Talking Mobile Tech Trends with the Stfalcon’s experts
Mobile technology in 2020:
1. Cross-platform development
More and more clients today want cross-platform mobile app development and dream of the same app behavior, design and simultaneous implementing of features for all platforms. It really sounds cool as it is — to develop mobile apps for all platforms at a time, but let’s study it out in more detail.
- Same design,
- Same behavior on different platforms,
- Less number of developers, since there is no need to have separate teams for Android and iOS versions,
- Time-saving, though comparatively small.
- The high development cost for a cross-platform solution ( a developer should be well qualified and experienced in both platforms.),
- Since most of the platforms create native code for each platform the chance is high for an error during code generation. Thus the errors during development occur. Certain features can, for instance, work good on Android, but return an error while operating on iOS or vice versa,
- As it was already mentioned above, to use certain functionality, each platform has to have its own realization, which uses native SDK. To put it simply, the “bridge” pattern should be realized. If to look at Flutter, the unit of such realizations is called plugin, it simplifies work and provides ready-made features for end developer.
By the way, the problem is that there exists quite a limited number of such plugins, not speaking about their functionality and possibility of adjustment. One should also realize that in most cases, like it is with payment systems integration, there are no solutions ready. That’s why difficulties may set in the process of realization and the very process of such features implementation may require much time and effort on part of the developer.
As a result, I guess that the multiplatform mobile app development makes sense only for small startups in order to verify an idea or for small projects. It will allow the client to understand how viable his idea is. In case of success, I would advise to develop native apps then. They are not only easier to support, but the barrier of support specialists’ entry is much lower.
As to the Firebase, the usage of a cloud database is quite possible without any difficulties. At present, it’s one of the most NoSQL databases for data storage in JSON format. It’s quick, flexible and meets most of the users’ requirements for small apps. Since recently, the priority in the sphere of online databases is given to Cloud Firestore. It’s one of the most powerful databases, which stores information not in the form of JSON objects, but in the form of documents. It’s a kind of shift from the old approach to the new one. It not only supports online mode but operates offline as well. As soon as the internet connection is set in the database synchronization with the cloud is realized and it allows to cash results and to be more flexible in scaling.
By the way, we used such an approach in the development of «Stroitel»
In my personal opinion, it is a proper alternative to a simple backend, when business needs do not require any additional admin panel. Though the developer spends a certain time on database development he can then form the due report with the field he needs. Besides, using Firebox as a box solution, it’s more simple for us to use other services of the same Firebase, push notifications, for instance. The drawback here is more time required on part of the developer to fulfill the work and the fee for using the server resources, however, it can be compensated with the absence of fee for the backend.
3. Mobile wallets, leveraging the advancement in near-field communication (NFC), allow users to make payments directly
To my mind, NFC is the future. Such technologies simplify our life and bring many benefits. Let’s deal with it. One can not only make payments at the cash desk but also accept payments with the help of NFC. The technology «Tap to phone» has begun to gain popularity in recent time, it allows to accept contactless payments. It then makes possible for the small business to use mobile phones as cash machines. I guess in several months, maximum in a year, we will be able to forget about cash payments at all or will bring them to a minimum.
For example, we have already had experience of a cash machine based on mobile phone development. It’s a good idea for business, for the simplicity in work, low service charges, and autonomy. In the solution we helped to develop, there was everything needed for a comprehensive work — an ordinary thermal printer, which connects to the mobile phone with a Bluetooth. As a result, we got a convenient ready-made solution, which did not require any additional service, but for charging from time to time. By the way, such a solution allowed to continue work even in the case when there is no electricity. Autonomous work can last up to several hours.
Let’s look at the problems in usage. The only thing which can cause problems is getting SDK for the new technology and the barrier to entry it. Other aspects such as hardware implementation or payment systems integration have been already solved. Phone manufacturer is responsible for hardware implementation and to integrate a payment system is a matter of several hours, there are plenty of them. Finally, we can use such payment aggregator as Google Pay.
4. Mobile M2M technology redefines health care by allowing users to transmit data on the go.
A little more than a year ago, the giants of the IoT sphere proposed data exchange technology between devices through the public protocol Machine-to-Machine. It has become the reason for the origin and onrush of the new development trend in healthcare. A wearable, whether it’s a smartwatch, a fitness bracelet, a meteo station or a GPS tracker can share information with other devices. Wearable technology allows to gather an enormous amount of the statistic information as to the person’s likings, preferences, and activity and predict his or her needs. For the end-user m2m solutions are the possibility to track the state of the body, for the manufactures it’s the opportunity to extend their sales catalogs.
Do you agree, it’s great when the measurements of your heartbeat during a run is sent for analysis, the information from your smart wearable technology clothing is sent to a special app, which can prompt how to change the training load or rhythm and indicate whether a person moves in the right way.
In the recent several years heath care has got an intensive. Wear OS (known earlier as Android Wear) has undergone multiple changes and received more or less finalized image, having found its niche in this very direction.
As for the obstacles or potentially dangerous situations, there are not so much of them: a speedy development of the operating system and a relatively low entry barrier for the developer. The problem of a speedy OS development lies in the fact that the quick change of architectural approaches, as well as SDK, takes place. The functionality, which the client wants to see can be impossible to implement on anew OS version, due to the strict restrictions for more autonomous work. As a consequence, the approaches or methods offered by SDK maybe with high probability marked as Deprecated and fail to have a new realization.
5. Real-time speech translations on mobile devices eliminate language barriers and improve one-to-many events such as webinars, training sessions, and conferences.
We all like to travel, however, people do not always know English well enough. First voice language translator devices of rather a decent quality have started to appear just several years ago. By the way, the voice recognition technology is used not only for translators but in many other spheres as well. This technology is used in its full in messengers. Let’s look at the old good Skype, which already allows communicating to a person in different languages. I guess it will soon develop into the full-fledged synchronous interpretation.
Besides messengers, a real-time voice translator can be used during public speeches at presentations, conferences and during reporting.
One should always bear in mind that innovative tech trends not only bring benefits but often have certain teething troubles. With cross-platform solutions, it is high development cost and code errors risks. Working with a Firebase you’ll need more time for having work done, and some expenses on server resources. Though it’s often well compensated.
However, if there is a problem, there is a solution. Getting SDK for the new NFC technology and the barrier to entry it may look like an obstacle right now, but is likely to be overcome in the nearest future. The real-time speech translators seem soon to develop into the full-fledged synchronous interpretation tools. With Wear OS there is a problem of its speedy development and quick change of architectural approaches.
Originally published in Stfalcon.com.