By the time you finish reading this article, there is already a Smart phone being released in the market and chances are more than half of your consumers have pre booked it.
So be sure your app is developed targeting it.
Smartphones nowadays comes in wide variety of Screen sizes, resolution, hardware and software. You may think that it is not practically possible to test your App on all the devices available in the market.
Form is the key Factor
Have you imagined the impact of developing an App that doesn’t target certain form factors?
“An App for one is a Business for other”
Not testing the app on the required form factors with desired screen size and resolution can have significant impact. A few b2b customers provide the devices list to test their apps which makes the app developers job easier.
Consumer apps on the other hand, needs to target wide variety of screen sizes and resolution that includes both phones and tablets. Only way to ensure quality is to test apps on a mixed set screen sizes and resolution.
A consumer app user expects an app to have a more personalized User Experience across the various form factors.
Sufficient Memory for a Memorable app
In addition to Form Factor, app developers who develop apps with rich GUI tend to ignore the app’s performance in memory constrained devices.
The memory consumed by an app is significant and has an impact on apps performance. When a memory consuming app is installed on devices with insufficient memory, it not only runs slowly but also, tends to affect the performance of other apps on the phone. App users will be notified with “low memory” warning. At this point, they are likely to uninstall the app.
So how do app developers choose the right target devices?
Here are few other key points to consider before choosing right test devices.
Customer is Crucial:
There’s no better place to start than understanding your customers. Identify whether your Customer is in need of Enterprise app or Consumer app. Enterprise (b2b) apps are built focused to increase the productivity of a business. B2b apps have less priority to UI compared to consumer apps. Consumer apps are built targeting general audience and hence,
the user base of Consumer apps is huge compared to B2B apps.
Grasp the Geography:
Identify the Geography your App is going to be deployed.
Collect data about the most used smartphones in the specific geography and develop your apps targeting those devices.
OS- Oh Yes!!:
When it comes to targeting Operating systems, All Major OS providers publish official data about most adopted OS version in the market.
Collect the data and test your apps on the OS most adopted in the market. The thumb rule is to test the apps on the prevalent version and one earlier version with highest adoption rate.
Getting devices which are capable of upgrading to the latest OS is a bonus.
Peripherals are Pertinent:
Certain apps may require specific hardware to work with such as bluetooth, WIFI, Sensors etc,.
Collect data about the peripherals your app is going to interact with such as hardware version number, hardware profile and select your device based upon it.
Some manufacturers devices may not be available in a particular geography. Each manufacturer has their own custom skin built on top of stock OS and gestures specific to their devices. App users expect custom gestures to work inside their apps. Make sure to cover those scenarios. Best solution is to Select devices from different manufacturers and test the app.
Lets apply all the best practices prescribed above to this scenario:
The Customer is an e-commerce giant in United States looking for a mobile app in Android and iOS
We start by selecting right devices for our development.
To develop a lightweight, yet feature rich ecommerce app with optimal memory and disk utilization, we need to select devices with minimum 2 gb RAM and 30 MB available disk space to install and test the app.
For iOS, As measured by the App Store on February 20, 2017, 79% of devices are using iOS 10 and 16% of devices are using iOS 9. As we will be delivering our app shortly, adoption rate will be more for iOS 9 and 10. So we can target iOS 9 and 10.
For Android, Data collected during a 7-day period ending on April 3, 2017 says 75 % of devices are using Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat. It will be a wise decision for us to target these OS versions.
Consumers expect app to notify them when they are nearby stores so that they can pick up the product on the go. We need to select devices which are GPS compatible
We need to select the test devices based on Mobile Vendor Market Share in United State.
From March 2016 to March 2017, Apple leads the market with a share of 53.57%, followed by Samsung, Motorola and HTC with a share of 31.74%. We will select devices from these vendors.
Polls say a user won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile app. It is important to provide a seamless experience across all devices. Consumers nowadays expect e-commerce app to provide shop on the go experience and notify them immediately of any flash sale, offers. A perfect companion for that functionality would be phone form factor which is easy to carry. So I have considered down phones form factor for Android and iOS by matching the key factors mentioned above.
Apart from smartphones where U.S. Smartphone Penetration Surpassed 80 Percent in 2016, Tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce app at 8.58%. So I have considered Tablet form factors for Android and iOS in addition to the key factors mentioned above.
The table below shows the final list of devices to test the app for deploying in U.S region as per Customer requirements. This is an optimum mix of Device, OS and Form Factor.