Mobile Testing is complicated.
One of the big challenges is testing things on different versions and phone models. Can you realistically see how your mobile website or app works on multiple phones and software versions? When it is hard enough to get budget to do any kind of testing, how on earth are we supposed to justify splashing out on multiple devices in addition to spending time on them?
There are companies out there that allow you to access a wide range of phones remotely, but the reality is they are slow and often don’t truly reflect how a person would truly use them.
Creating a local mobile Test Lab is what the peeps at ClearLeft have done. They have always maintained an open door policy, welcoming people into their office. The limitation here is that the devices are meant for testing mobile websites only, not apps. It would be great to see more local companies and coworking spaces pulling together to create some kind of shared resource.
There is also Mob4Hire. I’ve not tried them out. They are likely to have lots of people on their database, but how up to date is it? And the problem is that their mob are not necessarily professional testers.
One idea I’ve had is to add a section to member’s profiles on Software Testing Club where they can state which mobile device they currently own. This would then mean that anyone could contact them and ask them if they would like to do some testing. I had thought of maintain a separate database, but think the reality of it is it would be too difficult to maintain.
Do you have any ideas of how we could create an open and valuable shared Mobile Test Lab resource?