We recently finished 3 months of development on a major application update to support dual network addressing. This effort involved a great deal of core networking changes and database modifications to support the feature. We cautiously implemented changes and released 9 different beta versions to our testers. There were 45 people signed up for beta testing and we expected that this would yield accurate results about the stability of the app across many different configurations.
Unfortunately our response from the beta community was mostly silent. Out of the 45 people signed up, we only received bug notifications from 4 during the three month period. It was only after we announced that our 9th beta would become the official release that we started to get feedback, too late. Apple reviewed the submission in record time (2 days) and approved it before many of the beta users decided to chime in.
Most critical of the defects was a data-related app crash during launch. None of our 12 iOS test devices exhibited this behavior, and none of the 45 beta testers reported it. We suspect that this is because the crash eventually resolves itself after several launch attempts or a device reboot. The app attempts to update the public camera data after each new release and then it knows that it can skip the update once performed successfully. It seems that the update crashes on some installs depending on the camera data being changed. Eventually it gets through the process and then sets a flag to skip the update on the subsequent launches.
The other defects identified include Sony and D-Link connection issues and problems connecting to local network addresses. Both of these were immediately resolved in our code and a patch called v4.4.1 was submitted to Apple (Mar 5, 2016).
There are 2.2 million downloads of this app on a historical basis (including the original release of Live Cams and Live Cams HD which eventually became Live Cams Pro). Of these, 400,000 are still active and most of the remaining users are IP camera owners. Our hope is that a larger number of users will ask to participate in our beta test process so that we can get feedback regarding app changes before they are sent to production. With over 2000 supported camera models we cannot validate each and every one when code is modified. We currently own roughly 80 different models that we use to test here in our office. The others are only briefly accessed from customers when they ask us for assistance or tech support.
Recent app reviews indicate the perception that we do not test our software. We do, but we rely heavily upon our beta community to provide feedback to us in a timely fashion and to help cover the millions of potential configurations for all of the IP devices, firmware versions, iOS devices and iOS versions.
If you wish to have access to our beta software, please send us an email with your first and last name to: email@example.com
As each release becomes available we always keep our release notes up to date with a list of new features, enhancements and bug reports. Please review our release notes from within the app or on our website directly. We also use twitter and facebook to keep everyone up to date.
We also update several different social media systems with status on a regular basis:
Our blog – http://eggmantechnologies.com/blog/
Our release notes – http://eggmantechnologies.com/apps/livecamspro/release-notes/
Release notes are also available in the application (use the wrench icon on the main toolbar from the thumbnail screen)