Mobile App Testing

Monday, 05 December, 2016

Times are changing, and people do not use mobile phones anymore just to make a call or text somebody. Today, it is an indispensable item of every teenager and adult. Mobile devices are our window to the world. If you own a smartphone or an another mobile device, you probably use applications, even if you do not know you do.

In the lack of time, we want everything to be faster, better, and simpler to use. And we want the mobile applications to work flawlessly. People who develop mobile apps are aware of that, and they invest in mobile app testings. So, who guarantees that something which we have downloaded will work immaculately on our device? A team of perfectionists who invest their time and knowledge to make everything user-friendly. For them, it is vital that experience with the application is perfect for every single customer, starting with the very first time. To ensure satisfying user experiences, testers have to ask themselves: Does the app work? Does it function as expected? Will it meet the requirement’s of users, so they come back repeatedly? How testers test applications, what exactly they do and, what mobile app testing is, you can find out in this article.

What Are Mobile Applications?

A mobile application, most commonly shortened as a mobile app, is a software program designed to run on mobile devices, such as tablet computers or smartphones. First, it has to be downloaded and
then you can access it directly through a mobile device. Mobile applications are small, individual software units with limited function. They serve to provide users similar experience as if they have accessed something on the Internet using a PC. Mobile apps serve to connect people to Internet services that are more commonly reached on computers; or help them by making the Internet simpler to use on their portable devices. This use of software has been popularised by Apple and their App Store.

When buying a device, you are committed to using its operating system and the type of apps it comes with pre-installed. Not all applications work on every analysing. There are Apple, Android, BlackBerry, and Microsoft mobile operating systems that have app stores online where you can look and download different kinds of apps. You can pay for apps, but many are free. Why is this happening? There are a few reasons. First, space within an app sells for advertising. Second, somewhere only a basic version is free, and an upgraded one is paid. Third, inside some applications, extra features can be charged. Fourth, some of them are offered for free to interest users in the company’s other products.

Mobile applications are a shot ahead of the integrated software systems found on PCs. Each app provides limited and isolated functionality such as calculator, calendar, game, or mobile Web browsing. The mobile app gives consumers a choice to pick what their devices can do. The simplest of mobile apps port PC-based applications to mobile devices. The more sophisticated approach means developing specifically for a mobile environment.
What is Mobile App Testing?

You developed a mobile app. What do you do next? This domain is full of opportunities, but also full of competition. That means that your digital property needs to be flawless to attract users. If you are lucky, your app will be used by thousands or maybe millions of users around the world. They are all different, so are the devices they are using the app on, operating systems, networks, and more. To keep customers pleased and loyal, you need to make sure that they are satisfied every single time they use the app. How to achieve this? Of course, your app must be thoroughly tested before its release to the market. Find a good tester team that will expose your app to the rigorous tests and find any hidden flaws.

Testing applications on mobile devices is cumbersome and challenging for several reasons. There are wide varieties of mobile devices (HTC, Nokia, Samsung, LG). There are different mobile operating systems like iOS, Windows, Android, etc. that have differing versions of operating systems. Different mobile devices have different range – different screen sizes and hardware configurations. With every update, a new cycle of testing is recommended. That all makes testing difficult and very broad – something that looks good on some devices or operating systems, may not look as good on some others. Testing mobile apps is crucial because poor quality application means monetary losses and brand image damage.

Testing mobile applications can be divided into two main types  – Hardware or Mobile testing, and Software or Mobile Application testing. Hardware testing includes checking internal hardware, internal processors, space or memory, screen sizes, resolution, camera, Bluetooth, WIFI, and so on. In Software testing, the application and its functionalities are tested.

There are three types of mobile applications: Native apps, Mobile web apps, and Hybrid apps. A Native app is designed for use on a platform like mobile and tablets. Mobile web apps are created to access the website on mobile using different browsers like Firefox or Chrome by using the mobile or wireless network. Hybrid apps are a combination of web apps and native apps.

Types of Mobile App Testings

There are a few types of testings performed on Mobile apps:

Mobile application testing presents a challenge. From the mix of different techniques and methods, you need to consider and choose the best fit. Each testing method will have pros and cons associated with it. Very likely, you will find out there is not a single testing method that is entirely satisfying. You will need to choose a testing plan that combines several testing possibilities regarding cost, time, and quality.

Mobile App Testing Strategy

Mobile app testing strategy makes sure that all the quality and performance guidelines are being met. There are a few steps:

  1. Selection of devices by analysing the market. Choose the widely-used devices.
  2. The emulator is a system that runs software from one environment to another without changing the software itself. Using emulators is helpful in the initial stages of development because they allow quick and efficient checking of apps. There are three types of mobile emulators – Device Emulator, Browser Emulator, and Operating Systems Emulator.
  3. Testing on physical devices for a more real life scenario in testing comes after a satisfactory level of development is complete.
  4. Consider cloud computing based testing. Cloud computing creates a web-based mobile environment on a simulator and accesses the application. It works on multiple systems or networks via the Internet.
  5. Choose between Automation and Manual testing. Test it manually if the application contains new functionalities or if it requires testing once or twice. Automate the scripts for regression test cases and for complex scenarios which take much time if they are manually executed.
  6. It is important to validate the application on various network configurations like 2G, 3G, 4G or WIFI.

Ask yourself – what testing strategy for mobile application testing should I choose? Again, it is not possible to choose only one unique tool or technique because there are too many compromises that should be made. You will have to use a mix of testing instruments and techniques to meet your quality specifications. Follow these three pieces of advice: Take advantage of a device emulator, invest in a real device cloud and automate whenever it’s possible.

Conclusion

A mobile app is a software application designed specifically for use on small, wireless computing devices, like tablets or smartphones, rather than desktop or laptop computers.

To gain more users, they need to like your mobile app, and they need to have a great experience while using it. Because of that, every mobile app needs testing. Mobile app testing is taking a lot of time, and it is very expensive, but it is critical to ensure that your consumers have a good experience when they use your mobile applications. There is no unique testing approach; you will need a combination of different testing possibilities regarding cost, time, and quality. Design the right test strategy, choose the right mobile simulators, devices, and mobile testing tools and integrate all of the mentioned tests. That is the path of ensuring complete application satisfaction- from your and users point of view.

Ana Lozančić

Ana is a content Marketing specialist and blogger. She graduated in Faculty of humanities and social sciences. She enjoys learning and applying knowledge about marketing and social media, covering latest trends and topics about software development subjects.

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