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PHP (Hypertext Pre Processor) is one of the most popular scripting languages in use on the Internet today. The trick to ensure from the very beginning that the PHP code works properly is to write the test code before the application code. Writing a code in PHP is simple, but writing the test code manually is often a tedious and time-consuming task. So, what could be done to obviate the need of manually writing the test code which involves many repetitive tasks? Well, one way is to go for an automated PHP testing framework.

An automated PHP testing framework is a software that is especially designed to do the tiresome work of PHP testing for you, that too in an effective manner. Automated testing frameworks mostly use two approaches - Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD). The distinction between TDD and BDD is the syntax of the testing code. TDD is about using the the PHP code in testing files, whereas BDD uses human-readable sentences. Human-readable sentences describe the behavior of each feature, and even non-technical people can understand them.

Click here to learn more about the distinction between TDD and BDD

Coming back to the main topic, I am offering an insight into seven powerful automated PHP testing frameworks that developers may find worth using to test their PHP code in 2017.

7 Automated PHP Testing Frameworks

#1 PHPUnit

PHPUnit, a programmer-oriented testing framework, is popular for writing Unit Tests for PHP apps. This automated testing framework for PHP allows to conduct test-driven development. As far as Unit Testing is concerned, it involves taking small portions of code and testing them individually for proper operation.

You can use PHPUnit via the command line. Besides, the testing framework comes with a TestCase class, which you can extend as per your needs. With PHPUnit, developers can also make use of pre-written declaration techniques to control the behavior of the application in a specific way.

Click here to learn more about PHPUnit

#2 Codeception

Codeception goes beyond Unit Testing as it provides a way to write Acceptance Tests and Functional Tests, too. It’s a PHP full-stack testing framework and inspired by BDD. The best thing about Codeception is that it comes integrated with PHP development frameworks, like Phalcon, Yii, the Zend Framework, Laravel4, and Symfony2.

Owing to descriptive nature of Codeception tests, you can easily understand what’s being tested and how it is performed. With Codeception, a simple PHP Domain-Specific Language (DSL) is used for writing even complex tests with many assertions.

#3 PHPSpec

PHPSpec also supports BDD approach for writing clean and working PHP code. PHPSpec, inspired from test-first development, requires you to write the specifications first to give directions to your application code to behave in a specific manner. So, with PHPSpec, the behaviour of an object you are about to write has to be described first. The next step is to write enough code to meet that specification and finally refactor this code.

An important point to note here is that PHPSpec is a SpecBDD tool created to help developers write readable and well designed code. TDD/SpecBDD is more about writing specifications for small units of code, not testing all edge cases or doing whole-application-integration testing.

#4 Behat

Behat, an open-sourced behavior-driven framework for PHP, makes you feel as if you are not writing tests, but stories. Behat uses StoryBDD, a behaviour-driven development subtype, for writing human-readable stories that describe the behavior of your application. The inspiration for Behat was drawn from a Ruby testing framework, called Cucumber project.

Even non-programmers can comprehend tests assertions written with Behat as it uses syntax of Gherkin, a special language that is human readable and designed specifically for behavior descriptions.

#5 Peridot

Peridot, a lightweight automated testing framework for PHP, features an event-driven architecture. Peridot is equipped with the reporters and plugins, which paves the way to customize the framework with ease. The describe-it syntax allows to establish a clear and readable testing language in order to clearly describe the application code behavior.

#6 SimpleTest

SimpleTest, a Test-Driven Development framework for PHP testing, boasts about its simplicity. SimpleTest is open source and a good alternative for PHPUnit. SimpleTest also comes with a very simple HTML GUI, which you can extend according to your needs. Also, SimpleTest is easier to set up than PHPUnit. Unlike PHPUnit which runs on a server, SimpleTest runs from a browser. SimpleTest supports SSL, forms, proxies, frames and basic authentication.

#7 StoryPlayer

StoryPlayer helps developers bring stories to life using simple and powerful test automation. StoryPlayer is a full-stack testing framework that supports TDD testing approach. With StoryPlayer, developers can write end-to-end tests for an entire platform. You can use StoryPlayer for creating and destroying test environments on demand as well. Besides, if you want to check the entirety of your application, you can write functional tests with the help of StoryPlayer. The framework rids the need of learning any domain-specific language (DSL) as it ships with an extensive set of modules to save your time.

Since PHP is used by many developers across the globe, it’s important to stay abreast of frameworks that can perform automated testing of the PHP code. The tech market is flooded with many automated PHP testing frameworks, but I have picked only seven for this blog. You can choose the one that best fits your need.

Have you ever used any automated PHP testing framework before? Do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed? Which is you favorite PHP testing framework? As always, your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.

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Django continues to be the pick of libraries for Python developers. However, there are some not-so-well-known libraries that happened to gain traction among Python developers in 2016. In this blog, I am unveiling 7 Python libraries, excluding the established ones like Django, Flask, etc, that Python developers may find worth considering in 2017.

10 Less-Known-Yet-Helpful Python Libraries for 2017

#1 Arrow

Mobile apps are everywhere, and are often meant for global population - be it for games, social media, health monitoring and whatnot. However, the problem with the standard data/time library for Python is that it doesn’t meet the requirements of modern apps that have their target audience living in different regions and countries. Arrow is one of the libraries to battle with this problem. It comes packed with features that simplify creation, formatting, manipulation and conversion of data, time and time stamps.

The library replaces the need for datetime type that supports Python 2 or 3. With Arrow, developers can convert one time zone to another at ease. Besides, Arrow’s date, time and calendar modules open gates to hassle-free internationalization of applications.

#2 TensorFlow

TensorFlow, launched by Google in November 2015, is an open-source software library for numerical computation. It’s been just over a year since TensorFlow was launched, but the library has already witnessed considerable popularity among Python developers. As a matter of fact, TensorFlow is one of the trendiest GitHub Python repositories.

The library uses data flow graphs capable of running over GPUs and CPUs in a desktop, server, or mobile device with a single API. TensorFlow was originally developed by researchers and engineers in Google's Machine Intelligence research organization for machine learning and deep neural networks research. Although TensorFlow has created ripples in the machine learning community, it has proved to be a good fit for production applications as well.

#3 Zappa

The release of AWS Lambda brought serverless architecture to the fore. Zappa is often said to be the next evolution of application deployment for Python web applications. Rich Jones, the principal author of Zappa and the CTO of Gun.io, said in an interview, “I believe that serverless architectures - that is to say, systems without any permanent infrastructure - are the future of network applications”.


With Zappa, deployment of all Python WSGI applications on AWS Lambda + API Gateway becomes a doddle. The library rids the need of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on VPS services like Linode or PaaS services like Heroku. In even simpler words, we can say that Zaapa allows deployment of microservices on the cloud without any hassles of server management. Zappa is faster and scalable, too.

#4 Peewee

Peewee is a simple, expressive ORM for Python and supports SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. A database is often must for applications that use external data. However, it’s a very challenging task to get and set data from a database through ad hoc connection strings. Here comes Peewee to rescue. The library makes it possible for developers and database engineers to use a safe, programmatic approach to access database resources using a set of intuitive Python classes.

Developers who have previously created a database in SQLAlchemy would agree that it’s much easier to create a database in Peewee. Peewee is also a fit for the Flask web framework.

Click here to learn how to create a database in Peewee

#5 Sanic + uvloop

Sanic is a Flask-like, uvloop-based web framework that makes Python fast. Sanik, designed for Python 3.5, allows developers to build on async/await syntax for defining asynchronous functions. Before Sanic, Python had no way to go so fast. Another library, uvloop, serves as a blazingly fast drop-in replacement for asyncio’s default event loop.


Sanik enables developers to write async applications in Python in a way that is very similar to how they would write them in Node.js. However, going by the Sanic author’s benchmark, uvloop is well capable of handling over 33k requests/sec, which is way more than the capability of Node.js. Since Sanic is still new, more improvements and changes are highly likely to be made into it in near future. You can also contribute to its open source repository.

# 6 Bokeh

You may know that Python offers some libraries, like matplotlib and seaborn, for data visualization. However, Bokeh is a library that is specifically designed for interactive visualization that targets modern web browsers for presentation. Developers can use Bokeh for creating top-notch novel graphics in a way that is much similar to the style of D3.js. Besides, you can extend this capability with high-performance interactivity over very large or streaming datasets.

You may like to give Bokeh a try for creating interactive plots, dashboards, and data applications. Developers can also use Bokeh for transforming visualization written in other libraries, like Matplotlib, Seaborn and ggplot. Bokeh also helps in research by nicely integrating with Jupyter Notebooks.

#7 Blaze

Blaze targets database and array technologies used for analytics queries. NumPy and Pandas don’t help when it comes to running analytics over a dataset that is too big to fit in our computer’s memory. In such a case, developers often resort to PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Hadoop, Spark, out-of-disk storage systems (PyTables and BColz), etc.

However, it’s a very challenging task to understand how each system works and enters data into the proper form. Due to lack of learning about how to mix and migrate data between new technologies, it becomes very difficult to derive effective results from data analytics. Blaze ends this predicament by providing a uniform interface to a variety of database technologies and abstractions for migrating data. Blaze is a good option for expressing computations.


Although there are many other less-known-yet-effective Python libraries, like Gym + Universe, Boto3, Hug, Scrapy, Beautiful Soup and many more, I have picked only seven as the blog could go endless. Python developers can explore these libraries to see if they fit into their needs and choose accordingly.


Have you ever used any of the above seven libraries before? Do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed? Please share your views in the comment box below.
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The term Big Data has created a lot of hype already in the business world. Chief managers know that their marketing strategies are most likely to yield successful results when planned around big data analytics. For simple reasons, use of big data analytics helps improve business intelligence, boost lead generation efforts, provide personalized experiences to customers and turn them into loyal ones. However, it’s a challenging task to make sense of vast amounts of data that exists in multi-structured formats like images, videos, weblogs, sensor data, etc.

In order to store, process and analyze terabytes and even petabytes of such information, one needs to put into use big data frameworks. In this blog, I am offering an insight and analogy between two such very popular big data technologies - Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

Let’s First Understand What Hadoop and Spark are?

Hadoop: Hadoop, an Apache.org. Project, was the first big data framework to become popular in the open source community. Being both a software library and a big data framework, Hadoop paves the way for distributed storage and processing of large datasets across computer clusters using simple programming models. Hadoop is a framework composed of modules that allow automated handling of common hardware failure occurrences.


The four primary modules that comprise Hadoop’s core are:



Hadoop is a file system with a two-stage disk-based compute framework MapReduce and a resource manager YARN. Apart from Hadoop’s core modules, there are several others in existence as well, including Hive, Pig, Ambari, Avro, Oozie, Sqoop and Flume. These modules are also well capable of working with big data applications and processing large data sets.

The main motive behind designing Hadoop was to look through billions of pages and collect their information into a database. And, that gave birth to Hadoop’s HDFS and its distributed processing engine, MapReduce. Hadoop is a great help for companies that have no effective solution to deal with large and complex datasets in a reasonable amount of time.


Apache Spark: Spark, also an open-source framework for performing general data analytics on distributed computing cluster, was originally designed at the University of California, and later donated to the Apache Software Foundation. Spark’s real-time data processing capability provides it a substantial lead over Hadoop’s MapReduce.

Spark is a multi-stage RAM-capable compute framework with libraries for machine learning, interactive queries and graph analytics. It can run on a Hadoop cluster with YARN but also Mesos or in standalone mode. Apples and oranges, really. An interesting point to note here is that Spark is devoid of its own distributed filesystem. So, for distributed storage, it has to either use HDFS or other alternatives, such as MapR File System, Cassandra, OpenStack Swift, Amazon S3, Kudu, etc.

Now that we have caught a glimpse of Hadoop and Spark, it’s time to talk about different types of data processing they perform.

What are Different Types of Data Processing?

Image result for what is batch processing and stream processing

Image source: LinkedIn

There are three types of data processing: Batch Processing, Stream Processing and Hybrid Processing.

Batch Processing: Batch processing has been pivotal to big data world for years now. The simplest way we can define batch processing is operating over high volumes of data collected over a period of time. Since data is first collected, entered and then processed, results are produced at a later stage. Although batch data processing is an efficient way of processing large, static datasets, the time taken to return the result is long as it happens only after the computation is complete.

Nevertheless, batch processing is the best for holistic treatment of datasets. For example, when access to a complete data set is required, like calculating totals and averages, there is no data processing more suitable than batch processing.

Click here to learn more about batch processing

Stream processing: Stream processing has become the current trend in the big data world. The modern business era is about speed and real-time information, which is what steam processing is the most suitable for. Since batch processing does not allow businesses to react to changing business conditions in real time, stream processing has witnessed a rapid rise in demand in past few years.

Although stream processing systems can also handle vast amounts of data, they operate over one or micro batches at a time. According to Mike Gualtieri, an analyst at Forrester Research, “With traditional analytics you gather information, store it and do analytics on it later. We call that at-rest analytics.” However, streaming technologies allow analysis of a series of events that have just happened. “It could be a piece of farm equipment that has a lot of sensors on it emitting data on temperature and pressure. You want to analyze that in real-time to see if there is a risk of the engine blowing up.”

Click here to take a deep-dive into stream processing of big data

Hybrid Processing: Hybrid processing is nothing, but the capability of a processing system to perform both batch processing and stream processing.

Comparison Between Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark

Data Processing

Hadoop: Apache Hadoop provides batch processing. In fact, Hadoop was the first framework that created ripples in the open-source community. Google’s revelation about how they were working with vasts amounts of data helped Hadoop developers a great deal in creating new algorithms and component stack to improve access to large scale batch processing.

MapReduce is Hadoop's native batch processing engine. Several components or layers (like YARN, HDFS etc) in modern versions of Hadoop allow easy processing of batch data. Since MapReduce is about permanent storage, it stores data on disk, which means it can handle large datasets. MapReduce is scalable and has proved its efficacy to deal with tens of thousands of nodes. However, Hadoop’s data processing is slow as MapReduce operates in various sequential steps.

Image result for realtime processing with spark

Image source: zData Inc

Spark: Apache Spark is a good fit for both batch processing and stream processing, meaning it’s a hybrid processing framework. Spark speeds up batch processing via in-memory computation and processing optimization. It’s a nice alternative for streaming workloads, interactive queries, and machine-based learning. Spark can also work with Hadoop and its modules. The real-time data processing capability makes Spark a top choice for big data analytics.

Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD) allows Spark to transparently store data on memory, and send to disk only what’s important or needed. As a result, a lot of time that is spent on the disc read and write is saved.

Ease of Use

Spark is easier to use than Hadoop as it comes with user-friendly APIs for Scala (its native language), Java, Python, and Spark SQL. Hadoop, on the other hand, is written in Java, difficult to program and requires abstractions. Since Spark provides a way to perform streaming, batch processing and machine learning in the same cluster, users find it easy to simplify their infrastructure for data processing.

An interactive REPL (Read–eval–print loop) allows Spark users to get instant feedback for the commands. Although there is no interactive mode available with Hadoop MapReduce, tools like Pig and Hive make it easier for adopters to work with it.

Graph Processing

Hadoop: Most processing algorithms, like PageRank, perform multiple iterations over the same data. MapReduce reads data from the disk and after a particular iteration, it sends results to the HDFS and then again reads the data from the HDFS for next iteration. Such a process increases latency and makes graph processing slow.

In order to evaluate the score of a particular node, message passing needs to contain scores of neighboring nodes. And, these computations require messages from it neighbors, but MapReduce doesn’t have any mechanism for that. Although there are fast and scalable tools, like Pregel and GraphLab, for efficient graph processing algorithms, they are not suitable for complex multi-stage algorithms.

Spark: Spark comes with a graph computation library called GraphX to make things simple. In-memory computation coupled with in-built graph support allows the algorithm to perform much better than traditional MapReduce programs. Netty and Akka make it possible for Spark to distribute messages throughout the executors.

Fault Tolerance

Hadoop: Hadoop achieves fault tolerance through replication. MapReduce uses TaskTracker and JobTracker for fault tolerance. However, TaskTracker and JobTracker have been replaced in second version of MapReduce by Node Manager and ResourceManager/ApplicationMaster, respectively.

Spark: Spark uses RDD and various data storage models for fault tolerance by minimizing network I/O. In the event of partition loss of an RDD, the RDD rebuilds that partition through the information it already has. So, Spark does not use the replication concept for fault tolerance.

Security

Hadoop MapReduce has better security features than Spark. Hadoop supports Kerberos authentication, which is a good security feature but difficult to manage. Hadoop MapReduce can also integrate with Hadoop security projects, like Knox Gateway and Sentry. Third party vendors also allow organizations to use Active Directory Kerberos and LDAP for authentication. Hadoop’s Distributed File System is compatible with access control lists (ACLs) and a traditional file permissions model.

Spark’s security is currently in its infancy, offering only authentication support through shared secret (password authentication). However, organizations can run Spark on HDFS to take advantage of HDFS ACLs and file-level permissions.

Costs

Both Hadoop and Spark are open-source projects, therefore come for free. However, Spark uses large amounts of RAM to run everything in memory, and RAM is more expensive than harddisks. Hadoop is disk-bound, so saves the costs of buying expensive RAM, but requires more systems to distribute the disk I/O over multiple systems.

As far as costs are concerned, organizations need to look at their requirements. If it’s about processing large amounts of big data, Hadoop will be cheaper since hard disk space comes at a much lower rate than memory space.

Compatibility

Both Hadoop and Spark are compatible with each other. Spark can integrate with all the data sources and file formats that are supported by Hadoop. So, it’s not wrong to say that Spark’s compatibility to data types and data sources is similar to that of Hadoop MapReduce.

Both Hadoop and Spark are scalable. One may think of Spark as a better choice than Hadoop. However, MapReduce turns out to be a good choice for businesses that need huge datasets brought under control by commodity systems. Both frameworks are good in their own sense. Hadoop has its own file system that Spark lacks. And, Spark provides a way for real-time analytics that Hadoop does not posses.

Have you ever got a chance to use any of the two frameworks for big data applications? Do you think Spark can replace Hadoop in the future? As always, your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.
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Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are two big names in the cloud computing world. Given the several benefits offered by the cloud - on-demand scalability, reduced costs, effective operations - many businesses, regardless of their sizes, have already started moving towards it. If you are also planning to move your business to the cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are certainly two big players to choose from. Below, I am offering a detailed comparison between the two heavyweights of cloud services, so that it becomes easier for you to choose your niche.

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS: Cloud Comparison

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Before we begin understanding the distinction between Azure and AWS, let’s take a glimpse into their history.


AWS: Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, was launched in 2006, with the aim of providing an array of cloud computing services to help companies benefit from on-demand computing platform. AWS is currently located in 15 geographical regions, and plans are afoot for three more regions in India, China and United Kingdom by 2017.


With more than 70 services on offer, including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools and tools for the Internet of things, AWS holds a substantial lead over Azure.


Azure: Microsoft launched Azure in 2010, originally with the name Windows Azure, to provide businesses a cloud computing platform. It was renamed in 2014 as Microsoft Azure, which offers around 50 cloud services today, including compute, analytics, storage, networking and features targeted at the Internet of Things. Microsoft Azure enables building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. As of now, Azure is located in 30 regions around the world and is gearing up to be available at 8 more geographical regions.

Let’s Compare the Features and Services of these Two Giants of Cloud Computing

#1 Compute


AWS: For compute, AWS offers Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which is an IaaS service and provides scalable computing on-demand. AWS also offers Elastic Beanstalk, a PaaS service, for app deployment. Other related services you can avail from AWS are EC2 Container service, AWS Lambda and Autoscaling.


Azure: Virtual machines are pivotal to Azure’s compute offering, which mainly involves IaaS. Azure also offers Cloud Services for PaaS to deploy highly-available, infinitely-scalable applications and APIs.


Azure’s Resource Manager helps manage and visualize resources in your app, whereas Web Apps enables customers to create and deploy scalable web apps that are supported by Windows and Linux platforms. With Azure, developers can build sites using PHP, ASP.NET, Node.js, or Python, or select from several open source applications from a gallery to deploy.

#2 Networking

Both Azure and AWS are excellent choices as far as their networking capabilities are concerned. Amazon’s Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and Azure’s Virtual Network (VNET) let users to group VMs into isolated networks in the cloud. Besides, a user can define a network topology, create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.


With Azure, users can connect VNETs to on-premises data centers via site-to-site VPN networks or Azure ExpressRoute. AWS also allows to establish a VPN connection between your corporate datacenter and your VPC. Both Azure and AWS are equally good for their networking capabilities and allow to extend your on-premise data center into the public (or hybrid) cloud.

#3 Storage

AWS: Storage is an inextricable part of cloud services. Amazon offers Simple Storage Service (S3) for storage. AWS gets edge over Azure Storage service due to extensive documentation, including free webinars, tons of sample code and libraries, articles and tutorials. Besides, its discussion forums are very active and help users seek benefits from useful feedback provided by Amazon developers on a regular basis.


Other storage services offered by AWS include Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic File System (EFS), Import/Export large volume data transfer service, Glacier archive backup and Storage Gateway, which integrates with on-premise environments.


Azure: Azure also offers Block Storage and Object Storage through blob storage, which includes page blobs and block blobs. Azure competes with Amazon’s EBS by offering page blobs that provide persistent block storage. On the other hand, Azure’s block blobs provide object storage, much similar to Amazon’s S3 service. Azure uses a flat architecture to store all the data in a single container with tags and metadata that allow identification, retrieval and manipulation of data.


Azure’s File Storage is an answer to Amazon’s EFS as it also provides a continuous availability storage option. With Azure, you can share File Storage among multiple VMs so that there is no hassle in running critical cloud applications. Also, it allows to share data between local and cloud servers.

Storage Options

Azure Storage

(Blobs, Tables, Queues Files)

Amazon Simple Storage (S3)

Block Storage

Azure Blob Storage

Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

Hybrid Cloud Storage

StorSimple

AWS Storage Gateway

Backup Options

Azure Backup

Amazon Glacier

Storage Services

Azure Import Export

Azure File Storage

Azure Site Recovery

Amazon Import/Export

AWS Storage Gateway


#4 Databases


Both AWS and Azure support relational and NoSQL databases.


AWS: A wide range of managed databases, including SQL Server, MySQL, ProgreSQL, Oracle and MariaDB, are available from Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) and Redshift. AWS also offers Database Migration Service, which allows customers to move on-premise relational data to the cloud. For NoSQl databases, AWS offers DynamoDB, which offers high scale, low cost document and key-value storage.


Azure: Azure’s SQL Database supports relational database based on SQL Server. A very few changes are sometimes required to migrate from on-premise SQL Server to SQL Database. Recent addition of Elastic database pools allows customers to save costs by running multiple databases against the same set of resources.


For NoSQL, Azure offers DocumentDB, which is a high performance, highly available document database.

#5 Big Data and Analytics

Image result for big data and analyticsImage source: WordPress.com

AWS: AWS allows processing of vast amounts of data they store. AWS Elastic MapReduce (EMR), a managed Hadoop, Spark and Presto solution, is indispensable to Amazon’s analytics offerings. EMR allows integration with various AWS services, including S3 and DynamoDB. AWS Data Pipeline makes it possible to move, copy, transform and enrich data.


Data Pipeline is well capable of reading and writing data from most AWS storage services. For data processing activities, it supports EMR, Hive and Pig. AWS offers Kinesis Streams for real-time analytics and QuickSight for making sense of data through dashboards and data visualisations.


Azure: Azure offers Cortana Intelligence and HDInsight, which comes with Hadoop, Spark, Storm or HBase. HDInsight also works well with blob storage or Data Lake Store. For data processing pipelines, Azure offers a data orchestration service Data Factory.


Azure Data Lake Analytics is a serverless hyper-scale data storage and analytical platform. It performs analytical jobs without the need of provisioning or managing computer clusters, and is also designed to access data in Blob Storage, SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse. Azure offers Streamline Analytics for real-time data processing and Power BI for dashboards and visualisations.

#6 Internet of Things (IoT)

For IoT, there is a need of platform that allows communication between devices over the internet. Also, it’s essential to handle large pileup of data without security breaches.


AWS: AWS IoT allows building complete IoT solutions. So, devices can communicate with applications that run in the cloud over HTTP, MQTT and WebSockets. A declarative rules engine allows AWS IoT to transform and send IoT traffic to S3 bucket or Lambda function. Besides, AWS IoT can route data to Kinesis Streams in order to run real-time analytics via applications written using the Kinesis Client Library.


Azure: Azure offers IoT Hub that supports AMQP, MQTT, and HTTP. Though, Event Hubs scores higher when it comes to basic large scale device telemetry ingestion. It can consume a huge volumes of messages over AMQP and HTTP.


For real-time analysis of device data, you can use Event Hubs with Azure Stream Analytics. What separates Azure from AWS and others is data streaming to Apache Storm, a popular open source streaming analytics platform. Microsoft has also announced Windows 10 IoT core, a concise version of Windows 10, to run specifically on IoT devices.

#7 Mobile Services

Since People are now spending more time on smartphones to access the internet than PCs, the cloud could play an important role in empowering developers to build and operate modern mobile apps.


AWS: AWS offers Mobile Hub to allow mobile development for Android and iOS. AWS also offers a wide range of services required to create mobile applications, including authentication (Cognito), content delivery (CloudFront and S3), push notifications (SNS), data storage and synchronisation (S3), analytics (Mobile Analytics) and access to backend compute such as Lambda. AWS Mobile SDK allows developers to build apps from scratch and is compatible with iOS, Android, Fire OS, .NET and Xamarin.


Azure: Azure offers Mobile Apps to support backend solution. Mobile Apps is a client SDK that opens doors for developers to build rich mobile solutions. Users can use Functions for serverless mobile backends and Notification Hubs for push notifications. You can also set up and sync to a SQL Database without writing any server side code, thanks to Azure Easy Tables. DevOps for Mobile application development is also available through Azure HockeyApp.

#8 Open Source

Azure was not available for open source shops until recently as Microsoft didn't have the history of having a good relationship with the open source community. However, Microsoft has finally made a big strategy shift to allow users to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Apache Hadoop clusters. Amazon, on the other hand, has never had problems with the open source community, and has been Linux-friendly from the beginning, a factor that has helped AWS get a significant lead over Azure.

Image result for market share of aws and azure

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AWS has become popular for the flexibility it offers to its customers, allowing them to pick and choose and build the cloud services they need. With AWS, customers get a plethora of product choices, but they sometimes find it hard to navigate through AWS complex features.


Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, has adopted an approach that is slightly different from AWS. It offers customers a stack of products that are simple to use. Their products are easier to navigate when compared to that of AWS, for an obvious reason - Azure does not offer as many products as AWS does.


Both AWS and Azure offer almost similar services when it comes to compute, storage, networking and databases. Pricing is not a big factor to taken into account when choosing between the two as both offer competitive pricing. So, you better decide your vendor based on your company requirements. It’s true that most cloud services are available from Amazon, but Microsoft Azure seems to be a better choice for a hybrid approach. Amazon is a veteran player in the game and offers a nice suite of cloud computing services. But Microsoft Azure can’t be completely ruled out as it continues to come up with new developments to not only match but surpass the pace of all the big players in the market, including Google.

What you think about the future of cloud computing? Which among the two cloud giants is your favorite? Please share your views in the comment box below.

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Front-End Developers Should Avoid.jpg


Front-end developers are responsible for implementing visual elements that users of a site or app see and interact with. In simple words, we can say front-end development is all about what’s visible to users, from text and colors to buttons, images, and navigation menus. For the success of a site or app, it’s important that their interfaces are engaging and pleasing to the eyes of users. Besides, the design has to be immaculate too.


Front-end developers need to understand users and their behaviors to ensure top-notch front-end functioning of their site or app. However, there are some common coding mistakes that front-end developers often make. Through this blog, I am shedding light on 6 common coding mistakes that front-end developers should avoid to ensure a good user base and high ROI.

1. Coding with Older HTML Standards

Many front-end developers stopped the practice of coding with old HTML elements after HTML5 came into existence as the newest form of HTML. HTML5 allowed making a lot of changes in standard page design. As a matter of fact, front-end development has a heavy reliance on browser support. And, some browsers don’t get support from older HTML, which can become a bane of your site in a long run.


With older HTML, the front-end of your site could also go devoid of many modern and secure features that HTML5 is capable of bringing to your site. Therefore, coding with older HTML could put your site at risk of security attacks.

2. Not Testing Code with Major Browsers

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If you miss out on testing your code for all the major browsers, your site could lose users who still like to use the same older browsers. JavaScript and client-side scripting are intrinsic part of front-end development. Therefore, it’s important to test your code in all the major browsers. Front-end developers can put into use their sites’ browsing analytics data to identify common browsers they would like to support. It’s also a good idea to use an external source for the same.

3. Not Creating Responsive Mobile Design

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We have entered an era where people like to browse the web on mobile phones more than desktops. The rising trend of internet surfing on mobile phones makes it important to create a front-end design that is responsive and mobile-friendly. Modern front-end coding entails responsive design as default. Developers can also join the bandwagon of mobile apps or web apps to avoid having any loose ends.


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If users are unable to access your site on their smartphones, they become likely to move to your competitors whose sites are easily accessible via their smartphones. Google has also stated many times earlier that responsive design is their preferred mobile configuration. It means responsive sites and separate mobile sites get ranking boost in search results way higher than those sites that are unresponsive or not mobile-friendly.


Since mobile devices have varied screen sizes, it’s worth writing code that supports all possible breakpoints. Developers can use emulators for testing to avoid the hassle of dealing with several devices.


Click here to learn about “Responsive Web Design: Benefits, Challenges and Fixes

4. Using Obsolete JavaScript Libraries

JavaScript libraries that will not be supported or maintained years later could inflict adverse impacts on your site. If support is no longer available for a JavaScript library that you used to build the front-end of your site, you will find yourself in a difficult situation. You may eventually have a dependency that is no longer functional.


So, it’s good for you to choose JavaScript libraries with active support, documentation, and consistent updates by their developers. It’s also important to ensure that the popular libraries you choose will be maintained for years to come. AngularJS and KnockoutJS are two of various examples of the worldwide famous libraries that are supported by big brands.

5. Not Using CSS and Div containers to Place Elements

The practice of using tables for HTML element placement has become the thing of past. Tables are a good fit for displaying information on charts, but certainly not for layout creation. Tables can be very complex and could cause flaws in design and misplacements in different browsers. Div containers and CSS are much better than tables when it comes to element placement and layout creation.

6. No Focus on Site Speed

Site speed directly affects bounce rates, conversion rates, revenue and user satisfaction. Site speed depends on various factors. For example, client side can become slow due to “Spaghetti” JavaScript code, whereas large images can slow down page loading speed.


Slow sites frustrate users, thus it’s beneficial to put into use site speed testers that identify design elements responsible for slowing down your site. Good site speed is also important from SEO perspective as it is one of the factors search engines take into account for rankings. Therefore, it’s a good practice to keep on testing your site and keep a track over its performance.


A front-end developer could easily avoid these common mistakes and ensure that their site is easy to use and loads fast. Moreover, good JavaScript libraries and supported code help design a responsive and mobile friendly site, which has become the need of the hour.


Have you ever been a part of front-end development team? If yes, please share your vital experience with us in the comment box below.

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Data collection and analytics have always been crucial to chief business managers’ capability of making right business decisions. But unlike past, databases now have data with high volume, velocity, and veracity. Going by a big data infographic contributed by Ben Walker of Voucher Cloud in 2015, around 2.5 quintillion Bytes of data is created every day. The amount is good enough to fill 10 million Blu-ray discs.


Given the gigantic amount of data existing in databases nowadays, data industry coined a new term for it - Big Data. Big Data is basically large volumes of information present in databases in structured, semi-structured and unstructured form.


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A lot of hype has already been created around big data as its analysis opens new avenues for business managers to boost sales by targeting or retargeting right customers. Big data analytics helps understand what customers want to buy and what they don’t like about your products or services. Therefore, you can figure out a quick fix and improve the brand value of your business. Besides, you can provide personalized experiences and add more numbers to the list of loyal customers.


However, an important point to note here is that making sense of big data is a very challenging task. That said, one needs to put into use an analytics tool to make sense of big data and turn it into significant business value. Let’s discuss 7 tools business managers can use to work with big data for successful analytics.

7 Tools for Big Data Analytics

#1 Hadoop

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Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework that facilitates distributed processing of very large data sets across hundreds of inexpensive servers that operate in parallel. It’s been quite a time business have been using Hadoop to sort and analyze big data. Hadoop uses simple programming models to ensure distributed processing of large data sets and making them available on local machines.


Click here to learn more about Hadoop

#2 Storm

Storm, another product from Apache, is a real-time big data-processing system. Storm is also open source and can be utilized by both small and big businesses. It is fault tolerant and goes well with any programming language. Storm is capable of performing data processing even if any of the connected nodes in the cluster die or messages are lost. Other tasks that Storm can perform is distributed RPC and online machine learning. Storm is a good choice for big data analytics as it integrates with existing technologies, which makes processing of big data much easier.


Click here to learn more about Storm

#3 Hadoop MapReduce

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Hadoop MapReduce is a programming model and software framework for writing data processing apps. Originally developed by Google, MapReduce enables quick processing of vast amounts of data in parallel on large clusters of compute nodes.


The MapReduce framework has two types of key functions. First, the map function which separates out data to be processed, and second, the reduce function which performs data analysis. As MapReduce involves two stage processing, it’s believed that a large number of varied data analysis questions can also be answered with it.


Click here to learn more about MapReduce

#4 Cassandra

Apache Cassandra is highly scalable NoSQL database. It is capable of monitoring large sets of data spread across large clusters of commodity servers and the cloud. Cassandra was initially developed at Facebook out of a need for a database to power their Inbox Search. The big data tool is now widely used by many famous enterprises with large, active datasets, including Netflix, eBay, Twitter and Reddit.


Click here to learn more about Cassandra

#5 OpenRefine

OpenRefine (formerly GoogleRefine) is an open source powerful tool that is meant to work with messy data. The tool allows quick cleaning of huge sets of messy data. Then, it transforms the data into useable format for further analyses. Even non technical users can integrate OpenRefine into their data workflow at ease. OpenRefine also enables to create instantaneous links between datasets.


Click here to learn more about OpenRefine

#6 Rapidminer

Rapidminer is an open source tool that is capable of handling unstructured data, like text files, web traffic logs, and even images. The tool is basically a data science platform that relies on visual programming for operation. With Rapidminer comes functions that include manipulation, analysis, modeling, creation of models, and fast integration in business processes. Rapidminer has become popular among data scientists as it offers a full suite of tools to help make sense of data and convert it to valuable business insights.


Click here to learn more about Rapidminer

#7 MongoDB

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MongoDB is an open source and widely used database for high performance, high availability, and easy scalability. It is classified as a NoSQL database. MongoDB’s distributed key value store, MapReduce calculation capability and document oriented NoSQL features make it a popular database for big data processing. MongoDB is well suited for programming languages like JavaScript, Ruby and Python. MongoDB is easy to install, configure, maintain and use.


Big data analytics has become the need of the hour for business managers to make smarter business moves and yield higher profits. However, without a big data analytics tool, it’s very difficult to uncover hidden patterns, correlations and other insights to get a competitive advantage and take your business to new heights. With this, I am wrapping up this blog, hoping it helps you choose a big data analytics tool that suits your business the best.

Do you have a firsthand experience of using any big data analytics tool? Or, do you want to add more to what’s already being discussed above? As always, your views are vital for all our readers, please add them in the comment box below.

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There is no denying the fact that planning and estimation play a big role in the success of any project. While Agile methodologies continue to reign the IT world, the ordinary style of planning and estimation has declined to a big extent. That said, I am shedding light on how project managers can plan and estimate in Agile project management to make it a success.


Click here to learn why Agile Project Management is better than Traditional Project Management Approach.

Let’s Begin with Agile Planning

Due to the fluid nature of Agile, some project managers may think that there is no planning required in Agile project management. However, an important point to note here is that Agile project management entails specific kind of planning to handle the dynamic nature of Agile environment.


Since there are different Agile methodologies, like Scrum, Lean and Kanban, a lot of shared ideas exist on Agile planning. Here I am discussing the ones shared by most of the agile methodologies.


Click here to learn about key project management methodologies: PRINCE2, NPI, RAD, Scrum and Waterfall.


Agile Planning Life Cycle

Agile planning life cycle may not make sense to some project managers initially, since it has short, repetitive and flexible nature. It may also appear as if the Agile planning life cycle begins from where the planning for traditional (non-agile) projects ends. However, all these beliefs are attributable to lack of understanding of Agile concepts. Let’s understand how.


If you gather all the information before your development team even starts writing the code, you are highly likely to put a whammy on your end product by missing out on current market demands. This is what Agile does not not allow to happen.


The basis of Agile is simple: It’s not possible to determine all the tasks to complete a software project in the very beginning. Since the plan, the requirements and the architecture of a project have gradual emergence, Agile allows to make important iterations during the development lifecycle itself. The end product, as a result, not only pleases the client, but also meets current market demands.


Five Key Areas Agile Planning is Based On:

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1. Product Vision Planning: This level of planning is meant to look into the future of the product and create the macro image of the product’s world. Product vision planning helps in understanding the priorities and their estimations.


2. Product Roadmap Planning: Now that the idea of how the product would look like is clear, the next step is to divide the product’s world into distinct buildings. These distinct buildings are used to estimate the releases with respect to the general functionalities and time needed.


3. Release Planning: This level of planning calls for determining how each building will appear.


4. Iteration Planning: Now comes planning for the floors required for each building and how each floor will appear from inside. For example, the kitchen, bathroom, etc. The benefit of iteration planning is that it helps assign the floors to different teams based on their abilities and experience.


5. Daily Commitment Planning: Simply telling your team the part of the floor they have to build is not enough. You are also required to give them explicit directions on how to build the assigned rooms, like constructing the walls, windows, doors, etc. As a result, you can make right expectations and accurate projections.

Now Comes the Estimation Part

  • Expert Advice: One of the best ways to make estimations is to ask people with previous experience on the assigned tasks.

  • Comparison: Conducting analogies between known and unknown tasks enables to find a relative scale for estimation.

  • Divided Tasks: Estimations are more likely to prove accurate when tasks are broken into smaller ones.


However, it’s important to understand that estimations are subject to change. Therefore, you must have real data with you, for which you need to create the minimum viable product. Doing so, you can see how close your projections are to reality. Besides, you need to keep making improvements in your products to make your projections realistic. After you begin getting results, you can figure out if the projections are valid or you need to make changes in them.


Agile planning and estimation enables faster completion of a project, but without making any compromise on quality. As project managers often witness rapid changes in market demands, a proper planning and estimation is must to save the end-product from up having loose ends. This is the reason why Agile methodologies continue to soar in popularity. I hope the insight I offered through this blog into Agile planning and estimation would help you make a better decision on project management.


Have you ever taken up an Agile project or been a part of Agile estimation and planning team before? Do you want to add more to Agile planning and estimation? Please put your views in the comment box below.

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Many developers use JavaScript, an object-oriented computer programming language, to create interactive effects within web browsers. The inclination towards using JavaScript increased even more after Node.js made entry in the tech market. For a simple reason, Node.js allowed server-side implementation of JavaScript, which was not possible earlier. In this blog, I am shedding light on MeteorJS, which is an open-source JavaScript web framework written using Node.js.


MeteorJS is a full-stack, MVC-style JavaScript framework for building websites and web/mobile applications. MeteorJS comes for free as it’s open source. As the name suggests, MeteorJS allows faster development of iOS, Android, and web applications by using JavaScript on the front and backend.

Key Features of MeteorJS

1. Offers a Full Stack Solution

MeteorJS is FULL STACK, thus offers numerous integrations, support and features right out of the box. The compatible parts of the stack come assembled in Meteor. Besides, every layer of its stack is powered by a default technology. However, if one is willing to go for alternatives, MeteorJS allows them to do so as well. For example, if Meteor’s default front-end framework Blaze is not a fit for your project, you can use React or Angular.js in its stead.


Meteor’s fully integrated stack up front lets developers expedite the development process. Also, several built-in features of MeteorJS facilitate the access to frontend libraries, Node.js based server and a command line tool.


An important point to note here is that ECMAScript 2015 is the official JavaScript of the Meteor platform and every new Meteor project now uses it by default.

2. Allows to Use a Single Language

MeteorJS simplifies the development process as requires the knowledge of only one language, i.e. JavaScript, for frontend, backend and database. Therefore, the framework removes the complexity of context switching between server language and JavaScript that requires installation and configuration of different libraries, module managers, APIs, drivers and more.

3. Real-Time Applications for both Desktop and Mobile


MeteorJS enables development of real-time applications right from setup to development to deployment. MeteorJS uses Distributed Data Protocol (or DDP) for querying and updating a server-side database. It also synchronizes such updates among clients.


The best part is that MeteorJS apps react to changes without the need of page refreshes or specific callback logic. So, whenever changes are made in the database that concern UI elements, they get reflected on your app’s UI in real-time.

4. Database Integration

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MeteorJS supports MongoDB database along with Minimongo, which is a front-end representation of MongoDB. MeteorJS refreshes the data in the UI by replicating a subset of the MongoDB database as a local “Minimongo” subset. Besides, Meteor’s Mongo API allows faster reloading of pages and easier implementation of updates.

5. Allows to Build Cross-Platform Apps


Meteor’s integration with Apache Cordova allows developers to build cross-platform apps that look and function similar to native apps. Cordova is a platform for building cross-platform apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In contrast to native apps, cross-platform apps require only one codebase for separate operating systems or devices, which saves a lot of time and cost for businesses.

6. Custom Package Manager

NPM modules are compatible with MeteorJS. However, developers can also use Meteor’s own custom package manager, called Atmosphere, which holds more than 10,000 packages.


With Meteor’s built-in package, developers can handle pre-processing and custom user authentication for Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Meteor also has packages that support popular frameworks like Backbone.js, Bootstrap and jQuery.

Some of the popular apps that are built using MeteorJS are as follows:


One of the seven principles of Meteor is "Simplicity equals productivity." MeteorJS is simple to learn, given it doesn’t require developers to rely on multiple languages. Any developer who has used JavaScript before will find MeteorJS easy to learn. Also, MeteorJS has a large active and supportive community. The Meteor Development Group (MDG) makes dedicated effort towards keeping Meteor updated and working well.


However, like every framework, MeteorJS has shortcomings too, like it only integrates with the MongoDB database. So, a developer who wants to use MySQL for their project will not be able to do so with Meteor as it does not support SQL databases as of now. However, there are 3rd party packages that integrate MySQL reactively with Meteor to some extent. For example, developers can use numtel:pg for reactive PostgreSQL support.


Do you think MeteorJS has the potential to become an ideal JavaScript development platform? Would you like to consider MeteorJS for your next web app or mobile app project? Please share your views in the comment box below.


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React Native, a JavaScript framework and product of Facebook, is widely used by developers to build quality, native and powerful mobile applications for iOS and Android. The framework quickly rose to fame after Facebook open sourced it in 2015.

As React Native has become the current trend for building cutting-edge mobile apps, many developers want to get insight into the best code editors that are currently available for the framework. That said, I am bringing to light the best 7 code editors you can use for React Native to create immaculate mobile apps. However, developers must understand that the word “Best” may vary as per their specific requirements.

Click here to know “7 Major Reasons Behind Skyrocketing Popularity of React Native”.

Top 10 Editors For React Native Mobile App Development

1. Nuclide

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Image source: Nuclide

Nuclide has been crowned as one of the best IDEs for developing React Native applications. Nuclide comes with built-in support for React native framework and offers great support to JavaScript. Facebook brought Nuclide into existence with the motive to simplify mobile app development and transcend the limitations of other IDEs like AppCode and Eclipse.

Nuclide also offers all features of Flow, like Autocomplete, Code Diagnostics, etc, which is a big plus for developers who have to deal with React Native apps that are primarily written in Flow.

Key Features of Nuclide

  • Remote development

  • Debugging

  • Flow Support

  • Mercurial Support

  • Hack Language Support

Click here to learn more about Nuclide

2. Atom

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Image source: Linuxslaves

Atom, an open source editor for OS X, Linux, and Windows, is a brilliant text editor for almost all technologies. Since Atom has a very large community, a lot of plugins and enhancements are available for developers to build top-notch React Native apps.

With Atom, it’s easy to hack the core and write packages, thanks to JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

Key Features of Atom

  • Built-in package manager

  • Allows cross-platform editing

  • Autocompletion

  • Multiple panes

  • File system browser

  • Find and replace

Click here to learn more about Atom

3. Sublime Text

Going by Stackoverflow's 2016 developer survey, Sublime Text is the 3rd most popular Development Environment. Sublime offers a lot of packages and themes, much similar to Atom. Sublime Text came into existence almost a decade ago, hence a lot of iterations has been made into it so far, which means it has become a seasoned player in the tech market.

Key Features of Sublime Text

  • Split editing

  • Goto Anything

  • Command Palette

  • Distraction Free Mode

  • Multiple Selections

  • Instant Project Switch

  • Customize Anything

  • Cross Platform

Click here to learn more about Sublime Text

4. Visual Studio Code

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Image source: YouTube

Visual Studio Code is a powerful and flexible cross-platform editor. Though Visual Studio Code is a new editor as it was released last year (April 2015), it has already gained a lot of traction among developers.

Key Features of Visual Studio Code

  • Extensible and customizable

  • Git commands built-in

  • Code debugging right from the editor

Click here to learn more about extensions

Click here to learn more about Visual Studio Code

5. Vim Editor

Vim Editor is open source and allows developers to create and change any kind of text at ease. The plugins available for Vim Editor are as follows:

  • vim-jsx - Syntax highlighting and indenting for JSX.

  • vim-react-snippets - A set of snippets for Vim to work with Facebook's React library.

  • vim-babel - A set of snippets for Vim to work with Facebook's React library.

Key Features of Vim Editor

  • Extensive plugin system

  • Integrates with many tools

  • Supports numerous programming languages and file formats

  • Persistent, multi-level undo tree

  • Extensive plugin system

  • Powerful search and replace

Click here to learn more about Vim Editor

6. Spacemacs Editor

Spacemacs is an open source Emacs distribution. Spacemacs is simple for users who have used Vim before. You can also mix Vim and Emacs style in the same time. Since Spacemacs is based on layers, you get additional functionalities with it.

Key Features of Spacemacs Editor

  • Command line editor

  • Highly customizable

  • Great documentation

  • Mnemonic prefixes allows to properly organize key bindings

  • Simple query system allows to find available layers, packages, et. in no time

  • Community-driven configuration

  • Similar functionalities have the same key binding everywhere


Click here to learn more about Spacemacs Editor

7. GNU Emacs Editor

GNU Emacs Editor comes free under GPL license. It has earned the epithet, "the most powerful text editor available today." Emacs Editor is extensible, customizable, self documenting real-time display editor.

Key Features of Emacs

  • Content-aware editing modes

  • Complete built-in documentation, including a tutorial for new users

  • Full Unicode support for nearly all human scripts

  • Highly customizable, using Emacs Lisp code or a graphical interface.

  • An entire ecosystem of functionality beyond text editing, including a project planner, mail and news reader, debugger interface, calendar, and more

  • A packaging system for downloading and installing extensions

Click here to learn more about Emacs

These 7 code editors enable developers to create quality React Native mobile apps at utmost ease. However, as I said in the very beginning that the word “best” may vary as per specific requirements of projects, some developers may find other editors better than the ones discussed above.

Have you ever used a text editor for React Native before? Do you really think the aforementioned editors deserve to be in the list of top 7 editors for React Native. Please share your views in the comment box below.

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Python developers have a big pool of frameworks to choose from for their web projects. However, Django, without a shred of doubt, has become the most popular web framework among Python developers world over. Through this blog, I am throwing light on why Python developers prefer Django to other popular Python web frameworks, such as Flask, Pyramid, Tornado, Bottle, Diesel, Pecan, Falcon, and many more.


Before jumping on to the virtues of Django, let’s understand in brief what a web framework is


A web framework is a code library that makes it easier for developers to build dynamic websites, web applications and web services. It’s a known fact that every site has a common set of functionality (like handling sessions, data validation, etc) that you need to re-write each time you create a website. This makes the task mundane and tedious. However, using a web framework ends your plight of re-writing common set of functionalities each time you create a website, resulting in faster development. In a nutshell, web frameworks ease web development life.


If you want to dive deep into web frameworks and their benefits, click here.

Why Django is the Best Web Framework for Python Developers

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Django is a high-level, MVC-style, open-source collection of libraries written in Python. Django, also called “the framework for perfectionists with deadlines," was originally designed for news sites as it allows developers to write database-driven web applications without having to start coding from scratch.


Besides faster completion of common web development tasks, Django helps keep the design clean and pragmatic. Django is the best place for new Python web developers as the official documentation and tutorials are some of the best in software development.


The tech market is flooded with a gamut of web frameworks, but Django sits nicely at the top when it comes to the most popular server-side web frameworks. The motto behind designing Django was simple: Don’t repeat yourself. Django is written in Python, therefore emphasizes efficiency improvement by minimizing the hassle of writing too much code. Cloud platform support makes Django even a more popular choice for web development.

Key Features of Django

  • Django Comes with “Batteries-Included”


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That Django is based on ”batteries-included” philosophy, you need not to use separate libraries to implement common functionalities, like authentication, URL routing, a templating system, an object-relational mapper (ORM), and database schema migrations. If you are using or have used Flask, you must have noticed that it calls for a separate library like Flask-Login to perform user authentication. Such is not the case with Django.

  • Free API


With Django, it’s easy to generate a Python API based on your models. No additional coding required as a simple command is good enough to begin generating APIs.


  • Unique Admin Interface

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Image Courtesy: Django documentation


You can have information on your site from outside contributors even before the site is completely built. Such is the power of Django. The framework empowers you to quickly and easily generate an administration site straight from an application's models.


  • Code Layout


In contrast to most web frameworks, Django makes it easier to plug new capabilities in your product by using things called applications. As a result, developers feel encouraged to write code that is self contained.


  • Django’s ORM Takes Care of Databases

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Django’s Object Relational Mapper (ORM) takes care of databases. So, no hassles of dealing with the Structured Query Language (SQL), which is mostly used to query the database for the data needed. Unlike many other Python frameworks that directly work on the database via SQL, Django developers have a unique option to manipulate the corresponding Python model object. Django works out-of-the-box with relational database management systems like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle.


Click here to learn the basics of data management with Django and its ORM.


  • Robust Built-in Template System


Based on the inheritance system, Django’s templates allow developers to build entire, dynamic websites out of a very small amount of front-end code. Thanks to the option to replace certain elements of templates with other, context specific elements. Imagine a situation where you know that every page of your site is going to have a header and a footer. Now, you first need to write the code in the site’s base template. And then, you can alter the components between those two things dynamically, from other parts of the application.


  • Simple, Readable URLs


It’s difficult to properly read URLs developed in PHP os ASP. With Django, you can create simple and easy-to-read URLs, which is good for both human beings and search engines. You can create readable URLs with other frameworks too, but none is as easy as Django is for URL construction.


  • Enables Quick and Easy Creation of RSS and Atom feeds


With Django, you can quickly and easily create RSS and Atom feeds by creating a simple Python class.

  • Automatically Creates Tables in Database


If there is a table missing in your database, you can automatically create it by executing the migrate command in Django.



  • Easy Database Migrations


One of the most useful features of Django is database migrations. With Django’s migrations, you can change a database schema in quick time. It’s also easy to track your database schema and its associated changes. Migration names help in managing version control, and a plethora of options are available to merge versions and make modifications.


  • Security


Django is highly secured. The framework comes with default protection against XSS attacks, CSRF attacks, SQL injections, clickjacking, user management, cookies, email header injection, cryptography, directory traversal etc.



Django has a very dynamic community, with 80,000 StackOverflow issues and numerous blogs from the developers and power users. Some popular websites that use Django are Bitbucket, Pinterest, Instagram, and The Onion. Django continues to soar in popularity and is likely to remain the most popular choice of Python developers.


PHP vs Ruby vs Python: Which Language is the Best for Your Career and Prospects

 

Have you used Django for a project before? Do you really think that Django is the best framework for Python developers? As always, your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.

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Read this blog to get insight into why app developers worldwide are flocking to React Native despite several JavaScript frameworks already existing in the tech market.


It’s no secret that Facebook’s React Native has become a popular trend for building quality, native and powerful mobile applications for iOS and Android. React Native, a Javascript framework, is based on React, which is Facebook’s JavaScript library for building user interfaces for web. React Native has already gained a lot of traction for making it possible to build mobile apps that emulate the performance of native apps. The social media giant open-sourced it in March 2015, and there has been no looking back since then.

7 Factors behind Skyrocketing Popularity of React Native

React Native Covers Two Major Ecosystems


You will agree that developing native apps for two different platforms is a painstaking and tedious task. The fact of the matter is that iOS and Android are two entirely different ecosystems, therefore developing native apps for them is seen as the bane of developers.


In case of iOS app, you need to have a sound knowledge of Swift or Objective-C and Cocoa Touch. Android app development, on the other hand, requires learning of Java and the Android SDK. Apart from that, you need to bear the pain of staying updated with the latest features these two major ecosystems offer time and again. But, it's often said that no problem lasts forever with technology.

How React Native Changes the Game


React Native allows app developers to use the same code for building apps for different platforms. Thus, gets the major drawback covered. Nothing could be better for developers than being able to build apps for cross platforms by learning and using only one set of tools.

Allows to Reuse the Code that is Already Written


Being able to reuse the code that is already written is a big thing in software development. And, React Native brings you that exact ability. Here, I don’t intend to say that React Native is "write once and use every platform". You need to write some fresh code to build a UI that looks and feel native for individual platforms as per their best practices and standards. But the best part is that you can always use some common UI code on both platforms. The advantages are as follows:


  • Better efficiency

  • Allows to use human resources in much better way

  • Reduces time to write code

  • Less code to maintain

  • Brings down bug issues

Offers Compatibility with Third Party Plugins


React Native empowers you to integrate third party apps in your app. In simple words, the framework lets you to incorporate the functionality of other native apps of the device in React Native and vice versa. For example, you want to add Google Maps’ functionality to your app. Simply download a third-party plugin offered by React Native and link it to a native module. Well, that’s all! Your app can now use the device’s functions like zoom, rotate, and the compass, without any hassles.


APP UI becomes More Predictable and Easier to Understand


Declarative API in React Native replaces an imperative one, making it easier for users to predict and understand your app UI. An application with different states requires you to monitor all changes in UI and keep on modifying them from time time. But it’s not as easy as it may sound, especially when your application starts growing. It’s called imperative programming in the software world.


However, React Native’s declarative APIs give your worry a ride to the moon, requiring you to only care about the current state of your UI. There’s no burden of keeping a track of states of the older ones either.


Click here to learn the distinction between Declarative and Imperative programming.

Reloading Was Never So Simple


As a matter of fact, developers conduct testing of changes after some code is written. There’s nothing wrong in that, but it requires compilation and installation in either a simulator or a real device. But not with React Native; it rids the need of recompilation of the app every time a change has been made. All that’s required to see changes in the code is to refresh the app in the simulator, emulator, or device. You can also use an amazing feature “Live Reload”, which automatically performs refresh task soon after detecting a change in the code.


React Native is UI-Focussed


Unlike AngularJs and MeteroJS, React Native is more focussed on User Interface (UI). As a result, React Native apps sport a highly responsive interface. Besdies, Javascript interactions between React Native and the Native environment of the device reduce load times and give a smoother feel of your app.

It’s Open Source!


We all know that open source projects often comprise of a large community of contributors, who help in making the project better and better. Likewise, React Native has a very large community of developers working constantly towards feature improvement, bug fixing and helping people to use it at ease. If you are looking forward to build something that is common in mobile apps, there is always a high possibility that it has already been built by React Native members.


I don’t want to overplay the importance of React Native in development of cross platform apps. Like other frameworks, React Native has drawbacks too. Nevertheless, the project is still new and efforts are being continuously made to make React Native the best solution for mobile app development for multiple platforms.


What do you think about Native React? Do you agree about the virtues I have mentioned above about React Native? How React Native can change the app development landscape?


Please share your views in the comment box below.

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Google-parent Alphabet Inc has launched a new smart-messaging app for Android and iOS on September 21, a month after it launched its video chat app Google Duo. What makes Allo standout on messaging app market is AI-integration. That said, Allo is set to give Facebook Inc's WhatsApp and Messenger a tough run for their money. Let’s dive into Allo’s exciting features that can change the way how you conversate with your friends.


Why You Must Download Google’s Intelligent Messaging App “Allo”?


Allo will leave you awestruck, mainly because of its two unique features - Google Assistant and Smart Reply. I am taking them one by one.


Google Assistant


Google Assistant will make you feel as if you chatting with Google Search and Google Now in one. There are two ways you can use Google Assistant    One-on-one chat and within your conversations. Google Assistant comes as first contact when you launch Allo for the first time in your smartphone. You can either ask the Assistant questions directly or bring it in during any conversation by just typing @google in the message line.

Image result for google assistant

Imagine that you live in San Diego and you have Allo installed in your phone. You started chatting with a friend of yours via Allo, and your friend asks you to watch a movie with him/her. You have no problem in watching the movie with your friend, but you have no idea which movie to go for since you don’t know the movies currently being showcased in your area.


Don’t worry! Here comes Allo to your rescue, simply type in the message line @google show movies and timings in San Diego. And Google Assistant acts in a swift manner to present you the list of movies currently being showed in San Diego. The best part is you get answers to your question without even leaving the chat.


Image result for google assistant


Image source: bgr.com


Likewise, you can access other forms of information, like Google Search, Images and YouTube results. You can also use Google Assistant even if you are not chatting with anyone to search for restaurants, sports scores, flight status, weather, and many more.


However, Google says that Google Assistant is not complete as of now, and is currently in “preview edition’. Google is asking people to submit their real-time feedback with conversations, to make further advancements in Google Assistant. Let’s now move on to another great feature of Allo: Smart Reply.


Smart Reply



Image source: android.wonderhowto.com


Smart Reply is built on the premise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The feature is about machine learning. The app learns from your texting habits and suggests you quick replies. The feature suggests basic responses once it learns your reply patterns. The best part is that its suggestions vary with people you are chatting with. In simple words, its suggestions would be based on whether you're chatting with your girlfriend or your boss. Google will store your chat data in its servers to make the best out of it for you.


For instance, your friend sends you a photo of their pet. Now, Smart Reply will show you suggestions, like “Aww cute” or something you generally use to express nice feelings in chat conversations.


Apart from these two wonderful features, Allo brings you a few more interesting things. Let’s talk about them as well.


Incognito Chat


Google’s Allo also enables you to chat in Incognito mode. Any message you send in Incognito mode will have end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications. They will not show up on your lock screen. Also, you get the option to set a time how long these messages will last. Once you set the expiration time, the chat history will be removed after reaching that time.


Tight security is the best advantage of Incognito mode, but unfortunately, you cannot use Google Assistant with Incognito mode on. For a simple reason, such features require context and tracking of what you type.


Photos, Emojis and Stickers



Image Source: venturebeat.com



No messaging app is complete without non-text options. Having known that, Google brings a plethora of non-text options in Allo. But what will make you jump in excitement is the ability to enlarge or shrink emojis and text by simply dragging the send button up or down. Besides, Allo allows you to write on photos before you send them to your friends and loved ones.In contrast to WhatsApp that allows to send maximum 10 photos at one time, Allo allows you to send 20 photos at one time.


If you want to use Allo to send a message to a non-Allo user, you can do that. The message will be visible to your non-Allo friend in notifications. The message will also have a link to download Allo. Nick Fox, Google's VP of Communications Products, says that Allo is a mobile-only app, which is the current focus of Google.


Both Duo and Allo were unveiled during Google’s I/O 2016 developer conference in May. The much-anticipated launch of Allo happened a month after the launch of Duo since development work started on the latter first.


Another good news is that Allo comes ad free, meaning it won’t cause any disturbance while you are chatting with your friends or having a standalone conversation with Google Assistant. Neither it will use anything from yor conversations for the kind of data it uses to power ads.


The app has everything to make you addict, but how much traction it gets still remains to be seen. But, one thing is sure, Google has tried something that could actually revolutionize chat apps. What are your views about Allo? Do you think Allo is worth download? What extra feature could make Allo even better?


Please share your views in the comment box below.

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Image source: clavax.blogspot.com


Read this blog to know about 5 best cross platform mobile app development tools. But before we go ahead with that, let’s understand why we need a mobile app in the first place. And then, why particularly cross platform mobile apps.



Since more and more people are now preferring smartphones over PCs to access the Internet, having only a website to grow your business is no longer enough. However, building a native app for each mobile platform is very time consuming and expensive. Besides, you need to write separate source codes for individual mobile platforms. And, you can actually use a very little of the code that’s already been written.


So, developers now think that it’s a good idea to go for cross platform mobile app development. For simple reasons, it makes your mobile app compatible with multiple mobile operating systems and enables to reuse the code that’s already been written. Besides, it involves low maintenance cost since you need not to offer support for multiple mobile platforms.


Click here to learn the distinction between cross platform mobile apps, native apps and hybrid apps.

Now that we know about the virtues of cross platform mobile app development, it’s paramount you know about the most effective and easy-to-use cross platform mobile app development tools. So, let’s move on to the most important part of this blog.

5 Best Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tools


#PhoneGap


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Image source: www.apps24x7.com


The reason why PhoneGap, aka Apache Cordova, has gained immense popularity among developers is the ease of building cross platform mobile apps. No extra skills are required, your own development team is well capable of using it. This framework involves the use of standard web technologies such as HTML5, Java and CSS3 for building a cross platform mobile app.


Key Features of PhoneGap are as Follows:


  • Easy to use and comes packed with many libraries

  • Apps work uniformly well on multiple platforms

  • Robust backend system increases the speed of app development

  • Offers support for various application programming interfaces

  • Since PhoneGap is open source, it comes for free

  • PhoneGap based apps are easy to manage

  • PhoneGap apps sport top-notch UI and enable seamless navigation

  • Easy distribution and installation


#Sencha


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Image source: appstedltd.tumblr.com


Sencha, a tool to develop cross platform mobile apps in HTML5, is known as a time saving tool in the mobile app development industry. It also gives rise to high productivity. Besides, Sencha allows access to Sencha Architect, Sencha IDE Plugins and few others to further ease the process of cross platform app development. However, Sencha Ext JS 6 continues to enjoy the most widespread usage.


Once you make the HTML code ready using Sencha, the next step is to convert it to both Android and iOS. For conversion into Android and iOS, you can use a translational tool like PhoneGap.


#Xamarin


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Image source: plus.google.com


Xamarin is a brilliant tool to use for building apps for iOS, Windows and Android smartphones. Xamarin requires developers to use the C# programming language to develop robust cross platform mobile apps. The language runs on the .NET Common Language Infrastructure (CLI). Xamarin is popularly regarded as “write once, run anywhere” tool.


Native API access and sharing code compatibility add to the effectiveness of Xamarin. Xamarin has recently partnered with IBM, Xoriant and Microsoft. Xamarin 2, which entered the tech market last year, is one of the most used cross platform app development tools.


#Unity3D


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Image source: thinkapps.com


Unity 3D is a very popular tool for developing 3D games. Unity supports three programming languages: C#, JavaScript and Boo. You can also go for millions of ready-made assets in the Asset Store and an online community. You add awe-inspiring graphics to your game using Unity3D. Besides, the game engine significantly reduces both development time and cost.


Unity 3D offers a single integrated development environment for all platforms. Developers can easily learn how to use Unity3D through numerous video tutorials offered by the company.

#Cocos2d

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Image source: android.app-liv.jp


Cocos2d is also a popular tool for gaming apps and other interactive programs. However, unlike Unity 3D which can be used for both 2D and 3D game development, Cocos2d allows development of only 2D games. Developers can use any language among C++, Javascript, C#, Xcode & Objective C, and Python, to develop a 2D game using Cocos2d.



Cocos is open source, therefore does not cost anything. With Cocos2d, you can build games for multiple mobile platforms using the same code base and making a few platform-specific adaptations for each one.



Cross platform mobile app development is becoming popular due to low cost, high productivity and no headache of maintaining mobile apps for multiple platforms. Though, cross platform apps do not completely eliminate native apps. Performance of native apps is better than cross platform mobile apps as they are specifically made for individual mobile operating systems.


What’s your view on cross platform mobile app development? Anything you think I missed on popular cross platform mobile app development tool? As always, your views are vital for us, please share them in the comment box below.

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HTML5/CSS3 Website Templates have become so popular that many designers now can’t think of creating a website without using them. The reason behind skyrocketing popularity of HTML5/CSS3 Website Templates is their efficacy at providing several essential website development features in one package. Now that we are almost in the final quarter of the year, I am presenting you top 7 HTML5/CSS3 Website templates that have ruled the web-development arena so far this year.

Let’s Begin!

Pivot

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Image source: www.feedtip.com


Pivot, a multi-purpose block-based template built on Bootstrap, covers all your business niche. Pivot is best used for education, business, portfolio, agency and resume web applications. In the era of multiple devices and screen sizes, Pivot gives your website the flexibility to work on all ⎼ be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.


With Pivot, you can make your website amazingly responsive. It comes with powerful, intuitive, and flexible theme, packed with 70+ content blocks and multiple page headers. The amazing Variant page builder makes Pivot stand out. If you are looking forward to launch a new app landing page or product, let me assure you that Pivot is the best deal out there in the market.


Many Pivot users say that page builder significantly reduces the span of development time. It allows you to try different layouts in quick time and enjoy customization at utmost ease.

Some of amazing features of Pivot are as follows:


  • 14 colour schemes

  • Coming soon page

  • Login page template

  • 404 & 500 error pages

  • Instagram feeds

  • Twitter feeds

  • Complete LESS files

  • Mailchimp & Campaign Monitor integration


Pages

Image source: colorlib.com

 

Pages comes with endless possibilities for your website. It’s an adaptive multi-purpose HTML5 web template, which offers a plethora of practical features. Besides, it allows your site’s capabilities to expand way beyond what you might have ever thought of. Pages sports 20 distinct web designs and over 70 pre-designed blocks for page customization.


Floating elements cause parallax effects to give your site a modern feel. Besides, an immersive page slider improves the satisfaction of browsing for your site visitors. Pages makes your site highly responsive and workable on all devices, regardless of their sizes.


Click here to know about new HTML templates released in January 2016

 

Massive

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Image source: webdesignshare.com


Want to create a website that best fits your personality? Go for Massive. It offers 260 unique pages and over 50 variations for your home page. Although it’s a gigantic tool kit, it’s far from being complex and difficult to use. Whatever your business niche is, Massive gets you covered, including General, Corporate, Creative, Portfolio, photography, Agency, Magazine, Restaurant, Hotel, Spa, Renovation, Fashion, E-commerce, Blog , Parallax, App Landing and Event category. Massive has all the building blocks you need to create a beautiful site, and that too in no time.


If you want to create a portfolio, Massive offers you 85 gorgeous portfolio page options. That apart, you get 900 custom line icons, 150 shortcodes, 15 pre-designed sliders, and 20 menu variations. To make Massive even better, 70 layered PSD and 27 PSD mockup files were made available during recent updates. 

Intense

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Image source: healthy-websites.com


Intense, a product of TemplateMonster, is a fully responsive multipurpose HTML template. If you are planning to launch a personal blog, eCommerce store or a company website, Intense should be among your top choices. And I will tell you “why”. It gives you the freedom to choose from 4 home layouts, 150+ pre-designed pages, 40+ specific-purpose pages, 30+ blog templates, 15+ portfolio templates and 10+ eCommerce shop templates. You also get Intense plugins for free, along with different header and footer styles, event templates and sundry additional related pages.


You can add tremendous value to your brand via huge number of skins, colors, Google fonts and hover effects. There is no need to hire a developer to install the theme, even a non-skilled person can do it at ease. Intense helps you create a standout website and add brand value.

Wolverine

Image result for Wolverine html web template


Image source: themeforest.net


Wolverine is best suited for Corporate, Ecommerce, Portfolio, Creative Agency etc. It’s a multipurpose HTML5 template, capable of living up to even the most varied customer demands. From desktop to smartphone, Wolverine works on all. For a WordPress site, you can buy a version from Themeforest. Creative slider element, CSS3 animations are only two of its many amazing template features.


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Yamen


Image result for yamen html web template

Image source: themeforest.net


Yamen brings you powerful and streamlined business HTML templates. Yamen is developed keeping in mind the requirements of professionals and freelancers who want to design a package for corporate, agency, creative, personal websites and much more. Single-page and multi-page variations were introduced in its latest update. We all know how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to get traffic to your site. Yamen is SEO optimized to get your site good ranking in search engine page results.


Amazing features of Yamen include:



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JangoImage result for jango html web template



Image source: themeforest.net


The main motive behind building Jango was to aid developers, end users and designers. If you have a plan to run an online eCommerce site, Jango should be among your top choices, since it comes packed with 28 eCommerce pages, 3 eCommerce sidebar menus, JS functions, and 2 distinct eCommerce footers. However, Jango can be used for any business niche. Jango is very responsive and fit for mobile devices, regardless of their screen sizes.


SASS framework makes Jango even more special, providing quick and easy styling capabilities. You can also benefit from helper CSS classes that come with it, paving the way for you to add new dimensions to your styling customizability. Improvements in Jango keep on happening via free updates to give every user a dynamic experience.



HTML5/CSS3 website templates have a widespread usage, owing to the ease they offer to have an attractive and effective website. Have you ever used a HTML5/CSS3 template to design a website? How was your experience? Any HTML5/CSS3 template you think should make to the list I have presented you above? Please add your views in the comment box below.

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WordPress plays a big role in how we interact with the Internet, with currently more than 15,886,000 websites running on WordPress. Since WordPress has become so popular, web developers don’t shy away from adopting general layout, formatting, navigation, and sometimes even color schemes and typefaces of WordPress sites. As a result, it becomes very difficult to keep your WordPress site distinct from other sites, including your competitors’. However, by using some HTML tricks, you can make your WordPress site stand out.

7 HTML Tricks To Use In WordPress


The base HTML code you used to build your WordPress site is the key. By making some subtle tweaks, you can easily and effectively empower your site to appear distinct from others. Let’s understand how.


Custom Page Creation

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Image source: www.devsaran.com


Does your site have the relatively standard, boilerplate layout? If yes, there is nothing wrong in it, as it creates familiarity and enhances user experience. However, it’s important that you customize within those parameters. All that you need to create custom page template is to make simple HTML edits. One of the best virtues of custom page creation is that it allows your site visitors to see what you most want them to see. The freedom to prioritize and streamline your content allows you to give right content to your target audience.


Click here to learn how to create custom page templates


Easy Search Outlet


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Image source: premium.wpmudev.org



Not all your users want to get details of deeper part of your website. So, it’s a good idea to narrow down search results by adding a faceted search function. With that being done, it becomes easier for users to find specific things they have in their mind when they come to your site. If you have ever shopped on Amazon, you must have seen Amazon’s suggested search. Users like it since they don’t have to waste time in finding what they are looking for, and navigation also becomes easier. It’s also easy to implement the plugin and additional HTML.


Click here to learn how to add amazon-like faceted search to your WordPress site.


Offer Random Posts to Users


If your site keeps coming up with new content, it’s better to redirect users to random posts. Since there are kind of users who want to dig deeper, redirecting them to random posts helps them explore more. Create a button with some HTML code and redirect users to a random post on your site. It helps users find out more offerings of your site and serves an alternative to the funnel-oriented navigation of a page.


Click here to learn how to redirect users to a random post.


Syndicate Your Content With RSS Feeds


If you want to get maximum eyeballs to your posts, you need to introduce them at the right time. One of the good ways to do so is syndicating your content with RSS feeds. You must target prime hours when most of your audience is checking their feeds. After creating a code which delays WordPress RSS syndication for a fixed amount of time, you posts will show up to your audience only during prime hours. In addition to interesting and quality content,  timeliness of posts is very essential to reach out to a wider audience.


Click here to learn how to delay wordpress RSS after publishing post.


Drop-Down Menu


The traditional horizontal menu bar often troubles users when it comes to navigation. It also clutters up a page, which is why you should consider a drop-down menu for your WordPress site. You can easily create a code for a drop down menu and get access to several customization options. These options will allow you to direct your site’s users to the pages they want to visit, and that too in different ways.


Click here to learn the code to create a drop-down menu.


Remove Post Revisions


WordPress allows you to revert back to an old post in your hour of need. By default, WordPress saves all your revisions as separate posts. As a result, those revisions can appear in search results for your users, posing the risk of cluttering up your database on the admin side. The best way to avoid it is to control post revisions. It helps keep things streamlined and reduces the burden of fixing things at your end too.


Click here to learn the code to create a drop-down menu.

Highlight Author Comments


WordPress is very popular across the globe for blogging. And one of the major reasons behind its popularity for blogs and heavy interaction sites is its amazing comments section capabilities. However, problems can happen in comment sections too, which can irritate users and force them to run away. A remedy to this problem is to highlight author comments as it helps users see a natural flow of conversation.


Click here to learn the code for highlighting author comments.


By using these 7 HTML tricks, you can maximize the appeal of your site and empower it to look different from other sites. You should also follow Best Practices in WordPress Development to create a strong web presence.


If you have ever used HTML tricks to make your site look different and function effectively, please share your experience with us in the comment box below.



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With Google’s rollout of Android 7.0 Nougat (nʌɡət) on Nexus devices on August 22, 2016, Android phone users can’t stop wondering about what features Nougat has in store for them. If you have also been holding your curiosity horses for long, let me unveil for you the new features that are highly likely to arrive on smartphones that support Android Nougat.


Google surprised everybody when it released a preview version of Android Nougat on March 9 this year. We all knew that Google announced its previous mobile operating systems only at Google I/O, the Google's developer conference. However, the motive behind the unprecedented move, according to Google, was to give developers enough time to have a good look at it and provide their vital inputs. The sooner, the better!


Click here to find out which non-Nexus smartphone is to be the first to Ship With Android Nougat.


Exciting Features Android Nougat is Set to Bring for Android Fans


Going by what Google revealed during Google I/O on May 18, Android Nougat’s new features can be divided into three categories: Productivity, Performance, Security. It appears Google has built its latest operating system for mobile phones on the premise of extending functionality, improving pre-existing features and further expanding what’s possible in stock Android. It’s quite possible that not all specifications will make it to the final release. But hoping for the best, I have highlighted the most amazing features that have the best chances to come along Android N.


Let’s Talk About Productivity Enhancement Features Of Android Nougat


  • Multi-Tasking with Split Screen Feature:


Image result for android nougat multi window support or split screen

Image source: http://techbeats.org/


The most exciting feature of Android N is “Split Screen”, which supports multitasking. Although Samsung and LG phones have incorporated this feature couple of years ago, Google is bringing it for the first time in its own software. Thanks Google for listening to public demand, which means Android Nougat users can open and use two apps at the same time. All that you would be required to split your screen is to long press the recent button in navigation bar.


You can also resize the window by dragging the divider. Moreover, with “Quick Switch” feature you can switch between the two most recently used apps. For this to happen, you would need to double tap on the Overview button. On the top of the multitasking menu would be a Clear All Button to allow you to close all the apps at once.

  • Direct Reply Through Notifications on the Top of Screen


It seems that Google has learnt a lesson from Apple Inc. I said so because Google has now incorporated direct replies feature in Android N, much similar to Quick Reply. However, unlike Apple which restricted Quick Reply only to its iMessage app, direct reply on Android N works with all messaging apps, like Whatsapp, Viber etc.


Image result for direct reply in Android nougat

Image source: http://dixplore.com/


So, next time when you see a notification on the top a screen of your Android Nougat smartphone and feel tempted to reply, there is no need to navigate away from your current window. No matter if you are playing a game, watching a video or surfing the internet, you can easily reply through a notification on the top of screen of your Android N phone, without leaving the current window.


Besides, if you don’t want to see notifications from a particular app, you can block all notifications from that app. In Android N, you will get the option to choose from 6 levels of power notifications to manage the priority of any individual app.


  • Bundled Notifications


Google has also revealed in an announcement during developer conference on May 18 that notifications cards will be grouped together if they are from the same app. To your better understanding, all messages from a specific app will stay together as a bundle in the notification shade. If you wish to expand them to individual notifications, you need to use a two-finger gesture or tap on the new expansion button.


  • Expanded Emoji


Android N brings support for Unicode 9, meaning 72 more emojis to help your phone fit your personality. Now, the total number of emojis in Android are over 1,500. So, go express yourself on an Android Nougat phone in an even better way.


  • Android N to Support VR with Google Daydream


Image source: http://www.stuff.tv/

In order to provide virtual reality (VR) experience on mobile, Google has built Android Nougat compatible with Daydream. Google’s Daydream is a spec with headset, and aims at giving rise to high-quality mobile VR for Android smartphones. Google Daydream is certainly the successor of Google Cardboard.


Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, Alcatel, ZTE and Asus are in the process of developing Daydream-ready phones since the current phones offered by them don’t have appropriate hardware to support VR. Daydream will provide VR support to the Play Store, StreetView, Photos, YouTube and Play Movies. So, be ready for an immersive experience and jumping into games, locations and videos, with Daydream .

Now Comes the Performance Part of Android Nougat

  • Android Nougat Data Saver


Android Nougat brings you data saver. It significantly reduces your mobile data usage by restricting background data on apps when you're on a mobile/cellular network. Samsung has already been offering the same function on Galaxy S7 for quite a time, but Google is bringing it it the first time ever on its mobile operating system. However, when your Android Nougat phone is on WiFi, all the apps get there data access as normal.


  • Enhanced Doze To Let Your Phone Battery Last Long


We first saw Doze in Android Marshmallow, and have been loving it since then, right? To make you love it even more, Google has enhanced Doze Mode 2.0 in Android N. Your Android Nougat phone will stop all background tasks the moment you turn your screen off, thereby increasing the battery life by even a bigger extent. So, if you leave your phone on standby mode for a day or week, you can still use it without having to recharge it right away.


  • Pressure-Sensitive Display Technology


Image source: http://dixplore.com


Google has announced “Launcher Shortcuts” feature to equip in Android Nougat smartphones with pressure-sensitive display technology. As a result, Android manufacturers will find it easy to bring 3D Touch-like technology to Android handsets.

  • Vulkan and Java 8 Support


For better graphics and smoother, faster performance, Google is introducing Vulkan 3D graphics API in Android N. The benefit of Vulkan is that it has a much lower CPU overhead than OpenGL. Moreover, it opens gates for developers to fit much more graphical detail into frames.


Android N also brings support for Java 8, which will allow developers to do better things with code.

  • Improved Speed for App Installation


Google is also bringing JIT compiler in Android N for better performance. It increases the speed of app installation by 75%, in addition to 50% reduction in the size of the compiled code.

Google’s Take on Security with Android N

File-based encryption, media framework hardening and seamless updates in Android N give rise to better security. File-based encryption, as per Google, will ensure isolation and protection of files for individual users on your device.


Android N will also stop password-reset ransomware. According to ZDNet, “The new operating system will no longer allow users or software to invoke a command that clears already-set passwords. However, in order to protect your device it notes that you will need to set a password in the first place.”


Google’s Android Nougat is making rounds on the internet, and Android fans have been long wondering what all new features it will bring for them. Here, I have tried unveiling the features that Google has announced during developers conference to bring with Android Nougat.


If you know more about important features likely to come with Android N, please share them in the comment box below.




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Are you an Ubuntu user and seeing regular notifications to upgrade the older version (14.04 or 15.10) to the newest Ubuntu 16.04? If that’s a yes, then let me unveil for you seven major benefits you can draw by upgrading your older Ubuntu version to Ubuntu 16.04.


Called as Xenial Xerus, the latest Ubuntu 16.04 upgrade is a Long Term Support (LTS) release. So, no grumbling over critical security, bug and app updates from Canonical, for at least five years. In my view, if you are looking forward to a stable, predictable system, Ubuntu 16.04 should definitely be your choice.


Let’s Talk About Top Seven Virtues Of Ubuntu 16.04

  • No Spyware In Ubuntu 16.04 LTS


Since 2012, unbuntu was mired in the controversy over the online search results in Ubuntu’s Dash. The things were only made worse with the introduction of “Smart Scopes Service” in 2013, so much so that Free Software Foundation President Richard Stallman called Ubuntu Linux "spyware". He along with many people raised concerns over the operating system sending data to Ubuntu maker Canonical when a user searched the desktop. However, the latest Ubuntu upgrade puts all such search-related concerns to rest.


Online search features in Ubuntu 16.04 come disabled by default for new installs, meaning your search terms will reside within your computer only. In case you think the move will attenuate your ability to search and preview content through the dash, you can re-enable online search results in a couple of clicks.

  • Snap: The New Packaging Format


Ubuntu 16.04 sports a brand new packaging format, opening gates for developers to distribute packages that contain everything needed to run. Unlike previous Ubuntu versions, Ubuntu 16.04 boasts of snap that can contain both application binary and any dependencies required for it to run. And this is regardless of whether or not libraries are installed on the host system.


So now, there is no need to add x PPA for an app and then y PPA for the latest version of z dependency. Moreover, developers can include newer versions of any libraries as part of their Snap. In previous versions, developers faced limitations of building apps to frozen base of libraries. But not anymore, thanks to snap in Ubuntu 16.04. Users can also enjoy newer versions of apps on older versions of Ubuntu without compromising on the stability of the entire system.


  • New Software Center

Image source: pentruprieteni.com


People were bored with Ubuntu’s centralized app store, which was introduced by Canonical in 2009. Due to slow speed of Ubuntu Software Center, many users got frustrated and wanted something that acts briskly. To address the issue, Canonical has brought up a new package manager, called GNOME software, in Ubuntu 16.04, which is fast, lightweight and very responsive.


  • Ubuntu 16.04 Allows To Move Unity 7’s Launcher To The Bottom

Image source: askubuntu.com


With the latest LTS release of Ubuntu 16.04, many users believe their requests have finally been heard by Canonical, especially with Unity launcher. Now, the Unity 7 desktop on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS enables users to move the launcher bar to the bottom of the screen. Now that we mostly use widescreen monitors, the launcher bar on the left hand side does not make sense to many.So, Ubuntu 16.04 finally gives you the choice to preserve’ space efficiently by moving the application launcher to the bottom.


However, you need to use the GUI and the command-line. Don’t worry, it's hassle-free. Simply open a terminal window and enter the command given below.


gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Bottom


In case, you don’t find it the cup of your tea, you can easily undo it by using this command.


gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher launcher-position Left


  • Linux Kernel 4.4


Ubuntu 16.04 LTS comes with a modified version of Linux 4.4 kernel. The move aims at providing improved system stability, efficiency, performance, power, and file system handling. Moreover, it gives better support for Intel Skylake, Intel’s new sixth-generation Core family of mainstream processors, and Raspberry Pi.


Other advantages of Kernel 4.4 are:


  • 3D support in the virtual GPU driver

  • New driver for Corsair Vengeance K90

  • Support for TPM 2.0 chips

  • Journaled RAID 5 support


  • Set App Menus To Always Show

Image source: www.makeuseof.com


In Ubuntu 16.04, a new setting called "Menus visibility" is available in the Appearance panel. You will see two options therein - “Displayed on mouse hovering” and “Always displayed”. So, by choosing “Always displayed”, users can ensure that the menus of any application are always visible.


It won’t be wrong to say that by leaving the menu visible in each application’s windows, you can easily combine old-school functionality with a modern look.


  • Support for ZFS File System

Image source: arstechnica.com


Ubuntu 16.04 is the first version to support zfs filesystem on Linux. As per Canonical, zfs is the combination of a volume manager and a filesystem. The new version does not ask you to make any effort from your side, since zfs.ko will be automatically built and installed on your Ubuntu systems. Zfs facilitates improvements towards enterprise and server use.


Also, zfs is better than BTRFS and allows users to efficiently create snapshots of your machine. Zfs support in Ubuntu 16.04 opens gates to manage multiple physical storage devices in a much better way than previous options, like ext3 and ext4.


Without a doubt, Ubuntu 16.04 is the most exciting release by Canonical in the past few years. There are many other benefits of Ubuntu 16.04, like access to session shortcuts in Dash, which allows users to Logout, Reboot & Shutdown, directly through it. However, I have discussed the top six that have been coaxing Ubuntu users into upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04.


Do you think Ubuntu 16.04 is the right choice for you? Have you already upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04 and facing issues with it? You think of benefits that are more important than what I have discussed? Please share your views in the comment box below.





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    Image source: vrjournal.com


    We all have witnessed the technology world advancing from one level to another, so much so that humanity is now setting up to colonize planet Mars by 2023. In this blog, we intend to talk about the two next frontiers of digital technology - Virtual Reality(VR) and Augmented Reality(AR), and their distinction.

    What is Virtual Reality?

    Virtual Reality means creation of the world that is not real, but seems real. To your better understanding, Virtual Reality is the creation of a 3D environment that simulates the real world and users can interact with it by wearing a VR helmet or goggles similar to Oculus Rift. The virtual environment is immersive and computer generated. A coding language Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) is used to create VR software and bring some place else for you.


    Image source: www.linkedin.com

    “VR is about escaping the real world and going someplace you couldn’t normally go,” says Jeffrey Gattis, HTC’s executive director of marketing for connected products, adding that “Games, movies, even sporting events and travel are perfectly suited to the medium, but it will be important that we continue to see growth in the number of developers creating VR content.”


    Click here to learn about 7 best virtual reality mobile apps.

    What is Augmented Reality?


    Augmented reality is a perfect mix of digital and real world, making the existing reality more meaningful. The creation of Augmented Reality calls for integration of digital information with the user’s environment in the real time. So, it’s absolutely correct to say that AR makes use of our current reality to overlay new information on top of it, thereby allowing the user to make more sense out of the existing environment.


    Let’s get a better insight with an example:


    Blippar (an AR app for iOS and Android) allows you to discover a whole new world by pointing your phone’s camera to various products or images. The Augmented Reality app enables you to blip everyday objects from plants, fruits to pets. Moreover, the app allows your smartphone to bring a static print ad to life, or watch a movie trailer by simply focusing your smartphone camera at a poster.


    Click here to know about the 15 best Augmented Reality apps available in the app market.


    Image source: www.slideshare.net


    Microsoft made headlines last year when it unveiled HoloLens that uses AR similar to Mini's driving goggles. However, HoloLens goes a step further to significantly narrow down the gap between your PC and your living room. It actually paves the way for you to surround yourself with your Windows 10 apps.


    Pranav Mistry, the Global Vice President of Research at Samsung and the head of Think Tank Team, has developed an AR device SixthSense that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data. SixthSense allows a user to use natural hand gestures to interact with digital information.


    Both AR and VR are very interesting technologies, which takes us to the next important section of the blog:

    Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality


    Although both AR and VR create an immersive experience for a user, they are different from each other. VR isolates a user from the real world and creates a completely fabricated world, while AR delivers virtual elements as an overlay to the real world.


    With AR, virtual components like digital images, graphics, or sensations are added to the real world as a new layer of interaction. So, AR does not give rise to an environment that is not real, but enhances and enriches the current reality.


    Without a doubt, VR provides users more immersive experience than AR, however, VR does not allow the users to interact with their surroundings. As it’s not possible for a VR user to see what is right next to them, VR doesn’t provide a practical way to interact in the real world. VR is best suited for video games and social networking in the virtual environment, like Second Life or PlayStation Home.

    Gears for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

    Virtual Reality

    Augmented Reality

    • Oculus Rift

    • Samsung Gear VR

    • Google Cardboard

    • HTC Vive

    • Sony Project Morpheus

  • Google Glass 2

  • Microsoft HoloLens

  • Sony SmartEyeglass

  • Recon Jet

  • Magic Leap

  • Vuzix M100

  • ODG R-7



  • By now, it must be clear that VR and AR and two different concepts. While AR is for real world, VR is for content that has nothing to do with our current reality. AR adds more meaningful information to our experiences in real time, which is why it is believed to do a lot with our everyday lives. If you have ever got a chance to experience AR or VR, please share your experience with us in the comment box below.

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    Posted by on in General

    saas-world-CROP.jpg

    Image source: www.tnooz.com


    Many businesses, especially small and medium size ones, have been increasingly moving to Cloud Computing for one great reason - Huge reduction in business cost. However, there is a fallacy among many people that Cloud Computing and Software as a Service(SaaS) are one and the same thing. Although SaaS is related to Cloud Computing, the duo is very different from each other. In this blog, we will talk about how Cloud Computing and Software as a Service(SaaS) are distinct from each other.


    eccccca7-7274-4539-bc3a-0e168298c537.generated_splash_0

    Image source: www.salesforce.com


    Cloud is basically used as a metaphor for “the Internet”. Cloud Computing offers storage and access to data and applications over the internet, rather than your local servers or personal devices. So, instead of buying your own servers or software, you can rent computing infrastructure and services to ensure smooth functioning of your business operations.


    Imagine that you are a startup company with a unique idea, but don’t have enough funds to bear the cost of infrastructure, hardware and software to kick off your business operations. Here, Cloud Computing comes to your business rescue to prevent it from drowning in the ocean of cost struggles.


    Click here to gain insight into 7 Ways Cloud Computing helps SMBs boost their Business.

    Cloud Computing comes in Three Forms: Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

    Image source: vmwaretips.com

    • Public Cloud services are available for use off-site over the internet. You can use public clouds, like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and IBM’s Blue Cloud, for developing SaaS applications for end-users. The rental cost of public clouds is very pocket-friendly since the provider bears the cost of hardware, application and bandwidth.


    However, an organization that deals with sensitive data may not like to go for public clouds since configuration, security, and SLA specificity are weak on public clouds.


    • Private Cloud services facilitate flexibility, scalability, provisioning, automation and monitoring for a single company. Private clouds are expensive, but they are highly secured, thus companies dealing with sensitive data may not want to shy away from private cloud model. Private clouds are divided into two categories: On-premise private clouds and externally hosted private clouds.


    • Hybrid Cloud is a mix of public cloud and private cloud. So, you can begin using a public cloud to save your business cost, however, you can also migrate to private cloud as soon as you face security concerns.


    Microsoft's Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.com are some of the popular names of Cloud Computing service providers.

    Offerings of Cloud Computing Under Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud


    Cloud Computing has three offerings: Platform as a Service(PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).


    PaaS provides a platform to developers to build applications services over the internet using tools and plugins supplied by the provider. All you need to use PaaS services is a computer with an internet connection, obviously you have to pay for the subscription of PaaS services, but only for the services you use. The best part is you need not to worry about update of services, since the PaaS service provider regularly updates the services, upgrades existing features and adds additional features without charging any fee.

    IaaS services include virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, IP addresses and load balancers. IaaS automatically allocates as many servers as your requirement is, and charges you accordingly. So, IaaS saves you a lot of business cost since you only pay as per the usage of numbers of servers being allocated to your business.

    As IaaS is a scalable service, you need not worry if there is a sudden rise in the numbers of your service users. Moreover, the IaaS service provider is responsible for maintaining the data centers. The IaaS service remains unaffected by the failure of one server or network due to the remaining multitude of hardware resources and redundancy configurations.

    Click here to learn what scalability means in cloud computing.

    Let’s Now Move On To SaaS


    Image source: www.qaist.co.uk


    SaaS means computer applications that sit on the cloud, instead of your computer and devices. It’s true that SaaS is available on the cloud, but it must not be mistaken for the cloud. The reason is simple, developers can develop a SaaS application using PaaS, but the application itself doesn’t mean cloud. Google Apps, Salesforce, Workday, Concur and GoToMeeting are some of the examples of SaaS applications. Unlike PaaS services that are used by software developers, application vendors, savvy computer users and IT executives to build a service or app, SaaS applications are used by end-users.


    While cloud Computing is meant for high-end customization, SaaS is more about low-end customization. By now, it must be clear that Cloud Computing and SaaS are two very different technologies. The only similarity between SaaS and Cloud Computing is that they free you from the need of having on-premise hardware or software.


    The Takeaway: Cloud Computing and SaaS are not one. SaaS is a subset of Cloud Computing.


    SaaS relates to Cloud Computing since it sits on virtual servers, but it must no be mistaken for being Cloud itself. You can use a SaaS application that exists on cloud and build it using PaaS, but can’t call it cloud. If you have ever used a SaaS, PaaS or IaaS and want to share your experience or add more on to the distinction between Cloud Computing and SaaS, please put your views in the comment box below.


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    Posted by on in Mobile Development



    We all have heard the buzz about Virtual Reality (VR) being the next big thing of the future, along with Internet of Things (IoT), right? VR is actually an artificial environment created using computer hardware and software to make it appear real for users. Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, author, and composer, coined the term Virtual Reality in 1987.


    The good news is that you no longer need to buy expensive Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset to experience Virtual Reality. It may take you by surprise, but as a matter of fact, even an Android or iOS smartphone serves the purpose of a VR device. You can easily pair a sub-£20 Google Cardboard headset with your Android/iOS phone to allow it to use your device’s screen and bring some place else for you.


    Now that you know about VR capabilities of your Android/iOS device, it’s worth knowing about 7 best VR apps. Unlike apps that force you to buy Samsung’s Gear VR mobile headset, these apps are regular Android and iOS apps, meaning no extra burden on your pocket.


    • Cardboard


    Cardboard app is free to download and gives you an easy access to virtual reality. The app is distinct from Google Cardboard, which is a device to place your smartphone into its back and get the amazing view through the lenses in front. Coming back to the Cardboard app, it lets you find those apps that are available for download and are compatible with the Cardboard device, like Earth and Photo Sphere Camera. If you want to build your own Google Cardboard viewer, you must visit Google's Get Cardboard page to learn the specifications. However, if you don’t like this DIY approach, you can buy a pre-manufactured one available from various vendors. Click here to know about best Google Cardboard apps.


    Image source: www.tomshardware.com


    • NYT VR


    NYT VR, a product of New York Times, allows users to view content, like a compelling video of three children who were forced to leave their homes because of conflict. You can watch such videos without Google Cardboard as well, however if you want to feel as if you are there, you must use the Google’s VR device. The video of the three children brings the content back to life, showing you the destruction from war, a plane dropping food to not let the victims starve, etc.


    The website of New York Time says, “All it takes is a smartphone. Go underwater or on the campaign trail. Experience life through the eyes of a refugee or explore previously unseen worlds. Experience stories reported by award-winning journalists, all told in an immersive, 360-degree video experience.” The app is available to download for free for both Android and iOS smartphones.


    Image source: www.technobuffalo.com


    • VRSE


    VRSE, a free-to-download virtual reality app, hosts high production value 3D 360 content. Chris Milk, an artist and filmmaker, who has directed videos for popular names like Kanye West, Beck, Arcade, etc, has formed VRSE to create virtual reality experiences. A short VR documentary “Waves of Grace” tells the story of an Ebola survivor in Liberia. So, you can get the real feel of documentaries with VRSE.


    Vice, The New York Times, and NBC were so smitten by the idea that they decided to enter into a partnership with VRSE. Click here to learn from Chris Milk about the future of VRSE.


    Image source: YouTube.com

    • Sisters: A Virtual Reality Ghost Story


    Sisters: A Virtual Reality Ghost Story app takes your horror experience to an all new level. Don’t give it a try late at night. Without a doubt, the entry of VR in horror genre will encourage other ghost storytellers to bring users scary, terrifying experiences. The app is available to download for free for both Android and iOS smartphones.


    Image source: www.youtube.com

    • Seene


    Seene, a free-to-download app available on Play Store and App Store, enables users capture photographs and view them in 360 degrees. The app does not require a special camera on your smartphone to let you capture and share pics in 3D. Unlike Google’s Cardboard Camera app, Seene sports an awesome feature to share 360-pics with the world. Seene was also crowned as the UK's most innovative mobile company on display at Mobile World Congress.



    Image source: play.google.com


    • Jaunt VR


    Similar to VRSE, Jaunt also enables users to get cinematic VR experiences. The app is available to download from both App Store and Play Store. The company aims at making VR content production easy. Jaunt works with Google Cardboard, $25 Dodocase cardboard headsets and the foam Merge headset. With Jaunt VR, you can celebrate Disneyland's 60th Anniversary celebration on Main Street, USA. Besides, you will feel as if you are on stage with Jack White as he performs “Freedom At 21” at The Bleacher Theater at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. More and more creators are getting attracted to Jaunt to take your entertainment experience to an all new level.


    Image source: www.slashgear.com


    • Orbulus


    Orbulus enables stereoscopic 3D photo viewing on mobile devices. It supports most 3D content viewers like Durovis Dive and Altergaze. It works flawlessly with Google Cardboard and other Smartphone VR Viewers. This VR app lets you visit interesting locations with a simple click. So, you can stand on Mars or get a virtual sight into the New Year’s Fireworks on Hong Kong Harbour by simply looking into your Cardboard gear. It’s also free-to-download VR app for both Android and iOS smartphones.


    Image source: play.google.com


    All these apps are the best VR apps for smartphones and enable you to get first-hand experience of virtual reality, without forcing you to make any hefty investment. Have you ever used a virtual reality app before? If yes, and want to tell us more about VR apps for smartphones, then please share your views in the comment box below.




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