Vysor Puts Your Android Device’s Screen On Your Desktop

Vysor Puts Your Android Device’s Screen On Your Desktop

 

By Jon Russell

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If you’ve ever wanted to play games or use apps from your phone on your desktop — web versions of messaging apps prove how convenient desktops are — then Vysor is a new service for Android owners that might well be up your alley.

Created by Koushik Dutta, the prominent Android developer behind apps like AllCast, it is a Chrome extension that recreates a fully functioning version of your Android screen on your desktop, with mouse support for touch and hotkeys. It’s worth noting that the app is currently in beta — it leaked out via a Reddit thread — and it requires a USB cable for the connection.

This kind of functionality is possible on newer Samsung smartphones using the SideSync feature, but Vysor brings screen emulation to many more phones powered by Android. Beyond typing out long messages more conveniently using a keyboard, playing games on a larger screen and saving effort in other ways, the app has potential for developers that currently use emulator software to craft their apps, particularly since it allows devices to be shared across the web.

 

Article courtesy of Tech Crunch

How App Design Can Hurt App Development

How App Design Can Hurt App Development

By Anders Lassen

Apps

Mobile apps have become so ubiquitous that it’s easy for most people in tech to assume that creating them is a simple, straightforward process. Look behind the curtain of their development, however, and you’ll often find a painful history of cost-overruns, code and asset bloat and development delays.

Many of these obstacles are unique to developing on mobile. Mobile apps today are frequently the main interface between customers and entire companies. This means that the number of stakeholders in mobile app design is large: the designers themselves, the production team, the marketers, their managers, even the customers (or VCs) who ultimately fund development — few of whom generally understand how the actual app will work on a code level.

This doesn’t mean that engineers are the only ones who understand the app-creation process — just that there’s usually a major disconnect between most apps’ planning phase (i.e., concept and design) and the implementation of the actual code needed to create them (i.e., development).

This cultural and technological divide between the developers who implement the final code and just about everyone else is a key point of friction for building apps. In other words, most of us in tech are still part of the problem. Let me explain.

Locking Into A Vision That The Code Can’t Complete

When we talk about mobile app design, we’re generally referring to the app as it’s represented in Photoshop or a prototyping platform such as InVision or Pixate, powerful visualization tools that convey the look and feel of the final app.

However, these platforms have no direct relation to the underlying code, and can only represent a highly aspirational version of the final product, which may not be ultimately feasible. (Heavily animated, highly dynamic UIs, for instance, are visually appealing, but may add months to development.)

But a compelling visual design for an app often becomes the company’s central frame of reference for the app itself. (Contrast this with web-based design, where the final HTML/CSS code can usually be prototyped in real time.)

I’ve seen this happen time and again: Once you put a design in front of a client, they’re locked into that vision, and weeks or months later, are set up for a sharp disappointment, when they compare the design they signed off on with the actual app.

Which brings up a related point …

The Design Resource Allocation Paradox

While a prototype design defines the look and functionality of an app and is a crucial tool for communication with the customer and inside the development team, it is effectively a (costly) part of the process, rather than the product itself.

Once the app has been implemented in code, the prototype loses its value, and a large part of the development time and budget is spent on something that ultimately gets thrown away. This also includes resources spent on design features that never go into the final app at all.

The disconnect between prototype and development means that it’s easy for a designer to come up with animations, UI concepts and rich media content that are simply not possible to implement through code.

In these cases, the designer’s time and effort is completely wasted, incurring new rounds of design when the problem is discovered — often long after the “final” prototype has already been approved and handed over to development.

The Danger Of Designing Without Real Data

During the prototyping process, designers tend to cherry pick numbers, names and images that best illustrate how the final app will respond to user inputs. In the process, they often forget just how widely varied and frankly messy user inputs can actually be — some of which can cause an app to “look off” or render it completely useless. (Dropbox’s Josh Puckett has a vividly illustrated Medium post on this issue.)

Unfortunately, specific data-versus-design problems are typically spotted only after the app is in active beta testing, if the developer is lucky — or less lucky (as is often the case), only after it’s in the App Store and actual consumers start using it. Either way, a costly, time-consuming update is usually required, a process requiring new rounds from both designers and developers.

Build Apps, Not Prototypes

In the face of such challenges, some suggest that the solution is for designers to learn to code. As with Jesse Weaver, I think that’s neither feasible nor desirable. What’s really required is a better understanding of the app as a whole, from the basics of its programming to the surface sheen of its UI and art assets, within the context of the different platforms it will ultimately run on.

This also requires a realization that app development is not a linear process, and an end to the all-too-common workflow of designing an app and simply handing it over to developers. What’s needed, instead, is an organic process where designers and developers work together to create a vision that’s compelling and exciting — while also ensuring at every step that this vision can actually be brought into reality.

In a time where apps increasingly are the sole product of a company, fostering this approach is more important than ever.

 

 

 

Article courtesy of techcrunch

Android users more loyal than iOS counterparts, data shows

Are you #Team IPhone or #Android?

I personally love my android and all the unrestricted functions of my android, I also know many die hard IPhone users who can almost convince me to join the apple squad, but to no avail would I ever. This article explains exactly why android users are just more loyal!

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Android users more loyal than iOS counterparts, data shows

by Don Reisinger

 

Android smartphone owners have become more loyal to their operating system than iOS users over the last two years, according to new data.

Between July 2013 and June 2015, 82 percent of previous Android owners stuck with the operating system when they purchased a new handset, market researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) said Tuesday. Apple’s iOS was close behind with a 78 percent loyalty rate. All data was based on quarterly surveys of 4,000 individuals across the US.

Other mobile operating system makers didn’t fare as well as Google and Apple. BlackBerry, for instance, kept just 4 percent of its users during the period. Microsoft’s Windows platform clung to 19 percent of its users.

The data suggests that, at least among iOS and Android owners, switching to a new platform is not an attractive option. Perhaps more importantly to companies not named Google and Apple, it also suggests that having another operating system can be dangerous business. Exactly why customers choose to stick with Android and iOS, however, isn’t immediately clear, according to the researchers

“The dynamic between Apple iOS and Google Android is not well-understood,” Josh Lowitz, CIRP co-founder, said in a statement. “Even the basic loyalty rate, the measure of how each operating system retains its own users, is not widely known. Conventional wisdom says the Apple ‘ecosystem’ promotes loyalty, while Android readily gives up users to iOS. Our analysis has a more nuanced view on operating system selection, and indicates Android user loyalty has caught up and even exceeds that of iOS.”

Apple’s inability to retain as many of its own users as Android stands in stark contrast to a similar study conducted in 2013. At that time, Retrevo, a gadget-comparison company, released a study on how likely then-current Android and iOS users were to adopt new devices with the same operating system. That company found that 81 percent of iPhone owners would buy another Apple handset. The loyalty rate stood at 63 percent for Android.

While Apple’s loyalty rates are still sizable, Tuesday’s news follows a report in April from survey-creating company SurveyMonkey that found Apple had the second-highest customer loyalty rate of any technology firm. The company with the highest loyalty, however, was Samsung — Apple’s chief competitor in the smartphone business.

What’s worse for Apple, CIRP data shows that 20 percent of previous iOS owners decided to pick up an Android device during the period it evaluated. By contrast, 16 percent of Android users switched to iOS, potentially boosting Android’s market share on the back of Apple’s platform.

During Apple’s most recent earnings call in July, CEO Tim Cook offered a different take on the state of his company’s platform. He said Apple had measured its highest-ever switch rate from Android to iOS devices in the three-month period that ended June 27. He also noted that his company’s data included iPhone gains in both sales and market share across the world. The CIRP study was based solely on the US.

Despite not pinpointing exactly why users switch, CIRP analyzed whether switching carriers made a difference. The company found that while 79 percent of previous Android users would stick with the platform if they switched to a new carrier, just 51 percent of iOS users would continue on with Apple’s platform if they found a new service provider.

“Unlike almost every other product in technology, users cannot easily articulate why they like one or another operating system,” CIRP co-founder Mike Levin said in a statement. “One variable that seems to affect operating system switching behavior is mobile carrier switching. The time a user switches mobile carriers also is a logical time to switch operating systems. Our analysis suggests that switching mobile carriers correlates with iOS users switching to Android, but not Android users to switching to iOS.”

The CIRP findings also show another phenomenon: Customers switching to AT&T and Verizon were most likely to also switch from Android to iOS. Customers who moved to T-Mobile or Sprint were more likely to shift from iOS to Android.

Apple declined to comment on the report. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.