How can automation testing detect issues in mobile applications?

By Bex

In our fast-evolving technological landscape, the utilization of mobile applications continues to surge, becoming an indispensable aspect of daily life. These apps offer users unparalleled convenience with effortless on-the-go transactions across various activities. For businesses, it’s imperative to ensure a good mobile app testing tool to make mobile user-friendly, adaptable, and entirely operational to provide an exceptional user experience (UX).

Nevertheless, mobile apps often fall short of delivering an outstanding UX due to various challenges like slow loading times, security vulnerabilities, subpar performance, broken links, and navigation issues. Consequently, rectifying these issues within mobile apps is crucial to enabling a seamless UX. Therefore, companies should employ automated mobile app testing to attain scalable, resilient, and fully operational mobile applications.

Apps are the foundation of numerous global businesses, underscoring the importance of developing high-quality applications. This article focuses on discussing the testing of such applications.

Automated Testing for Mobile Applications

Automated testing involves using specialized software testing tools to test various categories of mobile applications designed for handheld devices. Typically, these applications fall into three primary types: native, hybrid, and web apps, and automated testing can be applied to all of them. Mobile test automation is instrumental in verifying the smooth operation of these apps and enhancing their overall quality, user-friendliness, performance, security, and dependability. Employing automated mobile app testing offers numerous advantages for businesses.

Advantages of Automating Mobile App Testing

  • Accelerates Releases:

Automating mobile app testing streamlines repetitive tasks, reducing time consumption, and expediting the testing process, thereby facilitating quicker releases.

  • Reduces Regression Time:

Automating tasks significantly reduces overall regression duration, enhancing efficiency in the testing phase.

  • Enhances App Functionality:

Automated mobile app testing meticulously validates app functionality, ensuring the absence of functionality-related errors or glitches, thereby optimizing app performance.

  • Ensures App Security:

Automated security testing identifies and eliminates security loopholes in mobile apps, averting potential customer data breaches and mitigating financial and reputational risks for businesses.

  • Enhances App Performance:

Thorough performance tests during automated mobile app testing ascertain the absence of performance bottlenecks, ensuring optimal app performance across varying user loads.

  • Improves App Scalability:

Automated load testing ensures mobile applications can effectively handle fluctuations in user load, supporting high user traffic without encountering performance issues.

  • Enhances App Loading Speed:

Automated mobile app testing resolves bugs to enhance loading speed, which is crucial for delivering a better user experience (UX) on Android and iOS platforms.

  • Improves App Usability:

By validating elements such as app navigation, multimedia placement, link functionality, color contrast, and image quality, automated testing ensures a user-friendly app with improved usability.

  • Validates App Compatibility:

Mobile compatibility testing guarantees app compatibility across diverse operating systems, browsers, and devices, ensuring a seamless user experience.

  • Cost Savings:

Automating mobile app testing prevents sudden app failures or crashes, ultimately saving substantial costs for businesses and safeguarding their brand reputation.

  • Time Efficiency:

Automated testing liberates testers from repetitive tasks, expediting test execution. This allows Quality Assurance (QA) testers to focus on resolving high-priority issues and handling complex tasks efficiently.

How to Implement Mobile App Testing Automation?

●     Formulate a Test Plan and Determine Testing Types:

Initiate by devising a comprehensive test plan, outlining target devices with diverse screen sizes for mobile app evaluation. Define the specific testing types—such as front-end, back-end, functional, etc.—required for the mobile app, accounting for whether it’s a native, hybrid, or web app.

●     Develop Test Scripts and Cases:

Create detailed test cases covering every application function, including aspects like battery usage, app speed, memory, etc. Craft reusable automated test scripts adaptable to project requirements for efficient automation.

●     Configure the Test Environment:

Download, install, and set up the application on the designated testing devices to prepare the test environment. Ensure the test version of the app is established before commencing the actual mobile app testing process.

●     Conduct Diverse Tests:

Leverage various test automation tools to execute different types of tests tailored for mobile apps.

Types of Mobile App Testing to Employ:

Overcoming challenges while executing the mobile tests involves careful consideration and strategic approaches.

1. Functional Testing:

Validate the functional aspects to ensure the app operates smoothly under diverse conditions.

2. Usability Testing:

Ensure the app delivers a superior user experience (UX) to its users.

3. UI Testing:

Verify a highly responsive and user-friendly interface for the app.

4. User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

Involve end-users to ensure the app meets their requirements and expectations.

5. Performance and Load Testing:

Assess the app’s performance and load-handling capacities under varying conditions.

6. Security Testing:

Identify and rectify security flaws to protect the app from cyber threats.

7. Accessibility Testing:

Ensure the app complies with accessibility standards, making it accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

8. Digital Testing:

Covering all aspects of software testing is essential for digital apps to ensure functionality, performance, security, usability, and accessibility.

9. Cloud Testing:

Validate app functionality, security, and performance within cloud networks.

What difficulties do testers encounter during mobile automation testing?

  • Device and OS Diversity:

The expansive range of devices and operating system combinations through which users access mobile apps necessitates comprehensive testing across these variations. Conducting tests on diverse devices and OS fragments often poses a significant challenge for testers.

  • Choosing the Optimal Test Automation Tool:

Numerous test automation tools are available, making the selection of the most suitable tool for a specific mobile app or project a challenging decision.

  • Defining the Right Test Automation Strategy:

Creating an effective test automation strategy tailored to specific domains and project requirements is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Testers encounter difficulties in formulating the most appropriate test automation strategy.

  • Dealing with False Positives and Negatives:

Test automation brings about the challenge of false positives and false negatives, leading to unreliable or inconsistent test results, commonly known as flaky tests.

  • Insufficient Team Collaboration:

Testers often face challenges in maintaining effective collaboration between developers and testers while working separately on a project, impacting the overall efficiency of the test automation process.

Strategies to Overcome Challenges in Automated Mobile App Testing:

  • Utilize Cloud-Based Testing Platforms, Simulators, and Emulators:

Address the testing challenge across diverse device-OS combinations by utilizing cloud-based testing platforms and employing simulators or emulators for efficient testing.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that offers a comprehensive mobile app automation platform designed to facilitate efficient and effective automated testing of mobile applications across a diverse range of devices, browsers, and operating systems. It offers a suite of features and tools specifically tailored for mobile app automation, enabling development and testing teams to identify and address issues swiftly.

  • Carefully Choose Test Automation Tools and Frameworks:

Mitigate the challenge of tool selection by assessing needs thoroughly and analyzing various industry-leading open-source and commercial tools, aligning them with project requirements.

  • Evaluate Test Automation Requirements:

Identify specific test automation needs, considering business objectives, existing IT infrastructure, technology stack, and tool requisites, to devise a robust mobile app test automation strategy.

  • Harness Script-Less Automation Tools:

Utilize advanced script-less automation tools or repurpose previously developed test scripts for similar tests to overcome challenges associated with creating test scripts from scratch.

  • Embrace DevOps Practices:

Adopting DevOps practices facilitates collaboration between developers and testers, breaking down silos and ensuring successful mobile app test automation by fostering a cohesive working environment.

Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing: Choosing Between Them

Manual testing is a hands-on approach involving human testers directly engaging with a mobile application to assess its functionality and user-friendliness. Testers perform various actions such as tapping buttons, inputting data, and navigating through the app, mimicking real user experiences. Throughout manual testing, they scrutinize the app’s behavior across different devices, operating systems, and network conditions. Identifying bugs or issues, evaluating the overall user experience, and reporting findings are integral to manual testing.

Manual testing might be time-consuming and may not cover as many test scenarios as automated testing. The challenge in mobile testing often isn’t about choosing between the two paradigms but rather about deciding how much, when, and who should perform the tests. Manual testing can be conducted using either real devices or simulators/emulators.

However, as applications expand in complexity, so does the time required for testing. Automated testing significantly reduces testing time for frequent releases, accelerating the testing process, reducing costs, and notably shrinking the time-to-feedback for major errors from days to minutes. Integrating manual and automated testing offers optimal efficiency, time, and cost savings. By integrating both, testers gain faster feedback and feel more inclined to cut and deploy new versions while avoiding neglecting entire feedback categories.

Primary Tools for Automated Mobile Application Testing

Appium:

As an open-source automated testing tool, Appium supports the automation of native, hybrid, and mobile web applications tailored for iOS and Android platforms. Utilizing vendor-provided automation frameworks, it operates on a server architecture. Appium 1.16.0 (launched in January 2020) introduced beta support for Flutter, geolocation settings for iOS simulator testing, and capabilities for Safari weblogs.

Tricentis Tosca:

This continuous testing platform is proficient in constructing automated, functional, and comprehensive software tests. By employing simple drag-and-drop functionality, Tricentis Tosca permits codeless testing for a diverse range of mobile apps. It facilitates testing across native, hybrid, and web applications on iOS and Android devices, encompassing mobile cross-browser testing.

TestComplete:

This user-friendly tool simplifies test automation for mobile apps, desktop software, and web applications. Offering extensive test coverage, TestComplete employs a hybrid object and visual recognition engine. It allows scripting in multiple programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, Delphi Script, C++Script, and C#Script.

Ranorex Studio:

Ranorex Studio, a comprehensive automation testing tool, integrates the Selenium WebDriver and features UI object recognition, an intuitive interface, and a complete Integrated Development Environment (IDE). With a record and playback function, it enables easy automation. Ranorex facilitates cross-platform testing, serving purposes in end-to-end testing across web, desktop, mobile, and APIs.

Conclusion

The increased reliance on mobile apps and heightened customer expectations for seamless experiences have amplified the necessity for thorough mobile app testing in today’s business landscape. Consequently, it has become imperative for businesses to employ efficient mobile test automation techniques to ensure the scalability, robustness, and high performance of their mobile apps.

Seeking software automation testing services from cutting-edge QA and software testing providers is crucial for companies aiming to deliver top-notch mobile apps that offer exceptional user experiences (UX). Undoubtedly, mobile automation testing significantly enhances app quality and contributes to achieving a superior UX.

By Bex
Bex is a technical and non-technical writer, he is into the content marketing industry since 2015 and also contributed to many top news sources in the world