To make use of the platform’s wide reach, hundreds of iOS apps reach Apple’s App Store every day. Out of these, only a few become successful. App users these days are quite demanding. If they don’t get satisfied at the first attempt, your app may not get another chance.
But, to make an app that flawless, the developed app should be error-free; with good user experience, performance, accessibility, compatibility, and functionality. That’s where iOS application testing comes into the picture. It is a crucial part of app development.
Due to its importance, we have consolidated a few important points to remember while you test your iOS applications.
iOS Application Testing Compatibility: iOS applications are intended to work on Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad. Hence, the apps created must be compatible with all devices and their versions.
A checklist for iOS application testing should include the following six key aspects:
#1 – First Priority is iOS App Usability Testing
iOS, with its stunning user interface and performance, puts usability testing as its highest priority. Mobile usability testing for iPhone is the key to the success of any iOS application.
Participants of testing:
- Test users – they are the participants who act as real-world users
- Facilitator – User experience expert works on pre-defined tasks on the test app.
- Other Stakeholders – QA engineers and developers who bring more product insights.
When to take the test?
The iOS application usability tests take place at different stages of development.
- Prototype user-testing – Testing takes place once the wireframe is ready.
- MVP usability testing – Testing takes place just before releasing the app. It helps in verifying assumptions in the real world. Minor adjustments with test results will result in a large effect on a live application.
- Post-launch live app – Testing is done soon after launching the iOS app. Insights are analyzed, and obstacles in user flow are removed.
Proceedings in iOS app usability testing:
- Create Prototype: Be ready with the prototype of the iOS app.
- Plan the tests – Plan the objectives, pick the testers, and decide on a suitable location for geometric and demographic criteria.
- Explain the task: Prioritize and explain the tasks in advance, so the testers have a clear idea of what they do.
- Set goals for each task: Limit the number of tasks for a tester and set realistic goals for each task, so the tester completes the task in less than a minute.
- Provide test scenarios: Provide testers the scenarios rather than instructions.
- Document and analyze the results: Analyse the test case reports and make changes to the application. Reiterate the usability testing process if needed.
Wondering how much app usability testing will cost you? Contact us now to get a free iOS app testing estimate,
#2 – iOS App Beta Testing is Extremely Important
Beta testing is a very effective testing method. iOS app beta testing is performed to optimize the functionality, user interface, usability and to increase the performance.
Proceedings in iOS app beta testing:
- Before establishing the test, make sure the application works.
- Collect device ids used for testing the iOS app.
- Creating distribution certificates and provisioning profiles are essential for creating special distribution, and that helps the testers to launch iOS apps on apple devices without Xcode usage.
- Bug reports are analyzed.
- The facilitator gets informed about reports via iTunes.
iOS app beta testing tools:
Testing with these tools provides optimum results for the iOS apps.
TestFlight supports apps for iOS and iPadOS. It also supports automatic updates to ensure that testers always test the latest available build.
- Provides the ability to know how many times the app was launched.
- Production-like environment is available for testers.
- Note area is present, for testers to make notes on the issues.
- It helps in obtaining the UDID-s(Unique Device Identifier) effectively and contributes to the app development.
- Free of cost.
- iOS app need to be submitted for review by the App Store before sending for beta testing.
- Monitoring dashboard that aids in monitoring crashes and the number of active users is lacking. Instead, screenshots can be taken from the app and will be available in the feedback section.
In recent days iOS app beta testing is done widely on this app.
- It provides detailed crash reports and tracks user activities.
- Open-source library
- App distribution to beta testers is made easy for testing and feedback.
- It does not support test cases.
- Can use the app to the fullest only in the paid version. Though, a trial version is available.
#3 – Opt iOS App Test Automation for Quick, Reliable Results
iOS is a closed operating system. Hence, open-source automated frameworks are used for iOS app automation testing. This testing offers robust performance and fast reliable results. Testing here is made easier with cloud-based solutions enabling testers to verify apps effectively.
Benefits of iOS app automation testing
- Run multiple devices simultaneously and saves time
- Can target SDKs and run tests at different SDK versions
- Increase productivity of testing and thus save the cost of software development
Here are a couple of iOS app test automation tools.
This tool is famous for its flexibility and usability.
- It uses JSON wire protocol to connect with the iOS app using the selenium web driver.
- It has a big community of users to provide support.
- It is a user-friendly iOS testing tool where it uses standard API to install SDK. As a result, there is no need to recompile the app.
- Tests are slow due to remote web driver dependency.
- Reports are insufficient
XCTest / XCUITest:
XCTest / XCUITest are two integral frameworks for iOS app test automation. Its native library comes with Apple Xcode.
- Allows writing test components at any level.
- Provides the framework for UI testing.
- Tests are grouped into XC test cases.
- Automate the tests of common workflows and obtain the behaviour of the customer.
- Provides the framework for functionality testing.
- XCUI test recorder aids in recording the steps of automated testing.
- Comes with the Apple Xcode development tool. Hence, no setup is required and adapts to Apple Xcode releases.
- Easy to test on an iOS simulator.
- Can be used at no cost.
- XCTests are not always stable.
- Crumbles at testing conditions.
#4 –Testing iOS Applications on Multiple Devices
It is vital to test the iOS applications on multiple devices that use iOS. Every development team will not have the facility to have all the iOS devices in-house for testing. To handle this situation a few ways are discussed below.
Without iOS devices around, you might wonder how to deploy iOS app to device for testing. iOS simulators is the solution here. They are available within Xcode, and can be used for testing multiple devices. iOS simulator can be great for testing user interactions, but it tends to fall behind while testing for functionalities.
This method enables users to test apps on their devices. It has the advantage of publicizing the app before the release. Testing can be done within the existing social network and can be confident about the results in acquiring an idea of the final product. The drawback is that every user needs to install the APIs necessary for running the test.
Buy used devices:
This method is often overlooked. Allot a budget and always be on the lookout for used apple devices. Lower-end devices can be purchased for a very low cost. It is good to remember the objective is to test various versions, screen size, hardware configuration, and software updates. This method of testing resembles real-world users.
Invest in the iOS beta testing tools discussed above and get the perfect insights on detailed technical metrics such as CPU, memory, network, performance, and more.
#5 – Preparing the App for Distribution
- Bundle id uniquely identifies the app that cannot be changed after the first build. Hence, carefully set a bundle id.
- Assign the target app to the team belonging to the Apple Developer Program.
- App Store Connect uses version number and builds string to match build with app version.
- Set the primary and secondary categories under which the app will be listed on the App Store.
- Deployment settings must match the values entered in the App Store Connect. It determines the OS versions or iOS app devices the target app supports.
- App icon represents the app itself. An app must have an app icon to pass the App Store Connect validation.
- The launch screen is the one shown on the app. It can just be an image.
- To ensure security, the target app should not disturb the other apps. If there are any dependencies, they should be mentioned in the usage description to access protected resources.
- Set pricing and availability for the app.
#6 – How to Submit iOS App for Beta Testing
Combine multi-platform apps
If there are any related apps on different platforms, combine them in the Xcode to make installation more convenient to the users. This allows the customers to purchase it as an app bundle.
Join App developer program
Distribution methods range from exporting your software for test devices to publishing it to App Store Connect. Testflight can be used to distribute beta builds to testers and obtain feedback. To do this, joining the Apple Developer Program is necessary. By joining, you get access to distribution methods and the capabilities you can add to your app to access the app services provided by Apple such as CloudKit, Game Center, or In-App Purchase. Know more on Adding Capabilities to your app.
Create an archive for the app
The archive is a build of your app that includes debugging information that Xcode stores in the bundle. You need to first create an archive for the app to use the distribution methods.
Choose distribution methods and options:
The created archive can be distributed outside the App Store by exporting the archive or distribute it through Testflight by uploading it to the App Store.
Distribute a beta version:
Choose a method based on App’s platform to distribute the beta version or offer a preview, to the users. For iOS apps, distributing the beta version to the internal and external users can be done using TestFlight, where the users are invited to install, beta test, provide feedback and get updates of the app. Apple takes care of the distribution process. You need to just manage the builds and users on the App Store Connect.
Publish on the App Store:
After testing the final build submit it to app review and then send it to the App Store. If using Testflight, add any additional information and send the last build that is in the App Store Connect to the App review.
Crash results and metrics:
If the distribution was done through TestFlight or Apple Store, you can view the crash reports and metrics in the organizer. Learn more about crash organizers and metrics organizers.
With hundreds of iOS apps evolving every day, having a place in the App Store can be challenging. Testing at different stages with the apt tool, analyzing the results, and reiterating it will help succeed the process.
If you are looking to know more about iOS app testing or if you’re looking for mobile app testing companies, we can help you. Contact us to know more.
Our next tutorial shows you how to test iOS apps with Test Cases.