A Comprehensible Guide to Real-Time Features in Mobile App Development

A Comprehensible Guide to Real-Time Features in Mobile App Development

The rapid development of computer technology has led to the fact that the developed devices have become more complex and include a large number of functions. It became possible to develop devices that meet modern requirements thanks to progress in the field of design technologies and a significant reduction in the cost of the elemental base.

Introduction to Real-Time Systems 

Real-time features are nowadays necessary for a successful mobile app. There are a large number of real-time operating modules, and they all perform one task – managing a system. Below, we listed some of the most important features of the real-time operating app nowadays.

Live Stream

Today’s businesses have retained a much-needed long-term vision, and one such example is a streaming application. Real-time video streaming applications are the result of a thoughtful approach and allow web or mobile applications to produce and transmit data to users to create deep user interaction.

Real-Time Messaging Service

Real-time data is what people today request, and this is one of the main reasons why application developers make real-time functions development their priority. What follows is a real-time messaging feature, which can also be called the foundation of instant messaging.

Real Order Status

The function of tracking the status of the order in real-time is responsible for providing additional benefits to various industries, consisting of companies engaged in shipping and delivery on demand. Using the function of tracking current orders, users can keep abreast of the updated status of their orders.

Push Up

Push notifications are small pop-ups on the screen of a mobile device.  They can appear on the screen of any device where there is a notification area, or it is possible to display data received from the Internet. Such notifications allow you to promptly notify the user of ongoing changes if the application is in a closed state.

IoT Device Integration and Manageability

With the growth of real-time technologies, there has been an increase in the integration of real-time functions in IoT mobile applications. IoT is a perfect example of what real-time systems are capable of. It works as follows:

  1. Data is collected by IoT devices or sensors.

  2. Sending data to the cloud storage via Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

  3. Data Analysis performed by advanced IoT software.

  4. The user receives the data.

If the data sent is incorrect or any errors have occurred, a warning message is sent to users using various means, such as text messages, application notifications, emails, etc.

Collaboration Among Multiple Users

Real-time features in mobile applications allow adding, deleting, updating, and editing data for several users at a time. In addition, it facilitates the execution of tasks involving various team members, and also makes it possible to instantly receive feedback on updated data.

Real-Time Communication

People all over the world use their mobile phones to interact with others. Services such as instant messaging, pre-calls, real-time video, and real-time file or photo-sharing have expanded significantly.

Real-time functionality is what major social networks now provide to their users. Social media apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat, provide functions of real-time feeds, using which, users are notified instantly, once a certain piece of content is published in the feed. 

Real-Time Features Implementation

The use of WebSocket technology is the best solution for the real-time mobile application development process. However, such a solution may lead to an increased waste of device resources; moreover, it is difficult to implement from a software point of view. When a user closes a mobile application with real-time system functions, he/she expects that the application will continue to work in the background and will notify of existing changes. To implement such functionality using only WebSocket technology, it is necessary to create a background service that is separate from the application and constantly maintains a connection to the server.

To notify the user about important events in the application, even when it is closed, there is a Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) service that facilitates the exchange of messages between mobile and server applications. To use this service, the developer needs to register his mobile application and implement the required software interface in the code of his application. The service allows for the full and selective distribution of push notifications both from personal accounts and through the application programming interface (API). The service assigns each client device a unique registration key, and also provides a unique server key. 

Thus, the best solutions for organizing a real-time mobile application are:

  • using the usual HTTP requests to receive archived (unchangeable) data;

  • using the WebSocket protocol to track data changes in real-time; 

  • keeping an open connection only on some pages of the application to save resources;  

  • using the Firebase Cloud Messaging service to notify of data changes on the server in the event of a closed WebSocket connection.

A Glimpse Into the Future

In the future, architectures that focus on event flows and process them in real-time will be ubiquitous. Technically advanced companies, such as Netflix, Uber, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, etc., have already set up the large-scale operation of such large streaming event processing platforms. No matter how loud it may sound, some experts believe that the advent of streaming processing and event-driven architectures will affect the model of data usage by companies as much as relational databases did in their time. 

An event-oriented way of thinking and creating event-driven applications oriented to stream processing requires a certain change in worldview from those who are used to request/response applications and relational databases.  Stream processing entails a fundamental transition from team-oriented thinking to event-oriented thinking, which allows you to create fast-responding, event-driven, expandable, flexible applications for working in real-time.  

From the point of view of business failure, event-driven thinking paves the way for organizations to take decisions and real-time operations in a context-sensitive manner.  From the point of view of technology, event-oriented mice make it possible to create more autonomous and disengaged applications and, consequently, adaptively scaled and expandable systems.  

In both cases, the ultimate goal is to facilitate tasks for businesses. 

Final Word

Today, experts in the field of information technology are developing mobile applications that allow you to solve a huge number of problems simultaneously and in real-time. From new start-ups to successful app development companies, enterprises prioritize the integration of real-time features into their apps to reach a high level of digitalization. Real-time features are also preferred by both companies and end-users, as they provide easy, fast, and reliable services. This trend has resulted in an increased demand for real-time functions in numerous industries, such as healthcare, logistics, social media, etc.


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