Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
How	  to	  test	  your	  app	  on	  a	  large	   number	  of	  Android	  devices	  (Including	  hacking	  the	  Android	  ...
About	  Lightbox	  •  Social	  camera	  &	  gallery	  •  Photo	  ediAng	  &	  effects	  •  Crazy	  stuff	  under	  the	  hoo...
Android	  has	  fragmenta@on	  diversity	                  The	  Lightbox	  tesAng	  lab	  
Problems	  we’ve	  encountered	  •  Crashes	  due	  to	  variaAons	  in	  Android	  OS	     libraries	  on	  different	  ph...
Small	  scale	  tes@ng	  •  Remote	  access	  to	  phones	  via	  DeviceAnywhere	      –  Expensive	  subscripAon	  &	  us...
Medium	  scale	  tes@ng	  •  Recruit	  some	  beta	  testers	  and	  put	  them	  on	  a	     mailing	  list	  •  Email	  ...
Installing	  non-­‐Market	  apps	  is	  not	  user	  friendly	             Only	  8	  simple	  steps	  to	  install	  the	...
Large	  scale	  beta	  tes@ng:	  Hack	  the	  Android	  Market	  •  Put	  the	  app	  on	  the	  Android	  Market	  under	...
Managing	  feedback	  •  Beta	  testers	  will	  leave	  nasty	  1	  star	  reviews	  on	  the	  Market	  •  Market	  revi...
Cohort	  analysis:	  	  Are	  you	  improving	  the	  app?	  •  Don’t	  let	  all	  the	  beta	  testers	  in	  at	  once	...
Q&A	    Twi;er:	  @thait	  
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Hacking the Android Market to distribute a private beta - DroidconUK 2011


Published on

Thai Tran's talk from DroidconUK 2011 on how the Lightbox team hacked the Android Market to distribute a private beta, and other ways for testing your Android app on a large number of devices

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Hacking the Android Market to distribute a private beta - DroidconUK 2011

  1. 1. How  to  test  your  app  on  a  large   number  of  Android  devices  (Including  hacking  the  Android  Market  to  distribute  a  private  beta)   Thai  Tran   Co-­‐founder,  Lightbox   Twi;er:  @thait  
  2. 2. About  Lightbox  •  Social  camera  &  gallery  •  Photo  ediAng  &  effects  •  Crazy  stuff  under  the  hood   –  Wrote  our  own  UI  widgets   –  Wrote  our  own  camera  (now  regreIng  this)   –  Using  the  NDK  for  fast  image  processing   –  Aggressive  use  of  network  connecAons  
  3. 3. Android  has  fragmenta@on  diversity   The  Lightbox  tesAng  lab  
  4. 4. Problems  we’ve  encountered  •  Crashes  due  to  variaAons  in  Android  OS   libraries  on  different  phones  (e.g.  Droid  Bionic)  •  VariaAons  in  the  amount  of  memory  and   processing  power  available  on  different   phones  •  Vendor  specific  camera  implementaAons,  esp   front-­‐facing  cameras  
  5. 5. Small  scale  tes@ng  •  Remote  access  to  phones  via  DeviceAnywhere   –  Expensive  subscripAon  &  usage  fees   –  High  latency  access  from  UK  •  TesAng  in  a  phone  store  (Free!)   –  Email  the  APK  to  the  Gmail  account  on  the  phone   –  Install  the  aLogCat  app  on  the  phone  and  email  logs   back  to  yourself   –  (Remember  to  delete  your  emails  before  you  leave)   –  Long  cycle  Ames  to  resolve  bugs  
  6. 6. Medium  scale  tes@ng  •  Recruit  some  beta  testers  and  put  them  on  a   mailing  list  •  Email  APK  to  them  and  ask  them  to  load  it  in   Gmail  •  Instrument  your  app  with  ACRA   (ApplicaAon  Crash  Report  for  Android)   –  JAR  that  you  drop  into  your  Eclipse  project:   h;p://   –  Posts  crashes  to  a  Google  Docs  spreadsheet,  email,  or   your  custom  server  
  7. 7. Installing  non-­‐Market  apps  is  not  user  friendly   Only  8  simple  steps  to  install  the  Amazon  App  Store:   h;p://  
  8. 8. Large  scale  beta  tes@ng:  Hack  the  Android  Market  •  Put  the  app  on  the  Android  Market  under  a  “secret”   name   –  Allows  frequent  updates   –  Simple  install  instrucAons   –  Update  noAficaAons   –  Crash  reports  •  Pifalls:   –  Create  a  separate  developer  account  for  beta  apps   •  You  don’t  want  them  to  appear  in  “More  from  developer”   –  Don’t  put  anything  in  the  descripAon   •  You  don’t  want  people  to  accidentally  discover  the  app  via  search   –  Make  the  app  expire  aier  a  period  of  Ame   •  Forces  people  to  upgrade  
  9. 9. Managing  feedback  •  Beta  testers  will  leave  nasty  1  star  reviews  on  the  Market  •  Market  reviews  aren’t  very  helpful   •  Not  tagged  with  the  app  version  or  phone  model   •  You  can’t  respond  to  reviews  •  Put  a  prominent  bu;on  inside  the  app  that  links  to  a   web-­‐based  feedback  forum   •  Getsa@sfac@on:    Has  nice  features  like  ability  to  a;ach   screenshots,  but  is  not  opAmized  for  mobile  UI   •  UserVoice:    Less  sophisAcated,  but  has  a  mobile  opAmized  UI  •  Use  a  different  Java  package  name  for  the  beta  app   •  Market  reviews  are  Aed  to  package  name,  and  you  want  to   discard  the  1  star  reviews  from  the  beta  
  10. 10. Cohort  analysis:    Are  you  improving  the  app?  •  Don’t  let  all  the  beta  testers  in  at  once   –  Onboard  a  separate  group  (cohort)  for  each  new  release  •  Measure  key  metrics  to  determine  if  you’re  actually   making  improvements  to  the  app   –  Record  custom  events  in  app  using  Google  AnalyAcs   Now  we’re  making   improvements  that  ma;er  
  11. 11. Q&A   Twi;er:  @thait