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Challenges While Performing Mobile Testing

25-Feb-2016

Challenges While Performing Mobile Testing

With the rising use of mobile devices, companies are focusing on mobile app development. According to Statista’s forecast, “there will be 139 billion app downloads from Google Play Store alone while a whopping 45 billion from Apple App Store making a total of 184 billion app downloads by 2025.” 

In other words, the mobile industry is skyrocketing with consumers spending more time on mobile devices to utilize mobile content. The situation has made the entire idea of mobile application testing even more significant.  

Though mobile application testing is different and more complex than testing traditional desktop and web applications, most mobile testing concerns are associated with the software only. No doubt, hardware has improved dramatically over the last few years, but it’s the software that truly unleashes the potential of devices. 

Moreover, if the mobile app doesn’t perform well and has bugs or UX flaws, the issues call for a higher churn rate. And to survive in a highly competitive market, it is important to deliver bug-free and high-quality mobile apps.  

Thus, it is entirely the responsibility of software testing companies to identify errors early in the development process adding to the performance and user experience of any product under test. Nevertheless, testers face several mobile app testing challenges in their routine that make it difficult to yield the desired results. 

Let us quickly dig on the most common challenges that testers have to face when working on a mobile testing projects.  

Mobile application testing is different and more complex than testing traditional desktop and web applications and has its own set of new challenges. Some of the major challenges can be introduced in the following ways: 

  • 1. Increasing Fragmentation of Mobile Devices: It marks a major problem for mobile application developers and testers. Android devices differ in their shapes and sizes with vastly different performance levels, screen sizes and input methods. 

With different hardware capabilities a tester cannot guarantee that a software application will work fine on all the devices after testing on one because the screen resolution, CPU, Memory, OS optimization and hardware could be different. 

Solution: When you need to maintain a variety of phones and tablets in all models and operating systems for 24/7 access, a private mobile device cloud such as Mobile Labs’ device connection can help you to manage your mobile testing lab’s assets more efficiently. 

Since testers can access devices from disparate locations, device sharing is more practical. 

  • 2. Different OS Version: There are many different OS versions with their own limitations available in the market, but also a variety of versions of the same OS. Both iOS and Android average 1-2 major OS releases per year (e.g., Android Marshmallow 6.0, iOS 9.0), and 1-2 major point releases during that period (e.g., Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, iOS 9.2). 

While all releases claim to be backward compatible, sometimes applications, unfortunately, end up with unexpected behavior (i.e., bugs) when deployed on a new OS. 

Solution: If an application is working fine on the latest two OS versions with the latest top-selling devices, then we ensure the application is working fine. 

  • 3. Mobile Network Operator: Another challenge in mobile application testing is represented by the huge number of Mobile Network Operators. 

At the moment there are more than 400 Mobile Network Operators in the world, that use different network standards and different kinds of network infrastructure. 

Solution: The solution to this challenge is to use device emulators plus an operator’s web or test proxy, which avoids airtime charges and lets testing proceed with an instrumented test stack. 

Short of acquiring in-house accounts with target networks, cloud-based network test services provide the most realistic testing scenario. Many cloud-based device testing services include remote carrier coverage. 

Related read: Cloud Testing: The Future Of Software Testing ] 

  • 4. Internationalization: The international use of applications marks an important challenge in Mobile Device Testing. 

As many apps are developed for international markets – apart from that the mere translation of contents –regional traits, time zones and target audiences must be taken into account. 

Also, the Arabic script or other right-to-left languages can be a serious problem for developers and testers. 

Solution: While testing the mobile app, you need to ensure that it supports multiple languages and currencies without any hassle. Also, you can consider allowing users to access information and popular social networks in their native languages through the app. 

It is necessary for the design phase to include all possible cultural differences to implement navigational structures and general design principles to satisfy clients on a global scale. 

  • 5. Browser Fragmentation: Just similar to the OS Fragmentation, there is Browser Fragmentation. In a browser matrix, QA Companies list down all the browsers along with their versions. More precisely, browsers which target audience will be going to use for particular mobile apps. Now the real challenge arises for the tester when the browsers get the new updates within the span of 10-15 days.  

Solution: In this agile development world, it become important to be aware of the latest browser updates else it can have a negative impact on the business. Also, to cope up with updates, mobile apps need to go through several regression testing cycles or cross-browser testing.  

  • 6. Power Consumption: Battery consumption is one of the most essential metrics to determine the success of the mobile app. The last few years have witnessed a rise in apps that are really hard on battery life. Thus, mobile manufacturing companies are aiming to provide strong batteries. In spite of several attempts by companies, still there are apps that consume battery in the backend while not in use.  

Solution: One of the most challenging tasks for the testers is to regularly check the apps to assure they do not drain the battery. Testers run battery drain testing that is a scenario-based performance test to check the phone’s battery drain in regards to the mobile app’s runtime. Also, testers need to run several testing procedures to ensure a truly diverse application. Such as it can run on almost any battery without draining the device. 

Conclusion 

The market is flooded with mobile applications. And for every app created, there is not one but several competitors. So, how to become the market leader? Opt for mobile app testing solutions as it ensures efficient functioning of the app.  

The role of the mobile app tester is crucial when it comes to resolving challenges associated with applications. As it is not possible to build an app ideal for every specific device. But testers make sure the app works consistently for all the users. 

Wondering how mobile testing could help you empower your business goals surrounding your mobile application?  

We at BugRaptors got you covered on all your mobile testing needs.  

Contact Us Today! 

author

Pooja Guleria

Pooja works at BugRaptors as Senior QA Engineer. She is having 5 years experience in web & mobile application testing. Comprehensive work experience in Real Estate, She is expertise in QA practices Project Management, Team Management, Client Relationship Management. Participating in Release Planning, Product Backlog, Product Reviews, Defect review, Root cause analysis.

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