App happy: Mobile apps keep small businesses efficient and on the go

With all the buzz surrounding business use of "cloud computing," you might think the concept of conducting business anywhere -- on the road, in the board room, on a soccer field or in the gym -- was a new one. But small-business owners have been working on the go for decades. The arrival of mobile apps has just made things a little easier for them.

"A decade ago, an entrepreneur might have worked through her son's Little League game with a laptop balanced on her knees and then downloaded her completed work when she got back to the office," says Michael Alter, president and CEO of SurePayroll Inc. "Now, she can complete tasks such as running payroll or cutting paychecks on the spot, wherever she is, using the right mobile app and her smartphone."

If you're a small-business owner looking to make your mobile devices even more useful for business, consider these types of apps that can help:

Payroll/paycheck apps:

SurePayroll users can download a payroll app for either their Apple or Android devices. The app allows small-business owners to pay employees; track earnings, deductions, work hours, vacation, sick and personal time; set a check date; view payroll summary reports; access employee contact information; and run payroll with a single click. Taxes are paid and filed automatically. The Mobile Paycheck app allows employees to securely view current and past paychecks online from their Apple devices.

Pinterest Buys Rights to Fleksy App Development Team

The company behind the popular Pinterest image-sharing Web site is pinning its own interest on the emerging world of predictive keyboards. Pinterest Inc. announced this week that it has bought portions of the company behind the smart keyboard app Fleksy. Under the terms of the deal, about half of Fleksy’s staff will join Pinterest, including founder and CEO Kosta Eleftheriou. The intellectual property underlying the technology behind the Fleksy keyboard was not part of the transaction. No other details about the transaction were released.

"It’s a bit of nostalgic timing as this month marks four years since Fleksy first launched in the iOS store as a standalone app for our wonderful community of blind users -- at a time when 3rd party keyboards were not yet supported on the platform," Fleksy wrote on its blog.

Lookalike Targeting

Pinterest didn't specifically say what kind of potential applications it might have in mind for the Fleksy team, but it did indicate that the Fleksy team might help it build its visual search engine via Fleksy's expertise in mobile engineering.

"Pinterest is intensely focused on refining the mobile experiences that make it possible to flow effortlessly through our catalog of ideas -- on any device, any place in the world," stated Scott Goodson, Pinterest’s head of core experience. "The Fleksy team is made up of truly noteworthy engineers and world experts in their areas. These technical artists have a history of developing architecturally innovative, highly optimized software."

Marketing your products or services via mobile app development

Today I would like to talk about mobile apps in combination with business, and why you should consider building a mobile app for marketing your own product or services.

In case you are still not sure why anyone would want to build their own mobile platform, here are the top seven reason why you should consider building a mobile app for marketing your own product or services.

If you think that mobile apps are solely for big name brands like Walmart and Bank of America, you are wrong. More and more small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website.

In fact, these days you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app — be it the corner coffee shop or the beauty spa downtown. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level.

Kids Aged 12, 13 Yrs Develop Mobile App On Social Issues

BENGALURU: They may be all of 12 and 13 years of age, but two city-based students have developed an Android social application 'vPledge' that was unveiled here today. 


Priyal Jain and Prateek Mahesh have devised the app, through which people can pledge to take up causes like conserving nature, donating meals, feeding stray dogs, using public transport and ensuring better health, hygiene or education. 

This was after an exposure to Android for Kids at a technology summer camp hosted by AcadGild, the company said in a release. 

Through the vPledge app, an individual can make a pledge such as planting 10 trees. 

On successful completion of a pledge, vPledgers, as the app's users are called, are allowed to share the accomplishment on social media channels, tag friends, challenge them and also grab points that can be redeemed. 

Google Steps Up Pressure on Partners Tardy in Updating Android

Getting phone makers and carriers to update to the latest version of Android has been one of the thorniest challenges facing Google as it tries to widen the use of its mobile software and generate more sales from its apps and web services.

Now, Google is getting serious about remedying what ails Android, and it’s using both carrots and sticks to get partners to keep the world’s most popular mobile operating system more up to date.

The issue -- a mishmash of different smartphones running outdated software lacking the latest security and features -- has plagued Android since its debut in 2007. But Google has stepped up its efforts recently, accelerating security updates, rolling out technology workarounds and reducing phone testing requirements. 

The Alphabet Inc. unit is also getting tougher, drawing up rankings that could shame some phone makers into better behavior, according to people familiar with the situation.

Keeping Android fresh and unified is crucial because that’s how Google delivers its money-making search engine and new offerings, like the Daydream virtual reality system, in an increasingly mobile world. This only works when phone makers and wireless carriers quickly update devices to newer versions of the operating system. 

7 Reasons for taking assistance from custom mobile app development service providers

These days, smartphones have replaced PCs and laptops in such a way that people don’t prefer to do online work on them. Instead, they use smartphones and tablets. Mobile technology also advances as the number of mobile users increases. In such scenario, it is difficult for companies to say ‘no’ to it. In order to leverage the benefits of mobility, enterprises all over the world adapt the concept of enterprise mobility.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept of enterprise mobility capitalizes on mobile technology advancements. Companies can just install “off-the-shelf” apps on employees’ devices to gain benefits from those advancements.  Such apps can serve many purposes like:

In brief, tailor-made mobile apps become the necessity for the companies. Numerous companies come forward with mobile apps these days; as a result, it is necessary for newcomers to take assistance from custom mobile app development service providers.

The Explanation Behind The High Costs Of App Development

Why is app development so expensive?

I get this question a lot, and it often comes from a shell-shocked CEO or CIO who discovers his five-figure-budget project ends up being six or even seven figures. That’s crazy. Why is app development so expensive?

The easiest explanation is that apps are cheap; it’s the engineering and design talent that’s expensive. If you look in the App Store, you’ll see over a million different apps. These were all built by independent developers, yet the bulk of these apps will never earn a penny.

Using Hundreds of Developers

A different set of apps serves as the foundations of million- and billion-dollar businesses. Solo developers typically don’t build these apps; instead they’re built by teams of developers and designers. These teams range in size from nimble three-person teams to large enterprise organizations that employ hundreds of engineers.

Udemy says interest in Android, iOS app development skyrocketed after I/O and WWDC 2015

As Google and Apple have developer conferences on the horizon, app development is at the forefront. According to Udemy, interest has never been higher; it notes enrollment upticks for both its iOS and Android development courses.

On the Android side, Udemy says it has seen 925,000 enrollments all time, in over 300 courses. Since Google I/O last year, there has been a 68 percent rise in people wanting to learn how to build apps.

For iOS, Udemy has over one million enrollments to its 400 courses, and a 59 percent increase since WWDC of last year.

Spark 2.0 Will Be Faster, Easier for App Development, and Tackle Streaming Data

It only makes sense that as the community of Spark contributors got bigger the project would get even more ambitious. So when Spark 2.0 comes out in a matter of weeks it’s going to have at least three robust new features, according to Ion Stoica, the founder of Databricks and keynote speaker at Apache Big Data in Vancouver on Tuesday afternoon.

“Spark 2.0 is about taking what has worked and what we have learned from the users and making it even better,” Stoica said.

Queries will be more performant - the goal is 10x faster - through the success of Project Tungsten, an ongoing effort which set out to improve the efficiency of memory and CPU for applications. The three ways it’s succeeded is through cache-aware computation that uses algorithms and data structures to exploit memory hierarchy, code generation to exploit modern compilers and CPUs, and using application semantics to eliminate memory getting bogged down on garbage collection and the JVM object model.

“The more semantics you know the better you can optimize the applications,” Stoica said.

Spark 2.0 will ship with even more components from Project Tungsten, which has been rolling out in pieces, across multiple releases, since Spark 1.4 about a year ago. 

Spark 2.0 will also feature improved APIs to make it “even easier” to write applications for Spark, a feature for the influx of data scientists that are now using Spark who aren’t necessarily full-blown developers and database admins. Part of this feature is the introduction of the Dataset API. Datasets are static typed extensions that use Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD)-like operations, and when added to Spark’s dataframes, it creates a best-of-both-worlds approach.