10 Mobile & Desktop Testing Differences

/ 7th July, 2014 / Tips and Tricks
10 Mobile & Desktop Testing Differences

It’s a huge mistake to apply the same tactics when testing different types of application. There are few factors you need to consider depending on what type of application you are going to test.

1. Different Platforms

Unlike desktop application, there is a huge variety of mobile platforms, which makes a headache for testers to cover all of the testing areas. It is very hard to ensure that a mobile application will work properly on all types of platforms and device types from different vendors. Frequent updates on the mobile device market is another big challenge for testers.

2. Screen resolution

Despite the fact that some vendors release devices with a big screen resolution, in the majority of cases, mobile device screens have much smaller sizes than desktops have. Complying with all these limitations and providing users with agile usability is a pretty hard task to complete. In addition, mobile application must be tested in different layouts, and configurations to eliminate possible bugs and related issues.

3. Different user interaction

In 99% of cases you are working with a desktop computer using mouse and keyboard. Mobile devices, on the contrary, trying to interact with users in all possible ways.Voice recognition, touch screen gestures, eye movement this list tends to be unlimited with all the new features that are released by toprated brands. This brings a burden of testing, especially when your application should imply a lot of ways of interaction with an enduser.

4. Application type

Desktop applications are easy to separate they are either “desktop” or “web”. Mobile applications are more complex. With the development of HTML5 standard, application can be divided into native, HTML5 compliant and hybrid, however, the line between these types is blurred. The testing process for all these applications is different, so you, as a tester, must be familiar with testing techniques that can be applied to application types and “feel” the difference between them.

5. Limited representation facilities

Desktop platforms have all the necessary means to show and test full functionality of a particular application. You can even use a virtualization for that purpose. However, on mobile platforms you are forced to use different emulators or simulators that are lacked of such a comprehensive tool.

Testers should pay attention to these limitations in order to choose the one, which is best suited for your needs.

6. Security

Mobile applications work in their own “workspace”, but stay connected with many other platform features in order to exchange different kinds of data. Some data may contain credentials or other confidential information, so in a mobile world It is very important to keep these data exchange “transactions” secure because it may lead to an information disclosure vulnerabilities or other issues related to data compromising.

7. Network dependency

Mobile applications are strongly associated with different networks. This is why testers should be more precise when it comes to the “networkrelated” functionality. For example, how the application will respond to a weak network signal, when a network is unavailable or when a carrier was changed. Due to a wide variety of different combinations, it is not always possible to simulate all the situation that may arise in real life.

8. Update frequency

Mobile applications are installed, removed and updated more frequently than desktop ones. In addition, mobile platform is updated more often as well. It means that developers and testers should be always on the edge of upcoming software releases to be able to provide timely updates into their application in order to stay on top. It also implies implicit challenges related to data storage and backward compatibility, especially, when an application is used by more than one device with different OS and application versions.

9. Interruption handling

Different interruptions are inevitable way of working of mobile applications: incoming calls, sms, push notifications, etc. Testers must ensure that the application handles all the interruptions in a logical way, which makes that application more reliable, predictable and non errorprone and its behavior becomes more agile and straightforward.

10. Specific testing

It means that mobile application must be tested on different criteria that are crucial for that kind of devices. For example, how much space is occupied after installation, memory, CPU and battery consumption in idle and fullyloaded
states, installation/uninstallation paths and how installed files will be deleted. All these examples are general representation, so all specific aspects should be deeply investigated and added as a part of your testing strategy.

With Ubertesters it’s simple to test you mobile app on hundreds of real devices. Find out why.

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