Mobile Web Services
Beating the Mobile Evolution: Survival of the Technologically Fit
Develop, test, monitor and repeat is key
By: Tim Murphy
Nov. 20, 2012 02:10 PM
The exponential growth of smartphone users around the globe is no secret. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports that vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in 3Q12 alone. The importance of the mobile evolution reaches a broad range of industries from financial services to travel and hospitality. Integrating mobile strategies includes meeting the needs of the mobile generation and is a crucial element for any business to grow and sustain.
The burden of creating great consumer experiences and high quality enterprise applications across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, sits on the shoulders of mobile Web and app developers worldwide.
While the perception of an iPhone world may be grandiose, the reality is iPhone and iOS only contribute to a small percentage (18 percent according to IDC's 2011 research) of the total global smartphone usage. Most mobile Web and App developers aware of the fragmented mobile market understand the headaches when faced with the daunting task of having to create for multiple platforms in order to capitalize on the 81 percent that are not iOS users. Even though Android has recently emerged as the popular platform leader, there are still numerous feature and smartphone devices that also need to be considered during development.
When it's all said and done, the judgment of quality rests in the hands of the end user. Most companies do not have the resources or second-chance opportunities to release a product without proper testing on multiple platforms. The caveat for developers working in the mobile space relies on the ability to test on multiple devices, which means having access to hundreds of devices, not generally the case. The current trend is shifting to testing on the cloud with emulated software, avoiding the need to make space for multiple devices in the development laboratory and alleviating the need to expend an exorbitant amount of resources to find, purchase and ship hundreds of mobile devices just for testing purposes.
The fragmented mobile landscape has also been a pain point on the enterprise level. The growing adoption of BYOD has presented the need to push out quality-assured applications on a multitude of devices. This trend has increased the need to use effective testing tools that can speed up development time and push out products to keep up with the push toward mobile, where devices and their platforms are frequently updated. Enterprise customers need to be able to deploy effective communication to their employees and create mobile apps and tools that will ultimately increase productivity, and real-device testing is an efficient way for the enterprise to stay ahead of user issues.
In mobile development there are some common mistakes during testing process that are critical to the end product.
Use-test: Use the application on a fully charged device for a number of hours. Take battery life and other readings at regular intervals. Set automated scripts to run and test the application for up to 12 hours to determine how many resources your application uses while it is being accessed.
Idle test: Turn on the application while the device has a full battery, and leave it running on its home or menu screen for up to 12 hours. Record battery and resources usage at regular intervals in order to determine if the idle application is using additional resources behind the scenes.
HTML5: The Ultimate Solution?
The introduction of HTML5 has been a great advancement in the development community and helps to streamline cross-platform coding. Simplified and minimalist is the key for success in today's on-the-go mobile culture. The "write once, run anywhere'" method has been a strong wish for developers for decades; HTML5 has not solved the issue but brought us much closer. The debate between native, hybrid and HTML5 applications is not likely to be resolved in the near future. In order to untie the complex shoelace, it's imperative for developers to consider which approach best suits their application and end-user requirements.
Nevertheless, testing remains a critical component of speed and efficiency in the development process; advances in automated testing solutions make testing hundreds lines of code efficient and consistent.
The Mobile Bottom Line
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