Jellybeans might have scintillated the main-stream Android-loving audience but for Android developers, every release of Google’s du jour OS brings back a sulking feeling. The API’s would have to be reiterated over, the bugs and issues fixed and they would end up investing a lot more time in developing updates rather than upgrades. That’s painful for smaller Android developers, who are void of QA assistance or sophisticated testing facilities.
However, a company formed by two former Intel employees (Trent Peterson and Pawel Wojnarowicz ) called Appthwack has made a mark in the market by providing automated testing facilities to smaller Android developers and that too, remotely. Just upload your app to their site securely and you are done! Appthwack test the apps on real physical devices and sends you the corresponding feedback. The goal of the site apparently is to let the developers know how their apps are performing on various devices before they actually hit the end-user.
This is the tool the Android community was waiting for! Now there is no more excuse not to test on every Android device and browser.”- Michael Tu, Director of QA, Swype Inc.
Though there is already a well-established firm when it comes to testing of Android apps called Testdroid which currently supports more devices (100+) than Appthwack(60), but for a company [Appthwack] which is just 3 months old, sixty is commendable. They [Appthwack] are already adding more devices at a rate of more than 5 per week and soon they expect to be sitting on top of the table.
It is much more than a beta testing suite as it does not distribute your apps to naïve users who do not know how your app should behave and still leave their individual feedback. Ignorance is bliss, perhaps.
Appthwack’s closest competitors thereby won’t be beta testing companies but the firms who are automating the testing process, like Testdroid. Testdroid currently supports only Robotium- a Selenium-like testing service but Appthwack would support Robotium and also Excerciser Monkey which would perhaps be used to test UI in both landscape as well as portrait modes.
The company apart from app-testing also focuses on autonomous web-testing services. Though right now, it only snaps screenshots of the URLs loaded, we would see more functionality in the future for sure.
How good do you think this is? Will it defragment the fragmentation process? Will this make Android developers smile?
Only time will tell.