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All posts tagged App

Yo A New Mobile App Is Making Waves…

The app is elegant in its simplicity, you pick a person from the app and they receive a Yo.

The big news is that Yo apparently has received $1.2 million in investment for this and many of the newspapers, tech bloggers and public have unleashed a Snarknado online and in print against the app.

Yo - Snarknado

Why you no like this app?

This is just a small sample of the comments and reviews that Yo is getting online:

Yo - Comments

The app seems simple and has left people puzzled about the buzz behind a one-shot app; both about the absence of features and how they secured funding.

Perhaps the most favorable coverage comes from Techcrunch who seem to have a more open minded grasp of the potential behind Yo.

Many of the people I’ve been reading who have taken issue with Yo and its funding are serious Startup entrepreneurs who sweat blood and tears to secure investment for amazing products and seem quite fairly frustrated at an event that could have negative ramifications for future funding.

The Warptest POV

What does Yo really do? I pondered this over a double espresso this morning. Should I be taking this app at face value?

Yo screengrab from Google Play Store

Yo - screengrab

When all else fails I look at the psychology and at the people involved.

What does Yo really do? It provides a solution to the signal : noise ratio in our existing digital modes of communication. Just getting someone’s attention to begin one on one engagement via email, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp etc is a challenge of monumental proportion. Assuming that Yo is adopted by many more people then this might be the use case.

It’s worth considering that in a world where the buzzwords of Lean Startup and Agile Methodology are so popular, Yo has managed to out-Lean and out-Agile everyone else. With Facebook Messenger and Foursquare’s Swarm just two examples of the new trend of splitting features into standalone apps, has this app delivered a first iteration based on this model?

If you consider that and then look at the people, one of the investment players is allegedly the CEO of Mobli, a company whose product is a cross-device, social platform for photo and video sharing.

Is it going to somehow tie into Mobli and offer users the ability to send a Yo to a friend and then share or exchange photo or video from Mobli as another one of these “feature as a standalone apps”?

Only time will tell but whether you are an early adopter of Yo or not, I would be keeping a close eye on the app to see if it is a fad or an app with much greater potential.

Oh, and Yo if you are reading this where is the Windows Phone love? You certainly have the investment to make this happen now, right?


Since this post Yo moved rapidly to release the Windows Phone version of the app and apparently an API and a Hackathon.

21/07/2014: Earlier today I got a tweet from a good friend suggesting I add an update to this post regarding current events.

A couple of weeks ago as the rain of missiles out of Gaza intensified over the South of Israel and spread northwards to threaten and encompass almost 2/3rds of the country, a pair of talented developers, Ari Sprung and Kobi Snir built on Yo to provide smartphone users everywhere (and not just Israel) the chance to receive Red Alerts of missiles launched at their cities. This provided an early warning to allow the 15 to 90 seconds (depending on distance from the launch site) to get to a bomb shelter or other safe cover but also exposed the frequency and geography of the situation to those outside Israel who chose to use this.

The story was picked up by ABC.

On a personal note, my hat is off to the pair of developers for using their imagination and skill to leverage an app many dismissed as frivolous into a public safety application. Well played guys.

It seems that as the founders of Yo say, it is about the context. New use cases are about your context and imagination.

Testing Is Not Just For Amateurs…

… When is the last time you heard someone say,

“I know we’ll do the basic coding but get in someone with no experience to finish our disruptive app for us”?

Right. NEVER.

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Since you asked, here’s a short list to read, digest and nail with a riveting gun to your hiring manager’s table-top: –

Testing - 5 wrong things

So what do you do?

The Warptest POV

The value of Beta Testing is in taking the observations you receive and turning it into actionable intelligence for your Developers. Having a tester who adds these observations as bugs in your bug tracking and ensures they aren’t duplicates will make your life a lot easier.

Having a tester to plan and execute your testing in a professional manner will ensure a logical, efficient effort is made to provide optimal test coverage.

As for Cross Browser compatibility testing, I singled it out after reading yet another blog post about Best Cross Browser Testing Tools. Once again it’s Mashable writing an article that implies testing can be performed by any random bunch of dudes.

To their credit they incorporate two of my favorites BrowserStack and Browsera. Both are elegant in their simplicity if all you want to do is perform basic visual validation or in BrowserStack’s case add a layer of automation thanks to integration with Selenium Web Driver (an automation API to drive the browser natively).

BrowserStack supports 300 or so desktop and mobile browsers. Browsera makes it easy to test sites with logins, compare layouts and find scripting errors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The big problem with all these blog posts on best tools … for Cross Browser compatibility is that they fail to explain the psychological impact of layout bugs on your users.

Content is king but if it’s displayed in a messy, visually irritating manner then you just lost the user who you forced to endure those bugs.

All because you didn’t understand the ramifications of not having these tests performed, or knowing which platforms / browsers / browser versions are your priority.

Isn’t this a laborious process? If planned and executed efficiently even by a manual tester then subject to the complexity of your site or app this shouldn’t be too time consuming.

So what have we learnt?

  • Don’t expect the same results from using amateurs as using professionals.
  • Use the right tools for the job.
  • Plan the work and work the plan.
  • Gareth Mallory says it best in the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall when addressing 007:

So what are you going to do to ensure your product’s success?