Mobile Application Testing
Mobile Application Testing is a process by which a developed application of a mobile device is tested for its functionality, consistence & usability. It can be automated and manual. It almost goes through the normal testing process but the testing techniques may vary for mobile devices.
Importance of Mobile Application Testing
As we discussed in the last chapter that Mobile market is booming, mobile websites and Apps are exploding like anything in the market. Each and every business is trying to get the maximum benefits out of this mobile technology. With the exponential increase for mobile usage has led to mobile testing. Businesses are focusing on creating mobile strategies and roadmap before implementing the application for their users. It became essential to develop an app with effective features and functionalities which are beneficial to the customer. But it is more critical to have an effective testing plan and strategy before any app is developed. As client is usually in millions for a certain product – and a product with bugs is never appreciated. It often results in monetary losses, legal issue and irreparable brand image damage.
Challenges in Mobile Application Testing
Performing Mobile Testing is not an easy task, as it is different and much more complex from enterprise testing and website testing. Mobile applications have a smaller footprint on the virtual machine as opposed to a desktop application. Mobile Testing needs to be performed on variety of software platform, versions, hardware, network condition and what makes it more complex are the various devices, fast changing mobile OS, the frequent introduction on new devices, and unpredictability of simulators.
- Different range of mobile devices with different screen sizes and hardware configurations like hard keypad, virtual keypad (touch screen) and trackball etc.
- Wide varieties of mobile devices like HTC, Samsung, Apple and Nokia.
- Different mobile operating systems like Android, Symbian, Windows, Blackberry and IOS.
- Different versions of operation system like iOS 5.x, iOS 6.x, BB5.x, BB6.x etc.
- Different mobile network operators like GSM and CDMA.
- Frequent updates – (like android- 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, iOS-5.x, 6.x) – with each update a new testing cycle is recommended to make sure no application functionality is impacted.
Types of Mobile Testing
When we talk about Mobile Device Testing, it can be categorized broadly in two segments;
- Hardware testing/Mobile testing: This is to assure the quality of mobile devices. The device including the internal processors, internal hardware, screen sizes, resolution, space or memory, camera, radio, Bluetooth, WIFI etc. This is sometimes referred to as, simple “Mobile Testing”.
- Software testing/Application testing: The applications that work on mobile devices and their functionality are tested. It is called the “Mobile Application Testing” to differentiate it from the earlier method. Even in the mobile applications, there are few basic differences that are important to understand:
a) Native apps: A native application is created for use on a platform like mobile and tablets. These applications get installed on the mobile device and often delivered from the App Store.
b) Mobile web apps: Web applications as one accessed using a browser on the mobile device or server-side apps to access websites on mobile using different browsers like chrome, Firefox by connecting to a mobile network or wireless network like WIFI.
c) Hybrid apps: These are combinations of native app and web app. Hybrid embeds a browser in a native application. These also run on devices, online or offline.
It is enormously challenging to verify enterprise applications across myriads of handsets with different screen sizes and operating system flavors. Therefore, testing teams need to find better and more cost-effective solutions to avoid any compromise on quality.
This tutorial on Mobile Application Testing will cover QA challenges and discusses mobile testing strategies, mobile testing types and manual mobile testing tools.