The Google I/O 2017 keynote has concluded and surprisingly, Android O, the latest update to Android, didn’t get much time in the spotlight. The logical explanation is that Google had already released the first Developer Preview of Android O back in the month of March. Nothing much has changed since then.

The Android O Beta Program, however, is now official as Google announced the second official Developer Preview at I/O. This means that users of the Pixel smartphone and a few Nexus devices can now either manually flash the new update or just sign-up for the Beta program to get the new update as an OTA.

So, what’s new with the Android update? Well, visually, the OS looks similar, including the app drawer, settings menu and so on. Of course, there are some changes under the hood. We’ve managed to get the update on a Nexus 6P and while some features are limited to Pixel smartphones, we have tried to cover all the new stuff. So let’s dive in.

Night light

The feature has been available on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL running on Android 7.1 and the Android O Developer Preview 1. With the second Android O Developer Preview users can now change the intensity using a slider. Note that this feature is still not available on the Nexus 6P or the 5X. Why, Google? Why?

Icon shapes

Again limited to users of Pixel and Pixel XL phones, these users get a bit more uniform icon shapes. If you remember Google had started changing their icons to round shape and had hoped that developers would follow the same. To make things easier, different icon shapes or Adaptive Icons were announced and now the feature is finally rolling out in the second Developer Preview. Again, this is limited to the Pixel launcher, which has a new setting that lets you choose between circular icons, square icons, rounded corner icons, squircles, and cylindrical ones.

Smart Text Selection

The idea here is to spend less time manually copy-pasting stuff. Google’s intuitive machine learning can now finally use contextual search. The system understands that certain words, like addresses, are related and selects them intelligently. For instance, if you tap on an address, it directly gives a link to Google Maps without having you to copy paste it in the app.

New quick settings

The quick settings has been redesigned and now offers a light gray shade as opposed to the dark gray one on Android Nougat. While this new color scheme might not appeal to some, there are other changes that might be appreciated. It now shows the network carrier on the top left and the signal, time and battery percentage on the top right. Buttons for editing the quick setting tiles, changing user profiles, settings shortcut, etc. now sit below the quick settings tiles. The new quick settings is available on supported Pixel and Nexus devices.

Battery management

Android O is yet again going to focus on battery performance and there are going to be two main changes. First, changes are being made to how broadcast receivers work and the second is limiting how often an app can request your location. These two changes will improve the battery performance massively, says Google.

There are also some user friendly changes in the battery settings. You get an indicator to tell you how long you fully charged your device, screen usage since the last charge and app usage since last charge. There are some added toggles as well for battery percentage in the status bar, adaptive brightness and an option to select the duration before the screen goes to sleep.

Notification dots

The new developer preview adds notification badges on top of the app icons. This feature has been available on a few non-stock Android UIs as well as some third-party launchers. However, Google is taking this further. A long-press on the app icon shows the notification without having the user to pull down the status bar. Again, we couldn’t make use of this feature as it hasn’t rolled out for Nexus users and it will take time to arrive as the feature is yet to be implemented by app developers.

Autofill service

Google offers autofill feature on the Chrome browser but native support is coming to Android O. The Autofill Framework API is in place and can be enabled by going into Settings > System > Languages & Input > Advanced and hitting the Autofill service under Input assistance. While currently only Google Play Services’ autofill service is available, it seems that we could see other password management apps supported in the future.


The arrival of the first Developer Preview confirmed that Android O will bring a picture-in-picture mode. With the second version, you can now actually see where the settings are at. Going into the System UI Tuner, there’s a page for picture-in-picture mode. It features a setting that enables a drag/fling gesture to minimize the floating window.

Don’t know how to use PiP? You need to send a particular key to trigger the mode on your Android phone. One can convert this key from a tap to a navigation bar button. Just enter the hidden navigation bar settings in SystemUI Tuner. Add a navigation button, select the button type to be ‘keycode’ and enter the keycode ‘171’. Your navigation bar will now have an extra button that will toggle PiP when used inside a supported app, say, YouTube.

Other changes

There are some more minor changes and updates around the UI. The Security and Location settings UI has changed and now shows which security patch level is installed, if the Google Play Services’ app verification is on, and the status of Android Device Manager. Even the storage settings UI has been redesigned, showing a circular progress bar of how much storage is being used and even the smart storage option right on the first page. Also, some changes to accessibility options have been made as well as new developer options have been added.


For non-technical background people; framework is a bunch of libraries, tools that do common task in web development and it aims to ease the common activities which have to perform in web development. Using appropriate framework is essential for a developer because it saves an important time and efforts for building an app. Most of the applications have a common set of functionality such as handling session data validation etc. and web framework prevent a developer from re-writing every time a same code to create a web app.

The purpose of framework is to allow designers and developers to focus on building an unique feature for their web based projects rather than re-inventing by coding. Framework is specially created to help you boost the performance and efficiency of your web app development task. They are equipped with fascinating features such as templates and session management and database access libraries. Depending on your convenience and task you can select from vast range of framework offered in the market. Each framework can provide you with extended choice of web app features which provides a very less error-prone app. In simple way framework helps in the prototyping, design and implementation stages of the app development lifecycle and also simplifies ongoing maintenance and enhancement of a web app.

Let’s see when you feel need of a web framework:

->When your web app is based on CRUD cases.

->When you need a proper separation of the UI and understanding logic but don’t have time to implement a system.

->When you find yourself having self-made libraries you use in each of your covering user authentication, session and other usual operations associated with creating a web app

->When you are focused to create a CMS in a very short time and you already know the framework.

But, how web frameworks are useful?

Actually web frameworks are very useful and in many ways they help web developers to build a web app by providing different functions and features. Following are the aspect which shows how frameworks are beneficial:

>>Saves time:

Biggest advantage of framework is that it reduces time and energy in developing any app because developer doesn’t need to worry about data sanitization, session handling, error handling and authentication logic. Most of these functions are well taken care by the framework. It avoids head scratching and developer can start writing code for an application straight away without wasting more time with those repetitive coding. It doubles up development process and increases productivity.

>>Well organized app:

Developer should not have to worry about managing web directories and files. Things get more organized because frameworks already have a good skeleton structure to use. No need to shuffle of files from one place to other. Framework also offers to separate business logic from the interface files.

>>Flexibility and highly customizable:

If you are a MySQL user and you have been given a postgresSQL database to use for your app, I’m sure you’d have scratch your head to write the web app from scratch, but the advantage of framework help you to not waste time on studying things that don’t really matters. A few tweaks can help you to ship your application from one platform to another. Add-ons, themes, plugins, widgets are all names for things which develop within framework communities and enable further rapid customization on your application.

>>Secure code:

Framework makes developer sure that application using good security measurements because framework itself takes care of it. This is another huge advantage of using framework for web development. You as a developer should not have to worry about hacker who can break your app. Framework makes you feel much secure and better.

>>Say no to re-inventing:

Web framework offers many typical components right out of the box such as, user management functionality- which might otherwise take months to build.

>>Scalable, fast and secure:

Framework are designed to be reused, this leads to quality control on a global scale and so an extremely robust foundation from which to develop your web product from. Such as WordPress; is currently used by over 60 million websites worldwide.

>>Well supported:

Communities of users and developers spring up around web frameworks where ideas can be shared and knowledge can be captured.

>>Reduce development time and cost:

For every particular programming language there are web framework created, each has its pro’s and con’s due diligence should be taken when selecting a framework for your web app taking expert advice if necessary.


Frameworks are created to make web development faster and easier. It provides tools to cover the common CRUD cases such as create, read, update, delete. You can find libraries for accessing a database, managing session and cookies, creating templates to display HTML pages and more.

>>Re-use of code:

Framework also promotes the reuse of code. With a good framework you only need to design for instance, a contact form once. Later you can drop your generic contact from code into all your projects and save yourself some time and efforts.

>>Templates system:

Most frameworks either provide a templates system or make it easy to add on own template system so that common chunks of HTML that rarely change. For example: header and footer of your page need only to be written once. Inbuilt templates satisfy many developers with design available to create web product quickly.

>>Easy deployment and maintenance:

Framework based application can be deployed as a web app with windows like functionality. You can support multilingual environment too. With native windows application, user can personalize framework application by rearranging them in many different ways to best fit the way they work. Maintenance is easier because application follow a consistent coding approach, making it easier to understand and maintain the code.

>>Rapid development Boost Productivity:

Almost all the available frameworks are designed to boost productivity of developer by offering an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand generic application framework. Frameworks also support the rapid prototyping, designing, implementation and deployment of commercially focused application. Code assistants generate much of the code required and together with an expanding library of components, developers can more rapidly assemble powerful application. Components are also shipped for user management, authority management, server management and common code management.

>>Suitable for teamwork:

Many frameworks also help you create environment for teamwork. You can let your designers work on the views, database expert work in the models, and let the smart programmer build reusable libraries and plugins etc also you can let someone build unit tests because they come with tools for that too. For example: PHP frameworks.

How to select right framework?

There are many programming languages and so as frameworks available to build a web app but the truth is all frameworks are really just a set of helpful libraries they are building to be leveraged by a particular programming language. When selecting framework for your programming language you will see there are many frameworks available therefore putting strong criteria are necessary as described below:

>>Requirement list:

Before you start searching for a suitable framework you will need to make a list of requirements about web application and make sure whether a framework is suitable for that purpose


Licenses are important simply because they can have a significant impact on your application. Before you start developing using framework, check out what kind of license the frameworks falls under. While most licenses are pretty liberal to work with and allow you to create commercial application and some of them are not so generous. Find out if license allows you to distribute your application commercially or not.


Choose the framework which is well known, recognized and complete which includes good ideas, the numbers and quality of plugins etc


While choosing a framework make sure that it will be able to keep up with you for the duration. This simplifies both the maintenance and upgrading of your application


TO avoid becoming trapped in complexity it is always beneficial to choose an interoperable solution; one that respects best practice in terms of development.


While choosing a framework to minimize risk make sure it is capable of ensuring security functions such as XSS management.


Well explained, detailed documentation draws in the power users and preacher who then brings on more people and it is the key to its success. With a bad written, confusing document people are going to walk off confused mind and annoyed.

>>Community support:

Choose the framework which has a friendly community which helps developers new to platform. Communities behind framework can make or break framework. More mannered the communities are more users attracted towards the framework.

>>Core libraries:

While choosing a framework you as a developer make sure that library you have chosen must be in such as that it frees you from writing repetitive code but still provides a way for you to mess with it if you need more features and controls.

>>Software pattern:

Almost every framework uses the MVC pattern, which helps you to keep data: the model, the logic, the controller and the user interface, the view, separate from each other. This lets you write a better code which ultimately gives you in better app.

>>Unit testing:

Frameworks are definitely surplus if lets you write units tests. Frameworks such as cakePHP, zend includes code igniter and allows you to create custom tests to check the critical parts of your application.

>>Bug fixes:

Choose the framework which is not inactive. You don’t want a hacker to tell you that security vulnerability exists in the framework through a page he hacked on your site. You’d rather hear that from the framework developers hopefully with a link to a patch to the issue. Choose a framework which update often, is open about the bugs it finds and more importantly fixes the bugs as soon as possible.

>>Ease of installation:

While choosing a right framework for web development ease of installation also plays a very important role. A framework can be a problem if one has to run through a number of steps just to get it installed and working. This will also bring a problem once the application is ready, tested and needs to be deployed. Choose a framework which lets you develop and running as rapidly as possible. A framework with ease of installation and deployment adds satisfaction to developer’s life.

>>Easy extension and availability:

Choose a framework which you can be re- purpose it into a component suitable to reuse in your other application or even better release it to the general public so they can make use of it in their application. Choose a framework which allows you extended the framework easily with minimal fuss. While choosing a framework, also remember the availability of plugins. Choose the extension by its quality not by numbers

>>DB abstraction & ORM:

While choosing a framework, select the one which will allow your web application to become database agnostic. So, you’ll never have to care about the database parts in case you need to switch out database if your framework takes care about it. And the other thing you should be concern about is ORM. ORM allows you to express data as an object and see how it relates to other objects. Such as, Ruby, cakePHP, Django has ORM capabilities.

>>Hasting requirements:

All the web developers want to build an application on cutting edge platform but it is also depend on client’s budget and demands. So, it may be out of clients given budget to get a dedicated host to place application on you’ll have to make with shared hosting with normal modules and settings.

>>Learning curve:

When selecting a framework remember to choose one that has the smallest possible learning curve. Some frameworks are flexible when it comes to naming conventions, directory structure and what not’s while others are very strict throwing up errors at tiniest mistakes.

Choosing a framework must not be taken lightly; it is a long-term commitment. Make sure that you make the right selection!


Moving toward a more secure web is a well-known Google initiative. Every now and then, Google finds a new way to encourage website owners to go secure by:

  • Declaring HTTPS a ranking signal (a lightweight one, but that may not be the case in future).
  • Starting to index HTTPS pages first.
  • Showing how it has never been as cheap and as easy to move to HTTPS.
  • Marking all HTTP sites carrying sensitive data as ‘non-secure’ in Chrome.

While Google is giving you a nudge and trying to be as helpful as possible, so many things can go wrong when switching a site from HTTP to HTTPS. Underestimating the challenge can lead to a disaster.

You must plan each and every step and test thoroughly for a smooth landing. This post will teach you the best practices and common pitfalls you need to know for a stress-free HTTPS migration.

What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS is being used for communication over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with an ‘S’ in the end that stands for ‘Secure.’ Adopting HTTPS, you provide your users with three key layers of protection:

  • Authentication prevents ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks and provides a guarantee one is communicating with the exact website that was intended.
  • Encryption provides privacy by encrypting the exchanged data. This ensures that conversations won’t be eavesdropped and the information won’t be stolen.
  • Data integrity prevents data from being unnoticeably modified or corrupted during the transfer.

Why Migrate to HTTPS?

Apart from security as the key priority, there are several more things to consider:

  • Private and secure online experience is what users expect while visiting your site, and user trust is a truly valuable asset for a business.
  • Some awesome updates like HTTP/2 (which you can really benefit from, speed-wise) are only supported over HTTPS in some browsers.
  • Ranking boost may be a good incentive, as Google hints on strengthening HTTPS signal in the future.

At this point, you might move on from having doubts to planning a migration. You need a well thought-out plan to make your HTTPs migration painless.

Before You Migrate to HTTPS Crawling the Website and Drafting a Plan

Initial conditions may vary: You may have a 5-page fresh website built with one CMS or a huge website with 10+ years of changes behind the shoulders and several independent units to migrate (for our team, that was the case). Either way, the first step to take is to carefully crawl your website in full. This will help you evaluate the current state of the site and visualize its structure.

While doing that, consider all the technologies or CMSs underlying each area of your website, and make a list of all the units that need to be approached separately. In addition, make a list of all things that may break upon migration (these may be payment gateways, downloadables, external scripts, APIs, and others). Before even starting, you should identify the most vulnerable things to check on, first thing after migration.

Checking the Rankings

While Google works out the changes, you’ll inevitably hit some ranking turbulence. There’s no cure to that, but nothing to worry about either, as things should get back to normal shortly if everything’s done right.

Yet, to be able to check the impact carefully and make sure it was just a short-term fluctuation, you need to have some pre-migration history at hand. While planning a switch, make sure to check the rankings daily for around a week to get the comprehensive picture of where your website normally stands.

To avoid googling for ‘why have my rankings dropped‘ later, you can do one more handy thing: Check all the keywords your website is ranking for and group the ranking pages by the website areas they belong to. This will help you track down the reason in case of any significant decline in rankings afterward by detecting the troublesome area at a glance.

Choosing the Right Deployment Option

Once you have a draft of your website and a primary plan, you may move on to choosing the right deployment option.

• If you’re lion-hearted, you may deploy the changes to the production environment directly. This way all the changes will be available to users at once, but any overlooked bugs will come along with it, live.

• A more deliberate move is to deploy the changes to the development environment and then, once you over-test it, to the production website.

• The most expensive and time-consuming option is setting up a staging environment to test the changes on the fully functional ‘mirror’ of your website before merging it with the production website.

You can choose any of the options depending on the complexity and other specifics of your site, but you probably won’t regret choosing the last option if the potential bugs that may pop up cannot be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The most expensive and time-consuming option is setting up a staging environment to test the changes on the fully functional “mirror” of your website before merging it with the production website. You can choose any of the options depending on the complexity and other specifics of your site, but you probably won’t regret choosing the latter if the potential bugs that may pop up cannot be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Getting the HTTPs Certificate

To enable HTTPS for your website you’ll need to get and configure the required SSL/TLS certificates on your server.

Start with choosing a trusted certificate provider (ideally, the one that offers tech support). Then, make sure to choose the right level of security: Google recommends getting a certificate with a 2048-bit key, or upgrading to it, in case you have one with a weaker 1024-bit key at the moment.

Depending on your website, decide between a single (for a single domain), multi-domain (multiple well-known subdomains), or wildcard certificate (many dynamic subdomains). Once you get the certificate, make sure to deploy it properly and configure it following the best practices.  



From textured screens to mind control, next year looks like it will be innovative—to say the least.

Technology makes us curious, and the smartphone revolution has taken technological innovation to dizzying heights. Things like gesture interface, which we had all glimpsed in the Tom Cruise film Minority Report seemed far-fetched and fictional at that time (2002). It is a reality in mobile technology today, and by 2019, will be available to the masses. Mobile technology is not just changing the way we live and experience, but also defining it. Let us look at six mobile technologies that will become widely present and used in 2017.

1. Electrovibration Technology:

The Touch and Feel of It Electrovibration technology will change the mobile touchscreen experience dramatically. You will be able to feel different kinds of texture. I know what you are thinking. The online shopping experience will go notches higher. Imagine shopping for clothes online without worrying about the texture and quality of the cloth.

Disney researchers have been working intensively on developing touchscreens that let you feel texture. While electrovibration technology should have become a reality by now, there have been some delays in the process. However, tech experts say that 2017 will herald the arrival of electrovibration technology on a large scale across touchscreen devices. It works on the phenomenon that, through electrostatic charges, your brain is tricked into feeling texture simply by touching the device’s screen. Apple has also been working in electrovibration technology and has filed several patents related to the technology.

This advancement can also lead to socially beneficial trends. For instance, blind people can use it for Braille, and access smartphones like everybody else.

2. Speech-to-Speech Translation: Communicating with the World Through a Fingertip

In 2012, Microsoft demonstrated impressive speech-to-speech translation and now, real-time multi-language conference calls may finally become a commercial reality in 2017. IBM has also mentioned that it will open its Watson supercomputing platform to third-party developers. This will allow natural language processing features to be built into apps. Imagine discussing important matters across the globe with just a tap, in multiple languages without the aid of a translator or a mediator.

3. The Brain-Computer Interface: When Your Thoughts Become Commands

Every thought that occurs in our brain has its own brainwave pattern. Hence, no two electrical signals are the same. These unique electrical signals can be mapped out to carry out specific commands. So basically your smartphone with its brain-computer interface can detect the brainwaves emitted with your thoughts and execute the set command.

This is a futuristic technology that could see some commercial application in smartphones in 2017. Think if your phone could simply detect that you need the curtains drawn, and you are too sleepy to get out of bed. And before you know it, it is done. The potential for such an amazing user interface that allows you to control your smartphone with your mind is limitless.

4. Wireless, Speedy Charging Becomes a Reality

Running out of battery power is one of the most persistent and frequent complaints of most smartphone users. We use our smartphones for multiple purposes simultaneously. The result is a drained battery. Most users reveal that they need to charge their device every day. However, there has been a buzz in the tech world for some time now that smartphone users will be able to charge their cellphones through day-to-day motions like walking or tapping the screen. Your body heat could also aid in charging your phone.

Another revolution we are keenly awaiting is the availability of the ultra-rapid charger that comes with an advanced battery technology that will allow you to charge your phone completely in just 30 seconds. Besides these, another futuristic trend that will hopefully go mainstream in 2017 is where one gadget can be used to charge another without connecting them through any wires.

5. Flexible and Wearable Smartphones

Today represents a new era in which flexibility and wearability are becoming keywords in the dynamics of mobile phones. Screens will soon be able to be folded and unfolded, owing to Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. So you can watch your favorite movie and game on a large screen and the fold it to pocket size and put it away without any hassle. This technology will also enable the prevalence of paper-thin screens that can project from both sides of the screen. What this translates for users is the ability to show pictures or videos to your friend on one side, while using the other side as a control to maneuver videos and images as you like.

Rumors claim that a Galaxy X flagship smartphone will join the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines next year, sporting a flexible display.

With the introduction of physical flexibility in smartphones, companies are also working toward manufacturing wearable smartphones. Use it as a handset as and when you like and then it turns into a wristwatch you can sport. While this will not be a pioneering concept in mobile technology, it is something that should be made available to the masses by 2017.

6. Augmented Reality

The future of mobile technology closely revolves around two words: “augmented reality” (AR). AR in simple terms means an advanced and unseen version of what we can see with our naked eyes. A regular sight when perceived through our smartphone infused with the AR technology will be enhanced through the use of computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics and GPS data.

A surgeon performing a complicated procedure or a firefighter trying to find his way out of a burning building can visualize a much more accurate and safe course of action with the help of augmented reality. Similarly, you can see a particular place through your augmented reality incorporated smartphone camera, and immediately find out the nearest cafes, bookshops, dining places.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017 04:53

What is PhoneGap and Why to use it?

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PhoneGap is a free and open source framework, developed by Nitobi and purchased by Adobe in 2011. It is based on the open source Apache Cordova project, developed by Adobe. PhoneGap allows you to develop applications for your mobile devices by using standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript instead of using device-specific languages such as Objective-C for iOS, Java for Andriod and C# for Windows phone devices.

The apps developed using PhoneGap are Hybrid apps that provide advantages of both – native and web apps. Also, PhoneGap supports iOS, Google, Android, HPwebOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry Operating Systems.

Why PhoneGap?

PhoneGap allow you to develop cross-platform mobile Apps by avoiding each mobile platform native development language. PhoneGap applications are executed within a wrapper targeted to each platform. This wrapper wrap up standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript and extends the features of HTML and Java script to work with the device. PhoneGap allows you to access mobile native features and functionality such as Contacts, Calendar, Camera and Notification etc. by using Apache Cordova.

In this way the resulting apps are hybrid apps i.e. they are neither truly native nor purely web-based, since they are developed by using standard web technologies like as web application and also capable to access mobile native features like as native apps.

Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova a free and open source platform, developed by Adobe System for building native mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Typically it is a set of device APIs that allows you to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. It is available for the following platforms: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, Bada, and Symbian. It is used with PhoneGap to access mobile native functions.

Advantage of PhoneGap

  1. Reduced development cost.
  2. Easy for web developers since it uses HTML5, CSS and JavaScript skills versus objective-C, Java and C# etc.
  3. Single code base for all platforms iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Bada, and Symbian.
  4. You can take advantage of distribution and integrated payment via the Apple app store or Google app store or Windows app store etc.

Disadvantage of PhoneGap

  • Poor performance as compared to Native Apps
  1. If your app is graphically intense, i.e. a game.
  2. Caching or leveraging some 3rd party solutions may be implemented with native graphics
  3. For the most part a native app is much faster/smoother than mobile web app
  •  Lack of pre-built UI    
  1. Lack of pre-built UI widgets, transitions, standard controls, etc.
  2. Your development time can be longer, especially if you want a well-looking app with a native look & feel.

When to use PhoneGap?

  1. PhoneGap is a cross-platform mobile development framework based on HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
  2. PhoneGap is useful for building Mobile apps that do not use the native features of phone extensively.
  3. It develop a single app deployed for many OS.
  4. When extensive usage of phone features is needed, then native app development is recommended.


People love to joke about disk drives that were once the size of washing machines. Except it’s not really a joke—it’s true. With a fresh coat of white paint, the RP04 disk drive could easily infiltrate any laundry room and blend right in. With a 92MB capacity, you could almost store the photos of your dinner you posted to Instagram last night.

Today, this technology once considered cutting-edge has become obsolete. Large, clunky, slow machines have been replaced with lightning fast, smart technology that does more than just sit in a corner and collect dust.

Here are four computer-based, cutting edge technologies you can’t live without:

1. Thunderbolt 3

If you’ve purchased or used a new Macbook Pro, you may have noticed the lack of familiar ports and the addition of a strange, new port called Thunderbolt 3. You may be wondering what Apple was thinking when they eliminated the standard USB port. This move, like many of Apple’s moves, has created frustration among users who just want to be able to plug in their USB devices without an adapter. But don’t get frustrated yet. There is a purpose to this future-forward move.

Thunderbolt 3 is a high bandwidth technology that operates at 40Gb/second, as opposed to the USB 3 you’re used to operating at just 5Gb/second. This means you can plug your smartphone into your Macbook and it will charge much faster than before. Gone are the days of waiting all night for your devices to charge via your computer’s USB port. But Thunderbolt 3 does more than just quickly charge your devices.

Superior technology

Thunderbolt 3 is a superior technology that leaves standard USB in the dust. With Thunderbolt 3, you can copy 14 hours of high definition video in less than a minute. You can also copy 25,000 photos or 10,000 songs in less than a minute. Thunderbolt 3 also connects to all displays and monitors using the standard DisplayPort and even Mini DisplayPort. And, by using an adaptor, Thunderbolt will support HDMI and VGA as well.

2. Solid state hard drives

For decades, most laptops and desktops came equipped with a traditional hard drive that spun, using an arm to access the data, much like a record player. At the time of its inception, this was the most practical way to store data when power to the unit was cut off.

A solid state hard drive serves the same function as a hard drive with moving parts, but operates differently by storing data on flash memory chips that retain their data, even when there’s no power. This is significant because it wasn’t previously easy to get memory chips to retain their data when the power supply was cut off. For example, RAM (random access memory) only stores data temporarily—when the power supply is cut off, all stored data is erased.

Although they’re a bit more expensive, solid state hard drives are much faster than their predecessors, allowing computers to boot up in less than a minute and sometimes even seconds. If you grew up with older technology running on operating systems like Windows 95 and 2000, you’ll appreciate this quick boot time.

Another benefit to solid state drives is they can’t become fragmented, meaning you won’t have to spend nights of torture defragmenting your hard drive. They’re also extremely durable.

Now that solid state drives have become mainstream, more computer manufacturers are offering new desktop and laptop computers that come with a solid state drive as a standard option. This means they’re becoming more affordable, which is great news for everyone.

3. 3D printing

The term “printing” has come to be associated with putting ink on paper—a seemingly 2D surface. However, technology has advanced to where 3D printing has become a huge trend. 3D printing is achieved with a computer program that allows you to create a 3D model of an object, and feed the data to a machine that constructs the model by compiling layers of melted plastic.

3D printing is not just limited to people who can afford expensive equipment. You can buy small 3D printers for your home computer that let you design 3D objects, and print them out right in your office.

Although 3D printing has fun uses, it also has practical uses. Among the most amazing things printed have been houses, actual train tracks, bridges, cars, and even body parts.

In 2014, a 3D printed roadster called the Strati was made onsite at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, IL. This 3D printed car was so cool, Popular Mechanics took it for a test drive and gave it a great review.

4. Smart objects for your home

Smart objects in the home can be a luxury, but they can also be useful. Take the Kohler Numi toilet, for example. This is a toilet that has a motion-activated lid mechanism that allows you to open and close it without touching anything. With an air dryer, deodorizer, and heated seat, it’s definitely practical. To add luxury to practicality, this device comes with an MP3 docking station. This toilet could be a dream for germophobes.

Lock your deadbolt remotely

Another useful smart object is called Lockitron. This device fits over your deadbolt and allows you to operate your deadbolt from your smartphone. This device would be a perfect solution for AirBnB hosts who can’t always be present to deliver keys to their guests.

Driverless cars

The ultimate smart object that seems to outdo any other gadgets is the driverless car. At first glance, it may seem alarming to have an unmanned vehicle—something that can be very dangerous at high speeds—strolling down busy neighborhood streets. But when Google began testing its driverless electric cars in Mountain View, CA, they discovered they are actually pretty safe. Possibly even safer than cars with human drivers.

The important question is if driverless cars are safer for pedestrians and cyclists, two road hazards human drivers often have a difficult time seeing. The answer appears to be yes—driverless cars seem to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists because they’re programmed to perceive surroundings as predictable data.

In fact, during one test drive, a driverless car was able to perceive a pedestrian about to step into the street and the car hesitated to make sure the person didn’t start crossing the street before turning.

The future of technology is unlimited

Twenty years ago, it wasn’t likely that anyone was thinking about connecting an MP3 player to their toilet. It’s somewhat of an unnecessary luxury, but the fact that it’s possible is a great indication of where technology is headed.

If a fully functioning car can be printed from plans created in a computer program, the height of what can be achieved with computers is only limited to what we can create in our minds. As Napoleon Hill said, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”


Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of ensuring that the visitors on your website are directed towards a particular task that you want them to perform. However, simply directing a visitor to a task is not conversion rate optimization, which essentially indicates that there is more than meets the eye as far as this process is concerned. When executed seamlessly, the process of CRO can help you to increase your revenue and your professional goals by enabling you to manifest your intentions in the digital space. Are you ready to learn the art of digital manifestation?

To explain this, let us re-visit a common behavior we all exhibit. Have you observed your habit of visiting at least a dozen websites before finally opting to shop from the one that appealed to you the most? The reason for the appeal can vary widely, from web design, ease of navigation, content, to prices and shopping cart experience as far as e-commerce websites are concerned. So, if we go back and look at the entire thought process behind this behavior, we would realize that conversion rate, i.e., converting a visitor into a dedicated customer, is one of the most critical parameters that determine the success of a website or app.

Conversion rate optimization is about understanding and subsequently, influencing the pattern and behavior of the visitors on a particular page app. It is about trying to get the visitors to perform the actions that you have set as your goals. These actions can vary from aspects such as liking a page, registering on your website, subscribing to the mailing list, downloading an app, becoming a paid member, ordering a particular product, etc.

How Does Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Works?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is similar to practicing a martial art or training yourself for that back-flip that you always wanted to do. It starts with intense study, where you learn from successful cases of conversion and understand the behavioral patterns that successful website owners took advantage of. After doing your research, you can start your own experimentation by looking at the feedback that your website receives from its visitors. Prior to this, you can start using analytics to understands which elements need to be changed and altered on your website to ensure that of visitors do not have a hard time becoming full-time customers. A crucial point to understand here is that the objective of Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is not about increasing the traffic, rather increase the number of visitors who ultimately become loyal customers.

How is Conversion Rate Optimization Measured?

In order to measure the effectiveness of the conversion rate optimization techniques, advanced big data analytics is a preferred tool. The effectiveness is measured in terms of several metrics. Some of them are as follows:

  • Total Conversions – It is the total number of visitor who performed the desired action, be it, making a purchase, or, clicking the desired link.
  • Conversion Rate – Simply speaking, it is the percentage of visitors who performed desired action. It is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of visitors.
  • Bounce Rate – This represents the percentage of people who could not find the desired information they needed from your site. This figure is measured by calculating the number of visitors who left your website without performing any action or without even exploring it for more than 4-5 minutes. This number should be as low as possible if you want to move towards a high conversion website.
  • Average Time on Site – This metric measures the level of engagement of a visitor. It measures the average duration that a visitor spends on your website. The higher the average time spent on the website, better the prospect of achieving higher conversion rates.
  • Average Page Views – This is also an engagement measurement metric. This number essentially signifies the number of pages a visitor traveled to on your website before exiting it. The higher the number, the more engaging your website is.

Why is Conversion Important?

Well, that is the easiest thing to understand. Obviously, without conversion, there would hardly be any revenue, and, your goals would remain a distant dream.

What are the Benefits of Conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimization is beneficial in following ways:

  • A high conversion rate means a better return on investment (ROI).
  • CRO also helps in getting the right customers and in focusing on their needs
  • CRO can further help in return on investment (ROI) by reducing advertisement costs
  • CRO is a powerful tool for ensuring focus on elements such as landing page optimization and website optimization in general
  • It lowers customer acquisition costs

How can one achieve high degrees of Conversion Rate Optimization?

CRO involves fixing a strategy and consequently defining a hypothesis and a structure to test the hypothesis. Prior to this, the focus is shifted towards implementing the structure, and then measuring the performance through the same. Based on the reports or feedback garnered through the testing process, changes are made in the backend code and the process is repeated till fruition. The below image explains what a detailed CRO actually looks like.


CRO can be achieved by practicing some best practices such as focusing on landing page optimization by keeping catchy headlines, creating concise and effective content, and enhancing visual appeal. Website optimization is also an important part of CRO, in order to ensure user-friendliness through the implementation of a smooth and free flowing design as well as a powerful User Interface.


Monday, 10 April 2017 03:46

Go Language and its Benefits

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Go language, is a programming language initially developed at Google in year 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. Go programming language is a statically-typed language with syntax similar to that of C. It provides garbage collection, type safety, dynamic-typing capability, many advanced built-in types such as variable length arrays and key-value maps. It also provides a rich standard library.

The Go programming language was announced in November 2009 and is used in some of the Google's production systems.

What's the Go language really good for?

Go's built-in concurrency gives it an edge for networking, distributed functions, and services; but there's work to be done in other areas.

After five years and change in the wild, Google's Go language -- with version 1.5 set to come out this August -- has gone from being a curiosity to a promising source for fast-moving new projects.

But what kinds of projects are Go best for building, and how is that likely to change as the language evolves through new versions and grows in popularity? Here are the types of applications where Go really shines, where it works well, and where it'll need to up its game.

The really good: Network and Web servers

Network applications live and die by concurrency, and Go's native concurrency features -- goroutines and channels, mainly -- are well suited for such work. Consequently, many Go projects are for networking, distributed functions, or services: APIs, Web servers, minimal frameworks for Web applications, and the rest.

Go programmers like that the items they use most in such projects are either a part of the language, such as goroutines for threadlike behavior, or available in the standard library like Go's http package. This "batteries included" philosophy hearkens back to Python, as do many of Go's best attributes, such as speed of development and deployment.

The also really good: Stand-alone command-line apps or scripts

Due to Go's consistent behavior across platforms, it's easy to put out simple command-line apps that run most anywhere. It's another echo of Go's similarities to Python, and here Go has a few advantages.

For one, the executables created by Go are precisely that: Stand-alone executables, with no external dependencies unless you specify them. With Python, you must have a copy of the interpreter on the target machine or an interpreter of a particular revision of Python (in the case of some Python scripts).

Another advantage Go has here is speed. The resulting executables run far faster than vanilla Python, or for that matter most any other dynamically executed language, with the possible exception of JavaScript.

Finally, none of the above comes at the cost of being able to talk to the underlying system. Go programs can talk to external C libraries or make native system calls. Docker, for instance, works this way. It interfaces with low-level Linux functions, cgroups, and namespaces, to work its magic.

The not so good: Desktop or GUI-based apps

Here's where the going gets a little grimmer. Right now, the culture of software around building rich GUIs for Go applications, such as those in desktop applications, is still scattered. That said, various projects exist -- there are bindings for the GTK and GTK3 frameworks, and another intended to provide platform-native UIs, although the latter relies on C bindings and is not written in pure Go. Windows users can try out walk, and some folks at Google are in the process of building a cross-platform GUI library. Lacking right now is a sense of any of these being a clear winner or a safe long-term bet. Also, because Go is platform-independent by design, it's unlikely any of these will become a part of the standard package set. The less good: System-level programming While Go can talk to native system functions, it's not as good a fit for creating extremely low-level system components, like embedded systems design, kernels, or device drivers. Some of this is a by-product of the language's intentions, since the runtime and the garbage collector for Go applications are dependent on the underlying OS. (Those interested in a cutting-edge language for that kind of work should look into Mozilla's Rust.)

One project currently in the works that partially leverages Go for systems programming is Ethos, an OS intended to serve as a platform for highly secure software. The kernel is written in C, but the userspace applications will be written in Go -- a smart way to render unto C what is C's, and render unto Go what Go's best at right now

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Friday, 07 April 2017 04:39


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We seem to have become comfortable with all the technology now available to us. There are applications for nearly everything we can think of, and with a click or touch of a button, we own these applications.

But to most people, they think that these applications magically appear out of thin air, and the coders behind these apps get forgotten while you’re having a blast getting matched with trillions of sexy folk on Tinder and what not.

Here are just five ways coding is changing the world around us…

1. The World Wide Web

The most obvious one first… Billions use it every day to interact, it has changed peoples’ lives immeasurably, and as of January 2014 there were around 861 million registered websites. Some people use the web for entertainment, uploading endless videos of cute cats, Facebook-ing, Tweeting etc. For others it’s used for grocery shopping, or building up a collection of Star wars characters. The amount of HTML code behind all these websites is immense and styling varies from site to site, making this one of the ways code influences all of us.

2. Databases

For most of us, we think of databases as those spreadsheets filled with the useless information we typed from a piece of paper in IT class at school. But databases are much more useful than that. The databases that programmers use store information that a computer can easily read, write or delete. Unknown to us, cinemas have databases of movies, and Facebook has a database with information about friends, our family members, embarrassing pictures, and much more.

3. Online Shopping

During the great Web innovation over the past two or three decades, we were also introduced to the facility and convenience of online shopping. With a vast number of sites and products, programmers are always finding new ways to improve our journeys and our experience. Whether we’re getting a small bunch of flowers delivered or a huge package, code plays a large part in this commodity. Amazon is now looking to deliver small packages with drones that can find you by the location you supply via your mobile.

4. Blogging

Coders have also facilitated the world of bloggers. Everyone has an opinion and a voice they want others to hear, and every day there are more and more blogs popping up in the web. The blog themes and templates designed and coded by programmers is widely available, on sites like WordPress, Blogger and Medium.

5. Google

The search engine we all use has lots of programmers in the background, working together to make surfing the web easier than ever. As well as user experience analysts working closely with coders, more recently Google now filters all the sites and sees which ones are ready for mobile devices, which makes viewing easier for you. If that wasn’t enough, Google Maps has been helping every single one of us to find or locate whatever we want just with a click on our devices.


Wednesday, 05 April 2017 05:00

The Birth of Google

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It began with an argument. When he first met Larry Page in the summer of 1995, Sergey Brin was a second-year grad student in the computer science department at Stanford University. Gregarious by nature, Brin had volunteered as a guide of sorts for potential first-years – students who had been admitted, but were still deciding whether to attend. His duties included showing recruits the campus and leading a tour of nearby San Francisco. Page, an engineering major from the University of Michigan, ended up in Brin's group.

It was hardly love at first sight. Walking up and down the city's hills that day, the two clashed incessantly, debating, among other things, the value of various approaches to urban planning. "Sergey is pretty social; he likes meeting people," Page recalls, contrasting that quality with his own reticence. "I thought he was pretty obnoxious. He had really strong opinions about things, and I guess I did, too."

"We both found each other obnoxious," Brin counters when I tell him of Page's response. "But we say it a little bit jokingly. Obviously we spent a lot of time talking to each other, so there was something there. We had a kind of bantering thing going." Page and Brin may have clashed, but they were clearly drawn together – two swords sharpening one another.

When Page showed up at Stanford a few months later, he selected human-computer interaction pioneer Terry Winograd as his adviser. Soon thereafter he began searching for a topic for his doctoral thesis. It was an important decision. As Page had learned from his father, a computer science professor at Michigan State, a dissertation can frame one's entire academic career. He kicked around 10 or so intriguing ideas, but found himself attracted to the burgeoning World Wide Web.

Page didn't start out looking for a better way to search the Web. Despite the fact that Stanford alumni were getting rich founding Internet companies, Page found the Web interesting primarily for its mathematical characteristics. Each computer was a node, and each link on a Web page was a connection between nodes – a classic graph structure. "Computer scientists love graphs," Page tells me. The World Wide Web, Page theorized, may have been the largest graph ever created, and it was growing at a breakneck pace. Many useful insights lurked in its vertices, awaiting discovery by inquiring graduate students. Winograd agreed, and Page set about pondering the link structure of the Web.

Citations and Back Rubs It proved a productive course of study. Page noticed that while it was trivial to follow links from one page to another, it was nontrivial to discover links back. In other words, when you looked at a Web page, you had no idea what pages were linking back to it. This bothered Page. He thought it would be very useful to know who was linking to whom. Why? To fully understand the answer to that question, a minor detour into the world of academic publishing is in order. For professors – particularly those in the hard sciences like mathematics and chemistry – nothing is as important as getting published. Except, perhaps, being cited.

Academics build their papers on a carefully constructed foundation of citation: Each paper reaches a conclusion by citing previously published papers as proof points that advance the author's argument. Papers are judged not only on their original thinking, but also on the number of papers they cite, the number of papers that subsequently cite them back, and the perceived importance of each citation. Citations are so important that there's even a branch of science devoted to their study: bibliometrics.

Fair enough. So what's the point? Well, it was Tim Berners-Lee's desire to improve this system that led him to create the World Wide Web. And it was Larry Page and Sergey Brin's attempts to reverse engineer Berners-Lee's World Wide Web that led to Google. The needle that threads these efforts together is citation – the practice of pointing to other people's work in order to build up your own.

Which brings us back to the original research Page did on such backlinks, a project he came to call BackRub.

He reasoned that the entire Web was loosely based on the premise of citation – after all, what is a link but a citation? If he could divine a method to count and qualify each backlink on the Web, as Page puts it "the Web would become a more valuable place."

At the time Page conceived of BackRub, the Web comprised an estimated 10 million documents, with an untold number of links between them. The computing resources required to crawl such a beast were well beyond the usual bounds of a student project. Unaware of exactly what he was getting into, Page began building out his crawler.

The idea's complexity and scale lured Brin to the job. A polymath who had jumped from project to project without settling on a thesis topic, he found the premise behind BackRub fascinating. "I talked to lots of research groups" around the school, Brin recalls, "and this was the most exciting project, both because it tackled the Web, which represents human knowledge, and because I liked Larry."

The Audacity of Rank In March 1996, Page pointed his crawler at just one page – his homepage at Stanford – and let it loose. The crawler worked outward from there. Crawling the entire Web to discover the sum of its links is a major undertaking, but simple crawling was not where BackRub's true innovation lay. Page was naturally aware of the concept of ranking in academic publishing, and he theorized that the structure of the Web's graph would reveal not just who was linking to whom, but more critically, the importance of who linked to whom, based on various attributes of the site that was doing the linking. Inspired by citation analysis, Page realized that a raw count of links to a page would be a useful guide to that page's rank. He also saw that each link needed its own ranking, based on the link count of its originating page. But such an approach creates a difficult and recursive mathematical challenge – you not only have to count a particular page's links, you also have to count the links attached to the links. The math gets complicated rather quickly.

Fortunately, Page was now working with Brin, whose prodigious gifts in mathematics could be applied to the problem. Brin, the Russian-born son of a NASA scientist and a University of Maryland math professor, emigrated to the US with his family at the age of 6. By the time he was a middle schooler, Brin was a recognized math prodigy. He left high school a year early to go to UM. When he graduated, he immediately enrolled at Stanford, where his talents allowed him to goof off. The weather was so good, he told me, that he loaded up on nonacademic classes – sailing, swimming, scuba diving. He focused his intellectual energies on interesting projects rather than actual course work.

Together, Page and Brin created a ranking system that rewarded links that came from sources that were important and penalized those that did not. For example, many sites link to Those links might range from a business partner in the technology industry to a teenage programmer in suburban Illinois who just got a ThinkPad for Christmas. To a human observer, the business partner is a more important link in terms of IBM's place in the world. But how might an algorithm understand that fact?

Page and Brin's breakthrough was to create an algorithm – dubbed PageRank after Page – that manages to take into account both the number of links into a particular site and the number of links into each of the linking sites. This mirrored the rough approach of academic citation-counting. It worked. In the example above, let's assume that only a few sites linked to the teenager's site. Let's further assume the sites that link to the teenager's are similarly bereft of links. By contrast, thousands of sites link to Intel, and those sites, on average, also have thousands of sites linking to them. PageRank would rank the teen's site as less important than Intel's – at least in relation to IBM.

This is a simplified view, to be sure, and Page and Brin had to correct for any number of mathematical culs-de-sac, but the long and the short of it was this: More popular sites rose to the top of their annotation list, and less popular sites fell toward the bottom.

As they fiddled with the results, Brin and Page realized their data might have implications for Internet search. In fact, the idea of applying BackRub's ranked page results to search was so natural that it didn't even occur to them that they had made the leap. As it was, BackRub already worked like a search engine – you gave it a URL, and it gave you a list of backlinks ranked by importance. "We realized that we had a querying tool," Page recalls. "It gave you a good overall ranking of pages and ordering of follow-up pages."

Page and Brin noticed that BackRub's results were superior to those from existing search engines like AltaVista and Excite, which often returned irrelevant listings. "They were looking only at text and not considering this other signal," Page recalls. That signal is now better known as PageRank. To test whether it worked well in a search application, Brin and Page hacked together a BackRub search tool. It searched only the words in page titles and applied PageRank to sort the results by relevance, but its results were so far superior to the usual search engines – which ranked mostly on keywords – that Page and Brin knew they were onto something big.

Not only was the engine good, but Page and Brin realized it would scale as the Web scaled. Because PageRank worked by analyzing links, the bigger the Web, the better the engine. That fact inspired the founders to name their new engine Google, after googol, the term for the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeroes. They released the first version of Google on the Stanford Web site in August 1996 – one year after they met.

Among a small set of Stanford insiders, Google was a hit. Energized, Brin and Page began improving the service, adding full-text search and more and more pages to the index. They quickly discovered that search engines require an extraordinary amount of computing resources. They didn't have the money to buy new computers, so they begged and borrowed Google into existence – a hard drive from the network lab, an idle CPU from the computer science loading docks. Using Page's dorm room as a machine lab, they fashioned a computational Frankenstein from spare parts, then jacked the whole thing into Stanford's broadband campus network. After filling Page's room with equipment, they converted Brin's dorm room into an office and programming center.

The project grew into something of a legend within the computer science department and campus network administration offices. At one point, the BackRub crawler consumed nearly half of Stanford's entire network bandwidth, an extraordinary fact considering that Stanford was one of the best-networked institutions on the planet. And in the fall of 1996 the project would regularly bring down Stanford's Internet connection.

"We're lucky there were a lot of forward-looking people at Stanford," Page recalls. "They didn't hassle us too much about the resources we were using."

A Company Emerges As Brin and Page continued experimenting, BackRub and its Google implementation were generating buzz, both on the Stanford campus and within the cloistered world of academic Web research. One person who had heard of Page and Brin's work was Cornell professor Jon Kleinberg, then researching bibliometrics and search technologies at IBM's Almaden center in San Jose. Kleinberg's hubs-and-authorities approach to ranking the Web is perhaps the second-most-famous approach to search after PageRank. In the summer of 1997, Kleinberg visited Page at Stanford to compare notes. Kleinberg had completed an early draft of his seminal paper, "Authoritative Sources," and Page showed him an early working version of Google. Kleinberg encouraged Page to publish an academic paper on PageRank.

Page told Kleinberg that he was wary of publishing. The reason? "He was concerned that someone might steal his ideas, and with PageRank, Page felt like he had the secret formula," Kleinberg told me. (Page and Brin eventually did publish.)

On the other hand, Page and Brin weren't sure they wanted to go through the travails of starting and running a company. During Page's first year at Stanford, his father died, and friends recall that Page viewed finishing his PhD as something of a tribute to him. Given his own academic upbringing, Brin, too, was reluctant to leave the program.


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