Tester Diaries: Ice Cream Sandwich

If you’re an Android junkie the chances are you’ll already know your ice cream sandwich from your iced tall latte. But what goes into testing major software updates on new phones? Ruben from our testing team tells all.


What is Ice Cream Sandwich?
Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is the latest Android Operating System from Google. It brings the best things from previous versions Gingerbread and Honeycomb together as well as introducing new features like Face Unlock and Type With Your Voice and Android Beam, the new NFC way of sending content between phones.

What did you test on ICS?
We concentrated on testing the new features like face unlock, the data usage calculator and making sure the new graphic interface worked like it should, including the new Recent Apps menu. Holding phones in front of a range of different faces to check the face unlock was a new testing experience for us! We also tested all the new features from our customers point of view – although manufacturers do a huge amount of testing themselves, our way of testing makes sure nothing is missed.

Were there any issues?
The first versions of ICS we tested had some problems with battery life, however as newer versions arrived we saw this vastly improve. Testing a phone is hard when it always has to be plugged in!

We also found that some phones had issues that required fixing before we could approve the software. When this happens we try to reproduce the error on multiple devices and, if we see it occurring again and again we log the details and send them back to the manufacturer.

What happens next?
Once the manufacturer has fixed the issues and sent the software back to us we complete another full cycle of testing, including focusing on the issues we found initially. This continues until the phone is free of defects and will give our customers a fantastic experience when they use it.

What do you think of ICS?
Ice Cream Sandwich is great! Unlike previous versions of Android it’ll appear on both mobiles and tablets, meaning it’ll be even easier to switch between the two and get all your technology talking!