Testing Mobile Apps with a Single Automation Solution

My summer vacation is over and I am back at writing :). In my last article, I compared test automation frameworks with pros and cons. Today’s article is focusing on the important topic of testing mobile apps. Especially with a focus on mobile test automation and how this can be done with a single automation solution.

Most organizations support both mobile platforms for their product, Android as well as iOS. Both platforms together have a world-wide market share of 98% and therefore it is essential to develop and release the own mobile product on both systems. Sure, there might be products, markets and services that are used more on one of the platforms, but for the majority of companies both platforms are critical for their business.

For those software testers working already in the field of mobile testing hopefully know that both platforms have similarities as well as differences. In both cases this knowledge is key to success, especially when you want focus on the field of mobile test automation. If you don’t know the key differences of the mobile platforms and apps, I recommend to take a look at my book Hands-On Mobile App Testing or at my mobile testing online course A Beginners Guide To Mobile Testing.

Why Mobile Test Automation is Important?

According to user surveys conducted by Arctouch and TechBeacon, more than 50% of mobile app users will uninstall an app after the first usage. One of the main reasons for the uninstallation is an app crash or freeze at the first launch. Furthermore, the surveys found out that mobile users have a much higher expectation to mobile apps than to any other software products. Up to 80% of mobile users will delete an app after the first usage if the design is bad, the app has a poor user experience or is not fast enough.

Many of the findings in mobile apps are hard to automate. Especially things like loading times depend heavily on other transport layers like the data network and the backend infrastructure. Furthermore, a bad design or bad user experience is hard to automate. That doesn’t mean that mobile test automation is not important for a mobile app, but should rather be the best friend of a software development team. A mobile test automation solution should support the developing and testing activities in a team to free up time for the developers and testers to focus on the real challenges when it comes to mobile testing and developing.

Good candidates for test automation are repetitive tasks that needs to be performed after every code change. For example, a login to an app, a purchase from the shop or the signup process. These are things that are easy and valuable to automate.

Last but not least mobile test automation is key to success to shorten the release cycles of mobile apps. Mobile users expect that bugs are fixed within days, not weeks or months. They expect to receive new features on a regular basis to keep engage with the own product or service.

Mobile Test Automation Solutions can be Challenging

However, mobile test automation doesn’t come for free. Some of the existing mobile testing frameworks are challenging in the setup process and require technical skills. In most of the cases programming skills are essential in order to setup a continuous integration pipeline that supports all the developing and testing activities.

Since many companies focus on both platforms Android and iOS, it’s worth looking for test automation solutions that support both platforms. This will save lots of time in setting up the infrastructure for the test automation solution. In some cases, testing code can be shared between the platforms or with a community, too.

As written earlier, in my last blog post I compared test automation solutions. While checking the vendors for the post, I was impressed by – TestProject and their offerings, being a first of its kind end-to-end solution that’s completely free and community based. TestProject offers an easy setup and configuration process to kickstart the own mobile testing activities in really fast way.

Just take some minutes and watch the introduction video of TestProject:

Since I am really impressed by the easy installation and configuration setup of TestProject, I will write another article the next days about the TestProject platform and how easy it is to setup a mobile test automation project for you and your team. Furthermore, I will guide you through the feature set of TestProject, which might help you testing mobile apps much faster and reliable.