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Why Choose Automation for Cross Browser Testing

Avinash
By Avinash
May 29, 2019
8 min Read
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Why Choose Automation for Cross Browser Testing

It is necessary to check cross-browser compatibility to ensure that the app is working fine on all the web browsers. Sometimes when you open an app on a web browser it might not look or feel convenient and there might be some issues like image/test overlapping, navigation, alignment, etc. These issues degrade the user experience which will eventually lead to low traffic and existing user attrition. This is why cross-browser testing is an integral part of the QA process and should not be avoided.

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What is Cross Browser Testing?

  • Browser compatibility testing can be automated or done manually.
  • In manual cross-browser testing, the testers have to test the app on multiple OS, device and browser combinations. This is why it is a time-consuming process.
  • The main issues are with the UI and the main features are tested on different screen sizes to check if the look and feel are similar to what was expected.
  • In automated cross-browser testing, there is a need to create the test script initially then there is minimal human supervision is required.
  • Efficient automation tools will take much less time to perform the testing.

Automation for Cross Browser Testing

Automation has reduced the time and effort put into cross-browser testing by 80 percent. The only human work goes into writing the initial test script and selecting the tool. Let’s look at the reasons why we should automate cross-browser testing.

Run Multiple tests simultaneously: When it comes to regression testing and running multiple tests for an app, automated testing saves the day. So if your app is already in the market and you launch a new version then automated cross-browser testing helps you to deliver faster. When a new feature is to be launched in the app and the build is sent to the testing team, they will take some weeks to perform all types of testing. This time can be reduced to a few hours using Automation testing tools.

Improved test accuracy: Even the experienced testers can make an error while testing the app manually. Although in Automation testing the accuracy is very high and the detailed reports are recorded. Testers can review the testing process and create new Automated test with the help of those reports.

Save Time and Money: Cross-browser testing require repetitive tests and so it can be a boring and time-consuming process. These repetitive tests can be automated to save time, effort and return on investment. You just need to make sure that everything is included in the test script to avoid gray areas in the app functioning.

Better Test Coverage: The time taken to perform any web app testing is dependent on the type of feature or functionality you have to test. The length of the test affects the cross-browser testing process. For example, end to end testing can be difficult if done manually. It will take much time and effort to do so. This why automation testing can be used if you have to run the test on multiple devices with multiple browser-OS combinations.

Feasibility of Local Test Environment

There are many types of devices in the market with different screen sizes, OS versions, Browsers, etc. To create the desired test environment, you will have to have all these combinations and you will have to set up a device lab. This will take huge investments and efforts to maintain the lab. Also, there is an issue of geographically distributed teams accessing the devices. Apart from that, you will have minimum flexibility as scaling up or down will be difficult.

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Advantages of Cloud-Based Cross Browser Testing

There are many Cloud-based cross-browser testing tools in the market which will help you achieve your testing goal without investing a lot. This is one of the reasons why cloud-based cross-browser testing is better than setting up a local test environment. Let’s have a look at some other advantages which will give you a reason to opt for cloud-based option.

Multiple Test Environment Support: Heterogeneity in the operating system versions, device screen sizes, browser versions makes it necessary to perform tests on many combinations of device/OS/browser. This means a lot of effort will be put in to test the functions of an app on multiple devices. This could be avoided by testing the app on a cloud-based device platform.

In the cloud-based testing platform, you will be able to select the devices of your choice and perform parallel testing on multiple devices without buying one. This will save you money and effort to put up a device lab. While running the test in parallel on multiple devices with different OS browser combination will save time, it will also increase the accuracy significantly as compared to testing the app feature manually.

All time access to resources: The testing team can access the tool at any time by just logging into the tool and selecting the devices according to the market research report on popular devices in the region. Testing can be performed at any time which means there is no foundation and this comes in handy when the deadline is near. Having all time access to the device cloud will contribute to continuous testing and ensure faster deployment.

Scalability: While handling multiple projects the team might have needed many devices at times and very few on some occasions. This means that most of the devices in your device lab might rarely be used and sometimes you might have to buy more to add in the environment. This improper management of resources can be avoided by using Cloud-based device platform. Here you can select the devices which you actually need to perform the cross-browser testing and as all the devices are virtual, there is no worry of managing the extra devices.

Collaboration: There are tools to communicate and collaborate with the team which impacts on your productivity in a good way. Test reports can be generated which are elaborate and provides all the information about the health of the app. These reports can be shared with the team online to analyze and resolve the issue.

Initial time and cost: To set up an actual device lab you will require dedicated cloud/network expertise and suitable infrastructure. On the contrary, if you use cloud-based platform for cross-browser testing then you don’t have to worry about the infrastructure and initial setup cost. Also, you will save a lot on maintenance cost and everything is preconfigured.

Comprehensive testing: To perform thorough cross-browser testing, you need a permutation and combination of mobile devices with different screen size, OS, browser, other features relevant to the app function. This will make a big hole in your pocket if you wish to buy that many devices. This is why cloud-based testing platforms are the best option.

Cross Browser Testing

Types of Cross Browser Functional Testing

There are three types of cross-browser functional testing, multi-browser testing, multi-version testing, and concurrent testing. Let’s get familiar with all three of them.

Multi-Browser Testing: The application under test is opened on different browsers like Chrome, Safari, Opera, UC Browser, etc to check if the app works consistently across all the browsers. The app feature can be tested on multiple devices of different configurations and browser combinations.

Multi-Version Testing: In this type of testing the AUT is tested with different versions of any browser to check if the functioning is smooth. So if your app supports chrome version 40.0.2214, then the app must be tested on all the versions of chrome after 40 to check the functionality. One tester can perform the task and multiple devices will be used to perform the testing.

Concurrent Testing: In this, the application under test is checked simultaneously on different web browsers. There are four variations of this testing – single browser distributed concurrent testing, multi-browser distributed concurrent testing, Multi-browser concurrent testing, and single browser and single browser concurrent testing.

Conclusion

Cross browser testing combined with cross-platform testing will ensure that the app works smoothly in any type of environment. Especially for web apps, cross-browser testing cannot be avoided. Studies have suggested that people uninstall the app after using it once if the UI is not user-friendly. Even the app ratings on App Store and Play Store are affected by the user experience, leading to a lower number of downloads. Enterprises can save a lot of money and build a good report among the users by proactively testing their app thoroughly.

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Avinash
Avinash

Avinash Tiwari is a thought leader, a recognized keynote speaker, and the co-founder of pCloudy.com. He has 15+ experience in Product development and Testing. He brings with him a passion for emerging technology and quick adoption, both of which have solidified his reputation as a leader in the mobile app testing field.

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Mobile Responsive Testing and Debugging on Real Devices

nilesh
By nilesh
May 2, 2019
7 min Read
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Mobile Responsive Testing and Debugging on Real Devices

Emulators vs Real Devices

Mobile Responsive Test across range of Mobile Devices and platforms is extremely important for superior User Experience. However, Mobile Responsive Test and debugging can get knotty, especially when there are issues like obfuscated HTML/CSS/javascript code, improperly implemented HTTPS, browser inconsistencies, page load performance and so on. So how do you overcome these issues? Using a Web Developer Tools or debugging extensions make debugging your web application easier. Here we’ll talk about the most popular one – Google Chrome Developer Tools.

The Google Chrome Developer Tools is a consolidated environment built into Google Chrome Browser. It is used for web authoring, debugging, monitoring, optimizing, and understanding web applications or websites. (Sourced from Google Chrome DevTools)

A responsive testing simulator provides a virtual environment where you can test the functionalities just like in a real device. You can also test websites on mobile devices online and test websites on different screen sizes. It is easy to perform responsive design testing across devices on a simulator.

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Here are some of the key Chrome DevTools features

  • Inspect and edit the DOM and CSS of your website in real-time
  • Run code snippets from any page
  • Debug Obfuscated code
  • Set advanced breakpoints and debug JavaScript using graphical debugger
  • Troubleshoot Security issues
  • Analyze run-time and page performance to improve the speed of your app
  • Trace reflows and repaints as your app loads

The Chrome DevTools provides almost all the gears required to inspect, debug and monitor the performance of a Web App/mobile web. It also provides additional capabilities to simulate Mobile Devices to test and build mobile-first, responsive web sites. You can even debug web content on a real Android Device from a development machine. But, is it enough to perform Mobile responsive test on one or two devices?

Remote debugging using Chrome DevTools in integration with pCloudy’s Mobile Device Lab

Device fragmentation is a very real problem when testing Web apps on real devices, particularly for UI and functional tests. The number of devices with unique specifications and proprietary build variations has increased. At an advanced level, to perform Mobile Responsive Testing and to check performance of the Web App on real devices, you will need to experiment your site on various platforms, across a number of device form factors. pCloudy’s Mobile Device Lab offers complete integration with Chrome DevTools to test your apps on real devices. This integration allows you to test Web Apps on a myriad of android devices with different sizes and configurations.

Here’s how most App developers test their Web Apps

Inspect and live edit your site’s design and content

Test and edit your site in live mode by inspecting all the HTML and CSS in your page. In the Elements Panel, you can live-edit a DOM node by simply double-clicking a selected element and making changes.

mobile responsive test

You can even live-edit style property names and values in the Styles pane. Examine and edit box model parameters.

Live-Edit_Styles

It is also possible to edit the current element’s box model parameters by making changes to top, bottom, left, right values for the current element’s padding, border, and margin properties using the Computed pane.

Box_Parameters

Remote Debugging on real devices to fix errors in the code

Debugging Obfuscated Code: Make your code readable and easy to debug even after you’ve combined, minified or compiled it. You can easily change the formatting of your minimized code by clicking on { }.

Debug-Obfuscated

Test and optimize the performance of the Web App

The Network Panel allows you to see how your page renders, and time taken to render from start to end. To do this click into the “Network” panel, click on the camera icon and refresh the page on the device.

Network

The Timeline panel helps you to record and analyze all the activities in your application as it runs. It’s the best place to start investigating perceived performance issues in your application.

To make a recording of a page load, open the Timeline panel, open the page that you want to record, and then reload the page. The Timeline panel automatically records the page reload. You can also record page interactions on the page and view the performance details through the recorded timeline.

Here are some more details you can view using the Record Timeline

  • Record the Timeline to analyze every event that occurred after a page load or a user interaction
  • View FPS, CPU, and network requests in the Overview pane
  • Click on an event within the Flame Chart to view details about it
  • Zoom in on a section of a recording to make analysis easier

Timeline

There are some things to be kept in mind while performing responsive testing:

Device selection
It is better to ask your business analyst or your manager which devices we need to perform the testing. Creating a device matrix is a tedious job due to device fragmentation with frequent browser and OS updates. Even if you spend a lot of time on making a strategy for the combination of devices, that may not get approved by the product manager or scrum master.

Automation testing and Manual testing
It’s better to use both automated and manual approach to perform testing. Based on the type of testing you can share the effort like 70% automated and 30% manual. It is obvious that sometimes automated testing will miss something that a human eye can see. A tool clicking on a link or zooming in and out is different from doing it manually.

Emulators, simulators and real devices
If you wish to test your app on many verities of devices then you can also opt for emulators and simulators. It won’t be possible for you to set up a device lab as it will cost a lot. So you can use a real device that is popular in the market and emulators for the devices that are not that popular.

Prioritize
Mobile app testing including mobile responsive testing needs to be perfectly prioritized as testing is a time-consuming process. Responsive testing priority should be discussed with the BA and the product manager well in advance and take some suggestions from them. The issue is that there are a plethora of devices and while prioritizing, the most popular devices will be used first for testing.

Conclusion

“Using the right tools for the right job” is an old aphorism that applies to all domains including Software Development. As we’ve seen, Chrome DevTools has several features that help you develop better, debug faster, and measure efficiently the performance of your website or application. An ideal choice for you for Mobile Responsive Testing.

The features discussed in this blog are some of the most common ones used by developers, designers, and testers to write, debug, monitor and optimize Websites and Web Apps. Using these features in integration with Mobile Device Lab like pCloudy can transform the entire process of creating, testing and launching Websites and Web Apps.

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For more information check out this video:


Related Articles:

  • Beginners Guide to Mobile Web Debugging on Real Devices Using Chrome DevTools
  • Mobile Testing Infrastructure – Emulators vs Real Devices
  • Problems With Online Android Emulators and How to Solve it?
  • Tips to Consider While Creating a World Class Mobile Testing Lab
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  • nilesh
    nilesh

    Nilesh is the vice-president at pCloudy and has around 16 years of experience in Product development and Testing. He has worked primarily in the mobile application testing and mobile device testing domain with companies like Sasken, Motorola, Nokia, and Accenture.

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