Google has announced the ‘VPS’ technology, an approach to explore indoor GPS to tackle issues with both virtual reality and augmented reality.

Like GPS, VPS(Visual Positioning Service) is also a mapping innovation that utilizes the process of visual focus on the walk way, end of the room and on other objects to set a limit and ensure free movement indoors.

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‘Xamarin Live Player’ Enables Testing of Apps Directly on Android and iOS

Google revealed that it has been working with HTC and Lenovo and is planning to launch their first VR devices based on the Google Daydream technology later this year. The company has also introduced a Google Glass, an AR headset for the smart phones and is also planning to use Qualcomm chips for VR headsets.

Google also demonstrated AR features in the Google expeditions platform for students that uses Tango’s sensors to map classrooms and place 3D visualizations within a space.

Google Announces 'VPS' Technology to Solve Key Problems with VR and AR
According to Clay Bavor, the Standalone VR gadgets utilizes the method of ‘precise tracking’ i.e. the gadgets does not rely upon outside sensors to place, but handle the headsets in the physical world.

Microsoft has announced ‘Xamarin Live Player’ enabling developers to test, debug and deploy apps directly on Android and iOS devices.

The app allows developers to pair up their devices with Xamarin and Visual Studio on Windows/Mac followed by scanning the QR code and then test the apps in seconds.

According to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, the new app allows developers to reduce time, to set up the app building environment and to compile apps. Cutting down the development time can create an immense enhancement for developer’s productivity.

 'Xamarin Live Player' Enables Testing of Apps Directly on Android and iOS

Xamarin Live Player also supports a Live Run feature which helps developers pick specific screens within apps and then test the changes when displayed on a device.

The company has also announced changes to Visual Studio Mobile Center and XAML standard, which is a version of interface mark-up language.

With rising demand in popularity of apps, companies are making efforts to enhance the user experience by opting the latest technologies for mobile app development. There is a constant growth on cross-platform enterprise apps by using mobile app development tools and this has emerged as a pivotal necessity among developers.

If you are focusing on experimenting, then its better to consider building a native app and further improving the app with iterations which allow you to have complete control over the usability and design. But, if you plan for a multi-platform app, then you can consider cross-platforms and development tools.

Choosing the right tool is essential for the development of a great app. Using such app creation tools can help you save money and time as well. Most of the tools available today offer a range of choices to both the mobile app development company and the end users. Therefore, it is essential to opt the best tool that offers ideal functions.

app creation tools

Mobile app market has grown tremendously as enterprises bring in innovative products and services for the users. However, malicious hackers are targeting on applications with sophisticated attacks. Therefore, security of mobile apps has become a top level concern for all stakeholders.

App market is huge, and in the coming years, there is considered to be almost 2 million smart phone users worldwide and by 2017, the app market will be worth $77 billion.

During a research conducted by HPE, almost 2000 mobile applications from over 600+ companies were tested. The results show that:

• Around 97% of tested apps access at least one private information from that application.
• 18% of applications sent user names and passwords over HTTP; 18% implemented SSL/HTTPS incorrectly.
• 75% of applications do not use correct encryption methods for the storage of data from the mobile device.
• 71% of applications failed to use binary hardening protections against cyber-attacks.

Recently, there has been a major shift in the app security where it is given more attention. App security is a big area. Therefore, it is important to know the trends available and you should also be aware of how well you can align them according to the need of the organization.

Common App Security Threats

The most common security threats in mobile applications are:

1) Threats in App Store Security: The type of platform chosen for the mobile application development does impact on security. Most of the apps might contain significant vulnerabilities, and nearly 90% have vulnerabilities.

In the case of iOS devices, Apple takes app security seriously and allows the users to access the level of the apps used. But Android devices, tend to have more app security issues than that of iOS due to Android’s wider range of device type, operating system and more App Store requirements.

2) Cross Devices Threats: aren’t the only place where secure information should be provided not only to mobile devices. Many stores allow users to download apps from desktop devices and later added to mobile devices and through this way, cross device threats occur.

3) IoT Devices: The aim of IoT devices is to collect user data and use that information to take ‘smart’ automation decisions. In the case of Android devices, IoT devices allow connections with many other operating systems making the security of the devices in risk and difficult to control.

4) Usage of Single Devices: Enterprise-level applications contain sensitive corporate information, which has to be kept secure in all possible ways. As most of the employees use a single device for all purposes, sensitive information can get mixed with personal information, thus, risking security.

5) Mobile Malware: Mobile phones are susceptible to Trojans, spyware and viruses. These can steal confidential data.

6) Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized users can access email accounts, applications, social media networks and many more details.

Best Practices to Protect Your Application

Let’s look at a few steps for mobile app security:

1) Secure App Code
Encryption is the best method to protect the app code. Stick on to modern, well assisted algorithms incorporated using API encryption.

•  Source code test for checking vulnerabilities.
•  App code should be transferable between the operating system and device.
•  Runtime memory, file size, performance, data usage etc. should be noted while adding security.

2) Include Authorisation, Identification and Authentication

APIs, authorization and authentication adds security to login of an app. Make sure, that app APIs provides access only necessary parts of apps. This minimises vulnerability.

•  Standard protocol OAuth2 is used to secure connections. Installing this protocol collects credentials      and then, allows permission between the end user and client
•  JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is ideal for encrypted data exchange
•  OpenID Connect allows re-usage of same credentials within multiple domain

3) Apps should be Secured from Back end

Servers should have security measures to prevent unauthorized access and protect confidential data. APIs that access the servers should be verified before passing from the client to the database and app’s server.

• Containerization is a method to securely store the documents and data
• Penetration testing(testing a network/Web application to find vulnerabilities) should be done by consulting with a network security specialist to ensure data protection.
• Encryption using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), VPN(Virtual Private Network) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) add app security.

4) Implement Mobile Encryption Policy

Some kind of apps release users data without permission. Here, data is protected on file-by-file basis.

•  Key Management should be a priority.

5) Repeated Testing of App Software

This is the most crucial step in the case of mobile app development process. While testing your app, make sure that security is tested along with usability and functionality tests. Emulators for operating systems, devices and browsers lets you test how an app performs.

6) Solid API Security Strategy

A solid APIs are a main channel for functionality, content and data. Ensuring proper security of API is important. Main security methods in an API security stack is authentication, authorization and identification.

7) Increasing Code Complexity

Making your app more complex internally can make it difficult for the hackers to attack the app.

8) Protect Internal Resources

Resource that does not require public Internet access should be restricted using network segmentation and firewall rules. Compromising on administration or other resources can lead to extensive damage.

9) Avoiding Catching App data and Crash logs

Developers can configure Android and iOS devices by preventing HTTP caching. Also, avoid caching of page data and URL history for any app processes. In the case of crash logs, ensure that released apps are built without warnings and are tested to avoid crashes.

10) Implement ATS (App Transport Security)

Ensure secure connections between back-end server and app. When ATS is enabled, HTTP connections are forced to use HTTP and attempts to connect with devices using insecure HTTP will fail.

Many consumer and enterprise mobile app work on a single device; but, they appear to act independently with different functionalities. However, without proper security built in mobile applications, hidden integrations and data hacking might definitely happen.

Some of us think that cyber-attacks happen only to big co-operates ;however, the reality is that we all are potentially at risk even while doing something as simple as downloading a mobile app to your smart phone. Follow best practices and rely on security experts to keep your app safe from threats.

To avoid unnecessary apps and to support better quality, Apple has decided to bid goodbye to 32-bit apps altogether with the release of iOS 11.

Apple Saying Goodbye to 32-bit Apps With the release of iOS 11

 Apple started supporting 64-bit apps with the launch of iPhone 5s in 2013 and iOS developers were informed to create 64-bit apps since February 2015.

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The company has officially launched iOS 10.3 which has major updates like WiFi calling, AirPods and SiriKit. Other updates include a new iCloud section under the Apple ID settings menu and new security features.

The latest iOS version is believed to be announced along with the 10thanniversary edition iPhone 8 launch.

Global tech giant, Apple has opened its new App Accelerator in Bengaluru to support India’s iOS developer community.

At the app accelerator center, experts will lead briefings and provide app reviews for iOS developers. Apple calls the mission “the first-of-its-kind facility” for the nation which already has more than 10,000 developers who make iOS apps.

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Three Special Mobile Apps Launched to Support Autistic Children

The aim of the program is to help developers in India to build high-quality iOS applications and help them promote those apps globally. The plans for the program was announced by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in last May during a trip to India.

India is considered as an expanding software development community in iOS app development. According to the research firm Evans Data, the fastest growing population of app developers in the world is found in the Asia-Pacific region with China and India in leads.

And this is one main reason why the major US tech powers like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon are scrambling to expand footholds in India.

During a seminar organised by the Autism Spectrum Disorders Welfare Trust at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, three special mobile applications, AHSAS, AGHAZ and BOL, were unveiled to support autistic children.

The three applications were developed by a team from LUMS Human Computer Interaction Lab and directed by Dr Suleman Shahid in liaison with ASDWT.

Three Special Mobile Apps Launched to Support Autistic Children

Three Special Mobile Apps Launched to Support Autistic Children

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According to Dr. Shahid, the application ‘AGHAZ’ was aimed to cater the need for communication for children with autism. The app can be used by teachers, parents and therapists to work with children and help them learn Urdu.

Three Special Mobile Apps Launched to Support Autistic Children
‘BOL’ is designed to focus on developing the child’s language and communication skills. It uses picture symbols, voice synthesis in Urdu and English to create new messages.

Asma Ahmed, a senior clinical psychologist at ASDWT says that, there is an urgent need for an autism centre at the government level. The government should also pass proper legislation for educating children with ASD to avail their right to study in an ordinary school.

According to reports from App Annie, Android stores are set to overtake iOS app store in 2017 in app store revenue. The biggest reason for this is the Chinese app stores that are the main battleground for other operating systems.

App Annie forecasts that Android users in China, access app stores even by using Tencent and Baidu. In 2016, Android stores only made about $10 billion, but are estimated to grow to about $36 billion by the end of 2021.

Android to Overtake iOS in App Store Revenue in 2017

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Consumers Prefer Use of Retailer Apps In-Store

This year the app spending on Android is expected to double. Users of Android will spend $41 billion on apps in 2017, topping iOS with a total of $40 billion. The top countries by revenue-U. S, Japan, China, South Korea, and UK. are expected to grow to 85 percent by 2021.

The reports of App Annie is based on data collected from economic conditions, past performances, major publishers and conversation with stakeholders.

Consumers prefer retailers to execute mobile applications that can be used for in-store s which offer more convenience and personalization.

Nowadays, shoppers are preferring to use technology such as mobile apps for in-store shopping that can speed up the shopping experience.

A study by Apadmi shows that one out of five customers wishes the retailers to implement applications to make their shopping experiences more personalized and convenient. Retailers can use beacon-powered mobile apps that notify shoppers on in-store offers and recommends about store products.

“Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, said technology is slowly crossing the retail channels as consumers become more used to shopping on mobile devices, and more consumers will expect to be able to use their devices in-store”.

“There is a need among consumers for retailers to make better use of technology in-store to make every aspect of the shopping journey more enjoyable,” said Black.

“As shoppers continue to embrace mobile e-commerce and retail apps, the in-store experience needs to remain relevant and incorporate the benefits that can be achieved through shopping online.”

Almost 46% of consumers also expect retailers to provide Wi-Fi inside the shops. A quarter of consumers also would like to use mobile apps to check out in-stores, avoid queue or even order products online and pick them up in-store.

The number of consumers downloading such online shopping apps has been increasing day by day with one in 10 people in the UK downloading apps in last 12 months.

Consumers Prefer Use of Retailer Apps In-Store
But many brands are still struggling in the early stages of offering real omni channel experiences such as easy payment, personalization and single customer journey.

Ed Barton, the CEO of Curiscope has discovered a new app called ‘Virtuali-Tee’, an educational app that works with augmented reality to learn about internal organs inside the body.

This eye-opening experiment is not carried out through various specimens and skeletons but into his own body.

'Virtuali-Tee'-An Augmented Reality App to Learn About Body’s Internal Organs

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The AR-based app works using the camera of a smartphone and allows the technology to digitally view the body and show organs such as the stomach, heart and lungs. As the device is moved from one side to another the 3D realistic model also moves. This app can help users look into their own anatomy.

Barton and his co-workers at Curiscope raised almost 75,000 British pounds to make this project a reality.

'Virtuali-Tee'-An Augmented Reality App to Learn About Body’s Internal Organs

The app allows the users to tap on a particular organ and get a video description of the things viewed.

The app costs around 20-24 British pounds and works on both Android and iOS devices. It can be downloaded for free, but the app only works with the accompanying of blue, green or red T-shirts.

Also Check : Latest Updated Educational Apps Directory List