What you need to be on the look out for – as a mobile app developer OR tester – to make sure mobile apps are compliant with FTC guidelines.
Rumors are that the new iPhone and OS are set to be announced on September 10 and ship two weeks after. And as with any new Apple release, there is much speculation about what the new device and operating system will entail – and what it will not.
Dan Rowinski, of ReadWrite Mobile, says the new iPhone is expected to have many new changes including a possible fingerprint sensor, a flat interface and more:
“A Serious Print Job: Last year, Apple acquired a company called AuthenTec that makes chips for fingerprint sensors. These types of sensors can be used for biometric authentication—a way of using unique physical characteristics (such as fingerprints or retina patterns) for identification and other security purposes.
Apple is reportedly bringing a fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 5S. It would be situated on the familiar round “home” button of the phone, which may be convex, so a portion of it would be above the bezel/display of the phone. The home button would have a sapphire covering to help it stand the test of time…
The Interface is Flat: In June, Apple announced iOS 7, the newest version of the operating system that runs both the iPhone and iPad. Mobile developers have been playing with it for the last couple months and Apple has released five different beta versions ahead of launch of the new iPhone.
The design of iOS 7 employs a concept called “flat design” that makes a distinct departure from what consumers are used to seeing on today’s iPhones and iPads. Flat designs eschew the real-life characteristics of apps in favor of a simpler, more futuristic design concept.”
But improvements aside, Gale Gruman of InfoWorld believes there are 5 flaws that likely won’t be fixed in iOS 7:
“Groups. iOS can’t create groups of contacts, and it can’t send email messages to a group synced from your Mac or PC. Both are nutty omissions, given how fundamental groups are to email and other communications. Worse, if you select a group as an addressee in Mail, you get a list of the members, of whom you can pick one and only one to add to the To or Cc field of your message. There’s no way to select multiple group members, so you have to reopen the group to select another person — essentially, making groups unworkable for email if you have more than a handful of people in them.
Long time readers of mobileapptesting.com have no doubt heard us reference Applause – the free mobile app quality tool from uTest. Basically, it helps developers and business owners understand how users feel about their apps; what they liked and disliked. If the tool covered tablet hardware (which it currently does not) then perhaps we could have come out with an infographic as cool and detailed as this one from eBay.
Take a look:
Time for your regular reminder that the Android world is giant and extremely fragmented! Open Signal put out a great visual looking at Android fragmentation in July, and compared it to last year’s landscape. Here are a few stats to warm you up:
- 11,868 distinct Android devices seen in 2013
- 3,997 distinct Android devices seen in 2012
- 8 Android OS versions currently in use
- 47.5% of devices are Samsungs
- 37.9% of users are running Jelly Bean
Now, here’s the actual visual Open Signal produced to represent the Android device ecosystem in 2013:
For more information and graphics, visit Open Signal >>>
Forget about housing all those devices in a lab (never-mind all eight OS version still in use), let in-the-wild testing help you cover the Android matrix.
Tablets usage statistics are often combined with smartphones, but the sale and adoption rates of tablets alone has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. According to Natasha Lomas, of TechCrunch, Forrester has put out a new forecast for the global tablet market, which predicts tablet sales will continue to grow with a projected annual growth rate of 25.6% between 2012 and 2017:
“Forrester predicts tablets will exceed a worldwide installed base of 905 million in five years’ time, with annual projected sales of 381.23 million in 2017.
…Tablets represent “the most successful branch” of today’s fragmented computer market, according to Forrester, both by penetration rates and diversity of competition within the category. In the future, it’s expecting tablets to power new types of “collaborative computing” behaviour — involving the use of multiple slates or “tablet-like devices” that support multi-user interaction.”
And as tablet sales continue to grow so too will tablet fragmentation, says Lomas:
“...The report also notes that the tablet market is fragmenting across a variety of form factors, OSes, connectivity and accessories — something Forrester expects to continue, as it says ‘buyers don’t hold uniform preferences on tablet sizes’. In other words, it’s horses for courses where slates are concerned.
So, while many potential tablet buyers (61% of surveyed consumers) gravitate towards “traditional” tablets (i.e. those with screens between 8.9 to 10.1 inches), Forrester notes that smaller slates (7 to 7.9 inches) have a preference share of around 16%. And very large tablets (10.1 inches+) were of interest to a still relatively sizeable 11%. And a full 12% of surveyed consumers didn’t know which size slate to buy yet.”
About a year ago, the wicked smart dev team over at uTest launched Apphance – a mobile app quality tool that makes it easy for developers to understand how their apps are working across a wide range of mobile devices, carriers and locations. At the time of launch, the tool supported developers working on The Big 3 operating systems: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Last week, uTest announced that is was supporting the next big platform: Unity.
If you’re a Unity developer who’s targeting your apps for iOS or Android and want to try Apphance right now, you can get started by creating a free Apphance account and reviewing the installation instructions for adding Apphance to your Unity app. The installation process is simple, and an experienced Unity developer should be able to have everything working in around 30 minutes to an hour.
Unity is an incredibly popular cross-platform game engine, allowing developers to write their apps once and deploy them on a number of different game systems. With more than 2 million developers who have collectively submitted over 1,500 apps to the Apple App Store alone, Unity has become a major force in the development world. We’re incredibly excited to bring Apphance to this community and offer them a great tool that simplifies testing their apps while making it easy to monitor issues affecting their actual customers.
Want to learn more?
If you’re a professional mobile app tester, you probably want to work for a company that puts out a lot of apps (job security!). If that’s the case, you’ll want to find a mobile gaming company. The Mobile Innovations Group (a research collaboration between MIT and Stanford) found that mobile game companies produce more apps than any other category of app creator. The reason behind this is two fold: 1) The more apps a game developer releases, the better their shot is at having a killer app (the opposite is true of other app categories). 2) Though mobile apps are relatively new, gaming isn’t. This gives developers a leg up on figuring out what users like and don’t like in a game.
Jason Davis and Pai-Ling Yin, leaders of the Mobile Innovations Group, recently wrote an article for Quartz on the reasons why gaming apps differ so greatly from their productivity and utility brethren.
Because of the legacy of video games, developers can easily import many successful features and strategies from video games to mobile apps.
Non-game app developers, in contrast, operate in nascent markets. Take, for instance, an app that allows customers to take a picture of a UPC code to get more information about an event or product. This offering is so new and so novel that consumers don’t even know what they want and need from it. …
For game developers, the probability of creating a killer app goes up the more apps they make. They don’t necessarily know which game is going to capture the imagination of the customer so their optimal strategy is to make a lot of games and see which one sticks. The probability of non-game developers creating a killer app, on the other hand, decreases the more apps they produce. They are better off making one, good, basic app and fiddling with it to improve the user experience.
Read the full article >>>
This drive to produce a lot of games and see which ones stick is reflected in the fact that, according to Portio Research, games make up the majority of apps in most of the popular app stores, the article notes.
To also means then game developers are creating quite the need for mobile app testing. After all, a poor quality app isn’t going to be a hit.
To see what users think of the games currently in the app stores, check out Applause.
A break down of social gaming demographics, revenue and top games from Go-Gulf:
With hundreds of thousands of mobile game apps already in the app stores – many of which have already claimed a spot as a user favorite - the competition has never been stiffer.
However, the industry offers a potentially huge opportunity for game-makers. According to a study from Juniper Research, the shifting mobile game market is expected to hit $9 billion in 2016:
“Market intelligence firm Juniper Research says in a recent report that smartphones and tablets are going to be primary device for gamers to make in-app purchases in the future. Juniper projects 64.1 billion downloads of game apps to mobile devices in 2017, compared to the 21 billion downloaded in 2012.”
So how do you launch the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush of the gaming world? Here are 3 factors you should focus on:
#1 Make It Addicting
The ideation process is a critical component in developing a game application that users love. Coming up with a unique concept, as well as building out different features and levels, developers can potentially keep users coming back to their app. However, user acquisition and engagement are perhaps the most difficult part of launching a game app. A new game has to compete with hundreds of thousands of other applications, and as a result the cost of switching has never been lower. This puts a greater emphasis on both creativity and quality.
#2 Master the User Experience
Does your game app work on the iPhone just as well as it works on an Android device? The fragmentation of mobile devices complicates the development process. Game developers need to determine if their game works on different devices and operating systems with a variety of screen sizes and navigation features.
#3 Know Your Audience