Testcovery aims to crowd-source testing among users in order to reduce testing times and get actual real-world user feedback.
Mobile developers are aware of the difficulty in testing their apps on various devices, something more pronounced in the Android platform due to fragmentation. The developers of Testcovery aim to address this by providing a platform for crowdsourcing user testing,with the goal of making it easier for developers to test their applications outside of their internal sandbox experience. The creators say this can be particularly useful in the case of Android development, which involves more than 2,000 active devices at any given time (in contrast to Apple’s 11 active iOS devices in the market).
But going beyond being a testing platform, Testcovery also highlights app discovery, as users get to access apps that are still in beta stages and may not yet be available through official channels. Hence the name, a portmanteau of “test” and “discovery.”
We got in touch with Rolly Rulete, a veteran of startups like PicLyf, who is the team leader at Testcovery. Here are a few insights into the application, a backgrounder on the team and its members, and their goals so far. Testcovery emerged as the winner at the Davao Startup Weekend and is one of the Philippines’ representatives to the Global Startup Battle along with My Startup Academy. Rolly and the team are asking you to vote for them so that the Testcovery platform and ecosystem can be better introduced to an international audience.
What’s the idea behind Testcovery? Why did you decide to create an app/software that involves testing?
The idea behind Testcovery is to build a solution to an existing problem in mobile apps development. As mobile app developers, we have experienced a hard time testing our apps on different devices, and the devices that we own are very limited. We test the apps that we develop using our own smartphones, yet we wonder if our app will ever run on the users’ devices, especially the expensive ones that we can’t afford.
With Testcovery, developers will no longer need to buy multiple test devices with different screen sizes, or platform versions. Developers no longer need to worry about that one star rating on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store when users get frustrated on getting unexpected crashes.
Our team decided to build this platform to allow developers to crowdsource testing their apps to their early community of users before actually launching their apps on Play store or App store. By doing this, developers can fine tune their apps according to the wants of their target market, building better quality apps prior to launching it to the market.
Testcovery isn’t just a platform to crowdsource testing apps to the users. Testcovery also has an app discovery feature to provide the users a worthwhile experience discovering apps. With Testcovery, users get access to apps that are not yet launched in the market. They get to browse fresh new ideas that are not yet in the Play Store or in the App Store. Most importantly, they get the chance to taste the apps that they find interesting before the developers actually launch it to the market. By trying out apps, users can give feedback to developers. Users can even tell their favorite developers what they wanted on the next updates.
Our team isn’t just building a platform. We are building an ecosystem which aims to be beneficial to both users and developers.
What platforms do you plan to launch on? Is Testcovery meant for mobile devices/apps alone, or will you also use the platform for desktop and web-based software?
We will have an SDK for Android + iOS with a website for managing testers and community as well as analytics and rewards.
For a start, we plan to launch on Android and iOS mobile platforms with a website to manage developer programs and user communities.
Tell us more about the team? What are your backgrounds?
The team is composed of Davao-based developers and designers:
- Rolly Rulete, Team-lead developer (Android/Web). Android lead at Lifebit (formerly known as PicLyf), Android developer for Project NOAH, Android and BlackBerry Playbook app developer for PH Weather, five years plus experience in web development (PHP, ASP.net) and two in mobile apps. Graduated BS Computer Science from the University of Southeastern Philippines in 2005.
- Iñaki Narciso, Pitcher, Assistant Team Leader, iOS/Android Developer. Android and iOS developer at Lifebit. Developer at WordMansion for Flash, BrokenCam for iOS and helped develop SecretLyf and Tinygran for iOS. Graduated BS Computer Science from the USP in 2012.
- Tim Duhaylungsod, iOS Developer. iOS developer at Lifebit, StatupsPic, PicLyf and Tinygram. Likewise PicLyf developer for Google Chrome. PhilNITS FE Certification Exam passer. Currently senior at the USP, BS in Computer Science.
- Raymund Delfin, Web Developer, API Developer, Server Administrator. API/Web developer at Lifebit. Four years experience in web development at ICT Sarangani Province (projects: Tax Maping link to Autmated Real Property Tax System, Hospital Operation & Management System). Graduated BS Compuer Science from University of Southern Mindanao.
- Marvin Consuegra, Graphics and UI Designer. Designer at Lifebit, UI designer at OFW Watch. Three years of web design and UI experience. Design contributor at various communities like Davao Web Developers and Davao Graphic Design Community. Member of Davao United Association of Animators and Designers. 2012 Novare Mobile UI Design Contest Winner. Graduated BS Computer Technology at the USP in 2009.
What’s the status of the application so far? What do you plan to do to increase your user base and gain traction?
We have a prototype app for iOS and a wireframe for the Web platform where developers can sign-in/sign-up and submit their apps for testing. We have also redesigned our landing page at http://testcovery.co. We’re planning to have a partnership with local developers, startups, groups and organization and offer them with free or discounted subscriptions to try out the platform.
Are you funded? What’s Testcovery’s business model?
No, we’re not yet funded. Our business revenue model is to offer a monthly subscription starting with Free, Indie, and Company.
How do you plan to reward/give incentives to users who will test apps on the platform?
We’re still in the planning stage but we’re initially thinking of giving points to users who have successfully tested apps. The points they earned can then be used to purchase virtual items including, but not limited to, the release version of the app/s they have tested.
What are your plans and goals in the short term? In the long term?
As the winner of Startup Weekend Davao, we’re now the the official entry of Davao/Mindanao and one of the representatives from the Philippines in the Global Startup Battle. If we will win, we will introduce this to Global arena. Please support and vote for us by going to http://bit.ly/testcovery and vote using your Facebook account. Every Facebook user can every 24 hours until November 28, 2012 4:00 AM PHT.
Anyway, our initial target market is the Philippines and neighboring countries here in Southeast Asia.
For the long term, we plan to expand the targeted platforms, aside from Android and iOS, we are also considering Windows Phone and as well HTML5 mobile/web platforms.
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