ADOTAS – Telerik, a company that provides software app development and content management tools, officially launched Test Studio for iOS, which the company says is the first app-testing product of its kind. Offered for free through Apple’s App Store, it’s an automated yet personalized tool for testing the functionality of an app. Telerik positions the Test Studio as particularly beneficial for smaller development teams, where often, as Chris Eyhorn, executive vice president of Telerik’s testing division, put it, “testing is an afterthought. You don’t have developers at WDC [Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference] saying, ‘We want testing!'”
In a phone conversation and web demo yesterday, Eyhorn underlined the importance of testing an app, especially a new one. Approval for Apple’s App Store takes roughly seven days, but an app’s reputation can be wrecked on message boards in mere hours. Unlike, say, a company’s website, a flaw in an app can’t be amended and put back on the market in enough time to do proper damage control. “Every time we make a change, we want to make sure we didn’t break any scenarios,” he said. “You don’t want a bunch of one-star reviews, saying, ‘This sucks.'”
To that end, Test Studio is designed to test native, web and hybrid apps, and it doesn’t require jailbreaking a device. While it’s automated, the developer or tester can choose which elements and which scenarios he or she wants to test, and can record each action throughout the testing process. With ad hoc testing, an app tester can walk through the app and the UI, record feedback, highlight anything that looks off, and send it back to the developer. “We don’t rely on screenshots,” Eyhorn said of the Test Studio. “We’re all object-based, whether it’s a button or a combo box… If it moves on your screen, we can find it. It’s doing everything I’m doing in the app, but it’s repeatable.”
Eyhorn explained that the Test Studio is meant to be a little less subjective than the typical app-testing process. “Most companies will do manual testing, but you kind of end up seeing what you want to see,” he said. And yet, Apple hadn’t launched a standard testing service of its own. “Some people are surprised to see Apple doesn’t have something like this,” he said. “Apple was basically like, ‘Uhhh, what are you guys doing?’ But they were pretty impressed and happy to get us in” the App Store.
With the web, Eyhorn said, “there was a baseline for quality” that developed over the years, and now we’re seeing something similar going on in the app world. There’s more at stake now. “Apple has paid $5 billion to app developers for mobile apps,” he said, and witht that, the process “becomes more institutionalized. Things like quality, traditional things in software development, become very, very relevant.”