Smartphones are fast becoming the primary mode of interaction for consumers and businesses around the world, with thousands of apps being generated every day. Mobiles overtake smartphones and tablets. Apps are now used in cars, wearable technology and home appliances.

The phenomenal growth of mobile devices has opened avenues for organizations to integrate them into computing environments. Today’s mobile applications provide complex functionality on platforms that have limited resources for computing.

According to reports of mobile application testing, 18% of responding companies say they don’t have enough time to test mobile apps, and 65% don’t have the right equipment. 

Also, 52% have a lack of equipment as a reason for not doing mobile application testing. These are all real-time challenges that organizations have faced to successfully conduct mobile application testing.

So we are here to understand the various challenges that one faces while doing mobile application testing and what are the current solutions in the market to tackle them all.

Real-time challenges for mobile application testing

Check us out here, list one by one, and understand based on the real-time challenges for mobile application testing:

1. Crowd mobile devices

Over 1.38 billion smartphones were sold globally in the year 2020 and about 1.53 billion in 2021.

The availability of a huge number of mobile devices, from handsets, smartphones to tabs, pads and wearable technology, provides a huge variety of environments, which creates trouble for the testing teams to test applications in such a huge number of devices.

In addition, the quality team cannot guarantee that if a tested application works well on a given device, it will work 100% on another device even if it is from the same product family as the screen, resolution, CPU, memory, OS optimization, and hardware vary from device to device.

2. Device Fragmentation and Different OS Platforms

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of mobile application testing metrics is device fragmentation.

Although the iOS device matrix is growing more than ever, fragmentation is an issue, especially for the Android operating system.

The diversity of mobile operating systems is also a challenge for engineering teams aiming to provide a consistent user experience across platforms. Mobile application testing is also challenging, due to compatibility issues. 

Mobile applications can be deployed on devices that have different operating systems like iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows etc.

3. various types of mobile applications 

A mobile app can be a native app, a web app or a hybrid app that has both the content. The testing of each such app type is different from each other as their implementation is quite different from each other.

As we see that each app’s behaviour is different from each other from installation to functionality, we understand that their testing and test coverage will also be different.

Each type of mobile application testing required different implementation techniques, each one has its different kinds of testing challenges and therefore required special testing solutions.

4. Multiple test interfaces

Mobile emulators and simulators are important testing tools and they enable us to verify general functionality and perform regular regression tests. The very character of emulators and simulators means that testing is being done in an environment that is not real.

The advantages of such tools are limited in scope, and should not be considered a substitute for the real world. Using emulators and simulators for mobile application testing with in-wild testing will give you the best results.

5. Different screen size

Screen size is a very important aspect of user interface and user experience testing. 

Generally, mobile applications are designed and built with a single screen size as the reference. But UI components that look smooth on one screen size may break on another. 

Hence it becomes necessary to test the mobile application on different screen sizes before proceeding to complete the testing.

Since there are 4 major mobile device screen size categories, testing on at least one device per category will suffice to identify any major UI breaks on the mobile application.

6. Mobile network bandwidth

People use mobile applications in different places, at different times. Sitting at home or office. While going to any place by road. People commuting via metro train mainly use their mobile devices in this journey. 

These are real-time scenarios in which the mobile application will be used by the customers at different network speeds. It becomes important to test the behaviour of the mobile application at different network speeds.

All critical flows of mobile applications like app launch, most important service of app etc should be checked at least once on all network bandwidth.

Major solutions to overcome mobile application testing challenges

So what are the ideal solutions for your mobile application testing needs? What are the various measures you can take? Let us have a look at some of them –

1. Mobile test lab

If your mobile application testing needs are high and frequent working, a good idea is to build your mobile test lab.

Or look for solutions by hiring an outside testing lab or locating cloud mobile lab solutions. Many companies had already started venturing into it.

One must create a reasonable sample of effective mobile device availability that reasonably covers the bulk of the required variety. To make sure you must test your app not on an emulator or simulator but a real device.

In addition, you have to thoroughly consider the variability of OS, device type, fragmentation, screen, memory and other factors that may affect the functioning of your application on a mobile device.

2. Correct test tools

So are you looking for a perfect mobile application testing solution?

For that, you must choose that mobile application testing tool which has the following features, in which scripting is reduced, a keyword-driven approach so that even manual testers can use it effectively.

The testing tool should integrate with a mobile cloud to help you overcome device challenges, and choose a single testing tool that helps you to identify objects based on assets and images.

There are many solutions available in the market – Robotium, Appium, Kailh from open source, and in commercial – Eggplant, Perfecto, etc.

3. Run Your Tests on Emulator or Real Device

This choice is mostly driven by the budget allocated for mobile application testing. It is always better to run mobile automation test suites on real devices. But the cost of purchasing and maintaining equipment can be quite significant. 

Especially in the case of iPhones or premium Android phones like the Google Pixel or flagship Samsung phones.

Thus it becomes important to decide whether a mobile automation test suite should be run on an emulator or a real device.

4. Bug reporting 

Another solution to overcome mobile application testing challenges is to maintain proper bug reporting in a mobile application.

Shakebug is one such effective bug reporting tool that supports easy and effective bug reporting for Android and IOS devices.

The capabilities of the issue tracking tool are that the issue is directly reported from your mobile app to the tool.

Every user can use this tool as it facilitates collaborative problem reporting along with user accountability.

Apart from this, there are features like crash reporting, video recording, screenshot with annotations, issue reporting is done with this bug reporting tool.

Conclusion

The above article is an extension for beginners, where the aim was specifically to highlight the real-time challenges faced in the world of mobile application testing and to give the tester an informed about the approach and solutions for their mobile application testing needs.