Android is the mobile industry’s fastest-growing operating system. In Q4 2012 alone, market leader Samsung is rumoured to have sold over 64 million smartphones, ahead of its closest competitor Apple which sold 47.8 million iPhones. Like the App Store, the Google Play Store boasts over 1.4 published applications. This creates intense competition for publishers who want to get noticed.
Not unlike the quest for App Store dominance, quality is a major factor when shopping for Android applications. With so many options at their fingertips, users are more demanding than ever and in all likelihood won’t download an application with bad reviews.
This challenge is further accentuated by the fact that Android applications are severely impacted by the fragmentation that exists in the Android ecosystem.
How can Android testing help fight fragmentation?
The particularity of Android is that it is free and open source. For these reasons, many mobile phone manufacturers have made it their operating system of choice. Given that Android is modified by each hardware manufacturers for its specific needs, Android developers have been struggling with fragmentation since the inception of the platform.
Indeed, you will find that publishing a bug-free application on all popular Android devices in your target market is proving to be quite a challenge. Aside from the obvious hardware and software fragmentation of the devices, the market is heavily fragmented as well, which makes Android application testing a heavy operation.
For example, if you want to ensure that your Android application works great for 50% of Android users in the United States, you would need to test it on 6 different devices. If you want to ensure that it works great for 75% of Android users in the United States, you would need to test it on 12 different devices. And this isn’t even mentioning China, which has recently become the 2nd most important country in terms of mobile app downloads and smartphone owners.
App Quality Alliance (AQuA)
The App Quality Alliance is an organization funded by AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung and Sony Mobile. The objective of the AQuA is to promote sound development practices to increase the quality of mobile applications across all platforms.
The result of this collaborative effort is primary rooted in the publication of several documents: the Best Practice Guidelines for developing Quality Mobile Apps and the Android applications testing criteria, which is also summarized in the Summary of Android tests excel file. All of these documents are available on AQuA’s resources page.
While these documents are an excellent starting point for any Android application publisher, obviously they are not tailored specifically to the individual content of each application, and you need to complement them with your own test cases. But definitely, you should use them as a starting point for your Android application testing efforts.
We always include all of the relevant test cases of the Android testing criteria when we conduct tests for our clients because they are highly relevant and cover areas which are often forgotten.
Our Android application testing services
It can be quite costly for developers to purchase a large number of Android devices. One of our key value propositions here at Crowdsourced Testing is that we can help test your Android app on a very large number of devices quickly and efficiently.
By using our platform, you effectively retain the services of a large crowd of expert software testers working on a large number of different Android devices. This will help you ensure that your new Android app offers your users an excellent bug-free experience, which is critical to your success. Find out more by signing up for a free account.