Tag Archive for: current trends in mobile app development

Open Source Android App Development Software

It seems like everyone’s enamored by open source these days. From solo developers through to large corporations, the free software movement has left its mark. And, this is overwhelmingly positive since it liberates developers from the shackles associated with paid software, which may include mounting costs and dubious licensing agreements.

1. Why Opting For Open Source Solutions Makes Sense

The hard truth is that app development can get expensive in the long run. And one reason why this is a common occurrence is due to rising software licensing costs. If we look at the Android development landscape, the mission-critical Android Studio IDE is freely available. While this may be a boon for cash-strapped developers, others may not like using this particular IDE or programming in Java or Kotlin.

Some may opt for Embarcadero’s RAD Studio, while others may settle for Microsoft’s Visual Studio. But for the higher-tier subscriptions, both IDEs are prohibitively expensive. Moreover, many developers may require additional tools such as code obfuscators, profilers, and UI/UX design software, to name a few. And as indispensable as these tools are, they do drive up development costs further.

So what should you do if you find your app development budget getting out of control? Start by seeking free software that offers similar functionality to paid solutions that you’re already using. Now, keep in mind that commercial vendors often have free or trial versions available for you to try out. But these have limited functionality or allow full functionality for a limited time only. Either way, this is far from ideal.

Luckily, we live in an era where open source solutions have become readily accepted. And there’s a good reason why this has happened. Unlike paid solutions, open-source software is free with no remuneration expected from users. Not only that, there are seldom any restrictive policies or cryptic end-user license agreements (EULAs) that raise concern. Instead, open-source software complies with licenses and standards approved by the Open Source Initiative.

2. Several Great Open Source Tools For Developing Android Apps

There are a plethora of excellent tools that should be part of your tech stack. And since these are open source solutions, your team may extend and modify these to fit the requirements of your projects.

  • Eclipse – The popular open-source IDE used for creating Android, Java, and web applications.
  • Godot – It’s an intuitive, feature-rich, and powerful game engine suitable for AR & VR projects.
  • libGDX – A battle-tested, lightweight, and versatile framework for making games using Kotlin or Java.
  • LeakCanary – Spotting memory leaks can be tricky, but LeakCanary makes it easy by automating the process.
  • Flutter – Google’s cross-platform UI toolkit facilitates speedy development and compiles down to ARM machine code.
  • NativeScript – It’s a framework that makes Android app development possible with JavaScript or TypeScript.
  • Obfuscapk – Bad actors can decompile your APK and look at its source code, but Obfuscapk protects it with black-box obfuscation.

3. The Realities Of Free Software

It’s hard not to like software that delivers, especially if it’s free. But the question you may be asking is — is free software really that good? Isn’t there a quality downgrade when compared to commercial alternatives? Well, that depends. The quality of open source software has been rising consistently and is often on par, if not better, than commercial solutions. 

However, the opposite is also true. It’s not uncommon for open source solutions to lack polish, have too many bugs, and not undergo proper software maintenance. For better or worse, many open-source projects are in the hands of small teams of developers that tend to be underfunded. They’ll often self-fund these projects or rely on donations from the community for support.

The Bottom Line

Android app development can be a fun and rewarding experience. After all, the platform boasts several powerful tools that make it easy to create impressive apps. But don’t shy away from adding more tools in your toolbox that will improve your workflow without breaking the bank. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create phenomenal apps with the most appropriate technologies.

How To Create An App Like Instacart For Grocery Shopping

Instacart is a popular service, which offers customers in the United States and Canada grocery shopping and same-day deliveries. Customers can easily and quickly place orders via Instacart’s expertly designed app. Find out how to create such an app right here!

What Is Instacart And Why You Should Care

Instacart is a company based in San Francisco and founded by a former Amazon employee in 2012. It provides shoppers with a convenient grocery delivery service via its mobile app and website. And in the current pandemic era, such an initiative makes good business sense. After all, Instacart serves approximately 500,000 customers and generates an impressive $1.5 billion in revenue. Given that grocery shopping accounts for over $1 trillion in business in the United States, there’s still plenty of room for growth.

But what makes this service invaluable is its customer-centric approach. Customers are assigned personal shoppers to fulfill their orders and expedite deliveries within a given time frame. Furthermore, customers can make payments with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), credit, or debit card. Instacart charges a delivery fee of $3.99 for orders of $35 or more and an additional 5% service fee. And participating retailers are allowed to set the prices for all the items they list in the Instacart marketplace.

Aim To Make Grocery Delivery Easy

When you sit down with your team to brainstorm ideas for your app, always consider user interaction and engagement. Ideally, you’ll want to plan out an efficient and straightforward pathway for users to follow. Implement UX design principles, such as information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design, for the best results.

Also, ensure that your user interface (UI) is cohesive across all target platforms. Utilize the same design language on Android, iOS, and the web, and make it easy for users to engage with your app if they decide to switch platforms. And clearly show information, such as the price, manufacturing date, ingredients, and expiry date of each item.

Implement Order Tracking And Multiple Payment Options

The primary reason to develop a grocery delivery app is to save the customer time. So, you’ll need to implement a robust order tracking system that utilizes the GPS in the customer’s smartphone. Thus, your order tracking system should accurately determine the amount of time it will take for items to reach customers based on their location. You can further improve delivery times by analyzing data from the route optimization system used by delivery workers.

Also, don’t forget to implement multiple payment options. Allow customers to pay using their preferred method of payment as quickly as possible. Don’t bog them down with a convoluted payment form or registration process.

Offer A Helping Hand

Most of the best apps make it easy for users to provide feedback and receive help. That’s why you must integrate a feedback system for customers to leave comments about the efficacy of your grocery delivery service. Furthermore, have a help center available to address customer complaints and resolve payment issues.

Final Thoughts

An endeavor such as Instacart requires delivery workers, fulfillment centers, and establishing partnerships with retailers. Moreover, it’s essential to comply with local government guidelines and regulations to remain within the law. But it’s worth the effort if you want to tap into a burgeoning industry that has a bright future ahead. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create powerful apps that facilitate grocery delivery.

Current Trends In Mobile App Development: Mobile App Security

In today’s world, security has become paramount in mobile app development especially in securing the user’s data. A breach in mobile security could spell doom for large and small business enterprises as the hackers could gain access to personal data and banking information and live location of its users.

Consumers of Apps depend on organizations to thoroughly test their applications before deployment. They also trust that their data is protected not just from hackers but also 3rd parties like malware. Due diligence is of utmost importance for NS804 as they work to ensure customers have a great experience when using technology.

How to keep data on mobile business apps encrypted

Businesses must keep their data secure from hackers and competitors. These can only be done by creating the best strategy for safekeeping. A formal IT security strategy stipulates how data will be protected and what will be done should anything go wrong. An incident response strategy keeps the business steps ahead.

Good software could come in handy to protect data from malware. In addition to this, applying a firewall and keeping the emails clean from spam will help secure your business data. A business must invest in the best software as it saves you from data recovery costs.

The use of solid passwords would come in handy to keep the wireless network secure. This is done through numbers, letters, and special characters to make it difficult to guess.

Also, all passwords should be safeguarded and kept only by password managers. This action protects employees from remembering them or, worse, writing them down.

Software should be updated regularly and automatically to its latest versions. Hackers enjoy the opportunities that older versions of software pose to exploit vulnerabilities. Security systems should be updated to seal this loophole.

Moreover, it is prudent that the operating systems and other software are to their latest versions.

Lastly, data should be disposed of properly to ensure it does not land in the wrong hands. A Proper data destruction policy should be laid down to ensure data is unrecoverable. It is wise to use a tool that overwrites your data multiple times hence making it unrecoverable.

Why is App testing critical to security?

Mobile App testing is an active process that rigorously analyses an app’s weaknesses, strengths, and vulnerabilities. It is a dynamic process because hackers and potential intruders keep inventing new techniques.

As an enterprise in app development, one should be in touch with the latest design trends in app development. Their motivation could be recognition, money, and even fun.

Most business enterprises experience budget constraints in their lifetime. This is the top reason for the poor security of business mobile applications. Companies need to conduct extensive research when trying to cut costs, especially choosing offshore software developers. A breach in security could lead to customers losing their confidence in an organization.

Subsequently, this could lead to intense damage to a brand name. Reputation is vital even when selling an idea to potential investors. Remediation costs could even be higher than application testing costs.

The right building blocks help to cut down on shortcut costs and keep customers happy. It also eases your work as a developer.

Top 6 Mobile App Security Threats

Mobile application security threats could be classified into different categories: network-based threats, web-based threats, application-based threats, and physical threats.

  1. Insufficient authentication and authorization controls. If the rules are flawed, they allow intruders to execute functionalities in the backend server or mobile application.These modifications could ultimately compromise the backend services. Countering this threat could involve multi-factor authentication to validate a user’s identity on the platform. The use of security questions as well as one-time passwords could come in handy.
  2. Malware has consistently been a common threat affecting apps today because it constantly evolves and takes new forms. The best and easiest way to protect your devices from malware is to avoid getting infected in the first place.Combating this crisis would involve the use of antivirus software. Once installed, ensure it is updated regularly for efficiency. Also, look out for indicators such as Emails opened from unknown IP addresses as this could be a sign of an unknown malware in your computer.
  3. The choice of an operating system (OS) will ultimately affect its performance for the intended job. Small and medium enterprises may find OS expensive to buy and maintain. They are also not entirely secure; hence if an issue occurs, one might lose all the data stored in the system.It would be wise to install the right and secure OS for the intended work and budget for it to avoid shortcuts.
  4. Login security protocol has been a significant mobile app security threat. In mobile app development, it is necessary to provide consumers with a secure way to log in. The user interface should be not only friendly but also secure for its users. This is where trust is built.Also, when a gadget is lost or stolen, one should lock it remotely or engage the remote data wipe feature. The use of multi-level authentication and use of security questions comes in handy to protect consumers. When this is not done, one’s data could be obtained for identity theft, among other crimes.
  5. The Internet of things (IoT) could also present a mobile app threat, especially if a bug is embedded in the system. This is because other connected devices will become corrupted. Moreover, currently, there is no international standard of compatibility for IoT. It presents a problem for devices from different manufactures to communicate with each other.
  6. Lastly, switching between devices poses a security threat in the sharing of data such as passwords. For this reason, some of the best practices in mobile app development require one to secure the app and consumers’ data.In the event a person logs in from a different device, further authentication procedures should follow. End-to-end encryption of data ensures data is protected from unauthorized access.

Manufacturers of mobile devices have gone a step further to secure their devices and give consumers a great customer experience. The use of phone locks has facilitated this. A person can draw a pattern, input their password or use their fingerprint to unlock a device.

Moreover, Android users have a feature to help them “find my device.” This has proven to be helpful, especially for clients in areas prone to theft of mobile devices.

Mobile App developers have also upgraded their data encryption to allow only authorized users access to the devices’ information. A robust hardware device will be best compatible with reliable software.

In summary, current trends in mobile app developments only require the best from app developers. Security ranks as a top priority in custom and business mobile apps development. Companies as well as individuals rely on these applications to process data and simplify work. We cannot let them down, and not in this century.