mobile automation testing
The massive popularity of mobile apps encourages many businesses to develop innovative applications by targeting popular mobile platforms. But users now have option to choose from millions of mobile apps available in different app stores. So it becomes essential for the business to focus on the app’s quality and user experience to get higher returns.
However, the enterprises require testers to test all aspects of the application within a shorter amount of time to reduce time to market. Many businesses automate their mobile application testing efforts to help testers to complete all tests without putting any extra time and effort. However, each business has to address a number of key challenges to automate their mobile application testing efforts effectively.
Addressing Top 4 Challenges in Mobile App Testing Automation
1) Choosing the Right Devices
Each mobile app needs to deliver quality user experience across a wide variety of devices. Often developers find it easier for test the iOS and Windows Phone apps as these platforms power only specific devices. But Android apps need to run on various models of smartphones, tablets and phablets. So the test automation must clearly define the targeted devices to make it easier for QA professionals to perform the tests. However, a business cannot invest in a large number of mobile devices. That is why, it is important for the project manager to pick some of the commonly used mobile devices, and use simulators to cover the rest.
2) Picking the Best Software
Each business has option to choose from a large number of mobile app testing tools and frameworks. Some of these tools are commercial, whereas others are open source and free. That is why; enterprises often find it challenging to pick the right software. It is always important for businesses to explore ways to reduce project overheads by using open source testing tools and solutions. But the open source tools do not provide IDEs that can be used for designing, executing, refactoring and maintaining tests. So it becomes essential for businesses to invest in commercial testing tools. To address the challenge, the business must spend some time in assessing the pros and cons of each tool according to the needs of the project. The evaluation will help it to pick the right software without spending a lot of money.
3) Monitoring Changes in Application’s Behaviour
Unlike conventional software applications, mobile apps are used in a variety of environments. The performance and user experience of an app will differ according to the connection. For instance, a user may access the mobile app with a number of internet connections like Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G. The performance of the app will vary according to user’s internet connectivity. That is why; the testers need to assess the functionality and performance of the app across many environments. At the same time, they also need to identify the bottlenecks affecting the app’s performance in individual environments. The business has to invest additional funds to emulate the probable environments for testing purpose. So it needs to identify the common factors that affect the app’s performance in various environments. The testers can use tools to assess the application’s performance based on these common parameters.
4) Implementing Data Driven Automation
While automating their mobile application testing efforts, many enterprises opt for data-driven automation. The automation technique enables testers to process a large number of business requirements within a shorter amount of time. For instance, data driven automation will help testers to check if the app displays appropriate error message for specific input submitted by the users. The business can simplify date-driven automation by asking testers to list the minor business requirements to be tested in a spreadsheet, and execute the test script to assess these requirements sequentially. The test script will gather business requirements from the spreadsheet and execute the tests in sequence. The testers can further enhance the scope of the test strategy simply by increasing the number of rows in the spreadsheet.
However, no business can automate all its mobile application testing efforts. The test automation tools cannot assess the application’s user experience accurately. As the app’s user experience will have a direct impact on its popularity, specific tests have to be conducted manually. That is why; the business must identify the tests that can be automated effectively to address the key challenges in an easier way.
Automation testing is the branch of mobile software testing which utilizes certain test codes or pre written scripts to check the software of probable bugs and flaws which are to be rectified to create a better version of the same such that it is better accepted by the customers. Automated testing not only provides accurate results but also saves time and is thus considered to be a valuable asset.
- Automated Software Testing Saves Time and Money: Repetition is a common phenomenon when it comes to testing the mobile apps. This is due to the fact that the software needs testing during various phases of development. The automated testing frameworks can be reused again and again and hence save money in the procedure. The testing process is completed in a jiffy and multiple machines can conduct testing simultaneously. This saves a lot of time while the process is on the go.
- Automated Testing Improves Accuracy: Automated testing runs on a simulated framework with accurate precision. As it is conducted by the machine, the same precision is maintained each and every time the tests are performed. It is said that “to err is human”. Even the most professional tester will commit some mistake at one point or the other. But a machine will never make this mistake.
- Automated Testing Increase Test Coverage: Manual testing requires long time to be completed and hence in most cases is avoided when long tests are to be conducted. However, when mobile automation testing is conducted, the test may be left unattended and would be performed with equal precision on its own. This makes automation testing a valuable tool in case of mobile testing. The automated testing procedure conducts multiple complex tests which provide with an increased coverage area which helps in the formation of a better mobile app.
- Automation Does What Manual Testing Cannot: Manual testing is performed by human, and well, let’s face it, they have limitations. Manual testing of user interface will require actual users to conduct the test. On the contrary, automation testing can perform the user interface test taking ten, hundreds or thousands of people without their actual presence in a virtual manner.
- Automated QA Testing Helps Developers and Testers: Automated tests that are shared with the developers can save a lot of time in the testing procedure. The developers can run the tests themselves and get results before having to send it to the QA department and hence the rectification can be done immediately without to be having to wait for the QA department to send back the results. This helps in boosting the confidence of the developers and saves time too.
- Team Morale Improves: As the repetitive tasks can be left to the automated testing of mobile apps, the software testing team can invest their valuable time in conjuring solutions for the more challenging tasks at hand which require personal attention to be resolved. This way a better testing procedure can be strategized and better results can be obtained.
Thus you see how mobile automated testing is valuable in the software testing industry. Yes! We accept that automation testing can never completely replace the manual procedure, but it has its own perks which should be utilized as far as possible.
But there are things that are needed to be considered wisely while adopting the mobile test automation. As if not given due attention, it may lead to programming disappointments – bugs, crashes or other sudden conduct – with mobile applications can rapidly cost their makers its reputation, and push the application down in a search request.
Thus, there are few things that are to be considered while adopting mobile test automation:
Cost and Investment
Mobile application testing is one of the most important aspect of app development. Many huge app developing companies lay great impetus on it. But even they have to go with the budget. Thus an effective cost and Investment plan needs to be adopted.
Time, people, Money, Infrastructure& Trainings are the basic requirements to conduct a test- manual or automated. It’s quite obvious that in today’s time one prefers automated testing as it provides better ROI.
App development & testing Cycles
App development requires efficiency and that efficiency is provided by a regular testing cycle which is frequently carried out during every stage of the app development.
Machines that carry out this Automation process though man-made are pretty much more error free than that of human themselves. Under Automation mobile testing each and every step is carried out efficiently with almost zero error. It saves time as well as manual energy.
Tools & Technology
Modern day app developing companies prefer Automation testing over manual one and that’s in fact right. But although the vast majority is carried out through Automation. They must not forget the importance of manual one.
There are various testing tools such as Robotium, uiautimator, Catabash, Selenium and Appium are just some of the wide range of methods available in a tester’s hand. Jenkins is one of the most commonly used open source continuous integration used for conducting automated testing.
Test coverage & reusability
Test Automation for Mobile apps turns out to be cost and time effective as lengthy tests are carried out in a short period of time and expense factor is reduced as less and less manpower is required to carry out the testing.
The testers and developers are required to abide by the open standards and are required to stick to those standards. Transparent APIs should be brought into use so that it can be used later on.
Improving efficiency, effectiveness and stability are the desired outcome expected after a considerable mobile Automation testing. All the emphasis is laid down how to produce high quality, robust apps which are reliable in the ever growing complex environment.
Testing efficiency relates to average number of tests done in an hour. The better the efficiency, the more cost effective and less time consuming it will be. So in order to satisfy your consumers and building a customer base, it’s quite essential that you stay awake in this dynamic mobile ecosystem.
Native mobile applications are those which have been developed based on the iOS and Android SDKs. Like all other apps, these too need to be tested before made available for public use in order to ensure that they are devoid of major faults or bugs which might cause people to stop using them. Following are a list of automated testing tools which you can use to test your native mobile apps with ease and reliability as they provide you with highly accurate feedbacks.
- Calabash (Android and iOS): Comparable to the likes of Selenium, Calabash (Android and iOS) is one of the best automated mobile testing tools which understands and tackles the difference between web app and mobile app smoothly.
- Frank (iOS): With the help of Frank (IOS), you can now create your very own text test/acceptance tests/requirements tests which can be executed with ease and detailed test results can be easily obtained. It also allows you to use an app inspector.
- MonkeyTalk (Android and iOS): Be it simple software tests like smoke test or complex texts which are driven by various data profiles, MonkeyTalk makes everything super easy on all sorts of systems like simulators or real devices.
- Robotium (Android): Native or hybrid apps, Robotium (Android) is up for testing all sorts of mobile apps. You can write your own tests and can apply them to span them for multiple Android applications at the same time.
- iOS UI Automation (iOS): You write the test scripts and iOS UI Automation (iOS) applies them to test the developed app so as to make it as error free as possible. You will get regular log information during the test procedure from the tool.
- Ui Automator (Android): Ui Automator (Android) specifically checks the native mobile app for the user interface and the ease with which the customers are able to handle the apps on touch screen devices.
- IOS-Driver (iOS): Completely workable with the likes of Selenium and other automated app testers, iOS-Driver (iOS) helps in the testing of both native and hybrid apps in order to detect the probable flaws in the developed apps in order to avoid customer’s dissatisfaction.
- Selendroid (Android): In case of Selendroid (Android), the tests have to written with the help of Selenium. It helps in testing both native as well as the hybrid apps and drives off, especially the user interface of the apps.
- Keep It Functional (iOS): KeepItFunctional (iOS) is an automated testing tool for native apps which pays special attention to the performance issues of the iOS apps. This framework specifically leverages the integration and utilises XCTest testing target to build and perform the specific tests.
- Appium (Android and iOS): If you are looking for a automated testing tool for your mobile apps which is written on codes with an open source then you must try Appium (Android and iOS). This is one of the best automated testing tools which test native apps perfectly.
These are some of the best automated testing tools which can be used for the detection of the probable flaws or bugs in the native apps of mobile which you have developed. The highly precise test results can be used for error rectification so that superior products are delivered.
It is a proven fact that testing of a software before launching it into the market helps in increasing the popularity of the same. However, there is no reason to test your app in your development facility, where as you can outsource it to people who specialize in the process and will take care of the mobile testing for you providing you with desired results.
- Pay Less, Get More: When you are managing a business or are the owner of one, your primary objective should be to attain maximum benefit from minimum investment without compromising the quality of the product. When you outsource the mobile testing facility you get good quality testing facility at a much lower price than that available at you own country. Also your core team gets to invest more time in the development process as they only have to manage the outsourced team and not invest their time in the mobile testing procedure. Thus you get the best of both worlds.
- Skilled People, Cheaper Rates: One of the most prevalent reasons behind the rise of mobile testing outsourcing is the availability of highly skilled labours at a much cheaper price. In this way you get to maintain the standard of your product and at the same time ensure that your company is getting maximum profit out of the whole process. The workers at the outsourced testing centre are equally skilled as your own workers (sometimes, even a tad bit more) but they are available at your service for much lower rates than the amount which you have to pay for you own workers.
- Focusing on Core Business: Most of the giants of the IT industry maintain a mobile testing division as a plus one along with their main business. On one hand it is important to deliver quality product to your customers on the other you also need to concentrate more on your core business facilities. When you outsource the mobile testing division to elsewhere, you still get to provide your customers with top notch product and at the same time get to concentrate and develop your core business more.
- Negotiable Pricing: We have already pointed out that the outsourcing of the mobile testing facility will cost you much less. If you are a company based in UK or USA, you will need to pay around $ 80 per hour to your workers for the same job which can be achieved for just $ 15 per hour in countries like India. Can you imagine the difference it will create in your annual profit? But don’t be intimidated by the price difference the end result of both the job are same (sometimes the later provides better results too)
- Easy Start Off: As most of the countries are outsourcing their mobile testing services, so a huge number of companies are growing in the countries like India which offer this kind of services to the rest of the world. This eases the job of finding the right kind of company which will provide you with the best mobile testing facilities as the one required by the app you have developed. In this way you just need to select the company which is right for your needed service, specify what you want, pay them and sit back and relax.
We have provided you with some of the top reasons as to why there is a sudden rise in mobile testing outsourcing. We hope this will help you understand the benefit of outsourcing and you will do the same.
Mobile devices are gaining importance rapidly and more and more people are switching to smart phones as a gateway to internet. As the generation is advancing, they are becoming completely dependent on the smart phones. Also with passing days, more and more applications are being developed and launched for public usage. This makes mobile app testing an important branch of software testing industry. However, certain things are to be kept in mind while testing the mobile apps.
- Selection of the Devices: The first and foremost job that you need to get done before testing the mobile application is to conduct a market survey that will give you a fair idea about the trending devices and you will have to test the mobile application keeping the construction of the device as most of your customers will be utilizing the same device to access you app. Compatibility of the device with your app has to be super smooth.
- Operating Systems: The next thing to be considered is the operating system on which the device is running. You have to test the compatibility and performance of your app on the said operating systems. The advancement of the technology has presented us with various operating systems and you have to test you app with them.
- Emulators: Emulators help to save time and money on the initial stages of app testing and helps in easy detection of bugs and flaws of the mobile app you are testing. This will lead to lesser complications. Make sure you are choosing the correct emulators for testing your mobile app.
- Browser Compatibility: While you are testing your mobile app for various defects, make sure to check the compatibility of the same in the various major browsers that may be used to access your app. The customers may choose any one of those browsers to use your app and hence it has to work smoothly on all of them.
The following questions may help you to strategize a good software testing procedure for the mobile application you are developing. It will detect the major issues and bugs so that it can be rectified to provide the customers with a more satisfactory end product.
- Is the installation procedure smooth enough for all existing devices?
- How easily can a user uninstall your application if needed?
- How well does your app work in case of poor or no network situations?
- Does your application allow proper display of features like logo, name, splash screen, etc.?
- How fast does your app start or restart?
- Does your mobile app affect the performance of the device or other apps?
- Are exit modes such as End key or Exit options etc. applicable for exiting your mobile app?
- Does your application allow phone calls or messages while it is launched?
- Is the application crashing after a phone call or message notification or prolonged use?
- Does it provide low battery notifications?
- Does the GUI you are using include colour scheme, theme, menu, font colour font style etc. compatible with all the devices/browsers?
- Is your application safe on security front?
We hope that these few tips will help you to make a good plan to test your mobile app to make it better and more compatible.