When you’re developing an app, there always comes a time when you need to test your app. See how users react to your app idea, check its usability, determine if and when the app crashes and how to handle the crashes, discover if any new features could be implemented… The best way to see how your app behaves on its own and how it is handled by users is to release a beta version of your app. That way, you have access to a whole community of users and developers that will test your app in every possible way.
If you’re a serious reader of our blog -– and we know you are -– , you already know we develop web apps through iteration, a concept stemming from agile web development. We apply the same process to mobile app development. So today, to show you how we test apps, let us introduce to you an outstanding app and great service: Hockeyapp, a service that has only one goal in mind: help you perfect your apps.
Quite frankly, we’re in love with Hockeyapp. It’s that great a service. Say you want to test your app but aren’t sure how to go about it or how to get people to give it a spin. Hockeyapp lets you upload your app on its platform so it can be tested and then supplies you with a seriously good bunch of services for your app. Crashreports, live reporting, bug reporting… You name it. Some of you may have heard of Testflight App: Testflight offers the same kind of services except Hockeyapp is also for Android apps and soon OSX apps.
First, you’ll need to install Hockeyapp and integrate it with your app. This video by Andreas Zeitler (for Hockeyapp) explains to you in a clear and straightforward manner how it’s done:
All integrated and ready to go? Here’s what you need to know about Hockeyapp’s handy features.
Live crash report
HockeyApp lets you know exactly when your app crashes in log like apple format, tells you why and provides you with a variety of views and statistics so you can know everything you need to know about those snide little crashes, immediately after they happen.
All you have to do is integrate an open source library (QuincyKit for iOs and HockeyKit for Android) into your app and voilà! Crash reports are immediately delivered to HockeyApp and then “translated” in a language you’ll understand – no more of that cryptic iOS and Android crash report language for you.
Hockeyapp also helps you make sense of all the crashreports so you can fix the bugs in a timely and efficient way. First, when applicable, the crash reports are grouped together, per place where the crash occurred for instance. This makes bug fixing a lot easier.
Second, you can filter your crashreports any way you like: say you only want to see crashes that occurred on a specific type of device, or just want to see a list of the crashes that haven’t been fixed yet: just create a filter and you’re good to go!
Lastly, HockeyApp can also be integrated directly into your development process so you don’t have to waste anytime working on different systems at the same time. Lucky we are, it works like a charm with our Redmine. So, all you need to do is connect the App to your bug tracking system. This will then allow you to create and assign tickets from within HockeyApp for each group of crashes.
Hockeyapp also helps you with distribution, starting with helping you send out your app to the testers. To distribute your beta versions directly onto the testers device, simply upload your application to the server. HockeyApp will then provide you with everything you need to get the app distributed easily, including automatically generated links to install your app on the testers’ devices.
So thanks HockeyApp we won’t be annoyed anymore by sending the ipa file to each users.
Worried about security? The platform offers an array of security measures to toggle with so you can keep out tester, prevent developers from adding their own certificates to your app. Conversely, worried about seeming too restrictive and uptight? Hockeyapp lets the testers you’ve allowed easily access your app. No need to sign up or create an account. Visiting config.hockeyapp.net on your iOS device will give you quick access to all your apps through a single webclip, whether you are a developer or tester.
Another major part of testing your device is getting feedback on it. Get an overview of the overall test coverage of your application, see how well each version of your beta app is tested, know exactly which device types the app is being tested on and how it’s performing. Get accurate measures of how long each tester has spent on your app, what they tested the most, who’s actually helping a lot in testing the app and who’s not really spending the required time on it to be useful to you. You know how test slots are precious!
HockeyApp also provides detailed analytics on the different languages your application (status for each language…), as the developers behind this service know perfectly well that more languages your application supports, the more testing is required. By giving you detailed stats on the status for each language your app supports, HockeyApp lets you focus on the areas that need attention.
Like we saw in this article, HockeyApp helps you to deal with your beta version. All the features you need to test your app are in HockeyApp to release a perfect application. Maybe, you are a testflightapp user and happy with that. But if you want try out a new and stunning application, it’s worth giving a shot at HockeyApp.
What is your point of view ? Testflightapp or HockeyApp ?