In an age where big, video game consoles are all the rage among Millennials, it may seem near impossible for mobile games to gain some traction. But in reality, mobile gaming apps have contributed significantly in the video game industry thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and the advancement of smartphone technologies.

Evidently, mobile gaming is a big deal right now with an increasing number of mobile gamers and mobile gaming YouTubers. This means, visualizing the right mobile gaming idea can make the developer rich in no time. That said, building an enjoyable mobile gaming app isn’t rocket science but is still a challenging feat. Unlike regular mobile apps, gaming apps are meant to consistently entertain and engage.

A perfect mobile game has a few major ingredients that directly tie into its success starting with…

A Game Artist

A great movie can never be a reality without a great director. It’s the same for a mobile game. The involvement of a capable game artist is directly tied to the success of the game post launch. A game artist is essentially the director of the game – the person with the vision and capable of conceptualizing the core of the game. They may not always be technically sound, and will require developers to bring their ideas into reality.

Engagement Factors

Engagement factors are the crux of a mobile game. Unlike PC and console games, mobile games run on devices with smaller screens which means it will be harder to keep gamers engaged. This is where engagement factors come in. These elements are hand-picked to make the game enjoyable enough for users so they will spend more time on the game. Engagement factors can be anything from an environment setup inside the game to flashy, gratifying in-game elements.

Challenge

As they say in the gaming community – if it’s easy to beat, it’s not a game. If it’s made to be that easy, it’d only qualify as a learning program for children. A game needs to be challenging i.e. the players should put in some amount of effort to achieve something in-game. On the other hand, if the game is too challenging right from the beginning itself, it may frustrate players even forcing them to quit playing the game. The trick is to go for an unsophisticated AI and a simple interface that players can easily figure out complemented by a slightly challenging yet fun gameplay.

Scoring and Rewards

A game obviously needs to simulate a sensation of victory on the gamer. Most games reward players with scores for their performance. But it’s important to maintain a standard that induces competition and keeps players engaged. The reward system should be enticing enough to bring back players who have not used the app for a while.

Coders

Last but not the least is the team of coders behind the game. The coders should collaborate extensively with the creative team to develop a game that meets modern mobile gaming expectations.

To conclude, building a mobile gaming app is somewhat different from building a business app. Without the right ingredients in the right proportions, the mobile game would seem dull and soon fade away.

The developers here at AOT are not just passionate about creating enterprise-grade apps. They can also get creative when it comes to mobile games that can turn heads. Give us a call to learn more.


Google finally launched Android Studio 3.4 on April 17th; downloadable on new versions of Windows, Linux, and macOS. Android Studio v3.3 came out earlier this year, and 3.4 comparatively only has a few minor improvements. It’s available in the stable channel, and is already being praised for its improvements.

The new version is the result of Google’s ongoing ‘Project Marble’ aimed at addressing issues associated with the core features of Android Studio. Though there are only minor improvements reportedly, there’s over 300 stability and bug enhancements in the new version.

That said, let’s explore the most interesting features of Android Studio 3.4.

A new UI

Every major Android Studio update comes with a notably enhanced New Project Wizard UI. Android Studio 3.4 didn’t break the tradition. The new UI looks much sleeker and smoother.

Resource Manager

In the earlier version of Android Studio known for its rock-solid stability, asset management and navigation was quite clunky. It was even more tedious for bigger, more complex projects. But that’s all in the past now.

The new Resource Manager looks more compact after efficiently consolidating the colors, layouts, and drawable elements in the app. With a better UI and an organized view of project assets, it’s now easier to locate various elements and switch between assets. In addition, by popular requests, the Resource Manager panel supports drag & drop bulk asset import as well as the conversion of bulk SVG to VectorDrawable.

Layout Editor Properties

The Layout Editor Properties panel has been improved for enhanced product refinement. There is now a resource binding control for each of the properties, and errors are now highlighted. The Attributes inspector in the layout editor has also been improved which is evident from its UI itself. The inspector features collapsible sections of attributes and a much better color picker.

Import Intentions

The Android Studio 3.4 can be a great asset to developers who are working with new libraries like Jetpack and Firebase as the new version of the popular IDE has been optimized to identify common classes in these libraries. Thanks to this, the devs will have code intentions aiding them with suggestions on library dependence and import statement.

R8

Proguard in Android Studio has been replaced by R8 in the latest version of the official IDE. The R8’s code-shrinking capabilities enable developers to reduce the size of APKs by eliminating unused codes and resources. Additionally, the actual code doesn’t take much space either. The R8 also combines dexing, desugaring, and shrinking operations in just one step which can be a particularly efficient approach for Android applications.

All of these features make R8 a better option compared to Proguard which is why it’s now the default code shrinker for new projects with Android Studio 3.4.

An Augmented IntelliJ

Android Studio 3.4 features IntelliJ 2018.3.4 – an evolved, augmented IntelliJ version with an array of improvements – from multi-line TODOs support to an updated Search Everywhere feature.

New Project Structure Dialog

Many developers have been requesting a user interface front-end to manage Gradle project files for a long while now. Android Studio 3.4 granted their wish with an improved Project Structure Dialog (PSD). With the new PSD, developers will be able to see and add dependencies, at a module level, to their projects. It also displays build variables now, and offers suggestions to make build file configurations better. The PSD in Android Studio 3.4 has a great UI that makes changing Gradle settings from the Project Structure a breeze.

Android Emulator Skin updates & More

The people behind Android Studio 3.4 also released the latest Google Pixel 3 & Google Pixel 3 XL device skins within the latest version. The release also features Android Q Beta emulator system images. This is certainly good news for Android app developers who want to perform app testing on Android Q.

Google also recommended using the canary version of Android Studio and the emulator so developers will be able to work with the latest changes in compatibility during the Android Q Beta program.

Conclusion

Other notable changes include the improvement of build speed and lint performance. The sheer number of improvements to Android Studio promises a fresh, unique experience to end users. Meanwhile, Google has already released the Android Studio 3.5 Beta for download, and it’s evident that the tech giant is not yet done with improving the quality of Android Studio. And apparently, until then, Project Marble will be active. The Android app developers here at AOT have already started tinkering with the new Android Studio. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we build great Android apps consistently.


Contrary to popular beliefs, the digital transformation wave hasn’t hit every business aiming to grow faster. Meanwhile, businesses that succeeded in digitally transforming themselves are figuring out new ways to keep evolving beyond the norms. Among the various methods at their disposal to achieve that, investing in enterprise application development is possibly the best choice in terms of productivity and security boosts.

To develop the best enterprise-grade applications, developers are challenged to choose the right tools and technologies. And among those technologies is Python – a long reigning champion for developers to build robust applications owing to its wide array of features, availability of resources, and versatility.

What makes Python still popular

Python is actually widely preferred by large organizations due to the ease of sourcing Python developers in addition to its vast feature-set. It’s ideal for enterprises planning to leverage complex software solutions and web applications. In addition, the open source Python is backed by a large, thriving community of developers focused on improving the language in many ways.

Here are a few of its features that help maintain the demand for Python to develop cutting-edge digital solutions.

  • Open source
  • Easy to learn
  • Modular
  • Object-oriented
  • Interpreted
  • Dynamic
  • Portable
  • Extensible in C and C++
  • High level

Many corporate giants still use Python for various purposes. Facebook and Instagram use Python to deal with various processes and the tremendous amount of data they generate. Thanks to Python, Spotify has a powerful backend analytics platform. It’s also one of the four server-side languages that Google supports.

With Python, a business can build web applications and data science & analytics tools, and can be used for cloud computing and backend support. Its many advantages still make it one of the most competent languages at present.

Why use Python for Enterprise App Development

It’s super scalable

Python can be useful in handling different types of tasks and supports quite a few programming paradigms including procedural, functional, and object-centered paradigms. It’s designed in such a way that developers would be able to code functions quickly and create scripts on a large-scale efficiently.

Building large solutions won’t take a lot of time like when some other programming languages are used. So the development cost is reduced as well. Complementing this is Python’s incredible scalability i.e. the apps built using Python are scalable, and the language perfectly adapts to scaling even during development.

Access to massive libraries

Python developers are granted access to huge libraries where they can find modules that are tried and tested by the community to use in their own projects. This way they can develop solutions faster with possibly better features compared to the initial scope of their projects.

A few popular libraries that Python developers love using include:

  • Pandas: A library with high-performance data structures.
  • Numpy: A library that could come in handy for mathematical and scientific computing.
  • Tensorflow: A library from Google that allows developers to imbue Deep Learning features and modules into their applications.
  • Keras: A library for writing neural networks, Keras also makes it easier for developers to add machine learning capabilities to an application with Python.

The language has also been written into various popular frameworks including but not limited to Django, Pyramid, and Falcon.

  • Easily understandable: Despite being a programming language, Python resembles English which is why coding in Python is generally considered intuitive. Python is also easy to understand which means developers would be able to identify and figure out the work created by others in the code. This also means a more seamless debugging process and code reviews.
  • Rich open source ecosystem: Python developers can use a plethora of useful tools when developing an application thanks to its open source ecosystem. With a wide variety of compatible tools, its community pretty much ensured that Python users have an easier time handling GUIs, web development, game development, data science, image processing etc. These tools are also one of the reasons why Python development is faster.
  • Faster prototyping: With Python, it’d be easier for developers to switch between prototype and the solution. The language also facilitates faster prototyping especially when the viability of the projects needs to be checked out. While proceeding further from the prototype phase, the developers won’t have to be concerned about losing their previous work as well.
  • Dynamically evolving: Enterprise solutions are generally sophisticated, and their complexity demands developers to be more focused while working. The whole ordeal would seem more comfortable and intuitive with Python. In addition, Python is a dynamically evolving language where a new, more advanced version of the language comes out every couple of months with improvements, fixes, and a new array of features. Each release makes the development of time-intensive, complex projects much easier without compromising the application’s quality and integrity.

Key takeaways

  • Python’s code-light nature allows developers to develop complex enterprise-grade solutions faster without compromising quality.
  • Python facilitates faster prototyping, and seamless switching between prototypes and the solution.
  • Python is impressively scalable and versatile, and can help developers handle many common programming challenges efficiently.
  • Python’s library support allows developers to imbue sophisticated features into the applications being developed while greatly improving quality.
  • Python’s optimal integration capabilities allow developers to use powerful tools during development and add unique features into the applications without hassle.
  • The Python community, surprisingly, is still growing. And at a great pace. As more Python developers join the fray, the core functionality and features of the language expand to meet modern technological requirements.

Conclusion

Despite Python reducing complexity considerably, there still can be problems. Technical issues are almost always solvable as experts in the Python community are quite dedicated at helping each other solve issues. The Python technical forums are indispensable for budding Python enthusiasts.

In a nutshell, it doesn’t seem like Python will lose its momentum; even as new technologies and worthy successors pop up. The language simply doesn’t let an enterprise down.

If you are thinking of developing a great application with Python for your business, make sure you invest in a developer with ample experience and expertise. Python developers at AOT have both. Drop us a message to learn how our Python expertise can upgrade your business.


The app stores of various platforms have over a million apps to download. But not all of them are financially stable. As a matter of fact, only a few are actually run efficiently. Gartner’s research on this topic seems to have found the same results as well. Though this may sound disheartening to organizations ready to invest in apps, it emphasizes the importance of understanding the factors that influence the success of a mobile app as a business.

Many businesses across the globe have been investing in mobile apps for a couple of years now, while the staggering development costs are deterring many others. However, mobile apps are only feasible if there is one or more specific business and financial goal.

Building an enterprise mobile app has been a hot trend for years, owing to which we now have a wealth of information like time-tested practices to ensure the success and stability of mobile apps.

Here are a few insights.

Platforms

Platform is one of the most influential factors when it comes to the success or failure of a mobile app. Among the two most popular platforms – iOS and Android, the former leads the race in respect of greater presence of apps that earn good revenue. But Android has started picking up pace as well being the platform with the most number of users. While the gap is closing between iOS and Android, Windows and BlackBerry are just faded images of what they used to be.

For a stable mobile app, a cross-platform development approach centered on a great native, device-specific user experience is a better investment compared to a more expensive native mobile app development or a risky one-for-all cross-platform development.

Lack of efficient distribution and marketing strategies

A great majority of apps, regardless of the platforms they are launched for, lack proper distribution and marketing strategies. The apps ultimately fail to reach its target user base, and soon fades away when similar, better marketed apps take over.

Successful apps adopt App Store Optimization (ASO) practices and pre-launch marketing strategies with a goal to get the target audience interested in the app and build up expectations. This way, when the app is actually launched, it will immediately get a lot of downloads. A good PR campaign can then leverage this exposure to garner even more success for the app.

User retention

For the app to keep generating revenue, it should primarily be capable of three things – entice, engage, and retain users. Once the app garners a decent user base, it can be upgraded based on their feedback to provide more value to them, thus retaining the user base over longer periods.

Apps that are not frequently used are at risk of getting uninstalled. To know what the users think of the app, analytics is important. Such analyses also give the development team insights on user behavior which can be helpful when devising user engagement strategies. Continuous engagement is the key to retaining users.

Conclusion

The growth of the mobile app development industry is evidently unstoppable. But such a growth also increases competition. Without a strategic, methodical focus on user retention based on user preferences, an app will most likely bite the dust as soon as it hits the market. If you want an app that will succeed, you need a developer with expertise. And you are at the right stop here at AOT. Contact us to learn how we consistently build successful apps.

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An open source JavaScript runtime engine developed by Ryan Dahl, Node.js got a great start right after its debut in 2009. Its pioneer adopters included corporate giants like Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, Yahoo!, LinkedIn etc. which soon caught the attention of developers worldwide. Today, Node.js is one of the most widely preferred runtime environment backed by a growing developer community.

Node.js has a lot of capabilities but there are developers that still think the engine isn’t cut out for enterprise app development. This is probably because enterprise apps come with tougher challenges compared to standard app development. Enterprise apps serve different purposes as well, like assessing business performance, facilitating collaboration between employees, securely storing sensitive data, tracking employee performance, and even making analytics-based forecasts.

To implement all these features, enterprise app developers work with a robust language and powerful technologies. This is where the role of Node.js is often debated.

Can developers use it to build enterprise apps?

Contrary to what many developers believe, Node.js which is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine, actually is a great option for enterprise app development. Let’s explore why.

The npm

The npm is one of the most important things that make Node.js remarkable. Node Package Manager or npm is a huge online repository for the publishing of Node.js projects. It gives developers access to a wide array of tools that can be used to develop high-end enterprise applications relatively easily.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are a few other qualities of Node.js that makes it an awesome pick for enterprise app development.

Node.js is single-threaded

There’s a misconception that Node.js being single-threaded makes it slow for the development of enterprise apps. On the contrary, being single-threaded can be considered one of its major advantages. Non event-drive frameworks require multiple parallel threads to be created to handle several requests. As the number of parallel threads is limited, the number of requests that can be handle will also be limited. Node.js doesn’t have such a limit on parallel threads. Provided there is enough memory and the kernel permits, a several number of parallel requests can be processed in Node.js without hassle.

Microservices-based architecture

Node.js has a microservices-based architecture which ensures optimal utilization of resources for both horizontal as well as vertical scaling. The architecture also enables Node.js to function with the lowest amount of resources in terms of computing power and CPU & RAM usage. Additionally, it also makes it easier to handle separate codebases and smaller teams. This way the development ecosystem can have multiple teams handling various services collaboratively thus resulting in faster development.

Asynchronous programming

Enterprise application developers often find it a challenge to deal with legacy software and monoliths where the main program flow is constantly stuffed with more features, increasing the complexity of the whole system in the process.  This won’t be an issue with Node.js thanks to its asynchronous programming feature.

With Node.js, asynchronous events are independently executed which means the main program flow isn’t affected in any way while it processes requests. This also contributes to cutting down the cost of I/O operations while speeding them up at the same time. As each single operation is independent, and each can be processed simultaneously, throughput and latency are improved considerably.  

Promises

Developers are probably familiar with the term ‘Callback Hell’. But they don’t need to be concerned if they are using Node.js. This is because Node.js gives them ‘Promises’. ‘Promises’ is a different alternative to callbacks when asynchronous code is involved. With ‘Promises’, a future value is represented which can be returned when a call is made. The callbacks are essentially replaced with this technique.

Reusability of RESTful APIs

This is one of the biggest advantages of Node.js that led to its rapid adoption over the last few years. Node.js focuses on resuable RESTful APIs. These APIs are a great way to develop complex software systems as they are capable of handling tremendous amounts of data by connecting to the backend.

Improved productivity

Node.js apps are written in JavaScript which makes it much easier to learn and adapt to though it takes some effort to master. One entire stack can be built using the same language which obviously speeds up development. Because Node.js gives them access to better tools, improves flexibility and collaboration, the developers would be more satisfied resulting in increased productivity.

Endnote

Many of these uncertainties and doubts around Node.js being a great choice for enterprise app development stem from complacence of developers who are comfortable with Java. They don’t want to change what’s already good. But the fact of the matter is that Node.js is not ‘good’; it’s better. At AOT, we have developers with proven expertise in both Java and Node.js. We choose what’s best for our clients when developing apps for them. Interested in how we do things? Drop us a message.

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