My Experience With Mobile App Testing

Asmita
by Asmita 

Quality assurance in any software development process, is about more than just finding bugs and errors. 

At Gurzu, quality assurance is our commitment to prioritizing the quality of our products since the very beginning of the software development lifecycle. We don’t just test the software that we have made; we strive to ensure our software is of top notch standard.

The global smartphone user base has skyrocketed, reaching a remarkable 69% penetration rate in 2023.([Statista](https://www.statista.com/statistics/203734/global-smartphone-penetration-per-capita-since-2005/))

The software testing process is fundamentally the same whether it’s for a web app, a mobile app, or any other product. The ultimate goal is to deliver a quality product to end users or clients. However, I’m focusing specifically on mobile apps because mobile apps are very popular these days. 

People don’t want to switch on their laptops for everything, rather they prefer using mobile devices for quick and convenient tasks.

However, think of the time a bug in an app frustrated you so much that you had to stop using it altogether. You are not alone!!

88% of users will abandon apps due to consistent bugs and glitches. (UXcam)

This is where mobile app testing comes in. It’s the process of identifying and ironing out these issues before the app reaches your (and millions of other) devices. By thoroughly testing the app, developers can ensure a smooth and frustration-free user experience, ultimately keeping the user engaged and happy.

So, let’s dive into what mobile app testing is and what some widely used types of testing are.

What is Mobile App Testing?

As the name suggests, this is the process of testing the overall aspect of applications that work on mobile devices. We test functionality, usability, compatibility, performance, and so on of applications that work on mobile devices.

Mobile applications are of different types:

  1. Native Apps: These are designed and developed specifically for mobile devices and tablets. They are built using platform-specific languages and tools (such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android).
  2. Mobile Web Apps: These are server-side applications accessed through mobile browsers like Chrome or Firefox. They are essentially websites optimized for mobile devices, providing a user experience similar to native apps but without the need for installation.
  3. Hybrid Apps: These combine elements of both web and native apps. Built using web technologies, hybrid apps are wrapped in a native container, allowing them to be distributed through app stores and access device features.

Understanding these different types of mobile applications helps in choosing the right development approach based on the project’s requirements and constraints.

Types of Mobile App Testing

While ensuring an app functions properly is crucial, a successful mobile app goes beyond just working. Let’s explore three key aspects that delve deeper into the user experience:

Usability Testing

Usability testing of an app focuses on how easy and enjoyable it is to use the app. Testers evaluate the user experience by observing users complete the tasks within the app identifying pain points.

Compatibility Testing

Imaging your app working perfectly on your phone, but crashing on your friend’s phone.

Compatibility testing ensures the app functions seamlessly across a wide range of devices, browsers, screen sizes, and OS.

Performance Testing

Performance testing focuses on factors like response time, speed, battery use, memory usage, network connectivity, etc. 

Security Testing

Needless to say, the privacy of data and security of apps is essential too.

Some stats say that

  • over 98 % of mobile apps are not secure
  • 71 % of all fraud transactions come from mobile apps
  • android apps are more vulnerable than iOS apps

Some of the major security issues in mobile apps are:

  • app permissions related issues
  • overlooking configuration flaws; includes disclosure of sensitive information 
  • improper data storage
  • insecure authentication
  • Tools like adb mobsf and imas

During security testing we employ techniques like vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, authentication testing, code review etc to uncover potential weaknesses.

By combining these techniques, security testing helps to identify and fix vulnerabilities, mitigate risks of data breaches, and enhance user trust.

Installation Testing

Before users can experience the app’s features, they need to be able to install it seamlessly. 

In installation testing, we explore if the installation process goes smoothly across different devices, and identify any potential roadblocks.

Is Mobile Testing More Challenging?

Some believe that mobile app testing is more complex compared to traditional software testing. Here’s why they might be right:

  1. Frequent Updates: The mobile landscape is constantly evolving. Unlike traditional desktop software, mobile apps receive frequent updates that can introduce new bugs or break existing functionalities. 
  2. Range of Mobile Devices: Today, users access apps on a vast array of smartphones and tablets with varying screen sizes, operating systems (OS) versions, hardware specifications, and even custom user interfaces (UIs) from different manufacturers. This fragmentation makes it difficult to guarantee a flawless experience on every device. Sometimes a perfectly functional app on one device becomes sluggish on another. 
  3. Diverse App Types: Mobile apps come in all shapes and sizes, with unique functionalities and user interactions. A social media app presents different testing challenges compared to a complex e-commerce platform or a mobile game. Testers need to adapt their approach to cater to the specific features and user journeys of each app type.  Also, android and iOS ecosystems have their own development frameworks and UI guidelines, which adds to the complexity of mobile app testing.

Final Words

The mobile ecosystem is constantly evolving and innovating. New technologies and trends are being introduced everyday. QA Engineers need to stay ahead of the curve, continuously refining our approaches to ensure apps remain optimized for the future.

Staying ahead of the curve and being proactive is the only way for a development team to create delightful experiences for users.

.………………………………………….

From concept to deployment, Gurzu provides an end-to-end mobile development solution. Our application development prioritizes intuitive interfaces, seamless user experiences, and robust functionality. 

Are you looking to empower your business through user-centric mobile solution? Reach out to us for a free consulting call!

This article is based on a talk by our QA Engineer, Asmita, about mobile app testing. Find the slide deck here.

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