Bug hunt. Bugs in real life – Sleepbot.

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In these series of short blog posts I intend on showing some bugs in applications I use – web or mobile and how I got them. This week’s winner is – Sleepbot.

One thing I need to say – I don’t try to commercialize anything, I don’t try to get credit for anything related to those apps, normally they are free to download and I am just documenting what I’ve found from user/tester perspective. I normally wont dive into what heuristics and methods used to find bugs, because I didn’t used any, they just showed up at some point and I was aware enough to catch them.We can make some important conclusions though, which will be valuable for us as testers.

What is Sleepbot?

Sleepbot is a mobile application which is used to track your sleep and wake you up in its lightest phase – when it’s most likely to wake up easily. It has Android and iOS version and I encountered a couple of issues on the Android version with the Samsung S5 and Android Lolly. Here’s the official site of the app: https://mysleepbot.com/

Issue #1: Add alarm keyboard hides “Ok” and “Cancel” buttons.

Basic view sleepbot add hour


Sleepbot add hour main view-keyboard

Sleepbot main view landscape

This is a classic usability issue, in fact it’s one of the most common that a “bug hunt” for when I am performing testing on a mobile device. Very often when you change orientation while having open keyboard there are problems with information being hidden or important navigation buttons like enter, back, ok, submit, etc. As you can see on the screen shots, the “Ok” button isn’t visible in portrait mode, while it appears in landscape. It might have been intended this way, I figure out it might be quite hard to make these buttons appear, due to their dimensions, but there had to be a way, to provide the user with an option to close the keyboard or at least a scroller to scroll down and reach them. So, I changed the orientation of the device to landscape and we come into:

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Issue #2: Value in the hour picker gets duplicated on change of orientation.

Yes, it’s not a mistake in the screen shot, it actually clones values on change of orientation. It’s not only that, but it has a pattern of doing it – it always copies the minutes value in the hours, so if the time is 20.21 and you change from portrait to landscape or landscape to portrait, you will get value 21.21.

 Key takeaways from bug hunting Sleepbot.

Of course, there’s couple of other issues, but I only picked the ones that had some visual presentation – for blogging’s sake. So, what are the things we need to remember from the issues found here – one very important part of mobile testing is changing orientation. And it’s not only the case if the app supports two orientations. Sometimes the devs leave a screen or two without locking the orientation for testing purposes, sometimes just by mistake, sometimes stuff like these pop up. It’s important to remember simple trick that might expose some problems:

let’s say you have screen 1 and screen 2:

  1. Go to screen 1 and memorize what you have there.
  2. Move to screen 2.
  3. Change orientation.
  4. Go back to screen 1.
  5. Verify what you see is correct.
  6. Repeat that transitioning all screens.

I guarantee you that some really weird stuff will appear while doing this and it’s almost certain. I hope this post will be helpful and useful for you.

If you liked it, don’t forget to comment and share with your friends. Thanks 😉

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Senior software engineer in testing. The views I express here are mine, they don't represent any position held by any of my employers. Experience in mobile, automation, usability and exploratory testing. Rebel-driven tester, interested in the scientific part of testing and the thinking involved. Testing troll for life. Retired gamer and a beer lover. Martial arts practitioner.

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