A Tester and Developer Guide to Android Lollipop

If you’re an Android user with a recent phone, chances are you’ve already played around with some of the cool features of Android 5.0, officially dubbed ‘Lollipop.’ If not, don’t worry, Galaxy S5 and other phone users, your time will be coming soon.android_lollipop-212x300

But as a tester or developer, there’s not much out there on what those changes mean for you, so we’ve compiled some new resources from uTest University and our friends at ARC not only about the fancy, shiny new things available with the new version of Android, but specifically what testers and devs need to know:

While you’re checking out what testers need to know about Lollipop at uTest University, be sure to also check out all of the Android testing courses available as well.

Learn About Mobile Testing at uTest University

Testing on a smartphone or tablet is a common occurrence as more and more developers produce mobile apps. Mobile testing is seemingly ubiquitous these days. That being said, there are always new ways to sharpen your skill set when it comes to mobile testing. mobile-testing

Whether you are new to software testing or are a veteran tester, the mobile testing course track in uTest University has something for everyone.

What are the differences between iOS and Android testing?

This course reviews the main characteristics of iOS and Android, and outlines the impact of those differences to testing. You can also learn tips and hints for testers, such as how to install an app, how to capture screen shots and video, and how to access log files.

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Applause Announces the Ovation Awards: Vote for Your Favorite Apps

As testers working with hundreds of apps each year, you probably already have a good idea which ones stand out in the pack. Now’s your chance to letovationLogoLeftBlack that be known to the world.

360-degree App Quality company Applause is excited to announce The Ovation Awards, the only app awards that measure what brands & developers truly seek: the love and loyalty of users and experts.

We’re looking to you not only as testers, but as app users, to vote for your favorite apps from a list of 200 finalists across 10 categories (and across both iOS and Android). We have a panel of expert judges who will be poring over your selections and making their decisions. Here’s the timeline of the awards:

  • Public voting: Nov 12 – Dec 14 – Vote for your favorite apps – vote for just one, or vote for 20 (one per category per OS) from our pool of 200 finalists. This is a big part of what our panel of expert judges will consider.
  • Judging – Our panel includes accomplished mobile engineers, journalists, CEOs and others who understand apps inside and out. Oh, and that means testers, too. You may recognize long-time uTesters Lena Houser, Allyson Burk and Michael Larsen who are also on our esteemed panel! The judges will look at YOUR votes –  as well as the analytics used by our in-house team of data scientists to help decide the 200 finalists – in order to choose the winners across 10 categories and the overall grand prize winner for each operating system.
  • Winners: Announced January 14, 2015 – The winner for each category + OS will be announced, as will the grand-prize, overall winners for iOS and Android.

Let your voice ring loud and clear. Be sure to vote today for your favorite apps in the Ovation Awards!

Authors in Testing Q&A With Mobile Tester Daniel Knott

Daniel Knott has been in software development and testing since 2008, working for companies including IBM, Accenture, XING and AOE. He is currently a Software Daniel KnottTest Manager at AOE GmbH in Germany where he is responsible for test management and automation in mobile and Web projects. He is also a frequent speaker at various Agile conferences and now a published author. You can find him over at his blog or on Twitter @dnlkntt.

In this uTest interview, Daniel explains the biggest mobile testing pain points that come up in his user groups, and gives us a preview of recently released book, Hands-On Mobile App Testing. At the conclusion of the interview, you’ll also receive a link to an exclusive discount for the purchase of the book.

uTest: You’ve been involved in software testing in general, but what specifically drew you into mobile testing?

Daniel Knott: Back in 2011 when I was working at XING AG in Hamburg as a software tester for web applications, I had the chance to switch to the XING mobile team to establish the QA processes. Working on this team was a great experience. I had the chance to build up a test automation framework for Android and iOS from scratch and establish a mobile testing process. I was also free to try several things out to find the right tools and workflow for my company and the development environment. This time and experience was just awesome and convinced me to focus on the mobile world.

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The Ins and Outs of Writing an Effective Mobile Bug Report (Part II)

Be sure to check out Part I of Daniel Knott’s articleimages on effective mobile bug reports for further context before continuing on.

Here’s the rest of the information you should plan on including in every bug report.

Network Condition and Environment

When filing a mobile bug, it’s important to provide some information about the network condition and the environment in which the bug occurred. This will help to identify the problem more easily and will possibly show some side effects no one has thought of.

  • Bad: “No information” or “Happened on my way to work”
  • Good: “I was connected to a 3G network while I was walking through the city center.”

Language

If your app supports several languages, provide this information in your bug report.

  • Bad: “No information”
  • Good: “I was using the German language version of the app.”

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The Ins and Outs of Writing an Effective Mobile Bug Report (Part I)

If you find a bug within a mobile app, you need to report it in order to get it fixed. Filing mobile bug reports requires some additional information 250x250xbug_report1-250x250.png.pagespeed.ic_.H3eXAv82fDthat the developers need in order to reproduce and fix the bug.

But what is important when filing a mobile bug? What should a bug report look like? Before I answer those two questions, I want to raise another one: “Why even send a bug report?”

Bug reports are very important for the product owner, product manager and the developers. Firstly, a bug report tells the developers and the product owner about issues they were not aware of. Reports also help identify possible new features no one has thought of, and, last but not least, they provide useful information about how a customer may use the software. All of this information can be used to improve the software.

Whenever you find something strange or if something behaves differently or looks weird, don’t hesitate to file a bug report.

Now onto the question of what a bug should look like and what’s important when filing it. It should contain as much information as possible in order to identify, reproduce and fix the bug. Having said that, your report should only include information that’s important to handling the bug, so try to avoid adding any useless information. Additionally, only describe one error per bug. Don’t combine, group or create containers for bugs. It’s likely that not all of the bugs will be fixed at the same time, so refrain from combining or grouping them.

Here’s the information you should plan on including in every bug report.

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One Week in With the iPhone 6: An Average Joe’s Review

I’m not a tester in my day job, and I don’t claim to be — I leave that to our great community of 150,000+ testers (my middle name is indeed Joseph, iphone 6though, so I can make the Average Joe claim without feeling ashamed of lying to you).

That being said, I enjoy technology as much as our testers do, many of which have already snapped up iPhone 6s for testing on customers’ apps hungry for validation of their iPhone 6 optimizations. I too was eager to get my hands on the iPhone 6, albeit for different motives.

I set my alarm for 2:45 AM ET a couple of weeks ago, got a cup of hot coffee brewing, and flexed my fingers over the keyboard in anticipation of a mad rush of folks pre-ordering. I pre-ordered the 64 GB Space Gray model of the standard iPhone 6, and it arrived on my doorstep last Friday. Here are my thoughts one week into the much-ballyhooed launch.

The Design

OK, so #Bendgate, in my opinion, has been blown way out of proportion. Apple even alluded to the fact that there have only been about 9 real support calls about it, which leads me to believe that the same social media posts about #Bendgate or #Bendghazi are recycled over and over again. Is there a problem with some of the iPhone 6 Plus models…sure. But not at the levels one may think.

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Community Challenge: Best Testing Tutorials Submitted to uTest University

The uTest Community recently uTest-University-300x95issued  a $250 challenge to testers: The top prize would be given to the tester with the best workflow and easiest-to-follow tutorial, as judged by our usability Test Team Lead, Inge.

Some of our top testers were certainly up for the challenge, submitting courses on that week’s topic: Screen recording on Android devices. This area is often a challenge for testers, and our aim was to look for Android experts who can share tools and workflows that make this task a breeze. For example, the tool making up the course should be easy to install, the workflow should be simple, and it should have the ability to export to non-native file formats.

Our expert Inge reviewed all of the submissions, and Gold-rated tester and uTest Forums Moderator Iwona Pekala came out on top with her course on ‘How to Set Up & Use Mobizen Screen Recording.’ Here are some of the recent courses as a result of this contest that we have published to uTest University, including Iwona’s prize-winning entry:

After you’ve checked out these tutorials on how to get started with these Android screen recording tools, be sure to also leave a review for fellow testers on what you liked — and didn’t like — about your experience, over at our Tool Reviews section of the site. And stay tuned for the next community course challenge, where the best tutorials will be published at uTest University!

6 Things You Need to Know About the iPhone 6

This story was originally published on the Applause App Quality Blog by Dan Rowinski.

Bigger and bolder, Apple has finally embraced the large screen. Apple latest iPhones were announced on Tuesday and it comes in two variants: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Each is bigger and more powerful than any iPhone Apple has ever made.

In its announcement, Apple referred to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at the greatest phones ever made. It is a bit of hyperbole that Apple has been prone towards in its iPhone announcements through history, a legacy of the late Steve Jobs. But nearly everything about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is bigger and badder, a worthy successor to Apple’s smartphone franchise and likely to be the most sought-after gift this coming holiday shopping season.

What do you need to know about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus? Let’s break it down.

Screen Size And Resolution

Apple has finally broken out of its mold and listened to what people want. Consumers want bigger screens on smartphones. Thus, mobile app developers want bigger screens on because that is what consumers want.

Well, Apple has delivered.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen with a 4.7-inch, 1334-by-750 screen that translates to pixels-per-inch (ppi). Good news for developers, this is the exact same pixel count as the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S and iPad Mini with Retina Display.

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The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen with a 1920-by-1080 resolution with 401-ppi. The new pixels-per-inch count will be what developers are going to focus on because it is this metric that will directly effect what their existing apps will look like on larger screens. To this end, Apple has created an desktop-class scaler in the Xcode integrated developer environment to deal with all the new screen sizes and (limited) pixel variation among iOS devices. Apple also employs the Adaptive Layout feature introduced in iOS 7 (and advanced in iOS 8) to help developers make apps that fit any of its device sizes.

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How Apple Aims To Improve App Store Discovery With iOS 8

This story was originally published on the Applause App Quality Blog by Dan Rowinski.

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Sometimes you can’t find the app you are looking for.

A single app in Apple’s App Store is just the perfect one that you are seeking. With 1.2 million apps, it has to be in there somewhere, right? It may be a new calendar app to that syncs your iCal, Google Calendar and Outlook meetings. Or it is a messaging app that focuses on standard and proper English, eschewing the craze of emoji and emoticons endemic today’s popular communication methods. You know somebody at some point must have built this app, but it is impossible to find.

App Store discovery has been a massive problem for developers, users and Apple for the last several years. App Store search is inadequate for most people’s needs and the top lists that Apple relies upon have created a top-heavy capitalistic market that breeds poor quality apps.

Apple is not ignorant to this problem. In 2012 it spent a reported $50 million to improve the App Store and acquired app search engine Chomp to enhance discoverability. The improvements proved minimal and Apple eventually shuttered Chomp and rolled its intellectual property into iOS 6. Judging by the current discourse among the iOS developer community, Apple still has a lot of work to do to help app makers sell their wares.

Apple has some more improvements for the App Store coming with iOS 8 that it hopes will arrest the issue.

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