Every new day, thousands of new apps are launched. With apps integration now possible into self-driving cars, wearables, drones, digital assistants etc. billions of users download it on their smart devices such as tablets, smartphones, vehicles, watches, kitchen and home appliances, etc. Here lies the uprising pressure for every enterprise to meet consumer demand in respect to device compatibility issues, functional defects, or poor user experience of mobile apps that prompts users to shift to an alternative app.
Speed, quality and performance are becoming the determining factors for every enterprise and consumer app in the industry. The need to launch the perfect app and then to continuously keep on upgrading it to match the wants of consumers is creating a tremendous, continuous pressure on the professionals responsible for quality and testing along with the developers. We believe testing will continue to fuel new and disruptive product innovation for years to come.
Before we dig deep into the best practices and tactics to be followed for seamless mobile app testing, let us educate you with an exhaustive list of the latest trends that every professional in the testing community should look out for in 2017:
· Test Automation with regression testing
· Security Testing in the age of IoT
· Open source tools are the future
· Dominance of big data usage and mobile payments becoming prevalent
· Enterprise mobile and cloud applications (especially hybrid) will go mainstream
· The rulers will be Agile and DevOps
· Shift from Performance Testing to Performance Engineering (System Performance Engineering-SPE)
· Hardware Testing will be in its own Pace
Best Practices for Mobile App Testing
Design the Test Plan
The mobile app testing process should begin right from the start of development process. Testing is no different from coding and should be carried out at every level of the development. It is better to identify the flaws and correct them at an earlier stage than later.
Test on Real Devices
Testing on emulators and simulators is a very useful method for mobile testing in the early stages of app development. But it is equally important to test the mobile app on real mobile devices too. Testing on real devices ensures test results are realistic and gives the tester a better idea regarding the look and feel of the app and its general usability.
Choose Your Testing Frequency
Start testing as soon as development has reached a logical stage. The flaws need to be identified at the early stage before they become too costly to fix and the process must continue frequently so that no flaws in the app go unnoticed till the entire product is complete. Create a fixed schedule to track results of each test cycle.
Set device and OS preferences
Setting up device and OS preferences is important. It might be virtually impossible to test exhaustively on all device, network and OS combinations. Determine upfront for which devices and OS your app will specifically cater to and perform QA on them.
Test with Different Hardware features
Smartphones these days are loaded with powerful devices and sensors to interact with the surroundings. For example: ambient light sensors, proximity sensors, acceleration sensors, gyroscope sensors, magnetic sensors, location sensors, touchless sensors and so on.
In this scenario, the tester must do some sensor specific tests and to do so they need be aware of the specified sensors and it’s functionality in an app. In addition to testing your app with the sensors, it is very important to test the mobile app against different hardware features of the device—camera, display, storage, microphone, and so on. All those features can have a huge impact to the mobile app.
Automation of mobile app testing is important to increase the productivity of the testing procedures as it reduces time to market to a large extent and generate high ROI. IDEs, in-house scripts, and cloud testing frameworks need to be created in order to detect the various flaws and design faults. But an important factor to keep in mind is periodic maintenance of the automation test suite.
Adequate Performance, Stress and Security Testing
Performance, stress and security testing make your app robust and can prevent financial liabilities arising from user distress. Check for known and unknown vulnerabilities, including those arising from third party and open source software packages.
Check Battery Consumption
Power hungry apps most likely get deleted. Be sure to check how much battery your app consumes. Be sure to check that the mobile app consumes very less battery for its operations. Battery backup is one of the important factors which people consider while buying a smartphone and this should be kept in mind by the tester as well.
Ensure your App is Truly Global
Localization can be counted as one of the main mobile app testing challenges. If a mobile app is used in different countries, that app very likely will need to adapt different languages. In that case, mobile app testers must test the app against the various languages it supports. Testing the language is important because every language has different characters and different sizes. Ensure that your app supports not only different languages but currencies and even popular social networks of prominent markets.
Test Network Response
In today’s busy world, every user accesses their mobile phone and uses apps while they are on the move. Hence, it is an important to test apps on all sorts of data networks.
Fast data networks like LTE, 3G, or Wi-Fi differ substantially from slower networks like EDGE or even GPRS. Mobile app testers must be sure that the app works with different network speeds and can handle network transitions seamlessly; for example, from LTE to EDGE. To test those scenarios, testers must also move around, testing in different network scenarios and with different network carriers.
Test both Client and Server Side
Mobile app testing must be carried out on both, the client and the server side as well. It is important that the tests should be carried out with loads on client, server, and on both at one time. This test will give the estimate of how much load the app can handle.
Restrict Permissions and Check All Log Files
The last point in suggested best practices for mobile app testing deals with app permissions and log files. During the development and testing phase, mobile app testers need to verify that the app is using only the permissions that the app requires, and not anymore. Mobile app users are very sensitive about the data security hence mobile app developers need to take this into consideration.
2017 will bring more challenges and greater possibilities for mobile QA specialists. If we follow these practices it will help to increase app usability in a better way at the organization level as well as business perspective and make the organization grow in an effective manner.