App retention and churn rates are important metrics for your mobile app's success. No two app categories enjoy the same retention rate over 30 days. Here’s a small insight into the app categories and their retention rate in the first quarter of 2022 (Statista).
According to a survey, 25% of the apps are abandoned after a single use (Localytics). Low performance, poor quality or an app full of bugs and errors could be held responsible for the attrition rate.
Mobile app testing is crucial to launch a high-quality and risk-free app for your users. A well-tested app will ensure that the user’s experience is top-notch while using the application.
This article will discuss mobile app testing in detail, including the challenges and best practices of adopting this route.
What is Mobile App Testing?
The process of validating a mobile application to know if it is usable, accessible, functional and acceptable is known as mobile app testing. This is a crucial part of the software development lifecycle, where you will know if the mobile app fulfills the business and technical requirements specified by your analysts.
Benefits of Mobile App Testing Before Product Release
Mobile app automation testing is conducted to enhance the performance, improve the overall quality and bolster the app's security. Check out the focus areas of mobile app testing to know how it is useful for developers (Statista).
This part of the guide will discuss why organisations commit to mobile app testing and how it benefits the outcome.
1. Helps release a bug-free application
Users can easily resist an application that causes friction and isn’t user-friendly. They are more likely to remove it from their mobile device. Bugs and error-prone apps are causes for uninstalls in most cases.
However, with mobile app testing, you can release a clean and high-quality app into the store. The QA team tests the app for performance, functionality and user acceptance. It will test the code and the errors within. This will reduce the uninstalls in the long run.
2. It optimises app development cost
If you commit to testing at the end of development or removing bugs after deploying to the store, you will lose a lot of money and customers. However, when you test the app in the early stages or through development, you can deliver a bug-free application to the app store. Mobile app testing can help you deliver apps within the budget defined.
3. Ensures smooth functioning of the application
When you test every mobile application function, you will know whether it is working in sync with the requirements. You can determine the glitches in the early stages and fix them too. You can check the same function for different loading conditions, networks and other parameters to know if the app functions as required.
4. Unleash the suitable user experience
When you work with a QA team to test your mobile app solutions, you will know if the app is usable, accessible and functional. You can determine if your app is intuitive and follows your defined UX design. This would help release a user-friendly app that attracts conversions.
As a result, you can deliver a usable and intuitive solution to the end users with mobile application performance testing.
Challenges of Mobile App Testing for QA Teams
While there are benefits associated with mobile app development, you cannot deny the challenges/issues you are likely to face with testing.
This chart discusses the top challenges you will likely face with mobile app testing. These include not having a process or the absence of tools.
Let’s look at the testing challenges in detail.
#1 Diversity of Browsers and Devices
Device fragmentation is one of the biggest challenges QA teams face. It is because of the increasing number of available browsers, devices and operating systems. The different screen resolutions and device sizes/types mean the testing team has to ensure the app works properly everywhere.
The user may use the app on any device or OS. This increases the complexity of testing, which eventually becomes a challenge.
#2 Changing User Requirements
This challenge can increase the time to test the app or put the user experience at risk. The user’s requirement changes with time. What they may need today may no longer be a requirement tomorrow.
Before finalising the application, the testing team must determine thousands of scenarios, use cases and user types. This can be tedious and time-consuming.
#3 Selection of Testing Tools
A wide range of testing tools is available in the market. Selecting the right tool for your functional or automation testing can be difficult. You may not know which tool will support your defined testing goals. As a result, it can hamper your testing outcomes.
Testing Types to Know for Bug-free Applications
Knowing the different mobile app testing types is crucial to define the strategy. It can improve the outcomes of your testing services.
1. Functional Testing
This testing type aims to ensure that the mobile application is in tune with the functional requirements specified by the business. For example, the login button should allow users to enter the app dashboard upon clicking. If this occurs, the button works in sync with the requirements.
There are three aspects of functional testing that you should know:
- Unit Testing: The smallest code or unit of the application is tested to determine if it is functioning fine.
- Integration Testing: Once the units are integrated into systems, they are tested to check against business requirements.
- End-to-end Testing: The whole screen or app is tested on different devices to see if they function properly.
2. Usability Testing
Businesses must know if the mobile app is usable. For instance, if the user wants to access a particular button on the page, it should be easy and accessible. Similarly, the users should be able to move around the application intuitively without any issues.
The app design will be tested against the user experience strategy to determine if the user faces friction, movement issues or other problems. The idea is the fix these experience bugs in the early stages.
3. Compatibility Testing
As discussed in the challenges part, the app will be used by users across devices, platforms and browsers. As a result, the app needs to be compatible with all possible fragments.
While testing the app with newer devices and versions is important, checking with the older versions is equally crucial. Backward testing is an important part of compatibility testing.
4. Performance Testing
The workload can change for the mobile application as the number of users or the overall usage of the application increases. For instance, if you are developing an eCommerce mobile application, there is a good chance of an increase in the total number of users on a particular day.
You have to be prepared for load changes and performance issues. That’s why mobile app performance testing is crucial for the business. This will ensure the load change doesn’t impact your mobile application’s functioning.
You conduct stress, endurance and load testing as part of performance tests.
5. Security Testing
Whether you are creating a dating or mobile app for healthcare, you are playing around a lot of data. This can require multiple checks on vulnerability. You might need to ploy for excess data security.
QA testing team should determine if your app is in sync with the security requirements. They should identify the security strategies, sync with the plans and test from a hacker’s perspective.
6. Manual Testing
Certain tests cannot be conducted using tools. You might need to conduct manual tests to gain the outcomes. Physical interface tests and regression tests are part of manual testing strategies. Your team might need to work on identifying the parts of mobile app testing that will need manual intervention.
7. Memory Leak Testing
Memory leaks can lead to app failure. It happens when the app fails to return the memory used for the temporary use of the particular app function. QA teams need to check for these leaks. It can result from bad coding or programming errors that go undetected during software development.
You might need to check for these leaks by running the app on different devices. Plan to optimize the app on these devices for better app outcomes.
8. Localization Testing
The app might have features that depend on the user's geographical location. It is important to test these features and ensure they are functioning fine. It includes checking if the UI functions are working to match the requirements. Similarly, some features might depend on the user's location and language.
Step-by-step Mobile App Testing Phases
When you regard the software testing lifecycle, you will notice that it is divided into seven phases. Each one is crucial for the successful outcome of the business application.
#1 Requirement Analysis
The QA team needs to determine the aspects that must be tested before proceeding with test planning. The requirements of the mobile app testing services will help you plan the tests better.
At this point, the team should review the requirements document shared during development. You should check for missing documents and identify the risks that can cause issues while testing.
#2 Planning the Tests
The second stage involves planning the tests using the requirement analysis as your core document. You must determine all the necessary tests to ensure a successful outcome. For this purpose, you should have the test objectives and outcomes in mind.
Simultaneously, you need to know the testing environment and the test data to build your case. Finally, it is important to note the cost of each test before planning the budget. Resource allocation and infrastructure planning is equally important for successful testing.
#3 Developing the Test Cases
Once you have the test cases defined for the particular mobile application, you should start working on writing the test cases. Determine what types of test cases will be written.
Check how you aim to create the test case for each test. Define the scenario for these test cases. Review each case and validate them before you start testing the application.
#4 Setup the Environment
We have the test cases and the tests we want to implement. It is now time to set up the environment that will benefit the testing.
During this phase, you need to set up the infrastructure, determine the devices and start working on the actual infrastructure for the tests. You should also identify the test data required to build the cases.
#5 Execute the Test Cases
Everything is set up, and it is time for the mobile app testing team to work on executing these test cases. The scripts you have written while developing the test cases will be run now. Log the defects for the particular test case.
To eliminate these errors, you must write newer cases, set up the environment accordingly and execute the test cases. You must log the retests and also prepare a detailed report.
#6 Test Closure
At this point, you must have completed all the testing-related activities. This point would execute all the test cases. You need to document these parts for the final analysis and reporting.
At this stage, to complete the testing process, you might want to clean up the environment you had set up. Submit a test closure report with all the flaws and retests. Lastly, make sure to report your feedback.
The Mobile App Testing Best Practices
To ensure you get the desired output, your strategy should be clean. Implementing app testing best practices can help you with a defined strategy and exceptionally written test cases.
1. Use Test Automation
It is important to accelerate testing solutions and get accurate results. Manual testing can be laborious and time-consuming. You can replace them with automated tests that efficiently perform the test cases using the testing framework.
It improves the overall productivity of the testing teams. Using test automation is a great idea for mobile app testing wherever possible.
2. Test Early and Often
Businesses need to test their solutions while developing. If you start testing the solutions early, there is a good chance you might find the bugs sooner and can fix them easily.
It is equally important to test the apps as often as possible. Testing once may not return the desired result. You must test it multiple times before you get a satisfactory result.
3. Split the Tests into Smaller Units
We are tempted to test the entire app simultaneously. However, it can lead to more inaccuracies and testing complexities. Break down your app tests into smaller and more efficient units. Test each unit individually before collaborating them into an entire unit.
4. Data-driven Testing for Better Outcomes
It is a great idea to back your testing approaches, strategy and outcomes with numbers. It will help you analyse the reports better and develop test cases that draw the desired outcome.
You can even use smart tools to determine the outcomes you aim to achieve from the testing.
5. Real Condition Specifications in Test Cases
It is possible that your test cases aren’t incorporating real-world scenarios. You might want to change that by being as real as possible. You need to include test cases that can study the network instabilities, changes in settings and other real-world situations that the app users will likely implement.
Best Mobile App Testing Tools
Mobile app testing services are crucial for successful outcomes. Automated testing can make your business more efficient and release accurate outcomes. Moreover, if you rely on suitable mobile app testing tools, you will bolster performance and security testing, thus aligning them with business objectives.
Along with the right strategy, you need a good partner for mobile app testing services. Expert App Devs is a leading mobile app testing company in India with proficiency in testing case development, execution and automated tools. Connect with our team for end-to-end software development and testing services.