Mobile Automation Testing – Challenges and Tools

Smartphones are deeply connected with our lives. We use it to do things like call, use Facebook and Twitter, find directions using Maps, check the real-time weather, manage bank accounts, shop online and a lot more things. In short, for almost everything under the sun. Mobile application development in this regard is thus on the rise.

Google Play Store and Apple App Store have a plethora of apps. On average, every idea usually has more than one app. With this increased development of mobile apps, there is an equally increased demand for good quality applications.

More often than not, mobile apps are unresponsive and not compatible with different versions of operating systems. Hence, some users have a good experience while some others don’t. Overall this affects the quality of the apps as well as user experience. To overcome this, quality testing is a must.

As a web developer, testing is at the crux of delivering a fully-functional and bug-free product. Moreover, is an integral part of the Software Development Cycle. However, unlike with desktop software, testing mobile apps is an exhaustive and time-consuming process.

Let us begin by understanding the concept of Automation Testing for Mobile apps:

Automation Testing Life Cycle falls under the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). Unlike Manual Testing, Automation Testing hastens validating the software. However, automation testing comes with its fair share of challenges. Moreover, this task becomes more daunting with mobile apps as each smartphone is configured differently:

  1. Software:
    Diverse Operating Systems (OS) is one of the key challenges when it comes to mobile automation testing. Automation Testing helps in testing the responsiveness and functionality of your app across various operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows etc.
  2. Hardware:
    Taking into account the hardware specifications of a mobile phone and testing it is a challenge, as each phone has a unique design. Hardware includes different screen-size, RAM size & storage, processing speed, CPU optimisation etc.
  3. Networks:
    Finally, the network plays an important role in the running of a mobile app. Speed and performance of an app may vary on different networks. Also, one should take into account the various network models viz: GPRS/GSM/Wi-Fi/LTE/4G/Bluetooth. Another important concern is that speed of a network may vary depending on the geographic location of the user. If your app, reacts differently to network speed then it could pose a problem.

To overcome these challenges there are different Automation testing tools available today. Let us check some of these.

  1. Appium
    automation testing for smartphone
    Appium is an open source automation cross-platform tool, used to test the UI of an app. It is a tool for Android, iOS, Windows development platform. It can test three core types of apps – native, hybrid and mobile web apps. Appium uses Webdriver, Java, C and JavaScript for writing tests and supports several client libraries like Java, C#, PHP, Ruby, Python and JavaScript.As a web pro, this tool is both user and pocket-friendly, especially if you are a new startup and have just begun your development and testing journey.
  2. Bugseeautomation testing
    Bugsee is a cloud-based freemium tool that constantly monitors the state of your app. It reports a bug when it is detected and sends you a detailed information report. To send a report to the app developer, a bug tracker software, in this case, an SDK is embedded in the app. Should you want to use Bugsee on a web app, it can be done by installing a Chrome plugin. Bugsee supports Android and iOS apps. It also supports apps built in Cordova and React Native framework. Bugsee can be used during beta testing, live deployment and initial development phase.
  3. Cross Browser TestingCross Browser Testing is a Cloud tool allowing testers to run manual, visual and selenium tests easily. It is compatible with over 1500 mobile devices and most desktop browsers testing securely behind firewalls. The three core features of this tools are, live interactive testing, automated testing on several browsers at the same time and visual testing to capture screenshots, comparisons as well as testing if the layout of your app is responsive or not.As a web pro, since this is a web-based testing tool it allows you to share test results with your team easily and helps with collaboration.

Overall, mobile testing, though a relatively complex procedure, is the need of the hour. With the growing rate of smartphones in the market, user competition is also increasing. If you wish for your app to survive in the industry making it robust and agile is the only way to go.

If you’ve used any of these tools or some other tools, please let us know your opinion of the same in the comments section below.

About H. Fatima

H. FatimaIn the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.

H. Fatima

H. Fatima

In the days of yore, H. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full time writing. Her blog is a collection of short vignettes, stories and poems. She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyzes. It is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), listening to various genres of music, volunteering and watching movies.