Archive | Technology Trends

Testing to Break: Tesla Model X Testing Autopilot

2014-tesla-model-x-3-429-photo-441419-s-originalThe 2014 SyScan conference already ushered in a new era of testing by offering a $10,000 bounty for any tester who was able to remotely access a Tesla Model S’ automobile operating system.

This latest Tesla testing escapade makes that one seem like child’s play.

According to Gas2, as the Tesla Model X nears its debut, a “spy video shows a test driver purposely trying to crash a Model X test mule, no doubt putting the next-gen Autopilot system through its paces.”

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Mobile App Dating: Is Psychology (and Salad) the Key to True Love?

The market has seen an explosion in dating apps recently. What started out as a relatively straightforward model, in which 1363963082_1180_Datingusers fill out profiles and are subsequently either matched up with potential mates or do the filtering themselves, has rapidly evolved to include a wide array of apps with all types of spin-offs and niche products.

To illustrate this point, there is currently a mobile app in the iTunes store called SaladMatch which aims to connect users based on their salad preferences.

With this type of rapid expansion, one might assume that it would be difficult to observe any sort of meaningful trend running through all of these newcomers. As it turns out, this is not the case, as the most noticeable trend is actually rooted in a number of theories from the field of Psychology.

Generally speaking, as the number of choices a consumer is given increases, their chances of making a purchase decreases. This is rather counterintuitive, as one would expect that more options would equate to a greater likelihood of someone finding a product or decision path that matches up with their wants and needs. However, research from a number of sources has indicated that this expectation does not hold true.

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The ‘On-Demand Economy’ is Transforming Commerce

uberThe term on-demand economy is garnering a lot of attention these days. It’s used to describe the burgeoning segment of companies that promise customers instant access to goods and services that historically have required a longer waiting period or more convoluted steps in order to attain.

Additionally, these companies typically employ freelance employees only, and utilize a mobile app as a means of completing transactions. A few examples of the on-demand economy in action are Instacart, a grocery delivery service, Uber, an app-powered livery service, and Handy, a home-services booking app.

Recently, a new entrant to the on-demand economy game called Magic was announced. Magic promises to be the concierge for all things delivery, as users simply send an SMS containing their order, and a Magic employee on the other end coordinates all the details.

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Facebook Embraces Developers and App Monetization at F8

On Wednesday, Facebook held its annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco, where they announced a number of new innovations and updates to their current offerings.

If it wasn’t already clear from their spate of acquisitions (Instagram, WhatsA10323555_10101141198471157_883645609_opp) and novel products (Facebook at Work), this conference reinforced the notion that Facebook wants to be seen as a holistic suite of apps. Below are some of the biggest announcements from F8.

Facebook Messenger will be opened up to developers

Facebook revealed that it has paid out over $8 billion to developers using its platform over the past five years. In a move that will surely please the above-mentioned developer community, Facebook announced that they will open up their Messenger platform for the creation of new apps and functionalities. This move should give the 600 million monthly active Messenger users some new toys to play with.

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With HBO Now, the Streaming ‘Bubble’ Is On Its Way to Bursting

cable-tv-alternatives-ways-watch-free-tv-movies-online-streaming-lower-bill-save_0.jpgLike many ‘Millenials’ (as society likes to call my generation), I reveled at the thought of cutting the TV cord with the announcement yesterday that you no longer need to be tethered to cable providers to bask in the glory that is ‘not TV…It’s HBO.’

And the price point of $14.99 didn’t bother me much, either. Sure, I’m paying only $8.99 a month for Netflix, but for access to first-tier films and shows like True Detective and the entire back catalog of programs like The Sopranos? Yes, please.

But the more I thought of how the costs could skyrocket, the more I thought that we’ll be soon on the verge of a digital crisis much like the one cable companies are in the midst of — people fed up with paying too much.

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Android Wear to Pair With iOS Devices: The Death Knell for Apple?

Power-Couple-iOS-and-Android-Squeeze-the-CompetitionAndroid has always been the antithesis of Apple — they’re the fun, edgier operating system with an openness for new experiences.

So while it may be surprising that a GigaOM report citing French technology website 01net mentions that “Android Wear might be going cross-platform with an iOS app, possibly launching at Google’s annual developer conference in May,” really, that openness to try new things has always been there.

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10 Tweets About Windows 10

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the next big thing in their operating system universe: Windows 10.

You may remember back in September that Windows announced they would go from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and skip right over the number 9. To make this seem like more of a bad math problem, the new Windows 10 fuses some features of Windows 7 and 8.

Confused? Don’t be. We’ve assembled 10 tweets about Windows 10 to help you get a handle on what’s happening.

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The 10 Hottest Devices for Mobile App Testing (This Holiday Season)

testing devicesThe stockings were hung by the chimney with care…full of the latest testing devices.

It’s been a while since we last updated the testing and development world on the most popular devices amongst our community of 150,000+ testers. But we thought — what better time than the holidays to get your favorite tester a gift?

Testers within our community often want to know on which devices they should be testing. Concurrently, developers also want to know where their babies should be given the most love. Based on customer and tester data from our platform, here are the 10 most popular mobile devices on which Applause customers’ apps were tested in the past 90 days:

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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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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.

app_store_onepointtwo_million-1024x574

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.

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