Real-time functionality in your apps provides constant updates on any activities within the software. Real-time technology has recently been added to apps’ primary functionalities.
People want regular updates, news, and stories, making mobile applications with real-time technologies the primary interaction component for meeting their expectations. The adoption of mobile applications allows for superior user experiences. As a consequence, users can see real-time changes on a map (food delivery or taxicab applications), follow timetables (train departure apps), and receive fast messages from their friends (social media apps) without having to reload the page they’re on. Users want to be free of the constant need to reload their apps.
In this post, you will learn about the importance of real-time features and how they can be integrated.
What are Real-Time Features?
Realtime technology has grown so ingrained in almost all of our top picks that we no longer consider it a distinct feature – it’s just something we expect.
Real-time features are technological advancements that enable people to have a real-time experience. If someone sends us a WhatsApp message, we expect to receive it immediately. If we order meals, we want to know when they will arrive, and if we book a cab using an app, we want to see where the vehicle is. Real-time technology encompasses all of these aspects.
WhatsApp, Google Docs, Facebook, Zendesk, Twitter, Slack, Trainline, and Nest depend on real-time technologies to provide a seamless experience. There is a new generation of companies that are motivated by innovation.
Real-time features are the basic foundation of social media platforms. If we remove these features, all social platforms will collapse in seconds. Just imagine if you read a WhatsApp message from your friend after 24 hours. What if you received your brother’s birthday notification after a long weekend? Will there be any use left for social media then – NO!
Why are Real-Time Features Useful in Mobile and Web Apps?
Businesses should think about the following advantages and include real-time functionality in their apps:
Users are more likely to engage with apps that provide real-time capabilities. These features allow the app to simulate real-life behavior. Users can, for example, handle many things simultaneously, such as chatting with friends while ordering a taxi.
This technology allows users to connect with other app users somewhat more gradually. These applications, for example, can be used to share actual locations, follow contacts, and send online messages.
Real-time functionality also allows developers to focus more on core application capabilities. These include an upgraded user interface, unique integrated application features, interactive user experience, etc.
With cloud-based delivery networks, developers no longer worry about maintenance and other costs when creating new software.
What are the best real-time features to incorporate into your software?
The industry has many real-time features, but it all depends on user requests. Here are some of the most requested real-time features.
To keep applications up and running, it’s essential to send alerts when system components fail quickly. These alert functions can be hidden from the user, but including them in the list of features allows the application system to initiate a new process when an alert is received.
Social media applications often use notification bars and pop-ups (Twitter, Facebook, InVision) to notify users of real-time updates. Short messages alert users to new data that may be of interest to them, but do not “flood” them with relevant notifications without their permission. When a user is ready or wants to check for specific changes, they click on the notification bar.
Social media streaming
The ability to notify the user of people’s current activity from their contact list or to add events that have recently happened or are happening now is perhaps the most critical component of using real-time data for the user’s convenience. News, real-time event updates and current information from smart home devices are the best uses of the activity stream feature.
Sometimes it’s more advantageous to present information in image format rather than text – visual representations help you understand the material and quickly recognize and respond to changes in the data. Changing colors on a map, increasing or decreasing the size of visual elements, and displaying trends that show growth or decline are just a few examples.
Because customers expect immediate responses from interlocutors, chat apps and social media messengers are always built on real-time technology. Real-time technology ensures that users have a seamless conversational experience.
Collaborative mobile apps can save time and effort for a group of people working together. Project management, inventory management, shipping, and e-commerce are examples.
How your business can benefit from real-time features
Companies across all industries today rely on the real-time functionality of mobile apps.
Listed below are the most notable industries that have taken advantage of these features:
Health & Fitness
The apps are designed to remind users of their fitness plans. They receive reminders of goals so they can meet their goals. Diet plan updates are also delivered via push notifications.
Most e-commerce apps have real-time features built-in that enhance the sales process. Customers are given product recommendations based on their past purchase history.
They send out targeted messages if there are new products on the market. They accomplish this by evoking a sense of urgency in users. Push alerts also help avoid cart abandonment.
Throughout the booking process, real-time alerts are crucial. When a passenger requests a cab, the nearest cab driver is notified.
Another notification comes to the user when they accept or decline an offer. When the driver approaches the boarding location, the user receives another notification.
At the end of the trip, the passenger receives a message allowing him or her to contribute and rate the experience.
What is WebSocket?
What does a Websocket connection look like?
What is HTTP?
HTTP is the primary communication channel on the World Wide Web and is a request/response protocol in client-server computer architecture. Tim Berners-Lee developed the protocol as an application protocol in 1989, but it was quickly expanded to include more browser and server functions.
Why is WebSocket different from HTTP?
The difference between WebSocket and HTTP can be seen in three different factors:
Factor #1: Communication Protocol
Using an existing communication channel, WebSocket is a two-way communication protocol that can transfer information from client to server or from server to client. The connection is maintained until the client or server terminates it.
The HTTP protocol is a one-way protocol that works on top of the TCP protocol, which is a connection-oriented transport layer protocol. We can establish a connection using HTTP request methods, and the HTTP connection is closed as soon as we get a response.
Factor #2: Use in real-time applications
Used by almost all real-time applications, such as (shopping, monitoring, and notification) services, to receive data over a single communication channel.
The HTTP protocol without static data is used in simple RESTful services.
Factor #3: Speed
Because WebSocket is faster than HTTP Connection, it has been used in all regularly updated applications.
The HTTP connection is slower than WebSocket when we don’t want to keep the connection open for a certain amount of time or reuse it for data transfer.
Pros and cons of WebSocket
It is very important to consider the pros and cons before investing in any technology. Here are some pros and cons of WebSocket.
Pros of WebSocket
Since WebSocket is an event-driven protocol, it can be used for real-time communication. Unlike HTTP, which requires regular update requests, WebSockets provides changes as soon as they become available.
WebSockets maintain a single persistent connection while eliminating the latency issues associated with HTTP request/response protocols.
Because WebSockets does not often use XMLHttpRequest, headers are not provided every time we need additional information from the server. As a result, the load on the server associated with transmitting expensive data is reduced.
Cons of WebSocket
WebSockets do not automatically recover when a connection is broken – this is something you have to do yourself, which is why there are so many client-side libraries.
WebSocket connections are not supported by browsers older than 2011. However, this problem is now becoming less and less of an issue.
When to use WebSocket?
In general, WebSockets will be the best option for continuous real-time communication.
HTTP-based approaches require significantly more resources on servers, but WebSockets take up very little space on servers. On the other hand, long polling requires a lot of forwarding between servers and devices, and these gateways usually have different ideas about how long a regular connection can stay open. If a connection stays open too long, it can be destroyed, even if it was doing something worthwhile.
When it comes to developing mobile applications for smartphones, real-time technology becomes a necessity. The Internet of Things (IoT) uses real-time data to provide helpful information to consumers. Tracking health and physical activity using Fitbit and other gadgets is one example.
Users can adjust their household bills even at home with Nest, an IoT-based smart home thermostat. The app provides instant connectivity and central heating information, and alarms and updates are transmitted to the app in real-time, allowing the user to adjust while away from home.
To learn more about the real-time features and how they can be helpful in improving the user experience of your business, contact us at Iskedez Solutions.