An Ultimate Guide To Mobile App Testing

In the Apple App store, there are almost 1.96 million apps waiting to be downloaded. On the google play store, this number is approx. 2.87 million. Despite the sheer number, only a few of them get the recognition they deserve from the users. 

Many of the applications never even make their way to the app store itself. In 2020, Apple rejected almost 1 million apps submitted to the app store. Bugs and performance issues were the primary reasons for getting rejected by the tech giant. This shows that the underlying problem remains the same – neglected or poor mobile app testing. Without proper software testing, serious consequences can occur like – damaged reputation, post-launch troubleshooting problems, etc. The rejection rate could be reduced only if businesses take testing seriously and invest in rigorous software testing practices. 

We present this blog to guide you better about the different phases involved in mobile app testing. There exist eight unique phases of mobile testing before the application can be launched on app stores. So let’s have an in-detailed look at different phases of mobile testing. 

An Ultimate Guide To Mobile App Testing

8 phases of mobile application testing

Phase 1: Outlining

Before the tester can even begin to test the code, he/she needs to create an outline of all the cases to be tested, decide the mode of testing, create a test plan according to the type of mobile application, write a brief description of the intended test and expected results. Outlining will clear the fog of thoughts from your mind and help you streamline the process of mobile testing. A very small point to keep in mind but indeed it creates a strong influence throughout the mobile app testing procedure.

Phase 2: Deciding between Automatic/Manual

After the initial outlining, the next big step is to decide on which testing methodology is best suited for the project. In order to decide between automatic/manual, you can take guided assistance from the following cases: 

  • For any routine tests running on a regular basis to test the basic functionality, automated testing is the way to go. In the long run, automating routine testing pays off as it saves a lot of time and omits the possibility of human errors.
  • For any test having a predicted outcome, automated testing is the go-to choice. When the developer is already aware of the testing result, the need to actively monitor the test is out of the equation. As such, automation can serve better value under such scenarios.
  • Where there is a huge variety of devices and screen dimensions, manual testing is the ideal choice. This is because you need to manually make sure that the application is compatible across the various platforms and is offering the same user experience. 

Phase 3: Preparing test cases and script design

The third phase is all about defining test cases based on the type of test you want to run. All application testing is broadly divided into two categories, namely: functional and non-functional testing.

Functional TestingNon-Functional Testing
Unit TestingSecurity Testing
Integration TestingStress Testing
System TestingVolume Testing
Interface TestingPerformance Testing
Regression TestingLoad Testing
Beta/acceptance TestingReliability Testing
Usability Testing
Compliance Testing
Localization Testing

After you prepare separate suites for manual and automated testing, it’s time to execute them.

Phase 4: Manual and Automated Testing

There are no set guidelines as to which testing technique to use before the other. As a result, some software testing service providers favor automated testing before manual testing. However, when working with an agile framework, testing comprises a combination of both manual and automated testing. Automated testing is better suited for load, stress, and spike testing, whereas manual testing is preferred for UI/UX and compatibility testing.

Phase 5: Usability and Beta Testing

After the basic functions of the mobile application have been successfully tested, your software testing services partner must test the capability of the application to provide a satisfactory user experience. Usability and beta testing are both essential types of mobile application testing. They are slightly different from each other. Usability testing provides feedback regarding the successful execution of all the functionalities in the application, whereas beta testing provides developers a better understanding of whether the general public is going to use the particular application feature or not.

Phase 6: Performance Testing

After testing each feature step-by-step, it’s time to gear up to test the entire system’s performance. Performance testing is a crucial mobile application testing type as it helps in evaluating speed, scalability, application stability, high-traffic handling capability, etc.

Generally, performance testing comes during the later stages of software testing. However, trying to run performance testing parallel to unit testing is a nice strategy as well. Setting realistic benchmarks and thinking from the app user perspective is the key element while performing performance testing.

Phase 7: Security and Compliance Testing

After the performance of the application is thoroughly tested, next arrives the security compliance testing. Any application on the web is prone to attacks from hackers for malicious activities. Security testing ensures that your application meets the industry’s data security standards. A few of the common security standards are as follows – 

PCI DSS – Data security standard required for mobile applications accepting payments

HIPAA – For all the mobile healthcare applications, HIPAA is the security standard to be followed while collecting, storing, and processing medical data

FFIEC – Guidelines to be followed by banking and finance mobile applications. 

Phase 8 – Final Version Release

After successfully executing all the above seven phases, the developer conducts end-to-end testing to double-check the proper working of the application. If no significant bug is found to be addressed, the developers release the final version of the application to app stores. 

Conclusion

Mobile application testing is not a separate but integral part of the software development life cycle. A fully functional and tested application faces zero rejection and has the potential to be loved by users. This blog serves as a guide to walk you through the various phases of mobile application testing and what to expect from each one of them.

About the Author:

Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a firm that provides custom software development services. He leads large-scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices.

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