Mobile application testing has been a problem ever since the first mobile device was developed. In 2018, 18% of responding companies said that they do not have enough time to test their apps while another 65% didn’t have the tools necessary to perform exhaustive tests.
Below, we look at some of these challenges in detail and, where possible, suggeast solutions developers should consider.
If there’s one problem every mobile developer grapples with, it’s the range of devices in the market and the fact that new devices are still coming out. One study recently found that you need to test on around 400 devices just to make sure that your app is supported on 90% of mobile devices. How are you supposed to test your apps across all these devices? Yet, if you fail to test on certain devices, the app might not be supported or may not run smoothly on the device. It’s a tough challenge.
The good news on the device and OS front is that companies such as PCloudy have developed emulator systems such as the online android emulator to help developers quickly test their apps across several OSs. However, even after solving the device problem, you still have to deal with another difficult issue of testing across all possible networks. Each network has different speeds, signal strength, and network drops. A mobile app tester has to keep all these factors as well as bandwidth volume in mind to prevent poor user experiences.
Device screen sizes
This one needs no introduction. There are currently dozens of different screen sizes and developers must test for each screen size to avert any possible issues down the line. If you don’t test for a particular screen size now, what happens if the app goes to market and displays poorly on that screen size? The backlash can undo all your good work. It gets worse; sometimes developers are forced to change their apps to fit different screen sizes!
Range of testing tools
Another challenge is the huge range of testing tools. The market is full to the brim with mobile testing tools with the likes of Espresso, Calabash, Appium, Selenium, and Jenkins being just a few examples. What’s more each of these tools is fundamentally different from the others. Testing all these tools as you seek to pick the right one can take a long time. And even after you’re done, you have to keep an eye on the market for new tools with improved capabilities. It’s a nightmare!
Finally, there’s also the issue of app type. Currently, there are three different types of mobile apps; native, web application, and hybrid, each with different test case scenarios. When choosing a testing approach, you have to keep this in mind.
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In a nutshell, we’re still a long way to making mobile app development easy. A lot of ground has been covered, yes. But persistent issues such as the testing issues discussed here still need to be addressed.