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.

Conclusion

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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Google Voice opens up testing for data-only VoIP calls

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Google Voice has long been helpful for receiving phone calls regardless of the device you're using. That's assuming you want a conventional call, though — it can be a pain if you're traveling and face roaming charges, or in those moments when you w…
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Tinder begins testing its first video feature, Tinder Loops

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Tinder is getting into video. On Wednesday, the popular dating app will begin testing its first video-based feature, Tinder Loops, with iOS users in Canada and Sweden. The company says it will evaluate how users respond to Loops before making a decision to roll it out to other markets.

As you may have guessed by the name – “Loops” – the feature isn’t focused on traditional video, but rather on a shorter, almost GIF-like looping video format that’s been popularized by apps like Instagram’s Boomerang and, before that, Twitter’s Vine. In Tinder’s case, Loops will be just two seconds long, and can be added to users’ profiles alongside their photos.

The company says it decided to test videos because it believes videos can show more of users’ personalities, and that can increase people’s chances of getting right-swiped (liked, that is). It suggests the videos could be used for showing off your favorite activities – like shooting hoops or cliff jumping. But it’s likely that Tinder users will find other use cases for looping videos beyond that.

Loops represents the next step in the evolution of our classic profile,” said Brian Norgard, Chief Product Officer at Tinder. “With the addition of video, users have a new way to express themselves while also gaining key insights into the lives of potential matches. Whether it’s dancing at a concert, doing cartwheels on the beach, or clinking glasses with friends, Loops makes profiles come alive. We anticipate Tinder Loops will lead to even more matches and conversations and look forward to seeing how our users creatively adopt the feature,” he added.

More realistically, looping videos may better show people as they are – not hidden behind a soft photo filter or snapped from a classic MySpace angle. And that could lead to less surprise on first dates, as people will have already gotten a better sense of who they’re meeting, as well as how they like to have fun.

But at only two-seconds long, Loops are not as intimidating as posting a “real” video for users who are more shy.

To try the new feature, iOS users in the supported markets will be able to go to their profile, then tap the “Add Media” button to upload a video. Once the video is selected, you can drag the time strip to select the part you want to loop, preview it, and post it to your profile.

Tinder Loops currently supports only videos or Live Photos imported from your iOS Camera Roll. It doesn’t allow users to capture Loops directly from the app.

Alongside the option to add Loops, a subset of users in the test markets will also be given the ability to upload nine photos (or Loops), instead of just six. That could encourage more uploads of Loops as users won’t have to remove their existing photos to give the feature a try.

Tinder would not be the first dating app to dabble with video.

Starting last year, a number of its rivals began to support video in various contexts, as well. Hinge started allowing users to add videos up to 30 seconds long to their profiles; Match and Bumble announced Stories-like features involving video (BumbleVID didn’t pan out); and Zoosk tried video in a separate app, Lively, which has since pivoted to trivia. Integrating video, it appears, is not that easy.

The feature’s launch comes at a time when the competition between modern dating apps has been heating up. Specifically, Tinder and Bumble’s battles have gotten nasty, with Tinder parent Match Group suing Bumble over patents, and Bumble suing Match Group back for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets. Tinder also recently said it would roll out a ladies-first option in its app, which is the thing Bumble is best known for.

Now, with Loops, Tinder is differentiating itself further from the rest of the pack. Whether or not users will respond, however, remains to be seen.

Loops is rolling out today to the supported test markets.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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How to Improve Your Continuous Testing While Balancing Velocity, Coverage, and UX Risk

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A stage-based methodology

Continuous testing is one of the keys to the DevOps kingdom.  Your pipeline needs to move fast to keep up with ever-shrinking release schedules but you can’t afford to sacrifice quality or UX in the name of speed. The solution? During each stage of development, Development teams need to balance testing every scenario against the amount of time needed to generate meaningful test results.  However, it’s understood that a “test everything” approach isn’t practical;  therefore, you’re left with a balancing act for teams to negotiate. This blog focuses on a continuous testing methodology to determine which devices to test at each stage of development.  The highest-performing teams are the ones whose game plans match target platforms with each development stage; this stage-specific testing strategy is fundamental to meeting your fast feedback needs while ensuring a great UX.

Breaking Down the DevOps Team Processes by Stage:

  • Unit Testing
    • Developers execute unit tests to get fast feedback – “does the code I just wrote behave as expected? Is it ready for integration and more rigorous testing?”  Maximizing platform coverage in this stage is inefficient and unnecessary. In this early stage of development, unit tests executed before or after a commit often use emulators and simulators to provide a quick thumbs up or down on whether the code works. In later test phases, most top teams agree that moving to real devices is required to assure user experience.
  • Acceptance Testing
    • Teams typically focus on verifying that new functionality- as well as old-  works according to the user story, and tests are executed over a large set of platforms that mirrors realistic customer patterns.
  • Test in Production
    • Many teams adopt DevOps; testing in production becomes part of the continuous testing scope. Once code ships, the objective changes from “does it work” to “is it still working as expected?” Teams recognize the value of leveraging hourly testing of key flows to create an early warning mechanism. Early awareness of production issues jump starts resolution efforts while (hopefully) few users are negatively impacted.

Factors: Your Coverage Crib Sheet for Continuous Testing

We’ve established that it’s important to know which platforms to test against, in which environments, and when to execute, in order to streamline the continuous testing process.  Everyone involved in the product release should understand both the testing trigger points that must be defined in each stage and how their tests fit into the overall pipeline in order to meet project schedules and reduce UX risk.  Perfecto’s Factors reference guide gives you a head start with guidelines for determining which platforms you need to cover and how to fit them into your DevOps process.  The table below summarizes the Perfecto’s research.

Our methodology:

  • Unit testing should be executed by devs on a small subset of platforms that may include emulators and simulators, and should be triggered pre- and post-commit locally against the developer workstation.
  • Build acceptance tests should be executed on a larger number of platforms (real devices and web platforms) daily and as part of the continuous integration (CI) process.
  • Acceptance tests should be executed on the full set of platforms in the lab to get maximum coverage and quality visibility. These cycles should run on a nightly basis, orchestrated by the CI process.
  • Production testing should run hourly and continuously to detect regression defects, outages, or performance degradations in the service. Such tests should not focus on maximum coverage of platforms;  select the top 2-3 platforms from the web and mobile and execute against these.

Up Your Application Testing Game Plan

In this blog, we’ve taken a look at DevOps team quality objectives and highlighted the differences in coverage levels required at each stage. In addition, we provide a methodology for tailoring platform coverage for mobile and web for each development stage in order to enhance continuous testing and minimize UX risk.  Perfecto’s Factors reference guide provides invaluable insight into developing your testing methodology as well as the current data you need to make critical coverage decisions.  Whether you’re a dev tester, a developer, or an R&D manager, it’s a tool that you need in your toolbox.  Grab your copy today!

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Now California’s DMV can allow fully driverless car testing

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Automakers can now start testing fully driverless cars on California's roads. According to the state DMV's new regulations that became effective on April 2nd, it can now issue three types of autonomous vehicle testing permits. The first kind is the o…
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Estonia To Offer Free Genetic Testing, And Other Nations May Follow

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For residents of Estonia, genomic tests may soon become as commonplace as blood pressure. The country has launched the first stage of a national state-sponsored genetic testing and information service, which will seek to help residents minimize their risk of illness based on their DNA. If the experiment goes well, it’s possible that other countries with nationalized healthcare systems will follow suit.

The initiative, which launched on March 20, will start by providing 100,000 of its 1.3 million residents with information on their genetic risk for certain diseases. Genetic information from the project will first be delivered to a family doctor, so that patients will receive counseling about what their results actually mean and how they can better adapt their lifestyle to avoid illness. According to a press release from the University of Tartu’s Institute of Genomics, which is hosting the new service, the country plans to eventually offer free genetic testing to all of its residents.

Estonia isn’t the only nation to offer free or low-cost genetic testing to most of its residents — the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom also offers them, but often only to help doctors diagnose diseases, not to help patients prevent them (and patients in the NHS still have to pay a lab processing fee).

It’s not surprising that Estonia is among the first to adopt modern trends; the small nation seems to always be on the cutting edge. The country has had a biobank program since the year 2000, established with the goals of accelerating research and making healthcare more personalized. It was the first nation to ever hold elections via the Internet, the first to offer “e-residency” for anyone in the world, and among the first to propose a national cryptocurrency. Adding genetics to its state-sponsored healthcare program, it could just offer a model for a better way to use genetics for good health.

In many places, getting genetic information alongside health advice is much more difficult. In the United States, genetic testing is usually available through primary care physicians, but according to the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), insurance companies don’t have good systems in place to evaluate whether genetic tests will be covered. That means that patients may not know whether or not they can afford genetic testing until they actually get it, even if it’s recommended by their doctors.

Instead, patients might turn to the cheaper, and arguably easier, method of at-home genetic testing — no driving to an appointment, no standing on a scale; you just spit in a cup, mail it off, and get results, all for a flat fee. Yet these tests don’t include the expertise of a genetic counselor, who can help a person understand how particular mutations can affect their risk of developing a disease. There are also concerns that companies like 23andMe are using genetic data for research in ways that consumers don’t understand, and even concerns that some home-testing kits could yield results that are false or misleading.

Compare that to the Estonian system. Though some experts have cautioned that free genetic advice could cause unnecessary alarm, having results delivered through a doctor leaves patients much less prone to misinformation and unnecessary freak-outs than if they tried to interpret those results themselves.

Additionally, thanks to the 1999 Estonian Human Genes Research Act, all genetic data belongs to the donor that submitted it; Estonians can choose what studies to participate in, and will soon be able to check an easy-to-use online portal to see which research studies have actually used their data.

Genetic testing is more popular than ever, and it makes sense that people want to decode their DNA to make their lives better, not just to learn about their lineage. Other countries, from Iceland to the United Arab Emirates, have plans to sequence the DNA of large segments of the population with the goal of making citizens’ lives better. These plans likely won’t be perfect at first. But other nations looking to implement their own systems might build off those, and citizens will be the ones to benefit.

The post Estonia To Offer Free Genetic Testing, And Other Nations May Follow appeared first on Futurism.

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Google Maps testing slightly-rounded navigation UI

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The design language in Google’s apps is constantly evolving, and lately the company has started to introduce more rounded elements in popular apps, like Chrome for Android and mobile web search. The next app to be round-ified might be Maps, as some users are seeing a slightly-tweaked interface during navigation.

 

Left: Current UI; Right: New rounded UI

The new look adds circles around the close, directions, and voice buttons.

Read More

Google Maps testing slightly-rounded navigation UI was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google said to be testing revamped Pixel launcher search bar for Pixel 3

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With every major Android release, Google revamps its Pixel launcher to accommodate the device and the new design language better. With Android P right around the corner, we now are seeing a slightly revamped Pixel launcher that will ship with the Google Pixel 3. The new revamped launcher is found by modifying the existing Pixel Launcher APK from the Google Pixel 2 to enable some hidden, in-development features of the launcher. The Pixel launcher’s search bar is now split into two; one for search and one with Google mic icon. We’re not sure what the purpose of this change or it is part of the rumored Material Design 2 set to be unveiled during Google I/O 2018. A similar thing happened during the Pixel 2, and the modded APK with bottom search bar was out before its release thanks to many APK modders. XDA the sole power behind the new finding has mentioned that it will soon publish an update to the modded app with these new changes available as a toggle. The in-development parameters of the latest official APK are a giveaway to prove that this revamped launcher is indeed for the Google Pixel 3. Source
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Google is testing some UI tweaks for a 2018 Pixel Launcher redesign

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Google has never been one to shy away from shipping hidden, in-development code inside production software. It’s one of those little things about the web titan than can put a smile on any enthusiastic developer or modder’s face and is typically how we get early clues about upcoming features and design changes. Old Pixel Launcher home • New Pixel Launcher home This time around, one of the guys over at XDA managed to unearth some UI tweaks in the latest official Pixel Launcher APK. These are subtle, but still quite noticeable and, for now, affect the Google search bar. The…

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‘PUBG’ will start testing its tiny ‘Savage’ map next week

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds continues to ramp up the changes as it fights back against Fortnite for the battle royal crown. One part of the plan that we'd already heard about is a smaller map option called Codename: Savage measuring at 4×4 Km, whic…
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