iOS 8 is coming and by all accounts it’s going to be a game-changer. Apple’s new operating system for mobile phones, tablets -- and even wearables -- is set for release next month. According to the latest intel, iOS 8 is all about ‘Extensibility’, representing an entirely new way for apps to interact, that will allow them to be more than just the sum of their parts. At its core, extensibility is all about empowering developers to take advantage of all the new features and functionalities that their fellow developers have been creating, but which have been, until now, essentially walled off from one another. With the release of iOS 8, Apple is now encouraging apps and app developers to share information, features and functionality with one another, allowing for frictionless app integrations and a vastly improved overall user experience. As part of this new interaction, Apple is also releasing thousands of its own developer “kits” for iOS 8, such as HealthKit and HomeKit, that will allow developers to integrate a suite of themed features and capabilities into their apps. The most ever for the company.
According to Apple’s developer site “iOS 8 includes over 4,000 new APIs that let you add amazing new features and capabilities to your apps. Deeper integration with iOS means you can extend the reach of your app content and functionality.”
Security will also be a major focus of this release.New iOS 8 features will make it even easier to keep track of all your passwords and make sure they are as secure as possible.
The multiplying power of extensibility, along with the thousands of new API’s developed by Apple just for this release, combine to make it a developer’s dream.
But… it could very quickly become a tester’s nightmare.
Developers and testers are very concerned about the this upcoming release. In our recent webcast on iOS 8 preparedness the #1 response for concern was 'updating or re-coding the app to support this new functionality':
For those who have gotten used to doing things a certain way with iOS 7 and other previous releases, this means making sure you are prepared for any and all changes to ensure your apps continue to perform reliably at the highest levels. And it’s not just that there are new features to support, but also a question of how the apps work altogether and ‘play nice’ with new widgets, actions, etc.
In addition to these new capabilities, continued fragmentation (with new devices and form factors) promises to complicate the challenge. Launching alongside iOS 8 this fall is the next-generation "iPhone 6", expected to come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch form factors. Not to mention the fact that Apple has announced that it will finally allow third-party keyboards to be downloaded for use on iOS 8.
Supporting a massive OS update like this presents a unique challenge: How do you support the roll-out of a shiny new app in time for the big release without getting ahead of your testers and releasing an app that hasn’t been through the proper quality assurance process? Why rush to get your app out the door in time for the iOS 8 launch if the app isn’t going to please the end-user?
Velocity is the name of the game given the pace of the market, but maintaining and ensuring quality is just as important! The reality is that it can’t be done through traditional manual testing alone. What is required of developers and testers is to make sure that automated functional testing is built into your build cycle. It’s not too late to make it happen, and now is the time to add automation to your test plan!
However, ensuring quality and performance doesn’t stop after the initial release. To maintain a quality application, it will need to be re-released many times. Hence the need for automated mobile testing to validate multiple regressions quickly, with robust scripting to ensure test cases run seamlessly, repeatedly, without needing to be updated or modified with each release.
And while it’s critical to get it right the first time so your target audience’s initial experience is a good one, it’s also critical that you monitor the quality and performance of your app going forward. Employing a monitoring solution like the one Keynote offers, can help ensure that the effort creating your automated test scripts can be reused in a monitoring capacity to help you better understand end-user experiences. Being able to leverage the same scripts will cut down on cycle time, as well as help to create a unified baseline across different teams within your organization. This will help minimize the time required to pinpoint a flaw or failure in production, allowing quicker resolution in your agile development process.
At Keynote, we’ll be ready for iOS 8 from DAY ONE of it’s release with updated iOS devices including the iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, iPads 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. These devices will be ready and waiting to test and monitor in the new iOS 8 environment. Unlike other solutions we don’t have to wait for users to upgrade their OS, jailbreak devices or merely attempt to simulate the experience. Keynote allows you to test your apps on real devices running iOS 8, right out of the gate, so you can be sure they are working the way you – and your end user – expect them to.
To sign up for a free trial of Keynote’s mobile testing click here.
To learn more about Keynote’s mobile app monitoring, click here.
The release of iOS 8 promises to be a watershed moment in the ongoing development and maturation of the mobile channel and we at Keynote look forward to helping make sure that your moment isn’t spoiled by poor quality or performance.