According to data from 2021, the Google Play store is now home to over 3.14 million mobile apps. Similarly, the Apple App Store hosts more than 2.09 million iOS-exclusive apps.
There’s simply no question that the mobile app business is thriving, but with so many options out there for virtually any need, mobile app developers are facing ever-increasing pressure to get their products to market faster without sacrificing quality. If developers fail to release a product fast enough, they may miss out on emerging trends and find that their mobile app is “old news” by the time it hits app stores despite being brand-new.
While there are many steps you can take to accelerate your app production and testing initiatives, one of the most effective approaches involves using the CI/CD process. Join us as we take a closer look at the benefits of CI/CD for mobile testing so that you can go on to create better apps and condense your development timetables.
What Is CI/CD for mobile?
CI and CD stand for continuous integration and continuous delivery, respectively. The two are complimentary software development processes that you can apply to your mobile development and testing strategies.
Continuous integration is the process of integrating new code at frequent intervals during your development cycle. When using a CI framework, you must integrate new code at least once per day, if not more frequently. You must also conduct automated testing so you can quickly identify and remedy any issues that may arise after each integration,
Continuous delivery is another software development process that involves automatically preparing code changes for release by deploying every one of those changes to the testing environment.
By pairing CI and CD together, app-breaking bugs can be discovered and fixed in short order. Additionally, these processes facilitate the rapid release of mobile apps.
What is mobile app testing?
Mobile app testing is precisely what it sounds like. It is the process of testing mobile apps and software to assess their consistency, performance, usability, functionality, and security. You can perform mobile app testing manually or through the use of automation tools. Naturally, using automation tools is the far more efficient and productive approach, and using CI/CD for mobile app testing applies the aforementioned software development processes to your testing protocols.
Engaging in traditional integration practices means you may only integrate new code weekly and then conduct testing at those same intervals, which can cause bugs to go unnoticed until multiple layers of code have been layered over the glitchy piece of software.
When that occurs, remedying the root cause will only serve to be tedious and incredibly time-consuming. CI/CD methods increase the efficiency and efficacy of mobile app testing. When using these frameworks, you will be able to test your new code at least once each day.
Why use CI/CD for mobile testing?
An easy answer to that question can simply be “because it works,” but to be more in-depth, CI/CD for mobile testing enables you to assess the functionality, performance, and security of a mobile app more effectively.
For years, bugs have been considered “part of the process” of mobile app development, meaning many developers simply believed that it was impossible to catch every flaw in their products prior to release. Such a nonchalant approach to mobile app development diminished the user experience and — more importantly — exposed users to unnecessary cybersecurity threats.
As part of a 2021 assessment into the vulnerability of mobile health apps, a mobile security company hacked 30 different applications and discovered that 23 million mobile health users were exposed to digital attacks, as well as the fact that many of the apps allowed access to electronic health records (EHRs).
Using CI/CD for mobile testing will enable you to better fulfill your obligation to app users. You can create apps that are more secure, user-friendly, accessible, and reliable.
Advantages of CI/CD for mobile testing
Implementing CI/CD for mobile testing not only increases an app’s performance and security, but it also provides numerous other benefits as well. Specifically, these testing strategies facilitate the following:
Improved error detection
The core premise of mobile app testing is error detection, but traditional strategies involve infrequent testing, meaning layers upon layers of new code may be implemented between each test cycle. These conventional approaches impede error detection and hinder your ability to address these errors once discovered.
One of the primary concepts of CI/CD for mobile testing is frequent code integration and testing. At a minimum, you will integrate new code daily and conduct automated testing before adding any more layers to your software, which will review integration issues in each version of code, thereby expediting error detection and correction processes.
Traditional mobile app development and testing processes are very compartmentalized, as when testing was conducted infrequently, compartmentalizing development was a necessary evil. Still, it impeded team collaboration and could slow the app development process.
Applying CI/CD processes to mobile testing promotes better collaboration and communication amongst team members. When working in such a framework, you and your colleagues can change code, address issues, and exchange feedback with one another, and all of you will be able to put your skills to use in order to develop a dynamic, user-friendly mobile app.
Decreased development costs
Mobile app development has always been a costly endeavor. Using traditional development tactics, creating even a relatively simple mobile app can be quite expensive and time-consuming, and if your team encounters unexpected issues, you may even find yourself going over budget or missing important client deadlines.
CI/CD for mobile testing keeps development costs in check, enabling you to develop apps faster, test more efficiently, maximize team productivity, and save money as well. Cutting development costs will increase the financial viability of your mobile app and lead to a better return on investment as well.
Antiquated mobile app testing strategies do provide your team with feedback, but you might receive that feedback in irregular intervals, making it difficult to detect and remedy app issues.
As the name implies, the CI/CD approach is continuous, which means that you’ll be consistently testing your new code and generating feedback as a result. You can then leverage that feedback to improve your code, optimize your app, and address any bugs before they impact the user experience.
Reduced deployment time
Consumers want instant gratification, and using CI/CD for mobile testing allows you to provide it — or at least something pretty close to it — to them. By implementing CI/CD concepts and automated mobile app testing tools, you make every facet of app development more efficient, including the app’s initial creation and any of its post-release updates. Any changes you make to the app will be automatically tested and then deployed to the cloud so your users can access its latest, most robust version.
Streamlining mobile app testing
Consumers have an insatiable demand for high-quality, engaging mobile apps, and while it is important to meet this demand, you cannot compromise app security or performance in the process.
Fortunately, you can accomplish both sets of objectives by leveraging Sofy’s no-code automated mobile app testing platform. The Sofy solution incorporates the CI/CD testing framework to eliminate friction from the app development process. Our platform can expedite app testing, help you identify bugs or glitches, and accelerate the development process.
If you would like to learn more about Sofy’s capabilities you can get a demo with a rep today.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official beliefs or positions of Sofy.