Mobile phones have taken over the world today. They have become a necessity for an average person. Mobile phones have become so efficient that you can use them for a great number of things such as banking, ordering food, entertainment, photography, booking a cab, etc. The vast utility of mobile phones is behind the daily increasing popularity of these devices. Mobile devices use different sorts of applications for catering to the different needs of their users. Mobile phones aid people through various mobile applications. These applications allow the mobile to function to serve the different needs of users.
As the mobile industry itself is mammoth, the mobile application industry is also the same. Users are heavily into mobile applications for their needs. The estimated amount that customers from all over the world have spent on mobile applications amounts to several billions of dollars. Companies today want to be present in this mobile application market due to its mass popularity and great revenue. Be it sports clubs, top businesses, tech companies, newspapers, etc. all have their own mobile applications.
The mobile application industry is always booming with the competition. All applications face massive competition from other applications serving the same purpose or targeting the same user group. There are multiple applications available for the same operation. Therefore, applications must be built and developed properly to succeed in the market as well as stay ahead in the competition.
What is Mobile Application Testing?
This is where mobile application testing comes in. Testing of mobile applications is very important. It allows the developers to test the application from all aspects. Mobile Application Testing refers to the multiple tests that are run on a mobile application before its official launch. This is done to assure that the application is free from problems and satisfies its specific users properly.
Why Should You Test Mobile Applications?
Testing is very crucial to any application. This process does a full check on the application and reports any problems found. Here are the main reasons why mobile applications should always be meticulously tested before launch-
Free from Errors & Bugs
An application may have errors or bugs in it. Such an application will surely have a negative impact on its audience. No user likes an application with bugs in it as it makes the in-app experience very frustrating and unsatisfactory. Testing prior to launch greatly reduces the chances of such bugs and errors in the application. Users always prefer applications with little to no bugs for their use.
Testing an application serves as a platform to use the application and check whether it adheres to its specific objectives/purposes or not. Developers can make further improvements to align the application with its main use if it is found that the application does not adhere to them.
Today a mobile phone holds very sensitive data of its user and therefore the applications that users use must be safe from malicious activity. Testing acts as an additional security check for the application against attacks by viruses or third-party users. This ensures that the application is safe for use.
Testing an application allows developers to assess the performance of the application. Developers can then make changes in the application to further improve the performance if not found satisfactory.
Nowadays, the process of testing also involves giving some users access to the application before its official launch. This allows the developers to get reviews from the real users about the application. These reviews are greatly helpful for the developers as these act as the response from the common people. The developers can make changes based on the users’ responses to improve the in-app experience.
Comparison With Competitors
Testing also involves the comparison of the application with its alternatives in the market. This allows developers to assess the performance of the concerned application with its alternatives. Such comparison can help developers to make improvements in the application to compete for better amidst the other applications.
Compatibility with Different Mobile Devices
There are a lot of different mobile devices that are in use in the present day. All of these are not the same and may vary in multiple categories. Therefore, it is important to test the application on multiple mobile devices to ensure that it runs smoothly on most of them. This will ensure compatibility and thus increase the user base.
Compatibility Across Different Networks
Users don’t use the same network on their devices. There are multiple networks present and therefore the application must be compatible across different networks. Testing allows the developers to test the application across different networks and make sure that the application runs on most of them.
Also Read: Mobile App Testing A Complete Guide
Types of Mobile App Testing
Mobile applications must go through a number of tests before their official launch. There are several parameters that have to be tested thoroughly. Therefore there are many types of mobile testing. They are explained below in detail:
This type of testing covers a broad area. This focuses on checking whether the functions of the application meet the required objectives as well as requirements. This test ensures that the application is of good quality, is responsive, and satisfies customer’s needs. This test focuses on the main functions, basic utility as well as accessibility, and errors of the application. These are the main principles of functionality testing.
Functionality Testing can be performed manually or can be automated. The different types of Functionality Testing include the following-
This test involves the assessment of individual units of code of the concerned software. An individual unit is the smallest part of the software that can be tested. Such units are tested to guarantee that each unit or collection of units works as per the objectives and requirements. E.g- for a messaging application, testing out the SEND unit of the application only as unit testing.
This is the next test in the whole Functionality Testing process. This involves the testing of grouped units or modules to check whether they together work properly or not. E.g- taking the same example of a messaging application, testing out multiple modules like typing a message and sending it can act as integration testing.
This is the complete testing of the whole function of the application. Tests are performed from the beginning to the end of the process of the primary function of the application.
This test helps to determine the in-app experience of the end-users. The application is tested for a good user interface, app layout, and the overall experience of the customers. This test is done on real devices and real users to get actual reviews. This involves certain users who have to perform an operation on the application and then answer a questionnaire based on their experience.
The steps for app usability testing are as follows-
- Planning the test which involves selecting the test operation for the application.
- Recruiting candidates for taking the test.
- Conduct the test operation with the selected candidates.
- Get feedback through the questionnaire from the candidates.
Analyzing the results and making improvements in the application wherever found necessary.
E.g– In the case of a messaging application, developers can ask the selected candidates to open the app, log in through the google account and engage in a conversation with any one of the other candidates. The questionnaire may include the following questions-
- How easy was the log-in process?
- Would you prefer a faster log-in?
- Did you like the user interface?
- How did you like the chat features?
- Was the in-app tutorial helpful?
- Do you like the conversation features of the application?
- How would you rate the usefulness of the application?
It involves testing the performance of the application under various situations and various workloads. Its main objective is to check the speed, responsiveness, and stability of the application to eliminate chances of performance bottlenecks. It is very crucial for every application to undergo performance testing to meet its performance objectives. This test also helps to create a well-performing application that serves its users to the best of its abilities.
Several parameters of the application are tested in performance testing such as –
- Battery Consumption
- Data Transfer
- Network Speed, etc.
Following are the various types of performance tests
The performance of the application is tested on the basis of the load it is expected to manage every day. This implies that the application is tested by providing the expected number of users. This involves testing the application across different locations to maximize the no of users per day as well as no of sessions per day. Load tests ensure that the application performs properly under such load.
This involves testing the application in extreme stress situations. Such a situation means those times when the user base exceeds the expected amount. Sometimes, such stress situations may occur in the lifetime of the application. Therefore these load tests help to make sure that the application runs smoothly in such situations too.
These tests are done to check the performance of the application during increased workload for a long time. These make sure that when the workload exceeds the average for a long time, the application can still endure and perform well. E.g- during festivals, people increase the no of conversations than the average. At such a time, the messaging applications should not break down. This can be ensured through well-designed endurance tests.
This involves testing the application by increasing the volume of transactions/data it has to process. This helps to deal with situations where the application has to deal with with a huge volume of data/transactions compared to the average.
These tests assess the performance of the application during the sudden increase or decrease of users. E.g – When results are announced online, the college application is sure to get a sudden increase in user requests and workload. Spike tests are developed to ensure proper performance during such events.
Security is a very important aspect of every mobile application. This is because mobile devices hold sensitive data of their users and the applications in them must be safe to use. These tests ensure that the application is not vulnerable and has restricted access to the data on the device. 80% of users are sure to uninstall applications because of security reasons. Therefore, it is quintessential that these tests are done properly. Security testing covers these parameters-
- Data Security: The application has to be able to protect data and not expose it intentionally to other applications.
- Hacking: Malicious activities are very common in the present day and therefore the app must protect itself from such hackers. The application must not have any vulnerabilities which hackers might exploit.
- Authentication & Authorisation: There should be proper authentication as well as authorization in the application to prevent malicious activity.
Encrypted Data Communication
The application should only engage in the transmission of encrypted data for communication.
Security tests are performed in the following ways
- Dynamic Analysis: Here, the applications are tested in real-time. They are actually run and tested for weak security areas.
- Static Analysis: The applications are not operated rather the code is analyzed for vulnerability and other security issues.
- Penetration Analysis: This involves testing the security parameters are analyzed in fully-developed applications through automated tools.
These tests involve the assessment of the installation as well as the uninstallation process of an application. These test the ease and success of the installation process. This ensures the proper installation of all files on the mobile device after the installation is complete. Moreover, this also ensures that all related files are removed from the device after the application is uninstalled. These tests also make sure that future updates also get installed easily without any issues. The application should also have the ability to stop during the middle of installation without hampering the device’s other functions.
Installation testing is based on the following parameters
- The location where the application is stored
- Compatibility to different operating systems, devices, networks, browsers, etc.
- Updates installation issues
- Sending proper notification to the user if memory is not enough
- Ensuring that the application works for some time on an older version
These tests are generally done on those applications which target a specific geographical region. These tests ensure that the application is compatible with all the aspects of its targeted region. Its main goal is to deliver the idea that the application was made specifically to meet the needs of the region.
The following factors have to be kept in mind while conducting localization tests-
- Currency of the region
- Languages of the region
- Customs and Religions
- Government regulations
- Time zone and date formats used in the region
- Symbols, logos, etc. based on the region
This testing involves assessing the compatibility of the application across different types of mobiles that are targeted by the application. This test is very important because if the application does not work on a particular device for which it is made, it will be a huge loss. Therefore, it is eminent that every application goes through compatibility tests before launch.
The compatibility tests focus on the following-
- Compatible across different operating systems
- Compatible with different versions of operating systems( old or new)
- Compatible with hardware specifications such as memory, speed, processor, GPU, etc.
- Compatible with different browsers such as Chrome, Safari, etc.
Mobile phones use multiple applications and each of them might interrupt the application currently running or in use. Therefore, applications must undergo interruption testing to continue running without any errors even after being interrupted by other applications. The application should be able to resume where it left off before being interrupted by some other application.
Interruptions may be the following-
- Push Notifications from applications
- SMS or text messages
- Alarms or Reminders
- Incoming Calls
- Low Battery Notification
- Disconnection from Internet notification
Despite all such interruptions, the application should be able to smoothly pick up where it had left off. In other words, interruption testing enables the application to-
- Not crash or hang during such situations
- Resume its operation fluently
- If the user ignores such interruptions, the application should also be able to do so
Automated testing involves the assessment of the mobile application automatically through certain software. There are certain areas of an application that cannot be successfully tested manually and need automated tools for their success.
These automated tools allow companies to test the following-
- Unit testing
- GUI testing
- API testing
- Integration tests
- Smoke tests
- Regression testing
- Acceptance testing
- Apps performance testing and more
Learn more about Automated Testing Platforms for Mobile Applications
Although there are automated tools for testing mobile applications, manual tools for testing are important. Rather, there are certain tests that require manual interaction only and cannot be operated through automated tools.
Few examples of tests that always need to be operated manually are as follows-
- Exploratory Tests
- Physical Interface Tests
- Complex Tests
- User Review Tests
Moreover, automated tools for testing cannot always be afforded by small organizations. Therefore, manual tools for testing mobile applications are used widely to date.
These tests involve checking the recovery aspects of the application. This means that the application should be able to retrieve data if it stops working due to some reason. Such a failure may be a software issue, network issue, or hardware issue. These tests are designed to test the retrieval ability of applications during such operation failures.
This is a complete manual mode of testing applications. This involves mere exploration of the application by a person. The main objective is to find the drawbacks and limitations of the application by manually using it. Testers are not bound by rules or test scripts. They freely run the application and review its different operations in search of loopholes.
Here are a few things which a tester explores in the application-
- Speed of the application
- View in portrait and landscape mode
- Effect of interruptions on performance
- Navigation throughout the application
- Security of the application
The different types of testing that we have discussed are all very important for every mobile application. The competition is very high and an application must be very good to stay in the market. Although no application can be perfect, proper testing of applications can help a lot in its success. If you need assistance with the testing of an app then Emizentech an experienced app development company is here for you.