With more than 400 types of android devices, how in the world can Android developers test their apps in the market-place? iPhone is a bit more simple, you just need the multiple generations of iPhone and iPad and you are good to go. But Android has such a wide variety. The solution is actually a bit more simple than you would originally think.
I found this post right off TechCrunch, which brought up the question. It’s a great question to ask because we find ourselves with this issue with Browsers, Mobile Devices, and even Mobile Browsers. How do you test and account for all of them. A lot of companies who are distributing applications and websites to millions of users don’t necessarily have a huge QA team to account for all these.
There is the notorious 80/20 rule that should be followed, where you aim to please 80% of the market and leave the additional 20% as lower priority. That does two things, 1) It gets your product developed. We all know that if everybody obsesses on perfection a product never gets released; and 2) You hit the meat of the market. Although you are missing 20%, you continue to develop towards an even better ratio. And with the constant change in technologies, a lot of the time you lose some devices that you no longer have to support and you gain additional ones. You can likely achieve this by getting the top 27 devices, keeping an active monitor on the market and switching out the devices you no longer need. And in the grand scheme of things, if you business depends on it, it’s not all that expensive to do.
Often times, companies do not have more than 2 people doing the QA for an individual application. It’s not surprising to even see that QA role split with Technical Writer responsibilities.
So, how do you test for Android? 1) Understand your reliance on hardware and the difference between web based applications and native applications. 2) Watch the market and hone in on the highest demand devices and rates of growth. 3) Setup your test cases in a succinct fashion. 4) Aim for an 80/20 ratio for launch and circle back to pick up your additional market share. 5) Test away.