Mobile App Testing: Types, Tools, Benefits

Mobile-app-testing-photo

Modern tech-savvy customers demand immaculate mobile applications for shopping, communication, entertainment, education and other daily activities. End-to-end mobile app testing is an essential stage in the mobile app development process that helps deliver a high-quality product within a short period of time.

This article will discuss the types of mobile application testing, tools used to perform various tests, and the benefits of testing for business and customers.

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Mobile App Usage Statistics

The number of mobile users worldwide is continuously increasing and is expected to approach the five billion mark in 2019, according to Statista.

Consequently, the number of mobile applications is growing exponentially. As of the third quarter of 2018, there were 2.1 million apps in Google Play, while the App Store offered almost 2 million available apps.

Among users, the most popular types of apps are social media (40%), communication (10%) and gaming (10%) solutions.

The Manifest 2018 Consumer App Survey reveals how often smartphone owners open mobile apps daily.

Usage-of-mobile-apps-photo

Why Mobile App Testing Services Are Important

Today’s developers have no room for error if they want to stay in the competition since average mobile users don’t forgive any inconveniences in applications. Whether there are bugs, crashes, poor navigation, slow loading time, or security breaches in an app, most users will abandon it.

To stand out in the crowd of million mobile solutions, you should build a scalable, user-friendly application compatible with all devices. This is possible only if you carefully prepare and introduce an end-to-end testing strategy into the development process.

Why is testing so important, and can a company do without it?

  1. A company can do without a quality control process, but it will never succeed since all projects will abound with issues.
  2. Testing is crucial for a successful project as it enables developers to reveal performance gaps at early stages and fix them without affecting the final price.

Mobile Testing Types

Various types of mobile app testing ensure complete quality control for your solution because they check it from all angles. In general, an app must be tested for its functionality, usability and consistency, so that when launching globally, it works seamlessly. Let’s take a look at the basic testing types and their capabilities.

Mobile-app-esting-types

Functional Testing

The goal of functional testing is to check the functionality of a solution and ensure that it works under the defined requirements.

You should verify the following points:

  • Installation and running
  • Influence of interruptions on the app
  • Influence of updates on the app
  • Business functionalities
  • Device resources

Performance Testing

Mobile app performance testing is used to determine the app’s stability, operability, and resource consumption under various conditions.

You should verify the following points:

  • The response time to various types of requests (load test)
  • Working capacity at increased loads (stress test)
  • Long-time operability under average load (stability test)
  • App behavior when many users work simultaneously (concurrency test)

Usability Testing

Mobile app usability testing is used to determine your software’s behavior in response to typical user operations. In other words, you should make sure that an app has an intuitive interface and offers a positive user experience.

You should verify the following points:

  • Layout
  • Size and look of buttons and icons
  • Logic of navigation
  • Text clarity
  • Speed of response (mobile speed test app)
  • Work in multitasking mode
  • Termination and resume in the same state

Compatibility Testing

This test verifies software performance on various devices, mobile platforms and networks.

Subtypes of compatibility testing are:

  • device configuration testing (tablets, smartphones; screen resolution, RAM, processor, battery capacity)
  • cross-platform testing (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
  • cross-browser testing (Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla)
  • database testing (MySQL, DB2, MSSQL)
  • network configuration (GSM, TDMA, 3G, 3G, 4G).

Security Testing

The purpose of mobile application security testing is to analyze data leakage risks and reveal possible gaps that intruders can use for cyberattacks or unauthorized access to sensitive information.

You should verify the following points:

  • Logins and passwords
  • Protection against attacks
  • Encryption system
  • Cookies
  • File caching

Localization Testing

This type of app testing is needed to ensure that your solution adapts to your target users’ language and cultures. It is vital for businesses that go global. To verify the correctness of translation and other cultural details, you should preferably involve native speakers.

Read also: The Guide to Software Quality [+ Infographics]

Manual or Automated Mobile App Testing Tools

A range of mobile app testing tools is used to check various features.

Both manual and automated testing are widespread and can provide good results. The choice should be based on the company’s preferences and capabilities.

Somebody may think that manual testing will be entirely replaced by test automation, but it is not true. Moreover, there are certain situations when manual control is a better option.

Manual-vs-automated-mobile-app-testing-photo

There are universal testing tools suitable for Android, iOS, Windows solutions and other platforms such as Blackberry. Some examples are:

  • Eggplant — an industry-leading test automation and monitoring platform.
  • Ranorex — an automated tool for mobile, web and desktop solutions.
  • Appium — an open-source test automation framework for mobile native, hybrid and web solutions.
  • Kobiton — an AI-powered tool for manual and automated testing.

There are also tools specifically used for Android- only or iOS-only apps.

  • Selendroid — a test automation framework for native or hybrid Android apps.
  • iOS Driver — an open-source tool for iOS native, hybrid, or mobile web solutions.
Read also: What Are the Estimation Techniques in Software Testing?

Factors to Consider In Testing Mobile Apps

If we have already convinced you that testing is a must for mobile app development, let’s talk about the main points to consider while creating a testing strategy.

1. Selection of Devices

First of all, you should determine the devices your target audience prefers to use and get prepared to test your app on all of them (an ideal scenario).

Try to choose devices with various screen resolutions, operating systems, memory size, battery capacity, connectivity types, etc.

2. Simulators and Emulators vs. Physical Devices

There are three technical options to check your software:

  • On real devices. You need to take an actual smartphone or a tablet, set up an app, and perform all the necessary activities. In this case, the product is tested in real-life conditions (e.g., discharging battery or incoming interruptions such as calls and messages), providing the most accurate results. The main disadvantage of this option is that you need additional expenses to maintain many devices that will be used for testing.
  • On emulators. An emulator is a replica of a device. It does the same things and shows the same results as the original object. The issue is that you can run your soft on an emulator, but cannot modify it.
  • On simulators. A simulator is not an exact copy of a device. It doesn’t replicate the hardware (which is a disadvantage), but it allows for setting up a similar environment. Simulators don’t provide accurate results as those on real devices, but they do give you an ability to quickly make changes and test the program again until you get the needed outcome. This is the most cost-effective option.

3. Cloud Testing

If you want to avoid the disadvantages of real devices and simulators, you may consider cloud-based testing technologies. Such tools are highly available, scalable and cost-effective. They give you an ability to run, update and manage solutions on multiple networks and systems.

The weak points of cloud technologies may be security, limited control and the dependence on the internet connection.

You can create your quality control strategy by combining different tools and approaches and using them at different development stages. Here are some general tips:

  • Simulators are good at the early stages.
  • It is preferable to use real devices at the final stage.
  • Automation is better for regression and load testing.
  • Manual tools are better for usability testing.

Mobile App Testing Benefits

1. Ensured Proper Functioning

One of the quality assurance process’s main tasks is to ensure that a solution is functioning seamlessly. To be precise, QA specialists check whether users can download a program to various devices successfully and whether it interacts with the supporting infrastructure as intended. As a rule, they use real devices (not simulators) to test an app, which guarantees to bring a fully functioning product to market.

2. Ensured UI/UX Usability

Testing allows specialists to put themselves in end-users’ shoes and evaluate the look-and-feel of a solution. They start using an application to understand whether its navigation is logical and intuitive and whether it is convenient to use the app in various situations. As a result, testers in users’ roles feel the emotions an app triggers and can predict if customers will continue using it or delete it forever.

3. Increased Customer Loyalty

When proper functioning and usability are ensured, customers are likely to be satisfied. So, the solution’s deep analytics allows you to make a good reputation in the industry and reach a greater audience.

4. Higher Revenues

Though the testing process requires initial investments, it helps avoid fixing issues and redeveloping a product at the final stage, which saves time, reduces the total cost and facilitates a fast time-to-market. Cooperating with QA service providers is a wise decision that promises higher revenues in the future.

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Testing Means Quality

In this article, we wanted to prove that testing is crucial for achieving better app quality and attracting more loyal customers.

The SaM Solution QA team comprises experienced specialists that deliver a range of QA services such as consulting, software testing from scratch, mobile, web, embedded, security testing and test automation.

If you are gearing up to test your solution but don’t know where to start, contact us for professional help.

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About the author

Natallia Sakovich
Natallia Sakovich

A copywriter at SaM Solutions, Natallia is devoted to her motto — to write simply and clearly about complicated things. Backed up with a 5-year experience in copywriting, she creates informative but exciting articles on high technologies.

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