Why Should I Care About Mobile App Development?

We’re living in the age of mobile technology. Everyone has a smartphone. Almost everyone uses tablets. Desktops and laptops are becoming less and less popular with these small, user-friendly devices. So what does that mean for software development?

Well, it’s simple: mobile app development is growing a lot faster than browser-based software.

But what is mobile app development? Well, let’s start by talking about what it’s not. It’s not the process of building an app for one kind of device. It’s bigger than that. People own all sorts of mobile devices and the app you build must be able to run on any kind of operating system on every kind of smart device. Not so simple, huh?


Then what’s so exciting about mobile app development?

Here’s the draw for businesses: an app can be built in a short amount of time.

That’s because mobile apps are small and accessible for the developer. These applications often use a specific feature of a device, making things easier for the developer. For example, a whole game for your iPhone can be produced to take advantage of one single accelerometer. The accessibility makes things fast and inexpensive.

Developers, this is the future. Keep yourself on the edge of technological trends by learning mobile app development.

Whether you’ll be building a mobile app or you’ll be hiring someone to do so, it’s important to understand the current state of mobile app technology and where it’s going.


Mobile App Tools in 2018

Today we have two major platforms for app development:

  • iOS;
  • Android.

Others are mostly off the market (less than 2%), which includes Windows and Blackberry hanging on by a thread. Very soon, they’ll disappear.

Apple iOS is a mobile app platform which runs only on Apple products (iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, Apple Watches, and iPods). That means that iOS is not an open platform. Its user interface Cocoa Touch is a modified version of an Apple Cocoa UI (for OS X applications).

If you build a project for iOS, you’ll find that it’s relatively easy using special Apple tools and libraries (or simply a Mac on OS X). Development languages for this project include: Objective-C or Swift.

Android is the main competitor of Apple OS and its growing fast. It uses Linux kernel and development languages is Java. Android is often preferred for two reasons. First, it can run on numerous types of devices and under different hardware brands, which means more users can access it.

Another advantage is that because Google’s Android OS is an open platform, anyone can build a device that the app can run on. If your needs require not only a custom app, but also a custom device, you have the ability to use your app built on Android OS with your customized firmware.


Top programming languages for App Dev

There is a number of programming languages that you can use for the development process.

Tip: pick the cross-platform solution which supports a single programming language that you know. Don’t waste your time on building up a simple project but using a number of frameworks. Upgrade your knowledge after the app release.

The top programming languages for mobile development are:

  • HTML5 (HTML/CSS/JS) can be used if you want to develop a cross-platform browser- based  app. It requires an easy-to-find skill set and gives you a quicker time to market, however it doesn’t allow you to interact with device native functionality such as an accelerometer.
  • Java is used for Android and cross-platform Desktop apps. It’s a flexible and compiled language for building a mobile app.
  • Objective-C is a part of Apple development framework and was built to be used with iOS.
  • Swift is a language to write for Apple’s Cocoa Touch latest API. It’s similar to Objective-C but more secure and is the right choice if you just start building an iOS app.
  • C++ can be used for apps development on every platform that is on the market at the moment. Not so modern but so reliable.


Mobile area trends

If you’re just getting into software development, mobile development is a great place to start. The market will continue to grow, giving more engineers the chance to build mobile apps and providing entrepreneurs with software solutions to business problems.

In the near future, desktop-only applications will be old-school, and everyone will want their web content to be available on mobile. Be sure to get ahead, make your content available on mobile and learn the basics of mobile development.

Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation

Are you running a growing IT company? Maybe you’re managing a growing tech team. All at the same time, you’re developing long-term plans, acting as a liaison between departments and partners, and putting out daily fires… all within the constraints of deadlines and budgets.

And on top of that, you have to manage your team. Ideally, your employees are busy with new projects, never being over- or under-worked.

But let’s be realistic: it’s impossible to sustain consistent workflow.

When you land a big new project with strict deadlines, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So how do you possibly find talented engineers with experience to tackle your complicated project and no need for full-time or permanent employment?

That’s how staff augmentation can be your answer.

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How do I identify the right amount of money for my project in 2018?

Creating a business plan is a good first step towards answering the fundamental, and critical, question of how much money it will take to get the venture started.

When launching a new product, the main expenses to budget for are product development and marketing.

In this article, we will explore costs associated with product development. We’ll save marketing for a future post.

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Learn CX, not just UX

User experience (UX) is an incredibly important aspect of product design. Any product, whether physical or not, must be comfortable and clear for your customer. The shift in focus on User Experience has allowed companies like Apple to create mass dependence on their products as their designers are always prototyping more user-friendly products.

But we often forget that effective designers are looking through more than just the lens of users. In order to create a viable and profitable product, designers must also focus on Company Experience (CX), which requires them to put themselves in the shoes of of business analysts, sales professionals, developers, project managers, and others. In other words, it must be possible for the product to be developed in an inexpensive way without reducing the quality that users expect.

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Success is a process not a Result

Technology is the fastest growing industry today. With growth comes experience and with experience comes institutional knowledge. As a lifetime learner, I want to soak up as much insight from other experts in the field as possible. So, I attend conferences.

Last month, I had the privilege to attend The Payoneer Forum which sought to answer the essential question: How can an IT agency with only a few immature freelancers create successful processes to become a leader in the market?

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Multi Language Module in Drupal 7

We live in a world of hundreds of languages. A world that’s seeking interconnectedness and communication across these barriers. Technology has allowed us to have colleagues, friends and family members throughout the world and has given businesses the ability to have employees, customers and partners who speak different native languages.

With this in mind, we often have clients who need a website in multiple languages! So, developers need to use a multi-language solution. Within Drupal 7, and we use Internalization module to set up this solution. You can convert a site with the “Multi language installation” module to be represented in multiple languages.

In doing so, it’s important to remember how to add new language to the site via the administration panel. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here and describe how to setup multi-language site, so instead I’ll attach helpful links here, here and here.

But let’s be honest, you’re not going to read those articles. You’re busy.

So let’s look at the steps we need to take to use a multi-language solution in Drupal 7:

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How to Collaborate with Freelancers: Advantages & Disadvantages to Outsourcing IT

Outsourcing refers to hiring an outside, independent firm to perform a business function that internal employees might otherwise perform. Many organizations outsource jobs to specialized service companies, which frequently operate abroad. The outsourcing trend stands to continue and the latest wave of outsourcing impacts the information technology field. IT outsourcing includes data center operations, desktop and help desk support, software development, e-commerce outsourcing, software applications services, network operations and disaster recovery.

As with many new technology companies, Speed and Function works with freelancers as well. The key factors which have led to a growing trend of outsourcing in our company are:

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Get Better, Looking

Once in awhile you get shown the light, 
in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Grateful Dead, “Scarlet Begonias”

There are a handful of valuable insights and practices I first encountered studying Art Education at the undergraduate level that have proven relevant across other disciplines I have waded in since that time.

One such nugget is the routine of carefully observing what has happened and what is happening within your field. Put simply: the habit of looking. In this particular class—The History and Practice of Art Education—the instructor split our time 50/50 between studying the nuts and bolts of the title content and looking at and discussing its product: painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, etc. Twice weekly he would bring in a large stack of books from his personal collection and we (about five students) would simply flip through and discuss them at our leisure. We were also encouraged to subscribe to a good monthly art journal to maintain this practice outside of class. His position was that an art educator should have a natural, but also informed appreciation of the arts—certainly a step beyond the binary “like/don’t like” return he was probably used to receiving from undergrads. As well as being a civilized way to round off a day’s work (for an evening class) this routine also impacted my studio work where an idea and/or aesthetic I’d been exposed to might have utility.

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