Why OS X Mavericks will focus Android’s upgrade thinking

October 25, 2013 |  by  |  support, Testing  |  No Comments

What’s the thinking behind Apple’s move to give away the latest version of its desktop Operating System – OS X Mavericks -for free? And why should Android manufacturers care?

As an OS X user, upgrading my family’s Mac machines has always been pretty cheap – one license key, all the machines I own for £20-30. And yet, I’m still using OS X Snow leopard (10.6)…

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Measuring a smartphone battery’s ‘field’ life

September 9, 2013 |  by  |  Battery, Testing  |  No Comments

Smartphones receive strong marks for feature
variety, design and ease of use – with battery life
as their only real shortcoming.

the American customer satisfaction index (July 2013)

Missing data

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SmartMetrics (raw) Data Points

August 13, 2013 |  by  |  support  |  2 Comments

After posting on a couple of forums, realised that people want to know what specific data points can be gathered by the Smart Metrics Friendly User Management tool.

1.0 User Data



Issues Users can capture issues directly on their device from the notification tray or the app. Issues can be categorised, a subject title added and detail specified.
Surveys Wranglers can use pre-built surveys (e.g. SUS, PSSUQ, NPS) or design their own via the console and send them to their ‘friendly users’
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Beta Released

August 12, 2013 |  by  |  News  |  No Comments

Did anyone see Michael Wolfe’s piece,Quora article about a hike from San Francisco to Los Angeles? For those that didn’t – and it’s well worth reading – the short version is that it’s damn hard to estimate engineering schedules because there are so many unknowns.

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The importance of battery life this autumn

September 18, 2012 |  by  |  Battery, News  |  No Comments

Last week’s post outlined the business case for transparent battery life figures. So the argument ran, manufacturer’s spec sheets are a major disappointment for customers and when the time comes, they are more likely to switch brands at upgrade time.

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Show me the battery life

September 7, 2012 |  by  |  Battery  |  No Comments

I couldn’t make up my mind about which image to add here… should Jerry be shouting “show me the battery life” or should I have mashed Renee Zellweger’s line from the same film… “they ‘had-me’ at the retail outlet”?

Sounds like recent(ish) Xerox acquisition WDS is campaigning for greater transparency – honesty? – from the mobile industry with its published battery life times. Their recent study saw that “Only two of the 50 devices tested offered consumers an expected battery life for web browsing – the Apple iPhone 4S and the Nokia N9.”

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Delivering a great customer experience

September 3, 2012 |  by  |  support  |  No Comments

TM Forum’s chairman Keith Willetts recently wrote about the ‘critical importance of delivering a great customer experience‘. Keith makes a bunch of points about why customer experience management is important and how companies like Apple manage to charge higher prices and maintain higher profit margins because they constantly create better customer experiences… nothing new here, you’re thinking? But where Keith appears to diverge from that well trod path, is that he starts to offer practical advice about ‘how’ companies can deliver experiences (Great Customer Experience Don’t Happen by Accident).

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Go to the gemba

August 27, 2012 |  by  |  design, Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Holidays allow me to get through my reading list. Except, I’m increasingly finding that my ‘reading list’ has more videos that need watching than books. A sign of the times? Rachel Hinman thinks so. It’s what she would call ‘comfortable computing’. The changing nature of what people are doing with their mobile computing devices and therefore, how UI designers need to consider how Mobile HCI (Human Computer Interaction) is different.

Many years ago we used to think of this as lean forward and lean backward, but Rachel has moved my thinking on hugely in this 35 minute short through vimeo.

I particularly liked the idea that we need to ‘go to the gemba’ (where the truth is). Which meant that looking for answers in the lab can’t take you far in the mobile domain… we need to visit people in their natural habitat. Sounds like what is working for mobile HCI should resonate with test & measurement too. Although she also mentions why changing perspective is so damn difficult in practice, quoting Marshall McLuhan’s ‘rearview mirror effect’ as a difficult habit to jettison.

Well worth adding to your ‘reading list’ and thanks Rachel… I see there’s an old fashioned print version too.

Rachel Hinman: The Mobile Frontier from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

1 million lines of code

April 13, 2012 |  by  |  News, Testing  |  No Comments

You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability…

Rubin recently claimed that the latest version of Android (Ice cream sandwich) shipped as “over a million lines of code”. Although he’s also suggested (in the past) that Android had over 11 million lines of code – even if 80% is probably the Linux kernel itself.

Which got me thinking about code sizes, the scale of the testing programmes and what a 1 million lines of code looks like… So here’s an edited reblog (RB?) of Jack Ganssle’s excellent 2008 embedded systems article, to help frame the problem into byte-size chunks.

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The cost of smartphone testing

March 7, 2012 |  by  |  Testing  |  1 Comment

Over the past week or so, I’ve been trying to establish how much money it costs Operators to test an Android smartphone and how much Operators spend on testing smartphones and Android in particular.

I have some interesting data points:

  • Adriana Nugter, Operations Manager at the Global Certification Forum (see here for the full deck) declares an Operator quoted figure (slide 2) between €50,000 and €200,000
  • Gartner reported that in 2011, 31% of all handsets shipped were smartphones & Android accounted for 48% of those shipments
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