Nowadays, when most mobile application software is created and distributed on a continuous basis, it is also necessary to ensure ongoing automation of mobile software testing throughout the world. With Android and iOS mobile applications, it is a problem to test for a huge number of HW variants, display sizes, editions of operating systems from different manufacturers in different parts of the world on real devices. Simulators and emulators are mostly not the right ones. If I'm already testing how to make my own beta distribution a true real tester across platforms?
Let's quickly introduce one of the world's most used services for this purpose. These are Xamarin Test Cloud and HockeyApp. Both services are highly independent of development technologies and platforms, but have recently been purchased by Microsoft, the latest developer and tester of Android and iOS applications. Both services will be part of the upcoming integrated multiplatform DevOps service of Microsoft Visual Studio Mobile Center.
Xamarin Test Cloud is a remote cloud service for testing mobile applications on real devices. It's actually a server room full of physical Android and iOS devices and utilities. It is designed for massive execution of automated UI tests on many different types of devices. It is independent of Xamarin technology, you can test applications written in virtually all types of technologies, run them manually, or use any instrument below for the CI / CD orchestration.
At the beginning of the process, you need to create a universal automated test, which then multiplies, triggers and checks, and reports clearly. You can use the Xamarin UI Test, Calabasch (Rubby) or the Appium Framework to create UI test scripting. But I certainly recommend testing the new Xamarin Test Recoder for Visual Studio or iOS - it will greatly save your work with testing because it generates what you do on a physical device or a simulator.
Xamarin Test Cloud supports gestures, major physical phone sensors such as GPS, buttons, camera, rotation, etc. After performing tests, you get very clear overall reports with details on the device.
At present, two Xamarin Cloud Tests are actually working. The newly upgraded version is already part of a larger package - Microsoft VS Mobile Center. You can try both in free trial mode.
In most cases, it is not enough to test applications on a large number of different physical devices. The app should also be continuously provided to a limited number of specific people who already have their own phones and tablets. From them, collect real bugs and analyse potential crashes, ideally also get feedback from real use by the tester. Yes, virtually all public beta distribution stores have, but everyone else and interactions with beta testers are not well secured. Here is HockeyApp.
The goal of HockeyApp is to ensure simple and continuous beta distribution of new versions, collection of usage information, and the ability to interact with the beta team with the development team. If the application is already final, there is also a unified collection of user metrics and telemetry across platforms. In general, this is a very important part of Mobile DevOps workflow.
Unlike UI testing, there is more to go into the code - to be able to insert the instrumentation for data collection. This is done by client SDKs, which are publicly available including source codes, and even for Unity.
Beta distribution does not go into different public application stores, but first into a unified private application point for testers, where all platforms and applications are together, all are configured, co-operative, reporting, etc. Tester's online application, they also have additional functionality available, for example, to send feedback to the dev team from the application. The development portal contains different types of reports on user and application behaviour. HockeyApp can be used or tested for free in a free single user plan.
As mentioned above, both of the above services will also be part of the upcoming mobile DevOps package in Visual Studio Mobile Center.
This cloud service is now available as a preview, on-demand, and covers the entire lifecycle of mobile applications. In its current form, it offers the following services:
All the features are, you can use the REST API in addition to the web interface. Read the documentation.
To read more about multiplatform development, testing, and distribution options? Download the free e-brochure "Microsoft platform and tools for mobile application development".
If you are looking for information on how to create multiplatform applications using Visual Studio, you can find them at https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/mobile-app-development/.
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