Mobile Application Testing – A New Era

Mobile Application Testing – A New Era

With over 300 million Android smartphones and 700 million iPhone users across the globe, it is an absolute no-brainer that Developers and Testers alike are finding a niche in Mobile Application Testing careers. App stores and Play stores are crowded with a plethora of applications to choose from, thus spoiling user silly.

Now of course, to ensure the desired functioning of all of these zillion mobile applications, what is most important is to ensure the smooth functioning of these applications, hence giving birth to a new career domain – Mobile Application Testing.

What is Mobile Application Testing ?

Mobile Application Testing is a procedure to test mobile applications for usability, functional and consistency glitches.

Types of Mobile Applications –

It is of prime importance to really understand the fact that the type of testing we are going to perform for a mobile app varies a lot from one application type to another. Mobile Applications are largely categorized into three types.

  1. Mobile Web Applications – The web pages that we open on our phones while browsing.(Yahoo, Gmail)
  2. Native Applications – The applications which have been developed for a specific platform like – iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry etc. (Whatsapp, Spotify and once upon a time very popular- PokemonGo)
  3. Hybrid Applications – It is a kind of blend between Native apps and mobile web apps. (Think Instagram, Twitter)

Types of Mobile Application Testing –

Mobile Application Testing

The experience of testing the desktop applications and mobile applications varies well and how. It is such an exhilarating experience for technology lovers to see a plethora of options for what all can be performed in this ever expanding bubble of Mobile Application Testing. There are several boxes that need to be ticked for calling a mobile app TESTED, like :-

  1. Functional Testing – Ensuring that the application is working as per the business requirements. Most of the tests conducted for this are driven by User Interface and Call Flow.
  2. Laboratory Testing – Usually carried out by Network carriers and done by simulating the complete wireless network. This test is performed to find out any glitches when a mobile application uses voice / and / or data connection to perform some functions.
  3. Performance Testing – Checking the performance and behaviour of an application under certain conditions like – Low Battery, Bad Network coverage, Low available memory etc.
  4. Interrupt Testing – Testing an application behaviour during interruptions like – an incoming call, an SMS , cable insertion and removal for data etc.
  5. Usability Testing – Testing how user friendly an application is. This being one of the key challengers owing to the diversity and variety of mobile devices, platforms and OS’s available in the market.
  6. Installation Testing – Testing the pre-installed applications as well as the applications that can be installed, updated and uninstalled from device.
  7. Outdated Software Testing – Testing the latest versions of applications on outdated software.
  8. Crowd Sourced Testing – Specific target groups performing usability testing of an app under more realistic conditions. [Think Beta Testing]
  9. Security Testing – Uncovering threats, risks and vulnerabilities in an application to prevent malicious intrusions.

Trust me, these are just a few!!

Challenges for Mobile Testing –

Mobile Application Testing

  1. The application must be downloadable in order for it to be used and tested.
  2. Diversity in mobile platforms / OS’s available in market making the test coverage challenging.
  3. New Mobile devices mushrooming the market everyday making the device accessibility and test coverage much more difficult.
  4. With over 400 mobile network operators in the world, some being CDMA, GSM, less common ones like – FOMA, TD-SCDMA makes it quite a task to tick off the agenda of “Testing Done.”
  5. Variety of mobile devices make executing a test script a key challenge. As devices differ in keystrokes, input methods, menu structures and display properties, the same script does not function on every device.
  6. Testing method to be used is a challenge as the testing could be done on either Emulators or real devices. The challenge with Emulators being that they often miss issues that can only be caught on real devices. But because of the multitude of different devices in the market, real devices can be expensive to purchase and time consuming to use for testing.

Popular Mobile Application Testing Tools –

  1. For Functionality Testing – Appium, Selendroid, Robotium, Ranorex.
  2. For Usability Testing – Reflector, User Zoom , Loop.
  3. For Mobile Application and Interface Testing – iMacros, FitNesse, Jubula, CodedUI, LoadUI.
  4. For Compatibility Testing – Crossbrowser Testing , BrowserStack, Browsera, Litmus, Rational Clearcase, Ghostlab.
  5. For Performance Testing – Apteligent , NeoLoad, New Relic.
  6. For Security Testing – OWASP Zed Attack Proxy , Retina CS Community, Google Nogotofail, Veracode and SQL Map.

Conclusion –

Mobile Application development and testing is one of the most prestigious and glorious path to go down in the career lane, with its vast horizons for the technology enthusiast to learn and challenge themselves continuously. It’s here to stay. 

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