Technology, Development

Latest Tech Round-up


Posted by Tim Butler

Tim Butler our Head of Web Development has given his insights into the latest Tech updates and releases, looking at what is currently happening in the world of Digital Tech.

Angular Version 2 Released

Angular 2 is the recently released, updated version of Google’s framework for developing web applications. Version 2 is built to be faster, more powerful and easier to use. It embraces future web standards and makes use of the latest ES6 javascript standards.

The new version is focused on the development of mobile apps, with a strong emphasis on better performance and load times. These are vital for delivering an excellent user experience for all users, but these aspects are particularly relevant on mobile devices which are often less powerful with slower network connection speeds.

We’re looking forward to getting to grips with version 2, and exploring exciting new ideas and implementations for progressive web apps.

iOS10 Release

Whilst most of the discussion around the new iPhone has been centred around the missing headphone socket, the release of a new handset also coincides with new software in the form of iOS10. This also includes a number of new features and updated functionality in Safari, Apple’s web browser.

Apple Pay support has been introduced, allowing shoppers to checkout on participating websites with Touch ID. A simplified mobile checkout experience will lead to improved conversion rates, so we expect a number of sites will adopt Apple Pay very soon. Google have announced their intention to follow suit with their own service very soon, to avoid their users getting left behind. Whilst implementing these new payment methods requires development work to carry out, this will quickly be offset by the revenue generated by increased sales.

Other iOS10 browser features include support for inline videos, allowing video content to be shown within the context of the website. Apple have also allowed for videos to autoplay when a page loads, but only for muted videos. This update allows web designers to incorporate videos as banner graphics, but developers will need to ensure suitable fallbacks are in place to allow for videos to buffer - particularly for devices with slower connection speeds. Apple have also rolled out better font loading with support for WOFF fonts, and SVG clipping paths will allow for more creative and interactive design elements on mobile devices.

New Additions to Chrome’s Developer Tools

We’re big fans of Chrome’s Dev Tools, allowing us to analyse and inspect front-end code on any website. It allows us to optimise sites and apps we develop for performance, by identifying assets that are slow to download. A useful feature of Dev Tools is to throttle connection speeds, allowing us to simulate how a site performs on devices with slow connection speeds (anyone that remembers using a dial-up modem will appreciate what a painful experience browsing used to be!).

A new addition to Dev Tools also allows us to Throttle a device’s CPU, so that we can simulate performance on older devices with slower processors. Videos, high-resolution graphics and complex animations and interactions can all lead to a sluggish experience on low-powered devices. It’s important for developers to remember that not everyone has the latest tech, and by paying attention to load times and frame rates we can ensure an optimal UX for all users.

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