Author: Dhruvil Pandya

Top 8 Cross-Platform Frameworks for Hybrid App Development

App development has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years. Smartphones and mobile apps have contributed immensely to uplift people’s lives. This very change in technology has made mobile app development much easier than ever before. In recent years, the most significant change in app development has been the introduction of multiple frameworks. When we discuss app development frameworks, it is important to focus on the native vs hybrid app development

Due to the increase in cross-platform frameworks, there is a huge demand for mobile app developers. Hybrid apps are more popular than ever because the end users can connect through a range of devices. Earlier, we have discussed Hybrid App Development in one of our blogs this month. First let us discuss the reasons to choose Hybrid App Development.

Native Like User Experience

The beauty of Hybrid apps lies in providing most of what native user experience offers with a compact backend structure. This fluid native feel is uniform irrespective of the device.

Economically Viable

Money is a primary concern for every new business looking to develop a mobile app. More often than not, hybrid app development is economically viable as it costs half compared to a native mobile app.

High Speed

A hybrid mobile app is much faster than a native mobile app or a responsive website. These apps are focused on performance and loads faster on all types of devices.

Multi-Platform Support

The advantage of a hybrid app is that there is no limit to how much they can expand and support multiple platforms. Though, the performance across various platforms depends on the framework used to develop the app.

Offline Support

Offline support of a hybrid app is one of the most promising features ever. In a hybrid app, end users can store specific data locally due to the device’s API as offline storage.

Now that we have established the benefits of hybrid app development, let us move to some of the most notable frameworks for your business needs.

React Native

React native was and will be the top most framework for hybrid app development. React Native App Development, built by Facebook is the one of the most popular frameworks among app developers. The main objective of this framework is to develop native apps over hybrid apps. Developers tend to prefer this framework as it provides native like features to the users.

React Native is mostly used to develop iOS and android apps with a primary JS codebase. Mobile app developers who are experienced in Swift and Java love working on this framework to create innovative mobile apps. Salient features of React Native include:

  • High powered performance, delivered with native code.
  • Supports Node.js
  • Faster development turn-around.
  • Same codebase for iOS and Android.
  • Auto-error detection.
  • Backed by a community of app developers.

Ionic

Ionic is feature-rich, easy to implement framework for building a hybrid mobile app. It is an open source SDK and based on CSS, works well when paired with Angular JS. Mobile app developers prefer Ionic for hybrid app development as it is easy to use and enjoyable at the same time.

Ionic has a vast library with front-end building and premier user interface components to develop enticing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Additionally, it assists developers achieve UI design aspects like image design and placement, typography, themes and more. Notable features include:

  • A rich collection of salient features
  • Code once and apply across all platforms.
  • Easy to maintain codes with faster turnaround time.
  • Free debugging tools.
  • Live reload system and preview app mode available.
  • Supported by a large developer community.

Xamarin

Xamarin is a preferred framework for building cross-platform apps with a native user experience. It imbibes the WORA (Write Once, Run anytime) concept. This enables the app developers to use the same code for different operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows etc.

Xamarin uses C# language for building apps which allows the framework to use .Net features. Moreover, Xamarin has a vast group of app developers for extended support. Notable features of Xamarin include:

  • Supported by Microsoft.
  • More than 70% code is reusable between different OS.
  • Provides the same performance as a native mobile app.
  • Platform specific features on top of general codebase.
  • Ease of testing.

PhoneGap

PhoneGap is a simple open-source mobile app development framework. It is a boon for inexperienced mobile app developers. This is one of the reasons why PhoneGap is featured when you discuss cross-platform frameworks. The knowledge of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript ensures hybrid features with a single code for different platforms.

PhoneGap’s primary feature is ‘Build’, a cloud compiler that compiles app without installing any SDKs. Mobile app developers can build a feature-rich, full customised hybrid mobile app with ease. Notable features of PhoneGap include:

  • Cross compatibility for Windows, iOS and Android.
  • Free to use with limited knowledge of coding.
  • Faster turnaround time supported by multiple mobile OS.
  • Better access to Native APIs.
  • Easy to use, highly flexible.
  • Plugin architecture compatibility.

Flutter

Flutter is an app SDK for building high performance apps for iOS, Android and web apps using a single codebase. It’s Google’s answer to create visually remarkable hybrid apps. Though relatively new, Flutter has a good chance to outperform its competitors in the near future.

Moreover, Flutter is a smart choice when it comes to crafting an interactive MVP. The flexible design components allow app developers to build a stunning UI in quick time. Salient features of Flutter include:

  • Super fast, flexible framework.
  • Real-time updates.
  • Compatible with Android, iOS and Windows.
  • Vast choice of widgets for ease of customization.
  • Open-source SDK available to everyone.

Intel XDK

One more framework in this extensive list is Intel XDK. Intel XDK simplifies workflow and allows app developers to design, develop and deploy apps across multiple platforms. Additionally, Intel XDK can assist developers work on tasks ranging from emulation, debugging or testing. Notable features include:

  • Extended support for Android, iOS and Windows.
  • Developer friendly features and one-stop solution for developers.
  • Synchronised activities for multiple operating systems.
  • Extensive toolkit for all developer needs.

JQuery Mobile

Amongst all available frameworks, jQuery Mobile has a different approach in delivering cross-platform apps. It is a HTML based, touch optimised, JavaScript library to create responsive websites. Moreover, jQuery Mobile is an excellent framework for businesses that believe in BYOD (Bring your own device) as it provides support for different OS. Salient features of jQuery Mobile include:

  • Stable framework for comfortable working environment.
  • Responsive websites for various devices.
  • HTML5 and JavaScript make it easy for developers.
  • Convenient menus to create user-friendly apps.
  • Add-ons for custom themes.
  • No prior knowledge is required.

Corona SDK

Corona SDK is your best bet if you want bright and attractive graphics for your apps, especially for the gaming industry. It is one of the most reliable frameworks for enterprises, 2D games and educational apps. Commercial software providers can use Corona SDK for quick monetization of their apps. Moreover, it uses Lua as a scripting language for real-time testing. Notable features of Corona SDK include:

  • Instant updates for developers.
  • Simulator available with necessary features.
  • Good planned out API.
  • Extensive guidelines to help you master the framework.
  • Powered by Lua, a lightweight scripting language.

Wrapping Up

There are many notable frameworks available today based on your business needs. We have listed some of the best frameworks for hybrid app development. If you have any questions or would like to know more, you can drop a comment or can send us a message through our Contact Us page.

10 Reasons Why You Too Need To Outsource Mobile App Testing

Have you ever thought about the need to outsource app testing? Well, there are multiple reasons why outsourcing mobile app testing can do wonders for your business. In a post COVID-19 world, the number of mobile applications are increasing exponentially. Though mobile app development has become a popular trend, it is imperative to deliver high quality apps. Additionally, as businesses fight for competition, mobile app testing has become an important asset to achieve the desired results.

In order to enable optimal app testing and improve the quality of apps, more business owners are now going for outsourcing. Cost cutting is a key factor, however it comes with enhanced customer experience too. Let us discuss the top factors why outsourcing mobile app testing is a great option for your business.

Cost Effective

One of the main reasons to go for an outsourcing team is because it is extremely cost effective. Your investments will yield better results, which in turn plays an important role in running your business.

Let us see how traditional businesses work. Assuming that you have an in-house testing team, you need to pay efficient engineers, have to spend on buying testing tools, create an infrastructure for the testing team and additionally train them to match your business requirements. All this will cost you a good chunk of money still not ensuring you meet your future testing requirements.

It is best to outsource a cost-efficient testing team where you are rest assured of getting the job done by industry experts in the presence of quality infrastructure.

By doing this, you save a lot of time and money on buying testing tools and training your team. Many businesses have their in-house testing team, if you don’t have one, it is best to go for a reputed testing team.

Efficient Quality Assurance

The best part of outsourcing is that you get the benefits of qualified testing engineers with knowledge and experience on your product. You can get an unbiased and clear view of your product along with its strengths and weaknesses.

More so, when you outsource a dedicated team you ensure that you undertake the most capable and competitive resources to get the job done. These teams can help to find the testing results at the beginning stages of development. This helps to save time and efforts required to deliver the product.

QA Automation

Testing automation is an emerging concept that provides a seamless multi-device app experience to end users. But rightly so, not everyone is great at automated testing and hence it is best to outsource app testing to an experienced testing service provider with hands-on experience in automated testing.

These outsourced providers depend on advanced test management, bug tracking tools, automation testing tools for a faster and efficient testing process. Some famous test automation tools used by professional agencies are Microsoft Coded UI Tests, Selenium and Ranorex.

Faster Results

When you outsource application testing, you will directly deal with testing experts who can finish the QA process in a timely manner. Selecting a reliable testing provider gives you an upper hand at best testing practices, test automation tools, frameworks and enables you to reduce the overall testing time and effectively address your project requirements and benchmarks.

Updated Knowledge of Latest Trends

The constantly changing landscape of mobile apps require companies to stay on top of their game to stay relevant in the market. If you outsource mobile app testing, you can access the latest tools and technologies without investing in every emerging technology out there.

Dedicated software testing professionals are familiar with the industry’s proven tools and hence can come up with new ideas for optimum results. We can assist your company deliver apps with unrivaled performance and gain competitive advantage in the market.

Better Brand Value

In today’s competitive market, business reputation is everything for your brand. Releasing poorly tested products can severely hamper your business’s reputation and make it difficult to sustain in the marketplace.

Hiring a dedicated professional to test your product can retain your brand’s reputation among both clients and competitors alike. This is because independent testing is precise and impartial when compared to in-house testing. Additionally, dedicated testing professionals can provide specialised testing services across different domains like mobile testing, web testing, cloud testing, digital testing, big data etc. 

Ensures Scalability

Software testing typically involves a variety of aspects depending on the type of product and the scope of QA goals. It is always best to outsource QA in product development to QA testing agencies because each app requires a different number of testers to work on them and testing agencies can accommodate the required resources and professionals to scale your testing.

Subsequently, third-party testing providers generally offer a variety of services designed to test the functionality, performance, security, UX and scalability of the product.

Code Confidentiality

Usually, companies are worried about the confidentiality of their client’s code/intellectual property which doesn’t allow them to outsource their app testing process. Hence, professional testing agencies understand that a breach of confidentiality can have crippling consequences on the business and hence take software security seriously. This is done to protect your company from leaks, IP theft and other data security violations. They do this as they are compliant and meet the necessary global regulatory requirements.  

Adhere to Strict Deadlines

IT projects are always following a strict deadline. This can lead the in-house team to lose focus on testing and give all their energy to the development part. More often than not, this leads to compromised quality of the product. When you outsource app testing, businesses don’t have to worry about delivery and hence less chances of missing the dreaded deadlines.

It is always a sensible idea to outsource app testing when you are adhering to strict deadlines from the client. The outsourced team can effectively manage the testing part of the project allowing a free hand to your in-house team to focus on the development.

Autonomous Testing

App testing is best performed when it is done by an independent entity with an unbiased opinion. It is very important that testing cannot be influenced by the development or management team.

Furthermore, outsourcing app testing to a dedicated agency means that the testing will be carried out in a professional and structured manner. This will then mean better testing and well tested products.

Wrapping Up

Software testing can often be an overwhelming aspect if not supported by the right resources. Because testing is an ongoing process, it is not possible for an app development company to maintain a decent sized testing team always. It is cost effective and provides you peace of mind when you outsource app testing to a third party vendor. If you have any questions or want to provide your valuable feedback, please contact us or drop a comment below.

 

Top 10 Google Ranking Factors for your SEO in 2020

There are more than 200 Google ranking factors that we know. And many more that are hidden inside sneaky algorithms unknown to us. The question is, do you really need to know about all 200 ranking factors? It is humanly impossible for someone to keep a track of all 200 factors. And we can safely say that you don’t need to. However, there are some ranking factors that affect your SEO to a large extent and these are the factors that matter. 

It is a bit more complicated than what meets the eye. Google keeps updating their algorithms to rank websites and pages in the search results. A highly relevant factor right now may not be that important next year. If you focus too much on that particular factor, you may lose your ranking. 

What are Google Ranking factors and its importance?

Google ranking factors are the signals and properties that Google collects and evaluates to create a page rank for your web pages. Google changed the search engine business when it entered the market. The company always focused on ranking web pages, trying to place the best results first. This really helped with the credibility as users were sure of the best content on any given topic. Earlier, Google used a major ranking factor : Links. At present, there are more than 200.  In this article, we will discuss the 10 most important Google ranking factors for your website in 2020.

Backlinks are the real MVP

We have established this time and again, Links were Google’s first ranking factor and it stays relevant even today. A backlink is a link placed by another website owner to your website/content. Google has always focused on the use of quality backlinks to determine the quality of your content.

Though, now the focus on the quality of the link is much higher than twenty years ago. Earlier, it was easy to have hundreds of spammy links on your website. No points for guessing, these links don’t work anymore. You will only benefit from the high quality links now. If there are many spammy links, you may also be penalized and severely affect your SEO.

Content Length and Quality

Google only believes in showing their users the content they wish to consume. More often than not, this means showing the most information rich and well-written content on a given topic. You must have a question though, how is the quality measured?

It is difficult to determine the quality of the content even if you are Google. However, Google will rank your content based on structure, grammar, information density, number of words, writing style, ease of understanding etc. It is often discussed on the internet, what is the optimum content length of a blog? It depends on a lot of factors like your niche, your audience, their interests etc. Though, it has been established that longer content (1500-2000+ words) fare better than shorter (600-800 words) pieces of content. You should not forget to use good grammar, structure and sub-parts not more than 300 words.

Site and Page Speed

Do you like a website that takes ages to load? Me neither, nor does Google’s search algorithm. Hence, having a website that loads faster and seamlessly is a more efficient factor for on-page SEO.

If your website takes a little more than 2 secs to load, you can expect an exponential increase in bounce rate. Bounce rate, in turn affects your SEO ranking. A smooth browsing experience is extremely important now more than ever. Today, users have more bandwidth and less patience so your website needs to give them that experience. Regular website audit is key for SEO improvements. There are various tools available in the market, we recommend using GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights.

Mobile First

Google always uses mobile-first indexing to crawl websites. It clearly means that Google uses the mobile version to evaluate a website. Now, if you have done everything to make a flawless desktop version of your website, your SEO could take a hit if it isn’t mobile optimized. As a good rule of thumb, always preview the web pages to make sure that they’re easily accessible across all types of devices.

Nowadays, most CMS’s have a built in feature to ensure this before you publish. Also, you can use a free testing tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test which provides similar options.

User Experience

User Experience is a tough nut to crack. Before we proceed, let’s find out what good user experience means:

  • The user gets the information they are looking to find.
  • Easy website navigation.
  • Quality informative content.
  • No intrusion like ads, pop ups etc.

How to measure user experience? The most important characteristic is how long users stay on your website and the use (overuse) of interstitials. Anything a user experiences on your website may hamper your SEO. There must be a fine balance between user experience and SEO.

Domain Age

I am sure you must be surprised with the inclusion of this factor. It is surprising because Google never mentioned that they consider this particular ranking factor. However, the evidence suggests that a domain’s age plays a huge role in your website ranking.

This makes sense because short term domains often do not publish authentic content. We know that Google is always after organic link profiles. Now, this can be achieved over a period of time. If you have a new domain and push hundreds of links, that trick won’t go down well with Google’s search algorithm. This means that if you make consistent efforts, you will reap significant results year after year. It is a long term investment.

Internal Link Building

We have discussed the importance of internal links for crawling and indexing the content on your website. These crawlers use internal links to analyze and index the content. 

The term “internal links” refers to a hyperlink which redirects to a page on the same domain. It is best to have a tight-knit internal linking structure to make it easier for the search engine to find what they are looking for.

Image Alt-text

If you think you can just post any random image on your website from your desktop without a description, it will backfire on your SEO. There’s an SEO component with image description. Each and every image on your website comes with an alt-text which is referred to as an alt-tag.

The alt-text will appear when the image fails to load. It helps search engines to understand and index the image. Good alt-text description has the power to lift your SEO game to the next level (yes, even to page 1 of Google).

Meta Description

The meta description is a tiny description that resides in the HTML code of your website. Though it isn’t visible on the website, it is displayed in search results. Meta description is not the most important ranking factor, however Google will sometimes use it to feature a snippet. Also, it provides more information about the webpage and encourages high click through rate. Hence, it is important to include meta description in your SEO checklist and spare some time to tailor this description for your ranking. 

Structure of URL

This might be the simplest of all but often the most overlooked factor. Your URL structure has a profound impact on your search engine ranking. A cluttered URL with mixed characters doesn’t help search engines learn about your webpage. Alternatively, a URL with a simple, precise structure and targeted keyword can work wonders for your SEO.

Wrapping Up

Like we said, there are more than 200 known Google Ranking factors out there but we focus on these 10 for our internal audit. Now, would like to know about your preferred factors in the comments below. We know there is a ton of information available on SEO but we try to provide the most important updates in a simplistic manner. We value your feedback and it helps us grow, so please let us know how you liked our content. 

Top 4 announcements from Google’s Pixel 5 event

Last week, we featured an article on Amazon’s fall hardware event 2020 where we saw an exciting range of gadgets. Earlier last month, it was Apple’s “Time Flies” event 2020 featuring the latest iPad and Apple Watch. Finally, Google has joined the party and launched the most awaited Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. This comes after Google unveiled the more affordable Pixel 4a 5G in August, 2020. Along with that, we will also see a new Chromecast and a new Nest smart speaker – Nest Audio. 

It would be right to say that we saw this coming, the surprise however lies in the Chromecast and Nest Audio upgrades. The last month or so has been a bliss for Technology and Gadget lovers all over the world. Let us dive deeper into the exciting announcements from Google.

Google Pixel 5

After trying to emulate the iPhone for sometime, Google is now taking a different route with its latest flagship smartphones. The Pixel 5 is a more wholesome phone, providing more value per dollar spent. Google opts for a modest 5G capable Snapdragon 765G processor instead of Snapdragon 865. The technology giant also got rid of Pixel 4’s Soli radar module. This means no face unlock and touch-less motion sense controls.

The exclusion of Soli confirms the Pixel 5 has a fingerprint sensor on a dynamic design. This paired with a 6-inch, 2340 x 1080 stunning display. Google still includes a 90Hz refresh rate screen like Pixel 4, which is good. If you had troubles with the battery life of Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, you would be glad to know that the Pixel 5 comes with a larger 4,000 mAh battery.

Some other remarkable features include a camera system consisting of 12MP and 16MP sensors for excellent performance. A Pixel launch is incomplete without a software upgrade. So, Google has introduced a panning tool to produce a smooth video. To sum Pixel 5, you get support for Qi wireless charging, a clean water-resistant design, 128GB storage and available from $699.

Google Pixel 4a 5G

Pixel users will question the lack of XL in the model mentioned above. Well, that is because there is no XL this year. Alternatively, Google intends to unveil a more premium version of the Pixel 4a and an affordable version of the Pixel 5. Fans had been asking for a more affordable phone from Google in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and Google didn’t disappoint. When you combine the prowess of Pixel 5 with the affordability of Pixel 4, you get Pixel 4a with 5G. Pixel 4a is remarkably close to the Pixel 5 in terms of the same processor and front/rear cameras used. The only features missing in the 4a 5G is Qi wireless charging, a 90Hz display and water resistant body. It sure does come with a headphone jack, if you are old fashioned.

Google Chromecast

There is some good news for Chromecast fans out there, Google has finally added a remote to the casting device. If you were wondering that is it, there’s a lot more than just a remote. The new Chromecast has got an elegant design taken from the Chromecast Ultra and the colourful Nest Mini speakers. Also, there is a new processor inside that enables the Chromecast to play 4K HDR videos at about 60 frames per second. Hold on, there’s now support for Dolby Vision and surround sound too.

Coming to the remote, it comes with an inbuilt microphone for ease of use. It has the following buttons: Power, Back, Home, Mute and input keys along with a volume rocker. The remote also has a shortcut for YouTube and Netflix, because why not. 

We thought the new Chromecast would run on Android TV. But, it now runs on Google TV, which is dependent on Android TV so that’s confusing. The Google TV interface is a replica of Google’s Play Movies and TV app. You can now get your hands on the new Chromecast at $50.

Google Nest Audio

Finally, we come to the last announcement by Google named Nest Audio. Nest Audio is wrapped in fabric just like the previous Nest Mini. It is equipped with a 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid-woofer. Google claims this feature makes Nest Audio 75% louder than the Google Home. Naturally, it also delivers 50 percent more bass than the previous version.

There are LED lights on the speaker that turn on when you speak to Google Assistant. If you are self sufficient, you can turn off or mute the switch on the back of the speaker. Additionally, there’s a Media EQ function that automatically tunes your Nest Audio based on what you’re listening to, along with multi-room audio support. The best part, you can pair two Nest Audio devices for stereo imaging as the device is available only for $100.

Wrapping Up

We are sure that if you made it to this point, you are surely excited about these product announcements just like us. Google has surely surprised us with the Chromecast and Nest Audio as we expected Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 based on the leaks. What do you think about these product offerings from Google? Let us know in the comments below.

Everything you need to know about Amazon’s Fall Hardware Event 2020

Every fall, Amazon conducts an event to announce a plethora of new devices at once. Amazon is doing the same in 2020, but to a limited number of media personnel via video conference rather than an in-person event at their Seattle HQ. We are amazed to see the range of devices offered by Amazon despite the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. This year, we saw a number of new Echo devices with novel designs along with Alexa’s revamped security features. Additionally, we saw a series of Ring devices which targets Home automation and security. Let us dig deeper to find out the most prominent announcements from Amazon.

Revamped Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot Clock

The revamped Echo has a novel, spherical look. Interestingly, the Echo Dot and Echo Dot Clock will also sport a spherical shape. These Echo devices will have a fabric finish and will be available in three colours (Twilight Blue, Glacier White and Charcoal). It will have most of the smart features like the Echo Plus and will be compatible with Amazon Sidewalk, the smart home tech system from Amazon. It is priced at $100, similar to last year’s Echo.  

Amazon claims that it is made from 100% post-consumer recycled fabric and recycled aluminium. As per Amazon, the new Echo Dot’s 1.6 inch front-firing speaker will impart an impeccable sound quality. It is available on pre-order now for $50 and the Echo Dot Clock is priced at $60. Amazon has also introduced a Echo Dot Kids version which comes with amusing animal faces. The kids model is bundled with a year’s subscription of Amazon Kids+ to access audiobooks and games for kids.

The new Echo can now tune itself to your surroundings to deter ascertain optimum sound quality. It is powered by the AZ1 Neural Edge processor and machine learning ability which helps with better speech recognition. Moreover, going forward, all new and old Echo devices will have a low power mode.

Along with the new Echos, Amazon has introduced Guard Plus which transforms your Echo into a home security system. It can dissuade intruders by playing a warning sound and a notification is sent to you. This service will only cost you $5 per month or $49 per year.

Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6

As expected, Amazon has also launched new WiFi 6 Eero routers namely Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. The Eero 6 has a dome shape while the Eero Pro 6 has a slightly square shape of the original Eero. Now, the Eero 6 is available at $130 whereas the premium Eero Pro 6 is priced at $230. Just like the previous Eero versions, the new Eeros will be sold in two and three packs for efficient WiFi connectivity throughout your home. As per Amazon, the new Eeros can connect upto 75 devices simultaneously. This will double as a Zigbee Smart home hub. Every Eero unit has a USB-C port and 2 auto-sensing Gigabit ports.

Ring Car Alarm and Ring Car Cam

Ring has come with a new Car Alarm system which allows your car to push alerts to your phone if someone breaks-in. You can even tap a button on your phone and trigger a siren. Additionally, Ring is also selling a dash cam. The Car Cam will help you monitor bumps along with real time alerts and footage.

Interestingly, there is an Emergency Crash Assist which notifies emergency services when there is an accident. Also, you can say “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” to notify the camera to record the interaction. The Ring Car Alarm is priced at $60 and the Car Cam and Car Connect are priced at $200.

Ring Always Home Cam

Amazon announced a new Ring Cam that can actually fly around the house to offer a multi-dimensional view, more like a security drone. Apart from security, you can use it to see if you left a door or window open. The drawback is that you won’t be able to manually control the Home Cam. You can set a predefined path from room to room and view the live feed in the Ring app.

For privacy, the Ring Home Cam is designed to hum loudly when flying to advise people that it is filming. This will cost $250 and will be available in 2021. Also, Ring has introduced a Mailbox Sensor which attaches to your mailbox and it is available for $30 only on pre-order.

Amazon Echo Show 10

The Amazon Echo Show 10 has a “smart follow” camera just like Facebook’s portal. The Echo Show 10 can follow your movements in the room with a “beamforming” technology along with a computer vision. Amazon suggests that when you interact with Alexa, the Echo Show 10 uses your sound localization and the screen turns directly to face you. Alexa doesn’t identify a specific human but just a human shape. Additionally, it includes a group calling function named Amazon Chime. The Echo Show 10 is priced at $250 and will be available soon.

Luna – A gaming streaming service

For a few years now, Amazon has been planning to launch the most awaited gaming streaming service – Luna. Amazon’s Luna comes with Twitch integration and is said to be a direct competitor to Stadia and xCloud. To begin with, it will support the iOS devices, Fire TV, PC and Mac. Hopeful, Android support will come shortly after. Amazon has announced an Alexa-enabled low-latency Luna controller priced at a modest $50 for early buyers. This beautiful gamepad will connect directly to the cloud.

It is reported that cloud gaming will be upto 4k and 60fps, however it may limit to 1080p and 60fps to begin with. The Luna subscription is fairly priced at $6 per month, giving access to 50 game titles in the early days. You can expect to see the likes of The Sexy Brutale and Resident Evil 7 on Amazon Luna.

Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite

Last but not the least, the new Fire TV Stick has an improved processor, HDR compatibility with Dolby Atmos. Just like the previous versions, it comes with an Alexa remote. The Fire TV Stick will now be available at $40. The Lite version is priced at $29.99 and it supports full-HD and HDR along with an Alexa Remote.

We are surely excited about the new Amazon Products coming this year and it seems Christmas came early. I have personally used the Fire TV and Amazon Echo and now hoping to use the new products soon. What do you think about the product announcement from Amazon? Let us know in the comments below.

‘Time Flies’: Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2020

Earlier last week, we covered an article on rumours about iPhone 12 release date and its features. We also mentioned about “Time Flies”, Apple’s first fall event this year which didn’t feature the most awaited iPhone 12. As expected, Apple didn’t announce any new iPhones during the event but still had plenty of new devices to share. These include two new Apple Watch models and an iPad Air with a novel design. Additionally, Apple elaborated on its new Apple One subscription bundles and more important update about Fitness+. Let us discuss each new device and update in detail.

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple commenced the “Time Flies” event on Tuesday by announcing the Apple Watch Series 6. It has a novel health sensor which enables you to measure your blood oxygen saturation with the new watch. The Apple Watch Series 6 is equipped with a new S6 chip. Apple suggests that it is a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11.

Apple claims that the Watch Series 6’s screen can get 2.5 times brighter when you are outdoors along with an always-on altimeter. The new watch series 6 comes in a variety of new colours: a blue aluminium case, a gold stainless steel, a gray stainless steel and a Red model. Moreover, there are a number of watchfaces consisting of a watchface that displays a Memoji.

Apple also confirmed a new type of watch band, naming it the Solo Loop. A Solo Loop is a silicone watch band without a buckle. The Solo Loop is available in various sizes and in seven vibrant colors. For fashion enthusiasts, there’s also a braided Solo Loop available in five colors.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is a premium watch priced at $399 for a GPS version. It is available for pre-order now.

Apple Watch SE

Besides the Watch Series 6, Apple announced a new, more economical version of its wearable. The Apple Watch SE has more or less the same characteristics as its more expensive counterpart, including fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring and fall detection. It features the S5 chip, similar to Watch series 5 but has an extravagant display similar to Series 6. 

The only feature missing in the Watch SE is the latest sensor to measure blood oxygen level of the user. We think it was bound to happen with the price slash at $279 for the Watch SE. It is now available to pre-order on Apple’s website. All in all, we think it is one of the best announcements from the “Time Flies” event.

New iPad Air

This year, the iPad Air got a significant makeover. To begin, iPad Air introduced an iPad Pro-like design that will be offered in five dynamic colors. It also includes two new color variants: a blue and a green hue. It also consists of a new 10.9 inch Liquid Retina IPS display with 2360×1640 resolution on Apple’s True Tone Technology. This is in addition to the latest A14 chipset.

This year, Apple has included a new fingerprint sensor into the top power button to unlock the device. Additionally, now iPad Air also supports second gen Apple Pencil and the much hyped Magic Keyboard. Apple has also switched to USB-C with the new iPad Air. For pictures, the iPad Air has a single 12-megapixel camera. The surprise element is the stereo sound included in iPad Air’s speakers when it is placed horizontally.

Apple intents to release the new iPad Air along with the iPhone in October. It will be priced at $599 for a 64GB model with Wi-Fi only connectivity. The LTE model will be priced at $729 along with an upgrade to include 256GB storage for an additional $150.

Fitness+

Apple is about to offer yet another subscription model. This year, it is a workout service termed Fitness+. Tentatively, it will have 10 different exercises like cycling, strength training, yoga etc. that you will be able to access on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Your Apple Watch will track the progress of your workouts. As you work your way through the session, you will notice the vitals like your calories burned, heart rate and pace etc. Apple has promised educational videos for training of beginners and also personalised recommendations.

Fitness+ will be available for $10 per month or $80 for an annual subscription. If you purchase a new Apple Watch, you can avail Fitness+ for free for the first three months. Moreover, you can also avail Fitness+ through one of the new Apple One Subscription bundle offers.

Apple One

Ever thought of paying a single price for all your major Apple Subscriptions. Well, with Apple One, you can now bundle all major services together to save on your monthly subscription. It begins with an individual subscription for $14.95 which includes 50GB storage, Apple Arcade, Apple Music and Apple TV+. You can buy a family bundle for the same services + 200GB storage for $19.95 per month. Additionally, there’s a Premier bundle where you get all the above plus Apple News+, Fitness+ and 2TB storage for $29.95 per month.

iOS 14 

In the end, Apple revealed it will release iOS 14 to the general public tomorrow. In the past, major iOS updates have been released on the same date as Apple’s latest iPhones but not this year. Some of the best additions with iOS 14 is an App Library where you can have home screen widgets and organisation of all your apps. It will be available on the iPhone 6s and above.

Now, we are hoping that iPhone 12 will be released sometime soon in the next month as advised by Apple. Once we have an official announcement from Apple, we will do an official article on iPhone 12 and its features.

 

Sensibo : A smart controller for your not so smart AC

In the recent past, we have seen a lot of improvements in smart home devices. That being said, we do not have all the money to revamp each household appliance so we can virtually control it. I agree that it would be nice to have that. However, this is where smart controllers like Sensibo Air Sensor steps in. 

Modern day air conditioner is a boon and an unmatched gift to us by the previous generations, however Sensibo Air Sensor takes it to the next level. This tiny device transforms the modern day air conditioner into a smart automated system to save your extra money. It is equivalent to an amazon fire stick to convert your TV into a smart TV. Let us find out the details about Sensibo Air Sensor and you can decide whether to buy or not. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pocket air conditioner for added convenience.

What is Sensibo Sky?

Sensibo Sky is a small wiFi enabled device that transforms your conventional air conditioner into a smart air conditioner. It works by connecting to your home WiFi and intercepting your infrared remote control unit. Now, you can use the Sensibo app instead of the remote to control the air conditioner from anywhere and anytime.

The Sensibo device has a thermometer to track and control the temperature and humidity remotely. Additionally, you get 7 day scheduling and it can turn on/off whenever you are about to come home or leave home based on your location.The good part: it is compatible with any remote controlled air conditioner and just takes a couple of minutes to set up. It is also compatible with a range of smart devices like Alexa, Google or Siri so you can control the AC with your voice.

Sensibo Sky: Price and Availability

When I first checked the device online, I was astonished to see more than 1500 five star reviews on Amazon. It definitely elevated my confidence in this tiny wiFi enabled device. The Sensibo Sky is available right now at just $99 ($149 – Normal price) which is definitely a steal. If you want to spice things up, you can opt to go for a Sensibo Air and Room Sensor. The Sensibo Air does everything that the Sky does, plus it converts your house into a climate ecosystem. It will enable you to save more money by changing the temperature based on where you are. This device can measure the temperature and humidity of a room when you enter and always keep you cool no matter where you sit. Additionally, it also comes with a smart room sensor which consists of motion and climate sensors. The normal price is $199 but for a limited time, you can buy it on sale for $179

Is it worth it?

Sensibo does a whole lot of tasks apart from the usual remote. It can track temperature and humidity, can check if there is someone in the room, check weather conditions and collect data from your location to turn on/off the air conditioner. There is one drawback if you have multiple air conditioners, you will need to purchase individual devices for each air conditioner. We have worked on a lot of smart home devices this year and we think due to the ongoing we will see more such devices coming in 2021 due to remote work and work from home. Let us know in the comment section if you liked our content and if you would like to see more smart home related content in the future.

Titan R2 : A stylish electric bike from Tempus

In 2020, we have been working on a lot of electric bikes and bikes with an impeccable design. Two weeks ago, we published an article on Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s which is a carbon fibre bike for the future. Now, we have come up with the Titan R2, a stylish electric bike from Tempus. In 2016, we covered the initial offering from Tempus – Titan R.

In the last six years, we have seen Tempus evolve and they have recently started a kickstarter campaign for the new Titan R2. Tempus started with the concept to change people’s perception of bike designs and they have done a commendable job with Titan R2. The Titan series bikes are proudly made for the future with a vintage motorcycle look.

The team behind Tempus Electric Bikes

Tempus Electric was launched in 2014 by Ikenna Ofoha, an 18 year old genius with an idea to change the world. Growing up with a love for electronics, metals and design he saw the vision to share the thrill of electric bikes around the world. When inspiration met design, the mighty “Titan” was born. The Titan series is not your typical electric bike, it takes inspiration of a retro motorcycle with combined technology to drive into the future. In 2017, the Tempus team started their first Kickstarter campaign which paved the way for a successful run. Now, after 6 years of experience, rave customer reviews and hunger to conquer the world they are excited to launch a kickstarter campaign for Titan R2.

Titan R2 – Technical Specifications

  • Motor: 1000W Rear Hub Motor
  • Battery: 52V 13Ah
  • Fork: Aluminum Dual Crown Suspension
  • Wheels: 24″ x 3″
  • Brakes: Front & Rear Disc
  • Lights: Front & Rear LED
  • Seat Height: 32″ // 0.81m
  • Weight: 75lbs // 34kg
  • Max Load: 300lbs // 136kg

Why should you buy the Titan R2?

There are many reasons why you should buy the Titan R2 and a vintage design is a primary factor. The Titan R2 is made with aircraft grade Chromoly steel frame, hydraulic disc brakes and tough front and rear suspension. It has a range of 40Km without pedalling and 70+km with moderate pedalling. You get a 4Ah battery which charges the bike in 3-4 hours. The maximum speed you can attain is 45Km/hr or 28mph which is perfect if you commute to the city for work or university. When you ride the Titan R2, there is no need for a license in most cases as the max speed is 45/km/hr and while peddling it will be much less and hence classified as your routine electric bike. Additionally, it has an excellent lithium ion battery which can last you 600 charge cycles or 35,000+ Kms before replacing the battery. Also, there is no need for constant maintenance and you can go for a routine maintenance check every four months as advised by Tempus. 

Titan R2 – Price and Availability

Tempus launched a crowdfunding campaign during which they will offer pre-orders on their bike at a discounted price of $2250 USD or $3000 CAD. Additionally, Tempus offers a five year warranty on frames and a six month warranty on non wearable parts like battery, motor, LCD and the controller.

Wrapping Up

Tempus bikes have been off beat and much ahead than other e-bikes available in the market. The Titan R2 is for urban men who focuses on usability and style to a great extent. If you are looking to buy an electric bike, you should definitely consider Titan R2 for its unmatchable aesthetics and ease of use. 

 

Lenovo Chromebook Duet: The best Chromebook of 2020

If you are looking to purchase a low-cost laptop or tab due to COVID-19, it is worth checking out Lenovo’s new Chromebook Duet. Before getting into the details, we would like to say that there are shortcomings with the device, but it packs a serious punch starting at $279. When the price is that low, you are definitely not looking for a premium device, are you? The point is: “Is the Chromebook Duet better than other laptops you can get for this price?”

Chromebooks available in this price range are clumsy and gaudy, just like Chromebook x360 12b or HP’s Chromebook 14. If you wish to go for a Windows alternative, you’re good to go with Acer Swift or Acer Aspire. But again, there is an iPad mini and other entry level Android tablets. The only catch, these don’t come with a keyboard. Lenovo has tried to get away with a lot of things to bring the Chromebook Duet down to this price. The look and feel is more like a Surface Go than a budget laptop.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet Specifications

Comparing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet with higher-end Chromebooks like the Pixelbook Go isn’t the smartest thing to do. These devices are pricey, especially when you consider the keyboard covers. Coming to the specs, Chromebook Duet has a base model available with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It comes with a keyboard and kickstand unlike Surface Go or any iPad. The next model up comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is a better option and extra $20 won’t hurt you. 

The Chromebook is cute and how, at 10.1 inches, it is similar to a normal tablet but a bit cramped for room when you use it as a laptop computer. The display comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio, as opposed to the usual 16:9 ratio on a 13-inch laptop.

Weight and Battery Life

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is extremely compact and portable. The tablet just weights 449g and with the keyboard and kickstand it comes to about 921g, which is a steal. Despite slacking in some parts, Lenovo has done a fairly good job, the tablet is made up of Aluminium alloy which gives a sturdy look and feel. The outer cover is made up of gray fabric which gives a rich feeling when the laptop is closed.

If you are planning to use a range of peripherals, please ensure that you have splitters and dongles. The Chromebook Duet comes with a single USB-C port which will take up the charging port. It would be a bonus to include a headphone jack, however Lenovo has included a cool headphone dongle. The next place where the Chromebook Duet is excellent is its battery life. Lenovo claims the battery life of 10 hours, however early users admit that it is way over 11 hours. It is like a breath of fresh air when a low-cost laptop battery runs for 10+ hours at a stretch.

Chromebook Duet Price and Availability

The Chromebook Duet is modestly priced at $279 for the basic version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage capacity. The next version is priced at $299 with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity.  Lenovo Chromebook Duet is now available in store and on Best Buy. If you are looking to buy a laptop for kids or to watch Netflix and sending emails or work on the go it would be perfect. That being said, it is one of the best midrange laptops/chromebook you can get from a trusted brand like Lenovo.

 

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s – Carbon Fiber e-bike for the future

Majority of commuter e-bikes are bulky and difficult to carry. Almost all trending e-bikes have steel or aluminium frames hence requiring a large battery to move and a robust motor. These bikes are a treat to ride as battery support overpowers the weight. The drawback, however, is the difficulty to carry up a flight of stairs. Gogoro, a Taiwanese brand known for their electric scooters has come up with its first e-bike with carbon fiber. Due to carbon fiber, it is extremely lightweight and should not require as much power to ride.

There are a number of e-bikes available today like Cowboy , VanMoof and a variety of other manufacturers. So, the initial thought would be “What is so special about the Gogoro Eeyo 1s?”. We will cover Gogoro’s balance between weight, motorised power and smart-bike specifications. The CEO of Gogoro was the former head of design at HTC and hence we can expect Gogoro to deliver a solid punch.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Design

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s isn’t the first bike that removed the seat tube. However, the curvature and incessant lines of the frame makes Eeyo 1s a commendable beast. It has a slim carbon fiber frame devoid of a chunky down tube to hide the battery. The 123 WH battery is placed inside a metal cylinder located in the center of the back wheel. This design is what we would call a masterstroke to keep a slim frame. The Eeyo 1s is available in only one colour currently: warm white. If you wish to go for a swankier Lobster Orange or Cloud Blue, you will have to purchase the clunkier Eeyo 1. Gogoro has gone with “riser” handlebars that curve upwards from either side of the clamp. The grip too bends slightly towards the rider and hence provides a sportier position when riding.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Performance

The metal cylinder which contains the battery as well as a 250W motor and the sensors required to monitor the speed and exertion. Gogoro Eeyo 1s has a max speed of 25Km/hr in Europe and 31Km/hr in the US. This is very similar to top speeds provided by other e-bike manufacturers. In Europe, there is no requirement of a license or a number plate and insurance provided it is 250W and driven below 25Km/hr. Folks in the US, though the top speed is advertised as 31Km/hr, it is best to drive between 24-27Km/hr. The Eeyo 1 has been designed for cities where there’s a lot of traffic lights hence the riders need to be agile and proactive. Gogoro has confirmed that the range of Gogoro Eeyo 1s is 64-89Kms on a single charge. 

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Pricing and Availability

That handsome weight reduction comes at an exorbitant price. The Eeyo 1 with a carbon frame and fork with an alloy seat, handlebars and rims cost US $3,899. Eeyo 1s, the lighter model (complete carbon fibre) is priced at US $4,599. It is not too expensive for a carbon fiber bike but a lot more than the competitors VanMoof and Cowboy. The Eeyo 1s went on sale in the US early this week and will start delivering to other parts of the world by August 10.

Wrapping Up

The Gogoro Eeyo 1s has been specifically designed for a niche market. For people wishing to have an e-bike that is easy to carry on one arm. In doing so, these customers are happy to let go some of the smart features like an alarm or integrated lights. This e-bike will be a boon for people looking for a smart and sleek bike which is extremely lightweight and superfast. However, the only con is that it is super expensive, even by e-bike standards. It will be good to see such smart bikes on the city roads rather than smoke producing, environmentally harmful cars and motorbikes. If you would like us to write more about the latest trends in technology, you can comment below or contact us.