The Unified Testing Initiative has announced that it is changing its name to App Quality Alliance (AQuA), as part of a deeper commitment to quality in app development.
AQuA, whose members now include AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung, and Sony Mobile, is now an independent, non-profit organization funded by its members with the sole purpose of helping developers improve the quality of mobile applications.
The change of name from Unified Testing Initiative to App Quality Alliance was made to reinforce the importance of quality as a whole and not just the importance of testing to ensure the quality level has been achieved.
AQuA's main quality initiatives include new versions of best practice guidelines for developers across all platforms. The guidelines combine straightforward common sense with advice gained from years of experience of testing applications. User outcomes aren’t supposed to be rigid but the over-arching goal of using the guidelines is to put quality at the heart of the development process, from the outset, reducing the requirement for testing.
A key part of AQuA’s mission is to accredit and promote apps that are deserving of extra recognition for their high quality. AQuA has been working on a beta for a Quality App Directory, in close association with developers from across the industry. This directory, which launches in September, will be the first of its kind and an important resource for app retailers, carriers, app stores and other organizations that are seeking the best quality apps.
One of the Unified Testing Initiative's main objectives was to improve app testing, and this mission continues with its Java Verified program accrediting more apps in 2012 than ever before. AQuA has updated its Java ME Testing Criteria and its Android Testing Criteria to help developers prepare for inclusion of their app information in the Quality App Directory.
"As the app development market becomes more competitive, good quality assurance is what sets successful developers apart from the crowd. End users now include more than the tech-savvy and this places a requirement on all of us in the mobile industry to make sure our apps are seamless and intuitive to use. Quality is what achieves this and our goal at AQuA is to stand behind developers, supporting and promoting their work on quality," said Martin Wrigley, chairman of AQuA and director of developer services at Orange.