Why Are Mobile App Developers Avoiding Windows Phone 8

Many experts considers Windows Phone 8 as a solid mobile operating system that possesses all the features, functionalities and qualities required to compete with the popular mobile platforms launched by Apple and Google. But many reports have highlighted how the popularity of the Microsoft mobile operating system is being affected due to lack of adequate apps. There are also a number of reasons because of why mobile application developers are avoiding the new mobile platform. It is time for Microsoft to identify these reasons to encourage more developers to build mobile apps by targeting Windows Phone 8.

5 Reasons Why Mobile Application Developers Avoid Windows Phone 8

top mobile app development companies1. Popularity and Market Share of the Mobile Operating System
Each enterprise wants to get the maximum ROI by launching apps by targeting the right mobile platform. Mobile application always developers choose a mobile platform according to its recent popularity and market share. Despite a steady increase in the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones, the market share of Windows Phone 8 has increased by less than 2%. So the Microsoft mobile operating system will take some time to challenge popular mobile platforms like IOS and Android. The lower market share also discourages developers to build apps by targeting Windows Phone 8.

2. Lack of Powerful Development Tools
Most developers use customized tools and frameworks to rapidly build robust applications. The popularity of Android and IOS has encouraged many third-party companies to launch and update mobile application development tools. But the Windows Phone 8 developers have options to choose from a limited number of development tools. Microsoft has launched Visual Studio 2013 with a set of smart features and tools to help developers. So the developers now have options to use features like performance diagnostics and power usage monitoring to build apps rapidly. However, the developers still look for more innovative tools and frameworks.

3. Flaws in OS Design
Many reports have also highlighted a number of flaws in the design of Windows Phone 8. For instance, the mobile version of Internet Explorer lacks a forward navigation button. Further, the user does not have any option to set Google as his default search engine. The inefficient GPS navigation option provided by the operating system also makes it complicated and time-consuming for the users to find a place. The mobile OS also does not send effective notification about mails and other message. As most apps use the inbuilt features of the smartphone to optimize user experience, the minor flaws often discourage them to develop apps for Windows Phone 8.

4. Additional Security Considerations
Most mobile applications use third-party apps and interfaces to deliver improved user experience. Similar to other mobile operating systems, Windows Phone 8 also comes with large collection of security controls. But the programmers have to exercise additional care and caution to ensure that the third-party apps remain fully secure and inaccessible. There are always chances that the third-party apps will be exposed to higher risk due to minor mistakes and lapses. As the Microsoft mobile platform is comparatively new, developers do not have option to access a large collection of documentation and resources. So they have to put some additional time and effort to ensure the security of the third-party applications.

5. No Support for Widely Used Technologies
A constant increase is noted in the enterprises launching several versions of the same app by targeting different mobile platforms. Most developers explore options to develop the apps rapidly by using some of the most popular and widely used technologies. They can develop apps for Windows Phone 8 by using either native languages like WinRT or C++, or managed languages like C#. But currently developers do not have any option to develop mobile apps for this platform by using widely used technologies like JavaScript and HTML5. So developer must learn how to build feature-rich applications for Windows Phone 8 using platform APIs. They also need to access the large developer documentation to understand and use the APIs correctly.

Despite many app developers avoiding Windows Phone 8, nobody can deny the fact that the mobile operating system is still capable of challenging iOS and Android. There are also chances that developers will start developing apps for this platform after a substantial increase in its share in the smartphone market.

You can hire programmers from top mobile app development companies in India who can help you build mobile apps within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile application development services. If you would like to speak to one of our expert iPhone app developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

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What Analytics Can Do for Your Mobile App?

Enterprises often explore innovative ways to keep its consumers engaged. With more and more companies investing in mobile application development, the apps can, nowadays, be used as a medium to evaluate and deliver user experience. Similar to websites, the performance and usage of the mobile apps also needs to be constantly monitored to deliver the experience expected by consumer. Each business also has option to track the performance of its business app using several mobile app analytic tools.

Along with free tools like Google’s Mobile App Analytics, and paid tools like Adobe Analytics Suite, an enterprise also has option to opt for specially designed analytic tools like Playtomic, Localytics and Flurry. However, it is also important for a company to evaluate the pros and cons of different analytic tools, and choose the one that complements its application’s requirements and usage. If you are planning to monitor, measure and evaluate the performance of your mobile application using these analytic tools, it is time to understand how the tools can contribute towards making your business application popular.

What Analytics Can Do for Your Mobile App?

Check the Actual Usage of Your Mobile App
expert mobile app developersMost enterprises evaluate the popularity of their apps based on number of downloads. But it is also important to a business to understand if the apps are actually being used by customers. The analytic tools will help you in understanding if the app is actually being used, along with the nature of the usage and the number of customers uninstalling it. As the usage of the app is essential for retaining customers, you can use the analytic data to engage users, and convince them to download the updated version of the application.

Optimize the Mobile App Marketing Strategy
Each enterprise chooses the feature and functionality of the app according to the latest trends in user demand. But there are always chances that some of the features need improvement to deliver better user experience. The mobile app analytics will help you in identifying the features that must be improved to make your app more popular. Further, the information will help you promoting your application properly by identifying the bottlenecks that prevent a user from downloading it. You can even modify your mobile app marketing strategy, and eliminate the ineffective promotional techniques.

Identify the Features that Keep the Users Engaged
An enterprise also needs to learn what feature or aspects of its app are having a huge impact on users. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of its app, a business can easily explore options to deliver improved user experience. Along with the features that need improvement, the mobile application analytics will further help you in identifying the features or aspects of the app that get more response from users. The understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your app will help you in releasing its updated version.

Keep Track of Your Competitors
Some mobile app analytic tools are designed with specific features to offer market data. However, an enterprise has to incur some additional expenses to avail these analytics providers. The market data provided by the analytics tool will make it simpler for the user to understand performance of similar applications in the app store in terms of number of downloads and price. An enterprise can further evaluate the market data to identify the strengths and weaknesses of competitors’ marketing strategies. It can even consider offering discounts to make the app more popular by beating competition.

Calculate Return on Your Investment
Each business has to invest some amount of time, effort and fund to build and promote a mobile application. So each enterprise needs to track the ROI, along with exploring options to get higher returns. The mobile app analytic tools help users in taking informed decisions based on a wider view of the mobile application’s performance. In addition to measuring the performance of your mobile app, the analytic data can also be used to manage the application efficiently. The timely availability of the detailed and significant information will further help you in implementing the right strategy to get higher ROI.

The mobile app analytic tools are also effective in tracking and evaluating the performance of your application across different mobile platforms. So it becomes easier to build a popular brand by delivering consistent user experience across multiple mobile operating systems.

You can hire mobile app programmers from top mobile app development companies in India who can help you build mobile apps within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile app development services. If you would like to speak to one of our expert mobile app developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

7 Beautiful Mobile UI’s for Your Prototyping Needs

The rapid advancement in communication technologies has made mobile devices an inseparable part of modern lifestyle. But the rapid technological developments and frequently changing user choices have made it a daunting challenge for enterprises to launch applications that will become popular within a very short span of time. Along with exploring fresh and innovative mobile application development ideas, it has also become essential for a business to evaluate its prototyping needs.

Before investing in a project, the developers must create mockups to check and optimize the interaction between end users and their designs. A proper mobile prototyping strategy can further contribute towards both time and resources. The developers also have options to pick from a large collection of Mobile user interfaces (UIs) based on specific mobile operating systems and their prototyping needs. Some of these UIs further make it easier for programmers to avail the advantages of the latest technologies like HTML5 and Cloud computing.

7 Widely Used Mobile Devices Prototyping Uis

1) Prototyping on Paper (POP)
Many developers still prefer UI sketches on paper. The simple yet powerful application for iOS enables such programmers to capture the UI sketches using their iPhone cameras, and add touch links to the captured sketches in an instant. Further, the sketched prototype can be published within the app, while receiving feedback from others. The free app also makes it easier for designers to avoid complexities by adopting a lean UI process.

POP

2) Solidify
You can use Solidify to create clickable prototypes from your wireframe, sketches or mockup. The tool further enables you to carry out user tests in person to validate user flows on specific mobile devices. Also, you have options to carry out the test remotely, and receive the required feedback from testers. Along with conducting a variety of user tests, the tool further complements your prototyping needs by validating interactions and providing unbiased results.

Solidify

3) InVision
The prototyping and collaboration application is designed to meet the prototyping needs of a distributed team. InVision comes with a set of tools required to share a single mockup in an instant, or to demonstrate a complex mobile app. The tools further make it easier for you to connect your digital wireframes, UX sketches and high-fidelity designs, in addition to sharing the details with you team. At the same time, you can use these features to create and make presentations.

invision

4) Proto
It is one of the most advanced prototyping tools that support animation. So you can use the tool to optimize your designs, mockups or wireframes by incorporating touch events, animations and rich media. At the same time, the prototype can also be tested thoroughly by simulating exact user behaviors by rotating, tapping or swiping the app. Also, you have option to share the prototype easily with other members of your team, and receive their feedback.

proto

5) AppCooker
The paid tool can be used by developers to create mockups, while making their applications ready for Apple App Store. Along with integrating with Box.net and DropBox, you can further import icons and user interface assets directly into the prototyping tool. Further, the tool enables you to access the complete collection of default Apple UI controls. However, the tool is currently available only for iPad. You have to use its companion app called AppTaster that is designed for iPhone and iPod touch.

appcooker

6) FluidUI
Despite being designed as a multi-platform web app, FluidUI is still simple and easy-to-use. You can use the prototyping tool to rapidly design, develop, test and share mobile user interfaces. It also comes with the tools and elements required to develop applications for popular mobile platforms like iOS, Android and Windows phones. Also, you have option to use the Google Chrome version of the tool to avail these features offline.

fluid

7) MakeAppIcon
Many reports have highlighted how the popularity of an app can be impacted by its icon. Along with designing a high resolution icon, you also need to ensure that it complements the specific requirements of the mobile device. As a web script, MakeAppIcon enables you to optimize an icon with the maximum resolution of 1024×1024 according to Apple’s guidelines related to retina and similar features of the devices. Despite being simple and easy-to-use, MakeAppIcon is still effective in saving the amount of time required to resize the icon manually according to Apple’s specific requirements.

makeappicon

In addition to the mobile UIs, the developers also have option to use a wide variety of templates and tools. They can further explore options to use a single mobile user interface technology that works seamlessly across multiple mobile platforms and devices.

You can hire programmers from top mobile app development companies in India who can help you build mobile apps within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide mobile application development services. If you would like to speak to one of our expert iPhone app developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

The essence of Value-Based Care

healthcare software development servicesThat healthcare is changing at a fast pace is a reality all the stakeholders are coming to terms with. Irrespective of their preferences, they are left without a choice but to adapt. The transition taking place is evolving it from being proficiency-based art to a data-driven science. Physicians are shifting from being freelancers to being employed by hospitals. The delivery methods are changing from being one-size-fits-all community hospitals to vast hospital networks which are organized around centers of excellence. There is however, a certain level of criticism from the provider community towards this demand for change – almost to the extent of being reluctant to accept it. This could well be the result of their realization that the shift will finally result in better care outcomes for patient and less inflow of money for them. This is where the fraternity needs to take a step back and look at what lies at the core of their profession – that of helping people overcome their health related ailments. One cannot deny the fact that the profession has a certain degree of nobility attached to it. As much as it is important for physicians to gain financially, the overriding factor which draws people to take up this profession is expected to be a deep desire to serve humanity by curing people of their health related problems. Infact the ones who have realized it and connect to it are eagerly looking forward to days where they would have satisfied patients with lower expenses and they would be proud of their work. The tension which now exists between patients and physicians does not please the majority of the people in the profession and they would expect the new model to give way to trust and happiness for the providers. This is not to say that physicians are expected to lead lives of monks with no desire to gain financially from their services but to let money play the most important role in the system would be going against the core tenets of the profession.

In order to emphasize on this shift in focus from a volume to a value based care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incorporated value-based purchasing rules which tied acute care Medicare reimbursement of hospitals to quality performance starting in the year 2012. To give this approach a push, 1% of the payments under Medicare for 2012 was put aside and later given away as bonuses to those hospitals which scored above a certain score in some identified measures. Patient satisfaction was the determining factor for about 30% of the incentive payments while the rest 70% was based upon improved clinical outcomes. Noticing the positive difference the approach brought about, a further modification was brought in that resulted in enhancing the payment under the hospital value-based purchasing program (VBP) starting October of 2013. As per the new rule, there was an increase in the payment rates to general acute care hospitals by 0.9 percent, after allowing for other payment and regulatory changes. Although it was suppose to result in increasing the Medicare spending by approximately 175 million, its real benefit was the thrust it was expected to provide towards the adoption of a value based model. There are also penalties in place for hospitals for excess readmission for certain ailments like heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia unless they are planned ones. Also, moving forward there are likely to be more such rules in place to penalize hospitals for conditions acquired during the course of treatment. These steps are intended to bring about more focus towards infection control and prevention.

As much as the reasons appear compelling for moving to a value-based model, early experiments have shown mixed results. The success of value-based approach is hinged on making everything measurable and quantifiable and this is precisely where the hurdles start. Each patient is unique and so the impact of the same disease on a population is not going to be similar. With some patients, things might get a bit more complex resulting in higher expenses. Regardless of whatever incentives are created to make it move faster, a complete shift to this new model will take time. This is going to be driven primarily by the need to bring about some changes in the overall setup. For instance, it has to first and foremost start with getting the buy-in from physicians who are willing to embrace this approach. Furthermore, a successful transition from volume to value will require investment in advanced analytics and clinical information to evaluate performance data, as well as holding all stakeholders – clinicians, staff and patients, accountable for quality improvements.

We provide healthcare application testing & healthcare software development services. If you would like to speak to one of our certified software developers, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

Everything a .Net Developer Wants to Know about VS2013

The Visual Studio 2013 has been incorporated with a number of brand new features with the intention of enhancing the productivity of this integrated development environment. The features, some of which are absolutely new and others- extensions of the productivity power tools- are meant to save time and efforts on part of the developers too. Now, using the VS2013 and deriving the maximum benefits out of it requires the .net developers to stay aware of certain aspects of this development environment introduced by Microsoft.

Here is a thorough overview of the features that have been newly introduced and that the developers should be aware of:

Introduction of CodeLens

asp.net application developmentCodeLens is often considered to be one of the best features introduced in the Visual Studio in the last few years. Being an altogether new feature, CodeLens demands the developers to learn about it in details. CodeLens can be enabled from the options dialog while one can also enable specific information offered by this innovative feature. Useful information including that of the reference counter is aligned with the code editor. Now, each of the class contains information such as that of the reference number, code changes, test methods, time changes and so on. It has to be remembered in this respect that the CodeLens can also be combined with the CodeMap for more effective use.

Enhancement of the Scrollbar

The enhanced scrollbar has now been made a part of the Visual Studio 2013. This feature, which had initially come up as a popular productivity power tool extension, provides developers with visual cues about the file on the vertical scrollbar. The scrollbar markers, on the other hand, allows viewing of the location of errors, bookmarks, breakpoints, warning and so on right on the file. The idea is to make information easily accessible for all as, one does not need to move away from the present position to gather information about the various other parts of the files.

Incorporation of Peek Definition

Clicking on some type brings the developers to a new option, called ‘Peek Definition’ and this offers them with another window while also displaying information about the chosen type. The incorporation of the Peek Definition was with the purpose of letting the developers stay in context of the respective codes even at the time of browsing through definitions.

The feature saves a lot of time as, the developers can now go through the definitions without losing track of the particular code, on which they happen to be working at the moment. You are also not required to leave the original file. The Peek View in the VS2013 is read only although attempts are being made to enable editing of this feature too.

Auto Brace Complete Option

The auto brace complete feature enables automatic addition of quotes, braces, brackets and closing parenthesis just as the developer types the code in the Editor. The auto brace complete option is yet another feature that worked as the productivity power tool and is now included in the VS2013. Alongside, specialized completions for the various languages like C++ and so on have also been added.

While the above-mentioned ones are the features that the developers must be conscious about when it comes to using the VS2013, there are few more that adds to the efficiency of the integrated development environment. These are

  • JavaScript navigational dropdowns
  • EcmaScript 6 Support
  • New HTML editor
  • Browser link
  • URL rewrite intellisense in web.config
  • Open sourcing web essentials
  • Few CSS/Less trics

Keeping all these features in mind certainly would help developers during .Net web development.

We provide asp.net application development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our certified .net developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

How to use the new CORS support in Web API 2

Many exciting new features have been enabled in ASP.NET Web API 2. This framework enables easy building of HTTP services which will reach many clients across a broad spectrum including mobile devices as well as browsers. The addition of several features has idealized this platform.

Some of the most remarkable features are attribute routing(on top of convention-based routing), Open Web Interface for .NET or OWIN self hosting, Web API Odata, IhttpActionResult and the most significant is the Cross Origin Resource Sharing which has taken the cyber world by storm.

asp.net developersCORS is the short form of Cross-Origin Resource Sharing; this standard allows web pages the ability of making Ajax requests to other domains. Same-origin policy which has been implemented on browsers is relaxed; previously this policy limited calls to be just within same domain with cross-domain calls not being allowed. CORS defines the interaction of the browser along with server so that cross origin calls can be made. API supports this in its 2nd version and it is compliant with standards of W3C.

CORS is already supported by majority of modern browsers. But if we want to enable support for API services, first of all we will be needing a few assemblies to ensure that this is done smoothly. We will need System.Web.Cors.dll which is not dependent on System.Web.Http.dll or System.Web.dll and contains core CORS library; System.Web.Http.Cors.dll which contains CORS enabling library on Web API which is dependent on System.Web.Http.dll as well as System.Web.Cors.dll.

When upgrading and installing the package from nightly builds, the first thing that you have to do is create new API project by starting with new template.

Since you do not need Microsoft.AspNet.Mvc.FixedDisplayModes package, the second step is to uninstall it. In fact uninstalling this is necessary as you will be prevented from updating to recent nightly build.

The 3rd step is installing Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.Cors package from nightly builds. Set the package source and it will enable you to see CORS package.

After that, the 4th step is to fix binding redirects that are there in web.config, otherwise there will be errors. which is existing must be replaced which will enable the smooth running of the applications.

After that you can try it out by browsing test clients available on some sites and making a fast cross-origin request. You will find Test APIs and all you have to do is click there and paste the URL on your API. Click “Send” and it will show request failed since CORS is not enabled on API by default. Now you have to enable CORS by calling config.EnableCors (new EnableCorsAttribute()). Now you have enabled CORS for all controllers and all origins will be allowed.

While we enable this a few scenarios should be considered. While enabling this, HttpConfiguration has a new method of extension added to it which will enable global support per action or per controller.

When calling EnableCors, global settings can be defined. For example we can enable the sharing globally which will allow all headers, origins and methods. EnableCorsAttribute has many settings which are easy to configure. The controller can be scoped with the support as well. You just have to call EnableCors without the provision of a global setting. Then the EnableCorsAttribute can be declared so that the controller is enabled with the support. It can also be enabled on single action in a similar manner.

An action or controller can be excluded from EnableCors as well simply by using DisableCors attribute. Custom IcorsPolicyProvider can be implemented as well so that policies or settings related to the support from other sources can be loaded dynamically.

One thing to remember when testing this with IE is that the port is not considered by IE as part of Security Identifer or the origin which is used for enforcement of Same Origin Policy. So test clients and Web API on different local hosts will hinder cross-origin requests.

You can hire asp.net developers from top .net application development companies in India who can help you build ASP.NET applications within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide .net application development services. If you would like to discuss with an expert .net web developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.