Health, Apple’s centralized health and fitness hub app, in the initial iOS 8 preview was more of a shell, designed to take in data from third-party providers. In the Beta 3 release, however, it can now track both steps and calories on its own. Additionally, you can measure your caffeine intake as well as monitor a lengthy list of nutritional categories.
Apple, hot off the heels of its announcement of iOS 8 and release of the first beta earlier this month, has made available its Beta 2 of the new OS to developers today.
According to ZDNet, Apple has corrected some stability issues that plagued the first iteration of iOS 8 beta including crashing on launch when restored from a backup. Additionally, there are still several known issues that Apple is working on, including reduced battery life and other issues with iCloud and Keyboards.
For those that have downloaded the beta, is it more polished and stable than the first? Which areas are you hoping Apple improves upon prior to the GA this Fall? Let us know in the comments below.
Apple has just confirmed the latest iteration of iOS 8 at its annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, and testers or users expecting sea changes that came with iOS 7 last September may be feeling a bit disappointed.
That being said, users can still expect some key updates to functionality. According to CNET and other sources, major updates to iOS 8 include:
- Interactive notifications, where you can respond to messages without leaving another app
- “Do not disturb” feature will make it easier to stop notifications on nuisances like group chats
- A built-in health management tool to check on important things like vital signs and activity levels
- Universal search to find files on your device and content on the Internet
- Third-party keyboards can now be installed
- The biggest feature, though, may be that apps can now share data with each other in iOS
What do you think of the iOS 8 upgrade? Were you expecting more? Are you still excited for the iPhone 6? Let us know in the comments.
Microsoft Surface users may be familiar with the fact that they are able to multitask with two apps side-by-side on the same screen.
Soon, this will be a reality with the iOS 8-based iPad, according to a report by 9to5mac, which cites sources very close to the development of the product. Also according to the report:
In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another.
Various reports on the Interwebs also cite Apple having plans to add high-definition audio as a choice for music playback on iOS 8 devices.
Last month, we introduced a brand new UI 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. After making so many improvements to the UI, we’re ready to turn our attention to the other half of the Apphance software stack – the SDKs. Today we’re launching a new and improved version of the iOS SDK, version 1.8.8, that adds several features and enhancements our users have been asking for. Let’s take a look at a few of the big ones:
Two-Finger Swipe Bug Reporting
One of Apphance’s coolest features is in-app bug reporting. You simply shake the device and Apphance responds by taking a screenshot and allowing the user to write a complete bug report right on the device itself. Our customers love this feature because it allows them to see bugs in the same context as they were discovered, along with important details and information about the device and app state.
While most users prefer to trigger bug reports by shaking the device, some of our customers have asked us for an alternative. Many of them use the accelerometer for other purposes, or they’re developing fitness apps where the device is always in motion. With this new update, we’re introducing an alternative (and optional) bug reporting approach that relies on swiping your fingers upwards from the lower corners of the screen.
Instructions for changing the bug reporting mechanism are available in the Apphance help topics. By default, Apphance will still trigger bug reports using the accelerometer, but switching to the two-finger swipe method can be accomplished by adding just two lines of code.
Last summer, we announced Apphance – our new mobile quality tool. One of Apphance’s biggest features is crash reporting, which gives developers unparalleled information about app crashes that happen in-the-wild.
But for iOS developers, interpreting crash reports can sometimes be difficult. Before submitting an app to the App Store, developers must remove the symbols from their builds. While this makes their build files smaller (and easier to distribute), it also makes it impossible to read the stack traces when the app crashes. To overcome this limitation, iOS developers must add the symbols back to their stack traces after the fact. This process is called symbolication, and it’s necessary for properly interpreting any crash reports from an iOS production application.
In the past, symbolicating a crash report was time consuming, sometimes taking almost an hour to complete. Today, we’re introducing a new and improved approach to symbolication in Apphance that makes the process nearly instantaneous. When Apphance receives crashes, they are symbolicated almost immediately and made available in the Apphance panel. That means that you’re seeing crash reports when they happen, and not after a significant delay.
This new symbolication process is straightforward and simply requires pre-processing your build using a special script, which can be downloaded from the Apphance help topics. Simply download the script, pre-process the iOS app archive for your build, and upload the outputted symbols file to Apphance. From that point forward, any new crashes from that build will be symbolicated automatically.
If you’re uploading builds to the App Store, then you should definitely use Apphance for crash reporting. And now with instant symbolication, you can have complete symbolication of your crashes nearly instantly. Get started by checking out the symbolication article in the Apphance help topics.
Symbolication is one of many great features we have coming soon. Have a great idea for our future product releases? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.
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.
For the second year in a row, uTest will be making an appearance at SXSW, the world-famous music/film/interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Unlike last year – where we spent most of our time eating, drinking and schmoozing with storm troopers – we have some new, big plans in store.
The obvious difference is that we’ll be cruising around Austin in the RVIP Lounge, hitting up hotspots, giving rides, singing karaoke (poorly) and playing host to SXSW attendees throughout the week. More to come on that, but you can follow @InTheWildTest for deets on our adventures, and real-time locations if you’re at SXSW..
The other difference is that, instead of just talking about the merits of in-the-wild testing, we decided to show a real-world demonstration. So, over the last 36 hours, we assembled a select group of US-based testers to put the official SXSW mobile apps through their paces. In-the-wild testing means live testers, real devices, imperfect connectivity… basically, true real-world conditions. So we went to work testing SXSW’s official apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. For iOS and Android, we also included tablet testing, to bring the comparison total to six.
Below are some top-level results (note that each category ranged from 1-5):
|% of Total Bugs||17.7%||18.3%||18%||6.6%||23%||16.4%|
|Usability & Design||4.2||4.1||4.6||4.8||4.1||4.2|
|Features & Functionality||4.1||4.1||4.7||4.7||3.2||3.9|
|Application & Performance||3.3||3.2||3.9||4.0||3.5||3.7|
Of course, these figures only tell part of the story. As the apps were tested in terms of functionality, performance, design, connectivity and other factors, several issues popped up on more than one occasion. Here were a few areas where some notable bugs were uncovered:
- Incorrect time displays
- Sync issues with registration and deleted items
- Crashes on various tablet OS versions
- Issues with installation
- Social media integration
- Issues with rating and uploading photos
It should be noted that despite these issues, the overall reaction from our community was positive for each of these applications. In fact, the overall ratings you see above are substantially higher than the industry norms, so kudos to the respective dev teams.
Anyway, if you’re at SXSW and want to learn more about In-The-Wild Testing, be sure to stop by the RVIP Lounge. If you’re not able to attend, then head on over to inthewildtesting.com.
It’s the industry’s premiere event, attended by some of the biggest names and brightest stars in the world…and it’s not the Academy Awards. I’m talking of course about Mobile World Congress, which kicks off today in Barcelona, Spain. While mobile enthusiasts convene to see what’s new and what’s next, we here at uTest decided to take at look at the current state of mobile app quality, which brings us to the following infographic. Below is an in-depth a look at the state of user satisfaction in the top two mobile ecosystems: iOS and Android.
Happy New Year! Yes, 2012 is upon us and, if you believe the pundits (or the Mayans), we’re all gonna die in about 11 1/2 months. And while that really takes the pressure off of watching your 401k or worrying about global warming, it amps us the urgency to get that killer new app launched.
So with that in mind, here are 12 questions whose answers will shape the app universe (and thus, the testing landscape) in 2012:
- Will we finally find a better way to vet apps than app store ratings?
- Is Flash really and truly dead in the mobile app space?
- What’s the next big wave in the ever-growing sea of SoLoMo?
- Web-enabled TVs: here or hype?
- Will Android keep winning such rapid market share from iOS?
- Is this the year the mobile wallet hits the U.S. mainstream?
- How will netizens find what they need — search or social?
- Can developers finally forget about IE6? How about IE7?
- Will Amazon’s app store plans fly or flop?
- Where do tablets go from here?
- Which direction will the IPO and VC markets turn?
- After watching Uber battle taxis, and AirBnB take on hotels, which mature industry will be next to get disrupted in a big way (fwiw, my money is on medical and education, though the latter may take longer)?
So what’s your take — which of these issues will have the biggest impact on devs, testers and users in 2012? Put on your fortune telling hat and share your prediction to that question in the comments below.
And happy 2012 to us all. Let’s enjoy this next (last?) year in the apps universe!