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Tech

Rolled out in 2014, Android Auto now features widespread integration in cars from major brands. As Digital Trends recently put it (October 2018): “becoming the dominant operating system in cars has long been an ambition for Google, and Android Auto, launched in 2014, represents the tech giant’s first step toward that goal”.

It may seem like four years of (apparently) slow progress have reduced the glow of Android Auto. But in fact the auto market in itself is much slower than the smartphone market, for example. Android Auto has matured to the point where the list of car manufacturers whose systems integrate Android Auto is now very exhaustive.

Check out a list of all the cars with Android Auto from Digital Trends here (dating August 2018).

Here you have an October 2018 similar list.

 

With an ever-growing list of partners, Android Auto is set to become the top car infotainment system

 

Those of you already familiarized with digital auto systems already know about the dominance-to-be of Android Auto. One may say Google is not yet fully there. However, expanding both the development options for this operating system, as well as its incorporated features is an ongoing thing.

For those who are still uncertain about the benefits of building your app for Android Auto, here you will find a comprehensive Pocket Lint article on Android Auto.

Now you have Google Assistant in your car. We will also witness the first car to come with Android Automotive out of the factory, as Volvo has now confirmed its all-electric Polestar 2 as the first car to run Android Automotive. Car manufacturers that used to be Android-free have sensed the shift in the market and will provide Android Auto integration in some of their future models.

 

Making an app Android-compatible is a key success factor

 

Apps follow users around, and the digital car systems have translated this modern trend into infotainment apps. Voice controlled, serving our various needs or whims, seamlessly integrated… These apps might even surpass what happens now with smartphone-only apps in terms of usage and importance. With the perspectives opened up by driverless cars, new possibilities unravel. And obviously Google wants to be on top of this game.

Making your apps (new or previously build for a different OS) Android Auto–compatible means allowing them to have a successful future.

Remember that Android Auto “enables you to extend your app to work with in-vehicle console systems running Android Auto. These systems provide a simplified interface for apps that can be used in a car, allowing users to take your app with them on the way to the grocery store or on a long road trip.

Apps that work with Android Auto consoles run on a connected device, such as a phone or tablet. The app communicates via specific APIs with the in-dash console, which provides a user interface for the connected app that is designed for use in a car”.

 

We bring you the power to extend your Android app to support use in vehicles!

At LASTING Software we are experienced in various hardware configurations, device types and deployment environments. We proudy put this know-how at your disposal.

With what we mentioned above, as well as the news about the world’s largest automobile partnership/alliance, aka Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault partnering with Google to use the Android operating system in their cars starting in 2021, your apps really need to be able to integrate the Android-powered infotainment space as soon as possible.

LASTING Software provides experienced Android application development services

Our in-house teams of software engineers specialize in the following:

– Platforms: Mobile, Wear (Watch), TV, Things (IoT) and Automotive

– Programming languages: Kotlin and Java

*Moreover, our innovative LASTING Software team also crafts apps that function in both the Android and iOS environments. We use Flutter – Google’s mobile app SDK. For those use cases that are less sophisticated and suitable for this approach, the client can benefit from a faster and more cost saving development process.

Do you have an Android app you want developed, optimized, and monetized? Nowadays, with the Google products widely used across industries, any company that activates into web or mobile services needs to build its own reliable and versatile Android applications, as part of its market presence.

Keep ahead of your competition by partnering with LASTING Software!

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Tech

The big picture involving digitization and automation gets a mainstream, impressive approach (see our previous posts about Industry 4.0) that tries to transform the technical terms into a coherent narrative. Whilst capable of explaining how the world could look like, once it benefits from all the advantages brought in by intelligent machines, this approach also stirs controversy. There is a fair amount of worries in relation with the societal and economic changes induced by an increased global automation.

This topic is often mirrored in online and offline debates and various materials. Although it serves in familiarizing one and all with technical concepts otherwise difficult to understand, it manages to partially misrepresent the reality of digitization and automation. Not that the bright future everyone is talking about is not attainable, nor that the disruptions mentioned are unlikely. But down-to-earth automation for now looks different, and to minimize risks and enhance future benefits we need to focus our attention on doing things the right way.

In other words, it’s always now that we are shaping the future. Getting too distracted with the big picture to the detriment of in-the-moment quality is in fact harming the same future in discussion.

 

Humans and machines, partners for decades

What we forget is that automation already makes so many things in our daily lives function, for quite some time. Traffic lights, industrial manipulation, elevators or appliances already function with the help of intelligent software. The examples may go on. True, now new concepts such as AI or ML went beyond theory and we witness quite a competition among companies to be the first ones to achieve viable products incorporating this traits, roughly defined as “machine intelligence”.

What does automation translate into nowadays? What is the competition all about?

Automation means reliable software that allows tedious tasks to be computed straight from one machine to another. This should bypass the human contribution in transmitting information.

Automation means self-diagnose and self-reporting, with an outcome of better, faster insights towards the human process coordinator.

It also means self-regulation of machine systems, where one element send out the request for a certain action or input, and gets an automated response that perfectly meets the request.

Automation for now is in the stage of aligning input and output in what information is concerned, integration and coordination between various system parts.

For all this to work and allow us to see beyond the horizon, all those involved need to give their best. Turning clever ideas into automated operations should only involve seamless integrations, top-notch software engineering, coordination, or the safest possible systems, cyber security – wise.

 

Putting good professionals, ethics and enthusiasm into automation

Working with the best is always the way to do it. Automation is yet another case of not affording to go cheap. Making sure you get what you need then paying the right price for a high-quality output. This is what all involved parties should go for.

Having ethics in mind is also advisable. Lately, the big players in the field started to aggregate around this topic. All the bright achievements in the field simply cannot turn evil, be it accidentally or by intent. With automation increasingly entering all our life sectors, it may soon show how our lives depend on it. Therefore, making sure people are protected, from privacy to fail safe embedded systems is a must.

Enthusiasm – because why not? Just think of how your current experience with technology looks like. You get a quality device that does its job. It feels great, you shape the way you do tasks around it, it makes life easier… True, many such devices are unnecessary complicated of late. But think of the most intuitive gadget you use, of its use, of how thrilled you are sometimes with it. In most of the cases the hassle users face has more to do with economics and the market policies. The better the competition, the more things would evolve in the right direction.

To reach a conclusion, always remember to be very serious about your automation related endeavors. Apps, software, IoT or IIoT, always choose the right software partner. Make sure all details are in place, the coding is clean, the project coherent and consistently approached.

Contact us for any information you may need. Our software engineers are looking forward for your questions!

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News

A couple of days ago, Microsoft launched a series of updates that benefit the developers. At their Ignite event (Orlando, FL), the company revealed the new and improved features in many of its product lines, in theme with their AI & ML focus for 2018.

We browsed TechCrunch’s report of the notable developer-centric updates.

 

For the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning services

The selection, testing and tweaking processes become mostly automated. This way the developers can save important time. They are also able to build, “without having to delve into the depths of TensorFlow, PyTorch or other AI frameworks.”

Also, more hardware-accelerated models for FPGAs will be available from now on.(*FPGAs – powerful field programmable gate arrays, used “for high-speed image classification and recognition scenarios on Azure”)

Microsoft decided to add a Python SDK to the mix, too, making Azure Machine Learning more accessible from a wider variety of devices. According to Microsoft, this SDK “integrates the Azure Machine Learning service with Python development environments including Visual Studio Code, PyCharm, Azure Databricks notebooks and Jupyter notebooks”. It also lights up a number of different features, such as “deep learning, which enables developers to build and train models faster with massive clusters of graphical processing units, or GPUs” and link into the FPGAs mentioned above.

 

For the Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services


The Microsoft speech service for speech recognition and translation also features an upgrade. The improvements are in terms of voice quality, as well as availability.

Apparently, now the voices generated by the Azure Cognitive Services’ deep learning-based speech synthesis are true to life.

 

For the Microsoft Bot Framework SDK

The company declared that now it’s much easier for any developer to build its first bot.

*However, TechCrunch’s comment for this reminds us that the bots hype is a thing of the past at the moment. Therefore, it remains to be seen how many developers will take advantage of the new features. Nevertheless, more natural human – computer interactions are now available on the Microsoft Bot Framework SDK.

 

The automated model selection and tuning of so-called hyperparameters that govern the performance of machine learning models that are part of automated machine learning will make AI development available to a broader set of Microsoft’s customer

– Eric Boyd, corporate vice president, AI Platform, Microsoft

Details here

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Tech

Code reviews are part of any software development environment. Not the most pleasant part, in what a developer is concerned, since it involves his/her work being scrutinized and it may feel stressful, “but it’s also one of the best ways to get feedback on your code, to catch typos and mistakes, and, more broadly, to grow as an engineer”.

In order to take some unnecessary pressure out of this process, there are tips & tricks synthesized in the online media that help both code developers and code reviewers make the best out of this stage. We asked a few collegues here at LASTING Software to help us select a few best practices/rules/recommendations.

Let’s review some of them, starting with the most quantifiable ones.

 

5 practical rules for code review

 

A developer should review less than 400 lines of code at once;

Keep the inspection rate at a density of less than 500 LOC per hour;

Try not to surpass 60 minutes at once without taking a break, if you want to keep a high performance;

Establish tangible, measurable goals for the entire process;

Use code review procedures that can be followed and tracked (checklists, collaborative tools, fixing processes to be implemented).

(Selected from Best Practices for Code Review, as presented by SmartBear)

 

5 recommendations for developers

 

Prepare a quick summary where you explain the problem and the proposed resolution;

Auto-review, prior to someone else reviewing your code, so you can trim some of the problems yourself;

Communicate – by using annotations to highlight all the soft spots, and tag the right people involved in the project that might clarify these problems you feel you need a second opinion about;

When the reviews are back, remember the importance of team work and concern yourself with their utility and processing prior (and over) feeling anxious;

Refactor changes without altering behavior.

 

5 recommendations for code reviewers

Always keep in mind the code purpose and the project scope;

Ask clear questions whenever the functions and classes reason does not reveal itself;

Be clear when highlighting the problem you have identified, and propose alternative solutions;

Write the reviews in a neutral and concise manner and avoid absolute judgments;

Don’t forget to mention the good things you notice – keeping it clear you review with the overall quality in mind, not just to hunt the errors.


You may find more useful advice, examples, and technical guidelines related to code reviewing in our third source of inspiration for this article – on Medium.

 

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Tech

Statista features promising statistics on the Enterprise Software market value worldwide from 2013 to 2019, reflecting the current situation in this field. Considering how Gartner estimated that “the market will reach $521.8 billion in 2021” in one of his updates, it may be that the reality would even surpass the initial forecasts.


LASTING Software holds a 22+ year experience in Enterprise Software solutions. As we implemented and built computer software systems for various clients across industries, we have seen this market experience a solid growth. New technologies empowered the business activities, and the companies adopted them into their ERPs.

We delivered innovative add-on extensions, as well as stand-alone components and integrated solutions. Our team provided solutions for our clients in the manufacturing, process control and materials planning areas (and not only).

 

In summary…

More than 10000 users on all continents use our solutions in any one day. The reports we have created increase speed 30fold for users across the globe. They have become their software of choice. We understand ERP systems and we customized them as requested, for a positive impact on the daily activities of those using it.

 

Takeaway

LASTING Software always adapts to your requests. Our teams feature experienced software engineers, innovators, and hands-on leaders.


We build the enhanced, flexible software that allows for efficient, sustainable business growth. Our customized solutions are being used on all continents by over 50 000 users.


Our business model is simple. It enables investors to control the cash flow and changing skill sets required at different phases of the investment cycle. For SMEs, for example, we provide end to end coverage of projects or components which have been unable to be delivered because of resourcing constraints.

 

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