Posted on 02/01/2012 in Windows Phone
by Mike Brown
Exciting news from Microsoft: Skype for Windows Phone is coming soon – and the beta test is coming even sooner. For all you beta testers out there, this is one project you might want to get involved with. Here’s a nice recap from LiveSide.net:
Microsoft first revealed the Skype for Windows Phone app back in MIX 2011 last year, way before Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. It had almost been a year without further news about the app, and finally during CES 2012 in January, a Microsoft representative mentioned during a video interviewthat the Skype for Windows Phone app will be “coming soon”.
Well according to reports from WP7Lab (via WMPU), Microsoft had just begun dogfooding (internal beta testing) the Skype for Windows Phone app. Furthermore, the website received an anonymous tip indicating that Microsoft will soon be sending out invitations for a beta version of the app. Here’s an excerpt from WP7Labs:
Skype for Windows Phone is just around the corner and we’ve teamed up with the Skype folks to help with beta testing. If you are receiving this newsletter directly, look for an invitation in the coming weeks and be on the inside track for what is sure to be one of the hottest new apps on the Marketplace!
Read the rest >>>
Posted on 03/11/2011 in Android App Testing
by Mike Brown
Hunting extraterrestrials…there’s an app for that, and it’s currently in private beta. No fooling.
The Seti Institute launched a private beta test on Thursday of SetiQuest Explorer in the hope that amateur astronomers will help with tasks that cannot be done well by computers. The app runs on Android 2.2 but will be available on the iPhone this summer. There is also a desktop version for any computer running Flash Player 10.2. “We want to tap into the brain power of the world,” Jill Tarter, director of the non-profit Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, said.
The Seti@Home project run by the University of California at Berkeley is harnessing unused computer processing power to help crunch the data coming from outer space. SetiQuest Explorer is modeled on the same idea, but using humans and crowdsourcing to distribute visual recognition duties to people with spare time on their hands.
Of all the private beta tests we’ve covered over the last 200 posts (yes, we’re keeping track) this one stands alone as the most interesting and unique. Of course, we’d be very interested in learning more about what this beta test is going to cover in terms of functionality, compatibility, usability, etc. I’ll see if I can get the Seti to agree to a short interview about what they hope the beta test will confirm. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, here’s some more background info:
Posted on 12/01/2010 in Android App Testing
, Mobile App Testing
by Mike Brown
Like other members of Generation X, my first online music experience was not iTunes, Zune or Napster, but rather Winamp. If you’re not familiar with the phrase “it really whips the llama’s ass” then you should go to Wikipedia and catch up on the last fifteen years.
Anyway, we recently got news that Winamp is back in a big way with their new Android app, which has just been released from beta testing. It’s been said that “beta” is Latin for “still doesn’t work” so we would not be surprised to see more than a few bugs reported over the next several months. But from the sound of things, this app appears to be the real deal. Stay tuned.
Here’s Mobiletor.com with the news:
The Android Market may appear attractive to app developers for more reasons other than its rather hospitable nature. Like the growing popularity of Android in the mobile OS segment, for example. AOL has now taken the Winamp application for Android (WAFA) out of its beta testing phase. The app is being advertised as a ‘complete end-to-end music management solution’ for the platform.
Apart from regular USB sync, this Android app also renders wireless sync over Wi-Fi with the Winamp desktop client. Music and playlists may be sourced from iTunes libraries and SHOUTcast radio, with recent listening history, bookmarks for favorite directory listings and similar features, is also accessible to users.
WAFA lets users interact with other apps on the phone, such as YouTube, Amazon MP3 store and Pandora by simply pressing down on track info. There’s the Now Playing feature which throws up information including album art, artist bios, discography and photos too. All of this is accompanied by widget players, shortcuts and a comprehensible range of player controls.
Posted on 11/29/2010 in Mobile App Testing
by Mike Brown
Just off the wire (via Slashgear.com):
Microsoft is adding private beta group support to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, allowing developers to do limited testing of their applications before submitting for full app store inclusion. The incoming functionality was announced at Microsoft’s BizSpark UK, according to Richard Hyndman, and should make testing software for the fledgling OS more straightforward.
The news will be welcomed by developers who have had to use unofficial tools such as ChevronWP7 to sideload applications onto jailbroken handsets in order to conduct broader testing of alpha-stage apps. Last week, Microsoft announced that it had 3,000 applications already in the WP7 Market, and 15,000 developers coding for the platform.
Safe to say that mobile app development has greatly outpaced mobile app testing over the last few years. In other words, while the applications, platforms and operating systems have seen tremendous advances, the same cannot be said of mobile testing methodologies.
Case in point: The majority of mobile app developers are still overwhelmingly reliant on internal beta testing.
Here with proof is VisionMobile, who recently published a fascinating report on the mobile app ecosystem. A must-read for anyone – and I mean anyone – involved with mobile applications (i.e. developing, marketing, sales, etc.) the report should serve to demonstrate that mobile app testing has a long way to go before it’s fully matured. Here’s the key excerpt:
Internal beta testing is the most popular technique used by the vast majority (nearly 70 percent) of respondents, with beta testing with users and peer reviewing the next most popular techniques. Only 20 percent of respondents use focus groups or research of their own. Overall, North American developers are somewhat more sophisticated in their application planning, with 97 percent using beta testing as a standard part of application development and with broader use of a portfolio of planning techniques as well.
Yet, small development firms have limited means today to beta test and peer review their applications with a crosssection of representative users. Given the hundreds of thousands of mobile apps, we believe that efficient
(crowd-sourced) testing of apps in a global market of users is considerably under-utilized. This presents an opportunity for the few solution providers in this segment – Mob4Hire and uTest.com, for example – but also for network operators, who can generate a channel for testing applications with end users, and provide an open feedback support system back to developers.
Other interesting findings included: