Xamarin, the company that empowers more than 300,000 developers to build fully native mobile apps for iOS and Android, today announced Xamarin Test Cloud, an automated user interface testing service that enables mobile developers to easily test their apps on hundreds of mobile devices.  Xamarin Test Cloud was announced at Xamarin Evolve 2013, the company’s first worldwide developer conference, attended by more than 600 mobile developers and industry leaders.

A highly competitive app marketplace and the consumerization of IT have put tremendous pressure on developers to deliver high quality mobile user experiences for both consumers and employees. A small bug or crash can lead to permanent app abandonment or poor reviews. Device fragmentation, with hundreds of devices on the market for iOS and Android alone, multiplies testing efforts resulting in a time-consuming and costly development process. This is further complicated by faster release cycles for mobile, necessitating more stringent and efficient regression testing.

With Xamarin Test Cloud, developers can finally overcome device fragmentation by testing their apps automatically on hundreds of real, non-jailbroken mobile devices. The service simulates real user interactions by testing apps through the UI directly. Now developers can deliver high-quality apps on multiple device platforms much more quickly, reliably and cost-effectively than with traditional manual testing methods. Xamarin Test Cloud will be available to developers building apps in Objective-C, Java and other frameworks, as well as tightly integrated into Xamarin’s development platform.

“At every step of the way, our mission is to make building mobile apps fast, easy and fun for developers. Mobile testing is a natural extension for Xamarin,” said Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder, Xamarin. “This is by far the biggest pain point for our entire developer community.  We’re excited to solve this problem for all mobile developers.”

Xamarin Test Cloud is based on Calabash, the most widely used cross-platform mobile test automation framework. Included in today’s announcement is Xamarin’s acquisition of LessPainful, the company that created Calabash. Some of LessPainful’s current customers include the BBC, Axel Springer and eBay company Marktplaats.nl.

“Calabash and LessPainful have enabled us to continuously execute our automated acceptance tests for mobile projects, obtaining higher quality, higher test coverage and reducing manual regression testing time from several days to a couple of hours,” said Marcel Stekelenburg, QA Manager, Marktplaats.nl, an eBay company. “With this we are also able to do cross-platform testing on Android and iPhone.”

“Xamarin has a truly amazing cross-platform development technology that delivers a high degree of code reuse while supporting beautiful native user-interfaces customized on each platform,” said Jonas Maturana Larsen, co-founder, LessPainful. “Calabash has the same approach to automated testing: allow for a high degree of test code-reuse while providing powerful automation libraries specialized to the platforms. This is a fantastic opportunity to combine forces, and help developers and enterprise bring the best apps to market with Xamarin Test Cloud.”

Xamarin Test Cloud Features
In a recent Xamarin survey, only eight percent of developers reported using existing automated UI testing tools. These tools require significant investment to get started and rely on fragile methods of defining correct UI behavior that can break test cases with small UI changes. In addition, many do not provide cross-platform support and don’t integrate well into developer’s tools and workflow.

Xamarin Test Cloud goes beyond other automated UI testing solutions and is the first cross-platform testing service with the following features:
• Access to hundreds of devices:  Xamarin Test Cloud allows developers to conquer device fragmentation to ensure apps work properly on actual physical devices with hundreds of combinations of operating systems, screens and resolutions. Devices are not jailbroken and can be configured to run in a variety of languages and other environments.
• Xamarin App Explorer:  Xamarin Test Cloud’s App Explorer will automatically navigate through your app, visiting every screen and exercising buttons, entries, and other UI controls. This gives developers an instant way to view their app on hundreds of devices and to find bugs without having to write a single test script.
• Beautiful reports:  Includes detailed test results, browseable screenshots of apps running on real physical devices, performance monitoring, and detailed device logs and stack traces to help developers find and fix bugs quickly.
• Continuous Integration:  Xamarin Test Cloud includes plugins for popular continuous integration systems, including Jenkins, TFS and TeamCity. A command-line interface and API make it possible to run tests and get results from any custom build system and to integrate with existing tools.
• Object-based UI testing:  UI elements are identified by object IDs, not using image recognition or gesture recording, so that tests continue working even if changes are made to the app user interface.

Xamarin Test Cloud will be generally available in Q3, 2013.  For more information and to sign up for the beta, visit xamarin.com/test-cloud.