Safe to say that mobile app development has greatly outpaced mobile app testing over the last few years. In other words, while the applications and platforms have seen tremendous technological advances (iPhone 4 bugs notwithstanding) the same cannot be said of mobile testing methodologies.
Case in point: The majority of mobile app developers remain overwhelmingly reliant on internal beta testing.
Here with proof is VisionMobile, who recently published a fascinating report on the growing mobile app ecosystem – a must-read for anyone involved in the space (developers, marketers, users, etc). From a QA point of view, the report further establishes that although testing innovations will ALWAYS trail those of development, the gap need not be so wide.
Here’s an excerpt that sums the whole thing up:
Internal beta testing is the most popular technique used by the vast majority (nearly 70 percent) of respondents, with beta testing with users and peer reviewing the next most popular techniques. Only 20 percent of respondents use focus groups or research of their own. Overall, North American developers are somewhat more sophisticated in their application planning, with 97 percent using beta testing as a standard part of application development and with broader use of a portfolio of planning techniques as well.
Yet, small development firms have limited means today to beta test and peer review their applications with a crosssection of representative users. Given the hundreds of thousands of mobile apps, we believe that efficient (crowd-sourced) testing of apps in a global market of users is considerably under-utilized. This presents an opportunity for the few solution providers in this segment – Mob4Hire and uTest.com, for example – but also for network operators, who can generate a channel for testing applications with end users, and provide an open feedback support system back to developers.
Other notable findings included:
Posted on 05/28/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
, Testing Trends
by Stanton Champion
As the smartphone battle heats up, a debate has begun around a seemingly crucial question: which platform is faster? In a lot of ways, that’s impossible to answer. Performance comparisons depend on many factors, including the tradeoff between performance and battery life. But that hasn’t stopped some from having the debate anyway, and the battle lines right now are over Android’s JVM vs. the iPhone’s Objective C objc_msgSend(). Let me explain.
Android is a Java based platform and uses a Java Virtual Machine or JVM to execute apps (Android’s JVM is called Dalvik). Historically, Java was considered to be a slow and cumbersome platform. The joke was write once, run anywhere very, very slowly.
So people are saying that Android is slow, right? Actually, no. In fact, Java has been optimized so extensively in the past 10 years that its performance is now incredibly fast. Dalvik has been optimized even further for mobile devices, so Android is one fast platform. What people are actually saying is that the iPhone is slow.
Posted on 04/14/2010 in uTest Stuff
by Matt Johnston
Like a rocket ship breaking the bounds of Earth’s gravity… like a bird soaring majestically over the open sunlit plains… like a spit wad hurled from the back of the classroom… today, uTest announced the launch of MobileAppTesting.com. You can also follow our wit and wisdom on Twitter @mobile_app_test.
One thing that you won’t find on this site are ads, subscriptions, hooks or any kind of commercial agenda (don’t tell our investors!). In fact, we created this site simply because mobile is the next frontier of app development and testing – and the fastest-growing segment of uTest’s business. So we wanted to give something back to mobile app developers, testers and entrepreneurs — and have a little fun at the same time.
We’ll will work with partners, pundits and pioneers (actively seeking co-conspirators) to create original, thought-provoking content about the entire mobile app ecosystem — from app developers to device makers to wireless carriers. Whether it’s the apps arms race, the constant carrier battles, or the next must-have device, MobileAppTesting.com will be there with equal parts education and entertainment.
This site features user-generated content, contests, product reviews and guest interviews with mobile execs… stuff you can’t find anywhere else, including:
- Hard-earned lessons for entrepreneurs, techies and investors who want to create world-class mobile apps
- Overcoming obstacles unique to developing and testing apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian
- Breaking news and product reviews (for apps, devices, networks and more) from top bloggers and journalists on the front lines of the mobile app explosion
- Interviews from people who live it, offering their insights from the worlds of mobile app marketing, design, development and testing
- Following uTest to mobile industry conferences, networking events, speaking opps and meet-ups
Want to be published on MobileAppTesting? Have a topic you want us to tackle? Feel the need to ask what the heck we think we’re doing? Shoot us a note or drop a comment.
Posted on 04/06/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
by Matt Johnston
If media coverage equaled market share, then I’d be writing this post from my iPhone (I’m not) and every single one of you would be reading it from your shiny new iPad (you’re not). In case you haven’t been near a TV… or a computer… or a radio… or people… you’re aware that Apple launched a new product last week called the iPad.
And with the apparent ubiquity of the iPhone, one can only assume that Apple’s mobile market share hovers somewhere between 97% and 109%. Unless, of course, you look at those pesky “statistics”, which is exactly what the fine folks at Comscore do each month. As Jason Kincaid (@jasonkincaid) discussed recently, the latest mobile market share stats might surprise you:
Posted on 03/24/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
by Matt Johnston
Whenever you put a bunch of big brains with vast expertise about a still-evolving industry in the same room, you’re bound to get some interesting and impassioned debates. Such was the case at Monday’s pre-conference sessions at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas. There were a number of excellent speakers representing the perspectives of OEMs like Nokia and LG; carriers like Verizon and AT&T; and content providers like Travelocity and MTV.
I sat in on several of these sessions and heard a number of important topics being discussed that will have major implications for the future of mobile apps and mobile commerce. These debates included:
- Android vs. iPhone vs. Blackberry vs. Symbian
- Free vs. Paid apps
- OEM app stores vs. Carrier app stores
But perhaps the most interesting, fierce and recurring debate that I heard at CTIA was around the topic of… Read more…
Posted on 03/23/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
, uTest Stuff
by Jennifer Moebius
With hundreds of thousands of iPads being pre-ordered; and with HP releasing its Slate this year; AND with German company, Neofonie announcing the WePad (running on Android), the tablet market is definitely opening up some unique opportunities for the testing landscape.
According to Flurry Analytics, nearly half of the apps being tested on the iPad fall into the games category — a whopping 44% of Apple test time.
On the other end of the iPad app testing spectrum (only 3% of app testing falls into the ‘books’ category) but highly anticipated, E-reader companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble are eagerly preparing their iPad apps (see iPad Kindle reader sneak here), gearing up to go head-to-head with Apple’s bookstore.
With the race on to build the first iPad apps, what are the risks of not being able to yet own or hold one? The New York Times reports:
“neither company [Amazon or Barnes & Noble] was given an iPad for testing” and “there are real-world factors that may go undetected with a simulator, like the weight of the device and how people hold it.”
As we all know here around uTest, there’s a world of difference between on-device testing and testing in a simulated environment. And with mobile app testing still maturing as a discipline, what challenges (or opportunities) will iPad, WePad and Slate apps bring to the world of testing?
Posted on 03/11/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
, Testing Trends
by Stanton Champion
In my recent post with my thoughts on the iPad, I noted that while the iPad will run iPhone apps, they won’t look that great. Instead, developers will need to create new iPad apps.
“That’s fine!” you exclaim, thinking that you’ll just uprez your widgets and artwork from your iPhone app to the new iPad screen size. Problem solved, right? Apparently Apple thought so too and tried creating iPad sized versions of their default iPhone apps. And apparently that idea sucked. From Daring Fireball:
It’s not that Apple couldn’t just create bigger versions of these apps and have them run on the iPad. It wasn’t a technical problem, it was a design problem. There were, internally to Apple (of course), versions of these apps (or at least some of them) with upscaled iPad-sized graphics, but otherwise the same UI and layout as the iPhone versions. Ends up that just blowing up iPhone apps to fill the iPad screen looks and feels weird, even if you use higher-resolution graphics so that nothing looks pixelated. So they were scrapped by you-know-who.
Think this is just an Apple problem? No, it’s a mobile device problem!
Posted on 02/16/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
by Matt Johnston
Over in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, 24 of the world’s leading wireless carriers and mobile OEMs announced their plans to create the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) — a unified platform which developers can use to build a mobile app once and have it run seamlessly on any handset, OS or carrier. Among the impressive roster of backers are mobile heavyweights like AT&T, Verizon, Orange, LG and Sony. Sounds like a utopia for mobile developers, right? It could be… if it works.
There are more than a few skeptics, including Jason Kincaid (@jasonkincaid) over at TechCrunch. As Kincaid states (with a bit of help from Google’s Andy Rubin):
If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is. Andy Rubin, Google VP of Engineering (and the man in charge of Android) has already shared his skepticism, saying, “There is always a dream that you could write [a program] once and [have it] run anywhere and history has proven that that dream has not been fully realised and I am sceptical that it ever will be“. To put it another way, this is a pipe dream from carriers looking to loosen Apple’s stranglehold over mobile applications and there’s very little chance that it’s going to work.
The reasons Kincaid thinks the WAC won’t work out include:
Posted on 01/25/2010 in Testing - Mobile Apps
by Matt Johnston
Nick Jones over at Gartner wrote a great piece about the current state of mobile apps. It’s a must-read for mobile app developers and marketers.
His post is written about the iPhone, but it applies equally to Android, Blackberry or Symbian apps. It also helps to explain why mobile apps have been the fastest growing segment of the uTest biz (phenomenal growth + still evolving market = a lot of testing to do).
Here are a few realizations from his recent trip to his local Apple store that seemed especially relevant for our readers (bullet points are his and the running commentary is mine) :
Posted on 12/15/2009 in Testing - Mobile Apps
by Matt Johnston
Pundits are predicting a breakout year for Android in 2010. The upstart mobile OS (if you can call anything Google does an ‘upstart’) is earning rave reviews from mobile app developers, and is growing rapidly. And while the Android Market and it’s 20,000 apps have a ways to go before catch up with iPhone and it’s 100,000 approved apps, the growth has been impressive. As we’ve seen time and time again, he who wins the hearts & minds of the development community, wins the battle.
Also helping Android’s case are some great new smartphones from manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung.
Robin Waulters from TechCrunch wrote a great piece today detailing the milestone and making some predictions for 2010:
2010 is going to be a big year for the Android operating system, with many new handsets finding their way to stores around the world (including Google’s own phone) and an increasing number of developers building tools, games and the likes for the fast-growing platform.
One way of noticing that the OS is poised for a big breakthrough at the expense of Windows Mobile, Symbian and other operating systems designed to run on various mobile devices, is the number of applications already available for download in the platform’s own application store, Android Market.
Waulters cited recently published data from AndroidLib, which showed an wildly impressive growth line for the Android Market (see the chart after the jump):