Mobile App Testing Basics

Mobile App Testing: The Basics Part 1

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What is mobile app testing and why is it necessary?

Mobile app testing is a process that involves the evaluation of a mobile app’s usability, functionality, and consistency. There are different types of these tests that work for different mobile platforms, operating systems (and their different versions), devices (types and sizes), and networks (types and operators).

The results of these tests help mobile app developers quantify the app’s performance level. It also ensures that the app’s quality. A simple, overlooked mistake can cause not only monetary loss but also damage to a brand’s image.


Types of Mobile App Testing


Functional Testing

This is the test for the app’s functionality. The test mainly centers on the app’s UI and screen flow.


Usability Testing

This test aims to assess the user-friendliness and UI effectiveness. Usability Testing ensures the uniformity of user experience in all devices


Laboratory Testing

Usually, only network carriers perform this type of mobile app testing. The test’s main goal is to evaluate the app’s online functionality.


Performance Testing

This tests the situational performance of an app from both the side of the app’s server and the side of the client. The possible scenarios for testing include heavy server traffic, low device battery, low device memory, etc. The app’s behavior during these scenarios determines its performance level.


Load Testing

This test is related to performance but focusses on one issue: the app’s load time. If an app server can’t handle heavy traffic, the load time may slow down or the app can crash.


Memory Leakage Testing

Memory leakage happens when an app fails to “return” the memory it temporarily obtained from the mobile device. This can cause the slowdown of not only of the app but also of the system. If the app opens constantly or runs continuously, even the smallest memory leak can cause the app to crash.

A bug is more often than not the cause of memory leaks. That’s why it is important to test for these leaks while still in the development phase of the app.


Interrupt Testing

This is a test to determine if an app can handle common interruptions while it is running. These interruptions may include common device functions like voice calls, messaging, notifications, etc. There are also interruptions that can cause the app or even the device to terminate like battery removal, data transfer interruptions, system warnings, etc. Upon reopening, the app should be able to resume to the last state it was in before the interruption occurred.


Installation Testing

The app is installed and then uninstalled on different devices in order to ensure that the installation process goes without a hitch. This test also includes the process of updating the app.


Security Testing

Any data and network security vulnerabilities surface during this test. The app needs to pass the industry set security and user privacy standards.


Outdated Software Testing

This test aims to check if an app works on previous versions of the mobile operating system it is developed for.


How are these tests conducted?

You can conduct a mobile app test manually or with the use of automation tools. With manual testing, the tester acts as an end-user. The app is installed on different devices and the tester will conduct any desired tests in real time. But soon enough, device fragmentation becomes a problem. It’s impossible and impractical to test on all myriad of devices carrying different versions of different mobile operating systems. To make things easier, you can use emulators or simulators (we’ll discuss in the next posts).

But there are times where automated testing is more practical. Scenarios where automation is advisable includes:

  • Routine test cases. These are cases you often perform and has predictable results.
  • Test cases that are too tedious for manual testing.
  • The app is consistently growing
  • Outdated Software tests and other OS compatibility test cases

On the next post, we’ll be discussing common problems in mobile app testing and mobile app testing strategies.

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