What should we expect in the upcoming Android 4.1 – JellyBeans

Hi,

With quite low % of penetration (lower than expected) of the ICS to the Android world, we start to hear more and more about the upcoming release of Android which should be called Jelly Beans (Android 4.1)

It is not yet official, but rumors state that the following features (At least part of them) will find their way into this new release.

One juicy but perhaps unlikely rumour is that Jelly Bean will run Windows 8 — in a dual-boot scenario that would allow Droid lovers to switch between Android and Windows – I really doubt this rumor!

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/android-5-0-jelly-bean-could-run-windows-8-50006981/

Another mooted update to Android involves adding more gestures to the interface. Last year Google filed a patent that used a series of letter gestures to act as short-cuts — drawing the letter W, for instance, could be used as a quick way to fire up Wikipedia.

A more widespread prediction for Jelly Bean is that Google’s Chrome for Android browser will be integrated into the 4.1 OS– available now to ICS users — becomes the standard offering in the OS, rather than an additional download via Google Play.

Integrated built in File Manager app into the Android 4.1 is also expected.

Android 4.1 is also expected to introduce an improved KeyBoard with more ease of use features (e.g. – long key press on a key to switch to alternate characters and numbers.

Android 4.1 states to also be a “Better Battery, Power management and Faster OS” – Will wait and see.

The important thing which Google will try to improve is the timely releases of its OS updates, it has been quite a while since a release was made, in opposed to the 6 month release track which Google was hoping to offer.

Another thing is that Google will seek to compete with Apple’s Siri voice assistant with its own mouth interface addition – the new ‘Google Now’ should try and serve as a voice assistant starting Jelly Beans. And many Android users are also anticipating some kind of file manager application, to help manage what are becoming increasingly complex media machines, along with (hoped for) improvements on the battery and power management front, and a speedier way to get the latest version of Android.

P.S: The Next Next release of Android post 4.1 should be called Key Lime Pie (KLP) 馃檪

Thanks and Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Mobile application UI/UX

Hi,

As we all know, the importance of the mobile application EOU (Ease of use), is crucial in the adoption of the application by the customers.

In this post, i will try to provide you links to the formal UI guidelines which the OS vendors requests to implement and adhere to.

Researches shows that the 30-45 first seconds of experience with the mobile application allows the customer to decide whether to proceed on using it, or searching for an alternative.

The mobile OS vendors provide clear UE/UI/UX guidelines by which the application developers should implement, and later on the testers should follow and also integrate into their testing plans.

Not following these recommendations and often the requirements can cause application rejected by the OS Market (Apple App Store, Android Market and so on).

For Apple IOS – Please follow the below link聽and make sure you implemented the important guidelines:

http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/Introduction/Introduction.html

For Android:

http://developer.android.com/design/index.html

For Windows Phone:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202915(v=VS.92).aspx

Please also note, that by following these guidelines, allows the market to have consistent apps which the users can find easy to use, and does not “re-invent the wheel”.

For further聽questions, feel free to contact me

Regards,

Eran Kinbruner

Mobile platform latest trends and stats

Hi,

Based on latest market researches by Gartner and others it shows that still there are 2 main players in the mobile industry:

Android OS (Google)聽with ~56% market share, and iOS (Apple) with ~23% market share.

See the cut in the below picture:

The OEM market share cut, shows the following figures (Samsung and HTC leading the Android platform):

Not sure how many of you knows, but as of today there are around 4000 Android running devices by the various vendors (This number obviously is constantly growing):

We will need to see in the upcoming months, where does Microsoft Windows Phone OS fits in this puzzle with Nokia and Samsung starting to move forward with their mobile platforms and starting to gain some market share

Thanks,

Eran Kinsbruner

Debugging and logs with Android OS (Device/Emulator)

Hi,

We all know that when developing a mobile application (In this case, for Android) we need to have runtime live data throughout the testing life-cycle.

We want to understand how the processes are handled, if something goes wrong, to get live logs and output to share with the developers, and add to defect reports etc.

In the Android SDK and Emulator we have as of today (Android SDK R18) few tools which can ease our testing activities and provide live data:

– Android Emulator itself allows to easily plug-in聽several Emulators to simulate real device skins (Motorola Razr, Samsung Galaxy Tab e.g. and many more).

In the Emulator you can use the most common debugging utility called Logcat (simply run adb聽logcat with its various command line options and write the logs to a file in which you can perform searches etc.).

In addition聽to the Logcat聽tool, there is a free utility which comes with the SDK called DDM聽(Dalvik聽Debug Monitor). This free utility which you can launch as a batch聽file from the tools directory, allows the users to perform much more that just view logs. With the DDM聽user, can simulate incoming call/SMS, lost of network, roaming , test location-based applications etc. –> Highly recommended!

So far, we have the Android SDK (Which can be plugged into Eclipse IDE from which users can get more capabilities) with its Emulators, ADB Logcat, DDM – But this is mainly useful for desktop simulators.

What if we want to get the logs from a running device?

Same as above – A user which connects his device via ADB to the PC, can still run ADB Logact聽into a file, and then聽perform adb聽pull to the saved log, and bring it from the device to his PC for further analysis. On top of this there are also good and useful android apps in the market which provides similar capabilities – a strong and useful App which i聽cam across is the “Logger Collector” which allows to collect ru time logs from the device, and then share it either by mail, BT or other methods.

To end this short blog, a tip –> Google also provides a web site developer/s to easily test their web using a free tool and get detailed report with guidelines and check lists –> Go to this link for more info:http://www.howtogomo.com/en-gb/d/

For more info – feel free to contact me

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Complexities in automating tests on mobile platforms

Hi,

In previous blogs i聽shared some of the difficulties in running a mobile project, and few leading cloud based solutions which can be useful in dealing with few of the difficulties i raised.

In this blog i would like to highlight few of the problems which an automation team which develops tests for mobile should be aware of in advance.

From one hand, we want to isolate when developing automation our test environment and make it free of interrupts聽and noises, this in order to have a consistent and flawless test run without the need to complicate the test scripts etc., however – from the other hand when developing automation (especially for mobile) – we want to actually introduce as many interrupts as possible during the test run since these are most probably some of the issues which a real user will face when running the application we tend to test etc.

So – what is the proposed solution?

IMHO, the way to develop robust automation for mobile requires to have a controlled test environment with the right number of mobile handsets per platform, while聽adding to the “formula” automation which will trigger possible interferences (such as incoming call, incoming SMS/Mail, low battery events, lost of communication, screen orientation change etc.).

We have the ability these days to use e.g. Android Emulator in order to simulate an incoming call/SMS, or Roaming, or change of Network as well as change of location (by using the Android DDMs聽tool with the Location configuration tool), which we can use in our test automation environment. We also have tools which act as a private cloud within a closed network (e.g. Seetest by Experitest) which can allow us to test on multiple devices at the same time using parallel scenario’s etc.

The bottom line is: We know that automating tests on mobile which is a hard thing on its own (need to handle detection of unique objects, dynamic events and many more), however the tests we develop, should be relevant to the mobile world and combine mobile world interrupts聽such as i聽mentioned above, otherwise we can assure that the application runs OK on the device, but when interrupts starts to show up – we do not cover this at all since we isolated the test platforms from the “world”.

Another complexity when doing automation for mobile (on top of the variety聽of platforms to support – iOS, Android etc.), is the “portability” of the developed tests across聽mobile handsets. We know already that solutions such as “PerfectoMobile” uses ScriptOnce聽keyword based development language to overcome this, and allow a develop once, run everywhere solution, and we also see other tools today such as PhoneGap, CodeNameOne, MagicSoftware聽聽uniPaaS聽tool which aim to cover development and automation in a cross-platform environment.

I will extend my blogs in the future around each of the above cross-platform solutions and explain how they work and what are their advantages.

I wrote a while ago a presentation about mobile test automation which is still relevant and can be complimentary to this blog – see Link: http://www.slideshare.net/ek121268/mobile-automated-testingerank

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Mobile testing in the cloud

Hi,

In this short blog, I聽will try to聽give a small taste of the mobile testing cloud leading solutions these days (I am sure that there are many more, but these are the one i ran across and can point you to).

When talking about mobile testing, we need to understand that there are plenty聽of complexities which mobile testing manager need to deal with.

Few examples:

– Plenty of mobile handsets (Each few weeks/months new phones show up) – support of existing applications/solutions/services on new handsets is a challenge (e.g.: A working and deployed app which runs ok on Samsung Galaxy SII聽– need to be tested on the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S III)

– Testing different locales on different operators, gaining high network’s coverage

– porting activities testing (during mature development life cycle)

– expensive聽logistics in acquiring many devices which will serve R&D teams

The above are just few examples of difficulties around mobile testing which the cloud based solutions provide a solution for.

Testing in the cloud saves money for the companies and prevent them for acquiring聽expensive聽handsets for rather short testing cycles. The cloud provides coverage in various operators across聽the world, and quick TTM.

Few of the leading tools which are out there are listed below:

聽PerfectoMobile – “Mobile Cloud Interactive”聽–> A cloud based solution which provides access to hundreds of real handsets which are spread across the world with real SIM inside connected to real operators (Vodafone, Verizon etc.)

The solution is based on a device rack (DDM) which can hold up to 4 different/similar devices which are connected to a server, and against each of their screen there is a video camera pointed and provide liver streaming (through web browser) of whatever is being performed/displayed on the handset. The flow of each handset is captured and saved as a video file (in FLV format) allowing the testers/developers an easy way to reproduce and report bugs etc.

On top of the above cloud service which has a pricing model (pay by the hour of use) the company also provide an automation robust solution (which i聽will report in future blog/s) which plugs in to commonly used automation solutions (such as HP QTP). For more info on the Mobile Cloud solution – http://www.perfectomobile.com/portal/cms/services/web_access_to_real_handsets.html

KeyNote Device anywhere – “Test Center Enterprise Interactive” – In a similar model as stated above in PerfectoMobile, we have the older solution in the market which provides as well device remote access in a cloud based solution across the world (different pricing model). This solution requires user registration and a windows based utility download from which one can access the mobile cloud, run tests on “ordered” handsets, and get detailed reports.

The above as mentioned earlier, provides increased coverage on more devices, networks and locales and increases the level of confidence in the quality of the vendors deliverables.

http://www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com/mobile-application-enterprise-testing.html

– SeeTest聽by Experitest聽– Company which provides unique test automation solution which plugs into various IDE’s (Jsystem, QTP聽and more), and also in a unique model provides a local mobile cloud in the company home network. A company who owns its devices and wants to run existing and/or new test plans on them in one single run from any PC in the company – he can get remote connectivity to each of the handsets connected via USB (or USB Hub) to any of the machines in the network and launch the test scripts (Great solution when trying to build continuous integration solution inside a company R&D)

More details: http://experitest.com/cloud/

– Last – We have SOASTA聽CloudTest solution – This is a load/performance testing solution within a cloud based product.

The company holds access to thousands of PC”s which can be configured to access simultaneously聽to any web url/server and introduce load. See a recent press release which introduces the cooperation of SOASTA and HP around load testing:

“Cloud-based test service delivers automated performance testing across 47 locations with access to over 350,000 servers and 17 different APIs” ….. http://www.soasta.com/company/news/press-releases/soasta-brings-cloudtest-to-hp-cloud-services/

聽The mobile test automation which is also provided by the company allows a聽tester a unthethered聽agent to be installed on his target device from which he can test against the SOASTA IDE his application (through WiFi/3G connection).

For more information on these solutions: http://www.soasta.com/?gclid=CL72odjo_a8CFQpd3wodNFfMUw

Hope you find these high level information useful.

For further details contact me at Eran.Kinsbrunner@gmail.com

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Mobile Testing fundamentals – Introduction

Hi,

This is the first blog in a long series of blogs which i intend on writing in the near future.

As we all know, the world is mobilizing its business in a constant way, and we are now facing an IT world in which we have more Smartphones and Tablets than regular PC’s. This trend will only increase in the near future.

Image

The penetration of mobile into our lives, mandates a change of perspective in the way we develop, test and deploy our apps.

We do not know (Yet) about a new SWDLC (Software development life cycle) for mobile, such as waterfall or Agile, but we do know that a long life cycle of more than 6 months is not acceptable and cannot be effective since this world is dynamic and things we test on today, might not be as relevant as we think in 6-9 months from the time we finished testing.

So, what do we need to care about before rushing into a new mobile project:

– Top leading platforms today and in the next 6-12 months (As of now we are looking into iOS, Android, and soon Windows Phone 7, while RIM is in a constant slow down so it is hard to tell what will be the value of our investment in this platform)

– Top leading mobiles which represent a family in the platform it belongs to (e.g. Samsung Glaxy聽SII/III, Motorola Razr, HTC One series can be great representatives for the Android platform)

– Mobile development discipline (Native, Hybrid ?)

– Mobile testing tools (Simulators, test automation , cloud services and more)

– Market needs, are there similar apps available?

– Target consumers (Might be relevant for an app which is location based, to offer other services etc.)

Once we are a bit more clear on the above fundamental aspects, i聽think we can start moving forward (within reasonable time boundaries as i noted above).

Since this is a preliminary post, i will leave this post as is.

In the future blogs, you should expect more details on existing testing tools, services, simulators, complexities in mobile testign and ways to overcome them, guidelines and many more

Thanks,

Eran Kinsbruner

About me:

I have more than 10 years of experience in the mobile land, in which i聽managed porting activities, testing, pre-certification, automation activities and many other mobile related activities in all various platforms聽such as J2ME, Symbian, iOS, Android, RIM, Windows Phone.

I worked for 7 years at Sun Microsystems聽in the J2ME line of business products (Mainly around testing activities), than i聽moved to NeuStar聽NGM聽in which i聽ran the Client testing and porting for mobile (~3 years). Currently i am the Mobile testing CTO at TACT/Matrix which is one of the largest IT company in Israel.

I often present in conferences around mobile testing, methodologies, tools and other topics related to mobile.

Eran.kinsbrunner@gmail.com

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner