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.
At its annual Google I/O developer conference yesterday, Google 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.
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.
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.”
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:
Tester and uTest Blog contributor Daniel Knott was a participant in last week’s Europe preliminary round of the Software Testing World Cup (STWC) 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.
To the average user, the Amazon Fire phone unveiled yesterday may be nothing more than a shopping and content-driven machine (see Kindle, Fire TV, etc.), but under the hood, there’s a lot of exciting possibilities that just opened up for developers and testers alike. Let’s take a look at two of these major possibilities.
‘Firefly”s audio and video recognition capabilities open the possibility for apps
And not only just apps, but an entire new app ecosystem. Firefly, according to TechCrunch, allows users to identify anything they hear or see in the real world using the phone’s camera and sensors, including text, movies, barcodes and music.
So not only could there could be a whole new class of brand-new apps doing brand-new things competing with Apple and Google’s app ecosystem, but existing apps could be radically different on the iOS app ecosystem versus that of Amazon’s.
A hypothetical example, if you will. I’m a movie guy, so Fandango is a popular app on my iPhone to look up movie times and information on these films. If I pointed my Fire phone at a trailer that I thought was interesting to get more information on its cast or when it was coming out, it could essentially eliminate the search engines as we know them and make Siri look like a kid’s toy.
Apple, hot off the heels of its announcement of iOS 8 and release of the first beta earlier this month, has made available its Beta 2 of the new OS to developers today.
According to ZDNet, Apple has corrected some stability issues that plagued the first iteration of iOS 8 beta including crashing on launch when restored from a backup. Additionally, there are still several known issues that Apple is working on, including reduced battery life and other issues with iCloud and Keyboards.
For those that have downloaded the beta, is it more polished and stable than the first? Which areas are you hoping Apple improves upon prior to the GA this Fall? Let us know in the comments below.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s a good idea to keep the developer on your side.
The end goal that both developer and tester share is the exact same in software quality, so if you’re a tester constantly at odds with the other side, not only will you not reach that quality zen that you so much want, but you’ll lose a lot of dev allies…and probably your credibility to the higher-ups in the process.
Since testers and developers have to play a team sport to get to this software quality ideal, especially when it comes to mobile which is here to stay, uTester Lena Houser has put together this must-see list over at uTest University of tester tips to note when talking to mobile developers:
- Treat devs the way they want to be treated.
- Do not interrupt and give them time to finish their task(s).
- Come prepared. Gather your evidence and facts to help build a case.
- Shrewdly communicate and present your findings.
- Do not be negative or arrogant.
- Testing involves a lot of ego management.
Be sure to also check out the full course over at uTest University to get all of the context behind these six steps to success when communicating with mobile developers. In the meantime, is there anything here that you’d add to the list? Be sure to sound off below in the comments.
Recording the screen of your mobile device is really useful when it comes to testing. It helps clarify the actions leading up to the issue, especially with “in-the-wild” testing. However, many testers struggle with the best method for capturing that bug in video on that particular device or in the clearest way.
Based on reviews, it seems that iOS uTesters love Reflector which will wirelessly display your iPad or iPhone on your computer. Despite the small investment, those who have used the tool would say that it is worth it if you’re looking for a built-in recorder.
For Android users, there is MyMobiler which is a desktop application that allows you to capture the screen or video of your Android device through a USB connection or WiFi. Based on reviews, MyMobiler seems to be the best option if you don’t want to root your device.
Do you use either of these tools? Or do you prefer to use a secondary device to record your screen?
Let us know in the comments!
You can learn the basics of using ADB for Android testing, including how to capture Logcat files and screenshots and screencasts, in this four-part course authored by uTester George McConnon:
- Part 1: How to Capture Logcat Files Using ADB
- Part 2: How to Capture Screenshots Using ADB
- Part 3: How to Capture Screencasts Using ADB
- Part 4: Install APK Files and Connect Over WiFi
If you’re already using Android Debug Bridge, be sure to rate and review this tool in our Tool Reviews section to help your peers make better and informed decisions!
uTu is free for all members of the uTest Community. We are constantly adding to our course catalog to keep you educated on the latest topics and trends. If you are an expert in UX, load & performance, security, or mobile testing, you can share your expertise with the community by authoring a uTu course. Contact the team at email@example.com for more information.
Applause Director of Product Jason Arbon, formerly of Google and Microsoft, just released his book App Quality: Secrets for Agile App Teams and today only (Wed., June 4) it is totally free on the Amazon Kindle.
The book is aimed at app developers, testers and product managers, and “uses real-world examples and data-driven techniques that any app team can apply to their designs, code, agile sprints, and product planning to give them an edge in building well-received apps.” According to Jason, there’s also over 60 key tips for app testers that they’ll not want to miss…hint, hint.
We’ll be publishing an exclusive chapter excerpt within the next week, but for now, be sure to pick up your free copy for Kindle before the end of today…and leave a review on Amazon!