Mobile application testing involves testing a Mobile app for its functionality, security, Features, Usability etc.
You can either test the application manually or automate it using popular frameworks like Appium. There are other native frameworks like XCUITest from Apple, Espresso from Google.
Before diving directly into how to test a mobile application, lets first talk about the types of mobile applications are there:
Native mobile apps mobile applications made exclusively for one platform. A native Android app can only be run on Android OS and the same build cannot be used to run in iOS platform and vice-versa.
Native iOS apps are:
- Developed in: Swift, Objective C
- IDE: XCode
Native Android apps are:
- Developed in: Java
- IDE: Android studio, Eclipse
Native apps provide the developer full access to play with OS native component like camera, Animations, sensors etc, ultimately delivering rich user experience and top-notch performance using native OS component.
And finally, we have Hybrid Apps which are a mixture of web apps and Native apps having cross-platform compatibility and the same time access the device native components. To put it simply, Native mobile apps are web apps made to look like Native apps.
Mobile Application Testing
As per the Wikipedia Definition,
Mobile application testing is a process by which application software developed for handheld mobile devices is tested for its functionality, usability and consistency. Mobile application testing can either be automated or manual or both as per the need of your organization.
So to put it simply, testing of an application running on a handheld device. You get the point!
so let’s talk about the types of mobile application testing that will play a huge role in the test cycle.
Mobile app functionality or functional testing is done to ensure that the app in the test is working as per the requirements are given. In other words, it is having and working as per the functionality it was designed for.
A simple example would be the call button on your mobile phone. Whenever you enter a number and tap on the call button it initiates a call to the other party.
Imagine a scenario in which after tapping the call button nothing happens! It loses its functionality! So it’s very important to test the functionality of the app which it was designed for along with other cases which we will be talking about.
So basically interrupt testing is to check how your application behaves when interrupted while on a specific screen, page or while an action is being performed.
A practical example would be. you are binging something on Netflix with all your might on weekends and while you are in the middle of your episode you get a call, or maybe that long-forgotten alarm rings to remind you to go to the morning jog(Which will never happen). What just happened is that Netflix just got interrupted by the call/alarm.
So it’s very important to do interrupt testing on your mobile app to ensure a rich customer experience.
Usability testing is a type of testing to ensure the Mobile application you made is user-friendly in terms of usability, design and degree of ease of understanding. Another part of usability testing is to make sure that user experience is uniform across all devices that your app supports.
Suppose your organization made a Top-notch application with all the functionality you can think of but after launch, the user was not able to the use all the awesome functionality. What’s the point of the application then?
To make sure the app is easily usable and functionality is accessible by the end-user Usability testing is performed with the help of FTUE’s(First-time user experience), Good layout and design, Fast response time and onboarding experience.
In Today’s age, there are multiple Mobile device manufacturers with a variety of devices in the market. In turn, these devices have their own different resolutions and capabilities.
Compatibility Testing is done to make sure your app is working fine regardless of the devices they are being used on.
Some cases you need to make sure:
- The app is compatible and performs well with different Network types.
- Apps compatibility with different devices and resolutions, Memory size etc.
- The app is compatible with different OS and their versions.
There are two types of Compatibility testing:
- Backwards compatibility.
- Forward compatibility.
You made a new feature to your existing application for better user interaction but to release that user some changes were required on the server-side along with Client-side changes.
There must be already some of the users already in the market with a previous version of your app and the server changes that you made or will make in future will definitely affect those users in some way. This is a classic example of Backward compatibility.
Let’s suppose you need to release the first version(V1) of your application in the market and plan to release more versions depending on the size of your feature, V2, V3 and so on…now to achieve correctly the code that you wrote in the V1 should be scalable and should be able to handle the upcoming changes. This is a practical example of Forward compatibility.
Basically Installation Testing is to check whether your app is correctly installing and uninstalling on a variety of devices with different OS versions.
Update testing involves updating an existing version of the app with the updated version of the app having the latest changes.
In the real world, a portion of your userbase will be on different app versions. A practical way of performing Update testing would be picking up the last 3 market builds and updating them with the latest build at hand.
If your app requires an active/ passive network connection then you need to make sure the app in test performs flawlessly in different network conditions.
In a real-world scenario, a user may be travelling from one network zone to another, Maybe in a lift or basement with low network connectivity rather be in a dedicated Wifi zone all the time. So the need to test the network connections becomes very important.
- Covering 2G, 3G,4G, Wifi network connections while testing the app.
- Actively switch the network types.
- Disconnecting and reconnecting the app to network.
- Checking the app in no network state.
Localization testing is a type of testing to make sure your app is providing UI elements, text etc in user’s local language/Area. Giving the end-user an experience which is more aligned with their cultural land geographic aspects, Language or device accessibility.
What you can do:
- Usability Testing
- Checking for linguistic errors
- Typographical errors
- Verifying appropriateness of UI in conjunction with the culture of the area