A portfolio website, by Rick Bairstow. Showcasing projects, work, photography, and art.

Week 13 – App Testing and Publishing

This week has seen some amazing progress toward the application. Every video has been added to its corresponding page and area, and is available for viewing. The various images have been added, but it has been decided to only show these in the dictionary page for the initial launch version of the application; this is to prevent duplication of information.

A key focus this week has been towards the deployment and testing of the application. An Android license has been purchased so that the application may be submitted to the Google Play store, and become available to users around the world. Deploying to this platform meant continuous testing through version control, trial and error, and some research. This continuous testing will be documented within the version control, as it was too vast to include within a final test, and also the application needed a dynamic approach.

Several issues were presented when considering packaging to the Google Play store. This required specific licensing instructions, that were difficult to understand, but eventually the steps were completed. This certification meant that the APK file produced through PhoneGap could be digitally signed, which is a requirement for publishing to the store.

When packaging to the store, some issues occurred with the app, specifically with the viewing of the videos, the materialize icons, and the contact form. Potentially this could cost many hours of recoding, which so close to deadline would be crippling for the project. It was decided that the contact form would be removed, as this feature is not essential to the application. Upon inspection, the icon package did not appear to be displaying as it was making a call to an external font. Porting the font into the local files resolved the issue.

The video issue would be the most important aspect to fix, as this is a core feature of the application. With the icon package not displaying due to external files, through intuition and previous experience with this, it was evident that the iframe embedding was also not displaying because it was calling externally. To solve this it was likely that the external calls through YouTube needed to be allowed, this was done through Cordova/PhoneGap and was successful. An alternate way to do this would have been to call the YouTube API, as it would be suited well to the Android platform. However, this would have required much learning and hours spent coding it, which would not benefit the project.

With the continual testing complete, a final BETA application has been packaged, signed, and deployed to the Google Play store. The BETA status of the application allows it to be published to an audience for testing, without it being released as a final release. This means that a user test plan can be created to establish minor bugs and gather feedback, with the survey results being evaluated as needed. Internal testing will take place with testing criteria and planning, to establish the technical consistency of the application, this will not be available to the public.

With the BETA app published, all that remains (aside from testing), is to complete the documentation. This includes finishing the design section, completing the development section, testing, and then evaluating the application. It is estimated that this will be done by Friday 27th April, which will give several days to proof-read and triple check things before submission. The submission deadline has also been moved from the 1st May to 2nd May, giving an extra day; however this will likely not be needed.

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