Crowdsource App Beta Testing with uTest

Thorough beta testing of applications allows developers to address as many bugs and problems as possible before the official deployment. This is true of web apps, desktop apps, and mobile apps alike. 
uTest offers a range of testing types for a number of different platforms, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Mac OS X.

Real World Beta Testing of Apps

From functional testing to security testing, uTest’s team of over 50,000 QA professionals take the app into real world situations where they have the best opportunity to encounter potential real world problems with the application being tested.

“Our testing enables companies to move a portion of their testing outside the lab, closer to where their users work, live and play,” writes uTest Chief Marketing Officer Matt Johnston. “That’s why more than 1,000 companies – including leading brands like Google, Microsoft, USA Today, Amazon, Netflix and Mozilla – leverage uTest and its in-the-wild testing model.”

Advantages Over Private Testing

It is very common for governments to contract their software testing needs to firms like IBM. While this certainly provides a great deal of useful information, much of this testing can often times take place within the confines of a QA lab and it may be restricted to a small number of geographical locations.

The “crowdsourcing” dynamic of uTest helps to overcome some of these concerns. While their app beta testers are QA professionals, they take the app into real world circumstances clear across the globe. By testing under real world conditions, the testers are better able to identify bugs and issues that may not have otherwise arisen.

Addressing Security and Privacy Concerns

This naturally brings up the issue of security and privacy. While standard crowdsourcing can result in a “free for all,” the selective process of uTest minimizes these concerns. As Matt Johnston writes, uTest has also implemented a series of privacy-protecting mechanisms:

  1. “Legal measures like every uTest community member signs a binding contract with uTest that our customers, their products, and details about testing projects will not be shared.”

  2. “Technical measures to create audit trails, such as accessing a customer’s QA environment via VPN, behind logins, or even watermarking applications and checking unique IDs out to each participating tester.”

  3. “Financial measures that enable customers to work with only the most trusted uTest community members – those with whom we’ve worked on hundreds of projects, and who have established a long, pristine uTest track record of skills and integrity.”

It is reassuring that uTest has never had a breach of customer intellectual property since its inception in 2008. That’s 20,000 test cycles and that’s quite the track record.

Cost of Service

 pricing for uTest depends on a number of factors, like app type and preferred testing deliverables, but most estimates are in the $3,000 to $5,000 range per month.

Do you see crowdsourced beta testing services such as that offered by uTest as a viable alternative to the traditional way of performing internally or contracting externally?

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Interesting post, Chris. Can you think of any specific, practical applications (pun intended) for government? Maybe there’s a project that you know about and think, “hey, they should use uTest.”

Chris Cairns

There have actually been a few DoD projects that have piloted crowdsourced testing. Will have to do some digging to learn how they’ve worked out.