Importance of mobile testing. How do mobile testing facilitate the development process?
Mobile applications are what make our smartphones so helpful and do-it-all. For end-users, a good mobile application is a go-to when there is a necessity to settle a particular issue. For enterprises, a mobile app is a great way to boost business development and establish a strong online presence. Still, to bring benefit and pleasure to users and high profit and ROI to businesses mobile apps must have high quality that cannot be reached in the course of app development without holistic testing. So let's dive deeper into the topic.
Overview of Mobile Testing
Mobile testing is a type of software testing that deals with apps running on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. It is a far cry from web testing or desktop testing due to multiple peculiarities such as app testing with reference to different platforms, various network configurations, multiple devices, etc. Mobile testing is conducted to check the most diverse aspects of a mobile app running such as app functionality, performance, security, installation, deletion, update, compatibility, UI, usability, recovery after interruptions, and many other important things. It can be executed using both manual and automated tests.
Why is mobile testing important?
Having made your mind to develop a mobile app, you should consider a great variety of things and your app testing must be among those of the highest priority. A comprehensive quality assurance procedure is the best way to be sure that a product team is on the right track. All in all, proper mobile testing yields numerous benefits, some of which are presented below:
Today most users are extremely tech-savvy and absolutely intolerant to low-quality apps especially when it is so easy to find a decent analog on the market. Therefore, first of all, mobile testing is a must to provide first-class quality and withstand cut-throat competition on the market.
Great user experience
The most diverse facets affect user experience and UI/UX design is one of the most crucial among them. The thing is that users appreciate and actively use only those apps that are user-friendly, convenient, simple, and intuitive. No one is willing today to waste time trying to understand the way a tricky mobile app works. The mobile testing strategy covers this issue to be sure that the AUT will be well rewarded by end-users.
Global digitalization has brought numerous benefits but on the flip side, our private data has become more vulnerable. So developing a mobile app, it is of primary importance to take care of the secure protection of users' sensitive data. Mobile testing addresses security issues to make you confident that the app meets high security standards and that users' data, as well as your corporate data, is in safety. Negligence of security testing can cost you not only a fortune but also a reputation.
Mobile testing is deemed to be a smart investment that justifies itself. Efficient testing enables you to deliver an application without critical bugs. Mobile testing suggests comprehensive app checking in such a way the most diverse defects and app vulnerabilities are detected to be fixed as early as possible. It is indeed important as it is much cheaper to eliminate bugs at once than after the app release.
High rate of user acquisition and retention
The result of mobile testing is an application of high quality that will be highly appreciated by users. This approach provides great user satisfaction which in its turn leads to a high rate of user acquisition and retention.
High return on investment
Every business owner is interested in high revenue and returns on investments. Mobile testing is a fire-sure way to provide mobile app success and profitability. The reason is pretty clear - only a high-quality application can take off especially in the condition of stiff competition on the market.
The connection between mobile testing and app development?
It is beyond the argument that there is a strong connection between mobile app development and testing. The thing is that testing is an integral part of the software development life cycle. That is why if the software testing phase is skipped for some reason the whole software development process is considered to be incomplete and therefore cannot provide expected results.
How does mobile testing make the development process easier?
Even brilliant developers are exposed to tiredness and burning out which can result in bugs. That is why it is so important to back up a development team with a QA team. With modern Agile methodologies of software development and a proficient QA team in place, a development team can receive early feedback on the application work and quality. In such a way developers can easily and quickly fix revealed defects and make corresponding improvements while the source code is still clear. The thing is that it is more difficult and time-consuming to make sense of a code written several months ago than that written two weeks ago.
Besides, testers can reveal bugs that developers would never consider as issues. Developers write code being guided by project specifications but if they are ambiguous, a developer can misunderstand the way a function must be implemented. Among the responsibilities of QA engineers is to make sure that the application meets project requirements. That is why mobile testing gives an opportunity to reveal possible misunderstandings and fix issues while it is not too late, expensive, and difficult.
In such a way it can be said that mobile testing complements the development process and makes it easy, cost-efficient, and smooth.
Things to consider when performing mobile testing
A mobile application is a rather specific software and its testing also requires a special approach. So let's outline the most important aspects of mobile testing that should be considered to achieve tangible results.
The most diverse interruptions and their influence on the app running must be carefully checked in the course of mobile testing. Replicate different unexpected interruptions like incoming calls/SMS, push notification, alarm, battery removal, network loss, etc. to get a real picture of the application behavior under these conditions.
To have success, a mobile app should provide not only valuable functionality but a great user experience. The latter is formed with the most diverse factors including pleasant design, interactive user interface, intuitive navigation, high performance, etc.
To ensure great user experience testers must pay particular attention to UI testing on devices with diverse screen resolutions and sizes. Usability testing should not be neglected as well to receive the initial response and feedback from real users and make needed tweaks before the app release.
All end-users expect a quick response from the applications they use. In essence, performance is defined by how responsive an app is, how quickly it can start up, how efficiently it uses device memory and power, etc. So to keep users engaged and ensure high app performance, testers must execute different types of performance testing. In these terms, load testing, stress testing, volume testing, stability testing, memory leakage testing, etc. are a must.
Modern applications store different sensitive information of their users, including personal photos, messages, bank details, and others. Consequently, to provide secure protection of users' data and not to lose face, it is of high importance to take corresponding security measures and make sure that they are indeed efficient and reliable. All-encompassing security testing must be conducted to make sure that there is no single loophole in the app to be used by cybercriminals.
Mobile applications can be installed by people using the most diverse devices, operating systems, network connections, etc. It causes some challenges as it is not certain that the app can run equally well in all possible combinations of configurations.
Still, to minimize possible risks, mobile compatibility testing must be carried out across:
Versions of operating system;
Different web browsers (for mobile web apps);
Different network connection options;
Different mobile devices;
Different screen resolutions, etc.
Power consumption and battery drain
Modern mobile apps are rather heavyweight which results in high power consumption. This, in its turn, leads to quick battery drain and short service life. So in the course of testing mobile apps, it is crucial to make sure that the power consumption is kept minimal.
Memory leak testing
A memory leak is a situation in which a mobile app cannot return the memory acquired for temporary use to be able to function. As a result, there is a lack of available memory for the app, and it cannot properly function. A small memory leak can lead to the app termination provided it is frequently used or opened. As a matter of act, memory leaks are caused by programming bugs, so every mobile app must be carefully checked for this issue.
Every QA team has a necessity to decide whether to use real devices or emulators for mobile app testing. Of course, it is more cost-effective to use emulators than to create a real testing device stock.
However, it is worth remembering that emulators have particular restrictions and therefore not everything can be tested with their help. On the other hand, real devices provide an opportunity to check all possible functions including those related to geolocation, camera, biometric scanners, and others. Besides, using real devices testers can easier evaluate the app usability and overall user experience. So it makes sense to test an app on those devices that are widely used by a target audience, and utilize emulators to address issues related to less frequently used devices.
Challenges in Mobile App Testing
With continuous technology development, mobile applications are getting more advanced and complex. Meanwhile, mobile testing is also getting more and more complicated. To help you deal with issues related to mobile apps testing we have compiled a list of challenges QA teams usually face. So check it out.
A wide range of mobile devices
Today, the market is flooded with the most diverse brands, types, and models of mobile devices. The mission of any QA team is to ensure a great user experience while running an application on a device of any type. As long as each device has hardware with its own peculiarities it is important to make sure that the app behaves as expected in any case. Still, it is impossible to conduct testing on all devices available on the market. Therefore, it makes sense to reveal the most widely used models and use them for testing.
Variety of OS versions
Users use not only diverse devices but also various versions of operating systems. It causes certain difficulties for QA engineers as it is necessary to cover the maximum number of OS versions with testing because features available in newer OS versions may be absent in the older ones which can affect app work and user experience.
Multiple screen sizes
A great variety of mobile devices causes difficulties not only in relation to various hardware but also diverse screen sizes. A mobile application of high quality must be consistent across mobile devices with all possible screen sizes. So picking up devices for your mobile app testing, make sure they have different screen sizes. This will let you ensure that all screen elements are accessible on devices with any screen size.
Diverse connection types
When it comes to mobile apps, a type of Internet connection plays an important role and can have an impact on the app work. So a QA team must check app behavior as each particular connection type is used, including 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, WiFi with different speeds and qualities of connectivity. Moreover, it is necessary to check app behavior while the connection is lost, a user is switching from one type of Internet connection to another one, and while a flight mode is used.
Types of mobile applications
Aside from the challenges mentioned above, there is one more that is not related to mobile devices but to the mobile app types. There are native apps, mobile web apps, and hybrid apps. Each app type must be tested in a particular way due to being built differently.
Mobile testing is an essential part of mobile app development. It is hardly possible to imagine that an application can be a success without extensive testing. Mobile testing checks AUT inside out to make sure that it can enchant end-users and provide high ROI. So if you do not want to throw money down the drain but to hit the market with a really successful application, mobile testing is the way to go.