Posted on 06/21/2012 in Software Testing
by Jamie Saine
Burger King is working on a new mobile payment option. But before rolling it out across the country the chain is doing some good old fashioned in the wild testing with some stores in Utah. Here are the details from Internet Retailer:
Consumers craving a Burger King combo meal in Salt Lake City now need look no further than their smartphone to pay the bill. Burger King Corp. announced today it is testing a mobile payment service in 50 of its locations in the Utah capital and surrounding metropolitan areas.
The BK payment app allows consumers to purchase and use a reloadable mobile BK Crown Card. Consumers can download the app via Apple Inc.’s App Store and Android storehouse Google Play, open the app to access their mobile card, and pay by scanning a QR code placed on counters or drive-up windows of participating restaurants.
I’m sure part of the test is to see if people will actually use the technology. But the more important part (from a testing standpoint) is to ensure the transactions function correctly outside of the lab – where other apps, surrounding technology, imperfect connectivity and fidgety people or idling cars, among offer factors, come into play. Here’s how the BK mobile payments are supposed to work:
Posted on 05/16/2012 in Software Testing
, Testing Trends
by Mike Brown
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well in the case of Android fragmentation – a subject discussed at great length on the uTest Blog and on mobileapptesting.com – a picture is worth a few thousand devices.
The image you’re seeing is a data chart of thousands of separate device models encountered by the dev team at OpenSignalMaps over the course of a six month period. It may not be a flashy infographic, but it’s one of the best visuals I’ve seen to convey the challenge of Android hardware fragmentation. Here with more details on the chart (and on Android fragmentation in general) is arstechnica:
Posted on 04/16/2012 in Software Testing
by Jamie Saine
Another perk of in-the-wild testing is finding out if the product you just developed actually is intuitive in the hands of real life users or if it was just intuitive to you. Often times something’s not as easy to figure out as you (the creator) think it is. For more on this topic we turn to ignore the code:
Back in 1998, websites would often force visitors to aimlessly move their mouse around, trying to reveal hidden icons or pieces of text that would explain where to click. …
After downloading and playing around with Apple’s new iPhoto for iOS, I felt like I was teleported back to 1998. Touching and gesturing in different ways would make seemingly random things happen. I regularly unintentionally activated features, changed views, opened or closed pictures, and got iPhoto into states I wasn’t sure how to get out of again.
It was only after I watched Apple’s Keynote, where Apple’s Randy Ubillos explains some of the gestures and features of iPhoto, that I finally started to understand how the application is supposed to work.
Apple can’t expect every iPhoto user to watch its Keynote, just to figure out how to use the app. It should be accessible to anyone.
While playing around with iPhoto, I didn’t discover most of the features shown in the Keynote. … There’s some on-screen help, but it’s mostly useless.
Posted on 04/02/2012 in Software Testing
by Jamie Saine
Do you keep hitting the same pothole and telling yourself you’ll report it to the city as soon as you get home, only to forget about it until the next day when you hit the pothole all over again? Or maybe you do remember but you’re not sure which department to contact, and the city’s phone menu isn’t any help. Well, Cambridge, MA recognized these issues, and being one of the smartest, techiest cities in the US they decided to do something about it, in-the-wild app style. Here’s what they came up with, from PCWorld:
The Cambridge iReport app allows smartphone users to report issues in real time and in fewer steps.
[CIO Mary] Hart first piloted Cambridge iReport through the city’s website to see how much activity it would get. She received 80 reports within the first month and made the decision to skip a pilot of the mobile version and go straight into development. …
The app lets citizens include photos of potholes, burned-out street lights, graffiti and rodent problems, or just send text descriptions. Google Maps marks the location of the issue, and if it’s within six miles of Cambridge, it gets pulled into the city’s work-order system. From there, it’s assigned to the proper city worker.
To close the loop, the citizen who submitted the issue will get a confirmation email saying her complaint was received and can later check on the progress of the problem.
Read the full article at PCWorld >>>
That’s some real in-the-wild ingenuity!
Posted on 03/30/2012 in Hardware Testing
, Software Testing
by Jamie Saine
Brian Nadel didn’t test a product, per se, he tested a theory, a practice, a movement. He tested what it’s like to use only a smartphone while in the wild world of traveling. Here’s what he did to prepare for the trip, from PCWorld:
Leaving my laptop and its clunky power adapter at my office has lightened my load considerably. I feel like the After picture in an ad for a new diet plan. Before, I was hunched over, burdened by a heavy notebook bag filled with nearly 10 lbs. of assorted stuff. The After shot shows me standing up straight, holding a thin leather briefcase that houses my smartphone, accessories, paper files and reading material.
All told, I cut 7 lbs. out of my hand baggage. …
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as swapping a laptop for a phone. There are serious pros and cons to laptop-free travel, and pulling it off takes some extra planning, new hardware and software, and a willingness to squint at a small screen.
In my travels, I relied on an LG Nitro HD smartphone ($100 with a two-year contract), which runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and can tap into AT&T’s 4G LTE data service for fast connectivity. It weighs 4.8 oz. (6.8 oz. with its power adapter), a savings of nearly 5 lbs. compared to my HP EliteBook 2560p notebook and its 13-oz. power adapter.
Posted on 03/22/2012 in Software Testing
by Jamie Saine
It’s easy to mutter to yourself when the apps on your phone aren’t working right, the wi-fi connection is causing a site to take forever to download or an app crashes all together. But there’s nothing quite like a vacation going wrong (and the need for instant fixes that the situation requires) to highlight the importance of real world testing. Take, for example, Robert L. Mitchell and his problem-plagued family trip to Florida. From PCWorld:
While driving between our home base in Punta Gorda, Florida and Orlando we received word that our air carrier, Direct Air, had suddenly ceased operations. That left us stranded, along with thousands of other vacationers in Florida, at the height of spring break season. …
Orbitz and other travel apps aren’t well equipped to respond when there’s a booking stampede under way. Even in normal times comparison shopping using these apps can be time consuming. But with prices jumping and flights selling out literally minute by minute, we didn’t have time to fool around. Instead we called our travel agent