How to Test Mobile Applications

How to Test Mobile Applications

Quality Assurance (QA) testing is important. There’s no need for a debate. What is more interesting to discuss are the ways in which software testing for mobile apps, for example, can be executed in order to uncover all the major bugs in the most efficient and effective manner. Below, we highlight some important aspects to consider when planning your next test campaign.

Testing Across Multiple Configurations

The performance of an app is tied to its ability to operate across various configurations. Each configuration acts like an individual layer the app must pass through before reaching the end user.

For an app, the most important layers it must contend with are the operating system, the specific version of the operating system, smartphone model, and screen size. Each layer an app encounters can influence its performance and user experience.

Operating across a variety of configurations is essential for apps given the huge fragmentation of a diverse smartphone market in terms of models, operating systems, and more.

Below, the graphic is a visual representation of the fragmentation of the Android market in 2015. Each tile represents the marketshare of a particular model and its specific operating system. 

The fragmentation of the smartphone market.

QA Testing Networks

Like green eggs and ham, mobile apps can be used just about anywhere. As a result, it is important to test across both wifi and cellular networks of various speeds. The differences in the speed and data capabilities of a network can impact page load times in addition to certain functions like augmented reality, which requires a faster network.

The differences in speed for data networks across various countries.


Testing across a variety of networks is equally important given the fact that browsing behavior varies from one market to the next. The Netherlands, for example, use wifi 65% of the time when using their mobiles compared to only 45% of the time for France.

The differences in time spent on wifi across different countries.

People access apps across different network conditions, which can affect the app’s performance. Therefore, it is important to test mobile apps across different networks, wifi and cellular, with different speeds. 

Interested in learning how to improve mobile conversion rates? 

Testing Various Screen Dimensions & Specifications

Screen size is essential to take into account when testing a mobile app since it can affect the layout of the app. When an app fails to adjust appropriately across certain dimensions, the app and its brand are viewed poorly.

White Paper: The Impact of the iPhone X

When important functions or fields are partially or completely gone from the field of view, your app becomes useless. With the launch of foldable screen just around the corner, testing across a variety of screen sizes and types will become even more important.

Functional and UX Testing

To test on real devices or not to test on real devices is an important question to ask yourself. For one, there are a number of functions that can be assessed using emulators, which are cheaper than real devices.

However, every function or aspect of an app can be tested using real devices including its UX, geolocation features, camera functions, fingerprint scans, and a number of other functions that have emerged in the last few years.

Since your users will access your apps using real smartphones or tablets, not emulators, real testing devices will allow you to execute a more thorough QA assessment.



Test Automation vs Manual Testing

Before launching a test, it is a good idea to consider if any parts of the test can be automated to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. This will largely depend on the nature of the app and the objectives of the test campaign.

Automation is best suited for regression testing, data driven tests, tests that are repetitive in nature, and other conditions that make manual testing less efficient or impractical. By considering this question, it is possible to execute a better test campaign.

To learn more about automated testing including its benefits and our general testing advice, do not hesitate to discover our white paper below.

Discover Our  Automated Testing Guide

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