Not testing your mobile application before launching is like not performing your car’s maintenance check before you set out on your family road trip. Testing is important to ensure your app’s quality- for who likes to use an app with umpteen regressions and glitches? A newly launched app with bugs and other issues can hurt not just your business but also your reputation.
Mobile app testing may be time consuming, yet very essential for ensuring that your customers have a positive experience while using your application. Understandably so, you’ve got to ensure from genesis that every experience for every user subscribing to your application is a happy one. Do not expect customers to pose as testers referring you to flaws that they experience. This will surely tick them off.
Challenges of mobile testing
Smartphone applications have increased inexorably in the last decade. With a billion existing apps (and many more being added almost every day), the stiff competition has led to some beautifully designed and executed apps. As a result, users’ expectations of an app experience have reached a new high. To ensure that you meet the bar set by these apps, testing is an inevitable and an extremely crucial part of your app building process.
Platforms and software contribute to the difficulty of mobile testing. Unlike PCs that are more or less similar, mobile devices are extensively distinct. The screen size of the device, the mobile carriers of the users, connectivity speed and the OSes are what set the mobile market apart from the traditional devices.
Each update of an app means an additional testing cycle. Updates in mobile apps are highly frequent due to the increasing number of apps launched daily. Also, every time a new device or a new version of OS is launched, the app is tested for warrant compatibility. The scope of testing differs for different cycles. Some testing cycles may remain limited to testing the intrinsic features of the app while some require a complete regression and feature test.
Mobile Application Testing Strategy
What devices do you want to test for?
The devices that your audience uses add a huge challenge to your testing process! Your customers are accessing your apps with hundreds of different devices, not to forget the OSes and their versions. This is reason enough why you should be testing your app’s compatibility for each type of device. You can choose to either test with real devices or emulated devices. Simulators are ideally used in the developmental phase for basic functionality of the app. Testing on physical devices can be done towards the end of the cycle to understand application behavior such as touch response and user experience.
Both process have their own pros and cons. while testing with a real devices gives you outputs that is precise to the real devices, they can be expensive. On the other hand you can use simulators as they are cost effective- you can test for multiple devices from a singular platform. However, this may not always return the errors or shortcomings that your user would face.
Another challenge is the connectivity by network providers of your customers. There are more than 400 mobile operators in the world. And these operators support multiple technologies like CDMA, GSM etc. Network operators have their own systems implemented that affect the performance of any app. Not just network operators, their local vendors, too have customized connectivity streamlines. Networks do affect a major aspect of your app’s performance. While testing, you can make use of tools that simulate cellular networks. On location testing can be reserved for specialized applications.
With automated mobile testing you can verify application results by automating repetitive test procedures. You can use it to validate whether new features are affecting the performance of your old ones. However, automation requires a significant amount of initial investment. Consider investing in one when you are sure to run multiple test cases and not one-off cases. While automating your scripts, remember to test features that won’t drastically impact the outcome of the app. Also identify the test cases that may be too expensive to automate owing to technical challenges. Knowing which test cases to automate and which ones to exclude out of it, is an important step of this process. Consider automating all features that meet the desired requirements. Key use cases for automation in mobile application testing are – Verifying application compatibility when a new OS version is released and verifying backward compatibility when the application is upgraded.
The significant challenges and risks involved in mobile application testing can impact production of mobile apps. These risks and challenges can be mitigated by planning and adopting policies that are favorable to your application. The various mobile app testing tools available in market help with testing and also providing a platform to measure security and compatibility compliance. The importance of testing mobile applications before deployment in a live environment must not be overlooked. Automating the process is an alternative that you need to consider.
Testing & Automation Expertise by MSys Mobitaz
Software quality assurance and test automation are our major verticals. MSys has evolved as a leader in providing testing and automation services. Our deep expertise in this domain helped us develop a test automation product for mobile apps – Mobitaz. MSys provides comprehensive testing and quality assurance services, which include manual testing and test process improvement. MSys has catered to various testing domains, such as load testing, functional testing, regression testing, user interface testing, etc. MSys possesses expertise on major mobile platforms, iOS and Android.