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Whether you have experience in developing and publishing mobile apps, or just started: You know that you can’t just not test your app! But how do you go about testing? Do you have a plan at hand? Let’s take a look at the 4 key points you need to consider to create a mobile app testing strategy that helps you develop better products.

#1 Which devices do you test?

First things first – on which devices, operating systems (OS), and OS versions should you test? The versatility of the mobile device market may make answering these questions a bit challenging. But once you’ve put some effort into research and data analysis, you can be sure to make the right choice for your app. What does the industry data and your own data tell you about device usage? Which OS versions are out there and how are they distributed?

Don’t feel like you have to support every Android and iOS version ever released. Make a list of the must-support OS versions and don’t forget to update it whenever a new one comes out. Take a look at how many devices run on old OS versions and see if it makes sense to support them. After all, too many supported devices may slow down the delivery times for new features as developing and testing is more demanding.

#2 Do you test on real devices or emulators?

After you’ve decided which devices and operating systems you need to support, you should determine how you’re going to test them. Are you going for physical devices or emulators? We recommend you to consider both options! And here’s why:

Real devices are, well, they’re the real deal and let you test your mobile applications in realistic scenarios. How does your app behave during an incoming call? Does your app somehow drain the device’s battery? How do the colors of your interface look under different lighting situations? To answer these questions, your QA team needs to test on physical devices. However, these devices must be purchased and maintained regularly. Additionally, certain devices may not be available for purchase in your country.

Emulators do their best to act and work like the real deal but are running on your computer. They are essential for your agile testing methods, as developers can plug them into their IDE to test continuously and pinpoint the most common bugs. Most emulators are open source and don’t need maintenance. However, they don’t overheat or lose battery level, so you shouldn’t rely on emulators for mimicking real-world conditions.

As you can see, the pros and cons of each option are in balance, and testing with either option is the way to go. Additionally, to make even more of the advantages, you can use a mobile app testing cloud, which we’re going to take a closer look at in just a moment.

If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and cons of physical devices and emulators you can read more about this crucial topic here.

#3 Where do you test: On-Premise or In the Cloud?

On we go to the next big topic that might cause a few headaches for some of us: should you test on-premise or rely on a cloud-based testing solution?

Testing in the cloud has some undeniable advantages. For example, you don’t need to buy and maintain hundreds of different devices, and your team can access the service anytime, anywhere.

Yet, having your testing setup in-house lets you tailor the environment to your needs. Customization is especially important if you must follow specific security rules. Data will not leave your building, but you’ll need people to take care of the servers, maintain devices, and more to make sure the test environment runs smoothly.

For many, choosing a cloud solution is the obvious choice. However, some companies can’t make use of this option because they’re tied to strict security compliance standards. One way to enjoy the best of both worlds is by choosing Bitbar’s solution for on-premise mobile device-labs. This customizable app testing infrastructure lets you provision devices you need to test on in your own device-lab. Setup and maintenance are more comfortable, as you get help from the Bitbar team and don’t have to build your own infrastructure.

#4 Do you work with an automated or manual testing approach?

Now we’re hitting one of the hottest topics: Should you rely on manual or automated testing? Of course, a mix of both is yet again the proper choice! Let the two methods work together for you instead of against each other.

As a rule of thumb, test manually to check your app’s look and feel. Does the navigation work properly? Can users take the necessary actions without a hassle? Your goal is to make your app as user-friendly as possible. Manual testing is an ideal way to improve the user experience of your app, so your customers love your product.

As for everything else: try to use automated testing. You need to determine how you’re going to test what and see for which parts automation is even possible. In general, automated tests can help you with testing functionalities of which you can expect specific results, as well as elements you must test regularly.

Additionally, your mobile app developers need to run integration and unit tests to make sure that what they’ve created isn’t interfering negatively with the rest of the build. Also, for the ideal testing approach, you should combine automated testing with continuous testing. In this way, your team saves time by finding bugs very early on. Additionally, the QA team can focus on thoroughly testing the more trickier parts of your application, and don’t get interrupted by the more obvious ones.

Wrapping up: Craft a mobile app testing strategy that helps you build better products

You should decide early in the project which test methods you want to use and which tools you need. Different apps may require different strategies. To stay flexible, you can use a cloud-based mobile app testing solution that will allow you to adapt to different scenarios and the points discussed above. Try out the Bitbar cloud service for free and see for yourself how the service can help you test mobile apps.

Once you have established a suitable test strategy, you can ensure to release your mobile applications to the public in a timely and secure manner. Hopefully, the 4 topics covered in this article will help you create a mobile app testing strategy for your apps!

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Sarah Mischinger

Tech Writer