Top Mobile App Development Trends That Will Rule in 2018

Top Mobile App Development Trends That Will Rule in 2018

Smartphones have turned into an inseparable part of our life. Getting up with a morning alarm, using Whatsapp, reading news, listening to music, viewing YouTube videos, replying emails, updating project status and so on, everything is flawlessly executed from our smartphones.

2017 was a remarkable year for application development. And now when a new year is at our doorsteps, it will surely bring some of the new trends in mobile application industry. To beat the competition, being an application development organization, we have collected a list of few trends that are surely going to rule in the year to come. So, without even wasting a single minute, let’s dive into the sea to get an idea of upcoming trends.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Today, in this busy world, no one has patience and time. With the innovation of AMP, the loading speed of page on mobile will become really quick. Apart from this amazing trend, another phenomenal function announced by Google is isolated search index only for mobile web. Looking from the SEO perspective, this can change the whole application development approach. AMP will empower the engineers to develop quick loading websites and mobile applications. This will decrease bounce rates and increase performance level over numerous mobile devices.

Blockchain

block-chain

This trend is still in existence and is going to continue in 2018 as well. In fact, it is going to stay for a long time. Blockchain applications are a record of organization’s details recorded as blocks whether it is bitcoins or transaction history. None of these records can be changed without changing all the consequent blocks alongside the collusion of the network. Blockchain application development can be a good way of putting your competitors aside if they haven’t worked on the trend.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Applications have started learning user’s preferences these days and are getting even smarter. Take any of the departments, cyber security, virtual personal assistant, IOT, everyone is turning their way towards machine learning and AI. It is being said that AI market is expected to experience revenue development of up to $47 billion by the year 2020.

Predictive Analysis

This trend is presently being implemented in various organizations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM and also by a few other tech giants of the industry. This trend is about predicting the future results by incorporating machine learning and AI. Know the future analysis of your business by considering the present information and market outputs.

Cloud Tech

cloud

Haven’t integrated Cloud Tech in your development procedure yet? Do it now! You can’t pass 2018 without Cloud tech. Out of all the major advantages of cloud tech, some are streamlined operations, decreasing equipment and facilitating, expanded application storage capacity and improved profitability and collaboration. If you expect to work with your application faultlessly, start using cloud tech ASAP.

Mobile Payment

mobile-payment

There has been an immense shift to the m-commerce with the boost in e-commerce applications and mobile banking. This has been supported more with Apple Pay and Google Wallet. This trend was also followed in 2017 and is expected to get stronger in 2018.

Android Instant Apps

Instant applications are essentially native applications which work like websites. Instant apps are exceptionally helpful that works significantly in getting more users. The need for application installation is eliminated, which in turn eliminates the barrier between applications and web. It runs easily on all Android versions and is additionally simple to share.

Lazy Loading

Many of the times clients abandon the application or website when pictures take too long to load. With lazy loading trend, this would not be acceptable. Now, pictures will be loaded just when turning on the page. Smart, isn’t that so? Bounce rate will decrease and conversion rate will increase with this rule.

AR and VR

Consider the Google and Apple events that occurred this year, both revealed integration in AR and VR. This obviously means next-generation applications, especially the gaming apps are all about VR and AR. The tech experts are expecting to produce revenue of $150 billion by the year 2020.

Edge Computation

The blast of IOT has made an inclination of intuitive computing technologies. Edge calculation is the way out for this. It essentially pushes the information, apps and computing powers away from its centralized point to the logical extremes of the network. A lot of tech giants have just begun putting resources into the hardware and software in edge computing.

Business Bots

The utilization of Chatbots is not in ample nowadays. But, mark my words, 2018 will encounter a gigantic adaption of the same.

Mobile application development trend is about to grow even more in 2018. So, app developers, buckle your boots, analyze the trends and start working on it.

 

How Mobile App Development is More Than Mere Coding?

How Mobile App Development is More Than Mere Coding

At Seasia, development of a mobile application does not just mean designing and coding, but is a much more involved process, encompassing different approaches, development, quality assurance, delivery and maintenance.

We take this extensive approach as it’s impossible to make a successful product without these aspects. A product can be technically sound, but will fail if it does not offer value to its users or is not needed in the market. Likewise, the inimitable value of the product can be clear, but the product might fail if the user experience is poor and has imperfections.

This is why we thought of sharing an overview of how we approach product development, demonstrating the considerations for a more holistic process can greatly benefit the quality of your product and its ability to succeed in the market.

1. Product Definition

Product definition focuses on determining the goals of the product, mapping business objectives, market and competitor research, and creating a mobile strategy. At Seasia, product definition is completed in an intensive 2-3 day of boarding and project kickoff process, with a clear set of goals together with:

• Identifying the business and technical challenges to be elucidated from a feature standpoint
• Identifying the KPIs and success metrics
• Creating an ordered product roadmap
• Discussing key questions or problems to success

Towards the end of this process, we provide a set of deliverables that include the user personas, journey personas, wireframes/sketches, storyboard, and a visual app pattern.

Our onboarding process works to set the quality and priority of the delivery schedule for the project; ensures that we have a solid foundation to build a successful, in demand product; and allows our squads to make the essential decisions to deliver a great product.

2. Design

Our design process focuses just on the end user. All the decisions are made by keeping in mind the user, which is why mapping out user personas during product definition is so grave. Understanding the user and their needs helps inform design that makes the experience with the app easy and pleasurable.

While designing a product, we focus on building a usable yet aesthetically pleasing mobile application that offers a smooth experience. It does not matter how good the product looks if it has a poor user experience.

From product definition itself, we are able to take insights and innovations we make and apply them visually through a process of ideation, formation, prototyping, and styling.

3. Development

Our development process combines elements of various agile philosophies that allow us to create great apps, reduce risk, minimize downtime, and maintain project velocity. The central doctrines of our development process are described below.

4. Flexible, Squad-Based Development

Flexibility is an essential aspect of agile methodology in theory, but not in practice. Flexibility is important because it lets you shift and adapt to the changing circumstances and project needs without affecting the velocity of the project. The reason why teams struggle with it is for the reason that it needs to be infused straight into the development process, which is not an easy feat.

At Seasia, the arrangement of our development team and the methods we follow are aimed to provide flexibility. For mobile application development, we use squadrons- small cross functional teams that share knowledge, plan together, complete the code reviews, and have an identified capacity that allows us to scale (up or down) within that capacity based on the project needs. There are numerous advantages to use this approach: faster development cycles, seamless knowledge transfer, reduced downtime, and an overall saving in the project risk.

We also make the most of rolling wave planning, which involves adjourning the product decisions until you are in the best place to make them. This allows the flexibility to adapt instead of having to stand by or re-plan a large document with the requirements that was conscripted earlier.

5. Sprints

Sprints are common agile development concepts that involve short development iterations. The purpose of these iterations is to accelerate the development and divide projects into smaller, attainable goals that can be achieved indefinite time frames. This allows the teams to be more productive, more accurate with the time estimations and you don’t waste resources in the event that produces a shift in the objectives of the business.

6. Story Points & Predictable Project Velocity

We plan and evaluate the capacity based on the story points. Stories are small units that define features from a user viewpoint. We allocate values to each story using a points system that measures its intricacy; the more complex the story, the more story points it would be awarded.

The capacity of the Squad is also defined in the story points. Expressively, a squad has a maximum of 25 story points per sprint. This verdict is based on our past projects that have allowed us to determine an unswerving number of story points we have been able to get through in the sprints from our former projects. This system allows us to estimate the time the project will take in the complete the work and maintain the project velocity.

7. Quality Assurance

The quality assurance serves the simple function of keeping the bugs away from the final builds. The QA team at Seasia is integrated with the development throughout the SDLC which helps in reducing delays and bottlenecks and ensures that the defects are corrected as and when discovered.

We use a combination of the testing practices and have a dedicated product team. Furthermore, we use an integrated system that gathers projects, checks for errors, and allocates the application to the product team for test analysis.

8. Delivery

Once the application is ready to be published, we also handle submission processes for the app stores.

For iOS, there is a vital yet overlooked phase that many don’t really consider in project timelines, but certainly should. If done inaccurately, the acceptance into the App Store can take up to a week, though stretched if the submission is overruled.

At Seasia, we also have a product release management system that assembles all the assets, enhances the app listing, and concludes the submission process as per the guidelines of the app store being submitted to.

Finally, looking at your mobile application project afar the scope of development is important to create a successful product. While from a design and technical perspective, the project needs to be sound, you also need a mobile strategy, a clear value, intention, an understanding of your customers, and a process for the testing and delivery. This holistic approach is what differentiates between the failure and success of the highly competing app ecosystem.

What’s Firebase?

What’s Firebase

Firebase is a powerful product that gives you the tools to develop robust applications which enables us to increase our user base and use AdMob to earn money. It allows us to use its key features like Realtime Database, User Authentication, and Hosting for free and is very reliable. One of the main problems that developers usually face is that they have to build complex structures and logics to manage data and flow of the application. This takes a lot of their time and efforts. Now with the help of Firebase, one can now get work done much more efficiently and with minimum efforts as it manages all the complex data structures by itself.
Realtime database is a unique feature provided by Firebase as it does not require user to refresh the web page or the application screen to get the updated data. Data will be updated as soon as it has been modified on any other connected system. Firebase has its own SDK which manages these tasks all by itself and user does not have to do anything manually for that. Thus, whenever a Firebase database updates, all connected users receive updates in realtime. This also eliminates the requirement for ‘pull-to-refresh’ in the applications as the data will be updated all by itself. This saves time and enables developer to focus on the functionality.
Firebase is time efficient and is rich of very helpful tools which are easy to use for entry level developers and experienced developers both.
Some of the key features provided by Firebase for Mobile Development are as following:

  • Analytics
  • Cloud Messaging
  • Authentication
  • Realtime Database
  • Storage
  • Hosting
  • Remote Configuration
  • Test Lab
  • Crash Reporting

Analytics:
Google Analytics is set to be replaced by Firebase Analytics. Firebase Analytics allows us to use all the features of Google Analytics and in addition to that it allows us to link different sets of users with different sets of rules i.e. we can decide what a user can see in our application.
Firebase Analytics is an application measurement tool. It is totally free to use and there is no quota. It provides insight on application usage and user engagement. It allows us to define custom users which can help us to manage different type of demographics. We can use these different categories to target specific set of users. That can be done by using different Firebase features such as notifications. It also helps you figure out how everyone is using the application on different platforms (i.e. Android, iOS and web). If you need to perform custom analysis or join your data with other sources you can link your analytics data to ‘BigQuery’, which allows more complex analysis like querying large data sets and joining multiple data sources. It also keeps logs events for each crash so you can get a sense of the rate of crashes for different versions or regions, allowing you to gain insight into which users are impacted. You can also create a custom set of audiences for users who have experienced multiple crashes and communicate with them via FCM. It manages the version of OS and devices getting the most crashes on and it can help us to figure out what the issue might be.

Cloud Messaging:
Firebase is set to replace the well-known GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) with its FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging). FCM is free, reliable and easy to implement as compared to GCM. Using FCM, you can notify a client application at any time and about anything. We can send notifications to specific set of users or to everyone at once. It also allows us to set a specific time at which we went to send the message to the user.

Key features of FCM:

  • Send notification messages or data messages
  • Versatile message targeting
  • Send messages from client apps

Authentication:
This is one of the basic features provided by Firebase. This allows user to save and sync the data over the cloud with ease. Firebase securely saves the user data and takes privacy seriously which makes it more reliable and trustworthy. Firebase provides several methods for user to sign up/sign in. User can simply use traditional Email Id and password to sign up or can use Facebook, Google, Twitter and GitHub accounts to sign up. Firebase provides very easy to understand SDKs for all of these. Read more about it: https://firebase.google.com/docs/auth/android/manage-users
Apart from this, it also provides Anonymous sign in. This creates a temporary account for the user so that he can use the application. We can limit the temporary user to what he/she can view in our application. This helps undeceive users to get an idea about what to expect from the application before creating an account. And if the temporary user decides to make an account then we can link his temporary account to the actual account so that he does not lose his/her data.

Realtime Database:
As mentioned above, realtime database is one of the most interesting features provided by Firebase. We can add, update or remove data from one device and the changes will reflect on all the linked devices instantly and without any user interaction. The data is also available even if the user gets offline. The data can be updated while being offline and the changes will reflect as soon as the user is again connected to the network. The data stored is in the form of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) which is very easy to manage.

Implementation (Android):
Implementing Firebase is quick and easy. With intuitive APIs packaged into a single SDK, you can focus on solving your customer’s problems and not waste time building complex infrastructures. Currently Firebase gives support to build applications on Android, iOS and Web.
Prerequisites for building an app in Android:

  • A device running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer, and Google Play services 9.2.1 or newer.
  • The Google Play services SDK from the Android SDK Manager.
  • Android Studio 1.5 or higher.
  • An Android Studio project and its package name.

Now, after setting up an Android project you need to add rules to your root-level build.gradle file, to include the google-services plugin:
buildscript {
dependencies {
classpath ‘com.google.gms:google-services:3.0.0’
}
}
Then, in your module Gradle file (usually the app/build.gradle), add the apply plugin line at the bottom of the file to enable the Gradle plugin:
apply plugin: ‘com.android.application’

android {
// …
}

dependencies {
// …
compile ‘com.google.firebase:firebase-core:9.2.1’
}

// ADD THIS AT THE BOTTOM
apply plugin: ‘com.google.gms.google-services’

After doing that we will be able to use Firebase with your application. For more information regarding the same, kindly visit https://firebase.google.com/docs/

Conclusion:
Firebase is very powerful and easy to use. This certainly makes life of a developer less painful and he can think less about logics related to data management as Firebase does that with ease and with limited lines of code. Firebase is free to use unless you want features like Test Labs (which runs custom test scripts on hundreds of device configurations and gives you feedback) or increase cloud storage space, which is not usually required if you do not have a huge user base. Firebase is now very important part of development and will be with us for a long time to come.