Your testing career is in your own hands and depends on your work and dedication. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to testing expert James Bach and his presentation on “winning your reputation.”
In May, Emergence Capital Partners released a visual landscape of the mobile business app world. The chart included about 90 companies across 4+ industries and a handful of app types. Six months later, ECP has updated it’s snapshot of business mobile apps – which now includes 150 companies producing apps. The most noticeable uptick has been in healthcare and real estate. And so many productivity apps have been created that the chart now divides that category into five sub-categories.
The Thanksgiving and Black Friday online shopping frenzy have just come to an end and, again, the trending confirmed another record-breaking year in online sales.
This past weekend, traffic and sales via online shopping crushed last year’s numbers with total sales marked at $3 billion, a 19.7% growth compared to the same period last year. This data came from IBM’s Benchmark Reports and covers over 800 merchant websites.
This report also shows a consistent growth of online shopping traffic and sales on Black Friday from mobile devices which accounted for 39% of all online traffic and 21.8% of all online sales. The chart below shows how smartphones performed against tablets in traffic, sales, conversion rate, and average order value:
While smartphones drove more online traffic than tablets did, tablets generated twice the sales for online merchants with a 3x conversion rate and +15% average order value. It proves that customers still prefer a larger view when doing online shopping since they cannot physically touch or try the products.
Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits over 2,000 shopping sites, compared the two most popular mobile operating systems (as reported by Yahoo!):
Of the $3 billion online sales, $417 million was done on iPads and $126 million on iPhones, while users spent $106 million in purchasing with Android phones and $42 million with Android tablets.
The Mobile Commerce Index of Branding Brand, a leading mobile commerce platform for online retailers, also indicates that retailers who have optimized their sites and apps for mobile devices have shown a more significant growth in traffic (+75%), sales (+186%), and average order value (+22%) on Black Friday, compared to the same time last year.
Given the fact that online shopping will continue to grow while mobile becomes more popular, online retailers should thoroughly assessment their e-commerce sites and apps to make sure users can shop in a mobile-friendly environment and check out successfully.
Last week I asked where apps should go next. If you haven’t cast you vote, feel free to add your 2 cents. Of those who already voted, 21% said appliances and 7% voted for somewhere completely new and uncharted. That segment of the population will be pleased with TechCrunch’s Gift Guide for the Home Automation Enthusiast.
The guide includes Nest’s thermostat and security system, a smart light bulb from Phillips, internet connected outlets, speaker options and a few other things.
The important thing to remember as more and more of these smart devices, gadgets, appliances and doodads hit the shelves is that the apps that accompany and control them need thorough testing. As homes become more automated, testing in-the-wild will become even more important to ensure devices and apps don’t interfere with each other.
This is uncharted territory and instead of jumping in blind companies need to invest in heavy testing. If they don’t, users will lose faith in home automation devices and the budding industry could fail. Users don’t want something that doesn’t work. Don’t let them down testers.
Presented by Colt McAnlis, a developer advocate at Google, at from HTML5DevCon earlier this year. Colt says it all when he says this talk matters to people “if you work in an environment where the performance of your application matters to your companies bottom line.” Some great stats and great advice.
By now it’s pretty clear that apps aren’t just for smartphones and tablets. They’re in cars, on smart TVs, in watches and fitness trackers, on appliances, in glasses, you name it. And these apps all need testing, just like a traditional “mobile” app. As a consumer or a tester, where are you most excited to see apps expanding to? Vote in our poll and start a discussion in the comments section!
If you want to voice your opinion more deeply, check out GigaOms in-depth wearable tech survey.
The Federal Communications Commission is the latest organization to leverage the power of in-the-wild testing to obtain user feedback under real-world conditions. Last week the FCC announced that it will be using ordinary folks like you and I to assess mobile broadband speeds. The free “FCC Speed Test” app is designed to capture device performance metrics such as download speeds and latency. The app will run in the background and is designed not to exceed 100MB a month so that it won’t overuse a customer’s data plan. Individual users can view their own device’s performance within the app. Currently, the app is only available on Android but an iPhone version is expected to be released in January 2014.
The purpose of the initiative is to develop cumulative, nationwide data on mobile broadband speeds. Right now, there is a lack of unbiased data regarding the subject and carriers can claim their download speeds based on their own controlled lab tests. By utilizing testers in-the-wild, the FCC can accurately gather metrics from consumers operating their devices under actual conditions. This will provide consumers with valuable statistics when choosing a service provider.
What does this mean for you as a developer or tester? You already know that connection speeds vary by location and they certainly aren’t as reliable as lab connections. Once the full FCC data becomes publicly available (reportedly sometime next year) you’ll have a road map of trouble spots.
Use this information to guide your own in-the-wild testing. Perform extra testing in areas that have poor connectivity levels or focus extra testing on carriers with spotty networks. This information will empower you to make your app better by making sure it works in the hands of all your users, no matter where they are or what type of connection they have.
A few features testers might be particularly interested in: Screen record, process stats to see how much RAM an app is consuming and third party app support for IR blasters (this could be big for future app testing).
Mobile app security is a growing concern, but most companies are still struggling to keep up. Android has traditionally been the operating system associated with mobile security issues, but recent stats released by HP prove that iOS developers are also fighting an uphill battle. From Network World:
HP today said security testing it conducted on more than 2,000 Apple iOS mobile apps developed for commercial use by some 600 large companies in 50 countries showed that nine out of 10 had serious vulnerabilities.
Mike Armistead, HP vice president and general manager, said testing was done on apps from 22 iTunes App Store categories that are used for business-to-consumer or business-to-business purposes, such as banking or retailing. HP said 97% of these apps inappropriately accessed private information sources within a device, and 86% proved to be vulnerable to attacks such as SQL injection. …
In its summary of the testing, HP said 86% of the apps tested lacked the means to protect themselves from common exploits, such as misuse of encrypted data, cross-site scripting and insecure transmission of data.
Some apps didn’t properly encrypt data and some didn’t implement HTTPS correctly, meaning hackers could easily compromise apps or access and leak/exploit private information. Some apps had security measures built in but not used as the development process progressed – meaning the ultimate product wasn’t as secure as it could – and should – have been.
Poor security isn’t only bad for users, it’s detrimental to a brand’s reputation and might even put a company’s propriety information at risk. Don’t gamble with something as important as app security. Learn what you need to know in this free whitepaper on Mobile App Security Testing.