5 Key challenges in testing mobile apps

Most of the big companies have their own mobile app or their website is optimized for mobile. New companies are taking the mobile first approach. In many cases, their mobile app is the only way customers interact with their products. Companies rely heavily on mobile apps to drive their business. This proves Benedict Evans point – Mobile is eating the world – Mobile is eating the world :)

Now, if mobile is the main business driver, it’s no surprise that developing, testing and releasing quality apps efficiently and quickly is very important for most of the organizations. A poor quality app can cause revenue loss in addition to damage to brand reputation to the organization. A thorough test strategy needs to follow in order to get the apps in good shape, reach market on time, within budget and works well across a range of devices and OS distributions.

RightQA is focused on mobile testing and has identified 5 key challenges that app developers and testers face.

  1. The never-ending list of devices: The biggest challenge when it comes to mobile app testing is the plethora of devices spread across different platforms. According to a report by OpenSignal (done in August, 2014), number of distinct android devices are 18,796. Practically, it’s impossible to test your app on each and every available device.
  2. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that an app tested on a given device will work 100% on another device. Even if the device is from same product family because the screen resolution, CPU, Memory, OS optimization and hardware could be different.
  3. Different OS platforms/versions and device fragmentation: Here is the Android fragmentation report of June, 2015. Just check out the different Android OS versions out there. In addition to android, you have to test your app on iOS (different OS versions), Windows OS and Blackberry etc.
  4. Different type of mobile apps: Modern mobile apps comes in 3 different flavours – native, hybrid and web. Native apps are built using the vendor-provided SDKs. Hybrid apps run some or all of their functionality inside a webview embedded in a native app. Finally, mobile web apps are simply a mobile-optimized website that users access through their mobile browsers. Testing each such type is different than other as their implementation is very different.
  5. Various networks and network vendors: Almost all mobile apps require network connectivity sometime or the other. If there is a communication between the app and the server, testing on different networks is very important. Mobile networks use different technologies like GSM & CDMA with various versions like 2G, 3G, 4G, edge etc. Then the app needs to be tested on Wi-fi as well. 
  6. The mobile user: Once your app is released to app stores, it goes out in wild. Your app audience can range from non-tech savvy to highly technical users, from children to old age users. While testing the app, you have to keep in mind different personas that can/will be using your app.