HTML5 and the Fight Over Who will Win the OS War

2 04 2013

201209-Cross-Platform-AppsMobile developers continue to struggle to determine how and on which OS’ to develop their mobile projects on.  As Michelle Fredette recently explained in her article that “Developing applications for multiple platforms is expensive, primarily because it takes developers a lot of time to create two or three versions of a single app. Not only does the coding itself take time, but the developers also have to learn multiple authoring systems: Xcode for Apple apps, Visual Studio for Windows apps, and the Android SDK development tools and platform for Android apps. And when updates are needed, which is inevitable, changes must be replicated across the various operating systems. Costs escalate even further when you account for the extra time needed to develop for different-sized devices. Ryan Matzner, writing in Mashable Tech, estimates that adding iPad compatibility to an iPhone app can increase development costs by 50 percent.”

 

She continues “Another drawback associated with native apps is that companies such as Apple act as gatekeepers: Users have to visit their app stores to download the app or update it, and these same companies must approve the app before it goes public–a process that can take weeks. It’s a lopsided arrangement with which not everyone is comfortable. “There are real concerns with [these] companies deciding who can and who can’t publish what on their stores,” explains John Kennedy, developer of Pocket Universe, a successful iOS app.

 

These costs and hosting concerns don’t apply to HTML5 solutions, which generally incorporate CSS (cascading style sheets) and JavaScript, the code language often used to augment HTML apps. All three are considered among the easiest codes to write, and can be written in Notepad or any number of free editors. Plus, you don’t need a development environment to compile them, just a browser for rendering.

 

An additional advantage of HTML5 involves updating. In truth, people are terrible about updating their apps when new versions come out. Browser-based apps draw their features and content in the form of data hosted on the web. If there’s an update, it’s incorporated in that data. The user doesn’t have to download it from an app store. The user might not even know about it.

 

Another benefit is flexibility, allowing a user to access the same piece of content from multiple devices, something that’s especially critical in higher education. Harvey Singh, CEO and founder of Instancy, a company specializing in web and mobile learning solutions, says it’s increasingly important for users to be able to “open a course on a desktop, then go on the road and access it using a mobile device and continue where they left off.”

 

So why aren’t we hearing the death knell for native apps? Well, HTML5 also has real limitations. With native apps, for example, course content can be downloaded to users’ devices, so they don’t need constant access to the internet to work on a course. With a native app, furthermore, when network access is restored, files are automatically synchronized on the network.”

 

Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere platform prides itself on being agnostic when it comes to devices and even OS’. Since our technology can work with any device on any OS, that becomes a non-issue and allows our customers the opportunity to switch platforms as they see fit. That being said, we do see value in HTML5, especially as it pertains to automated testing of mobile apps and websites. While traditionally this has been done on a 1:1 ratio leveraging scripting, HTML5 gives us a framework to perform automated testing across any device (provided it is an HTML5-enabled device, which is  becoming the standard in the industry).

To read the rest of Michelles article click here.

To learn more about HTML5 Web Tesing with DeviceAnywhere’s Automation platform click here.





Is Apple Dominating the Mobile Enterprise Market?

12 03 2013

Screen Shot 2012-08-10 at 15.19.01In a recent article by Jonny Evans of CITE World, it would appear that Apple is starting to dominate the enterprise marketplace. For years, this was a market long-held by the king of enterprise devices – BlackBerry. However since the iPhone and it’s worldwide acceptance amongst consumers and since organizations have seen an explosion in employees bringing their own devices to work and deploying work-based apps on them it is no shock that it’s dominance would make it’s way into the enterprise. The permeation of the Android device has also made its way into the enterprise, resulting in a battle over the mobile enterprise marketplace.

In the article Mr Evans states “If you believe the latest Appcelerator/IDC survey results, poor security, explosive growth in malware threats, and device fragmentation is costing Google’s Android a place in the mobile enterprise, with Apple scooping up believers in this space.”

As an example, CITE recently discussed how PepsiCo took a chance and gave iPhones to 4,500 hourly employees — and it’s paying off.  Even at Keynote, we have seen an increase in request for iOS devices for testing of internal enterprise apps by our DeviceAnywhere customers.

Mr Evans article continues:

“Times are changing

Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 3,632 Appcelerator Titanium developers in May, asking them about their development priorities. They found that Apple now holds a 16 percent lead over Android when it comes to OS deployment among enterprise users: a huge hike since Q3 2011 when both mobile operating systems were tied. Fifty-three percent of developers say iOS will win in the enterprise, while just 37.5 percent side with Android.

The reasons? According to the survey, these include:

  • The popularity of the iPad
  • Frequent reports of Android malware
  • Enterprise challenges in dealing with Android fragmentation
  • Reports of enterprises re-evaluating widespread Android deployment outside of particular business vertical implementations like Machine-to-Machine (M2M).

When it comes to mobile at least, this is translating into an Apple-dominated ecosystem. “Apple iOS device activations still account for more than twice the number of Android activations in the enterprise when it comes to overall platform activations,” says the latest report from Good Technology. iOS accounted for 70.8 percent, Android was 28.3 percent and Windows Phone 7 was 0.9 percent, the research claims.”

Time will tell if Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform takes off as they attempt to extend their enterprise dominance with Windows to mobile.

To read more of the article from CITE go here

 





The BYOD Challenge and BlackBerry’s Answer

7 03 2013

risky-byodBYOD has presented many challenges specifically to the enterprise. Enterprises have a new challenge of managing employee devices that contain external (personal) applications combined with an organizations internal system. Many times an internal CRM app can cause conflicts with outside apps, causing them to not function properly or making them susceptible to security breaches. This puts pressure on IT teams to constantly troubleshoot new issues so that workers can maintain efficiency. While it remains risky (see infograph), employees continue to push the boundaries forcing their organizations to be more efficient and in return making them more effective employees.

Recently, BlackBerry launched their newest device, the Z10 which includes the ability to run enterprise apps and personal apps on the same device while protecting the enterprise’ network at the same time.  Called, “BlackBerry Balance” – it is a feature aimed at corporate users who want to keep their work and personal lives separate – on their phone. It allows users to store apps and data on two distinct profiles – Work and Personal. Users can easily switch between the two profiles and users who bring their device to office can easily format the Work profile when they switch jobs without having to change any setting in the personal one. This is an interesting attempt at trying to address this issue as BlackBerry fights to maintain relevance in the enterprise marketplace.

In addition, the introduction of BYOD has increased existing pain points for internal IT teams and increased the need for solid mobile app performance. IT teams are challenged with meeting the needs of the enterprise and integrating internal systems with personal devices that could have conflicting programming. The ability to testing enterprise applications on real devices to determine bugs and conflicts becomes critical.





No End in Sight to Device Fragmentation for Mobile Developers

5 03 2013

fragmentation_200Fragmentation has always been a difficult issue, but new complexities have been introduced with the proliferation of mobile devices. Many companies are challenged with figuring out how to monetize mobile assets for all types of devices in a cost-effective and efficient way.

Although there has been a reduction of mobile OS’, the number of device types for Android and iOS is increasing. With Android being an open platform for developers, it introduces inherent differences in the functionality and performance of each device. For iOS, while there is less platform fragmentation, the introduction of the iPhone5 presented a new difference in form factor (screen size) from its previous models, adding to the complexities of fragmentation.

This device diversity creates a steep challenge to stay ahead of the curve in the today’s mobile market. Not addressing these issues can mean the difference between a successful mobile launch and wasted resources for broken applications.

Testing is critical and choosing the right devices is essential. To maximize your device coverage in the most efficient way check out the free Device Planner by Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere platform. With it, you can target the right devices and platforms for your mobile apps, websites,  or services.





BBVA Compass Ensures a Better Mobile Experience for its Customers using Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere Platform

28 02 2013

BBVA-Compass-LogoKeynote provides access to hundreds of real mobile devices for BBVA Compass to test their rapidly growing portfolio of mobile apps and services

Keynote® (Nasdaq: KEYN), the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring, today announced that BBVA Compass, one of the 15 largest banks in the United States with a leading franchise in the Sunbelt region, has selected Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere platform. BBVA Compass uses DeviceAnywhere to test its rapidly growing portfolio of mobile apps with a large number of mobile devices during the development process to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction in a cost effective manner.

“Mobile apps are an increasingly critical service—and we want to make sure they work flawlessly before they are available to customers,” explained Chris Causey, mobile channel manager at BBVA Compass. “DeviceAnywhere allows us to test our mobile apps with virtually any mobile device without the need to purchase expensive service plans or ship the device to different development centers. With this capability, we can fix glitches early in the development process to reduce costs and improve the customer experience. Prior to implementing Keynote DeviceAnywhere it was challenging to fully and adequately test our applications because we could only test them with a limited number of devices.”

With the DeviceAnywhere platform, companies have the ability to access hundreds of real mobile devices including iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry devices from anywhere in the world. Companies can also utilize a free tool (Test Case Manager) to build, manage, and maintain their test cases all in one, convenient location.

BBVA Compass developed many test cases using the Test Case Manager tool within DeviceAnywhere allowing their team members to capture results for review. These test cases allow them to examine functionality such as checking account balances, looking up transaction histories, paying bills and transferring funds between accounts. Developers also perform ad hoc testing by going through varying sequences of opening windows and tasks to identify the source of errors that occur on one version of a device but not another.

“Using DeviceAnywhere, our customer satisfaction scores have improved steadily because we understand what our customers see and can quickly diagnose problems,” said Causey. “In addition, we’re getting significantly higher ratings for applications that we make available through app stores.”

Development costs are also lower. The company’s development experience backs up estimates that costs are 50 to 200 times higher to fix bug issues as the project life cycle progresses and gets closer to implementation. (Source: “Software Project Survival Guide,” Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press)

In the near future, BBVA Compass plans to expand its use of DeviceAnywhere to its customer service centers. By making available hundreds of mobile devices to customer service agents from all over the U.S. through the Internet, agents will be able to test apps using the same devices customers use so they can replicate what the customer sees and more quickly troubleshoot problems.

“DeviceAnywhere was designed specifically to allow organizations to test mobile apps and websites on any mobile device from any location,” said Rachel Obstler, senior director of product management at Keynote. “BBVA Compass’ use of Device Anywhere for their development and customer support operations is a perfect example of how organizations can use this solution to improve customers’ satisfaction with their mobile solutions.”

To learn more about DeviceAnywhere Free view: http://www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com/da-free-product-overview.html

To learn more about the Keynote DeviceAnywhere platform including DeviceAnywhere Test Center Developer and DeviceAnywhere Test Center Enterprise view: http://www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com/





Mobile World Congress 2013 – Focus on LTE and New Devices!

30 01 2013

M4DatMWCThe agenda for this previously announced mobile event in Barcelona on February 25 – 28 has been published. (Come see us at our booth # 6C71!). Several sessions deal with Long Term Evolution and a panel discusses challenges the industry is now facing around LTE network deployment.

In online publications and from big consultancies there’s more on the topic. One article in the German publication c’t summarizes what fourth generation mobile communications can accomplish. In addition, Deloitte has published its study “Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2013″, parts of which also cover LTE.

Bottom line: LTE is growing and here to stay. Until the end of 2013 over 200 mobile providers in 75 countries will offer LTE-services. Most recent addition in Europe is Orange in France – after competitor SFR joined late in 2012. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica/O2 offer LTE services, while ePlus is still testing.

In terms of marketing, a key question for Deloitte is how best to differentiate 3G and 4G. Operators need to strike a balance between underwhelming and overselling, as there may not be any single new killer app in 4G, which 3G cannot deliver. What will differ markedly, however, is user experience, and as a result duration and intensity of usage.

This combination entails that for the increased data that will be transferred, Web pages and apps need more meticulous programming and even more custom tailoring to the available devices. Extensive testing will lead to an increase in quality and also will work as a differentiator.

An estimated 300 devices (smart phones, tablets und dongles) will be on the market by the end of this year. Looking at smart phones only, Apple and Samsung are hard to beat – c’t also mentions HTC One XL from Taiwan as one of the players in the field.

But competitors think on their feet and two of them currently work vigorously on their comeback. Nokia – one of the sponsors at the Mobile World Congress in February – is back in the black. The company gave up its own operating system Symbian and now relies on Windows in its attempt to catch up with its competitors. Microsoft in particular has put its focus on the mobile market in striking such a partnership. The company is still to be counted on, especially in the enterprise segment, where it always had a strong presence.

The quoted article points to an additional report, which highlights the new partnerships Microsoft has entered into: There’s Nokia for mobile apps, YELP supporting local searching and also Barnes & Nobles in e-reading und mobile devices. Its headline is strong: “Microsoft is raising an army” – alluding to the company arming itself against the key players in the market: Amazon and Apple.

Research in Motion is aware that this is their last chance in the mobile market. Today they are launching their new Blackberry 10 (IDC Analyst Ramon Llamas: “RIM is betting the farm…”). Historically, RIM was never the most developer-friendly platform and is now planning a 180-degree turn around in offering 70.000 apps on its Blackberry 10. The company pursues this goal aggressively in promising 10.000 USD during the first year of BB10 to each developer. Its huge installed base will come in handy when tackling this task. Today, Research In Motion Ltd announced it is changing its name to BlackBerry, the company announced on Wednesday, in move to refresh its tarnished image as it begins marketing a re-engineered line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Looking at the big picture, it will be hard to catch up with Android and Apple by their sheer volume. Differentiation will be the name of the game and this will most probably not be decided by the number of apps a provider can push to market.

So here at DeviceAnywhere we lean back and just wait and see how the market responds. Our software is agnostic and works across each and every platform. The need for quality, thoroughly tested applications will be crucial and therefore, on the rise. The more data that is transferred over 4G, the more bugs will surface. Let’s wait and see…





Recommendation: Mobility Should Become Fully Integrated into Testing Priorities

29 01 2013

tick_approve_290x230_istockphoto_Thinkstock

According to the recent 2012 -13 World Quality Report (WQR) “We were surprised by the relatively low level of proactive structured testing in this increasingly essential area of business connectivity. We believe that mobile testing needs to be a fully integrated element of the QA discipline, so that the mobile strategy of the enterprise takes testing into account right from the start. The strategy should consider the objectives of the business owner, how the mobile app is delivered, and the target user for the app whether that be customers, suppliers, or employees. Organizations need to accept the paradigm shift brought about by mobility and embrace the new notion of quality for mobile apps, which is a departure from traditional standards applied to desktop applications.

… Proliferation of smartphone and mobile devices including the roll-out of 4G and the use of social media continues to exacerbate the issue of fragmentation. As will the need to focus on the user experience and functionality testing as well as performance. If organizations are to turn the mobile opportunity into a business advantage, some will need to ‘skill up’ or ‘skill out’.”

Of course you may expect this from a mobile testing platform, but our customers are continuing to see the value of having a testing strategy as part of their mobility rollouts. This includes planning, testing, automating, and monitoring their apps and services resulting in a shift in their understanding to see it as a need-to-have as opposed to a nice-to-have. Especially enterprise organizations who are investing millions in building out a successful mobile strategy to generate immediate revenue for their bottom line can’t afford to take that risk. There is too much on the line. As the report illustrated the user experience will be king and there’s no better way to test that experience than on a real mobile device.