Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Test live on Multiple Devices...On the Cheap.

This requires a bit of courage and stealth behavior. It would cost tens of thousand of dollar to purchase all the android smart phones for testing. That's great for large companies, but what about the independent developers? Well this method works well. I've done it.

First email your .APK to yourself. Then visit your friendly Verizon, Sprint and AT&T stores. Who did I forget? Anyway, the trick is to act very interested in their phones. Who knows, you might actually find one you love and buy it, like I did, so your conscience is clear.

Now simply launch the browser app and open your gmail account, or any other web based email account you have. Then download the attached .APK that you sent to yourself and install your app. You will probably have to change the Application Settings to accept installation from Unknown Sources before you can install.

Now have fun testing your app and pretending to be stupid about smart phones when the sales person asks if you need anything. The best line is "Not yet, just looking." Also, and this is important, don't forget to implement Tip # 4 in the programming tips in this blog. That way if your App crashes on some device, you get a nice email to yourself with details about where it crashed and on what device.

One more thing. Don't forget to sign out of your email account. :)

So I tested Say Cheese successfully today on all the Sprint HTC phones including the EVO, Motorola Droids including the Droid X and the Droid X2, Verizon Thunderbolt, Sony Erickson. Had hanging issues and preview issues with the Samsung. Text to Speech not activated on Motorola phones and fixed that by simplifying the way TTS is initialized.

New Samsung Infuse had too many issues but I finally got it working. Why don't manufacturers make it easier for developers to get their apps working on their phones, and why is there not some standard that says these phones should all be released with the latest version of Android?

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