6 Popular Mobile Development Tools

Posted on August 26th, 2014 by

As the app market matures, developers need to begin thinking about porting their apps across multiple platforms to increase their audience size as much as possible. But, developing an app for each different mobile platform is insanely time consuming and requires knowledge of a wide variety of different programming languages. Luckily, cross-platform development tools have emerged to help developers carry some of the burden. Check out 5 of the most popular cross-platform tools:


Xamarin 2.0


For the more advanced developers, Xamarin is a C#-based platform allowing for cross-platform development for iOS and Android. Code executes on a .NET framework before compiling, and returns the standard code for iOS and Android, making it easy to use for development teams working on large projects.




Arguably the most popular cross-platform development tool, PhoneGap (otherwise known as Apache Cordova) allows developers with weaker server-side language knowledge leverage their front-end experience.


PhoneGap has been in the dev tools sphere for a while, so they have had time to mature and add the features that developers need. PhoneGap is free and open-source, opening up a whole library of plugins for developers to use. Hybrid applications always struggle compared to native apps, however, so developers should keep an eye on performance metrics.

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Everything Developers Need To Know About Android ‘L’

Posted on June 27th, 2014 by

This week at Google IO, Google announced the latest version of their Android operating system. Dubbed Android ‘L’ (for now), it is one of the biggest overhauls to the Android ecosystem since Gingerbread. This year, Google also deviated from their usual release pattern. Android ‘L’ is actually available for developers to download right now! The goal is for developers to have time to get used to the new changes and optimize their apps before the consumer release this fall.


So, here is everything that Android developers need to know about this latest version of the Android OS:




A lot of the changes that Google made are focused on improving app performance. For this reason, Google decided to replace the Dalvik virtual machine with the Android Runtime (ART) compiler. ART was mentioned around the time of the KitKat release, but it was only regarded as an experimental release. Now, Android is abandoning Dalvik altogether and is relying on the cross-platform capabilities of ART.


The largest difference between the two runtimes is that ART relies on a AOT (ahead-of-time) compiler, as opposed to Dalvik’s JIT (just-in-time) compiler. This change allows ART to process code in advance, resulting in a much smoother and fluid performance as well as a significant positive impact on battery life.

ART will be immediately compatible with the existing Android ecosystem, and developers do not have to make ANY changes to their apps in order to take advantage of the great benefits of ART.

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The Benefits of Crowdtesting Your App

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by

About the Author: Kayla Matthews is a business productivity blogger with a passion for startups and independent creations. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or check out her blog Productivity Theory, to get updates on her latest posts!

There are over 1 million apps in both the Google Play store and the Apple App store. In other words, you have a ton of competition, and that number is increasing every day.


In order for your app to be successful, in addition to providing utility, it needs to be flawless across platforms, easy to use and intuitive. If your app doesn’t work like you intend it to, chances are the person who downloads it will seek to replace it. And with so many options, they will find a substitute quickly.


One way you can ensure your app is ready to roll is by testing it extensively. This, however, can obviously be expensive and time-consuming, and in today’s globalized marketplace, you might not be able to see certain aspects of your app that could be tweaked to accommodate more of an international audience.

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Apple Introduces iOS 8 at WWDC 2014

Posted on June 17th, 2014 by

After the revolutionary release of iOS 7 last year, Apple seems to have listened to developer and user feedback to make iOS 8 even better. Announced this week at WWDC, iOS 8 is packed with new features that not only make users happy, but also make life much easier for iOS developers. Let’s take a look at some of the key features (there are lot, so please forgive us for the length of this post!):


App Store Search Gets Serious:


Apple seems to be aware of the criticism surrounding app discoverability on the App Store. As a result, they have added an “Explore” tab to help users find an app they’re looking for. Apple also added a “trending searches” feature, quick search with scrolling lists, and related searches. While we doubt that the search capabilities are equal to that of Google, it is definitely an improvement over the old App Store search capabilities.


Apple also introduced app bundles and app previews. App bundles allow users to download a “bundle”, or a collection, of multiple apps. This feature is especially useful to developers with multiple apps. Now, devs can bundle all of their apps together, allowing users to download your entire library of apps with just one click.


App previews are short videos that accompany the description of an app. They are meant to quickly describe the app’s features and give a quick demonstration of the UI and UX. While this new feature is primarily for the user’s benefit, developers should really consider spending some time on creating these videos. Any opportunity to show off your app should be taken advantage of!

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Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn in 2014:

Posted on May 27th, 2014 by

Whether you are a seasoned programmer or a beginner just starting out, you know that the tech world is constantly shifting and evolving. New programming languages and offshoots of older languages are increasing in popularity and support for these languages are spreading across the web, platforms, and operating systems.


If you’re interested in learning programming for the first time or expanding your coding repertoire, here are the top 10 programming languages for 2014 (in no particular order):


1. SQL


SQL (Structured Query Language) manages data in relational management systems. SQL’s most popular feature is its ‘Query’ function, which can easily search through informational databases. Extensions of SQL can be used in the creation of mobile and web applications.


Online Resources: Lynda.com, SQLCourse.com, TutorialsPoint.com, SQLZoo.net


2. Java


An object-oriented programming language, Java is one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages. Java is a staple in enterprise software, mobile apps, and the Android operating system (thought it has cross-platform support)


Online Resources: Udemy, Lynda.com, Oracle.com, LearnJavaOnline.org

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Updates from Google and Apple: What Developers Can Expect

Posted on March 18th, 2014 by

There have been rumors as well as public announcements from both Apple and Google over the past few days. For Apple, rumors have been circling almost non-stop about iOS 8, the new update to Apple’s mobile operating system. On Google’s front, the company just announced some major updates for Google Play game services ahead of the Game Developers Conference this week.


What iOS Devs Should Watch Out For:


Though the official announcement of iOS 8 is still months away (it is rumored to be released around the time of Apple’s developer conference), it doesn’t stop the internet from speculating about what iOS 8 will change from iOS 7. In addition to increased speed and stability, here are a few proposed updates:

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Apps We Love: Oldify by Apptly

Posted on March 11th, 2014 by

The developers at Apptly have taken the facial disfiguration apps to an awesome new level. With their app Oldify, users are prompted to either take a selfie or choose an image from the photo library. After indicting where the eyes, mouth, and chin are, the user can “oldify”!


(Just remember: don’t smile!)


To differentiate it from other facial disfiguration apps, the developers of Oldify animated the photos. Now you can see your faux-old self blink, smile, and yawn at you; it will even follow your finger with its eyes if you drag it across the screen. If you poke its forehand, your face will mutate into a hilarious expression.


Users can unlock new features through in-app purchases, enabling them to make their pictures look even older or add in some equally funny animations.

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7 Apps to Keep You Safe

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by

About the Author: John Richardson is Business Development Manager at Acclaimed Security – a security firm based in Leeds, UK, providing security services across Yorkshire.

From Flappy Birds to Candy Crush saga, the majority of apps are designed to keep us entertained and make those long morning commutes seem more bearable. Other apps, however, boast more practical applications. With our smartphones and tablets capable of doing so much, shouldn’t they be capable of helping to keep us safe, too? Take a look at our pick of 7 apps designed to better improve your security and safety.


Lookout Security & Antivirus, Android & iOS


Here in the 21st century, our belongings and personal wellbeing are at greater risk than ever before. One of the most prominent risks of the present day is the threat of cybercrime, but fortunately, there are numerous apps available to help protect your smartphones and tablets from cybercriminals. Lookout Security & Antivirus is one of the best of these.

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Guest Post: 6 Apps for the International Business Traveler

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by

About the Author: Dylan Adams is a writer from Tampa, Florida. He graduated from the University of South Florida.  When he’s not following the latest tech news, he is either at the beach or watching an NBA basketball game.





When you’re traveling internationally, there are many things you have to worry about – energy outlets changing, currency conversions. One thing you don’t have to worry about, though, are the applications on your smartphone. Unless they use the Internet, you should be able to use them anywhere.


Here are a few apps you should have on your device at all times:


Currency Helps You Manage Your Money


There’s nothing worse than feeling alone in a foreign city. Not only are you unable to understand anyone, but you’re confused about its currency. Fortunately, that’s where this app comes in. Titled Currency, this app is available on iOS systems for $1. It mixes a clean interface with swipe-based gestures to create a user-friendly application. The app packs in more than 160 currency options, so no matter where you are, help is only a tap away.

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A Look Ahead: Mobile Trends for 2014

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by

In the year 2013, we saw several mobile markets mature such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, we saw other markets emerge such as wearables and other “internet of things” technologies like smart cars and smart homes. Now that the year 2014 is upon us, we are taking a look back at the big trends of 2013 and how they will fare in 2014 and beyond.


First for some general trends:


In 2014, PC sales will continue to drop as smartphones and tablets become more universal. Smartphone sales are expected to grow by 12% in 2014, and tablets are expected to grow by 18%.


Revenues from the app market are also expected to explode, and most of that revenue is expected to come from free apps. In-app purchases will continue to drive huge sales for developers, especially as mobile payment systems become more advanced and localization technologies are perfected. In addition, mobile advertising is expected to boom in 2014, with mobile ad spend set to reach $20.3 billion USD. Most of that growth will come from rich media as microvideo ads will soon replace static banner advertisements.

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