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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A Tester and Developer Guide to Android Lollipop

If you’re an Android user with a recent phone, chances are you’ve already played around with some of the cool features of Android 5.0, officially dubbed ‘Lollipop.’ If not, don’t worry, Galaxy S5 and other phone users, your time will be coming soon.android_lollipop-212x300

But as a tester or developer, there’s not much out there on what those changes mean for you, so we’ve compiled some new resources from uTest University and our friends at ARC not only about the fancy, shiny new things available with the new version of Android, but specifically what testers and devs need to know:

While you’re checking out what testers need to know about Lollipop at uTest University, be sure to also check out all of the Android testing courses available as well.

Learn About Mobile Testing at uTest University

Testing on a smartphone or tablet is a common occurrence as more and more developers produce mobile apps. Mobile testing is seemingly ubiquitous these days. That being said, there are always new ways to sharpen your skill set when it comes to mobile testing. mobile-testing

Whether you are new to software testing or are a veteran tester, the mobile testing course track in uTest University has something for everyone.

What are the differences between iOS and Android testing?

This course reviews the main characteristics of iOS and Android, and outlines the impact of those differences to testing. You can also learn tips and hints for testers, such as how to install an app, how to capture screen shots and video, and how to access log files.

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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!

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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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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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.

iOS v. Android: [Surprising] Crash Data by Version

We all know that developers love iOS but it’s interesting to read that, based on a study from earlier this year, iOS crashes MORE than Android per app launch.  Of course, iOS 5.0.1 accounts for 28%+ of the total crashes, which certainly skews the numbers.

A few important excerpts to note:

…Many people apparently take their time updating their iPhone software or never update it at all.

…People often don’t update their apps–just as they don’t update their operating system. (Android, unlike iOS, allows users to auto-update their apps, which can eliminate some of the problems.)

The very top Android apps are achieving a crash rate that, at least in this time period, the best iOS apps can’t match.

Interestingly, when we crawled 250,000 apps across iOS and Android we found that the average app store rating for Android and iPhone was 3.58 and 3.56, respectively – nearly identical.  The larger gap is that Android users complained more about performance and crashing than iPhone users.  Then, in March, we tested the SXSW App across iOS, Android, Windows and RIM and we found that iPhone & iPad had the highest overall scores and the best Application & Performance data.

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uTest Infographic: Which Android Devices Make App Users Smile?

Do you play a lot of games on your SEMC Xperia Play? Are you a news junkie with an LG Optimus 2X? How do sports apps work on your Samsung Infuse 4G? Ever get frustrated with the music app on your HTC Thunderbolt? In our newest uTest Infographic we let the Android Market app reviews do the talking to find out which devices reign supreme (and which fall flat) in the  major app categories.

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