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Mobile Developer Industry Guidelines Sharpened

The mobile industry's non-profit App Quality Alliance (AQuA) organization released a new version of its Best Practice Guidelines with extended support for developers in the areas of network optimization and battery usage.

NOTE: The App Quality Alliance (AQuA) is a worldwide mobile industry body comprising device manufacturers, carriers, and others within the mobile application marketplace. It is funded by its members — AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung, Sony Mobile — "for the benefit" of the industry, say these vendors.

The latest guidelines are intended for developers working across all platforms and combine a range of "common sense and less obvious" steps that developers can follow to ensure quality is at the heart of their development process.

In updating its guidelines, which were first published in March 2011, AQuA says it has worked closely with both the GSMA and, in particular, AQuA member AT&T to ensure that it can take "an aligned approach" to produce a document that is straightforward and valuable for developers.

According to AQuA, the new document "specifically includes" expanded information about network efficiency, both in terms of radio usage optimization and caching and avoiding the retransmission of images that have already been transmitted to the device.

In addition, a new version of the AQuA Testing Criteria for Android apps has been released with tests added specifically relating to mobile games. The testing criteria are also now available as an interactive online tool, which developers can use to go through the relevant tests and download a report once the app has passed.

"AQuA's Best Practice document and the Testing Criteria for Android Apps provide guidance and tests on a range of areas including user interface, performance, functionality, security, privacy, media, data handling, and stability," stated the organization.

"AQuA provides both [of the above] to developers free of charge to support quality in the development process and to help them reduce time spent on testing. AQuA publishes the mobile industry's only directory of quality apps, the Quality App Directory, helping developers gain recognition by standing out from the crowd with their quality apps."

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