Do Testers Still Own Landline Phones?

Testers, especially those within the uTest Community, are at the forefront of mobile technology. From iPhones, to Android tablets, to even the latest smartwatches and fitness devices, uTesters often are armed with 5, 10, even 20 devices at a time for various testing projects.

So one would think that if anyone on the planet was going to own a ghastly piece of 1990s technology like a landline phone, it wouldn’t be testers.

But you’d be wrong.

According to a recent poll kicked off in the uTest Community, in fact, 64% of uTesters have landline phones still in their homes, and it’s not just for nostalgia.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Capture Pokémon, Work for Google

pokemonFor most companies, April 1st is a less-than-ideal date in which to launch an app or a major update, as consumers, media and other interested parties might take it to be a prank. Google is not most companies.

The tech giant just released a mini-game in the update of its “Maps” application. Unlike most updates, this one incorporates a healthy dose of Pokémon. For those unfamiliar, Pokémon is a Nintendo-owned media franchise involving card games, video games, cartoons and movies that feature trainers capturing wild “Pokémon” creatures with special abilities. Once captured, they are trained to fight and pitted in battles against one another. At least that’s what I’m told.

Of course, Google is known for being quite a prankster, with a long list of similar April Fool’s Day pranks (seriously, a LONG list), however they have also peppered in a number of real releases on April 1, including Gmail. In fact, Gmail was thought to be a hoax, because at the time a free email service with a gigabyte of storage was an entirely new concept. Safe to say that one worked out pretty well.

So is this recent Pokémon update to Google’s Map application a hoax or the real deal? It seems a bit of both – at least we hope! The video promo they put together shows Poke-enthusiasts travelling the world, and “finding” Pokémon using an incredible looking augmented reality app within Google maps to capture their very own Pokémon. The video also promises any person that can capture all 150 Pokémon will have a chance to work at Google, with the title of “Pokémon Master”. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty good bet that these aspects are the hoax portion of their prank.

If you’re willing to take that chance in order to become a Pokémon Master, here’s how to get started:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

How It’s Made: The Mobile App Episode?

How_Its_MadeSpace pens, beef jerky, cow bells, flip flops – until the show How It’s Made came along, the average citizen had no idea how everyday products like these were created. Now they do, and I think we can all agree the world is a much better place.

As I scrolled through the list of episodes on Wikipedia, it occurred to me the show’s producers have never once ran an episode on how a software application is made. Maybe it’s time that changed!

Therefore, the purpose of this post is twofold. First, I want to urge our readers and community members to suggest this as a future episode. Second, I want to outline how the segment could be structured. With any luck, the app development process will get some primetime viewing – and the average citizen will have a new appreciation for the apps they use on an every basis. No disrespect to sewage pumps and inner tubes.

The first part is easy. You can submit your episode suggestion here.

The second part is where it gets fun. Though I’m not yet a TV director, here’s how I would envision the segment, broken down into four basic parts. For the purpose of this pitch, let’s say that we’re going to be developing an iPhone app.

Part #1. The Idea. Here we would get an inside look into the ideation process. It would be great to feature this from the point-of-view of a major brand, as it would naturally involve a number of key stakeholders: executives, product owners, developers, QA engineers, sales, marketing and so forth. Here we’d get to see how an application must satisfy certain brand and business objectives, and how it must life better/easier/more enjoyable for the prospective user.

Part #2. The Design. Have you ever seen a time-lapse video of someone designing a mobile app? Me neither, but I think this would be a great way to showcase the process. We’d get a complete overview – from wireframe to working version – with an on-air interview from one of the lead designers. We’d get to see the software they use to create the app; why certain colors schemes are chosen over others; how the app transitions from one action to another, along with other aspects of the design phase.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

SXSW Recap & A Peek at the New @Applause Brand

newapplauservipAs in years past, the masses converged on Austin, TX last week for SXSW Interactive. Festival-goers shared knowledge, listened to panelists, shared thoughts about trends – both real and perceived – and probably ate more barbecue and tacos than usual. This year, we decided to use this as an opportunity to unveil a sneak peek at our new brand, which will be called Applause when it launches next month.

Since November, when we first announced our expanded vision and offering, we’ve been hard at work prepping a fully integrated launch in the coming weeks. At SXSW, we were ready to give everyone a temporary preview of the new branding and an opportunity to chat with our team about Applause’s larger vision of helping companies achieve 360° app quality.

Sure, we designed special Austin t-shirts, and we rolled every night with the amazing RVIP Lounge team. But we heard much more about the substance of our rebrand to Applause than the style of our SWAG or our ride (though they were both pretty cool).

We spoke with hundreds of entrepreneurs, tech execs, digital marketers, VCs and journalists, and the consensus was that the rebrand “made perfect sense”, both aesthetically and in terms of our expanded vision.

  • Brand owners identified with our decision to help companies take a holistic approach of app quality and agreed that it’s no longer the sole purview of a company’s QA team (though it does remain their priority).
  • Designers liked our execution on our new logo and its physical embodiment of the multi-faceted aspects that go into a 360° approach to app quality, and who are we to argue? (kudos to our design team).
  • Developers told us that as mobile, wearables and the “internet of things” mature, they need to move ever-faster without sacrificing app quality.
  • In all, we weren’t surprised by what we heard, but it did reinforce the belief that we’re onto something big.

So thank you to the many attendees at this year’s SXSW Interactive who “get” what we’re going for, and offered support for the Applause vision moving forward. As for the rest of you, stay tuned, as we’ll be unveiling our future in full in the coming weeks.

One last note – Upon returning home mid-week, we were saddened to learn about the tragic accident that took place outside the Mohawk Club on Red River in Austin. Our thoughts are with all who were affected – and our support is with them, the people of Austin, and all of those who value the intensely interactive climate of the SXSW Festival.

As for us, we’ll be back next year – to talk tech, connect with others, and spread cheer – and Applause.

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Recap of Wearables DevCon 2014

wearables devconFitness trackers, Google Glasses, Smartwatches, oh my! Over 1200 developers, engineers and designers attended the inaugural Wearables DevCon to network and learn the latest tips and trends on developing wearable technology. Many attendees were sporting pebble watches and Google Glasses while chatting in the hallways while others listened to the numerous sessions that were held over the two-day conference.

One of the sessions was led by our own John Montgomery. He spoke about the importance of testing your wearable apps in-the-wild, and not just in your lab. He expressed the importance of creating wearables that your audience wants in order to delight users. He also talked about the significance of 360 degree quality of your wearable app.

uTest was a gold sponsor and had a booth at the event. We met many interesting people that told us about their own wearable tech project that included clothing and headgear. Pretty cool, right?

The event was such an overwhelming success that it is moving to a much larger location next year. Wearable technology is definitely taking off and not slowing down anytime soon. A recent article from Mashable states that Google is now making it easier for developers to build wearables off an Android platform via their own SDK.

Google’s senior vice president of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai announced earlier this week,

“When we think of wearables, we think of it as a platform. We see a world of sensors. Sensors can be small and powerful, and gather a lot of information that can be useful for users. We want to build the right APIs for this world of sensors. In about two weeks, you will see us launch the first SDK for what we think of as Android for wearables”.

There is sure to be much more to come in the wearables field and we can’t wait to see what we will see at next year’s Wearables DevCon. See you there!

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing