Best Practices in Mobile App Testing

Behind every successful app there is a successful testing process. And testing can only be successful, when it follows the best practices. In this sea of choices you have to choose the best strategy available depending on your budget approvals, app’s requirement and targeted audience. This requires careful planning of every step. A poorly tested app can yield nothing but failure.

Testing Frequency

Mobile apps in the beta stage require a lot of attention as they are still vulnerable. The best approach in this scenario is to track the bug and fix it instantly, rather than procrastinating. The test cycle should be conducted often, and the results should be logged and used for future purposes. Batch bug-fixed updates followed by releases are equally critical as there are usually a number of bugs and tracking them individually can be quite hectic.

Device Selection

Number of device selection is a key factor in app testing. Keep this in mind - more devices mean more bugs. For example, thousands of people use iPhone 5; therefore, you get tons of bugs. And when you fix it for that device (iPhone 5), you fix it for all users with that device. Although, selecting multiple devices will give you a huge audience, it will also increase your chances of breaking the code, because a bug fix for device A may be a deal breaker for device B.

Emulators vs Real Devices

Emulators are useful, but they’re not 100% accurate. As they only imitate a real device it comes with limited functionality. While emulators are run by the developers with no expense, the number of bugs that can be found using emulators is very small as compared to real devices. Simulators enable you to test across different software and hardware combinations to get an unpredictable outcome. Another advantage of using emulator is, it can extract data in real time and refresh reports as it runs, making access to information an easy task for an app development team.

Real devices are used by individuals. When people use their device they may do something which could have an error as its outcome. Real devices make it easy to reproduce the bugs which need to be fixed. Real devices have unknown number of hardware and software combinations which can lead to the discovery of some under lying bugs.

Testing Strategy

The key element of testing is its process. The main point of testing is for its feedback, while many users are keen on giving feedback, the issue can’t be reproduced without a detailed log. Therefore it’s necessary to guide the user through a simplified process, to obtain their feedback with all the necessary information, and it’s the developer’s obligation to acknowledge this feedback, reply and tend to it at the earliest.

Automated Testing

Automated testing is the best cost-efficient tool available. It is practical if you have to repeatedly run the same tests. It requires no human intervention and runs at a very low cost or none at all. Automated testing refers to the process of testing through specified scripts. It is a long-term investment and can be run on different devices/machines; thus, it drastically reduces the testing time and is works out to be more convenient than manual testing. Whenever the source code of your application is updated, these automated tests are run to check for any bugs.

Manual Testing

Manual testing demands a lot of labor. Moreover, it is time consuming and not cost efficient in the long run, because after every release you have to conduct the same tests again to check for any new bugs. It can be handy when only a few random tests are required.

Testing Tools

To automate test processes, a number of tools are available across the Internet. Here is a list of testing tools we have found to work at its optimum level.

Used for writing structured text tests, acceptance tests, and requirements Frank allows a tester to execute pieces of text against the iOS application that is in the course of development.

Appium is an open-source test automation framework, which can be employed for testing. It has an active community which can help with any queries you have regarding testing. Being open-source it is a highly recommended tool for apps with a low budget.

MonkeyTalk is used for automating practical, interdependent, and correlative tests, for native and hybrid apps, both on real devices and simulators. MonkeyTalk uses true object-based recording. It provides detailed and summary reporting, with screenshots which can be saved as HTML, XML or Xunit for convenient access.

Bugclipper is a minimalistic yet functional manual testing tool. Reporting issues require only few taps and an optional description to help the developer get more information about the error. It automatically adds a detailed bug report about the user’s phone state. Bugclipper boasts a screen recording feature which helps the developer reproduce the error with ease.

Performance/Stress Testing

Your applications can react unusually under stress, e.g. multiple requests for an output can lead to a null value, thus force-closing the application. Stress testing is used to measure how your app will perform under stress. While under heavy load the app can cause data corruption and data loss. In such situations, the developer has to collect the results of the stress testing to analyze it, which can help fix the unhandled exception. Identifying the metrics that cause the issue can narrow it down and help save a lot of time.

User Flow/UI/Usability Testing

The most important aspect for an end user is the UI. If the UI of an app is presentable, the end user will have a better experience as opposed to those where it is less intuitive. The UI should be elegant yet minimal, allowing tasks to be completed with much ease. A complicated interface will just hinder the user from using your application. A preset of tasks should be made for convenient usage.

We at Bugclipper work with developers and companies testing their apps in-the-wild. We help them improve their feedback process that saves them development time and money.

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