What is Mobile Testing?

Mobile testing is the process of testing a mobile application for functionality, performance, accessibility, and security. In modern software development, mobile testing can refer to the testing of native mobile apps as well as responsive web apps. Today, most mobile testing is done for two major platforms: Apple iOS and Google Android. Much like web testing, many organizations practice cross platform testing in the hopes of detecting device specific defects.

For more detailed information on mobile testing, check out our What is Mobile Testing blog article.

Why is Mobile Testing Important

More and more internet users are accessing the internet through mobile devices – and this trend isn’t going anywhere.

Mobile app testing lets you be certain that your mobile experience delivers as expected, no matter what kind of app or platform is being used to view it. Without it, unintended issues can drive poor app reviews or social media feedback that is challenging to recover from.

Key Considerations of Mobile Testing

There are a few things that are important to keep in mind as you evaluate your mobile testing strategy.

Types of Mobile Apps

  • Native Apps are specifically designed for a single platform (today that’s typically Android or iOS) and are most often downloaded and installed through app stores like Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Pure native apps as well as cross-platform native applications fit this this description.
  • Responsive Web Apps are designed for mobile browsers. They can be a responsive version of a typical website or a more feature-rich progressive web app (PWA).
  • Hybrid Apps tread the line between the above two categories. They can be downloaded from app stores just like native apps and do some of what native apps do, but at their core are often web apps that are wrapped in a native shell, with some differences in performance and features.

Differences between Mobile and Web Testing

Even if you’re testing a web app, there are a lot of characteristics that are unique to mobile usage that need to be kept in mind. Testing for different form factors and operating systems are a start, but it’s important not to forget things like signal strength, battery life and contrast/brightness that can change quickly for mobile users.

Key Types of Mobile Testing

Two of the most common categories of tests you’ll need to apply to your mobile apps are Functional and Usability tests.

Functional Testing for Mobile

The goal of functional testing is to make sure that the most essential functions of your app perform as you expect them to. Functional tests provide input and verify the output, focusing on common use cases, error conditions and basic usability.

Usability Testing for Mobile

Usability testing goes beyond the scope of functional testing as it relates to the user’s experience. Also known as user experience testing, this form of testing attempts to simulate the experience of a real user operating the app to really understand the experience and understand where users might get stuck or have a negative interaction.

There are many other categories of tests commonly used in mobile testing that are worth considering, including compatibility, performance, accessibility and load testing.

Wrap Up

Mobile Testing can be a complicated task, but it’s increasingly important as mobile usage continues to rise. A well-thought-out and methodical approach, along with modern tooling, can help you deliver your mobile apps faster while providing the best possible user experience. You can learn more about mobile testing, including about the top tools on the market and a comparison between manual and automated testing strategies for mobile, in our blog post, What is Mobile Testing.

Looking for more? Don’t forget to check out the free articles and educational videos below.

How Can Applitools Help?

Applitools helps teams functionally and visually test mobile apps as well as responsive web apps. Applitools includes integrations with today’s most popular mobile testing frameworks such as Appium – and in any language you can imagine. Adding the power of Applitools Visual AI can help you create stable tests faster, and catch more bugs.

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