Modern tech-savvy customers demand immaculate mobile apps for shopping, communication, entertainment, education, and other daily activities. To deliver a high-quality application within the given time and budget limits, companies turn to professional mobile app testing services.
This article discusses the types of mobile testing, explores the cutting-edge tools that empower these assessments, and sheds light on the substantial advantages this process brings to both businesses and their clientele.
Rely on SaM Solutions’ expert mobile testing services and bring high-quality applications to market.
Why Is Mobile App Testing Important?
To address this question, let’s first understand the scale of the mobile app market by examining the following statistics:
- In 2023, the estimated number of smartphone users globally is 6.92 billion, which is over 85% of the world’s population.
- Currently, there are 1.642 million apps in the Apple App Store (for iOS devices) and 3.553 million apps in the Google Play Store (for Android devices).
- An average smartphone user has 40 apps installed on their device.
- According to Statista, mobile apps will generate over $542 billion in revenue in 2023.
- The most popular types of apps are games, social networking, entertainment, and shopping.
As you can see, app development companies have no room for error if they want to stay on top of today’s tremendous competition. Mobile users don’t forgive any inconveniences: whether there are bugs, crashes, poor navigation, slow loading time, or security breaches in an app, they will most likely abandon it and go to your rivals.To distinguish your mobile solution among millions, it’s crucial to develop a scalable, attractive, and user-friendly application that works seamlessly across diverse devices. This can be achieved by meticulously integrating a comprehensive testing strategy throughout the mobile app development process.
Mobile App Testing Benefits
Testing is crucial for a successful project outcome, as it enables revealing functional and non-functional issues at early stages and fixing them before the software goes live. Here are the key benefits businesses can reap due to the professional examination of mobile applications.
Enhanced user experience
Thorough mobile app testing ensures that the application functions seamlessly, offering users a smooth and hassle-free experience. This leads to higher user satisfaction, positive reviews, and increased customer loyalty. A well-checked app is more likely to retain users and attract new ones.
Reduced development costs
Catching and fixing bugs and issues early in the development process is more cost-effective than addressing them after the app is launched. Effective testing helps identify and rectify problems before they become major, saving businesses both time and money in the long run.
Improved brand reputation
A glitchy or unreliable mobile app can tarnish a company’s reputation. Robust testing helps maintain a positive brand image by ensuring that the app performs as expected, minimizing the risk of negative user feedback or public relations crises.
A well-tested app is more likely to drive user engagement and conversions, leading to increased revenue of any company. Thus, businesses benefit from a higher return on investment (ROI) when their apps function efficiently and effectively.
In the crowded app marketplace, businesses that offer stable, reliable, and user-friendly apps gain a competitive edge. Quality assurance through testing allows businesses to stand out from the competition and attract users who value a seamless mobile experience.Thus, mobile app testing is not just about finding and fixing bugs; it’s an integral part of the quality assurance process aimed to deliver a high-quality product that can positively impact user experience, reputation, revenue, and overall business success.
Mobile Testing Types
Various types of mobile app testing ensure complete quality control for your solution because they check it from all angles. QA experts at SaM Solutions check mobile applications for functionality, performance, security, usability, compatibility, accessibility, and compliance.
The goal of functional testing is to check that the functionality of a developed mobile software solution aligns with the defined requirements. Here are some key points to consider:
- Functional features. Verify that all functional features of the app work as intended. This includes core functionality, such as registration, login, data retrieval, and any other primary use cases.
- Navigation. Ensure that users can navigate through the app seamlessly, using menus, buttons, gestures, or other navigation elements. Verify that the navigation flow follows the intended user journey.
- Input validation. Check how the application handles various inputs, such as valid data, invalid data, and edge cases. Check for appropriate error messages and validation responses.
Mobile app performance testing is used to determine the app’s stability, operability, and resource consumption (CPU, memory, battery) under various conditions. The two key performance testing services are:
- Load testing. Evaluate the operation of your app under normal conditions, which includes checking response times, the number of concurrent users, resource consumption, throughput rates, and infrastructure stability.
- Stress testing. Estimate the behavior of your app at increased loads (beyond the norm). Check resource consumption, the display of error messages, and the software’s ability to recover.
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. Some of the points you should check include:
- Broken access control
- Insecure design
- Identification and authentication failures
- Poor secure coding practices
- Security logging and monitoring failures
- Cryptographic failures
- Code injection probability
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.
- Verify that the user interface elements (buttons, menus, text fields, etc.) are correctly displayed and are responsive. Check that the UI adheres to design guidelines and is user-friendly.
- Evaluate the overall user experience to ensure it meets user expectations.
- Gather feedback on usability and user-friendliness.
This type of examination ensures that a mobile application functions correctly and consistently across a variety of mobile devices, operating systems, screen sizes, resolutions, and configurations. The goal of compatibility testing is to verify that the app provides a seamless user experience regardless of the specific device or platform on which it is used. Key aspects include:
- Device types. Test your app across various types of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other form factors.
- Operating systems. Verify that the app works on different mobile operating systems, such as iOS, Android, and possibly others like Windows Mobile. It’s also important to check the software behavior on different versions of the same operating system, as users may not always update to the latest version immediately.
- Screen sizes, resolutions, and orientation. Ensure the app’s user interface adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions without distortion or layout issues. Also check that the app supports both portrait and landscape orientations, and that it transitions smoothly between them.
- Hardware features. Examine the compatibility of your software solution with various hardware features, such as cameras, GPS, accelerometers, and sensors, ensuring that these features function as expected on different devices.
- Network types. Verify the app’s performance and functionality on different network types (e.g., 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi), and ensure it adeptly handles network changes.
The focus here is on ensuring that mobile applications can be used by people with physical or cognitive disabilities. Particularly, the software solution should comply with accessibility standards and guidelines. The points to be checked include:
- Screen reader compatibility – screen readers (e.g., VoiceOver on iOS, TalkBack on Android) should be able to accurately interpret and read aloud the app’s content, including text, labels, and controls.
- Keyboard navigation – all app functions and features should be accessed and controlled using keyboard navigation, without relying solely on touch gestures.
- Voice commands – there should be an option to operate the app using voice commands.
- High contrast mode – the app’s user interface should remain legible in high contrast mode, which is commonly used by individuals with visual impairments.
- Text-to-speech (TTS) compatibility – text-based content should be accessible through text-to-speech technology.
- Alternative text for images – images and icons should have appropriate alternative text descriptions, which are read aloud by screen readers.
- Captioning and transcripts – multimedia content (videos, audio) should include captions or transcripts to make it accessible to individuals with hearing impairments.
This type of testing assesses whether a mobile application adheres to specific regulatory, industry, or platform-specific standards, guidelines, and legal requirements. Depending on the app’s purpose and target audience, there are various compliance standards and regulations that it may need to meet, for example:
- Data privacy laws (e.g., GDPR, CCPA)
- Industry-specific regulations (e.g., HIPAA for healthcare apps)
- Security standards
- User consent and permissions
- App store policies
Compliance testing is critical to avoid legal issues, protect user privacy, maintain a good reputation, and ensure the app’s long-term viability in the market. It requires thorough knowledge of the relevant regulations and standards and may involve legal and domain-specific experts to ensure full compliance. Additionally, compliance testing is an ongoing process, as regulations and standards may change over time, and apps need to adapt accordingly.
We can thoroughly test the functional and non-functional aspects of your mobile software solutions, making them align with your objectives.
Manual or Automated Mobile App Testing Tools
Some may think that manual testing will be entirely replaced by test automation, but it is not true. Both manual and automated testing are widespread and can provide good results. The choice depends on the project’s needs. Moreover, automated testing can’t be applied in certain situations, so the only option is to check everything manually.
The comparison table below depicts the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.
SaM Solutions’ QA experts implement a balanced combination of manual and automated testing to achieve the best possible results.
Popular Mobile Testing Tools
Manual Testing Tools
- TestFlight – a popular manual testing tool for iOS apps. It allows app developers to distribute beta versions of their apps to a limited number of testers for manual testing and feedback.
- Google Play Console – provides tools for distributing and testing Android apps among a group of testers before releasing them to the wider audience.
- Appium – primarily known for automated testing (see below), it also supports manual testing. QA experts can use the Appium Inspector to interact with the app manually and inspect elements.
- TestObject – a cloud-based platform that offers manual testing capabilities for both iOS and Android apps. It provides real devices for testers to interact with and check apps manually.
Automated Testing Tools
- Appium – an open-source, cross-platform automation tool for mobile app testing. It supports iOS, Android, and Windows apps and allows testers to write test scripts in various programming languages, including Java, Python, and C#.
- Robot Framework – a versatile automation framework that supports mobile app testing with the help of libraries like AppiumLibrary. It uses a keyword-driven approach that is easy to read and write.
- TestComplete – a commercial test automation tool that supports mobile app testing for both Android and iOS. It offers a visual scripting language for test creation.
Factors to Consider In Testing Mobile Apps
Selection of Devices
- 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.
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 checked 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 will incur additional expenses to maintain many devices 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 downside is that you can run your software 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.
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.
Testing Means Quality
In this article, we wanted to emphasize that testing is crucial for achieving better app quality and attracting more loyal customers.
SaM Solutions’ QA team is comprised of experienced specialists that deliver a comprehensive range of QA services such as consulting, end-to-end software testing, and the examination of mobile, web, desktop, IoT and embedded, and VR/AR solutions.If you are gearing up to test your software but don’t know where to start, contact us for professional guidance.