Mobile Security Testing – Your Vulnerabilities Are On the Move

With the “Digital Transformation” gaining influence in our lives and making software even more prevalent as the driver of change, you can’t help but think of the mobile platform as the key enabler. With this in mind, it’s critical to understand the infrastructure that supports your mobile app and the components that may be exposed to vulnerabilities. And with this understanding, identify potential threats and assess what the impact will be. This blog steps through some of the key points you need to consider when embarking on a mobile security testing effort.

Understanding What You’re Testing and Why

By understanding where you are vulnerable...  

June 4th to 9th, 2017
XBOSoft CEO Philip Lew to Make Three Software Testing Presentations at Better Software West in Las Vegas

XBOSoft CEO Philip Lew will be a triple threat presenter at Techwell's Better Software West. He will present a tutorial and an interactive speech on issues involved with mobile platform and product testing and will co-present a workshop on Agile Risk Management.

Teaching better software practices at Better Software West

Elvis. Celine Dion. Cher. Penn & Teller. These legends have all appeared on The Las Vegas Strip. And soon, our own XBOSoft CEO Phil Lew joins them when he presenters at Better Software West at Caesars Palace, June 4th through 9th.

CEO Philip Lew is presenting in Las Vegas June 4-9, 2017

Exploding IoT market could drive opportunities for software testers

We asked Jon Hagar, our guest on Monday’s webinar, to give us a preview of his remarks. Here’s what he had to say. Jon: There is much hype, and there may even be quite a bit of money, around the IoT market.  IoT merges several technology lines, such as Mobile, Cloud, Communication, Big Data, and Embedded software.  Many aspects of IoT will be familiar. There are challenges, to be sure, for testers as the IoT market reveals its full potential. But these are really opportunities for testers who decide to get engaged in the IoT market.  These include:

Explore Mobile IoT Testing with Combinatorial Methodologist Jon Hagar

Jon Hagar, who will be the guest on our upcoming April 3 webinar, has dedicated his career to improving software testing methods and standards. After a long and successful career at aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, he founded Grand Software Testing, which he runs today. As a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Hagar works to develop standards for testing and generally to enhance the profession. Hagar will be discussing the challenges presented to developers and software testers by the Mobile IoT era. Our CEO, Philip Lew, will be asking Hagar about those challenges and what solutions [...]

Upcoming QA webinars: Agile testing, challenges of mobile IoT era

Philip Lew, XBOSoft founder and CEO, will participate in two webinars on consecutive Mondays as March morphs into April. You will want to save the dates of March 27 and April 3 if you are interested in learning more about the challenges of Agile testing, as well as testing in the mobile IoT era. Lew will be guest speaker for an hour-long webinar March 27 hosted by Coaching Agile Journeys. Lew will share his insights into Agile testing in the trenches. In this talk, he will cover agile testing issues such as test plans and cases. You will learn where [...]

Top 7 Quality Challenges in the Mobile IOT Period

A new age is upon us: the Mobile IoT Period. Driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, and in particular the smartphone, we now face a complex and integrated infrastructure of technologies and concepts called the Internet of Things (IoT), all connected by mobile technology. The challenges we face to ensuring software quality for the myriad technologies that are being shaped by the Mobile IoT Period are daunting. Let’s take a look at the Top 7 Challenges in the Mobile IoT Period. Big Data Big data would not be possible without mobile network technologies to get the data from one [...]

Performance Testing: Your Questions Answered, Part 2

This is the second blog post referencing our recent “Performance Testing Considerations Using JMeter and Google Analytics” webinar. We received quite a few questions we couldn't answer in full during the webinar, so today we're addressing the JMeter specific questions.

Writing code before running a performance test, courtesy of WoC in Tech.

Three performance takeaways from JMeter webinar

Our very own VP of Engineering Ed Curran presented a great webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 17 on Performance and Load Testing with Apache’s JMeter. We’re included some takeaways for you to utilize for your own load tests, and, for more info, you can watch the webinar in full below, or can view the slidedeck.

Using JMeter and Google Analytics For Software Performance Testing

6 Mistakes to Avoid in Mobile App Testing

If you were test driving a new car, you’d want to take it on the back streets and the highway. It’s the same with mobile app testing: You’ll want to test on more than one device.

Woman testing a mobile app in production stage

Woman testing a mobile app in production stage at Microsoft for WOCinTech.

Faced with tight delivery deadlines and new features and widgets to review, there’s a tendency to focus on the superficial rather than digging deep to truly get to the core of quality. XBOSoft’s team has developed a short list of best practices that we think of as “The 6 Mistakes to Avoid” when performing mobile app testing.

Mobile App Testing Mistakes to Avoid

Our company has been testing mobile apps for quite some time now and I’ve just taken on a new role as a test lead on one of our projects where we primarily test mobile. I’m responsible for guiding our team members, so I thought I’d write a list of mobile app testing mistakes to avoid so the team can use it as a reference (and I can sleep better at night knowing they're up to speed!). Here's the list I've shared with the team.

Mobile Device Proliferation Continues

I 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 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.

Enhance User Experience With Color

In my last keynote at the Practical Software Quality and Testing Conference in San Diego, I gave a talk on IOT and Quality Challenges. One of the metaphors that I used was how the Cambrian Period compared to the today's era with IOT. During the Cambrian period, there was an explosion of various life forms. And with IOT, I think the same is happening as well, with the right conditions for IOT including power, processors, networking technologies and cloud storage, the conditions are perfect to spawn an explosion of life. In my tutorial the following day after the keynote, I presented: Mobile UX, The New Storefront. One section of the tutorial was focused on how you can enhance User Experience through choice of color. We discussed that the choice of colors can be very strategic.

How to Enhance User Experience Via Color

Contrast - Who's your favorite football team? Look at their uniforms. Some that come to mind are the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, or my favorite, The Washington Redskins. Notice their use of contrast via colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This makes it easy to pick them out on the field and pleasing to the eye. But for your website or company's mobile app, it means visibility and reducing errors. If your users can see buttons and icons more easily, they're less prone to make mistakes. Color Wheel and UX

Your Storefront is Your Mobile App

I'll be presenting in about a month at the Practical Software Quality and Testing Conference in San Diego this August. The title of my tutorial is "Mobile UX is the New StoreFront". As we all know the mobile storefront has replaced many brick and mortar businesses. Amazon started selling books, but were they a bookstore? They competed with bookstores, but in reality, they were and are a software company. At the time, the platforms they supported included various versions of browsers on different computer operating systems. Today, as the mobile storefront continues to mature, so does the importance of the user experience. The User Experience (UX) at one point stood for button placement and colors in help users find things and get things done. Today, those are considered givens, basic usability issues that everyone understands and has conquered. However, there is much more than meets the eye.

Performance Testing Mobile Applications – Mobile UX

Mobile User Experience (Mobile UX) is a common subject these days when it comes to discussing how to keep users coming back and how to keep them engaged. I'll be discussing Mobile User Experience in my full-day workshop, Mobile UX is The New StoreFront, at the Practical Software Quality Conference this August 19 in San Diego. What many don't realize is that mobile UX is not just about placing buttons in certain places and having good contrast so people can see (usability), but more about providing an integrated experience specific to the mobile platform and specific to the tasks your users are trying to get done. For performance testing in mobile applications, there are many acceptance criteria or measurements you should examine, but we think these two are the most critical.

Android Application Security Testing – Information Leakage

Smartphones have become part of our daily lives, but also more importantly, their storage capabilities and sensors have increased beyond our imagination. This could be due to the constant war between Apple and Android; but, when it comes down to it, Android has the largest OS market share despite Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market as a single software-hardware combination platform.  This gets me thinking about Android application security testing, since any of the apps can potentially access whatever data is on the phone.

Android Application Security Information Leakage

Android Application Security Information Leakage - What is Leaking out of your App?

Mobile App Usability – How to Avoid Critical Mistakes

As I get ready for my talk at the Fluent Conference in San Francisco entitled: Avoid critical UX mistakes to keep your users coming back, I'm trying the crystalize some of my thoughts regarding why Mobile App Usability is more important than usability for desktop or web-based apps. With mobile applications, usability becomes even more complex due to the mobile’s natural characteristics, some of which include:

Mobile Smartphone Usability – Task Prioritization

In my tutorial in early November at Better Software East on Mobile App Usability and UX for Developers and Testers, one of the key learning points was that Mobile Smartphone Usability is different for everyone! I know it sounds like a cliche, but the point is that everyone has a different point of view and uses their smartphone for purposes depending on who they are.

Mobile UX Design and Testing Basics

In many of my talks, I discuss the importance of UX and how we, as testers, need to increase our value, especially on an agile team with everyone wearing multiple hats. Many small to medium size companies may not have a full time UX designer on staff, so in some cases it may be up to testers to ensure the overall quality, which can include UX. Good mobile UX design and testing depends on remembering some basic principles.

Requirements for Mobile Testing

We had several questions during the webinar with Costa Avradopoulos last month. One that we didn't get to with respect to Requirements for Mobile Testing was:
"Effective testing is always linked with requirements. MOST of these apps are written on the fly with NO documented requirements. How does a tester account for this?" 
Unfortunately this is quite common with developing mobile apps. We were able to discuss these issues with Costa.

Mobile Software Testing and QA – “I’m Going Mobile!”

Mobile software testing and QA has been been a quagmire for the last several years as tool vendors proliferate and devices continue to expand. As I prepare for my keynote at the Software Quality Management Conference in September, titled Software Testing and QA in a Mobile Dominated World, I’m obsessed with how mobile has taken over our lives. Naturally when we think of mobile, we look at the smartphones in our hands and think, “Wow, I’ve got a supercomputer in the palm of my hand.” But its impact goes far beyond. In fact, “mobile isn't mobile anymore” -- it’s much more.

Mobile is everybody, everything, everywhere, and every time. Let me explain what I mean.

Mobile Security and Privacy and Trust

When it comes to mobile security and privacy, few think of trust, but that's what it comes down to. And we apparently want to trust each other more, but seemingly don't. However, the sharing economy is helping us with that. It started years ago with Facebook. People sharing things about their lives sometimes with strangers, somehow knowing that they were connected by someone else they were connected to, a 3rd level connection as LinkedIn calls it. Al Barabási's book entitled Linked explains how there is a high probability that we are all connected with less then 6 links or levels.

Trust in the sharing economy or the mobile economy and trust, go hand in hand because much of the sharing economy, i.e. AirBNB, Uber and SideCar, is being implemented and used on mobile platforms. But in order to generate and instill trust in your end users, you need to ensure that your mobileUX is specifically designed to do just that. This means paying attention to several elements in your design targeted toward mobile security and privacy:

Mobile Test Automation Value?

In our webinar back in April with @QA_nna, we had so many questions we couldn't answer during the webinar. One question related specifically to mobile test automation value: "How much value can automation add to mobile apps projects? Is it recommended to go for automation in such projects? They are usually of short duration." We'll attempt to address this question here.

Firstly, the primary consideration is the length of the project.

Mobile Testing Trends – Webinar Notes

We had another great webinar thanks to our panelists' awesomeness in sharing their expertise and experience in our session Mobile Testing Trends. As mentioned in the webinar, we based much of its basic content on our Mobile Testing Report - 2015, which invited our panelists to comment, augment and expand upon with their ideas and knowledge.

Implementing Mobile Test Automation

In my most recent talk at the mobile dev and test conference in San Diego, I got a chance to sit with Srilu Pinjala from PNSQC. We discussed the topics at the upcoming conference, and the new “Concept Papers”, that is, papers that can be presented outside the normal technical track. We also discussed some of the areas that are hot in the software world, namely mobile, devops, agile and user experience among others, and what kinds of topics would be cool to have at the conference. One topic that sticks in my mind regarding mobile is implementing mobile test automation.

We often work with clients that want to implement a software test automation effort and their immediate objective is “I want to achieve X% test automation”, where X is often 80 or even 90 percent. Now, as mobile testing tools begin to mature and most organizations have mobile apps, the same mindset is emerging. Unfortunately we have the same problems and issues in implementing mobile test automation as we do and did with web-apps. That is, requirements change, and things move fast, especially with agile where we are doing new builds every day or even every hour via continuous integration. So what to do?

Testing Wearables

Many of our clients are now starting to think of wearables, the new mobile device. In fact testing wearables has a few wrinkles that you need to consider. But the simple fact is, it is an extension of mobile testing as almost all wearables have a mobile application running on a smartphone. Very few run by themselves and they certainly don't run very long! Although some will last up to a week, most are out of power in a day or 2. Some of the factors to consider when testing wearables include (but not limited to of course):

Appium Mode & Selendroid Mode in Appium 1.2 for Android Automation

When Appium V1.2 was released, two modes for android automation were introduced, Appium Mode and Selendroid Mode. From a technical point of view, Appium mode is based on Google’sUIAutomator, and Selendroid mode is based on Google’s Instrumentation. Android Versions 2.3 through 4.2 are supported via Appium’s bundled version of Selendroid, which utilizes Instrumentation. Versions 4.2 and up are supported via Appium’s own UIAutomator libraries. This is the default automation backend. Both UIAutomator and Instrumentation are Android frameworks provided by Google. UIAutomator is much newer, which was released after Android API level 16 (Android 4.1.2), as the automation test framework for people to test the user interface (UI). This also means that if you select Appium mode

Mobile UX Make or Break

Want to learn about Mobile UX, the context of UI and how to ensure your mobile app is a success today? Watch our CEO Phil Lew go through all functionality. Mobile UX Make and Break: Usability is only the beginning.... XBOSoft tests your mobile App, devices and interoperability for today's market. Mobile apps require a rapid turnaround compared to other platforms - get ahead of the curve and make your app a success.

Mobile Wearables Development and Test Issues

As I prepare for my talk in November at Better Software East on Mobile Wearables, I'm confronted with the need to constrain the talk to 1 hour. Its a big subject. Mobile wearables are just one sub-category of the Internet of Things, which is generating a huge amount of interest and press. So what is key about mobile wearables that we developers and testers should be concerned about? Social Connectivity - Some things are for sharing with your friends and others aren't. Any application that could enable social connectedness automatically breeds sense of community, something that all humans need and desire. [...]

Extremities and Tools on Mobile

A couple of important questions asked during our mobile performance webinar ponder the effect of temperature on mobile apps - and advice on best tools to test mobile devices performance. XBOSoft answers... EXTREME HOT & COLDQ: How does temp extremes effect mobile apps - extreme cold and heat? A: Extreme temperatures impact the physical device, but not the software application itself. If it is too hot, your phone will automatically shut down or reduce performance by shutting down unnecessary services. The same will happen when it is too cold. All devices, if you look at the manual of any device, you will see [...]

Mobile Performance Testing Video & Slides

For those of you who missed our Mobile Performance Webinar last week, and for those of you who want to view again, you can watch the recording on our youTube channel Our slides are also available on our Slideshare board Through these you can learn: ▪ Best practices in minimizing data flows across client devices ▪ When to use data reviews and network impairment ▪ How to minimize the impact upon desktop users under high mobile user loads XBOSoft offers comprehensive services for testing client's mobile performance across all aspects of the platform. Looking at three particular areas, XBOSoft's CEO Phil Lew and [...]

Mobile Performance Webinar Video

Having hosted our webinar on Mobile Performance Testing with James Pulley, CTO of NewCOE - we present to you the recorded version available on our youTube Channel here:  Looking at three particular areas,  our CEO Phil Lew and with guest panelist James Pulley talk through client handset, network and server performance testing. The webinar focuses on best practices in minimizing data flows across client handheld devices - when to use data reviews, network impairment and fix single user performance issues - and how to minimize the impact upon desktop users under high mobile user loads.      

The State of Mobile Testing 2014

In the first of a series of Mobile Testing 2014 Infographics, we are sharing with you surveyed information independently collected from October 2014 - January 2014. We write on mobile QA and testing because it is part of an important trend in technology enjoying record growth, which in turn has an enormous impact on our quality assurance and testing services.   

Mobile Installation Testing – Step 1

Today, more and more people install applications on a smart phone as companies push their mobile strategy forward to go mobile in addition to desktop, or just go mobile, period. When we work with our clients for mobile testing projects, one of the first steps is trying to install these applications. We almost always run into similar problems across applications, so I thought I’d share some of these points.

Mobile Application Software Testing – Testing Robustness and Conflicts

Today, more and more companies are not just considering mobile as a necessary platform, but also considering mobile as the only platform. Obviously, developers hope their applications gain market share and user acceptance, but this depends on its quality. One of the (many) things that many organizations overlook regarding their mobile application software testing are that conflicts for their application with the OS and/or other software applications on the phone have countless scenarios. Some of the considerations for testing conflicts in mobile applications where the application should pause and then return to the departure point include:

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Mobile Web Performance Optimization – Can You Recommend Mobile Performance Tools

For those of you that had questions or missed our webinar on Mobile Web Performance Optimization, with Mark Tomlinson and Phil Lew, one of the questions during/after the webinar was: "Can you recommend some good/popular mobile performance testing tools?" And the answer is...

Appium Tutorial Using Windows

Mobile automation is hot these days. Most or all of our clients either have a mobile platform or are moving toward a mobile platform. Some new clients even have a mobile first or mobile only strategy. The mobile platforms we have to test continues to grow and with the growth of platforms, and application complexity comes more need for automation. The automation tool market is quite fragmented and immature, but we continue to try out new tools as them come out. We've been using Appium a lot lately. Hence, we build up the previous blog by Alan - Mobile Application Automated Testing [...]

Jan 7, 2014
Mobile Web Performance Webinar with Mark Tomlinson

Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) June 30, 2014 Performance expert Mark Tomlinson discusses the latest mobile web performance techniques for 2014 with Philip Lew Mobile web performance in summary means that seconds matter and can heavily increase or decrease sales. Because the landscape and context for mobile is rapidly changing, organizations need to constantly re-examine how to optimize their mobile application performance. This could mean a responsive design, toolkit upgrade or a complete application transformation, but regardless, it should always translate into higher performance and an optimal experience for the user, your customer. On January 7 at 10am EST, XBOSoft hosted mobile web performance webinar with Philip [...]

Mobile User Experience and Trust

One of the many factors influencing Mobile User Experience in using today’s mobile applications is user expectations. The users expectations with respect to using a mobile application can depend on and be based on several elements that affect not only users’ expectations but also their trust in the application. The problem in defining and characterizing the characteristic of trust is that it has often been seen as a result directly tied to security. Naturally, when a user perceives that their data is secure or that the communication medium is secure and private, this generates a ‘secure’ feeling, but this is not the same as trust.

Mobile QA Testing Survey- What are organizations doing today?

Participate in our survey and find out how your mobile development and QA teams compare with other teams from around the world. Have you heard the prediction that number of  mobile devices will out number the number of people on Earth by the end of 2013? Do your mobile development and QA teams have different processes for mobile? What types of testing are standard for mobile devices and applications? What devices should be tested? With mobile becoming ubiquitous, every website needs to be mobile friendly. Some organizations have dedicated teams for mobile development and testing, and some do not. However the [...]

More advice from mobile and embedded software testing expert Jon Hagar…

“Software Test Attacks to Break Mobile and Embedded Devices” author and expert embedded tester Jon Hagar shares more advice and answers follow up questions regarding his recent webinar with XBOSoft “Plan Your Attack- Mobile and Embedded Device Testing Techniques” Q. Operating systems changes also affect the project, we saw this recently with the iOS 7 launch- any advice? A. Changes, hardware, software (including the OS), use-operations, or changes to the software item under test can impact the completed testing.

Plan Your Attack – Mobile and Embedded Device Testing Techniques from Expert Jon Hagar

Mobile and Embedded Device Testing Techniques - Jon Hagar Shares Set of Software Attacks Join us on  9/26/13 at  11am-12pm (EST) for a  Webinar with Jon Hagar author of "Software Test Attacks to Break Mobile and Embedded Devices" Jon shares a set of attacks against embedded software based on common modes of failure that embedded device testers can direct against their software to improve testing. With many embedded devices, there are safety and health factors involved, so there is a reduced tolerance for software errors and in today's world these devices are everywhere. This attack approach can be applied to both mobile [...]

Better Mobile Testing for Better User Experience-Webinar with JeanAnn Harrison and Phil Lew

Ensuring a positive mobile user experience can be a challenging. This webinar can help you improve mobile testing. On September 18, 2013 at 9:30am EST JeanAnn Harrison & Philip Lew will present examples of software testing ideas, based on various mobile device configurations,  focused on user experience. Attend this webinar to learn better mobile testing techniques to improve: Display Accessibility Feel Performance Trainability Recovery of unexpected behavior With mobile usage growing continually, you can't afford to miss this webinar. For JeanAnn Harrison & Philip Lew JeanAnn Harrison has years of experience with mobile testing and is a well-known figure in the QA [...]

Mobile Application Automated Testing – Using Appium

For mobile application testing, automated testing is somewhat behind web app automated testing. Basically, there are two ways to automate mobile application testing: 1. Use commercial automation tools, like QTP, with its plugin for mobile applications. But, these kinds of tools interact with the elements defined by them (or the plugin) rather than interacting with the native applications. For this reason, we prefer Selenium for web app automated testing. For mobile application automated testing, we also want a tool like selenium that interacts with the native application. Another reason we don’t like most commercial tools is that the automation at the UI level is too difficult to maintain, especially for agile development which often has changing requirements (features) combined with quick deployment and testing. 2. Use the ‘official’ tools from the OS provider

Embedded Software Testing – No Tolerance For Errors

Embedded Software testing expert and author, Jon Hagar speaks with Philip Lew, CEO of XBOSoft. Software has been embedded in devices for a long time. Even though people may not realize it is there, software is controlling large machines such as airplanes and is built into every day devices such as home electronics and personal medical devices. With many of these devices there are safety and health factors involved, so there is a reduced tolerance for software errors. Today, embedded software has merged into the mobile world as mobile phones are basically computers running lots of software. Last week, Phil took time out to interview Jon Hagar, the owner of Grand Software Testing, a company specializing in software test consulting and training for mobile and embedded systems. Jon has been working with embedded software testing for more than 30 years, primarily in the aerospace industry as well as the automotive and medical industries. He has a new book coming out in September on embedded software testing (title: Software Test Attacks to Break Mobile and Embedded Devices, CRC press): Phil: “Can you explain what is different about embedded software?”

Mobile Testing – Are you missing these critical mobile tests?

Mobile Testing-Are you missing these critical mobile tests? Webinar with JeanAnn Harrison August 8th, 2013 at 11 AM EST XBOSoft continues it's mobile testing webinar series and presents speaker JeanAnn Harrison, back for her second webinar. Learn which tests not to miss and review important mobile testing issues, then test a popular app on your own drained device.   Audience is encouraged to participate with questions. JeanAnn has years of experience with mobile testing and is a well-known figure in the QA and software testing community. She regularly speaks at conferences and publishes in software testing magazines.

Online Mobile Testing Tutorial With JeanAnn Harrison

July 30 at 11 AM EST we are holding a live online mobile testing tutorial with JeanAnn Harrison (@JA_Harrison) on mobile testing. After a recap on important mobile testing issues, we will test a popular mobile app together.. This tutorial is B.Y.O.D "Bring Your Own Device"  Interested in brushing up on mobile testing techniques? JeanAnnJeanAnn has years of experience with mobile testing and is a well-known figure in the QA and software testing community. She regularly speaks at conferences and publishes in software testing magazines.

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