The Basic ABC of Mobile Testing

By Sanhita Deb Chaudhary on February 26, 2015

Mobile technology and smart devices are very much in trend now and so is their use by the common man, due to which mobile testing has emerged as one of the latest challenges for the QA people.

In many ways, mobile testing is more challenging than testing based on desktop.  Mobile application has to be tested in smaller screen sizes and resolutions which can be quite tedious to the testers.

Today Android and IOS are the most commonly used mobile platforms.  Along with these two, Windows mobile platform is also used to a good extent.  So most of the good companies tries to develop the kind of application which can be easily supported in Android, IOS and Windows platforms.

Mobile Testing_Introduction

It is really challenging to verify the applications across different screensizes, operating system and device browsers.  Therefore, the testing team need to find better, time efficient and cost effective testing methodologies without any compromise on quality.

Types of Mobile Testing :

Mobile testing can be broadly classified in to two categories :

1. Hardware Testing : The testing process which involves the testing of mobile hardware including the internal processors, internal hardware, screen sizes, resolution, space or memory, camera, radio, Bluetooth, WIFI etc.
2. Software or Application Testing : The testing of the functionality and the whole application that work on mobile devices is known as Mobile Application Testing or Mobile Software Testing.

Also there are different types of mobile applications that are important to understand :

1. Native apps : A native application is created for use on a platform like mobile and tablets.  They have single platform affinity, installation is required, can be installed, updated from play store or app store, may or may not require internet connection, works faster than the web apps.
2. Mobile web apps : Server side apps to access website on different browsers in mobile devices connecting to a wireless network WIFI or a mobile network.  Mobile web apps have centralized updates.
3. Hybrid apps : Combination of native apps and web apps.

Basic differences between mobile and desktop testing :

Mobile device screen size is much smaller than desktop, so testing is more tedious in mobiles as compared to desktop.

  • Mobile devices have less memory than desktop, so have to keep this point in mind while setting up the test data.
  • Mobile testing needs to check some scenarios with both the mobile data and the WIFI connection, whereas in desktop, whole testing is done only in one type of available network connection.
Why mobile testing is more challenging than testing web apps?

Different ranges of mobile devices with different screen sizes.

  • Wide variety of mobile devices.
  • Different mobile operating systems like: Android, IOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc.
  • Different versions of operation systems like: iOS 5.x, iOS 6.x, BB5.x, BB6.x etc.
  • Different mobile network operators like: GSM and CDMA.
  • Frequent updates-with each update a new testing cycle is recommended to make sure no application functionality is impacted.
Types of Mobile App Testing :

Usability Testing : To make sure that the mobile app is easy to use and is user friendly.
Compatibility Testing : Testing of the application in different mobile devices, browsers, screen sizes and OS versions according to the requirements.
Functionality Testing : Testing of all the available functionality of the application including the menu options, buttons, bookmarks, history, settings and navigation flow of the application.
Services Testing : Testing the services of the application online and offline.
Performance Testing : Testing the performance of the application by changing the connection from 2G, 3G to WIFI.
Installation and up gradation Tests : Validation of the install, uninstall, and upgradation process of the application.Security Testing : Checking that the application is able to protect the information system.

Test cases for testing a mobile app :

In addition to functionality based test cases, Mobile application testing requires special test cases which should cover following scenarios.

  • Battery usage – It’s important to keep a track of battery consumption while running application on the mobile devices.
  • Speed of the application – the response time on different devices, with different memory parameters, with different network types is required to test.
  • Data requirements – For installation as well as to verify if the user with limited data plan will able to download it.
  • Memory requirement – again, to download, install and run the application.
  • Functionality of the application – To make sure application is not crashing due to network failure or anything else.
 Other Important checks for mobile app :

 Installation, Uninstallation and Up gradation of the app.

  1. Network related checks.
  2. Checking application splash screen.
  3. Continued keypad entry during interrupts and other times like network issues.
  4. Testing the methods which deal with exiting the application.
  5. Removal of battery while testing of an application is being performed.
  6. Consumption of battery by the application.
  7. Switching from one network connection to another while testing the application.
Conclusion :

Designing the right test strategy, the right test cases, choosing the right devices, the right mobile testing tools can assure 100% of test coverage and help us to consider widely the security, usability, performance, functionality and stability of the application.

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