Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DeviceReady: Test Your Android App Across 25+ Devices

I keep hearing from lots of folks that Android fragmentation is a big problem. When developing apps for Android, you have to consider the various devices, versions of operating system, form factors, etc. Sounds like a nightmare.

I've been thinking lately about one possible partial solution:

A service that enables Android app developers to submit their app and get screenshots of how the app looks and performs across the most popular Android devices.  Not an emulator.  Your app running on each of those devices.

Like Selenium + Browsershots for Android.

To test the concept, I quickly came up with a name (DeviceReady), threw together a landing page using Unbounce, shared the idea on Hacker News, and purchased about $75 worth of Google Adwords.  The results after 3 days:

Pretty good, right?

I think this is a winning idea because:
  • A company serious about their android app really should test it across dozens of devices.
  • Presumably they are spending a lot of money building and testing their app.
  • The cost of the service, at, say $100 per month (5 submissions) or $25 per submission would be negligible.
  • It is unreasonable to think that a small or mid size android dev shop (most of them) would buy dozens of handsets and manually test on each.


Unknown said...

Brilliant! Given the broad range of devices -- phones, tablets, TVs and now "at home" devices -- there is room for a variety of pricing options.

Yarone said...

Right. And I like that this is simply akin to a "smoke test." Not a full solution, just a quick check to see if your app looks and works ok. If there are problems with a particular device (as evidenced by some weird looking screenshots), you'd have to dig in (upsell opportunity!? remotely control an actual device, live? Just ship screenshots in real-time to user).