Mobile Developers: Addicted to Beta Testing?

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:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Pac-Man is Like Crack, Man – Google Brings Back a Classic

Worldwide productivity surely took a nose-dive today, as thousands of worker bees (like me) discovered that Google was featuring the classic Pac-Man arcade game on its ever-changing homepage. What began as a scholarly search for “regression testing tips” quickly devolved into “five” minutes of ghost-chomping fun – but don’t tell my boss.

In honor of Pac-Man’s 30th birthday, Google developed the application (in what we presume is HTML5) to look, sound and behave just like the original version from 1980. [UPDATE: Here's how to download the Pac-Man game for free] We’re not yet sure if this includes the infamous Pac-Man kill-screen bug, but I am determined to find out. I’ll work nights and weekends if that’s what it takes. That’s just the kind of dedicated employee I am.

Anyway, since we’re a software testing company, many of us in the office were curious to see how the application would perform on the various mobile devices we have in-house. Here’s a quick run-down of our findings for each device, including whether or not it worked, along with a few notes:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

MobileAppTesting.com Debuts — Promises To Tell You What’s What In Mobile

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.

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Is Apple Taking Over The Mobile World? The Numbers Tell A Different Story

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:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Placing Big Bets On Mobile @ CTIA In Vegas

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…Continue Reading

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing