Tag Archive for: Android or iOS development

Which Programming Language Is Right For Your iOS App?

Choosing a programming language for your upcoming iOS project may be an easy or difficult decision. If your team already has a tried and true workflow using one or more programming languages, then it’s a no-brainer. For example, your team develops exclusively for Apple devices and uses Swift and Objective-C on an ongoing basis. And since they’re so experienced in these languages and deeply embedded in Apple’s ecosystem, they may have little need to explore alternatives.

But what if your team wishes to target multiple platforms or develop mobile games? Well, it’s possible to do this using Swift or Objective-C, but it’s not an ideal solution. You’ll need to use cross-compilers and translation tools to target non-Apple platforms. Furthermore, there are few game development engines and tools that support both these languages.

So if you want to forge ahead with iOS app development without these limitations, you do have plenty of good options available. A quick look at the TIOBE Index reveals a plethora of languages that are way more popular than either Swift or Objective-C. And while you should never judge a programming language by its popularity, it’s still important to ascertain how well it’s adopted and supported by the industry. Below, we reveal the languages that you should consider and their use case.

1. Swift

The development of the Swift programming language is a collaboration between Apple and various open-source contributors. It’s a powerful multi-paradigm language that’s block-structured, functional, declarative, and object-oriented. Introduced in 2014 as an alternative to Objective-C, Swift has gradually surpassed its predecessor in popularity. And unlike Objective-C, the primary focus of Swift is on safety and a dot-notation style using namespaces, bringing it closer to other object-oriented languages such as C# and Java.

While Swift massively improves on Objective-C while retaining its core concepts, it’s not without its shortcomings. As stated earlier, it’s an excellent language for iOS app development. But game developers will feel limited with the frameworks and tools available for Swift. Apple’s SpriteKit may be handy but not on par with tools available for other languages. 

2. C#

Introduced by Microsoft in 2000, C# was designed by Anders Hejlsberg, the original author of Turbo Pascal and chief architect of Delphi. C# shares many similarities with those two languages and also closely resembles Java. To run, it requires Microsoft’s .NET that consists of a rather elaborate series of frameworks, runtimes, and SDKs. For newer developers, the .NET ecosystem is undoubtedly complex, with a steep learning curve. Furthermore, C# programmers must learn to tame the .NET garbage collector (GC) for optimal results.

Over the past decade, C# has become the darling of indie and mobile game developers. Several excellent cross-platform game engines and frameworks, such as Unity, Godot, MonoGame, OpenTK, Stride, and Wave Engine support C#. Another good framework for cross-platform development is Xamarin, which offers near-native performance even when targeting iOS.

3. Java

Java is one of the most mature and battle-tested object-oriented languages out there. Designed by Jamie Gosling and introduced in 1995, Java has become a stalwart for enterprise developers worldwide. It’s also widely used by Android developers, even though Google is moving ahead with its successor — Kotlin. And as of September 2021, the language comes third in the TIOBE Index rankings, which is a testament to its popularity.

Moreover, Java is renowned for its verbosity, which may dissuade developers accustomed to more streamlined languages. But that doesn’t stop it from being a good option for Android-first developers that also wish to target iOS. It’s a more convoluted process since Apple doesn’t allow for dynamic code generation, which Java outputs via its just-in-time (JIT) compiler. Thus, developers will require several tools, such as a Mac build system, Xcode, OpenJDK, Zero interpreter, libffi, and libfreetype, to support iOS devices.

4. C++

First appearing in 1985, C++ quickly became adopted by programmers requiring a powerful language for creating resource-intensive applications. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup, primarily as an expansion to the C programming language with the addition of classes. And similarly to Java and Swift, C++ is multi-paradigm and object-oriented, meant for several use cases. 

But where it truly shines is in its performance, which is second to none given the language’s close-to-the-metal approach. Unlike other languages that require an interpreter or virtual machine (VM), C++ interacts directly with the hardware, giving it a tremendous speed advantage. While it’s not necessary or advisable to develop an ordinary iOS app using C++, it’s ideal for developing games. It’s possible to create impressive 3D mobile games and virtual reality (VR) experiences with Unreal Engine, which utilizes a C++ scripting component.

5. JavaScript

If there’s one language that’s impacted web development, then it’s none other than JavaScript. Introduced in 1995 and created by Brendan Eich, JavaScript is an event-driven, high-level, and multi-paradigm language. Furthermore, it’s part of the C-family of programming languages and uses a curly-bracket syntax. Many browsers come equipped with a JavaScript engine, allowing code to run on a user’s PC or smartphone. 

Initially, JavaScript served as a client-side and website programming language but eventually became adopted as a server-side language after the introduction of Node.js. And with the advent of frameworks such as Apache Cordova, NativeScript, and React Native, JavaScript programmers can target mobile devices too. So, if your team has a web development background, nothing is holding them back from developing an iOS app. But you’ll unlikely achieve equivalent results to a natively developed app from a performance and UX design perspective.

6. Python

Designed as a beginner-friendly language and released in 1991, Python was the brainchild of Guido van Rossum. And while it enjoyed minimal fanfare upon release, it currently ranks second place in the TIOBE Index. The language utilizes an interpreter and relies on indentation for easier readability. Thus, it’s a good option for Rapid Application Development (RAD) and smaller projects. And in recent years, data analysts and scientists have adopted Python for its excellent machine learning (ML) capabilities.

But the question you should be asking is — is Python a good choice for iOS app development? Well, that largely depends on the type of app you want to make. If you set out to create a minimum viable product (MVP), you’ll benefit from the quick turnaround that Python facilitates. And cross-platform frameworks such as BeeWare and Kivy make such an outcome possible. Also, Python is an excellent choice if you plan on implementing machine learning in your upcoming app.

However, it may not be the right choice for creating a complex app or an intense 3D mobile game. While Python has many positives, it’s not as performant and robust as Swift, Java, and C#. And many frameworks and tools for the language come from the open-source community. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but it’s more reassuring to receive support for your development tools from a reliable and registered company.

Always Choose The Programming Language That Best Fits Your Needs

No programming language is a silver bullet. Your team may have a favorite language, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every type of application. That’s why it’s crucial to have exposure to a wide range of programming languages and tools. And then, choose those that best fit the criteria for your upcoming project.

Apple’s development tools are great and should be your first port of call when targeting iOS. But never ignore the many excellent programming languages, tools, and frameworks available elsewhere. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps with the most up-to-date technologies.

How To Create A Food Delivery App Like DoorDash

Online food delivery platforms such as DoorDash make it easy for users to purchase food from their favorite restaurants. This expertly designed app facilitates convenient and frictionless online food ordering transactions in multiple territories. Below, we reveal what you need to know about creating a food delivery app.

1. Online Food Ordering Is Enjoying Phenomenal Growth

It’s a decision most of us have made. We opted to spend a quiet Friday evening at home instead of standing in line outside our favorite eatery. But we still craved that tasty pizza or sushi from the restaurant across town while we watched Netflix. So we did what most savvy consumers do nowadays and whipped out our smartphones. We ordered directly from the restaurant’s website or app or via a third-party food delivery app.

Our order arrived in record time, and then we munched down on our delicious meal. We barely gave a thought about how quick and convenient online food ordering has become. Yet, what makes this industry segment so compelling is how frictionless it has made the food delivery process. With just a few clicks, taps, and swipes, hungry customers don’t have to leave home or their place of work to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And this combination of technology and convenience is making a considerable impact. Consider that the food industry has an annual growth rate of approximately 3.7%. However, online food delivery has achieved annual growth rates of 15-20%, which is impressive. And much of this business is driven by platforms such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

2. Enter DoorDash

The platform that we’ll focus on from here on out is DoorDash. It’s a technology company based in San Francisco and founded by Stanford University students in 2013. Today, the company serves customers in Australia, Canada, and the United States across 4,000 cities. And what DoorDash does so well is connecting customers with a myriad of eateries in their vicinity.

The DoorDash app is available for Android and iOS, and the core user base consists of younger time-strapped families. Thus, the app’s developers constantly refine the user experience and interface (UX/UI) to save customers time.

3. Key Features To Implement In Your Food Delivery App

Eateries that join the DoorDash program must upload their menus and images of food items. However, some establishments fail to upload relevant images, which frustrates customers. So, there’s an opportunity to improve on the concept by making image uploads a mandatory process. And several other features that you need to implement in your online food ordering app include the following:

  • Search box
  • Filtering
  • Food customization
  • Order history
  • Pre-order
  • Cashback and discount offers
  • Ratings
  • Restaurant address
  • Delivery & special instructions
  • Pick up
  • Push notifications
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Live chat

4. Craft Your User Flow

Users should discover interesting eateries in their area and make their way to the checkout screen as quickly as possible. Thus, you’ll need to map out all the steps users will take by drawing up a flowchart. Also, consider how they navigate your app via the search box and the various filter and sort options. Several of these options will consist of the following:

  • Rating
  • Under 30 min
  • Pickup
  • Vegetarian
  • Menu price
  • Group order

Then, design your app’s screens with wireframes before putting together a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). DoorDash, in its current form, has come a long way and utilizes advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms. But since you’re likely testing the market, it’s unnecessary to add complex features during the initial stages of development.

The Bottom Line

Developing a food delivery app such as DoorDash makes good business sense. Younger users are increasingly relying on their smartphones to book plane tickets through to ordering food. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create apps that make food delivery a cinch.

A Quick Intro To iOS App Development

Many aspiring appreneurs need to have an understanding of iOS app development. Fortunately, Apple has made it relatively easy for novices and experts to develop for their key platforms. With powerful tools such as Xcode and the Swift programming language, there’s never been a better time to create unique apps for iOS.

1. The Many Faces Of iOS App Development

While the Apple ecosystem may be pretty cohesive, this isn’t necessarily true for app development. And what we mean by this is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing apps for iOS. Quite frankly, this isn’t a bad thing, as developers often require more than one toolchain or methodology to complete their projects.

Now, for most projects, Apple’s proprietary Xcode IDE and Swift programming language are good enough. And this is especially true if you plan on developing native-only iOS apps. Furthermore, utilizing Apple’s development tools and closely following their guidelines will allow you to create high-quality and performance-oriented apps, which would be difficult to achieve using third-party or cross-platform tools.

But what if you’re a small team with a limited budget that wants to support both iOS and Android? Then, you have two options that you should consider carefully. Option one: develop the native iOS app in-house and seek the assistance of a professional studio, such as NS804, to handle native development for the Android version. And option two: use a cross-platform framework such as React Native or Xamarin to develop for both platforms entirely in-house. We firmly believe that you’ll achieve better results with the first option.

2. Beyond The Standard Toolchain

As we mentioned earlier, Xcode and Swift will suffice for most purposes. However, your iOS app development needs may vary, and you may require an additional or more powerful toolchain. Perhaps, you’ve decided to create an augmented reality (AR) app or a mobile game. And then, quickly discover that Xcode isn’t the most efficient tool for the job. What then?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent frameworks and game engines to help you achieve your goals. One of the most popular solutions for developing AR, VR, and mobile games is Unity. And if you require the best possible visual fidelity, you may want to consider Unreal Engine. But do keep in mind that both engines are bloated and heavy on system resources, especially Unreal. So, if your project doesn’t require the latest 3D rendering techniques and particle systems, then you’re better served elsewhere.

For example, if you’re developing a simple 2D game, you may want to use an open-source framework, such as MonoGame. This framework offers developers the bare-essential functionality and integrations with APIs to make fun games for iOS and several other platforms. But if you require a full-fledged engine that’s also lightweight and open-source, then consider Godot. A key benefit of Godot is that it regularly receives updates and optimizations from its vibrant developer community.

3. Understanding APIs And Why They Are Necessary

For better or worse, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are essential components in developing apps. Fortunately, Apple’s APIs are among the best in the industry and help make the development process a lot easier.

But what exactly is an API, and why should you care? In a nutshell, an API acts as a messenger or intermediary between various hardware components and software instructions. We may have an API that generates graphics on the screen based on draw calls in a computer program. And we may also have an API that transfers user data from a smartphone to a server. Thus, developers can accomplish various complex tasks, as these APIs handle most of the heavy lifting.

APIs bring forth many obvious cost and time-saving benefits, and you should use them when necessary. Apple has wisely introduced several useful APIs that every iOS developer should familiarize themselves with:

  • Apple Music API – Geared towards apps that require data about albums, artists, chart rankings, music videos, playlists, ratings, reviews, songs, and user-generated content. Also, developers may utilize Apple Music API when creating Android apps and websites.
  • Metal – An API that facilitates 3D rendering and data-parallel calculations by utilizing the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on Apple devices. It’s used extensively for games, visual-oriented apps, and extensive scientific calculations.
  • StoreKit – For developers that need to support in-app purchases in their apps. StoreKit also integrates with Ad Network Attribution, Apple Music, and Recommendations and Reviews in the App Store.
  • SwiftUI – A powerful and developer-friendly UI (User Interface) suite, which uses AppKit and UIKit. It allows developers to create modern-looking apps with as little code as possible.

4. The Bare Minimum Requirements For iOS App Development

It’s essential to own at least one Apple Mac computer, which you’ll use to develop your iOS app. Preferably, it should be a recent model for quicker compile times and better compatibility with newer versions of Xcode. You should also own at least one iPhone and iPad to test your app on, even though Xcode provides a simulator. As good as the simulator may be, it’s always good practice to test your app on actual hardware.

After you download Xcode, take the time to familiarize yourself with the integrated development environment (IDE). And if you have prior experience with Objective-C or a similar programming language, the transition to Swift should be easy. But developing for iOS isn’t just about learning Swift, as you’ll also need to comprehend the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK consists of several APIs and frameworks, which are essential for your app development journey.

You’ll also want to register an Apple Developer account and become a member of the Developer Program. A key benefit of joining this program is that you’ll gain access to resources that will help you with deployment. Furthermore, you may want to sign up for the Xcode Cloud, a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) service. Xcode Cloud will allow you to automate your workflow, build in the cloud, and initiate parallel testing.

5. Become Acquainted With The App Store

As an appreneur, you’ll eventually release your app on the App Store, as that’s where your potential customers congregate. But before you launch, you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the App Store for maximum success. You’ll need to research your target audience and craft an app and marketing message to appeal to these users.

And if you’re releasing on both the App Store and Google Play, you’ll need to understand the differences between these two stores. After all, you’re dealing with two different audiences that have very different expectations. iOS users tend to earn higher incomes and are more willing to pay for apps that show promise. Android users, on the other hand, prefer free apps that are mostly monetized by ads.

Final Thoughts

iOS app development can be fun and very rewarding with the right approach. In most cases, you’ll want to utilize Apple’s proprietary tools, such as Xcode and iOS Software Development Kit (SDK). But you can always integrate an additional toolchain when necessary. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal iOS apps.

App Development Trends: The Rise Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has taken the world by storm. What has particularly led to the rise of m-commerce is the ubiquity of the internet, social media networks, search engines, and changing lifestyle patterns. Phones provide convenience and speed over tablets and laptops – turning them into the most preferred way to shop, bank, and browse.

What Is M-Commerce and How Is It Different?

E-Commerce has been around for decades, but it may not be the next true frontier particularly as m-commerce continues to take shape and to become more popular among the millennials. But what is m-commerce and how does it compare to e-commerce? What particularly makes m-commerce quite discrete in the current changing wave of shopping?

Put it simply: m-commerce entails shopping through a mobile phone (or smartphone), while e-commerce entails shopping online through your tablet or the computer. What makes m-commerce different is that it hosts a range of technological advances that make it faster, convenient, flexible and affordable.

Indeed, m-commerce is poised to burst into fame and straight into the limelight courtesy of its exciting features and advanced developments that make shopping quite a rewarding experience. What precisely defines and distinguishes m-commerce is the speed, superior customer experience of viewing and selecting products, as well as the convenience of shopping wherever and whenever you want.

Types of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of small financial-based activities done online. The first type of m-commerce is mobile money transfers that entail broadly transferring or wiring money from one bank to another through mobile platforms. Mobile commerce also entails electronic tickets and boarding passes paid through the mobile phone.

Mobile commerce has revamped particularly due to the growing need to pay transportation fees and finance other ticketing activities solely through the mobile phone. Digital content purchases and deliveries as well as mobile banking are other unique types of m-commerce. Mobile commerce has made it possible for artists and creatives to sell and buy copyrights online as well as support other music distribution activities.

Other types of m-commerce involve coupons, mobile marketing, and in-app payments. For instance, cab-hailing services like In-Driver, Uber, and Bolt have leveraged mobile commerce through in-app payments that enable clients to disburse payments via smartphone devices. Technologists predict that mobile commerce has unmatched potential to become a major shopping channel, and transform consumer shopping habits.

Must-Know M-Commerce Statistics

Insights drawn from trending statistics show that mobile commerce sales will skyrocket to $3.56 trillion by the end of 2021. More than 1 billion mobile phone users use their phones for banking purposes. Mobile devices account for 67.2% of all e-commerce and approximately 68% of the world population owns a mobile device in 2021.

Additional statistics show that 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their phones. In 2020, mobile retail revenues accounted for 339.09 billion. 72.9% of all e-commerce will be mobile commerce by the end of 2021. These statistics show just how a reckoning force mobile commerce will be, particularly as the world ushers in a new frontier of mobile shopping, banking, and browsing.

The Need For A Mobile Shopping App

The sky’s the limit for mobile commerce. Consumers are shopping online, today, than ever before – and this statement holds true across all sectors and industries worldwide. It is no secret that mobile consumption has taken over our lives more than ever before. According to a recent study, 96% of the American population owns a mobile device, while 81% of the population owns a smartphone. Looking around, almost everyone has these devices glued to their hands 24/7.

As a business owner, you need to recognize this trend and adapt. How precisely can you use this new and exciting trend to communicate to consumers, advertise, deliver products, process sales, and receive consumer feedback? Well, here are some top reasons you need a mobile shopping app.

  • Mobile commerce is the new trend – Sales from mobile commerce have taken over the e-commerce industry.
  • Consumers prefer mobile applications – Mobile applications are ubiquitous, they offer speed and convenience thus a special preference for consumers.
  • Gaining a competitive advantage – The e-commerce sector is highly dynamic and ever-changing, making it privy to competitive forces from existing players. To differentiate yourself and make a mark, transitioning fully to mobile commerce will help edge out the competition.
  • Higher conversion – The e-commerce sector thrives primarily due to the ubiquity of markets, social media networks, and mobile devices. Transitioning to an m-commerce model will lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Improving marketing communications – Mobile commerce provides a unique capability because mobile devices rely on AI bots to predict consumer searches and make accurate predictions of future search trends. This automatically leads to improved marketing communications through targeted advertising.

How an M-Commerce App Complements Brick-and-Mortar

The e-commerce boom has transformed the way people bank, shop, and browse. In many cases, this boom has had a deleterious effect on in-store sales. 2018 saw a 3.4% increase in e-commerce sales and a 15% increase in e-commerce. These statistics are a clear indication of the disparity in growth between e-commerce and in-store sales.

The m-commerce complements the brick-and-mortar model because, in in-store experiences, customers can view, buy the product and carry it home. However, what mobile commerce does is that it allows consumers to view the product, analyze the product features (for products that need analysis), and finally make an in-store purchase before the product is delivered. This means that mobile commerce bridges multiple gaps in customer viewing and purchases experiences, thus complementing the brick-and-mortar enterprises.

Android or iOS Development: Use One or Both?

Google and Apple both have fantastic app stores. However, Google is far much superior at app organization and letting consumers know about important information on the home screen. The Android app also hides less useful apps in the app drawer. In addition, Google app widgets are much more useful and functional than Apple’s.

However, due to the growing number of iPhone users, and the growing consumer hype around Apple devices, your mobile app development efforts must address both sides of the divide. This means that using both Android and iOS will ensure that consumers, regardless of their smartphone devices, can enjoy a personalized shopping experience.

Incorporating Secure Financial Transactions

The state of security for mobile commerce is an issue of strategic importance for mobile app developers. Just recently, TalkTalk and Vodafone suffered high-profile breaches making millions of clients privy to fraud and phishing attacks. The leakage of user credentials and personal information not only affects individual users, it impairs retailers who are affected by chargebacks on many fraudulent transactions.

There are three categories of services and applications that help businesses secure their mobile commerce transactions through user authentication. These include mobile environment security, mobile app security, and mobile-friendly user applications. Smartphone devices feature discrete security services and applications that seal them from potential, unauthorized access or infiltration. Incorporating secure financial transactions into the overall m-commerce architecture is a win for both retailers and consumers using mobile platforms.

E-Commerce, ERP And The Changing Face Of M-Commerce

Mobile commerce has marked a paradigm shift for e-commerce. Previously, e-commerce had dominated online sales and purchase activities, but with changing trends in mobile ownership, the ubiquity of smartphone devices, social networking sites, and changing lifestyle patterns, it is evident that e-commerce has been phased out. The enterprise resource planning will help enterprises to manage their mobile applications particularly as enterprises eye on m-commerce as the next new frontier. In response to this dramatic shift in m-commerce uptake, enterprises are likely to maintain m-commerce applications with changing trends.

What are you waiting for?

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