Top 5 Augmented Reality Apps for Smartphones

Top 5 Augmented Reality Apps for Smartphones

In recent years augmented reality (AR) has gained an appreciable popularity. It would not be a hyperbole to mention that the famous game Pokémon Go brought about a Tsunami in the field of AR. It’s not that AR is a new technology rather its first reference appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. Since then a great deal of work was done on this technology but it was in the last several years that this technology caught the massive attention of the IT industry. Originally it was used extensively in the entertainment and the gaming businesses, but now due to vast possibilities of AR, it is now being used in other industries as well.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) provides a composite view in which computer-generated images are superimposed on top of your view of reality. This composite view augments the real world by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities. The overlaid information is so interwoven with the physical world that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.

Augmented reality (AR) vs virtual reality (VR)

It is quite often that people think that AR and VR are nearly the same technology, but as these technologies are gaining popularity, knowing the difference between them becomes important. Where AR alters one’s ongoing perception of a real-world environment, VR completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with a simulated one. To be more clear, with VR you can land on the Moon and with AR you can place the Moon in your drawing room.

Although AR has been around for years, it was only with Android and iOS smartphones (equipped with GPS, camera, and AR capabilities) that AR went global. Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore provides developers a gateway towards developing AR-rich apps. The boost in the number of AR powered apps and their global acceptance provides huge business prospects for both developers and enthusiasts.

The present state of play in AR

AR is achieved through a variety of technological innovations which can be implemented on their own or in conjunction with each other. These include:

  • Processor, accelerometer, GPS, camera, mic… Smartphones are equipped with these (and many more) hardware components, which makes it that much easier to use it as an AR device. The number of components may vary from device to device, which in turn limits the AR rendering capability of the device.
  • Displays: Displays are vital to AR devices; optically projecting the AR rich data on a device’s screen, a HUD, eyeglass etc. is important. Several other display devices can be incorporated to project AR data, e.g. head-mounted displays, contact lenses, virtual retinal displays, EyeTap (a device which changes the rays of light captured from the environment and substitutes them with computer generated ones), and Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR – which uses ordinary projection techniques as a substitute for a display of any kind).
  • Sensors: GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, compasses, RFID, wireless sensors, touch recognition, speech recognition, eye tracking, and several other peripherals provide the capability to receive AR rich data.
  • Software: The software brings all the components together and assembles all the data and put it to meaningful use. Advanced software can efficiently use the AR capabilities of a device. There are Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) and SDKs which provide a platform for AR development.

Applications of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has found its way into our everyday lives through smart devices (e.g. smartphones). Its applications are as generic as decorating your room virtually to as advanced as practicing surgery in controlled environments. The gaming industry itself has incorporated AR based gaming to improve the experience of the community. For example, a tourist can use AR based apps to navigate around. They can also see details about museums and other places of interests in real-time. The applications of AR in commercial, educational, medical, military, etc. are unlimited.

Top 5 Augmented Reality Apps for Smartphones

The quality and usability of an AR app depends on its real-life application. Hence, instead of compiling a list of best AR apps, it’s better to have a look into the top AR apps around.

Top 5 Augmented Reality Apps for Smartphones - Parangat Technologies
  • Civilisations AR: Let’s start with the education industry. The BBC Civilisations AR app gives a lesson into historical artifacts in the luxury of your home. You can choose from more than 30 items in the catalog, and admire them. You can move, resize, and rotate each artifact anywhere as you wish. This app gives a sneak peek at the likely future of education in schools.
  • IKEA: Want to buy a piece of furniture from IKEA, but are unsure on how it will look in your room or will it actually fit? The new IKEA app lets you choose from a list of more than 2,000 items and locate them in your room as you see fit. The colors and size of each item is represented to its actual specification for each 3D model.
  • GIPHY: Video editing and sharing is a social trend. But, unfortunately, each of us are not skilled enough to work with sophisticated tools. With Giphy though, you can simply position GIFs on your videos as you record them. Painting and editing is easier or more fun with this AR powered app.
  • Pokémon GO: Catching Pokémon, running around the neighborhood, this game allowed players to catch Pokémon in the real world. This game took the industry by surprise on seeing unprecedented global acceptance from users. It was a huge success, and that says something about the impact of AR on our lives.
  • Google Lens: This application from Google has been under development for quite some time now. But, here’s the good news: it’s out. Through Google Lens, you can identify texts, objects, images, monuments, landmarks, and many much more. This app allows you to identify objects, texts, etc. in pictures. Just capture and leave the rest to Google to find it out for you.

Although there are a number of AR powered apps in the market, but AR’s future will always depend on the quality of the output that an end user receives, and AR has been quite successful in improving task efficiency. Although this technology has evolved to a great extent it has many more miles to go. In the coming years, more and more experts will be required who can successfully integrate AR with our daily life and then will the real challenge begin.

How to Plan Your Budget for App Development

How to Plan Your Budget for App Development

Introduction:

When it comes to developing an app for the mobile platform, the budget can be a quite serious consideration. Depending upon a number of factors, the budget for app development can be initially broken down into separate entities.

Budget Separation for Aapp Development - Parangat

Starting from scoping the market to cater to the needs of its potential users, to the final launch and then further marketing of the app. This process can be quite as vigorous as developing a business plan. To make this easier for you, we have divided into multiple stages each covering one step at a time:

1- Requirement Analysis
2- App Development Platform Selection
3- Outsourcing vs Inbuilt team
4- Integrated Features & Functional Analysis
5- App Submission
6- Marketing

Requirement Analysis

There are several things to do before you start building a mobile app. One of those is doing market research and finalizing what all things and resources you will need in the due course of app development process.

    • Finalize the vision of what your app is going to be and its scope and extent.
    • Based on upon, you will need to hire team members should you choose to go with your own team instead of outsourcing.
    • Whether you will need a web portal with it or backend development and customer support staff etc.

App Development Platform Selection

One of the major dilemmas of any app creator is what platform to go with and if both, then whether or not to go with hybrid apps or native apps. Both iOS and Android bring advantages and concerns of their own. Such as iOS users reportedly bring more revenue but the number of Android users worldwide are far more superior to them.

App Development Platform Selection - Parangat

Window/Blackberry platform doesn’t get as many such apps as it’s still not so much widely used and thus very fewer app owners choose to go with. As for whether android or ios, the choice totally depends on you. If you decide to go with native apps, then you will have to develop a separate app for both androids as well as iOS platform which will cost more but will cover more features and provide more functionality as well.

NATIVE vs WEB vs HYBRID: 7 FACTORS OF COMPARISON - Parangat

Hybrid apps, on the other hand, provide much fewer functions and incorporate fewer features due to less customization available. But, on the bright side, they cost less than both Android and iOS app development cost when combined. Some also choose to have a web app for their purpose, this number is very less as for now but is increasing with time.

Outsourcing vs Inbuilt Team

Building a team for each minor task that’s associated with your main project is not a wise idea, on the other hand, if you already have the resources and manpower, then outsourcing the task would be a foolishness.

Outsourcing vs Inbuilt Team - Parangat

These days almost every business in any industry wants its own industry but lacking its manpower, they prefer to outsource it to app development firms such as Parangat. A few of those who plan on creating large-scale apps and would in future require continuous upgrades and maintenance do this by hiring a team once and for all.

Benefits of Business Outsourcing - Parangat

Outsourcing such project works in the immediate future and is light on a budget as compared to hiring the team. But if you have got some long-term goals and may require further assistance regarding app development, it’s advised to build a great team.

Integrated Features & Functional Analysis

Its features and functions are what makes a user stay on the app for a long time. But, putting too many features which aren’t requisite or functions which are hardly used can not only make the app bulky and slow, they also cost quite a lot on the pocket unnecessarily.

Some main key features such as in-app purchases, social media integrations, cloud backup etc. are a few of these which are often in high demand but not completely necessary and can cost quite a lot.

Further, using the latest technology and building everything from scratch can cost quite a lot not to mention imperfect as well. There are many publicly free as well as paid SDK’s available which you can make use of for your app development.

App Submission

After the app is completely developed and beta tested for debugging, the next step is to submit it on an app store of your preferred choice. Each app store charges varies and could be either one-time or monthly. For android play store, it is 25$ while for iOS app store it is 99$. Windows apps have it at quite less and need to pay only 12$.

With the apple store being most strict for app submission, you can go through iOS app submission policies to prevent rejection of app. Windows offers individual and company accounts with both having respective pros and cons. Android being most popular is quite soft on this side and doesn’t ask for much.

Marketing

This is another huge section of your app development budget. You can make a cornerstone of an app but it’s of no use if you don’t get its reach to its potential user segment. Social media, press release, guest blog outreach etc these are just some of the ways in which you can market your app.

To get a further detailed idea, you can read this article on various ways of marketing your app and the efforts you are required to make into it.

 Conclusion

When it’s all being said and done, above is only an estimate and when you actually get into the field, many other minor factors within the above major areas come into play such as your team location. Third world countries provide cheaper labor than most developed countries though at sometimes it’s less skilled too. Want a free quote for your next Big Idea? Get a free quotation from our skilled Developers today.
Email us on [email protected] or request for a quote here.

iOS and Android App Design Best Practices

iOS and Android App Design Best Practices

In recent years we have seen that a number of apps have registered a seat in the Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. But even after such registration, it is not that all the apps gain popularity. The root cause of it is the design practice followed by developers. Well, designing for a desktop and for a mobile device is a completely different story. And this is especially more important when it comes to native apps. Good and bad apps are usually differentiated by the quality of user experience (UX) that they provide. In the fast-paced modern era, it is obvious that users expect an app to be fast and easy to use with some delight during the interaction, but it often happens that to make a mind-boggling experience, developers mistake in making the app more complex with reduced speed.

At Parangat, we believe “Power in Simplicity”. Let’s quickly catch up some of the app design best practices as recommended by our highly skilled eminent developers.

Understand the difference between desktop and mobile apps

At the very beginning, it should be clear to the developer that he/she is going to develop a mobile app which will have a completely different user interface than that of a desktop. It should be very clear to the developer how the iOS and Android interface looks like. Mobile apps are mostly used on the go (where desktop apps are generally made with the intent that users will spend more time than on a mobile app). So, this should be kept in mind that the user will spend a limited amount of time on it.

Minimize the cognitive load

As the processing power of the human brain is limited, so if an app provides excessive information all at once, then it can overwhelm the user which may ultimately lead to the user abandoning the task. So, here minimizing the cognitive load will minimize the amount of brain power required to use the app.

Avoid the clutter

Clutter is the biggest threat to all the hard work a developer does on an app. Cluttering overloads a user with too much information. It is terrible for a desktop, but it can be incorrigible for mobile devices. It is always a good practice to remove unnecessary things in mobile design to improve comprehension. It is a good idea to use progressive disclosure technique to show more options while keeping content and interface elements to a minimum.

Ask for permissions when required

It generally annoys a user if an app requests for all permissions at the first launch. An app should request for permission at launch only when it is required for the app’s core function, other than that it should ask for permissions only when required. Also, the app shouldn’t ask for unnecessary permission which is beyond its scope. For example, an alarm clock app asking for permission to access the call history would be irrelevant and hence be suspicious.

Minimize user input

This can be useful mostly when a user is filling out a form. Typing long texts on small mobile screens is not a comfortable experience. So, a form should contain only those fields that are absolutely necessary and some fields that can be converted to a drop-down list, e.g., Country field, should be done so. Using defaults for some fields and dynamic validation of field values can be even advantageous.

Avoid using jargons

When an app is designed it is intended for users; and if users are unable to communicate with the app, then the app stands useless. A designer should always use clear and concise language that is easily understandable to everyone.

Always Use Clear and Concise Language - Parangat

Make navigation efficient

Navigation within the app should be very clear especially the “back” button. Often a user may click on the wrong option leading him to the wrong screen. There comes the role of the “back” button to take him back to the original screen. Efficient navigation makes it easier to use an app.

Make touch compatible apps

The mobile interface in now mainly touch based. So, it gets vital to make targets big enough that they’re easy for users to tap on. For reference, designers can rely on the MIT Touch Lab’s study for choosing proper size for interactive elements. Other than this, it is also essential to have the right amount of space between targets so that the exact button gets clicked.

Touch compatible apps - Parangat

 

Optimize push notification

A recent study has found that annoying notifications is the main reason why people uninstall a mobile app. The notification that an app sends should be well timed and valuable.

Design for both operating systems

While designing, an app developer always has the challenge of deciding how the app behaves on both iOS and Android devices. Where Apple’s flat design style has become very hot in recent years, the Material Design led Android app UI design has also gained appreciable popularity. To start with, developers can research by studying the material design guidelines and the iOS human interface guidelines – these are a great source of information for mobile designers.

Test your design

Howsoever carefully a designer design’s an app, there is always a change of an issue creeping in. A perfectly molded app that looks great on designer’s screen may not look even half as good when tested on a real mobile device. So, testing plays a crucial role in the design process. It can happen that at this stage the app may require re-design.

Create feedback loop

Wherever possible, a designer should encourage feedback. And to collect the valuable feedback, the designer needs to make it simple for users to provide it. Different users have a different mindset. A designer has to extract out the common path to be followed to satisfy users needs.

Conclusion

While there can be better ways for mobile app designing, whether it be on an iOS device or an Android device, it is solely up to the developer to make his design worth for users. Today, with the growing market, people expectation is also growing. Everyone needs an app that is “simply the best” and the hunt for the best is an ongoing process. It’s true that the best app practically doesn’t exist but it’s the “strive for the best” that keeps the market moving.

Progressive Web Apps Vs Native Mobile App

Progressive Web Apps Vs Native Mobile App

The main motive of having an app or a website for any business is to reach out to maximum clients and customer and provide them easy access to the business. Whether it be a web app or a mobile app, the sole purpose is to increase the number of interacting users and to have a business growth beyond leaps and bounds.

The actual question for any business is no longer if they should have a Progressive Web App or Native Mobile App but how. Any business that wants to appeal to the enormously wide mobile-based customers has three choices:

    • Build a responsive website
    • Develop a native app or
    • Create a progressive web app (PWA)
  •  

At present scenario, when every when has a life full of hustles and bustles. No one likes to turn on a computer or use a mobile browser to visit a website and go through it. That is what makes the Native Mobile App a very satisfactory and useful option. The native mobile app provides the finest user experience but they have certain limitations and barriers. That is exactly why in 2015, Google announced a revolutionary approach to app development – the tag name was Progressive App Development.

What is a PROGRESSIVE WEB APP?

In its purest sense, a PWA is a mobile app which is delivered through the web. It functions quite similar to a native app, because of the use of an app shell that provides app-style gestures and navigations. The significant difference considering progressive web apps vs native mobile app is that there is no need to download the progressive web apps from any app store. It runs, self-contained, right in any of the web browsers. By using service workers, a progressive web app is capable of loading instantly, even in the remote areas of low connectivity. With the help of pre-caching and dynamic storage technologies, the app stays up to date at all times, displaying the most recent version upon launching.

The most exciting thing about progressive web apps is that that they are not just businesses without apps drooling over this latest technology as a means to have their spark into the world of the potential client-facing apps; PWAs are also hotly anticipated and quite widely appreciated by brands with existing native app experiences. These progressive web apps are an entirely new geek and a unique opportunity to engage and grow a brand’s customer experience.

What Makes A Web App Progressive - Parangat

Progressive Web App VS Responsive Web App

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are basically web applications that load just like regular web pages or like any other normal websites but can offer the user enhanced functionalities such as working offline, ability to have push notifications. Also, PWAs have device hardware access traditionally available only to native mobile applications.

Responsive web app or design (RWD) is a modified approach to the traditional web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices irrespective of their window or screen sizes. Recent works in the field of responsive web app also consider the viewer proximity as part of the viewing context as an extension for RWD. In this approach, the use of media queries allows the page to use variant CSS style rules based on characteristics and specifications of the device the site is being displayed on, most commonly the width and scrolling choices of the browser.

The Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

PWAs are not just a worthwhile endeavour because they are some new tech thing. These web-based apps hold a huge potential. The perks of progressive web apps are:

1- Progressive and responsive design are highly adaptive to different browser choices and fits any screen, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or desktop

2- Progressive Web App is accessible and shareable through a URL link removing the constraint of downloading them.

3- Fast loading and do not require users to update the web app to see the latest content or features.

4- Rich with similar characteristics, navigation and functionality of native apps.

5- Easier to develop and launch in the market, which ultimately helps reduce costs.

The features of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is explained in this image:

Features of Progressive Web Apps - Parangat

Progressive Web Apps Examples:

The above-mentioned features of PWAs make it a more desirable and cost-efficient option. Due to which it is being chosen by many business and organizations these days. The top examples include as big firms as Flipkart and Housing.com. These images show a screenshot of how the interface of PWAs looks:

PWAs Interface - Parangat

One more such app is Pokedex(A mini-encyclopedia of Pokémon species, types, evolutions, and moves.)

Pokedex App Interface - Parangat

Progressive Web Apps Are “The Future”:

While introduced back in 2015, PWAs have gained a huge popularity this year. Google, Apple and Microsoft — the three giants in terms of native app distribution — are all driving the transition to PWAs. Because of their inherent flexibility, PWAs are the best way to stay ahead in the mobile industry.

From Twitter to Starbucks to Flipkart, crossing the diversity of the needs and aspects of business, PWAs are proving that any business can flourish with this technology. More specifically, Tinder saw load times cut in half compared to its native app after using this. This led to longer session times, more messages sent and more swiping on the app. And with a PWA, users could access Tinder from either mobile or desktop devices, easing the accessibility of the app and in turn expanding the targetable market.

Conclusion

Dozens of major and well-established brands are moving from native apps to PWAs, and anyone can easily tell why. Both mobile sites and native apps have their own pros and cons, and PWAs are significantly proving to be the best of both worlds for businesses. Bigger and better things await as this technology continues to prosper and have new researches in the same field. The mobile app market feels set for the progressive web apps to break out in 2018 and grow the way that users interact with brands and use their apps.

Our Portfolio showcases MassageNow and Healthy Bazar – that deliver fast and streamlined experiences to mobile users.They are another e-tailers, who made the conscious decision to forego the native app and keep the mobile shopping experience in a PWA format. 

How has Blockchain become the game-changing factor in IoT security world?

How has Blockchain become the game-changing factor in IoT security world?

In recent years, IoT has entered in the tech scene and is growing in both the terms, be it value or adoption that too at a rapid rate. And being a technological concept, which spans in every single domain or vertical, it is creating wonders, thus creating both disruption and opportunity. Today every bank is looking forward to leveraging these ground-breaking technologies in order to create a better and engaging customer experience. So there’s another brand or company that actually fails because of a lack of faith and determination in terms of IoT security.

Enter the Blockchain’s World

One of the key challenges that are widely accepted by masses in the IoT adoption range is Blockchain. And in a short span of time, it has become a much accepted and distributed database of online records. Basically used in a lot of financial transactions required for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Soon this peer-to-peer Blockchain technology has become popular and can record every transaction in an exchange to form an online trustworthy ledger system. And the key benefits of such system are: it’s permission-based, distributed, and highly secured.

Distribution has become a crucial factor because it allows a shared form, which is required for keeping records safe. So that means every person within a certain range and business network could successfully supervise every transaction done via the Blockchain. And with this, they could trace the record easily back to its source. Nowadays no one has a sole responsibility of the block or transactions that too within the chain and no one can even delete the record. Similarly, no spiteful malware can easily infect the system because others in the ledger will be able to detect the attack, thus could deny its access. Hence it is said to be secured and safe.

Impact on IoT

Blockchain technology – it is being tested by a lot of banks all across the world. So it’s not only available for financial transactions. And any transaction or record could be made a crucial part of the Blockchain. Hence its use could be extended to product identification, digital communications, or even to customer claims. Thus the proper auditing of the validity of the digital transaction between certain machines and things could be particularly used for IoT based mobile apps.

Security

If IoT devices could communicate and interact flawlessly, they must be secured and trustworthy. And Blockchain provides that trust.

Being the world’s leading web and mobile app Development Company, we at Parangat is helping brands and businesses in meeting their businesses expectations and goals. Till date, we have delivered hundreds of mobile apps to serve clients across the world. Since inception, we have been working with world’s leading brands and businesses in meeting their business expectations and objectives. Our adept web and mobility experts are flawlessly working on every emerging technology and platform to deliver best-in-class and cost-effective solutions. To know more about our services, shoot us an email at [email protected]

How much would it cost to develop a Taxi App like Uber?

How much would it cost to develop a Taxi App like Uber?

So you must have probably heard a lot about the most promising brand in the Cab Industry, for eg. Taxi App like Uber. We all know and how successful it is. Being one of the most successful traveling apps, it is used by millions of travelers every day.

how-much-does-it-cost-to-build-an-app-like-Uber-features-parangat

One of the most common questions a lot of traveler’s owners have is “What’s the exact cost estimation for developing traveling app like Uber?”. So if you are looking to get your travel app developed, the first question that arises is you need to look for a proficient app development company. And being the most trusted and recognized app Development Company, we at Parangat can help you in getting that developed as per your business requirements.

When it comes down to develop a well-versed taxi app like Uber, there are a lot of key factors which are required to be taken into consideration. And if you want your users to not forget your taxi app like there are a lot of other apps available on App Store or Google Store. Then you need to consider each and every crucial factor of mobile app development. So let’s take a look at all those key factors that are required to be considered to meet your client’s business needs:

–        Easy and flawless communication

–        GPS, Map and Route drawing

–        Taxi and Drivers’ confidential details

–        Multiple Payment Methods

–        An Accurate Hiring and Matching System

There are a lot of key features that can help you make your about-to-be-famous taxi app must have. Likewise, it will help us in determine cost estimation for developing the app like Uber.

GPS, Map or Route Drawing

There are a lot of key features that could be used for both the sides, be it drivers or passengers. It helps in a proper mapping of the vehicle. Now passengers can locate their car and see where it is. And drivers can see where passengers are thus it helps in properly locating them.

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