Mobile app testing is usually a challenging undertaking requiring a lot of resources and dedication from your mobile team. There are just too many factors to consider and plan for when it comes to mobile testing strategies. According to the World Quality Report 2018/19, QA captured more than a quarter (26%) of IT budgets in 2018. If you ask QA they will likely tell you that isn’t nearly enough and they require a lot more resources.
Here are some top mobile app testing strategies to help you release with confidence and make the most out of your QA resources.
QA involvement with business and product teams earlier in development
There is a common misconception that testing and QA start during the testing phase of the development lifecycle. When in fact QA and testing should be involved from the very beginning of the design process. While designing what the final product will look like, it’s important to keep in mind the test cases that will be used.
The best way to do this is to stop treating QA as its own isolated entity when the app is ready to be sent to QA. Instead, you should integrate QA into every process from the beginning so all teams are aligned as to what needs to be tested and how. This approach will ensure that your QA team know their test cases as well as business and functional requirements that need to be met.
OS testing and support
Even though most devices in the mobile market use iOS and Android, it’s important to pre-plan what OS your app will support, and not only which OS but, more importantly, which versions will be supported. Testing an app on a single OS is easy but when you start running into more and more versions it becomes a more difficult task.
Study your market well and carefully plan which versions you will be supporting. This will help the QA team plan test cases and functionality for the supported platforms and versions.
One of the toughest tasks facing QA teams is making sure an app is working well on all devices. After knowing which OS versions will be supported, it’s important to look into which devices need to be tested. The more devices that need to be tested, the longer the testing phase can take. Emulators can be used to make device testing more cost-effective. By emulating a huge array of mobile devices simultaneously, you will be able to save a lot of time and man-power on testing devices. This is also useful when physical devices are not readily available for testing.
This, however, isn’t a perfect solution. Emulators won’t perfectly replicate the behavior of an actual physical device. And know how a device behaves when not in a test vacuum is also essential since most users will already have a lot of background processes hogging up memory.
Whenever possible, it’s important that you use emulators in tandem with physical device testing, especially for popular devices. Setting up a device testing strategy early in the process to decide how exactly this will unfold can go a long way to saving testing time.
Network connectivity testing
Apps nowadays almost always need a network connection, and not all people have the same level of access to the internet. It’s easy for developers and testers to assume that their high-speed office WiFi is the norm. But in reality, most people have to deal with spotty connections and low-speed internet.
The QA team needs to make sure that the application is working on every network speed from 1G to LTE and WiFi. This also includes sudden changes between networks, speeds, and even loss of connection.
Battery life is one of the greatest concerns for users. If your app drains the device battery quickly and noticeably, users will uninstall it. Various apps nowadays use a lot of battery-intensive processes such as storing and sharing heavy data, using geo-location, streaming video content, and general memory consuming processes.
QA testers need to run a lot of battery tests feature by feature to know which parts of the app drains the battery the most. This is a huge concern from both the business and QA perspective and needs to be planned for accordingly.
The more data being sent back and forth with apps the more security becomes a primary concern. A study by IBM on the financial impact of data breaches found that the cost of a data breach on average is more than $2.5 million.
The stats for mobile app security are abysmal and this shouldn’t be the norm. It’s critical that you plan security testing early on and check for any data leakages, make sure web data isn’t vulnerable, and there are no security exploits.
Automated testing is one of the biggest future trends in mobile app testing. Automated testing allows for test cases to be scripted and reused many times over for iterations. They are also done in no time compared to manual testing. This works particularly well for the very tedious repetitive test cases that testers have to go through one by one. Automated testing saves a lot of QA resources and manpower even though the initial investment might be big.
Look to integrate automated testing into your mobile app testing to maximize your output and reduce time to delivery as much as possible. Note that you should only integrate automated testing where applicable and not replace manual testing completely. The technology is just not there yet for automated tests to cover everything needed. Manual testing isn’t going away anytime soon but a helping hand is useful.
Progressive rollout strategies
Depending on your app the decision to roll out your app over phases can make a huge difference. You might not be able to catch all the bugs and issues present in your app internally. This is why considering different rollout strategies like a beta testing program or rolling out to select regions first can help your app find its legs. If anything slips by your QA team, it can be detected by a handful of users instead of being received negatively by your entire target audience.
- Mobile App Testing Industry Trends
- Manual Vs. Automated Testing for Mobile Apps
- Progressive Release: How to Release Your App With Less Stress
- Test-Driven Development Tutorial for iOS