With 5.7 million apps available across Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, there’s no room for less than stellar performing apps.
Nowadays an app development agency not only needs to be able to build an app to meet the expectations of a cost-conscious client who wants their app fast to market. They also need to provide a fool-proof and fast testing phase to deliver an app that won’t crash at any time, or they risk a bad rep and unhappy client.
With a market that keeps getting more and more complex, due to the ever-growing amount of devices released from various mobile manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, the number of test scenarios can easily overburden any quality assurance testing team.
So how can app testers ensure that their app is performing well before handing it over to the client? The answer is fortunately straightforward: automated testing.
Automated testing will help mobile developers save time, resources, and money when it comes to the entire app development phase – ultimately to the client’s benefit. In this article, we are going to talk about how app testers can automate the tests for their mobile app in 2022 using optimal strategies and best practices.
We’ll also discuss the benefits of using automated test cases across platforms, operating systems, network connections, carriers, and situations – which is where test automation really shines! ✨
Let’s start by looking at the app testing process and why automation is a must.
The traditional app testing process is time-consuming, complex, and expensive. It can take weeks or sometimes months to test an app manually across all the platforms that it’s supposed to be compatible with – especially if it’s developed for both iOS and Android devices. Of course depending on the app’s complexity and number of target scenarios (vertical, horizontal layout, mobile, tablets, smartwatches, etc.).
Testing on real devices or emulators requires building out dozens of different configurations in order to replicate various network conditions, app states and app flows.
Traditionally an app development company has been using a quality assurance team to perform testing, but it requires a lot of people involved each with their device configuration 📱
Essentially each tester would need a physical device like an iPhone X, iPhone 12, and any other iOS device the app is targeting. Add to that the plethora of Android devices available as well as different operating systems, and you’ll understand that the testing scenarios can quickly seem overwhelming.
The automated testing process is a much faster, cheaper, and more reliable app testing solution. App tests are run on the same devices that your app will be running in production to ensure they function as expected for all real-life scenarios, except they are all software emulated, so no physical device is necessary.
No other method provides such an accurate and efficient means of exposing bugs before an app release. Let’s move on to the 3 main automated testing levels any app development company should offer.
The app testers can use automated testing for mobile apps in a variety of ways, but the most common one is to perform functional app testing. These are automated checks that examine both app functionality and its user interface (UI) to ensure it’s working correctly.
When it comes to UI – functional app tests check if an app performs according to the app design. For example, if there are specific buttons, they should perform as intended – trigger functions like opening a new page or performing some other app-specific task.
Functional testing is not just about the UI but also handles more generic features that you wouldn’t immediately think of when it comes to functionality: connectivity and device compatibility for instance.
Functional app tests ensure that all app features are working as expected and they cover the entire app workflow – from screen to screen, every possible user action, and transition between screens. These types of test cases can be very difficult to write manually due to their complexity.
The good news is there’s a variety of test automation tools available on the market that can help app testers.
If app testers want to test app performance, then unit testing is the best way for them to go. Unit tests are automated checks that focus on a specific app functionality by running scenarios relevant to that functionality. This could be a membership signup form or a PDF viewer for example.
Since these types of app tests are targeting smaller app components, and they usually have a very narrow scope, the great thing is that they’re really fast to run – since they don’t need much configuration or setup beforehand – which means there’s less waiting time for results. This is especially important for app testers who are working with tight deadlines ⏰
Integration testing in apps is different from the previous two automation methods, but it is a necessity to ensure a bug-free app.
Integration testing checks if an app’s components work as intended to support the infrastructure, like the network, database/API integration, and file system. That’s a necessity during development for all apps.
The amount of integration testing varies depending on the apps’ purpose. For example, an eCommerce app requires a lot more testing due to tight security, encryption, and payment gateway.
In addition to the 3 automated testing levels, regression testing should also never be left out. Regression tests exist to test new and modified app features and make sure everything works after any change in code has been made during the entire app development cycle 🔁
Regression testing makes it possible for app developers to add new functionalities without fear of breaking old app features or causing new app issues.
This is a very important test that app developers should never leave out – and it’s also the easiest to automate since all changes are already being tracked by version control systems, so no additional configuration is required.
There are several different mobile app automation testing tools to choose from, but not all of them are suitable for every tester, app requirement, or app agency. There’s a number of factors to consider when choosing the tool.
Test best app testing automation tools should support the major mobile and tablet platforms – specifically iOS and Android who has 99% of the mobile market.
You’ll need to make sure the app testing framework you choose is optimal for your app development process: how efficient is it for a CI/CD environment? Do developers have access to test results data during app development, etc?
Ease of Use
You want app testers to be able to learn the app testing automation framework as quickly and easily as possible. The easier it is to pick up, the more productive your team will become with test cases creation.
Does the app automation tool provide a friendly user interface to app testers where they can easily set up, run and monitor app test cases?
Reporting & Analytics
It’s important for testing app agencies to be able to track the performance of their mobile app tests. The app testing tool should provide detailed reports on how many times an app started or completed successfully without issue during a given time period.
Mobile app testing can be a time-consuming process, but taking advantage of automation makes it much easier. App developers should not underestimate the importance of the testing phase, as it’s one of the most important phases when it comes to delivering app quality and increasing app marketability 💹
I hope you found this blog post informative and that it will help you with your mobile app testing, so we all can continue to enjoy quality built apps in the market places.