Using Adobe Air on Android? You are going to thank me for this plugin!

(Guest post by MaorBar.com)
We have always been heavy TestFlight users, and the announcement that came right after they were bought by Apple, that they will no longer support Android apps on their platform was a huge blow for us as cross-platform developers. Using Adobe Air as our main environment, we couldn’t implement just any native SDK and were basically left without a real solution for testing and debugging our cross-platform apps. Most of the solutions we did find where Native extensions for TestFlight.
A small fairy whispered in our ears about a new kind of project – a highly advanced and sophisticated yet easy to use and implement, called TestFairy 🙂
Having nothing to lose we gave it a shot and were blown away by the amount of vital information presented to us in way that actually made sense, that was easy to understand and analyze. This list of features “killed” TestFlight on all standards.
TestFairy gave us an insight of what’s going on with our apps currently installed on testers and clients’ mobile devices. For the first time we could actually SEE what it means when a client gives you the very specific feedback: “it’s not working”…
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So how hard is the implementation?
As easy as it sounds – just upload the APK.
No setup or SDK implementation is needed.
It was all great other than one missing feature: we couldn’t see the AS3 “trace” of caught errors and other information we wanted to trace. In order to deal with this issue we built a small and simple Native Extension that will send the traces to the TestFairy logs.
TestFairy and iOS With TestFairy we do found a solution for android apps but still we wanted both android and iOS in one managed testing platform. As for cross platforms, we have a little secret to share with you, TestFairy is about to support IOS really soon. (already in beta for selected customers)
Here is the Adobe Native Extension for download, documentation can be found here.
We hope you’ll find it as useful as we did and would appreciate your feedback – please share!

The best Android Anti-Virus App – Is there such a thing?

Android Police reported last month that Virus Shield became the #1 New Paid and #3 Overall App, but an analysis of its code “confirmed that this app is totally and completely devoid of any security benefit” and was removed from the Google Play Store.  Next, The Guardian reported 50 million Android phones may be exposed to Heartbleed.  A major security breach and a fraudulent anti-virus app collide, and developers and users are left uncomfortable and vulnerable.
What is the best Android anti-virus app?  Does one exist?  How do developers make responsible choices to safeguard themselves and users, but continue to create excellent Android apps?  Even Symantec VP Brian Dye says “that antivirus like Norton catches only 45 percent of cyberattacks today” in a conversation with the Wall Street Journal.  A complex, dynamic picture of Android security is unfolding, and a new direction for anti-virus is on the horizon.
Kaspersky Antivirus Test by TestFairy
The Verge reports an anti-virus app is “often completely unnecessary.”  And, perhaps, they are.  Currently, as Dark Reading explains, an anti-virus app flags problems but cannot remove them.  Without tools to eliminate malware and infections, an anti-virus app is just a virus detection app.
Android anti-virus apps are regularly tested by groups like AV-Test to evaluate their efficacy and chart improvements in functionality.  An analysis of AV-Test results by Security Watch reveals a mixed bag.  Improvements in some areas like preserving battery life indicate progress, but an increase in the number of safe applications flagged as malicious is alarming.  AV-Test CEO Andreas Marx suggests the most important feature for an anti-virus app would be an “on-installation check.”  This tool would prevent users from downloading infected apps to their Android phones.
Kaspersky Antivirus Test by TestFairy
Shouldn’t Google have a better system to prevent do-nothing, bug-infested apps from showing up in the Google Play Store?  Android Police reveals Virus Shield was available on the Google Play store despite the absence of a developer website and an email previously flagged for inappropriate behavior.  It achieved a 4.7 rating, yet, as CSOOnline.com notes, “A raft of allegedly fake reviews and high ratings helped propel Virus Shield to the top of the Play Store.”  Clearly, Deviant Solutions, the developer behind Virus Shield, engages in deviant behavior.  Google’s only tool is the app kill switch, as the Android ecosystem faces the growing threat of mobile hacking.
A team of researchers at Syracuse University, led by Dr. Kevin Du, identifies and examines mobile hacking threats, ranging from scanning an infected bar code to downloading infected apps.  Apps that are particularly vulnerable to hacking are coded with HTML5.  He sees a growing attraction to HTML5, as it works across different platforms.  He says, “By 2016, it’s estimated that more than fifty percent of the mobile apps will be produced using HTML-5 technology. This is just a disaster waiting to happen.”  The video of Dr. Du and his researchers produced by Syracuse University News Services shows how they easily hack a phone and follow a user’s mobile footprint.
Kaspersky Antivirus Test by TestFairy
Existing anti-virus apps do not currently provide users with all of the tools they need.  If an anti-virus app can’t remove a bug, then it’s not truly effective.  Android app developers who help users organize and manage sensitive data must be diligent with security and permissions.  And, as mobile hacking increases, fully functional apps may be the best resources to protect users’ mobile privacy and security.  There is a need for honest, ethical Android developers to innovate and meet this challenge.
“The mobile space is still new territory for both attackers and defenders. Things can change quickly,” says Security Watch.  Hopefully, the hackers are not a few steps ahead.  We tested one of the best performing anti-virus apps according to AV-Test.  We have tested the Kaspersky in our lab, checkout our detailed test report.
We are impressed by the Kaspersky Anti-Virus Android App and think Android users should check it out.  The free version scans and analyzes your Android device’s OS simply and quickly, while the premium version adds buffers to block intrusions.  In our test, 26,820 files were scanned in less than three minutes.  The progress of the scan appears in a shield that gradually changes color.  At the end of the scan, a list with the number of files scanned, threats detected, neutralized, quarantined, and disinfected is available.  Fortunately, we did not have any threats to address.  “Everything is OK” appears at the top of the screen and ensures peace of mind.  The premium version scans new apps immediately after download and quickly alerts users who have downloaded a malicious app.  The secure browser and call and text filter blocks phishing from callers, text links, and websites that exploit users’ private information.  If your device is lost or stolen, premium users may disable the device to prevent theft of data.  The tools available in the premium version address the next steps needed to enhance mobile security – prevent phishing, hacking, and malware from finding its way into your Android device’s OS, instead of waiting until infection to remove it.
Developers, do you consider mobile hacking to be a growing threat?  What resources do you need to create apps that stand up to infection?  We want to hear what you think.  Share your thoughts with us via the comments below.
TestFairy helps Android developers do painless beta testing. Learn more about TestFairy here. Follow TestFairy on TwitterGoogle+, and Facebook.

TestFairy supports Klingon!

At TestFairy we absolutely love our developers, and in order to improve communication and make you feel home, we have recently started translating all our marketing material to Klingon, starting with this Youtube video.

We also decided that our next customers annual event will take place in Maranga IV, directions will be sent separately.
Please share the news with your friends by clicking on the buttons at the top of this post, remember: sharing is caring!
Love
Team TestFairy 🙂

Migrating from TestFlight to TestFairy: FAQ

Where can I find the TestFairy SDK?
TestFairy does not require any integration or any SDK. All you need to do is upload your APK and invite your testers.
 
Does TestFairy have an app?
Yes. TestFairy has an app, you can download it from here.
 
Does TestFairy have an API?
Yes, TestFairy has an API, you can read about it here and see a sample of an upload script here
 
Does TestFairy have a Gradle plugin?
Yes, our Gradle plugin is available on our github.
 
Can I control who has permission to download my app?
Yes. You can set your project to work in ‘strict mode’ which means that only users that were invited to use your app will be able to download it. On the first invitation, the user will need to choose a password for his account, and after that the user will be required to enter his password before downloading new apps. When working in strict mode, users will also be limited to specific versions of your app, as defined by you.
 
How can I migrate my testers from TestFlight to TestFairy?
This is very easy. In your TestFlight account, go to People,  select all users, and on the right side, click on Actions -> Export contact Info
In your TestFairy account, go to Testers, click on the Import button, and upload the file you exported from TestFlight.
 
How do I register a device?
There is no need to register devices in TestFairy. All you need to do is upload your apk and invite your testers. Once your user starts using the app, their device will be registered automatically.
 
Can I have multiple users on my TestFairy account?
Yes. multiple users is part of our enterprise package, you can read more about it here.
 
Is TestFairy really better than TestFlight?
Well, to be honest it is hard to compare. In addition to everything that TestFlight did, TestFairy also provides video capture of every test, cpu and memory tracking, coverage reports, heatmaps, JIRA integration, raw data APIs and a lot more. So, actually it is not so hard to compare. Yes. TestFairy is better. Here is why.
 
Any other answers we should add here?

What to look for in a mediation partner

Guest post by Tessa Kayser, business development manager at mNectar, a mobile app virtualization platform.
Last month, Burstly was acquired by Apple and it was announced that TestFlight would no longer support Android apps starting March 21st, 2014. Thankfully, our friends at TestFairy have an easy way for the Android developers to migrate their testing service without making any code changes.
Today, Burstly sent out a legal notice informing current clients that the SkyRocket mediation platform will be shut down in 90 days. This announcement probably leaves many developers wondering what mediation alternatives are out there.
For any developers who are looking at the current ad mediation options out there, Here are some things to consider:
Independence and Transparency
The owner of any mediation layer is a very important factor to consider. If the company is more focused on another product such as real-time bidding, support for the ad mediation side may be very limited. If the company is also an ad network, you run the risk of biased ad selection. It’s also important to have a clear explanation of how traffic will be allocated and to have optional manual control.
Networks
The main objective of using a mediation layer is to manage all of your ad networks under one interface. If only a few networks are fully supported, the product is less valuable.
Reporting
Knowing that the mediation layer’s reporting matches your networks’ reporting in a clear and concise way is essential. If you are using an automatic optimization feature and the reporting is inaccurate, your revenue can suffer. It is also becomes difficult to make prioritization decisions when the reporting is unclear, slow, or wrong.
Support
Mediation layers are complicated and problems will arise. Active support forums, responsive account managers, and helpful tech teams are all great resources that will keep things running smoothly.
Server-to-Server Support
SkyRocket is the clear leader in server-to-server support. A mediation layer that supports server-to-server implementation lets you easily try new ad networks without SDK integrations or javascript tags.
As an app developer, you probably want to spend your time working on your products, not integrating SDKs, managing individual network dashboards, or fiddling with javascript tags. It’s also frustrating when you do find a mediation solution only to discover that they have been acquired, their product focus is shifting, or they don’t provide the services you were expecting.
An open source mediation project owned by the developer community would be ideal, but that doesn’t seem like an immediate option. We have been discussing the idea with several partners and the initial interest looks promising.
If you would like to learn more about the project or become a part of the conversation, feel free to send an email to Tessa at tk@mnectar.com.