no fixed answer. There are several factors that will play a key role in your decision. This article will try to provide you several pointers that will help you determine which type of app you should select.Native AppsNative apps are developed specifically for the platform and take complete advantage of all device features. High on performance and fast, native mobile applications can access mobile platform and features such as camera, the GPS, the accelerometer, the list of contacts for a better user experience. Native apps get complete support from their relevant app stores and users can easily find and download apps of their choice for app stores.Native apps turn out to be feasible option for developers, who are provided the SDK and all other tools to create the app with much more ease.Advantages of native apps
  • Fast and most responsive experience for users
  • Native apps can use device’s notification system and work offline
  • Native apps follow design guidelines and standards of each platform for an immersive experience
  •   Disadvantages of native apps
  • Native app will not work with other devices
  • Build and maintain multiple, separate versions of your app for different platforms
  • Expensive and high on budget

  •   Web Apps   Well, they are not apps listed in the app store, rather they are websites that look, feel and work like native applications. Web apps use JavaScript, CSS, HTML5 and the core purpose of web apps is to make content or functionality available on mobile devices and platforms.  Web app load on any mobile browser such as Safari or Chrome just like any other website. Your target audience does not have to worry about space available on their devices and can access the web app whenever the need arises. No need to install the app from the app store.Advantages of Web Apps
  • Easy to maintain, as web apps have a common code base across multiple mobile platforms
  • No need to download app from the App Store
  • Apps can be released at any time with updates
  •   Disadvantages of Web Apps
  • Lack of monetization in absence of app store downloads/traffic
  • Difficult to discover a Web app
  • Expensive to support web apps for multiple mobile browsers

  •   Hybrid Apps For all those seeking best of both worlds, you can check out the hybrid option. These apps are relatively quick to build using web technologies, such as HTML5, CSS and Javascript. In order to access core functionality of device and superior user experience some part of native coding is also used. Hybrid apps allow cross-platform development and reduce cost involved in development. The same HTML code components can be reused for several mobile operating systems and tools such as PhoneGap allow people to design and code across platforms, using HTML.Advantages of Hybrid Apps
  • Faster to develop for different platforms
  • Reduce development costs
  •   Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps
  • Time consuming to fix the app rather building it
  • Creating smooth and functional app for each platform can turn out to be a challenge
  • Total cost involved to get Hybrid app run on each platform often comparable to that of native apps

  •   Which one works? The answer depends entirely on your needs and budget. It is equally important to consider your business objectives and target audience needs. Also, think about your technical expertise or your team’s technical strength.  We couldn’t stress on the importance of hiring a great developer to realize your mobile app vision.
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    Top Android App Development Tips for Beginners

    Oct 15, 2015
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    According to statistics available, the number of Android applications in the Google Play Store, formerly known as Android Market, from December 2009 to July 2015 is increasing at a rapid pace.
    statista-available-applications-google-play-store-statistics Image Courtesy: statista.com
    The number of available apps in the Google Play Store surpassed 1 million apps in July 2013 and most recently placed at 1.6 million apps in July 2015. With nearly 1.6 millions apps in the Google Play, there is no guaranteed formula of what works in the app world and what does not. Some Android apps flaunt impressive download numbers and reviews. On the other hand, some Android apps find it difficult to rise above obscurity.If you’re a new Android app developer, you will undoubtedly feel intimidated with hundreds of thousands of apps on the Google Play store. You have a great idea for mobile app and confident about transforming your app idea into reality. But you'll need to take additional steps in order to get an app out there and attract users.What does it take to click in the Google Play Store? Here are few tips that will help new developers crack the code.Make Android Guidelines your Best FriendGoogle has laid out certain guidelines and expects that every developer should follow these guidelines. The guidelines are primarily designed to maintain app’s consistency with one another and make Android a big ecosystem. Once you follow the guidelines, users will understand how your app works.  Ultimately, you will make your app an enjoyable experience.Google completely revamped the user interface design for Android in Lollipop. The UI now has bright colors and “cards” that have shadows and new animations. The need for app designers and developers to follow guidelines ensures that users will a unified experience.Stay UpdatedGoogle releases new updates to its SDK on a continuous basis. The primary aim behind this update is to let developers try out different ways of development techniques that could be implemented in apps. Once you keep the app updated by implementing the latest technology, you stay competitive in the Google Play Store. Furthermore, users appreciate the fact that your app meets the standards.Think About UsersRemember, developing app is not about you. Everything revolves around your users. The best way to improve your app is to get into user’s psyche. Try to address concerns and value users’ feedback.  Users simply feel stunned when developers actually implement their suggestions in the apps. Always glean through users reviews on the Google Play Store or social networking sites for your app. Remember, today’s savvy users appreciate the fact that you take feedback seriously and they in turn will continue using your app. Users are your most important group of people who want to play a key role in improving your app. So why turn a blind eye to users.Sometimes developer’s own preferences force them to overlook what the majority of people really care about. It is important to gather as much feedback about Android application and above all, be sure to implement the changes.Live and Breathe AndroidYou are planning to launch an Android app, but you don’t use the device. Well, that is a recipe for disaster. It is important to live and breathe Android and know what’s next to gain the first-mover advantage. Be a part of Android community sites and harness Android SDK for maximum advantage. You need to connect with fellow Android developers, use your Android device extensively in order to improve your skills as an Android developer.Diversity is the keyAndroid is open source platform that provides users the flexibility and abundance of choice. Unfortunately, this freedom also gives rise to the problem of fragmentation that continues to add to Android developers woes. Android runs on different devices with multiple screen sizes. This makes it a developer’s nightmare to test app on each and every device possible. It is important to maintain consistency across devices.FinallyThere is no denying that you will come across glitches. But the true challenge is about defying limits. It is all about converting pitfalls into opportunities. Think about reaching out to millions of users across the globe with your best Android App.
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