mobile app testing

Have you ever wondered why developing mobile apps have become such a big part of business strategy today?  

In 2021, users spent 3.8 trillion hours on mobile apps. 

New app downloads stood at 230 billion. 

And, users spent close to USD 170 billion in mobile app downloads. 

Clearly, there is a massive market for mobile apps that businesses can capitalise on. A study shows that from 2021, there has been a 16% jump in the number of mobile apps built by businesses to connect with customers. And, this is only going to grow in the coming years, as desktop usage steadily declines. 

Mobile apps look like the future of technology, but what does it take to develop and test one? 

In our earlier blogs on test automation, we looked at why it has become important for businesses to shorten their app release cycles, how test automation tools can speed up this process and best practices businesses can adopt to test apps without compromising on data security or quality.  

In this blog, we’ll specifically look at why test automation is critical for mobile apps and how businesses can do this effectively. 

The Current State of the Mobile App Market 

While it is evident that mobile apps are a great way to connect with customers, businesses are also grappling with multiple challenges when it comes to mobile app development.  

Time to Market 

The first, most obvious challenge is the time to market. This is common irrespective of which platform the app is being designed for. Shorter release cycles and effective testing are critical for businesses to retain a competitive advantage and remain relevant in the market.  

Multiple Operating Systems 

The second challenge is, there are too many platforms, like Android, iOS and Tizen, on which the apps need to be tested and certified. Each platform functions differently, and not all operating platforms support all features. So, there’s a necessity to perform cross platform testing, to ensure that the features developed for a mobile app work across all functionalities and operating systems. 

Constant Upgrades 

There is a necessity to continually test the apps as smartphones undergo regular software updates, new device models get launched in the market, and new features get released. 

Varying Screen Sizes 

Although an obvious point, how an app looks varies depending on the size of the smartphone screen. While developers can’t build a separate app to suit every screen size, they need to build one that has a flexible layout and design elements that scale to optimise UX and UI. 

Mobile Network Compatibility 

The demand of the end user is often that the app needs to function optimally even on low network speeds. So, it’s crucial for developers to incorporate into their testing process the ability of the app to function at speed even in low bandwidth areas. 

Changing User Preferences 

There’s a study which indicates that the number one reason why users delete a mobile app is because they hardly use it. Having said that, closely following it are other reasons like: 

  • Incompatible UI 
  • Complicated login/ sign up process 
  • Lack of a social login option 
  • Privacy and security issues.  

It’s safe to say that user preferences keep changing often and it’s critical for developers to keep an eye on what users want in terms of design, layout and functionality. 

Too Many Testing Solutions 

While there are a number of mobile test automation tools in the market today, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that businesses can subscribe to. Often, the testing tools are designed to test specific aspects of a mobile app, like OS compatibility only, UI compatibility only, and such. 

If the developers don’t have a clear idea of who their audience is and what are the critical aspects they need to test, it can often lead to businesses overspending on too many testing software solutions. 

Keeping these challenges in mind, what are some best practices that businesses can employ to build, test and release mobile apps that are agile, effective and user-oriented? Let’s find out. 

Best Practice #1 – Understand the functionalities of the mobile app you’re developing 

Like we said earlier, on one hand, there are a number of mobile app testing tools available in the market, and there are a number of aspects that need to be tested when developing mobile apps.  

A Merit expert adds, “Understanding the objective of building the mobile app, the target audience, and the various functionalities of the app can help you develop a clear testing strategy. It can give a clear direction on what are critical aspects that must be tested, and what can be avoided. In addition to performance, functionality and security testing, business value testing has become critical.”  

Having a clear testing objective in place will help save time and cost and ensure speedy deployment of the mobile app. 

Best Practice #2 – Develop real-time testing scenarios 

For example, bandwidth issues are a real challenge. So are geography, location, battery capacity, and storage capacity. Recognising real-time scenarios and testing your mobile app can make it as compatible to user circumstances and requirements as possible. 

Best Practice #3 – Constantly monitor for updates/ upgrades 

Are you developing an iOS only or Android only app? Are you developing an app that’s compatible with all OS? One of the most crucial things you need to do in mobile app testing is to ensure that you’re always on top of constant updates being made to an OS, or aware of the possible compatibility issues that may arise with new models being released in the market. 

Best Practice #4 – Split your testing process 

We’re sure you’re well aware of the various testing strategies;  

  • Unit testing 
  • Regression testing 
  • Functionality testing 
  • Acceptance testing  
  • Integration testing 

During mobile app testing, it’s recommended that you split the app into different units and functionalities so that the testing process can be more thorough and exhaustive. 

Best Practice #5 – Test with real devices, not simulators 

It’s ideal to chuck the simulator devices and test your mobile apps on real-time devices to get a more realistic view of how your app is functioning on the device. For example, you can test your mobile app on cloud testing solutions like Xamarin or SOASTA. These often prove to be cost effective and scalable. 

Merit’s Expertise in Software Test Automation   

Merit is a trusted QA and Test Automation services provider that enables quicker deployment of new software and upgrades on various devices and OS. 

Reliable QA solutions and agile test automation is imperative for software development teams to enable quicker releases. We ensure compatibility and contention testing that covers all target devices, infrastructures and networks.  

Merit’s innovative testing solutions help clients confidently deploy their solutions, guaranteeing prevention of defects at a very early stage.  

To know more, visit our Testing page

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