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100 million permutations: Why you can’t test every use case for your mobile app

Amedeo d'Amore

There are now so many apps and web enabled devices that it’s impossible to test every possible use case, according to Andrew Levy, Crittercism CEO & Co-Founder.

It would seem that getting your app developed and included in the major mobile app stories has never been easier. But buying into that fails to recognize the increasing complexity required for apps to work properly due to the rapidly growing number of options around connectivity and sensors (with what other systems do you want your app to communicate?), and the sheer scale of the types of devices that your app can run on. As Andrew Levy, CEO and Co-Founder of Crittercism, highlights, there are now more than 100 million possible permutations. This makes it impossible for any business or app developer to test every use case.

Taking it a step further, Andrew Levy points out that even if someone were to somehow successfully test every use case for his or her mobile app this week or this month, these tests would quickly become outdated. Every time a new device, sensor, connection opportunity (whether with a device or even directly with another app) or even just a new feature is released, it creates a whole new set of use cases.

‘Let’s imagine you perfectly managed to test every use case. The next day a new device comes out and suddenly there’s a different set of issues, or a new set of features, functionality, and capability.’

As the Internet of Things (IoT) space heats up and millions of devices around the world become smart devices that are connected to the internet, the number of possible permutations is going to increase by multiple orders of magnitude. The inevitable consequence is that app developers will need to adopt mobile app performance management solutions to track how their apps and devices are used and identify issues as they arise as they will be unable to test every use case, even for the most popular consumer and enterprise devices.