Over 5000 developers attended Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month while the rest of the world waited patiently to see what the tech giant has in store for mobile application development and its future.

Apple started the conference with a video that showed a world without apps, and why the world needs apps. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook later emphasized the importance of mobile technologies in an app-driven world before an announcement of sensational innovations, officially kicking off the conference.

iOS 11 was the biggest announcement on the mobile front. The OS comes packed with new native features one of which includes the ability to send money to friends and family using Apple Pay. They have upgraded Siri and redesigned the App Store.

Apple announced a bunch of other updates for iOS 11 that will be released later this year. Here are a few of them worth checking out.

iOS 11 Updates

Augmented Reality with Apple’s ARKit

Augmented Reality has been gaining a lot of traction lately, evident from a rapid increase in AR integrated applications after the success of PokemonGO. AR can provide great, meaningful customer engagement in many ways. With Apple’s ARKit, developers can do just that. ARKit could be the game changer for the tech giant this year, as it will help developers figure out and create innovative ways to provide immersive experience to customers.

Very soon, iPhones and iPads will have AR capabilities essentially making Apple the largest AR platform on a global scale.

A more intelligent Siri

The upgraded Siri now learns from the user’s search patterns, and will attempt to accommodate their needs based on searches. Apple also revealed that they have used machine learning to make the Siri voice (both male and female) sound more natural. The tech giant’s finally made Siri capable of understanding context better, making it more useful than ever.

Customer Service via Business Chat

Business Chat is Apple’s new unique feature to improve customer service options for businesses. Unlike the existing AI chatbot systems, Business Chat allows customer care executives to directly communicate with users via chat.

This feature allows the customer to directly begin a chat session, via iMessages, with the representative of a business they have been looking up on the internet.

Drag & Drop

iOS 11 will come with the drag & drop functionality that can be used both within an app and across many apps. Users will now also be able to tap select multiple items at once with the multi-touch functionality.

iMessage Money Transfer

The iOS 11 upgrade also improves the Apple Pay feature, expanding it to include person-to-person payment features. Using iMessages or by commanding Siri, users will be able to make and receive payments with friends and family instantly.

Core NFC

iOS 11 features Core NFC which allows developers to read NFC tags to types 1 through 5, and read data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). In addition, the new OS will also include apps that utilize NFC technology. Just like ARKit, Core NFC allows developers to try out innovative ways to use NFC.

Redesigned App Store

The App Store has been redesigned to provide users with a better experience to find the newest apps. The ‘Today’ tab addition showcases apps users would be interested in on a daily basis. The new upgrade to the Search option added a new UI. It now features more filters in search results including developers, in-app purchases, categories etc.

The store layout will now have tabs at the bottom serving as filters to categorize Games, Apps, and ‘Today’ feed.

Impact on Mobile App Development

Apple intends to make app downloading exciting again with the redesign of App Store. App Store ratings are lifetime ratings now, and developers will also be able to perform a phased roll-out of applications releasing them slowly to customers or for a specific demographic.

In addition to iOS 11, new APIs and innovative features, Apple also unveiled TVOS, macOS, and WatchOS. This means developers will now be able to build more personalized and relevant apps to users, essentially taking the company higher in the app-driven ecosystem we live in.

Written by: verbat

Mobile-first development is a big deal now, and is one of the reasons why mobile application development is at the center of attention these days. IT services companies have started implementing the best mobile design practices to get apps in stores as well as to increase user engagement.

Even if an app gets in stores, it’d still be ineffective if it lacks a good design that can keep users engaged. A UX-friendly experience is vital in an application. So here are 8 tips for designing applications that can provide the best experience to users.

Responsive Design

Users typically use more than one handheld device these days – tablets, smartphones, smart wearables etc.  So the developers need to make sure that the app is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms. No matter how popular a platform is, we can’t definitively say that a certain percentage of the market uses it. Even with Android’s present market share, businesses still consider the millions of iOS users while developing an app.

Unless the app is meant to target users of a single platform, the best way is to make the app responsive, and compatible with multiple platforms.

Iterative Design and Development

Iterative design requires thorough evaluation, quite similar to testing. Multiple iterations can help the designer come up with a unique UX design, while picking up many things to use in future design projects. The designer can also get insights from users themselves through means of review sites or through built-in user behavior analytics solutions in apps. Understanding how a user uses an app can obviously help the designer improve the UI.

Visual Appeal

The design should catch the attention of users at a glance. This won’t be possible if the design isn’t visually appealing. An app heavy with textual content will be a deterrent in most cases. Generally, when users run an app in handheld devices, they expect a quality, interactive experience. Visual elements in the design provide that experience, while encouraging them to use the app more often.

Consider Market Needs

The behavior of a targeted audience applies to app design and development as well. As such, a designer should be able to understand customers. The best way to do that is to come up with use cases to understand what users would want from the app.

It’d impress the users if they find that the developers had paid attention to their needs and personalized the app to make it engaging and interactive for them. A combination of usability testing and heuristic evaluation can give designers and developers an idea on how appealing the UI should be. Interactive apps can deliver a memorable user experience.

Getting Input from Users

Though there are many testing methods designers can rely on, nothing comes close to feedback from users. It’s pretty much an industry standard now, which gives many design advantages especially during the early stages of development. Users might be able to spot glitches that the development and testing team failed to notice. Rectifying the glitches in the early stages contributes to saving costs involved with the development as well.

Consistent Updates

It’s important to keep track of feedback from users so the developers can know of any issues in the app that need to be fixed. They should be aware of the security and compliance needs as well, as both considerably hamper streamlined development.

Regularly communicating with the back-end team can bring accessibility issues to light, and may even help prevent data breaches. Security issues on the other hand can only be identified through constant, consistent monitoring. An occasional update that stabilizes the app and fixes issues also reminds users that the company hasn’t forgotten them, and still wants to provide them with a good experience through the app.

Follow Guidelines

There are guidelines for UI UX design that designers should follow if they want to get the apps into stores. UI designers should focus more on the key features of the app rather than minor ones, and should consider the latest industry standards before determining the navigation and user interaction features of the app. Following the guidelines properly will make sure that the app scores when the stores review it.

Keep an Eye Out for New Trends

Application development is a continuously evolving sector. As new technologies are introduced, new ways to change the looks, feel, and behavior of an app will emerge. Every UI developer would be aware of this, but neglects the traction a new, innovative idea can give the app. Keeping up with the latest trends can help them implement innovative ideas that can give the app an edge even in competitive markets.

Written by: verbat

Prevalent project failure is quite common in the project management industry, and the causes of failure are many – from overly optimistic deadlines to poor management. There are things that a project manager can and cannot control. Outside factors might influence the success of a software development project, and the manager may not be able to do much about that. However, it’s possible to mitigate the effects of such factors on the project.

Basically, apt project management can give the project the best chance for success. And apt project management requires streamlining the management processes. This is where proper project management methodology helps. It essentially makes it easier for project managers to design and implement their projects.

Before understanding how and where a project management methodology should be used, the managers need to be aware of two things.

  • Each methodology has their own pros and cons.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all. One of the biggest mistakes a project manager can make is to apply the same methodology to every project.

This is why it’s a wise idea to always assess the benefits of a particular methodology against the project’s objectives.

Here are 5 of the most popular project management methodologies that are flexible enough to adapt to projects and the project team.

Waterfall Model

A traditional project management methodology, this model is about a structure that follows things in a sequential manner, somewhat resembling a waterfall. The ‘flow’ begins with the concepts and inception of the project to its completion. There is a catch though. Once set at the get-go, the project requirements bear no alteration in most cases.

The model is ideal for large software projects when predictability and planning are vital for the projects’ success.

Agile Management Methodology

You could say that Agile is basically the opposite of Waterfall due to the fact that Agile is all about adaptability and flexibility while waterfall is sequential and predictable. Agile adapts to the feedback from the project team members or from the client, and follows the best course of action for the project’s success.

As such, Agile development is therefore the most effective when the project’s progress relies on input from clients or management. This flexibility makes it a great option for fast-paced project development.


A sustainable methodology that incorporates a value-maximization model, PRiSM acts as an efficient project structure that considers even environmental factors with a focus on total asset lifecycle. However, it’s unique because of the fact that it demands accreditations. The methodology is mostly used for large scale projects within real estate or construction.

Critical Chain Project Management

The main merit of this methodology is its focus on rectifying resources, by interpreting a project as a core set of elements so as to create a project timeline. The next phase is ensuring that the critical chain has enough resources within the timeline. In addition, the remaining resources are split up and allocated to various other tasks enabling them to be executed in parallel. The model also keeps enough resources in reserve in case reallocation is necessary.

These should be enough to assert that critical chain project management is the right choice for resource-driven projects.


Advertised as a government-endorsed project management methodology, PRINCE2 is widely popular across both public and private sector in the UK. Like PRiSM, PRINCE2 also requires certification, but offers a plethora of courses in return that boosts the project team’s experience while providing the required organization for projects.

PRINCE2 is quite sophisticated and requires the team to thoroughly follow the determined plan and processes involved for the project to be successful. Though process-oriented, the methodology has a broad approach that can help build strong project management skills which essentially makes it useful for almost all kinds of projects of different scales.

Written by: Prashant Thomas

In a general sense, website testing is carried out extensively in almost all the cases unlike software testing. Website testing is quite broad and demands testing efforts to cover all quality aspects. The objective is to make sure that the website makes it easier for users to learn, understand, use, and navigate the website.

To achieve this, almost all types of testing are carried out, including but not limited to:

  • Functionality Testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Database Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • Security Testing

Though many more tests are necessary to cover each different perspective, the six above are the essentials.

Functionality Testing

Performed to ensure the intended features and functionalities of a website, functionality testing may include:

  • Forms testing – Forms, used by users for storage/retrieval of information, are tested to ensure integrity and consistency throughout the website. Further testing can be performed to validate each field of the form, fields with negative or invalid values, upload file formats, and all other fields.
  • Link testing – Tests various links associated with the website including external and internal links, e-mail links, and broken links.
  • Validation testing – Tests whether the website adheres and conforms to specified search engine optimization standards.


Compatibility Testing

Like the name suggests, compatibility testing ensures the compatibility and functioning of the website across multiple browsers, operating systems, hardware, software, network configurations, display resolutions etc.

Performance Testing

Performance testing is carried out to assess the website’s performance under different conditions by evaluating various specified parameters.

Performance testing generally tests:

  • The stability of the website under different loads – normal, heavy, and extreme at different resource accessibility/utilization conditions, to ensure that the website functions uninterruptedly without crashing. The resources may include hardware, software, physical memory, CPU, network connection and speed, storage space etc. Load, stress, spike, soak, and volume tests may be performed in addition to double check the reliability of the website.
  • Scalability to make sure the website can adapt to changing requirements.
  • Response time and speed of the website


Database Testing

The back-end of a website, database, is very important, which is why database testing is crucial for a website. It tests the following:

  • Proper execution of database queries
  • The integrity throughout the database when data are added, updated, or deleted
  • Accurate data retrieval against queries
  • Testing tables
  • Keys used in the database


Usability Testing

This is to check the user-friendliness of the website, basically. If the user finds it difficult to use or navigate the website, or loses interest while browsing the website, the website’s overall traffic dwindles. This is why a website needs to be usability tested before it goes live.

While performing usability testing, you need to consider the following points.

  • Whether the testing design, website layout and presentation match the user’s expectations
  • Smooth navigation and control between web pages
  • Content and all other visual elements in the website


Security Testing

Security testing is performed to identify and rectify security vulnerabilities in the website. Website security testing may include:

  • Penetration testing which involves attacking the website through all means to identify and locate security flaws.
  • Accessing website using incorrect or invalid credentials
  • Hacking the website
  • Monitoring and verifying confidential data transfers through SSL certificates
  • SQL injection attacks on the website
  • Checking if the confidential data and repositories in the website can be accessed through unauthorized means
  • Checking log files located at the server



The testing processes mentioned above are only the essentials from a long checklist of tests. The end goal is to make sure that the testers do not miss anything, and the website developed functions as per the owner’s requirements without fail.

Written by: verbat

It’s great to get something for free…especially if that something is good. But this ‘free’ comes with a cost most often. Fortunately, we also live in a world full of open source technologies that haven’t failed to keep businesses on budget. You can find open source development services pretty much everywhere. But what sustains them is a plethora of free open source solutions.

Here are 5 of the most popular database software and open source DBM solutions that makes it worthwhile for businesses.


CUBRID is a free open source option that can be implemented in C, and specifically useful for web applications that process large amounts of data and generate just as many concurrent requests.

Key features include multiple granularity locking and auto-failover feature with 24/7 online web service. CUBRID also comes with a number of tools and drivers for PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, and JDBC. It also supports native DB sharding for scalability.

However, it is not compatible with Apple systems and also lacks script debugger.


Since its inception in 2007, MongoDB is probably the most popular open source solution at present with over 1000 partners backing it up. The document-oriented program uses JSON-like documents, and can be used to develop innovative, robust applications.

Key features include scalability, encrypted storage engine and document validation. MongoDB also reduces the time between primary failure and recovery, and can handle instantaneous queries over large data.

However, applications that require complex transactions doesn’t fit well with the program. There are no drop-in replacements for legacy applications either.


It has been around since 1995, and comes as both free and paid versions. One of its biggest advantages is its compatibility with almost every popular operating system out there. Language is not a barrier for MySQL users, as the server can display error messages to clients in many languages.

Other advantages of MySQL include host-based verification, flexible privilege and password system, security encryption, support for JSON objects etc. It can be used even without a network. In client/server networks, it provides server as a separate program.

As Oracle now owns MySQL, it’s not community-driven anymore. It’s also known to get updates much slower than other similar systems.


SQLite came out in 2000, and now claims to be one of the most widely deployed database in the world, affirmed by the fact that tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft use this.

Key advantages include cross-platform file format, ACID compliant transactions, and a compact library.

However, it’s not a good option for client/server applications, high volume websites, and large datasets.


A relational database that’s been around since the 1980s, Firebird features a number of ANSI SQL standards. It can run on multiple popular operating systems including Windows, Linux, and a few UNIX platforms.

Its major advantages include Trace API for real-time monitoring, option to clean database, and free support through its large global community. Firebird supports SuperClassic, Classic, SuperServer, and Embedded architectures.

The cons include a lack of temporary tables and integration with other database systems, and integrated replication support.

Written by: verbat
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