Today mobile phones have evolved from simple communication devices to a gadget that can basically do everything. Whether it be ordering food, availing a cab service or simply looking for directions, it can all be done using a mobile phone. This is only possible due to the wonderful world of mobile applications. In this “mobile application testing” article, we will be talking about the testing process of such applications. Below is the list of topics discussed in this blog –
- Introduction to Mobile Application Testing
- Why is Mobile Application Testing Important?
- Approaches to Mobile App Testing
- Advantages of Mobile Testing Automation
- Key Challenges in Mobile Application Testing
Introduction to Mobile Application Testing
Mobile application testing is the process every application developed for handheld devices has to go through. This, obviously, is to assure a certain level of quality before an application is released into the market place (app store/ play store). Mobile application development life cycle generally tends to be much shorter than others, hence, heavily depend on mobile application testing for their success. Applications get tested on the basis of security, their functionality, usability etc. This increases the general efficiency of the application on all fronts while also increasing the reliability factor amongst users.
Okay, now let’s take a moment to discuss the importance of mobile application testing.
Why is Mobile App Testing Important?
How does a user generally decide which app to download for a certain purpose? Ten years ago, this question could have generated a host of answers depending on personal choice and what not. Today it depends on two things –
Daily, mobile phones users install new applications on the basis of ratings and reviews, which are directly related to how well your application performs. This has made mobile application testing ever so important. With a host of mobile phones out there with different operating systems, screen sizes, processing capacity testing has evolved into a mandatory process in the software development process. New features keep users entertained, while quick bug fixes make sure that nobody uninstalls your app, making testing essential for an app’s survival.
Now that we have understood the concept of mobile application testing and its importance, let’s take a look at the different approaches.
Approaches to Mobile Application Testing
There are two different approaches for testing mobile applications, on the basis of how they are performed, namely, manual testing and automated testing.
Manual testing, as the name clearly suggests, is a human process, majorly focussed on user experience. Analysis and evaluation of the application’s functionality, security, usability are done through the medium of a user in an explorative process. This ensures that your application lives up to a standard of user-friendliness. This type of testing is generally time-consuming as bugs tend to take time to get recognized. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, 20% of an application’s testing should be performed manually through the help of alpha and beta releases, while the rest should be automated.
Now, let’s move on to automated mobile application testing.
Automated testing is the second approach to mobile application testing. In this process, an array of test cases are set up which should generally cover 80% of the testing process. The percentage is not a rule, but a general guideline followed in the software industry. Here is a list of test cases that are generally performed through this particular approach –
- Automate most tedious manual test cases
- Automate test cases that can be easily automated
- Automate test cases for most frequently used functionality
- Automate test cases that are impossible to perform manually
- Automate test cases with predictable results
Advantages of Mobile Testing Automation
Automation of mobile testing has proven to be really helpful. Below is a list of advantages that come along with the automation of mobile application testing –
- Increases testing efficiency
- Enhances regression test case execution
- Saves a bunch of time, while also executing more test cases
- Same test scripts can be performed again and again
- Test scripts can be run parallelly on multiple devices
Key Challenges in Mobile Application Testing
Mobile application testing differs from the traditional process of testing desktop or web applications. This means it comes with its own host of challenges.
The major challenge is due to the diversity of mobile devices. Today, there are a bunch of screen sizes, operating systems, hardware options, software versions etc. As of 2018, there are more than sixty thousand android devices on the market, and some of them have even started adopting the notch fashion which brings in challenges of its own. Let me list down the major issues faced in mobile application testing –
- Quick Rollouts – Mobile application in industry is one that acts upon bugs quickly; always thinking about new features. The faster these get rolled out, the longer an application remains trending.
- Multi-Platform Compatibility – Apart from Android and iOS, there are a bunch of other operating systems executed across a multitude of platforms. This only increases the time taken to test a certain application.
- Connectivity Modes – Mobile phones are subjected to different modes of connectivity, for example, roaming, 4g, 3g, edge, etc. Applications must be tested in all these various modes.
- End-to-End Testing – The mobile phone industry demands that applications integrate seamlessly, and be able to access data from the backend to be produced on the frontend, without any problems. Due to the diverse nature of mobile phones, this becomes a herculean task.
- Availability of Tools – There are a number of tools today that automate mobile application testing. Choosing the right one for your application is essential to the successful and efficient testing of the application.
This brings us to the end of this “Mobile Application Testing” blog. This is my first blog in the mobile application testing series. I’ll be writing a bunch of other articles on this particular subject covering a few tools and frameworks, especially Appium. If you are interested in reading some other blogs on various trending technologies, you could check out our blog catalog.
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