How CBS Handles Mobile

CBS InteractiveStill struggling with the choice between mobile web or native app? If you’re a large company, or have several different facets of your business you’d like to represent, it might benefit you to chose on an piece-by-piece basis rather than going with a single, end-all-be-all method across the board.

CBS uses this patchwork method to their advantage and considers factors such as visitor traffic and budget to determine which of their many holdings get which type of mobile representation. For example, CBS.com, CNet and 60 Minutes all have native apps while GameFaqs and ZDnet have mobile websites. Peter Yard, CTO of CBS Interactive, broke down the corporation’s thought process when it comes to mobile media in an article on CNet:

Where’s the traffic coming from?
If the majority of a site’s traffic is side door traffic from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the site should embrace mobile web and HTML5. Since most of the site’s users are arriving via links, the content must quickly load in the mobile browser. …

If a majority of a site’s traffic is direct but intermittent traffic–meaning users come directly to the site, but only once in a while–the site should implement HTML5 mobile Web. These types of sites are “tourist sites” that are not visited regularly by people and therefore users are very unlikely to download an app. …

If the majority of a site’s traffic is direct traffic where people are regularly going straight to the site’s home page from a bookmark or typing in the URL, the site should use native apps. …

For sites with a lot of direct traffic, native apps also provide useful additional features such as push notifications and offline storage, which are not relevant to sites with intermittent or side door traffic.

Sites that have an even mix of direct and side door traffic should also implement both native apps and an HTML 5 mobile view.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Top Global Brands Lack Mobile

Mobile AppsYou may have seen the sweet new infographic we posted about the quality of mobile apps. And with smartphones and tablets everywhere you turn you might assume every business from mega corporations down to the mom and pop shop on the corner would have a mobile app by now – but you’d  be wrong. Digiday took a look at the mobile offerings from the top 50 global brands (as named by Interbrand) and found quite a few of them lacking. Here’s the scoop:

Digiday examined the websites of the top 50 global brands of 2011, as ranked by Interbrand, and found that 19 do not currently feature smartphone-optimized content. Those brands, which include Apple, Microsoft, GE, Nokia, Nintendo, Mercedes, BMW and Kelloggs, simply drive smartphone users to the desktop versions of their sites. …

The number of brands offering tablet-specific experiences, meanwhile, was even lower. Of the 50 brand websites examined, just two provided content tailored for the iPad. Those brands were Google and Nike.

Surprisingly, top electronics and technology companies were among the least prepared for mobile traffic. Apple, Nokia, and Microsoft, all of which sell or manufacture mobile devices or software, had neither smartphone- nor tablet-optimized sites. Despite the fact major auto manufacturers are often viewed as early adopters of the mobile channel, the sites of Mercedes and BMW were also lacking in both areas. Toyota, Honda, VW and Ford, meanwhile, all served up content tailored for smartphones, but not for the iPad.

Interestingly, Pepsi currently redirects both smartphone and tablet users to its Facebook page and appears to have no mobile content whatsoever hosted on its Pepsi.com domain. Though that approach might not be viewed as a “mobile-ready” one, the experience is at least tailored to users’ devices once they reach Facebook, owing to the social network’s support for a range of devices.

Many marketers argue a customized experience for the iPad isn’t necessary, since screen size and full-featured Safari browser are adept at rendering full desktop sites. But those experiences are primarily designed for use with a mouse and keyboard, and do not take into account the touch functionality of the iPad and other tablets. Nike’s iPad site, for example, features similar content to its desktop site but allows users to touch, swipe and interact with it in a much more intuitive way. …

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

[Infographic] The State of Mobile App Quality: Android vs. iOS

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.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Why Your Company Should Join the Rat Race

TabletsThink optimizing for mobile web isn’t important? Think again! This was reported by PCWorld:

Tablet computers will eventually replace laptops, according to nearly half of Americans polled earlier this month.

But don’t panic yet …

Of course, “eventually” is a very long time, and the recent rollout of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and anticipation over the Apple iPad 3 might have survey takers overreaching a bit.

While the Poll Position phone survey of 1,155 registered voters found great enthusiasm for tablet computers, with 46% saying tablets would surpass laptops eventually, 35% said tablets will not replace laptops and 19% had no opinion.

Among younger Americans (18-29 age group), 49% said tablets will not replace the PC and 37% said they will. A higher percentage of men (53%) than women (39%) foresee tablets overtaking laptops.

The tablet market was hot last year and is expected to remain so this year. IDC recently said it expected 2011 worldwide tablet shipments to total more than 63 million units, with Apple selling about 6 in 10 of those. Recent Canalys figures show a total PC market of 356 million units in 2011, minus tablets.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

2012 Preview: Twelve App-Related Questions On The Way To Armageddon

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:

  1. Will we finally find a better way to vet apps than app store ratings?
  2. Is Flash really and truly dead in the mobile app space?
  3. What’s the next big wave in the ever-growing sea of SoLoMo?
  4. Web-enabled TVs:  here or hype?
  5. Will Android keep winning such rapid market share from iOS?
  6. Is this the year the mobile wallet hits the U.S. mainstream?
  7. How will netizens find what they need — search or social?
  8. Can developers finally forget about IE6?  How about IE7?
  9. Will Amazon’s app store plans fly or flop?
  10. Where do tablets go from here?
  11. Which direction will the IPO and VC markets turn?
  12. 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!

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing