The giants in the field of Android apps development prefer testing their apps on a wide range of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets manufactured by different companies. Apparently this seems to be quite challenging, as the developer has to create an application that supports hundreds of devices, different screen sizes and separate versions of operating systems. Here is a brief account on how the top Android apps developers perform quality assurance testing:
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Red Robot Labs:
This company is a veteran in the industry, having more than three and half million downloads. They have developed around 27 popular games in Google Play store. The company uses twelve in-house devices for testing and an experienced team of professionals. They also have a collaboration with a UK-based company, named as Testology for further testing with thirty five handsets.
The co-founder of Red Robot Labs, Pete Hawley has about fifteen years of experience in the gaming industry. He prefers applying an 80/20 rule, which is using lowest possible number of devices that cover maximum number of users all over the world. They take the basic data from Google, which reveal the overall distribution of varied versions of Android, as well as density of screen sizes. They search the analytics in order to find out the devices that are the most popular among Android apps users. They also consider the support tickets and player requests.
According to Pete Hawley, one should be very selective about supporting a device, especially for the lower-end handsets. He feels that staying at the top of Android apps testing with current handsets and operating systems is not that difficult. One has to stay away from old and outdated mobile devices for successful QA testing in Android apps.
This is comparatively newer to Android, having more than 70 million downloads. They use around forty devices for testing and include both tablets and smartphones with varied range of resolution. The five major GPUs (Graphic Processing Units) used here are PowerVR, Adreno, Mali, Tegra and Vivante. Since the gaming industry has rapidly changed over the last few years, Pocket Gems had to develop extremely speedy QA procedures. Today’s mobile apps and games are similar to services and needs constant updates regularly.
Pocket Gems conduct QA testing in three different phases: (1) testing new features, (2) testing release candidate, and (3) integration testing. Their QA team contains experienced professionals, who design tests for the newly developed applications. These new features are integrated into the game after they are stabilized, and then tested for the second time. According to co-founder Harlan Crystal’s statement, the test leads and product managers start risk assessment after the bug fixing through integration testing, in order to freeze the codes before final consignment.
The final phase of this testing procedure is regression testing, which includes testing of device compatibility, performance and memory. If no bug is found during the regression test pass, the product is considered to be ready for final delivery.
This offers four Android games in top-grossing 50 and uses a wide variety of devices, the number ranging from 30 to 50. They categorize the devices into low-end, mid-range and high-end. They buy these devices from international market to test the application on every types. After the games are launched, different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are sent back by the apps to the company’s servers. Thus they can detect whether the devices need to undergo further fine-tuning for providing optimum performance.
Since they operate mostly in China and other Asian countries, where low-end mobile devices are quite common, they conduct quality assurance testing with a wide variety of devices. Animoca is experienced in conducting compatibility test and quality assurance testing, while considering 90 percent compatibility as satisfactory range. Though they are unable to capture US market, they are highly successful in Asia with a huge number of Android apps launched each year.
The above mentioned strategies adopted by top Android apps developers indicate that QA testing for Android apps is actually not that difficult. It is even easier now with the introduction of specialty shops for mobile QA testing. Some apps developers, like Red Robot and uTest opt for using these shops, while most of the developers still prefer in-house testing procedures.