The number of consumer and enterprise mobile apps have grown exponentially over the last few years, leaving the end user with an humongous number of apps to choose from. But how does the user choose the app that will take up the precious space on their device? App quality is the key to any app’s success and it can only be achieved through mobile application testing.
What is mobile application testing and why is it important?
App success can be measured by the number of downloads and the positive comments, as well as a rapid implementation of new features and bug fixes. Above all, not be underestimated, word of mouth. But how can you ensure any app success?
With mobile application testing.
This practice allows you to deliver better software and helps your app to be successful by testing its functionality, usability and consistency, growing your user base.
Testing is in fact an important part of every software development process and with mobile apps it has become even more important. The growing number of mobile devices is leading to a massive fragmentation of OS, screen sizes, variations of standard OS and more. With agile processes, software testing is performed every so often to assure the best possible quality. New features and bug fixes need to be released with short intervals, so users don’t loose interest and new features should not bring new bugs. Testing becomes vital for an app’s survival.
Main challenges of mobile application testing
Mobile application testing is more complex than testing traditional desktop and web applications and has its own set of challenges.
The biggest challenge is the many different mobile devices there are. As for August 2015 there were more than 24,000 different Android device and that number has only been growing over time. All of these device have different size, shape, software, software version as well as hardware and you should test on enough devices to ensure that the majority of your users are happy.
People nowadays travel more often than they used to, taking their mobile devices with them: changing network and roaming is one more challenge that needs to be overcome. You definitely want to make sure that your app works when your users need it. This may be online or offline, with a weak signal etc.
Approaches for mobile application testing
As goes for software testing, you have two main approaches for mobile application testing as well: manual testing and automated testing. We will briefly explain both.
Manual testing is a human input, analysis or evaluation. This approach is user centric focussing on explorative ways of monitoring, whether a mobile application meets user requirements and expectations. You should test your app for look & feel and for usability, making sure that it is user friendly. You should not be using manual testing for all your testing, but just for about 20% of them, for the rest you can use automated testing.
Automated testing is an other mobile application testing approach. You should ideally set up as many cases as possible, that will allow you to automate about 80% of your testing. There are specific test cases that should be automated and here is a list:
- Automate the most frequent test-cases
- Automate test cases that are easy to automate
- Automate test cases that have predictable results
- Automate the most tedious manual test cases
- Automate test cases that are impossible to perform manually
- Automate test cases that run on several different hardware or software platforms and configuration
- Automate frequently used functionality