By Gideon Pridor, VP Marketing, Perfecto Mobile
According to Gartner, the number of app downloads will reach nearly 269 billion by 2017 and this shift into mobile is impacting companies of all shapes and sizes, making it one of the most competitive ventures the company will face.
But, while stories of major brands pushing into mobile talk up the opportunities and rewards of developing mobile strategies, the end user is king. Release a buggy app, you’ll get blasted by app store ratings. Your app doesn’t work on the latest Samsung Galaxy? Your 4.5 star-rated app just dropped to 3.2. An app needs to work, work well, and work all of the time in order to keep customers loyal and happy.
It is estimated that that 44 percent of the defects are found by the user, with 24 percent from direct feedback, and another 20 percent from public user reviews in app. Too many apps of low or high value are released without sufficient quality testing and control, making it important to tighten up testing and certification processes if a brand is to avoid the financial or reputational damage of seriously disappointed and angry end users. Stop making your users part of your mobile QA team!
Certainly, time is not on the side of today’s development and QA teams, as they must adapt to a number new dynamics emerging in real time. Below are the top challenges faced by quality assurance teams and the developer community:
The fast pace of change in the mobile market is putting pressure on development and operations teams to adopt rapid development and deployment practices. New devices, OS enhancements, wearables, sensors and third-party plug-ins are continuously being released into the market. Mobile app development teams must constantly update their release plans to ensure compatibility with a growing number of variables. These external pressures have compressed release schedules to weeks instead of months.
The mobile experience is dependent on a combination of factors including battery, memory, CPU / GPU, network connectivity, screen size, sensors and even app style. Ensuring quality in mobile environments requires enhanced testing, complex analysis and client side visibility.
Skyrocketing User Expectations
Typically, commerce websites will fully load pages in about six to ten seconds. Mobile users expect faster results. Although few enterprises are achieving Google’s often cited one-second content load target, studies show that users will quickly abandon applications with response delays.
Overcoming Testing Challenges
To ensure that mobile apps launch successfully, more testing is needed. Survey respondents believe that the most critical measures to reduce mobile app defects are more functional testing, more device/OS coverage and more performance testing.
The user experience is different in almost every scenario, each one contributing to an endless possibility of use-case issues. The testing needs to consider how the app will perform on different operating systems (Android, iOS, etc.), OS versions (Jellybean, KitKat, iOS 7, etc.), carrier networks (Vodafone, EE, O2 etc.) and devices (Samsung Galaxy S4, S4, S5 iPhone 5, 5C, 5S).
Broad market statistics about mobile adoption are important to consider when formulating a device coverage strategy, but paying attention to market trends is not enough.
Improving Overall App Quality
In order to improve mobile app quality from the start of the app building process, we recommend a three-phased approach:
- Use a cloud-based Device-as-a-Service platform. This will help to assure sufficient device and OS coverage, and can help teams focus on testing, not managing devices
- Implement a tool that Continuous Quality. With Continuous Quality comes automated device testing – it enables developers to test more with fewer resources and greater consistency. It’s also important to select an automation tool that can develop cross-device, keyword-based automation scripts and run them across real devices in parallel, while connected to live networks. The tool should be a scalable and dynamic solution which integrates with existing tools
- Deploy a monitoring system providing early detection of performance issues before they impact users will help to improve quality for users.
Once the mobile strategy is set and the app is being developed, the key is to ensure its ability to perform and meet user expectations. Not accounting for the rapid changes in this tremendously fast-paced, fragmented market or failing to implement the proper automation tools that will ensure quality applications will guarantee user abandonment and app failure.
To learn more about Continuous Quality and how you can apply it to your environment to deliver better apps faster, stop by the Perfecto Mobile booth at AppsWorld Germany, number 393. Take some time to join the conversation at 14:00 on 22nd April in Droid World – we’re hosting “5-Star Wars – prevent your users from striking back!” Good luck in boosting those app ratings!