There has long been plenty of excitement around Apple products. From the inception of the iPod, the company has firmly held a strong share of the mobile device market, defining many of its changes throughout the years.
But much like how Apple overtook Microsoft as the personal computer company of choice for billions of people, a rival threatens to usurp the tech titan in the face of the wearable technology boom that is predicted to take full effect within the next few years. Google, once only a search engine, turned into a full-blown hardware and software competitor with the release of their Android smartphone family of software and devices.
The business has taken their offerings one step further with the release of Android Wear, which is an operating system designed to run on wearable tech. While the company has yet to release or announce an actual device of theirs on which it will run, it will appear on several machines that will see release in the near future.
“Android Wear isn’t only bad news for Apple, it’s bad news for the many smartwatches already on sale,” wrote Digital Trends contributor Andy Boxall. “The only vaguely successful smartwatch not running Android at the moment is the Pebble. It has a strong community behind it, works with both Android and iOS, plus the Pebble Steel is a critical success. However, its black and white software is going to look pretty old fashioned next to the Moto 360.”
Due to a lack of rival development from both Microsoft and Apple, Google has positioned itself to take the lead in the next chapter of mobile computing. Android app development will be key for enterprises that wish to take advantage of this new opportunity to connect with customers.
Google poised to take over wearables
Much like the appearance of the iPhone, the arrival of wearable tech means a whole new channel for client interactions. Increasingly, people are being attracted to businesses that a customized mobile app that will function in all the ways a customer might need it to, as opposed to just a mobile-friendly website.
From placing orders to finding locations, the features that are becoming required in a mobile platform are being more easily deployed through Internet-enabled software rather than through a browser. Not only that, but users are finding applications to be easier interfaces to navigate with versus browsers.
Google is sprinting out of the gate on this front. Because of this, it will probably be in the best interest of mobile-minded companies to develop their custom software solutions with Android in mind. Between Android Wear and the still-in-testing Google Glass, it is clear that many solutions will need to be geared toward this specific tangent of wearables.
Google Glass already disruptive in healthcare
The impending explosion of wearable device use has led many to consider interesting new ways in which application-based technology can be leveraged. Hospitals, specifically, are expected to make huge strides in the way they work when Google Glass is more widely available.
According to Forbes contributor Lydia Leavitt, the possibilities for “connected healthcare” are already being explored. But it will take ingenuity on the parts of individual healthcare establishments to figure out how best they can apply wearable tech into their practices.
This is why custom mobile app development will be more viable than seeking out-of-the-box solutions. Needs of healthcare providers vary depending on where they are located and what kinds of services they offer. By fine-tuning programs so that they are best suited for specific organizations, doctors, nurses, surgeons and other healthcare practitioners will be better able to fulfill their responsibilities.Read More →
There was once a time when mobile devices as we know them were considered novelties. Creating a presence through smartphones was not imperative for businesses of yore, as many people were not yet using them to the degree they are today. But as adoption of these tools began to increase, so did the requirement that a website operate in a way that was functional on a handheld touchscreen.
But it slowly came to light that some mobile Web browsers were not capable of delivering a fully immersive experience. Customers began expecting even more than these apps could provide. In response, many companies started moving to mobile application development as a way to take more control of their presentation. Apps are capable of delivering a a direct, customized look and feel that may be encumbered when launched through a browser.
Take Facebook, for instance. The popular social media service offers both a mobile web interface and an app. But enough discrepancies exist between the two that people are more likely to download the corresponding software than to try to navigate the site online. To this day, it remains – along with related messenger and news services under the same banner – one of the most popular applications available.
According to Baseline contributor Samuel Greengard, the last few years have seen an explosion in mobile activity, and the only way for enterprises to keep up is to look towards custom software solutions.
“At the center of this universe is the mobile app,” he wrote. “Not only have these apps allowed organizations to take a more focused approach to business and IT, they’re also increasingly fueling productivity, profits and, for enterprises that use them well, a competitive advantage.”
Enterprise apps not just a customer engagement platform
What is incredible about business applications, however, is not just what they can do for customers, but also how they can leverage innovation within the company itself. Chances are, there are employees within any given company using their personal devices for work-related tasks.
But while it would make sense on some level to let staff members roam free in cyberspace and find their own suitable solutions, this can lead to trouble. Many apps that are developed by little-understood parties and used frequently can leak out sensitive information, both unwittingly and on purpose. This is why businesses should invest in building their own software. Not only will it be safer, but it will contain a level of company-related customization that will be hard to find elsewhere.Read More →
Even with so many practical uses being discovered of them, people are still finding new ways to leverage their smartphones and tablets in everyday life. The limits of these tools have yet to be realized, and – especially with the growing popularity of wearable technology – their practicality continues to reach new heights.
One of the areas in which apps are seeing an increase in usage and deployment is in the healthcare industry. In this field, data has a long history of being difficult to manage by both doctors and patients. But, the growing functionality of mobile devices is allowing not only for better management of information, but also of the health it reflects.
For all of those who work at and visit healthcare institutions, mobile apps are becoming a powerful way to streamline visits and procedures.
Doctors enabled to do more for patients
Medical professionals have a lot to juggle. Between data specifically regarding the happenings in their offices to the countless amounts of information that needs to be retained or readily available, doctors have many things on their plates at any given moment. That is why custom software solutions for smartphones and tablets can be so useful.
According to Wall Street Journal contributor Jeanne Whalen, those working in healthcare are more enabled than ever to do their jobs thanks to mobile apps. She pointed specifically to uses like “speeding [up] diagnosis, improving patient monitoring and reducing unnecessary visits to a physician or hospital.” There is so much more that can be accomplished with these tools that it is changing the face of the industry.
Patients able to take better care of themselves
But even more so than what it means for doctors, the increasing usage of applications in healthcare means that mobile device users can do more in the way of monitoring and maintaining the health of patients.
This is where wearable tech also comes in handy. Certain hardware can be procured by consumers that monitors their vitals. These results can be sent to their doctor and simultaneously pushed to their own machines, giving an accurate look at how the body is functioning at any given time.
As more objects are outfitted to send and receive data, the world of healthcare is in a position to flourish. In many ways, mobile application development will allow both doctors and patients to take the hospital with them.Read More →
Over the course of human history, certain technologies have only been dreamed of. Science fiction movies and television often served as a playground for the imagination, marveling at the possibilities of what technology might one day be possible. But even more interesting are the actualizations of space-age tools and devices that were once only the fodder for entertainment. The concept of the touchscreen, for example, was on Captain Kirk’s radar long before the iPhone became widely adopted.
Another staple of possible futures and galaxies far, far away is undoubtedly wearable technology. Even the early 20th century’s Detective Dick Tracy had a wristwatch with a communicator and a GPS. But thanks to high-profile endeavors like Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch, the common use of these devices is certain to become realized. In response to this inevitability, many companies that work with the popular Android operating system are manufacturing wearables that are capable of running it as well as facilitating the creation of specific applications.
Google is in an interesting position to stay competitive on the wearable tech market. As Android app development for multiple new devices continues, the predicted popularity of these tools will lead others to follow suit. This means big things for custom software solutions sought out by enterprises.
Wearables receiving increased attention
The ground being gained by wearable technology is indicative of society’s view of it. Much of what has held wearables back in the past involved how they look. But thanks in part to efforts from Google and others to make their devices appear more fashion-forward, the aesthetics of wearables may become a factor of little concern.
More people are becoming interested in using machines of this caliber, but because these watches and glasses are still in their infancy, there is inherently less that will be available for them in the early time of their widespread adoption. This is actually incredible news for businesses. There is a significant chance here to help establish a precedent and to build a loyal following based on the success of a wearable application. The functionality of these apps will be critical, and will help to secure a place for organizations that want to have a powerful presence when these tools gain the steam that they are anticipated to.
It is clear that wearable technology will have a place both in personal and enterprise computing. Those wishing to capitalize on this evolution should examine how best their business could be improved through the use of these new tools.Read More →
By now, the age of applications is in full swing. Where it was once critical for a business to exclusively possess a functional, easy-to-use mobile website, it is now becoming increasingly important to have a branded app in any enterprise arsenal. But because of new design considerations that have come attached to the smartphone revolution, designing one of these applications can make laying out a mobile website seem like a piece of cake in comparison. While browser compatibility has certainly been an issue when creating an online presence, it is nothing like trying to create a universal experience across more than one mobile device.
This issue has been broached in several ways. One method commonly applied involves the individual design of several different “native” versions of the app, but this can take time and resources that might be better spent elsewhere. Instead, many have focused on using programming codes that are understood by more than one kind of smartphone or tablet.
This is known as cross platform app development, or “device agnosticism.” By putting effort into one application and making sure that it functions effectively for multiple segments of the population, companies that use apps for customer engagement and employee productivity alike are guaranteed to meet their goals.
Mobile websites on their way out
As more people begin to use their portable devices for more than just phone calls and texting, the limitations of the mobile Web are starting to become apparent. Part of it comes simply from the variations that spring out of the discrepancies between popular browsers.
“Visual pizzazz is an important argument, one that users might particularly relate to, but is also a fuzzy boundary,” wrote Vision Mobile contributor Ciprian Borodescu. “What if my site displays a fixed toolbar, but no back button? What if my list appears as hyperlinks instead of ‘tappable’ items? What if I use plain scrolling instead of smooth fancy bars?”
By choosing to design an application rather than create a mobile website, businesses will have less to worry about in the way of compatibility. HTML5 development has become a popular means through which to create an app – all that needs to be taken into consideration are the popular operating systems like iOS and Android.
Apps enable increased functionality
But it is not just about having a universal interface. Apps are beneficial in that they can be loaded with more features than a mobile website will allow. Say that a user wants to an interactive map that will let him or her know where a business’s closest storefront is in relation to their current location. The launching and navigation of this feature via a Web browser is more likely to feel cumbersome and less effective than it would in an application, where it has been specifically programmed.
There are too many factors that can prevent a mobile website from being an effective means of communication and information. Applications allow companies to more easily create an interactive experience. Custom software development is key to maintaining visibility in the mobile age.Read More →
Google recently launched a new product known as Google Glass, a wearable computer that straps onto the head and has a display feature that is visible only to the user. A number of amazing applications have been found for Google Glass, with one of the most remarkable ones being that of training new doctors.
American doctors have performed surgeries with the use of Google Glass with the aims of helping to train new physicians for the future. The device allows surgeons to broadcast their operations via the Internet, and these broadcasts can then be viewed by medical students at a later date in order to help them learn various surgical techniques.
Videotaping surgeries has long been used to train medical students, but Google Glass makes this type of training even more effective. That’s because there is no need to have a video crew present in the operating room during surgery. In addition, images captured via Google Glass show the exact movements a doctor makes without him or her needing to move aside so that a camera can pick them up.
Since Google Glass captures images like these effectively, it also helps improve patient safety, because doctors do not have to modify their movements while operating. The fact that it eliminates the need for a camera crew means that the risk of infection inside an operating room is greatly reduced as well.
The medical uses for Google Glass could go beyond training medical students for surgery. Some physicians feel it would be useful in automatically charting medical information, thereby allowing them to spend more time with patients. It could also be used to view x-ray reports while on the go.
Chances are that the medical industry will begin using Google Glass even more as new uses for it become apparent. For now, it seems as though this wearable computer is already making a huge difference in the way aspiring physicians learn the ins and outs of their profession.
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