When running a business, one of your main goals should always be to provide the best experience possible to every potential customer. This is why you pour countless hours into ensuring that your product/service is perfect or that your website is up-to-date and user-friendly. It is also why your heart sinks when you hear customer complaints. This is especially true of small business owners or startups (Appreneurs). Mobile apps are focused on specific functionality to provide an improved user experience. Any flaws will be quickly identified and could be a huge detriment to the product’s success.
In the pursuit of perfection, it is important to ensure that you not only look at what is next, but to regularly review what you have done to ensure it meets your standards. This is where testing comes into the picture. When a product is successful, I can guarantee that thorough testing was involved. Mobile testing prior to release allows an Appreneur to determine what parts of the product are working, what parts could use improvement, as well as how well the product actually works to achieve a given task. More importantly, it allows you to fix those problems before your customers are impacted and start rating your app.
Why Testing Your Mobile Application is Essential?
The use of mobile applications continues to increase as mobile devices continue to become more and more ubiquitous. According to research reported by MarketWatch, mobile purchases account for 14% of online purchases, and that is expected to increase substantially in the near future. In a statement released to MarketWatch, PayPal senior director of global initiatives Anuj Nayar asserts, “we’ve seen our mobile growth rise from less than one percent of our payment volume in 2010 to more than 20 percent in 2014.” This substantial rise is an area more and more businesses are cashing-in on.
Needless to say, making sure your app is working correctly is essential. The same care that you put into your product concept and building your business, should be put into testing and quality control for your mobile applications, and that kind of testing isn’t something that can be done in-house. By using professional testing, you can identify issues before your potential customers have a chance to get frustrated with them, as well as design ways to fix them before the application is rolled-out.
What to Expect from the Testing Process?
A casual onlooker may see a mobile application as a rather simple thing to test. You create
a mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry, install it on your phone to make sure it works, and it’s ready to disseminate to the masses.Unfortunately, while it’s true that there are only a handful of major operating systems for mobile devices, much like computers, the hardware can cause compatibility issues. This is why a professional testing group uses dozens or even hundreds of various types of phones under all the major operating systems, and uses each different phone to test and ensure proper performance.
This extra step allows more bugs to be discovered and fixed prior to roll-out, and helps you ensure that your potential customers, regardless of the type of phone or operating system they prefer, get the same great experience you expect; which will help drive them towards making a purchase and learning how great your product is.
You wouldn’t release a product for sale without first making sure that it works properly and for as many people as possible. Remember that for your mobile app launch too; despite an eagerness to go to market and watch the downloads add up, ensure the quality of the product. Putting the application through rigorous testing ensures that functionality bugs and usability issues are extremely few and far between. With a well-tested application you can improve your apps ratings and customer satisfaction for valuable referrals for even more downloads.
The Challenge of Device Inventory for Mobile Application Testing
Just about everywhere you look someone is using a mobile device to socialize, play games, work, and learn. Mobile application development has been huge over the past few years, creating all manner of products for mobile users to choose from. This surge in development has created multiple apps to serve the same use, leading to tons of competition. As a developer, you should expect that your unique app will soon have multiple competitors, so you have to make sure you are offering a quality application in order to stay relevant. To ensure you are delivering the best app possible, mobile application testing is a must. Mobile application testing focuses on applications developed for mobile phone and tablet devices, ensuring quality of functionality, usability, and consistency.
The Mobile Device Inventory Challenge
As a mobile application tester, the main goal is to determine the application’s quality on a number of devices and operating systems. With the prolific production of new devices, having a complete inventory of every device is unrealistic. To overcome this challenge, mobile emulators are software that can be used on a desktop to simulate a mobile phone’s display and operating system as accurately as possible. Emulators are a cost effective option and since they are designed with testing in mind, they can offer a lot of diagnostic information to help identify the cause of an issue. However, the big disadvantage of emulated devices is that they can miss real world quirks, faults, and characteristics that only the real device can provide, such as a text or phone call coming in while you are in the middle of using an app. Certain applications depend on the Internet for their operation and can only be tested on real devices that have wifi connections. Such scenarios can only be tested on the real thing. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell were right when they said “Ain’t Nothing like the real thing…”
While it isn’t practical to continuously buy the new and greatest devices, you do need to have some real devices on hand. Your device lab should efficiently cover various screen sizes and resolutions. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Mega size is 6.3 inches with Resolution of 720×1280 pixels and the iPhone 5 is 4 inches with 640×1136 pixels. You need to test how your app renders on devices of different sizes and resolutions like these. There are many tools out there that offer cloud testing on emulators or real devices such as cloud sharing, cloud-based mobile devices that enable testers to connect to and control real mobile devices over the Internet. While there are pros and cons to each, many of them offer free trials. So try them out and see which one best suits your requirements.
At the end of the day, testing your mobile application helps ensure that you’ll deliver a quality application that provides the same user experience to your target market, no matter the device.