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.
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.
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 introduction 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.
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.
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 analyze 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.
- Tools that provide a testing structure (BDD/ATDD) (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, Cucumber).
- Tools that provide assertion functions (Chai, Jasmine, Jest, Unexpected).
- Tools that can generate, display, and watch test results (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, Karma).
- Tools that provide code coverage reports (Istanbul, Jest, Blanket).
- Tools that provide a browser or browser-like environment with control of scenario execution, UI testing, and more. (Protractor, Nightwatch, Phantom, Casper, Selenium, WebDriver.IO, TestCafe).
- Tools that provide mocks, spies, and stubs (Sinon, Jasmine, enzyme, Jest, testdouble).
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:
- 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.