Today’s tech-savvy users on the go want quality mobile applications to do a host of activities. These include playing games, browsing on social media, paying utility bills, transferring funds, booking cabs, watching movies, and many more. To cite statistics and highlight the importance of such apps, read the following:
- The Google Play Store offers around 2.87 million apps for download.
- The Apple App Store offers nearly 4.4 million apps.
- More than 100, 000 Android-based apps are launched every month on the Google Play Store. (Source: Statista)
- Around 21 percent of millennials open an app more than 50 times a day (Source: Buildfire.com)
- Around 90% of internet browsing time on mobile is spent on apps (Source: eMarketer)
The major drivers of the growth of mobile applications include widespread internet penetration, ease of use, the availability of smartphones, and increased data usage, among others. However, as businesses push for a greater number of mobile applications to reach out to their customers and outsmart rivals, quality issues continue to play spoilsport. Further, the growing menace of cybercrime has meant mobile applications, especially those dealing with financial data and having interfaces with banks, remain vulnerable. This calls for conducting stringent end-to-end mobile testing. Any mobile application testing exercise should be an integral part of the build process to deliver a top-quality product in a short time.
Mobile apps have a high rate of abandonment by users who constantly look for better quality products. The factors leading to abandonment are poor navigation, lack of compatibility, bugs, slow loading time, crashes, and security breaches, among others.
Further, given that users use a large number of mobile devices with different hardware configurations, operating systems, screen resolutions, and others, mobile apps should work seamlessly across devices and networks. However, this is easier said than done unless there is a suitable end-to-end mobile application testing strategy. The advantages of testing mobile applications are as follows:
- Minimizing or preventing the risk of releasing a poor quality application
- Identifying bugs early in the development process and reducing rework
- Ensuring superior user experience, protecting brand equity, and achieving higher downloads.
To conduct effective mobile application QA testing, achieve faster time to market, and frequent deployments, there is no alternative to enabling mobile app test automation using testing tools. The tools help generate test scripts quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
To increase coverage, efficiency, accuracy, and speed in mobile app automation testing, the right testing tool should be used. The key factors to consider while choosing a test automation tool are as follows:
Support for multiple scripting languages: Since mobile applications are built using different programming languages, the testing tools should support such languages to write test scripts. The QA team should ideally choose an automated testing tool that supports multiple scripting languages. Moreover, the QA team should be familiar with all the programming languages and be able to write effective test scripts.
Compatible with different operating systems (and their versions): As a mobile application is expected to perform across different operating systems and their versions, the test tool should support such operating systems. Besides, the tool’s code reuse option can enable QA testers to reuse an existing test script instead of writing separate scripts for each operating system.
Scriptless option: Several testing tools support the scriptless option to create tests. This is important for those testers (and stakeholders) who have a lack of programming skills.
Integrations: Mobile testing tools should be integrated with mobile operating platforms such as Android, iOS, and other automation tools as well. These should also be integrated with CI platforms, web editors, databases, and bug trackers.
User Interface: The testing tool should have an easy-to-use interface for the QA testers to operate. Since the testing process generates loads of data, a clean and attractive user interface can be of help in presenting clutter-free data.
Reports: The testing tool should be able to generate reports mentioning the bugs tracked or defects identified. These reports should have details presented in a structured format for better understanding.
The success of mobile testing depends on the type of automated testing tool used by the QA team. In addition to the various features mentioned above, one can even set up the testing environment in the cloud to garner maximum benefits.