Mobility is being widely implemented across businesses and government organizations to facilitate communication, transactions and productivity. Increased adoption of mobility has changed the face of enterprise IT drastically making it more complex with a sea of devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Increased complexity also calls for a more efficient mobile app testing requirement. Constantly changing mobile platforms with new features being added every day and security issues coming up with the threat of privacy invasion has raised the importance for mobile applications testing. However, mobile technology has presented some unique challenges for automated quality assurance testing.
Automated QA has proved to be quite popular for web applications for years. Mobility platforms, on the contrary, pose certain unique challenges which have made automated mobile app testing difficult to implement.
Mobile Testing is a fast-paced process that is constantly changing. Constantly evolving Mobile applications have brought a different set of challenges before the testing community. Mobile users, in particular, are not very forgiving and finding even a small issue in the app means leaving the application and heading for the next app right way. Hence mobile applications and websites need to be near perfect before they are released to the market.
What are the Key Challenges?
- Evolving technology & Device Variation: : Test automation for mobility is difficult because of the multitude of constantly evolving mobile devices, software platforms and operating systems including Android, ioS, Blackberry etc. These mobile platforms are not only constantly evolving but unlike the web are closed platforms and it requires special expertise and programs to drive them like an end user does.
- Advanced QA skills: Automated testing of mobile applications require testing teams with a different approach and an ability to accommodate accelerated testing methods – which is not easy to achieve. Also the tools available to conduct automated testing on mobile applications are limited as compared to traditional testing methods.
- Network/Connection types: The performance of a carrier’s network can have a huge impact on the user’s experience with an app. Internationally there are several standards for mobile data connections as well as Wi-Fi. These network variations beyond the hardware and the software are sometimes hard to test through automation methods because of their uncertain behavior in the real world. Even though connection API’s on mobile platforms have been developed keeping those challenges in mind, the real world environment is still very much varying and interesting set of issues may occur.
Even though not all of the testing procedures can be completed through automation methods but when applied correctly automation can bolster the quality of the product and contribute to a more effective development process.
Benefits of Mobile Test Automation
- Check basic stability: Test automation methods can check the basic features and functionality of the mobile app – does it run, allow permissions, sign-in and has a working UI? These tests are fluid, can link end user stories to test cases, help manage test cycles and execute test cases in real time. This kind of verification provides instant feedback and makes it easier to locate the bug in the build.
- Test many incremental business requirements: Data-driven test automation for mobility platforms is a strategy that can very quickly process a large number of minor business requirements like giving appropriate error messages for certain input. Without this automation,
testing has to be done manually by a tester by maintaining a spreadsheet of inputs and expected output. An automated script can easily pull that data out of the spreadsheet and execute the tests in quick succession. And expanding the scope of a test becomes simple by adding more rows to the spreadsheet.
When correctly applied, automated testing saves money, improves time to market and expands test coverage full-spectrum quality assurance.