Mobile application automated testing

Mobile application automated testing

22 July 2021

The mobile app market has witnessed a massive increase over the last few years while reaching a new peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in app downloads, which has surpassed 350 billion in 2021, has put the app development companies under immense pressure to create unique and flawlessly working apps to sustain and grow in the highly competitive market. To ensure the developed apps are perfectly working as expected, there is a tremendous need for powerful QA processes. The testing of apps on smartphones and other handheld devices majorly involves checking the functionality, usability, accuracy, performance, and consistency.

With the increasing competition among the app development companies, application promoters cannot quality issues that could affect the brand value and ROI. To ensure great performance,  accuracy and consistency, companies are adopting the new test automation trends. Automated mobile app testing helps automating the test scripts to improve the app development process and build products with great quality. Thus, automated mobile app testing saves the execution time required for mobile application testing by reducing the manual work. However, it is not completely independent of manual testing, as testers may require writing test scripts initially.

Automated mobile app testing: A critical requirement

When an app experiences errors, crashes, poor performance, bad navigation, or security breaches, it’s a sign indicating that you have no chance to succeed in the market. To ensure the app is user-friendly and performs as expected, it is important to reconsider traditional testing and implement test automation solutions for the best results. By automating the testing of mobile apps, you can achieve accurate and consistent end-to-end test results with minimal human intervention. Thus, automation’s key goal is to deliver a quality product with reduced time-to-market.

With the enormous speed it offers, test automation is proven to be most beneficial for executing the test cases that are complex and time-consuming and effortlessly performing regression testing too. Further, the rapidly evolving mobile apps scenario has led to many changes in backend workflows, incorporating new features, and modifying the existing interface to suit the current user requirement. To ensure these changes are implemented to the best, adapting test automation becomes a potential requirement.

App testing is a complex and crucial process that includes a series of stages namely creating a strategy, selecting a framework, choosing a platform, and performing various functional and non-functional testing. These tests are efficiently and effortlessly carried out by test automation platforms when compared to its manual counterpart. The functional testing, performance testing, UI and UX testing of an app are important for identifying the errors, which will ensure a seamless user experience. On the other hand, security, scalability, compatibility, usability, and recoverability are important for every single app to drastically improve user experience.

When to use mobile app automated testing?

Test automation is slowly changing the course of mobile app testing in the current times. Though test automation is commonly used to save time and cost, while improving the quality, it cannot completely replace manual testing. It might prove to be ineffective and expensive to run smaller tests. However, it is worth performing on data-intensive, long-term projects which require quick market time and consistency.

Here are scenarios when test automation should be implemented.

Regression Testing: Regression testing is performed to check if the previous code is functioning correctly when a change is made in the system. In the scenario of frequent code changes, automated testing is the most suitable option. Test automations run regression tests quickly and efficiently ensuring the best outcomes.

Repeated Execution: Manual execution of repetitive tasks can be tedious and time-consuming. Automating the repeated execution can eliminate the need for creating and maintaining test scripts every time, while easily and quickly finishing of the test execution.

Performance Testing: Testing the performance of the mobile app during the peak time with thousands of end-users using the app all at the same time, can be difficult through manual testing. Such cases can be easily tested by automating the testing process.

Factors to consider while selecting mobile app testing tool for automation

There are thousands of test automation tools available in the market, but not all of them will offer the solution as per your requirement. Choosing the right mobile app testing tool is a critical step that should not be neglected. Consider the below factors before finalizing the automation tool to be used for mobile app testing:

  • Codeless Design:  Scripting adds complexity to the app test-automation process and is expensive to maintain. Significant advances in codeless automation allows faster incorporation of app changes while preserving existing assets.
  • Cross-platform support: The mobile app testing tool should support and run tests over multiple mobile platforms. It should also offer a code reuse option so that the tester need not create separate test cases for different platforms.
  • Cross-Browser Support: It is important for the test automation tool to perform across all browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.
  • CI/CD tool integration: The mobile app testing tool used should get integrated with the tools already being used in the project as part of the CI/CD process to be followed.
  • Reusability: The test automation tool should provide the reusable test scripts that will save time and efforts while running similar test cases in future.
  • Cost: Cost is an important factor in adopting any tool.  While acquisition costs are important, you should evaluate the effort (and associated costs) to maintain the automation over a few cycles of change.  You would find that that ROI of test-automation could be driven more by the cost-of-maintenance rather than the cost-of-acquisiton. 

Automated mobile app testing Best Practices

Mobile app testing is a critical parameter to ensure seamless user experience and positive business outcomes. When adhered to best practices of test automation, you can improve your mobile app testing strategy and be certain of getting accurate results, every time.

Here are some of the best practices and tips that you can follow when performing the mobile app automated testing:

  • Choose the right device for testing: When testing an app on a handheld device, perform testing on the device you are creating the app for, or across all the devices where you need the app. Test on different devices like smartphone and tablets, different screen sizes, and different OS versions. By doing so, you can be sure of the app’s behavior in different environment.
  • Continuous testing: Currently, the agile methodology is so widely used that developers are expected to create applications ready to test. Developers and testers can have active participation in setting the guidelines. Here, the application is tested as it is being built, helping to analyze the business risk associated with the developed app.
  • Consider real-life environment: Any app will work under the most stable Dev environment, but the challenge lies in checking their performance in real-life environment. Real environment may face issues of unstable network connections, time zone difference, app crashing during an incoming call, interruption caused due to alarms, and a lot more. A good testing practice will need you to test the app under all possible real-world scenarios.
  • Avoid overusing the Xpath: XPath offers a way to select the elements or navigate the elements using the nodes defined in the XML file. Not all the applications have XPath queries; hence, overuse of XPath will force the testers to call elements accordingly. This way of calling the elements may help testers to find the XPath but impacts the performance negatively.
  • Arrangement of selectors in the correct order: There are different locators that help to locate the elements in a mobile application. These include ID, Text, Link, Name, and XPath. The use of these locators should be in the order of speed of access. For example, the ID should be at first and XPath at last.
  • Accessibility ID Usage: Accessibility IDs should be preferred over XPath. The use of accessibility IDs as locators makes them testable and enhances the scope of testing the application.
  • View states of the application: View state offers a way to store the page value and when the information is sent or received from the server to the application. Consider a scenario for which 3 out of 5 test cases test the same functionality. In this case, executing these 3 test cases, again and again, wastes the testing time. So with the help of view state, testing can be performed where it is required.
  • Use of simulators and emulators: Simulators and emulators mimic the real device. But the performance of the actual application depends upon the hardware configuration and software installed in the real device. Hence it is necessary to run the automated test cases on actual devices.

Tenjin Online, the most easiest and efficient way to test mobile apps 

When it comes to mobile app testing, Tenjin Online is the most easiest and efficient solution you can rely on. It is a powerful SaaS-based, mobile testing automation platform for Android and iOS apps that can handle a diverse range of app testing that involves UI / UX, API and performance of your mobile applications. It is a simple, codeless platform that operates with minimal human intervention, and ensures it offers an interactive interface, easy to navigate, and performs flawlessly without compromising on the performance, security, and safety of the mobile device.


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