If you were told that from the next day onwards, all the mobile apps in the world would cease to exist, how would your reaction be? Even if you were to act nonchalant on hearing this news, you know that something like that can alter the way you live. Most of us are heavily dependent on a variety of mobile apps to function on a daily basis. From ordering groceries to booking cabs, mobile apps offer us a world of convenience. The world of mobile app testing is fraught with a lot of pressure as everyone expects them to be thorough with what they do, despite the challenges they face.
In this article, we are going to talk about key testing app challenges and how to overcome them:
1. Huge list of operating systems:
Operating systems help the applications run on a specific device, and each of them has different specifications to work with. Even the different versions of the same operating system work differently. Let’s say you have a web-based application; then you need to take care of the browser versions as well, apart from catering to the operating system's requirements. For QA testers, these are challenges that they need to solve.
The solution for this issue is to go for cross-device testing. With cross-device testing, you can analyze the consistency of your mobile application across various browsers and operating systems.
2. Network Diversity:
Although there are not many network carriers across the world, fragmentation is a problem. While network emulators do provide a basic level of testing, it is imperative that you test on real networks too. Most businesses use device emulators with an operator’s test or web proxy to reduce airtime charges with an instrumented test stack.
Cloud-based network test services are great, but you might have to end up paying for remote carrier coverage. When testing in a WiFi network, you can check the following aspects:
- How is the app impacted by different WiFi speeds, 3G or 4G networks, and low signal strength?
- What happens when you switch from network to WiFi or vice versa?
- How does the app work offline?
- Check how the app fares when it comes to low-level resource usage, garbage data generation, multi-user support, or encryption?
3. Large browser matrix:
A browser matrix is a list of all the browsers and their different versions which you will be targeting. Browsers are updated every few days, based on how the organization that develops them works. It can be a terrible nightmare for testers since it means that a browser they tested 10 days ago might act like a completely different one today.
The latest Chrome version (93) was installed on September 1st, 2021. Let’s say the testing team worked hard on it, only to realize that the updated version 93 had an FTP API being removed. Imagine if this were an important API that was used throughout the project, it would put you in a spot.
Therefore, it is pivotal that you are updated when the browser gets an update and ensure you are always up to date. For this to happen, you need to perform frequent mobile app testing cycles or use a cross-browser testing tool for web apps and use a similar online tool for native apps.
4. UX & app performance issues:
There is no doubt about the fact that the success of your mobile app is largely dependent on providing the users with a great experience every time they are on your app. Even a delay of a second or more can be frustrating for your users as they are accustomed to great UI/UX.
So, you need to make sure that you provide mobile applications that are free of errors and have a great user experience which makes them keep coming back for more. Most new customers are looking at old reviews and comments on forums before they try an app. It is exactly why you should not release a shoddy product that is fraught with errors.
5. Lesser time to market the app:
There are times when the organization promises a timeline that might not really be feasible if you want a top-class app out in the market. A mobile app needs time for proper requirements gathering, design, development, and testing. Most of the mobile development stages are closely linked, and it needs to be followed up with proper testing. The testing process will be heavily impacted if you don’t provide them with the right time frame required for effective testing.
6. Changing user requirements:
The requirements of a mobile app might keep changing based on the whims and fancies of the client or the organization that is developing the app. On day 1, they might want a ‘Contact us’ button right on the landing page but decide against it after a week. These kinds of scenarios will happen more often than you would like to think, but the truth is that it hampers the development and the testing process.
The only solace is that most of these changes might be for the good, but it does pose a huge challenge to mobile app testing. How do you tackle this issue? By working with a dynamic application development method such as agile testing. With agile testing, testers can quickly go through the new feature and perform unit testing or even apply CI/CD tools that assist with automated mobile app testing.
7. Wide range of screen sizes:
Just like the OS problem, we also have another issue- a wide range of screen sizes. Screen sizes are something that mobile companies use to draw more customers. There are many who like phones that have a big screen size since most of them consume videos on their phone these days. Therefore, each mobile application should be such that it is consistent across all the mobile devices.
To ensure that the mobile app doesn’t work haphazardly on different screen sizes, the application should be developed with a flexible layout. There are specific guidelines on how this can be done for web apps. Make sure that the code is responsive so that there are no issues while rendering the website.
Mobile applications are flooding the market. You name a random niche, and you will find many players vying for attention. With this comes the problem of releasing it to the market as soon as possible. This is where most app developers make the mistake of not going through the right testing process so that the app works the way it is expected to.
There are standard protocols which the testing team has to employ to make sure that the mobile application works consistently across all browsers, devices, platforms, and whatnot. Some of the challenges that we have mentioned above are not the only ones that you will find, there will be more, and some of them will surely be unpredictable. Tell us about some of the testing challenges that you have faced and what you did to overcome them.