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Useful Meditation Apps to Help You Reduce Workplace Anxiety

Life has been quite stressful recently due to the pandemic and anxiety can affect anyone as it has nothing to do with your social or financial status. Negativity and stress at work can be caused by many elements, from tight deadlines to inability to resolve certain issues. 

Prevalence of smartphones has led to an increase in well-being related apps – many of these apps help people deal with ordinary stressors or day-to-day mood issues through anxiety.  

In this post, we will list some modern applications that can help you reduce negative energy and the stress caused by challenges in the workplace. That way you will be able to sooth your mind and restore your productivity.

What are Anti-stress Applications?

Anti-stress apps are online applications that can help you to meditate and reduce stress and negative energy from your mind. Meditation is not a new term – it is an ancient practice that has been around for many centuries. As there are many applications on the market for various purposes, like educational apps or apps to help you improve specific skills, there are also meditation apps helping you to channel your stress and improve your well being. 

Nowadays, in 2021, the practice of meditation has changed. Today you have mobile applications that can provide you with full-on sessions for meditation. These antistress apps are also known as mind relaxing utilities. 

Source: theinfoblog.com

We have listed below some of the top-notch options in this league:

Best Antistress Apps in 2021

There are hundreds of antistress games available on the Internet, but not all of them are as effective as the ones that are mentioned in this section:

Antistress, Relaxing, Anxiety & Stress Relief Game

Today, meditation practices exist in various formats. One of the popular ways of releasing stress is by playing mind relaxing games apps. 

This relaxing game on Android application is very effective and reliable and ranked among the top antistress game apps available on the Playstore. 

Some of the features this relaxing game meditation mobile app offers are:

  • Realistic 3D brain exercises 
  • High quality relaxing sounds to release stress
  • 3D fidget toys
  • Calming Games
  • More than thirty different free games for mind relaxation and more.

If you are a user fond of playing online games, then this mobile app would definitely be a match for you. 

Source: mtv.com

Calm – Free meditation sessions for everyone

Calm is a very popular antistress application on the app store. This app stands out from the crowd because it offers simple and impressive meditation sessions to its users. If you want to get rid of stress in your workplace or increase focus on your work, you can rely on Calm.

There are multiple 10-minute sessions in this app that can help you to focus better at your workplace. Some of these sessions include:

  1. Mindfulness meditation
  2. Spiritual meditation
  3. Movement meditation,
  4. Mantra meditation and more

The basic meditation sessions of calm are free and are considered to be best for a person who is facing minor anxiety.

Source: businessofapps.com

Headspace – The ultimate breathing exercise and antistress app!

Headspace is another antistress mobile app designed to relieve stress both physically and mentally. It provides you with plenty of breathing exercises, meditation sessions, and fun exercises which can help you reduce stress. 

Headspace offers you different kinds of techniques for free, including:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing
  2. Breath Focus technique 
  3. Lion’s Breath
  4. Equal breathing 
  5. coherent breathing etc. 

Breathing is known to be one of the top keys for dealing with stress and anxiety. If you share the same viewpoint, try out this application and see whether it works for you!

Source: headspace.com

Aura – Emotion, Stress, & Sleep Management expert!

Aura mobile app is best for self-care for people of all ages, improving your sleep cycle and relieving stress. There are many good things about this mind relaxing games app that makes it a popular choice for readers from all across the globe:

  1. The app provides personalization preferences.
  2. You are not bugged with default sounds and sessions.
  3. You can get customized meditations according to your mood
  4. It offers a free version.
  5. It has a very simple and intuitive UI!

Aura allows you to select your preferences and provides you with automatic sessions and activities for relaxation. As a user, you might not be able to select the right session for you but you can surely tell the application what mood you are in. 

In this Covid pandemic, Aura is also providing free sessions for three months which provides users with plenty of time to try it out!

Simple Habit

Simple Habit is another mobile application that is most suitable for busy lifestyles – you can tune in when you wake up, even while driving or going to sleep.  

IT was said to be a number #1 wellness mobile app and was recommended by top psychologists and mental health experts. 

You are given a choice of a 5-minute meditation guided by the world’s best experts, you can track your progress with Mindful Minutes and access your meditations offline with Premium Subscription to be able to meditate at any time. 

The app lists a variety of benefits like improved focus, better sleep, reduction of stress, increased sense of perspective and more. The app also offers both versions, Android and iOS. 

Conclusion 

We’ve provided you with a list of a few top meditation apps that can help you to get rid of stress accumulated at the workplace. 

Maintaining your mental health is important as it can affect your overall health so make sure to try out some of the meditation apps and see if any suits your own needs!

Why is Mobile App Security a Top Priority for Developers

The current pandemic forced us to stay home due to social distancing measures and such shifts in behaviour increased the demand for mobile apps, both Android and iOS.

Such wide usage comes with security risks although not all users understand the importance — such lack of knowledge can be exploited by cyber attackers.

Mobile apps without security protocols put forth extreme risks to both users and developers as unprotected vulnerabilities may become targets to hackers for malware attacks or data breach.

There are over 4.8 billion mobile phone users and if any virus goes viral, it can be harmful to the global digital community.

Mobile app security must be the top concern as any unsecured mobile app is at high risk level.

What is Mobile App Security?

Mobile app security is the measures of defending a mobile app from fraudulent attacks like malware, hacking or other criminal manipulations.

Different technologies used in mobile app protection target different sorts of cyber threats that a mobile device can pose due to the apps installed in them.

Mobile app security represents the amount of protection an app has from malware, phishing and other harmful hacker crimes.

Android is a good example — being an open framework, it is more vulnerable to MITM attacks (man-in-the-middle), data breaches, or malware assaults as opposed to iOS platform which is exclusive to Apple users.

How can developers protect the apps and their users from privacy risks and cyber assaults?

Source: april9.com.au

Reasons to Secure Your Mobile App

Most of the world’s workforce is working remotely nowadays while some companies hire freelance workers that use their own laptop or computer to do the company’s work — such an approach carries risks of attacks.

A single breach is enough to invade the privacy of the company’s system and customers. Hackers’ usual targets are high ranked officers in the company as they hold more valuable data thus it is crucial for developers to inspect the app security — developers have to provide the latest security features to protect user privacy and data.

Mobile app security, if done properly, enables users to protect confidential and private data, protect themselves from data loss, malware and virus attacks as well as from lawsuits of unprotected systems.

Important Steps in Mobile App Security

Important steps in securing a mobile app include:

Secure Database

In order to secure a database, your storage must be fully encrypted and backed up with well defined data access to prevent any data breach.

Developers have to store user databases, credentials and other critical data in a secured place, no matter if it is a device or a cloud-based server.

Source: techdissected.com

Secure Source Code

Developers must provide a high level of security so that hackers cannot access your app’s code or decipher it with diverse methods like obfuscation or conceal code.

For example, Android has a Pro-Guard, a built-in feature making codes into confusing characters. Since Android is an open-source platform, it is more prone to cyber attacks and due to that reason, developers must ensure safe source code to prevent any possibility of alterations by cyber threats.

Secure Data Transmission

Developers must encrypt data in order to secure data transmission as it is extremely important for apps that transfer data like users’ private information or banking details. You should use secure channels via VPN tunnels, SSL, TLS or HTTPS communication.

If you do not encrypt data, the data transmission will be unsafe. If encryption-decryption algorithms are weak, they can be easily decoded by hackers leaving the app data in the open.

You should use strong cryptography to prevent snoopers, packet-sniffers and MITM attacks:

  • Input validation tests — they prevent malformed data from entering the app database. Such validations are already available in most mobile frameworks where you can customize it for an additional security layer to your app.
  • Data portability is the data that can be accessed across different platforms or services like the most popular one being ‘Social Login’ being a process of login to apps or sites with your Google, Facebook, Instagram or other login info.

These actions help developers to complete a thorough data protection and to add user-privacy and authentication from square one.

Sign-up procedures also become more user-friendly while improving user experience and satisfaction.

Source: accellion.com

Perform Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a process where a malware is imitated on your device to be able to search for any defects that can be exploited. Such testing is commonly used to improve web application firewalls (WAF).

Make sure to test your code for any sensitivity to injection attacks. Adapt and modify your WAF security policies and patch the bugs before launching your mobile app. Pen testing is independent from standard software testing but both of those are crucial to boost your app’s security.

Make it a custom to review and test the previously written code to test flaws and implement improvements.

Source: mkcybersecurity.com

Use Tokens for High-level Authentication

A token is a unit that securely transmits information about a user identity between the applications and websites. A security token authenticates a person’s identity electronically by storing some sort of personal information.

Mobile apps developers use tokens to monitor their user sessions efficiently and the same tokens can be either approved or withdrawn.

Usage of complex passwords should be applied — apps should be designed to accept only medium to strong passwords with alphanumeric characters and it must be renewed regularly, e.g. on each six months or so.

OTP (one-time PIN/password) is valid only for one login session on a computer or other devices. You can add it to make sign-ups more secure while adding a two-factor verifications also adds an additional layer or encryption making your app even more secure.

Other authentication methods can include fingerprint or retina scan — in the future, biometric access systems will probably get introduced to level up the security measures. Biometric testing can also be used for other purposes, like in workplace wellness system to set a standard of reference for employee health.

Source: beroeinc.com

Tips for a Better Mobile App Security

Here are some of the common ways to build a safe and secure mobile app:

Write a Secure Code

The code is the most susceptible element of any mobile application and it can be exploited by hackers. Developers should write highly secured code for the apps and also perform code hardening and signing as a practice for developing the best quality code.

Encrypt the Data

Encryption is a process of taking plain text (message or email) and translating it into an unreadable format called ‘cipher text’. Encryption helps to protect confidentiality of digital data which is either stored on the computer or transmitted through the Internet. Once the intended recipient accesses the message, the information is translated back to its original format.

Encryption is said to be one of the most effective ways to save your data from being exploited in a malicious way. Even if your data gets stolen, the hackers will not be able to decipher it and will be useless to them, too.

Source: thesslstore.com

Be Careful with Libraries

Usually, mobile apps need third-party libraries for code building. You should not trust the library your app is using as most of those are not so safe.

If you use diverse libraries, you should ALWAYS test the code as the flaws existing in the library can affect your code and allow hackers to use malicious code and crash the system.

Source: http://zesium.com/top-10-libraries-for-android-developers-in-2021/

Use Authorized API

You should ALWAYS use authorized API in your app code as it is recommended to have central authorization for the entire API to obtain maximum security in a mobile app development system.

API calls are usually protected by a simple API key and user credentials (often as an access token). Mobile apps are often less secure and since installed on a device, hackers can also install an app on a device they control in order to manipulate the app and find weaknesses.

That is why each API should require app-level authentication.

Use High-Level Authentication

Authentication mechanism is the most important part of mobile app security. Weak authentication processes are the top vulnerability in mobile apps.

User authentication must be considered as highly important from a security point of view. The common way of authentication is via passwords (medium to strong) which cannot be broken by hackers easily.

Conclusion

Having a mobile phone is a large part of our everyday lives and many underestimate the value a phone holds when it comes to the information it stores. Your phone contains much data from social media data to banking information.

When developing a mobile app, ensure that the app does not leave users susceptible to malicious attacks or privacy breaches.

Mobile app security protects the app and the data within — although users may install antivirus or anti malware software and use VPNs, if the app gets invaded by hackers or infected, users will still be open to cyber threats.

As a mobile app developer, always prioritize a robust level of protection and data privacy in the app for your users.

Originally published on Medium on 11 June 2021

https://medium.com/dataseries/why-is-mobile-app-security-a-top-priority-for-developers-28f5cc80c072

The Best Mobile Apps to Help You Learn Programming

Programming is a category of computer science where you study how to build desktop, mobile or web apps. 

There are many programming languages today but as the IT industry is constantly changing, you must learn and practice on your own if you want to become a successful programmer. 

If you are new to programming, you should start with basics and once you master basic concepts, you can move to more advanced topics. After you pass those topics, you can continue to design and write programs on your own. 

In case you do not have a PC or a laptop, you can learn to develop apps or websites via your mobile phone with some of these free Android and iOS applications.

The Best mobile apps to learn programming

SoloLearn

SoloLearn is one of the most popular apps to learn C++, Java, Python, SQL, CSS, HTML, C# etc. and has a largest collection of FREE code learning content.

Each part is divided into ‘chapters’ – after each chapter, you need to pass the knowledge quiz to move onto the next chapter. SoloLearn follows the best practice of a college online course where you can participate in forums or ask questions. 

You can write and run real code in the mobile code editor, get ideas through real-life code samples, and engage in interactive community conversations throughout the way. 

SoloLearn app gives an opportunity to users to leave their comments on each chapter and awards you with a certificate once you complete the course. 

IT hosts a forum where you can discuss diverse topics with your fellow colleagues plus it provides a code play area where you can discover several programming quizzes enabling users to compile and run the quiz code.  

SoloLearn has launched apps on the Google Play Store and Apple Store

Source: play.google.com

Programming Hub

Programming Hub is a top-rated app for learning programming languages and as per its developers, you can learn up to 18 different languages. 

Its main interface displays a list of languages where you can select the preferred language to learn – it offers complete courses with over 1800 programs and you can choose to learn at your own pace with the access to course materials no matter where you are, even offline. 

Programming Hub helps you to build your programming skills with a game-like experience with interactive coding lessons for many languages like HTML, Javascript, C, C++, C#, Swift, Python, R Programming, Java, Artificial Intelligence, CSS, etc. for free.

Besides programming courses, coding examples and compilers, some other features include concept based illustrations and regular updates of course content. 

Programming Hub was released in both versions Android and iOS but if you would like advanced features, you will have to pay and subscribe.

Source: programminghub.com

Enki

Enki is an award-winning app useful for both beginners and more skilled developers providing you with 20+ programming languages. 

It acts as your personalized learning coach where you need to choose at least 2 topics to get started with the app – Enki organizes lessons into different levels: from beginners to experts giving you an opportunity to learn the parts you want.  

With Enki, you can bookmark your lessons, leave comments/questions plus you can set a reminder for your learning lessons thus facilitating the entire learning process for you. 

Enki supports a strong community and you can engage in discussions, team up with your friends or colleagues and track each other’s progress or share your favourite lessons with your preferred contacts. 

Enki has versions in Android and iOS

TechCrunch

Compared to free reading options this is structured, personalized content. Enki creates a 5-minute “workout” for software developers to learn important concepts in their spare time.”
Source: play.google.com

PluralSight

Pluralsight is a learning platform for you to build your tech skills where you can access 7000+ courses with ample of expert videos, downloadable content, certificate preparations and more. 

Pluralsight covers many tech topics from software development (C++, C#, Java, Python, React etc.), Cloud Computing, AI and Machine Learning, IT Ops, Information Security and more.  

You can bookmark the courses you like and come back to them later, even offline – no matter the device, your courses and progress are synced across devices. (Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, TV etc.) Users can organize, curate and share the content you find the most important or useful to you. 

A great thing about the platform is that you can learn the right skill in the right order, as our colleague explains: 

Ivan Skrobot, Zesium iOS Lead Engineer

Pluralsight has a great concept as it maintains structure of a learning path, meaning course chapters follow the previous ones thus structuring your knowledge

They feature some of today’s most in-demand conferences from Microsoft Ignite, THAT Conference, PluralSight LIVE and many others plus you can obtain a certificate where certification paths include: AWS, Azure, Office 365, CompTIA, VMware etc. 

Pluralsight has both versions of mobile Android and iOS

Source: play.google.com

CodeHub

CodeHub is a great way to browse and manage your GitHub repositories on any iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). 

You can keep an eye on your projects with an opportunity to view everything – from drawn requests to commenting on individual files in the most recent changeset. 

Every course contains 50 lessons in total but you can always learn the course at your own pace. 

Lessons are categorized into 4 levels and you can choose a category of your expertise if you have prior coding knowledge, giving you an option to skip the basics. 

CodeHub is an open source platform striving to have all features of GitHub where you can create, update and filter your issues, repositories, source code and more in any way that suits you the best. 

Repository and code allow you to view branches, and source code – you can star and pin the repositories to your menu for quick navigation or explore new repositories to add to your growing collection of great code. 

You can use the app for free only for public repositories, yet if you wish access to private repositories, you will have to subscribe to CodeHub Pro. 

Codehub is available in the iOS version and brings GitHub to your fingertips.

Source: apps.apple.com

Learn Programming

The Learn Programming app offers more than 70 programming languages however, it is different from PH and SL as it displays a list of functions, data types, keywords and definitions where on the top of the list is a search box. 

When you enter the search keyword or choose an item from the list, the app provides the best results of the usage. 

LP provides a sandbox section where you can test programs online and customize the appearance in its editor. You can also save programs after providing LP permission to save the same data in your phone due to privacy policy guidelines. 

LP’s great feature is being an offline app, meaning you don’t have to go online to use it. 

LP is a fully customizable Android app providing skills quizzes, simple statistics, interview questions, support etc. with an awarding system where you can earn points and more. 

Source: play.google.com

Mimo 

Mimo can provide an effective way to learn coding of programming languages like Python, JavaScript, HTML, SQL, and more, even if you have no prior coding experience. 

At Mimo has an interactive curriculum where you can learn code at your own pace – you can access coding lessons, coding tutorials, solve coding challenges, write a real code in Mimo’s code editor (works like an IDE and helps you to run code), compete with Mimo’s coding community and more. 

Mimo is a well structured app that takes complex topics and divides them into smaller parts which are easier to use. Additionally, Mimo is motivating you to learn more as the ads are not too annoying. 

Mimo also has Android and iOS versions available in the Stores. 

Source: apps.apple.com

Codecademy Go

CodeAcademy Go is a mobile version of Codeacademy online courses and although it does not have quite the same features as the web platform, it is a great place to practice coding while away from your computer. 

It provides you with lessons to practice coding syntax, apply your skills in your day-to-day operations as well as to maintain your streaks and track your own progress. 

You can learn web development, data science, HTML & CSS, Python, SQL and more with CodeAcademy mobile app.  

CodeAcademy Go has versions on both platforms, Android and iOS

Source: apps.apple.com

Udemy 

Udemy is one of the largest platforms of online courses which you can use to grow professionally. 

Udemy has an extensive library with more than 3400 topics from Coding, Development, Business, Marketing, SEO, Design and more. 

You can attend their courses in over 65 languages and download courses so you can learn offline as well; you can set reminders for your learning schedule or make notes to maximize your learning path. 

There is a possibility to get more interactive with knowledge check up through quizzes or just contact the instructions for your difficult questions for extra help. 

Udemy is also a very robust platform for learning programming and they also have both mobile versions Android and iOS

Source: play.google.com

Coursera

Coursera is a learning platform but not solely focused on computer science but multiple skills across different industries like business (accounting, finance etc.), computer or data sciences (Java, mobile, AI, Machine Learning etc.), art (design, music etc.) or personal development (negotiation, public speaking etc.).

Coursera gives you the opportunity to learn from experts from world-class universities and companies like The Yale, University of Michigan, Google, IBM and more. You can attend free courses, obtain job skills or earn a university degree online with Coursera. 

The Coursera app is free to download where you can enroll single or multi courses from $39 to $79 per month depending on your needs. 

You can also access the lectures and downloadable videos in offline mode for maximizing your learning path. 

Coursera also has both versions Android and iOS

Source: apps.apple.com

Linkedin Learning (Lynda)

Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda) is a Linkedin platform for learning for you to build your tech or creative skills with personalized recommendations and courses. 

No matter if you want to strengthen your leadership skills, build a mobile app or software, Linkedin Learning provides expert-courses in programming, IT, leadership, marketing and much more. 

You can access more than 4000 courses in business, tech or creative expertise, get personalized recommendations, download courses for offline viewing or save them for later time so you can learn at your own pace. 

Linkedin Learning enables users to share courses or certificates with your network or add them to your Linkedin profile plus you will get access to Linkedin Premium networking tools and more. 

The Linkedin Learning mobile app is free to download and comes in both versions, Android and iOS

Source: androidauthority.com

Final Word

Apps for learning programming are a great learning source and there are many options for both, beginners and more advanced programmers. 

There are many more apps for programming that focus more on specific languages and you should check each of them to see which one suits your learning habits. 

Do not rely solely on the apps for learning programming, but include them into your learning path as such apps can be an invaluable tool in the long run. 

8 Tips on How to Use User Feedback Data Effectively

Mobile is the new battleground. 

Mobile is the place where users go for convenience and speed, so make your mobile experience count. 

Developing a product and growing a business is hard yet it’s even more difficult when users start to complain. Although nobody likes to get negative comments, such feedback is actually a good thing as it can help you to improve your business and take it to the next level. 

The trick is to know how to use such feedback data to make real changes in your company. 

The best method to understand your users’ needs and to respond to those needs in your app or a website is to collect user feedback. You should gather feedback on mobile to optimize user experience and gain an advantage over competition by giving your users what they want. 

Many companies are abundant with feedback data yet stay unsure how to leverage such data for their consistent growth. 

What are Users Insights?

User insights are interpretations of the data gathered from user feedback and other sources, compiled and analyzed to support business decisions better. 

The main goal is to identify behavioral trends to improve your product/services and to make your sales and marketing more effective. 

Getting insights from user feedback gives you a chance to understand your users better, to improve their digital experience and at the same time, to increase your revenue. 

Analysis of such feedback involves identifying the needs or issues of your users so that you can improve user satisfaction and reduce churn rates. 

Source: blog.desk360.com

How to Utilize User Feedback?

Before analyzing, make sure you have gathered all the feedback in one place.

There are some common ways on how to act on user feedback and turn it into your biggest strength. 

Here’s how you can turn user feedback into an advantage for your business:

Collect and Consolidate Your Data

Firstly, sort all user feedback that you want to analyze into a spreadsheet and add key metadata about each user (you can include how long a person has been a user, how much they spent, the date and source of the feedback etc.). 

Your table could look similar to this: 

Collate your feedback data
Source: intercom.com

After you collect the feedback, such systematization will consolidate incomplete or inconsistent data. There are many different segments of users and grouping them per different aspects (frequency etc.) will be helpful as each user has their own expectations from your company. 

Upon carefully examining the data, discover common themes as well as repetition of the feedback. For example, if many users from different segments complain about the same thing (e.g. onboarding process etc.), then you should act on it. 

Categorize Feedback

If you take your time to review the comments and try to uncover patterns within responses by categorizing them, you will get even more valuable insights. 

Once you start reviewing the comments, you will notice categories which can contain elements like speed, availability, registration, price and so on. 

Create categories and review the comments again to mark them with an appropriate category. If a single comment refers to more than one category, you can divide it into parts and mark each part of the comment. 

Expect that comments will be both positive and negative and you can start dividing them into matching columns in your table (e.g. Excel) with proper sections. 

Source: hubspot.com

Some common rule to help you to understand the feedback is to group it by:

Feedback type

Categorizing feedback into different types is helpful if dealing with inconsistent feedback from your customer support or customers who wrote anything they wanted in your survey field. 

Some common categories that can be useful are:

  • usability issues
  • new feature requests
  • bugs
  • pricing 
  • generic positive or 
  • generic negative comments
  • junk (nonsense feedback) or 
  • other (for feedback hard to categorize where you can later come back and re categorize if any patterns appear within the rest of the data)

Feedback theme

Sorting out feedback per theme can be useful if you’re trying to make sense of the high volume of different feedback. If you have a small data set (around 50 pieces of feedback), you may not need it. 

The themes you create will be unique to the feedback you get and will relate to the aspects of your product. 

For example, if you received a lot of user feedback, your themes can look like a list of product features such as: 

Such categorization can help you even more when you have to provide your insights to more than one team (if one team works on mentions and another on your profile etc.). 

You can also create team-related themes (marketing, sales, customer support etc.) for better efficiency – try to create some themes and see if such category types can be useful to your teams. 

Feedback code

Feedback code is necessary to clarify unsorted feedback from users and to rephrase it in a more actionable way. 

Create the feedback code detailed enough so that even an inexperienced person can understand the subject of the feedback. 

The feedback code should be concise and matching user feedback as possible – you must refine the feedback whether you like it or not. 

An example can be:

Code your Feedback
Source: producthabits.com

In order to uncover such details, you should segregate your feedback data. Common practice is to create a table with Excel or Google Sheets or any other tool you find suitable and import all your feedback data. 

Your feedback will come in both structured (ratings or ranking indicators) and unstructured form (comments, complaints etc.), so you can also add a category to help you consolidate your data more efficiently. 

You can make a list of all complaints or praises in one place. 

Source: pinterest.com

After you fix it and test it, update the app and request more feedback again. 

When new feedback arrives, assess the situation again for better insights – if there’s no improvement then the issue might be elsewhere, and if the problem is resolved, it’s a win for you. 

This process is repetitive – analyze the data, fix specific issues, and repeat the feedback loop until everything is working properly. 

The better you are at gathering and analyzing feedback data on a regular basis, the more effective the entire process will be. 

Get a quick overview

Before you start coding your feedback data, you should review the feedback to understand the variety in responses.

If you review feedback and end up with almost each customer giving different feedback, you will most likely have to analyze a higher volume of data to discover the patterns. 

However, if you scan through the first batch of feedback and the majority relate to a particular issue within your app, you will have to review less. 

Code the feedback

There are different ways to code your feedback but the usual manual procedure is to create two spreadsheets – one to keep your code frame and the other for coding each piece of feedback per specific code frame.  

You can structure your feedback by code frame to separate positive from negative comments or you can code each piece of feedback per several codes from the code frame. 

Another method of manual coding is to use Feedback Types as one of hierarchy levels such as usability issues, bugs, new feature requests etc. 

ab
Source: reviewmonitoring.com

When you go through the entire feedback and carefully code each row, your exact feedback codes will be specific to the product/service that the feedback relates to. 

For example, a few analysis codes you can use to a new feature request can be: 

  • The ability to send emojis 
  • Assigning tasks to multiple clients 
  • Onboarding process 

If any piece of feedback talks about multiple points (two different feature requests etc.), it is useful to capture these two separate points in separate columns.

Whether positive or negative feedback, if you spot certain words that appear frequently (e.g. negative: bad experience or positive: easy to use etc.) it will instantly indicate widespread use. 

It can also help to color your spreadsheet to easily see the emerging patterns or to run a sentiment analysis and get an overview whether customers are mainly satisfied, neutral or dissatisfied.

Refine Your Coding 

You can start with higher level codes and break them down later.

A good thing is to focus on the exact language people use as sometimes, similar issues can turn out to be quite different issues after all. As you go through more feedback, you can realize that you have to break a single popular code into several pieces of more specific code. 

For example, you realize you have a lot of user feedback related to Email Issues, but as you read more, you realize that these can be divided into separate issues like: ‘Email delivery bug’ or similar which are quite different. 

Always remember to go back and recode the earlier codes if necessary. 

Analyze the Popularity of Each Code

Once you’ve finished coding your feedback, the next step can be to determine the total amount of feedback per a single code – it will help you to see what kind of feedback is the most common and which patterns exist in your user feedback. 

A great way to do this is to sort the data into ‘feedback type’, ‘feedback topic’ and ‘feedback code’ columns and group similar items together. After that, you can highlight all items with the same feedback code and a total count will appear – create a summary table to record all total counts for each feedback code.  

If you have a large data set (more than 500 pieces of feedback), you can create a pivot table for these calculations – it is valuable to analyze the other user attributes that you collected. For example, put your user attributes (user type, etc.) into a spreadsheet and look for other correlations you received e.g. what is the monthly spend of users demanding a new feature?, and similar. 

Source: isportsanalysis.com

Summarize and Share 

You’ve coded your data and now you can create a summary of user feedback data based on the popularity and discuss it with your team. 

If you have little feedback (less than 50 pieces), you can summarize actionable feedback in a simple table or a document. 

A large set of feedback can be broken down by other variables like ‘feedback type’ or ‘feedback topic’ etc. 

Such practice will make it much easier for you to identify different groups of feedback and channel them to different people in your team who should act on it. 

Keep in mind that the most powerful thing you can do with feedback is to prioritize. 

You can create a top 10 user issues that you can then use to adjust your product roadmap

Take Action

Implementing feedback successfully is a significant part of product development. 

If poorly managed, user feedback can divert you from the real problems and you can end up wasting time and resources. 

However, if you manage your feedback properly, you can come up with new ideas and plan your improvements more effectively. 

Summarize previously reviewed feedback into a short document and share it with your team for further planning. 

An effective method is to try to incorporate user feedback at each stage of the development process leading to the final ‘thank you’ email. Never forget to thank your users no matter if the feedback is positive or negative. 

Source: pinterest.com

Unstructured insight is the one that will help you to build a better product but other data can help as well, like product purchase history, lifetime value and more. 

Automate User Feedback Analysis with 3rd party Software

There are many specialized solutions for automating user feedback analysis where some are more DIY than others. 

Some of these solutions are: 

You should check each solution and confirm its features and if they correspond to your needs for analyzing the feedback. For example, some tools have both manual and automatic methods for coding feedback, while others can unify user data no matter the feedback channel etc. 

Check each of the solutions and decide which one suits your needs best. 

Final Word

Without a feedback process in place, your company might overlook some apparent mistakes which can prevent you from achieving the revenue you want. When it comes to feedback, the more details you have, the better. 

Start with consolidating the data for a preliminary analysis, look for patterns and correlations and then tackle the issues – afterwards, test until you notice the improvement in feedback. 

In case you get stuck, you can always use some tools that can give you further insight. 

Keep in mind that the feedback process is a never ending process. You should ensure that your feedback process is a loop – listen to your users, make improvements and continue to collect feedback. 

Top 10 Libraries for Android Developers in 2021

When talking about Android, libraries and frameworks are the ones helping developers to build apps more easily where several aspects (UI elements, debugging etc.) are well defined. 

Such libraries offer detailed documentation, configuration data, templates, pre-built code and much more – all the developers need to get creative. 

These are the libraries you should keep an eye on in the coming years. 

Android Jetpack

Android Jetpack is a selection of software components which helps building reliable Android apps. 

It provides a clear path for developers to build an Android app making it easier to support configuration changes and reduce boilerplate code and complexity with libraries that work across all devices and versions. 

Problems like managing activity lifecycles or preventing memory leaks have been solved by AJ software components. 

Jetpack consists of the androidx.*  package libraries, unfolded from platform APIs, meaning it offers backward compatibility. 

Since it gets updated frequently, you will always have the latest version. 

Source: xda-developers.com

Square/Moshi

Moshi JSON library, created by Square, converts JSON into Java and Kotlin models where converting JSON to Java model (and vice versa) is straightforward. 

It’s a great choice for parsing JSON API responses in Android as it targets the Android platform, uses Kotlin features, it’s faster , it is lightweight with codegen and has a simpler API. 

Moshi is better for you to handle any issues at the boundary of the data layer in your model, rather than reproducing them into the app and tracking them. 

Kotlin’s native language features are supported by Moshi to ensure the type safety of a Kotlin class used with adapters to parse JSON responses. 

Source: dribble.com

Dagger

Dependency injection is a technique where an object receives other objects that it depends on. 

When it comes to a good library for dependency injection, Dagger is a great choice. 

It is a framework allowing developers to generate plain Java code. Its compile-time estimation proved very useful with challenges of large applications maintaining dependency injections. 

Its advantage is that it uses compile-time for evaluating all the dependencies but you will have to tackle a demanding learning curve. 

Nonetheless, Dagger flexibility will pay off in the long run. 

Source: youtube.com

Glide

Dealing with images on Android platform can get very difficult as its API is not optimised for smooth performance. 

That is where Glide comes in – it is a fast image loading library for Android focusing on smooth scrolling. It’s an open source library which includes a flexible API with extensive decoding pipelines and automatic resource pooling. 

Glide helps with fetching, decoding and displaying video stills, images or animated GIFs. (media and image files

Glide uses HttpUrlConnection based stack that includes a versatile API to help developers to connect to almost any network stack.

Source: nigeapptuts.com

Retrofit

Retrofit is the most used in Android development and it represents a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java.

The library allows developers to define the REST API to incorporate different types of API calls. 

You can easily manage API’s request body, endpoints and headers, add a query parameters and more via annotations, which makes everything clean and simple. 

Retrofit is easy-to-use and offers a separate Rx module so it can work well with RxJava as well – such Rx module returns your API call like an Observable so you can chain it with the rest of your app. 

Source: innovationm.co

Android DataBinding

Data Binding library is a support library allowing you to bind UI elements in your layout to data sources in your app via declarative format rather than using programs. 

Android Databinding library is a view-binding library that achieves its results without use of annotations. 

Code is shorter and easier to read while data and views are clearly separated. You get type safety for accessing views meaning that the compiler validates types while compiling and reports an error if you try to assign the wrong type to a variable. 

It significantly reduces the amount of code written to access views, easy to set up and offers more functionalities.

RxJava

The best library in Android for reactive programming is RxJava. RxJava is an open source implementation of ReactiveX library for Java Virtual Machine (JVM). 

Reactive programming is a huge help to developers so that the app can manage the changes automatically – it refers to event driven programming where data streams come in asynchronous way and get processed as they arrive. 

RxJava enables developers to efficiently coordinate multiple actions simultaneously without using call backs or different actions triggered due to specific events in the system. 

Besides simplifying Android app development, RxJava supports several JVM-based programming languages, implements stream abstracts through Three Core Constructs, simplifies multithreading through Schedulers and is compatible with several third-party libraries. 

Source: blog.novatec-gmbh.de

Room

Room is an official Android ORM – it relies a lot on annotations and standard SQL syntax while its APi is similar to Retrofit API. 

The main benefit of Room over other ORMs is simplicity. While other ORMs come with more complex APIs, Room is incredibly easy to understand thanks to its standard SQL syntax. 

Room also supports the Rx library and both of those libraries work together well. 

Room is a good choice as it can be used without too much effort or time on your side in understanding its documentation.  

Source: pinterest.com

Espresso

Mobile automation testing is a challenging task – Google developed Espresso framework to make this process easier. 

Espresso is a testing framework library allowing you to create and develop UI tests for Android mobile apps. 

Espresso provides a consistent and flexible API for automation of UI tests in an Android mobile app and the tests can be written in both Java and Kotlin. 

You can easily conduct Android UI tests without the ramification of multithreaded testing.  

Features supported by Espresso are simple API, providing separate modules to test and validate Android WebView elements as well as mock Android Intents – providing automatic synchronization between your apps and tests. 

Advantages of Espresso are backward compatibility, it is easy to set up and has a highly stable test cycle while supporting testing activities outside the app as well. 

The testing framework runs on Android devices and testing emulators creating a similar testing experience like end users have. If you want to use this library, you have to add dependencies to the app module. 

Source: blogs.quovantis.com

Robolectric

Robolectric is a great library for unit testing and handling several aspects of Android apps including views, resource loading and more. 

It can debug the Android mobile app against inflation or resource loading, view and other elements – it provides a way to run tests inside Android Studio without launching an app on device or Emulator. 

You can grasp its capacity when reproducing a resilient testing environment where real devices can be tested for Android framework dependency performances. 

It comes with robust scripts for thorough testing of the app functions via real devices and at the same time, other Android framework dependencies continue to work in the background. 

Robolectric provides simulation of the Android SDK for carrying tests and it helps in preventing the need to use separate mocking frameworks. 

How to Choose the Right Library?

No matter if you need an image library, a unit testing library or any other library, you should assess the information to make the choice easier for you. 

Consider the following when choosing the right library:

Popularity 

Check the ratings of the candidate library and how many or how severe are the issues reported for that library – usually, if the majority of developers like it, it can be a good indicator of quality. 

Source Reliability

Do a check up on the author to minimize the risks to get a low-quality library. Check if they are active on Github or if released multiple libraries and try to verify your findings. 

Well-structured Code

Go through the code to check if it’s well-structured – ensure that README files within are comprehensive and up-to-date for smoother and easier integrations. 

Valid Licence

Licence is another factor to impact your decision because the usage of libraries can be limited. Make sure to follow all the terms of a specific library that you want to integrate into your app. 

Open Source Quality

Access the library’s code to review its quality or performance – if you notice lack of transparency, it could signal a security risk. 

Library Recommendations

Most platforms have several existing libraries and the best thing about it is that they are well-maintained and documented. Such libraries ensure low-risk but do your own research to understand their features, limitations and benefits.

Check Core Features

Do not strive to have full control over the code – libraries can cover a wide aspect of use cases. You cannot compromise on the performance, so rely on the actual tested libraries. 

Conclusion 

We chose all described libraries on the basis of their popularity among the Android community and the way our Android experts recommend them for different development needs. 

These libraries in many ways represent the best of choices for every functional need in an Android project. 

A COMPLETE STUDY ON HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR MOBILE APP

Your mobile app needs attention even if the development is ongoing.

When talking about promoting your app, you should start much before the launch and create a community around it giving them a chance to subscribe to your mobile app and wait for the official release. 

The problem usually isn’t the app itself but a lack of promotion – if your app’s benefit is not promoted as effectively as it should, all your hard work may not be awarded. 

Creating a mobile app opens a new channel for you to interact with your users – your audience will always be able to reach out to you with a simple click. 

Remember, the more you promote your mobile app – the easier and faster the entire process becomes. 

Get in Touch

Every mobile app owner wants to understand his users’ expectations – reach out to them and your audience will help you discover gaps you may have missed plus you will connect to them. 

Keep your users engaged through the process of your app’s development as they are the foundation of your business and it can increase your app downloads within your target audience. 

Get in touch with your users and ask about their opinions or suggestions for your app to make it more beneficial for them. 

No matter how you reach out to your users, your new app needs to be imprinted into every aspect of your marketing – add it to your email footer with one line ad and a link directing towards your app download page. Include the links to your website, blog and social media profiles in your email signature to get the most of your reach. 

Source: techmeetups.com

Reach out to Relevant People

Sponsorships can help your brand to build a substantial community – developing beneficial relationships with influences can help you to promote your app. A website like BuzzSumo is a great place to find a list of relevant influencers within your mobile app niche. 

Working with influencers can be arranged in different ways: 

  • Joint venture (promoting your app for a price or an exchange)
  • Share option (if your app is relevant to them)

Reach out and ask if you can get some of their time to discuss the idea and gather some feedback. 

Not only influencers but other people can help you as well – if you find people who would care to write about your industry or niche, they might be interested to write about your awesome solution as well. 

Just make sure not to be pushy as it can turn people away.

Source: mobilemasterminds.com

Build Your Landing Page

Create a great landing page and make a simple and clear introduction with one or two sentences. 

Landing page has all the elements necessary to inform users, engage and help them to share info about your app easily. 

Make download buttons larger to be more noticeable for visitors to try it out. As you scroll down, each panel should have a single call-to-action (CTA) leading directly back to the main CTA being to download your app. 

Make an eye catching app icon as it will attract people to check out your app. Some tips would be to have a unique shape that stands out, choose a limited pallet of colors, avoid using photos or a lot of text as it can turn out to be ineffective (text in icons can be barely readable) etc. 

You can try and create a separate section on your website reserved exclusively for your app or try alternatives and create a pop-up page display whenever someone visits your site. 

Do not forget social media so make use of that space to promote your app – a simple banner with the name of your app and a logo along with the link will do the work. 

Source: blog.hubspot.com

Create Teasers 

Create a teaser landing page and a promo video prior to app launch and collect beta subscribers via an email submission form. 

Source: dribble.com

Videos are an easy way to showcase your mobile app’s value – create a simple 30 second commercial video with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle principles: Why, How and What?

Your videos should be updated regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.) and make sure to leverage your social media or other platforms to promote your app. You can include your video to your blog post, Instagram, YouTube channel and more. 

The additional benefit is that you can also make advantage of video SEO plus always add your main hashtag and/or descriptive hashtags to maximize exposure on social media. 

Be careful with videos – it should only be the option if you’ve proven your app’s value and gained some traction. Don’t spend too much money to produce a video for an app that has changed multiple times since its launch. 

Source: blog.advids.co

Use Different Methods

You should maintain consistency with regular updates on topics relevant for your mobile app as it will segregate you as a niche expert thus possibly increase your downloads. 

Another way to get your users updated on major changes is to write a blog post announcing your mobile app launch as company update. Including your app into your regular blog is another promotion – you can dedicate the entire blog post solely to your app or include a call-to-action (CTA) button at the end of each blog post inviting your audience to download your mobile app. Include app links, screenshots and videos to help them understand the value of your app better. 

You can also start a podcast and talk about the problem your app resolves in your talk show. A  good idea is to create your own logo stamp and customize it to resemble your style, which you can later distribute around your area or preferred locations.

A good option is to create a SlideShare presentation – it can help someone else in the development of their project plus it can bring a few more downloads along the way. 

Source:Zesium Podcast Youtube

Use Social Media

When you launch a mobile app, it represents a big achievement for your business.

Make sure to share it with the world and use social media in different ways – do it wisely as many people think that copy-and-paste of the link is enough. Be creative with your intro text, engage your audience, post interesting content and make your app click-worthy. You can repost the same content with a different message post to make sure your audience actually received your message.

Other ways are to run a Facebook ad campaign to get more installs or to try AdWords but only if you have defined keywords and enough time to adjust your campaigns if needed. 

Pinterest is another great social platform – share interesting content here just make sure to watermark all your images with your app logo. Users who like your app will flow directly from Pinterest to your website.

Effective way to reach your audience is sharing interesting infographics – you can use tools to create an infographic and share them with your audience via social media profiles.

You can make things more fun – throw a launch party online and host a live broadcast which will be available on various social media networks. That way, you give people a chance to participate and join the party! 

You can take your promotion a step further enabling your users to share their screens or in-app content. It will increase your app’s visibility and create a place where your users can express themselves. 

Source: netsavvies.com

Start a Community

Good places to start your community are Facebook (online groups), Meetup (for local groups), Linkedin (for professional groups) and more – surround yourself with people who follow the same things as you do, engage in discussions and share your own content when relevant. 

You can increase your app’s visibility not only through social media but also through communities to become better known among your audience. 

A community is a great place to ask for the feedback and hand out promo codes for them to try your app – you can discuss the current features, bug fixes or future updates, ask for feedback and much more as it will show them you value their opinion. 

Build strong relationships with your community as it will present the opportunity to grow not only your app’s community but mobile app installs as well.

Source: niche.com

Apply for App Awards

Many organizations award prizes to innovative applications within various categories like functionality, design and more. 

Taking part in such app awards is one of the best ways – it can reveal your app to new audiences and increase your reviews and downloads. Explore such contests online and apply for the ones you think match your app the most. 

Some of the most popular app award sites are:

Source: washingtonexec.com

Get Featured on Mobile App Review Sites

If you want to get featured on any App Review Site, you must send them a pitch for your mobile app – basically, you pitch should explain in a few words why your mobile app is good enough to be reviewed and featured at their site. 

Many of such sites look for e.g. :

  • Pretty graphical design in high quality
  • Original content, themes etc. 
  • Stable app without glitches, bugs, long loading times or other crashes

You will have to provide material to support your app and you can do it via document form listing the following items:

  • A link to your app within in the App Store
  • A summary describing your app and why it is unique
  • Screenshots of your app logo, home screen and in-app content
  • Videos of your app (Youtube, Vimeo etc.)
  • A promo code for a free app download (if it’s paid)

Receiving reviews about your app is an easy way to take advantage of another’s site traffic as well – check some lists of the best places to submit your app and go for it!

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the app stores (both Google Play and App Store). 

ASO pays attention to relevance of the keywords and search as well as on the keyword frequency in your description. 

Optimize your icon, title, description and your screenshots so that your app can be found quicker within the official app stores. Having this in mind, choose your keywords and categories carefully as it will determine your ranking. 

Google Play and App Store are the most famous but not the only app stores at the market. There are alternative app stores on the online market where you can place your app:

Engage in Online Communication

Always contribute to online conversations – if your users take the time to write feedback for your mobile app, you should take time to respond to them. 

Don’t leave automated messages for your users as it may result in users leaving feeling you don’t take care of their concerns or suggestions. No matter whether the review is positive or negative, reach out to them and let them know you’re trying to resolve the issue or ask your happy users to leave a rating on the app store but keep it real.

Focus on nurturing your existing users – if you accomplish to build a community that can provide you with valuable feedback to help your app become better, then you will manage to create a more successful campaign for new users acquisition.

Always go for a direct conversation with your users, ask them questions, encourage suggestions about your app and more – remember, not all communication has to drive downloads. Keep your communication worthy – offer advice or help to users who have a problem and app downloads will start increasing. Always keep in mind that word-of-mouth is ‘the best medium of all’.  

You can create an invite system if your app is paid – offer users to choose if they will pay for the app or invite their friends. You can also re-engage with your current users since Google and Facebook have an initiative where you can run ads to drive users to try your mobile app. 

Another great way is to actually help your users promote your app. Create a recommendation system and add a button ‘tell a friend that your users can share your app with friends – for better success, incentivize it with discounts for each new subscriber, like in Duolingo app. 

Source: reddit.com

Offers and Support

Make the process of promoting your app a fun one!

Set an amusing task for your audience to complete and tag themselves with your specific hashtag on social media to follow the development of your app and reward the winners publicly.  

You can set up various categories for users to climb up the ranks: by sharing the app, engaging with your brand or having their friends sign up as it will encourage your users to try out your mobile app.

Discount is always a good way to approach your users if you are working with in-app purchases – you can offer cheaper prices on certain days, occasions etc. and let the users know via push notification or a newsletter. 

Similar to discounts are coupons – find a coupon service relevant to yoru market and try a campaign. 

Offer your users a free trial if your app is paid for, and you can collect potential user details. You can later reach out to them and explore if they don’t sign up – ask about their needs and build a relationship. 

No matter how you create your offers (discounts, coupons, promo codes etc.), remember that users will more likely get onboard if they can save some money. 

Source: appdexa.com

Track Analytics and Performance 

Always check your analytics via various tools to get insight into how your users interact with your mobile app. Track the data, draw conclusions, prepare an action plant and go for it! 

Three are various ways to analyze your users behaviour – install a touch heatmap, use navigation paths, session recordings and other methods and analyze what content people care and do not care about. 

Keep track of your app’s performance and the overall user satisfaction – the sooner you detect any problems, the sooner you can resolve it. 

Be your App’s Ambassador

You can give your contribution and engage in public speaking or share your expertise at conferences, webinars and similar events. Talk about the problem your app is solving and not just about your app. 

You can extend the reach and share your expertise via guest blogs – you can always put a backlink to your app within the blog and it can only help for your users’ list to grow. 

Offer your users a newsletter with valuable content and keep collecting email addresses to grow your list. 

In case of negative reviews, focus on helping people to solve their problem as such action will evoke positive reactions and possibly make more ambassadors of your app. 

You should always keep your content fresh and let your users know that you’re making your app better for them. 

Source: pinterest.com

Be Prepared For Press

Prepare a press kit to ensure the best chance of getting your story published. Your PR kit should include: 

  • Your app summary guide
  • Your press release
  • Screenshots (app)
  • Design (icons, logos, banners etc.)
  • Videos (intro or demo video, onboarding video etc.)
  • Founder’s bio and photos

Once you’ve prepared everything, you can move forward and check the free press release distribution sites to get started. 

Final Word

When talking about your mobile app, everything counts – from placing the widgets, beautiful layout designs up to the engaging content. 

Despite countless hours and attention, many businesses still do not get the adoption they hope for – instead of thousands of people downloading your app, you get a dozen or so. 

Put all your efforts into promoting your mobile app once you decide to develop it – a long term strategy will result in harvesting more downloads, more users and more visibility for your mobile  application at the market.