At the time when developers are done with their work, we start the process of polishing the product. In cooperation with customer and early adopters, the drawbacks are identified and solved. As the app flows through particular phases, the granularity of issues is getting finer and in the end, we have an almost perfect product.
Alpha (aka preview)
An application is still in a very early stage, but all required features should be already implemented. It may sometimes crash, the design is not perfect on some devices/displays. Simply the app is not fully stable and polished. In case of an update, it may break things which worked in previous versions.
The point of this stage is to verify the basic functionality of the app and if new changes fulfil users’ expectations. We need to put the app in hands of first real users to find fundamental issues and solve them before the final fine tuning of the app.
As a result of this phase, we should have solved all big issues and misunderstandings. The next phase is only about fine details.
Beta (aka release candidate)
The application was in-depth tested and all known issues were solved. It is ready for acceptation. Now it’s time to talk about details, everything has to be perfect!
In this stage, the app should be tested in the real environment of wild everyday life. The great way is to find a small group of users and let them exclusively test the new version of the app. They can provide useful feedback and ideas for feature development.
In this phase, it is not possible to make any big changes.
The application is accepted by the customer and early adopters and deployed in Google Play, AppStore, Windows Store. Crash monitoring is active and we make necessary hotfixes of critical bugs which appeared after release.
In case of an update, we always activate staging release in Google Play; this way we can test the app first on 10–80 % of the userbase. This can safely prevent major bugs in the app or on the server to hit a larger amount of users.
Next step is to carefully listen to the voice of app users. There is always a lot of complaints and ideas for new features coming from users and it is great to use this feedback for feature iterations.
Wanna know more about how we test? Hit our article Bugs are not an inside job and how we prevent them.
Do you like what we do and how we do it? Then let’s develop an app together. Or do you fancy a job in our company? Let us know and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.