Tools That Will Make Your App Shine

Developing mobile apps is a long process moving from idea through development and testing to delivery. Having tools to help you during this process is invaluable and here you will find some good ones to get you started. In a previous posts, I talked about tools for designers, but now I want to expand that list with tools for more than just designers.

Let’s start with developers. One tool that could be really useful during and after the development phase is a test automation tool. The mobile application environment is dynamic and is always prone to both software and hardware bugs and crashes. This is more common for Android, but crashes and bugs are also a problem for iOS apps.

Appium is an open source test automation tool that works for native, hybrid and mobile web apps that will be tested on simulators (iOS, FirefoxOS), emulators (Android), and real devices (iOS, Android, FirefoxOS).

Appium enables iOS and Android test automation using the Selenium WebDriver. The same WebDriver bindings can be used across web and mobile. This tool can be used for many different kinds of apps (like games and navigation apps for example) because they tend to be very similar across platforms allowing the same Android and iOS test script to be applied to both. With Appium, developers can write tests using their preferred programming language including Java, Objective-C, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Python or C# and many others.

tools

During the test process and after it, is important to track when bugs and crashes appear. A great tool for tracking performance and real-time crashes is Crittercism. This real-time report provides detailed crash analysis that will help you fix issues quickly.  The best way to track issues is to organize them into groups of identical crashes so you can prioritize by the impact on your business and the number of users affected.

crittercism bug tracker

Now, I would like to add one more tool, or rather website, for designers. Before beginning the creative process, it is good to explore what other designers have done. This way you can identify what works, what doesn’t and decide what you should or shouldn’t integrate into your app. UX Archive is a website aimed at helping designers with this process. On their website, you will find out the most interesting user flows and use them for inspiration.

ux-archive

They also provide a list of other websites that have some great UX related content such as:

maxpanelFor marketers, tools that measure user engagement are very useful. Mixpanel is a tool that gives you the ability to easily measure what people are doing in your app on iOS, Android or the web. This tool is great for marketers who don’t know how to code. All they have to do is to click and choose the interactions they want to measure and each event will be tracked. When a new version is launched or a new feature added, marketers can use Mixpanel to drill in and find out exactly how people are using it, and to figure out how to make their product better right away.

These tools will help you, whether you are a developer, designer or a marketer, to build apps with clean user experiences, that don’t crash and that generate insights into how users use your apps. With all this information, you will be able to make the apps that will shine in the app stores.