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App Development: How Long Does It Really Take?

App development is a part of the tech industry that has boomed in recent years. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to its rise in popularity. With people being stuck at home, they needed something to occupy their time. Apps like TikTok and YouTube filled that time but were just the tip of the iceberg.

Since the beginning of 2020, the number of streaming, games, health, and medical apps has skyrocketed. That increase has left many other potential app developers with questions. The main one being: How long does it really take to develop an app?

The Process

  1. Coming up with an idea and doing research.
  2. Planning out the app.
  3. Designing the app.
  4. Developing it.
  5. App testing.
  6. The release.
  7. Maintaining the app.

The Idea & the Research

Taking anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks, coming up with an idea for the app is the first step. The next part would be to research the idea. Not all ideas would function well as an app. Additionally, there are ideas that have been done many times. Researching the idea for daily usage, functionality, and other elements could answer the initial thought: Is my idea good enough?

The Plan

This typically takes about a month. The planning stage involves things such as the target audience, structure, operating system, type of app (i.e. native, web, or hybrid), cross-platform compatibility, and more. It’s also important to consider what features and extra options the app will have. This part of development serves as the foundation for the rest of the development process.

Design

Designing the visual aspects of the app could average between 1 to 3 weeks. Color schemes, images, logos, animations, and so on make up this stage of development. For an app, the visual elements are vital to the user’s comfortability. An app that looks boring when it should appear vibrant and fun may lead to the user deleting it.

The Development Stage

Around 6 weeks is the median amount of time for this stage. This is also the most extensive and time-consuming part of app development. It includes creating the front-end, back-end, and User Interface (UI) elements so the app can function smoothly. An app that is frustrating to navigate or that crashes is one that users won’t keep installed. Creating a working app is perhaps the most important thing.

The Big Test

There is no accurate timeframe for this phase of development. It depends on the developer and the app. However, testing the app prior to officially releasing it ensures that any issues or glitches are fixed. Also, the use of alpha and beta testers could be a good option for new developers.

Releasing the Finished Product

From a day to 2 weeks, this is where the finished app is officially released to the public. Submitting it to the App Store, Google Play, and so on may take time due to each platforms’ guidelines.

Maintenance

Maintaining an app has no timeline since it’s a continuous task. Keeping the app functional, adding new features, making security improvements, and more are some of the tasks associated with app maintenance. Nonetheless, the app is still out there, which is something to celebrate.

Ins and Outs of On-Demand Delivery Apps

Fast internet speeds, more free time, and a global pandemic have contributed to the increase in overall app usage. This includes in-app purchases as well. Among the different kinds of apps out there, on-demand delivery apps continue to be used more and more in daily life.

But what makes those apps so popular?

User Interface

These apps are designed to be used by a large audience of people. Thus, they are simpler in function and appearance. This makes it easier for all kinds of users to navigate them, even if they aren’t that good with technology.

Problem, Meet Solution

On-demand delivery apps seek to solve a problem, as most apps do. Their function could be to help a user order food for delivery to their home, fill prescriptions, set up a pick-up time and location, and more. Convenience is also a big aspect of these apps. Most of the time, there might be several apps that offer the same solution. If one app isn’t convenient to provide that solution, users will switch to an app that can.

Examples of Good App Features

With these specific kinds of apps, there are a few features that could help it do better than its competition. These may be:

  • Tracking of real-time
  • Simple registration process
  • Flexible payment options
  • Secure payment system
  • Ability to review/rate
  • Settings or Admin tab

Every functional app should also have the option to get in contact with Customer Support or a similar service. Some apps allow users to leave feedback and report issues with the app as well, which can be helpful for apps that contain important or time-sensitive information.

Common On-Demand Delivery Apps

The most popular markets for on-demand delivery apps are for groceries, food, healthcare, transportation, and maintenance.

  • Groceries

In this market, some of the most used grocery apps include Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, and Costco. These allow users to order all of their groceries through the app, as well as setting up times to pick them up or have them delivered to their homes. Payments, options for substitutions, and even rewards programs are available through these apps.

  • Food

Food delivery apps are different from grocery delivery apps because they typically are an as-needed, single meal alternative. Pizza, burgers, and ethnic foods are among the top, most-ordered types of food delivered. Third-party apps that give people more options for delivering food not previously available for delivery have shot up since the pandemic began. Uber Eats, Door Dash, and Grubhub are the preferred apps to use.

  • Healthcare

These apps generally serve as the bridge between patients and healthcare facilities. Filling prescriptions, scheduling appointments, inputting sensitive information, viewing and paying bills, and keeping up with the latest medical news are some common features.

  • Transportation

Uber is the largest transportation app in the world. Transportation services for medical reasons are also often used to go from place to place conveniently.

  • Maintenance

Perhaps the least used type of delivery app in this list, maintenance delivery apps have become vital due to restrictions and lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Ordering parts for A/C units, to replace oxygen tanks for medical purposes, and other repair-related problems are almost always solved by the efficiency of these on-demand delivery apps.

Emerging Trends in AR and VR Apps

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an increase in the time people spent on their phones. From the transition to stay-at-home work to losing their jobs completely, people needed something to fill their extra time with. Advancements in technology updates to apps, and new phone models being released kept people engaged with their mobile devices. As a result, newer technology for mobile apps was explored more. Differing trends rose in the areas of Artificial Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) apps.

Billions of dollars are spent on app development and purchasing a year with it expecting to increase even more by 2022. AR and VR apps have branched out to be a part of that number since they incorporate unique features which amplify user experiences.

Trends in AR Apps

AR functionality has been incorporated into many different kinds of apps. Some of those are navigation, decorating, gaming, and shopping apps. Shopping apps use AR to scan barcodes, QR codes, and take pictures of products to search the app’s system, unlock rewards and information, or look up prices and availability. Gaming apps such as Pokémon Go combine digital design with reality via a phone’s camera to allow users to interact with virtual characters, complete quests, and more. Decorating apps have significantly benefited from AR integration due to their ability to help users correctly visualize how furniture and paint colors would look in a room before having to buy the products. AR works with navigation apps to bring real-time updates of speed limits, directions, addresses, and more to users’ phones while they’re on the go.

Trends in VR Apps

The biggest trend in VR apps has come from the education market. Teachers and schools have tried implementing technology-based learning systems to keep students engaged. Another top trend was in the IT market. They have adopted a VR and AR system to help automate their tasks while giving them access to all the information they could need. Even the real estate market has experienced a trend in regard to VR functionality. It used virtual reality to present users with 2D and 3D models of properties. Furthermore, AR was incorporated along with it to combine real pictures with a 360-degree view as well as virtual tours.

Final Thoughts

Mobile app use itself has skyrocketed in the past year thanks to the pandemic. Most apps now have some sort of VR or AR capabilities. The most common implementation of either feature comes with gaming, social media, and education-based apps. QR codes, which have been around for several years, are still included in many apps. They are often associated with rewards, important information, or sharing things on social media. A large portion of users also takes advantage of the AR scanning features on shopping apps that help them locate products at other stores or order them online. iOS devices have the biggest number of AR and VR apps, though more are making their way to Android devices. Nearly every industry includes the implementation of AR or VR and it’s only expected to increase as technology continues to advance.

Vue vs React in 2021: Which Framework to Choose and When

You can say that JavaScript is the most known language in the tech world and ReactJS and VueJS are the frameworks that are the most used from this language.

VueJS is easier to conquer with a lot of similarities with Angular, while ReactJS is more complex and there are a lot more concepts for learning. Both of these frameworks are extremely used and popular and also provide high performance.

Read more about the similarities and the differences between these two frameworks.

Advantages and disadvantages of using Vue and React – VueJS vs ReactJS

The definition of React

With react you can use reusable components. It is a very useful library to create components. The best use of React is in projects that need constantly some data changes. Also, you can build reusable UI. The use of React in today’s tech world is at a high level.

Advantages of ReactJS:

  • Flexibility and responsiveness
  • Virtual DOM
  • Rich JS library
  • Scalability
  • Web and mobile platform

Disadvantages of ReactJS

Because it has a very complex setup process you have to possess great knowledge and experience in order to develop an application.

Companies using ReactJS

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Netflix
  • New York Times
  • Yahoo
  • WhatsApp
  • Code Academy
  • Dropbox
  • Airbnb
  • Asana
  • Microsoft

The definition of VueJS

VueJS is another JS framework that is used for making single-page web applications. The goal of VueJS is to make simple web development. There is a great number of developers across the world who are using VueJS and they are developing great apps with this popular framework. It was built in 2014 by an ex-employee from Google.

 Advantages of using VueJS

  • Ease-of-use
  • Smoother integration
  • Better performance
  • Smaller size
  • Well-written documentation
  • Adaptability

Disadvantages of using VueJS

VueJS is mainly used in smaller apps because there are still some problems in the development of bigger apps. Also, VueJS has fewer downloads than ReactJS and a smaller market share.

Companies using VueJS

  • Facebook
  • Netflix
  • Adobe
  • Grammarly
  • Behance
  • Xiaomi
  • Alibaba
  • Codeship
  • Gitlab
  • Laracasts

When to choose VueJS for building apps?

You should choose VueJS instead of ReactJS when you have to develop smaller, but faster apps. Also when you need a modern user interface VueJS must be your first choice. This framework is great for developers who work with HTML.

When to choose ReactJS for building apps?

You should go with ReactJS when you have more complex applications to develop. Another great thing about React is that it has great community support which can help you with any kind of problem.

Conclusion

There are no big differences between the two frameworks and the decision you should make based on your experience and the projects that you are working on. For more complex apps your choice should be React and if you need to integrate with an existing app you should go with VueJS.

Both of the frameworks are great for developing an interactive UI. So depending on your project decide with which framework you will start developing.

10 Most Used Programming Languages in Machine Learning Development

Like AI development, the creation of machine learning products and software has become increasingly popular over the years. Machine learning is referred to as a process of using algorithms, statistics, probability, and other math-based tools to alter or organize data. This area of the tech industry works best with predictive analyses, recognizing patterns, and other ways of viewing or connecting data.

The three main types of machine learning are:

  • Reinforcement
  • Unsupervised
  • Supervised

Some of the most popular applications of machine learning include translating speech, facial recognition, recommendations of products, self-driving cars, social media analytics, and fraud detection. Machine learning applications are used by many major corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Yelp.

Here are the 10 most used programming languages that are used in machine learning development:

  1. Scala

Compatible with Java applications, compiled, statically-typed, and can support large amounts of data, Scala has many advantages.

  1. Python

Often compared with Java, Python has a simpler syntax and is easier to learn. Similarly, it’s very widely used and has a fast processing speed.

  1. Lisp

Lisp is one of the oldest programming languages and has a solid foundation as a programming language. It also is domain-specific, contains an automatic garbage collector, and is great for developing prototypes.

  1. Java/JavaScript

Highly versatile, popular, and backed by an extensive community of developers, Java and JavaScript are perhaps the most widely used programming languages. They are object-oriented, can support complex systems, and are supported across numerous platforms.

  1. TypeScript

TypeScript was developed by Microsoft, meaning it has experienced developers keeping it updated and running smoothly. Additionally, it supports Java-based code and systems as well as being considered a simpler version of JavaScript.

  1. Shell

Shell has a simple syntax that works well when developing algorithms, models, and applications with machine learning development projects. It contains a user interface, supporting many operating systems too.

  1. Golang

Commonly just called Go, this programming language is open-sourced and lightweight. Its concurrency feature is its biggest asset, but it also has a built-in vocabulary.

  1. C/C++

C and C++ are called more traditional languages and fall in the same category as Java in that respect. They are easily readable, popular among developers, and maintain quick execution speeds.

  1. Julia

Model analytics is Julia’s specialty due to its dynamically-typed structure and easy to learn syntax. It supports scripting and is cross-platform available as well. Being free and open-sourced are more advantages to using this language.

  1. R

R is referred to as both R and R Programming. Like most of the programming languages on this list, R is open-sourced. It’s backed and supported by developers, particularly those who work with data and statistics. A heavy computing functionality, wide uses in the biomedical field, and support of popular operating systems makes R very popular.

Final Thoughts

Finding programming languages that are open-sourced and versatile across different platforms are some of the most important characteristics of a good language. How these languages handle data, as well as their specialties, allow developers to best compare them on a project basis—a vital decision that could effect the entire development process.

5 Top Programming Languages for Video Streaming

Video streaming is the process of transferring data over a network. This network can be the internet or even just two computers within proximity of one another.

Therefore, this data needs to be transferred in seconds while it is being watched simultaneously. There are different types of video streaming out there, and each has its own unique set of requirements that need to be satisfied for it to be successful.

Video streaming requires much faster transfer speeds than audio streaming since videos are so much more data-intensive. Engineers were able to meet the demands of this requirement by developing technologies such as Adobe Flash Media Server, which managed to improve the speed at which video was transmitted.

Video streaming is also known as multimedia or online streaming. This type of streaming is the most common use of the internet today. The term online streaming has become very popular due to its popularity with video-sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and TwitchTV.

Different programming languages have been created over the years to cater to these video streaming needs specifically. 

Best Programming languages for Video Streaming

C++ 

This is one of the oldest programming languages that is still currently in use today. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup at the Bell Telephone Laboratories (AT&T) back in 1983. This language has been used to create several video streaming software like Windows Media Player, QuickTime, and Adobe Flash.

Java

The word “Java” is an acronym for the word “java virtual machine.” This programming language was created by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems back in 1991.

JavaScriptJavaScript is a Programming language used primarily to create websites, but you can also use it for video streaming software. Brendan Eich created it while he was working at Netscape Communications.

If you want the streaming to be on Facebook or YouTube, JavaScript is your best option since these websites are built on top of it.

JavaScript will give you the most flexibility when it comes to programming since you can use it on different platforms, and its use is not limited in any way. The only downside is that this language is compiled, which means that compiled code will run slower than C++ or Python.

PHP 

This is a scripting language that has been used to create several widely accessed websites such as Facebook and Wikipedia. This programming language was created by Rasmus Lerdorf back in 1994.

Python

Python is a high-level programming language created by Guido Van Rossum at CWI, Amsterdam, back in 1989. It has the same structure as the English language, making it very readable for computer programmers and beginners alike.

Conclusion 

When it comes to choosing the best programming language for streaming videos, there are several options out there. C++ and Java are older but more reliable options. JavaScript is a very flexible option that you can use across different platforms, so it’s a good choice for streaming on Facebook or YouTube. PHP is another popular alternative that has been used by many websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress. 

 

Java vs. Scala: Which is Better for Development?

Among programming languages, Java is the most used across the globe. Even as newer languages were released, it has remained at the top. It’s often compared with other programming languages as a result. From Python to Ruby on Rails and others, Java has at least matched the success of those languages. It will be put to the test again in a comparison against the programming language, Scala.

About Java

Java was released by a company called Sun Microsystems over two decades ago. It changed ownership in 2010 when it was bought by Oracle. Java’s reputation is primarily built around how stable its code is as well as how flexible it is across different platforms. Within its system is the JVM, or Java Virtual Machine, and being cross-platform compatible allows other languages or development tools to work well with it. Java is object-oriented, class-based can handle large amounts of data, and is used for all kinds of development projects.

Android and iOS apps, IoTs, websites, and more are where Java is most often used. Many major companies also use it such as Google, Amazon, Slack, eBay, and Spotify.

About Scala

Statistically typed and created for general purpose use, Scala is a programming language based in JVM. Like Java, it’s object-oriented as well. It serves to do things that Java doesn’t and is still compatible with Java programs. Scala was released in 2004 by a developer well-versed in Java programs and coding. Interoperability, its paradigm, and its readability make Scala very versatile. Some of its unique characteristics include a lazy computation, a type interface, functional programming and OOP combination, and the immutability of every declared variable.

Scala shares many of the same uses and benefits Java does since it’s built around it. Corporations like Twitter, LinkedIn, Airbnb, SoundCloud, and Verizon use Scala in their systems.

The Comparison

  • Readability & Ease of Learning

Java, being an older language, is a little harder to learn than other, more modern languages. Similarly, Scala isn’t as easy to learn as those newer languages. However, Scala is more readable due to its concise structure. Both languages are designed to handle extensive development projects and, because Scala is built on Java’s features, its functionality is similar. This does mean that developers versed in Java are likely to find Scala easy to learn.

  • Support & Community

Both languages have strong, supportive communities of developers. Java is known for it, though Scala has a smaller community than Java and focuses on education alongside collaboration with various organizations.

  • Performance

While Java and Scala can be slightly slower with some processes in comparison to other languages like Python, they maintain solid code. This makes it much more difficult for someone to hack into or fix issues with the code. They work well with each other as well. Scala does have code that is concise and shorter than Java, which can make it somewhat faster than Java. However, that is dependent on the development and how extensive the code is.

Final Thoughts

Java has remained a popular, highly-used programming language over the years. Scala, being built around Java, is experiencing similar popularity. Ultimately, choosing whether to use Scala or Java is entirely dependent on the developer and the project the language is being used in.

AI Development: What are the Best Programming Languages?

Within the tech industry, Artificial Intelligence (AI) development has skyrocketed over the past decade. The creation of products like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa in particular have contributed to the evolution of AI technology.

In terms of creating AI products, they must start from the ground up like every other piece of technology. One of the foundations those products are built from are programming languages.

Let’s look at some of the most popular programming languages for AI development:

  1. Python

At the top of the tech industry’s most used programming languages list is Python. It’s extremely versatile like Java and nearly as widely used. The implementation of a simplified syntax compared to Java is one of its top benefits. This also plays into decreasing development time—a preference in the fast evolution of technology. It has easy integration capabilities, numerous libraries, and is object-oriented as well.

  1. Prolog

Programming in Logic, or Prolog for short, requires rules, facts, and an imagined result of the product. It uses those to establish a connection between the three while incorporating AI technology to create a solution. Prolog also has a high proficiency in data structuring and backtracking.

  1. Lisp

One of the oldest programming languages around, Lisp has helped provide the foundation for basic AI capabilities. It still holds a high reputation like Java and is extremely useful when finding logical solutions. Additionally, it does pride itself on how precise its language is.

  1. C++

A high processing speed is one of C++’s best features. While its syntax is more complex and difficult to learn, it’s also very cost-efficient with a large community of open-sourced libraries.

  1. Java

Java is the most used programming language in the world. It has its own machine called the JVM, or Java Virtual Machine, that helps decrease compiling time. This is because code through the JVM can be implemented across platforms thanks to Java’s system. On the other hand, the processing speed for AI development is typically a little slower than other languages on this list.

  1. Julia

Julia works best with numerical values through its dynamically-typed system. It contains a package manager, multi-dispatch support, and compatibility with C features and functions as well. This language isn’t used as much as many of the others, which means there’s a smaller community of developers behind it, but it’s still a good language for AI development.

  1. R

With an advantage in statistical processing, R is very proficient in AI development. It has extra packages such as Gmodels, Tm, OneR that are great for machine learning projects. R can help AI developers solve complex problems, which makes it a highly preferred language for AI-focused companies.

  1. JavaScript

Considered more versatile than Java, JavaScript is very adaptable to various development projects. This programming language shares Java’s stability, though it isn’t quite as popular. It’s easy to use, very efficient for complex systems and can handle continuous updates to the application in addition to having a large community of supportive developers.

Mobile App Development with Flutter or Xamarin?

When developing mobile apps, there are multitudes of development tools to utilize. App development for different platforms—also known as cross-platform development—opens up the possibilities of success for it. It presents a wider audience who can become potential users.

For cross-platform mobile app development, two frameworks worth considering are Flutter and Xamarin.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a Software Development Kit or SDK, that’s open-sourced and available to the public for free. Its goal is to create apps that look like they are native apps. Flutter was released in 2015 by Google on the Android platform under the name ‘Sky’. However, it received a new name and was officially released as Flutter in 2018.

Some of its best features include:

  • Wide platform support
  • Large collection of tools to use
  • Contains a library and widgets for development

Major companies such as Google, eBay, BMW, Realtor.com, The New York Times, and Groupon use Flutter in their systems.

Flutter’s Strengths & Weaknesses

A strength of Flutter is its high-performance speed. Additionally, it has a hot load feature, which means updates can be made and seen within seconds of being changed. Having a high compatibility rate due to its use of widgets is popular among developers as well.

On the other hand, Flutter can’t construct completely native apps because of its reliance on widgets. The few years since its release is a weakness. Most development tools are updated and fixed over time, which means Flutter is somewhat limited in how issues are fixed. Google is constantly updating its programs, including Flutter, and that makes it a little harder to maintain an app’s code.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin, like Flutter, is open-sourced, free, and cross-platform compatible. However, it was released four years prior to Flutter, in 2011. Then, in 2016, Microsoft purchased Xamarin.

Some features of Xamarin are:

  • Ability to access the features of native platforms
  • Implements XAML to design dynamic mobile apps utilizing the C# language
  • Libraries are available to help work with architectural patterns

Pinterest, UPS, the American Cancer Society, Fox Sports, Alaska Airlines, and other big companies use Xamarin.

Xamarin’s Strengths & Weaknesses

Under Microsoft, Xamarin and its developers have access to an extensive support system. Codesharing, high-performance speeds, and smooth user experiences are other strengths Xamarin has. Its weaknesses include an expensive price for commercial use, a small community of developers, overhead, and occasional lagging.

The Comparison

  1. Cost

Flutter is more affordable while commercial licenses under Xamarin can be expensive.

  1. Learning Curve

Both have libraries that contain guidelines, but Flutter is easier to learn because of its use of widgets.

  1. Ease of Use

Xamarin has a wider selection of development tools to choose from compared to Flutter.

  1. User Experience

Being around longer, apps built using Xamarin tend to have better UIs.

Conclusion

Flutter and Xamarin share about as many similarities as they do differences. What prevents one from receiving higher marks than the other is how each is used to create mobile apps. Each development project is different and should be built with tools that can support what it could be in the future.

Healthcare App Development Guide

The use of healthcare apps in daily life has recently increased significantly following the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, tracking things such as calorie intake, fat burned, mental health, and more became integrated in routines by society. Uncertainty as a result of the pandemic led to a large focus on the development and usage of healthcare apps.

Types of Healthcare Apps

  • Telehealth
  • Monitoring
  • Medical Tracking
  • Lifestyle
  • Mental Health
  • Fitness
  • Dieting
  • Wellness
  • Women’s Health
  • Networking (Professional)
  • Medical Reference
  • IoT Medical
  • HER

How to Create a Healthcare App

  1. Choose a Topic/Theme/Problem to Focus the App Around
  2. Research the Target Audience
  3. Identify Which Type of App to Create
  4. Decide on Features
  5. Pick Platforms to Run the App On
  6. Learn About Common Issues (i.e. privacy, security, etc)
  7. Be Aware of User Experiences During Development
  8. Bring In a Development Team
  9. Test the App Before Releasing It

Popular Features of Successful Healthcare Apps

The primary features to perfect in any healthcare are data security and privacy. With healthcare apps in particular, there can be serious legal repercussions for apps that don’t protect the data of their users. This is essentially the same for any app, however, healthcare apps often contain sensitive information.

Another feature that separates successful healthcare apps from mediocre ones is the UI/UX design. This is how an app is received by users via its appearance and functionality. An understanding of the different app types is also extremely useful. The app types are native, web, and hybrid with each having its own unique purpose. This can affect how the app performs since its foundation should be established with growth in mind. Similarly, interoperability—the exchange and access of information between people in real-time—is important as well. It helps users, healthcare providers, hospitals and patients, and so on communicate or store vital information.

Platform or device security is a crucial element of successful healthcare apps. For example, iOS/Apple products have better security compared to Android. Android has had issues with cybersecurity breaches in the past. All healthcare apps should display up-to-date security measures to prevent data breaches, regardless of the platform or device the app is being used on.

Identifying and keeping a primary functionality in mind is a great focus that the best healthcare apps employ. Every app should have a function or purpose that is at the forefront of the app. They can have secondary functions as well, but both should be clear to the user. After all, they install and use an app for what the app is intended. If that purpose is unclear, users may delete it.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare apps have limitless potential. The success of apps like CareZone, Lose It!, Headspace, Medscape, and more can be used regularly. By finding ways for users to incorporate the app into their daily lives, the estimated success rate will increase significantly. These kinds of apps should benefit a person’s life in some way while providing a pleasant, helpful experience.