At B Dash Camp earlier this week, Kaizen Platform, the Tokyo-based startup behind A/B testing tool PlanBCD, won the top prize. But interestingly, there are a number of other development tools that are popping up here in Japan. Testing tool Fello, for example, has exceeded 100 corporate users in its first month.
And yesterday, another Japanese startup gave us something new as well. Tokyo-based Sirok, the CyberAgent subsidiary behind camera app My365, introduced a comprehensive service package that helps developers debug their mobile apps. It is called Growth Debug.
The new service is a complementary product positioned along side Growth Push, a testing tool focused on gaining user retention which they introduced back in August.
Sirok CEO Yuto Mukaiyama explains:
I thought the market was sort of ‘Blue Ocean’, but seems like it’s turning red . But a surge in this market is something worth appreciating though.
When the testing tool was launched back in August, he wanted to see it used by 1,000 apps, delivering 10 million testing notifications in three months. So how are they doing now? Mukaiyama responded:
For the target about the number of apps using our service, we’re still struggling. But we’ll probably be able to surpass 10 million notifications pretty soon. We don’t yet provide our service to foreign developers though. In terms of demographics, many of our users are social gaming developers, and casual gaming and community apps follow.
He also explained a little how how their platform can contribute to a better user retention rate:
We are using the platform to improve user retention on our own My365 app, and it is gaining 1.2 to 1.5 times in the number of daily active users on average.
The problem of debugging mobile apps
Growth Debug, their new service, provides developers with improvements in quality and efficiency by taking a different approach.
The company not only gives you the tools, but also provides personnel who can understand how to eliminate bugs.
Unlike conventional tools like Excel, when you find a bug in your app you can record and manage it via an online tool. This lets you submit an issue to management tools such as JIRA and Redmine, including a screen capture, a handset terminal ID, and a log. Mukaiyama explains how it differes from conventional debugging solutions:
We used to create a script to automate text inputs in testing a sign-up process in an app. But this doesn’t work at all on mobile apps where an enormous number of minor adjustments are usually implemented. As a result, these developers are forced to input texts manually when testing.
Finding bugs and extracting testing cases is very important, but the quality of this process depends on who is involved. An engineer many need to ask a debugger to find clarify some meaning in a list of bugs or testing cases. For social gaming developers, a bug related to in-app purchases may have a great impact on how much money you can make. That’s why we developed a tool that allows you to easily submit a defect as soon as you find it by connecting a desktop and a smartphone device.
Mukaiyama explains their another advantage they have is their strong network of debuggers:
Our parent company CyberAgent has developed a number of apps, and their experience will help our users debug more efficiently. We aim to help developers improve their apps with a combination of a tool and professionals.
In contrast with PlanBCD, their aforementioned competitor which uses crowdsourced workers to help users improve user experience, Sirok has partnered with about ten temporary employment agencies and ask them to send the company staffers when needed.
When they used their debugging package to improving some Ameba mobile apps, debugging time was shortened by about 30%.