3 Motivations That Made Me Switch From iOS to Android

As a mobile evangelist at Perfecto, i foresee the entire mobile and web space for the past 10+ years, following major trends both in the device/hardware front as well as the platform/OS (operating System) front.

I was an Apple user for the past 2 years, using an iPhone 6 Plus device both for my personal as well as my work daily activities. Last month i decided it’s time for a change and i replaced my iPhone with a Google Nexus 6P phablet.

Let me explain some of my reasons to that switch:

  1. Quality and Innovation
  2. Platform Restrictions
  3. Future Looking

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Quality and Innovation

In the front of quality and/vs. innovation i found out that as a 2 year trend, Apple’s iOS was constantly straggling with quality that mostly came on top of innovative features and end user -experience. For the past 2 years Apple released 10 versions of iOS 8 stopping at a stable GA of iOS 8.4.1, while for iOS 9 Apple released 10+ versions stopping at a recent 9.3.5 GA release that addresses security issues. To compare this trend to Android platform – Android 5.0 Lollipop released in November 2014 and was enhanced till latest version of 5.1.1 (~5 versions in 2 years). Android Marshmallow 6.0 was released in October 2015 and since than only had an additional version of 6.0.1 release. Last month (August 22nd) Google released its new Nougat 7.0 release that is available to users (like me) that hold a Nexus device. iOS 10 is just around the corner with the iPhone 7 devices, but based on the current trend and enormous public Beta versions, it seems like no major changes are expected in the quality/release cadence.

In the Android history we see some major enhancements around sensor based capabilities for payment, logging in as well as UX (user experience) features such as multi window support (see below image), android Doze (battery saving capability). In iOS we also see enhancements around sensors like force-touch, apple pay however these features IMO come in short compared to the platform stability over the past 24 months and the platform constrains which i’ll highlight in the next section.

20160823_142250 Screenshot_20160823-141941

Platform Restrictions

From an ens user perspective, some of the important platform features involves the ability to customize his UX and look and feel of his personal device. Also having the ability to easily manage his media files such as photos and music with a reasonable storage availability. Apple flagship device with massive market share across regions is the iPhone 6/6S with a default storage (un-expandable) of 16GB – I hardly know a person who has this device/storage size that is happy with that, and does not need to constantly delete files, cancel auto savings of WhatsApp media files and alike.  In addition, continuously working with iTunes software as a dependency to media/songs sync is a pain and often i found myself losing my favorite music files or getting them duplicated by simply having to switch from 1 PC to another (people do that, and there are procedures that might have prevented this outcome but still). Compared to the above, most Android devices that are not coming with an external storage option are by default coming with a 64 GB internal memory, and in addition working with music file system is a simple and straight forward task to do.

Switching from my iPhone and iTunes to a Nexus device while having my Gmail account was a very simple thing to do, my music, photos and apps easily “followed” me to the Android device that is already running Android 7 in a stable way.

iOS is not all bad, don’t get me wrong – from an adoption perspective, and device/OS fragmentation this is by far a much better managed platform compared to Android that rolls out its latest GA version in a 4-6 months delay to a non-Nexus device (example: Samsung). In addition the iOS tablets are still a leader in that front with 4-6 years old tablets like iPad Air, iPad 2 that are the most commonly used tablets in the market that can still run iOS 9 OS versions. It is not the case when it comes to Android tablets that tend to be replaced by their end-users in a shorter period of time that iPads.

 

Market_Cal

Future Looking

From a future looking perspective, my opinion is that Google is still going to have a global market share advantage over Apple and will continue to innovate with less frequent releases due to quality than Apple. 2017 is going to show us a continuous battle between Android 7 and iOS 10 in a market that becomes more and more digital and mobile dependent, and with this in mind – the challenge of quality, innovation and less restrictions will be even more critical to independent users as well as large enterprises who are already today fully digital.

As an end-user, i would look at both Google and Apple and examine how their overall digital strategy will transform and enable easier connectivity with smart devices like watches etc., as well as less limited storage and device/OS customization. From a Dev and Test perspective i would assume we will continue to see growing adoption of open-source tools such as Espresso, XCTest UI, Appium etc. as a method of keeping up with the OS platform vendors – Only such open-source frameworks can easily and dynamically grow and support new features and functionalities compared to legacy/commercial tools which are slower to introduce new API’s and new capabilities  into their solutions.

Blog series: (1) Mobile Market Landscape: 2015 Highlights

As we wrap up another year, we thought it would be fun and informative to take a look back at the mobile devices, operating system updates and trends that hit the market this year.

Let’s start with this bird’s-eye view graphic of the important releases that made 2015 such an innovative year in mobile.

Mobile Market 2015 Retrospective Calendar, Source (Perfecto's Digital Test Coverage Index Report)
Mobile Market 2015 Retrospective Calendar (Source: Perfecto’s Digital Test Coverage Index report)

There were more than 30 significant smartphones and tablets released this year. Many of these devices such as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6, the Galaxy Note 5 and the LG Nexus 5X quickly became popular on a global scale. When putting together our quarterly Digital Test Coverage Index we noticed that these newly-minted devices ranked high up in the indexes in both the U.S. and Europe.

But a device is nothing if it’s not running on an updated operating system — and this year brought 15 OS releases (major and minor), from Apple iOS 8.2 to 9.2, and Android 5.1.1 to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Microsoft released what it hopes will be a mobile game-changer, Windows 10. All of these OS releases will have an impact on the already fragmented mobile space, keeping DevTest teams busy with more re-testing.

This year we also saw disruptive technologies take center stage, such as Apple Force Touch, Touch ID authentication, Mobile Payments, Voice commands and contextual awareness apps based on location.

Samsung Galaxy View Tablet
Samsung Galaxy View Tablet

Looking ahead, it’s clear that 2016 is going to be just as hectic, fragmented, and EXCITING. In the coming year, enterprises can expect mobile and web user engagement to be key business drivers, forcing many organizations to do rigorous testing of new app features on mobile devices, OSes and web browsers to deliver a memorable user experience to customers.

As a sneak in preview in our latest Digital Test Coverage Index, we’ve added a 2016 calendar and we already see new trends emerging such as increasing tablet screen sizes that aim to replace today’s laptops (i.e. the Samsung Galaxy View tablet with its unique screen size of 18.4”, and Apple’s iPad Pro with its 12.9” screen size).

For more details on important mobile and web test coverage trends, download the Digital Test Coverage Index.

Happy holidays to all. Here’s to successful digital test coverage in 2016!

IDC 2012 report around mobile and additional post on mobile testing

Hi

Redirecting to 2 new posts i’ve made on PerfectoMobile blog:

http://blog.perfectomobile.com/2012/11/02/idc-report-mobile-operating-systems-stats-for-q32012/

http://blog.perfectomobile.com/2012/10/26/testing-mobile-enterprise-business-critical-applications/

Enjoy

Eran

Windows Phone 8 handsets are starting to pop out

Hi,

As many anticipated, we are starting to see more and more investment in the new Windows Phone platform, by many OEM’s and not only Nokia which is collaborating for a while with Microsoft.

In this short post, i will list the new upcoming Windows Phone 8 phones which you will soon start to see.

HTC:

HTC is announcing the launch of its new Windows Phone 8 phone called HTC Accord.

The phone comes with a 1.5 GHZ dual core SnapDragon processor, 4.3 ” Screen, 8 MP camera, External microSD card, NFC support, as well rumors says that the phone will have support for LTE communication.

Read more at: http://www.htcaccord.com/

Samsung:

Samsung announced its new ATIV-S Windows Phone 8 phone with the following characteristics: Super AmoLed 4.8 ” Screen, 1.5 GHZ dual core processor, Full HD 8 MP rear camera, with a 1.9 MP front camera. support for an external MicroSD card (which is new in the WP platform) and NFC support!. The phone which is running the WP8 will support Internet Explorer 10 browser, Mobile Office suite and the new cloud storage service SkyDrive.

The ATIV brand actually starts a new line of products by Samsung for WP8 (ATIV Tab 10.1”, ATIV Smart PC and more)

Read more at: http://www.samsung.com/global/ativ/ativ_s.html

Nokia:

Nokia which is of course the WP platform pioneer, is also announcing on 2 new phones running WP8 called Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820.

The Nokia Lumia 920 will come with a 4.5” screen, and the Nokia Lumia 820 with a smaller screen of 4.3”

The news around these 2 phone is about their support in the new PureView camera technology, which for these 2 phones will give a 21 Mega Pixel support.

Read more about these 2 new handsets at: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/31/3281985/nokia-lumia-920-specs-pictures-leak

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/31/nokia-lumia-820-920-leak/

Summary:

As I always state, the mobile world is dynamic and constantly changing, and we are already seeing that even for the new Windows Phone platform the biggest OEM’s are starting to dive in so it will be interesting to see how such change impacts the mobile market, and the existing iOS/Android and the RIM platforms.

From testing perspective we also see variety of new screen sizes which was and will always be a challenge for testers and test automation (Above we mention already 4.3”, 4.5”, 4.8”). Tablets for WP8 as you saw above are also starting to be deployed extending this platform market.

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Picking the right handsets for your project

Hi

We all know that the mobile world is dynamic, plenty of new handsets are being shipped at the same time in which we develop our product and testing on the (what we believe) is the “hottest” handsets in the market.

It is clear that being agile and fast in the way we develop, test and deploy our mobile products is a key to be attractive in the market, however it is also impossible to support all handsets and be ahead of the market.

So – The way to be up to date in the offering, is not simple but possible.

When you start developing your product keep in mind that by picking the “right” 10 handsets which are “hot” in the market you can reach the coverage of ~50% of the market (Note that there are lead devices which represent a whole family of handsets and can give you a lot of value by testing on it), as well if you go to ~30 devices you may reach up to ~80% coverage of the market.

How should you decide than?

The way to do the picking of handsets should combine the 2 following aspects:

– Market research

– Right family identification/lead devices

Market Research: The way to determine what is relevant in the market is to do some research and analysis – either through leading mobile blogs, or even simple – going through the leading mobile operators in the world, and seeing what they are currently selling (e.g. Vodafone global lists today in the top list of devices in Germany: Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy SII, SEMC Xperia Arc S etc. – http://shop.vodafone.de/Shop/smartphones/, if you go to Vodafone UK you will see mostly the same ones, as well as HTC One X and others http://www.vodafone.co.uk/brands/android/index.htm)

Doing a matrix and unification of handsets between the world leading carriers in Europe/U.S/Asia should give you the lead handsets which you would like to support and test in the 3-6 months ahead (Per OS – Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry).

Families: The aspect of family should be a subset of the above list If e.g you reached a common list of lets say 50 handsets, i am mostly certain that the list can be cut into half by doing proper comparison between the various handsets by their OS, Screen resolution and OEM (This can be done through sites like GSM Arena – http://www.gsmarena.com)  and minimizing the list by leads, members and families.

Please find attached to the post an up to date list of common handsets by OEM which is sold world wide these days to ease your pain 🙂  –> As you will see, there are a lot of similar handsets across all large operators which can show the main devices to focos on.

MobileWorldHandsetsDistribution

P.S: With regards to the leading Android/iOS tablets these days:

iOS – iPad 2 and iPad 3

Android – Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Xoom, Asus Nexus 7, Dell Streak 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, Sony Tablet S. Asus Transformer TF300, Asus Transformer TF700

Regards,

Eran

Cross Platform mobile development tool – Titanium

All

This is a Testing blog however i recently get a lot of questions around Mobile development/porting for cross platform projects (Android/iOS etc.).

For this cases there are several good and free tools out there which can be used such as PhoneGap (http://phonegap.com/download/), EggPlant (http://www.testplant.com/products/eggplant/for-cross-platform-testing/) and Titanium.

In this short post i will just point you out to the tool and give a very high level details about it for you guys to go and try it out for yourself

Titanium is a free tool by Appcelerator (http://www.appcelerator.com/platform/titanium-sdk) which allows quite quickly to develop a cross platform mobile application which can be than deployed on iOS and Android Phones/Emulators and also PC Web browsers.

The tool allows to develop in Java Script and customize your resources pending the operating system you which to deploy on:

You need to have on your machine the Android SDK and point its location in the Titanium SDK to allow execution and debugging on the Android Emulator.

You have through the SDK options to create new project from samples or templates (HTML5, Tabbed APP and more).

Feel free to give it a try and comment

Regards,

Eran Kinsbruner

Mobile project planning

Hi

Up until now i covered in the various posts the aspects of Mobile testing, trends, tools for automation, mobile platforms etc.

All of the above does not help much if the mobile project is not well planned in advanced with SMART milestones, efficient choices of devices (lead/gold devices), right tools and Agile ALM (Application life-cycle management).

In this short post i will advise the most important project milestones and how to define them.

First milestone:

Product definition and feature list –> In this milestone the product management ought to chose the supported platforms and devices for the project (based on thorough market research world wide and based on the projected release date which should be relevant for the selected devices), the project scope (the feature set should be well defined, the supported languages/localizations should be defined, the required certifications (Google CTS, Google Market, Apple App Store certification and more) should be clear, the target customers and of course the projected release date.

Not to forget the UI/UE aspect which is a critical aspect in any mobile project (Not only because the OS requirements but also for the end users).

Second Milestone:

– Core team build up and preliminary work plan implementation, staffing etc.

– Purchasing/ordering of equipment as needed, tools for development and automation should be brought up for approval

– High level Test Plan and Product specification should be developed during that milestone and approve by the core team

Third Milestone:

– Product development

– Unit test development

– Test development on the lead/gold devices per platform (Manual and Automated)

– Documentation creation (As needed and as defined by product)

– Sanity testing on supported devices, emulators, and cloud based handsets.

fourth Milestone:

– Feature complete

– Test development complete

– Full cycle execution on lead devices

– Porting kick off –> Building of subset devices (Either from the lead devices family or new families) versions for testing (Only sanity testing is required for devices within the lead devices family, while full cycles on new family members)

** Family can be defined by a group of devices from the same OEM with the same OS and Screen resolution (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung galaxy S Plus are related to the same family –> http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9001_galaxy_s_plus-3908.php ; http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9000_galaxy_s-3115.php).

Fifth Milestone:

– In this stage the project should be well tested, debugged, ported to at least several devices and families, as well as documentation should be ready, certification status should be GREEN, and the bug trends for the project should also be minimal, quality criteria is mostly met.

– Project release to the various markets for approval is being done

– Based on approval and if needed pre-customer approval the project is released!!

The above is just in a nutshell list of items which i feel are a must in a common project plan for a mobile project, i might have missed few items, or the order can be different in few companies, but the above should bring you to a safe release if followed properly.

Thanks,

Eran Kinsbruner