It’s 2021 and the mobile app market is still growing vastly. And with it, there is a continuously growing need for better testing methods. A study by Kobiton showed that companies are willing to invest more and more in mobile app testing. 79% said that they will spend more on mobile app testing next year and 72% said that they will increase their tester headcount. Mobile app testing is a very taxing part of the software development life cycle, so let’s take a high-level look at current industry trends.
While already an established practice, automated testing continues to grow. The mobile landscape is just too vast for manual testing to be able to successfully test every OS version, device, and combination. Test automation tools allow mobile apps to test releases faster and cover much more ground when testing. This trend is essential in cutting down both cost and development time and, paired with manual testing, there is no indication of it slowing down anytime soon.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
We can’t talk about test automation without talking about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning testing. The way AI interacts with a system can yield huge improvements, faster. AI won’t just test, but it can also generate test cases and tackle QA.
AI testing sounds like a dream on paper, where it can potentially handle everything from implementing, executing, and analyzing test results. However, AI won’t yet be replacing humans. While AI might be a suitable option for certain tasks and parameters, it won’t understand how to fully interact with a system, and it will fall short in understanding the ideal or correct behavior for most things. Humans will still be needed to interact with issues and understand what relevant stakeholders want to achieve.
The Internet of Things, with its countless sensors, devices, and computers connected around the earth to make our lives easier, raises an array of interesting testing challenges. With this interconnectivity and constant exchange of data, everything must be vigorously tested to ensure connectivity, security, performance, and quality. The world of IoT testing thus includes security, performance, scalability, usability, connectivity, data integrity, and more.
Impact of 5G
The rise of 5G networks will have a huge impact on mobile app testing. There are three pillars when it comes to 5G connectivity, and each have an effect on the growing mobile app market.
- eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband): This provides greater bandwidth for upload and download speeds, which could change the game in many ways. Testing in a controlled office with high-speed internet won’t be enough anymore. Also, updates and fixes can be pushed and reach devices in milliseconds, which could greatly change the typical mobile app software development life cycle.
- URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications): Having this between mobile devices over great distances will change how many technologies work. Devices could not need processing power on hand and instead can stream the data. Robotics, autonomous technology, and next-generation interactions such as VR and AR will be in use reliably over network. URLCC will allow for high-end latency-sensitive tasks of the past to be standardized for common use over mobile.
- mMTC (Massive Machine Type Communication): This is a narrowband access type for large numbers of devices that sense, meter, and monitor. It also allows them to use low amounts of power. The spread of this ability could usher in a paradigm shift for IoT devices.
Performance testing has long been one of the cornerstones of testing software. Basically, you take a long-time run script designed for performance testing and run it before you push out a release. Performance engineering, on the other hand, is more than just a process, it’s a mindset and involves an array of processes designed to suit the culture of optimizing performance in all aspects of a mobile app.
Performance engineering is not about running test scripts, rather it prioritizes the factors relating to performance by analyzing the highest value amongst them in order to deliver the highest quality product.
The Agile Approach
With test automation taking a front seat, DevOps principles will not be enough on their own. Test automation requires configuration, verifying requirements, and much more, demanding that everything is handled with a degree of speed and efficiency.
Enter the Agile Methodology. The Kotoblin study shows that QA is a huge bottleneck for companies. Promoting quick and continuous delivery through collaboration amongst smaller teams allows for quality testing at a faster rate.
Agile directly feeds into this next trend. Mobile apps are trying to shorten their release schedules. Our own research showed that more successful apps tend to release more frequent updates. Choosing the right testing tools is essential to achieving that.
The Continuous Need for Instabug
With all of the above testing trends, there will always be a need for a comprehensive solution that collects real-time contextual insights across the entire mobile app life cycle. Moving to tighter release schedules, adopting performance engineering, and incorporating agile in testing is done best with a continuous quality feedback tool like Instabug.
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