Testing strategy for mobile applications should cover areas like devices, platforms, integration with other elements, security, and compatibility among many things. The ultimate aim of testing the app should be to deliver the best user experience.
If there is one thing that marks this decade in a common thread, it is the ubiquity of the smartphone. The device has become an extension of our lives wherein we communicate, search for information, or buy products or services. Mobiles have not merely remained a device for sending text messages or calling someone. In fact, the colorful slabs appearing on the screens called icons have truly brought the benefits of the internet revolution to everyone. The icons represent the applications in the background and help perform a variety of activities. These range from buying products, paying utility bills, booking tickets, cabs, or meals, among others. However, the cyberspace has become choc-o-bloc with thousands of applications looking for customers on the fly. The situation has arisen as businesses have built mobile apps in droves to leverage the large pool of digitally-savvy customers. And ensuring the success of any app in this competitive scenario requires testing mobile applications.
The developers are under pressure to create more mobile apps in a limited time span. Further, they need to ensure the apps deliver rich user experiences across devices, operating environments, and networks. This is where mobile application testing comes into play by collaborating with the developers in a shift-left model of testing. The experts carrying out mobile app testing need to coordinate with the developers while validating the functionality and performance of the app. Moreover, the testing ecosystem has become complex due to the presence of a few challenges.
- The traditional development practices for websites do not fit into the mobile app ecosystem
- Mobile apps should be continually updated as per the changing market dynamics
- The trends in mobile apps are changing fast and creating pressure on the organization to deliver such apps quickly
To address the above-mentioned challenges, the mobile testing services should –
Collaborate: There should be a better collaboration between every stakeholder when it comes to following the best practices.
Coverage: Testing mobile applications should include all types of testing viz., performance, functional, and user experience. These are needed to make the app more effective to the users’ expectations.
Updation: Updating mobile applications should be based on the latest trends and user feedback.
To make testing mobile applications foolproof and effective, the testers should follow a checklist.
#1. Covering devices and platforms:
Smartphones operate on specific operating platforms like Android, iOS, or Windows. The apps, therefore, should work smoothly on every device and operating platform irrespective of its genre or vertical. So, while testing mobile apps, the checklist should include testing their performance on different operating platforms and devices. This will ensure users do not face performance issues while operating the app.
#2. Features specific to a device:
Every device has hardware features that are intrinsic to it such as the camera, memory, and processor. The application under testing should find out if various features of it are compatible with the hardware specific to the device. Or else, the performance of the app can vary across devices even if the operating system or its version remains the same.
The threat of cybercrime worries everyone in the app chain – developers to users. To ensure vulnerabilities or glitches are firmly taken care of, mobile QA testing should look into the security aspect. Since many apps use sensitive personal and financial information of the users, they could be broken into by cyber criminals. To pre-empt such an eventuality, the information should be encrypted and rendered secured. This can only be achieved if the app has secured parameters for user authentication and data transmission.
#4. Performance conditions:
An app’s performance can impact its rate of adoption by the users. For example, the app should load fast, work seamlessly irrespective of the date or time of usage, and be responsive to any user-driven command, among others. So, to ensure the same, mobile testing services should look into aspects like memory usage, drain on the battery, the utilization of memory and card storage, speed, and throughput to name a few.
Mobile application testing should look into areas of the app’s integration with elements like GPS, Wi-Fi, camera, video, or third-party interfaces. To enable the smooth functioning of the app, each element should work in proper coordination.
With mobile application becoming more widespread, complex, and all-encompassing, testers should look into every aspect of its functioning. Also, since user experience has become the determinant for the adoption of an application, testing a mobile application should be thorough in its scope and foolproof in its execution. And yes, mobile app automation testing can help to virtualize users and devices to validate the functionalities quickly.