Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:09

10 Features Android Wear Should Have

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Using Android Wear on a daily basis and in some respects it’s great. Receiving notifications directly on my wrist, and being able to Google basic pieces of information via voice controls. But the one thing that struck about Google’s smartwatch platform, which has received one major update since its launch more than six months ago, is that it can’t really do very much. It can display the time, show notifications, and you can use Google Now voice controls and run a few apps, but that’s about it. Seeing as though the platform is in its infancy, and there’s a lot of potential for Android Wear to be awesome, I thought I’d give Google some ideas for new features. Here’s ten features that should be included in the next generation of Android Wear, most of which don’t even require hardware updates.

Universal Reply

Replying to notifications and messages on your Android Wear devices requires you to speak to your watch, and that can make you look like an 80s spymaster, so it’s not always practical. However, when I want to reply to a message immediately after I read it on my wrist without using my smartphone, I want that little reply button to be present. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. This is why Android Wear needs universal reply. If I can reply to a message on my smartphone using the keyboard, I should also be able to reply to said message using voice on my smartwatch. Some apps can do this, including Gmail and Facebook Messenger, but others – including the stock SMS application on many smartphones – can’t. Introducing a clever universal reply API would allow me to quickly respond to any message, regardless of the app.

Persistent, Integrated Sports Scores

If you’ve ever Googled a major sporting event you’ve probably noticed that Google will provide you with a snapshot of results, even if the match is currently in progress. On Android Wear, though, searching for the same event will leave you with basic website links. Instead, I’d like to see sports scores from Google straight on my wrist, without needing to download a third party (and often clunky) application. Even better, I’d like to see sporting events that I’ve searched for persist on my wrist as a card, with notifications for major scoring events. Not at home or near a TV to watch your team contest a football match? Having your wrist vibrate for every goal would be an awesome experience, complementing a score card for when you glance at your smartwatch. All of this could be activated by simply asking Google Now to “keep me informed about Australia v England”, for example.

Song Recognition

This is a pretty simple one. Google Search on Android smartphones will allow you to identify songs via audio input and voice search. On Android Wear, which also has voice search and audio input, you can’t. Extending the Android Wear feature set to allow song identification without pulling out your smartphone would be a very handy addition for those times you just can’t remember where you heard that track before.

Map View During Navigation

This is another fairly straightforward addition to Android Wear. Currently, you can get turn-by-turn navigation on your smartwatch with the assistance of your smartphone, but it only shows basic information such as the upcoming turn on your wrist. I’d like to see this functionality expanded so that I can see a small map on my wrist, showing me my surrounds and allowing me to navigate more easily without reaching for my phone. This could be especially handy for navigation while walking, where a better view of your surroundings can definitely be useful. Showing nearby locations could also give you a better idea of what places are available to eat at, for example, as you walk around a shopping village.

More Quick Controls

One thing Android Wear isn’t particularly great at is giving you easy access to smartwatch controls such as brightness, sunlight mode, Bluetooth devices, airplane mode, and power off. Adjusting each of these settings requires multiple swipes and taps, which is far from an excellent user experience on a small display. Having a small, slide out tray filled with settings would be a great way to approach quick controls on Android Wear. Throw in some icons for most frequently adjusted settings, and maybe some smartphone setting controls as well, and you’ve improved the menu system on Android Wear drastically.

TV Remote

For those of you out there that run the XBMC/Kodi media center app on a HTPC, you can already control the interface on your Android Wear smartwatch through an excellent remote app called Yatse. It’s a pretty decent experience being able to play and pause videos, browse through my content library and see how long a show has to run all on my wrist. It’s especially great when my usual remote, my smartphone, isn’t in arm’s reach. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could also control your TV through your Android Wear smartphone? Nothing incredibly complex, but I’d like to see the ability to change my TV’s volume, switch inputs and maybe select TV channels without needing to reach for a remote. After all, my smartwatch is always on my wrist, and it’d save hunting for something that is easily lost. That said, this is the only feature on this list that would actually require new Android Wear hardware. Specifically, you’d need an IR blaster integrated into the body of the smartwatch, and I’m not sure how effective that would be. Hopefully Google, or maybe a smartwatch OEM, is testing a feature like this for a future product.

Easy App Launcher

If you’re familiar with Android Wear, you’ll know that the app launcher is hidden away at the bottom of a list of actions. Yes, you can launch apps via voice commands, but this isn’t always a practical way to do it, especially if you’re in a noisy or public environment. Luckily the fix is simple: provide an easy-to-access app launcher alongside the list of popular commands, allowing people to quickly launch apps or perform commands without needing to use your voice. Because sometimes you don’t want to look like you’re a CIA officer secretly calling for backup.

Find My Phone

Ever lost your phone inside your house and had to get someone else to call it so you can find it? This could be solved with a minor update to Android Wear: find my phone. Through reporting Bluetooth signal strength between the watch and phone in a simple interface, it be able to assist users in honing in on their phone’s location. Nothing complex, but a handy tool that could be integrated into the settings menu.

Improved Notification Snippets

This isn’t so much of a new feature per se, rather an improvement to the existing notification model. Notification delivery and snippets are generally excellent when you receive just one notification from an application, but things get harder to handle with multiples. Most notably, Android Wear tends to cut off the notification’s preview text well before it should, making it hard to grasp the actual content of the message. Other times it won’t show you a snippet at all. It’d be great if Wear notifications were improved so that you could view each notification in a group of multiples with ease. This could be achieved by tapping on each line, tapping on ‘more’, or simply scrolling. I’d also like to see higher resolution images for contacts, app icons and more, because currently it looks a bit blurry.

Enhanced Google Now

Google Now already does a decent job of providing contextually-relevant information, such as flight notices for your impending journey, or tourist attractions for when you arrive. With a smartwatch on your wrist, however, Google Now could be expanded to provide more location aware info that would assist with day to day life. For example, Google Now could show you a train timetable on your wrist when you enter a train station. You might not have looked at your smartphone while in the station, but a quick glance at your wrist could give you all the information you need. Walking down a shopping strip? Google Now could put nearby eateries right on your wrist. Head into a gym and Google Now could suggest a workout through Google Fit. You get the picture. Enhancing Google Now to provide then-and-there location based information would be incredibly handy, and extend on the feature set of a smartwatch in a meaningful way.


Saturday, 16 April 2016 11:53

Programming Mistakes Which Causes Software Bugs

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Why do programs fail? Over the years, even though we've developed many sophisticated ways to ensure successful code, programs still break.

But why? While the answer to that could be taken in any number of existential directions, we've decided to provide a practical answer. Programmers make mistakes. They sometimes get sloppy. They don't always use the best tools or best practices.

Mistake #1: Poor commenting practice

Comments are elements of text inside a program that the computer does not execute. They are written by a programmer as notes, explaining what's going on inside the code.

Comments are also important when you're working on a team, or when your software will live on beyond your stewardship. You may move on with your career, and someone else may need to come in and understand your code. Commenting will help.

Mistake #2: Poor variable naming

Think about the relationship of giving variables clear, English-language names (or whatever your native spoken language is) and comments. Let's say you inherit a chunk of code and you see a = b/c. What does it do? Do you have any idea

Be sure to name your variables in a way that represents their function. You will save a lot of time and reduce a lot of headaches.

Mistake #3: No lab notes

Lab notes are records that go beyond comments in code. Scientists use lab notes all the time as a journal or dialog of their development process. Lab notes have been used to prove ownership of scientific discoveries, because the process of exploration is often documented in the daily journal that scientists use to record progress.

Lab notes are a powerful tool for programmers as well. If you're not keeping lab notes already, start now. Write down changes you've made, your reasoning, the things you considered and discarded, references to useful resources, and anything else that would help the future you. You'll also be helping your future colleagues or replacements -- or a judge if you need to prove ownership.

Mistake #4: Not writing in a human language

Coders also have to write discussion board posts that demonstrate their understanding of certain coding concepts.We require this for two reasons. First, of course, is the demonstration of understanding of the concepts. But of much more importance is the need for all professionals to be able to write.

You'll need to write to explain concepts, to pitch an idea, to get funding, to ask for clarification, to prepare a proposal, or even to argue for a better grade. Open source project participants work as colleagues in very extended teams, and the only way they can stay in sync is by writing clear and understandable messages.

The bottom line is simple: If you want to do professional work or work on anything of importance, you need to write in a human language, like English, and not just in a programming language.

Mistake #5: Poor code formatting

As you've no doubt picked up, there's a theme here: make code understandable. Code maintenance is enormously time consuming and expensive. Frankly, it's not all that much fun. It's much better to be able to spend productive time adding capabilities than to spend weeks digging through old code, trying to figure out what you (or the person you inherited the code from) were trying to do.

Think about the articles you read online. Some are nicely formatted, with a line between each paragraph, and everything is consistent. Some articles, though, have everything arranged in one large blob, and they're impossible to read

Every programmer (or project) tends to have a programming style. It's not as critical what your style is, as long as it is consistent. You need to let the code format help guide you.

Mistake #6: Poor error checking

Some famous general once said that a plan never survives an encounter with the enemy. Your code will never survive as expected when encountering users. Even though you think you know how users will use your code, trust me on this: you don't.

Users will break your code.

The way to handle this properly is with testing and error checking. Error checking is the practice of checking the result of every operation in your code. Make sure it's either what you expect, or that your code can handle the unexpected result.

You will find it infinitely informative.

source of article:

Almost every individual, either as a seasoned IT professional or as a mere web surfer makes use of computer and its multiple applications that are floating around the world today to make due comparison between desktop and web applications.  Desktop Application is an application that is being installed on standalone machines like a desktop or a laptop to perform some specific tasks either by a single user or by multiple users in a networked environment. These applications run using the resources of the computer such as processing power, hard disk drive and computer memory. Word processors, media players are typical examples of desktop applications. Web application is an application that is assessed by the end user through a web browser such as internet or intranet. This application has its resources over the internet and works with the storage and the processing power of the CPU. Since this application could be assessed by any user from any computer it has attracted more users towards it to prefer over desktop applications. Online shopping carts and eCommerce web sites are good examples of web applications. Here are some pros and cons of both Desktop and Web applications. Accessibility: Web applications offer increased accessibility to the user since it could be run by the user anytime and anywhere through any device with its connectivity over the internet. Whereas Desktop Applications Development on the other hand are confined to a single computer so offers limited accessibility to the user of the application. Reliability: Desktop applications do not require any connection to the internet for its operations and hence considered to be more reliable. Web Applications Development on the other hand rely on persistent connectivity to the internet and therefore it is hardly reliable for time sensitive businesses and critical applications. Power outages interrupt their operations to deny its services to access sensitive data to affects its reliability.  Cost: Desktop applications are cost effective to the users since it is purchased and installed at once and hardly recurs any expenses towards its maintenance and up gradation in the future except for a few. Whereas web application involves higher costs towards its development and much more recurring costs of monthly nature as subscription fees to ensure a continued access to the data stored in the web application. Security: A desktop application being installed in standalone desktops and laptops provides high range of security in operation to the users. Web applications are open to multiple users on the internet which is prone to various threats and risks reduce the security of the application. Installation: Applications developer do exist online provides accessibility to the end user in any device with the help of a browser. Comparatively desktop applications need to be installed in each and every stand-alone machine which involves more cost and labor. Compatibility: Web services provider have a significant advantage of compatibility over Desktop applications. Although a company buys the same brand of desktop applications for all its computers compatibility issue arises. This is because upgrading of the software takes place in phases in different departments resulting in confusion while collaborating with different versions of the software. Collaboration: Web applications are considered to be collaborative software as it allows multiple people to work on it at the same time. Since the users save the files to a database on the web, collaborators could work on any files from any device connected to the internet. But for desktop applications files need to be saved to the network disk drives to be accessed by the collaborators. To conclude, understanding the pros and cons of both of these applications needs determine the choice of its selection. Article copied from:

Friday, 18 March 2016 09:25

History of Touch Screen Technology

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Touch screens have been around for longer than you think. These days, when people think of touch screens, they tend to think of the popular consumer products, such as smartphones and tablets, which are now widely available. However, you have been using touch screen technology since long before those devices entered the mainstream, and these types of screens have been critical to the advancement of the businesses that use them.

Generally, technology historians say that the foundation for touch technology started with the music industry, with touch-sensitive synthesizers. These were developed in 1948, starting with Hugh Le Caine’s Electronic Sackbut. This device involved the use of a piano keyboard and a control board, and people playing the instrument could use touch to control the volume via pressure on the keys, while also changing the texture options for the music via the control board.

Fast forward several years to 1965, the application of this touch technology to screens began with the E. A Johnson Touch Screen. This screen originated out of England’s Royal Radar Establishment, and was a basic version of the touchscreen technology that eventually went on to emerge in ATMs and customer service kiosks of all types.

The first widely-known and used touch screen is credited to the University of Illinois, which developed the PLATO IV terminal in 1972. The school had been developing a series of educational computer systems throughout the 60’s, and this particular system utilized an infrared touch panel, which students would use to answer questions. The system was used throughout the state in many Illinois classrooms.

In 1982, touch screens took another leap forward with the introduction of multi-touch technology. The original method for accomplishing this involved using a video camera that was able to interface with a computer. The concept was later put into use in screens in 1984, and its first uses involved enabling people to manipulate computer graphics using their fingers.

The technology continued to evolve through the 80’s and 90’s, with the introduction of the keyboard and mouse, and the Simon Personal Communicator Phone in 1993, which included a pen-based sketchpad. Eventually, in 2007, use of touch screen technology in consumer devices became popular, leading to the surge in popularity we have been experiencing through the present day.

While modest, the first devices in those early days paved the way for touch screens as we know them today, and were the forerunners of the ShadowSense technology that Baanto is now able to offer.



Tuesday, 19 April 2016 05:59

PPC for Startup Marketers

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For startups looking to get going with PPC, it can be overwhelming. There's so much data that can be used and so many factors to consider when setting up PPC campaigns, not to mention the cash concerns that come with any startup.

But with careful consideration, thoughtful planning, and the right hacks, PPCadvertising can be a helpful resource investment to get startups off the ground alongside their other marketing campaigns.

I'll break down five core aspects of PPC that startups can focus on when putting together campaigns so they can develop more impactful ads as you're building your new business.

1) Define your goals as specifically as possible.

Starting at the end might sound counterintuitive, but it's the most logical place to begin. After all, you need to figure out what you hope to accomplish with your PPC efforts and how they align with your overall business goals

    To create your advertising plan, ask yourself:
  • Questions About Your Startup: What do we offer? What makes us special? Where do we offer our product?
  • Questions About Your Prospects: Who is our target audience? Where are our potential customers? What do we want our prospects to do (e.g. to buy, to sign up)?
  • Questions About Your Spending: What is our budget? How much do we want to spend monthly on PPC? How much do we want to pay for one new customer, sign-up, etc.? The more specifically you can answer these questions, the more effective your PPC advertising will be. So invest some time before actually getting started with a campaign and selecting keywords..

2) Develop a comprehensive keyword list.

When it comes to keyword selection for startups, long-tail terms are great ones to go after. They're highly targeted, and may be more cost-efficient than more competitive terms

The best way to do this is to understand the questions above about your business and audience. Once you know broad terms related to your business, do some research to figure out some of the popular long-tail searches related to those terms. For instance, if you're in mortgage lending, long-tail terms your audience might be searching could include "how to get a mortgage" or "where I can get a mortgage."

To determine which long-tail terms are best for your PPC campaigns, you can use tools like Google's Keyword Planner or, if you're a HubSpot customer, you can conduct research with the Keywords tool.

3) Know your competitors like your best friend.

After identifying your goals and a solid keyword list, complete a competitive analysis -- not so you can obsess over the, but so you can identify opportunities.

Do other startups offer a benefit for which you offer a strong differentiation? Are they bidding on keywords you've missed? How are their ads and landing pages different from yours? Asking yourself these questions can provide clarity regarding who else is in your market and what their acquisition tactics are.

When looking at the competition, keep in mind to differentiate harmless competitors from dangerous ones. Don't waste time and money with competitors that aren't your primary ones. Instead, focus on the ones that are thriving in your market and industry (and that people are actively searching for online).

4) Track your conversions right from the start.

One of the keys to optimizing a PPC campaign and measuring its success is implementing conversion tracking. Doing so can help you determine what expenditures led to conversions -- and which ones didn't, so you can optimize your spend. Bonus: Knowing which ones led to clicks, leads, and customers can give you a clear picture about the success not only of your PPC campaigns, but also about your target audience and how you can adjust your messaging across all your marketing assets.

If you can't attribute actual leads and customers to your PPC activities, you can't make intelligent decisions about where to cut spend (or increase it). So use a conversion tracking tool like Google AdWords Conversion Tracking or Google Analytics Conversion Tracking right from the start and never run your PPC campaigns blindly.

5) Continue to fine-tune your PPC campaigns -- and skills.

The best business concept is worthless if you don't know how to promote it online. Being successful with PPC requires becoming a real pro. How do you start? Learn from experts, and never stop informing yourself, because the truth is this: PPC is highly dynamic and constantly has new updates and features.

You could also try a bid management tool that optimizes your PPC campaigns automatically and concentrate on the optimization of your ads, landing pages, etc. Some bid management providers offer a free trial during which you can test whether you feel comfortable using the solution.

Just know this if you begin working on a PPC campaign: It requires some close attention to ensure your ad dollars are being used effectively. So don't start it with a set-it-and-forget-it approach; your budget and results will benefit from close attention.


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Manomaya is a Total IT Solutions Provider. Manomaya Software Services is a leading software development company in India providing offshore Software Development Services and Solutions

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