Company Size


Company Location

United Kingdom

Testing Type


App Type


Testing Coverage


News UK

iPad App Testing

With more than four thousand employees, as well as its own postal code, News UK (formerly News International) is one the largest media companies in the world. A division of News Corporation, the UK-based company is most known for being publisher of The Times, The Sun, News of the World and The Sunday Times.

In 2010, News International took the bold and pioneering move to move to a ‘paid for content’ business model for a number of its digital titles. This brave move would include the introduction of an iPad version of The Times and The Sunday Times. On that news, Christian Henderson, the company’s Head of Test and Release Management, began searching for an efficient way to test the functionality of the iPad apps under real-world scenarios.

Researching his options, Christian concluded that traditional QA agencies and outsourcing firms would not be able to match Applause is terms of cost, time or expertise.

"The use of contractors from our PSL works well in some areas of the testing lifecycle and products," he said. "But in this instance we needed specific skill-sets. We required a more defined, focused, streamlined and experienced, low-cost test solution acting out ‘real world’ scenarios- and this is what uTest (Applause) provided."

Testing Set Up and Execution

Needing to cover as many angles as possible, Christian was pleased to learn that Applause had already equipped its top testers with iPad devices – making it easy for them to test their app by device, OS version, location, carrier and other categories. From there, Christian would upload specific test cases designed to reflect the actions of their real-world user base. As part of their functional and exploratory test cycles, testers were instructed to focus on:

  • Crash defects
  • Subscriptions
  • Downloading sections within an Edition
  • Continuity of user journey
  • Wi-Fi, 3G and edge connections

With time-to-market also being a major concern for Christian, Applause was able to compress their test cycle into durations of between five and nine days.

"One of the great attributes of uTest (Applause) is that you can focus your testing on any device, anywhere in the world, against nearly any demographic with people who love what they do for a living. uTest (Applause) gets you on-board very quickly and with the iPad testing that is exactly what we needed, as time to market was crucial."
-- Christian Henderson, Head of Test and Release Management, News International

Test Cycle Results

Christian and his team were amazed at the pace and accuracy of the bug reporting from the Applause community. Within hours after opening his test cycle, Henderson was already seeing multiple issues being reported. But it wasn’t just the quantity of bugs that impressed him.

"The quality of bugs found was terrific," said Christian. "By our second test cycle, testers were submitting videos and screenshots of issues we had been verifying in-house in addition to those bugs we had not yet found ourselves. The response time, effort and attention to detail was excellent."

"Above all, we needed flexibility and that’s the best part about working with uTest (Applause)," said Christian. "We’ll continue to use uTest (Applause) for testing our products under real-world scenarios."

Applause's Project Management Team

Throughout the entire process – from selecting testers to drafting test cases and approving bugs – Christian and his team would benefit from the guidance of their Applause project management team.

"Since it was our first foray into crowdsourced testing, our uTest (Applause) project manager stayed very close to the project," said Christian. "They worked on-site with our own project managers, helped select testers and sorted out a vast number of other issues that we would not have had the time to attend to ourselves. They show a tremendous amount of interest in our product, which was really helpful."

As News International develops more applications for the iPad and other devices, Christian expects Applause to play a major role in the company’s future testing projects.

"uTest (Applause) was one of our most successful forays into functional testing. You definitely get your money's worth."
-- Christian Henderson, Head of Test and Release Management, News International