There are multiple ways to develop a mobile application, and choosing the right one for you is important before starting the project. Selecting the correct method can save time and money, while providing the same, or better experience for the end user.

What Type Of Application Do You Need?

First the main outline of the application must be decided.

  • Type of Application: Deciding on what your application will be required to do will have an impact on which method is used.
  • Time and Budget: Each method of development has a different amount of time required to achieve the end result. If you need iOS, Android, and Web support, one option may take up to three times longer to develop, which has an affect on the final cost.
  • Operating System: What device type are your main target audience using? (iOS, Android, Windows)
App Differences.

Native Applications

Native applications are developed with one specific device type i.e. iOS users in mind. This means that the application is going to be tailor made for that device, and is able to use all of the device specific functionality.

Advantages:
  • Fast performance – Because the code is written with that device type in mind, the code is therefore more efficient.
  • Functionality – Apps can make use of the specific special functions that a device might have.
  • Higher Security – Any device specific known security risks can be individually addressed.
  • Improved UI/UX – The code can take advantage of the native appearance and frameworks to create a modern looking application.
Disadvantages:
  • Higher Cost – Each operating system requires it’s own codebase, and if iOS and Android apps were required, this would require two completely separate sets of code to create and maintain.
  • Longer Development – Because the code is being specifically designed to work on one set of devices, it is more involved to create, maintain, and test.
  • Specialists Required – A team of highly skilled app developers is required who have an in-depth knowledge of the system, adding to the cost.

Hybrid Applications

Hybrid applications are the best of both worlds from both mobile and web development. It allows developers to code in one language, then be able to deploy applications for iOS, Android, and Websites. At Pipe & Piper, we have over 10 years experience in developing hybrid applications for our clients.

Advantages
  • Shorter Development Time – Only one codebase is required to deploy to iOS, Android, and Web. Saving three times the work.
  • Lower Costs – Shorter development time, means less costs!
  • Easy to Maintain – Because there’s only one codebase, it is easier to maintain and update.
  • Integrated – Hybrid allows for simple integration into web services and APIs.
  • Fast Deployment – Building the app to run on Android or iOS is quick and easy, requiring almost no changes to the process.
Disadvantages
  • Complexity – More complex applications will likely run slower than a native application.
  • Equality – The app will run the same regardless of the device, it can’t use device/operating system specific functions.

Progressive Web Applications

Progressive web applications are almost identical to hybrid applications, with the main difference being that they are able to be installed as an application on any device, then be able to work offline and send notifications. This is the newest method of development.

Advantages
  • Accessible – The app can be found on any app store, or accessed through the website and the end user experience will be the same.
  • Loading Speed – Because everything is web based, loading speed are quick no matter the device age.
  • Works Offline – Cached versions of the application are able to be used when offline.
  • Responsive – The application is able to easily and dynamically change to the device type and size.
  • Cheap & Fast – Development times are fast because only a website is being developed, then scaled for mobile devices.
Disadvantages
  • Hardware Limitations – Because the application needs to be installed, older and slower devices may not be supported.
  • Apple Support – Support for Apple devices is more limited, and performance is often much worse on iOS devices.
  • Battery Power – Higher battery consumption is used due to the application doing processing on the device, rather than the web.

A UDID is an acronym used for Unique Device ID. It is a feature of Apple iPhones and their other devices. Each individual Apple device has their own ID that is being fetched by Apple servers. When testing a new mobile application on an Apple device we need a UDID from the iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Finding your UDID is a simple process, all you will need is an internet connection, and a few minutes.

How to find your Apple Device's UDID
  1. First, go to https://get.udid.io/ on your device, then select the “Tap to find UDID” button located at the top of the screen.
  2. You will then be prompted to accept a configuration file. This file allows the site to read the device information from your phone, so you’ll want to allow this.
  3. Next go to the Settings application, and at the top a “Profile Downloaded” option should now have appeared.
  4. Go into the “Profile Downloaded” menu, and in the top right, press install and accept the prompt which appears.
  5. Once this is complete, you can then go back to https://get.udid.io/ and your UUID will appear. You then have the option to view all the information gathered, or the option to email it.

Does your web page look out of sorts following a recent update? Or perhaps an old image is still showing despite the fact you’ve been told it has been updated?

A hard refresh may be needed.

Please take a look at the infographic below. This details how to do a hard refresh in the most common browsers – Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari — on both Windows and Mac.

Browser caching is useful for web browsing in that it allows for page that you’ve visited previously to load much more quickly. Modern browsers like Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari tend to cache front-end resources like JavaScript and style sheets (CSS) to increase web application and website performance.

While enhancing performance is usually a great thing, cached resources can cause problems when you have a major change to a web application’s JavaScript or style sheets.

Sometimes, the only way to see updates is by doing a hard refresh or by clearing the entire cache of the browser.

Adobe Flash Player was the browser plug-in that brought rich animations and interactivity to the early websites.

Originally released in 1996, “Flash” was one of the most popular ways for people to stream videos and play games online but it was plagued with security problems and failed the tranistion into smartphones which ultimately has led to its demise.

Adobe (who made Flash) will no longer offer security updates for Flash and has urged people to uninstall it. It will also stop videos and animations running in its Flash Player from 12 January.

In 2009 Adobe said Flash was installed on 99% of internet-connected desktop PCs and Laptops and was used on 70% of all websites in some form.

You can find out more from the BBC’s article.

Google Cloud has acquired a London-based startup called Dataform that builds tools to manage data flows for enterprise customers.

The company is described as an “operating system” for data warehouses and some of its co-founders are ex-Google employees. Its platform aims to help data-rich businesses draw insights by mining data stored in warehouses.

This is something that usually requires a team of engineers and analysts, but the Dataform system is about making the process simpler and cheaper for organisations.

Under the terms of the deal, Dataform will continue to operate under its management and focus on BigQuery. The Dataform Web will also be made free for all new users from now on with customers transitioned to the free plan immediately.

What is two-factor authentication? 

Breaking it down to the most simple explanation, it’s basically adding a second layer of protection to your account, app or system to go alongside your regular method of logging in. In most instances, this involves receiving a code by SMS to your mobile number, but increasingly apps and services are sending a confirmation number to your device as a notification instead. Sometimes you can just tap the notification to approve the login. More commonly though, emails are sent containing the 6 digit code which you then use alongside your normal username/email and password.

How does two-factor authentication make your account more secure? 

The idea is that you’re adding a confirmatory step to your sign in attempt. Using the SMS example, it means no one can log into the account in question from a new device, even if they have your password. When using two-factor authentication via email, again it requires access to the email account associated with the platform you’re attempting to log in to.

When someone tries to log into your account from a new device, or even new browser, with your password, when they hit “enter” or “submit”, it’ll take them to a new screen asking for a code. This code has been sent to the registered mobile number as an SMS, a notifications via an app or to your email account. 

Some apps that use notifications also send you a code. But increasingly, apps are just sending a notification to your key devices so you can just confirm it was you signing in (in ther words, there’s no code)

Does two-step authentication always need a mobile number? 

As an example, WhatsApp can’t use your mobile number as its second verification method, because that’s the primary method for logging in. So instead, it asks you for a six-digit PIN number every so often, or when you log in from a new smartphone. 

While Apple does use SMS verification for iCloud account security, it also uses its “Trusted Devices” method. Using this method, it sends a four-digit code directly to a trusted and verified device, which then pops up in a little window on the screen once you unlock your iPhone or iPad. 

Where SMS isn’t used there’s often the option of getting a two-factor authentication code from a dedicated app like Google Authenticator. These sorts of apps simply offer access to a time-sensitive code that changes after a given period of time and so is constantly secure but gives you quick and easy access to your account. 

What if I’ve lost my phone? 

Most services – as mentioned – offer more than just the phone number SMS method for logging in. Nearly all of them will offer you the ability to generate backup codes or, like Apple, give you a recovery key that’s a really long chain of letters and numbers which you can input instead of using your password and SMS code.

Be sure to set up a recovery key, and store it somewhere safe like in a password-protected document and/or secure password app. 

Is it worth it? 

Yes. Absolutely. Once it’s set up it only adds one extra step to logging into your account from a new device or browser.

It’s always worth doing and failing to do so can often lead you open to privacy nightmares. An revealed just how dangerous this can be. There have been several reports of incidents where owners of smart home cameras have had their devices hacked and been spied upon by criminals simply because they failed to use a secure password and activate two-factor authentication.

On the off-chance that someone has got your password, and tries to get into your account, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they can’t get in without also having your phone (or access to your email account) which – even if they have – is likely locked and protected behind a password, pattern or fingerprint scan. 

To add further privacy, there are settings within Android and iOS to ensure that you can stop SMS notifications from showing up on a lock screen. Just head to Settings > Notifications and select which apps you want to have display information on the lock screen, or choose to hide sensitive information (on Android).

More information can be found on PocketLint

Sales at Domino’s were up 19% in the three months to September, compared to the same period in 2014, thanks to one simple change to the way that they do business.

The company grew its online ordering business – through its website, an app and even the Apple Watch. So far this year, three-quarters of Domino pizza orders were made online and half of those orders have come through the company’s app or digital devices.

That’s boosted sales by 19 per cent across the group and 20 per cent in the UK exclusively, to £214.5 million in sales across the group, £200 million of which were in the UK.

Domino’s said good summer sales were helped by cooler weather, which saw people shunning barbeques and ordering pizza instead.

Domino’s mobile technology puts it far ahead of rivals. Last year it introduced a Siri-like voice recognition system to take orders through its app and earlier this year it introduced ordering via Pebble and Android smart watches.

iPhone and iPad users are being warned that some apps may experience issues because Apple only gave us (app developers) just one day’s notice of the release of the next itteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 14. Thanks yet again for the advanced notice Tim!

Chief executive Tim Cook revealed on Tuesday 14th Sep that iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 would launch on Wednesday 15th Sep. Last year, Apple announced the release date more than a week in advance which in our opinion is still not long enough!

We do not have enough time to check for bugs and submit the latest version of our apps to the Apple App Store and we’re not alone! Much larger companies such as Nintendo have also felt the pain, they have warned gamers that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will not launch after the update.

Nintendo have advised players to delay installing the new operating systems until later this month and we would like to follow suit and advise our customers and their users to do the same.

We’re really starting to dislike Apple now!

Aside from being hit with this out of nowhere and given no time to resubmit our apps, us and many in the community have already voiced concerns over the 30% cut the firm takes from sales and its sometimes closed and unhelpful review process. The issue even overshadowed Apple’s WWDC conference earlier in the year, when it became involved in a high-profile public row with the creators of a new email app called Hey.

More recently, a clash with the games developer Epic has led to Apple device owners being unable to get the latest version of Fortnite or install the game at all from scratch. Apple’s restrictions on third-party games platforms have also been criticised by Microsoft, and led to iPhone and iPad users being unable to play Xbox games on the devices, despite them being made available to Android.

iOS 14’s new features… new or just following Android?

iOS 14 has had a significant overhaul to Apple’s user interface.Widgets can be added to home screens to display the weather, time, stock prices or other information at a glance, and the selection can be set to change according to the time of day (sounds like Android OS to us?)

Apps can be automatically arranged into themed folders to make it easier for users to find their favourite services. And videos and Facetime calls can be made to appear in a small box that floats above the app in use, rather than taking up the full screen which will actually be quite useful.

In addition, there is also apparently:

  • a new Translation app
  • new cycling directions in Maps
  • new ways to customise the cartoon-like Memoji owners can use as avatars

iPad owners also gain new features for the Apple Pen, including the automatic conversion of handwriting into text and shape recognition.

There are also a bunch of security and platform updates for us to work our way through! We’re happy the new version iOS is out and that is got some great features but next time Apple, give us a bit more notice (oh, and reduce the 30% AppStore cut, thanks!)

Samsung has tackled one of the biggest criticisms of its original folding-screen smartphone by giving the new version a much bigger external display for use when it is closed. The original Galaxy Fold’s “cover screen” was a relatively small 4.6in, leading to claims it was fiddly to use. By contrast, the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s external screen is 6.2in – the same as the best-selling Galaxy S20.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2

Despite this, Samsung’s focus will be on its new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra phones. Both deliver 5G connectivity, but otherwise represent a more modest revision to their predecessors than the change in the Fold.

The Ultra offers the benefits of a larger screen – 6.9in versus 6.7in – which is also capable of showing up to 120 frames per second, double the rate of the basic model. Samsung suggests this should make it more attractive to gamers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Other changes centre around the stylus and include:

  • faster response times when using the S Pen, to help make writing and drawing feel more natural
  • the addition of five S Pen off-screen gestures to control the device, including flicking to the left in the air to go back a page and a shake to take a screenshot
  • handwriting recognition that automatically straightens scribbled text

Additional new features include the ability to stream video to a compatible TV while continuing to let the handset be used for other tasks – similar to the AirPlay function on Apple’s iPhone.

And files can now be transferred wirelessly by pointing one of the phones at another “ultra-wideband-enabled” device, similar to the way Apple’s AirDrop and Huawei’s Share OneHop work.

The Note 20 will start at £849 and the Note 20 Ultra at £1,179 when they go on sale on 21 August 2020.

You can find out more about the Note 20 and Fold 2 at sumsung.co.uk

1. Text Highlights and Underlines

There’s always been an unwritten rule in website design that text uses more plain styles. Bold is acceptable, italics are OK from time to time, but underlining is seldom used. This design trend bucks that concept with text elements that use highlighter or underline elements to emphasize key words. And it works rather nicely.

What it takes to make this work is plenty of contrast and a design style that fits with underline or highlighted elements.

This design trend works thanks to clear intention. The words are obviously important to the overall meaning of the design or what visitors should take away from the content.

2. Distinct Geometry

Geometric shapes in website design have popped up as trending elements in a variety of forms. This iteration is pretty simple: Use of distinct geometry as part of the overall aesthetic.

Geometry might pair with illustrations, photos, text, or in the background or foreground. What’s great about shapes is that they are versatile and work with a lot of other design patterns.

What can be the most challenging about shapes and design is that distinct geometry requires some space and thought. Just tossing a few triangles or rectangles in a design without reason can look rather strange.

3. Shadow and Gradient Icons

Did you notice all the gradients and subtle shadows in icons in the images previewing iOS 14 or were you just looking at other changes (such as widgets) on the iPhone screen? We’ve been seeing more designers incorporating more shadows and depth into icons for a while, but this move by a major player in design will push it to the forefront fast. Each of the icons moves from a flat style to one with a background gradient color as well as more shadows within icon elements for depth.

Don’t worry, the design still looks very much like Apple, but is a little more reminiscent of the skeuomorphism style icons from earlier versions of iOS.

It’s nice that the color and shadow elements are contained within each icon. This creates more visual interest and depth for each element without getting cluttered or junky. The gradients are also super simple, using a darker version of the main color in a monotone element.