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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18,796 Android Devices: Developers and Testers Worse Off?

android_fragment_transparent-264x300Apple has always prided itself on a sleak, sexy, streamlined experience. Moreover, this is one same experience that the user on his iPhone 4 in the United States may very well be sharing with that iPhone 4 in India.

Now take a look at Android. He’s kind of the sloppy guy at the wedding that decided to wear shorts and sandals. But this operating system of the Big Two has always embraced this different and defiant but sloppy lifestyle, with a customized experience on each device that’s as unique as a snowflake.

However, as of late, Android has recently taken this very un-Apple business model to an extreme. According to PC Magazine, there are now approximately 18,796 unique Android devices in-the-wild. And this number has jumped a whopping 60% in just one year from just over 11,000.

So with this proliferation of Android devices floating around, has the experience for Android testers and developers become that much more of a horror show full of challenges? We’d like to hear from you in the Comments below.

The 10 Hottest Devices for Mobile App Testing

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Image Courtesy: XING (https://devblog.xing.com/)

Testers within our community often want to know on which devices they should be testing. Concurrently, developers also want to know where their beautiful creations should be given the most love.

Thankfully we have a magical data team that can take any request we throw their way, and give us such statistics on the hottest devices requested by our customers.

We sent such a request over to our trusty data team, and magically (for me, anyways, as an English/Communications major), they came back with this list of the 10 most tested mobile devices at uTest. The criteria for this data were the devices (both phones and tablets) on which the most bugs were filed in the past 30 days. Here’s the top 10 in order of popularity:

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iOS 8 Crowding Out Fitness Apps?

This week, Apple released the latest beta of iOS 8 to developers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Among other additions, the fleshing out of the new Health App means bigHealthbook changes for developers.

Health, Apple’s centralized health and fitness hub app, in the initial iOS 8 preview was more of a shell, designed to take in data from third-party providers. In the Beta 3 release, however, it can now track both steps and calories on its own. Additionally, you can measure your caffeine intake as well as monitor a lengthy list of nutritional categories.

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Google Blows the Door Wide Open for Testers and Developers at I/O

At its annual Google I/O developer conference yesterday, Android_auto_1-520x292Google upped the ante in terms of possibilities for developers and testers alike, by moving beyond mobile into the realm of wearables and emerging technologies. Here’s some of the major areas which should get testers and devs excited.

Android TV

Google announced Android TV, which will combine live TV programming, Google Play services and Android apps, and will have cross-interaction with your Android-powered devices. Just think, that latest House of Cards episode on your Netflix queue is just a touch of your smartwatch away from being streamed to your TV.

Android Wear

This will be Google’s platform for everything wearable, including smartwatches. According to Mashable:

“Wear will integrate with Android L (Google’s new OS) and Android TV. When downloading a new app to your phone, for example, the Android Wear version of the app will automatically download onto your device. Subsequent app updates will also be automatically downloaded.”

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Testing Your Mobile Apps on the Right Mobile Devices

For four years, I have worked in mobile testing, and even since then, the mobile world has changed dramatically at a very fast pace. Nearly every month, new mobile devices are entering the market with new cool hardware and software features.

As mobile testers, we know we need to handle all those new and “old” devices in our daily work, in order to assure that the developed mobile app is running without any problems. We must be sure that the app or mobile web app runs on different devices, different networks and in many other different mobile scenarios.

One question I am always asked by other mobile testers is: On which mobile devices should I be testing my apps?

In this post, I would like to share some of my ideas on how to tackle this challenge if you’re testing on your own.

Fragmentation: Only on Android?

I bet every time people hear the word mobile fragmentation, they always think this only happens in the Android world. Yes, Android has a really big problem due to fragmentation of different vendors with different hardware and software installations as well as customized user interfaces. If you look here, you’ll see the state of the Android Fragmentation by mobile manufacturer:

Android Fragmentation

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Tester Shares His Experience from the Software Testing World Cup 2014

Tester and uTest Blog contributor Daniel Knott was a participant in last week’s Europe preliminary round of the Software Testing World Cup (STWCSoftware Testing World Cup) 2014, and recently blogged about the experience on his own blog. Be sure to check out more on the STWC, which is currently in full swing.

[Last Friday], the preliminary Software Testing World Cup competition took place for Europe. To summarize it in one sentence…It was awesome, and a good experience for software testers.

The software that was tested was a sales tool. We had the goal of testing this application on as many as possible mobile devices with different screen sizes for usability, functionality and design. Out of scope during the session was load and performance testing. Also, security testing had a low priority.

I was part of a distributed team within Europe. One guy was in Barcelona, one in Hamburg, one in Dusseldorf, and one in Wiesbaden. We organized ourselves via Google Docs and a Google Hangout session during the competition. One person (myself), was listening to the live STWC YouTube channel, where the judges were answering questions from the teams and informing my team of important information. Each of us had a special test task of where to focus on. We focused on usability, functionality, design and some security testing.

We tested the application on iPad Minis, iPhones and on different Android devices. In total, we filed 38 bugs in the provided defect management tool. 15 of the filed bugs were critical. As an example, we were able to access sensitive data of snapshots and account settings from one of my team members. Other than that, there were lots of cross-site scripting problems in the application. 9 of the filed bugs had a high priority. Here, for example, it was very easy to create internal server errors on the application backend by entering special characters to the input fields. 11 bugs had the severity medium, and 3, low. 

During the test session, we talked a lot about the current status of each team member to get an impression of the application and its problems. While testing the application, everyone on the team was very focused, but nonetheless, we had lots of fun and were laughing a lot.

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