Mobile App Testing for Newbies

/ 5th September, 2014 / Tips and Tricks
Mobile App Testing for Newbies

Mobile devices are now is something that we cannot live without and this technology goes forward not less rapidly than that of computers. That’s why, development of a popular application becomes more complex and expensive task. All steps within an app development process should be carefully planned. One of the steps is a mobile app testing.

See our mobile application testing tutorial below to get a comprehensive information on mobile app testing ‘whys’, ‘whats’ and ‘hows’.

Mobile application testing tutorial

Starting point: What kinds of testing exist?

  • Hardware testing
    It means testing everything: processors, internal hardware, drive storage, memory capacity, camera, bluetooth, wifi, radio, screen sizes, screen resolution, etc.
  • Software or mobile app testing
    Applications that work on mobile device should be tested. This includes not only the main features, but also the whole functionality. This type of testing can differ in certain aspects according to application types:

    • Native apps. Pre-installed applications dedicated for a particular platform.
    • Mobile web apps. Server-side applications to access website using different mobile browsers by connecting to mobile or wireless network.
    • Hybrid apps. A combination of native and mobile web apps. In the majority of cases they work offline, but are written using web technologies HTML5 and CSS.

Keep in mind! What differs mobile web apps from native apps:

  • Mobile web apps are typically described as cross-platform, while native apps have single platform.
  • Mobile web apps are written with web technologies, native apps – in SDKs.
  • Web apps don’t require installation while native apps do.
  • Native app can be updated from play store or app store while mobile web apps are centralized updates.
  • Native app don’t require Internet connection, but for mobile web apps it’s a must.
  • Native app works faster.
  • Native apps are installed from app stores, but mobile web apps are only accessible through Internet.

Types of Mobile Application Testing

  • Compatibility testing – to ensure seamless functioning in different devices, browsers, screen sizes and OS versions according to the requirements.
  • Services testing – to ensure that services of the application work both online and offline.
  • Low level resource testing – to ensure that an application correctly work with memory, temporary files, local databases, etc.
  • Usability testing – to ensure that the mobile app is easy to use and provides holistic user experience.
  • Performance testing – to ensure smooth working with different connection types and their combinations, when sharing documents, the overall and average battery consumption, etc.
  • Security testing – to ensure data integrity and protection from accidental loss.
  • Operational testing – to ensure an expected behavior like data saving/recovery in critical situations like low battery, or unexpected data loss during the interrupted update from an app store.
  • Installation tests – to ensure that the application installs and uninstalls correctly on any device.
  • Interface testing – to ensure that all interface elements like menus, buttons, bookmarks, settings, navigations work as expected.

Keep in Mind! Basic Difference Between Mobile App Testing and Desktop Application Testing:

  • Desktop application is tested on a central processing unit while mobile testing is performed on handsets
  • Different screen sizes
  • Different memory capacity
  • Different types of network connections
  • Different automation tools with a specific set of tests for different platforms and may not be interchangeable

Why Mobile App Testing is important?

Mobile app testing is more challenging than testing applications on desktop, due to wide range and variety of mobile devices, different mobile operating systems and their versions, different mobile network operators, frequent updates. Make sure to check out our infographics on challenges in mobile app testing.

Another important aspect is that properly implemented testing can save time, money and result in a bug-free application.

Mobile Application Testing Strategy

This step is necessary to ensure that all guidelines and requirements are met. There are several aspects you need to focus on:

  1. Variety of the devices. Choose the devices that are widely used among the target audience and find out whether these preferences change in the future.
  2. Emulators. These tools help in the initial stages of the development process, as they allow to quickly and efficiently check all crucial aspects of the application and ensure its integrity. This also helps to test an application in different environments like in real world, which reduces the time taken to complete all the necessary adjustments related to smooth cross-platform functioning.
    All the types of mobile emularots are self-explanatory: Device Emulator, Browser Emulator, Operating systems Emulator.
  3. Test on the physical devices for a more real scenarios.
  4. Cloud-based testing. It is used to create the web-based mobile environment to access the mobile application.
  5. Automation and Manual mobile app testing:
    • If the application has new functionality, tests are performed manually.
    • If the application requires testing once or twice, tests are performed manually.
    • If there are scripts for regression test cases (even if they are repeated), they can be automated.
    • The scripts for complex time consuming scenarios can be automated.

    There are two kinds of automation tools to test mobile applications:

    • Object-based. Screen size independent approach used to map elements on the device screen into objects and mainly used for Android devices.
    • Image-based. The approach uses automated scripts based on screen coordinates of elements.
  6. Network configuration. It is used to validate the application on different mobile and wireless networks.

Typical Mobile App Testing activities

  • Identify the types of testing.
  • Manual and automated testing
  • Beta testing
  • Performance testing
  • Browser testing
  • Plan launching

Remember: The right mobile app testing strategy ensures that the application meets all the necessary requirements in security, performance, usability, and compatibility. Tell us more about your testing needs – our experienced mobile app testers will be happy to implement the right testing strategy for your app.

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