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Pinch, zoom, touch: CloudTest release gives devs insight into mobile app performance

by David Needle

January 24 2012

Soasta's TouchTest technology can test either Android or iOS mobile apps
Soasta's TouchTest technology can test either Android or iOS mobile apps

Testing is huge for developers. On the Web testing can range from the simple: Does the app work at all? To the more complicated: How well does it perform in the field? But traditional testing tools don’t precisely measure the performance of the new generation of mobile apps that require an array of touch interactions. Soasta aims to change that.

Soasta announced a new version of its CloudTest Platform this week that the company says for the first time offers complete functional test automation for continuous multi-touch, gesture-based mobile applications.

At the heart of the release is the company’s TouchTest technology designed to offer precision capture and playback of all continuous touch gestures including pan, pinch, zoom and scroll on iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android mobile devices. 

“In the past it was about measuring keyboard and mouse interactions, but now it’s about touch, multi-touch and gesture-based interfaces with pinch and swipe,”  says Soasta CEO Tom Lounibos. “The problem is that most testing elements haven’t advanced. And there are more exciting opportunities ahead with 3D phones and things like hovering gesture patents being approved. The futuristic interfaces you saw in Minority Report aren’t far away.” 

TouchTest captures the start and end points of each gesture, and everything in  between, and the speed with which the gesture is performed.  The new release of the CloudTest Platform is described as a complete solution for performance and functional test automation of mobile apps across real, distributed mobile devices.

Aberdeen Group analyst Jim Rapoza said a growing number of companies are looking for better tools to test mobile app performance.

"Mobile application performance is definitely growing as a challenge for many companies,” said Rapoza, senior research analyst for network and application performance at Aberdeen Group. “Based on recent research that the Aberdeen Group did in January, 57% of the organizations surveyed said that mobile applications were having a major impact on their organization's application performance initiatives.

Access to the beta release of the new CloudTest Platform is available now. Soasta also announced “Private Device Cloud,” a low-cost way of using the devices you or your company already own to test end user experience from real devices around the world.  

"Having the ability to test mobile application performance is certainly something that many organizations are investigating or already doing to a certain degree,” said Rapoza. In Aberdeen research of businesses identified as top implementers of enterprise mobile application technologies, 50% were investing in mobile application performance testing."

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