Mobile apps sure have come a long way. Consider this: Whether it’s your morning alarm clock, your favorite phone game while on the bus, or checking the weather, we check our mobile phone apps throughout the day. Chances are that mobile apps are the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see when you go to sleep.
Behind the curtain, each and every successful app is the the product of extensive testing, a process that continues through the entire life of the app—all the way from its initial release to every minor or major update.
But there’s nothing easy about mobile app testing. Today’s mobile app testers face a wide range and increasing number of problems, such as device fragmentation, operating system fragmentation, understanding and replicating user behavior, and app testing speed and efficiency.
It’s a growing problem that threatens to make the extensive testing that every app requires increasingly untenable. As Sofy CEO and founder Syed Hamid put it in Sofy’s most recent webinar No-Code & Mobile App Testing: Current Insights,
It's amazing how apps have transformed every aspect of our lives from healthcare to e-commerce to delivering food, there isn't a daily task where people don't use apps. Not only do we use apps all the time, but our expectations of them are also very significant: We want the latest and greatest app updates installed without the need to even interact. That was incomprehensible just a few decades back, when Microsoft for example shipped products every two years. Today, if you're not shipping updates every week, you risk an unhappy user base. And without proper testing, you can be sure your user base will outright revolt and go somewhere else.
Major advances, major problems
There’s no question that Software has come a long way. Modern testing barely resembles the comparatively simple testing of the 1980s, where manual testing was a reasonable option and mass adaption of mobile devices was still a long way off. In fact, at the time, devices like the iPhone were little more than the stuff of science fiction.
With technological advances has come an entirely new kind of complexity that manual testing can’t begin to solve. Testing today suffers from factors like device fragmentation, OS fragment, and numerous other challenges. The result is that testing is time-consuming, expensive, and dependent upon specialists. And this problem is only growing.
If users don’t experience perfection, they can (and will go) elsewhere. Competition in the app space is fierce—and only growing more intense by the day.
Contemporary solutions and future developments
So what’s a mobile app development team to do in 2023? What’s the shift that’s going to solve these problems? Syed has answers:
If you just go back 10 years, big data was huge. Everybody was talking about big data. Now nobody talks about big data. Previously you didn’t have that data, but now it’s everywhere. Now you know what’s happening in your app. You can understanding your testing data, your production data, and your customer data level. You can learn from all this, and it’s available at your fingertips. The complexity has reduced down to usability.
In other words, the solution is to simplify the problem down to a consumable and approachable fashion. The answer is no-code—it does exactly this for mobile app testing.
The process Syed mentions here is known as abstraction, which abstracts away complex processes and makes task completion manageable by non-specialists. In the history of computing, the process of simplifying the complex has happened many times, and will no doubt happen many times again.
Big changes on the horizon
While no-code solutions are not only revolutionary but also the best option for most mobile app teams today, there are a variety of new developments on the horizon for the mobile app testing world. These new developments are expected to have a similarly huge impact. The white hot topic of AI is one obvious aspect to keep an eye on. According to Syed,
It's our job to dream, and to dream big. When we started this, we said, look, what's the progression of QA and where we're heading? The 80s were all about manual testing. The 90s were about writing code and running it fast. Over the last five to seven years, we've been talking about no-code, not just in testing environments, but generally in the development community. I see the future as moving toward intelligent testing. Intelligent testing is software's ability to self-identify 'what other areas do I need to go test?' ust as cars can drive autonomously, why can't software test autonomously, at least certain pieces of it? … We have all the building blocks today to do that. I believe it's the right time for companies like us to start thinking about it and ask, what's the next level of productivity?
Around the corner too, are some major shifts that we’re already starting to see—such as AI—which Syed discusses in detail.
Get the full story
To get the full story and a variety of other important insights, check out Sofy’s latest webinar, featuring cutting edge discussion from Syed Hamid, Sofy CEO and founder, and Cassandra Schwartz, Sofy VP of Marketing. Syed and Cassandra examine the many challenges and complexities facing modern mobile app testing, discuss major shifts on the horizon of the mobile app testing world, and examine a variety of solutions, such as the No-Code Revolution and the rise of topics like AI-assisted testing.