mobile test automation
The steady decline in mobile web usage has made it essential for enterprises to launch mobile applications. But a number of studies have highlighted that a large percentage of users delete mobile apps after downloading them from the app store due to their poor quality and user experience. So each business needs to explore ways to optimize the Mobile application’s functionality and performance to make it popular and profitable. Most businesses nowadays deploy seasoned QA professionals to assess the mobile app’s look, feel, functionality, performance, and user experience thoroughly. There are also a number of reasons why many businesses are making and implementing comprehensive mobile testing plans.
6 Reasons Why Most Modern Businesses Test Mobile App Thoroughly
1) Cross Platform Mobile App development
While planning mobile apps, most businesses nowadays target several popular mobile operating systems like Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There are also a number of advanced tools that enable developers to create the same application for different platforms using a single code base. But the businesses still need to ensure that the mobile app deliver quality user experience regardless of the mobile operating system. The QA professionals test the app thoroughly on each platform, and identify the flaws affecting the application’s performance.
2) Device Fragmentation
While planning a mobile app, businesses also need to target a wide variety of devices powered by the same mobile operating system. For instance, each business wants its iOS app to run on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Likewise, it has to target various models of smartphones, tablets and phablets while planning Android apps. But the screen size, resolution and other hardware characteristics of individual devices differ. So the business needs to ensure that the app delivers quality user experience across many devices. The QA professionals have to assess the app’s look, feel, performance and functionality across multiple devices to make the users access the app regularly.
3) Frequent Operating System Updates
Apple, Google and Microsoft update their respective mobile operating systems at regular intervals. Each updated version of the mobile platform comes with several new features and performance improvements to deliver richer user experience. Thus, the mobile app scenario is transformed each time a mobile operating system is updated. The users further expect the mobile app to take advantage of the new features included in the most recent version of the operating system. So the testers have to assess the impact of changes made to the code to ensure that the app functions flawlessly on the latest version of the mobile platform.
4) Emphasis on Resource and Battery Consumption
The most recent version of iOS and Android enable users to identify the mobile apps that affect the device’s battery life and consume more memory resources. The features make it easier for users to identify and uninstall the resource-hungry apps. So the businesses need to ensure that their apps do not consume additional memory resources. But the amount of resources consumed by the application will vary from one device to another. So the QA professionals must monitor the application’s performance across a variety of device to ensure that they do not consume extra battery and memory resources.
5) More Focus on UI and UX
To make a mobile app popular, each enterprise has to focus on its user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Recently Apple enables users to accomplish tasks through 3D touch on iPhone 6 and iPad Pro. Likewise, the users also have option to use a stylus and an improved keyboard while using iPad Pro. So the businesses must create mobile UIs that take advantage of these new features. Likewise, they also need to ensure that the mobile app delivers quality UX on each device and operating system. So it becomes essential for businesses to deploy experienced testers to assess the application’s UI and UX thoroughly. The test results will also help them to launch apps with optimized UI and UX.
6) Optimizing App’s Performance in Different Environments
Unlike conventional software applications, the mobile apps are used in a wide variety of environments. For instance, a person may access the mobile apps with a number of data networks including 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. So the testers need to assess the performance of the application with slow, fast and no internet connection. Likewise, they need to assess if the app can identify the exact location of the users and deliver more localized information. While making a mobile testing strategy, managers clearly mention the environments and conditions under which the app’s performance needs to be tested. Thus, the QA professionals can test the app’s performance under various environments and the bottlenecks affecting its performance in each environment.
The QA professionals need to perform a variety of tests to assess the quality of mobile apps accurately. That is why; most businesses invest in mobile app testing tools to get more accurate test results. Many enterprises even opt for cloud-based testing to complete all required tests within a shorter amount of time. However, they also perform certain tests manually to assess the user experience delivered by the mobile app effectively.
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.
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.
Software testing is one of the most vital parts of the software development life cycle, which solely decides the popularity of the developed software. As the testing processes are advancing, IT organizations are becoming more aware of its importance. Although multiple kinds of tests are available in the software testing the whole software testing procedure can be broadly classified as automated testing and manual testing procedure. As the whole software testing is based on these two parts, it is very important to know the difference between the two so that one can apply the right test in the right situation.
Automation Testing: Automation testing is the type of software testing procedure which is conducted with the help of testing tools like Selenium, J meter, QTP, Load Runner, Win Runner etc. Which are usually open source in nature and help the testers to perform various phases of the software testing life cycle. Automation testing is considered to be an integral part of manual testing,which takes lesser time due to the fact that they are done with the help of running scripts. Usually in the automation testing process the recitative functionalities of the software are checked solely by using tools. The regression testing is a lot less complicated with this procedure (due to the utilization of various tools) and more accurate and reliable results are obtained with the help of less number of testers. These tests are of high quality and can be done in multiple batches at the same time. You can also run automation tests on more than one machine at the same time. However, automation testing has some down sides which lies basically in the fact that it is an expensive procedure where knowledge of programming is absolutely necessary.
Manual Testing: The type of software testing, which is done primarily by the testers without the use of automatic tools or scripts is known as manual testing. Although it is accomplished primarily by the human beings, it consists of some of the most important phases of the software testing life cycle, which includes the likes of test planning, test deployment, result analysis, test execution, bug tracking and reporting tools. Although the processes of manual testing is a lot more complicated and time consuming, still it helps in the detection of a lot more bugs as the tests performed are random in nature and the testers are allowed to use their instincts for the detection of flaws. Random testing and Error guessing are two of the basic processes by which the manual testing results are obtained. As the use of tools are limited to this type of testing hence regression testing procedure becomes pretty complicated and hard to grasp and takes a lot more time to obtain the results. As there is practically no tool interaction with the manual testing process, hence it requires a lot more testers to get the work done and batch testing is impossible. The results obtained may be less accurate and reliable but the process is a lot less expensive and requires no knowledge of programming to be accomplished.
So these are the overall basic differences between the manual and automation testing of software. You can now decide which test would be best suited for your project and work accordingly.
With the increased number of smart phone users in the world, the needs for good mobile apps are increasing too. In the current era, majority of the smart phone users are accessing the internet via the mobile devices and most of our lives are dependent on the apps which provide us with all the basic needs. This has lead to the formation of a huge competition among the app makers to provide the end users with the best app which will satiate their needs. This calls in the requirement of mobile app testing.
- Checking Proper Functioning: The mobile apps should be tested to check the functionality of the same. When you are creating an app, you need it to deliver certain functions. App testing will ensure that your app delivers the desired function and that too in a speedy manner as people these days barely have time.
- Checking the Stress Level: As the usage of the mobile app is entirely dependent on the end user, you never know how much stress it may go through while being used. App testing will give you an idea of the stress level that can be handled by the app and also provide you with the report on how fast the app will gain back working capabilities in case it snaps under a certain amount of pressure.
- Security Facilities: Most of the mobile apps these days needs to be fed with personal information like email address or location details of the users. Banking apps also require knowledge of the codes and PIN numbers. Security of such information should be maintained at all time in order to safeguard the details of your customers. Security testing will show you how easy or difficult it is to breach the security parameters of your app.
- User Friendliness: The end users will always choose a mobile app which is easy to handle and understand. Hence it is very important that you test the ease of using your app before you release it for global usage. The app must be very easy to understand and deal with in order to become popular among the users.
- Compatibility: The apps are usually made up of various small modules which are integrated to make the app a whole one. Compatibility testing of the mobile app shows how smoothly the various modules work with one another so as to render smooth functionality of the app on a whole.
- Bug, Installing, Uninstalling and Updating: No user wants to work with an app which is filled with bug and is erroneous on the functionality front. Mobile app testing will ensure that your app is as bug free as possible. Also people have a hectic life style and want everything done at a rapid pace. Hence if your app has a speedy installing or uninstalling process at bay, it will be better accepted among the end users. Regular updates of your app should be provided in order to stay at par with the advancing technology and it is best if these updates get loaded quickly on your app. Mobile apps testing will give you all these details.
Thus you see how mobile apps testing are of utmost importance if you want to stay ahead of the raging competition of the mobile app industry.