Last Updated on March 22, 2022

Testing, Quality Assurance (QA) is an essential part of the mobile app development process. Many skip this step while working on a mobile app development project despite being aware of its importance. 

As laptop/desktop internet use is declining, mobile internet usage is rising. An increasing number of users are spending more time on mobile devices. So, your app needs to offer better experiences. 

Mobile app testing ensures an excellent mobile experience, regardless of the type of app you are using. 

Each app development stage needs to include QA, from crafting the content to analyzing project needs, building test specifications, and launching the finished products to ensure successful app development.

We are here with a complete guide on mobile app testing. Reading this post, you will know app testing, its types, latest strategies, benefits, why you should perform app testing, what to test, how to test, and much more. 

If you are new to app testing, keep reading this post. This guide holds almost all the answers relevant to your app testing queries. 

So, without taking much of your time, let’s kick start.  

What Is Mobile App Testing?

In brief, mobile app testing is a process conducted to identify design issues, performance obstacles, and bugs in a given app. Moreover, this best practice permits you to deliver the best software by testing its usability, functionality, and consistency.

Well, it’s not easy to perform testing, but, should be performed as it’s the most crucial part of app development. 

Why Do We Conduct App Testing – Need For Mobile App Testing

To understand the need for mobile app testing, firstly, check out the below statistics.

  • App crashes usually cause approximately 71% of app uninstallations.
  • About half and even more downloaded apps are left unused. 
  • Moreover, approx. 70% of users abandon their app as it takes much to load. 
  • Furthermore, about 65% of users avoid using the brands offering a poor mobile experience. 
  • If an app fails to offer the expected value, about 29% of users abandon it immediately.

After going through the stats above, you might have sensed a little why app testing is necessary. A thoroughly tested app offers satisfactory user experiences. So, you can’t miss it. 

Mobile app users take seconds to delete apps that crash, freeze, load slowly, or offer a poor user experience. It leads to bad reviews on the app store. 

After an app gets installed on the user’s device, it would be much time-consuming to fix the errors, re-submitting the app onto the store, and waiting for the app users to download it. 

So, to diminish issues and enhance the app’s quality, you need to conduct effective testing. It will make the app users engaged and will increase positive reviews and ratings. 

Because of this reason only, you should test the apps to check the app’s functionality, usability, and performance. Users avoid using apps with worthless data or that just drain the device battery.

Apps should be responsive to varied events, like device on/off, entering the airplane mode, WiFi on/out or connected to another one, Bluetooth, or USB. 

Types Of Mobile Apps You Need To Test

Generally, there are three categories of mobile apps that you need to test:

1. Native Apps

These apps are crafted specifically for a mobile platform, Android or iOS, and are typically downloaded and installed via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. It includes native apps developed by Objective-C/Swift for iOS or Java/Kotlin for Android and cross-platform native apps developed with frameworks, such as NativeScript, Flutter, and React Native. 

2. Hybrid Apps

We install these apps on our devices like a native app, but it’s a web app written with web technologies. These apps run inside a native container and use the device’s browser engine to deliver the HTML and process the JS locally. 

3. Responsive Web Apps

These apps are crafted to access on a mobile browser. Web apps can be a progressive web app (PWA) or a responsive site version that appends extra mobile-friendly features. 

Types Of Mobile App Testing

When you test your app by performing various types of app testing, it helps deliver the best quality solutions as it ensures testing from every angle. 

Typically, you need to test your app for its expected functionality, consistency, and usability to make your app perform seamlessly post the launch. 

Now, let’s check out various types of testing and the points they cover. 

Manual Testing

Testing software manually with no use of automation tools is manual testing. In manual testing, the chief target is to identify defects or bugs and make the product bug-free. 

Developers usually pick this type of testing approach to test specific features initially in the product development phase. 

For example, if you are launching an eCommerce website, you would need to test various aspects, for example, fast loading of high-resolution images, smooth checkout process, links to social media channels, etc. 

Types Of Manual Testing

1. White Box Testing

The developer performs this type of testing to check each line of code before passing it to the QA team. As the developers can see the code during testing, that’s why it’s known as white box testing.

2. Black Box Testing

The test engineer performs this type of testing to check if the software or app performs as per the customer’s needs. As this code is not visible while conducting testing, that’s why it’s known as black-box testing.

3. Gray Box Testing

The combination of white box and black box testing is known as gray box testing. A person who knows both coding and testing can perform this type of testing. 

Automated Testing

After the complete development of an app, the testers automate the test scenario considering the end user’s perspective to test the app’s functionality, usability, and performance. 

A software testing technique that helps execute a test case suite to identify the system’s defects uses automated testing tools. 

Performance Testing

A non-functional app testing technique that tests response time, speed, reliability, stability, resource usage, and scalability of a software app under a specific workload is performance testing. 

The chief target of performance testing is to identify and remove the performance hurdles in the software app. 

It Verifies:

  • Response time to multiple types of requests.
  • Working caliber at increased loads.
  • App behavior while various users work at the same time.
  • Long-time operability under average load.

Types Of Performance Testing

1. Stress Testing

It includes testing an app under extreme workloads to check how it handles huge traffic and data processing. The target is to point out the app’s breaking point. 

2. Spike Testing

It tests the software’s reaction to the unexpected traffic load. 

3. Scalability Testing

It determines the app’s effectiveness in scaling to handle increasing user load. 

4. Endurance Testing

It ensures the app can handle the expected traffic over a long period. 

5. Volume Testing

It monitors the app’s behavior when huge data is inserted into a database. 

6. Load Testing

It checks the app’s caliber to perform under expected user loads. The target is to catch up on performance blockages before the app goes live. 

Example Of Performance Test Cases

Verify app’s response time under an acceptable range of load and slow network connectivity. 

Check app’s memory and CPU usage under peak load situations. 

Functional Testing

It tests the complete functionality of the app, especially the updates, installations, signup, and login, error messages, device-specific functions, etc. 

Functional testing ensures reducing errors or risk, meeting specific expectations, customer satisfaction, and quality. 

It Verifies:

  • Business functionalities
  • Impact of interruptions on the app
  • Device resources
  • Installation and running
  • Influence of updates on the app

Types Of Functional Testing

1. Unit Testing

Developers who write scripts perform this type of testing to test if units or individual components of an app meet the needs. Its test cases consider method coverage, code path coverage, and line coverage. 

2. Smoke Testing

This test ensures software stability is intact and effort-free. After building the release, QAs perform smoke testing. 

3. Regression Testing

It ensures that existing functions stay unaffected despite the codebase changes and does not trigger any instability. It re-runs tests that were successful in the app’s earlier versions. It ensures that new code hasn’t recreated old defects. As regression tests are conducted repeatedly, they are perfect for automation. 

4. Sanity Testing

Usually performed after smoke testing, this testing verifies that all chief app’s functionalities are working fine, individually and with other elements. 

5. Usability/Beta Testing

In a production environment, customers test the product in this stage. It checks how comfortable a user is with the interface. This test assists in further code improvements. 

It Verifies:

  • Response speed
  • Work in multitasking mode
  • Logic of navigation
  • Layout
  • Resume and termination in the same state
  • Look and size of buttons and icons
  • Text clarity
6. Integration Testing

It ensures individual modules perform as expected when running in combination. 

Interruption Testing

It checks an app’s performance when it’s interrupted by another app. 

Example – Suppose you are playing a YouTube video on your mobile phone. Suddenly, your mobile phone catches up with an incoming call. Have you ever noticed the video pauses automatically? 

It is a simple test that ensures that video pauses to allow users to take their calls, and when they end up the call, they can continue watching that app. 

Security Testing

This type of testing unveils threats, vulnerabilities, and risks in an app and prevents intruders’ malicious attacks. 

Security testing aims to point out all possible weaknesses and loopholes of the software systems that may lead to loss of revenue, information, etc. 

It Verifies:

  • Cookies
  • Protection against attacks
  • File caching
  • Logins and passwords
  • Encryption system

Types of Security Testing

1. Risk Assessment 

This type of testing includes security risks analysis that the organization observes. Risks are classified as high, medium, and low. 

2. Ethical Hacking

Its target is to reveal the system’s security flaws. 

3. Penetration Testing

It simulates a malicious hacker’s attack and analyzes a specific system to identify potential vulnerabilities to a hacking attempt. 

4. Security Scanning

It includes pointing out system and network weaknesses and ahead offers solutions to diminish such risks. 

5. Vulnerability Scanning

An automated tool scans a system against specific vulnerability signatures. 

6. Security Auditing

It involves an internal inspection of OS and apps for security flaws. It is performed by sequential review of code. 

7. Posture Assessment

It combines ethical hacking, security scanning, and risk assessments to exhibit an organization’s complete security posture.

Outdated OS Testing

App users don’t update the operating systems frequently on their smartphones. It’s a common thing when the update size exceeds 100 MB.

The developers should craft a solution that may perform flawlessly on the older versions of operating systems. 

This type of testing involves testing an app on an older version. It ensures the users can use a given app even if they haven’t updated their OS. 

Installation Testing

Also known as implementation testing, this type of testing is conducted to check software is installing and uninstalling correctly. 

Moreover, this test ensures that updates are error-free and uninterrupted. 

Compatibility Testing

A type of non-functional testing, compatibility testing ensures your app performs on many devices, operating systems, apps, network environments, and certain internal hardware specifications. 

It Verifies:

  • The app performs correctly with various operating systems and versions (Windows, Android, iOS, etc.).
  • The app is compatible with various browsers (Firefox, Google, Safari, etc.). 
  • The app works well with changing networks and their parameters (operating speed, parameters, etc.).
  • The app works fine on different devices (data storage, screen size, etc.).

Types Of Compatibility Testing:

1. Forward

It tests mobile app behavior with new software versions.

2. Backward

It tests the mobile app behavior with older versions of software. 

Localization Testing

This type of mobile app testing ensures that your solution adapts to your potential users’ cultures and languages. The app needs to hold the caliber of changing according to location. Every business should reach millions of customers globally. You should involve native speakers to verify if the translation and other cultural details are correct. 

Operational Testing

This type of non-functional app testing checks the AUT’s behavior during events, like removal or insertion of a data cable, power on/off, WIFI on/off, and switching on airplane mode. 

Design Testing

It ensures the app is easy-to-use and holds the proper functionality, which will help users to keep engaged. 

For example, the content needs to be responsive to the orientation and size of the device that may ease users with no need to scroll. 

Apple comes with detailed guidelines for UI designs & app wireframes for embracing specific text size and button suggestions, alerts and progress indicators, apps settings, and controls. 

Similarly, Google provides a plethora of design resources that are beneficial for QA personnel accountable for reviewing the usability and design of mobile apps

Commonly, to improve the app’s design quality, people conduct A/B testing that compares two designs to check which offers better user experiences. Similar to another mobile app testing, A/B testing can be manual or automated. 

Acceptance Testing

This type of mobile app testing checks that an app offers the best usability, functionality, and performance to fulfill users’ needs and deliver a consistent user experience across various platforms. 

Beta testing is an integral part of acceptance testing on real devices which end users perform. 

The Apple Developer Program provides the free TestFlight tool for handling beta testing. This tool currently supports up to 10,000 external testers and 25 internal testers invited through email to participate in beta testing. 

Similarly, the Google Play Store comes with a developer console for beta testing. 

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Latest Strategies & Trends In Mobile App Testing

The evolving technology is making the app market grow constantly. 

As per the stats of 2020, out of 5 million mobile apps, users uninstalled about 70% of apps because of technical issues. 

Thus brands are now more cautious towards improving app quality for a better user experience. 

Resultantly, new trends and strategies in mobile app testing are rising more often to improve app testing quality. Let’s check out some.

1. Performing Automation Testing

By conducting app testing, the brands make sure that primarily used functions of apps are performing fine. It demands functional and non-functional testing of an app. 

It would be a lengthy procedure to test these test suites manually; you can go for automation testing to enhance efficiency. So, you can use various automation tools, such as Espresso, Calabash, and Appium. 

Remember to conduct cross-browser testing also as there are different browsers, screen sizes, and OS. Testing for performance after app monetization also plays an important role.

2. Implementing AI And ML In Testing

With technological advancement, mobile app testing is also gaining heights. You will find various AI and ML-based app testing tools in the market. AI improves DevOps in-app testing, which is quite beneficial for AI. 

DevOps helps in pacing up automation testing by offering continuous feedback. It eases the rectification of bugs. 

The use of monitoring tools assists in retrieving feedback data. Such tools use machine learning for examining issues and making suggestions. 

3. Implementing CI/CD In Testing

You can modify the module’s code and push it to the apt branch in Continuous Integration and continuous delivery. Therefore, it helps in making the testing process more systematic and efficient from the start. 

You can pick any tool for CI/CD, such as Travis CI, Jira, Bamboo, Jenkins, etc. 

4. Mobile App Testing In Cloud

There are many reasons behind choosing cloud for mobile app testing. 

Firstly, it doesn’t need any hardware to establish a device lab; you are free to test multiple devices concurrently and can add or remove the devices as per the need. Being virtual, a cloud platform assists in performing testing anywhere at any time. 

Benefits Of Mobile App Testing

1. Ensures Proper Functioning Of App

The chief target of the QA process is to make sure that a solution is performing seamlessly. Moreover, QA specialists test whether users can successfully download a program to many devices. They use real devices for testing an app that comes up with a properly functioning product. 

2. Predicts Users’ Experience

Here, the specialists put themselves in place of end-users and examine the look-and-feel of a solution. They use an app to know whether its navigation is intuitive and logical. Additionally, it checks whether the app usage is convenient for app users in varied situations. This way, they predict whether the customer will prefer using that app or uninstall it from his mobile. 

3. Increases Customer Loyalty

If you ensure easy usability and proper functioning of an app, customer satisfaction will take a rise. This way, analytics help in reaching a greater audience and craft industry’s good reputation. 

4. Promises Higher Revenue

The testing process may demand initial investments, but it assists in avoiding fixing issues and rebuilding a product in the last stage. It saves time, diminishes the total cost, and allows a rapid time-to-market. This way, by cooperating with your testing experts, you may expect higher reviews ahead. 

5. Reduces Testing Time During Development Phase

Manual tests demand a significant amount of time and workforce. Analysts become capable of running various tests in a short period. The chief benefit of automation testing is improved testing speed and efficiency.

6. Reduces App Development Cost

Automated app testing, if used efficiently, can lower down the price of an app development project. Thorough testing is the leading cause behind cost saving that lowers the emergence of bugs found after deployment. 

Launching an app holding defective functionalities may lead to bad user reviews, app uninstalls, a negative impression on your brand. So, remember to test your app thoroughly since the initial stages of development.  

7. Faster App Deployment

Automated testing with the Agile development process assists in delivering fast app development that leads to fantastic results and increased ROI. Automation testing reduces the app development life cycle, which leads to speedier app deployment.

When should We Test The Mobile App?

You should test a mobile app thoroughly to get top-quality results. You need to start from the design phase and move ahead till the delivery of the app. 

You Should Conduct:

  • Design Testing: It ensures the app holds the correct functionality and keeps the user engaged with its ease of use. 
  • Unit Testing: Developers test individual code’s units before merging them to the new code of the app.
  • Integration Testing: It verifies if the new code performs accurately when integrated into the app.
  • Acceptance Testing: It checks that an app offers the required usability, functionality, and performance as users expect. 

What Factors To Consider In Mobile App Testing?

You might have learned that testing is an integral part of mobile app development at this point of the post. Now, we will check out various points you need to incorporate while crafting a testing strategy. 

1. Selection Of Devices

Firstly, you need to determine which type of device your target audience prefers using. Next, plan to test your app on all those devices. 

Try choosing devices with various operating systems, screen resolutions, battery capacity, memory size, connectivity types, etc. 

2. Cloud Testing

Considering cloud-based testing technologies will help you get rid of the drawbacks of simulators and real devices. These tools are highly scalable and cost-effective. They make you capable of running, validating, and managing solutions on various systems and networks. 

The disadvantages of cloud technologies can be security, internet connection dependency, and limited control. 

You can craft a quality control strategy by incorporating different approaches and tools and using them at every development stage. 

You May Follow Below Tips:

  • Use real devices at the final stage.
  • Conduct usability testing using manual tools.
  • For load and regression testing, you can perform automation.
  • Simulators are perfect for the initial stages. 

Simulators And Emulators Vs. Physical Devices

You can check your software using three technical options:

  • On Real Devices: You should take a tablet or smartphone, set your app, and conduct critical activities. The testing takes place in actual conditions in this case that offer the right results. The chief drawback of this option is that you need to manage extra expenses to handle various devices involved in testing. 
  • On Simulators: It’s not a replica of a device. It doesn’t clone the hardware; that’s a drawback but permits setting an akin environment. Simulators don’t offer correct results like those on real devices, but they allow making changes quickly and test the program repeatedly until you attain the required result. This option is very cost-effective. 
  • On Emulators: It’s a copy of a device and does the same job and exhibits the same outcomes as an original object. It allows to run the software but doesn’t permit any modification. 

How Can We Perform Mobile App testing – Mobile Testing Process

In the mobile app market, the competition is touching the sky. It makes the developers craft a testing pathway before starting with an actual sprint. 

A general end-to-end testing process includes ten steps. Let’s check them below:

Step 1. Sketching The Process

Firstly, you should prepare a list of entire cases that you want to test. Include all the test plans and use cases in the list, and next, decide the test briefly that you want to run along with the expected outcome for the sprint. 

Step 2. Picking The Type Of Mobile Testing

After outlining a testing plan, it’s time to decide whether you will test manually or automate it. This step will check out ways to help determine whether you should test manually or automate it.

You Can Consider Automated Testing If Stuck With The Below Cases:

  • If A Test Leads To A Predictable Result: You should choose test automation for any conditional testing. When a test has an expected outcome, developers should keep an eye on the testing process and actively monitor the output.
  • You Run A Use Case Often: If you run any routine test regularly to test the app’s basic functionality, then choose to automate the test. Eventually, automating the regular jobs pays off as it saves much of your time and keeps away potential issues resulting from repetition. 
  • Device Fragmentation: Devices come with various screen dimensions and varieties. To ensure your app’s compatibility with this array of hardware, you need to test a lot. Manual testing would demand a lot of time. So, it’s better to automate the testing process. 

Remember that smaller tests are more efficient and more manageable when automated. 

For example, if you want to save time, you can run automated unit testing but prefer manual testing when you repeatedly test the system. 

Step 3. Crafting Test Cases For Various Functionalities

Next, after choosing the type of testing you need to perform, you must define the cases you will write tests. In this stage, you can follow any of the below approaches:

  • Business Scenario-Based Testing: This approach will allow you to conduct system assessment from the business perspective.
  • Requirement-Based Testing: With this approach, you can test the performance of specific features of the app.

The type of test you want to run will also decide which test cases you should define. 

All The App Tests Are Further Divided Into Two Major Groups: 

  • Functional Testing
  • Non-Function Testing

Next, it’s time to start with the app testing process which you have picked. 

Step 4. Manual Testing

Most developers prefer automated testing over manual when Agile testing is the primary concern. But, it’s usually recommended to go for a combination of manual as well as automation testing. 

As per the app’s test plan, when a developer starts testing a sprint, he should begin with explanatory manual testing. Manual testing is preferred the most as it demands no initial investments. 

Remember to keep logs of the entire testing session in an Excel or Word document. If there’s any possibility of engaging a few testers, you can save time for the following stages by simultaneously running manual test sessions. 

Step 5. Automated Testing

After conducting a few manual testing sessions, if you succeed in identifying the patterns of results, you can consider automating various regular or expected ones. Usually, the experts choose running tests automatically when it comes to load testing, performance testing, spike testing, or stress testing. 

And when you are all set to go with automating the tests, you need to pick the right tool. You will find various options available in the market, but you should consider a few points while choosing the right tool (will discuss later in this post). 

Step 6. Usability And Beta Testing

Most have a common misconception that beta-testing can replace usability testing as they identify the same errors. But, it’s recommended to perform both. 

  • Usability Testing: You should kick start with a usability testing session during the design phase, as it would help get some exposure from real users. Such type of testing allows developers to exhibit potential features and lower down the list of those that the users have received perfectly. 
  • Beta Testing: This type of testing suits the best when the product is ready, and you are all set to welcome feedback before releasing it. This way, developers will catch up with users’ behavior, the features they need ahead, and which path their app will choose in the future. 

On the whole, both usability testing and beta testing are worth conducting. Although, both are different from each other. Usability testing points out if a feature performs, while beta-testing will let developers know if users will use a specific app feature frequently or not. 

Step 7. Performance Testing

Now, after testing the performance of every feature of your app sequentially, next, you need to move on to testing the entire system’s performance. Here you will conduct performance app testing. It assists in evaluating the scalability, speed, and stability in case of massive traffic. Additionally, it checks the app for any system errors. 

Before you start, you should find out the capabilities your app would offer along with its favorable conditions and intended use cases under which the system needs to thrive. 

Well, you can run performance testing sprints while conducting unit testing, which is usually considered a robust approach. 

Try to evaluate your app being its user, not from a developer perspective. This way, you will be able to assess performance testing’s efficiency. 

Step 8. Security And Compliance Testing

Before the release, the mobile app needs to follow various data security guidelines. You need to implement different data security standards according to the features your app includes. 

Let’s Check Out Some Standard Security Guidelines:

  • HIPAA: It’s the security practice for mobile healthcare apps that accumulate, store, or process medical data. 
  • PCI DSS: It’s the stack of data security needs for mobile apps accepting payments.
  • FFIEC: It’s a cluster of guidelines that need banking and financial institutions to install the security and control measures to safeguard sensitive financial data. 

While conducting security testing, you need to take care of industry standards and translate these guidelines into practical measures. Moreover, a security tester needs to be all set to deal with unpredictable and expected conditions. Additionally, you should document every security practice accurately in case it demands evaluation. 

Step 9. Device Testing

Testing the usability, functionality, and consistency of mobile apps is known as mobile device testing. You can perform it both manually and automatically. Here, you need to test cases and scripts in every previously identified device, in physical devices, in the cloud, or through testing tools. 

Types Of Mobile Device Testing:

  • Unit Testing: In this stage of testing, the developers test the hardware and software of the device.
  • Factory Testing: It includes testing devices to ensure that there’s no defect introduced during manufacturing or hardware parts assembling. 
  • Certification Testing: Here, the testers conduct the tests to get the device certified, stating that it’s best for launch. Moreover, it says that the device will not negatively affect its users and is suitable for usage. 

Step 10. Releasing Final Version

After completing every essential job, developers need to run an end-to-end testing sprint to ensure that the apps work perfectly on the server-level and back-end and are all set to upload. 

If he encounters no major issue, the developer releases the app to the app stores. But, if he identifies any bugs in the app, he gets them fixed and repeats the end-to-end testing sprint. 

Challenges In Mobile App Testing 

As smartphone users are increasing day by day, mobile apps are also becoming popular. So, to be competitive, we need to have a unique mobile app that may offer the best user experience to improve the user base. 

To make your mobile apps flawless, they need to undergo rigorous testing. During that testing process, the testing teams face various challenges. 

Let’s discuss a few below.

Challenge – 1 Need To Test Varied Operating Systems Of Different Versions

You will find various operating systems in the market, like Android, iOS, Windows, and more. Moreover, such OS comes with varied versions. So, testing so many versions of the apps in a shorter time becomes challenging. 

It may happen that an app that is performing well in one type of operating system may not work perfectly on the other. You need to test your app with all the supported platforms, and different versions as users may install the app in any OS they have. 

Research says iOS users upgrade faster as compared to Android. But, when we talk about device fragmentation, Android comes first. It means the developers need to support APIs and older versions, and testers need to test accordingly. 

Challenge – 2 Variations In Devices

  • Based On Screen Size: Android arrives with a blend of features and differentiation in pixel densities and ratios that change with every screen size. With a vast difference in screen sizes, testers should check if entire features are working perfectly on different screens, also pixel and aspect ratios are maintained exceptionally.  
  • Based On The Number Of Devices: There are various devices in the market under different brands. With time, the number of device manufacturers is increasing. It becomes quite challenging for the testers to check the app’s performance on all the devices. For conducting the tests, they would be available with a device library. But, it may be pretty costly unless you adopt an emulator that holds the caliber to simulate various device types and can run the test efficiently. 

Challenge – 3 Need To Test Devices Connected To Different Networks

Sometimes, the QA team needs to test the devices linked with different networks. Typically, 2G, 3G,4G mobile data are available. These come with distinct data transfer speeds and transmission. These different speeds of the networks from various providers become a challenge for the testers. Testers need to check if the app is performing well at varying network speeds in such a case. It emerges to be a challenge as it’s partially controllable depending on varied network providers and connectivity access in various geographies. 

Challenge – 4 Frequent OS Releases

With time, the mobile OS keeps changing. Today, iOS and Android both have 10+ versions of their OS. They keep updating and improving their versions for better user experiences and performance. 

This frequent release of OS becomes a testing challenge as the testers need to check the whole app with every new OS release. Additionally, it’s essential to test the app with the advanced OS release, or else the app performance would be a big issue, thereby the loss for app users. 

So, for a better user experience, the app tester should perform hard in beating the testing challenges. Testers may tackle such situations by adopting some analytical skills and methods. 

How To Test Mobile Applications Manually?

QAs can test mobile apps manually on Android and iOS devices following the below two methods:

Testing On A Platform That Offers Real Mobile Devices

It is the best way to test mobile apps on a real device cloud as it provides a fantastic range of Android and iOS mobile devices. 

QAs can use platforms that may offer them a wide range of real Android and iOS mobile devices for manually testing the apps. By performing mobile app testing on real devices, it will assist testers in simulating app behavior in real-world situations. 

The testers just need to Sign Up and start testing instantly. They should follow the steps below:

  • Upload to-be-tested app on the platform.
  • Choose the OS (iOS or Android) and mobile devices on which they need to test. 

When uploading an app and selecting the device, the app gets installed on the particular device, and a new session is initiated to start testing. Moreover, QAs get access to bug reporting with JIRA, DevTools, and other essential features. 

Testing On Emulators Or Simulators

This approach may demand much of your time and effort. The testers need to point out the number of devices on which the app should be tested and download the emulators accordingly for every device. It would be quite an inefficient job to download and test every Android emulator and iOS simulator. 

In the initial stages of development, emulators and simulators are not reliable enough to ensure that the app is efficient in real user conditions. That’s why QAs usually test on real device cloud as per the recommendations. They don’t have to worry about any pre-configurations or downloads. They just upload the app and begin testing. 

How To Conduct Automated Mobile App Testing? 

Let’s now check out how we can conduct automation mobile app testing. 

Set The Automation Testing Goals

As discussed above in this post, testing is an integral part of app development that checks whether the app performs as expected. 

Automation mobile app testing uses specialized testing tools to perform and control test cases and lower the time spent on testing. Such type of testing suits the best for large projects that demand repeated or continuous testing of pre-written scripts. It proves to be beneficial for running many tests simultaneously across different mobile frameworks and components. 

The target of automation is to improve the quality and efficiency of your mobile app testing. 

Plan Test Cases

The Agile testing matrix develops various test cases that you need to implement throughout your project development cycle. 

Here, one important fact to note is testing is not reserved or sequential for product development but rather a unified part of every Agile sprint. 

If You Want Automation To Be Accurate, The Test Case Needs To Be Something That:

  • It includes time-consuming data entry
  • It’s repetitive 
  • It’s subject to human error.
  • It’s easily measured
  • It’s at low risk.

If the test cases depend on subjective feedback, such as UX/UI, which is exploratory or needs various steps, it’s predicted to be unsuitable for automation. 

Similarly, if you want to run the test only once, it’s not helpful to write test automation for it. 

Types Of Test Cases You Can Automate

  • Unit Testing: An Agile Testing process checks the quality and efficiency of particular user stores, such as features that developers build. 
    This white box testing is the smallest unit for testing, ensuring that every feature or user story performs from a technical or design perspective. 
    It’s more cost-effective to identify and fix the issues at the unit level than pointing out the bugs later in the presence of various dependencies. 

For example, when the login user story and authentication are ready, the unit test must run to check if the login performs as expected. It will check the minimum characters, field length, the error messages, and the login button only act when the fields are filled. 

  • Integration Testing: In the app development, we may find some validated units that may not perform as expected when combined. Here integration testing checks the functionality between those units. 

For example, again, considering the login, the integration test would merge your login user story with the database authentication. This test doesn’t ensure that you attain the right step ahead, like the welcome page, but the process links to the database to check if authentication works properly. 

  • Functional Testing: A type of black-box testing; in functional testing, the tester tests the software system to check whether it meets specified operational needs, often demands checks of the client/server communication, database, UI, and other functional components. The functional test keeps an eye on both the test output and its performance, checking its basic usability, functionality, error conditions, and accessibility of the app. 

For Example, The Functional Test Targets The Desired Expectation: 

  • Did a successful login lead to the welcome message?
  • Is the user reminded to recover a forgotten password?
  • If the fields are case-sensitive, does the error message showcase that? 

Every scenario of the login process needs to be tested. 

Choose A Test Automation Framework

So, after identifying test cases next you would like to automate. Here, you would need to select the proper automation framework, an integrated system that sets automation rules for your test. You can take the test automation framework as a perfect way to build and review your tests. 

Mobile Automation Frameworks


Let’s check out the top frameworks that you can prefer for automated mobile app testing:

  • Linear Automation Framework: Also known as the “record and playback model,” this automation framework is very incremental and linear and is best for simple apps or unit tests. 
  • Modular-Based Testing Framework: In this framework, we build tests for scenarios. Here, testers merge modules with more significant scenarios for testing. A module is known for hiding information using an abstraction layer to keep the modules unaffected by changes in the app’s units. 
  • Library Architecture Testing Framework: It is similar to the modular-based testing framework, but we group the common tasks into functions in this framework. Next, we store operations in a library chosen to craft test cases and helps in creating reusable test cases quickly. 
  • Data-Driven Framework: This framework identifies that the data may differ, but tests may stay the same. It pulls data from an external system while testing a functionality against this data. 
  • Keyword-Driven Framework: This mobile automation framework is also known as table-driven, which combines external test data with keywords stored in a table so that various test scripts can access the exact keywords. Such frameworks may take much time to set up. 
  • Hybrid Testing Framework: This framework references two or more frameworks (above-mentioned), permitting the teams to craft an ideal test environment. 

Pick The Right Automation Testing Tool

The automation tools assist you in creating test scripts following any test automation frameworks mentioned above. You just need to understand the basics of the frameworks to ensure that you have the right tool in your hand. 

Decide Which One To Choose Real Devices Or Virtual Devices

Various types of mobile devices and configurations make device testing a little tricky. 

Following the best practices, you can test on at least one of every target device and taking the rest of the testing with virtual devices. Virtual devices clone various aspects of real devices, enhancing the cost and speed of testing with a bit of loss to accuracy. 

Perform Automation Testing

Before you start your mobile app development, you can begin setting up your test cases. Keeping this in mind, you can begin testing your app early and help improve your time-to-market and, finally, performance. 

The more organized and focused your mobile app testing would be, the more quickly you can integrate feedback and perform hard to improve your app. 

Top Tips For Performing Automated Mobile App Testing

Let’s check out the best practices that QAs should follow while performing automated mobile app testing:

1. Develop Apps That Are Ready For Testing

In today’s agile age, developers need to develop apps that are all set for testing. They need to discuss with QAs to set guidelines actively. For example, developers need to give a unique ID to the elements to make them testable. 

2. Don’t Use The XPath A Lot

A query language, XPath can pick nodes in an XML file and help navigate various elements while testing. Apple or Google doesn’t natively offer XPath-type queries. So, if testers use them a lot, Appium is made to make some calls. These find XPath supporting elements under the hood calls but impact the performance negatively. 

3. Put ID First & XPath In The Last To Arrange Selectors 

Xpath is location-based and is slow as compared to the other locators in Selenium. You need to put ID first and then the XPath to order the selectors so that you can identify elements quickly. 

4. Use Accessibility IDs Locators

Despite using XPath excessively, testers may use accessibility ID locators. If users set accessibility IDs on their elements, this makes them more testable and enhances the testing scope of their app. 

5. Setup App’s View State

A technique, view state, helps store the page value when the app sends or receives details from the server. 

Suppose there are 10 test cases for the app’s certain functionality. Among them, 5 test cases repeat the exact functionality of logging in and opening the page. This duplication will lead to much time waste. So, the testers can set up the view state of the app in such a way that testing starts simply where it’s needed. 

6. Prefer Real Devices For App Testing

Simulators and Emulators mimic real devices. Although, an app’s performance varies depending on the hardware and software configuration of the user’s real devices. Thus, it’s essential to test mobile apps on real devices. Even Apple and Google recommend this before submitting apps on the App stores. 

What To Consider While Choosing Mobile App Testing Tools?

There are several aspects that one should consider while selecting a tool. Let’s check out a few:

  • The automation tool should execute tests parallelly on various devices.
  • It supports both real devices and simulators/emulators.
  • It provides reusable code modules and offers data-driven testing.
  • It supports native apps, hybrid apps, and mobile web apps for all big platforms.
  • The tool supports the latest open source solutions embracing Appium and Selenium Webdriver nodes/grids.
  • It supports JSON capabilities for testing hybrid apps. 
  • The tool provides GUI object recognition or is limited to image recognition. 

Top Mobile App Testing Tools

Here we have listed the top mobile app testing tools. Let’s check them out:

1. Appium

One of the most popular open-source test automation frameworks, Appium assists in creating UI tests for mobile, native, hybrid, and web apps. 

Pros

  • API testing automation is easy.
  • It drives Android, iOS, and Windows apps using the Selenium WebDriver protocol.
  • It supports a Chrome app or built-in browser on Android and Safari on iOS.
  • It supports JavaScript, Java, C#, Python, Ruby, and PHP. 
  • Works on emulators, devices, and simulators. 

Cons

  • It doesn’t support Android warnings directly.
  • It catches 50+ unknown bugs in iOS.
  • It doesn’t support Android’s earlier versions.

2. Ranorex Studio

It’s an easy-to-use mobile app testing tool that you can use for web, desktop, and mobile apps. It’s simple to test because of its codeless feature. 

Pros

  • It opens .exe files easily.
  • Dynamic ID support.
  • UI object map editor.
  • Non-developers can install it easily.
  • Click and Go XPath editor.
  • It comes with powerful integration.

Cons

  • No gesture or drag-and-drop support.
  • No script export into different languages, such as VBScript or Java.
  • No Mac support.
  • No Android web or hybrid app support.

3. Eggplant

Formerly known as TestPlant, Eggplant is one more modern mobile app performance testing tool. 

Pros

  • It comes with easy OS Integration.
  • It doesn’t demand any plugins.
  • It has a user-friendly syntax.
  • It uses AI technology to ensure tests continue even on Cloud.
  • It supports all standard platforms, like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Symbian. 

Cons

  • It comes with a free trial, but after that, the user needs to purchase the license.
  • Images recorded in one OS can’t be used in another. 
  • No native object identification.
  • It supports only Android 5.0 and the following versions. 

4. Monkey Talk

One more open-source mobile testing tool, Monkey Talk, doesn’t demand jailbreaking. It automates real interactive, functional tests for both iOS and Android platforms. 

Pros

  • It develops robust test cases faster.
  • It executes the case in less time.
  • Moreover, it supports Java as the main programming language.
  • It provides an extensive library of unit tests.
  • Automated synchronization.
  • Integration with Maven and Ant

Cons

  • It doesn’t perform with web components or Flash.
  • It can perform one test at a time. 

5. Selendroid

A robust automation tool, Selendroid can interact with various devices at once. Additionally, it allows testing an app with no modification. 

Pros

  • As a scripting language, it supports Selenium.
  • Moreover, it supports every Android version.
  • Besides, it works both on the real device and an emulator.
  • Additionally, it supports web driver-compatible languages, like C#, Java, Perl.

Cons

  • It permits no built-in image comparison.
  • Also, it holds no reporting caliber.
  • It’s quite slow. 

Mobile App Testing Checklist

Mobile App Testing Checklist Infographic
  • Strategic automation: Firstly, you need to determine whether the tests would be manual, automated, or both. You may choose automation testing as it will help you increase your ROI. 
  • Framework selection: Next, after deciding the type of test you would start with, it’s time to choose a test automation framework. 
  • Platform Considerations: Now, you need to decide which platform you will execute your tests on, real or virtual. 
  • Functional Testing: Next, you should conduct this primary testing activity, the functional testing, which will ensure that the entire app’s features perform as expected. 
  • Performance Testing: After that, you should conduct performance testing to ensure that your mobile app performs as expected in different situations. 
  • Accessibility Testing: Remember to conduct accessibility testing to make your app accessible to all the app users. 
  • UX Testing/Usability: It measures how intuitive and user-friendly your app is. 
  • Compatibility Testing: Next, you can conduct a compatibility test to ensure your app performs perfectly across different devices, generations, and operating systems. 
  • Security Testing: At last, you can end with security testing to ensure that users’ sensitive data and information stays safe while using your app. 

How Much Does It Cost To Test An App?

 Cost Of Testing an app

Various reports from the project owners say the app testing costs between $5,000 and $10,000

As per the Clutch survey, the combined cost of testing and deployment stages varies between $5,000 and $25,000+. 

Factors Affecting The Cost Of App Testing

App testing cost relies on various factors. That’s why it becomes quite tricky to estimate the cost of app testing. 

1. Domain-Specific Testing 

By knowing your domain, you will choose the best testers holding the required experience and track record in the picked domain. 

2. OS Type

The type of OS decides the testing strategy and procedure and also impacts the cost. 

3. Screen Sizes

At present, there are a plethora of screen sizes. Your app needs to test in the most common screen sizes as the app’s appearance and screen size will impact the app testing cost. 

4. Number Of Devices

Like screen size, you should test your app on various devices to check if it’s performing well. Moreover, it demands a combination of real devices and emulators and will impact the cost. 

5. Third-Party Integration

If your app is a standalone app, then the cost would stay unaffected. But, if your app holds any third-party integration, you need to test it, and this way, it will add to the price. 

6. Type Of Testing

Every type of testing demands your time and effort that varies from one test to another and will append to the cost.  

7. Testing Cycles

Every testing cycle means the entry and exit point of your app’s QA. Improvements will demand more cycles and will reflect in the cost. So, you need to specify the number of testing cycles you need. 

So, after submitting all the required data, you will be able to calculate the cost of your app testing. 

How To Control The Cost Of Testing

We will check some tips that will help you save a significant part of your app testing cost. 

By investing more in testing, you can avoid extra expenditure in the future. But, you need to spend smartly. 

1. Plan Everything Appropriately 

Firstly, you should understand the testing goals. Besides removing bugs, you need to focus on the acceptable quality level also. You should keep aside exhaustive jobs that are impacting app testing costs. Thus, you need to define the quality level you want, pick the feature you need to test, and leave the rest. Also, follow the developed plan while working on the project. 

2. Test Early & Prefer Holistic Testing

You should start testing from the starting from requirement gathering stage and continue performing it even after launching the app

For example, if you fix bugs during the planning stage, you would need to spend $100, and if you fix the same issues post the launch, it will cost $10,000. Therefore, you should test early to save your budget. 

3. Go For Automation Whenever Possible

There are two different approaches to test manual and automation. Honestly, both of them perform well according to the conditions. Many businesses prefer manual testing, but it’s not the best plan. 

In Agile projects, when you need to perform repetitive tests, automated testing suits you the best. While, for more regression testing jobs, you can continue with a manual approach. 

4. Choose The Right Skills

You need to choose the required and the right skill for performing your app testing job, or it may lead to extra spending later. Hiring experts holding relevant knowledge and skill will complete your jobs faster and at the best price. 

Our Thoughts

Now, as you know how to test a mobile app at this point of the post, you can start with your app testing journey. You can even hire a leading Mobile App Testing Company if you want to test your app seamlessly. Moreover, the testing experts will help you at all the stages of app testing. 

What Is The Most Important Type Of Mobile Application Testing?

Well, when it comes to mobile app testing, we should conduct every important type of testing. The difference is just that some demand more attention than others. 
Monkey testing of the app is recommended the most to check the app’s stability when provided inputs are invalid. 

How Can We Conduct Mobile App Testing In The Best Possible Way?

App testing is not just related to writing test cases and executing them. Let’s check some pointers that can assist a tester in testing an app effectively.
1. Explore and know your mobile phones and their attributes. 
2. Understand when, where, and how your app will come into use and, after that, create test cases.
3. Learn about the mobile phones on which the app will run and write apt test cases.
4. Use simulators frequently to execute the test cases.
5. Also, use remote device services. 

Can We Automate Mobile App Testing?

Yes, of course! As mobile app testing is gaining the attention of the IT industry, today, various mobile app testing automation tools are being released. You can choose any as per your needs and conduct app automation testing smoothly.

How Can We Perform Mobile App Testing?

There are two ways how QAs can test the mobile apps manually on different iOS and Android devices:
1. Test on a platform that provides real mobile devices.
2. Testing on simulators or emulators.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!