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Mobile testing is becoming increasingly important. Having the correct strategy and tools for each form of mobile testing is also critical. You’ll discover what mobile testing is and the fundamentals you’ll need to master it.

What do you understand about mobile applications?

A mobile application is a software application designed for small, wireless computing devices like smartphones rather than desktop or laptop computers. Mobile applications represent a departure from the traditional integrated software systems available on PCs. Instead, each app offers a single, limited feature, such as a game, calculator, or mobile web browsing.

The most basic mobile apps are just PC-based software that has been ported to a mobile device. This strategy is becoming less effective as mobile apps become more sophisticated. A more advanced method entails building specifically for mobile devices, taking advantage of both their limitations and benefits. Since the user is not tethered to a location as on a PC, apps that use location-based features are inherently created with a mobile audience.

Types of Mobile Applications:

The word mobile application refers to three software applications: native, mobile web, and hybrid applications.

1. Native Applications

Native apps are created specifically for a platform, such as iOS apps written in Objective-C or Swift or Android apps written in Java. Native apps are downloaded from an app store and have access to all of the device’s functionality. They often provide the highest performance for a mobile device.

2. Mobile Web Applications

HTML5, Javascript, and Adobe Flash/Flex are some of the most popular mobile web application development languages. Web apps can be accessed without initially downloading them from an app store. All major mobile browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, must be compatible with mobile web apps. One of the significant disadvantages of mobile web apps is that they have restricted access to devise functions like GPS, camera, and microphone.

3. Hybrid Applications

Hybrid apps combine a native front end with a cloud-based backend. The native frontend gives you access to devise functionality, while the backend lets you access web resources like online databases. Like fully native apps, hybrid apps are distributed to consumers through an app store. For instance, an online store may offer a hybrid app that allows users to search the store and make purchases from their mobile devices, or a photo-sharing app may allow users to capture photographs, edit them, and then share them in the cloud. Both hybrid and mobile web apps can be developed using tools like AWS, Mobile Hub, or Google Firebase.

Also, check out: The Testing Pyramid: Simplified for One and All.

What are the types of mobile app testing?

Various sorts of testing are performed during the creation of a mobile app. These include functional testing, non-functional testing, and regression testing.

1. Functional testing

Functional testing compares an application to design documents to see if it does what is intended. It investigates the user interface, menu structure and functionalities, and the response to screen orientation and resolution changes.

Functional testing for native apps entails verifying that the installation process goes smoothly and any registration or activation processes the user must go through. You should also test the update procedure to ensure no data is lost or corrupted.

2. Regression testing

Regression testing entails repeating tests that were successful in prior versions of the mobile app. This is done to ensure that the new code doesn’t reintroduce previous problems, referred to as “regressions.” Regression tests are great candidates for automation because they are conducted repeatedly.

3. Non-functional testing

Non-functional testing includes the following:

  • Operational testing: Operational testing entails observing the AUT’s behavior through events such as turning on/off the power, inserting or removing a data cable, turning on/off WiFi, and entering airplane mode.
  • Interrupt testing: Mobile applications are regularly disrupted by device events. Interrupt testing ensures that the AUT can cope with these situations. Making or receiving phone calls, sending and receiving SMS/MMS messages, and receiving pop-up warnings from the operating system, such as low battery indicators and alarm reminders, are examples of interrupt testing.
  • Security testing: In today’s world, security testing is very crucial. Fingerprints or facial scans, location data, private images, payment information, browser history, personal chats, and more are all stored on mobile devices. Sensitive data may be stored in the cloud by mobile apps; protecting sensitive data by mobile apps must be thoroughly tested.
  • Performance testing: Users will delete applications that operate slowly, take too much power or data, or consume memory, which might result in unexpected shutdowns, so performance testing is essential in mobile contexts. The following is a list of items to consider when performing performance testing:

Things to consider for mobile app testing

  • Carrier Networks and Stable Network Bandwidth:

Internet bandwidth has a significant impact on mobile apps. For some users, a usually sluggish or terrible internet connection hurts mobile application behavior. The average user does not wait more than 3 seconds for an app page to load. As a result, mobile app testing should be done to see how interruptions and network variations affect users.

Mobile interruption testing, in particular, simulates abrupt or unexpected interruptions in an app, such as battery removal, OS upgrade, charging plug in and out, and device shut down, to name a few. As a result, it’s critical to test mobile apps in real-world network situations to get an accurate image of how they behave.

Mobile apps are typically created to accommodate numerous geographical regions and are available in multiple languages to engage end-users. These apps should be tested across carrier networks and geolocations to guarantee that they perform correctly in various settings.

  • Effective End-to-End Privacy:

With cyber threats aplenty and mobile applications, in particular, being heavily targeted, it’s critical to have them thoroughly tested for security. Users want their personal information to be kept private and transactions to be safe. Security testing protects data security by identifying threats and weaknesses in the app. End-to-end mobile application security testing should be performed on mobile apps to provide stable payment integrations.

  • Stability across operating systems

There are many different mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, and Windows 10), each with several versions. The supported platforms have a level of sophistication that has reached new heights. Typically, organizations should ensure that their mobile applications run smoothly on all supported operating systems and versions. Effective end-to-end mobile app testing should be done across OS versions to achieve OS compatibility.

  • Consistent scalability:

When a mobile app gets popular, the number of users increases noticeably, and the growth might be exponential at times. As a result, load testing should be used to test the mobile app’s scalability with increasing and decreasing user loads. Load testing determines whether an app can scale when a large number of people use it at the same time.

  • Localization on a large scale:

For mobile app success, it is also critical that a mobile app conforms to regional settings, personalizing the app according to the target country/region with a linguistic touch. As a result, localization testing is required to guarantee that the app considers a specific location’s cultural and linguistic features. To create an all-effective mobile app that genuinely enchants end-users, linguistic testing, cosmetic testing, cultural testing, and functional testing should be undertaken.

  • Incredible performance:

When utilizing a mobile app, people want the app to respond quickly. The responsiveness of an app is determined by how quickly it starts up, how well it uses device memory, and how efficiently it uses device power, among other factors.

Furthermore, a user’s expectation of responsiveness varies depending on the mobile device. When it comes to delivering outstanding app performance, optimizing screen size is critical. Performance testing is required to ensure flawless app performance, as malfunctioning may result in unhappy users.

Selecting the mobile app testing framework

When selecting a testing platform, ensure a testing framework and vice versa support it.

After mobile testers have decided whether to conduct their QA using emulators, simulators, real-world device testing or a combination of these, the team must select a test framework. A mobile testing framework is a collection of code that quality assurance specialists use to create and run tests.

The mobile testing framework is a collection of code that quality assurance specialists use to create and run tests.

The framework chosen by a team is determined by the app’s operating system (Android, iOS, or Windows) and the functionality being tested. Testing features are not available in all frameworks. Furthermore, not all frameworks are compatible with all languages, so teams may have to decide based on this. Appium, for example, is a testing framework that works with Ruby, Php, Python, Java, PHP, and C# and supports all the platforms listed.

The test framework includes functions to manipulate the test device and make assertions about its state.

The following are some possibilities to make testing more manageable:

  • celery
  • Selenium
  • Espresso
  • robotic
  • XCT test
  • Pumpkin
  • JUnit

Choosing the right mobile testing platform

Testing platforms are software-as-a-service products in which quality analysis experts use the platform’s computer resources to execute tests.

These platforms relieve testers of the burden of configuring and running simulators and emulators and the coordination required to conduct tests.

A mobile app testing tool also allows QA specialists to run multiple tests simultaneously, which speeds up the test suite. Most of these platforms charge a monthly fee based on the number of tests done, the duration of the difficulty in minutes, and the number of devices used.

  • Appium

Appium is a mobile testing tool available as open-source. It is used widely across the world to automate app testing at scale. Appium has several attributes including script reusability and support for multiple languages. The tool can also be integrated with many other tools and is customized by companies like HeadSpin to enhance usage.

HeadSpin is the world’s first digital experience mobile app test automation tool, which integrates a worldwide device infrastructure, test automation, machine learning-driven performance, and experience quality analytics. Throughout the development lifecycle, HeadSpin equips engineering, QA, operations, and product teams with the tools they need to provide excellent digital experiences across all delivery channels.

  • Robotium

An open-source tool, Robotium can be used extensively to test Android apps. It uses Java as the chief language to create and automate robust use cases to facilitate testing. Robotium integrates seamlessly with Ant and Maven and consists of a large unit test library.

  • Calabash

Created by Xamarin, Calabash is yet another open-source tool used for iOS and Android mobile app testing. The tool supports Cucumber, Gherkin, and Ruby, besides languages like Java and C#. Developers can easily test native and hybrid applications for Android and iOS owing to the CI/CD integrations supported by the platform.

Final Takeaway

Irrespective of which platform a team chooses, they should carefully examine the benefits and drawbacks of emulators, simulators, and real-world devices. Some features may require a simple device to be adequately tested, although most testing may be completed quickly using an emulator or simulator.

To sum up:

  • We learned about testing mobile applications, including the types of mobile apps.
  • We understood the types of mobile testing.
  • We also covered mobile test automation frameworks.
  • Lastly, we learned how to choose the right mobile testing platform and application.