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Gesture-Based Input is the New Epoch of App Testing

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 31 January 2012, 05:26 Hrs
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The Gesture-based input is at the present and future of computing and adds a whole new meaning to words like swipe, pinch, zoom and flip. For mobile developers, reconciling touch-based input with design and functionality goals in apps has become a problem because it is time consuming.

SOASTA a "cloud testing" company wants to change that. It has come out with several new products today to help developers test gesture-based input for mobile applications. SOASTA said last year that "75percent of all mobile and Web apps go live without ever being scale tested". With new touch modules in cloud, SOASTA believes it has evolved app testing to finally catch up with input methods.

SOASTA is attempting to create a new test method; by merging its gesture-based testing with the cloud via CloudTest on real devices SOASTA is unveiling a tool that captures all user actions and gestures. TouchTest can examine how interfaces react to input on real devices in the company's network. These things can be done without rooting, binding, or jailbreaking a device. TouchTest is internet driven which controls the device through software and accesses them through their IP address. Organizations can build a "private device cloud" with devices inside their data centers or in remote locations. That means that the number of devices needed to perform large scale testing is greatly reduced. There are other services like DeviceAnywhere, Apkudo and Perfecta Mobile which apply similar solutions. Through device and operating system specifications in the cloud - the concept is to test an application against dozens or hundreds of devices at one time by cross-examining them.

With TouchTest, the thought is to see a certain swipe/pinch/zoom etc. movement will work against various UI changes. When someone makes this gesture what exactly happens in an app across platforms?
That swipe could be somebody trying to write the number "2" or dragging an icon from one folder to another. TestTouch can record the movement and test it in a variety of circumstances.

In a press release the company said "TouchTest captures not only the start and end points of each gesture, but the journey between and the speed with which the gesture is performed--because CloudTest tests inside the app, all actions and gestures are captured at the object level creating tests that are more stable across releases, even as the user interface (UI) changes".

Outside of testing services like DeviceAnywhere, SOASTA says that its biggest competition is actually developers testing the old-fashioned way: fingers and eyeballs.

Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA said "Optical recognition or screen scraping is flawed for testing. "It is brittle, there is no continuous framework; we saw a specific set of opportunities with TouchTest".

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