Mobile Testing: The Uphill Struggle

The Early Days

When the Financial Times launched its first Mobile Web App in 2009, little was known about the potential impact mobile platforms would have on the way we consume news and information.

The existing, but recently launched, site was already a successful platform in its own right, primarily aimed at the business user on Blackberry Devices which were unable to effectively render  In 2007 the launch of the Apple iPhone device and subsequent success of the App Store, provided an opportunity to offer a portable digital FT that Desktop users could access from their pockets at any time.  The iPad was launched a few years later along with a small number of Android alternatives.

The FT met this new challenge with native apps that would work on each of these individual platforms.  The initial presence in the App Store and the subsequent retreat in 2011 are well documented.  What has been maintained throughout has been an opportunity for FT readers to access the FT on whichever platform they choose.

In 2010, the FT Mobile QA team was in its infancy.  One part-time test resource was assigned a handful of devices based on what was currently being actively sold and marketed. This was a fairly simple task given there wasn’t much choice on offer at the time.  The devices included handful of iPads, iPhone 4’s, HTC Desire’s, Blackberry and a Samsung Galaxy 7”.

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Web vs Native

… How technology has shaped the FT’s digital strategy

Native apps, Web apps, HTML5, responsive design — the media industry’s transition from print to digital is full of terminology and technical choices. The engineering manager at FT Labs, an emerging Web technologies division of the Financial Times, explains the pros and cons of each and how FT has found its way.

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