Introducing uTest for iOS 7

uTest for iOS 2.0Whether you’re a tester or a customer, we know that you’re always on the go. As such, we wanted to take the opportunity to make it even easier to access uTest from your smartphones and tablets. Based on user feedback, we’ve overhauled our iOS app from the ground up and added functionality for our customers. Now designed exclusively for iOS 7, uTest for iOS gives you quick access to tools to participate in and monitor your test cycles.

uTest for iOS enables customers to:

  • Review bug and issue reports
  • Accept or reject bugs/issues
  • Request more information about a bug/issue

And testers will get an improved experience as they can:

  • Get tips on how to participate in more projects
  • Send and receive messages
  • Accept test cycles
  • Claim test cases
  • See profile stats

uTest for iOS 7 is available in the Apple App Store today. Be sure to leave a review and let us know what you think!

Announcing Quicker Access To Your Favorite Testers

Testing with uTest gives you the ability to scale your testing team on demand. Of course, we know that there are times when you’ll want to keep certain testers around to test on future test cycles because of their great work or thoroughness. uTest has made this possible in the past via the ability to favorite testers within the platform. And now it’s gotten even easier.

Introducing Top Testers, a tool that provides you with an overview of your already favorited testers and provides recommendations of testers who produce consistently approved results for your testing cycles.

TopTesterRow

You can access the Top Testers tool from any product within the uTest platform. Once there, you can favorite recommended testers by clicking on the gray ribbon next to their name. Of course, we want to be sure we’re only recommending the best for you, so if your cycles have not had enough approved results yet, we will withhold recommending a top tester until one stands out. You can learn more about the tool by visiting our customer help topic.

Happy Testing!

uTest Now Supports JIRA 6

uTest and JIRA 6It’s about to get even easier to integrate uTest into your JIRA workflows. For our Functional Testing customers, uTest connects with many of today’s popular bug tracking systems. With JIRA, we also have an available plugin, which allows for two-way communication between the uTest platform and your JIRA system, closing the loop between uTest and your engineering teams.

As uTest community members test your application, this plugin facilitates transferring approved bug reports to your JIRA database. It also makes it easy to map data within uTest to the correct JIRA projects and fields, ensuring your developers receive bug reports that adhere to your reporting standards.

Additionally, this plugin supports Bug Fix Verification using the uTest platform. After a developer has fixed a bug, a JIRA owner can resubmit that bug to uTest for fix verification. A member of the uTest community will then attempt to reproduce the original bug on the updated software, reporting back whether or not it was actually fixed. Bug Fix Verification is included as part of all Functional Testing subscriptions.

We’re excited to announce, the JIRA plugin for uTest now supports JIRA 6 for both on-demand and on-premise installations. We’re putting the plugin through some final polish and QA and it should be available within the Atlassian Marketplace soon. If you are a current uTest customer and require immediate access to the plugin, please contact your Project Manager.

In addition to support for JIRA 6, the new plugin now brings the ability to bulk resolve bugs between uTest and JIRA as well as directly upload a new build for bug fix verification directly through JIRA.

If you have any questions about the JIRA plugin please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Apphance Adds Unity Support

Unity3D LogoA year ago we launched Apphance, our mobile quality tool that makes it easy for mobile app developers to understand how their apps are working across a wide range of mobile devices, carriers and locations. While Apphance initially supported mobile apps written for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, today we’re excited to launch support for our next platform: Unity.

If you’re a Unity developer who’s targeting your apps for iOS or Android and want to try Apphance right now, you can get started by creating a free Apphance account and reviewing the installation instructions for adding Apphance to your Unity app. The installation process is simple, and an experienced Unity developer should be able to have everything working in around 30 minutes to an hour.

Unity is an incredibly popular cross-platform game engine, allowing developers to write their apps once and deploy them on a number of different game systems. With more than 2 million developers who have collectively submitted over 1,500 apps to the Apple App Store alone, Unity has become a major force in the development world. We’re incredibly excited to bring Apphance to this community and offer them a great tool that simplifies testing their apps while making it easy to monitor issues affecting their actual customers.

Developers working with Unity who are targeting their apps to iOS or Android devices will have access to the same Apphance features available for the other platforms, including over-the-air build distribution, crash reporting, bug reporting, and user feedback. In addition, Apphance for Unity works in pre-production (when the app is still in testing) and production (when the app is available from an app store). Using Apphance, Unity developers will be able to monitor their app’s quality from testing all the way to production, watching for bugs, defects, and crashes that happen wherever their games are being played.

With Apphance, Unity developers will also be able to have their app tested by uTest’s global community of 90,000 professional testers. With more and more games running on mobile devices first, getting a game tested in-the-wild is incredibly important. Apphance makes it easy to deploy an app to uTest’s community, capture defects when they happen, and get valuable coverage stats ensuring that an app has been adequately tested and is ready for launch.

To get started with Apphance’s Unity integration, download the SDK and take a look at our complete online documentation.

If you’re interested in learning more about Apphance, check out the Apphance homepage or watch this quick introductory video.

The Apphance developers are working on some even bigger ideas, and we’ve got more exciting news on the way. Have a great idea for our future product releases? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Apphance – Improved Android Performance and Stability

Android LogoA little while back, we released new iOS libraries for Apphance, our mobile quality tool that makes it easy for mobile app developers to understand how their apps are working across a wide range of mobile devices, carriers and locations. Today we’re pleased to announce a big update for the other half of our users with version 1.9 of our Android SDK.

Our focus for this Android update has been to improve the stability and ease of use for our pre-production library. We wanted to make the library easier to install while having it be less intrusive on the rest of the app. We’ve made some dramatic improvements, however in doing so we’ve also had to break backwards compatibility with previous versions of the pre-production library.

The good news is that if you’re using Android for Apphance, you’ll only need to make a few changes to your code to update to version 1.9 of the pre-production library. The changes are minor, and the overall effect is to dramatically simplify your manifest.xml file. An experienced Android developer should be able to update to the newest SDK in just a few minutes. We’ve published easy step-by-step instructions here. (And if you’re not able to update right now, don’t worry. Our platform will continue to support version 1.8.3 for the foreseeable future.)

Here are a few of the bigger improvements we’ve made:

Simpler Manifest File

One of the biggest sources of confusion for developers adding Apphance to their app for the first time was the number of changes they needed to make to their manifest.xml file. We’ve heard that concern loud and clear and our new approach significantly reduces the number of modifications developers need to make when using the pre-production library. A developer new to Apphance should find it much easier to include it in their app, and existing developers will appreciate Apphance’s smaller footprint.

These changes will also help developers making the switch from the pre-production library to the production library. With a cleaner manifest.xml file, developers will find the switching process far simpler and less prone to error.

More Options for Memory Handling

Memory handling on Android can be confusing for even the most skilled developers, and even though Apphance has a relatively small footprint, developers have asked us for more options for controlling its memory usage. With this new update, developers have the option of running Apphance in the same memory footprint as the rest of their app, or spawning a new block of memory dedicated to Apphance. More details are in the Apphance documentation.

Maven and Gradle Support

Over the past year, Google has begun migrating users away from the traditional approach for including external libraries in favor or Maven and Gradle. For example, Google’s new build system, featured at this year’s I/O conference, favors Gradle for adding external libraries. Meanwhile, many of our developers have asked us for better support for Maven. With this new update, we’re now offering both our pre-production and production libraries with Maven and Gradle configuration instructions. If you would like to use either of these  systems, you can find instructions on our Android installation page.

Wrap-Up

In addition to these changes, we’ve also made many minor updates and fixed numerous bugs. We’re excited about this new version and think it represents a big step forward for our Android users.

To get started with the latest version of Apphance for Android, download the Android SDK from the Apphance help topics. And if you’re updating from a previous version, make sure you check out our migration tutorial. To see what version 1.9 looks like in a sample application, check out our updated HelloWorld example app.

If you’re interested in learning more about Apphance, check out the Apphance homepage or watch this quick introductory video.

The Apphance developers are not done. More new features are coming very soon, and we have some exciting stuff cooking. Have a great idea for our future product releases? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Don’t Miss the Newest uTest Features

uTest Platform ScoreCardLast month we announced the beginning of an on-going rollout of new features in the uTest platform. Together, these features make interacting with your testers, understanding your testing output and viewing the health of your app even easier than before.

Most recently, we’ve released:

  • Scorecard - A high level overview of your testing history with uTest. Users can now see trend information about any product they are assigned to.
  • Notification Management - Users can now specify how often they receive alerts from the uTest platform and what events should trigger alerts.
  • Improved Issue Detail page  - Issue Detail pages now have a cleaner interface to give you a sense of the most important details quickly.
  • Test Cycle Filters - Users can now quickly cut through and sort the output from test cycles.
  • Test Cycle Overview – Now users can access a quick overview of all the test cycle settings.

We have some big feature releases coming this summer so be sure to check back for new information.

Learn more and stay up to date about the latest features >>>

And of course, if you’re new to uTest and don’t know what this all means, be sure to check out our product tour and intro video.

Apphance – Improved Bug Reporting in iOS

Last month, we introduced a brand new UI for Apphance, our mobile quality tool that makes it easy for mobile app developers to understand how their apps are working across a wide range of mobile devices, carriers and locations. After making so many improvements to the UI, we’re ready to turn our attention to the other half of the Apphance software stack – the SDKs. Today we’re launching a new and improved version of the iOS SDK, version 1.8.8, that adds several features and enhancements our users have been asking for. Let’s take a look at a few of the big ones:

Two-Finger Swipe Bug Reporting

One of Apphance’s coolest features is in-app bug reporting. You simply shake the device and Apphance responds by taking a screenshot and allowing the user to write a complete bug report right on the device itself. Our customers love this feature because it allows them to see bugs in the same context as they were discovered, along with important details and information about the device and app state.

While most users prefer to trigger bug reports by shaking the device, some of our customers have asked us for an alternative. Many of them use the accelerometer for other purposes, or they’re developing fitness apps where the device is always in motion. With this new update, we’re introducing an alternative (and optional) bug reporting approach that relies on swiping your fingers upwards from the lower corners of the screen.

Instructions for changing the bug reporting mechanism are available in the Apphance help topics. By default, Apphance will still trigger bug reports using the accelerometer, but switching to the two-finger swipe method can be accomplished by adding just two lines of code.

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Apphance – Brand New UI, Live Reports

New Apphance overview page.In August, we introduced Apphance, a new mobile quality tool that makes it easy for mobile app developers to understand how their apps are working across a wide range of mobile devices, carriers and locations. Over the past several months, we’ve spent a lot of time watching our customers use Apphance in their daily lives – learning what works well and what doesn’t. With this new knowledge, we began working on a goal of making Apphance as easy to use as possible.

Today we’re pleased to announce the result of all this effort – a big update to the Apphance platform’s user interface. When you next login to Apphance’s web platform, you’ll be greeted with a totally rethought UI that emphasizes improved usability and easier access. We’ve also made the panel very mobile friendly, meaning you can use Apphance on screens as wide as a plasma TV and as narrow as a smartphone.

Apphance build managementSome of the improvements you’ll notice include:

  • Easier build management and distribution
  • Clearer lists of bugs and crashes
  • Better presentation of session information
  • Improved team notifications and announcements

Each of these improvements are designed to make your testing more efficient and to improve your app’s quality. You can learn more about the new Apphance UI in the Apphance help topics.

Live Reports

Apphance live crashesWith this new UI, we’re also launching new live reports.

Many of our customers are also asking for more visibility into the data behind how their apps are used. Apphance tracks an enormous amount of data, and now you can see that information on your app’s overview page. The live reports are updated in real-time and let you toggle between pre-production and production data. You can tell at a glance how many times your app has been used, installed, or crashed.

Wrap-Up

If you’re interested in learning more about Apphance, check out the Apphance homepage or watch this quick introductory video.

The Apphance developers are not done. More new features are coming very soon, and we have some exciting stuff cooking. Have a great idea for our future product releases? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Apphance – Improved, Instant Symbolication

Last summer, we announced Apphance – our new mobile quality tool. One of Apphance’s biggest features is crash reporting, which gives developers unparalleled information about app crashes that happen in-the-wild.

But for iOS developers, interpreting crash reports can sometimes be difficult. Before submitting an app to the App Store, developers must remove the symbols from their builds. While this makes their build files smaller (and easier to distribute), it also makes it impossible to read the stack traces when the app crashes. To overcome this limitation, iOS developers must add the symbols back to their stack traces after the fact. This process is called symbolication, and it’s necessary for properly interpreting any crash reports from an iOS production application.

In the past, symbolicating a crash report was time consuming, sometimes taking almost an hour to complete. Today, we’re introducing a new and improved approach to symbolication in Apphance that makes the process nearly instantaneous. When Apphance receives crashes, they are symbolicated almost immediately and made available in the Apphance panel. That means that you’re seeing crash reports when they happen, and not after a significant delay.

This new symbolication process is straightforward and simply requires pre-processing your build using a special script, which can be downloaded from the Apphance help topics. Simply download the script, pre-process the iOS app archive for your build, and upload the outputted symbols file to Apphance. From that point forward, any new crashes from that build will be symbolicated automatically.

If you’re uploading builds to the App Store, then you should definitely use Apphance for crash reporting. And now with instant symbolication, you can have complete symbolication of your crashes nearly instantly. Get started by checking out the symbolication article in the Apphance help topics.

Wrap-Up

Symbolication is one of many great features we have coming soon. Have a great idea for our future product releases? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Unveiling the Next-Gen uTest Platform for uTesters

From the very beginning, we’ve never stopped thinking about how to make the uTest Platform more usable and effective for our customers, testers and internal staff. Last Spring, for instance, we launched an entirely new HTML platform for our customers with an updated look and feel, as well as new features to support continuous build deployments and testing.

Since then, we’ve been secretly preparing for the tester HTML platform. Well, semi-secretly actually, as we gathered feedback from many of our top testers in the uTest Community throughout the design and development phases. Today, we are pleased to announce that the wait is finally over – the next generation uTest Platform for testers has officially launched!

For some of our testers, this announcement is merely a preview of things to come. While we’ve rolled out to most of our active testers, we will continue to roll this out to our entire community within the next few weeks. For those who are still waiting patiently, here’s a brief preview to hold you over:

New Dashboard of Test Cycle Progress and ‘To Do’ Action Items

One of the challenges our top testers face is how to easily organize and prioritize their uTest project work. With the new dashboard, it is easy to review the overall status of an individual test cycle, as well as their respective progress, or lack thereof. As a result, testers can easily assess which test cycles they may want to become more active in, without needing to jump in and out of test cycle details.

Additionally, there is now a ‘To Do’ list of action items on this page, detailing messages that need to be responded to and test cases that need to be submitted, just to name a few features. And directly below this section, there is a streaming list of updates pertaining to your most recent activity. This includes your test case being approved, your issue requiring more information, or even a notification that there is more work available on a test cycle you’re currently participating in.

Navigation and Workflow Improvements

Staying up-to-date on the latest test cycle information is critical to uTest success. If the customer has updated information to testers through test cycle chat, the notification should be easily accessible. To that end, we have incorporated ‘test cycle chat’ into the default view, regardless of which page you’re on, making it easy for testers to be notified of new messages. Additionally, there is a dedicated column for test cycles you’re working on to enable you to jump from one to another with one simple click.

Aside from default view changes, the process to claim test cases is more intuitive. When you click on an available test case, a list of remaining environments that match your profile will expand immediately below, allowing you to select and claim with ease. And finally, all of your submitted reports will reside in an ‘Issues’ tab, where you can easily filter and sort based on the testing type, report type, approval status, and more.

Alas, Back to HTML

We realize that it’s 2012 and Flash is considered ‘old school.’ On that note, we’re delighted to announce that the platform is entirely HTML-based (again). And while we have yet to optimize layout and performance on mobile devices, at least you won’t receive an error message any longer. More about mobile device support in the coming months.

What’s Next?

Launching this new tester platform is only the beginning. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out more features that further increase productivity, as well as optimizing our support for various testing types. For these updates and more, please visit the Platform Feedback and Updates section of the uTest Forums. We look forward to your feedback as we continue to roll out new features to the uTest Platform!