App Quality Alliance – Great New Service or Industry Admission Android Apps Suck?

App Quality Alliance - Good Idea Or Admission Android Apps Suck?

App Quality Alliance - Good Idea Or Admission Android Apps Suck?

Do you own and Android device? Are you a little frustrated with the inconsistent quality of apps and games available on the Android platform? Are you a Android app developer who shares similar frustrations and needs some guidance or suggested tips detailing ways to improve the quality of your apps?

While wandering along the App World trade show at Moscone West in San Francisco, we came across representatives from a mobile industry sponsored not for profit called AQuA – The Application Quality Alliance funded by mobile industry members – AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Samsung, Sony Mobile. The representatives clearly stated that Google is not involved but Google owns Motorola so do the math.

Originally known as The Unified Testing Initiative they changed their name to The Application Quality Alliance or AQuA and launched an application quality directory in 2012 which now contains 117 apps who have passed the quality test using the AQua criteria. At the App World show AQuA announced their new Quality Badge called “a stamp of industry recognition for the highest quality mobile apps”. App Developers whose app pass certain tests, some of which are self administered get the badge seen in the image at the top of the post.

An app developer has multiple options for testing with the AQuA:

Self Testing
Using a certified third party test house
AQuA Member Certified
Trusted Developer Certified

As of today the APP Quality Directory contains forty self certified apps, seven test house apps, seventy apps AQua member certified and zero apps certified by trusted developers. The app titles include Timmy’s Number Tracing, A Space Shooter, and Dino Madness. We reviewed the PC version of one of the games called Tiny Bang Story which is a fantastic family friendly puzzle game.

You can find the complete quality app directory using this link. They are all Android apps.

AQuA aims to “reduce fragmentation across the industry (and within platforms) and encourage wide-spread adoption of sound working practices to increase the quality of mobile applications. Across all platforms.” Sure they started working to improve the open source java web site and app quality. Now they are heavily focusing on Android. Why? Is the formation and repositioning of this group an industry admission that Android apps are more likely to suck? Don’t you take a giant risk when you open source an operating system? So far emails sent to Google have gone unanswered.


We have some observations on the Quality APP Directory and their badge.

1. They need a new name of the awkwardly titled Quality App Directory. How about Google Play Store? Oops they can’t do that.

2. The quality badge is less than a week old so you won’t see it yet in the Google Play store. At least we can’t find it on the Google Play Store for any of the apps in the directory.

3. The names of the games and apps in the Quality App Directory don’t match exactly to their counterparts in the Google Play Store. For example here’s the Quality link to a game called Sinister Planet created by Neolithic Software:

Sinister Planet by Neolithic Software

The Google Play Store contains two versions of Sinister Planet, one priced at $2.06 and a free version with advertising running in it. Which one based the quality test?

If you develop apps and need a bug tracking tool we interviewed the folks from BugSense, an app bug tracking service a few weeks ago.

John Busher authored this post.

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