Appium’s Pros, Cons & What The (Testing Framework) Future Might Look Like

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Since Perfecto is sponsoring and attending the annual Appium 2018 conference today, it’s a great time to take a look at some pros and cons, how it stacks up against the competing tools and what might be around the corner.

Benefits of Appium

What’s great about Appium:

  • It has a strong active open source community
    • Appium is by far the leading open-source test framework for cross-platform(mobile) native test automation (iOS, Android)
    • Appium is consistently backed by a large, very dynamic community, with steady support, commits, etc.
  • It has strong support for end-to-end testing in multiple programming languages
    • Appium provides support for multiple development languages through Remote WebDriver language bindings (Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, C#)
    • Appium can cover black box end-to-end test flows including outside-the-app scenarios (e.g. initiating a call, sending a text message)

Challenges with Appium

Some areas where Appium could be better:

  • Setting up Appium locally can be a challenge: Teams are required to download, install and configure their environment which means having a local Android and iOS device available and connected.
  • Working with app objects for both iOS and Android isn’t easy, and falls into the top challenges (below) coming from practitioners. Since the Appium framework relies on iOS XCUITest and Espresso (Android’s UI automation framework), users needs to be familiar with the object structure, and know how to use the Appium object spy correctly.
  • Slow test execution. Tests can be slow due to the remote webdriver dependency, network issues and processing commands.
  • Test framework stability – Stability issues can occur when executing through CI or at scale and in parallel.
  • Test automation coverage and keeping up with latest mobile OS – Being able to fully cover gestural inputs, environment conditions, device settings and more, as well as support immediately latest Beta and GA versions of iOS and Android. Community supported solutions frequently move slower than handset vendor/mobile OS innovations.

Top Challenges from users on the Appium discussion board

Comparison of Mobile App Testing Frameworks

Despite Appium’s leadership today, DevOps teams are also adopting Espresso and XCUITest.

Since there is no perfect solution with regards to testing frameworks, the best solution for your needs might be best met by mixing various test frameworks across the DevOps pipeline.

Here’s a comparison of the leading testing frameworks:

Where is Mobile Application Testing Headed?

My testing framework intuition tells me that:

  • Appium will share more of the testing framework market with Espresso and XCUITest.
  • Functional testing using Espresso/XCUITest will become part of commit- triggered built-testing.  
  • Full end-to-end testing using Appium will be leveraged during full regression testing.
  • Appium stability will improve and execution times will shrink – it will get better & faster!
  • Hybrid test execution will become supported. Appium scripts will be able to trigger embedded Espresso/XCITests.


Appium is great! It’s got:

  • A strong open source community
  • Outstanding support for a number of programming languages
  • The ability to handle end-to-end test flows

Appium is weak:

  • In test performance and stability
  • In keeping up with the latest OS features (e.g. gestural)
  • In setup time

XCUITest and Espresso are also leading the market with strong user bases and helps fill in the gaps where Appium falls short – so keep an eye out for those other tools!!

It will be interesting to hear the upcoming Appium roadmap at the Appium 2018 Conference. Sign up for our live webinar to hear our take on the current and future state of testing frameworks and how Appium might fit into your DevOps toolchain.

The post Appium’s Pros, Cons & What The (Testing Framework) Future Might Look Like appeared first on Perfecto Blog.

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Amazon now lets you use your Echo like a one-way intercom

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Amazon is rolling out a new feature to the Echo today called Alexa Announcements. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: you’ll be able to use your Echo to make announcements to other Echos in your household It’s basically a one-way intercom. Say you want to tell your kids dinner is ready. According to Amazon, you’d tell your Kitchen Echo “Alexa, announce that dinner is ready,” and the device would repeat that message to everyone else in your home. The announcement is made in your voice too, so your kids won’t think their devices are spazzing out. You could also…

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VICE News Posts a Glimpse of What It’s Like to Be a Part of Train Jam 2018

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As anyone who is a regular reader of TouchArcade probably knows, we took part in Train Jam 2018 leading up to our week at GDC 2018 last month. If you’re unfamiliar, Train Jam began five years ago and is the brainchild of developer and all around game industry bright spot Adriel Wallick and it tasks developers traveling to GDC to create a game in the 50+ hours it takes to ride an Amtrak train from Chicago to San Francisco where GDC takes place. The jam has only grown each year since it began, and this year’s Train Jam sold out an entire train’s worth of people, which equals roughly 340 riders. The folks from VICE caught wind of Train Jam and decided to tag along for the ride too. The result is this 6-minute video which captures some of the people jamming on the train and their stories, some of the gorgeous scenery, and the all-around great vibes of the entire event.

While the above video is a really cool snippet of Train Jam 2018, it definitely doesn’t encompass everything, and in all honestly you could easily make a 90-minute documentary about the event and still not be able to touch on everything. Eli attended Train Jam last year and gushed so much about it he convinced me to give it a shot this year. I was hesitant, as I live near San Francisco and so I’d be flying all the way to Chicago just to ride back on a train to where I came from, which seems a bit absurd. Also, GDC by itself is such an exhausting event to cover that tacking on an extra 5 days to allow for Train Jam wasn’t something I was overly thrilled about. However, boy am I glad I listened to Eli. Train Jam is one of the best things I’ve done in my life, and I’m going to try my best to be able to go each and every year. If the above video looks like fun to you then keep an eye out for tickets going on sale for next year’s Train Jam likely in early 2019.


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Swarm Simulator: Evolution guide – How to play like a good little drone

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We all love a good idle game from time to time, don’t we? Good thing there are new and good ones coming out all the time, like Swarm Simulator: Evolution. In this game, you breed humble Drones to gather meat and eventually harness that power to do all kinds of crazy things like travel through time and evolve to higher forms of being. In order to get to these late-game points though, you need to be a good little drone and manage your colony optimally. Here’s exactly how to do that:

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Bloomberg: Apple is working on iPhones with designs and features like nothing we’ve ever seen

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iPhone X Plus Release Date

Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone X marked the first big redesign on the company’s smartphones since 2014, when Apple finally relented and released an iPhone “phablet” with a significantly larger display. Earlier iPhone models all had screens that measured between 3.5 inches and 4 inches diagonally, even as customers clamored for an iPhone with a bigger screen. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would end up flying off of store shelves as a result of the pent-up demand for bigger iPhones, and their sales record would still stand today if Apple’s holiday quarter the following year didn’t include an extra week.

But the iPhone X redesign was far more substantial than the iPhone 6 and even the iPhone 6 Plus phablet. The handset’s iconic home button was completely removed so that the phone could adopt an “all-screen” design, and some fancy internal engineering allowed Apple to extend the display almost all the way to the bottom of the phone. Touch ID fingerprint authentication, which had become a staple that was copied by every other smartphone maker in the world, was also removed and replaced by a new 3D facial recognition system called Face ID.

The iPhone X was indeed a bold reimagining of the iPhone, and it looks like Apple has no plans to stop there. According to a new report, Apple is working on new iPhone designs and new features that are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before from Apple.

Bloomberg on Wednesday issued a new report that may offer some insights into Apple’s plans for the iPhone of the future. We’re not talking about the distant future here, but rather a few years from now. The site has a good track record when it comes to Apple’s unannounced plans, so this may indeed be our first taste of things to come from the most successful consumer tech company in the world.

According to the report, Apple is working on both new designs and new features for its iPhone lineup that are unlike anything we’ve seen before from the Cupertino, California-based company. Bloomberg says Apple is internally developing “touchless gesture control” features that would let an iPhone user “perform some tasks by moving [his or her] finger close to the screen without actually tapping it.”

It’s unclear what exactly would be gained by moving one’s finger in front of the screen rather than tapping it. Apple does have several patents on glasses-free 3D display technology, however, and the company has also been researching various holographic display features. It’s possible that these touchless gestures could be tied to one of those solutions, though Bloomberg’s report makes no mention of holographic displays or glasses-free 3D images. The report does cite one unnamed source as indicating that this technology won’t make its way into Apple’s iPhone lineup for “at least two years,” if at all, so we’ll undoubtedly learn more about it soon.

On the design front, the report claims that Apple is working on curved screens for future iPhone models. Again citing just one anonymous source, Bloomberg says Apple is “developing iPhone displays that curve inward gradually from top to bottom.” This is a curious claim for a few reasons, but the biggest is the claim that Apple is considering the move “to differentiate design in crowded marketplace.” Apple is not a company that has been known to do things just to differentiate its products from competitive offerings.

On top of that, phones with screens that “curve inward gradually from top to bottom” are nothing new. LG released two different smartphones with that exact design, but then abandoned the “G Flex” line due to a lack of interest from consumers.

The only way we could see this rumor making sense is if the curvature of the phone serves an important purpose. For example, if Apple is indeed working on touchless gesture control, a slight curve could help Apple better position cameras and sensors in order to detect movements close to the screen. This is just speculation on our part, however.

Bloomberg notes that the new curved iPhone design and Apple’s supposed touchless gestures are “still in the early research and development stage and Apple could choose to not go forward with the enhancements.”

Apple – BGR

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Tim Cook Says Apple Would Never Have a Scandal Like Cambridge Analytica

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The tech industry really wants to unfriend Facebook.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal, tech industry insiders have been quick to criticize Facebook for inadequately protecting users’ private information. The latest to join their ranks is Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook is not just critical of Zuckerberg’s enterprise — he asserts Apple would never make the same missteps.

On March 28, Cook sat down with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to film a live interview for an upcoming MSNBC special: “Revolution: Apple Changing the World.” The program won’t air until April 6, but it’s already generating buzz, and blowback from Zuckerberg.

When Swisher asked Cook what he would do if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the Cambridge Analytica, he responded, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

That sounds somewhat dismissive, but Cook may have a point. During the interview, he touched on two fundamental differences between Apple and Facebook that could prevent the former from ever finding itself in the same situation as the latter.

Firstly, Apple makes its money from products, not people.

You’ve probably heard some version of the saying, “If you’re not paying for something, you’re the product,” and that’s essentially how Facebook earns a profit. You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay Facebook for you. Well, access to you and your information anyways.

Apple sells smartphones, watches, computers, software programs, cloud storage, entertainment downloads, and more. With so many products, it doesn’t need to sell user data to turn a profit. So it doesn’t.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that,” said Cook during the interview.

Second, Apple has long prided itself on collecting far less data on its users than competitors tend to do, and protecting that data as much as possible.

Apple uses end-to-end encryption on iMessage and FaceTime, ensuring as much as it can that those communications stay between the parties involved. When possible, Apple also stores users’ information directly on their devices rather than some centralized Apple server that could be more easily hacked.

The company also attempts to protect the privacy of users from third-parties. As Cook noted during the interview, Apple carefully reviews every third-party app sold in its store to ensure it meets the company’s expectation of privacy. In 2016, Cook even refused a request from the FBI to create a software program that could bypass an iPhone’s security system as the agency worked to investigate a terrorist attack.

On Friday, Zuckerberg defended himself against Cook’s criticisms during an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein. According to Zuckerberg, a company can have an advertising-supported business model and still “care about” its users.

As campaigns like #deletefacebook continue to circulate and Facebook continues to suffer from PR nightmares, the big question is whether those users (and the rest of the tech world) will still care about Facebook.

The post Tim Cook Says Apple Would Never Have a Scandal Like Cambridge Analytica appeared first on Futurism.


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The Best Advice For Using Your IPhone Like A Pro!

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With new technology comes the opportunity and necessity to learn new skills. An iPhone can make your life much easier and a little more fun, but only if you know how to use it. Below are some tips and advice compiled to help you become the master of your iPhone.

Did you just drop your brand-new iPhone in the sink or a pond? Don’t worry! Make sure you don’t turn the phone on. Instead, lightly towel dry it as much as you can. Don’t use a blow dryer. Then, put the phone in a small bag filled with white rice and leave it sit overnight. The rice will absorb any water left in it.

Turn off push notifications to control your data usage as well as preserve your battery life. Push notifications allow your phone to constantly be in touch with email servers and the internet in order to be notified immediately when something happens. De activating this will mean that you have to check your email, websites or other applications for new messages and alerts, but it will be dramatic in how it affects the functionality and performance of your phone.

Buy a screen to protect your phone. Those who do not use screen protectors run the risk of incurring scratches on the screen. Even dirt on your fingers may cause scratches. So take the precautionary step and add on that screen protection.

Do you want to extend your battery life? There are a few different things you can do to get the most out of your battery life. One thing you can do is turn down the brightness. Also, turn off any wireless radios when you are not using them. This can give you more battery life.

If you happen to get the iphone wet, the last thing you want to do is turn it on. By turning it on you run the risk of short circuiting the product. Instead, you should towel dry it and then put it into a Ziploc bag. After that place it in a bowl of uncooked rice and let it sit there until the moisture dries up.

Make your own ringtone. If the ringtones on your iphone do nothing for you, try creating your own. You can send a file from your computer to your iphone. To do this, make sure the file is a compatible mp3. Send it from your computer to your phone using either wifi or a usb cable.

One of the great benefits of an iPhone is the ability to use Facetime, which you should fully take advantage of. This function allows you to see your friend or family member in video on the other side of the phone. This helps to personalize your conversations so that they are more profound and fun.

When in your iPhone mail, it is simple to save a copy of a picture that you might want to view later. Just touch the image for a few seconds and it will be saved to your stored pictures. You can then access it at any time if you want to view it again, post it on the web or forward it to a friend.

Choose a carrier before choosing an iphone. You might have your eye on a particular iphone. Before you rush out and get it, make sure that it is compatible with the carrier of your choosing. Shop around for a cell phone plan you can live with rather than making the decision over which iphone you like best.

There are timers when your iPhone may have an issue with an application like any computer would. This can easily be solved by force quitting it. To do this on your phone, press and hold your Home button for about six seconds. This will cause it to quit the problematic application quickly.

You can check where links will take you to by slightly pressing on them instead of tapping. This is the equivalent of hovering your mouse over an element displayed by your computer; you will see more information about the links you touched. Always check links you receive in your emails, especially if you do not know the sender.

It’s important that you always have the most recently updated version of the OS. Apple iPhones are close to being as complex as some computers today, so keeping your phone updated will include any necessary patches, bug fixes, security fixes or functionality issues. These updates are critical for the security of your phone and any personal information that you may have stored on it.

Lock your screen, if you need to. If your iphone seems to have trouble determining whether it’s up or down, try locking your screen. The constant shift between portrait and landscape can get rather frustrating. By going into your settings or, sometimes, by just checking the bottom of your screen, you can lock your phone’s screen to one or the other.

Go to your camera quickly when your phone is locked. A good photo opportunity can come and go in the breadth of a heartbeat. To avoid missing out on such an opportunity, just give your iphone’s home button two quick taps. This should immediately bring up your camera or the icon for it.

If you lose your connection while writing an email or if you encounter another issue with your iPhone, check the outgoing folder of your mail box. You will be able to finish writing your email. Use this folder to make sure all your messages have been sent, especially if you encountered a connection problem while sending your email.

Set your iPhone to retrieve emails and other data less frequently. Some individuals have their phones set to retrieve these things every minute, and this drains battery life faster than almost anything else. If you instead set your phone to retrieve data every five or ten minutes, you will conserve your battery and therefore, make your phone more useful.

As it was stated in the introduction of this article, owning an iPhone can change your daily life for the better once you know how to use it to its fullest possibilities. Use the advice and tips in the article above to get the most out of your iPhone.

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‘Retro Highway’ is Like Your Favorite ’80s Motorcycle Racer Cranked Up to 11

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I LOVE retro-styled racing games, and there have been a ton of great ones over the years. Games like Final Freeway [$ 0.99 / Free] and Final Freeway 2R [$ 0.99 / Free], Highway Runners [$ 0.99], and the incredible Horizon Chase [Free] all captured the essence of classic arcade car racers like OutRun, but what about the motorcycle lovers? Games like Road Rash and Hang-On are classics too, where’s their homages on mobile? Welp developer Dumb Luck Games wants to make that happen with their upcoming game Retro Highway, check out this awesome trailer.

As you can see, Retro Highway is a decidedly over-the-top take on a motorcycle racer. Here’s how it works: “You score points and coins while trying to complete challenges the game throws at you until crashing into something. Inbetween races, you unlock new bikes and upgrade powerups. Once you complete enough challenges, you open the next stage. The first area is meant to acquaint players with the controls and mechanics, things get a lot more difficult and hectic after that.” It’s a more modern-style type of progression that’s a nice fit for a mobile game, especially with a roster of 10+ unlockable bikes and upgradeable power-ups acting as carrots on a stick. And the sense of speed is really impressive, too. If you’re liking the look of Retro Highway as much as I am, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s coming quite soon, and will be hitting both iOS and Android in just a couple of weeks on April 14th.


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Kingpin guide – How to bowl like a champ in this unique runner

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Kingpin Bowling is the a neat arcade runner where you control a bowling ball as you try to hit pins and avoid obstacles to net a high score. Although its gameplay is largely pretty similar to a lot of other runners out there, there are some things about it that make it uniquely challenging. This guide can help you navigate these things though and help make sure you’re a top bowler.

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Facebook’s redesigned VR avatars look more like you

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The avatars in Facebook's social VR environment, Spaces, could use some work: they have a flat, cartoonish look, and you'll be hard-pressed to find one that really reflects your look. Accordingly, Facebook is giving these avatars a makeover. The ne…
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