The reputation of the mobile app development company is fragile to be honest. If the app underperforms, the developer’s reputation is affected. If the app fails in the market, the developer’s reputation is affected. If the users don’t have a good experience using the app, the developer’s reputation is affected. However, it’s not something that can’t be fixed. A few good practices can restore the developers’ reputation or grow it considerably.

What most developers often don’t give much importance to is the app’s security features, unless the app handles financial transactions. Even if the app is non-commercial and made solely for entertainment, it still may require access to the mobile users’ personal information. So users obviously expect the app to use that information wisely i.e. they just assume that the app is secure. It’s up to the developers to make sure the users are right about them. Mobile app security is vital for the app’s success, and subsequently the developer’s reputation.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at 5 ways developers can deliver great mobile app security.
 

Use encryption

 
Encryption is one of the best ways to secure a mobile application. Using powerful encryption techniques to secure data transmissions from the mobile device reassures users that their data is safely handled by the app. The data won’t make sense to cyber-attackers.
 

Extensive testing

 
Good development companies will obviously perform testing that covers all important aspects of the app. But developers should be aware that even the smallest gap in security can be exploited by cyber-attackers. The testing done for the app shouldn’t leave any stones unturned while also making sure that the visitors get a great experience using the app.

Present day technologies facilitate automated testing that reduces a lot of effort for testers while they can direct their attention to testing the most critical features of the app. This requires a deep understanding of mobile technologies and effective project management skills in addition to prepare a timeline for both development and rigorous testing.
 

Prototyping

 
Prototyping makes it very easy for developers to keep track of their progress. The prototype app also serves as a restore point for developers while they go about developing the application. Prototypes also give the developers an early feedback of the app helping them improve the final version of the app. It can also make it easier for developers to identify security gaps that can be exploited.
 

Better integration with hardware architecture

 
The developers should make sure the app can run on a variety of devices, and should mention the list of compatible devices in the app description. Certificates from compatible devices will help the application integrate its source code with the hardware’s architecture effectively. This also solidifies the app’s security mechanisms, which would then work in conjunction with the mobile device’s built-in security features.
 

Remote data wipes

 
This is a staple of enterprise mobile security policies allowing the user to wipe all personal data remotely if he/she loses the device. Remote data wipe options are generally limited by device type, mobile OS versions etc. Though it’s an emergency measure, the existence of such a feature reassures users that the app development company values personal data protection that much.
 

Conclusion

 
Recent cyber-security breaches and exploits that made news have made people rise many concerns on the security of digital solutions and services including apps.

Google itself has emphasized the significance of mobile security guiding companies providing Android development services to keep working on improving app security for users. In this age, with all our data flowing between servers, every app in use that require personal information should feature stringent security mechanisms. The methods mentioned in this blog hopefully guide developers to secure mobile apps right from the beginning of development.

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Written by: Rikhil Mohan

Mobility is just as important for businesses as it is for people. According to UN’s International Telecommunications Union, there are more active mobile devices on the planet today than the total human population. Though mobility is consumer-driven in general, it’s fundamentally different for enterprises.

Though businesses have to leverage the potential of mobile technologies to move ahead of competitors in this age, many are still hesitant to do just that. They do use a number of apps however but rely a lot on legacy systems to run their core processes.

One reason for their indifference to enterprise mobility is the thought that they will need to invest a lot in building a fully functional mobile app that can deliver the same results as the apps running on their legacy systems. This can take months or even years. Many misconceptions about mobile application development and enterprise mobility also attribute to deterring businesses from going the mobile way.

Let’s explore a few such popular myths and the truth behind them.

#1. Optimizing a desktop app to work on mobile devices will work

Many businesses have the wrong notion that the best approach to adopting mobility is to have their existing desktop apps transformed to work on mobile devices at a low investment. This is mostly seen as a first step to mobility. Such a transformation won’t be worthwhile as most legacy desktop apps would only be able to run on smaller mobile screens while being incapable of utilizing mobile hardware to make operations easier and faster. In addition, they will also lack many mobile-friendly functionalities that a business will need.

Users will have to spend more time pinching and zooming to access the app’s functions, and scroll a lot for navigating too. This would eventually force them to find a different, more convenient solution.

#2. In-house mobile app development is the best bet

Some enterprises do find success with their in-house development teams. But there are potentially hundreds of apps that have been shelved or is taking too long to enter the market. Mobile app development is a challenging process that takes a lot of time. Additionally, mobile apps require more time and cost for maintenance and upgrades compared to other technologies.

With technologies evolving dynamically and becoming harder to keep track of, it may not always be possible for the in-house team to customize the mobile solution accordingly unless the enterprise is willing to spend vast resources on achieving mobility. Ultimately, the cost and the requirements would be challenging to meet for a growing enterprise.

A professional mobile application development company can do justice in such a situation, and build the app much faster at a much lower cost.

#3. Businesses and its operations can keep going without mobility

Many businesses that haven’t adopted mobility can give many reasons for why they don’t need a mobile app to keep moving forward. The truth is that those enterprises failed to see the revolution that’s been happening around them. Mobile devices have become personal for people, providing businesses with new, innovative opportunities to reach their consumers on their own personal devices anywhere across the globe.

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend is gaining more momentum every day, with many businesses adopting it. Smart businesses have found that it’s statistically feasible to take ways that beget more productivity from users rather than keeping their focus on user preferences. High performance, mobile-ready business processes are being introduced every day. All these facts are a testament to the fact that enterprise mobility can indeed turn the tides for a business, facilitating a more accelerated growth.
 

Conclusion

 
If a business is still not convinced that mobility is the gamechanger, they would just fall behind competitors very soon. The investment has proved worthy for businesses across various domains. Mobility is changing the way businesses operate, especially when technologies like IoT and the cloud keep growing at incredible pace. Enterprise mobility is now or never.

Written by: Rikhil Mohan

There has never been a clear winner when it comes to mobile platforms. Both iOS & Android app development have been going to toe-to-toe for years. Mobile app developers are not willing to stick to just one of the two either. Mobile technologies today can, rather easily, realize the idea of targeting a wider audience for businesses provided there is enough expertise to leverage them properly.

When it comes to that expertise, there was always one faction among developers for a long time – native app developers. Native app developers have the expertise and knowledge to build apps in a target platform. They know the specifics, and they know what their app can become in the platform they have expertise in. But, not too while ago, cross-platform app development came into the picture. And native app developers raised questions.

Let’s see what the situation is all about, and explore the merits and demerits of cross-platform mobile app development.
 

Cross-platform app development

 
It’s not to be confused with hybrid app development, as both are fundamentally different. Cross-platform development is an umbrella term for application development that targets multiple platforms. Hybrid falls into that category but only as a subtype. Hybrid app development generally uses a specific development model to create apps that are a hybrid variant of web and native apps.

Hybrid apps are coded in HTML, CSS or JavaScript and then encased with a native WebView browser giving it the feel of an app. Cross-platform development is what a business needs if its target audience is split between Android, iOS, and Windows platforms.
 

Pros

 
Hybrid app development is known for its speed. Even inexperienced developers would be able to develop a hybrid app rather quickly, reducing costs for businesses while allowing them to enter the market early. Generally, in most cases, developers would only need their front-end development knowledge for developing hybrid apps, and don’t need to go out of line to build the app from scratch.

For cross-platform development, it’s a different case. They are akin to native apps, and are often referred to as near-native due to this. Mobile apps developed using tools like Xamarin or React Native are considered as native apps. However, unlike hybrid apps wrapped in WebView, these native apps can access mobile hardware directly. This means their performance isn’t limited. They are fast in both audio and video processing.

It still takes good app logic and a well-devised development strategy to save time and costs with cross-platform development. Regardless of the targeted platform, the developers would have to build the app’s core first, and then separately tune it to be functional and visually appropriate.

The development process is comparatively faster, and debugging and maintenance are much easier. Another one of its merits is flexibility, particularly when it comes to UI/UX development. Using the Xamarin tool gives developers two options for UI – a basic Xamarin.Forms interface, and a more flexible interface that can be tailored for the targeted platforms. The latter looks and feels very much like a native interface.
 

Cons

 
Because WebView is still technically a browser and is separate from the mobile device’s hardware, hybrid apps won’t always be able to guarantee great performance. However, cross-platform apps can. But it still comes with a fair share of cons.

Cross-platform apps are near-native apps, but they are still not native apps. It still has functional limitations unlike native apps, and limitations respective to the platform. Each platform comes with its own unique functionalities and flexibilities. Cross-platform apps won’t be able to leverage the unique tools and functionalities of one particular platform, as they run on all platforms.

In addition, it’s very challenging to offer a good user experience on cross-platform apps as UX varies between platforms. Facebook first started with a cross-platform but soon realized their user experience limitations, and decided to go for native apps on iOS and Android.
 

Conclusion

 
Cross-platform app development is still in demand, and contributes mainly to enterprise application services. Because technology is advancing rapidly today, clinging to native app development alone is not a wise approach. There are possibilities to explore, and the future of mobile app development will present more opportunities for businesses. And cross-platform development would more likely have a bigger role soon.

Written by: Rikhil Mohan

Considering the evidently huge advancements in technologies that businesses at present are associated with, it’s safe to assume that this is the right time to invest in some of them. Of all the technologies that could make things easier for a business, mobile technologies come first.

Effectively leveraging enterprise mobility solutions grants organizations with increased operational efficiency and flexibility. Enterprise mobility would be adopted on a wide scale when the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy goes mainstream. At present, many organizations have chosen to allow their employees to bring their own devices to work in conjunction with enterprise application across the organization’s cloud network.

If the enterprise mobile app isn’t good though or if it doesn’t align with the business goals the way it should, things will take a wrong turn for the organization in the long run. For a good enterprise app, a business would need to figure out a reliable enterprise mobile app development company.

Now that the importance of enterprise mobility has been conveyed, let’s take a look at 5 factors that can help businesses successfully implement enterprise mobility solutions.
 

Permission management

 
Managing permissions from the client side can be quite tricky. The client may not want you to access confidential information. This is why proper permission management is necessary. Enterprise mobility solutions can address this to an extent, providing users with access to only what they want to know, and only that which they are authenticated for.
 

Security issues

 
Security concerns are quite common for businesses who are about to receive a technological solution that is to be integrated into their business. From a business’ perspective, the solution should be integrated efficiently minimizing security risks and resolving associated issues. Essentially, the solution should address the security concerns of employees using the app.
 

Regular app udpates

 
An updated app sustains the competitive edge it initially granted the business. Even if it’s the employees of an organization, the users of an app expect occasional updates which tend to give them more confidence in the app’s functioning, resolve existing bugs, and add to the stability of the app. The business should have their IT team or the app developer regularly diagnose the app and enhance it with updates.
 

Make sure the employees are aware of the benefits

 
Depending on the size of the business, the business goals, and many other factors, the cost of an enterprise app would increase. A business wouldn’t want the investment to go underutilized. The employees should be educated on how the app can help them perform many functions on just a single platform without a lot of effort. They should know the benefits they get from using the app, and should be groomed to effectively utilize the application.
 

User acceptance testing

 
It’s an important factor but nothing a business should be concerned of generally, as long as the application developer is a reliable and reputed enterprise mobile application development partner for your business. A reliable developer would make sure the enterprise mobility solution is exactly what the business and its employees need.

The app should feature everything they expected from such a solution. A wiser approach would be to have the organization’s in-house IT team perform the user acceptance test on the solution before implementing it.
 

Conclusion

 
The key is in seeing things from the users’ perspective. At the end of the day, the enterprise should have acceptable ROI with the mobility solution. Unless the users understand what makes the application important or how it benefits them and the organization they work at, the application would have a short life.

The organization’s IT team should be monitoring the solution regularly to ensure that it’s aligned with business goals, and performing the functions it’s meant to. Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind can help enterprises leverage their mobility solutions the right way.

Written by: Rikhil Mohan

To outpace competitors in the digital ecosystem, apps can be a powerful tool for businesses. This is why a mobile app development company is forced to innovate and be unique from the rest. They will have to ensure that the app serves it purpose while being insightful, engaging, content-rich and targeted at the same time. On average, a mobile user may download close to 50 apps a month. They will have expectations for the app they choose to use from hundreds of thousands of other options.
 

Smart apps?

 
Ultimately, the users expect the apps to be smart and respond in a way they like providing a personalized experience – effortless navigation, responsive interface, excellent security. To provide such a catered experience to users, the apps need to be intelligent enough to know its own intent and the desire of the users as well.

But developing one wasn’t easy a year ago. Though it isn’t particularly easy now, we do have the technology to make it a reality – artificial intelligence and machine learning.
 

AI/ML Advancements

 
AI and ML aren’t new technologies either. They have been around for a while but only recently did they evolve big enough to transform enterprises and several other sectors. Both became two heavily invested trends in a very short time, turning heads of tech behemoths like Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services etc.

Now we can use AI, machine learning and big data to drive innovation in a way that was only a fantasy till recently. Combining the three technologies, developers can now build intelligent apps or smart apps that have adaptive learning capabilities and human-like responses ensuring a considerably better, engaging, and more personalized user experience.
 

Where Azure comes in

 
When it comes to providing cloud-driven cognitive services, Azure and AWS dominate the market.

Though AWS is still leading, Azure adoption grew from 20% to 34% last year, reaching 60% of AWS’ market penetration.

Azure is expected to outpace AWS in the coming years, is more preferred by enterprises, and is already transforming the software development sector. Azure’s Cognitive Services offer various APIs that developers can use to add and leverage AI for their apps. The APIs can be used to add many smart features to apps including natural language processing and voice recognition.

With Azure’s services, the apps will be able to analyze generated data to learn patterns on user behavior and take measures to make the app more engaging. The apps can also be automated to personalize the content and serve it to users at the right time.

The list of APIs from Azure is only growing bigger, with many more under production. Here are a few of the most interesting services from Azure that can make a positive impact on how users see and use apps.

Customer Decision Service

This service takes into account user behavior and the data provided by the mobile app development team, and utilizes machine learning technology to serve content at specific contexts based on the data. It can also learn from user feedback to determine the type of content to serve to particular users i.e. to make decisions for targeting the content.

Developers can also tailor the service to suggest content options to users, and analyze their responses to not make mistakes in the future. The API essentially grants adaptive learning capabilities to an app. If the app is hosted on Azure, all they have to do is provide the data for it to work on.

Content Moderator

Content moderator is a service that can come of use when user-generated content is involved. It leverages machine learning and human-based content review to give greater control of user-generated content to the owner of the app. The service can moderate not just text but images and videos as well.

This is the service that developers can use to detect offensive textual content by matching and cross checking it with a custom list, before deciding to flag the content or block it. It can similarly block and flag any user-generated image if it’s offensive, and can block adult video content from appearing in the app.

Speaker Recognition API

This API addresses the security and authentication aspects. Speaker Recognition API, like the name suggests, can be used to add voice authentication to get access to applications instead of using passwords or patterns. Many apps feature username/password login, which can be replaced with voice authentication to make it easier and more convenient for users. This is because, though they have the option to remain signed into apps so they don’t have to login every time, there is still a security risk.

Voice recognition, on the other hand, blocks access to unrecognized users safeguarding it while giving users a more convenient way to log in at the same time. The voice recognition feature fits more on banking/finance apps or the ones that handle personal data.
 

Conclusion

 
We have the technology to build smart apps now, and this fact is one of the primary reasons why the trend is gaining momentum. Mobile apps will also be evolving and AI/ML would have a lot to do with it. And when it comes to AI/ML, Azure’s Cognitive Services is a step above its counterparts when it comes to building smart apps.

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Written by: Rikhil Mohan
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