Mobile phones these days are an all in one device where you can get entertained, connect to other people, learn new things and find a solution to any problem. There are millions of mobile apps of different types to provide these facilities to the end user. To provide smooth functioning and satisfaction to the user is the prime focus of the developers and testers.
The app market is very competitive and we need to ensure a better user experience to get better reviews and downloads. This is why we have come up with a list of mobile app testing techniques which will help you to deliver a smooth functioning app.
1. Device fragmentation
There are 28 API levels in Android out of which last 15 API levels are still used widely. Android lollipop 5.1 which was released in 2015 is still used by 11% of the Android users in Feb 2019. Whereas more than 50% of the iPhone users are on iOS 12 and 39% are on iOS 11 and rest are using older versions of iOS. Apart from the operating systems, OEM customization is also a big issue. Many companies tend to customize the ROM of their devices to provide a different and better user interface. This means apps need to be tested for the customized ROM too. Then there are different screen sizes, resolutions, hardware specifications etc. This makes it really difficult for the testers to test their app with this device combination. Testers and developers can create a device plan by creating 3 categories of high level, medium level, and low-level devices. Each category can contain 5,10 or 15 devices with selective specifications relating to that particular category. You need to consider the most popular devices in that particular region. For example, high-level devices will have Android 8 and above, 3GB or more RAM, 2.5 GHz processor and 6 inches or bigger screen size. Medium level devices can have slightly lower specs but better compared to low-level devices. If you perform testing on these selected devices then the test coverage will increase.
2. Real device vs device emulators
A combination of mobile emulators and real devices would be required for a good app test strategy. Mobile emulators, simulators and real devices all have their advantages and disadvantages but they all have their use cases. mobile device emulators provide the functionality of the real device and can imitate actions of a real user. Simulator copies the internal behavior but does not imitate hardware and OS as emulators do. Both emulators and simulators do not encounter the same environmental factors as a real device and thus they aren’t very accurate. Testing on real devices would require a device lab and that can be very costly. To solve this issue, pCloudy provides a device cloud where you can run your test on more than 5000 device browser combinations and ensure quality at speed.
3. Cloud vs in-house
The in-house solution will ensure having physical control over your backup. Although, device cloud can solve the problems like accessing the device pool from different locations and acquiring and maintaining the devices. There will be no need for a dedicated IT support and the data will be more secure with easy backup and restore.
4. Network connectivity
It is necessary to test an app in actual network environments to understand the app behavior in poor network conditions. Network speed, bandwidth limitation, and connection drop out can cause an app to get stuck or crash. Five scenarios that app testers should take into account when testing network connectivity for apps:
- No connection
- No SIM card in the device
- Only the Wi-Fi connection
- Only 2G/3G/4G connection
- Only LTE connection
To ensure smooth app functioning in adverse network conditions you need to test the app at different locations. Although this will be challenging as the users can travel anywhere around the globe. Device cloud can solve this issue as the mobiles can be located at different locations and can be tested from anywhere. No one wants their app to crash due to a bad network, while they are making an online transaction, watching a live performance or playing a game.
5. Manual vs automated testing
Manual and automation testing are complementary and both should be used to test the efficiency of an application. Automation testing should be used when the app development lifecycle is long and the frequency and scale of regression testing are high. This would require to create several test cases which mean substantial investment. Although, automation testing is ideal for validating backward compatibility during app updates. Manual testing needs to be done to eliminate the chance of human error condition as these errors cannot be scripted. The type of testing to be performed depends on the present phase of development of the app.
6. Performance testing
The most important aspect of performance testing is speed. according to a report, around 87% of the users don’t return to an app if it’s not fast enough. A lot of emphases should be given to load testing and find out what will slow down or probably make the app freeze. The app’s rating will take a sharp dip if it starts to crash more often which will lead to low download rate. Another thing to take into consideration is interruption testing as it will again evaluate the reaction of an app to any interruption like an incoming call, SMS or a pop-up.
7. Security testing
You need to make sure that your app uses secure network protocols. Especially if your app is using a payment gateway or storing payment information. Even login credentials are to be treated as highly confidential data and check the maximum number of login attempts per user.
8. UI testing
The user interface is designed by the UI designers and forwarded to the development team to work on the blueprint and align everything in the provided space. Once the product development phase is over the QA teams figure out the changes like the indentation, fonts, colors combinations etc. The best practice is to perform cross-functional activities. This will speed up the process and ensure that there are no issues in the UI.
9. Acceptance testing
Before the release of the app, we need to make sure that the app meets the expectations from a business point of view. To do so you need to develop test scenarios based on software requirements, business requirements, and business use cases. Acceptance testing can be automated in some cases for continuous validation of the app functioning.
10. Regression testing
New features are added in every app on a regular basis to provide a better user experience. These changes can create bugs in the app and this is where regression testing comes into the picture. Even a small code change in the app can produce a ripple effect and might create problems. Regression testing will ensure that the changes made will not affect the flow of the app.
There should be a constant collaboration between the QA team, app developers and the business strategists, to ensure a smooth app delivery. Business development team and the testers should work together to add new features as per the user expectations. Mobile apps need to be upgraded regularly as per the user demands and feedbacks. These changes push the QA teams to come up with new test cases and resolve the issues before it’s too late. The QA teams can be confident about their mobile apps by implementing these strategies prior to releasing the app.