Over the years, the use of smartphones increased significantly. According to Statista, the number is projected to reach 7.49 billion phones by the end of 2025. The increase will give rise to mobile app users too. Therefore, testing mobile apps before launching them has become more critical today than ever.
What is Mobile Testing?
Mobile application testing is a process to check a usability, functionality, security, consistency, and performance of Mobile App. Testing a mobile application also helps determine whether it meets all the parameters of a client and the needs of consumers. Two primary methods of testing a mobile application are manual and automation.
In manual testing, an Tester will use either an emulator or a real mobile device to test mobile applications by providing inputs manually and observing the output. In automation testing, the Tester will use various tools to test mobile applications. These tools can reduce the mundane tasks performed by an application tester.
Why is Mobile Device Testing Important?
There are several reasons to explain why mobile device testing is important.
- Mobile device testing will ensure that the app runs smoothly regardless of the smartphone brand or screen size.
- Mobile app testing is crucial to check the scalability of an app.
- Mobile testing is critical in delivering a seamless user experience and removing lag.
- It helps increase the security of an app, which is one of the most prominent aspects of defining a great app.
- It is important to get a good rating on Google Play Store.
- It is crucial to find out any bugs or loopholes in a mobile application.
- Mobile application testing helps an engineer improve the UI/UX of a mobile app.
Difference between Mobile application testing and Web testing
Testing a web application or a website is slightly different than testing a mobile application. Mobile application testing has a few added complexities compared to web app testing.
Today, more and more people are opening websites on their mobile phones, which mandates developers to test and optimize websites for mobile screens. Developers can test web apps using any personal computer regardless of screen size and type. However, a test engineer will require multiple mobile devices to test mobile applications.
You can test website or mobile apps using any operating systems available in the market. On the other hand, a mobile app should be tested separately on Android, iOS, or other operating systems.
A mobile phone user often finds herself in different situations compared to a personal computer user. To optimize a mobile app, one must think of various aspects such as battery life, signal strength, brightness, etc.
For example, a tester will check whether the app lags in an extremely low battery situation. Similarly, we need to check if the app can send and receive data with other devices despite low signal strength at either end.
Read more about the differences between Mobile Application Testing and Web Testing.
Types of Mobile Applications
Based on the type of mobile app, the testing approach of an software or mobile app testing will be differ. There are mainly four types of mobile apps, i.e., native apps, hybrid apps, responsive web apps, and progressive web apps.
1) Native Apps
Native apps run only on one operating system, i.e., Android or iOS. Pure native apps for Android are typically built using Java or Kotlin, whereas iOS applications are built using Swift or Objective-C. In addition to that, frameworks such as React Native and Flutter are used to develop cross-platform apps, which look and feel quite similar to native apps.
2) Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps are web apps wrapped in a native app shell. They can be installed using Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. Hybrid apps are easy to build if one has an already developed web app.
3) Responsive web Apps
Responsive web apps are websites that adjust their UI/UX based on the device type, i.e., desktop or mobile phone. One can access RWA via any browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, etc.
4) Progressive web apps
Progressive web apps are websites that can be installed on a mobile phone without the help of the App Store or Play Store. We can download them using an installable weblink specific to Android or iOS.
Types of Mobile App Testing
Overall, there are roughly ten types of mobile app testing. However, we can categorize it into three main categories: Functional testing, Real-environment testing, and Usability testing.
Functional testing is done to test the basic functionality of a mobile application. Sometimes, it is also known as input-output testing because here, the tester enters a few inputs to check their respective outputs. Functional testing includes checking of cross-platform coverage, UI testing, and Business flow testing. Functional testing is typically done via emulators.
Real Environment Testing
Unlike Functional testing, real environment testing includes testing the app using actual mobile devices. After testing the application using an emulator, it is critical to test in real-world working environments to find hidden errors. In this testing method, tester evaluates an app for any possible interruptions, network conditions, gestures, and background/foreground.
Usability testing is also known as non-functional testing or user experience testing. Here, the tester will test for security, performance, API, accessibility, and overall user experience. It is the final stage of testing where a tester tries to find any possible scenario where a user might get stuck or struggle to use an application as originally intended.
Difference between Manual testing and Automation Testing
Manual testing is completely done by a human, who independently checks an application and looks for any possible errors that a user might encounter. The software tester performs manual testing using an emulator and a real mobile device.
On the other hand, automation testing uses various tools that take away a few tasks from the mobile app tester. Typically, a mobile app is passed through both kinds of testing methods. Both these testing methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Automation testing saves a tester’s time by carrying out tedious and repetitive tasks. It helps in analyzing multiple scenarios in no time. Nevertheless, there are a few errors that automation testing tools cannot pick up, which are usually spotted using manual testing methods.
Developing a mobile app can be complex but testing and making relevant changes in the app can be equally complex. Over the years , mobile app development is becoming more and more competitive. Therefore, delivering a great customer experience through an app has become more critical today than ever.
With so many options in front of them, customers will only choose to use an app that is thoroughly tested and delivers a seamless user experience. Taking help from a professional mobile application testing company can help you reduce the risk of launching a mobile app.