Did you know that there are nearly 1.8 million apps listed on the App Store for users to explore and make use of? And nearly 10% of these iOS apps are classified into business apps securing second place leaving games at the top with 21%. With many businesses, game developers, eCommerce ventures, fashion industries, etc, striving to venture out into the digital space; the need for high-quality iOS apps has become a necessity in today’s day and age. The power of developing an iOS app that is successful and purposeful gives you an option to interact with the customers directly. iOS app development is the way forward for many that want to tap into the millions of users that avail of its services on Apple devices. Mobile app marketing is setting the tone for a new way of advertising that companies are leveraging to level the playing field. While social media marketing and digital advertising seem to be gaining momentum, reaching audiences through app marketing seems to be taking shape as well. The future of mobile app marketing makes it all the more important for developers to ace the skill of app development to get ahead in the game.

iOS App Development

The high demand for mobile apps has raised the standard of iOS app development. The need for designing apps that look sleek and perform fast has always been a daunting goal of many iOS app developers. When building an iOS app, it is important to not just create apps that look good but also build them to ensure smooth functionality in fulfilling the requirements. The stringent app guidelines and the rigorous quality checks that are set by Apple makes it all the more difficult for developers to develop iOS apps that make the cut and become App Store worthy. Hence, It is crucial to assess the performance of the iOS app at every stage of the development process. The response time of the app and the speed at which it functions are a few other vital components that play an important role in qualifying to be listed on the App Store. Providing a practical application-based solution for the requirements of the stakeholders is more important now than ever before due to the changing environment.

 

Here are a few iOS app development tips that are trialed and tested to be beneficial when developing high performing iOS apps.

 

    1. Planning and Market Research

Before you jump straight into writing the code for the app, it is advisable to understand the requirements thoroughly to chart out a plan for app development. Performing an extensive market research to ideate a unique offering to the customers’ needs is sure to save you a lot of time that you may have spent reworking a plan if you were unprepared. Conducting a thorough app research about the requirements at hand will equip you to not only build an app that meets the needs but also will help you avert duplication of any sort.

 

Plan your app well, think about the target audience, chart out the requirements and ask all the questions needed before you initiate the iOS app development.

 

    1. Stick to a Simple Design

The mind of a developer generally wanders off to different tangents to build an app that overachieves the requirements. While most of the thought processes would be directed at adding additional features to the solution; most times these additional features become additional baggage of complexity to a simple solution. This in turn leaves the users confused of its usability and functionality. Designing a seamless UX/UI that speaks simplicity enables users to get around the app comfortably for its utility. Designing an app that addresses the key problem area tends to attract growth organically. The mantra is to take a simplistic approach to address the requirements of the app users and not complicate things.

 

Designing a seamless UX/UI that speaks simplicity enables users to get around the app comfortably and use it with ease.

 

    1. Spend Time on the Fundamentals

Brushing up your basics often is sure to set you on the path to developing apps faster. Getting your fundamentals in place, diving into algorithms, inheritance, polymorphism, and data structures are sure to enhance the use of the software fundamentals for building applications faster in the future. Every tool that you use to develop iOS apps be it Xcode, CocoaPods, Alcatraz, etc surely have shortcuts that you can take advantage of to speed up your build time.

 

Taking the time to learn various commands and shortcut keys are an added advantage that will put you on the fast-lane to become proficient at iOS app development.

 

    1. Use Storyboard for Transitions

A storyboard is an outlandish feature that provides an overview of the apps’ user interface on a screen. The beauty of this feature is captured in its capacity to help with designing multiple controller views on a single screen. Using the storyboard would not only provide you a roadmap of your prototype but also gives you the liberty to design your transitions between the view controllers. Talking about designing the content around the app, it is fundamental for app developers to stick to the principles of depth, clarity, and deference.

 

Storyboarding will ensure that your users get an immersive experience as they navigate through screens and follow the instructions that are thoughtfully constructed for a seamless functionality of the app.

 

    1. Don’t Block Main Thread, Use Git early

Another best practice that is followed by most iOS app developers is adopting Git at an early stage. Using Git early is sure to help with your build in a significant way especially if the app that you are designing is a combined collaborative effort. Using Git early makes it easy to roll back the changes when things go south. It also allows you to view any changes that may have been made to the code by others. Also, blocking the main code by performing app development tasks on it would make the app seem unresponsive, it is best to refrain from working on the main code as the UIKit constantly runs functions like drawing, touch functionality, and input functions on it.

 

Hampering with the main code could become a recipe for disaster leading the app to perform poorly and attract dreadful reviews on the App Store.

 

    1. Swift and Objective-C

Many app developers switching to Swift for creating applications has left the iOS app development industry in a dilemma. While the use of Swift has an edge over Objective-C, it sure has its set of audience that still favor the latter. Although Swift is an easier programming language that new coders can learn and pick up without much knowledge of additional code, a majority of the iOS programming community speaks the language of Objective-C for their iOS app development needs. Swift encapsulates a ton of advantages that is beneficial to paving the future of iOS app development and builds. It is still a work in progress and is consistently evolving with the changing needs of the app industry. Learning Swift is surely an advantage considering the future of app development.

 

Learn new programming languages like Swift which are easier and intuitive but also make an effort to be well versed with a widely used language like Objective – C to make the best use when the need arises.

 

    1. Ensure Compatibility

A crucial factor that you need to keep in mind while building an iOS app is its compatibility with different iOS versions. Running tests to ensure compatibility across devices on cloud-based testing platforms gives you the option to perform your tests on multiple devices running different iOS versions conveniently and effectively. It is advisable to optimize the apps to run smoothly on all iOS versions to ensure a maximum user-base.

 

Optimizing your app to perform well on different iOS versions is sure to fetch some brownie points to the apps’ success journey as you accommodate both the new and the old iOS versions.

 

    1. Streamlined interaction through Social Network Integration

One of the best features that you can include while developing and iOS app is the Social Network integration which allows you to streamline the interaction between the mobile app to the web app or the website. Developing this feature on the mobile app would surely help businesses engage with their users better through customizing their offerings to a particular geography or demography. Users would find it easy to use an app on their phone and pick up from where they left off on other devices that are in sync with the particular user account. The social network integration would allow the developers to diversify their tools for a future offering as well.

 

Integrating social networking platforms to the app would enable businesses to curate offerings to customers based on their interests, demographics, and geographies.

 

    1. Traffic Management

Prevention is better than cure. With the right tools and features in place for the app’s success, it is the responsibility of the developers to ensure that the app does not crash. Optimizing the memory usage, or timely updates to cater to the OS updates are a few of the vital elements to keep in mind. Putting systems in place for the app to function smoothly even when marketing efforts direct traffic toward the app should keep it going with a hassle. The last thing you want is for the app to crash during these promotional campaigns or marketing events.

 

Make sure that your app is optimized to handle the traffic during any promotional events or marketing campaigns, because an app that crashes during a sale is no good at all.

 

    1. Thorough Testing

The App is only as good as its functionality and performance. Assessing the app’s performance by conducting several tests multiple times will ensure a successful launch/release. Making sure that the iOS app achieves the requirements on different devices will secure a pivotal standing in the market gaps that it fills. Since Apple performs a much more rigorous assessment on the app as compared to the Google Play store, it is advisable to perform continuous testing at every stage of the iOS app development to monitor its functionality and make changes accordingly.

 

Testing for functionality, UI, compatibility, security, etc in different environments and devices running different iOS versions will ensure high quality and ROI on its release.

 

Apps when done right are sure to be on the path to success. However, in order to design an app that is successful, you will need to constantly plan, develop, integrate and test rigorously using continuous testing methods to save time on releasing the app at the earliest. App development can be a tedious task at first, however, with the right mindset, tools, and tricks up your sleeve you are sure to make it an enjoyable one. A pro tip would be to explore cloud-based continuous testing platforms like pCloudy for testing your iOS app on different devices before you submit it to the App Store for review. Ensuring that the iOS app that you built goes through a continuous testing process will ensure a quicker debugging and faster release cycle. We hope this was beneficial and wish you the best on your iOS app development journeys.

Automation testing can be a highly effective productivity booster and quality enhancer for both, your product pipeline and system development projects if implemented correctly. However, it can be a tedious task to apply the best practices when a team is just starting the implementation. In this blog, we are aiming at shedding light on some of the most common challenges that teams face as they pursue automation and possibly provide valuable solutions to overcome these challenges.

 

But first, let’s have a look at the most prevalent automation testing challenges:

Selecting a suitable automation testing approach

 
 

Testers need to find an appropriate test automation approach. To do so, they need to find answers to important questions like how to reduce the effort in both implementation and maintenance of test script and test suite? How to generate useful test reports and metrics? Will the automation test suites have a longer lifetime? Most times answering these important questions eases the process of heading in the right direction. In agile development, the app under test often changes through development cycles. So, designing and implementing automation test suites to correctly identify these changes and keeping the system up-to-date is a reasonable maintenance effort that is necessary and tedious. In these cases, an ideal solution would be to have a test automation solution that can detect these issues and automatically update & re-validate the test without any human intervention.

Choosing the right automation tools

 
 

Selecting the right automation tools can be problematic for QA teams because either their tools of choice don’t offer 100% test coverage or the cost of tools exceeds their test budget. Or maybe they even lack the expertise to make the most of a specific tool.


Nonetheless, if your team doesn’t know how to use a tool, you can buy an online course for your testers, or hire a consultant who can help your team master it. Reach out to the testing community if you’re still looking for the right automation tool – forums like Stack Exchange provide a rich source of information for questions that you might have in your mind.

 

Sometimes the tool you use might not do everything you need. In that case, you should start searching for solutions that cover areas critical to your team. If the tool you found is way out of your budget, just prepare a cost vs. benefit analysis and present your case to the executive team. An analysis of expenses coming from bugs would have been solved if you had the right tool in place. Comparing different frameworks is key to get the right fit for your automation needs.

Avail the right automation tool for your automation needs

Comaprison Table of the Top Automation Frameworks 

 

Download Automation Frameworks Comparison Table 

Rigorous lab management

 

Many teams prefer to build and maintain their labs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, in-house labs are hard to manage and also expensive. With new operating systems, devices, and browser versions consistently being released, in-house labs can quickly become obsolete if not updated every once in a while, which is again an additional cost. As a result, teams end up spending a lot of time maintaining and running their lab instead of putting their time into testing. Having a cloud-based device lab is key for continuous testing unless there are some special testing requirements/scenarios with IoT, special networking (especially in the Telco space), etc.

Sorting through all the data

 

DevOps automation results in a huge influx of data that needs to be reviewed and analyzed. Teams often find they are swimming in a sea of data made up of log files, architecture diagrams, and test results. However, this data does contain a lot of useful information. The challenge comes in when we try to sort this data. For example, insights from data can inform R&D teams on what fixes need to be made. Making sense of all the data is a big undertaking for many teams, especially those that are not equipped with the right tools.

To achieve fast feedback, you need to be able to sort through the noise. Today, the reality of CI/CD is that it requires teams to execute tests and analyze results in minutes to understand where the problem lies and fix them at the earliest. Using test analytics can help you understand the problem and avoid it.

Knowing when to begin and stop testing

 

A big challenge that most if not all test managers face is knowing the answer to when to begin a test or when to stop it. You don’t want to initiate automated testing at the wrong stage of your software’s life cycle, as this would hamper the timelines of the production releases. A helpful piece of advice is to start with manual testing. Because when you start with manual testing the engineers will be able to tell when the system is stable enough and ready for automated testing. When your team is convinced that certain functionality or task can be pushed for automation, there is a better workflow as the team is aware of the timelines and is already prepared for closing tasks one after the other.

 

How to overcome these challenges?

  1. Whether a tester is an automation ninja or a manual tester with basic knowledge of the business flow, the tools should be understandable to the level of the user. Because in the end, the automation tools will allow manual testers to begin executing automation while advanced testers can focus on higher priority tests. This refers to the ability to successfully scale test automation operations. 
  2. The solution should offer capabilities that help teams take a small, locally-run test and apply it across multiple platforms, devices, and browsers. This ensures the required scaling and test coverage. 
  3. In today’s competitive world, teams need to have the ability to conduct a test anywhere, anytime. A comprehensive solution to this need would be to provide open access to the lab and equip teams with the right tools to run and perform tests. This ultimately helps them be adaptable and keep pace with the new releases. 
  4. To achieve success with continuous testing and automation, teams need to be able to effectively see clear and accurate test results quickly. What’s more, they need to identify problems quickly. Remember, automation creates noise and false negatives, so teams need to be able to sort through this to provide the necessary evidence. 

The only way to successfully address the top challenges in automation testing is to use a solution that combines the four components listed above. If a solution is missing one of the components, a critical part of the continuous testing process is lost. What’s more, there is a good chance team will spend a significant amount of money accounting for gaps or compromising quality.

 

Conclusion

While the challenges mentioned here are not the only ones in the list of challenges for automation testing. There are other challenges also such as lack of collaboration and skills. But those challenges are not hard to overcome. Whether we talk about mobile automation testing challenges or Selenium automation challenges for web apps, cloud-based testing is the solution. It gives you the flexibility and scalability needed to deliver a quality product in less time. With the right tools, skillset, and infrastructure, these challenges can be overcome over time.

Mallikharjun | Posted on | 2 min Read

Just a few days left for the new year so we thought of recollecting all the major events and achievements of pCloudy in 2019. Before we start we want to thank all of you for the constant support and faith in us that gives us the confidence to reach new heights. With that said, here is a quick recap of 2019.

Achievements and Recognitions

1. Users
As we grow in popularity, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the user base and we are forging ahead towards the 100K user milestone. The total device hours utilized by our clients also crossed the 1 Million mark. There are many factors behind this growth like a quality product, 24/7 support, competitive pricing, etc.
pCloudy device hours
With more than 25K social media followers, we have built an evergrowing pCloudy community that helps us enrich our product and provide better services. We provide solutions to 20+ global giants with device labs located at 3 different strategic locations around the world.
 
pcloudy 2019
pCloudy is integrated into more than 15 tools and frameworks that enhance the testing experience. pCloudy’s manual and automation certification is also gaining popularity as it helps users to understand the product and perform testing effortlessly.
 
2. Recognitions

G2 Crowd has recognized pCloudy as a high performer in mobile app testing and test automation in 2019. There are many quality standards that need to be met to get into the high performer category. pCloudy was acknowledged as a high performer due to the trust and rapport we maintain with our clients.
 
pCloudy G2crowd
3. Clients and Partners
This year was really prosperous for us as we added many big names in our clientele like Conduent, Sapient, Swiggy, Migo, to name a few. Apart from that we also partnered with Global giants like Hexaware, HCL, Quality Arc, UST Global, and many more.
 
2019-12-27

Product Enhancements

Our focus is on constantly upgrading our product and introduce new features to make mobile app testing much faster and easier. Here is a list of some of our key product updates.
 

Android 10 before competitors: We were the first to provide devices loaded with Android 10 for testing on the cloud.
iPhone 11 and iOS 13 before competitors: We also surprised our users by being the first to bring the iPhone 11 with iOS 13 on the cloud to test their apps.
Faster Appium test execution: We further increased the efficiency of the Appium tests by reducing the execution time.
Espresso through Orchestrator with Live view: Now Espresso is available through Google’s latest Test Orchestrator which lets you use the full power of Espresso and run more modular and stable tests. Live View now is supported by Espresso also.
Audio Interaction testing: pCloudy is the first to introduce this unique feature that enables users to test their app using the Audio in/out function in the devices. This is a big development and it will help in testing voice-enabled apps.
Admin Module: Now there is a multilevel user administration system where a system admin can create a team and a team admin. The system admin has more authority than a team admin and it can distribute the testing minutes among the team members.
Video-based navigation for iOS: Now you can see actual device video on iOS devices which gives you much better performance for high-resolution iOS devices that last year.

Events

As always we were the show stopper at many events this year. We got good exposure and the crowd welcomed us with curious eyes. People came up with their queries and were eager to know more about the product.
 
Appium conference: We got good brand exposure as we were the platinum sponsor of the Appium conference 2019. We used this opportunity to grow our network among industry leaders and we also got some new clients at the conference. pCloudy’s booth was the crowd-puller and the keynote by Avinash was well received.
 
Appium Landscape
pSTC: The Pune Software Testing Conference organized by STePIN-Forum was another great event for us. We were the Exibhitor Sponsor of the conference and we used this platform to connect with the software executives from around the globe.
 
psts
D3: Organized by USTGlobal, one of our most valued partners, the D3 DevCon was a huge success for pCloudy and people showed great interest in our product.
 
D3
QAI STC: Being the Title Sponsor of the conference, we proved to be the cynosure of all eyes. The conference started with the keynote by Avinash on the future of testing. We got a chance to meet the testing experts from around the world and get familiar with their views on app testing trends.
 
qstc

Competitions and Celebrations

There is a saying, “work like a captain and party like a pirate”. pCloudians work hard to exceed our customer’s expectations and pCloudy makes sure that pCloudians celebrate their achievements. We are proud of our achievements even this year but will strive to have more exciting starts and remarkable successes in 2020. We will continue to improve our products and make your experience with pCloudy a remarkable one.
 
Hackathons: We organized two in-house hackathons this year where our teams got a chance to work together to solve a problem and show their competitive spirit. It was undoubtedly a unique and exciting experience for the teams.
 
Hackathon

CSR: This year at pCloudy we hosted children from Lakshya Udaan Home – an orphanage located in Bangalore as a part of our social initiative. It was a delightful experience as the kids drew their favorite superheroes, enjoyed the snacks and watched cartoon movies.
 
CSR

Sports and Games: There is a famous quote by Jim Rohn that says, “Take care of your body, It’s the only place you have to live.” We know that sports and games are the best way to keep the body and mind fit. This is why we at pCloudy participate in sports events like marathons and cricket tournaments. We also organized a games carnival at pCloudy and it was a big hit.
 
Games

Festivities: While we work hard to meet our deadlines and deliver quality services, we also celebrate all the festivities and achievements in a grand style. We had team outings, pot luck, and other celebrations that strengthen the comradery among the team.
 
Celebrations
pCloudy Christmas 2019

These are some of the highlights of the year 2019 at pCloudy. This year was full of achievements and celebrations as we reached many milestones in our journey. We hope that the next year will be as exciting as this one and we will observe the attainment of corporate aims.
 
Lastly, we wish you good health, happiness, and success. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!
 
Happy New year 2020

In the last blog in this series we learned how to start the Appium server and launch app from the code. In this blog we will understand how to setup Appium on a Mac machine.

Pre-requisite

• Mac Book
• Xcode
• Simulator or real device
• Appium
• Eclipse
• Java

The first step is to install Xcode in the Mac Book. To do that, open app store and search for Xcode and click on the Get button to download Xcode.

download Xcode
Then click on the Install App option. This will install Xcode on your Mac machine. Now click on the Agree button if you agree with the terms and conditions and it will start installing components.

Once the Xcode is installed, you need to select “Create a new Xcode project” and you will be redirected to the template selection option.

template selection
You may select any of the templates or leave default settings as they are. Click on the next button to navigate to the next screen.

Now you will be asked to provide a product name and other product-related settings.

settings
Enter the required details and click on the next button. In the last seen of product settings, you will be asked to give the location in which to save your project.
Select the location anywhere as per your requirements and click on the create button.

create button
Once the project is loaded go to the Product menu option and click on the Run option.

Run option
Once you click on the run option, it will launch iOS simulator.

iOS simulator
Now right click on the simulator icon on the doc panel and select the keep in doc panel. In this way, you don’t need to start Xcode to launch the simulator. Thus you don’t need to open the Xcode project each time to launch iPhone simulator. If you want to see the list of simulators, got to the Window menu and select the Devices option. You will get a list of all the simulators available with this version of Xcode.

Installing JDK and setting the path

Download JDK for Mac OS and once the file is downloaded, double click on the file and install Java.

install Java
Now you need to set the Java installation path in your environment variable. Open a terminal and write “open.bash_profile”.

Open a terminal
If “.bash_profile” does not exist then execute the command “touch~/.bash_profile”. This will create the file. So when you execute the command, it opens the “.bash_profile” file.

execute the command
Copy the path to JDK home, write export JAVA_Home= and then save this file. Open command prompt and execute the java – version command. Open Appium.io and click on Download Appium button.

Appium button
Now download the latest .dmg file and once downloaded, double click on the .dmg file.

dmg file
It will open a new window where you need to drag and drop Appium into the application folder.

application folder
Search for Appium and double click on the Appium icon. This will launch the Appium server on your Mac machine.

Appium icon
To Launch Appium on a simulator click on the Start Server button.

Now click on the Start Inspector Session button in the Appium server.

Start Inspector Session
Once you select pCloudy as the cloud provider from the list you can click on Done.

cloud provider
Then you need to enter the Hostname, User name, API Key, Desired Capabilities and then click on Start Session.

Start Session
Your simulator is now connected.

17
Now you know how to setup Appium on Mac and in the previous blogs in this series we explained how to write the test script and start Appium server. In the next blog we will learn how to use Appium inspector to identify elements in an app.

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