Recently I was travelling from Berlin to Barcelona and I decided to keep track of the apps I used during my trip. I think that it may be helpful to some of you who wants to travel in a smart way, especially around Europe. This time I managed to get to my destination very quickly and without any surprises which sometimes happen to all of us. It could be unclear where to go or you just had to wait for an extra hour just because you missed your train 🧐
Before this trip, I checked the address of my destination and connections between train, bus and plane.
I want to write about each app from the perspective of usefulness and importance and translate my personal opinion into the rating.
This is the list of apps I used before I actually left my home.
Booking Beta - I am using this service to book hotels for 5 years already. Having the app helps because you don't have to load the website every time. All information is easily accessible from the app after you log in and load your data for the first time. This time I just used it to check the address of my destination (the day before the trip of course).
Google Maps Beta - after getting the address I go to Google Maps (on the web) to plan the route. As I am living in Berlin and I am new to Barcelona, I only need to plan the route from the airport to the destination itself. Usually, it is a bus or a train. After choosing the route, I share it with my phone. The route link should open the same route on the app. This route can be now saved as a shortcut on your home screen.
Spotify Beta - as I have no roaming in EU I can have internet access during the whole trip. At the same time I don't want to spend all my traffic limits and I usually just use download option of Spotify premium to get all podcasts and tracks beforehand. I am quite bad at reading from the phone on the road and listening to the podcast helps me to keep my information consumption on the average daily level.
Pocket Beta - during the flight, I like reading and this is how I do it. I always have 1000+ unread articles in my Pocket app but I am also trying to search for something new and relevant to my current needs in advance.
At this point my preparation is ready and I can just focus on packing my backpack. As a result, I have: Prepared and saved routes on Google Maps, downloaded podcasts and music tracks on Spotify and saved articles to read in my Pocket app.
This is a new type of posts which I want to try today. I added 4 Android apps and 4 Android games in beta to TestingCatalog and here is a list of them.
The ability to install third-party home screen replacement apps, otherwise called launchers, is Android's best feature that sets it apart, perhaps from Apple's iOS. Not only you can personalize your mobile device's user interface to your heart's content, but you also get a pile of additional tools that will make your day-to-day life so much easier and efficient.
Before continuing, I would like to add a disclaimer: The apps on this list have been chosen solely by me.
1. Lawnchair Launcher v2
While Lawnchair Launcher is under active development for the upcoming version 2 release, early alpha builds get published every so often. If you are on the lookout for Pixel Launcher on steroids, Lawnchair v2 is your best choice because it keeps the design of the "Made by Google" Pixel experience, plus, comes with added benefits like theme support, icon packs, and so much more. I would like to mention that with a Magisk module named Quick Switch and Lawnchair v2, you can change the recent apps menu of your phone. By doing that, you get some extra customization options and the possibility of fixing Android Pie's uninspired navigation system by getting rid of the old back button in favor of a swipe gesture. Isn't it nice?
2. Nova Launcher
My second favorite home screen app is not other than the so popular Nova Launcher by Kevin Barry. It is focused mainly on speed, so it runs flawlessly even on the low-end spectrum of Android devices. Apart from unmatched performance, Nova boasts a plethora of nifty features like configurable gesture actions, integration with Sesame Shortcuts, etc. Keep in mind that to get access to everything that Nova has to offer, you will need to spend some buck on the Prime extension.
3. Shade Launcher
Shade Launcher is a new app by indie developer Amir Zaidi. He is 19 years old and yet very talented. He is making contributions to Lawnchair's development from time to time and working on his own side projects as well. One of them, as I mentioned already, is Shade, which is also built upon the famous Pixel Launcher. Shade Launcher bakes in the bare minimum of features that we have come to expect from every Pixel Launcher mod, with the inclusion of built-in themes, support for Google Discover (i.e., Feed,) and more. An exclusive function of the app is called Smart Unread. Smart Unread displays incoming notifications at the top of your homescreen, plus the currently playing music.
4. Niagara Launcher
Another launcher focused around simplicity and productivity is Niagara, which has a radically different approach though. It shows users' favorite apps on the homescreen and keeps an always accessible alphabetical scrollbar on the right side. Its newest alphas include support for widgets and the next stable update with this feature should hit the Play Store in no time, thus making it even more appealing to the average Joe.
5. POCO Launcher
Xiaomi's POCO brand of devices launched last year, and I am a happy owner of the first model of the series - the F1. Besides, they have gone out and released their custom-made launcher on the Google Play Store. POCO Launcher is available for all devices, and it is fast and pretty simple to use. One of its stand out features is app hide, which lets you hide apps from the app drawer and access them only with a passcode, a pattern, or through fingerprint verification. Another cool thing is that the launcher can sort your applications depending on their icon color or type.
6. Hyperion launcher
Hyperion has a distinct take on material design with its unique style of iconography used throughout the app and very fluid animations. A small in-app purchase unlocks a huge set of customizability settings for more tinkering.
7. Microsoft Launcher
Microsoft's launcher is somewhat unusual looking and comes bundled with productivity tools and deep integration with the company's online services. For example, once you log in with your MS account, all of your tasks from To-Do, your notes from Sticky Notes, your Outlook events, and more, will be reachable right from the feed page.
8. Smart Launcher 5
Smart Launcher 5 has such a non-standard launcher UI/UX. It does not have an app drawer, for example, but it is still worth giving a shot.
9. Action Launcher
Action Launcher makes an appearance on our list because it has its own selling points, like the Shutter feature that lets you see every widget of an app with just a single swipe. Of course, there are many more, but do mind that you will have to get the plus version to activate all of them.
These are my top launcher picks that you must install on your Android device. If you have other suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comments below, and stay tuned because there is more to come.
Virtual keyboard apps are a necessity for our daily touch-screen device usage, and finding the best ones around is not the simplest task to accomplish. TestingCatalog's special interest in testing Android applications, and by snooping through our huge library of beta software pieces, we got around a made a list for our readers. This list contains five of the best keyboard that you can find on the Google Play Store, and at the same time, they all have ongoing testing programs letting early adopters enjoy new features and improvements right out of the bat. Okay, here we go.
Google's Gboard has always been my numero uno keyboard since my first introduction to Android, It comes, with each and every update, with massive improvements, mostly geared towards looks and ease of use, plus some additional clever tools to complement the great prediction system that it has. Themes are the top thing that sticks out to me, well, other than the aforementioned qualities. If you aren't using it, then you should totally give it a try.
SwifKey, now owned by Microsoft, has always been the most praised keyboard for its top-notch word prediction. Of course, I am not a fan of the UI even the slightest but couldn't go without mentioning it either, because it has its own perks: translations, direct Bing search, and more.
If you are a fan of Gboard, then imagine that it had a beautiful newborn child. By that, I mean, it looks very similar to Google's offering, and its most compelling feature is the adaptive theme which sets the keyboard color according to the app that is in use and its color palette. So unique, isn't it? For more details, you will have to test it on your own though.
This one is a charmer. It looks so minimalistic and elegant but to achieve that it sacrifices a bit over functionality - no swipe keyboard, for example. But on the contrary, it does have at least some other nice gestures, like for deleting text or switching between suggestions, and moreover, comes bundled with a chameleon theme (i.e., adaptive.)
For those who are cautious about not making grammar mistakes, spelling errors, etc., Grammarly is the app to go for. Not only it helps you identify your own mistakes, but it does also give you a hand on correcting them. And it's free, which is a bonus.
Hope you agree with our top keyboards run-down. Take note that these are just my thoughts, and if have any other suggestions, please, do let me know in the comments, on our social media accounts, whichever you prefer. Also, stay around for our next update report. Adios.
To surf the Internet, you always are in need of a browser, and so far there haven't been that many quality apps up for the task other than a few. Most of the browsers on the Play Store do contain intrusive ads, collect user data, and perform quite poorly. So, we are non-stop looking for reliable, easy to use, and well-put applications, and in this category, there aren't that many worthy of attention. We are going to tell you more about in a bit, but perhaps, before doing so, you should check out our previous collections of beta apps that you must try.
1. Chrome Beta
The most used mobile browser with close to 60% market share is Google's Chrome, and when it comes to trying new features, design tweaks, and a lot more, we have Chrome Beta. There is the flags menu that you can tinker with if being on the newest bleeding edge Chrome release is not enough. You can enter it by simply typing chrome://flags in the address bar and Bob's your uncle. For an even more thrilling and yet unstable experience, you should take Chrome Dev for a test run instead.
2. Opera beta
Based on the Chromium project, Opera beta offers mostly the same web features and stability, with an extra slew of add-ons. For example, it has a built-in ad blocker, an advanced data saver, night mode, and they even added crypto payment support in a recent update.
3. Firefox for Android Beta
The standard browser feature set on one side, Firefox does permit the installation of extensions on their mobile app. With that in mind, you have the opportunity of customizing your web surfing experience to the bone, from ad blockers to site-specific themes, the choice is yours.
An add-on that I highly recommend is Dark Reader by Aliaksandr Shutau. It is available for Desktop users, including Chrome. It automatically makes websites go dark and has a setting for blacklisting/whitelisting sites.
4. Microsoft Edge (Beta)
The main selling point of Microsoft's Edge browser is its syncing capabilities across devices, and with Windows 10 PC's, to be exact. It also has a dark theme, supports password syncing and ad blocking.
5. Samsung Internet
Samsung Internet is not as feature-packed as the other apps on our list, but still has a couple of nifty features, such as a QR code reader, syncing with Samsung Cloud, and a dark mode with smart website background inversion in tow. Another thing worth noting is the support for third-party ad blocking add-ons that you can install from the Google Play Store. As of this moment, there are more than a dozen supported. Just search for "Samsung Internet ad blocker."
6. Monument Browser
If you are on the lookout for a feature-rich and highly customizable alternative, Monument Browser is the way to go. Why? Because it packs in extra settings for choosing the placement of the toolbar / address bar, plus some gestures. Though, its most eye-catching functionality, for sure, is the ability to browse sites inside of a floating window. Plus, there is picture-in-picture mode support for videos and a dark mode for websites, but not only.
7. Cake Browser
By taking rather a bold move towards reinventing searching the web, Cake Browser throws in intuitive gestures to the mix. More so, it lets you easily browse through your search results in an order with a swipe, exactly as switching between tabs. It is the only app offering this, and in addition to that, it has a lovely UI, a news page with user-selectable topics and sites, ad blocking, duh, and a whole lot more. The only missing thing is a dark theme, though, I am sure that it will come in future builds too.
8. Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is a privacy-oriented app with an utterly minimalistic user interface and a limited set of options. It is intended to be used by people who are worried about their privacy. It achieves this by bypassing a wide range of tracking systems and by blocking nasty ads. Thus, the experience is extremely snappy, and as a bonus, pretty darn great.
9. Yandex Browser with Protect
This one does come with an exceptional Turbo mode, which saves data by compressing images, and even videos. Other features included are a power saving mode, Zen mode, which collects articles and news in a feed based on your interests and your browsing history, and a security system called Protect actively keeping you away from harmful pages when connected to open Wi-Fi networks.
Alas, these are some of the best browsing apps for our beloved Android operating system for mobile devices. If you have further suggestions about beta apps, do not hesitate to tip us. One more thing - stay tuned to TestingCatalog for new and exciting news and thorough testing guides.
Our second roundup of top Android apps to test out is here, this time covering applications for GPS navigation. Make note that you can apply for beta testing of each of them from the embedded links below.
1. Google Maps
Google's Maps application easily takes the crown with it's very simple to navigate and good-looking UI, other than the unmatched real-time traffic status information, voice navigation, support for offline maps, and tailored restaurant recommendations. Moreover, it does provide additional data about public transport in lots of areas in the world, including schedules for buses, trains, and ride-shares, i.e., using services like Uber and Lyft.
2. Google Maps Go
If you do not have a well-specced Android device, Maps Go is available on Google Play. It lets you look up addresses, etc., but sadly, it does not have all of the bells and whistles of the original Maps app. Perhaps, it does not offer turn-by-turn navigation, so for that, you will have to look elsewhere. On a side note, the great speed advantage of it comes by leveraging the PWA (Progressive Web App) standard, and thus, it requires Chrome to be installed on your mobile phone for it to function.
3. Here Maps
Here Maps by Nokia is another great app when it comes to GPS navigation, especially in cases when you are going on long road trips, and you don't have a constant internet connection. Also, it provides a suite of public transport information, taxi prices, and integration with Lyft.
With Waze you get, aside from real-time traffic details, automatic route changes, built-in support for music and podcast playback, and Android Auto integration. Waze's gem though is the featured fuel price listings with suggestions for good deals.
5. Sygic GPS Navigation & Maps
You should use Sygic mainly for offline navigation, but it still boasts the same traffic-related mumbo jumbo as the other apps above. Furthermore, it has its own unique functionalities like offline maps in 3D, warnings for traffic speed limits, and so much more. Just give it a shot.
That was everything about navigation applications with running beta programs on Google Play. If you have other suggestions for this category, or rather for other apps with betas available, hit us up and we will gladly include them in our catalog.
Nowadays, everyone is listening to music on-the-go, at home, at work, etc. As a die-hard music fan and a "betaholic," I would like to share with you my favorite music players for Android that have ongoing beta testing programs of sorts. Divided into two categories, here are the best music apps that you should try out as soon as possible.
Music streaming apps in beta
Of course, the number one music streaming service, without a doubt, is Spotify. It has a huge music library and a simple to use client for Android. Premium members also enjoy unlimited skips and downloads, no ads and interruption-less music listening experience for just $9.99. Right now, there is an offer for three months of Spotify Premium for only $0.99 in the US, and €0.99 here in Europe. This great deal ends on July 1, so make sure to grab it when it's still valid.
Beware that there are often server-side releases occurring for Spotify, so despite having the latest and greatest beta updates installed on your devices, you may not always have the newest changes and features. More so, to become a registered beta tester, you first have to join the Spotify Android Beta group, and next apply for the Play Store beta from the sign-up form below.
Soundcloud is a source for millions, if not billions of high-quality and royalty-free tunes. The mobile app is certainly not the nicest one ever, though, it has a beautiful seekbar and a superb song recommendation system. Be sure to give it a try because it is the best source for dance music and its more modern form of EDM.
Deezer is one hell of a worthy rival to Spotify. It offers mostly the same set of functionality and access to a similarly massive music library for equal amount of money.
4. YouTube Music
YouTube Music by Google is due for a broader rollout and is one of the better streaming platforms that doesn't force you to get a subscription. Besides, it gives you access to all of the same songs that are available on YouTube. One issue with YouTube Music is that it doesn't support background playback out of the gate and a fancy subscription, i.e., YouTube Premium, is needed to get fancy perks such as the former, plus download support. What a joke!
For now, there is only an internal testing phase going on for YouTube Music, but we do expect a public beta to come out in the near feature, thus why we are dropping here for you the beta link.
5. Amazon Music
Amazon's Music platform is a good option as it comes with built-in Alexa support, and especially those having home devices with this voice assistant would be the ones who are going to benefit the most. A monthly subscription costs the same $9.99 as with other on-demand music listening services and, if you prefer, there is an option to buy individual songs and albums as well.
The beta program has been recently reinstated after a suspension mid last year.
Local music players in beta
1. BlackPlayer EX/Free
BlackPlayer is the best local music player for Android ever made. It boasts a beautiful user interface design and a plethora of options and features. It has two release variants - a paid version with the moniker "EX" and an ad-supported one. Apart from a small number of limitations, users of the basic version aren't losing that much. But, you can choose to the developer and stay away from those pesky ads that no one likes. 😉
2. Poweramp Music Player
If all you fancy is great sound quality above everything else, then there is no better option for you other than Poweramp. With its recent version 3 release, in addition to the great audio output and settings in regards to, it also looks much more stylish now.
Note that there is a 14-day trial period that begins immediately upon installing the app and after that, an in-app purchase is required to unlock the full version.
3. Retro Music Player
Featuring an unmatched material design-inspired user interface coupled with countless personalization options, Retro takes the number three spot. Moreover, there is a Pro edition which unlocks a gazillion of more themes, animations, etc., and you can get it with a simple in-app purchase through the Play Store.
4. Stellio Player
In case you are looking for a unique and elegant music player that has features like online lyric fetching, a 10-band equalizer, themes, and more - Stellio has it all. On the other hand, buying Stellio Premium lets you use the included black theme (I luv it!) and gets rid of the ads.
5. Eon Player
Our last contender in this category is Eon Player. It is another well-designed application made with minimalism in mind. It is crazy simple to use but still offers enough customizability. Perhaps, with a small in-app purchase, you get access to further theming features.
If you have any other suggestions for great music apps that have ongoing beta testing programs, please, let us know, and thanks in advance for your feedback. Also, do follow us on social media and do not forget to visit the site for our daily insights, and more.
A short glossary containing the most common Android-related technical terms an app tester will ever need
Learning the basic terminology that is being used among developers is a must if your intentions are focused on becoming an expert in Android app testing. Without wasting your precious time at all, we will let you get on with our specially curated Android tester glossary with very brief and understandable explanations right away.
Activity - Activities are a crucial component of an Android app. Most of the time, a user's interaction with a given app does not always begin in the same place and instead, it starts in a certain menu, or an activity, we shall name it.
ADB - The Android Debug Bridge is a versatile command-line tool that lets your PC communicate with a real Android device. ADB commands are generally being used by developers for installing apps and easier debugging purposes, but do provide other functionalities as well.
Android SDK - A software development kit is a combination of software tools allowing the creation of applications for target operating systems and platforms. The Android SDK, better known as Android Studio, provides such comprehensive yet well-organized tools for building high-quality mobile apps, with added support for multiple popular programming languages (Java, Kotlin, etc.)
APK - Android Package files are used for easier distribution and installation of applications.
App release/version - A release defines what a selected installation package houses in terms of a feature-set and its exact iteration, no matter if available for public deployment, or for private testing only.
Changelog - A changelog is a log or a record of the most noteworthy changes made to a project in its every iteration, counting those that have been released and will be. Usually, the common notes included in changelogs are often describing major bug fixes and new feature releases.
Intent - An Intent is a glue between individual apps and their activities, allowing those to be launched and perform actions in conjunction with each other, including sharing data.
Logcat - Logcat is a tool that allows access to messages like errors from applications and services running on an Android device. Moreover, developers are heavily depending on it when squashing bugs.
As you are now familiar with each and every term in our list, you won't be surprised when you hear any of them.
Variables like Android version, manufacturer and model number, even your network carrier in some instances do play a huge role in catching specific bugs. Thus, having the knowledge of how to acquire this kind of data about your testing machine, aka your Android phone or tablet, is highly beneficial. In this article, we are going to show you two simple and very practical methods about how to find all of the required device information directly within its settings or with the help of some third-party applications.
Every gadget running Android inside its Settings app has a section called "About phone" or "About tablet" where the OS version and the network provider that is being used can be seen. Depending on the OEM, this page can be accessed in a couple of different ways. On smartphones and tablets with a close to stock UI, prior to Nougat, the "About..." button has been at the bottom of the list, where with Oreo and Pie it got moved to the "System" section. Strangely enough, in newer revisions of Pie and on Q the "About..." shortcut has been moved back to the main page of the settings. Meanwhile, Samsung, LG, and many other manufacturers have added a separate "Software information" page housing this type of crucial for testers and developers data.
There are plenty of applications that can provide you detailed hardware and software info about your Android device on the Google Play Store. One example would be Device Info HW with its very simple interface, while Aida64 can be considered as a worthy alternative as well.
Specifying the model number and the OS release are always mandatory for a bug report, whereas, in instances of network related problems pointing out the type of Internet connection in use, e.g. Wi-Fi or cellular data, including the name of your network provider are deemed necessary because often times some issues may occur on selected models and configurations only.
As good English skills are essential for app testers, there are certainly multiple ways to overcome this language barrier and be able to write great software test reports. For example, there are websites as well as applications for translation and grammar correcting that you can rely on if you have some basic knowledge about English and how to use it.
Here are our top 4 picks for Android apps that will help you write high-quality application test reports with ease.
Translate by Google is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best translation app. It uses Artificial Intelligence and many other Machine Learning-based technologies to provide you the best and most accurate translations overall.
A solid alternative to our number one spot comes from Microsoft. Translator is pretty simple to use and works offline too.
Yandex.Translate & @YTranslateBot for Telegram
Yandex.Translate is just as good as our other recommendations. It works with no Internet connection and can be used inside Telegram via the @YTranslateBot, which is fantastic!
Knowing and using the right words is important, but just as important is the order you write them in. Grammarly can help you accomplish this somewhat difficult task with its extraordinary spell checking and outta world grammar correcting features. And from my experience using it, I can only say that it is my favorite. If you are interested, there is also a Grammarly extension for Google Chrome available.
Providing extensive and comprehensive reports while maintaining coherence at a particular level is a key component of being a professional tester. Furthermore, focusing on your language skills will be a bonus point because app developers will not have to guess what you are trying to say 50% of the time.
DeepL is another service suggested by our reader @Christian which is outperforming similar services. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an Android app but the website can be easily used on mobile.
Android has gotten noticeably better with regards to OS updates over the past couple of years thanks to Google's Project Treble push, which does separate OEM modifications from the original AOSP code in a certain way, but let's not go too much technical. Instead, we should focus on each Android release and how important those are for software testing.
Android versions and software testing
Each new Android release adds a new set of APIs and lots of other under the hood changes alongside. Thus, an application, in its development cycle, has to have baked in support for multiple API levels, aka Android versions. This may not be a simple task to do because numerous issues may occur on devices running, for example, on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but not on ones running 9 Pie. Additionally, OEMs tend to provide their own tweaks on top of the barebones Android software, which may, sometimes, unintentionally break some of those APIs and other necessary functionalities.
The newest official Android release is Android 9 Pie, with Android Q on the horizon. Pie added support for display cutouts and multiple cameras, improved notifications and more. Meanwhile, the upcoming Q update, which may have the '10' moniker, brings graphics rendering enhancements like Vulkan 1.1 and Kotlin, plus NDK improvements geared towards developers. The list goes on, but you get the picture.
Here are some of the most popular Android versions.
- 2.3.3 - 2.3.7 - Gingerbread (API 9 - 10)
- 4.0.3 - 4.0.4 - Ice Cream Sandwich (API 14 - 15)
- 4.1.x - 4.3.1 - Jelly Bean (API 16 - 18)
- 4.4.x - KitKat (API 19 - 20)
- 5.0 - 5.1.x - Lollipop (API 21 - 22)
- 6.0 - 6.0.1 - Marshmallow (API 23)
- 7.0 - 7.1.x - Nougat (API 24 - 25)
- 8.0 - 8.1 - Oreo (API 26 - 27)
- 9 - Pie (API 28)
- Q - To be announced (API 29)
Just from a software standpoint, applications have to be compatible with dozens of different OS iterations running on a large scale of devices, so doing thorough on-device testing is extremely crucial, and beneficial. Otherwise, as we said already, bugs may ruin the user experience and bad reviews on the Google Play Store will be an indication of that.
Source: Android Developers
This time I decided to make a short review for the last 10 Android apps in beta which we published recently. Some of them are super popular and some of them are not at all. At first - I opened our TestingCatalog App and OPT-INed to all 10 beta programs from there. Please keep in mind that Google Play still have this annoying bug which doesn't allow you to install apps immediately and you will have to wait for up to 4 hours to do so. With this being said - I just started this review on the next day.
As a follow up to our previous article titled "How to take screenshots on Android" that you should read if you haven't already, this time we are here with a tutorial about screen recording on Android. Just so you know, our website is focused on software testing, hence the name, and particularly for testing Android apps. Thus, giving testers directions about how to provide high-quality bug reports can be considered as our top priority job. Briefly, test reports consist of test artifacts such as logs, device hardware and software info, screenshots and if necessary - screen recordings.
Currently, Android in its AOSP flavor does not include a native screen recording functionality, but fortunately, Google has added it, even though broken, to the first batch of Android Q betas. Meanwhile, Huawei phones do provide such a feature built into their proprietary EMUI software skin and can it be toggled by long-pressing the power and volume up keys simultaneously.
If you do not have a Huawei handset or one that is running Android Q, don't worry. There are plenty of applications that you can install from the Google Play Store and get the job done easily. Perhaps, some of the more popular ones that you must try are AZ Screen Recorder, DU Recorder and Screen Recorder, which is for sure the best one so far and it is completely free to use. It does not have ads either and has an AMOLED theme as a bonus.
Initiating a screen recording is basically similar between all of the apps that we mentioned, so just follow the on-screen steps to grant all of the permissions needed and you are good to go.
Those are some of our picks for the category of the best apps for screen recording available on Android. Let us know if you have other suggestions that we should add to the list.
The process of testing a software product may sound simple, but, in fact, it isn't. The one most important rule that developers and testers need to follow is to have a 100% transparency when communicating. Therefore, with problem reporting, testers should provide as much detailed information, or test artefacts, as they are called, as possible. Test artefacts do include logs, screen grabs, time and date, ways to reproduce and a lot more data, but more on those later.
With all of that said, screenshots are certainly some of the most valuable test artefacts, and with Android devices being manufactured and customized software-wise by dozens of different OEMs, capturing ways do vary. As to what are the key combinations preferred by devices with regards to brands, the one that sticks out the most is Samsung and their older models. You all have seen their phones and tablets from the past couple of years and beyond that have hardware home buttons. Perhaps, with the Galaxy S7 lineup and previous ones, you can capture a screenshot by holding simultaneously the home button and power button. Meanwhile, many Huawei phones incorporate an additional method to the traditional power and volume down key combo that is applicable with most Androids, and it does rely on a technology named Knuckle Sense. As you are guessing, it requires you to use your knuckles, and more precisely, to knock twice on the display. Similarly, OnePlus has added a three-finger swipe gesture, which you can try as well. Other than those, Google's Assistant can be utilized for the same exact purpose. Just ask it to take a screenshot, or tap the "Share screenshot" button above the microphone icon and it will be saved straight to your gallery.
Optionally, instead of all of the ways that we shared above, and in times when your device's hardware buttons do not function properly, you can get an app from the Play Store that has other types of triggers. One popular example would be Screenshot Easy and it has more than 10 million installs already. Also, it lets you draw on screen captures that you take, which is certainly a good practice when explaining graphical problems that you may be facing. Google Pixel phones and many more that are running the latest Android Pie are being shipped with an app named Markup, which does provide an identical feature.
To conclude, we have to agree that in-depth explanations, including screen grabs with drawing on them, are an essential part of the testing artefacts set.
Android, being the most popular mobile operating system today, has millions of application that any person can download from the Play Store. Having such a huge variety of installable software on loads of different devices from dozens of manufacturers has its downsides, perhaps, like being more susceptible to crashes due to not being thoroughly tested on every single model that is available. Hardware differences aside, OEM-specific software implementations on top of the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) code may sometimes be the culprit because of manufacturers not strictly following Google's guidelines.
With that said, in today's report we are focusing on exactly what happens behind the scenes when an app crash occurs and the ways that you can help to get bugs flushed down the drain. Here is a short set of questions and answers explaining some of the key things you should be familiar with.
- Why do Android app crashes happen? - The simplest answer to this question is that crashes occur whenever there is an unexpected exit caused by an unhandled exception or signal.
- What are error messages? - In case of an exception, Android always stores logs containing the exact problem and when it happened.
- How crashlytics get collected? - Crashlytics (logs about a crash) are being stored locally on all Android devices, and if individual app developers bundle with their apps special software for monitoring such as Google's firebase, they can get those logs sent to them automatically. All of the data can be viewed from the Firebase Developer Console, including your device's model number, version of Android, and more.
- What to do when an app force closes? - Android displays warnings when an application force closes, or, in other words, errors out. You can reopen the particular app, or choose to send feedback and send logs manually.
Those are the most common things you have to know about app errors on Android. Providing proper logs and detailed device information is always needed for fixing device-specific issues, considering that you put into the equation the criteria that we mentioned in the intro. Also, if you are a beta tester for an app, you can send feedback regarding bugs of all sorts directly to its developer from the Play Store alone,
Source: Android Developers