Do Testers Still Own Landline Phones?

Testers, especially those within the uTest Community, are at the forefront of mobile technology. From iPhones, to Android tablets, to even the latest smartwatches and fitness devices, uTesters often are armed with 5, 10, even 20 devices at a time for various testing projects.

So one would think that if anyone on the planet was going to own a ghastly piece of 1990s technology like a landline phone, it wouldn’t be testers.

But you’d be wrong.

According to a recent poll kicked off in the uTest Community, in fact, 64% of uTesters have landline phones still in their homes, and it’s not just for nostalgia.

pic

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Good News For Aspiring App Designers

marvel_appJust when you thought the mobile app world couldn’t get any more crowded and competitive, along comes Marvel.

The UK startup has come up with a new iPhone app that can turn the average person into a web or mobile-app designer, regardless of design and technical skill. With no coding required, users can easily turn their concept into an interactive prototype, and share it with friends, clients, coworkers, or through social media.

To the seasoned app designer, this might seem like amateur hour. But here are 4 reasons why this has the potential to gain momentum and completely alter the software design (and therefore testing) world.

1. It’s extremely easy.
Draw your screen ideas on a piece of paper, take pictures of the wireframes and use the Marvel app to apply “touch” hotspots to the image. Apply links to screens in order indicate how you would like to app to be navigated and boom – you have a touchable, interactive prototype.

“In the past, if you wanted to see your app or web designs and ideas in anything more engaging than PDFs and PowerPoints, you needed to have the skills and the time to code it into an interactive prototype,” explains Marvel co-founder Murat Mutlu. Now, all you need is this app on your smartphone.

2. It turns the average person into a designer, and reaches a wide audience.
Remember when Instagram turned the average person into a photographer? Users could process high quality photos without needing an expensive camera or experience. People who had never edited a picture before were suddenly part of the craze.

Similarly, Marvel hopes to inspire individuals to “pick up and play” with the app and attract non-designers to give it a try.

Co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, attributes the success of Instagram to its ability to appeal to a wide audience of individuals and companies alike.

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

App Quality at the Center of Amazon’s AppStore Milestone

amazon-icon-final-large-512512Perhaps lost amidst the release of the new Fire TV, Amazon also announced that its app store has surpassed the 200,000 apps mark. The Amazon AppStore has shown significant growth since its inception just over 3 years ago. In fact, just last August the app store reached 100,000 apps; meaning that it has doubled in size in less than a year. Of course, this still pales in comparison to the Google Play and Apple App Store which both have over 1 million apps. However, Amazon is clearly becoming a larger player in the app market that developers must pay attention to.

While Amazon is certainly pleased with the overall number of apps available in the store, the company is also making a push to improve quality as well. Amazon’s AppStore Developer Select offers developers incentives for optimizing their applications specifically for Amazon devices. The benefits include preferred placement within the app store and 500,000 ad impressions. To qualify, developers must make sure their app runs in HD, taking up the entire screen, and use Amazon’s own API.

This program serves as a great reminder for developers that they must optimize their apps across a wide spectrum of devices. For Amazon specific apps, this means taking into account Amazon’s own Fire OS, several generations of Kindle tablets from the new Fire HDX to older devices, and different screen sizes including 7 and 8.9 inch models. Add this on top of Apple and other Android devices and you are looking at a diverse range of devices that need to be taken into consideration when testing.

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Protecting Yourself Against the Heartbleed Bug

heartbleed-bugBy now, you’ve probably heard about the massive security flaw known as the Heartbleed bug. If you haven’t, then here’s a quick summary:

Heartbleed is a flaw in OpenSSL. Occasionally, one computer may want to check on another computer to ensure that there is a secure connection on the other. In order to do so, it will send out a small packet of data that will ask for a response – like a heartbeat.

However, researchers discovered that it was possible to send a well-disguised packet of data that looked like one of these heartbeats to trick the computer at the other end into sending data stored in its memory. To make matters worse, it has recently been realized that the code in SSL has been opened for the past two years and doesn’t leave much of a trace.

This raises several important questions, not only for testers and developers, but also for the average web user. Let’s take a look at a few in particular:

1. Are You Affected?
Probably. Since hundreds of thousands of sites were affected, chances are that you have used at least of them on a fairly regular basis. While there is no way to tell with 100% certainty, many experts are urging people to take the necessary precautions, which leads us to our next key question…

2. How Can You Protect Yourself?
According to Business Insider, the best way to tackle this problem is to assume that the worst has already happened.  Most major service providers are already updating their sites and taking proactive security measures, but you should also go through and change your passwords as well and assume that your accounts have already been compromised (as awful as that sounds).

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Each Programming Language and its Influence on Software Development

299601-3524-37There are programming languages we love – and ones we could live without.

Yet, each programming language has made some type of contribution to the software development world. Most of the posts you read about programming languages are rants, or compare and contrast them.

However, Dustin Marx of Java World recently took a different approach. Marx looked at each programming language individually and  how it influenced software development. Here’s a look:

Basic

Most software developers I know have written some code in some form of BASIC(Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). I remember, long before public availability of the Internet or even mice on PCs, typing in Basic code from magazines I received in the mail with code listings for various simple games and PC utilities. Like many developers, Basic was the language that attracted my interest at a relatively young age to programming. It was from my Basic programming that I learned firsthand the dangers of the goto.

C

C may be the most influential of all programming languages on today’s software development. In Steve Yegge‘s well-known blog post The Next Big Language, Yegge’s #1 rule for the next big programming language is that it has “C-like syntax.” Many people’s favorite programming languages are themselves (interpreter or runtime environment) written in C and many of these languages provide mechanisms (JNI and XS are two examples) for “escaping” to C for performance gains. C also remains one of the most popular and highly used programming languages in the world despite its relatively old age. Wikipedia even has an entry devoted to C-based programming languages.

Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing