2017 is definitely going to be a remarkable year with regards to mobile innovation, and using a calendar as a team planning tool that takes this innovation into consideration, to continuously validate and fine-tune existing device/browser labs can reduce misalignments between business requirements and quality goals. Most organizations fail to react in time to mobile market events like new OS or device releases. This results in outdated and often irrelevant dev and test against wrong configurations of device/OS/Browsers. I put together a calendar that predicts market trends and releases, so you can anticipate and act upon them. The calendar is also located here.
Mobile Testing Lab Highlights
I recommend you build your test coverage strategy with these highlights in mind:
- Nokia is making its come back in 2017 with few Android 7.x based devices. This process started with a 1st Nokia 6 device that was launched only for the Chinese market, a process that will continue post MWC with 1-2 additional and global Android-based devices.
- This launch might not immediately impact the mobile space and existing test coverage strategies, however, toward H2-2017 based on the great adoption of Nokia 6 so far, it might require changes to your test labs.
- Samsung is trying to recover its battery explosion and brand damage with new Galaxy and Note devices during 2017, and while it’s still TBD whether a pair of S8/S8 Edge will be launched during MWC or a new Note 8 phablet.
- Apple is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and the expectations are for a ground-breaking iPhone 8/iOS 11 releases.
- In that regards, what we’ve seen over the past 2-3 years is that even though OS versions adoption is fast (see below image), new iOS devices adoption is slower, and as a fact, older iPhones like iPhone 5S, 5C, 6 still dominate leading markets such as U.S, Canada, Australia and EU5 countries.
- From an Android OS perspective, there is still quite a lot of fragmentation in the market in the sense that mobile app teams still need to deal with 4 Android OS families or OS generations that include KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat (in some cases and based on customer analytics organizations also need to cover JellyBeans 4.1-4.3 OS’s)
With all of the above in mind, 2017 is looking to be a great and challenging year. For that, we provide teams a quarterly set of tools that can help them navigate through these market movement so they can keep up with the pace.
Among some of the key mobile testing recommendations we give are the following:
- Continuously test your app on the latest OS, and Beta’s (we know that they are public release)
- Especially for Android, make sure you include a Nexus device (5X/6P/Pixel) from the simple reason that you will then have access to the latest developer previous OS release and GA of any new Android platform.
- Test your app for real user conditions, network changes, interrupts and such to assure your app behaves as expected regardless the user environments.
- Keep in mind that the market does not stand still, thus refreshing the lab on a quarterly basis, and in many cases also increasing its size might be crucial to your app quality assurance.
- Finally, leverage a mobile market calendar as part of your planning strategy to be well prepared for what’s coming and act upon it in advance.
Happy Mobile App Dev & Testing In 2017