Author Archives: Hussain Fakhruddin

Top 10 Event App Builders in 2019: Great Apps for Successful Events

Top event app builder platforms: A comparison

 

 

Gone are the days when building an app used to be a gargantuan task, achievable only by app developer warriors in iron-clad suits. The last part there might have been an exaggeration, but there’s no doubt about the authenticity of everything before that. Fast-forward to 2019, there are apps that can build apps now. Especially catering to the business event hosts and organisers, these event app builders provide quick and uncomplicated procedures, laced with a variety of event-exclusive features.

Here are the top 10 event app builders that you can choose from to make your business event a success.

Attendify: 

A pioneer in event apps, Attendify has set the bar high with its hard-to-beat features and competitive pricing. Formerly known as KitApps, the company adopted its current name to focus solely on servicing the events industry. It was the first to include private social networking and launch an open API that enabled third-party integration. With 70+ members in 4 countries providing event management products to clients based in over 80 countries, Attendify is a leader in its niche.

 

Cvent:

Enterprise event management on the cloud- that’s what Cvent is all about. It has partnered with thousands of event planners and hosts around the world. Its software solutions have been used in over 3.5 million events, and counting! Armed with unparalleled popularity, Cvent has been the revolutionising force in the event management sector, a fact that might not change for quite some time.

 

Eventify:

A relatively new entrant in this competition, Eventify is doing quite well for itself when it comes to providing event management solutions with custom-made event apps. It recently earned recognition from Google and received a funding commitment of $100,000. Propelling forward with full force now, its developers have plans to roll out many more features, adding to the much-praised ones it has now. Global push notifications, complete customisation control, and a horde of networking options are a few among the many offerings that are turning heads towards Eventify.

 

Eventbrite:

Events that involve the sale of tickets can get complicated very soon if attendees experience hiccups in the payment process. It can drive down attendance harshly. Eventbrite offers ticketing solutions that are unparalleled in ease and comfort. As an organiser, you can see the live sales count and revenue generated on the app. Your attendees can sail through the ticket purchasing process smoothly with multiple payment options. Eventbrite has an array of utility apps that make organising and checking in to events a breeze.

 

HelloCrowd:

Another event app builder of repute, HelloCrowd is a dominating force with many essential features that allow users to create beautiful event apps that provide all the necessary functions and information to attendees. With the ability to add custom branding, upload documents and videos related to the event, enhanced event security, and many more handy features, HelloCrowd has attracted the event-organising crowd.

 

 

Whova:

Lead generation and networking are the biggest factors that dictate the success of any business event or conference. Attendees want to make as many effective connections as possible, and you can make that happen with Whova’s top-notch social features. It offers affordable event registration, time-saving event management, and powerful event marketing, to ensure victory for your event. It won’t remain a one-time affair anymore.

 

RegFox:

When it comes to making an app that’s exclusive to your event, you don’t want a third-party calling the shots for what should or shouldn’t be on your app. RegFox promises its users the independence and freedom of choice that they yearn for. It also boasts of offering the lowest cost in the industry. The small team at WebConnex that’s behind RegFox, has a client list that puts the big names featured on this article to shame.

 

Aidaio:

Another universal app maker, Aidaio has also made it easy to build event apps. With almost no technical know-how required to get started and published, you can make apps for the Android and iOS store. With over 80 features exclusively catering to an event organiser’s needs, it has successfully launched over 800 events.

 

Appinstitute:

While not exclusively for events, Appinstitute has integrated event app building features that are simple to use and cover all the necessary functions. Place in a booking system, add your own content, send push notifications, and a team of experts ready to help you build a customised app in case you have too much on your hands at that moment.

 

Appypie:

The drag and drop mechanism has been used efficiently in the Appypie event app builder. Adding and promoting events is not a pain anymore as one of Appypie’s useful features is the automatic grabbing of content from social media platforms your event appears on. Monetizing your events is also possible from within this builder, which lets you create many other kinds of apps as well.

 

The best part of having an app builder to create event apps is the minimal costs associated with it. Make the correct choice and you have complete control over the UI, UX, and content of your event app, the crucial factors that make an app effective and popular, and with it garner the most attendance for your business event as well.

Hiring React Native Developers: 6 Skills To Look For

 

Tips to hire react native developers

 

Teksmobile was not always the competitive, top-of-the-line app development team that it is now. It had to overcome various hurdles, most of all, it had to nurture and grow its developers in Australia to become better acquainted with its goals and channel their skills towards them.

When React Native came around and proved its mettle as a cross-platform development platform, the crew was in a sudden requirement of talented players who could take us up to this new course that had new bumps. Hiring a React Native app developer with specific, essential skills was a challenge, and it was not just us who faced them. But now, with a global market for us to serve, we are taking a shot with this article at helping app development startups in Australia and beyond to become successful at hiring React Native talents.

Why React Native?

In a previous article, we discussed why React Native has been the leader in this race of cross-platform developer frameworks. It has plenty of useful features that make development easier and apps smoother. Coupled with the fact that it is based on the well-known JavaScript language, developers adopted it quickly. React Native is open-source as well, and this has helped it in bypassing many bugs that other cross-platform SDKs face now. If you are still working with native development, it is time to change ways soon.

Top Essential Skills You Should Look For When Hiring React Native App Developers

Going forward as an app development firm requires great adaptive abilities. The fact that you’re reading this article affirms the fact that you possess them. Before you begin the hiring process, you have to prepare whether you’re an expert developer yourself or just have a basic grasp of that job. What are the essentially important skills that you must test the React Native developers on? Here you go:

  • JavaScript: First and foremost, test their skills in JavaScript. It’s needless to say that if someone claims to have a working knowledge of React Native, they are already adept with JavaScript. But how good are they? They should be good enough to help you start developing mobile apps with React Native without further ado.
  • Native Development: Just because there are easier options available, the knowledge of natively developing apps for Android and iOS separately has not nulled in value. Developers must still have a strong hold over native app development. You can preferably test the candidates’ skills in the Swift and Objective-C languages and the Xcode IDE to know their efficiency in iOS app development. For Android development, Java and Kotlin languages and experience with Android Studio must be tested.
  • Backend Development: A good developer can not only manage the front-end of an app or website, but (s)he also takes care of the backend development. Working on React Native requires proactive backend skills in services like Meteor and Parse Server. It then becomes necessary for any recruiter to do a quick inspection to see how much the potential team member knows about this phase of app creation.
  • Running Debugs and Tests: There are plenty of handy tools and services that allow a developer to quickly debug and test the app. Some can do it in real time when writing the code while others check the code during compilation. Sentry, HockeyApp, Redux, Enzyme, and Jest are a few important ones that your favourite developer must have hands-on experience in. Just knowledge won’t cut it.
  • Optimisation and Navigation: A part of debugging and testing the app is to make it easy to navigate and optimise it for the best performance. The best apps out there are optimised to run on newer and older smartphone models. While you don’t have to make it available for all Android OS and iOS versions, a few older versions would be fine. Your React Native expert should be knowledgeable about adjusting the app features and its navigation for this purpose.
  • Communication: Many skilled and masterful coders often miss out on this important skill. The result? An app that no one ever planned for. Communicating with the rest of the team and the coordinator is an integral aspect of building apps that stay true to the app development firm’s purpose and strategy. Confident and well-spoken individuals might be very difficult to find, but compromising too much is not recommended.

Teksmobile has dedicated developers who are experts in the frameworks and SDKs they specialize in. No wonder we are going strong even after 13 years, still competing and delivering as we promise. With great React Native applications, a mobile and app development company can taste success. Hard work and consistency – even at the grassroots level – is crucial, no doubt. When you combine these with the talented React developers you hire for app development, there’s no saying how far you can go!

 

Is Your ‘Great’ App Failing? These Might Be The Reasons!

Tips to make your mobile app successful

Building an app is not a complex task these days. Even without any in-depth knowledge about the native and cross-platform frameworks that exist, one can create practical and resourceful apps from scratch with tools like PhoneGap. However, an entrepreneur who wants to change the game for iOS and Android users would not be satisfied with a basic app. App developers are aplenty and so are mobile apps. Yet potentially great apps might not always turn out to be successful.

A study by Statista shows that by the end of Q3 of 2018 there were over 4 million apps on the Play and App stores. The numbers are staggering, and partly the reason why a large percentage of apps fail.

  • In the social networking world, Facebook is ruling at the top after acquiring its close competitors, Instagram and Whatsapp. Snapchat, however, has seen a rise in popularity, especially with the younger demographic. There are several messaging platforms that offer a fair amount of competition too. Imagine making a new messaging platform in such a market. What are the chances of success? Pretty slim, unless your idea is a real marvel.

What Can You Do To Make a Successful Mobile App?

 

Scoping the Field for Competitors: The first thing that an entrepreneur should think about before hiring developers is analysing the kind of competition that exists in the niche of the potential app. Researching and targeting an audience is another important step towards making a successful app. Choosing the least competitive category might not be the best idea. Risks are always there – but these big decisions, if taken wisely, set a strong foundation for the app.

Designing the Interface for an Awesome Experience: UX and UI are the next hurdles or big opportunities, depending on what you make of them, on this success journey. UX designing includes integrating relevant and easy-to-use functions in the app so that user experience is heightened. A big factor affecting UX is UI, and that’s why these terms are almost always used together. UI is the ‘User Interface’, that is, the design and layout of the app.

Many tech bloggers encourage developers to think out-of-the-box, when selecting an app design. You’ll find, however, that your app does well even when you stay inside the box and keep things balanced.

Chemistry Between Designers and Developers: With this, we move towards the next stop on the road – good cooperation and teamwork among designers and developers. A beautiful mobile app design can go down the drain if the developer is not in sync with it. The designer would have to hand over the layout, layers, and screens of the app to the coder to make them functional. Without clear and adequate communication, there is a big chance of the app going wrong. Mistakes are expensive in the development stage. Therefore, make sure that your team works in harmony.

Responding to Feedback and Being Flexible: Once your app is released into the wild, there is still work remaining to be done. Your testers might have cleared it for consumption, but the real feedback comes from the general masses – your target audience. And you must pay attention to them. There are metrics that show how successful your app is. The main ones are ratings, reviews, and the number of downloads. These statistics are present there for the people to see. On top of that, they are the only ones who have control over these metrics. So many things to keep in mind when you get back a critical review that suggests you need to make changes in your app.

Take your users seriously. Or at least try to make them feel that you do, especially with the stupid ones.

The success of your app doesn’t always rest in your hands. There are factors beyond your control that could either make your app soar in popularity very quickly or, God forbid, cause it to stagnate. Apart from those factors, why don’t you make the most of what lies in your control? Good intentions, combined with a great product and efficient marketing, have shaped leading apps into what they are now. There is no reason why yours can’t be next.

 

The Rise & Rise Of The Popularity Of React Native

 

React Native Important Features

 

App developers face a great dilemma every time they begin work on a new project. The deadline is like a sword hanging over their heads, no doubt. Add to that the pressure to develop an app that sells. Since 2013, app developers for hire have found a new ally in React Native that has shouldered most of their burdens. It has ensured that the apps they create are worth the time and money they cost. This open-source, cross-platform mobile app development platform from Facebook had changed the game in a big way and continues to do so.

Mobile app development has come a long way since the first smartphone in 1994, IBM’s Simon. That was before Apple and Google barged into the industry and changed how mobile devices can be used, with their revolutionary ideas. Their competition has been a boon to consumers who get to enjoy great features and frequent updates. Soon, app stores filled up with all sorts of apps, from utilities to games. The only problems developers faced was that apps for both, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, had to be developed on separate, native platforms. This was good for app performance but took double the effort and time to produce.

Why App Developers are Using React Native

 

React Native was designed by Facebook to remedy this problem and give developers a breather. Ask the coders who have been at work for a long time. While they might still maintain that native programming is best in terms of the quality provided – many have shifted to React Native’s cross-platform base, because the results are almost as good as native. And why not? These app developers are for hire and they have realized that there’s no point in increasing the cost and duration of the project they are hired for. Have a quick look at its benefits:

 

  1. React Native uses JavaScript that offers the biggest ecosystem package to developers.
  2. The use of JavaScript enables not just cross-platform database on mobile, but also share it to React-based web applications.
  3. Hot Reloading enables a developer to make changes in an app’s coding while viewing the changes live in the app.
  4. An intuitive and simplified UI enhances the speed of writing the program and fixing bugs.
  5. There is nearly no difference between the performance of apps made with React Native and a native framework. If the app is more complex for React Native to handle, it’s easily handled by transferring some of the code to a native module.  

Facebook provides continual support to the React Native community which has resulted in its faster growth and better fixes. Helpful content on GitHub also contributes to attracting new coders and keeping this platform relevant for over 6 years now.

Latest Updates

The latest updates were released at the beginning of March 2019, dubbed React Native 0.59.

  • Hooks: Hooks have been added to React 16.8. This feature lets you use state and other React features without declaring a class. With Hooks, you can reuse stateful logic without changing the component hierarchy.
  • Updated JavaScriptCore: The JSC ReactNative used for Android was already a few years old and did not support modern JavaScript features. The new update brings with it modern JavaScript support, 64-bit support, and other features that improve performance greatly.
  • Inline Requires: With the Inline Requires function, apps will load resources as needed instead of slowing down the launch process.
  • Lean Core: Since React Native has a huge and complicated repository. To make things more organized Lean Core has been introduced. Codes have been migrated to separate libraries to facilitate better management.
  • Improved CLI: CLI tools have been moved to a new repository and this has greatly influenced runtimes. Commands run almost instantly now and you’ll notice the change.

Future of React Native

 

Staying true to its purpose, React Native promises a better and improved platform for app development. Keeping it open-source has surely helped a lot in its progress. Many app developers from around the world have worked on it, debugged it, and helped others learn new things on React Native. Facebook has not been lagging behind in crediting and encouraging coders who work hard in step with them. These and other factors ensure that a constant and steady improvement process keeps on running.

 

React Native might be the rage today with its easy-to-code features and online community support, but this does not write-off the need of native app developers. Basic apps are easy to design using this framework but a really successful app is not a basic one. When looking for app developers who are available for hire, one should look for experience and skill in native app development along with the work done using React Native or other cross-platform software.

 

Cross-platform app development with a single code base is here to stay. The faster you adapt to the changes it brings about with it, the better for you.

The Rise Of Empathetic Technology: All You Need To Know

 

Empathetic Technology explained

 

The entertainment industry has produced more movies than you know about robots. These fall under the sci-fi genre and test the limits of your imagination quite well. Robots are usually shown as emotionless beings who eventually learn emotions and become heroes for the human race. In the real world, technology is very close to accurately imitating that. Empathetic technology, as we call it now, has the capability to understand and respond to human emotions.

Smart devices these days can already keep track of bodily functions. At the Wired Health conference this year, renowned neuroscientist and technologist, Poppy Crum, Ph.D., spoke about the applications of AI tech that can detect human feelings. Her talk, entitled, “Technology that Knows What You’re Feeling”, was a hopeful yet fact-filled discourse that imparted valuable insights into this new big step in the realm of machine learning. How exactly can these non-living devices measure out the emotions of living human beings?

Calculating Feelings

According to Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco, empathetic technology depends on “our internal state to decide how it will respond and make decisions”. This means that empathy-enabled technology can detect feelings by reading into neurophysical giveaways. Emotions often have a subtle but detectable bodily response that smart devices can pick up. Here are some examples:

  • Your pupils dilate when you undergo mental stress or process a lot of information in your head. This response is detected quite easily.
  • Sweating due to nervousness, stress, frustration, and excitement. Termed as galvanic skin response, a sensitive galvanometer can detect the change in the skin’s electrical conductance.
  • A scared person exhales carbon dioxide and isoprene in higher than normal levels.

While these are not new discoveries, it has become much more convenient for scientists to develop technologies based on them, as the cost of measuring devices has decreased a lot in the past few years.

Recent technological innovations have successfully created simulation devices aimed at developing more inclusive products for physically limited people. One such device, the arthritis simulation gloves, make the wearer more aware of the problems people with arthritis face. In an experiment, wearers were able to design an app that was easier to browse for a person with arthritis.

As progress is occurring at a fast pace, empathetic technology will soon be the driving trend in consumer smart devices. The question is: Will such high dependence on AI lead humans into a socially isolated lifestyle?

One thing is for sure though: the so-called ‘Era of Empath’ is closer than ever before.

 

Getting Acquainted With Flutter: A Beginner’s Guide

 

Learn the basic features and features of Flutter cross-platform development framework

 

Google was determined to end 2018 on a high note. While their Android OS had gained one of the top spots in the global mobile platform, there still remained room for improvement. To remedy the limitations in Android and to usher in a new era for mobile app development, Google released the first stable version of Flutter, a brand new app development platform, on December 4th, 2018.

Why should you be interested? Google initially revealed that Flutter would be the development framework for its new Fuchsia OS. However, it’s cross-platform programming abilities meant that Flutter would soon be used for a lot more. Now, it’s set to become the coding platform that will take over the development processes for both the Android and iOS systems. Undoubtedly, if you’re an app developer or looking for a developer for hire, you would not want to miss out on this beginner’s guide to Flutter.

Chief Talking Points

 

The Alpha build of Flutter was released back in May 2017 and that was enough to send developers and technology watchdogs into a flurry of assumptions and expectations. Google dropped its stable release, version 1.2.2, this February, prioritising progress towards a new way of app development that would enable even non-coders to design and produce apps without breaking much sweat.

  1. One code base, multiple platforms

    For those who are new to the developments in the mobile applications technology, cross-platform app development has been in existence for quite some time now. Flutter makes it even easier to code for Android and iOS simultaneously with its programmer-friendly approach and layered architecture. It is imperative for business owners to release their apps on both platforms and Flutter is leading the way.

  2. Dart Platform

    Flutter employs the Dart language for app development, using its advanced features efficiently. This object-oriented programming language also makes compilation faster. It uses the Just-In-Time (JIT) execution engine on Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android systems. Due to restrictions on dynamic execution on iOS, the Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) compilation engine comes into effect on there.

  3. Hot Reload

    It’s an extension of the last point and a good change of things for developers, thanks to Flutter’s usage of Dart. With the Hot Reload feature, programmers can see the live application of codes in an app view window that depicts the way it would look on a mobile device. This happens fast enough to make development, testing, and debugging more convenient than ever.

  4. Widgets for Android and iOS

    Widgets are usually used to customize the interface and view of an app. With Flutter, Google has decided to go in-depth with them. Widgets in Flutter, as its official website declares, are “an immutable declaration of part of the user interface”. Instead of separating views, layouts, and other properties, Flutter brings everything under a unified object, which is the widget. What’s more, the framework consists of two sets of widgets- Material Design for Android and Cupertino for iOS.

    Widgets in Flutter can define structural elements, aspects of the layout, stylistic elements, and the list goes on. To make rendering smoother, it uses the Skia engine instead of OEM widgets.

  5. Foundation Library

    A developer gains access to Flutter’s wide range of classes and functions. This guarantees flexibility by making it possible to not rely on widgets alone when coding an app. One can use the methods in the Foundation Library to produce shapes, text, and images directly on the screen. The open source Flame game engine was developed in a similar manner.

  6. Faster Development

    Needless to say, when you eliminate native programming on two platforms and replace it with simultaneous development for both, you save a lot of time. The MVP looks native on both Android and iOS, something that eases things for you when presenting it to your investors and peers. Less coding means fewer bugs and this makes the whole process of development smoother and faster.

These hot new features have ensured Flutter’s success, not only with professional app developers but also with entrepreneurs with app ideas who have limited knowledge for their development. Since the UI promises functionality like never before, even the less-experienced are keen to try their hands at it. No wonder, its share in the app market is growing exponentially and it’s high time for developers to get aboard.

The Role Of Wearable Technology in Healthcare and What You Can Expect From It

 

Wearable technology to help doctors

 

While most diseases have a cure these days, doctors have to patiently listen to their patients to get to the root of their sickness. However, an average person lacks the correct medical knowledge to explain things in a way that’s easily understood by a doctor. It would be such a blessing to always have your physician keep an eye on you, making diagnosis a swift affair. While technology has yet to develop an omnipotent medical expert, there are ways that make it possible to some extent.

Benefits of Wearable Tech: For Doctors and Patients

 

Wearable technology has been around for some time and millions around the world have got a hang of it by now. Joggers use it to calculate the distance they’ve run and the calories they’ve burnt. Businessmen use it to take calls and make quick notes on the go. Doctors are using wearable technology to provide better healthcare. What are the benefits that this affords them and their patients?

  1. Personalised Healthcare Programs: Medical practitioners gain correct and insightful data from medically approved wearables. This helps them to offer personalised health programs to their patients, fine-tuned to the tiniest detail.
  2. Symptoms Detected Early: Wearable devices make it easier for the user to detect symptoms before they get worse. The medical parameters fed into the devices must be accurate and doctors can see to that.
  3. Reminders on Time: This very common feature in every wearable device, medical or not, makes sure that users get timely reminders for basic tasks like taking a walk or sleeping on time. The same feature can help patients to take their medication on time and set doctor appointments at regular intervals.
  4. Real-Time Records: The devices record and store medical information in real-time. This facilitates better analysis and diagnosis as doctors can keep their patients under observance when necessary.
  5. Lower Medical Expenses: When there is better and early diagnosis of ailments, patients are saved from incurring higher medical expenses and the harassment that comes along. They enjoy better health.

 

Wearable technology is shaping the way doctors provide their services. It’s also making people self-aware and more knowledgeable about their body and health. The market for wearable devices has been predicted to reach $12.1 billion by 2022, with the USA contributing the most. The future of wearable tech looks bright indeed.

 

React Native vs Flutter: Which Cross-Platform Framework Is Better For App Developers?

 

Flutter vs React Native comparison

 

The global mobile app market is not showing any signs of stalling in the near future. According to a recent report, the market is set to grow at a CAGR of well over 19% in the 2016-2023 span, breaching the $310000 mark by the end of that period. Interestingly, the demand for cross platform applications is also rising steadily over the years. From a fairly modest $3.6 billion in 2014, the cross-platform industry will swell to ~$8 billion by the end of this year (a rise of nearly 122%). It’s safe to say that both mobile apps in general, and cross-platform apps in particular, are on the fast track of growth.

Launched in early-2015, Facebook’s React Native is still one of the most popular open-source cross-platform development frameworks for mobile developers. However, it has got a new challenger – in the form of Flutter (from Google). A stable version of Flutter was released at the end of February – and early reports suggest that it has several high points of its own. In today’s discussion, we will do a point-by-point React Native vs Flutter comparison, and try to find which one is better for app developers:

  1. User interface quality

    React Native absolutely aces it, as far as the overall UX of the framework is concerned. It is based on native components for both Android and iOS – and is comfortably much more dynamic than tools like Cordova or Ionic. While Google’s Flutter also comes with fairly easy-to-use and customised UI designs, the absence of some important components can prove to be tricky. For instance, working with the Cupertino library might not be the easiest task in the world. In this framework, proprietary widgets and owner widgets lie at the base (instead of components) – and while the UI is good enough, React Native is on an altogether different level in this regard.

Note: The Flutter vs React Native debate essentially boils down to a comparison of the Dart programming language and Javascript. While most app-makers are already familiar with the latter, Dart is less known – and understandably, will need some time to catch up (although it also has some great features).

  1. Learning curve

    When you hire React Native developers, you ideally look for people who already have experience in working with Javascript (and preferably, on the React.js platform). For newbies too, learning Javascript is not particularly difficult. However, Dart – although feature-rich – is not a particularly intuitive programming language, making the learning curve of Flutter slightly steeper. The fact that React Native has fully automated adaptive components is yet another point of convenience. In Flutter, components often have to be manually configured – which presents an additional layer of work.

Note: React Native uses the Flux/Redux architecture, while Flutter follows the BLoc pattern architecture.

  1. Code reusability

    In terms of code reusability, Flutter is a couple of paces ahead of React Native. On Facebook’s framework, customising and styling the platform can be slightly time-consuming – and the option of code reuse is also somewhat restricted. In comparison, Flutter lets cross-platform developers to overwrite code on a real-time basis, making things that much easier. While working on lengthy app projects, smooth code recycling often becomes an important factor for developers, and Flutter has the better options on this count. It should also be noted that, while React Native requires developers to specify the differences between the iOS and Android versions of an app, on Flutter the two versions can be exactly the same.

  2. Javascript framework vs Reactive framework

    That’s another way the React Native vs Flutter debate can be viewed as. The React Native framework is built on the powerful React library, and there is a single code base for both iOS and Android projects. Many React Native developers for hire prefer this platform due to the relative overall simplicity of the Javascript framework. On the other hand, the Dart language-based Flutter is based on a reactive framework. Since the entire cycle of sending requests to servers and taking actions on the basis of the server response is done away with, the risks of null references are absent in Flutter. In fact, this is one of the additional advantages of the Dart language.

Note: Flutter uses the Cupertino library for iOS projects, and Material Design for Android projects; on React Native, the flow is – Objective-C APIs for iOS apps and Java APIs for Android apps.

  1. Framework performance – There is very little to choose between Flutter and React Native regarding overall performance. The easier and more extensive code reusability of Flutter probably hands it the slightest of advantages – and the combination of Dart framework and the accompanying Javascript layer brings a lot of flexibility to the hands of the developers. The underlying C++ engine of Flutter also enhances the performance of the platform. React Native has been hailed as the ‘future of hybrid apps’ – but it is in the hybrid application structure of this framework that things can be slightly rocky (however, native app development on React Native is absolutely seamless). Both frameworks are excellent in terms of performance – but some developers, while working on hybrid apps, might find Flutter to be more user-friendly.

Note: Flutter can be used to create apps for Google Fuchsia. The framework is powered by the Skia C++ engine.

  1. Support from third-party libraries

    React Native has been around for three years, and not surprisingly, it has much more third-party packages than Flutter. In terms of online support and developer communities too, React Native is several steps ahead of its newest rival. While the number of packages in the Flutter ecosystem is increasing rapidly, React Native still has ~5X the number of Flutter packages (the total Github stars for React Native is also double of Flutter). As a direct result of the greater online and third-party support, developers are likely to find the task of adding dynamic features to enhance usability in an app project easier in React Native. Flutter is still very new and awareness levels are still low. It remains to be seen how its external libraries and online support stack up to those of React Native over time.

  2. Project documentation

    What Flutter lacks in terms of online community support, it more than makes up with its super-efficient documentation features. The frameworks has extensive integrated development frameworks (IDEs) with built-in support for React Native. Flutter developers can also use the underlying apps while documenting in the framework. Over on the React Native front, documentation is not quite as smooth or organised, although there are some useful components. In fact, documentation in Flutter is probably the best among all the cross-platform app frameworks.

Note: Compatibility with Visual Studio, Intellij Idea and Android Studio also boosts the usability of the Flutter framework.

  1. Creating apps

    Once again, it is difficult to pick a winner between Flutter and React Native in terms of development ease. Working with the class and functional components of React Native is relatively simple, as is using the ‘stateless’ and ‘stateful’ widgets in the Flutter application. Getting onboard is easy for both frameworks, with React Native installable from the Node Package Manager, and Flutter having the option for binary downloading from source. Once developers get a hang of the Dart language, the ease of using Flutter becomes comparable with that of React Native. For some developers, the presence of lesser widgets in React Native can be an extra point of convenience.

Note: With Flutter, developers can get even more close to native apps, than with React Native.

  1. Hot reloading

    App developers, irrespective of whether they are working on iOS or Android, often have to make runtime changes in their codes. This requirement is taken care of in both React Native and Flutter – which support easy hot reloading (i.e., adding new/edited files at runtime, without interfering with the running of the application). Changes in codes can be checked and validated almost instantaneously – and in both frameworks, hot reloading is instrumental in speeding up the process of UI building. Of course, React Native and Flutter are both open-source as well.

  2. Development speed

    Not much of a difference in here either, but React Native does have an edge when it comes to development time. The availability of multiple ‘ready-to-use’ components expands the overall app development scopes manifold. As a direct result, developers get greater flexibility, the efficiency is higher, and the average time required for developing a project comes down. While Flutter does not lag by much, the need for more recognition in this framework eats up some additional time. This is another point where Flutter can catch up with React Native in the foreseeable future.

Note: Flutter is increasingly being used for building visually rich apps for startups.

11. Who’s using Flutter and React Native?

Both the frameworks under discussion are backed by big players (Facebook for React Native, Google for Flutter). Although Flutter is the new kid on the block, it already several big projects – like Alibaba, Hamilton and the AppTree platform – to show off in its portfolio. React Native is, of course, already hugely popular – and has been used to create powerhouse apps like Skype, Facebook, Instagram and Airbnb. Over the next couple of years or so, many more big players will have apps built with either React Native or Flutter – and the competition will be even closer.

12. Framework stability

Let’s just say that, while React Native is already a mature, consistent and uniformly reliable cross-platform framework, Flutter is an evolving one. In fact, Flutter, in its present version, is already much more powerful and usable than the initial ‘alpha version’ (which was not at all ideal for large projects). The availability of greater community support for React Native also builds reliability and stability. The features of Flutter are exciting, the performance is high-quality and fairly stable – but it does have a bit of catching up to do in terms of consistency.

13. Working with native components

Flutter has a definite advantage here. Nearly all the key native components are included in this framework. As such, the need for a ‘bridge’ to connect/communicate with native modules is often done away with. However, Javascript bridge is an essential part of the React Native framework – and there have been reports of developers facing issues while using the bridge to build native applications. For experienced app developers in particular, the Flutter framework might seem more straightforward than React Native, for working with native components.

As is evident from our discussion, it is difficult – if not downright impossible – to pick a clear winner in the React Native vs Flutter tussle. Both frameworks have their relative high points and slight drawbacks. While React Native brings in all the advantages and familiarity of Javascript and the already mature community support, Flutter has a slightly faster time-to-market and a closer-to-native performance. It will be fascinating to see how Flutter manages to evolve over the coming months, and whether it manages to match (or cross) the popularity of React Native.

 

Make Better Wireframes in 7 Easy Steps

 

wireframing tips for developers

 

“Strong roots make beautiful leaves”, they say. There is not much to argue about there. In the world of designing websites and webpages, what are the roots? The wireframes. Wireframing is a necessary skill, something that you, as a web designer, must be adept at. Without good wireframes, you can’t expect to shake hands with your clients and take your business forward. What can you do to get better? Here are 7 steps that will help you.

  1. Use colours with intention:

    If you decide to use colours in your wireframe, make sure they serve a purpose. Colours should highlight important functions or make buttons stand out. It’s better not to use them unintentionally.

  2. Be consistent:

    Once you establish a style, keep using it across the wireframe. Changing styles makes things look amateur-ish whereas consistency shouts professionalism.

  3. Avoid Lorem Ipsum:

    Don’t think that using Lorem Ipsum text is a big deal? Think again. Not using your own, real content makes it look like you were being lazy. While the text on the webpage doesn’t matter at this phase of designing, using actual text in your wireframe makes it look way better.

  4. Think in Terms of Your User:

    Remember that the wireframe is not for your benefit, it’s for the users. Seeing things from their perspective will help you outline and create wireframes that are efficient.

  5. Communicate and Get Feedback:

    Throughout the wireframing process, you should stay in constant touch with your users and clients. Communication with your clients is a great way to stay in line with their expectations. Your users’ feedbacks will help you improve the wireframe.

  6. Share Information Statically:

    You cannot animate the wireframe but you can always write about the functionalities and interactions.

  7. Simple and Selective:

    Aim to keep the wireframe clutter-free. Be selective with what ideas you employ. The best processes are generally the ones that work around a single concept.

 

While it’s impossible to list steps that guarantee success for every scenario, the above will help you cover a wide ground when wireframing. As you stick to the basics, you are bound to learn new things with every new project. Combine wisdom with experience to get better at wireframes and become a better designer.

AI-as-a-Service: All That You Need To Know

 

AI services: Overview

In 2008, the worldwide software-as-a-service market was worth only $5.6 billion. Cut to 2020, and that figure is expected to soar to $133 billion – clearly indicating the rapid rise in demand for consumption-based software services (‘a la carte software’, so to speak). Between 2018 and 2020, the total number of SaaS subscriptions are set to jump by nearly 96%. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the fastest growing technology sub-domains at present.

While services like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) have been in discussion for some time now – the ‘as-a-service’ market is gradually being extended into newer, more cutting-edge, fields. The artificial intelligence-as-a-service (AIaaS) market is a classic example of that. According to estimates, the worldwide AIaaS market will be valued at just a shade under $11 billion by the end of 2023, with the 2017-2023 CAGR hovering around the 49% mark. The biggest of players, like Microsoft, Google, IBM and Amazon, are already heavily active in this field. In today’s discussion, we will take a look at some interesting facets of the growth of AIaaS:

  1. What exactly is AIaaS?

    As the name itself suggests, AIaaS refers to off-the-shelf artificial intelligence service offerings that can be bought and implemented immediately. In other words, it can be explained as ‘third party AI service offerings’ as well. Like all other _ -as-a-Service packages, AIaaS also makes use of cloud computing – and can add significant strategic flexibility to the operations of organisations, pulling up efficiency and productivity levels. Since AIaaS solutions are typically dynamic and highly adaptable, they also help in optimising the effectiveness of big data analytics. With these ‘readymade’ AI services, it becomes possible for companies to derive all the key advantages of artificial intelligence – without actually having to make huge investments (and bear the associated risks) for building their very own cloud platforms. The onus, however, lies with company CEOs and IT specialists to understand the precise type of AI service they require, and the potential benefits. AIaaS has multifarious benefits – but it should not be adopted without adequate initial research.

Note: While the popularity of AIaaS is a fairly recent trend, the concept of ‘artificial intelligence’ is far from being a new one. At present, we have vendors that offer multifunctional digital platforms powered by machine learning (apart from general cloud AI service providers).

  1. Will AIaaS emerge as a worthy substitute of human intelligence?

    The comparison is an erroneous one to begin with. Contrary to what many think (and indeed, what the concept of AI has meant for years), artificial intelligence is not ONLY about replicating the capabilities and (probably) the cognitive prowess of human beings. Instead, AI should be viewed as an end-to-end technology – which uses various techniques and modules to analyse data better, identify patterns and trends, and calculate the probabilities of different end results (say, for predictive purposes). Broadly speaking, two different types of algorithms – the deep learning (DL) algorithms and the machine learning (ML) algorithms – are used in full-fledged AIaaS services. The prime objective for implementing AI solutions is to enhance the capabilities of existing IT setups, and allow them to ‘learn’ new functionalities (without additional coding having to be done). The entire artificial intelligence vs human intelligence debate is overhyped, and in most instances, misplaced. The two should ideally complement each other.

Note: The need to collect and securely store big data is going up rapidly for companies. AIaaS makes artificial intelligence tools more accessible – and hence, help a lot in data handling/management requirements.

  1. What are the main types of AIaaS?

    For AI to indeed deliver the desired results, enterprises have to select and correctly deploy the ‘right’ type of AIaaS first. Doing so, in turn, requires the IT managers to be aware of the different types of these ‘ready-to-use’ AI services. Broadly, there are 4 different forms of AIaaS: first, there are the customised machine learning (ML) platforms and frameworks, that can create data models and and can ‘read’ patterns from existing data pools. Next up, there are the AI-powered bots – powered by the ever-improving natural language processing, or NLP, capabilities (in fact, chatbots are the most popular use cases of AIaaS). Then, we have the entirely managed ML services – which make use of drag-and-drop tools, cognitive analytics and custom-created data models to generate more values (compared to the general machine learning frameworks). The fourth type of AIaaS includes the third-party APIs (application programming interfaces) – which are built to add extra functionalities to any new/existing application. All that organisations willing to join the digital transformation revolution have to do is identify the type(s) of AIaaS that are likely to boost ROI figures, purchase them from AI vendors, and start implementing them immediately. Small changes, if required, can also be made.

Note: Apart from Microsoft, Amazon and Google, several other companies – like SalesForce and Oracle – are also highly active in the AIaaS space.

  1. How fast is the AIaaS market growing?

    As competition rates are increasing and digital technology is getting more and more refined, the AI-as-a-Service sector is growing rapidly (~$11 billion in 2023). From a $4810 million valuation last year, the global market for artificial intelligence will jump to well over $88500 million by the end of 2025. The growing demand among organisations for using cutting-edge machine learning services on the cloud is also pulling up investment figures. A recent report estimated that overall expenses on AI will show a 4X increase between 2017 and 2021 – as different industries start to adopt AIaaS solutions. The biggest advantage of AIaaS is it allows enterprises and workers to focus on their core capabilities/lines of business – without having to worry about model building or cloud network development. Over the next half a decade or so, the growth of AIaaS will further gather momentum – and developers will be increasingly incorporating AI capabilities in both applications and big data systems.

Note: An enterprise-level study found that 8 out of every 10 companies prefer using multi-cloud models. Among them, specialised hybrid cloud services are the most in demand.

  1. Does the AIaaS market have different segments?

    The scope of artificial intelligence in general, and AIaaS in particular, is huge. As such, trying to understand everything about the service at one go can be complicated, and in fact, an exercise in futility. For purposes of research clarity – the AIaaS domain is divided in different segments, based on different parameters. According to functionality, there are the ‘managed services’ and the ‘professional services’, while from the technology perspective, we have the DL and ML services on one hand, and high-end NLP capabilities on the other. AIaaS can also be segmented in terms of the software tool(s) that lies at the heart of it – web/cloud APIs, processor tools, data archiving and storage, and others. In terms of usability, AIaaS is finding rapid adoption in different industry verticals – right from retail services, transportation, and banking & finance, to healthcare, manufacturing and telecom services (the impact of AI services on the public sector is also going up gradually). A wide range of customisations are also available, enhancing the usability factor of AIaaS.

Note: In the transportation sector, AI-as-a-Service can be used to make tasks like navigation, finding the fastest routes, and parking, simpler than ever before.

  1. What advantages does AIaaS deliver?

    The benefits of deploying AIaaS have a lot in common with the general advantages of any consumption-based (i.e., on-demand) software service. For starters, the seamless scalability is a big factor – since this allows enterprises to start off small, and then increase the scale of AI operations over time (according to project-specific requirements). In a scenario where the need for super-fast graphical user interfaces (GPUs) and parallel machines is going through the roof, AIaaS comes in handy – since it makes it possible for IT managers to implement and use the latest AI-powered infrastructure, without having to be concerned about the lofty expenses. Since AI-as-a-Service is, by definition, ready to use – the challenges posed by the relatively complicated nature of traditional AI solutions are bypassed. Yet another factor in favour of these off-the-shelf AI services is the complete transparency. Users have to pay only to to the extent of their use of the services – instead of arbitrary amounts and high overheads. Smarter AI-powered operations at easily manageable budgets – that’s the key for AIaaS for delivering value to enterprises.

Note: Machine learning plays a mighty important role in facilitating ‘intelligent optimisation’ for different industries.

  1. What factors are driving up the demand for AIaaS?

    Ours is a data-driven environment, and in here, the value of real-time decision-making capabilities can hardly be overemphasised. This, in turn, serves as a key driver of AIaaS solutions. The volume of data obtained from specialised, smart sensors, UAVs and different types of IoT applications is expanding exponentially – and the need of the hour is for improved, intelligent data management, use, accessibility and security. AIaaS is ideal for smarter big data management, as well as for helping computing systems perform specific tasks (with the help of ML modules). Since these services are available as ready-to-use packages from vendors, the development/deployment time is minimised. The fact that AIaaS can be used by practically everyone (thanks to the user-friendly underlying algorithms) also boosts its demand. The growing need for faster GUIs, and customised APIs also acts as an important driver for this market. For cloud providers in particular, and for businesses in general, AIaaS can deliver significant competitive advantages.

Note: The Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit by Microsoft allows users to run multiple ML applications simultaneously. Predictive analytics, speech recognition and translation services are included in the Google Cloud Platform. IBM has its very own Watson Developer Cloud.

  1. Will growth of AIaaS increase the demand for specialist data scientists?

    Yes, and in a big way. What’s more – as AIaaS starts to become mainstream, more time and higher budgets will also need to be allocated. Given the heavy investments (maybe not at the start, but certainly in the long-run) involved and the potential benefits, it is only natural that companies will ramp up their search for IT professionals with high expertise and a lot of relevant experience. These data scientists will be responsible for working with different types of customised AI algorithms. Over the years, AI solutions have mostly been used by the largest players – simply because others did not have qualified, adequately trained manpower (and tech generalists were not enough). However, with the proliferation of AIaaS, a new generation of AI data scientists will appear – and companies of all sizes will be able to hire them and take advantage of artificial intelligence/machine learning. Make no mistake – AI is a complex technology, and proper qualified personnel are required to handle it.

Note: Amazon Web Services is still the market leader in the public cloud domain. However, Microsoft Azure is growing the fastest in this sector. Google Cloud and IBM Cloud occupy the third and fourth spots respectively.

  1. Are there any challenges/barriers for AIaaS?

    For all its advantages and relative ease of use, there are certain points of concern about AIaaS (like any other new tech service!). Since users have to depend on third-party AI services for the data/results/information required, unforeseen delays can crop up. The greater reliance on external service providers can also pose data security challenges – since quite a lot of business-critical data have to be shared with the third-party vendors. The key here is to ensure that the chosen AIaaS has robust security and data governance standards, to rule out unauthorised access. Once we go beyond the initial cost-advantages of AIaaS (over traditional AI), the chances of expenses going up in the long-run – as the technology gets more refined and more complex – also become apparent. Since the vendors provide AIaaS as a package offering, it is impossible to really understand the internal AI mechanisms – although the data inputs and the expected results are known. As a result, the overall transparency of the AI services gets reduced. Over the next few quarters, the technology will get more advanced, and we can reasonably expect that most of these challenges will be satisfactorily resolved.

Note: Serverless technology is leading the way in cloud service adoption. Container-as-a-service (CaaS) is also fairly popular.

     10. How important is it to select the right AIaaS for business?

Let’s just put it this way: if a AI service is implemented without adequate background research, the entire thing can turn counterproductive. At the very outset, a company has to take a stand on whether it at all needs AIaaS solution(s). A thorough comparison between AIaaS platforms and self-coded implementations also needs to be done – to get a fair idea on which option will be more suitable. Users also need to continuously test the AI services, to make sure that they are performing at optimal levels. In any AIaaS, the process of implementing the algorithms is not explained – and that makes thorough AI testing all the more important. In ‘low-level APIs’, there can be glitches in the process pipeline – which need to be identified and removed quickly. As already highlighted above, awareness of the different types of AIaaS, and their respective functions and utilities, is also an absolute must. AIaaS is a vital cog in the digital transformation journey of enterprises – but only if it is chosen and implemented correctly.

Note: According to a research report, nearly 36% of all the expenses on cloud services are wasted. Going forward, the focus has to be on reducing this figure.

      11. How about the importance of AIaaS in the public cloud?

A 2018 RightScale report found that, 67% users are set to increase their spendings on cloud services by at least 20% (18% companies have plans to double their cloud expenses). The adoption of AI-as-a-Service is rising across the board in the public cloud – with both AI data practices as well as AI computing capabilities developing continuously. The recent advancements in neural networks and deep learning mechanisms are also instrumental in pulling up the adoption of AIaaS in the public cloud space. Cloud vendor companies are offering ready-to-use APIs which do not require elaborate machine learning models – enhancing the convenience factor. In the public cloud, AI services can broadly be classified under three heads: cognitive computing, conversational artificial intelligence, and custom cognitive computing. The AI data infrastructure, on the other hand, includes RDBMS, Data Lake and NoSQL.

Note: Cutting down on total expenses is the biggest point of concern for cloud users as present. Generating better financial reports and porting more workloads on cloud are also things that are being focused on.

       12. AIaaS: The future

In terms of adoption and market share, North America (with a 46% share) is the clear leader in the global AIaaS sector. Europe, with ~28% share, occupies the second position, followed by the Asia-Pacific. There is also a definite ‘gap’ in how the services are being used – since only around 33% of the ‘AI companies’ actually leverage artificial intelligence in any meaningful way. In the next couple of years, more users will ‘understand’ the potentials of AIaaS and the far-reaching scopes of the technology – and the deployments will be more effective. The market for web APIs and cloud APIs is set to witness healthy growth, while the NLP market is also on an upward spiral ($21+ billion by 2025). The markets will continue to grow, and as the technology becomes more nuanced – we are sure to see more interesting use cases for specialised AI services.

More than 60% professional marketing experts feel that artificial intelligence is the most important element in their overall digital strategies. AIaaS makes the technology easily accessible – with users being able to enjoy the benefits at a much lower cost. Of course, to truly generate value and improve ROI figures, AIaaS has to be used smartly (with in-depth research). According to reasonable estimates, AI services can push up productivity by up to 40%.

The AIaaS market will continue to grow stronger in the foreseeable future. It remains to be seen how companies manage to use it as a key differentiator, and stay ahead of the competition.