Mobile technology and smart devices are now at the peak of their popularity and will set future trends and change the world. Gone are the days when the phone's primary function was just to make loud calls and was available to only a select few people. Now cell phones are opening a new world for us and working as trouble-free virtual helpers for all walks of life. As a result, smartphones have become a driving force that has changed people's thoughts, behaviors, learning, and very existence.
Nowadays, the technology market is dominated by solutions to improve mobility. No one wants to turn on a laptop or computer to check their mail or view the weather forecast; it's much easier to use the phone. Therefore, testing mobile solutions is extremely important.
As life in the world has almost wholly "mobilized," software needs have changed. There has been a great increase in the popularity and number of mobile software downloads, and the number of variations of mobile applications has skyrocketed. Mobile applications differ in functionality and the mobile platform (operating system) under which they are developed. Mobile testing is just necessary for today's reality. A significant amount of work on mobile devices has been added to QA, and its diversity is growing.
Peculiarities of Mobile Application Testing
Mobile application testing is significantly different from testing desktop software. After all, a computer monitor and a phone are completely different devices in terms of appearance, size, internal components, and technical characteristics.
- Unlike a computer monitor, mobile-device screens can change orientation.
- There is a list of mobile application functionality requirements published by each device manufacturer. These requirements must be followed.
- Mobile devices are constantly in motion, so you should expect accidental actions on the device (e.g., if it is not locked, if hands are wet in gloves, or if the wrong or extra buttons get pressed).
- Be aware that the device is constantly searching for networks to join.
- You should check the operation of the program under different data transmission conditions.
- When testing mobile applications, you also need to consider being in different weather conditions. Contrasting colors should be used in different lighting.
- Don’t forget that the main task of the phone is still to make calls, and the application should not interfere with this direct function of the device.
- When testing mobile applications, we advise you to avoid emulators if you can. The fact is their functionality does not always correspond to all the actual capabilities of the mobile device.
Mobile Application Testing Steps
Of course, each device is individual, given the user-defined configuration settings. Nevertheless, we advise you to follow the proposed inspection instructions in general.
1. Check the documentation. Testers receive detailed navigational programs and device screen layouts and then analyze the data. Any issues should be resolved before development operations begin.
2. Conduct testing of all functionality responsible for operating applications within the established requirements. The tester needs to make sure that the application can perform the tasks and functions written in the documentation.
3. Evaluate the usability of the application for a real user. It is necessary to check whether the application meets the interface's standards and is efficient, convenient, and understandable on an intuitive level.
4. Test the user interface to see if it meets the established specifications. We are talking about screen resolution, the correct location of ad windows (they should not cover important information), and performance on different mobile devices.
5. Calculate performance. It is necessary to check the stability of the solution, resource consumption indicators, and maximum allowable loads.
6. With stress testing, check the application for exceptional hangs or blockages under heavy load that were unnoticed during interface testing, functionality, or usability. How to test:
- perform the same operations over and over at different speeds (very slow or fast);
- reach the limits of the application by downloading as much data as possible;
- leave the application running for a long period (such as a slide show), sometimes interacting with it and performing other clicks in parallel;
- launch several applications on your phone simultaneously and make sure that switching from one to other works smoothly.
7. Make sure you have an adequate level of security to protect the system from hackers, viruses, and personal information leaks.
8. When testing mobile applications, don't forget about compatibility testing. Since users can run the application on different devices, you need to ensure that all the application's key features work properly on at least a number of popular devices. Therefore, it is very important to decide on which devices the test will be directed to because it is simply impossible to test on all devices. Compatibility testing takes little time and is planned in advance.
9. Check the quality of the recovery to make sure that it is possible to recover the software due to failures or hardware problems. Crash cycles are inevitable; the question is how well a particular program copes with them.
10. Test localization so that the application is adapted to the needs and interests of the audience. It is necessary to check the correctness of the translation, support for the desired language, and the relevance of dates and times.
11. Conduct regression testing to check changes in the code. You need to make sure that the corrections to the code are done correctly, that nothing contradicts anything else, and that everything works smoothly.
In the face of fierce competition in the mobile application market, developers have to strictly follow the requirements for each platform. But errors and inaccuracies, incorrectly performing tasks, and other problems can lead to negative feedback from users and, consequently, lower ratings. That is why experts recommend testing applications to verify their compliance with all requirements.