Mobile App Testing – Ensure the Quality of Your Mobile Application

So you have developed a mobile application and you think its ready for release. You will have probably tested it on an emulator of some kind and possibly a browser or two, and so now you think its time to release it. Before this is done lets consider what state the mobile App is in. The mobile App only ‘appears’ to function correctly at this stage, which to all intensive purposes is a good thing right? but an emulator really only shows you how a real device ‘should’ work when used with your mobile application, it is certainly no guarantee. A web browser can certainly show you what your mobile App will look like on a real device, but there are many factors it cannot show you, for example; the touch screen functionality, CPU difference, memory usage and many more very important areas of functionality. It only takes a slight a small difference in what is ‘expected’ behavior to what is ‘actual’ behavior on a real device.

So once the decision is made to test on a real device, there are some important things to consider:

Which mobile devices do I need?

Lets for example use the most popular for of a mobile application, the iPhone. Currently there are several devices that fit into this category; the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, and iPod-Touch. In addition there are multiple hardware versions and multiple operating system versions associated with each device. This at first presents a dilemma, but we can rule out older hardware and firmware(operating systems), why is this? well, 99% of users will upgrade to the latest firmware whenever possible to take advantage of bug fixes and new enhanced functionality. Again, you can rule out older versions of hardware, particularly if it is several years old and no longer supports the latest firmware available. Most users of these types of devices will upgrade when their device ‘appears’ out of date. In short, aim to test on the latest hardware and firmware, this in effect gives you a longer period of mobile App longevity.

I can’t afford to buy real devices, what do I do?

Most carriers will offer you the mobile device cheaply if you sign a lengthy contract. This is not really a viable option if you just want to test with it. Most devices can also be bought without a contract, but for an expensive price. Again, this can be expensive, especially using our example of an iPhone App. Teh most cost-effective testing solution is to use an iPhone App testing company to do it for you. They have already made the expensive investment in purchasing the hardware so you don’t have to. A good iPhone App testing company should offer you bundles for testing on multiple devices too.

Should I get a professional App test before release?

As the developer, you are essentially just one set of eyes. It is very important to get a new App tested to some level before its release, as once its out there you can’t do anything about it, until its too late, i.e. you are receiving negative feedback and decreasing sales. You don’t have to hire professional App testers to do the testing, you can get colleagues or friends to help you out. This should at least get some other sets of eyes looking at your App. The advantage of using a professional App testing service however, is they will have experience of a variety of software testing techniques, such as Usability, Functional, Performance testing etc. on many other Apps previously. Their software testers will know where to look for defects within your App and will provide you with an all important degree of confidence which you will only get with a professional App tester.

Which carriers/network providers should I use?

Depending on the country where the software testing is carried out, there will be a limit to which providers can be used. To be honest though, as long as the testing takes into account network specific testing, then the carrier should not matter at all. For example, an App tester will typically test on good, medium and poor signal strengths to test the behavior of your App under these conditions. So, as long as these tests are carried out not only on a wi-fi network but also on a 3G carrier providers network, then it really doesn’t matter.

So to summarize then, you necessarily have to pay out a fortune in order to achieve a level of mobile application testing. With some forethought, you can effectively reduce the amount of real devices you need to test on. You can don’t have to pay a fortune to ensure the quality of your mobile application.

http://www.testing4success.com is a professional Mobile Application Testing company providing highly cost-effective Mobile App Testing services to companies around the globe. Free iPhone App Testing Service available.

Author: James S Clark
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Social Media As an Investment

In its brief history, Social Media, as called New Media, has traditionally been viewed as a place to meet new friends, reconnect with old friends and interact in an online social environment. In short, social networks were “a cool place to hang out” but held little applicability beyond that. There has been no shortage of funding in Silicon Valley for firms launching new media platforms. With the emergence of sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, there is no question that there is value in the vast amounts of information on people that these platforms have been able to collect; however, there has been no clear monetization strategy beyond bringing in advertising revenue. Arguments have been risen as to the true value of these firms; some would state that their valuations are inflated and artificial, while other claim that the value of their databases alone are enough to justify multi-billion dollar price tags.

The New Value of Social Media and The Social Media Firm
More recently social media has spawned a new value proposition, which is the business applicability of the vast user-bases these social networks have created. Regardless of which side of the valuation fence you sit on, it can be said that social media holds vast utility for businesses looking for a new way to reach out to customers and engage in two-way communications. This has never been done before from a traditional marketing, advertising or public relations perspective, and has given rise to a new business model: The Social Media Firm. This brings forth the argument of whether or not The Social Media Firm is a good investment. Is The Social Media Firm a fad that will die out in the coming years, or is this a long-term, sustainable industry that will one-day drive obsolescence to the traditional methods of advertising, public relations and marketing?

Given the state of the current economy, Venture Capital and angel funding sources have been keeping their portfolio dollars close to their chest, reserving investment only to businesses with a decent operating history, solid revenue streams and unlimited growth potential. Does the Social Media Firm fall into this category? My answer is yes. The bottom line is: social media is not going anywhere. Social media has become a staple of the lives of younger generations, and the fastest growing adopters of new media are people over the age of 30. Since the recognition of the business potential that social networks holds, large Fortune 500 firms are devoting a good portion of their marketing budgets to social networks and new media campaigns. For instance, Pepsi has devoted $20 Million of their marketing budget for a social media program called Pepsi refresh, and many large firms are beginning to follow suit. Needless to say, the earning potential for The New Media Firm is substantial.

Is it sustainable?
As mentioned earlier, new media is not going anywhere. For the most part it has become a standard part of the Internet experience similar to email. The sites that are considered the gorillas in social media may churn; however, there will always be something new to which these Internet-based communities will migrate. For example, the social media migration to-date has gone from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter, and the next major shift and/or addition to this massive online social sphere is likely just around the corner. The long-term sustainability of The Social Media Firm is largely dependent upon these companies’ ability to identify and pre-empt the next big shift, and to develop effective methods of leveraging both the old and new platforms for the sake of driving revenue, profitability, sales volume and identity to their clients.

Why Outsource to The Social Media Firm?
One question that may arise is: why would large companies hire a social media agency when they have the monetary resources to do it in-house? The answer to this is the simple fact that it is cheaper to outsource a new media campaign to a firm that has a skilled team already in place that is intimately familiar with navigating the complex world of new media. In the same manner that large companies hire advertising agencies to design traditional media campaigns, this approach can and will be taken for new media. By hiring The New Media Firm companies can eliminate both the administrative burden that comes with hiring a multitude of new employees, as well as the learning curve that will inevitably be present when trying to integrate those employees into their corporate culture. It is more cost effective, in both monetary and administrative respects, to outsource these campaigns to professional teams that are fully adept at leveraging the potential of modern media, navigating the codes of conduct of these online communities and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying the exploiting the latest new media trends.

Closing Remarks

In summary, I do believe that investment in The Social Media Firm holds great potential for many funds; however, it is imperative that when vetting these agencies, Venture Capitalists and Angels need to ensure that the company contains the correct personnel and management team to fully exploit this budding industry. The ditch is full of one-man shops and so-called social media experts that are no more than victims of the recession who happen to be adept at Facebook or Twitter. It is imperative that the architects of new media campaigns are familiar with the intricate details of new media, and the vast array of assets that exist online to for a business to take full advantage of the social media world. Utilization of the lesser known social media outlets such as Digg, BrightKite, hi5, Xanga and countless others could be the difference between a full-scale robust campaign that shows real results, and an ineffective and unorganized attempt at new media that wastes marketing dollars.

Due to the infancy of this industry, there are few companies out there that truly know how to unlock the value of new media for business. The one’s that do will quickly rise to the top, and if sufficient due diligence is done, these companies are ripe for investment. A strategic infusion of capital is likely the boost needed to take these companies from a sustainable cash-flow business to the next industry giant with A-list clientele.

Boom Media, Inc. is a new media optimization firm based in San Diego, California. New Media is the culmination of all online assets (such as social networking, blogs, micro-blogs, bookmarking and video sites) and tactics that can be used to drive revenue and identity for businesses. With a proven track record for success, the Boom Media team delivers results with innovative and measurable campaigns. Learn more at http://www.mymediaboom.com

Author: Eric A Rice
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Twitter – Making Money Quick in Just Minutes a Day

You are reading this because you have likely just come across Twitter, or you’ve heard of it but are not really sure what it is or how to use it.

In this article you will learn:

o What is Twitter?

o What is micro-blogging?

o Why is it so successful?

o How to use Twitter to double your income in minutes a day

o The really important DO’s of Twitter

o The even more important DON’Ts of Twitter.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is the world’s preeminent “micro-blogging” social networking website. It was launched in March 2006. Even though it is so new, it has skyrocketed to dominance and is considered by many to be equal in importance to Facebook!

It is a social networking platform in which people invite you to follow them. Here’s an example. Let’s say a friend of yours, Albert, invites you, Bill, to follow him on Twitter. You may accept him (by clicking on the ACCEPT button) or you may reject that offer (by clicking on the BLOCK button).

You might block:

o People you do not know

o People you do not like

o People whose culture or morals do not fit with yours (like blocking porn stars)

Even if you accept someone, you could later block that person if, for example, you realize that they just want to sell and are not on Twitter for the true social networking ideals.

In this example, let’s say that Bill accepts Albert’s invitation. Now, Albert has one Follower (or one more Follower) and Bill now is Following Albert. Bill is now in the Twitter system and can invite Carol to follow him. You get onto Twitter by invitation because you must follow someone. In this way, a community is built. Albert has his community of those he follows and those who follow him. And, it is the same for Bill, and for Carol, and for the millions who are on this platform.

Twitter Popularized The “Micro-Blog”

Emails can be as long as you wish, with attachments as huge as you wish. Blog posts can be as long as you wish. Articles are limited to a maximum of about 1,500 words. But, comments posted on Twitter are limited to 140 characters – even including spaces!

In this era of speed in which no one seems to have any time, Twitter popularized updating your friends and sending text-based Direct Messages (called DMs) using only 140 characters. Here’s one I just posted today:

“I’m sitting in my hotel room in Gold Coast Australia writing an ezine article on Twitter.”

That’s 89 characters including spaces and punctuation. I could stop there, or add more. How do I know it’s 89? Because Twitter automatically counts down for me and displays that I had 51 characters to go. So, I kept going.

“I’m sitting in my hotel room in Gold Coast Australia writing an ezine article on Twitter. Though I live in Canada, I’m here giving a speech for World Internet Summit.”

Now I am at 167 characters. But, I’m allowed only 140. Twitter’s counter (now red) shows me at -27. That means I need to eliminate at least 27 characters. I realize that the comment “Though I live in Canada” is not too important because my Twitter followers likely know that. So here is my next attempt:

“I’m sitting in my hotel room in Gold Coast Australia writing an ezine article on Twitter. I’m here giving a speech for World Internet Summit.”

That brings me down to -3. I’m almost there. So, I delete one of the spaces between my two sentences. I’m at -2. Then, I delete the entire word “sitting” and I’m done. I hit the UPDATE button and my dozens or thousands of Twitter Followers know what’s up in my life. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s free.

Why Is Twitter So Successful?

Twitter’s success is based on two principles important to social networking:

o Firstly, it is really easy to use and understand.

o Secondly, it takes only seconds to post or to read a micro-blog.

How You Can Double Your Income Using Twitter

You simply increase your number of Twitter Followers, build a relationship with them, then offer them something that they may well like.

Tweets (that is, messages sent to Followers on Twitter) are more eagerly read than mass-emails. So, there is a greater connection and a greater opportunity to monetize your list of Twitter Followers.

The Number One Key then is to dramatically increase your Twitter Followership.

The Steps to Increasing your Twitter Followership

Here are the steps to getting your list started…

o Open a Twitter account and post a photo as that is part of the fun of Twitter.

o Ask someone, by email or phone, to invite you or accept a Twitter invitation that arrives.

o Using Twitter’s search function, find friends of yours and invite them.

o Next, decide the type of Twitter Followers you would like to attract. Let me use an example. If you love scented candles (or wish to sell scented candles online through Twitter), then search for “candle” or “candles” or “scented candles” or “fragrance” or “relax” or whatever other key words you feel would find you the type of friend (or customer) you want.

o Each search will return to you a list of Twitter members. Read down the list and click the FOLLOW button for those whom you feel resonate with you. It’s totally your choice.

o Keep doing this and two things will happen.

o Firstly, you will be following lots of people.

o Secondly, some of them will eagerly follow you back.

o Thirdly, you will begin getting Tweets which you need to answer.

You are now beginning to have fun on Twitter. Congratulations. People will send you Tweets or DMs (Direct Messages). You need to reply. And, you need to initiate micro-blogs like the one I constructed earlier in this article.

Soon you will follow 2,000 other Twitterers. At this point, you may well have several hundred Followers. The difference is too large and Twitter will prevent you from following any more. With each day, more people will find and follow you so your ratio will improve. To follow more than 2,000 others on Twitter, you must keep your number of followers within about 10% of the number you follow. When you follow 2,000, you will need to wait till 1,800 follow you. But, there is a short-cut. Read on to the Second DO below.

Here Are the All-Important Twitter DO’s

The very first DO is: use your real name “Mary McGregor” so that others can find you. You may also use a nickname. I don’t.

The second DO has to do with speeding the process of getting more followers. Simply wait for several days after following someone and then delete them if they do not follow you back. How do you know? Just look at the list of those you follow. If you see a “DM” or “Direct Message” button, then they are following you. If it is blank, then they have not followed you. You may wish to go through that entire list and purge (or delete) anyone who has not followed you. Now, your ratio is in balance and you can go out inviting more and getting more followers.

The third DO is about keeping in touch. Each day, send a micro-blog of anything that is on your mind, a fun website you’ve found, etc.

The fourth DO is to reply to DMs sent to you.

The fifth DO (and you must wait till you have earned a relationship) is to offer something for sale, but in a conversational way. Here’s an example…

“WOW, I just found the world’s funniest video. I laughed like crazy. Check it out on my blog http://www.MyBlog.com.”

That just fits within the 140-character ceiling. If you’ve built good relationships and if the video is really funny and if the video is about scented candles in some way and if there is a compelling offer to buy scented candles on your blog website, then you will begin getting sales!

And the final DO is about publicizing your Twitter membership. Put on your business card and in your email signature and everywhere: “Follow me on Twitter.com/yourname”

And, Now For the Even More Important DON’Ts

Firstly, DON’T begin selling too soon.

Secondly, DON’T make your sell obvious. Make it conversational.

Thirdly, DON’T ignore DMs. They are what creates the social networking.

DON’T lose interest. Once you have created this network, you need to mother it to nurture it.

And, The Final Point…

Have fun. It’s easy. It’s fast. It really works.

And, you can get much more on Raymond’s proven success system in his bestselling hardcover book DOUBLE YOUR INCOME DOING WHAT YOU LOVE. Claim yours right now at http://GetMyBookForFree.com.

Author: Raymond Aaron
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

How to Build an iPhone App

Do you really want to build an iPhone app?

This might sound like a daft question at first. But I want to make sure that you have fully explored your target audience and considered whether it would be more suitable to launch an app on the Blackberry or Android platform.

If you have your mind set on an iPhone app, then I urge you to also consider what happens when it is a success? Yes, I am assuming that your iPhone application will be a success because they are growing so rapidly. Will the agency you use be able to launch a similar app on the other platforms so as not to alienate consumers? Will you choose to combine your iPhone app with perhaps a mobile website that would allow all other smartphone users to access your content?

Search out the iPhone apps you like!

I have managed many website and iPhone application projects and one of the mistakes I regularly come across is managers that are too reliant on the designers. I suggest that as part of your initial brief you really look into all the different types of iPhone apps that are within your market. If there are no iPhone apps then simply look at what you like. Consider why one flows better than another, what elements frustrate you and what ideas could you use to build your iPhone app.

Understanding Apple Connect for your iPhone Application

Apple Connect is a website used by your iPhone application developer. It is basically a website that holds the details of your app and is used to send your iPhone app binary code to Apple for them to approve… if you are lucky (I’ll get to that in a moment)

It is also the place where everything you see on iTunes is managed. So those screen shots you see for each app, you guessed it, they are uploaded through connect. You may want to go through connect with your iPhone app developer just to get used to what you can and cannot do.

Pricing your iPhone Application

Apple operates a tiered pricing structure so all you have to do is select a pricing tier from 1-10 to set your price around the world i.e if it is 59p in the UK then it will automatically be 99 cents in the US. Again, you can access this with your iPhone developer by visiting Apple Connect.

Planning your iPhone app layout

Bespoke apps will be much less expensive if you do the ground work. By this I mean work out exactly what you want and create a ‘work flow’ diagram. Basically start with a blank picture of an iPhone and sketch in your iPhone app splash screen and homepage. Work out what buttons will go along the bottom of your iPhone app to create the menu – you can have five buttons.

Next, using lots of blank iPhone images, create a hierarchical structure of your iPhone application. By doing this, you can literally show your designer how you want it all to work i.e. click here and it shows this screen or searches this item. Don’t worry too much about whether it is technically possible as your iPhone app designer will undoubtedly suggest some options for improvement. Once the iPhone app workflow is complete then you and your designer know exactly how the app should work.

Bespoke iPhone Apps V’s Online App Builders

Only about 12 months ago, if you wanted to build an iPhone app then you had to look for a bespoke answer. Today things are rapidly changing and there are a number of US based companies and one UK company offering a build your app online service.

The fundamental difference between bespoke iPhone application development and online app builders is cost and flexibility. So it all comes down to ‘what do you want your iPhone app to do?’ and how much do you want to pay?

With bespoke iPhone applications you really can create just about anything and there are companies or individuals very skilled in this area. So ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Is it brand building through clever entertainment or are you trying to get content to your customers in order to a) interact with them and build your brand or b) help them through to the final purchase of your product or service?

Think back a few years to the use of flash in website design. I was lucky enough to be part of a website pitch to Disney and guess what; we went over the top with flash. Incidentally we won the contract, however soon there were full flash websites everywhere. Today it is very much a different story, for most websites the number one objective is to get content across quickly and efficiently and in a manner that customers are used to, so for example, having the menu on the top or the left hand side of your webpage. Flash is now used predominantly in other areas to add to the overall user experience.

So for what might be classed as ‘utility iPhone apps’ stick to the rules and always think about the content you are trying to deliver.

Online iPhone App Builder

The main thing that you need to consider when using an online app builder is will it deliver what your customer needs? Can an online iPhone app builder offer your customer everything that they require without you having to spend anywhere between 3000 and 20000 plus, building a bespoke iPhone application!

Most online app builders allow you try them for free for either a set time or until you publish your app.

iPhone App Download Restraints

Your iPhone application needs to be less than 10mb’s if you want users to be able to download it from their phone via a standard connection i.e. not wi-fi.

If you are developing an iPhone game application of sorts then you are likely to go over this limit, however for an iPhone business application, then ideally try to keep it under 10mb’s

iPhone Content

If you read only one piece of text in this whole document, make sure you read this next part which looks at iPhone app content and the importance it has in getting your iPhone application signed off by Apple.

When you set about building your iPhone application the first thing you need to realise is that content is vital. Let’s take entertainment and games out of the equation for a moment because by their very nature they are highly likely to get signed off. So let’s concentrate on building a utility or business iPhone application.

Whatever you do, don’t build it just because everyone else is. Build it with your customer in mind. Do your customers already view your products online, are they interested in your news, do they visit your website to access content that is not available elsewhere, can you help your customers with a problem, do you want to find out what your customers think? These are just some of the questions you should consider when building your iPhone application.

Like any marketing or communication tool…building an iPhone application only works as an entertainment gimmick on rare occasions. For 99% of us, it has to serve a real purpose.

What we do know however is that your customers want information, news, products or promotions in the palm of their hand and with an iPhone app you have the perfect marketing tool from them to access your content and interact with your company.

The Cost to build an iPhone Application

A bespoke app can cost anywhere from 3000 to 20000 upwards. The price of bespoke iPhone application development is decreasing as more and more as iPhone application developers enter the market.

Building an iPhone app online costs anywhere from between $10 -$100 per month rental in the US an around 45 per month in the UK.

Submitting your iPhone App

When your iPhone app is submitted to Apple for approval you can expect to hear whether it has been approved or rejected after 1 or 2 weeks. If it has been rejected than Apple will give you some indication as to what needs to be improved before you can submit your app again.

You will have to work with your developer to asses and fix the problem.

I hope that you find some of the information useful and good luck.

James Scott is a Markerting Director within the iPhone Development market. For More information on iPhone Development visit http://www.mvapphub.co.uk/blog/

Author: James Justin Scott
Article Source: EzineArticles.com