Key Concepts of Android App Development

Android is an open source mobile platform launched by Google in 2008 and ever-since it became the favourite for people and developers around the world. Android is Linux based multiprocess and multithreaded OS. Google’s Android OS is not limited to phones but you can use it to build a DVR, a handheld GPS, an MP3 player etc.

Although Android platform is an open source and customizable, Android users and developers have become habitual to the constructs developed by Google for Android devices. The use of these Android concepts is vital for developing an application quickly.

Key Concepts of Android are:-

Apps and APK Files

Activities

Fragments

Views and ViewGroups

Layout XML Files

Intents

Widgets

Services

Sensors

I am giving you an overview of the Android key concepts. After having a basic understanding of Android’s key concepts you can go deeper into the various different topics.

Apps and APK Files

An Android app is an Android Application. An app is packaged in an APK file i.e. Android application package. The APK file contains the compiled Java code and other resources like images and texts for the Android application

Activities

An Android activity is a GUI component. You can understand it as a window in a desktop application. As mobile phone screens are small, an activity takes up the whole screen. If you open multiple activities then they are stacked on top of each other. You cannot arrange activities side by side like you can do with desktop windows.

Activities are unique, focused actions which a user can take. As it is difficult to scroll, zoom in or click links on a small screen hence it is recommended that an app display only one activity per screen. This will present the most relevant information to the user and allows them to launch a new screen for additional information or click the back button to view the previous activity. The screen can expose multiple tasks but it should help the user complete just one activity at a time.

Fragments

In Android, a fragment is a fragment of a total user interface. A fragment only takes up part of the screen. Fragments are used in the activities. Fragments can also be used within different activities. Fragments contain Views and ViewGroups inside them.

View and ViewGroups

Android GUI elements come into three categories i.e. Activities, Views and ViewGroups. Activities are the windows/screens. Views are the individual GUI elements, like a TextView which displays a text, a Button that users can click on etc. ViewGroups are containers for Views. A ViewGroup actually groups a collection of Views together. Views and ViewGroups can be nested inside an activity or inside even a fragment which is nested inside an activity.

Layout XML Files

Activities, fragments and ViewGroups can use XML files to define their layout and contents. The layout XML files tell which GUI components an activity or fragment contains and also the styling of the GUI components i.e. The size, margins, padding etc.

Intent

If your app requires performing a function beyond its core capabilities like opening a photo, playing a video or looking up a contact then you should find out whether a tool that can perform that function already exists in the OS or in a third-party app. If yes then you can get the benefit of that functionality using intents.

For e.g. If your app accesses user contacts then you can use intent objects to launch the device’s existing Contacts application. This removes the programming duplication and also speed up the user’s interaction with the device as the user will not need to learn again how to add a contact to your app.

Widgets

Android Widgets are actually GUI components which can be displayed outside of an activity. For e.g. A weather widget which shows today’s weather is shown on many Android home screens. Widgets have been packaged and implemented as part of an Android application. Also sometimes Views in Android are also referred to as widgets. For e.g. Many GUI components are placed in a Java package called android.widget. GUI components are not same as a widget which can remain on the home screen of an Android device. Hence you should understand the difference between GUI components which can be used inside ViewGroups, Fragments and components which can be used inside ViewGroups, Fragments and Activities and also inside Widgets and Widgets which can remain on the home screen of the Android device.

Services

In Android, Services are background process which can be executed on an Android device even if no application is visible. Services do not require a user interface. For e.g. A Service can check a remote server for updates or backup data every hour.

Sensors

Android devices have many inbuilt sensors which you can access from your Android applications. For e.g the inbuilt GPS in smartphones is a sensor. Therefore you can get access to the GPS from inside your Android applications.


The Ultimate Savings Apps for Non-Savers

Building a savings is not only nice to have, it's a necessity in today's uncertain economic climate. However, putting aside money for savings can be a challenge for many of us. Whether it's due to living paycheck-to-paycheck, more expenses than there is a paycheck or simply not having the deduction to set funds aside, many people have given up on the thought of a savings and are content on simply surviving on what they have. If you find yourself in this category, then this article is for you.

The advent of digital commerce has created a plethora of savings opportunities for the undisciplined saver. Here is a list of the top four savings programs that help to enable those that can not seem to build savings with traditional methods and makes savings completely autonomous.

Digit

Digit works by analyzing your bank account and expenses. Once it has established a trend, it will make deposits to an FDIC-insured account based on what funds you have remaining after your expenses have been paid, typically between $ 5 and $ 35, every couple of days. The automatic savings deposits make Digit great for those that have difficulties in depositing savings themselves. The service is free for the first 100-days but a fee of $ 2.99 is charged monthly after the free period. Another great feature of Digit is how fast money is deposited back into your bank account once you make a withdrawal. In the event of a financial emergency, you can expect your deposit the next business day.

The downside to Digit is that you will have to keep an eye on your checking account since the amount withdrawn can vary week-to-week. If your account is overdrawn because of a withdrawal made by Digit, they will refund the overdraft up to two times. The app lets you set a minimum account balance that will prevent Digit from making withdrawals once your account falls to a specific amount. Another drawback to this app is that you do not earn interest on what you save, the company that runs Digit keeps the interest your funds have earned.

Qapital

Qapital works in the same fashion as Digit but allows for more control. You can establish various "rules" that control your automated savings. An example of one of the rules is that you can tell Qapital to roundup charges to the next dollar amount when you use your credit or debit card and deposit that excess into your FDIC-insured Qapital account. Qapital also lets you make lump sum deposits, great for when you have extra funds available. Other great features of Qapital include additional rules for increasing and controlling your savings and a social feature that lets your friends and family track your progress and to help encourage your savings growth.

While there are no fees associated with using Qapital, your savings will not collect interest. As with Digit, Qapital keeps the interest earned on your account as payment for providing you with their services. However, if you are the non-saver that is tech-savvy, this is the app for you.

Acorns

If you want an automatic way to save that will allow for more investment options, take a look at Acorns.com. Even though Acorns rounds your purchase to the nearest dollar like Qapital, it is different in that it is actually an investment app and not simply a savings platform. The money Acorn saves for you is placed into an investment platform and unlike Qapital and Digit, you keep the returns you make on the investments. The cost to use this app is only $ 1 per month as long as your account balance remains below $ 5,000. Once you have over $ 5,000 in your Acorn account, Acorn takes of of a percent of your account balance. An additional bonus to using Acorns is that if you make a purchase from one of their partner companies, such as Blue Apron and Hulu, the company will give a percentage of your purchase back to your Acorns account.

The downside to Acorns is that your account balance may go down since this is an investment platform and dips in the market where your money has been allocated will cause a decline. Also, withdrawing money from your account is not exactly fast. When you request for electronic funds transfer your invested shares have to be sold to cover the withdrawal. However, if you're serious about saving and investing but lack the discipline to do so, you might want to give Acorns a once over.

Stash

The final app we are going to cover, Stash, is another investment platform for the non-saver that really wants to build savings. Stash will "stash" your money into investments that will help you to achieve your desired goals. One of the best things about this app is that you can start with only $ 5 and they will match your initial $ 5 deposit. They also make investing super easy to understand so you do not have to worry about a large amount of invest lingo that can be very confusing to the new investor.

The fee for using Stash is pretty much the same as the fees you see with Acorns. Your first month is free but after that, you will have to pay $ 1 a month until your account balance reaches $ 5,000. At that point, your fee will be of of a percent of your account balance. Besides the service fee, you will not have to pay any management fees or any other fees you would find on traditional investing sites.

There you have it, four apps that can help even the non-saver build savings for future needs. So long as you let it grow and do not touch it, you should have no problems breaking the trend of not having a savings account, like nearly 50 percent of the adult American population. Good luck and feel free to leave any feedback.


Application Marketing – Interactive and Effective Marketing Technique

Application marketing is considered by many to be the most effective and interactive marketing technique ever invented. Unlike website marketing which requires pushing your information onto customers and clients, App marketing allows customers and clients to interact in ways that websites just do not allow. Understanding and making use of these marketing techniques will ensure that your app becomes the most effective marketing tool in your arsenal.

What Exactly is a Marketing App?

Apps are small software programs which can be downloaded onto specific devices and can interact with those devices in order to function and operate. Marketing Apps make use of some innovative features on mobile devices to allow customers and clients to interact with your business at the touch of a button. Apps are built to operate on different mobile device operating systems with Apple and Android being the two most commonly used. Blackberry, MSN and others are also popular, but do not have a large market share.

One of the most popular features of Apps, as opposed to websites, is the almost complete lack of advertising that you will see on an App. Apps tend to only supply you with the information that is important and as screen space is limited, you're guaranteed to only get the most relevant information on your App. Most Apps are built to make the interactive features interesting, easy to use, informative and fun.

Where Can I Get One for My Business?

Marketing Apps can be built on a pre-designed platform, custom built or a combination of both. Having a customized App developed for you can be expensive and building one yourself requires technical abilities. Due to the massive growth in the market, however, it is now possible to get pre-built to a functional level with the option of adding additional features once the app has been accepted into the App Stores. This is particularly useful for business owners who don't want to spend a great deal of money, but also don't have a great deal of time or technical ability and want a quality product without all the hassles. Building your own app on a pre-designed platform does not require a great deal of technical ability and is similar to what would have required to build a website, but it is important to understand all the costs involved and the time required to get your App built.

How to Get It Out There?

It is important to understand how the interactive features can be used to market your business and to get your app onto the phones and tablets of your customer base. Offering discounts and promotions for those who download your app is the first step to getting the ball rolling. The Tell a Friend features that you can include on you app will make it easy for happy customers to pass your app on to their friends and family at the touch of a button.

It is also possible to reward customer loyalty with built in loyalty programs. You can promote your business and app by getting customer to take photos of themselves enjoying your products and emailing them through the app – again with the touch of a single button, which can be used on your social media sites to generate more interest and more website traffic. Features such as GPS coupons, QR codes, push notifications, tell a friend, email photo and email recording are just a few of the integrated features which are fun for customers to use and will help build brand awareness.

How to Monitor Your Apps Effectiveness?

As with all marketing techniques, you will want to monitor the effectiveness of your new marketing tool and with Apps, this is very easy to do. There are a number of ways that you can measure the success of your app marketing campaign including how many downloads each of your platforms experience, how many new users you have, how active your App users are and which features they use most often. It is also possible to monitor the effectiveness of push notifications which are text type messages sent to all recipients of your app for free from your App control panel. Push notifications are sent out instantly and are great for promoting specific products. Seeing the interest in that particular product is a great way to assess the effectiveness of your push notification marketing.

The interactive nature of application marketing means that your target audience will be far more involved and will be far more inclined to spread the word about your business. Your responsibility is to ensure that your app is constantly updates, offering value to them and providing them with an easy to navigate solution to their needs. Application marketing is an interactive and effective marketing technique that puts local businesses in the pockets and purses of happy customers.


Why Should Companies Invest in Custom iPad App Development?

Did you know that the total number of Apple devices used around the world has surpassed one billion? The data is based on the number of devices that are regularly using the App Store and the iCloud. This means that if you currently do not have an app for any Apple device, like the iPad, then you could be missing out on opportunities to market your business and reach out to more customers locally and around the world. For this reason, companies must consider investing in custom iPad app development if they want to boost ROI and encourage customer loyalty. The iPad is the most popular tablet in the world. In 2014, the number of iPad users in the US was estimated at 61 million.

Your company should consider investing in custom iPad app development to reach out further to your consumers. To date, Apple’s App Store has more than 500,000 apps for the iPad. This means that yours must be unique and capable of standing out to beat your competition. A custom iPad app developer can make sure that your app is built according to your requirements and what your customers are looking for. With their help, your custom application can make the most of the iPad’s features, while ensuring user engagement, profitability, efficiency, and interactivity.

Developing an iPad app is not as easy as it seems, so it makes sense to hire a professional application developer that has been creating apps for iOS since the day the tablet was launched. Professionals follow a streamlined process for developing custom apps for the iPad. They typically start by defining your target audience, determining the purpose of your app, and the type of content the app must have. From there, they will design a good user interface that is easy to use and attractive to navigate. Developers are trained and experienced in arranging views in the app and develop the storyboard. They will handle the initial development, the alpha, and beta build, and finalize the build, too.

By investing in custom iPad app development, you can save a lot of time and money, and have the assurance that experts are developing your app. You do not have to hire your own developers to include in your payroll and for you to train to be a part of your company. Instead, you can outsource the job to professionals who can guarantee a high-quality app that Apple will approve and allow in its App Store. Likewise, you can be sure that the iPad app can help you forge a stronger relationship with people who will buy and download your app.


Mobile Website Or Mobile App: Advantages and Disadvantages Of Both

Here is a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of both a mobile application and a mobile website. This article should help you make a smarter decision as to which is best for your needs, or if you need both marketing tools.

Simple Definitions:

* Mobile Website: A website that has been specifically designed and built for mobile devices. A user can access a mobile website via the mobile web on any mobile device.

Please note: If you have a website that was designed for the internet and to be viewed on a desktop computer, it will display on a phone. However, it will be too slow for downloading, too hard to read, to difficult to use and/or not provide the information needed by a consumer on the move.

• Mobile Application: Software that is designed to run on mobile devices. A user downloads the application to reside on a mobile device. It tends to be limited to one operating system and device.

A. Mobile Apps

1. Advantages:

– Convenient: Provides fast and easy access for consumers as it resides on their mobile device.

– Fully loaded content: Easily handles in-depth content, rich media, and location of user/GPS functionality.

– Time: A user knows how much time is required to use an application after its first use.

– Analytics: You can add in tracking to discover the actions of the user.

– New idea: You can create a new concept that provides for an involving, entertaining, and/or productive experience for the user.

– Generate revenue: You can establish a price for a user to download your app.

2. Disadvantages:

– Limited reach: An application has limited reach as different apps are required for different platforms (such as iPhone or Android).

– Cost to develop: The cost to build an app can be high. Even low-priced developers price these services to start at $1,000.

– Marketing cost: There are millions of mobile apps in the marketplace. There is both the time and financial cost to stand-out from the competition.

– Life expectancy: A user who downloads an app deletes an app that is not used often enough or it can get lost in all the other apps that have been downloaded.

– Approval process: Even after developing the app, Apple must review and approve.

– Upgrades: User must download to have the latest application upgraded.

– Value proposition: While the prices to build an app continue to decline, the difficulty to stand out and be noticed has increased dramatically.

B. Mobile websites

1. Advantages:

– Broad reach: Reaches anyone who has internet access via a mobile device.

– Be found: Will appear in search results.

– Stand-out: Few businesses have made built a mobile site. This allows you to stand out from your competition and in your local search results.

– Consistent branding: Provides a consistent look and feel for your business.

– Do a traffic check: You have users that access your current website via mobile devices today. Check your analytics and discover the number of mobile visitors.

– Longevity: It can last you for as long as you are in business.

– Upgrades: No need for approvals or user downloads to improve or update your content.

– Marketing integration: Integrate your site into your mobile marketing promotions.

– Analytics: Learn more about those that visit you via the mobile web.

– Pricing is low: The prices is very affordable.

2. Disadvantages:

– Does not sit on a customers desktop like an app. It needs to be bookmarked to be found as quickly.

– Must be designed to work on all mobile devices.

– Flash does not work on iPhones.

– Requires you to make choices as to which information from your website will be included and how it should be presented.

Conclusion

Ask yourself these questions:

– What are your business objectives?

– What do you want your consumers to do when they come into contact with your business from a mobile device?

– What must you provide to get consumers to take that action?

– Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a mobile app and mobile site.

– What are the costs and benefits for your business?

Your answers to these questions will help to guide your decision.


Native App Vs Web App: Perhaps A Hybrid?

Hybrid mobile applications are functionally somewhere between native apps and web apps. As these two types of mobile software serve completely different purposes, standing poles apart, hybrid apps fill the space between them, and incorporate features of both sides. What makes them close to native apps, is their ability to utilize native features of a mobile platform. Hybrid apps are distributed through application stores, and may utilize such native feature as, for example, geolocation. On the other hand, it shares many useful features with web apps. It might be so that if you want to build an application, a hybrid one would be the best solution for you.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with web apps:

– Created upon web technologies (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3). That’s the main distinction from native apps, which presuppose all the further features. The most popular tools for creating hybrid mobile software are PhoneGap and Appcelerator Titanium.

– Easier and faster to build than native apps. This results in lower development cost.

– Cross-platform capabilities. A great advantage, provided by web technologies – you may create the app once for various mobile platforms. But keep in mind, that an app may not run the same on various devices, that is why quality cross-platform software requires comprehensive testing on a list of devices chosen by you. That’s how the possible problems are eliminated before deployment.

– Lower performance than in native apps. That is why more sophisticated apps will be affected by slightly lower speed and graphics. Consider the balance of features and speed carefully – users are quite likely to switch to another app, if they face delays. That’s why hybrid applications are not good for creating complex apps like games.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with native apps:

– Distribution through application stores (such as Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Store).

– Use of native device capabilities. That is an inaccessible option for mobile web apps. In case your software is going to depend on geolocation, camera, accelerometer etc. – a hybrid application will provide you with that.

– Offline capabilities. That’s a feature of the foremost importance for many apps. And that matters much to users – having what they need and what they like anytime, anywhere.

You may consult with your software developers to find out whether a hybrid app is really ‘the golden mean’ that will perfectly fit your project. That must be discussed and firmly decided before the development. The decision depends on the user experience you need to provide, the features of the project, and the market/user audience you chose to encompass and engage into using the app. Business apps that require native access or apps with moderate graphics – these are examples of a good choice for hybrid development.


Grow Your Retail Business With Implementation of Mobile Technology

The global retail industry is progressing fast while undergoing a series of transformations. However, having a mobile app for the retail operations is still pointless for many etailers and store retailers. However, the scenario has become quite different now. Operating a retail business without mobile app will lead entrepreneurs to face many difficulties in exploring the new opportunities in terms of wider customer connect.

Importance of Mobile Apps in Retail Industry

Mobile technology has become an inherent part of human lives. Thus, having a retail mobile app will greatly help businesses to offer easy access to product and store information to the customers. The retail owners must start thinking about connecting customers by deploying the mobile technology. Customers will prefer buying products from your store when they will find:

  • Relevant product information which, are easy-to-access from their smartphones.
  • Easy and quick product availability status.
  • Estimated date of delivery of the product.
  • Smartphone compatible payment modes like Apple Pay and PayPal.

Having these facts in mind, a retail mobile app will greatly help customers to stay ahead in the competition and maximize revenue to a huge extent.

Following here are some of the paramount benefits of building a mobile app for retail businesses.

Mobile Coupons for Greater Customer Acquisition

While considering this connected and fast-paced world, we can find almost every product everywhere. So, the quest lies that how to drive customers walk into your retail store? The traditional advertising methods like sign boards or television are expensive indeed. On the contrary, you can easily reach a huge cluster of audience by promoting unique selling points and in-store discounts via a mobile app or website. The customers can redeem these mobile coupons at the point of check-out counter.

Personalized Service with Geo-based Technology

Geo-based Technology helps retailers to track location of the customers and figure what they have been actually looking for. Collecting this significant information will allow them to send push notifications to customers along with custom discount coupons. Implementing geo-based technology will help entrepreneurs to track the existing customers near to their physical stores and drive them to make repeat purchases.

Streamlined checkout process

Mobile technology works as a growth booster and helps retailers to build long-lasting relationship with customers. With the upsurge of eCommerce, the retail industry faced serious losses as because online shopping offers greater convenience to buyers. Visiting a physical retail store and standing in long queues to make payments is certainly quite tiresome. On the contrary, online shopping allows customers to buy by just making a few clicks. Considering this loophole, retailers implemented the mobile technology and introduced the mobile credit card readers and 'Scan & Go' payment apps for dispersing the queues.

Considering the aforesaid advantages of implementing mobile technology into retail business, etailers must build a mobile app for making the entire shopping experience more convenient and more fast.


5-Step Checklist to Devise Impressive Mobile Applications

The more the mobile technology is advancing, the more the market demands of diverse mobile apps are increasing almost following an exponential graph. Today, both iOS and Android platform has their own huge market and most of the mobile application developers are devoting themselves to build user-centric, feature-rich and business-driven applications for mobile devices. Here is a 5-step checklist that would help you to develop stellar mobile apps smoothly.

#1 Clearly Define Goals and Requirements

The first step is to set a well-defined and proper goal so that you can chalk out a plan on how to reach that goal. If you do not preset the goal clearly, you might get lost at the halfway! Once you know what you want in your mobile application, what features what benefits the users are going to get using your app, you can go ahead with the development process. Before starting with the development process, another important thing to decide is on which platform you want to build the application.

#2 UX Aspect

To build a successful mobile application, you need to pay special attention to the UX aspect. This defines or makes sure that the users can have a good app experience. Even if your app is top-notch at its looks, design and graphics, until and unless it can offer the app users a satisfactory experience, it cannot gain that much success in today’s vying market. For the mobiles that have a touchscreen interface, it is advisable for the developers to devise multi-touch gestures so that the app users can smoothly navigate it. Apart from being user-friendly, developers need to make that application aesthetically appealing as well.

#3 Development Process

This part is mostly about writing the coding part. Creating a proper prototype, gaining approval from clients in the case of building custom applications – everything is part of this development phase. The developers should have in-depth expertise in using the programming language along with the updated tools. According to your requirements, they can integrate different web services, can link the mobile app to cloud storage of backend along with integrating the social sites, payment gateway etc.

#4 Thorough Testing

There are several parts of this testing phase – QC Checking, UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and Unit Testing. With the help of a simulator, the developers and the designers can effortlessly test the developed application to check whether any error or any bug is present or not. Before launching the app in the app store, this thorough testing stage makes sure that quality of the app is as per the market standard and it is free from any kind of technical glitches.

#5 Deployment

This is the last stage of the development process. In this phase, the newly built app appears live in the app store. This step includes distribution of apps as well.

Well, another crucial thing is to market this newly launched mobile app. Without a well-planned and quality marketing strategy, even a feature-rich and impressive app fail to do satisfactory business that it should have in this competing market. Hence, jotting down a smart marketing strategy for the freshly developed application is utterly vital.


How AWS CodeStar Is Helping Java Developers

At present, programmers use Java programming language for building a variety of software – desktop GUI applications, websites, web applications and Android mobile apps. But the Java programmers need robust development tools to meet the emerging software trends efficiently. These tools and frameworks also help programmers to simplify and speed up Java application development. Many programmers nowadays look for innovative tools to develop, test, and deploy Java applications in the cloud.

Amazon recently announced AWS CodeStar as a cloud-based service to simplify software development and deployment on its cloud platform – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS CodeStar allows programmers to write applications in a several programming languages – Java, Python, Ruby, PHP and JavaScript. Also, it accelerates software delivery by providing project templates and a pre-configured continuous delivery toolchain. The developers can avail the continuous delivery toolchain to build, test, and deploy Java applications on AWS.

Features that Make AWS CodeStar Useful for Java Programmers

Project Templates

AWS CodeStar allows programmers to write applications in a number of programming languages including Java. Also, it allows developers to used widely used code editors like Eclipse, Visual Studio, and AWS Command Line Interface. The developers can further avail the project templates provided by the cloud service to speedup Java application development and deployment on AWS. For instance, they can manage underlying compute resources efficiently and automatically using a serverless compute service like AWS Lambda. Likewise, they can use a robust virtual computing environment like Amazon EC2 launch varying operating system instances through web service interfaces.

Team Access Management

AWS CodeStar comes with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). IAM makes it easier for Java programmers to manage developer identities and specify access to compute resources. Based on the security policy of the business, the developers can create varying IAM entities like users, groups, and roles. As the IAM entities will have no default permission, they will remain ineffective till the user grants the desired permissions. IAM makes it easier for enterprises to implement role-based security policies. Also, it allows users to share the project based on three access levels – owners, contributors and viewers.

Unified Project Dashboard

AWS CodeStar comes with a centralized and unified dashboard. The project dashboard makes it easier for developers to track and manage the entire development toolchain efficiently. The Java programmers can use the project dashboard to monitor common activities like code commits, build, tests and deployment. Also, they can make changes to the process immediately to meet the predefined goals. The project dashboard also helps project managers to access updated team information by including a project wiki. The dashboard also helps Java programmers to monitor the tools and services integrated with AWS CodeStar.

AWS CodeBuild

AWS CodeBuild allows users to avail a managed build service like AWS CodeBuild. The Java programmers can use CodeBuild to compile and package the application code more efficiently. Likewise, they can build, update, and integrate the app code consistently without any delay or hassle. AWS CodeBuild further runs the build scripts for code compilation, testing, and packaging automatically based on the code location and build settings specified by Java programmers.

AWS CodePipeline

While using AWS CodeStar, the Java developers can update application and infrastructure rapidly using AWS CodePipeline. CodePipeline is designed as a service to accelerate continuous integration and continuous delivery. The developers can also use CodePipeline to automate the software release processes fully. Each CodeStar project further comes with an automated pipeline. The pre-configured pipeline makes it easier for programmers to accelerate software delivery by building, testing, and deploying the application code continuously.

AWS CodeCommit

AWS CodeStar helps programmers to store their application code securely using a scalable and managed source control service like AWS CodeCommit. AWS CodeCommit stores the application code and data in Amazon S3 and Amazon DynamoDB. It further hosts private Git repositories, and allows users to store the app code by creating their own repository. The repositories help programmers to store the app code and data in a secure and scalable environment without investing in additional hardware.

Automated Software Deployment

AWS CodeStar enables Java programmers to update the code and deploy the application easily by availing robust tools like AWS CodeDeploy and CloudFormation. The developers can use AWS CodeDeploy to automate the application deployment process fully. CodeDeploy further helps programmers to launch, monitor, and control the deployment process from a centralized location. At the same time, AWS CloudFormation helps programmers to create and manage collection of compute resources efficiently. The developers can further use CloudFormation to update and scale the AWS resources without putting extra time and effort.

However, AWS CodeStar is a commercial cloud service. The existing AWS customers can use AWS CodeStar without incurring additional expenses. But they have to pay for specific AWS services like Amazon S3 buckets and WS Lambda executions. The developers can still avail the features provided by AWS CodeStar to build, test, and deploy Java applications on AWS.


Top 6 Mistakes App Entrepreneurs Make During App Development and Marketing

Building a successful mobile app is a tough task. Chances are low for all mobile app developers to excel. New app developers who are jump starting out in the game are afraid to take the risks, as most of the new apps are left unnoticed in the market. If you see the app store, you will find that more than 50% of the apps fail in the market. This is the reason why beginners face a lot of challenges to become successful app developers.

How entrepreneurs enter the app market

There are many companies that encourage beginners to step up and try their luck in mobile app development. There is a great difference between being technically skilled and becoming successful. Not all skilled app developers are successful in mobile app industry. The biggest task for app developers is to develop a unique app and market it straight to their customers. I would like to share the top 6 mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid while developing and marketing the mobile app.

  1. Building an app for multiple platforms

This is one of the common mistakes app developers do. Entrepreneurs face a very competitive space, as there are millions of apps on Google Play and Apple Store. Instead of doubling the cost of developing app for multiple platforms, one should focus on building for one platform first. By launching a mobile app on two different platforms simultaneously, you are adding more to the development time and cost.

Additionally, if you make any changes to the design and/or functionality of the app in one platform, you have to do it on both places. Hence, developers should avoid this mistake of developing for multiple platforms at the same time.

  1. Incorporating too many features

Most of the mobile apps fail in the market due to very less or too many features. However, there are lots of apps that are plain and simple, and yet have a great potential to sustain in the market. Users check new apps for a short period of time. Providing too many features will drive away users, as the features may make the app look complicated.

The goal of entrepreneurs should be to keep the users glued to the app. This is possible by incorporating essential features on primary screen and rest of the features to secondary screens. This strategy not only keeps the app simple, but attracts new users too. The app users will not show much interest in overwhelming design and features, and discard the app. Hence, it is important to develop apps with this in mind.

  1. Forgetting the ‘WOW’ factor

The number of mobile app users is expected to reach 80 million by the year 2018. Seeing the increasing number of mobile app users, App Stores of Android and Apple have set a bar with the design and user experience. If you give your Smartphone to a child, he/she will know how to use it. This means, the expectations of mobile users are entirely different from that of web. The user will give up on your app, if it is very difficult to use.

On the contrary, online users may not give up so easily despite of poor user experience. App developers should understand this difference and build extra-ordinary mobile apps with stunning features and functionality. As soon as the user launches the app, there should be a ‘wow’ factor to hook up the users.

  1. Inflexible marketing plan

App development and app marketing are two important phases of building a successful app. However, entrepreneurs tend to show much interest in development compared to app marketing. As the App Stores are crowded with millions of apps, your app may not be discovered on app store even on the day of launch if you fail to market it properly. Entrepreneurs should think of a perfect marketing plan as the app is being developed. Apps can be marketed in multiple ways by creating a clear strategy of target audience and their preferences.

If we see social media, we understand how drastically it has changed in the recent years. Marketing goals are changing from time to time, as a result of which what is working today may not work tomorrow. Entrepreneurs should create a flexible marketing plan that accommodates current and future market situations. By being flexible with own marketing strategies, app entrepreneurs can stay ahead of others.

  1. Putting all the efforts in one basket

Technology and marketing are ever evolving, which means a single strategy will not generate same results. If you see the development and marketing plan of the top 10 best mobile apps, you will see how they used technology to market their apps. The marketing channels they used earlier were entirely different from that of the channels they are using now. It means entrepreneurs should diversify their marketing efforts to ensure that they are not putting all the efforts in one basket. Focusing on one tactic for long period may diminish the returns.

My advice is to consider marketing plans as investment strategies. If you want a steady increase in popularity & profitability of the mobile app, you need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Trying new marketing tactics and plucking the ones that are no longer effective will increase the popularity of the app.

  1. Ignoring the audience and not releasing the updates

As an app entrepreneur, you should understand the fact that you are developing mobile app for other people. We all know that people have different need and preferences, and it is difficult to develop an app for everyone. It is essential to define target audience before defining the features of apps. Before developing an app check what actually users want and what type of solution they prefer.

Even after developing an app that has demand in the industry, there would be people who are unsatisfied with the features or performance of the app. The job of an app entrepreneur doesn’t end with development and marketing. The mobile app should be improved on a regular basis according to the user’s preferences. Once the bugs are fixed, an update must be released so that audiences are aware of the fixes.

Developing a great mobile app is not an easy task. There are lots of hurdles that come across while developing and marketing the app. By avoiding the above listed mistakes while developing and marketing the app you will increase the chances of creating a successful app that is covered by press and is well monetized.

Getting into the world of mobile app development is tough at first. However, with lot of hard work, dedication, commitment and skills one can expect the app to hit the market with a ‘BANG’. As a beginner, entrepreneurs should create something new and unique to have a good start in mobile app development industry. An established mobile app development company can further provide professional approach and advice to entrepreneurs and can make the whole process a lot easier for them.