Touch screen mobile phone device proliferationI recently read this article that the Xperia Z3 won’t get upgraded with Nougat, and although I don’t have either, I’m not surprised. The fact that the Z3 won’t be updated to the latest version of Android is pretty sad. Not even two years old and Sony is just moving on and without providing the update. For the mobile phone and Android market in general, that spells more mobile device proliferation and increased difficulty from a software developer perspective.

According to the report by Perfecto, titled “Digital Test Coverage Index,” indicating the top mobile platforms used by the country, the list of essential, enhanced and extended platforms changes every year. This is good for those who want to sell handsets, but for developers, you’ve got to be on top of not only your software and if it works, but also on top of the user experience on each platform. You don’t want a big chunk of your users unable to find what should be an easily-located button because it rendered sub-optimally in a hard-to-find location.

Listening in to Costa Avradopoulos’ talk on Designing a World Class Mobile Device Lab, I thought his presentation was excellent. He shed some light on this situation by giving several options, each containing varying levels of confidence that your lab could cover what you need.  He also discussed the options available in the cloud and when you should consider a private or outsourced solution.

Operating and maintaining a mobile device lab is critical when developing and testing today’s mobile apps, but where do you start? The options of public or private cloud versus setting up your own lab on-site may initially only seem cost-based, but there are many other issues as well that may warrant a hybrid solution.  What kind of devices should you include? Looking at the list of possibilities, choosing the appropriate mix of devices to ensure proper test coverage combined with which browsers  and operating systems to load are just a few of the evaluation criteria to consider when comparing your options. The current state of the market and continued mobile device proliferation certainly don’t make things easy.