Technologies you need to be familiar with to build modern websites and mobile apps in 2021.
With the whole world in pandemic mode, a lot of people have been questioning their “one source of income.” Over the last two months, I’ve had eight non-technical colleagues, friends and family approach me about having an idea and wanting direction to move it forward from a technological perspective.
After explaining the fundamentals eight times to eight different people, I’ve come to realize that simply googling “how to build an app or website” yields billions of results, making figuring out what to do next a daunting and overwhelming task.
For anyone looking to start their side hustle, pay a developer to make a website/app, or just learn about how tech works, here is a basic skeleton structure of how websites and mobile apps are structured and a list of different technologies to consider.
Note: This article solely focuses on technology. Its intention isn’t to suggest all ideas will work. My recommendation for that — do some market research and validate things before quitting your full-time job.
Technology looks really simple when we load a website or an app. In reality, there are a lot of pieces that connect together to provide an experience. These pieces can be fundamentally broken down into:
Frontend layer — here we create how users interact with our idea. We look to provide the best experience visually, right from loading up the application until they close it (and everything in between).
Integration layer — this can be looked at as a series of highways we create so that data can pass between our frontend layer and our backend(data) layer. Here, we also take into consideration optimizations and security. The layer is usually represented as a form of API.
Backend layer — also considered the data layer. This is where we store all the information that is captured, and that we want to display or change. Usually, we create our structure so that only our integration layer can talk to our data layer and nothing else. This is usually done in the form of databases.
Now that we understand the basic skeleton structure of almost any website/mobile app, let’s look at some common technologies.
Technology is forever changing and this article won’t be relevant forever. So, at the time of writing this (early 2021), here are the key technologies that are easy to pick up on and worth building applications in.
Some Popular Web App Ideas for 2021
Are you looking for best web application business ideas that make money in 2021?
There are lots of simple web app ideas but all those web application business ideas do not make money.
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With more of us using smartphones, the popularity of mobile applications has exploded. In the digital era, the number of people looking for products and services online is growing rapidly. Smartphone owners look for mobile applications that give them quick access to companies’ products and services. As a result, mobile apps provide customers with a lot of benefits in just one device.
Likewise, companies use mobile apps to increase customer loyalty and improve their services. Mobile Developers are in high demand as companies use apps not only to create brand awareness but also to gather information. For that reason, mobile apps are used as tools to collect valuable data from customers to help companies improve their offer.
There are many types of mobile applications, each with its own advantages. For example, native apps perform better, while web apps don’t need to be customized for the platform or operating system (OS). Likewise, hybrid apps provide users with comfortable user experience. However, you may be wondering how long it takes to develop an app.
To give you an idea of how long the app development process takes, here’s a short guide.
_Average time spent: two to five weeks _
This is the initial stage and a crucial step in setting the project in the right direction. In this stage, you brainstorm ideas and select the best one. Apart from that, you’ll need to do some research to see if your idea is viable. Remember that coming up with an idea is easy; the hard part is to make it a reality.
All your ideas may seem viable, but you still have to run some tests to keep it as real as possible. For that reason, when Web Developers are building a web app, they analyze the available ideas to see which one is the best match for the targeted audience.
Targeting the right audience is crucial when you are developing an app. It saves time when shaping the app in the right direction as you have a clear set of objectives. Likewise, analyzing how the app affects the market is essential. During the research process, App Developers must gather information about potential competitors and threats. This helps the app owners develop strategies to tackle difficulties that come up after the launch.
The research process can take several weeks, but it determines how successful your app can be. For that reason, you must take your time to know all the weaknesses and strengths of the competitors, possible app strategies, and targeted audience.
The outcomes of this stage are app prototypes and the minimum feasible product.
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As COVID-19 staggeringly lands blows to nations across the world, governments are considering ways to see their citizens through this pandemic. At the moment, a WHO situation report clocks the number of confirmed cases above two million along with more than one hundred thousand deaths. With vaccines dubbed as the best possible chance to tackle COVID-19 having no precise time frame of being ready, the talk is quickly shifting away to Contact Tracing Applications.
Contact tracing apps are digital solutions that use mobile technology to power the process of manual contact tracing. The apps follow a user’s movement, either by the use of Bluetooth technology, QR codes, or geo-location data while also tracking and keeping data from other user phones nearby. If one user gets diagnosed, the apps alert other users that they may have been exposed to the virus. As such, Contact Tracing Applications are being welcomed and perceived as an important approach to stem the spread of COVID-19 by providing a more accurate platform with data and information about affected individuals.
As mentioned above, contact tracing apps leverage mobile technology to trace cases of possible infection more accurately. But how exactly? Once installed and operative, the phone runs the app simultaneously with Bluetooth or location data to transmit signals with unique keys or IDs to phones in the designated range of connection. Similarly, the other phones with the app installed to detect and send back the signals.
For instance, if ‘Individual A’ has the app installed and goes outdoors to run some errands, they will interact with other individuals. In such a case, supposing all the other individuals had functional Contact Tracing Apps, each phone would exchange and store the contact data anonymously. It is important to note that the data collected only covers the app range distance to disregard irrelevant contacts and that their keys repeatedly change as individuals move. In any event that ‘Individual A’ tests positive for COVID-19 through confirmed tests, users who were previously within the proximity of ‘Individual A’ are alerted. Consequently, they are notified to check for symptoms, self-isolate, or get tested. Each time a person tests positive, the app notifies and advises the affected individuals.
In a nutshell, Contact Tracing Apps automate and supplement the traditional concept of tracing contacts to achieve extensive and realistic results in the least time possible.
Contract Tracing Apps are assets that offer indispensable solutions to health institutions and the public against COVID-19. There are several reasons why many governments are urging their citizens to use digital contact tracing apps to combat the spread of COVID-19. They include:
Currently, the role of contact tracing apps is limited to accurately identifying infected individuals and their contacts as well as facilitating a quicker response to the Covid-19 threat.
Beyond that, the use of contact tracing apps is projected to take a different turn. One key area bound to change is how people’s privacy is handled. Tech institutions are under growing pressure to devise ways to develop privacy-preserving Contact Tracing Apps.
This will earn the users-trust, which is a pillar for these apps to help contain the disease. Technically, the technology will also have to improve drastically. The apps will have to seamlessly integrate with the user’s phone lifestyle causing minimal or no interference. With most applications having an open-source code, Artificial Intelligence, Beacon Technology, and Big Data solutions will be increasingly harnessed to power and improve them. The apps may also cut across various types of industries apart from health institutions.
Contact Tracing Apps will effectively help stem lowering the cases of COVID-19. By using the apps, officials are able to monitor high-risk individuals easily. Also, should any new case arise, both users and health officials get notified they will swiftly act to trace, test, or isolate infected individuals.
Unlike traditional contact tracing, which may not get all contacts, these apps ensure that once Covid-19 cases are detected, they are all treated early, and those other individuals are not exposed to the infection. They also ward off users from high-risk areas. In the long run, they help break the COVID-19 chain by preventing further spread. Illustratively, an online publication by CNBC states that more than 500,000 using a Singapore-registered mobile number downloaded the TraceTogether app within the first 24 hours of its launch. Subsequently, together with other government efforts, Singapore has since lowered the infection rate and eased restrictions.
If Contact Tracing Apps are implemented and used alongside other policies, we may as well be a few steps way to curbing this virus.
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Are you leading an organization that has a large campus, e.g., a large university? You are probably thinking of introducing an electric scooter/bicycle fleet on the campus, and why wouldn’t you?
Introducing micro-mobility in your campus with the help of such a fleet would help the people on the campus significantly. People would save money since they don’t need to use a car for a short distance. Your campus will see a drastic reduction in congestion, moreover, its carbon footprint will reduce.
Micro-mobility is relatively new though and you would need help. You would need to select an appropriate fleet of vehicles. The people on your campus would need to find electric scooters or electric bikes for commuting, and you need to provide a solution for this.
To be more specific, you need a short-term electric bike rental app. With such an app, you will be able to easily offer micro-mobility to the people on the campus. We at Devathon have built Autorent exactly for this.
What does Autorent do and how can it help you? How does it enable you to introduce micro-mobility on your campus? We explain these in this article, however, we will touch upon a few basics first.
You are probably thinking about micro-mobility relatively recently, aren’t you? A few relevant insights about it could help you to better appreciate its importance.
Micro-mobility is a new trend in transportation, and it uses vehicles that are considerably smaller than cars. Electric scooters (e-scooters) and electric bikes (e-bikes) are the most popular forms of micro-mobility, however, there are also e-unicycles and e-skateboards.
You might have already seen e-scooters, which are kick scooters that come with a motor. Thanks to its motor, an e-scooter can achieve a speed of up to 20 km/h. On the other hand, e-bikes are popular in China and Japan, and they come with a motor, and you can reach a speed of 40 km/h.
You obviously can’t use these vehicles for very long commutes, however, what if you need to travel a short distance? Even if you have a reasonable public transport facility in the city, it might not cover the route you need to take. Take the example of a large university campus. Such a campus is often at a considerable distance from the central business district of the city where it’s located. While public transport facilities may serve the central business district, they wouldn’t serve this large campus. Currently, many people drive their cars even for short distances.
As you know, that brings its own set of challenges. Vehicular traffic adds significantly to pollution, moreover, finding a parking spot can be hard in crowded urban districts.
Well, you can reduce your carbon footprint if you use an electric car. However, electric cars are still new, and many countries are still building the necessary infrastructure for them. Your large campus might not have the necessary infrastructure for them either. Presently, electric cars don’t represent a viable option in most geographies.
As a result, you need to buy and maintain a car even if your commute is short. In addition to dealing with parking problems, you need to spend significantly on your car.
All of these factors have combined to make people sit up and think seriously about cars. Many people are now seriously considering whether a car is really the best option even if they have to commute only a short distance.
This is where micro-mobility enters the picture. When you commute a short distance regularly, e-scooters or e-bikes are viable options. You limit your carbon footprints and you cut costs!
Businesses have seen this shift in thinking, and e-scooter companies like Lime and Bird have entered this field in a big way. They let you rent e-scooters by the minute. On the other hand, start-ups like Jump and Lyft have entered the e-bike market.
Think of your campus now! The people there might need to travel short distances within the campus, and e-scooters can really help them.
What advantages can you get from micro-mobility? Let’s take a deeper look into this question.
Micro-mobility can offer several advantages to the people on your campus, e.g.:
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