I had this blog post drafted already, and originally had it titled “iTunes App Store sucks, and Apple doesn’t give a shit”. Well, after the acquisition of Chomp Apple shows it knows. Finally!

To be more precise, I think that app discovery in the app store sucks, and this hurts both users and developers.

Right now, the only ways users find apps are through New, What’s Hot or the top 25 of a category. With almost  600,000 apps,  that is basically an Office Depot with aisles that are 50 miles long. You look at the top 25, but that’s it.  App search is just really bad. Genius? Anybody ever used Genius more than once? Genius is a joke like Ping is. Apparently, Apple is just not good at social.

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Not our content, but I loved this great presentation by our friends at Qubop.

My take aways:

  1. Apple values great visual design over human interface guideline compliance
  2. Assume nobody reads anything
  3. Make choices for users (no 50 configuration settings please!)
  4. Limit the number of clicks
  5. Don’t force a workflow on mobile
  6. Be consistent across different platforms
  7. New trends #1: 5 tab navigation, where the center tab answers the question “What do I do with this app?”
  8. New trends #2: hidden navigation is replacing tab bars
  9. New trends #3: users expect “Pull to refresh”
  10. New trends #4: iPad and iPhone are converging
Here are the slides from their presentation:

OK, your iPhone app is about to be released. You and your teammates think the app is perfect. You just want to ask a couple of friends to test the app. Should you?

Yes you should let others test.

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Mobile development is not easy. A lot of platforms that change a lot, many different programming languages and tools. And of course a slew of new devices each year, in particular on the Android platform.

Testing is even harder, arguably also more important. Native apps crash completely on an error, not just one page. You have less screen real estate. Users have less time to use your app. And there are so many tools to choose from. So let me ask a few questions: what to test? And when are tools appropriate, and when do you need users?

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Welcome to the Mobtest blog! Our first post, so let us describe to you what our mission is. Actually, how we would put it now, as this will most definitely change over time:)

Mobtest’s mission is to connect mobile app developers with users that understand apps and can test them

Why? Well for developers, we think that now it is too hard to do app testing, so the quality of the apps out there is not that great. How many times do you have an iPhone app crashing on you? Or received a lot of one star ratings because of a huge bug you or Apple didn’t find before publishing in the App Store? That should be a thing of the past. With over 450,000 apps in the iTunes app store and 250,000 in the Android market it is hard to stand out. Your app needs to be top notch to do so.

Besides that the market is growing and growing, over the next 4 years about 1,000 percent. We as app developers have to deal with that, crunch out more apps while same time improve the quality of our work. Not a simple task.

For testers, we want to give them early acces to the coolest newest apps out there, and give them a chance to help them improve these apps. And become good at testing them and adding value to the developers.

Engineers focus on development, testers will provide them with input what part of their work needs improvement. Find out why your app always crashes. Learn if your users find it easy to use your app. No more crappy apps! No more one star ratings!

What do you think?