Delight.io, a start-up with Y Combinator backing has come to change the way developers conduct beta testing. Instead of getting e-mail responses or feedback on paper for the beta testing of their app, developers can remotely capture and later analyse the user interactions with their apps. This will give precise information to the developers on issues arising during the beta testing of an app so that a well tested, bug free app lands in the market. Currently this tool is available only for iOS, but very soon the Android version too will hit the market.
Just add in a line of code to your application and you are ready to use Delight.io to record all the interactions that the end user does with your mobile app, including gesture captures. And if the user permits you could even record the end user facial reactions with the front camera of the phone and obtain usability testing information. The test session recording happens in the background and all the recorded sessions are stored in the Delight.io servers travelling through the cellular or Wi-Fi network.
Developers have total control over what they want to record, the way they want to record. Using the dashboard provided by Delight, the developer can decide the number of sessions to be recorded and add application specific properties to the recorded session to help them search the sessions by custom properties, later on. Developers can also configure whether they wish the recorded data to be transmitted through Wi-Fi or Cellular network. The creators of the tool have made sure that the resulting videos have minimal memory footprint, and aspire to reduce the current consumption of 1 MB for each minute of video recorded, further.
To maintain the privacy of the end users, the developers can mark views dealing with sensitive information as Private, so that no screen capture is performed on that particular view. There is an option to hide the keyboard too, if required. Delight iOS framework automatically set secure UITextField as private view and hide keystrokes. To ensure the security of the transit information, all the transmission is through https and all the infrastructure that the mobile app interacts is hosted on AWS.
The information collected through the tool is very easy to share, the only requirement for replaying the sessions is HTML5 web browsers supporting H.264.The tool does not provide triggers as of now that some tools like TestFlight provide. With TestFlight you can distribute the app for beta testing and analyse it by inserting checkpoints, obtaining feedback and crash information, but it is not as accomplished as Delight in terms of capturing the Interactive Beta testing sessions. I have found many tools that help in managing and distributing iOS apps for beta testing like AppDrop, AppSndr, Beta Builder, Hockey and more.There are some solutions like ibetatest.com, that act as a forum bringing the developers and beta testers together for mutual benefit. But not many, that provisions the remote capture of the complete testing session of the app for the benefit of the developer.
Another interesting use of the information collected by the delight servers according to Delight could be aggregation of the data collected through the recorded sessions to discover the trends across an entire user base, providing actionable insights into app interaction behaviour.
Delight currently provides 50 recording sessions free to new sign ups, with additional sessions available at $50 for 20, or $100 for 50. There’s also the option to sign up for a monthly plan of $200 which includes 10 hours of recording. But you can see more revisions in the plans coming up quite soon for the benefit of the developers.
As the tool matures, I am sure it would add on many new features. But currently, from the users perspective addition of an ‘opt-in’ feature would be very much appreciated, giving some more flexibility to the end users. And from the developers perspective, functionality to insert ‘triggers’ would be of great help in selective sorting of testing scenarios. I am quite sure, looking at the benefits the tool provides it will soon become a beta testing norm.