A Visual Guide to iOS App Testing

I recently pointed you toward a giant checklist to help make sure your iOS app makes it into the App Store. But what if you’re at the beginning of testing? Where do you even start? Don’t worry, the folks over at the Software Testing Club have your back.

They recently published a mindmap of iOS testing points, sub-points and sub-sub-points. Here’s a few of the categories they cover:

  • Hardware
  • Data
  • Software
  • Audio/Video
  • Functionality
  • UI

Each category has anywhere from eight to 19 sub-points that you’ll want to check out.

iOS Testing Mindmap

If you like the mindmap but are developing for a different platform, no worries, the Club put out a general mobile app testing mindmap a few months ago.


Testing the Tabeo Tablet for Toddlers

In case you missed the news, tablets are pretty popular these days; beloved by people of all ages - including kids. Seeing a big market opportunity, Toys ‘R’ Us is launching a tablet just for children, called the Tabeo. Here’s the story from VentureBeat:

Created by and available solely at Toys ‘R’ Us, the Tabeo comes with 50 games, including beloved apps Angry Birds and Cut The Rope. Built-in parental controls limit what kids can do on the tablet and how much time young ones use it. (Amazon recently announced similar controls in its latest Kindle Fire tablets.)

The jump into tablets comes as Toys ‘R’ Us faces two big existential challenges: On the retailer end, online outlets are scooping up customers, making Toys ‘R’ Us (and Best Buy) basically showrooms for companies like Amazon.

And the kids aren’t helping, either. Young ones are increasingly turning to gizmos and video games for their entertainment, making it a bit tougher for toy makers and toy retailers to do business. Aiming to remain relevant, Toys ‘R’ Us wants to get ahead of what kids are interested in. Hence the Tabeo.

The Tabeo brings up some unique testing challenges, including those around UI; privacy settings; parental controls, purchase controls (imagine a kid downloading hundreds of paid apps) and others.

Would you buy this tablet for your kids? Let us know in the comment section.

All About Mobile App Testing: 16 Articles

Testing Experience September 2012This month’s edition of Testing Experience is dedicated entirely to mobile app testing! Here’s a rundown of the articles:

Mobile App Performance – How to Ensure High-Quality Experiences
All about real world performance and user expectations, this article covers user’s “need for speed,” the importance of capturing real world data, the business impact of poor performance, how to deal with third party integrations and some helpful tips for making your mobile app as fast as possible.

Roadblocks and their workaround while testing mobile applications
This article breaks down the challenges of mobile apps and testing into six easy-to-understand categories: Environment challenges and Application challenges, User’s challenges, Device challenges, Network challenges, Automation challenges. It shows a nice understanding of dealing with the mobile testing matrix.

Main issues in mobile app testing
This article lists the major mobile testing issues as: User experience; Coverage of available mobile hardware; Connectivity; Security. It also briefly covers integrating the testing methods in the article with agile dev.

Beyond the Smartphone – Testing for the Developing World
Remembering that feature phones still outnumber smartphones, this article takes a look at how best to test for feature phones and how to translate some smartphone testing criteria into the feature phone realm.

Best Practices in Mobile App Testing
The author provides short lists of tips for functional and non-functional testing, plus discusses device fragmentation, tools and the usefulness of internal beta releases and of being involved in the larger testing community to keep up-to-date and on your toes.

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The iPhone 5 is Coming to Siri-ously Rescue Apple Users

Has your Siri app been “having a bit of trouble lately”? It seems that Apple’s virtual assistant app was down on Friday. Jordan Crook in a TechCrunch article said it could have been an OS specific problem:

“It would appear that Siri is down. We’ve tested five iPhone 4S models, all of which are running iOS 5.1. One of the iPhones in the TechCrunch office is running iOS 6, and Siri seems to be working fine on the newer OS.

Twitter confirms, and there are some pretty funny tweets coming out of this very serious crisis.”

Siri has been disappointing users since its release. In a post on the In-The-Wild Testing Blog we covered a story showing that the low-tech childhood toy, the Magic 8 Ball, is actually more accurate than Siri who squanders one out of three searches.

While these inaccuracies are frustrating – there is still hope for Apple’s mobile users. The iPhone 5 and iOS 6 are scheduled to be released this Wednesday, September 12th. The iPhone 5 will arrive in stores on the 21st, and the hope is that Siri will be much improved. Many announcements say that Siri will be able to give sports updates, launch apps, and Tweet by voice. However, what users really care about is that the app functions correctly.

Planning on upgrading to the iPhone 5? Let us know what features you are most excited about in the comments section.

Video: Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 920

As you might know, Windows Phone 8 is scheduled to hit the market sometime next month. In the meantime, you can learn a lot about this new OS by checking out Nokia’s latest hardware: the Lumia 920. Take a look at this great hands-on video:

Infographic: Building a Mobile App vs. a Web App

It’s a decision all companies are making- should I build a mobile app, a web app or both? Mobile apps have obvious advantages in speed and availability. In fact, according to an infographic on tnooz, native mobile apps completely trump web apps in terms of how much time users spend with each. Check out the infographic here:

8 Awesome Apps for Drivers

Bullitt MustangThis weekend I’ll be heading to a Ford Mustang show where my partner will be showing off his awesome Bullitt edition Mustang. Since I clearly have cars on the mind (I’m a fledgling gear head myself) I thought it’d be a good day to recap the best of the best car apps.

Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone
This awesome app helps you find the cheapest gas around.

Android, iOS
Keep a record of your repair history,  get a sneak peek at local shop prices and connect to roadside assistance anytime.

Android, iPhone
This app will help you document the damage if you happen to get into an accident. It provides checklists to make sure you cover everything, enables you to create PDF crash reports and has a photo feature for image documentation. Plus it lets you connect to nearby help, like 911, your insurance agent and a taxi company if you need a lift.

Keep a running log of mileage, fuel cost and consumption and maintenance. Over time you can pull up stats like average cost per month, yearly mileage and average cost per mileage.

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Survey Says: 42% of Companies Not Testing Mobile Apps

Despite all the press and attention that mobile apps are getting these days, the number of companies actually developing and testing them is surprisingly low. At least according to the SD Times, which is always a great source for facts like this. Here’s one survey question-and-answer from Alan Zeichick. Take a look:

Is your company developing and testing apps for mobile devices?

  • No,  not developing/testing for mobile application development: 42.1%
  • Yes, mobile  software for iPhone/iPad: 36.6%
  • Yes, mobile software for Android devices:  33.2%
  • Yes, mobile software in HTML5: 30.2%
  • Yes, mobile software for  Windows Phone: 22.8%
  • Yes, mobile software for BlackBerry devices:  16.3%
  • Don’t know: 5.4%
  • Yes, software for other devices: 3.5%

What answer would you give for your company? Let us know in the comment section.

Smartphones Embraced Faster Than PC and Web

SmartphonesIt may seem like the modern smartphone has been around forever, but the iPhone hit the market a mere five years ago. In half a decade it became harder to find someone without a smartphone than it is to find someone sporting a iPhone or Android. Widespread smartphone adoption happened so quickly, in fact, that it outpaced PC adoption at the height of the personal computer boom of the 1980s AND Internet adoption in the ’90s. From CNet:

Research firm Flurry Analytics today announced that iOS and Android adoption is ten times greater than PC adoption at that technology’s rapid-growth phase in the 1980s. The mobile platforms have amassed users twice as quickly as the Web during its go-go period in the 1990s, and three times faster than recent social networks. …

“Year-over-year, Flurry calculates that net active devices in the U.S. grew by approximately 30 million, while China saw more than 100 million new active devices enter the market,” Flurry said today in a statement. “At this rate, China’s active installed base could overtake the United States as early as the 2012 Holiday season.” …

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The World’s Top 10 Most Popular Social Networking Apps

What are the world’s most popular social networking apps – and do they vary from country to country? Mobile Analytics firm, Distimo, recently did a report which assessed the most popular social networking iPhone apps by downloads. They also did a comparison of this year’s and last year’s download trends.

According to the report, Facebook has dropped in downloads since 2010-2011 when numbers were very high. This could be because the app has already been adopted by so many people, and during the 2011-2012 time frame people haven’t re-downloaded the app. LINE, Viber and WeChat turned out to be the most popular downloaded app in several countries.

According to the study covered by Sarah Perez of TechCrunch:

“…from July 2011 to June 2012, Facebook’s dominance was not as apparent. While it was still the most popular social networking app by far, other social networking apps had taken over in some countries. LINE was the most popular app based on downloads in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, while Viber took off to become the most popular app in Spain and Australia. In China and Hong Kong, WeChat was downloaded the most, and in South Korea, KakaoTalk was the most popular, as it was the year before.

The top 10 aggregated over these countries were (in order): Facebook, Instagram, Viber, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LINE, Google+, WeChat and Windows Live Messenger. You’ll notice that Facebook actually owns several slots in the top 10 there: it offers Facebook Messenger and it acquired Instagram as well.

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