Mobile app testing without a doubt is extremely important for any brand looking to engage or serve customers via a mobile application. What is more interesting to discuss are the ways in which quality assurance (QA) 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 5 key points to consider while planning your next mobile app test campaign.
Mobile App Testing: What to consider?
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. As a result, mobile app tests must account for fragmentation by executing test cases across various smartphone configurations.
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.
While fragmentation is a much larger problem for phones that support the Android OS than iOS, it is still important to test a mobile app across different versions of these mobile operating systems. Using data from one's mobile app will help in determining the most relevant Android or iOS versions to use.
QA Testing Networks
The speed of data networks is an important point to consider within the context of mobile app testing. The expansion of cellular networks as well as Wifi hotspots has made it possible to use 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.
People access apps across different network conditions, which can affect the app’s performance. This type of test can reveal issues that your app may have in certain markets that have slower data speeds. This one of the reasons why some brands have opted to build Progressive Web Apps in emerging markets, since they provide many of the same benefits and features of a mobile app while operating without comprise on slower networks.
Testing Various Screen Dimensions & Specifications
Whoever said size does not matter was not talking about mobile app testing. 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, everything from key functions to actual products can be left off the screen. When this happens, the reputation of the app and that of the brand take a hit.
More importantly, apps lose part of their utility when key elements are partially or completely gone from the field of view. This was a common problem that many brands faced when the iPhone X first hit the market. The introduction of the "notch" changed the way that mobile apps needed to adjust to the iPhone. This forced many development teams to update their apps to support this new layout.
Moving into 2020 and beyond, mobile app tests will need to take into account very different screen dimensions and functionalities thanks to the rise of foldables, smartphones with foldable screens. The uniqueness of these devices warrants specially designed test cases to verify mobile apps and adjust seemlessly to both folded and unfolded screen modes.
Functional and UX Test Cases
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 cost less than building a library of real testing devices.
However, emulators are limited in terms of what they can actually test. Real testing devices have the ability to validate every function or aspect of an app including its UX, geolocation features, camera functions, biometric scanners, 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 mobile app test.
Test 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.