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Beginners guide to JSON Web Tokens(JWT) in 2020

I am sure you must have googled JSON web tokens (JWT) and skimmed through numerous articles before coming to our space. With the information available online, you would have a perception that JWT is a key element of modern authentication and authorization frameworks like OAuth and OpenID. Though JWT is used in OAuth and OpenID, it is not a part of these frame works. Secondly, its applications exceed authorization and authentication workflows. In this feature, we are going to give you a brief yet well-rounded overview of JWT and its features.

What is JWT?

A JSON web token(JWT) is a JSON object primarily used for secure data transfer over the web. It is ideally suited for information exchange and also an authentication system. The JWT token mainly comprises a header, payload and a signature. All three parts are separated by dots (.). JWT identifies the architecture of information we are transferring between two parties and it comes in two types – Serialized and Deserialized. 

A serialized method is principally used to exchange data through a network with each request and response. Whereas, the deserialized method is used to read/write data to the web token. A JWT in the deserialized type contains a header and payload only and both are plain JSON objects.

Why should you be using JWTs?

JSON web token(JWT) is a fabulous technology for API authentication and server to server authorization. However, it may not be good for sessions. For better understanding, it is important to compare JWT with Simple Web Tokens (SWT) and Security Assertion Markup Language Tokens (SAML).

JSON is less tedious than XML and hence its size is smaller and makes JWT compact than SAML. Hence, JWT is a better choice to be passed in HTML and HTTP environments.

In terms of Security, Single Web Token(SWT) can only be signed by a common secret using the HMAC algorithm. Moreover,  JWT and SAML tokens can use a public/private key pair for signing. Signing XML with XML digital signature with security gaps is extremely difficult compared to the ease of signing using JSON.

JSON parsers is a familiar concept in most programming languages as they map directly to objects. Alternatively, XML doesn’t have a natural document-to-object mapping which makes it easier to work with JWT over SAML assertions.

When we talk about usage, JWT is used mostly at the Internet scale. This emphasizes the ease of client-side processing of the JSON web token on various platforms, particularly mobile.

How should you use JWT?

In this section, let us discuss the cases in which JWTs can be your best bet. When you are building API services which require a server-to-server or client-to-server (imagine a mobile app or single page app (SPA)) communication, JWTs can be used as your API tokens. 

By doing that :

  • You will get an authentication API which a client authenticates against to get a JWT in return.
  • Clients will use this JWT to send authenticated requests to other API services.
  • The rest API services use the client’s JWT to validate and verify the client and can perform a task without having to perform a network validation.

It is advisable to use JWTs when using these types of API services as clients would make frequent requests with a limited scope and authentication data can be persisted without creating a dependency on user data.

When you are building a service where there will be three or more parties, JWTs can come handy. In this peculiar case, the requesting party will get a token to verify their identity and can pass it forward without requiring a real-time validation at each stage.

JWTs enable cryptographic signing and hence make a remarkable addition to federated user protocols. The concept is that when you are using federation (an example – Sign-on and OpenID Connect), JWTs will be important since you require a way to validate a user’s identity through a third party.

Wrapping Up

While building your next website, you can simply rely on your web framework’s default authentication tools and libraries and stop trying to facilitate JWTs unreasonably. However, if your goal is web security and everything else in the authentication spectrum, you are better off to partner with Nimblechapps. Do let us know if you would like to read more content on network security.

Everything that you need to know about Sketch and AI Powered Plugins

Have you heard about creating designs with code? You might think that this will not work, but it certainly does. You might even believe that this will be as hard as climbing a very rocky slope mountain with nothing to hold on to until you feel yourself falling. Isn’t it hard? But it is not. Working with codes to make a design is possible once you’ve started working with Sketch. Now with AI-powered plugins, you can incorporate with Sketch, it will become easier. 

What Is Sketch? 

Sketch, a vector graphics editor for macOS created by the Dutch company Bohemian Coding, is mainly a design kit that lets you build your best work using codes and scripts. It is a professional design software for macOS that uses a full vector workflow. The app can be used by anyone, from website designers, UX and UI designers or by just someone who wants a vector for his personal use. The interface is easy, and it is hard for you to get lost. It was developed a few years ago and aimed to provide a lightweight and responsive tool kit for creatives. 

Sketch is growing immensely in recent years, and many designers have been using it and testifying of its efficiency

Advantages Of Using Sketch

Considered by some as the game-changer in the design industry, there had been notable advantages of the software. 

  • Time Saver – Sketch comes in with handy pre-made templates that make work incredibly fast and shorten processes. Given the underwhelming number of tools, designers have noted that it made their task easier and allowed them to work with large files. Even saving your work has been quite easy and fast with Sketch.
  • Simplicity – Its interface is simple, and it has automatic guides. It focuses on the design and not on the technical aspect.
  • Resizing Capabilities – This feature has been one of the rages from designers who are working with Sketch. You can work in any size and export it into multiples sizes. 
  • Multiples Pages You Can Work On – You can organize your files and artboards the way you want it. 

AI-Powered Plugin In Sketch 

Probably one of the greatest things you’ll encounter in Sketch is its widespread availability of plugins. Whether you use plugins to make your animations incredible or you want to add some visualizations on your project, you can have broad access to plugins, thanks also to the astonishing community building it. Considered as a designer’s best friend, a plugin for Sketch are essentials in the design process. It is also growing in numbers day by day.

Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer to simulate human intelligence without any human interaction. For this reason, many software has been using AI-powered plugins to provide better experiences for users. 

Since relatively new in the market, this feature is yet to gain momentum in Sketch. However, you can easily create an AI-powered plugin in Sketch. 

How To Come Up With An AI-powered Plugin For Sketch

Matthew Dutour made a now-infamous detailed instruction (along with the codes and script) of creating an AI-powered plugin for Sketch determining an image if it is a hotdog or if it is not. According to him, you will need two things to create an AI-powered plugin. One of which is a classifier and a Sketch plugin which will utilize the classifier. 

These are the essential steps you need to follow to make your AI-powered plugin: 

Create And Train The Classifier

A classifier is a system that can identify an item to which set it belongs to,  using a string of samples it has been fed. These samples are the images that your classifier can rely on to classify whatever you want to identify. In the case of Dutour, it was hotdogs. He downloaded two (2) sets of images – one set containing all possible kinds of hotdogs while the other is just another set of random things. 

After downloading the images, it was stored into two separate folders named base on its classification, e.g. hotdog and not_hotdog. At this point, if you’re following the steps of Dutour, you can now start building the model or training your classifier. Leverage on software like Turi Creates to help you do this. 

Using this tool, you build your model by creating a Python script and uploading your two sets of images. You can then ask the tool to pull a UI to check on your dataset. The key takeaway here is that you need to check how your classifier is doing by tweaking the number of iterations to test its accuracy.

Make A Sketch Plugin

The next step after you are done with your classifier is to make a Sketch plugin that will use it. You can also use software like skpm to create the plugin and should appear in no time to the Plugin menu in Sketch. 

You have to note, however, that you need to put your classifier where the plugin can easily access it. You can do this by opening a new document in Sketch and moving all of your models on this so the plugin can have access to it. After doing so, you need to run the command, npm run watch in your terminal. 

Sketch Document Interaction

Once you are all set to start, you need to create first a Sketch document, insert an image and then select the picture again. Then you have to interact with it by determining if it is an image layer by grabbing hold of the layer in the user’s selection. 

Use of macOS Framework

Since Sketch is a native macOS application, you need to find a plugin that has access to its framework. The plugin you’ll be needing for is Vision as recommended by Dutour. Load it in your plugin, load the classifier you have created and get your model. Don’t forget to “request handler” that will get the image analysis you made and apply it on your image. For the last step, run your classifier and get the result you need.

Final Thoughts

As more and more companies are now turning to Sketch to complete their task, it is expected to grow more in the coming days. Sketch is a game-changer, and it is taking a massive leap against its competitors. It offers a simple and easy way to design things that eradicates the long-dreaded processes and commands that can be now done with just a tap of a simple button. 

As Artificial Intelligence is now becoming part of many industries, we can say that AI and machine learning can make an excellent tool for designs as well. It is becoming mainstream nowadays and helps boost creativity among designers. 

The future is bright for Sketch with its efficiency and with AI becoming a part of it, it will set the bar high for everybody and as Dutour said it, more than hotdogs of course. 

Motorola Razr 2 rumoured to release with 5G

Motorola was one of the first leading companies in the smartphone market to announce the foldable smartphone segment by invigorating the once dead Razr phones. The next version of Motorola’s revived Razr flip smartphones will support 5G connectivity and boast a 48 megapixel camera with a 6.2 inch screen. The highly rumoured sequel to Motorola’s quintessential smartphone is anticipated to be released in North America in September 2020. In 2019, Motorola released Razr which was the first vertical foldable smartphone in the market. Eventually, the Razr went on sale in February 2020.

The Motorola Razr earned the reputation of being a slick and foldable smartphone but the durability was still a question mark. The new Moto Razr 2 is intended to solve the problems of the first installment of foldable Razr smartphones. Motorola made a great deal about the custom hinge design that bends the screen in a U-shape when closed. The new Razr smartphone has a 6.2-inch foldable screen and many people found the hardware a big fail for the price of $1500.

Specifications

A Motorola trusted executive reaffirmed that a second generation Razr was coming soon and a different source suggested technical specifications. The new phone has a codename “Smith” with a model number XT2071-4. According to a leaked source, the second generation Razr phones will have a clamshell-style folder with a large internal OLED screen and a miniature display on the outside. The camera is supposed to get a big stimulus from 16MP primary and 5MP selfie camera to an astonishing 48MP and 20MP selfie camera. For the price of $1500, the existing Razr has a midrange Snapdragon 710 ARM chip which is a shortcoming from Motorola. However, Motorola Razr 2 will be equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage along with a Snapdragon 765 chip.

Possibility of 5G?

The inclusion of a Snapdragon 765 chip means that 5G is on the cards for the Motorola Razr 2. Now, a 765 Snapdragon chip can do a millimeter-wave 5G but it is not as swift as the Snapdragon 865. Also, the biggest concern is the foldable display. It is not clear if the existing millimeter-wave antennas can fit in a folding smartphone like Motorola Razr 2. However, it will be able to support sub-6 GHz 5G signals using an integrated X52 modem.

Is it worth it?

We still remember the time in 2004 when Moto Razr was launched and due to the slick design and foldable screen it was an instant hit among tech-savvy youth. The previous generation Razr launched in 2019 had a disappointing battery life due to a 2,510mAh cell. This new Razr 2 will supposedly increase the size to 2,800mAh. That being said, 5G technology will also use up more power and hence it will be interesting to see.

Now, the source didn’t provide any information about pricing or carriers but looking at the trend of previous Motorola Razr phones, this new phone would also be an expensive phone. For a long time, foldable phones have been a lavish product and it will continue this tradition for some time.

6 Best Learning Management Systems in 2020

The online learning model is going through tremendous growth, expected to pass a value of $325 billion by 2025. Due to Covid-19 pandemic and people staying at home, online learning is becoming a go to solution for educational institutions. Online learning has resulted in flexibility and ease of learning/training for faculty and students alike. Educators can now teach curriculum from around the world and students can learn anywhere in the world at any time. For this, it is important to have an efficient Learning Management System (LMS).

Companies around the world are now utilising the benefits of online learning to allocate work to remote teams, train employees for different functions, monitoring, compliance and much more. Moreover, vloggers and Youtubers are using digital learning platforms to impart knowledge to users globally. We know it is difficult to find the best LMS for your business. However, we have done all the hard work for you and made a list of best LMS for you. Let us check out some of the best Learning Management Systems in the world:

Moodle

Moodle is a free software to assist you in creating your online learning platform in a short time. The software is powered with different attributes, instructions, examination and reporting modules. The LMS platform can accommodate both totally online and mixed learning environments. It is very simple to access course material globally as Moodle comes with a cloud hosted solution. You can easily get a free version of Moodle for your first online learning platform. There are multiple communities for support and bug fixes, however you can also buy a paid version of $80 per year to get complete assistance. It is easy to customise user roles and processes as per your requirements and private server hosting to ensure security. Moodle supports only Android and Windows, so you might miss out on iOS users.

JoomlaLMS

JoomlaLMS is a great option for businesses looking for an economically viable and capable LMS. It is powered with a multi-language platform and can be customized for ease of use. Joomla provides multiple in-built user groups, roles and group management, plus personalised learner profiles. Moreover, you can import/export user lists and have access to features for enrollment and registration. The best part, you can get a 30 day free trial to enable you to make an informed choice. The paid plan starts from as low as $37/month and you can also opt for the Enterprise plan which can be customised as per your needs.                                            

TalentLMS

If you are looking for an unambiguous and user-friendly software, TalentLMS is the perfect choice for your business. To enable online learning, TalentLMS offers you a ready-made solution where you can sign-up and add courses instantly. Moreover, you can also add video-conferencing tools like Zoom to add to your program to enable virtual learning. The best feature is the Assessment Engine as it allows you to evaluate the progress of students with multiple exams and analyse results through different data reports.What this means, you have full control of content and management. Also, it is great to monetise your courses via Paypal. It is best to go for a free trial to get used to the system. In future, you can also get customisable pricing plans as per your business requirements.

Blackboard

Blackboard is one of the most premium LMS in the world, best for customisation. With Blackboard, you are able to design and manage elearning. It is easy to deliver exams and results and enhance the system based on your requirements using Blackboard Building Blocks. Additionally, you can also use Blackboard’s analytics, collaboration tools and broadcast notification system. Blackboard also offers you an option to have self hosted, managed hosted or cloud based SaaS configuration for your program. It is extremely useful to provide a Student Information System where students can access all information at once. The best part, Blackboard enables an excellent user experience without the requirement of taking the system down for maintenance. Unfortunately, there are no free trials and pricing plans are available on request tailored to your needs.

Mindflash

During COVID-19 global crisis, many organisations are working remotely and Mindflash is the best LMS for managing a remote workplace. Mindflash has a lot of big clients in their kitty, like Microsoft and Apple Inc. The cloud based setup allows businesses to train employees, managers, customers and partners. Mindflash has the simplest user interface beneficial for users to enter/ exit the system seamlessly. The dashboard is equipped with a huge white space, fairly visible tabs and super functional search bar. However, the drawback lies in the lack of social media features and gamification. Mindflash doesn’t come with a free plan and pricing is given on request basis only.

LearnDash

LearnDash is the best bet for businesses with a WordPress website as it has a dedicated WordPress LMS plugin. It is relatively easy to publish an online curriculum with LearnDash LMS. The LearnDash LMS enables businesses to offer paid courses to access online learning in multiple ways. Also, you can use the extensive library of official and third party add-ons with other integration options to use extra features. LearnDash being a cloud software, enables businesses to upload unlimited courses online. For beginners it is extremely easy to use the drag and drop feature to create and manage your online course content. The LearnDash LMS software starts from $159/year to $329/year which is quite reasonable.

In conclusion, we would like to say that the features of LMS may be different but most softwares work in the same way. It is best to use an LMS Software that serves your business requirements and future goals. If you wish to get more information or need to develop your online learning platform, you can contact Nimblechapps Ltd – a mobile app development company. We will keep writing more interesting articles every week to engage and educate our readers.

Top 5 Android 10 Features You Should Know About

Android 10 disembarked its journey on popular phones and tablets, including Google Pixel devices (Google’s flagship smartphones), Samsung Galaxy series, One Plus smartphones etc to begin with and later was available for mid-range and older smartphones and tablets. Most Android updates of the past usually had dessert themed names in alphabetical order. However, they are given codenames prior to launch. For example, Android Pie was Android P and its predecessor Android Oreo was Android O. This year, we had Android Q. However, Google has thankfully decided to ditch numbers and go with numbers, beginning with Android 10.

With your initial boot of Android 10, you would not be very elated to notice any major changes and it was meant to be that way. Android’s appearance and feel really only change in a limited way with this update. There are really major improvements hidden away but there are significant changes to the user side of the experience which are noteworthy. The new Android 10 update boasts a ton of novel features from an exciting dark mode (saviour of battery life) to live caption and better notification controls. Now, if you have purchased a brand new Android phone or just recently updated and are looking for ways to take advantage of the new features, we are here to guide you through the best Android 10 features that you should be using today:

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is my personal favourite feature among all the new features as it enables Android 10 users to darken everything from apps to settings and notifications. The Dark Mode is Godsent as it helps to save your battery and looks classy and doesn’t strain the eyes. 

Here is how you can turn the dark mode on:

  1. Go to Settings > Display
  2. Toggle on “Dark theme”.

You can also check your Setting menu on the top and can access a dark mode switch. However, you will need to click on the pencil icon in the lower-left corner of the settings menu to find this new feature.

Live Caption

Google developed Live Caption to make Android more accessible for commoners. This feature will live-caption any video being played on your device even with no internet connection. In order to activate this feature, you just need to play a video and press a volume button. The volume slider bar shows up with a caption button at the bottom which you can tap and then move the caption by dragging it around the screen. The Live Caption feature was only available on Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to begin with and was later made available on the rest of the Pixel smartphones. 

Gesture Navigation

Gesture navigation is something which Google had been trying to implement since long and finally rolled out with the Android 10 update and we couldn’t be more happier. With Android 10, Google got rid of the dependency on the back button – the conventional navigation feature. Moreover, the Android 10 update includes a full set of gestures to enable the users to move beyond buttons. However, gesture navigation is an optional functionality as per Google. On Pixel smartphones, you can enable the setting by following these steps : Go to Settings > System > Gestures > System navigation and choose Gesture navigation from the options provided.

Efficient Notification Manager

When it comes to managing notifications, Android 10 does a good job of providing options like Silent (Do not disturb equivalent) and Alerting (where you will get a sound with each new notification). Now, before you wonder why this is such an important feature, let us tell you why. The idea behind this feature is to allow the user to manage their notifications as and when they come from the home screen itself without having to navigate through to Settings and change notification settings. 

Limit Location Access

Have you ever thought about how many apps request you to allow location access to the point that it gets annoying and serves no purpose. With this feature in Android 10, the user has the capability to stop apps from obtaining your location when not in use. There are many apps like Facebook and Instagram that invade your privacy when you don’t change this setting. You can now change location to “Allow only while using the app” by going to Privacy settings.

If you haven’t updated your phone to Android 10, you can do that easily by going to Settings > System > Advanced > System update. If the update is available, it will only take a few minutes to install but if it is not available yet, you might need to wait longer for it. Android 10 update is upto the discretion of your phone manufacturer and hence it may take a few weeks to months before you receive this update unless you are using Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy smartphones. 

How to Write a Good Brief for a Mobile App Development Project

When you’re developing a mobile app, a brief can be the document that serves as a basis for all those who might be interested: the general public, investors, future users and people working on the app. 

The brief is also tremendously important for your staff members – if it’s well written and to-the-point, all of the team members working on the app will keep getting back to it. If it’s not, it will be like it doesn’t exist at all. This is why it’s worth it to invest some time and effort into crafting a great brief for a mobile app development project.

Here is a general overview on how to do it with the least amount of resources and at top quality:

Start with the Table of Contents

A good brief always starts with a precise and accurate table of contents. However, compiling this is much more complicated than inserting a Table of Contents from Microsoft Word. We’re not talking about the technical side – but what’s actually quite challenging is coming up with the form of your brief.

If you start with a table of contents, you automatically have an ordered draft for everything you will be writing about in the brief. Needless to say, it’s also beneficial for your readers, who will most likely use the table to peruse the parts which interest them the most.

Leave the Intro for Last

The first step is always the hardest, and a project brief is definitely no exception. Your mobile app idea might be something that you know inside-out; you know exactly who will work on what and when, but how do you start the first sentence? What’s the first paragraph like and what’s the first page all about?

To resolve this annoying issue, start writing the introduction only after you’re done with everything else. By then, you’ll already have a systematic and orderly mind-map of everything you have written about in the brief, so writing the introduction will be a breeze. 

Define Users

Even the best mobile app can fail if it doesn’t capture the right audience and doesn’t make the users want to engage. Therefore, defining your target audience (the users of your mobile app) is not only part of marketing but also a part of the development process. 

Present a Short Market Analysis

Don’t go too far and wide, but definitely mention some similar apps that are out there, what they’re doing right and what could be improved. You can always use competitor products as guidelines for both good and bad examples during your development project. 

Produce a text section that talks about the strengths and innovations with your mobile app. To do this, you need to compare yourself to the competitors (if you have any) and analyze the state of the market for your niche.

List Resources

Of course, the resources you’re able to invest in your mobile app development project are an important part of your brief. Just like with all other things, keep it concise and to the point, because there will be other supporting documents where you can explain your resource allocation in detail. 

Describe the Stages

Next to resources, you should also break up your project in smaller chunks and set different timeframes and resources for each. As a rule, every development project is done in stages due to multiple benefits. Firstly, it’s easier to focus on the task at hand when it’s clearly outlined what’s coming next. Also, it’s proven to be much more effective in terms of organization and correct planning. 

Assign Team Members and Time

According to the stages section (especially if you formatted it as a calendar), assign individual team members to each task or stage, so that it’s always clear who’s working on what. This will not only serve as a plan for time allocation but can also help other team members in the future find out who’s working on a particular task – especially if you’re working with big teams. 

Explain how you will Tackle Difficulties

This is something a lot of brief writers do not include in their documents, but having this section definitely has its benefits. Statistics show that more than 40% of projects exceed their original planned budget. This is just one of the basic difficulties you are likely to come across during your development phase. Another common one is missing stage deadlines or missing the final deadline for the launch of the app.

Use Clear, Direct Language

Many content writers tend to say that simple and clear writing can often be much more challenging than poetic, novel-like texts. For clarity, it’s crucial that every type of user, no matter their age, education or culture understands your text perfectly.

This can be incredibly hard to achieve, so you can use some of these online tools and services to help you: TrustMyPaper (a writing service website where you can hire writers), BestEssaysEducation (another great writing service), Readable (a tool for checking the readability level of your brief), SupremeDissertations (a website where you can hire brief writers).

Eliminate Everything Unnecessary 

Finally, it’s important to remember that a brief should be exactly such: brief. Cut out everything that doesn’t help the reader understand the project to its core and that distracts the reader from crucial pieces of information. Given that it’s hard to look at your own document with another set of eyes, ask for a second opinion from a colleague on what should and could be eliminated.

Conclusion

Writing a simple text about something highly complex and intricate can be quite challenging. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of writing a good brief: either invest a lot of time and effort to do it right or outsource the work to professionals.

Top 5 Announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2020

Apple’s keynote speech by CEO Tim Cook commenced their first ever digital Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020). The address covered a whole lot of software updates including iOS 14, iPhone, iPad, WatchOS and Apple TV etc. WWDC 2020 was highly anticipated as Apple decided to go online due to the current COVID-19 scare. We know many of you didn’t have the time to watch the live stream but we’ve got you covered. Apple made many major announcements to iOS, macOS, WatchOS etc and also a break up with Intel. We have got the 5 best announcements from WWDC 2020 for you to look at:

Make way for iOS 14

iOS 14 is now available in preview mode to developers from today. Important to note, a public beta version is expected to roll out in July shortly. Lots of software updates are coming to iOS 14 and some of the best are covered by us. iOS 14 will feature an App Library or a new home screen page. This will help to classify your apps and will keep you informed about the apps that you use the most. Along with this, Widgets will now be available on home screen and not on Today screen like previous iOS versions. Moreover, iOS 14 will have a picture-in-picture feature on iPhone to switch between different apps while watching a video or during Facetime. This feature has been on the iPad since iOS 9 but now you can use it on the iPhone too.

Siri has been revamped in iOS 14 too. Now, Siri will no longer take the fullscreen and can do speech to text translation with privacy and speed. Also, you can now pin your most important conversations to the top of the list for ease of use and Memojis will now don a face mask. Because, why not?

MacOS Big Sur

The new version of macOS will be called the Big Sur. MacOS Big Sur will have some modifications to make it look and feel like iOS. Just like iOS, macOS will now feature a dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen to control volume, display brightness, dark mode, WiFi controls etc. It will now be easier to use a revised Notification Center to clear more notifications in one go. Safari will now have a Privacy Report function which will show you what data has been captured by the site. Moreover, Apple Maps has been revamped in macOS Big Sur. It will now support functions like in-door maps, guides, favourite locations etc.

Changes for iPadOS

Though iPadOS will be able to use most of the features from iOS14 along with a few new features. Apple has revamped the iPad search – it will no longer be full screen. The iPadOS can now go into apps like Messages, Mail, Keynote and Files. Moreover, handwriting recognition is now enabled in any text field which allows you to scribble a quick note without putting the pencil down to type. It is very convenient to draw rough shapes like squares, arrows etc and convert them automatically into neatly designed shapes by holding your pencil for a few more seconds. iPadOS comes with the ability to understand different languages with ease too.

WatchOS 7

You can now set up your Apple Watch face according to your liking with the new WatchOS 7. Compared to earlier versions, you can also share your watch face set up with your friends via messages or email/safari. If the receiver doesn’t have proper set up, they will be guided how to access it easily. Sleep tracking is much better with WatchOS 7 and helps to keep a track of your sleep schedule periodically. The most relevant feature of WatchOS 7 is handwash detection. Your Apple Watch can now detect your hand motions through the accelerometer and sound of water to detect that you are washing your hands and it will start a 20 second timer to remind you.

Homekit

Homekit is now enabled to automatically change the brightness/temperature of your smart bulbs all throughout the day. Like user cooler lights during the day and warm lights during the latter part of the day to help you sleep. Homekit doorbell cams can now recognize your friends and relatives and notify you via Homepod/Apple TV. With Homekit, it is now possible to select activity zones for security cameras. With that, you can limit alerts to only a certain number of activities/ movements throughout the video and not every time when a car passes by your house.

Along with the above changes in multiple OS, there are other changes to improve security and enable a premium user experience. These changes will also change the landscape of mobile app development in 2020-21.

Amazfit T-Rex by Huami: The Smartwatch with a rugged look

We have to confess the fact that a watch being called the “T-Rex” was a deciding factor to check it out. Who wouldn’t want to say they have a T-Rex on their hand? Pretty cool, right? Even better, was Huami’s assertion about its battery life and the T-Rex doesn’t disappoint. The Amazfit watches and wearables are made by Huami, the company responsible for making Mi bands. With products like Amazfit T-Rex, the future of wearables is looking bright.

The Amazfit T-Rex is Huami’s first sturdy smartwatch at under $140, a perfect reply to competitors like Garmin. However, this comes with a couple of advanced features. The look and feel of the Amazfit T-Rex is pretty similar to Casio’s G Shock, only this is a smartwatch. 

Amazfit T-Rex Design

The Amazfit T-Rex is a rugged smartwatch, staying true to its name. This smartwatch is not for anyone with a small wrist, but it gives that macho feeling at this price. It comes with enormous bezels and stark lines across the case and its strap. The T-Rex is a relatively lightweight smartwatch at 56.7 grams. However, smartwatch weight is just a relative concept.

The watch case is plastic and boasts four buttons: up, down, back and select. This particular watch case design enables an excellent battery life. The Amazfit T-Rex can run for 20 full days on single charge with normal use and full 20 hours with GPS use.

Amazfit T-Rex Specifications

The display of Amazfit T-Rex has made up for the lacking slightly cheap hardware. The T-Rex has a 1.3 inch AMOLED display panel covered in Gorilla Glass 3, amazing right? It is best to have an automatic brightness turned on with this smartwatch and it will adapt accordingly. The Amazfit T-Rex has got a MIL-STD-810G durability rating and 5 ATM water resistance capacity, enabling it to endure anything thrown at it with relatable ease. 

Usually, smartwatches and fitness trackers above $200 level have IP67 or 68 rating, while many don’t have a durability rating. Huami mentioned that it has 12 military certifications which allows the watch to work between minus 40 to 70 degree celsius. The Colours reflect the rugged exterior too. This Amazfit smartwatch is available in Army Green, Khaki, Camouflage green, Rock Black and Gun Gray. 

Amazfit T-Rex : The Good and Bad

The Amazfit T-Rex has features like GPS, optical heart rate monitor and almost everything that you might expect from a smartwatch. The battery capacity of 390mAh isn’t noteworthy and is charged with a magnetic pogo-pin cable like other smartwatches. If you are buying the Amazfit T-Rex, you will just need to charge once or twice a month depending on usage. It is so convenient that you don’t have to take it off often, it feels great not to think about charging one more device.

The Amazfit T- Rex uses its own Amazfit OS, rather than using battery sucking WearOS.  If you have been using the Apple Watch or a smartwatch with WearOS, it will be difficult to adjust to the Amazfit T-Rex. As, you are stuck with 20 plus preloaded watch faces which are non customizable and only a few watch faces include important updates like Weather.

The software of Amazfit T-Rex is pretty basic. It has trackable activities like walking, running, cycling, swimming, climbing, elliptical etc. It is easy to access your workouts but it will take a whole lot of button presses. The major drawback is that you will have to depend on the Android or iOS app to configure with limited options on the watch itself. It would be a crime to call Amazfit’s software an advanced smartwatch OS, however it does the job in terms of excellent battery life. This is a noteworthy feature for some people though it would be a disappointment  for Apple or Samsung smartwatch users. 

Who should buy Amazfit T-Rex?

It is worth noting that if you are looking to get a decent smartwatch with G-Shock like design a very appealing battery life and not dependent on WearOS then the Amazfit T-Rex is your best bet. It is available on Amazon for $139.99 and is made available in India starting from INR 9,999. If you would like to read more about technology and gadgets, please subscribe to our blog for latest updates.

 

How will 5G change the landscape of mobile app development in 2020 ?

4G mobile technology has presented breathtaking experiences to mobile users like fast internet surfing, HD video streaming, smooth and dependable video conferencing (imagine COVID-19 global crisis in the times of 2G?) and gaming. Every ten years, mobile technology takes a huge leap into the future and now it is time to welcome 5G mobile technology. Mobile companies and telecommunication giants are about to take a leap of faith from 4G to 5G and we are happy to discuss the impact it would have on mobile app development. It also offers a whole lot of possibilities for end users which were unthinkable of in times of 3G or 4G technology.

Faster internet speed (a driving force making life easier for users) is one of the advantages for end users amongst other benefits. 5G is a revolutionary concept and till the last two-three years nobody would have imagined that life could faster beyond 4G, but 5G is here to transform the internet. One of the early enthusiasts of the revolutionary 5G technology is mobile app developers and we are about to witness a huge disruption of fifth generation in mobile application development in 2020.

What is 5G technology?

The 5G technology is the fifth generation mobile network that promises upto 20 times faster connectivity than the current 4G LTE network. The fifth generation technology allows a novel kind of network tailored to virtually connect everything together including a host of IoT devices. Basically, the 5G network technology employs a higher frequency bandwidth to enable a much faster data transfer ability compared to other low frequency variants. With 5G, mobile users will be able to view content on higher resolution and get access to uninterrupted connectivity throughout the world. Isn’t it amazing? Yes, we thought so too. 

How will 5G impact mobile app development in 2020 -2021?

Before mobile app developers start creating an app, they think about the devices and networks the app will be used on. The app is then developed keeping these standards in mind for the app to run smoothly on devices alike. Here are some of the best features of 5G that app developers can keep in mind before they start working on this technology:

Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication: 

Ultra reliable low latency communication or URLLC is one of the most important features of 5G where data transfer happens in real time with negligible lag. Low latency communication helps to reduce page load times significantly and end users can have a better experience using mobile sites. However, URLLC is most beneficial while operating heavy machinery or say while performing a remote surgery as a negligible delay can prove costly. The fifth generation technology claims to reduce this delay from 50 milliseconds in 4G LTE to 1 millisecond which is remarkable. 

Enhanced Mobile Broadband: 

Due to higher speed, mobile app developers can create more appealing apps and offer breathtaking interfaces ultimately providing a much better user experience. Moreover, it will go beyond higher speed to provide a seamless user experience by enabling 360 degree video stream, appealing AR and VR applications to name a few. Embb is focused solely to cater to the user market and rising need to provide higher video quality, engaging users through the app in real time without having to use a public wi-fi for example at a music concert or a sporting event. The idea is to provide a streaming experience which is better and advanced than the current 4G LTE service.

Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC):

Before we dig deeper into mMTC, let us simplify what mMTC is in layman terms. mMTC is a type of data communication between systems without human dependency. Internet of things (IoT) devices usually do not require a faster internet connection, however it is still dependent on the fifth generation network. 5G promises to offer mMTC and is solely focused on IoT devices run by a fast internet connection. By using this feature, mobile app developers can easily uplift their app game to the next level.

Benefits to mobile apps:

The first and foremost benefit of 5G is super fast internet speed to enable end users to download apps within a couple of seconds, stream high quality video without annoyance of buffering. It will enable faster file transfer and money transfer within seconds anywhere in the world. Lastly, 5G will help mobile app developers provide ultimate user experience to end users. 

Fitbit Flow: A low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 Patients

Fitbit, the wearable giant has joined NASA and Dyson to manufacture low-cost ventilators to help during COVID-19 crisis. NASA had been approved to manufacture and sell their ventilators late last month. Now, Fitbit comes with a $5000 ventilator which has been given a green signal by the FDA for emergency use. This means that it can only be used during COVID-19 crisis and not after that. According to The Verge, Fitbit Flow would be sold around $5000, which is considerably lower than conventional ventilators and the production is expected to begin this month.

Comparison between traditional Ventilator and Fitbit Flow

According to the American Thoracic Society, a ventilator is a life support system that assists people to breathe when they are unable to breathe on their own. The ventilator helps to get oxygen into the lungs and get rid of carbon dioxide out of the lungs. It is important to note that the Flow isn’t a traditional ventilator, nor it is designed to be a replacement. According to FDA, it is only to be used when an FDA cleared ventilator isn’t available during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this, Fitbit explained that the Flow has been developed to act as a makeshift ventilator to be used during the COVID-19 crisis as healthcare establishments are running out of ventilators. It doesn’t mean that it could be used in hospitals after the pandemic resides, for that it would need further testing and approval from FDA.

Fitbit has expressed that it proposed to use the pre existing infrastructure to quickly manufacture “large volumes” of these easy to use and low-cost ventilators to keep COVID-19 patients alive until they are shifted to a traditional ventilator. Fitbit also suggested that this is a provisional shift in focus and there are no plans to continue manufacturing Flow once the pandemic resides.

Fitbit Flow Concept and Engineering

Fitbit says that the Flow is engineered around resuscitator bags generally used by healthcare professionals/ paramedics but it has supplementary sensors and alarms to assist patient monitoring efficiently. The company approached medical experts and practitioners while developing the Flow and expects it will be easier to use than conventional ventilators. The design is intended to inspire confidence. The machine is built from laser cut aluminium, it is devised to be user-friendly and insightful which reduces the burden on highly specialised healthcare professionals who are usually expected to operate a conventional ventilator. The hardware is designed to have a transparent viewing window for medical staff to examine the automated pumping from a distance and the Flow can be used with a stand or can stand firmly on a table top for ease of use. The stand is also modular and has the capacity to accommodate different sizes of oxygen tanks.

Fitbit CEO and co-founder remarked in a statement that the wearable company saw an opportunity to showcase their competence in advanced sensor development, manufacturing and their efficient global supply chain to address the dire and continuous need for ventilators and help make a contribution in the worldwide fight against COVID-19. Fitbit confirmed its intentions to produce a ventilator last month after concerns surfaced that there aren’t enough ventilators to handle all the patients who will need them during the ongoing crisis against coronavirus. The Wall Street Journal reported that in April, the United States government had been struggling to purchase thousands of ventilators to deal with the virus outbreak but the demand was lower than expected. Nevertheless, the ventilators may be needed if COVID-19 spreads beyond or due to factors such as the start of the influenza later this year. Only time will tell.