HP Mobile Testing and Three Things I Learned at Mobile World Congress 2012

First, and perhaps most obviously—Android was huge.   Android was almost everywhere.   The open platform is fueling innovation and creativity on the part of manufacturers and developers alike.   If you thought the mobile market was fragmented up until now, I expect we’ll only see more innovation and variation - especially in the android space.   For testers – this will make it even harder to ensure that your application works on modern platforms.

 

Of course, the show wasn’t only about android.   The mobile platform space isn’t getting simpler, rather it’s continuing to evolve.   I was impressed to see Nokia’s future direction with the next generation of Windows Mobile devices along with RIM’s work to compete in a dynamic and rapidly changing market.  If they are successful in the market, it will make the job of testing and QA even more complicated.

 

Like most people, I’m often impressed with the ‘wow factor’ of innovative technology, but where the rubber meets the road, is how can new technology improve the bottom line?   Here were a couple of things that could…

 

-       Android Beam. Being able to pass data between two applications on different phones, by holding them very close to each other.  You  could share contact information with someone else, share a meeting, make a payment,  check in for a flight, share insurance information….  The list goes on and on…  As more devices support NFC technology, I expect that this will become more and more common

 

-       Hybrid form factors.   The best example was from Asus, where they demonstrated a phone, that could become a tablet, that could become a laptop… and then when you got a phone call.. you would be able to use a Bluetooth stylus as the phone headset.  This is just one example of how device manufacturers and innovating around the mobile platform. 

 

-       3D and Stylus input.  It’s hard to imagine a 3d display on a mobile phone, but it’s real and it works (without funny sunglasses).   I also saw a number of offerings where a stylus was an integral part of the solution.   The usefulness of the stylus was obvious when taking notes while reviewing a document and was equally impressive in the hands of an artist drawing portraits. 

 

Ultimately, MWC was an opportunity to take stock of where we are at with mobile technology and a glimpse into where mobile technology is headed.

 

The one other thing it confirmed for me was how HP’s approach to mobile testing is exactly on target.  We’ve chosen to focus on a few key things:

  1. Automation is essential.   Without automation, you can’t keep up with the dynamic nature of the mobile industry.   You will be forced to do manual testing for core features on a few platforms, but will have to hope and pray that your application works on the rest of the devices and platforms you couldn’t get to.
     
  2. Emulators are nice, but mobile testing needs to happen on real mobile devices.  For mobile testing to be reliable and valid, the application must be deployed on a real device and then tested.  Given the dynamic nature of the industry, it can be very, very hard to keep up. 
     
  3. Functional testing is important, but equally important is reliable and valid mobile performance testing.   "Valid" mobile performance testing takes into account realistic network traffic and conditions in addition to dynamically generating load on the mobile application.

Our decision to focus on our industry leading automation platform – Quick Test Professional and Perfecto Mobile’s Mobile Cloud  extension to QTP brings together a solid, comprehensive mobile solution for automated mobile functional testing.   Our mobile performance approach with LoadRunner/Performance Center and Shunra's network emulation can drive "valid" mobile performance tests of almost any size.  Of course, you can also read more about other mobile challenges in our 5 Mobile Challenges Whitepaper.

 

If you’re interested in HP LoadRunner or Performance Center you can follow us
- on the HP Performance Validation Blog  or even follow us @hploadrunner on Twitter

And if you’re looking for functional testing – you need to check out The Future of Testing Blog

Of course- go to www.hp.com/go/mobiletesting for all things related to HP mobile testing

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