12 Best Practices for Mobile Application Testing
The race to achieve maximum mobile app downloads has intensified in the past few years. So much so, that today, the real difference between an app that sells and one which doesn't is its overall quality, presentation, and an overall bug-free nature. Mobile application testing, therefore, is essential in order to ensure that every mobile app meets functional, compatibility, and usability requirements.
It is important that every mobile app developer employs proven, efficient practices for mobile application testing. If one develops apps for smartphones it is necessary that the app undergoes complete and accurate testing before it is launched into the market, and that the testing is completed under rigorous usage conditions, but within a short time.
12 Best Practices for Successful Mobile App Testing
In most cases, if your app has any functional irregularities users will immediately stop using it. Whether you are an established company or a first-time developer, this initial impression can severely hamper your future prospects. Here is a list of best practices for successful mobile app testing -
- Test the Plan Schedule - The mobile app testing process should begin right from the start of development process. Testing is no different from coding and should be carried out at every level of the development. It is better to identify the flaws and correct them at an earlier stage than later
- Define the Testing Scope - The scope of mobile app testing needs to be clearly defined by the developers and testers. It is important to reduce the scope of the testing to a level that can be supported internally. It is also important to keep in mind that it is not always possible to test the app for every OS, device model, manufacturer, carrier, etc., and therefore work needs to be prioritized accordingly
- Test Network Response - It is important for every mobile app tester that the app is tested in all sorts of networks connectivity. The app should be able to operate in areas with low connectivity or low internet speeds. It is more likely that a user will blame the mobile app than the area network connectivity, which in turn could be bad for the app's reputation
- Test both Client and Server Side - Mobile app testing must be carried out on both, the client and the server side as well. It is important that the tests should be carried out with loads on client, server, and on both at one time. This test will give the estimate of how much load the app can handle
- Use a Real device for testing - Testing on emulators and simulators is a very useful method for mobile testing in the early stages of app development. But it is equally important to test the mobile app on real mobile devices too. This ensures that the results obtained from these tests are realistic and the flaws can be corrected instantly
- Choose Your Testing Frequency - A fixed schedule for mobile application testing should be made and strictly followed. The app should be tested more frequently so that no flaws in the app go unnoticed till the entire product is complete. The flaws need to be sorted out early as these may get expensive to correct them later
- Test in Different Languages - If the mobile app is intended to be launched in different countries it should take care to address people in their respective languages. The app should function correctly and make sure that it does not hurt the sentiments of people belonging to various races, religions, and ethnicity
- Perform Battery testing - It is the important that the mobile app consumes very less battery for its operations. Testers and developers should ensure that the app is designed in such a way that it keeps the processor busy for a short time. Battery backup is one of the important factors which people consider while buying a smartphone, and this should be kept in mind by the tester as well
- Test with Different Hardware features - Smartphones these days are loaded with powerful devices and sensors to interact with the surroundings. The mobile app should be tested with these hardware features and checked for its interference with them. It is important that the tester is aware of these features. If a sensor is being used in an app, there should be some sensor specific tests too
- Test for Updates - The mobile app testers need to check and test the updates for the app before it is uploaded onto the app store. One also needs to keep track of the app crash instances during the install and uninstall procedures. This will help in understanding the cause and rectifying it quickly
- Check for Restricted Permissions - An important test that the testers need to check is that the app is using the permissions only which the app requires and not any more. Mobile app users are very sensitive about the data security hence mobile app developers need to take this into consideration
- Automate Testing - Automation of mobile app testing is important to increase the productivity of the testing process. IDEs, in-house scripts, and cloud testing frameworks need to be created in order to detect the various flaws and design faults. Automation of testing procedures reduces time to market to a large extent and increase overall ROI
Manual App Testing vs Automated App Testing
Manual app testing helps testers gain considerable knowledge about the mobile app during the app development phase. Initially, test cases are created manually so that it can be verified later and also to keep record of the scripts which can be used later for automation. Manual testing helps testers to identify the weaker sections and design more test cases for these sections.
As testers become more confident with the manual tests, they move on to the automation of tests. This helps in saving a lot of time and repeating the same test numerous times is an easy task. It maintains the consistency in how the tests are performed and sets a benchmark for further tests to be conducted.
4 Benefits of Automated Mobile App Testing
Automated testing of mobile apps comes with a series of benefits. Some of them are listed below -
Automated tests are undoubtedly very fast in terms of testing mobile apps as compared to manual testing. Due to this speed a lot of time is saved which can be used to conduct further tests or repeat the same tests in different combinations
The same tests can be repeated over and over again by eliminating the errors due to manual intervention. Testers may forget the testing steps, or omit certain steps which can lead to flaws going unnoticed
The different automated tests can be used on different platforms and on different versions of the same mobile application even after the UI has been changed by the developers
Since the speed of the automation process is very high, the number of resources needed to perform the automation tests is fewer. This results in the reduction of costs to a very large extent
5 Tools Used for Automated Mobile App Testing
As mobile app development trends continue to increase, the pressure on mobile app testers is building up too. Mobile app testers can make use of some of the more popular mobile app testing tools available in the market today, such as -
1. Appium: This is an open-source testing tool for cross-platform test automation. It is designed to support any framework and any language that can create a HTTP request. The app code need not be modified and changed to test the app in this tool.
2. Calabash: This is a testing tool which uses two open-source libraries, one for iOS and one for Android. This tool automates mobile testing for native and hybrid mobile apps. The test cases are written in natural language and then run within the framework by translating it into test scripts.
3. MonkeyTalk: This is a completely functional test platform for both iOS and Android and is used by testers as well as mobile app developers. The IDE creates test scripts, and the Agent is the test instrumentation library to which the app links. It uses simple keyword syntax and Ant or Java execution engines and the tests are data-driven from spreadsheets.
4. NativeDriver: This is a popular testing tool which is an implementation of the WebDriver API which drives the user interface of the native application rather than the web application. This tool works with Android, iOS, and Windows mobile apps.
5. SeeTest: This is a test automation tool used to test mobile applications on various platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. This tool allows the tester to record the tests on devices and can be used to build cross-platform test automation suites.
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