As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, so does the importance of software testing a mobile app. Mobile apps are now an essential part of our lives and play a major role in how we communicate, work, and entertain ourselves, with millions of these being downloaded on a daily basis all over the world across a plethora of different devices.
With so much at stake, it is important to make sure that your app is thoroughly tested before it is released to the public, for a variety of reasons that can hugely benefit everybody that is involved.
Why do mobile apps need testing?
Some of the key considerations of the software quality assurance for mobile apps include ensuring compatibility with multiple devices and operating systems, identifying usability issues that could affect user experience, addressing potential security vulnerabilities (AppSec), and maximizing efficiency through test automation.
People who download and use a banking, cloud storage, mobile payment or Iowa sports betting app are going to have high-stakes riding on the outcome, thus highlighting the significance of having the app tested. If it is not, then the app could potentially fail, leading to negative consequences for users who rely on it. Additionally, there may be hidden bugs or other issues that require attention before the app is released.
Indeed, a company that has an app that has not been tested and fails to work as intended could lose credibility and suffer significant financial loss. As a result, it is critical for app creators to ensure that their applications are thoroughly tested prior to release.
In what ways can apps be tested?
There are a number of different ways to test mobile apps, and the approach that can be taken will depend on the specific needs of the app and the purpose it has been created for. However, there are some general tips that can help you get started in your mobile testing efforts.
1. Make sure to test on multiple devices
Given the wide range of mobile devices that are available, it is important to test your app on as many different types of devices as possible. This will help you uncover compatibility issues, performance problems, and other bugs that may arise depending on the device type and operating system version.
In this area, your hardest decision will be to balance the tests between real and emulated devices. Emulators are easier to use and were designed with testing in mind, including instrumentation to provide detailed diagnostics. However, emulated devices lack some individual characteristics that real devices have, like the pixel-perfect accurate rendering. If only real devices give you real results, there are costs associated with the maintenance of a smartphones and tablets farm.
2. Pay attention to usability testing
While functionality is certainly important, it is also imperative to focus on how users will interact with your app. Usability testing allows you to get feedback from real-world users about how well your app performs in everyday situations, so be sure to take those insights into account when making any changes or updates to your app.
The key part in usability testing is to identify your target audience. To see how users interact with the application, you need to ask them to perform particular tasks with a scenario that should be precise and actionable, but without providing any hints. If you provide users with guidance, you will not discover their unique user experience since they will just follow the instructions instead of finding their own ways to use your mobile app.
3. Do not overlook security testing (AppSec)
In today’s digital age, data security is more important than ever before, and mobile apps are no exception. Make sure to spend some time researching potential security vulnerabilities in your app and put together a plan to mitigate them.
Many tools are available to help you in this process. Static Application Security Test (SAST) tools analyze your mobile app source code to detect and report weaknesses that can create security vulnerabilities. Dynamic testing (DAST) tools will scan your mobile application as executed, covering both your code and external components. You can also use ethical hacking services or organize a bug bounty program to have your app assessed by external security experts.
4. Automate as much as possible
With the vast number of devices and operating systems on the market, it is simply not possible to test everything manually. Furthermore, there are many areas in mobile app testing like network traffic or mobile server performance that requires to be automated to produce meaningful results.
There are many tools and services that can help you automate your mobile app testing process, depending on the technology platform you used to build it. The most famous tool is Appium, an open-source tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid applications on iOS and Android. Native apps are those written using the iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs. Appium is a web server that exposes a REST API. It receives connections from a client, listens for commands, executes those commands on a mobile device, and responds with an HTTP response representing the result of the command execution. With this client/server architecture, you can write your test code in any language that has a http client API. You can also put the server on a different machine than your tests are running on, write test code and rely on cloud services to receive and interpret the commands.
So why is mobile app testing so important? There are a number of key considerations that highlight the importance of quality assurance for apps, including ensuring compatibility with different devices and operating systems, identifying usability issues that could affect user experience, addressing potential security vulnerabilities, and maximizing efficiency through automation.
Given the central role that apps play in our everyday lives, it is essential to make sure that they are fully tested before being released to users. By doing so, a company can provide a high-quality product that meets users’ needs and expectations, which will then help improve its reputation as a developer, thus continuing to build a positive relationship that can then thrive in a variety of different ways.