What’s On Tap For App Testing In 2020

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05 February 2020 Apphawks
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Mobile App Testing’s Staggering Evolutionary Curve 

With the continued growth and amazing acceleration in the mobile app development and app testing industries, the year 2020 promises to give birth to many new and dynamic trends which will surely affect both how the development process works but also how end users will benefit from such advances.

By year’s end, it has been projected that there will be more than 7 billion mobile users globally who will download 258 billion mobile apps annually

With so many users downloading apps in the billions, the development and testing industries are poised to see radical changes in how apps are developed concurrently with how they are tested to maximize and capitalize on positive user experiences.

Voting With Their Online Wallets

In less than two years from now, global app store consumer spending is forecast to increase a whopping 92 percent to $157 billion. 

It is becoming clearer and clearer that users are feeling more comfortable purchasing apps and supporting companies that deliver to them their valuable and reliable products and services such as health/beauty information or financial tracking services as well as everyone’s favorite: the food delivery services.

app downloads by countries

source

As the infographic above illustrates, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are leading the charge as far as app spending goes in the near future, with India, for example, more than doubling its downloading rates. 

Similarly, the app development and testing industries will have to focus on these emerging markets more and more.

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According to Global Market Insights, the software testing market size skyrocketed passed $40 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at 6% from 2020 to 2026. 

Their report highlights the drive toward the introductions of innovative approaches, such as agile testing and other methodologies.

According to a survey of senior IT-management executives worldwide via the Statistica Web Site, there are several challenges facing the app testing market. Including, but not limited to, a highly competitive and evolving market as well as everything from executives complaining they do not have enough time and resources to their firms lacking both the proper expertise. As well as lacking access to the most efficient and state-of-the-art tools.

challanges in testing mobile app

 source: Mobile and multi-channel application testing challenges 2013-2018

The World Quality Report has repeatedly recommended that web dev firms keep their testing budgets to about 25-40% of their total development costs “to maintain quality, security, and improve the customer experience while not bogging down the potential for new development.” 

Similar surveys of users also show a general dissatisfaction with the efficiency of app testing, with one survey showing almost 60% of users are frustrated by their apps’ interface inconsistencies and roughly half of the same users are likewise frustrated by the overall performance an app. 

In another interesting finding, almost 30% of users will uninstall an app recently downloaded if they don’t find it immediately valuable.

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Basically, the name of the game is the same. Users want and will purchase apps that are valuable and web dev firms who know how to increase the relevant value of their apps with frequent updates and by offering new releases bestowing new functionalities and/or streamlined and smoother interfaces will see their profits soar. 

But of course with all these new updates, there must be a tried and true testing team and methodology ensuring that behind each enhancement is a 100% reliable, stable, secure and bug-free user experience because as we all know, it takes just one app crash or glitch for a user to never return to the app ever. 

Which is why for every stellar web app dev team there must be an equally efficient quality assurance team to back them up. 

According to Eran Kinsbruner of Perforce Perfecto, the efficiency and accuracy of Quality Assurance testing tools have vastly improved and have only gotten better. 

Zephyr, TestRail and Qase continue to lead the pack when it comes to the most comprehensive and accurate test management tools with Lambda Test, Ranorex and TestComplete rounding out the list of some of the most powerful Web Testing Automation tools. 

All of these services promise (in one way or another) to offer all-in-one solutions for all your testing needs.

The major software testings trends for 2020 can be broken down in the following ways:

Automation: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

2019 was undoubtedly the year app testing embraced automation with scores of new tools and services aiming to ease a firm’s transition from manual to automated testing. 2020 promises to see even more automation taking center stage in the app test process, allowing for quicker and ultimately more accurate testing results. 

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, test bots are being designed as we speak to learn from the best testing practices out there and to continue their learning to detect problems, eliminate bugs and other flaws before even one customer notices a change. 

We’re talking about taking optimization to a whole, other level with new features such as predictive defect analysis as well as also providing steady streams of constant user data feedback loops.

But of course automated methods still must be integrated and they must work hand in hand with the traditional manual forms of QA testing such as A/B or split testing.

More Open & Flexible Performance Development 

Continuous Testing and Integration (CT & CI) have become the cornerstones to DevOps and Flexible Performance development and have become one of the most widely adopted methodologies down the DevOps pipeline. 

But whereas in the past certain proprietary tools from corporations such as HP or Microsoft were the only tools in town, today’s landscape offers a wide diversity of tools built open source from the ground up and this trend will surely continue. The future shows integrated toolchains designed with open standards for all to refine and develop.

Incorporating the different facets of Endurance Testing, Stress Testing and Security/Auditing Testing, these new suites of testing methodologies focus on the longer term stability and reliability of constant testing environments. 

Not only for traditional mobile devices (tablets and mobile phones) but these testing suites will increasingly branch off into other Internet of Things type devices like wearable devices such as watches and eyeglasses but also they have begun to take over smart home appliances.

Testing and Working with Big Data

2020 also promises to see the rise of the integration of Big Data. A euphemism that has come to mean the countless and countless terabytes of user generated data, company-provided data, advertiser preference data etc. that web app dev firms must not only learn to collect and analyse but increasingly must learn to work with and wield and harness the power of.  Such as those of Google Analytics data or Amazon Developer Services.

It’s the verification of every byte needing to be successfully processed, as well as securely protected, that will drive the need to leverage the massive amounts of data available to fingertips of every developer and tester.

Better Bug Tracking Tools

Testing teams for large and small enterprises have begun to migrate to more Agile-fashioned defect reporting and management tools such as the roundup below, cited by Perfecto.io:

They also offer the following list of app testing tools that not only cover the basic requirements of any testing tool but that take testing to the next level of enhancements, whether offering result monitoring abilities or browser-like interfaces for real-world scenarios.

Real Mobile Device Testing Tools

With the ever exponentially increase of the diversity not only of devices but also the operating systems they employ, testing that is done on real mobile devices has become ever more critical for testers to ensure complete customer satisfaction. 

The only way to bridge this highly fragmented divide is for testing teams to produce precise navigation paths, screenshots, and test logs as a result from physical tests on actual iOS/Android devices. Currently there are 5 leading families on Android as well as 3 iOS families in addition to iPadOS which testers must also account for. 

A few tools for these developer’s and tester’s toolboxes include:

  • Espresso
  • XCUITest
  • Flutter
  • Codeless (Apptest.ai)

Most exciting of them all appears to be the new initiative at Apptest.ai that leverages the power of codeless Artificial Intelligence engines to evolve a new suite of functionalities and end-to-end tools.

Conclusion: More, More, More

In summary, 2020 promises to be an exciting year for software app testing with more open sourced, more automated, more powerful, more refined and more specialized tools available to testers who have their work cut out for them trying to stay ahead of all the rapid changes in the world of web app development.

Balancing the needs of developers across numerous development environments to the myriad of prediction and detection of end user experiences and behaviors, app testers in 2020 will have to be familiar with a wide range of skills not just debugging code or double-checking the work of programmers but will have to increasingly become more integral to the design and development process itself.

As we already mentioned earlier, with customer’s’ picky and sometimes impatient expectations when it comes to their app’s performance, having a solid testing strategy blending tried and true traditional manual methods with newer more automated methods is the only way to ultimately ensure customer satisfaction as well as the only way to ensure cost efficiency.

As everyone knows: the later in the process a bug is discovered, the more costly it is for the team to isolate and eliminate it – not to mention the consquence of losing user confidence, support and ultimately their financial commitments to of these apps.

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Blueprint To Mobile App Testing

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28 January 2020 Apphawks
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Table of Contents

Why Mobile App Testing is important? Mobile applications are increasingly becoming a big part of our daily lives. Whether it is to hail a cab or order food, or even to shop for groceries. 

That’s why you need to read our Blueprint to Mobile Testing. Make your app flawless, error-free, crash-proof and perfect for the general public’s use. 

In this post you will find out everything you need to know about mobile application testing. If you will have any questions regading app testing – reach out to us. We can help with mobile testing.

What Is Mobile App Testing

A careful process of consistent testing of the application at hand, mobile app testing is meant to check for any glitches, errors, red signs and warnings that could ward off potential customers. 

These involve certain tailored checks towards aspects such as the app’s utilization capabilities, compatibility, functionality, performance, and quality of services.

ios testing

Evaluation methods and various application testing procedures are conducted throughout this entire thorough process. Mobile app testing can be considered more of a holistic approach to this concept rather than a reductionist approach, like mobile-platform-specific testing strategies.

Why You Should Do Mobile Application Testing

The importance of mobile application testing is major! Mobile phones in themselves are being more frequently used and about 14% of ALL online purchases are smartphone purchases. PayPal’s senior director has also made a point of showing that smartphone usage has contributed greatly to payment volume on PayPal. 

He stated that in 2010, there was barely one percent of payment volume contributing to smartphone statistics. But that percentage drastically grew to 20% only 4 years later in 2014. 

This undeniably proves that there is a lot of dependency on smartphones and it is only going to grow in the near future. So, of course, the need for reliable and sturdy mobile phone apps grows alongside that too. 

Every enterprise and firm that is working on releasing an app to its users must make sure that it is free of any errors. Bugs or glitches can end your scope in the industry and dissolve what could be an empire of yours to dust. 

Android App Crash Test

Application testing should never be overlooked as it as much of an integral part of your business as the app creation process itself. Just like you would take out a new car for a test drive, the same is the case with mobile applications that you build. 

Perform a test run of the app to ensure that any oncoming issues or problems are faced by you and your repair team instead of your frustrated customers.

How Is Mobile Application Testing Done

By now the whole concept of testing your application before releasing to the general public must have piqued your interests. So naturally, anyone would be inquisitive and curious as to what exactly goes into the whole procedure. In order to know whether your application is functioning perfectly well, there are 4 stages to the whole procedure:

  • First, you must design plans for the tests you will conduct based on the requirements of your app. 
  • Develop automated test scripts and manual tests.
Automated Tests Script
  • After that, you ought to start executing functional tests to check the application requirements.
  • Next, you have to complete load tests and tune the performance of the application.

However, that is not all and these 2 further segments of application testing will put the final lock on how well your app is functioning :

  1. Desktop Application Testing
  2. Web Application Testing
  • Web Application testing includes:
    • Testing of compatibility and multi-language support 
    • Checking if the app complies with all regulations and rules
    • Cross-browser testing
    • Functional and performance testing
    • Beta testing
    • User acceptance testing
  • Desktop Application testing includes:
    • Security checks from all aspects and parts of the app
    • Software and hardware checks
    • Compatibility and performance testing
    • Ease of use testing 
    • UI testing

Mobile App Testing Checklist

As far as you have read, you now must be aware of how many parts and details there are to mobile application testing. It is a heavy procedure that requires a lot of precision. 

This can only be achieved and maintained through a checklist. Mobile app testing can be tricky but with the right checklist, you can easily have everything under control. 

Step 1: Testing Across Platforms

There is nothing wrong with your app as it is. However, if your app is meant to allow interaction with others in any way, then some extra tweaks will be needed. For that, you will need to comprehend the different requirements of such objective. 

That includes proper cross-platform testing strategies, user needs, different language platforms, business aims and the requirements for the project. 

Step 2: Efficiency of Features

Your app’s features should seamlessly synchronize with the features of the device that it is functioning on. If there is a conflict between those two parties (the app and the device) and their respective features then that could cause quite an issue for your users. 

Make sure you run the app on a couple of different devices and counter-check all the issues and problems. Do not make the mistake of running your tests only on one mobile device. 

Step 3: Determine Your Application Type

It is highly important to understand the type of the application you intend to test. There are generally 3 main categories for mobile apps: 

You have mobile-web apps which are a website that opens through a web browser on the device.

Then there are native apps that are specifically created for separate operating systems (Objective-C/Swift for iOS, Java/Kotlin for Android). 

Lastly, there is the hybrid application which is a mix of the two above mentioned app types (e.g. React Native, Flutter).

Of course, you can make an app that will support more than one type (e.g. native/hybrid app and web). This is a very common practice. 

Comprehending the pros and cons of each type of application before you begin the process of testing (or, even more so, before you begin the development process) is imperative and plays a big role. 

Step 4: Front End testing

As the name gives it away, front end testing is checking everything that is on the frontal end of the screen. Meaning everything that the user sees while going through your application. This is also sometimes called the GUI (Graphical User Interface).  

User Interface, Slack mobile app

Understanding your personal business goals and setting them straight ahead of you is also very important when reviewing your app’s front end. 

You will also need to perform other tests and checks like regression tests and performance checks while you are at this part of the mobile testing procedure.

Step 5: Back End testing

Exactly the opposite of Step 4, in this part of the checklist you have to be testing that part of your app which is not visible to the user. All the server checks, security tests, and performance examinations are crucial. 

Step 6: Compatibility Over Multiple Network

While your app may be functioning perfectly fine on one device, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can let it off the hook. No! You have to make sure it runs smoothly on other platforms, so as all your users from different areas and places can easily access your app.

Usually, this sort of process covers areas such as:

  • Functionality
  • UI testing
  • Data exchange areas
  • The traversal part
  • Install and Uninstall Efficiency 
  • Compatibility with iOS and Android. 

Step 7: Space

No one wants to download an app that is 2 GB in size. Make sure that your app doesn’t stack up too high on the number scale when it comes to MBs or GBs. 

Most smartphone users will pass up downloading an app that is too big because they don’t have enough space or because it takes too much time to download and install such app.  

Step 8: Data Sent and Received

The speed at which your data is being sent and received on the app must be pretty fast. In the modern age of 2020 where people’s patience runs lower than the height of their mobile phone from the ground, a slow app is a bye-bye app. 

48% of mobile users will remove your app from their system because of how slow it is. Wouldn’t you?

Step 9: Visual Flow

Your app is only loved when it is in full sync with itself. From the content provided to the features and even the graphics everything should function together perfectly well.

Mobile-UI-Set-Wireframe
Mobile UI Wireframe, source: Dribble

That increases customer satisfaction and will likely bring in more downloads and engagement on the app.  

Mobile App Testing Scenarios

Scenarios always help clear things out and make everything easier for you when it comes to mobile application testing. The questions below will help you smoothen out the end of the final mobile app testing procedure.

  • Does the app adapt to the device screen and are all menus functioning? 
  • Did the app launch properly after it was downloaded and installed?
  • Does the app adapt to different display variants, such as landscape and portrait? 
  • Does the app stop functioning because of other apps on the device?
  • Does the “back” button work when the app is running and does clicking it return the user to the previous/startup screen?
  • Does the app work normally if the device starts up, or resumes from locked mode?
  • Does the onscreen keyboard pop up immediately when the user clicks on an empty text area?
  • Does the app behave normally if the device is shaken?
  • Does the app function as it always does if the device shows a “battery low” warning?
  • Does the app fall to the background when an incoming call situation occurs?
  • Do the app’s services prevail if any external device notification arrives? 
  • Do the app’s features change if the user changes them in the Settings section?
  • Does the app function normally on different internet networks of 2G, 3G, 4G, and WiFi? 
  • Is the app adaptable to different platforms like Microsoft, iOS, and Android?
  • Is the font and text size readable to users?
  • How long does the app load up?
  • Does the app still work properly after it is updated?
  • Does the app drain too much battery?
  • Does the app log the user out at the end of the session (as in: user logged out, restarted the app, remained logged out)? 

Mobile App Testing Techniques

Just like there is an orderly process to this mobile app testing concept, there are also different techniques to follow. 

1. Automation Testing

You can never avoid bugs. They are an integral part of every application you wish to create. In fact, bugs are such an important part of your app that without them, you are never capable of designing or inventing anything. It is only with bugs that you understand what went wrong and how you can amend the issues at hand. 

For example, to increase the productivity and efficiency of the app you can run it on different platforms and devices. However, that does not zap away all the potential issues that will come up. Such strategy may not even work with all types of apps, so in that case, you want to find a different approach.

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Adversely, you can focus on a different type of strategy for such situations. For large apps that hold a lot of intricate computing operations within them, you can choose to create scripts for test automation.  

In any case, you must implement testing for your app without sacrificing it. Take the advice of experts and always find a solution to your app-related issues.

2. Beta Testing

You must be familiar with this concept. It is famously used all over the Google Play Market for big apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. That is because beta testing is an important part of the process of app development. 

Beta testing means making several people check your app’s updates or new features (that haven’t yet been released to the mass public) and report any glitches that they face. For everyone who is creating apps for the Android market, they can take advantage of the Google Play Store’s benefits. 

beta testing mobile app
TestFlight
TestFlight
TestFlight (2)

When it comes to iOS apps, you can use other services, like TestFlight. A trusted and guaranteed solution to your beta testing struggles regarding iOS apps, you can entrust up to 25 people to beta test your app. 

Apart from those 25 (trusted) people you can also allow 1000 other people to utilize it as well. There are also many other solutions and services you can use (e.g. Beta). 

  • A Testing Template

Many app testers go through the same issues over and over again. It is like a staple, standard amount of issues that come up with every app testing procedure. And that is more frequently occurring when it comes to apps that are similar with their features. 

So it is advised that you instruct your employees to create a test suite. This helps in reducing the overall time spent on app testing procedures. 

  • Cloud Testing

Apps for business usually require more precision and care when you begin their testing process. It is a commonly expected issue that while many different people are utilizing the app all at once, there is a possibility of it jamming or getting stuck. Experimenting with cloud services will help in reducing the effects and risk of such an issue. 

All apps deal with “lagging” issues at times but you can’t afford to waste such precious time when you are in the business sphere. You can seek out bugs and issues with the software as well when you opt to go for cloud testing. It is an affordable and practical way of economically assessing your app. 

  • Installation Testing

The most important type of testing is this one. Ask yourself this question: if your user has issues while installing your app then what is the point of having it? 

Most of the time, quite efficient apps are constructed and created but because of glitches that occur in the installation process, all your hard work is gone to waste.

Installation Testing on Mobile 

Mobile App Installation Testing

Make sure that the app can be downloaded AND installed smoothly on any device and any platform without any hitches in the process. Because if there is an issue with the installation/downloading operation then your user is 100% likely going to leave a bad review or delete the whole application and never return to it again. 

  • User Testing

Like it has been said before for years and years! Your user experience must always be in sync with your user interface. If the two things are incompatible then your app will be displeasing to many.  

  •  Multiple Devices and System Compatibility 

Unless you wish to limit the reach of your app by only uploading it to a single store, you need to test compatibility over different devices and systems. Maybe the app you created for Android is not as seamlessly functional on an iOS. 

Jira Mobile Apps for Android and iOS

It is always advised that before you showcase your app to the scores of mobile users out there you should check computability. You can’t possibly test your app through one single Apple simulator. 

You will need to have multiple simulators for different devices and if you use simulators then ensure you have an expert at hand because they can be hard things to master. 

  • I18N and L10N Compliancy 

If you wish to create your app for international use then it has to be compliant with the L10N or I18N processes. With this compliancy, your app’s availability will not be limited to only one country and language but, in fact, all countries and their native languages will be available in your app for the citizens. 

  • Performance Testing

Your app must perform very smoothly to surpass the expectations of your users. Regardless of which device or platform the application is running on it must still perform flawlessly. Otherwise, you will only drive up user’s negative reactions and bad reviews leading to a poor reputation. 

There are a few algorithms and strategies to employ to get the best from your app. One of them is the React Native framework which allows speedy processes to function in your app as well as a seamless performance. There are other frameworks apart from this one that you can also utilize. 

However, they should all have one thing in common, and that is to improve the overall performance and speed of your app. 

Mobile App Testing Benefits

The importance of mobile app testing is the same as sampling food before presenting it on the table. Checking whether everything is perfectly balanced and ready to be shown to everyone is the best part of app designing. 

The process of testing your mobile application before releasing it consists of many checks that search for bugs in the functionality, processes, display, graphics, text, and performance of the app. 

All this is done so as if any glitches, errors or crashes happen to show up you will be the first to tackle them. By doing so you save your users from having to face such issues and hence refine their overall experience. That way, your business reputation is maintained and you don’t sabotage all your hard work. 

If you skip the application testing procedure and choose to release your application to the general public without conducting important tests then you put all your business at risk as well as your good reputation on the line. 

Read more-> Mobile App Testing Services

A user who stumbles upon your untested app will most likely face issues and leave a bad review. They will also probably not return to check if the app is fixed in the near future. That way, you could lose potential customers.

Mobile App Testing Common Defects

Just like every other process, mobile application testing is not bound to be 100% accurate. You will face some issues that are most likely not going to have immediate solutions. 

Unlikely Compatibility

There are undoubtedly many different devices on the market. Of course, there is no way that you can make your app compatible with all of them. There are just too many. 

A defect found across few devices gives a great indication that the problem may be present on most, if not all of them. That means that your app might function slower on specific devices and could also hang or lag on them.

Network speeds 

Your app’s performance majorly depends on the network that your user is using. It happens in many cases that the user faces difficulty in loading the application. Sometimes the application takes too long to buffer and that can test the user’s patience. 

Such scenario usually ends in the user closing the app, potentially deleting it or never opening it again. However, a dedicated and well-informed mobile app developer will know the right tools, like pCloudy, to ensure your app is in the best shape for the outside world to test and use it. 

Which Tool?

When performing any task you always have a selection of tools and instruments available to properly execute the job. It is a matter of expertise and knowledge that you pick out the right one. 

When it comes to mobile application testing, selecting the right tool is very important because the efficiency of your testing process completely depends on how reliable it is. 

So make sure you have some professional assistance as well as an expert’s opinion on which kind of tool you should use when testing your application.

Screen Constraints

Another issue that app designers have to deal with is pixel perfection. Because of the plethora of Android and Apple devices on the market that come with varying screen sizes, it can be quite challenging to create one app that fits all of those screens. 

Android Fragmentation

You might find it a last resort option that you must change the design of your application so your users can enjoy a flawless and graphically pleasing experience. However, like mentioned before, you can’t always come up with a solution for all of the issues that you face. 

Sometimes your application may work perfectly fine on an iPhone but will malfunction on an iPad. And that happens!

App Type

As you must have read in the previous sections we mentioned that there are three types of mobile applications. You have native, hybrid and web applications. Naturally, there is a separate process of testing for each kind of app. 

Now, that process entirely depends upon you and what you choose it to be. You and your testing team can independently decide on which aspects you want to test and which techniques you wish to utilize to maintain the standard level of perfection of your application. 

Artificial Intelligence’s Role to Play

Who doesn’t know about artificial intelligence? Everyone knows that as the technological world expands and broadens its reach, AI is being increasingly utilized more often. Nowadays it is majorly used for automated application testing. 

Artificial intelligence can create test cases and produce data after being assigned a certain test target. All you have to do is instruct your AI to execute a certain task and through the means of that, it will generate all the necessary data and information you need for testing. 

ai Mobile Application Testing tools
AI Testing Tools

Although many people are double-minded on whether to utilize artificial intelligence testing measures, there is a fairly large portion of a society that agrees that with the help of AI we can greatly reduce the risk of human errors in the testing procedure. 

However, at the end of the day, it is your call if you wish to use artificial intelligence or not.

What Is Manual Mobile Application Testing

There are majorly two types of mobile app testing procedures introduced so far. You have automated mobile application testing on one hand and manual testing on the other. 

There is no competition between which is better or more appropriate because both of these types of application testing procedures are used for different purposes and they execute separate objectives.

For example, manual testing is best when dealing with new features or bugs. You can also perform user experience and usability checks with the help of manual testing. 

On the other hand, automated mobile application testing is used for repetitive tasks, such as regression tests, where manual testing would fail due to human errors.

Advantages Of Manual Mobile App Testing 

  • Highly accurate user interface testing 
  • Faster to use and more affordable for small projects and companies 
  • Seamlessly deals with all app crashes 
  • All intricate use-case scenarios are handled with efficiency
  • Duplicates some real-life user experiences

Disadvantages Of Manual Mobile App Testing 

  • Human error does exist in many cases 
  • Without the presence of human resources, manual testing cannot be executed 
  • Generally, test cases are hard and lengthy to perform

Regardless of the disadvantages and shortages that manual testing comes up with there is fairly large importance of it in the process of developing an app. For instance, if your user locates a bug in the application it is through manual testing that you can find a solution for this issue. 

Manual testing is also pretty fast as compared to other testing procedures (as long as you test the case only a couple of times and it’s not a part of your regression test plan), so in the case of a unique bug this is the best and first kind of testing you should go for. 

What Is Functional Mobile Application Testing

Functional testing, different than manual testing, executes a separate section of objectives in regards to your application testing procedure. 

Through functional testing you can perform checks that ensure that every single part of your application works as intended. If you have designed a specific menu or button for a designated reason then functional testing will be the one that guarantees it works the way you want it to. 

Another scenario is when the mobile device is switched from landscape mode to portrait mode the application should adjust its design and interface accordingly. These are all the aspects that only functional testing can check.

Ensuring the functionality of your application is practically what functional testing is all about. That includes your installation procedure, updates, specific functions and messages, and seamless signup and login process.

These are a couple of additional tests that are run with the whole functional testing procedure: 

  • Offline and online services testing 
  • Specific device functions 
  • Signup and login procedure 
  • Testing of updates 
  • Provisioning 
  • Display of error messages

How To Automate Mobile Application Testing

Once you have selected a testing tool and know the scope of your testing process you should be constructing your testing infrastructure. 

Your testing infrastructure should be a simple, yet comprehensive logical sequence of action and outcomes that can be registered easily. 

You should identify common test scenarios that focus on the core functionality of your app. You can start with easier scenarios that don’t require a lot of time or steps. Here is how you can construct logical strategies for your automated mobile application testing: 

  • Automate use cases that show a likelihood of failure 
  • Generate automated tests at the beginning of the procedure to produce data that a human tester can check on and label as fail or pass 
  • Create and execute integration tests for third party integration that will ensure the proper data flow
  • Generate end to end tests that cover all the paths from the login signup area write down to the checkout

Mobile App Testing On Multiple Devices

Depending on the type of software you used to test your application you can see and assess what your app is like on different devices. 

cross device testing
Cross-device testing, source: Apphawks

As we will dive further into this article apps such as Experitest and Test Project can help you observe your application’s progress from mobile devices. 

Whether it is an Apple or Android mobile phone, an old or a new model it is through these applications you can identify and understand your application’s strong and weak points.

Mobile Application Testing For iOS

There are a bunch of factors you have to keep in mind when testing your mobile application. The same is the case when you are testing applications for Apple platforms. IOS has its own set of issues and problems you must tackle independently. Some of which are:

  • Application is crashing on the list. Many times mobile devices have to deal with frequent app crashes because of issues such as memory leaks or bugs. Paying attention to these issues specifically will help to clear out any future possibility of your application crashing on Apple devices.
  • Issues with updates are not a foreign concept in the iOS market. Many times the application will run smoothly and perform flawlessly but once it is updated it will show incompatibility issues.
  • Many iOS versions are not equipped with the required level of security needed to protect them from hackers. This is a major security breach in Apple devices since your user’s private information is at risk of being stolen if the hacker gains access to their files. It mostly applies to iOS versions earlier than 11, which hardly anyone supports now, but do keep that in mind.
  • As we have mentioned in the first point, memory leaks are a big reason why your application crashes. Memory leaks are chunks of allocated memory that are no longer needed or used but they still take up space in the program’s storage.

Mobile Application Testing Tools For Android

Many Android users around the world would love to gain access to your application. That is why you need to test it on various Android devices before releasing it in the Google Play market. These listed application testing tools for Android will help:

Kobiton 

This testing tool provides users with complete control of actual mobile device functions during the manual testing procedure. That includes support for multi touches, orientation, speaker and camera control, device connection management and GPS data.

kobiton mobile app testing
source: Kobiton

Kobiton quickly performs all the actions necessary during the testing session so all the issues can be identified and solved quickly. 

TestProject 

The world’s first free cloud-based test automation platform, TestProject allows users to test not only Android applications but also iOS and web applications. You can also incorporate other third-party apps such as Selenium and Appium into this tool to ensure added quality with speed.

source: TestProject

TestProject has many other features, such as built-in recording services and test coding features that are completely free.

Experitest

With Experitest you can access visual test reports and advanced statistics, speed up mobile testing processes and increase the reliability of your app. 

Experitest mobile app testing
source: Experitest

You can also create Appium tests with it. Last but not least, you can generate and execute hundreds of automated or manual tests on more than 1000 real Android and Apple devices on the cloud. 

Mobile App Testing On Desktop

Mobile application testing on a desktop is a process that checks the stability, security, compatibility, usability, as well as functionality of your application. 

During mobile application testing on a desktop you must pay attention to the uninstallation and installation tests so your app’s testing requirements can be fully covered. 

Here is a timeline of what you have to do before you commence with desktop app testing. 

  • Construct a plan 

A plan is a perfect way of mapping out what exactly you have to prioritize and which tests you should automate. 

The requirements are also set out beforehand. It is during this procedure that you identify which state the Application Under Test (AUT) should be in.

  • Choose Frameworks and Tools

Picking out the most appropriate framework is also a vital step to increase the efficiency of your testing process. 

On the other hand, the tools you choose should be selected by an expert because there is no standard set that works for all.

  • Element Locator Strategy 

When it comes to testing desktop apps you need a best-fit element locator strategy. Your team must choose a good tool that supports the inspection of user interface elements. 

  • Shorten project maintenance time 

Without orderly management, desktop app testing projects can take up quite a lot of time and resources. You can easily tackle this issue by putting first the reusability and maintenance of test tools throughout every stage.

Mobile Application Testing Vs Simulators

Simulator testing is a process that testing teams adopt when they want to check their app without access to real devices.. Simulators are mostly written in high-level languages and can be difficult for debugging purposes. They are usually the partial reimplementation of the original software. 

react native debugger mobile testing
React Native Debugger, source: GitHub

On the other hand, real testing devices allow you to run your mobile application freely to check its functionality. This kind of testing ensures that your application runs smoothly for your customers on their mobile phones. 

Advantages Of Simulators 

  • Web application testing is made easier 
  • Screenshot capturing in a simulator 
  • Relatively easy to set up 

Advantages Of Real Testing Devices 

  • Testing your application on real devices is more reliable 
  • It is helpful in terms of interoperability testing 
  • Original devices are faster in performance than simulators 
  • Real testing devices can easily simulate incoming interruptions 

Disadvantages Of Testing Simulators 

  • Not all simulators support the complete requirements of mobile devices. For example, some simulators, such as the bada simulator, do not support direct web browsing testing
  • Usually, testing teams may have to purchase expensive software patches because simulators do not support certain types of applications.
  • Not able to simulate the battery issues.

Disadvantages Of Real Testing Devices 

  • Real testing devices make it hard for the testing team to arrange all the different types of mobile devices while being constrained by a certain budget and timeline

Mobile App Testing With JMeter

Jmeter for application testing
source: JMeter

The role of JMeter is to record scripts in web applications. It has the specifications to generate and execute performance test scripts for mobile applications. 

JMeter Configurations 

Before you start developing your script, you must first configure your mobile system. That is later used for the test recording. 

That is done through this procedure:

Go to JMeter > File > Templates > Choose Recording > Create > HTTPS Test Script Recorder. Adjust the port to 8080.

After adjusting the port you must find out what your IP address is. That can be done using your system’s command prompt. Write “ipconfig” in the box and find out your IP. The IP address is used to set up the proxy on the iOS or Android phone at hand. 

Save a proper JMeter certificate on your phone and install it on your mobile device. After this, the real configuration process begins.

Configure An Android Mobile Phone 

  • Go to your settings click on Wi-Fi and long-press on your working network connection 
  • Select Modify Network 
  • Check the Show Advanced Options checkbox 
  • Change Proxy Settings to Manual 
  • In the space that says Proxy Hostname write the IP address of the system 
  • Change the Proxy Port to 8089 
  • Press Save

Configure Apple Phone 

  • Go to “Settings” click on Wi-Fi 
  • Click on your connected network 
  • Select the “Manual” option from “HTTP Proxy Segment”
  • Enter your system’s IP address in the “Server” area 
  • Change the “Port Value” to 8080 
  • Install the certificate for iOS

Mobile App Testing With Appium

appium for app testing
source: Appium

Appium works on Android and Apple devices for mobile app testing. It works by leveraging the different uses of the application. You can write and run frequent tests against the application with Appium. 

When working on an Android device Appium uses the UIAutomator Framework that tests the user interface of the Android application. There is a .jar file that works as a TCP server and sends test commands with the help of the UIAutomator.

Similar to the process that uses on Android devices Appium uses JSON wire protocol when it is dealing with Apple devices. 

In this case, it uses Apple’s UIAutomation API to communicate with the user interface elements. In that way, it can automate the applications on Apple devices. 

Appium also uses a .js file that works as a TCP server and through that it sends test commands to the iOS device through the UIAutomation API framework.

Mobile App Testing With Selenium

selenium mobile testing
source: Selenium

As we have just discussed how Appium is used for mobile application testing there is a considerable amount of chatter regarding whether Selenium can be used for the same process. Appium is preferred over many other similar frameworks, however, Selenium cannot be used for the same procedures. 

There is no definite method of utilizing Selenium for mobile app testing. The reason why the mention of Selenium comes up now and again is that the popular software Appium is actually derived from Selenium. 

Appium utilizes Selenium’s WebDriver to interact with Apple and Android applications using the JSON Wire Protocol. So, as you can see, Selenium happens to be a part of Appium’s grand structure. It cannot be utilized independently, not without the help of Appium. 

Hence it can be briefly stated that Selenium is a part of Appium and on its own, it cannot test mobile applications.

Mobile App Testing In Sauce Labs

sauce labs for mobile testing
source: SauceLabs

Sauce Labs provides easy and practical assistance when it comes to mobile app testing. It provides simulators, emulators and real devices which you can use to test your app. 

If you want to test a native mobile application with Sauce Labs this is the process that you need to follow: 

  • First, upload your application to a place where Sauce Labs can connect to it. 
  • If your application is secured by a firewall you will need to secure a Sauce Connect Tunnel. 
  • Enter your Sauce Labs credentials as well as the path to your application directory in the test script. 
  • Adjust the desired capabilities of your test for the operating system you want to test it against. There is also a platform configurator to set up these desired capabilities

Mobile App Accessibility Testing

Accessibility testing is a very important part of app development because it evaluates how much content and services of your app are accessible to people with disabilities. Whether it is the size of the font you used or which color family you choose these all play a major role. 

For you to test your app’s accessibility there are few built-in tools in the operating systems of Android and Apple that can assist you. These include speech-to-text services, screen readers, speech-enabled search options, screen magnifiers, color and brightness adjustments, and other helpful tools.

Through manual testing, you can better assess the accessibility of your app since it allows you to truly explore all the possibilities through real devices and from the real-time perspective of customers.

It is advised that your manual testers utilize your app through assistive technology tools that are built into the device’s operating system. These tools have been mentioned above and can be actively used throughout the testing process to confirm that disabled people can make good use of your app without facing any difficulties.

Mobile Application Testing Best Practices 

For a mobile application testing procedure to run smoothly from start to end, you need to have some good testing practices at hand. Here are a few to get you started: 

  • Make sure that you have all (or at least some of) the physical devices on which the application should run on. That does not include emulators or simulators only. 
  • Keep a margin of additional time or equipment needed to test all your app’s modules. 
  • Ensure that you mention in your application’s terms and conditions that if the app malfunctions on certain devices or refuses to work then it is not your responsibility. This approach is adopted by multiple vendors, such as Microsoft (with Skype). 
  • Follow a fixed process and timeline by which you can ensure that your app’s requirements and goals are being fulfilled. For example, you can begin your app development process with an emulator and then as you progress forward you can add real devices to test the later development cycle. 

Mobile Interface Testing 

Interface testing, as its name gives away, ensures that all the app’s interfaces are functioning perfectly fine. 

For you to check that, follow these procedures: 

  • Check if all labels, text inputs, and buttons are valid 
  • Double-check if every screen of the app is displaying the correct information and for the correct purpose. 
  • There should be a navigation flow in your app where there is no hanging or lagging between the controls 
  • Does your device is orientation change if the phone is placed in landscape or portrait mode? If so, is it appropriate according to its speed and dimensions? 

Mobile Usability Testing 

Usability is extremely important because it shows how easy it is for users to utilize your app and navigate through it. 

The following pointers should be of use:

  • Check yourself if you can navigate through the different screens without facing any obstructions or issues.
  • Is there useless information displayed at the front end? Or is there data that does not necessarily benefit the customer?
  • Does the app display all the text in the proper flow and format? Is the language accurately used?
  • All the interactions that the user generates with the system should provide some feedback.
  • Are all the buttons functional? 
  • Is there seamless data transmittance over the internet?
  • Any slow processes that are bound to bore a user? 
  • Does the application retain information even in offline mode?

Service Testing 

  • API testing should also be included depending on whether your app is using APIs or not. Many times there happens to be some sort of clash in the application and it is the fault of unable to interact seamlessly together.
  • Your mobile application should behave as a client, not a server.
  • Can you access any of your application’s services when in offline mode? On the other hand, what happens if you lose connection during the sending of information?
  • What is the app’s response if a service takes too long to respond? 
  • What happens if any of your application’s services go down? For example, if control errors or incomplete responses occur?

Mobile Performance Testing 

Very much like usability testing but more important, performance testing plays a big role in determining how your user responds to your application. 

Take a look at these points: 

  • Is there any tool used for running load tests? 
  • Are there any memory leaks? 
  • Are all the images in the application of the right size? 
  • Is there a limit on how much information can be sent or received from a web service? 

Mobile Security Testing 

  • Is the data being sent or received encoded? 
  • What is your plan if any of the files saved in the application’s directory fall into unintended third party hands? 
  • Is there multi-users support without disrupting the data between them? 
  • Secure your application in a manner that an attacker cannot take it offline.
  • Can any user take up the administrator role on the app?

Localization Testing

The newest mobile web-based apps that are being released nowadays are made to adapt. That means that no matter where your location is in the world, the app is expected to perform perfectly fine. 

For you to provide your customers with this liberty consider the following aspects: 

  • Currency conversion 
  • Formats of addresses 
  • Different languages as well as their respective characters 
  • The direction of text (in some languages the text begins from the right to left, such as Arabic) 
  • Format of dates 

More than just the aforementioned aspects there also other pointers to keep in mind. When writing your test scripts the goal for you should be that your app can be accessed from all over the world by a multitude of people. That way, you have to adopt a practical approach, as if you are designing an application for your own country. 

You can test your application from different parts of the world with the help of a proxy. You don’t necessarily have to hire a team from that part of the country. Test localization can be done from the comfort of your office or home by the means of a valid and reliable proxy.

Low-Level Resources 

  • Does the app generate waste files? If so, does it dispose of them neatly? 
  • Do all the sensors work? Is all the information being sent to the server without hiccups? 
  • Does the app use up way too much memory? Does it release memory properly?

Operational Testing 

  • Do you have the system of backing up? Is all the necessary information backed up? 
  • Do you have a shock mode for when the device’s battery dies? There should always be a recovery or safe plan in the worst-case scenario. 
  • When your app updates, does it waste all of the data that was present on the previous version? 
  • What happens if the customer receives an incoming call while using the app? What happens if an incoming SMS comes? 
  • Does the app drain the battery dramatically?

Compatibility With Other Devices 

  • Does the app seamlessly work on other devices, operating systems, and models? 
  • Does the application adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions?  
  • What happens if integration server switches? 
  • Does your application negatively affect third party systems?

Mobile Application Testing Key Points 

To summarize this grand article, mobile application testing can be expressed in a few key points. 

Firstly, your application type (desktop, mobile or web, and further native, hybrid, web). 

Secondly, the aspects of your application that you should test (functionality, security, performance, usability).

Thirdly, the kind of testing approach (manual or automated).

Fourthly, the type of testing software you will use (Appium, JMeter).

Fifthly, the scenarios and testing practices you must keep in mind.

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