Blockchain gained a lot of momentum last year as many surveys found that a good majority of mobile app development companies across various industries had invested in blockchain integrated projects. Experts expect enterprise blockchain to monopolize real-world projects in just a few years.

As a matter of fact, enterprise blockchain is predicted to claim a significant fraction of the $500 billion+ global enterprise software market.

The blockchain technology is finally being taken by businesses seriously. IBM reportedly works with over 100 enterprises on blockchain implementations. Many other companies are stepping forward to invest in the technology for its impressive business results. The technology is changing things for the better evidently. But all of its benefits can only be reaped after properly building and effectively deploying enterprise blockchain solutions; which is easier said than done.

But for what it’s worth, enterprises should seriously consider deploying blockchain solutions for more than one reason but only after understanding where it fits in an enterprise ecosystem.

The Role of Blockchain in an Organization

The technology can be a great asset in an enterprise ecosystem – augmenting cyber-security fortifications and seamlessly filling gaps to solve a variety of enterprise problems.

Here are a few ways where the presence of blockchain in an organization can make a notable difference.

Peer-to-Peer Network Decentralization – Many organizations still believe in centralizing everything from compliances to communication. By integrating a blockchain decentralization mechanism into their ecosystem, many aspects including communication can become permission-based on top of outlining the entire system with an unhackable layer of security.

Privacy – Data theft is a major concern for many enterprises today, particularly to those that invested in mobile app development. Many such enterprises would gladly invest in a robust solution that can secure their mobile apps considering the damage such cyber-crimes can do to their business and its future.

This concern eventually led many developers to explore the potential of blockchain’s immutable ledgers. With blockchain, data will be stored in immutable ledgers or blocks that cannot be manipulated in anyway i.e. data once recorded cannot be changed. This means improved privacy for mobile users as they can rest assured that their personal data are safe and secure in a decentralized network.

Interoperability – Even as technology advanced, many organizations still find it challenging and often impossible to connect between the various systems they utilize. The advent of blockchain ended up sidelining most of the roadblocks associated with systems interoperability in an organization; primarily by establishing a connection between ledgers.

For instance, a company named Ripple introduced what they call the Interledger Protocol for the Financial industry which uses interledgers to store aggregate transaction data off of a public blockchain via connectors in order to transfer money between private systems in the Ripple Network.

Many tech firms have already started launching interledgers that enhance systems interoperability in organizations.

Predictable Opex – Enterprise mobile app development companies generally prefer a predictable operational expenditure (Opex) strategy. The requirements to build a complete app on public/private blockchain platforms also influence the operational expenditure of such organizations to a certain extent.

This is why many enterprises often doubt investing in blockchain; whether they will be able to handle the change in Opex. In reality, custom blockchain solutions can be implemented on cost-effective platforms available for stable, predictable subscription fees.

Efficiency and Speed – Every organization will have internal processes that are time-consuming and prone to human errors. Some of those process may require third-party mediation. By investing in blockchain, organizations can effectively streamline and automate such processes where associated transactions are completed faster and more efficiently.

In such a system, record keeping would be through a single digital ledger which is shared among authorized personnel. This considerably reduces clutter. With shared access to these data, the parties involved won’t need assistance from intermediaries to understand scenarios and make optimal decisions. This obviously results in faster and more secure settlements; thus contributing to improved operational efficiency and speed.

Bringing Blockchain into Your Enterprise

This blog and almost every blockchain-associated blog you can find on the web would certainly help you realize that embracing an existing blockchain setup or investing in a custom blockchain solution can deliver unexpected benefits to not only businesses but also their suppliers, vendors, partners and customers. An optimal implementation of blockchain is best accomplished with the help of a specialized team of blockchain experts or an experienced technology company with proven blockchain expertise.

If you are looking for help with blockchain implementation, we can help. AOT software engineers possess the skills and expertise to build robust blockchain solutions that can help your business realize its goals faster.

Image vector created by fullvector – www.freepik.com


If you’ve heard of hybrid apps, chances are that you’ve heard of Ionic as well. Touted as one of the best frameworks available for hybrid app development, Ionic comes with a lot of great features that contributed to its recent wide-scale adoption by app developers. The open source SDK features a library of UI components that can be used to develop blocks for an app.

Ionic 4

Two years have passed since the release of Ionic 3. And with a few more enhancements in functionality, documentation, build-time, multi-framework compatibility and a few other aspects, Ionic 4 was launched earlier this year. Ionic 4 seems to be the result of the team’s goal to make Ionic a robust platform for developing immersive progressive web applications (PWAs).

This is probably why the new version of the popular framework comes with an array of interesting tools, technologies, and concepts including but not limited to Ionic PWA Toolkit, Capacitor, Stencil etc. Ionic 4 allows the use of Ionic elements with React, Angular, Vue etc. which makes the latest iteration quite impressive compared to many of its tackier counterparts.

New features in Ionic 4

Ionic 4 is designed to be much easier to handle compared to the previous iterations of the SDK; developers won’t have to put much effort when it comes to rebuilding or retracing their apps. The upgrade added a number of features including Stencil and internal code refactoring to Ionic.

Let’s delve into the new features and enhancements of Ionic 4 in detail.

Web components

The addition of web components in Ionic 4 is probably one of the biggest enhancements of this version. These components are basically web platform APIs that enable creation of reusable and encapsulated custom HTML tags that can be used in both websites and web applications. Widgets and other elements built on these web components will work across popular modern web browsers and can also be used with any HTML-friendly JavaScript library or framework.

The browsers will essentially do the heavy lifting while also improving site/app launch and loading speeds. This feature would be useful when building high-performance PWAs.

Stencil

Another great addition from the Ionic team, Stencil is a framework-agnostic web component compiler designed to work with any JavaScript framework and even without a framework. Stencil also employs a few APIs including Virtual DOM, TypeScript, JSX and Async Rendering. Again, this is another feature ideal for PWAs.

Capacitor

It’s both a code execution layer and a cross-platform API added to Ionic 4 to make it easier to call native SDKs from web code to write custom Native plugins. Capacitor inherently supports Progressive Web Apps enabling developers to write one app and deploy it not only on app stores but also on the mobile web.

Lazy Loading

Lazy Loading is a great enhancement that can hold back initialization of components until it is needed; thus boosting app performance and speeding up the app load time by splitting it into a number of bundles which can be loaded on demand.

Routing

Ionic 4 also features some routing improvements. Developers are now required to map components to routes instead of pushing them into ion-nav directly. With a single ion-router component in the codebase, it can control all interactions with the browser history. Additionally, it utilizes an event system that aggregates updates making it easier to support native PWA development. Meanwhile, the ion-router outlet and the Angular router can assist developers with Angular projects.

Improved customizability

Customization with Ionic 4 is better than ever due to the improved CSS Custom Properties also known as CSS Variables. With the new CSS Custom Properties, developers can expose a ‘public theming API’ that provides structure. Subsequently, this feature also makes modifications easier.

Optimized to be 1.5x Faster

Having evaluated over 100 Ionic components reportedly, the Ionic team performed some major performance improvements on the latest version of the SDK. Additionally, they improved the UI and theme customizability. Furthermore, Ionic 4 includes a comprehensive overhaul on material design and iOS to match the latest standards. The components have been optimized for load and render performance so much that each component scored a 100/100 on Google’s Lighthouse benchmark tool.

An array of new components

Ionic 4 features a number of new components serving a variety of purposes that would help an app outshine its competitors.

Here are a few worth mentioning:

  • ion-backdrop
  • ion-picker
  • ion-ripple-effect
  • ion-skeleton-text
  • ion-select-popover
  • ion-searchbar
  • Ionicons 4.0

Conclusion

Some solid changes along with a number of notable improvements emphasize the Ionic team’s passion when it comes to transcending the capabilities of the beloved framework. It’s been just a few months since the release of Ionic 4 but the impact of the latest version is still apparent as a number of organizations including ours step forward to invest more on Ionic.

If your organization wants to give Ionic a shot in developing a high performance PWA, we can help you out with our expertise. Drop us a message to get started.


What we’ve known for years as mobility has evolved into what’s popularly termed ‘Smart Mobility’. Computing is not constrained to desktops and laptops anymore as new ‘smartphones’ arrive with hardware power that rivals their desktop and laptop counterparts. The convenience granted by mobility have sparked a trend where people started browsing through their mobile devices. Now it’s the norm.

Organizations have started to realize the significance of an enterprise mobile app not only to serve customers but also for streamlining business processes, managing human resources, and reporting to stakeholders.

Modern Day App Development

Despite the dominance of mobile applications in both the tech world and the day-to-day lives of people, there are many apps that fail as soon as they are launched. Thousands of applications fail at what they had been designed to do owing to more than one reason.

Not surprisingly, one of those reasons is the back-end of the app. As more businesses invest in a ravishing front end for their mobile app, some neglect the significance of a robust backend. While the front-end makes the app visually appealing and grants a pleasing experience to users, it’s the back-end that does the heavy lifting; comprising databases, services etc. and influencing the app’s performance quotient.

This is why it’s important to choose the right back-end technology for a mobile app.

Tips to Choose the Right Back-End Technology Stack

Ensuring expertise

Regardless of the technology used for the app’s back-end, everything ultimately comes down to how efficiently the back-end is built. And the key to getting the best results out of a robust back-end is expertise. So before choosing a back-end technology stack, it’s wise to ensure whether the in-house developers have the expertise to handle the stack. If you are outsourcing the development, make sure the development company you hire has the expertise to efficiently utilize the back-end technology you choose.

Consider time-to-market

For many organizations, time-to-market is a critical factor they can’t neglect. Back-end technology directly influences an app’s time-to-market. The right back-end technology stack facilitates quick integration of features which can be beneficial for projects with impending deadlines.

If the brand that owns the app doesn’t have a time constraint, the developer can go for more exciting technology stacks that allow them to explore and get creative with the back-end likely resulting in standout features for the app.

Consider non-functional requirements

Many non-functional requirements like scalability, security, performance, usability, compliance, disaster recovery, documentation etc. also should be taken into account when choosing a technology stack for the app’s back-end. A reliable technology stack known for its success rate may not offer the best performance for the app.

Third-party integrations support

If the app’s user base is expected to increase significantly within a short time, the developers would have to polish existing features and add new ones that improve the app’s interface, service offerings, and functionality. All these additions need to be integrated rather quickly. Furthermore, other developers would want to integrate the subject app’s feature set into their own apps. Without the right back-end technology, such confidential incorporations wouldn’t be possible.

Back-end in the cloud

The cloud enables on-demand access to a plethora of configurable computing resources – from hosting servers and networks to storage, applications, and services. Every major cloud service including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud offers various design patterns or engines (application frameworks) that function as app back-ends.

The cloud- based back-end solutions offer several benefits such as:

  • Data synchronization across all app platforms (mobile and desktop)
  • Handling various offline scenarios
  • Sending notifications and messages
  • Reducing and managing front-end data storage
  • Throughput and Network Usage optimizatio

Cyber-security

Cyber-security is a major keyword for modern day mobile apps. Every year, new cyber-threats emerge shaking the security foundations of almost every IT service connected to the internet. With mobile apps becoming invaluable for businesses, even the smallest security breach could potentially result in irreparable damage.

There shouldn’t be any exploitable vulnerability in an enterprise mobile app. With the right back-end technology and ample testing, this shouldn’t be a concern. There’s also the fact that relying on outdated or older technology stacks may open up security gaps in an app. Latest technologies are generally considered more secure.

Conclusion

Mobile app development is a steadily growing industry that’s encouraging the development as well as evolution of mobile technologies. As technologies advance, the capabilities of mobile apps evolve to newer dimensions. From amongst the vast number of technologies, every business investing in mobile apps should overcome the challenge of figuring out the right technology stack for their apps.

If your business needs help with this, get in touch with the app development experts at AOT. We can help you identify the best mobile technologies that would augment your business in the form of a mobile app.

Image vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com


Progressive Web App, better known simply as a PWA, is probably the most buzzing trend among both businesses and developers today. And it isn’t relatively new either. PWAs have been around for a while but only gained enough momentum to promote its existence. It was mostly overshadowed by a number of other major technological advancements; the likes of AR and VR-powered apps, super-fast programming languages and frameworks etc.

But now, PWAs are getting the welcome they deserve. Many businesses have already started vouching for PWAs and how these progressive web apps granted them many benefits.

Hard to believe?

The long list of businesses that have been sharing insights on PWAs include Instagram, Trivago, Starbucks, MakeMyTrip etc.

That said, people who surf the internet on their mobile devices likely use PWAs on a daily basis; sometimes without even realizing it. This blog lists 5 of the most popular PWAs that we use every day.

Uber

Who knew the famous local transportation service provider serves its users with a robust progressive web app?

We may have used the Uber native app but the company has also invested in Uber web – a PWA that offers a great cab-booking experience to users requiring the company’s services on the web. The Uber web feels almost like it’s a mobile app. Furthermore, the PWA can load fast even on slower data networks unlike its app counterpart which requires a stable, moderately fast connection to serve its purpose.

Google Maps

One of the most widely used map services, Google Maps is also a PWA. Not surprising considering the fact that the search engine giant is always looking for new ways to serve its users better. Google designed the Google Maps Go PWA specifically for low-end devices as the app doesn’t demand a lot of device resources. As a matter of fact, the PWA is built for optimized battery usage and network consumption.

Google Photos

Android lovers would certainly be familiar with Google Photos. The popular app also has a PWA version that does almost everything the native app version does. The PWA was meant to serve desktop users who want to organize their photos and albums on bigger, wider screens.

Flipboard

Flipboard is a hugely popular news aggregation platform that curates news, events, topics etc. based on the interests of the users. The magazine brings news, stories and various interesting content from around the globe which can be both read and shared to mobile devices.

If you’ve used Flipboard, you may have noticed its smooth performance despite the sheer variety and quantity of content it handles. One of the reasons for this is that Flipboard is a PWA.

Twitter

Twitter is a social media giant with a global monthly user base of over 300 million. Despite the fact that most of its users access the platform via mobile devices, Twitter wanted its services to be more accessible to users on other platforms; particularly desktop users. And thus arrived the Twitter Lite PWA. It offers an excellent mobile web experience complemented by silky smooth performance. It loads fast and consumes less memory much to the delight of Twitter lovers.

Conclusion

We are not far from a future where PWAs become a standard for businesses. The faster app-like experience offered by PWAs are attracting more businesses to build PWAs every year. And in 2019, Progressive Web Apps are popping up everywhere on the internet.

If you think it’s time for your business to jump on the PWA bandwagon, you will need assistance from established PWA development experts. AOT can be your best bet when it comes to developing secure and smooth PWAs for your business. Get in touch with us to learn more about how PWAs can be your best online asset.

Image vector created by fullvector – www.freepik.com


Google organizes the Google I/O event every year. This year, it was on May and the announcements from the tech giant turned many heads as usual. The company evidently is sticking to their approach to implementing ‘smarter’ online services by leveraging Artificial Intelligence. Most of Google’s announcements can have a deep impact on a number of sectors including software and mobile application development.

Here are a few major highlights from this year’s Google I/O.

Google Search powered by Camera and featuring AR capabilities

The I/O 2019 keynote started with the company’s announcement to imbue AR capabilities into Google Search and also bringing Camera into the equation. This could mean a lot of things for businesses; particularly on their SEO front. Retaining customers and a great search engine presence would require them to embrace AR technologies as well.

Google Duplex on the web

The search engine giant introduced Google Duplex as an AI-powered voice assistant capable of making calls and conversing like humans. Everyone loved it but many criticized it for being only a mobile-only augmentation. Seems like Google heard the demand as the company announced Duplex on the web on the 2019 I/O. Voice-based web chats will be made available for car rentals and movie bookings in addition to restaurant bookings and hair-styling appointments.

Android Q Beta 3

Everyone expects Google to share something ‘Android’ on Google I/O. And they did reveal a few things about what Android Q Beta 3 will feature. The company revealed that a ‘dark’ theme would soon be made available for Android Q devices which can cut down battery utilization. Additionally, the ‘Smart Reply’ feature in Android Q will also be accessible within third-party messaging apps.

Project Mainline

Probably the most intriguing of Google’s projects, Project Mainline aims to update 12 core components in Android. These components were thought to impossible to update till now without a major software upgrade. In this year’s I/O 2019, Google shared the purpose behind launching Mainline which involves reducing the number of times users have to update an app and also to reduce the size of apps.

Real time on-device captioning for videos

One of the most exciting announcements made by Google this year at I/O 2019 is Live Caption; a feature that brings real-time on-device captioning for all types of media without an internet connection. Users watching offline YouTube videos and stored video content on their device will get live captions without a data network enabled.

Faster, uninterrupted app updates

Many businesses may have encountered the challenge of a declining app user base when they release mandatory updates for their apps. Google announced in the event that they have an in-app API update in the works that will allow users to update apps without leaving the app. This way, users will get uninterrupted services from their apps while the updates are taking place.

Conclusion

The Google I/O Event never fails to bring with it a number of changes in Google services, SEO and Android app development trends. It’s the same this year as well. The highlights mentioned in this blog are just a few that we picked out of our excitement.

If you are wondering about the impact of changing trends on your business and its mobile app, drop a message to the experts at AOT. We can help you understand how changing trends can be of benefit to business app development.