Mobile Testing Challenges – Surviving the Mad App Rush

Mobile Testing Challenges – Surviving the Mad App Rush

The rising popularity of smartphones presents a wealth of opportunities for app developers and publishers. As with most opportunities, there is no shortage of challenges. We’ve noted some of them below.

The primary challenge and the one we will go into the most in this post, is testing these apps, so that they work in all your target market environments.

Now, while a tester who is used to testing web applications gives them a leg up on other testers with no experience, mobile testing is a completely different ball game. In the web world, a tester might have to test a handful of web browsers. When the complexity of different devices, operating systems, and models is introduced, this creates a challenge of paramount proportions.

This is especially the case with the Android and Windows mobile platforms, where companies such as Samsung and Nokia dominate the market. We are not just talking about different devices. We are talking about the multiple operating systems that are resident on the devices of your target market.

One way, which is highly common in testing the array of devices, is by using device emulation. While emulation is less expensive, there is a reason for it. Nothing beats the real thing. With emulation there is always the high chance that your testing might not come close to a real life environment that is needed to test.

Research. Research. Research.

One way to cut down this hassle is to research your target market. Say, you are releasing an app to the Swedish market that delivers meatballs to you door, hot and ready to eat.

You discover that by conducting some research that Swedish mobile users mostly have Samsung and Nokia issued devices. In this case, you should test on the most used device models, indicating it in the app store description. You might want to say that specific devices have been tested and more are being tested. You cannot guarantee the successful use of the app on phones not specified.

Another important thing you should research are the most commonly used network protocols. You wouldn’t want to have built your app with the 3G network in mind for connection, when 3G doesn’t even exist in one of your primary target markets.

The Mad App Rush

Because bringing an app to market is almost always based on timing, there are mad rushes to the app finish line. With this release frequency, comes the heightened confusion regarding testing among the team, which could lead to a buggy release if things are not done precisely. Remember, there is no room for error. If you release a buggy app, you might just get booted out of the app store where you are publishing.

Additionally, functional testing isn’t the only type of testing you should be conducting. After the app is launched, utilizing an in-app analytics tool is key to optimizing the mobile user experience.

Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. This statement looms large over the mobile app sphere. If your app doesn’t work upon launch, as the user perceives it should, you may have just lost a customer, never to return.


State of Mobile Apps: 2014

State of Mobile Apps: 2014

Judging from the record number of attendees (70,000+!) at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the largest mobile event in the world just last week, it would be safe to say that the dawn of mobile is upon us. Adding to that, last year’s sale of Waze (community based driving navigation) to Google for over a billion dollars, the recent sales of Viber (Internet Based Phone) for over 900 million dollars to a Japanese firm and WhatsApp to Facebook for a mind staggering 19 Billion Dollars is only a testament to the rise of mobile apps.

In the US alone, Internet users are relying more and more on their Smartphone and Tablet apps to gain access to the Internet. The first time that the use of mobile apps to access the Internet surpassed PCs was just last week. Overall, the use of mobile devices was responsible for 55% of total Internet usage in the US in January. The breakdown was dominated by apps at 47% and 8% was from mobile browsers. This was according to data gathered by comScore. PCs on the other hand accounted for 45% of Internet traffic.

Even though this is not the first time mobile usage accounted for more Internet traffic than PCs, it was the first time that the use of Apps alone eclipsed the PC. This shift comes after a massive slowdown in Personal Computer sales, which have been lagging for some time and posted their worst decline ever in 2013.

According to research powerhouse IDC, the adoption of smart devices has increased just under 40%. As apps are optimized for a truly streamlined mobile experience and high-speed access introduced by such technologies as 4G is introduced, this trend will more than likely continue.

In the US market, 55% of the population owned smartphones while 42% had tablets. Just look at the phenomenal growth potential there alone!

Now, with the growth of m-commerce and apps such as PayPal and Google Wallet making the shopping experience fluid, more brick and mortar retailers are getting in the app game.

So, as you can see, the app explosion hasn’t peaked. In fact, it’s just getting started.


Creating Event BUZZ with your Mobile App

Creating Event BUZZ with your Mobile App

With Mobile World Congress (MWC) coming up fast in Barcelona, Spain, and apps being the flavor for that week, we thought we’d write a post about how to use your app to create event buzz.

Out of thousands of vendors from all over the globe, being pulled, directed and even sometimes pushed ever so lightly to different product booths, seminars and presentations, here are some ways that you can create buzz about your event using your app.

  • Implement photo and video sharing capabilities within your app so all your attendees can share photos with other attendees and add their own that would become instantly available to all.
  •  Provide your app users with all the information they need such as hotel accommodations, interactive city maps, currency exchange info, restaurant and nightlife information. Provide commenting, reviewing capabilities Make sure all this information is sharable.
  • Any additions, updates or changes to your event such as speaker schedules should automatically be made available to your event attendees with push notification functionality.
  • Provide keynote speaker info and and an interactive maps of the event grounds.
  • Constantly provide status updates so that your followers can keep abreast of what is happening. Include catchy photos. Keep them updated as it happen . When it happens.
  • Use the power of contests by announcing it on your app. Everyone will be updated automatically through their notification settings. This builds interest and anticipation.
  • Include maps of all physical event booths and associated info. Encourage sharing and the ability to review businesses.
  • Provide real live updates from conference central. Perhaps, you can even utilize a web cam to show traffic as people enter the conference
  • Use your app to create short videos of people talking about why they came to the conference, from where they are from, what they do, their favorite booths, speakers, etc….Provide commenting and instant sharing capabilities.
  • Give your attendees the ability to view all sessions according to time, location, speaker topic and give them the capability to sync their calendars and invite others.
  • Include screens to your individual social media feeds with mentioning and sharing capabilities

There are lots of ways to build buzz about your event using your app. You want to encourage all your attendees to use your app as their central information depot for anything and everything event related.