Mobile App Testing – An Interview with uTest’s Matt Johnston

Greetings, uTest Nation and its followers, I’m back to serve in my role as the guy who does that thing that we don’t like to do too much of around here at blog central – talk about ourselves.

Well, not really. I’m actually here to share an excellent interview that STP‘s Rich Hand conducted with uTest’s Chief Marketing Officer Matt Johnston. In the interview, Hand and Johnston discuss ways in which the current burgeoning app economy has elevated the game for the way enterprise businesses conduct mobile app testing. Johnston also describes the importance of testing mobile apps in the wild and what it means for QA professionals.

The interview comes just a few weeks ahead of Johnston’s Mobile-themed keynote at the annual STP conference in Miami.

Listen to the interview today and look for more updates on uTest’s busy fall conference schedule in the coming weeks!

 

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Obama: “Make Federal Sites More Mobile-Friendly”

It’s been a politically-themed week here on the uTest Blog. First there was the hacking mayor. Then there was Mitt Romney’s embarrassing mobile app. But why stop there? Why not blog about President Obama’s order to make federal sites more mobile friendly? You know what, that’s not a bad idea!

That’s right, President Obama has ordered federal agencies to optimize their sites and services for mobile devices. Before I share my thoughts, here’s ComputerWorld with the details:

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered all major government agencies to make two key services available on mobile phones within a year, in an effort to embrace a growing trend toward Web surfing on mobile devices.

Obama, in a directive issued Wednesday, also ordered federal agencies to create websites to report on their mobile progress. The websites are due within 90 days.

Innovators in the private sector and the government have used the Internet and powerful computers to improve customer service, but “it is time for the federal government to do more,” Obama said in the memo. “For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different government programs in order to find the services they need.”

Many government services are not optimized for smartphones or tablets, and other services aren’t available at all on those devices, Obama wrote.

Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed.”

And now, a few thoughts, questions and reactions:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

The Best of In-The-Wild Testing (so far)

A few weeks ago we launched our In-The-Wild Testing blog, dedicated to the lighter side of testing (amoung other topics). If you haven’t visited yet, you’re really missing out. Here are a few of the top stories so far:

Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached To Them
What better way to test your latest laser product than by attaching it to a live shark? Dr. Evil would be proud.

Test Requirement: Proofread
When testing, it’s important to read the content carefully to see if you any words out.

The World’s Worst Water Slide
It looks like it was designed by Dr. Suess, but this water slide is definitely not for kids. Or adults. Or even crash test dummies.

Coding Error Disturbs Coding Contest
Making mistakes is embarrassing enough, but making a coding mistake in a system designed to sell tickets for a coding event to coders is a whole new level of red-faced “oh-uh.”

Five Products That Will Make You Angry
The Pringles can, the over-sized power adapter and other products that will make you want to kill indiscriminately (or just get mildly annoyed).

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

uTest Launches AppGrader for Android

There’s only a few things that can happen when a user downloads your mobile app. Unfortunately, most of them are bad. Here are a few common outcomes:

  • The app crashes
  • The app hangs
  • The app stalls
  • The app works exactly as expected

The point is this: Without proper testing, you’ll never really know how users are experiencing your mobile app. This is particularly true of the Android operating system, with its seemingly countless permutations of devices.

So to help make the mobile app testing process a little less complex, uTest is pleased to launch a new tool that we hope will help you catch some of these problems before your users do. We call it AppGrader, and today we’re launching it as a way to quickly test your Android apps.

What is AppGrader?
AppGrader is a free online tool that can be used to quickly test your mobile application on a variety of common devices. With AppGrader, you can load your application on several devices and get basic reporting about bugs associated with installing, loading and running your application.

Why Does It Matter?
As a proponent of in-the-wild testing, we believe that an application is only properly tested once it has been evaluated by real users, with real devices, in a wide number of locations. AppGrader is a way to provide a taste of in-the-wild testing, by accessing the real devices component (albiet in an automated fashion).

Those who are interested in what AppGrader has to offer will likely appreciate uTest’s full suite of testing services.

What Do You Get?
With AppGrader, you can get a custom score for your application. You’ll also receive a comparison of how well your app works compared to dozens of other popular apps on the same devices. If your app should crash on the device, you can quickly download a crash log to get a deeper look at the problem.

What Devices Does it Cover?
At this point in time, AppGrader is just for Android devices (and yes, we do have plans to launch this service for other mobile operating systems). Devices tested include:

  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Google Nexus S
  • LG Nitro HD
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • HTC Thunderbolt
  • Sony Ericson Xperia
  • Motorola Droid X2
  • T-Mobile My Touch

AppGrader will also evaluate your application on devices across several popular carriers, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

What Does It Cost?
Only your soul. Just kidding. It’s free.

How Do I Get Started?
To get started, simply fill out a brief form and upload your Android APK. Once your results are ready, you’ll be notified by email within minutes.

So what are you waiting for?

Try AppGrader Today >>>

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Why Testing Your Business App is Important

Make sure your app makes senseAs the age of mobile tightens its grip on the world, companies are working double-time to figure out exactly how the use of smartphones and tablets fit into their working world. While some companies have navigated this new terrain fairly easily, many companies are struggling to find the right balance when it comes to mobile programs. Their biggest downfalls are trying to completely recreate a desktop program into a clunky, over-stuffed mobile app and not understanding the tenets mobile design.

In fact, this is such an issue that it’s poised to cost US and UK based companies a pretty penny in the next year and a half. Here’s some research from Antenna Software that highlights the problem (from Computer Business Review):

U.K. and U.S business are planning to spend an estimated £285k on mobile software tools for their employees in the next year and a half, but much of that money will be wasted.

According to research released by Antenna Software, only 25% of IT and business decision makers said their employees had embraced their mobile initiatives. …

According to the Mobile Business Forecast 2012 report, many companies are failing to engage their employees on mobile projects because of poorly designed applications that lack business logic and usability.

“More businesses than ever are now building mobile apps to help employees work more effectively, but it’s clear that a good deal of time and money is going to waste through poor design,” said Ken Parmelee, Senior Director of Product Management at Antenna. “Companies need to pay more attention to the end user and how and when they are going to use the app.”

The important lesson here is that just because your app is free and has a built-in market doesn’t mean you can lower your standards or ignore what end users like. It isn’t enough to take a program employees use on a computer and make it “more accessible” by translating it into an app. You need to fully understand how the program can be useful on-the-go and focus solely on the features that would be handy and increase productivity in a mobile, untethered setting.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing