As a developer, you likely spend a lot of time working with code and other files on your computer. To make your life easier, there are several different automation tools available that can help you automate various tasks.

If you frequently work with the same set of files, for instance, you can use an automation tool to have those files open for you each time your development environment launches. Or, if you often need to run the same set of commands in your terminal, you can use an automation tool to create a shortcut for those commands.

Two of the most popular automation tools are Ansible and Vagrant. Ansible is a configuration management tool that can be used to automate various tasks, such as provisioning and maintaining servers. Vagrant is a tool that can be used to create and manage virtual development environments.

Both Ansible and Vagrant have their strengths and weaknesses. Ansible is typically more complex to learn than Vagrant, but it can be more powerful once you get the hang of it. Vagrant is generally simpler to use than Ansible, but it doesn’t have as many features.

So which automation tool should you use? In this article, we’ll compare Ansible vs. Vagrant and explore the main differences between them. We’ll also discuss when you might want to use each tool for your projects.

Written by: Prashant Thomas

Mobile app development is a rapidly growing industry, with more and more businesses looking to develop their own mobile applications. However, with so many different mobile operating systems out there, it can be difficult to know which route to take when it comes to development. Should you focus on developing one specific platform, or should you go for a cross-platform approach?

There are pros and cons to both native and cross-platform development, but in recent years there has been a shift towards cross-platform development frameworks. Developers frequently use two of the most well-known cross-platform frameworks, Flutter and React Native, to build mobile applications for various platforms.

With the increase in the number of people using smartphones and tablets, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for mobile apps. However, creating native apps for each platform can be time-consuming and expensive. Cross-platform frameworks offer a more economical solution because they let programmers create a single app that can run across various platforms.

Before we look into the benefits and drawbacks of Flutter and React Native, let’s dive into why cross-platform development is the ideal option than native development.

Written by: Prashant Thomas

The decision to develop a mobile application is always a difficult one because you have to develop a business strategy, identify your target audience, analyze your competition, and estimate a budget. Even after completing all these tasks, you have one other important thing to consider, choosing between a native or cross-platform mobile application development framework.

Cross-platform development is the best strategy if you want to create a mobile application that many people can use. By developing your app for multiple platforms, you can make sure that it is accessible to users on a variety of devices. Even though there are several cross-platform mobile application development frameworks available, most developers prefer using Flutter or Xamarin. 

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and pick the framework that best suits your requirements. In this blog, we’ll take a look at whether Flutter is a better alternative to Xamarin for developing cross-platform mobile applications. But first, we are going to briefly discuss about cross-platform development.

Written by: Prashant Thomas

As this decade is completely driven by the online landscape, everyone knows the importance of a website. No matter what business you run, your website is the voice of your company and it should be appealing for the customers to visit. 

But how much does it cost to build a website? Does it cost too much?

Written by: Shibu Kumar

Android became a worldwide phenomenon not only because it is Google’s operating system but also because it is an open source OS. Among various things that make open source technologies intriguing, one major trait is that they often come with surprisingly innovative features that are normally seen on commercially sold software and apps with noticeably bigger price tags possess.

However, Android still has a few proprietary components that make up its functionality and user experience aspects. But the open source Linux is still its base kernel establishing the OS as an open source contribution.

The stock Android ROM served as a foundation for a number of third-party custom ROMs including MIUI, Paranoid Android etc. Apart from the ROM, many apps designed to run on Android are actually open source complementing the nature of the OS itself. As a leading open source development services provider in the Middle East, we too often deal with client demands for an open source mobile app for Android.

That said, as we are ushering in 2019, here is a list of a few open source mobile apps that ended up making a lot of Android users happy this year.
 

Orbot

 
Orbot, a product from The Tor Project released in 2008, is the Android version alternative to the Tor browser. Similar to Tor, Orbot serves as an effective anonymity cover for Android devices.

Once the Tor proxy has been enabled using Orbot, the app will suggest using an open source web browser called Orfox which in turn shares source code similarities with the Tor browser. To unlock Orbot’s full potential, the device it’s running on will have to be rooted.
 

VLC for Android

 
VLC is one of the most popular video players for the Windows operating system. It’s free and open source, and has a dedicated community working on improving it. VLC for Android didn’t dominate the Play Store however as MX Player already took the top spot. Nevertheless, VLC Android is still loved by millions of Android users, and features better audio support than MX player as well.
 

Amaze File Manager

 
What Android users expect from a great file manager include simplicity, material design, appealing looks, and a bunch of other useful file management features. Amaze File Manager has all these and more. Amaze File Manager is an open source file manager that gained good momentum this year in terms of downloads and feedback. It can also use other apps to open various media files.
 

AdBlock Browser

 
Intrusive advertisements are too frequent and too annoying now. With the AdBlock browser for Android, unwanted or intrusive advertisements while browsing can be blocked. The customizable open source browser is recommended by Stanford University and the Electronic Frontier Foundation as it also effectively minimizes the risks of ‘malicious advertising’ infections.
 

ProtonMail

 
ProtonMail was founded by CERN scientists in 2013, and was backed by a $550,000 donation campaign. The open source app is proudly presented as the world’s largest encrypted email service. The app comes with an impressive, modern UI with a number of great features including customizable swipe gestures, set self-destruct timers for messages etc. Users can also password-protected encrypted emails to non-ProtonMail addresses.
 

Conclusion

 
Evidently, 2018 gave a lot of momentum to a number of open source Android apps despite heavy competition. Open source tools and technologies have been around for a long time, and never have they actually disappointed people who simply aren’t willing to spend a lot on apps. Most open source apps including the ones in this list are products of passion.

As open source gains more traction across popular industries including but not limited to software development, mobile app development, IoT applications etc., we can expect the arrival of even more open source digital solutions packing awesome features with surprisingly smaller price tags or none at all.

Written by: Ajeesh Azhakesan
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