Let’s be frank: Now is the time to fully embrace efficient mobile app testing. The reality is that the market is too competitive to cut corners during app development. People will notice. Users expect great features, seamless integrations, with little interruption.
If they don’t get it, they’ll go somewhere else for it.
On top of that, development teams increasingly experience overwhelming external pressure in the form of a rapidly growing device landscape, a multitude of security threats, and what seems like an ever-shrinking talent pool.
That’s why it’s critical to be smart and efficient with your mobile app testing.
In this handy post, we’ll touch on some of the troubles facing mobile app developers, and how you can make your mobile app testing efforts more efficient.
The device landscape is heavily fragmented, with more and more devices being released into circulation each year. Consider these numbers from just a few years ago:
In 2021, the number of mobile devices operating worldwide stood at almost 15 billion, up from just over 14 billion in the previous year. The number of mobile devices is expected to reach 18.22 billion by 2025, an increase of 4.2 billion devices compared to 2020 levels.Statista
And that number has only grown exponentially since. All of these device choices make it all the more challenging to consistently create and manage quality tests. Since users have multiple experiences—with different operating systems, devices, and versions—test cases are numerous and seem unmanageable. Consider these elements:
- Operating system versions: Mobile devices can run different version operating systems. Testers should verify that an app works seamlessly across all versions.
- Hardware differences: Devices have different hardware specifications, such as CPU, memory, and storage capacity.
- Screen sizes and resolutions: Devices have varying screen sizes and resolutions, making it challenging to design the app’s user interface.
- Connectivity issues: Different devices have different connection types and speeds. These can affect an application’s performance and provide varying user experiences.
- Fragmentation of the app ecosystem: The app ecosystem is fragmented. Applications may be downloaded from different sources.
Quality testing navigates fragmentation issues by introducing multi device testing. By including enough devices in your test cases, you can account for multiple scenarios across multiple devices.
Nothing sinks an app faster than security issues, and they are more common than you’d think. In the last few years, billions of users have been affected by data leaks.
Facebook, Amazon, and Slack are just a few examples of the big players who’ve been affected by vulnerabilities in their applications. As Forbes recently put it:
“Due to the growing frequency, sophistication, and magnitude of cybercrime events, it is more and more difficult to safeguard an enterprise from breaches such as ransomware attacks. As a result, executives who do not make plans to prioritize cybersecurity are not just taking a passive risk—they are actively courting danger.”Forbes
Despite the threats, most organizations do not effectively plan, or perform the amount of security and penetration testing needed to safeguard their application. Consider this troubling statistic from IBM from a few years back:
Only 30% of organizations allocate sufficient resources to protect mobile and IoT applications from security threats. Only 20-30% of mobile and IoT applications are being tested for vulnerabilities, with many waiting until production to perform vulnerability testing.IBM
People don’t like spending time on applications they feel are buggy or poorly made. In fact, a poor application can tarnish your brand’s reputation:
Mobile app reputation management is all about customer ratings and reviews. App reputation shows what users think about your app, but they will let you know what problems your users are experiencing with your app. It is all about how quickly and efficiently you find and resolve your users’ issues.Cedcommerce
Ever heard of Clubhouse?
If not, there’s a reason.
In February 2021, the app faced criticism for its data privacy policies after a report by the Stanford Internet Observatory found that the app’s data was being transmitted to servers located in China, raising concerns about potential data breaches and government surveillance.
The revelation led to users questioning the app’s security and data privacy practices, causing a significant loss of trust in the app. The incident highlighted the need for mobile app developers to prioritize data privacy and security, especially when dealing with sensitive user data. Consider this report from The Verge:
In a new report, the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) said it confirmed that Shanghai-based company Agora Inc., which makes real-time engagement software, “supplies back-end infrastructure to the Clubhouse App.” The SIO further discovered that users’ unique Clubhouse ID numbers —not usernames— and chatroom IDs are transmitted in plaintext, which would likely give Agora access to raw Clubhouse audio. So anyone observing internet traffic could match the IDs on shared chatrooms to see who’s talking to each other, the SIO tweeted, noting “For mainland Chinese users, this is troubling.”The Verge
The negative publicity resulted in a decline in the app’s user base and brand reputation, with many users choosing to delete the app from their devices. And that’s difficult to recover from, to put it lightly.
Winning with quality and effective mobile testing
Most organizations can produce quality testing processes, given they have the time and resources. The problem is that most can’t afford to take the extra time getting testing where it really needs to be. In this way, it’s sort of a catch-22.
Of course, the time it takes to set up smart and efficient test processes will greatly reduce time and money spent chasing bugs, dealing with production issues, and more.
Start with automating test cases
Automating your test cases could be the quickest return on investment. Imagine ending hours of manual test cases, and being uncertain about new features regressing existing functionality. Many existing automation tools let you write test cases in a variety of programming languages (Appium and Espresso are a few examples). These tools are largely open source, and offer a lot of flexibility in defining test cases.
However, with the shrinking technical resource pool, it’s hard to find and keep technical experts to operate code-based test automation tools and frameworks. That’s why organizations are shifting to no-code. With a no-code tool like Sofy, you can record test cases manually, automate with a click of a button, and run it across multiple devices, and all without writing a single test script. With Sofy, you can focus on the strategy without having to worry about the right technical implementations of your test cases.
Test on plenty of real devices
The best way to test mobile applications is on a real device. Unfortunately this has been a hurdle for many organizations. Emulators and simulators are unreliable, and maintaining a real device lab is expensive. It’s always wise to keep in mind the reason testing is so necessary in the first place:
The goal of testing is to reduce the risk of releasing software that does not function properly for your customers. Testing your application using emulators is better than not testing at all, but testing on the physical devices that your customers use is always the best choice.Digital.gov
Sofy empowers you to leverage Sofy’s real device cloud, a cloud-hosted device lab to tests on multiple real devices. Every time you acquire a new device, Sofy provides you with a clean instance with your application already installed. Then you can see how your test performs across dozens of actual devices rather than imitations of them.
A splash of AI
AI and Machine Learning are revolutionizing the way we test applications. AI can help write test cases, suggest fixes, and automatically run regression analysis. You can use AI to greatly increase the quality and efficiency of your mobile testing efforts.
SofySense, a tool by Sofy, was built to further streamline your testing strategy by identifying patterns, trends, and analyzing test results while removing pain points from your day-to-day testing process.
With SofyBot, you can get quick insights on test results, identify gaps, and ask general testing best-practice questions.
Through quality and efficient mobile app testing, you can alleviate many of the pain points commonly introduced during development. With advances in AI, test automation, and no-code development, it’s easier than ever to develop a testing strategy that can scale with your team.