As soon as we hear the word mobile, we realize that it has majorly occupied the human space. Internet, videos, music, social networks, navigation, etc. you name it and you’ve got it. The relationship between mobile apps and human beings has become an unshakable bond. As the mobile app trends progress, it becomes a dire need to have a robust mobile app testing strategy readily available.
Let us have a look at the statistics that show the importance of mobile application testing.
A recent study by Statista showcases that more than 5000 apps release on the Google play store every day. It sounds exciting, but it is hard to maintain a long-term impression on the user’s mind. That is why 90 percent of the mobile apps are uninstalled or deleted after a few uses. It can be daunting for the developers who have worked so hard to build it. To cope with the competition, the developers sign up to release new mobile applications frequently.
A recent study revealed, fifty percent of the testers confessed that it was impossible to test the mobile apps between the limited deadlines. However, the demand for high-quality mobile apps is still booming. To bridge the gap between increasing search and strict deadlines, adopting a successful automated mobile application testing strategy is mandatory. Around 60 percent of quality engineers believe that automating the mobile app testing process has helped them achieve more targets than ever. Automation test planning has also been a fixed solution for producing quality apps.
Let us focus on understanding the idea behind a successful Mobile app strategy
Creating a test strategy is not a single day task. It requires a deep understanding of the market trends, the preparedness of the business to adopt new methodologies, the expertise of the QA team to learn and adapt to the changes and experience to analyze each fragment of the test plan. Various test approaches have to be applied to make the entire testing framework feasible as a rote practice within the QA team. Imagine your team working hard to create the world’s best mobile app hoping it will break the records. As soon as the app releases, you soon figure out bug reports pouring in from the first few users. Where was the glitch? Who is to blame? How could the team have avoided this situation? The answer to all of the above questions can be a solution included in the strategy.
Adopting the right testing strategy would overcome all the challenges of Mobile app testing. Let us see how
The need to create a promising test strategy is to identify the problematic areas early and be able to deal with all possible hurdles that the QA team might face while performing the testing. Mobile app testing becomes a trickier subject to deal with because of many aspects to handle before producing the best test results.
1. Device Selection:
It is the most common yet the biggest challenge of mobile app testing. With the increasing demand for smartphones, there are different types of devices available in the market. Every company would want to support a maximum number of devices that they can, but it is difficult to afford all the range of devices. It will immensely increase the cost and time to test on all the devices. For once, an enterprise may think of considering third-party infrastructure to check the app performance on real devices, but ultimately it increases the costs significantly. It would be wiser to run automated tests on emulators and simulators unless it is urgent to test on real devices and choose only those devices that fall under your target market.
pCloudy’s Device planner always stands out when planning the device coverage as per your requirement. It allows you to calculate the test coverage on an optimum range of devices. This feature also comes with detailed statistics on the devices that are active in the target market. All you need to do is – select the geography relevant to your target market to get the list of devices that your team should opt for testing.
The device selection is mostly based on:
– The operating systems supported by your app
– Latest versions of the focused OS
– Choice of mobile devices as per the target audience
– Is the app native, web, or hybrid?
– Screen size, screen resolution, memory sizes, platforms, network are few other aspects to be covered before testing
Here is a link to the latest Device coverage report that sheds light on the most popular devices that are used by consumers all around the world.
2. Automated or Manual Mobile App Testing:
Choosing between the two is a tough call as both have their respective benefits and disadvantages. Each one is best suited for a specific task at different stages of the app development cycle. While automation might sound like the best option to choose from, it might be a distant dream for some enterprises. Choosing automation testing over manual testing would certainly involve initial investment but would result in a higher ROI. Automation is well suited in cases where the mobile app development cycle is longer, a need to validate the repeated tasks and codes, where the regression testing is highly scaled, and where the mobile application demand curve has a progressive trend. Manual checks are always necessary because there are a few scenarios that emulators alone cannot handle. Both types of testing are required. A right mix of both would work well as a part of a successful mobile app testing strategy.
3. Cloud-based or In-house mobile app testing:
We keep talking about the word “Cloud” very often. It is because it has proved to be highly supportive in the QA world. Hence it acts as the best choice for testing mobile applications. Cloud-based mobile app testing platforms like pCloudy provide on-demand access to various devices and test environments enabling enterprises to heave a sigh of relief when thinking about the costs of setting up a lab on their own. It provides a seamless testing environment to test, deploy and manage the mobile apps on the cloud. Cloud mobile app testing enhances the test competency and reduces the time to market the app. In addition, if your team size and expertise are sufficient to cover tests for the projects within an In-house mobile app testing facility, there is no need for extended help. The QA team will have full control over the app and its data. However, the devices on which the tests will run would be limited. So, it doesn come with its set of disadvantages when you think of the maintenance and updation costs involved in the In-house facility.
4. Network Connectivity:
Most mobile apps underperform because of network issues. It is tough to test the mobile app on all networks. Hence, using cloud testing would allow the QA team to test on a network simulation environment to track the app’s behavior in different network types. Speed, connection drops, bandwidth limitations, etc., can also be tested using network simulation. For a mobile app to be a success, it should consistently perform well across diverse networks. pCloudy provides you access to real devices with sim-cards to test your app in a real-world setting. It provides access to its Simulated Lab Network where one can test mobile apps without any trouble. The process is quite simple; testers can test the mobile apps by choosing a network profile from the list provided and applying it to the device in use. The network profiles carry specific values like Delay and Upload/Download speed, etc. This feature makes it easy for the testers to check multiple network conditions while testing their mobile apps.
5. Mobile app performance testing:
Have you ever wondered why your Smartphone hangs when your storage is full? Nowadays, it is easy to get a mobile phone with a larger storage capacity at affordable prices. Along with this benefit comes the pain of handling performance issues in mobile apps. So, it becomes necessary to test your app for its performance. Typical types of performance testing are Load, stress, endurance, and spike testing. These can be achieved by choosing either manual testing or by using different performance testing tools such as Apache jMeter, WebLOAD, LoadView, etc.
6.Real User Monitoring (RUM):
To truly gauge the performance and usability of your app, Real User Monitoring (RUM) is essential. It allows capturing data about how real users interact with the application in real-world scenarios. This complements lab test results and provides insights into performance hiccups and user experience inconsistencies across different devices, networks, and user behaviors.
Ensuring that your app is usable by everyone is not just a good practice but a necessity. The global audience includes individuals with disabilities. Accessibility testing makes sure your app is compliant with accessibility standards and provides an equal user experience to all, including those with disabilities. It’s not just about the moral imperative. In some jurisdictions, adhering to accessibility standards is a legal requirement and can save businesses from potential lawsuits.
8.Localization and Internationalization Testing:
As businesses expand their reach, mobile apps often cater to users from diverse geographical locations. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure that translations, formats, currency representations, and cultural nuances are correctly integrated into the app. Localization and Internationalization Testing helps in ensuring that the app feels local and culturally appropriate, regardless of where the user is located.
9. Mobile App Security Testing:
There can be no choice between data privacy and security. Both are extremely important. The user saves its critical credentials in mobile apps that are vulnerable and exposed to security threats. A mobile application should always encrypt the passwords and ensure secure logins and authenticate networks. In some scenarios, testers route the mobile information to proxy servers to look for any vulnerabilities. So, Mobile app security testing is the top factor on the list while building a test strategy.
pCloudy makes the safety and security of user’s data a top priority. It has its own data center to which it connects all the physical mobile devices. Access to these devices is made available to the customers through the cloud from the web browser. The data center meets all the global standards and is SSAE16 (SOC2) and ISO 270001 compliant. The user’s data is encrypted; and can’t be accessed by anyone even by pCloudy admin. After each use, the device gets cleaned up, deleting all the information uploaded by the user automatically, the apps installed by the user get uninstalled, and the device gets a complete refresh before starting a new cycle
10. Usability and UI testing:
The user interface is the user’s first interaction with the mobile application. Apart from the aesthetics, what will attach a user to the app is the app experience. UI testing is a mandate to include in the test plan to identify flaws in the User Interface and ensure that the app is user-friendly for your targeted audience.
11. Developing Agile Mobile test strategy:
Continuous integration has become an integral part of web development, but it is still a work-in-progress in the Mobile App development space. Continuous integration should also be included as a crucial component while building an agile mobile test strategy. Automation being the catalyst in this process would empower developers to develop faster and easier. Here is a video link to a webinar on how you can achieve successful continuous testing with pCloudy.
12. Manage risks:
The QA team even needs to track and manage the defects based on the degree of damage they can cause. For example- prioritize the low, medium, high-risk defects based on the impact on the business functionality.
13. Selecting the right Automation tool:
A variety of testing tools are available in the market. But choosing the one that best suits your requirements is necessary. A single tool might not contribute to achieving your test automation goals. Hence, it is vital to select the tools that best match your needs for a shorter period to understand its overall compatibility to business needs. There are multiple factors to consider while choosing an automation tool – its cost, cross-platform and cross-browser support, ability to reuse testing scripts, easy integration with other tools, strong IT support, etc. The most popular tools in this area are Appium, Robotium, Testdroid, Calabash, and many more.
14. Review Testing Report:
Reviewing the mobile app testing process and creating the test summary report that provides information about the successful and failed tests, duration of the test, and bug reports is another key essential that helps in making management decisions through the analysis of these reports.
By now, we should have understood how important it is to have a robust testing strategy for mobile apps and how to overcome the challenges faced by the QA team. Balance is the key. A right blend of all of the above-mentioned pointers is going to help enterprises big time. However, the organizations should be open enough to the market changes and be flexible to strengthen the strategy to scale up mobile app testing.
Mobile App testing has evolved over the years and continues to gain traction as new releases go up day by day. Agile and DevOps are introduced to improve mobile app testing to meet the demands of this dynamic market. There are many other factors and new technologies that are enhancing speed of testing and app development. Here is a link to a recent report we published by compiling that analytical data we received through various surveys we conducted and market research. Download the report to gain insightful knowledge about the technologies that are sure to make a hallmark in the Mobile App Testing Space in 2021.