Archives For November 2012

The Lean Startup methodology has really caught on over the last few years. Key elements of it are experimentation, iterative development, and incorporating customer validation as early as possible. The term Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is often used to describe the first product that is released to test the market.

Now, originally Lean Startup was developed by Eric Ries while working on web products. Web sites can easily be shielded from non-invited users (for private betas) or you can put a beta label on it and users will understand it will be limited. You can instantly deploy new versions and there are lots of tools for all kinds of testing available. For A/B testing there are tools like, Google analytics for statistics or user feedback via GetSatisfaction or UserVoice.

However, native mobile development has some characteristics that make it hard to apply the Lean Startup methodology: Continue Reading…

Apple's developer portal

Apple’s developer portal

When you as a iOS developer want to send out beta versions to testers, you need to create a build of your app with an ad hoc profile that contains the UDID’s from all the devices of your testers. Not only is that a painful process, you are also limited to 100 devices. That is, a 100 devices per developer license per year. When the iPhone 3 was released that was OK, but now it is becoming a major hurdle to do testing. It is time for Apple to change this policy. Here’s why:

  1. fragmentation – now you have the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 as well as the iPad 2, 3, 4 and iPad Mini. Don’t forget iPod Touch 4 and 5. Also iOS 5 is still around (not for iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad Mini or iPod Touch 5), so times 2 major iOS versions = 14 different devices.
  2. developers create more apps per year – imagine a company that publishes 10 apps per year, for 10 different demographics. That 100 device limitation is for that one publisher, meaning you can have max 10 testers per demographic.
  3. quality standards have gone up – There are 700,000 iOS apps out there. Only the best that get in a top 25 make money. High quality is required, so developers have to test thoroughly.

What could Apple do? Continue Reading…