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Testing mobile application has always been a tricky puzzle. With the experience in testing mobile applications, I just thought of writing a blog to bring my experience to paper so it might help someone who needs to understand mobile application testing.

While testing mobile application is difficult, defining test strategies for testing the mobile application is even more difficult. This blog defines some of the key points that need to be considered while defining the test strategy.

Defining the test strategy for testing the mobile applications is difficult due to the following:-

·         Frequent Mobile OS Updates

·         Diversity in mobile devices, and

·         Network settings

Types of Mobile Applications

       Mobile applications can be broadly classified as:

·               Hybrid Apps,Native Apps and Web Apps

Strategy

       Type of mobile application that is being tested, to a greater extent determines the strategy and approach for testing

Web Apps: – carried out on different Browser, Device and OS Combinations

Hybrid Apps:- Test should be performed on Different OS and Device Combinations

Native Apps: – Test should be performed on Different Device Combinations of targeted OS platform

Test Approach

         With the amount of different mobile devices that are available in the market, it becomes very difficult to test the mobile application on all such devices. An approach should be defined to make sure that the application is tested at least on the majority of those devices either physically installing on a device, or through emulators or through the cloud. Each of these approaches has its own advantages and dis-advantages. Let us look at these in detail

Testing on Physical Devices:

                Procurement of all devices available in the market for performing the test is not feasible. Hence it’s practically impossible to test the application physically on all device combinations. But we can make sure that we procure the devices that have the latest versions of the different OS combinations and perform the test.

                Advantages:

· Real Life Scenarios can be tested

· More Reliable

· Testing on mobile networks possible

                Dis-Advantages:

· Impossible to procure and test on all device combinations

Testing on Emulators:

                Upon completely testing the application on the physical devices, emulators can be used to test the backward compatibility of the application on the lower versions of the different OS combinations. However any bugs found while testing on emulators should be tested for reproducibility on the physical devices before fixing the same.

                Advantages:

· Cost Effective

· Different Combinations of OS and Screen Configurations can be tested

· No Physical procurement of Devices

                Dis-Advantages:

· Not Fool Proof and Conclusive

· Impossible to test on real mobile networks

· Cannot Test all Real Life Scenarios

Testing on Cloud:

Testing the mobile application over the cloud is very cost effective. This is possible through many products such as perfecto mobile, device anywhere. Testing on cloud is more effective than testing on emulators are test is performed on the actual mobile devices that are available over the cloud.

                Advantages:

· Cost Effective

· Different Combinations of OS and Screen Configurations can be tested

· No Physical procurement of Devices

· Substitutes testing on Physical Device

                Dis-Advantages:

· Availability of Devices on FCFS(First Come First Serve) basis

Test Automation:

Mobile Automation Tools like Perfecto,Monkey Talk, Experitest can be used to automate the regression test suite. During any version upgrade, it would be advisable to run the automated regression suite to check whether the existing functionalities of the mobile applications are working properly.

Testing Aspects

                It is the responsibility of the tester to consider the following aspects while preparing the test cases for testing the mobile applications.

Usability

                Test cases pertaining to the validation of UI components, navigation and look and feel of the mobile application

Network

                Validation to check whether the application functions properly over different mobile networks namely, 2G, 3G and 4G and WIFI. Also check whether the app is getting synchronized when moving from offline to online mode and vice versa.

Security

                Verify whether the security roles and authorization are set in the application and are as expected

Compatibility

                Application should be compatible on different OS,browser and Device Combinations

Interruption

                Validation of all possible interruption scenarios while working on the mobile application

Conclusion:

Like the famous saying, a task well planned is half done. Testing mobile application is made easier when a proper test strategy is in place.

Plan your test properly which will go a big way to mark your success.

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