Unlike the web application testing and quality assurance, mobile app testing poses heaps of challenges due to mobility, device forms, fast updating OS versions and fragmentation factors.
“App testing is an Art and art always make things perfect. No software in the world is 100% bug-free, but this art makes it 99% perfect. So this article intends to guide your various points to cover for app testing if you are hiring a company or developing an app with your team.”
When an app upon installing gives frustration, delivers horrendous experiences with bugs, or performing slow, the user immediately deletes it and give a chance to the next one among their list of choices.
It clearly indicates that the tolerance of the users is declining with the pace of time and indirectly compelling app developers to focus on performance optimization, user experiences, and most importantly quality assurance.
Define the Role of Testers
General impression regarding testing is that it is the job of QA department. Unfortunately, it never stood true in successful practices. It is because some tasks need app developer level testing while some completely go to QA or testers, and much of work need collaboration between app developers and app testers in real-time.
Role of Mobile Developers
✓ Developers should provide a relatively stable build of application to the QA department for each test
✓ Developers should accomplish the basic level of testing before pushing the testing bundle to the QA developers. Unit tests here helps to get the first level tested on developer’s side.
✓ If automation testing is in question, app developers should begin it at the source code level and write unit test cases themselves. Naturally, app developers know the contexts better than the testers so they can justify unit test writing more accurately than QA department
✓ Developers should learn the unit testing tools and frameworks for the respective programming languages. Unit Test in iOS it can be done using XCTest framework and Android it can be done using JUnit.
✓ Developers should learn test-driven development so they can minimize the bug incidents right before they occur but test-driven development will require more time.
✓ Code review between developers helps reduce the chances of many logical bugs by 50%
✓ Developers should follow the consistent versioning of the app by generating unique version number and make apparent in the application to the testers
Collaboration between App Developers and Testers
With each build, app developers are changing the features and functionality of the mobile app so it becomes viable for testers to go for regression testing. If regression testing is not done, then it prone to failure of the overall product.
It becomes possible only when app developers and app testers are coming close frequently with real-time communication channels – best tool for this is JIRA which helps.
Role of Testers
First, testers should proceed for sanity test cases before going to full scenario testing. A quick sanity test on the app can save tons of endeavors for the further testing and reduce timeline of screening.
Second, automated testing for mundane tasks can save time and efforts of the testing team by 40%. In test automation, modern tools offer easy and collaborative communication by emailing or issuing notifications regarding common problems and Emulators are capable of making automation much easier.
A tool like Appium can help you perform automated test at zero cost, and it works flawlessly with Xcode and Android Studio. If you develop on Xamarin platform, then Xamarin Test Cloud can help you do automated testing.
With the latest technologies in testing and testing automation, in particular, allow testers to use real mobile devices to run automated tests on it.
At perception, our team does this testing keeping all devices in observation simultaneously.
Be careful while running automated testing at any level and follow the below given automated testing hints.
• Automate only highly repetitive tasks of testing
• Automate only most daunting manual test cases
• Consider automate cases only with predictable results
Ideal Testing Methods
For comprehensive testing, the latest technological advancements are saviors and save bulk investment, tons of hurdles, as well as time consumption. Those testing technology components are –
• Real devices under possession
• Virtual services with myriad of actual devices on cloud or at remote places
Testing with Real Devices
Once the testers mitigate the majorities of issues with Emulators, advanced testing with real devices becomes speedy and easy, as they have to focus on core issues only. Testing with devices may yields –
• Real touch and device forms related matters come on the surface and give perfect ideas of bugs pertaining to the hardware and mobile OS compatibility
• Testing with multiple devices assures the app success for the vast audience covered by a wide range of mobile devices on different platforms
• iOS app has limited devices and compatibility issues for testing, so it proves quick process
• Android is famous for hardware and OS fragmentation issues. Therefore, testing on Android devices is the biggest challenge for many app developers with resources constraints
• Testing on real devices involves the form factors like size of the devices, available real estate on the screens (Screen Resolution), orientation of the devices, and so on
• Testing of previous and current versions of the mobile OS determine the user experiences, OS compatibility, and performance of the app when OS fragmentation issues need to mitigate
• Mobile applications may behave in a different manner on a tablet, smartphone, or on any other mobile devices, because of that mobile application should be tested on all devices (Small Screens & Large Screens) with which it is compatible.
It is experienced by many software companies that after deploying the app on a live server or production environment many issues arise, for instance, push notification in the app does not work when the server changes you should open some ports with the help of your hosting provider.
Testers should have a checklist of various points affecting the app with the change of environment. And it depends on app and its features which are points to put in the checklist – some common points to be considered are:
• Database permission on live environment
• Push notification port to open
• In-App purchases with production mode
• SSL settings
• 404 – Usually when any script of asset is missing on the server
After deployment from development to production environment, testing team should have a complete app testing strategy with a checklist in hand.
Beta Testing plays a very vital role before the app gets real world revelation and to know how the app will behave when the genuine users get hands on it. Testing let them ascertain any defects or issues from the user’s point of view, so the app development team can comprehend and resolve such issues and then publish the official release of the app which would assuredly be in the acceptable stage.
Apple allows doing beta testing using Test Flight so you can invite many users outside your organization to test.
Finally, the Functional, Performance, Usability & Security Testing should also be taken into consideration.
Nonetheless the intense challenges in the mobile app testing, the vigilant adoption of mobile simulators & the target devices (by analyzing the current market and determining the real devices those are widely used in a targeted region). The appropriate testing tools with the most suitable testing methodologies and deployment strategy can certainly capitalize the test coverage.
Another aspect is maximizing Test Automation, which is absolutely an effective way of accelerating the testing process and reducing long term testing expenses. Mingling the solutions to mobile specific aspects of mobile app testing with traditional best practices and testing processes can optimistically address all the obstructions in developing & publishing the mobile app.
Furthermore, the Mobile App Testing must be performed in “Days” rather than “Weeks”, in order to ensure that, the entire test cycle remains agile, and the productivity is maintained comprehensively that should result in gaining the highest level of customer’s satisfaction.
Author Bio: Vidyut Joshi is a Head of Mobile Development Team at Perception System Pvt. Ltd., the Leading Mobile App Development Company. He has been in the industry for last 15+ Years.