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Mobile App Testing: NO Is Not the Option

Mobile App Testing

Believe it, apps are a tricky thing to make. No matter how talented developers you have, even a missing semicolon has the potential to bring your app, and with it, your reputation crashing down to the ground.

And again, developers can take you only so far, after which it is the Quality Assurance (QA) team that analyzes what’s working and what’s not. While there is no such thing as a “bug-free” application, the mantra for creating a functional and efficient mobile app should be-“it’s not as much about how well you start, but how great you end up is what really counts.”

This does not mean that developers get a pass to write sloppy code but emphasizes on the fact that app development is more of an iterative effort than a linear process.

Contrary to developers, who need to figure out just one way to create a perfectly working app, the people from quality assurance face a bigger challenge- getting deep into the minds of millions of users and behave like them understanding how they would interact with the app, understand what could entice them and what not, and thus, identify any lags or bugs they might otherwise encounter.

The typical procedure for testing apps goes one out of these two ways:

  1. When the development team is done with coding, the app then goes in the hands of testing team, who after analyzing, send the product back with detailed reports of bugs found. The process continues until the testing team finds no more bugs. The app is then approved for release.
  2. There are some app development firms that outsource the testing part to another organization. While the process, in this case, remains similar to the one discussed, the difference lies in the communication and varying priorities. When you particularly outsource testing of the app, it’s difficult to manage and take follow ups from as there is a lot of communication gap. Also, it has been observed that companies/freelancers who only take care of the quality testing are not that mature and duty-bound.

While both these approaches do offer satisfactory results, there is no denying that they also drain considerable time and resources in the process. One fundamental limitation from which both of these approaches suffer is that they are designed to catch bugs only after all the modules and files are bred together.

Before we get into the ideal practices of app testing, let’s first establish what it really aims to achieve. App testing largely focuses on these two aspects:

1. Functionality- It includes testing the app for tasks that it was supposed to do. Additionally, its look and behavior on target devices are also evaluated.

2. Bugs & Lags- It includes testing the app for tasks that it wasn’t supposed to do. Creating adverse conditions and introducing anomalies is what this approach does to test the stability of the app.

While testing the functionality of any app is a relatively simpler task and there is little to do if developed by seasoned developers, it is the searching of lags and bugs that consume most of the time and effort of QA team.

Going back to the ideal practices, anyone who is remotely aware of the mechanism of app development knows that- every app, no matter how simple, consists of a host of different modules, which when interact, create the functional app we all love. Now imagine that one of the module developers used for the app was erroneous, which after interacting with other modules raised a host of different exceptions, and by the time it reached the QA team, tracing all those errors back to this one single bug totally screwed you up. If only the developers and QA team had been working closely and followed the approach of unit testing, such instances could be eliminated and thus, saved a lot of time and resources.

Apart from bugs, which do annoy users and hampers brand image, surveys have indicated that it is actually the “easy-to-use features” that attract and retain most users- as much as 79%. Also, if your app takes more than 6 seconds to load, most users are likely to never use it again! With such high expectations and equally rewarding targets, it is also the job of the QA team to ensure:

  • The app layout is intuitive and easy to grasp.
  • All the features are easily accessible and everything is clutter-free.
  • The app swiftly adjusts to various screen sizes and other hardware constraints.
  • And the most important- it efficiently does what it is expected to do at a faster speed.

To achieve these varying goals, QA team must also resort to various approaches. While traditional methods of using emulators is a good start, more extensive testing on real devices is a must to grasp the full extent of performance and user experience.

Testing for security

Though it came late into the picture of app development, security is now the second largest factor that determines the loyalty of consumers to an app- as much as 69%. With the users getting aware of security flaws, the onus of making an app secure also falls on the QA team. Especially if your app deals with online transactions and/or collects personal sensitive information, even a slight mistake can not only cost your credibility but can also land you into a lot of troubles.

From risk analysis and assessment to creating their counter-measures, your app must go through the entire process to ensure the users can trust it with their personal information.

To conclude, testing an app requires as much creativity as developing it, if not more. Conventional testing methodologies can only help you identify conventional bugs, which is not nearly enough in this age of competition. What you need is a robust, fast, and secure application that provides a smoother success path.

How to protect your app from zombie attack?

Mobile app Development
You certainly have heard of disasters, like a hurricane, earthquake, floods, etc., but take a look here at a very lesser known phenomenon of technological disaster, “zombie apocalypse”. This is actually a disaster when it comes to mobile application, and the impact that it can cause to your business can be disastrous.

Before we talk much about the zombies and their attack on the apps, let us first understand that what exactly is a zombie attack on App? Well, this situation comes when an app could not make it to the list of top 300 apps in the two out of the three days in the App Store. Such apps are labeled as Zombie apps. Presently, there are 300 apps displayed in the 155 iOS country stores in 23 different genres. There are both free and the paid listings, which means an app has a fair chance for some time to make it through the top list. However, it is very easy to say as compared to doing it.

Some competitive app genres, such as business category, gives a tough fight to the new apps that are flourishing in the market. These burgeoning apps are overshadowed by the worldwide successfully running apps, which gives them hardly any chance of entering into the app store, and consequently these apps turn out to be Zombie apps automatically. In such cases, how do you save your apps from being attacked by the zombies? Do not raise your eyebrows in doubt. Follow the below given ways, and save your apps from resting in peace after a deadly attack by zombies.

Choose a category that gives you less competition

App categories, like weather, finance, newsstand, navigation, and the like last stands the chance of being attacked by the zombies. They ensure a favorable zombie rating, and can give you a chance of making it to the list of top 300 apps saving you from not becoming an instant zombie. Even the category of sports does fairly well in escaping from a zombie attack as they are location specific categories, and have very less competition in the app market as compared to others.

The relation between a zombie rate and category size is inverse because the smaller the size of the category, the better are the chances of your app to reach to the top 300 list. For example, if you have stepped into the market with an app devising weather, the chances of your appearing in the list of top 300 becomes brighter as compared to apps of other categories. Therefore, always target those categories, which experience less competition. Apple allows the developers to make through their app store after choosing from any three genres, so make a wise choice and help your app in escaping from the zombie apocalypse.

Choose the strategies focusing on App Store Optimization
The under-utilization or negligence of app store optimization or ASO can be determined by the increase in the number of zombie apps. The optimization of an app store is the major factor that can ensure an increase in the research of your app, and make it more and more discoverable.

Choose the genres, having less than 250,000 Apps
Your app may enter into the dead zone if you submit your app in the genres, having 250,000 apps or more than that. There are very few app developers who understand this, and list their apps in category lower to the above mentioned figure. For this, they also stay away from the category of “games” totally.

Localize the apps for small markets
The potential user base can be increased by localizing the apps in other popular spoken languages. For instance, in China and Germany the ecosystem of apps has a wider scope as both these countries release apps in their native as well as English language. On the other hand, countries, like Russia and Japan lead in releasing the apps only in their native language, the figure of which reaches high more than 1,50,000. Consequently, converting your app into these two languages can ensure you a favorable and better zombie rate. The ideology behind this is simple, the smaller the size of the market, the better is the scope of your app to get the chance to be in the app store listing.

App advertising techniques are helpful
The two advertising techniques known as cost per click and cost per install have become very popular these days. The role that both these techniques play is to market your app with the help of third party app by employing it. It accelerates the installation of your app among the users.

Take assistance of social media
There are millions of users active on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. More than 520 million users alone are active on Facebook. With social media sites becoming a giant, promoting your apps through them is the best way to interact with the audience, and make a niche for your app. A fan page on any of the popular social website can surely ensure you an organic reach for your app. Paid engagement in the form of ads on social media sites is also a good option. Moreover, mobile campaigns are also a great way to attract users.

These techniques can help you out in preventing your apps from becoming a zombie one. The only concern here is to follow them thoroughly. Make sure that your hard work in the form of app does not get vanish in the crowd of millions of apps. Give it an identity by getting it listed on top 300 popular apps with these trouble-free tips.

Hiring PhoneGap developer is a prudent step towards enhancing the mobility solutions

Hire PhoneGap DeveloperPhoneGap is considered to be one of the best choices in terms of a cross platform framework. Having a strong web presence online is extremely imperative for all kinds of online businesses. The strong and appealing web presence is a significant prerequisite because it augments and promotes the brand robustly, and also targets and covers the vast mobile app using audiences around the globe. Besides this, it also helps the locals for offline business.

The applications that are made with the PhoneGap platform are quite different from the general applications that we see in the present times. In fact, the apps made on the PhoneGap platform gets easily connected with the hardware of the mobile device, and is also very much similar to other tools, like accelerometer and GPS. The apps built on the PhoneGap platform are native applications, and an interesting fact associated with that is it can even find a location in the Apple store and Google Play store.

PhoneGap also offers a wide range of applications so that the developers can deal with diverse mobile applications.

Features of PhoneGap

  1. Similar to native apps
    The apps built on the PhoneGap platform are quite similar to the native apps, as they operate in an identical manner. Moreover, these apps have a cleaner interface.
  2. Time and cost effective
    In PhoneGap, the app is developed once, but can be deployed as many times as wanted. This multi-deployment, in a way, is beneficial in terms of money and time.
  3. Marketing advantage
    The apps built on PhoneGap have their own icons rather than just being bookmarked, hence, these PhoneGap apps offer a great branding and marketing strategy.
  4. Build apps at a fast pace
    The apps can be built quickly by coding in CSS, HTML 5, and JavaScript rather than using Java or Objective-C.

How is it beneficial to Hire PhoneGap developer from a leading company?

Mobility is the factor on which the businesses of present times are based on. However, it becomes a little problematic to choose from the varied options that are available for app building platforms. Opting for all the platforms to get your app built is something that everyone’s pockets will not appreciate. PhoneGap, here, helps successfully in running the apps on all the devices that too cost and time effectively.  Let’s have a look at how beneficial it would be to hire a PhoneGap developer:

•  Various companies provide a dedicated resource to the clients on hourly, part-time and also on a full time basis where the whole project is handed over to the company. These dedicated resources are reasonable as compared to an in-house PhoneGap developer.
  The projects that are assigned on a fixed price basis or any dedicated resource is hired from a leading company, actually takes care of your project well, and delivers them on time.
  The quality work is also something for which every client strives for, and a renowned and reputed company provides certified and highly skillful PhoneGap developers for delivering the clients excellent services.
  Always research thoroughly and deeply before assigning your project to any company by analyzing their website, portfolio and reputation.

MobileAppProvider is a leading mobile application development company offering its esteemed and prospective clients exceptional services. We provide following development service program on PhoneGap platform:

   Cross-Platform apps on PhoneGap
   Custom PhoneGap development services
   Increased customer base through hybrid app development
   Access to all platforms, for the price of one

We are pioneers in the field of PhoneGap development, and have a vast satisfied clientele all around the globe.

In-House versus Outsourced Mobile App Development Team

Hire Mobile App Developers

Apps are ubiquitous– there are apps for virtually anything you can imagine. If you require an app, the idea of developing your own app might sound the most desirable, but there are often reasons to not do such. This article will weigh whether it is best for you to undergo mobile app development with an in-house team, or outsource the work to an experienced app developer company.

Usually, it can be a better idea to pay a developer, but this is not limited and depends upon your own competencies, the level of control you want to have upon your app, and other critical factors.

For Outsourcing: So You Won’t Give Up-

App development should start with an evaluation of all that you need in order to be successful. User experiences, along with things that will keep users using the app, are imperative. For mobile app development, you should make a blueprint of the features your app will have. This applies whether you are the mobile app developer or not.

Nevertheless, a reason to hire an outside mobile app developer is because mobile apps involve many competencies that might make a team normally ultimately throw in the towel and give up. These include: coding, testing, user experience design, planning releases and listening to and implementing user feedback.

For In-House: Expensive Otherwise-

Disadvantage of hiring an outside team to make your app is that it can be very expensive. Additionally, you are not retaining the talent, and are dependent upon the outside developer. Having all of your talent on-board, in one specific place, can make it easier to regulate quality and productivity. With this being said, it is hard to hire the talent on a wage-basis to support your firm’s needs oftentimes, thus making a counter argument for outsourcing.

For Outsourcing: Past Experience-

To once again emphasize experience, outside app development firms usually have a vast library of past experience, which allows them to minimize mistakes. They typically understand mobile security in-depth and have tested approaches to QA. This effect can be dampened by having quality team members with previous experience, but once again, this costs money you may not have.

Outside mobile development teams can be better if there’s a chance of an important member getting ill, or if there needs to be a lot of work done in a short period of time. Hiring to build your app also frees up more time for you to be able to spend on doing the “heavy” work– such as advertising, customer acquisition, retention, etc.

And don’t feel incompetent or anything about outsourcing– The Weather Channel, a huge presence in the app market with over 90 million downloads, outsourced from 2000 to 2009. In other words, if you decide to outsource, you’re not alone.

Best Practices For Building Data Driven Apps

It is impossible to build any application(web or mobile) without working or interacting with “data”. Usually in any kind of application, you may need to load records from a back-end and then display those in application’s view. You may also need  to accept input from the user that changes or creates new data. All of these requirements are easily sustainable in data driven mobile applications.

Following points collectively describes data driven programming technique:

The basic concept behind data driven programming is data observation and binding i.e. the ability to observe changes in object properties and have the changes be automatically synced with properties of related objects. You should not be confused with data driven programming and object oriented programming. Both are completely different approaches. In data driven development, data not only just represents state of some object, rather it actually defines the control flow of the program. Also, the encapsulation is a primary concern in object oriented approach while in data driven development, the main focus is towards writing as little fixed code as possible.

Subsequently, we should find the best way to deliver data driven applications. These apps should not only give consumers what they want, but those should also be highly scalable and enterprise class. Also, according to IDC (a global market intelligence firm), 2015 will be the year of data driven programming and sales with marketing really taking off. Everyone wants data driven apps, but they are not sure how to build them or scale them.

Below you can find the list of “four best practices” to build data driven apps:-

  1. Impact of Data on Customer’s Journey: An app user or general people want an increased level of personalization and responsiveness. The smart and demanding consumers of today will buy such services if they feel it can genuinely inform, connect or motivate them. Let’s take an example of travel app, by looking at trends it should tell the user that it’s the time to buy a ticket or to wait to get better savings. The thumb rule is we need to offer apps that genuinely help people.
  2. Consider Every bit of BIG DATA: A user doesn’t interested or care about the amount of data on which you are working with on their behalf. They are just interested in the ultimate result, they see. So, we need to make sure that if we want to harness the potential of big data, we need to think and see things from the user’s perspective. We need to make apps that work for real business users, travelers, shoppers – not just for data analysts. We can’t take the risk of involving users in the decomposition process, we applying on big data, as this may lead to rejection of apps by the user.
  3. Scalability in sources, formats and devices: No matter how much bigger or complex your application is, it needs to be securely managed, accessed and delivered data across a variety of sources in a variety of formats.
  4. Follow the crowd: You can get  tremendous help and support if you open up your data driven app development process to the crowd, or in simple words, the open source community. IHub is a great example of such community which is already supporting range of data-driven apps, from the Telco to the government market.

To build the data driven app successfully, the foremost thing you require is thinking about the customer at all times. You should have a clear vision about giving users the data driven apps they require.