The App Quality Alliance (AQuA) is announcing the launch of the Quality App Directory, its newest initiative next week at Apps World in London on 2-3 October. It’s calling for Android developers to get involved, demonstrating the quality of their apps by implementing a recommended set of testing criteria and adding their apps to the directory.
The directory will constitute a kind of kite mark for quality, so inclusion will be a mark of respectability for developers. For instance, enterprise customers and consumers can browse the directory, safe in the knowledge that only apps that have met quality standards will be listed.
Developers creating apps, either for enterprise or consumer use, can improve their development process by applying AQuA’s testing criteria and following their best practice guidelines. And for a marketing agency or enterprise IT departments commissioning apps, AQuA provides quality standards that can be applied to any project.
AQuA is the mobile industry’s non-profit organization supporting developers to further-improve the development of quality apps. It is run and funded by its members: AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung and Sony Mobile
The testing criteria are aimed at how the apps work in their environment and how to ensure good usability for all types of users. They look at issues like making sure the app is stable, works well with the network, doesn’t crash when the user drives through a tunnel, doesn’t switch the phone to airplane mode, lose connectivity with the network, or even transition from one generation of network to another.
“The criteria we offer allow developers to go through a level of testing which is not over the top,” says Martin Wrigley, AQuA chairman and director of developer services at Orange.
“We’re not testing them against safety critical criteria; that would be daft. But it’s above the base level of testing so it gives a structure which provides confidence to the user that the app will work on the device and be of reasonable quality.”
“We’re not there to catch people out,” says Wrigley. “Our aim is to help developers produce a better quality product.”
Switching to his operator hat, he adds that, at Orange, he likes to know that a third party independent tester has given an app the once over already. “I want to know that someone else has looked at an application, run through it and tested it before I pick up the phone and talk to a developer,” he says. “I want that external validation to make sure these guys know what they’re talking about.”
The AQuA team have been working hard to prepare the App Quality Directory for launch next week at Apps World. To find out more about how the directory works and how you can get involved, please visit AQuA Apps World or go to their website www.appqualityalliance.org