| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.

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Google has announced Android 11 roll out for select Pixel phones, as well as flagship smartphone models from Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme. The manufacturers are releasing final beta ROMs based on Android 11 for their individual UIs. Google informed that the update brings changes to improve multitasking, and give users more control over their privacy with one-time app permissions. It also brings built-in screen recording to Android. The new Android 11 comes with many changes but the developers and QA needs to make sure that their app is compatible with the new Android version.

The most effective way to test the compatibility of apps with the latest Android is by testing them on pCloudy devices that have been updated to Android 11. Currently we have Google Pixel devices that are updated to the latest Android version. The new Android OS comes with changes in conversation notification, chat bubbles, media controls, smart device controls, etc. Let’s dive deeper into the updates to understand them better.

Screen recorder

There are plenty of apps on the Google Play Store that will record your phone’s screen. Android 11 might seem a bit late to the party, but it’s still exciting as there is one less app you’ll need to download. The screen recorder function lives in the Quick Settings tiles. You tap the Screen Record feature which gives you a few options before you start recording. For example, you can choose whether or not your screen-taps should also be recorded and whether the phone should capture audio, too. The whole thing is very simplistic, but it gets the job done.

Chat bubbles

Chat bubbles were planned for Android 10 but they faded into the background when the stable version of the OS launched. Now chat bubbles are here in Android 11 and taking centre stage. If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger on Android, you already know how chat bubbles work. With Messenger, a “chat head” appears on your phone that overlays on top of pretty much every other app. A quick tap of the icon launches the chat and then you can minimize the chat back to an icon. You can remove the chat head until the next conversation starts. This is exactly how the system-wide bubble feature works, with the only major difference being that it can work for any chat app, not just Messenger or other apps that have a similar design.

Dark Theme Scheduling

Google finally introduced a native dark mode to Android 10 last year. However, it was fairly simplistic: it was either on or off. Meanwhile, Android skins from other manufacturers allow users to control when and why dark mode should be activated. With Android 11, users can now schedule the dark theme using one of two different metrics. Users can schedule a dark theme to turn on or off when the sun sets or rises. Users can also set up a custom schedule for dark mode activation if you wish.

Wireless Android Auto

Till now your phone had to be plugged in to use Android Auto. But in Android 11, every smartphone running the OS can take advantage of wireless Android Auto connections. The only limitation will be that the head unit in your car will need to support the feature. Obviously, this will still be a hefty limitation for folks who own cars that are a few years old, but it will start the transition towards every Android Auto experience eventually being totally wireless.

Share sheet

There is no doubt that Android’s sharing system was a mess. Thankfully, it is about to get more useful with Android 11. You can now pin apps to your share sheet in order to easily access them whenever you want to share something. This feature allows users to control which apps appear at the top of the list when you want to share something. Android’s current system of presenting apps in an order that it determines is confusing.

Improved voice access

By turning on voice access, you can simply tell your Android phone what to do using the power of Google Assistant. With Android 10, though, certain functions required you to voice-activate numbered on-screen elements. For example, you would say “Tap 4” while using the Twitter app to compose a new tweet (every link on the page would have a small number next to it). Now, though, you could say, “Open Twitter, compose tweet,” making your interactions with the phone much more fluid and natural. While this will only be helpful for a minority of users, it shows how Google is taking accessibility within Android very seriously.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, there are many minor changes in the new Android OS and many apps might get affected from the updates. This is why it is required to test the apps on the devices loaded with Android 11. This will ensure that the app works fine on different devices and also on different OS versions. So instead of buying the flagship devices on which the latest Android is available, you can just login to the pCloudy platform and test your app on real devices. It’s much more efficient as there is no issue of sharing the devices with other team members and you can perform manual and automated tests from anywhere, anytime.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

Most of the businesses have websites as the primary source of branding and communication. This is why they are looking for testing platforms that can improve the overall performance of the website and make an impactful first impression to gain a huge customer base. pCloudy has launched a groundbreaking feature called browser cloud, where you can test desktop web apps on real Windows/Mac machines. Testing your website in pCloudy’s browser cloud will ensure a stable and responsive user interface to provide a great digital experience.

The factors that mostly obstruct the smooth functioning of a website are the various combinations of browsers, operating systems, and devices available in the market. To perform cross-browser testing on various combinations can be difficult as you might have to set up a device lab. pCloudy’s browser cloud consists of a gamut of OS, browser, and device combinations which will easily facilitate browser compatibility testing. Also, pCloudy being a cloud platform that is ideal for parallel testing increases the speed of testing web applications by multiple folds.

Once you login to pCloudy, you just need to select the browsers tab and you will see all the devices with their OS versions and pre-installed browser versions. You can change the resolution of the screen and take screenshots of the issues that you find on the website. Testing websites on local networks is also possible through the Wildnet tool available in the browser cloud. These are some of the features which make pCloudy highly recommendable for testing and developing high-performance web applications. Enterprises are focusing on providing quality multi-experience to their customers. pCloudy is a great platform where you can test mobile apps, desktop web apps, and leverage integrations to deliver a quality experience through multiple channels.nn

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“Instead of pretending that we are living some great story, we must remain focused on the execution -and on executing with excellence. We must shun the false crown and continue working on what got us here.”- Ryan Holiday

Few months back I read the book “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday and I’ve been a huge fan of this book since then. This book belongs on the bedside of everyone who aspires to be a leader as there’s plenty of value that one can gain from this book and I thought I’d share some of those valuable advices in this article.

Whenever we hear the word enemy, we probably think of somebody else from the outside but in our quest to reach our goals, we are our only worst enemy. Ryan says “Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, your worst enemy already lives inside you: your ego.” It is true that all of us, with no exception, have a certain level of ego and pride but to succeed in life we need some serious ego eradicating work to be done.

Ego in this context refers to unhealthy belief in our own abilities, our arrogance and self centered ambition. Ego makes us believe that we are a true hero, that we know a lot more than we actually know. The ability to accurately assess our skills is extremely valuable, and by allowing ego to inflate it, prevents us from having a realistic assessment of our abilities and leads us to delusion. We really can’t learn anything if we have an “I know it all” attitude. This fantasy of greatness stops us from learning and collaborating with others and hinders our growth as Epictetus rightly said “It is impossible for a man to learn that, which he thinks he already knows.”

We must adopt a forever student mindset because there’s so much left in this world for us to learn. We can do it by striving to learn from everyone and looking for areas to improve on a daily basis. Actually, it is easy to be a student before we become successful and great but the real challenge is to stay in a student mindset even after achieving great success. If you look at the life of worlds smartest business people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, despite being highly successful, they spend an incredible amount of time reading books to learn new things. This mindset only comes if we practice humility, accept our setbacks and are open minded to learn.

Our ego has the tendency to blow everything out of proportion, both good and bad. Sometimes, when we get good results, we overestimate our abilities and get trapped into thinking that we know a lot better than we actually are. Other times, when the results are bad, our ego tells us that it’s not our fault and blame anything and anyone but for us. Instead when we meet failure, we must respond with humility, strength and responsibility instead of pitying oneself and complaining about others.

“In life, there will be times when we do everything right, perhaps even perfectly. Yet the results will somehow be negative: failure, disrespect, jealousy, or even a resounding yawn from the world.” – Ryan Holiday

We have minimal control over the rewards for our work and effort so we shouldn’t attach our ego to people’s validation, recognition and rewards. We can’t let trivial items like these motivate us. We can control only our actions, and that’s exactly where we must find our satisfaction and peace of mind. When we meet our own standards and know that we’ve tried our best that is what must fill us with pride and self – respect.

At the end of the day, if you are experiencing success, congratulate yourself, turn right back around, get back to work, and continue learning and hustling.But if you are experiencing a failure, deal with the situation and move past it by taking responsibility, learn something from it and start working again. Always, give your best and forget the rest.

Lastly, on our journey to success, we will encounter individuals who might deceive, offend and hurt us. This might piss us off and sometimes we might even seek retribution but this is the ego’s doing. It is our ego that makes us wants to hate them and seek payback but this is a distraction. If we are busy hating and getting revenge, we aren’t focusing on our work and aren’t going anywhere near success. Instead, a far better response would be love. Love yourself and those who did wrong to you. I know this is easier said than done.

Ryan says “In failure or adversity, it’s so easy to hate. Hate defers blame. It makes someone else responsible… Does this get us any closer to where we want to be? No. It just keeps us where we are… Meanwhile, love is right. Ego less, open, positive, vulnerable, peaceful, and productive.”

Always, stay humble, stay focused, show love and remember to suppress the ego’s silent evil talk in our heads.

Automation testing can be a highly effective productivity booster, and a quality enhancer for your product pipeline or system development projects if done correctly. But it can be difficult to apply best practices when a team is just starting this transformation. We’ll shed light on the most common challenges that face teams as they pursue automation efforts and also how to overcome these challenges. hh

Let’s have a look at the most prevalent automation testing challenges:

This is heading 1

It’s vital for testers to find an appropriate test automation approach. In order 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 automation test suites be having a long lifetime? 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 keep up-to-date quickly with reasonable maintenance effort is necessary. It is ideal to have a test automation solution that can detect these issues to automatically test without any this is an external link.

This is heading 2

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 lack the expertise to make the most of a specific tool. 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 are a rich source of information.

Click on the install icon to install the QR code

Sometimes your tool might not do everything you need. In that case, you should start searching for multi-tool 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 this is an internal link case to the executive team. An analysis of expenses coming from bugs that would have been solved if you had the right tool in place is bound to work to your favor.

This is heading 3

There are still teams that prefer to build and maintain their own labs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This text is bold. But, in-house labs are hard to manage and they are expensive. With new operating systems, devices, and browser versions consistently being released, labs can quickly become out of date. As a result, teams can spend a lot of time maintaining and running their lab as opposed to testing. Having a cloud-based lab is key for continuous testing unless there are some special testing requirements/scenarios with IoT, special networking (especially in the Telco space), etc.

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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, architects, and test results. However, this data does contain a lot of useful information. The challenge is actually spotting it. 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 in minutes and analyze in minutes, understanding where the problem is. Using test analytics can help you understand the problem and avoid it.

This is heading 5

That’s a very difficult question all test managers face at some point. Hopefully, by that time they know how to judge the importance of testing processes that have been carried out. But the start is just as important. You don’t want to initiate automated testing right at the wrong stage of your software’s life cycle. That’s just a loss of resources. Start with manual testing – your engineers will be able to tell when the system is stable enough and ready for automated testing.

This is heading 6

Whether a tester is an automation ninja or a manual tester with basic knowledge of the business flow, the tools should be agonistic to the level of the user. Ultimately these 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. The solution should offer capabilities that help teams take a small, locally-run test and expand it across multiple platforms, devices, and browsers. This ensures the right scale and coverage.

In today’s competitive world, teams need to have the ability to conduct a test anywhere, at any time. 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. 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

These are not the only challenges in automation testing. There are other challenges also 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.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

Technology and innovation are two sides of the same coin. Technology is the power that lets the mankind turn ideas into reality within no time. At pCloudy, the power of innovation has led us to stay aligned and be in pace with the dynamics of the mobile app industry. We cannot afford to let our customers stay deprived of any technological advancements happening in mobile app testing. Once again we are back with another new feature called QR code scanner and we are proud to announce that it is already launched on our platform.
 
Nowadays many mobile applications use QR code scanners for a product or user identification. The QR Code scanning feature in pCloudy enables users to test the QR code feature through mobile applications on multiple devices present in pCloudy. This feature ensures the smooth functioning of the QR code function present in the mobile application. To use this feature, all you need to do is upload the mobile app under test, a QR code image file, and with the help of some simple steps, you can smoothly perform testing of the QR code scanning function of your mobile application.
 
Test QR Code
The app will scan the injected QR code. You can scan multiple QR codes while testing your app on different mobile devices. So from now on you can easily perform QR code testing in pCloudy. This feature is supported on Android 5.0 devices and later versions. Supported QR Code file formats are .png,.jpeg and jpg.

 

Watch our video on QR code scanner feature:
 

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We are moving toward a future where everything is going to be autonomous, fast and highly efficient. To match the pace of this fast-moving ecosystem, application delivery times will have to be accelerated, but not at the cost of quality. Achieving quality at speed is imperative and therefore quality assurance gets a lot of attention. To fulfill the demands for exceptional quality and faster time to market, automation testing will assume priority. It is becoming necessary for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to automate their testing processes. But the most crucial aspect is to choose the right test automation framework. So let’s understand what a test automation framework is.

What is a Test Automation Framework?

 
A test automation framework is the scaffolding that is laid to provide an execution environment for the automation test scripts. The framework provides the user with various benefits that help them to develop, execute and report the automation test scripts efficiently. It is more like a system that was created specifically to automate our tests. In a very simple language, we can say that a framework is a constructive blend of various guidelines, coding standards, concepts, processes, practices, project hierarchies, modularity, reporting mechanism, test data injections etc. to pillar automation testing. Thus, the user can follow these guidelines while automating applications to take advantage of various productive results.
 
The advantages can be in different forms like the ease of scripting, scalability, modularity, understandability, process definition, re-usability, cost, maintenance etc. Thus, to be able to grab these benefits, developers are advised to use one or more of the Test Automation Framework. Moreover, the need of a single and standard Test Automation Framework arises when you have a bunch of developers working on the different modules of the same application and when we want to avoid situations where each of the developers implements his/her approach towards automation. So let’s have a look at different types of test automation frameworks.

Types of Automated Testing Frameworks

 
Now that we have a basic idea about Automation Frameworks, let’s check out the various types of Test Automation Frameworks available in the marketplace. There is a divergent range of Automation Frameworks available nowadays. These frameworks may differ from each other based on their support to different key factors to do automation like reusability, ease of maintenance etc.
 
Types of test automation frameworks:

  1. Module Based Testing Framework
  2. Library Architecture Testing Framework
  3. Data Driven Testing Framework
  4. Keyword Driven Testing Framework
  5. Hybrid Testing Framework
  6. Behavior Driven Development Framework
  7. types of automation frameworks

Benefits of a Test Automation Framework

 
Apart from the minimal manual intervention required in automation testing, there are many advantages of using a test automation framework. Some of them are listed below:
 

  1. Faster time-to-market: Using a good test automation framework helps reduce the time-to-market of an application by allowing constant execution of test cases. Once automated, the test library execution is faster and runs longer than manual testing.
  2. Earlier detection of defects: The documentation of software defects becomes considerably easier for the testing teams. It increases the overall development speed while ensuring correct functionality across areas. The earlier a defect is identified, the more cost-effective it is to resolve the issue.
  3. Improved Testing efficiency: Testing takes up a significant portion of the overall development lifecycle. Even the slightest improvement of the overall efficiency can make an enormous difference to the entire timeframe of the project. Although the setup time takes longer initially, automated tests eventually take up a significantly lesser amount of time. They can be run virtually unattended, leaving the results to be monitored toward the end of the process.
  4. Better ROI: while the initial investment may be on the higher side, automated testing saves organizations many a lot of money. This is due to the drop in the amount of time required to run tests, which leads to a higher quality of work. This in turn decreases the necessity for fixing glitches after release, thereby reducing project costs.
  5. Higher test coverage: In test automation, higher number of tests can be executed pertaining to an application. This leads to a higher test coverage, which in a manual testing approach would imply a massive team, limited heavily with their amount of time. An increased test coverage leads to testing more features and a better quality of application.
  6. Reusability of automated tests: The repetitive nature of test cases in test automation helps software developers to assess program reaction, in addition to the relatively easy configuration of their setup. Automated test cases can be utilized through different approaches as they are reusable.

Top ten test automation frameworks

 
1. Robot Framework
Robot Framework is the best choice if you want to use a python test automation framework for your test automation efforts. The Robot Framework is Python-based, but you can also use Jython(Java) or IronPython(.NET). The Robot Framework uses a keyword-driven approach to make tests easy to create. Robot Framework can also test MongoDB, FTP, Android, Appium and more. It has many test libraries including Selenium WebDriver library and other useful tools. It has a lot of API’s to help make it as extensible as possible. The keyword approach used by Robot Framework is great for testers who are already familiar with other vendor-based, keyword-driven test tools, making the transition to open source much easier for them.
 
2. WebdriverIO
WebdriverIO is an automation test framework based in Node.js. It has an integrated test runner and you can run automation tests for web applications as well as native mobile apps. Also, it can run both on the WebDriver protocol and Chrome Devtools protocol, making it efficient for both Selenium Webdriver based cross-browser testing or Chromium based automation. As WebDriverIO is open source, you get a bunch of plugins for your automation needs. ‘Wdio setup wizard’ makes the setup simple and easy.
 
3. Citrus
Citrus is an open-source framework with which you can automate integration tests for any messaging protocol or data format. For any kind of messaging transport such as REST, HTTP, SOAP, or JMS, Citrus framework will be suited for test messaging integration. If you need to interact with a user interface and then verify a back-end process, you can integrate Citrus with Selenium. For instance, if you have to click on a “send email” button and verify on the back end that the email was received, Citrus can receive this email or the JMS communication triggered by the UI, and verify the back-end results, all in one test.
 
4. Cypress
Cypress is a developer-centric test automation framework that makes test-driven development (TDD) a reality for developers. Its design principle was to be able to package and bundle everything together to make the entire end-to-end testing experience pleasant and simple. Cypress has a different architecture than Selenium; while Selenium WebDriver runs remotely outside the browser, Cypress runs inside of it. This approach helps in understanding everything that happens inside and outside the browser to deliver more consistent results. It does not require you to deal with object serialization or over-the-wire protocols while giving you native access to every object. Cypress can synchronously notify you of every single thing that happens inside the browser as you’re pulling your app into it, so that you have native access to every DOM element. It also makes it easy to simply drop a debugger into your application, which in turn makes it easier to use the developer tools.
 
5. Selenium
One of the most popular open source test automation frameworks for web apps. Selenium also serves as a base for a lot of other testing tools as it has cross-platform and cross-browser functionality. Selenium supports a wide range of programming languages such as Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc. It is easy to maintain as it has one of the largest online support networks. Selenium is highly extendable through a wide range of libraries and APIs to meet everyone’s needs and requirements. Selenium is preferred by testers as it is possible to write more advanced test scripts to meet various levels of complexity. It provides a playback tool for test authoring without the need to learn a specific scripting language.
 
6. Cucumber
It is a cross platform behavior driven development (BDD) tool which is used to write acceptance tests for web applications. Cucumber is quick and easy to set up an execution and allows reusing code in the tests. It supports languages like Python, PHP, Perl, .NET, Scala, Groovy, etc. Automation of functional validation in easily readable and understandable format. One good feature is that both specification and test documentation are uploaded in a single up-to-date document. Cucumber makes it easy for the business stakeholders, who are not familiar with testing, as they can easily read the code as test reports are written in business readable English. The code can be used together with other frameworks like Selenium, Watir, Capybara, etc.
 
7. Gauge
It is an open source tool agnostic test automation framework for Mac, Linux and Windows. People who work on TDD and BDD will appreciate Gauge’s focus on creating living/executable documentation. Specs – the Gauge automation tests are written using a markdown language with C#, Java and Ruby within your existing IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse. Gauge’s functionality can also be extended with its support of plugins. It was developed as a BYOT (Bring Your Own Tool) framework. So you can use Selenium or you can use anything else for driving your tests UI or API tests. If you want a readable non-BDD approach to automation, you should try Gauge.
 
8. Serenity
If you are looking for a Java-based framework that integrates with behavior-driven development (BDD) tools such as Cucumber and JBehave, Serenity might be the tool for you. It’s designed to make writing automated acceptance and regression tests easier. It also lets you keep your test scenarios at a high level while accommodating lower-level implementation details in your reports.
 
Serenity acts as a wrapper on top of Selenium WebDriver and BDD tools. It abstracts away much of the boilerplate code you sometimes need to write to get started which makes writing BDD and Selenium tests easier. Serenity also offers plenty of built-in functionality, such as handling running tests in parallel, WebDriver management, taking screenshots, managing state between steps, facilitating Jira integration, all without having to write a single line of code.
 
9. Carina
Carina is built using popular open-source solutions like Appium, TestNG and Selenium, which reduces dependence on a specific technology stack. You can test mobile applications (native, web, hybrid), WEB applications, REST services, and databases. Carina framework supports different types of databases like MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, providing amazing experience of DAO layer implementation using MyBatis ORM framework. It supports all popular browsers and mobile devices and it reuses test automation code between IOS/Android up to 80%. API testing is based on the Freemarker template engine and it provides great flexibility in generating REST requests. Carina is cross-platform and tests may be easily executed both on Unix or Windows OS.
 
10. EarlGray
Developers often face difficulty with some of the existing test automation framework in synchronization of the app and the instrumentation. Also, executing tests on apps as synchronized and advanced only when UI elements are visible on the screen has caused issues for many developers. Google EarlGrey has built-in synchronization that makes test scripts wait for UI events to occur before the script tries to interact with the UI of the app. This type of implementation makes the test script concise as all steps of the test script shows how the test will proceed and UI gets synchronized with it. One more key aspect of EarlGrey is that all actions on UI elements happen only on visible elements. This provides a fast and robust approach to ensure UI testing goes through as clicks, gestures and other user interactions do not get done if the UI element is not fully shown.

In a nutshell

 
This list of top tools here represents the best tools that are mature, popular, and provide test automation capabilities using AI/ML to address the challenges that organizations are now facing to deliver Quality at Speed. This list also includes the tools that provide API and services testing which is essential for successful DevOps transformation. The emerging technologies like AI, codeless, big data and IoT testing, are making test automation more efficient while creating opportunities for the existing tools and new players to assert value to the testing communities.
 
The choice of automation tools should not only meet your current needs but should also focus on potential trends and improvements. An efficient test automation tool should support basic optimization, data generation, smarter solutions, and analytics. As of now, the level of test automation in organizations is low at between 14% and 18%. But organizations are working towards increasing the automation coverage upto 80%. API and services testing is also a trend that should see further development in the future.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

Since pCloudy’s inception, we have been committed to providing the best in class mobile app testing platform equipped with unique features. We have had some hurdles in our journey but we always manage to overcome the challenges. The sense of accomplishment gives us a reason to celebrate the hard work that we put to achieve our goal. In pCloudy, often the dedication and hard work of our team is rewarded in many forms. There is a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stage of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.” In a short span of time, we have achieved a lot while we are paving our way to a bright future. So let’s catch a glimpse of all that we have accomplished in the recent past.

Accredited in multiple Gartner reports

The latest report – How to Build an Effective Remote Testing Competency, by Jim Scheibmeir, Thomas Murphy, and Joachim Herschmann indicates that enterprises are adopting remote software testing more than ever. The report also shows how remote testing clouds, like pCloudy, are helping application leaders build a remote-software quality competency by optimizing access and collaboration, investing in test environments, and keeping their promises to the business.
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Another Gartner report – Market Guide for Mobile App Test Automation Tools, by Maritess Sobejana and Adrian Leow elaborates on how mobile apps are critical to digital business transformation initiatives but create a demand for test automation of mobile-specific functions to deliver high-quality apps faster. The report suggests pCloudy as a vendor to help mobile app development leaders with their testing efforts.

Recognized at the most trusted review platforms

pCloudy has got 4.7 stars rating with highly appreciative reviews on Gartner peer insights. This has been made possible due to the high level of support and services we have provided to our clients. Our developers and automation team have pushed all the boundaries to ensure we deliver the quality solution as quickly as possible.


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G2 Crowd has recognized pCloudy as a high performer in mobile app testing and test automation quadrant 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 with a 4.6 stars rating by G2Crowd due to the trust and rapport we maintain with our clients.



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Rising as a known brand

Brand exposure is essential for any business to sustain and thrive. Our marketing team had put in a lot of efforts to make pCloudy is a known brand in the mobile app testing space. pCloudy was the buzz-word in some leading software testing events and we got a chance to become the event sponsor for QAI-STC where Avinash Tiwari (Co-founder, pCloudy) was the keynote speaker.


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We got a great response at the STeP-IN summit where pCloudy was the Exhibitor Sponsor of the conference and software professionals from across the globe were curious to learn and try our product. Another event that proved to be a success to us was the DOPPA Summit 2020 where pCloudy was the Gold sponsor of the event and we showcased our platform in front of industry leaders and software professionals. pCloudy was the official sponsor of the Techwell Starwest conference held at California. The event was quite instrumental in getting good brand exposure in the US and expanding our clientele.



doppa keynote pCloudy linkedin

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Key product milestones

The year 2020 started on a positive note as pCloudy touched the 100K registrations mark. Recently we took another big leap by establishing our 3rd data center in Singapore. The new data center will help us to provide the best in class services to our users in South East Asia.



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Talking about the features, pCloudy is the first to introduce Audio Interaction testing 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. Another feature, i.e., QR code verification has been one of the most demanded features for pCloudy that enable users to scan a QR code or a barcode on any Android device present on the pCloudy platform. To use the feature, users need an application under test which supports QR code scanning and a QR code file (test QR codes).


pCloudy now has an inbuilt object spy through which you can run the inspector sessions directly on Android and iOS devices. One big advantage is its bilateral view which makes it easy for users to click on any element on one side and view the details on the other side. Also, the generated code can be copied for future use. Wildnet is another unique feature in pCloudy that enables our users to test private or internal servers on any Android or iOS devices present on pCloudy. For this, you just need to download the executables for OS (Mac, Linux, Windows) on your local machine, Then fetch the user name and API access key for your pCloudy account settings and use it in the terminal to build a link between a device in pCloudy and your internal staging server.


Apart from this, we have been ahead of our competitors in providing the latest iPhones and other flagship phones like the Samsung Fold with the latest Android/iOS versions. Our developers and automation engineers work day and night to provide support for the latest Appium releases, enabling our users to perform automation testing conveniently and at a faster pace.

Growing readership and followers

As we grow in popularity, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the user base and 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. With more than 25K social media followers, we have built an ever-growing pCloudy community that helps us enrich our product and provide better services. We provide solutions to 30+ Fortune 500 companies with data centers located at 3 different strategic locations around the world.


pCloudy is integrated with more than 20 tools and frameworks that enhance the testing and automation experience. pCloudy’s manual and automation certification course is also gaining popularity with over 2000 registrations, as it helps users to understand the product and perform testing effortlessly.

The road ahead

Our team is committed to delivering the best solution to our customers and reaching new heights. We have a long lineup of amazing features under development that we will release soon. After all, we have to beat the trend to be ahead in the competition. We will keep providing the best possible support to our customers and help them in their digital transformation efforts.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

Android uses a centralized system for all logs and application programmers can also write custom log messages. The tooling to develop Android applications allows you to define filters for the log statements you are interested in. Log analysis is a phase of development and developers encounter it from time to time. Bug log helps in identifying the bugs in the Android application while in the development phase. Once the app is released into the market, the support engineers analyze the bug logs to resolve the issue. There are for different types of Logs available in the Android Eco-System – Application Logs, Android System Logs, Event Logs & Radio Logs.
 
The logging system consists of a kernel driver and kernel buffers for storing Android log messages, C, C++ and Java classes for making log entries and for accessing the log messages, a standalone program for viewing log messages (logcat) and the ability to view and filter the log messages from the host machine (via eclipse or ddms).
 
There are four different log buffers in the Linux kernel, which provide logging for different parts of the system. Access to the different buffers is via device nodes in the file system, in /dev/log. The four Android log buffers are main, events, radio and system. The main log is for the application, events is for system event information, radio is for phone related information and system is low level system messages and debugging.
 
flow chart
Each message in the log consists of a tag indicating the part of the system or application that the message came from, a timestamp (at what time this message came), the message log level (or priority of the event represented by the message) and the log message itself (detail description of error or exception or information etc).
 
What Each Android Log Type Contains:
 
1. Application log
use android.util.Log class methods to write messages of different priority into the log
Java classes declare their tag statically as a string, which they pass to the log method
The log method used indicates the message “severity” (or log level)
Messages can be filtered by tag or priority when the logs are processed by retrieval tools (logcat)
 
2. System log
Use the android.util.Slog class to write message with different priority with its associated messages
Many Android framework classes utilize the system log to keep their messages separate from (possibly noisy) application log messages
A formatted message is delivered through the C/C++ library down to the kernel driver, which stores the message in the appropriate buffer(system buffer)
 
3. Event log
Event logs messages are created using android.util.EventLog class, which create binary-formatted log messages.
Log entries consist of binary tag codes, followed by binary parameters.
The message tag codes are stored on the system at: /system/etc/event-log-tags.
Each message has the string for the log message, as well as codes indicating the values associated with (stored with) that entry.
 
4. Radio log
Used for radio and phone (modem) related information
Log entries consist of binary tags code and message for Network info
Logging system automatically routes messages with specific tags into the radio buffer
 
Device Logs on pCloudy Platform.
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    Device Logs Filter Options


Device Log Filter Options

Log format on Android
A common log format in android:
 
tv_sectv_nsec priority pidtid tag messageLen Message
 
tag: log tag
tv_sec&tv_nsec: the timestamp of the log messages
pid: the process id of where log messages come from
tid: the thread id
Priority value is one of the following character values, ordered from lowest to highest priority:
 
V — Verbose (lowest priority)*
D — Debug*
I — Info*
W — Warning*
E — Error*
F — Fatal*
S — Silent (highest priority, on which nothing is ever printed)
 
Log-File locations
There are several directories where Android log (including those from crashes) stores and it are not standardized (i.e. some may be ROM-specific). I am putting some of common here.
/data/anr : Dalvik writes stack traces here on ANR, i.e. “Application Not Responding” aka “Force-Close”
/data/dontpanic : contains some crash logs including traces
/data/kernelpanics :- Stores “kernel panic” related logs
/data/tombstones :- may hold several tombstone_nn files (nn is a number from 0 to 10 and after 10 again repeat it)
 
‘Log’ command line tool
To capture Android log from the devices/emulator Below is the some command line tool. In real life project there are log capture application/tool used to capture the logs on user device and shared it back to Developer/maintainer for analysis .
adb logcat (shows all type logs for current android system
adb logcat -v threadtime (it will include date and time)
adb logcat -v threadtime> logfile.txt (Store logs in logfile.txt)
 
Useful filter patterns
You can use below filter in your adb command to filter logs. You can also use this filter to search your logs file(Android logs provided by user device).
adb logcat -f Save all logs into a file
adb logcat “*:E” Get all errors and fatals
adb logcat | grep -i “foo.example.” #get all logs related to “foo.example.*” tagname
adb logcat “application_or_tag_name:*” “*:S” Get all logs by application name
adb logcat -b events “gsm_service_state_change” “*:S” Get all GSM state changes
adb logcat -b radio Get all Radio events
 
Log Analysis
In this blog we got the basic understanding of the Android Log System. While analyzing the Android logs from your app you can divide it in two parts, debug Logs – file coming during development and testing phase and production Log – file coming directly from end user. The best way to do it is by using useful Filter Patterns and by using Some Tool like GoogleLogTool and SonyLogTool.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

We all understand the importance of software testing and how it transforms the goodwill of the business by enabling delivery of quality product to its clients in shorter delivery cycles. It becomes challenging to run the test cases manually by evaluating the quality of each line of code at every step of the continuous Delivery process. This is where Continuous testing in DevOps comes into picture.

Continuous testing in DevOps Pipeline

 
In traditional ways of testing the software used to pass through different development and QA phases which took more time until the final delivery of the product. According to a research by Gartner, Continuous testing in DevOps is aimed at providing early and quick detection of signs of risks related to the product release. DevOps Continuous Testing is an inevitable activity of the delivery process rather than just a mere stage in the delivery process. The main purpose is to inculcate quality into the CI/CD pipeline by utilizing the key benefits of continuous testing in DevOps.
 
Continuous Testing in DevOps
DevOps Continuous testing is a critical aspect responsible for seamless Continuous Delivery. It involves the usage of agile development methods and processes into the QA process further providing a productive testing process.
 
Here are a few points to understand the benefits of Continuous testing in DevOps at the deeper levels:
 
a. Provides Sustained Risk Analysis:
 
There has never been any code build that is error free and in a ready-to-release form. Even if the final release candidate has come without any glitches, passes all the tests, it has to be ‘prepared well’ for the final release and approved by the business leaders. Continuous Testing evaluates the code at a deeper level to estimate all the possible risks connected to it so that a corrective action could be taken at the right time without breaking the ‘continuous delivery’ chain.
 
b. Cuts down the feedback cycle:
 
The key benefit of continuous testing is that it evaluates the code layer by layer at each stage of delivery pipeline, allowing testers to understand the source of the problem. The actionable insights helps the QA team to act on time and avoid longer queues
 
c. Broader Test Coverage:
 
A broad range of tests can be applied throughout the testing process with the help of continuous testing tools for DevOps such as Selenium, etc. It covers both functional and non-functional testing types to increase test coverage by emulating testing like cross-browser testing, API testing, regression testing, integrated testing, unit testing and non-functional testing like security, reliability, scalability, usability and many more.
 
d. Delivering High Quality Product:
 
‘Test-early-test-often’ is the key mantra of continuous testing which is self explicable. In order to ensure delivery of high-quality product to the end user, there needs to be a process to continuously monitor the progress along the entire delivery pipeline. Achieving high product quality is the result of continuous testing that strives to finding and addressing risks effectively and by gaining feedback at the early phases of software development lifecycle.
 
e. Faster Software Delivery:
 
The whole point of introducing Continuous Testing in DevOps is to speed up the product delivery cycle. Following a multi-point testing at different stages allows the QA team to detect the glitches early and take quick corrective actions so that the final delivery is not impacted.
 
f. Easy Integration with the DevOps Process:
 
Continuous testing seamlessly integrated with the DevOps process right from the early stages of the development process rather than functioning just before the release. Continuous integration into the software pipeline enables quick fixes so that the development process can be aligned with the business requirements on time.

Tools for continuous testing in DevOps

 
For a seamless experience in the entire CI CD process, Continuous testing has to be supported by the best tools for continuous testing in DevOps. For performing smooth Continuous Testing, the Automation Framework has to be integrated with the CI tool, version control and various automated continuous testing DevOps tools to execute different types of testing at various stages of the process. For example, :
 

  • Using Selenium for performing functional testing
  • Load runner for performing load testing at its best,
  • Secure code analysis using Fortify and static code analysis using Sonar, etc.

 
Apart from these there are many other trusted DevOps Continuous testing tools available in the market for an efficient continuous testing, like JIRA, Jenkins, Bamboo, Docker, Appium, SoapUI, PagerDuty, CodeCluster etc. The concern is that not all the tools support comprehensive automation solution. Some organizations prefer to create self-made automation frameworks depending upon the version control used to enable complete automation of the CD pipeline.
 
Since Continuous testing is the most critical aspect to be covered by the business in order to achieve quality product release, it has to be backed by the choice of right, suitable tools and frameworks to achieve speedy and quality delivery.

Challenges in DevOps Continuous Testing and how to overcome them

 
Even after understanding the advantages of adopting continuous testing in the DevOps process, many organizations face the challenges of successful implementation of it. Establishment of an efficient automation framework is a daunting deal as it involves a huge investment, expertise and effort. Moreover, the organizations are not equipped with the scalable infrastructure to run tests continuously. Also, without a strong coordination among the product, development and testing team, this seems even tougher. Although there are challenges in successful adoption of Continuous testing, with a little sensibility one can overcome it. Here are a few of the key points to comply in order to overcome the challenges :
 

  • By proper team engagement, the cultural and communication barriers can be dealt with enabling the SDLC team to have better coordination, collaboration and understanding of the scenarios.
  • Reducing unnecessary and extensive testing plans, the focus should be on keeping it simple and logical. Instead, the energy could be diverted to more important test objects in order to create much better measurable results.
  • Automation would ease the successful implementation of continuous testing in DevOps. Well, complete automation isn’t achievable but more the process automation, easier it becomes to carry on the continuous testing.
  • Carry out testing at all stages of production and QA environment would continuously providing feedback to developers to improvise on the product quality.
  • Last but not the least, implementing artificial intelligence and other intelligence programs for problem solving and to think beyond automation at every stage of delivery would boost up the SDLC.

 
By now we all know how significant continuous testing in DevOps for any business. It essentially brings together all the stages of designing, developing and deploying the software. Merely providing a software product does not help but providing best products faster than the competitors would be the key differentiator of your business. If practiced earnestly, it provides consistent insights about the software development to ensure speedy delivery.
 

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