Mobile app testing can be time-consuming, error-prone and sometimes expensive – if not done properly.
Furthermore mobile app testing is a yet critical task to ensure your end-users have a positive user experience when they use your mobile app.
It is absolutely necessary that you make sure that the user experience is awesome for every consumer every time they use your app, and that starts from the very first try.
The Best Practices for Mobile App Testing
Frankly, if you fail in mobile app testing, this can result in your customer doing it for you and unlike your testing team, your customers do not have the tools or the time to report back problems. Also, keep in mind that your customers do not want to be treated like testing monkeys. When they find a problem, you might never hear a word from them and they certainly won’t come back – and uninstall your app leading you to lose revenue/usage.
Typically, your developers have done a great job and made absolutely no mistakes, but regardless of that, the goal of your testing efforts is not to find errors. Instead, it should be to understand the quality of your app. Does it work? Does it function as expected? Will it meet the needs of your users so they come back repeatedly?
Sure, mobile app testing presents unique and unprecedented challenges. There are a variety of trade-offs that you need to consider and choices that you need to make regarding the mix of different technologies to be used, methods, frameworks and various other things that you would use in your mobile app testing. Each testing method you consider will have pros and cons associated with it, and you will likely find that there is not a single testing method that is completely satisfying. Rather, you will need to consider a testing strategy that combines different testing alternatives that provide the best and the most accurate testing results, balancing those trade-offs between cost, quality, and time-to-market.
Testing Native Apps
Mobile apps are those that people download from Google Play and App Store – at least that what 90% of people think they are. Those app downloads are controlled by Google and Apple (and especially in China, some of those app market providers) that rank apps and share information about the availability, accessibility and many other things that make people find those. This is very important in terms of monetization of your app.
There are also enterprise apps that do not necessarily end up in app markets. And frankly, beyond their acceptance in the consumer market, they also allow enterprises to deliver productivity tools to an increasingly mobile workforce. Native apps provide a rich user experience to the consumers and more likely are profitable for their product-life-cycle, those apps also add some complexities to those people who test them.
Testing – people who are in charge of getting all details why certain things happen and did the app perform exactly as expected – needs to understand whether the app can be successfully downloaded from the market, put on to the device, executed there properly, and can users interact appropriately with the supporting back-end infrastructure. When app updates are done, everyone in the organization must be sure that the app can be pushed out and is accepted by those consumers. Generally, there are lots of faulty information out there that testing on certain devices would make it readily working on all possible variants out there – even running the same hardware, operating system and the same specification.
These native apps are directly tied to the hardware, its specification and software – most importantly the operating system. It is always recommended to test your mobile apps on physical devices and check whether everything is working fine and if the compatibility of the whole ecosystem is meet. Furthermore, it is important to keep up with this sort of agile testing to ensure your app versions meet the same criteria and are available for users whenever released on app markets.
Testing Mobile Games
Mobile gaming (and game development) is booming, and that’s awesome! We’ve seen here at Testdroid how certain Android and iOS games have been developed from the scratch, tested, published, and how those games have quickly become highly popular among gamers. Nothing beats that feeling when you see all that happening, the process that eventually makes that game robust,
bullet-proof and fantastic performing. Our Testdroid Cloud devices have been in the essential role in that. All top game developers use Testdroid products to ensure their apps provide nothing but the best, in terms of robustness, user experience, quality and the top features that those gamers are hungry for.
There are a variety of different methods to be used in mobile game testing. And all this starts with the development, using Agile tools and methodologies, and eventually testing continuously on our real Android and iOS devices on cloud service. This provides outstanding results quickly, reliably and in clear terms how devs can fix any issues related to their mobile games.
Testing Web Apps
Many of today’s apps utilize Internet browsers and web technologies, even those native apps on Android and iOS. The effectiveness of testing these apps varies widely among users, which frameworks and tools are used. Majority of teams that are building either solely native, hybrid or web apps use Agile methodology wherein test automation has a significant value to offer.
When testing both native and mobile web apps, there are several challenges. We’ve introduced support for a variety of different frameworks since Testdroid was launched – and one of the great use case (and benefit) for this approach is the flexible use of real mobile devices, real mobile browsers and different types of apps – with the diverse selection of different test automation frameworks.
Real Devices Are ‘Must’ For Efficient Mobile App Testing
Using real mobile devices (phones, tablets, even wearables etc.) on a cloud service is nowadays easy and straightforward. The only thing that you really need is your application (as an APK or IPA) – and the system can take care of the rest. Naturally, using intelligent automatic test exerciser is great for quick smoke testing and checking if an app is compatible across all possible devices, however, it doesn’t really give you a deep understanding of real issues that your app might have on these devices. For this, you need to have tests – test scripts – that hammer through your app while running on those devices.
There are tens of thousands of different mobile device variants used by consumers every day. If you add to this the different operating system versions, OEM customizations and even slightly different hardware specification, the permutations are too many for any organization to test. Compromises are must and you have to understand what devices to use for mobile app testing. To handle this challenge, you have three options: You can test exclusively using real devices, you can test exclusively with emulated devices, or you can use a combination of both. We only recommend using real devices as emulators do not provide a foundation what those real users – consumers – are using to run your app.
Real devices have the advantage and present in the actual client operating system, hardware, and firmware combination used by your target consumers. However, testing with real devices can be expensive, but only depending on how you approach it. They are expensive to buy and maintain – and that’s why “renting” those from the service like Testdroid Cloud provides superb results.
Test Automation, Scripts and Then What?
There are a variety of options with test automation, frameworks and scripts out there. This can be naturally challenging the pick up the best suitable framework for your needs. Also, some scripts do require more technical approach and hands-on knowledge about programming – than some other frameworks. It may actually require an engineer to build these test scripts, but testers are then able to run those, monitor and investigate results and report back to engineering (who will eventually and anyway fix those bugs).
When you use test automation and scripting with it, the cost of setting up and writing those scripts may be typically a bit higher than the cost of a single manual execution of a test. But if it is a test script that you run on a daily basis, every time that you subsequently run the script, the more time and effort you will save. If you run the script enough, you will eventually recover the costs of initial scripting.
If you are interested to know more about these frameworks and how they fit in your development, testing and most importantly – for your app – take a look at our comparison of different frameworks.
- First, take a look what approach works you the best. Whether it is a cloud-based approach, an on-premise solution with your own devices, tools and other software and hardware, or if it would be a hybrid version where devices are hosted for you but your teams use the exactly the same tools and methods they use today.
- Then select the framework. There are tons of great alternatives out there. Appium, Calabash, TestNG, Cucumber, Selendroid, uiautomator, KIF, Frank, Espresso and many others – that work the best for your app. Naturally, we’re happy to provide our recommendations and guide you through this selection work.
- Allocate enough for your testing. Use it daily basis and keep testing even you’ve published a product at app markets. When you find a bug (yes, you find it, not those end-users) you can do an upgrade build and everyone is happy about the progress of your app. Keep testing for next versions in advance and keep testing until you don’t want to support your app anymore.
These do require some investments, but there are lots of things (and revenue) to gain from those tech-savvy and hungry consumers. Is your app ready for this? Let us help you to build better, faster and to be suitable for all those consumers out there.