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There are about 8.9 million mobile applications in the world. While some of them have a large user base, many are still unknown, or worse, infamous for being bad. If you look at the negative reviews, the most common reasons for that are multiple bugs, issues with installing the app on certain devices, and poor UI and UX.

The market is overly competitive, so to succeed, you have to ensure the quality of your app by conducting a thorough mobile testing process. It will help to ensure that users have the best experience possible while delivering the promised value.

What is Mobile Application Testing in General?

Mobile app testing is one of the essential stages of the development process. During this period, the application is subjected to all the plausible conditions it would operate at and to every possible (and impossible) action the user might perform.

During the app testing, you’ll be able to determine whether it is up to your standards in terms of quality, usability, performance, loading speed, whether all the intended functionality is in place and working properly, and more.

It is also important to make sure that the app meets all the business requirements, industry standards, and user expectations during mobile application testing.

The Importance of Mobile Testing

What is Mobile Testing?: Types and Features

There are numerous benefits of testing mobile applications thoroughly after enterprise mobile app development, food delivery, telemedicine app, or any other type of application development. Mobile software testing helps companies to:

  • Provide the users the best experience possible – most software solutions are created with a goal in mind – to resolve a certain issue the target audience has. So, testing mobile apps ensures that the solution does the job as good as possible while providing the users with a quality experience they will surely appreciate.
  • Ensure the appropriate performance metrics – another aspect of the mobile app testing process is making sure the technical aspects of your application are up to par with the competitors, meaning that there are no performance obstacles and it performs the tasks fast on all of the target devices.
  • Reduce the chance of a poor review on stores – catching the reasons behind bugs, glitches, and crushes will lower the number of poor reviews on various platforms, thus not damaging the company’s reputation and getting fewer people dissuaded from using the application.
  • Make sure the app can be used by anyone – whether you’re developing an app for Android or iOS, mobile testing will help to ensure that the software works with a wider range of devices, thus being available to a bigger audience.
  • Assure data security– if the application deals with personal information or any other type of sensitive data, mobile testing will help to make sure that such information is secure and is fully protected against any type of attack.

Ignoring the process or not spending enough time and attention on it can result in an application full of issues and inconsistencies. In this case, it will most likely suffer the fate of many applications on app stores – being lost and forgotten.

Key Considerations of the Mobile App Testing Process

Before the testing process starts, QA engineers conduct a thorough analysis and answer a few important questions. The answers will determine the mobile testing requirements and shape the overall process. Here are the key considerations that need to be made:

Type of Mobile App

To determine the mobile app testing approach that needs to be used in each particular case, first consider the type of the application. The classification relevant to this topic divides the apps into native, web, and hybrid apps.

Native mobile applications are developed specifically for a particular mobile platform. This software is usually installed on the device via an official app store (Google Play Store or Apple App Store), and can only be updated through it as well. Generally, they don’t need a constant internet connection to function and perform fairly well.

Web applications, on the other hand, are cross-platform and do not need to be installed. They are accessed through the browser, thus requiring a continuous internet connection to operate without any hiccups.

Hybrid apps are a combination of both types – while they are written using web technologies and are cross-platform, they look like native applications, need to be installed, and can work offline.

Different application types require different tools for mobile testing. For example, an iOS app and a hybrid app can be tested using the Appium framework, which is not compatible with web apps. For a web application, Selenium would have to be used.

Your Target User Base

The age and preferences of the target audience impact the variety of devices they will use the app on. It is essential to determine early on before you start conducting mobile device testing, especially when it comes to testing the Android applications. The variety of device providers and versions is immense, so it is unreasonable to test the app on all of them.

If you know the specification of the devices your users work with, namely the screen size, the storage capacity, the RAM, and the chip characteristic, you will be able to identifydesign issues specific to these devices early on, before you get any complaints.

Automated or Manual Testing

Another question you need to consider is how to test a mobile app. Automated testing is performed with the help of one of many automation tools on the market, where testers write an algorithm for various test cases. On the other hand, manual testing is completely done by a human.

Both approaches have certain merits, just as both have their disadvantages. For example, automated testing is much faster, and it provides an easier way to perform similar repetitive tests, which can exhaust the attention span of a human specialist. However, automated testing performs worse if an error is hidden from plain sight. A manual tester can deduct the best approach from experience or check the test case intuitively to find such an issue, but it would take them more time.

A hybrid approach can be applied to balance the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Still, the final choice should depend on the specifics of the application. For example, if there are a lot of similar elements that have to be tested, there is no need to reach out to a manual testing specialist.

If there is any trouble deciding on automated or manual testing, which testing framework to choose, etc., NIX United is ready to help you. Contact us, and we’ll assist you using our extensive experience in the field.

3 Major Types of Mobile Testing

What is Mobile Testing?: Types and Features

#1 Functional Testing

The first in the list of mobile testing types is functionality testing. Functionality testing aims to ensure that all the major functions of the application are working as they were intended to.

First, these include testing if each feature works as intended, using them in different conditions. Second, there is UI testing that focuses on checking the different menu options and settings, testing each button and interactive element. In addition, there is business flow testing, which works with analyzing the app navigation and optimization of the user experience.

This type of testing is easier to automate. Before the start, certain standards and test metrics need to be set up, as, without a clear milestone, functional testing can iteratively continue for a very long time.

#2 Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional testing deals with checking whether other aspects of the application are up to standards. It includes performance testing, during which the application is tested with various types of network connection (3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc.), different modes of battery consumption, and overall with various hardware. There is also stress testing, which focuses on extreme conditions. Another important part of non-functional testing is security testing – checking whether the data used in the app can be accessed by a third party and whether it is vulnerable to any type of attack.

Non-functional testing aims to emulate the scenarios that might occur during the use of the application and assess how the app’s functionality and, as a result, the user experiences change in these situations. It is just as essential to the success of the application as functional testing.

#3 Testing in Real Environments

Another one of the types of mobile testing that needs to be mentioned is testing the application in real environments, on real devices. While not every company has access to all the devices they plan to release their app on, even limited testing in a real environment might show issues that were missed while testing in a simulated environment.

Real environment testing often means testing on a low-level resource device or with interruptions and bad network connection. These extreme cases will better showcase the potential issues with the app’s performance.

Differences Between Web and Mobile App Testing

Even if a web application and a mobile app look and feel similar, the approach to their testing should be different. As they are developed using different technologies, they usually need different frameworks to get tested.

In addition, web applications are cross-platform; they don’t need to be tested on different versions of various devices. However, they should be tested on different web browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, to estimate the performance.

In this term, mobile testing is much more complex and requires more resources. During the testing, you need to account for different devices, OS versions, screen sizes, hardware specifications, and more.

Basic Differences Between Android and iOS Testing

At the moment, Android and iOS are the most popular mobile operating systems. The key difference between them that might impact the mobile test strategy in a major way is that iOS devices are exclusively produced by Apple, while the Android-based OSs are installed on various devices from different providers.

While it is essential to test the iOS application on older Apple devices, the number of Android devices that would have to be covered is much bigger. Such coverage requires more time and resources, thus making Android testing more challenging.

Mobile App Testing Trends to Watch in the Near Future

What is Mobile Testing?: Types and Features

Just as development trends come and go, mobile apps testing trends change with time and adapt to the circumstances as well. For example, some major testing trends we’ve seen in 2021 and might still see in 2022 include:

  • Decentralization of the testing infrastructure – COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in various ways, including the approach to application testing. Decentralization will provide better flexibility to people that work from home while maintaining the teamwork approach to testing;
  • More emphasis on automation – mobile testing automation is a major time and money saver. While the approach is not accurate enough and may not be suitable for all cases, it is constantly getting improved, and new approaches are getting developed;
  • Visual testing automation – pattern recognition tools that focus on interpreting visual information are getting better each year. So, there is no reason why such technology could not be used to analyze the visuals of the app performing certain actions and discover potential issues;
  • AI tools development – overall, AI may soon effectively assist the testers. With the amount of data generated by millions of apps, it won’t be too hard to train a system that would effectively recognize the signs of a potential bug or glitch.

Consider NIX United Your Trusted Mobile Testing Partner

Nix has been effectively testing software since 1994. Our team is well-versed in the most effective methods and approaches in addition to high-quality tools and the latest technology.

Whether you need help with mobile quality assurance full-cycle or just need some QA consulting, NIX should be your first choice. Contact us to discuss the details of your project and learn more about how we can help you.

Final Thoughts

Mobile application testing is a complex process with a lot of specifics and pitfalls. However, it is also an extremely important step that you cannot miss if you want your app to succeed. So, whether it is your first time developing an application or you have experience with mobile app development, you might need some help from experienced professionals.

NIX United can provide you with such assistance. In addition, we can help with custom mobile app development, help you learn how to outsource app development, and provide many other services. You can also find helpful info on our blog, including our advice on how to write a professional and effective mobile app business plan. Contact us to discuss your project!

FAQ

What is Mobile Testing?

Mobile testing is a process of checking whether the functionality of the application works right, and overall whether the app is up to your requirements. This includes checking for major bugs and issues in various situations, both in common processes and unique actions users are not likely to perform. This also involves checking the usability and accessibility of the application, making sure it’s secure and performs well.

Why is Mobile App Testing Important?

Mobile app testing has multiple benefits to its success. It will help to ensure that the app will satisfy the users, potentially reduce the number of negative reviews, and make sure that the application works correctly on as many devices as possible. In addition, it will help to ensure that your app is up to par with your competitors and that any sensitive data it uses is secure.

What are the Types of Mobile App Testing?

There is manual testing (conducted completely by a person) and automated testing (testing using automation tools). There is also functional (test of the main functions of the application) and non-functional testing (testing of usability, performance, security, etc.).

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