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Picking the right Tech Stack for your next Mobile App 0

As mobile technology continues to improve, the app developers must keep in mind how certain tech stack should be used or manipulated for designing mobile apps. The tech stack for mobile apps enables you to monitor, scale and keep track of changes to your app while making sure the software is able to carry out all your requirements flawlessly.

After you have finished reading this article, you will know the right tech stack for mobile app development. Continue reading to find out in details.

Native apps:

The process for this style of app development involves using software, tools, development kits and environment all provided by the OS manufacturer.

This is the very reason why designing native apps for multiple platforms will require separate technologies.

Examples include Airbnb and Instagram.

Tech stack for iOS apps:

Consider any of the following native tech stacks if you wish to design any iOS mobile app.

Objective – C, Swift programming languages:

Choose between Objective-C or Swift for native iOS app development. The former falls under C programming and enables you to program devices offering full customization.

But developers highly recommend Swift mainly because its highly functional along with codes that have the least number of lines as well as errors. One of the reasons why apps based on Swift have a remarkable level of performance.

Apple Xcode:

This toolkit is necessary for designing native applications using Swift, and with this, you could build apps for mobile as well as desktop. It comes with integrated Git for designing really attractive interfaces as well as for debugging systems.

iOS SDK:

This tech stack comprises an API acting as a bridge between the software and the platform its meant to be used. APIs can be designed by following multiple patterns as well as using tools, which can be implemented into Apple’s touchscreen for iPhones as well as iPads.

Tech stack for Android:

To design native apps for Android smartphones, the following technologies are used extensively.

Java and Kotlin:

You have the option to choose from either of the two languages for designing Android-based apps. Java, as we all know is remarkably popular offering a vast open-sourced platform to assist developers. However, there are limitations attached to it, which is why Kotlin has earned quite a name for itself during the process. The latter technology has been designed particularly for improving Java solving the primary deficiencies in designs for API. It offers smooth transitions between screens during interactions with apps based on Kotlin.

Android Studio & Developer Tools:

The platform enables you to edit codes, check for performance and a highly flexible system with instant design and deploy method. Meant solely for designing the best quality mobile apps highly interactive and pleasant to look at.

The Android Developer Tools, on the other hand, provides maximum support for app development for Android. It further enables developers to use tools for debugging scripts, designing attractive UI and creating testers for automation.

Android SDK:

To formulate a complex line of codes using all the latest features, developers need to download and then install each version of the SDK for the respective device(s) they are using. The components for the Android SDK can be downloaded separately including its third-party APIs.

Cross-platform apps:

This is another mobile development approach compatible with multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows). Developers have the freedom to improvise their coding skills upon a single platform, which eventually adapts across all the common devices available.

Some frameworks for cross-platform app development have been discussed below.

React Native + Typescript or JavaScript:

React is a part of the JavaScript framework with native experience as well as the interface similar to iOS and Android. React Native utilizes the same principle UI foundations as that of iOS and Android, all you have to do is to use JavaScript and React for putting everything together.

The TypeScript programming language enables you to design cross-platform apps, combined with really awesome features capable of detecting errors real fast. Its generic components offer an extra layer of safety while writing components.

Xamarin +C#

A framework for cross-platform app development using which engineers have the freedom to share almost 90% of code across the most common platforms. It utilizes C# as the principal language, thus allowing you to design API’s compatible with certain devices.

To find out more on Xamarin programming and its capacity in details, check out our blog that covers everything surrounding this framework.

Hybrid apps:

Hybrid mobile app development utilizes all the general web technologies as well as tools such as HTML5, CSS, and JS (JavaScript); all combined together for designing a regular mobile app. As a result, such apps function like websites as well as any ordinary mobile app displayed on a browser.

Check out Untappd to see examples of hybrid mobile apps.

Technology stack for hybrid app development:

Apache Cordova:

Cordova in short, this open-source framework runs on HTML/JS based apps based on a special native app for mobile. JavaScript to work on APIs and HTML lets you access various sensors as well as cameras. But don’t worry, it doesn’t require HTML and CSS for designing UI since it’s compatible with multiple frameworks that include jQuery, Angular JS, and Knockout.js.

Ionic:

This is an AngularJS-based programming language offering multiple advantages, and most importantly, there is a huge community of developers using this framework. This gives hybrid apps a native outlook as well as experience; moreover, its DOM elements are primarily responsible for sorting poor mobile performance.

Things to consider before selecting a tech stack are as follows:

Category of a project:

The project you’re pursuing after is a great determinant, i.e, to build a highly complicated app with tremendous performance offering highly customizable features, then native would be the perfect option. Opt for Kotlin or Swift in such cases.

Seeking a beta version for validation:

For validating a product design, startups often require user engagement just to stay ahead of the game. In such cases, cross-platform development will be feasible as you could utilize the same code across multiple platforms.

How much time do you have?

If your intention is to launch a product before anyone else in the market for gaining competitive advantage, the best bet would be to go for a technology stack with pre-existing integrations available.

Lastly…

Needless to mention that with time, more companies will be releasing apps (products) with extremely sophisticated features. Now, if you’re not really sure of what tech stack to go after, connect with us today and we will guide you throughout the entire mobile development process.

Xamarin Programming Language: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 0


Whenever you hear the phrase “app development” as a programmer, what names do you recall first, Objective – C, Swift or Java? These days there are much easier technologies to design software applications for both iOS as well as Android, among which Xamarin has been really popular. After reading this post you will get pretty much familiar with Xamarin programming and to what extent this could limit as well as expand the potential of your business app.

What is Xamarin all about?

Xamarin is a programming language that enables you to design mobile apps compatible with all platforms. The technology currently stands upon Microsoft stack while enabling programmers to share the source code across all platforms (iOS, Android and Windows). Presently, the community has exceeded 1.4 million.

The developers behind Mono, led by the same Miguel de Icaza back in 2001 is the same team behind the creation of Xamarin in 2011. The latter was designed solely for commercial purposes and became quite a popular language for Microsoft developers soon after their acquisition in 2016.

Following the acquisition, Xamarin SDK has been open sourced and later combined with Xamarin Studio Integrated Development Environment. Let’s discuss some key features below.

Uses C# programming for designing apps for all platforms. In contrast to Titanium, Xamarin is structured natively, thus, making it the only language for designing user-friendly mobile apps.    

The C# is a core language that doesn’t cause unexpected errors during execution of code. As a part of the .NET framework, Xamarin can be utilized for a number of highly useful features mainly Lambda, LINQ and even Asynk.

As a matter of fact, Xamarin utilizes C# and combines with .NET layer required for app development across multiple platforms. Moreover, Xamarin is capable of utilizing all the recent APIs like the ARKit for iOS as well as Android Multi-Window.

Xamarin enables you to formulate intricate lines of codes based on different platforms, thus making apps look native while ensuring optimum user experience at the same time.

Wireframe: Xamarin comprises two major integrations for both iOS as well as Android. For both products, the processes are automatic and have been designed for allocating memory, deleting redundant codes and ability to exchange OS by itself.

Xamarin.Forms: This is a completely different product primarily used for designing prototypes and/or simple mobile app by sharing each and every line of code for Android and iOS.

Xamarin.Mac: This allows engineers to design applications for the operating system used on Macbook.

Platform SDKs: You can gain access to platform-based SDKs with C# syntax.

Platform-specific code bindings: Xamarin enables developers to build applications by holding onto the native look as well as user experience. On a different note, the language enables programmers to re-execute certain functionalities or APIs such as the barcode scanning, integrate Paypal and sometimes, Google Analytics.

Compatible with wearable: The coolest part about Xamarin is that it allows you to program both iWatch as well as Android smartwatch. There’s Visual Studio that supports Mac and Windows designed for developing apps for smartwatches.

Relevant projects using Xamarin: The majority of Windows-based projects can be run with Xamarin and Visual Studio installed on your computer, and can be debugged using emulators. Using Visual Studio one could easily connect with iOS storyboard designer and simulator.

Let’s find out some usefulness and drawbacks surrounding Xamarin. Let’s start with benefits first.

One stack that binds them all:

The Xamarin programming language is comprised of C# and .NET capable of creating fully interactive mobile apps for all platforms; as a result, more than 90% of any source code can be re-utilized to reduce both timeframes as well as cost.

Neatly designed UX & UI:

Developers now have the ability to design impeccable mobile applications by using elements of distinct platforms. Hybrid apps are often designed using Xamarin. Forms that enhances the development process for business apps.

You still have the option to use either Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin. Android to customize the UI and high-performance mobile apps.

Complete hardware compatibility:

Xamarin eliminates all hardware related configuration problems through its plugins, APIs, and commonness among platforms. Xamarin links you with its native libraries, which ensures high customization combined with features as close as any native development.

Open source stack with efficient customer support:

Xamarin licensing policies underwent massive changes ever since Microsoft acquired their company in 2016. Following the event, everything from Xamarin SDK to command line tools has become open under the MIT license, which is a significant portion of the Visual Studio. The .NET Foundation today is now an immensely powerful tech stack when developers at Microsoft, JetBrains, Unity, and Red Hat are working for turning it more powerful.

Simple maintenance:

Due to Xamarin’s cross-platform technology, users are able to update simply by deploying the latest additions to any source code, and changes will be made for both iOS and Android automatically. Keep in mind that this will work specifically for Xamarin. Forms or created using business logic for both Xamarin.iOS as well as Xamarin.Android.

Own tools for app development:

Xamarin is equipped with its own set of tools such as IDE, SDK, Xamarin test cloud, Hockey app, and Xamarin.Insights. As a result, developers are no longer required to integrate any third-party apps for designing, testing and deploying any Xamarin app.

Xamarin.Forms: something for simple app designing:

There are practically two different ways to design mobile apps, the usual method is by using either Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Android. Another method is using Visual Studio as it enables you to share one interface across multiple platforms without designing multiple times. Moreover, you could design a portion of an app using. Forms and the remaining with native UI kit.

Xamarin Live Player:

You could install this app on your smartphone and immediately get down to debugging and/or testing a beta version without connecting to a separate workstation.

Once the installation of Live Player app is complete, you could scan the QR code on Visual Studio through the phone’s camera, and you get access to apps under development.

Any app on your phone will synchronize automatically with the app on your phone.

Xamarin.Mac for Macs:

Developers now have the ability to design fully native apps for Macs using .NET and C#. The same libraries are also utilized for integrating Objective-C with Xcode. With Xamarin.Mac infused with Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin. Android, developers now have the ability to share 90% of any source code across all platforms. It further allows you to build Xcode UI if the Xamarin. Mac is embedded.

Learn Xamarin from its online study portal:

If you’re planning to get started with Xamarin and how all its functionalities work, they have an e-learning platform available with resources for training. If you’re going to hire new engineers for developing any Xamarin based product, the University will guide you including your team starting from beginner level courses to the really advanced level comprising lecture notes and guides from live classrooms.

Limitations in Xamarin:

Now, let’s delve into the limitations surrounding Xamarin and ways it could limit your ability to code.

Prolong delays in backend support:

Unlike the native platforms for both iOS and Android, it takes a bit of time before the latest updates for Xamarin become available. Although they claim to be having efficient support yet there are frequent delays still experienced by users.

Limited open source libraries:

On Xamarin, you only have a limited number of options to choose from .NET open sourced platform and everything included on the platform. There isn’t any liberty to choose from options; however, there are thousands of tools for coming up with simple UI, graphs, charts and heavily powerful options available for integrating into any mobile app with a few clicks. Such features include fast payment processor, wearable, push notification support, ability to store on the cloud, and the ability to stream for music and/or videos online.

Significantly small community:

Obviously, the Xamarin community has been comparatively smaller than that of Android and iOS, thus, finding a reliable Xamarin expert is challenging. Based on recent statistics, Xamarin covers 10% of the app development community. With Xamarin University, anybody who is willing to become a Xamarin expert could do so much faster compared to the learning curve for other programming languages.

Still requires basic native programming knowledge:

Whenever you’re using native Xamarin.iOS and/or Android, the programmer is required to write platform-centric codes; as a result, they have to possess basic knowledge on Java/Kotlin and Objective-C or Swift native, but not in case if you’re using Xamarin.Forms.

Not compatible with heavy graphics:

One of the best perks of using Xamarin is that it allows you to share any source code across all platforms. However, designing video games with highly interactive UI using Xamarin would be a complete waste of time and resources.

Consumes enormous memory:

Simple “Hello World” application on Xamarin.Android takes up to 16MB of space, the majority of which is taken away by libraries, contents, and even Base Class Libraries (BCL). As a result, you have to further optimize in order to keep the apps consume a reasonable amount of space.

Incompatible with third-party plugins:

You are likely to face issues at times for integrating APIs into any Xamarin made mobile app. The majority of the tools including libraries are designed for supporting the native tech, but Xamarin compatibility may not be suitable always. As a result, you might have to adopt certain API that is made particularly for Xamarin made apps.

Xamarin Visual Studio IDE:

The Visual Studio is a Microsoft owned software primarily used for debugging, designing as well as launching apps compatible across all platforms. There are 3 versions of Visual Studio,

  • Visual Studio Community
  • Visual Studio Professional
  • Visual Studio Enterprise

Therefore, depending on the level of experience and the size of each team, developers have to choose the right version for themselves. You’re free to design software for web, server, and even desktop using any of these 3 versions available.

Visual Studio Community:

This one is designed specifically for students in which you can add five users without incurring anything at all. Really useful for a small development team even if they’re new to Xamarin.

Visual Studio Professional:

The professional version is a set of tools dedicated to pro developers working in small teams. It has really powerful features that allow you to see references, check for changes made when and also by whom, including the ability to figure out whether the tests are passed or not. The annual charge is $539 per user.

Visual Studio Enterprise:

This version enables you to maintain coherency between developers and IT support. There are specialized tools to help you track the quality of work, enjoy multiple training programs, and of course, the entire engineering and testing platform will be in your grasp. Starting at $2,999 per user, this package is offering Test manager support, Package management, including Private pipeline.

On a different note, you could also check out the Visual Studio App Center quite useful for organizing the entire workflow across multiple technologies. Developers now have the ability to automate app packaging through Github or Bitbucket, you could even add integration for various testing to check for crashes, as well as for tracking analytics.

Visual Studio Online:

The online version enables you to set up recurrent integrations on any platform you’re currently working, by altering codes real-time and adding them to the main source. Oftentimes, this version has proven itself to be the best interest among developers working with Xamarin programming language.

Shifting from Android or Xcode to Visual Studio:

Fortunately, with a not-so-steep learning curve, developers could easily catch up with Visual Studio if they are willing to shift from Android or Xcode simply because there are similarities between the platforms.

Xcode, on the other hand, is perfectly compatible with other source codes of the most common platforms, currently used for coding. If you are frequently using CloudKit, then be aware that Xamarin and Visual Studio, both allow CloudKit integration. In terms of usage and flexibility, both tools are simple with a remarkable level of service. However, the latter is favored among companies employed 1000+ employees. As you may have already read about Visual Studio Online, saying how the stack is powerful enough to calculate multiple variables in seconds!

Considering how mobile interfaces have become important, Xcode and VS are tied, but Android.studio has fallen behind in terms of their testing capacities.

Conclusion:

It’s true that the majority of the business owners are considering Xamarin, simply because the stack is enabling them to save more of their time since the same coding is applicable across other platforms.

Xamarin has brought about huge possibilities for corporations due to a generalized UI for all platforms covering almost 90 percent. However, the case is completely the opposite of interfaces with heavy graphics.

Although there are multiple tech stacks such as Cordova, Ionic and Appcelerator built on HTML5 and JavaScript. It is one of the underlying reasons why none of these technologies is going to be as responsive and useful as Xamarin.

White hat vs Black hat SEO 0

Black or white hat SEO, which one of the two is going to drive you results? The answer is both; however, there are repercussions involved in black hat SEO. In the case of white hat SEO, the results will not become visible overnight but the process will generate results for as long as you wish to remain in business.

Black hat SEO and how it works:

In short, black hat SEO is about cheating the system for driving fast results in as short as 72 hours.

Keep in mind that even if you succeed breaking the system, sooner or later the search engine will find you and make your website obsolete.

This is the very reason why Google releases newer updates every year.

You can read more about Google Panda by clicking the highlighted portion of the text.

This technique is intended solely to ensure lightning fast results, during cases when you haven’t really attached a long term vision to a business.

Techniques implemented for black hat SEO:

  • Using spin or duplicate articles, often scraped from year old/expired domains.
  • Content automation process that has no value for visitors, which builds up links that are low quality.
  • With “gateway pages” targeting a wrong keyword, however, users get redirected to an entirely different website.
  • Carrying out negative campaigning for toppling a competitor.
  • Buying out a lot of backlinks, although it falls on the grey hat hacking criteria.

White hat SEO and its functions:

Unlike its counterpart, the white hat SEO is meant for human audiences only, just like you and I. Moreover, the processes involve strategies that are approved by Google, based on which the search engine will be ranking your website.

The only downfall is that the results begin to show between 6 to 8 months of regular maintenance of your website.

These are the only practices to be followed if you have a solid plan for attaining your goals at some point in the future.

Techniques in white hat SEO link building:

Keep in mind that the following are the only strategies that Google approves of and will rank your website based on how closely you follow as well as practice them.

  • Quality and relevant backlinking with other websites and it must act as a positive vote to your platform.
  • Must have well researched and extensive contents that your target niche finds useful.
  • Proper keyword analysis and later using thoroughly without overstuffing those words.
  • Your website must be optimized for faster loading.

Following the practices above as well as updating your website(s) routinely will undoubtedly make search engines rank your platform over others.

Let’s go through the major differences between black hat and white hat SEO practices again.

  • White hat SEO is optimized for human audiences only, and then for search bots.
  • There is a significant time difference between white and black hat SEO.

Tegra Design could help you out with both, however, it depends entirely on your desire.

Call us today or simply fill the form on our website for a FREE website audit in 24 hours. 

Why Are Businesses Using Video Marketing? 0

We live in a world where everything moves fast. We’re not just talking about cars and trends here. Our eyes and brains are being bombarded with more information every minute than ever before. This has caused a shift in how people decide to give their time and attention to some things, especially marketing materials. So how do you keep up? What will you do to grab that precious time and limited attention of your target audience?

It’s no secret that we’re pretty fond of animated videos here at Tegra Design. But do you know WHY we’re so excited about them? It’s not just because they’re fun and entertaining, it also has to do with the effectiveness videos bring to your marketing strategy. We have seen the move into video marketing as it brings more and more success to customers all over the globe! So let’s look at a few of the reasons why video works so well.

1. It’s real

When it comes to advertising and marketing, people have started to doubt authenticity of things they read. This isn’t to say you’re misleading your customers, it’s just become a fact of human psyche because of all the “bad apples” that have done so over the years.

However, when your audience SEES something in action, the person promoting a product/service, or even testimonials and explanations, they tend to feel more trust in the message being delivered. This is because video does what text doesn’t. It creates an immediate and authentic connection with the audience, who can often provide reactions and comments in real time due to today’s marketing avenues.

Here’s a list of some of the different types of video marketing being used today:

  • Explainer Videos
  • Vlogs (video blogs)
  • Video Interviews
  • Tutorials
  • Presentation Videos
  • Product Reviews and Demonstrations
  • Testimonials
  • Live Stream Recordings
  • Video Advertisements

Each of these offers a vital opportunity to grab and maintain attention, thus allowing you to deliver the necessary message effectively.

2. It Works

We don’t expect you to just take our word for it! So we gathered some statistics from wyzowl.com to share with you. Their survey, “The State of Video Marketing 2017”, showed some staggeringly high numbers supporting the value of video marketing.

  • 84% of consumers have bought something after watching a video.
  • 91% of consumers have watched an explainer video.
  • 79% of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product, than read text on a page.
  • Among businesses surveyed, 81% saw an increase in sales and 53% said support calls were reduced.
  • 83% of those using video think it gives them a good ROI; 82% think it’s a key part of their strategy.
  • 97% of businesses using explainer videos say it helps users understand their business better.
  • 94% of businesses see video as an effective tool.
  • 76% of businesses said that video has helped them increase traffic to their website.

These numbers are expected to rise this year, and again next, so it’s no wonder more and more businesses are adding video to their websites, social media pages, landing pages and direct marketing. It’s more than just a passing trend, it involves psychology and technology that work. Businesses who implement video are keeping up with the times and giving their brand a better chance at success because the majority of people prefer video over text.

3. It sticks

We mentioned psychology before, so let’s look at some figures that help you understand what we mean by that.

For starters, the human brain is incredible in its ability to take in information, especially when it is delivered visually. Studies have shown that people retain 95% of a message when viewed in a video, but only 10% when they read it.  What’s more is that visuals such as video are processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than through text!

That is a huge contributing factor to why explainer videos are so effective at relaying even complex ideas–the brain is taking in both visual and audio information and then retaining it. Similar studies to those mentioned earlier, relayed that 80% of people surveyed recalled a video ad they had seen in the past 30 days. That’s some impressive “stickability” on the advertisers’ part!

There are hundreds of statistics and plenty of reasons we could share, in favor of the value video marketing brings to businesses. The three we’ve included today are all we think it will take to grab your interest and help you consider looking into it further for the benefit of your business.

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