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Welcome to the 4th edition of our Annual Testing Report. This time we've taken the liberty of reaching out to experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence and App Testing...
Today, there are many smartphone users in the world and so is the popularity of mobile apps. In order to be competent enough, mobile apps have to be unique and should provide the best user experience to increase the user base. With the users getting more informed and intelligent, the apps built should keep up with the pace. In order to be impeccable, the mobile app should undergo a rigorous testing process and during that process, the testing team faces many challenges in this aspect which will be covered in this blog. But before we dive in, let’s look at the different types of apps that are available in the market.
The creation of mobile applications is a fantastic approach to boost brand recognition, attract new clients, and improve the user experience for existing customers. In light of this, let’s examine the three primary categories of mobile apps: native, web, and hybrid.
Native mobile applications are ones created exclusively for a given operating system. As a result, software created for one System cannot be used on another, and vice versa. Native applications are more effective, quick, and offer greater phone-specific functionality. Thus, the difficulties of testing mobile apps for compatibility with native user interfaces of devices involve ensuring that such traits are preserved strictly.
Similar to native apps, web applications do not require users to download them. Instead, the users’ web browsers on their phones can access these apps because they are incorporated within the website. So, it is envisaged that web applications will operate flawlessly across all platforms. Testing teams must carefully examine the application on a wide range of real devices and browsers to ensure high app quality. Yet in addition to taking a lot of time, this operation is essential because failing to work on a few devices can severely reduce the app quality and incur heavy losses when the app doesn’t function as required.
The features of both online and native apps are available in hybrid apps. These are essentially web applications that mimic native apps in design. These applications are easy to maintain and load quickly. Teams that test mobile apps are in charge of making sure hybrid applications don’t lag on some devices. Any operating systems with the capacity to support the said features have access to all their functionality.
While each of these app types are slightly similar to each other the technical teams face a different challenge with each type of mobile application. Combining these challenges greatly increases the complexity, making the entire procedure laborious and time-consuming. Let’s quickly look into what some of these challenges are?
There are different types of operating systems available in the market such as iOS, Android, Windows etc. Also, these OS have different versions too. So, it becomes challenging to test so many versions of the mobile app in a shorter period of time. One app that works well in one type of OS may not work well in the other. It is very important to test the application with all supported platforms and their version because we don’t know where the user is going to install the application. As per research, iOS users upgrade quickly as compared to Android but in Android the device fragmentation is larger. That means the developers have to support older versions and APIs and testers also have to test accordingly.
Android comes with a mix of features and variations in pixels densities and ratios which varies in each screen size. Even in the case of Apple, the screen new size was introduced with the launch of the iPhone 6. Now, it is not just about being picture perfect screen design rather designing an adaptive screen design. Well with such a variety in screen sizes, the role of the tester becomes serious as they need to check if all the features are working well in different screens and pixel and aspect ratios are maintained well.
The picture below shows the number of devices in the market by different brands. The number of device manufacturers has increased. According to OpenSignal, there are around 1294 distinct Android phone manufacturers alone, imagine if we add up other brands. The pace with which this data is increasing is a bit alarming for the testers as the testers have to check the app performances on different devices, they would probably need a device library to do the same. The challenge remains in context to functionalities like Complex user interactions on touch screen and keypad devices as well. Having a device library is certainly is a costly affair unless emulation is adopted which can simulate multiple device types and testing can run easily on it.
Image Source: venturebeat.com
The QA team also faces challenges when it has to test the devices connected to different networks. Generally, there are 2G, 3G,4G mobile data available. These provide different data transfer speed and transmission. These varying speeds of the networks by various providers remain a challenge for the testers even today. In this case, testers have to check that the app must perform well at different network speeds and connectivity quality and a check on bandwidth usage of the app. This remains a challenge as it is partially controllable based on different network providers and connectivity access in different geographies.
Mobile Operating Systems keeps changing. Both Android and iOS have more than 10 versions of their operating systems. They keep enhancing and updating their versions for better performance and user experiences. This frequent OS release comes as a testing challenge as the testers needs to validate the complete application with each of new OS release. It is very important to test the application with the latest OS release otherwise the app performance would be a major issue and consequently loss of users using the app.
Another major challenge of mobile testing is what we call scripting, the method of defining a test. Script execution can either be manual or automated. You can write down the scripts in a document, which is then used by a test engineer who manually interacts with the test environment to determine the result, else you can run automated scripts that in turn drive interaction with the device and app, and record the results.
Automated scripting needs to be kept away from the device to be of any real use because there are so many different devices with different interface options. A script that follows strict keystrokes on an Apple iPhone would not have any chance of working on a Samsung device, because the UI is different. Fortunately, most real device automated testing software provides high-level scripting that operates on the text, image, or object layer. Device emulators can automate testexecution using a higher-level, abstracted scripting language that is not device dependent. When you use automated scripting, the cost of setting up the script will typically be higher than the cost of a single manual execution of a test. But if it is a test script that you run on a periodic basis, every time that you subsequently run the script, the more time and effort you will save. You will eventually recover the cost of initial scripting If you run the script enough.
So to conclude, to build a better user experience, an app tester needs to work had in overcoming the challenges of testing. By adopting some analytical skills and methods, testers can really cope up with these situations. For eg. Testing only those apps and OS which are mostly used by their user segment, by adopting a strong testing strategy to take situational decisions eg. Decisions regarding when to choose Automation and manual testing. Strategically, the challenges can be overcome.
The Android world is not simple. The variety of different aspect ratios and pixel densities can be overwhelming. With the launch of iPhone Xs Max which has a screen size of 6.5 inches, Apple brings new screen sizes to the iOS world as well. Though iOS developers are used to pixel perfect screen design, they now need to change their mindset to the adaptive screen design instead. For testing, it means that we need to check on various devices that all the necessary screen elements are accessible with different screen sizes and aspect ratios. There are many phones with a screen size of 5 inches which are still popular.
Traditional testing tools like selenium and QTP weren’t designed with cross-platform in mind. Automation tools for web apps and mobile apps are different. Operating systems especially Android further adds to the complexity with API level fragmentation. The most common automation testing tools for mobile app automation testing are Appium and calabash. Each tool has it’s own advantages and disadvantages and you need to choose on the basis for your app’s functioning.
Weak Hosting Controls is one of the most common issues. The server on which your app is hosted should have security measures to prevent unauthorized users Weak Encryptions can lead to data theft which will impact the trust factor of the users. Most of the mobile apps require user data such as email ID, password, age, location etc. This data should be encrypted and stored with proper security. Hackers often use this kind of data to get money out of users account online. Encryption will make it difficult for anyone unauthorized to intrude and retrieve that data rather than keeping it in plain text.
We haven’t seen much innovations in the mobile battery but the mobile usage and specifications are increasing rapidly. People are using more apps nowadays and the apps are more complex than ever. This is why testers need to test the apps power consumption because if the apps use lots of CPU cycles and some apps will also run in the background than the battery will drain out quickly. We need to make sure that the app uses less battery power so that users can use it for a longer period of time.
Mobile apps are evolving with device technology and user expectations. Developers are emphasizing on reducing the app size and battery usage. Testers play a major role to ensure that the app works smoothly and does not crash or have bugs. This is why testers must be aware of the latest trends in mobile app testing to deal with the mobile app testing challenges.
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End to end testing is done to make sure that the application behaves as expected and the flow of actions from starting to end is complete without any issue. To explain with an example, suppose you are the end user and you are using the app to book a flight. So first you will launch the app and click on the flight’s icon on the home page. Then you will enter the destination, date and other required details. Now you will choose your preferred flight, book the seat, enter the passenger details and make the payment. Once this is done, you will get the ticket and a follow-up email on your registered email ID.
Now in this scenario, if the screen takes a lot of time to load the next page or if the book button does not work then this will be an unpleasant experience for the user. So we can figure out if there are any issues from starting to the end of the process. It’s not just about the UI functioning but also the data encryption and security, information flow between other internally used platforms integrated to the app, proper functioning of the firewall and more. This is where end to end testing comes into the picture to make sure that everything works well under any circumstances.
While performing end to end testing the first thing to do is to analyze the requirements and set up the test environment. Then you need to evaluate the main system with the connected subsystems and define the responsibilities of all systems involved. Make a list of the testing methods and the description of the standards to be followed. Once that is done you can create the test cases and track the requirement matrix. Finally, you need to save the output and input data before testing each system.
To perform end to end testing efficiently and save time and effort, a matrix should be created. Some parameters should be defined to gauge the success of the testing performed. These measurements will help you define the testing matrix:
Test case status: A proper visualization of the test cases prepared can be observed through graphs and compared with the number of tests that were initially planned.
Tracking Test progress: This measurement will help you to get the details of the tests completed on a weekly basis. It will be easy to keep a track of the test that failed and those that passed.
Defect details: Tracking of the bugs occurred and the issues surfaced should be done one a weekly basis and keeping a track of the defects that were opened and closed on the basis of priority.
Environment availability: Here we need to take a note of the amount of time allotted for running a test in an environment and the time actually spent on performing end to end testing.
End to end testing can be very time consuming and we can save some time and effort by following some steps. It is always better to plan in advance before initiating the testing process.
Prioritize: Chances of defect increases as the test cases become complex with more components and it becomes difficult to debug them. Therefore it is better to perform unit testing and integration testing to resolve issues that are easier to detect. After initiating the End to end testing you can also start doing smoke and sanity testing to keep an eye on the high-risk scenarios.
Manage the Environment: The requirements need to be documented and the system administrator needs to be informed about it to meet the requirements before starting the testing. The system setup should be proficient enough to run the test cases and keep your staging environment close to the production.
Optimize: After test completion, you need to clear the test data so that the environment is restored and can be used for testing again. This will make the environment ready to start at any moment.
Risk Analysis: Focus on the features that are crucial and on failure can cause a high risk. Prepare a risk assessment matrix which will come in handy in these situations.
Limit Exception testing: Use low-level unit testing and integration testing for exception scenarios and use end to end testing to deal with typical user scenarios.
With the rapid enhancements in the app technology and the increasing use of technologies like IOT, the development teams have to make sure that the app has a smooth functionality. The end users can be very choosy in this competitive market and so it’s necessary to perform end to end testing of applications to provide a good user experience.
With no access to internal or private servers, complexity in the process of VPN connections, or the problems to test a software, website or service in a production-similar environment, testing your local or a private website or url on a cloud platform has always been a challenge for testing teams.
For all the users who have been asking for a solution to test their private servers on pCloudy devices before deploying them on production, we have a good news for you.
Now, you can access your site behind a firewall, on a staging server, or locally with pCloudy before it hits production.
It’s a path breaking feature for enterprise mobility. You avoid the expense of setting up and maintaining a comprehensive and exhaustive testing setup.
Since private servers are internal to your network, they have no public access which makes it difficult to test on a device on cloud. Local Site emulation Testing provides a platform to test private or internal servers on any Android device present on pCloudy.
Let us see how to set up the connection for Local Site Testing:
1. Login to your registered account on device.pcloudy.com
2. Select desired device from the Device page and click on “Local Site Testing” icon present at top on right hand side as shown in below screenshot.
3. Download the Local Site Testing jar file as shown in snapshot below.
Note: Ignore if jar is already downloaded.
4. Copy the command by clicking on icon as shown in the snapshot.
5. After the file download is complete, Open your command prompt or terminal
Let us see how to open Command Prompt in different Operating system.
You can follow any of them among three mentioned ways
For Mac-OS users:
a. Open “Launch pad”: It’s the silver icon in the Dock that looks like a rocket. Type “terminal” in search bar and hit enter.
b. Hold command button and hit space bar. Pop will appear and type terminal and hit enter.
c. Open Launch pad and click the “Other” folder: It’s a square icon containing several smaller icons. Then look for terminal.
For Windows users:
a. Open Start and type in command prompt or cmd then hit enter.
b. Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen, or press the ⊞ Win key. You can search for Command Prompt on all supported versions of Windows.
c. Open the Run program. Hold the Win key and press the R key to open the Run window. Then enter “cmd” or “Command prompt” and press enter.
For Ubuntu users:
a. Using Keyboard Shortcuts: Press Ctrl+Alt+T This will launch the Terminal.
b. Press Alt+F2 and type gnome-terminal. This will also launch the Terminal.
c. Press Win+T (Xubuntu only). This Xubuntu-specific shortcut will also launch Terminal.
6. Execute the command on same location where the local site testing jar file was downloaded.
7. After the command is successfully executed you will able to see a success message appearing as “Local Site Testing is enabled in your system”. This confirms that now you are ready to test your private server on the device connected on pCloudy.
Note: Don’t close the command prompt until session ends.
8. Go to the connected device and using the browser open any private URL to test. That’s all you are all set.
You can now find more bugs and defects on your local sites before deploying it to production with this breakthrough feature.
Here’s testimony to it by one of our customers from TagIT mobile.
Why don’t you try it yourself and let us know your feedback in comments about how this feature is useful to you!
pCloudy is a unified mobile app testing platform which is trusted by its users for its excellent performance. We have more than 30,000 users across the globe, and we have received an overwhelming response for our platform. From bot testing to crowd testing, pCloudy has always been a front runner in the market. And with the launch of pCloudy 5.0, we are up for the challenge once again. It is a re-imagined and re-worked upon platform created in-line with intelligence to meet the market demands and accelerate delivery.
Let us have a look at what’s new here:
a. iOS Connect
b. Automation Studio
c. Follow Me
a) iOS Connect: One of the very powerful features that we added is the iOS Connect. The major challenge iOS developers had been facing was the debugging of their iOS apps because of the difficult Apple guidelines regarding building any utility . We are proud to say that we have been successful in cracking that.
With iOS Connect, you can connect to an iOS Device which is present remotely and access the device as if the device is connected to your computer. With iOS Connect we are bridging the gap for the iOS development life cycle.
b) Automation Studio: It is another promising feature that can revolutionize mobile app automation. We now have an in-built automation studio in pCloudy platform where you can access the devices to record your test scripts and execute it in parallel on multiple devices without writing any code.
There’s something more to it! If you already have your projects on Appium you can record your new workflows and export it to Appium Java format. This new integration would not only enable every user to start creating Automation scripts but it will also help Appium users to speed up their Automation. This makes pCloudy truly a Unified app testing platform.
c) Follow me: It is again one of the ‘wow’ features of pCloudy 5.0. This feature can speed up your App Testing exponentially. Follow me allows you to test your apps on 3 unique device while performing your test on only 1 device, thus saving your testing time multi-folds.
It has been designed to give a leaner, simpler and faster user experience. The look and feel of the pCloudy platform has been transformed keeping in mind the requirements, usability and ease of our users. All the pages have been made more intuitive. To simplify, we have grouped the actions together to save your time in figuring out the next step.
a. True Collaboration
b. Global File Storage
c. Comprehensive reports at a single stop
d. Test Scheduler
a) True Collaboration: We have introduced a powerful feature on our revamped Device Interaction page. Now, you can take the screenshot of the action you are performing and see the screenshot next to the device. But, the icing on the cake is that you can edit the screenshot, save it and log a bug directly to the JIRA enabling true collaboration between the developers and testers.
b) Global File Storage: Heeding to the demands of our users we have reduced the clicks to perform any action on the File browsing /storage page. The file uploaded once will be available across all the different locations we have. It will also allow sharing of files across teams.
c) Comprehensive reports at a single stop: Now, to make the user experience simpler and faster, we have placed all your reports at single stop be it manual or automation across all locations. Not just that, you can see all reports in the same format with much detailed information. Raising bugs after analyzing reports is also possible from here.
d) Test Scheduler: We have re-designed this page based on a Guided interface where the interactions are more thoughtful, straightforward, and guide you to the next step. It needs zero learning to run automation scripts on multiple devices.
pCloudy 5.0 is another breakthrough for us. After launching pCloudy 5.0, it is time to get feedback on a larger scale. We’re going to continue improving the UI, the navigation, and add some futuristic features to make your app testing simpler and faster. While we do that, we’d love to continue getting feedback.
With an incessant advancement in technology and mobile eco-space, it is becoming extremely challenging for companies to maintain the quality and efficiency of mobile app development. Testing being one of the major business critical activities is often neglected because of the time and cost limitations. This ultimately leads to a compromised product quality, dissatisfied customer, delayed delivery and an increase in the overall quality costs. The major reasons for an increase in costs can be an ineffective test strategy, underestimated effort of generating a test case, delay in testing or keeping pace with the device fragmentation. Test automation helps to better the development process of a mobile app in multiple ways. Test automation is generally associated with increased effort and the results pay off quickly in return.
1. Faster feedback: Automation of testing actually comes as a relief for development and testing engineers during different phases of an app development life-cycle. It helps to better the communication among coders, designers, product owners and rectifies the potential glitches with no delay. It also increases the efficiency of the development team.
2. Saves time: Writing codes in manual testing is a tedious process especially when the testers have to write long scripts while doing regression testing. The requirement of fast bug free delivery of apps is not fulfilled and companies have to suffer business losses.
3. Early Bug Detection: Unlike manual testing, bugs can be detected early during the development phase in an automated testing which saves a lot of time during Mobile app development life-cycle for both developers and testers.
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4. Re-usability of Scripts: Testing automation makes the lives of the testers easy. The scripts can be reused with no or minimal changes in the script. These scripts can be used multiple times no matter if there are changes in the OS version of the device. The scripts and steps are stored and it helps to repeat the test without skipping or forgetting any step.
5. Running tests anytime, anywhere: Automated testing help test engineers to run their tests 24/7. If the test engineer has to leave early for the day, he can easily schedule the tests and leave the office. The test results will be ready by the time he logs in again next morning.
6. Distributed Test Execution: Automation testing cuts down complexities with its distributed test execution feature. It helps the testers to run a test script on more than one computer or shared network or servers simultaneously. So, only an automation testing tool is the requirement rather than multiple tools.
7. Robust and simpler reporting: Automation testing gives us the benefit of tracking each test script. All the test scripts executed will be visible in visual logs. The reports generated can evidently show the number of test scripts already executed, scheduled, their reported bugs or issues and the ways in which they have been fixed.
8. Testing Capabilities: Automated testing offers an unmatched and huge testing capability. The mobile app needs to be tested on multiple devices, OS versions, screen sizes etc. which can be efficiently done through automated testing and not by manual testing. In fact, it is almost impossible to get perfect results through manual testing.
9. Better Test Coverage: Test automation can easily execute thousands of different complex test cases during every test run providing coverage that is impossible with manual tests. It can only be possible through automated testing as it can run test scripts on multiple computers with varied configurations. It can look inside an application and see memory contents, data tables, file contents, and internal program states to determine if the app is functioning as expected.
10. Less Manual Effort: If an enterprise has implemented automation tools for testing, then it can accelerate the process and reduce the manual effort multi-fold. Less number of people will be required for a project and they can be utilized for different projects.
11. Improves Accuracy: We have been saying this time and again that automation testing overcomes the shortcomings of manual testing. It has improved the accuracy to a great deal by giving error-free results unlike manual testing where testing is error-prone, delays the delivery and increases the cost. It is especially a boon in stress testing where getting error free results in manual testing is almost impossible.
12. Return on Investment: One of the most important advantages of automation testing is the return on investment to the organization. Every enterprise analyses the return it would get out of its investment and then would go for creating a test automation framework. Automated testing offers immense returns in terms of faster testing, error-free results, less manual effort. If the enterprise has automated testing tool, then the testing would be more efficient and accurate and easy.
13. Volume: You can run your tests on more than 500 devices in automation testing which is impossible in manual testing.
One of the most important business advantages of automation testing is the return on investment to the organization. There are many advantages of automation testing tools as they are a crucial component in the DevOps toolchain. The importance of automation testing comes into picture when you have to run the test cases with different data and conditions several times.
Automation testing not only helps in saving time and improving accuracy, it does value addition to all the stakeholders involved in the app development lifecycle. Although testing automation offers such huge benefits, but many organizations have not adopted it in its entirety because of its initial cost associated with its configuration. With Agile testing and DevOps methodologies being widely followed in the IT industry, it is advisable to automate your testing processes completely with renowned automated testing tools to get the best results.
For more information check out this video:
pCloudy understands that businesses need their apps to be rolled out faster than before, without bugs, crashes, functionality issues, UI glitches, memory drainage and well, everything wrong with every app you uninstalled on your phone within minutes of using them.
We simplify testing. More importantly, this platform will equip, enable and guide you to provide single-click access solutions to the battling issues that can easily drive a developer nuts. This platform allows you to test real Android and IOS devices directly from your browser using real Mobile Devices to click-and-perform Manual and Automated Testing for maximum coverage.
Here are the most frequently used App Testing Use Cases you might be interested in.
Manual App Testing
Push app files with a single click
Get to the root of issues on devices
Recreate Issues with Video Evidence
Capture Performance Data
Enhance Test Coverage of apps across locations
Fine tune Test environment by changing device settings
Work with Developers & Testers to quickly fix bugs
Reduce Test Cycle with Automated Tools
Responsive Testing of Mobile Web
Cross Browser Test of Mobile Web
Validate responsiveness across orientation
Debugging on Real Device
Next Gen Mobile App Testing
Use Device Tunnel to Bring App Quality in your Dev Cycle
Test your App on various network conditions
Run you tests directly from your CI System
Integrate your own Tools
API Docs to Build your Own Integrations
You've made the right choice in choosing the most diverse and reliable Digital Testing Playground. We are sure to transform your App Testing Game.