As of today, billions of people worldwide use smartphones. Therefore, the app development industry’s growth is no longer surprising. However, they need to be highly functional in order to be valued by consumers and remain competitive in a rapidly growing market.
So, as a mobile app testing company, you have to dedicate extensive time and effort to guarantee the quality of your mobile app. It’s not enough to provide a flawless app; you need to ensure its usability, security, and quality.
Nevertheless, mobile app testing isn’t a one-step process. Several factors must be considered for it to be successful.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the 5-step process of mobile app testing automation and give you some helpful advice.
Step 1. Establish Mobile Automation Testing Goals
Automation aims to increase the quality and efficiency of mobile app testing process. When deciding which types of test cases should be automated, keep these two main goals in mind:
- How much time will I reserve if I automate this test case?
- Can automating this test case improve the quality or performance of my app?
Step 2: Design Test Cases For Mobile App Automation
The right test cases are crucial when testing a mobile application. A correct test case should be chosen based on the app’s requirements, target audience, and user persona.
Teams typically categorize test cases according to different levels. It is done to avoid duplicate efforts being put into one function by a team.
There are three main types of automated mobile app testing services: unit tests, functional tests, and integration tests.
1. Unit Testing
A unit test is written by a developer and tests how a function or class will behave.
Essentially, it’s the end-to-end testing process in which the developer asserts a set of requirements that must be true, as well as some that must be false, and the scope should be narrow and clear.
Consider a calculator app – a developer defines what should happen when we click the plus (+) button, and the results and expectations are clearly defined.
The focus of unit testing is on the code unit itself as it cannot catch system-level errors or integration errors, which will be covered with integration and E2E testing.
Unit testing can be used in a variety of verifications, including:
- Happy paths or the expected cases
- Edge cases
- Boundary conditions
What are the benefits of unit testing?
Writing unit tests is often overlooked by developers. Here are some of the benefits we can gain from unit testing:
- By capturing defects in their early stages a lower cost can be incurred for testing
- Provides documentation
- Makes code simpler
- Improves the functionality of the existing system by reducing bugs
- Enhances code refactoring and design
2. Functional Testing
The purpose of this type of mobile testing is to ensure that every function of an app functions correctly. The testing focuses on each feature that makes up a user flow in the app.
It is important to remember that only 4 out of 100 unhappy customers notify a company directly, while the other 96 churn without providing feedback. Customers expect that every app will function flawlessly. The majority of users will uninstall an app if they find a flaw.
Functional testing of a mobile app must include multiple scenarios, but the following are among the most important:
- Installation and launch of the app are successful
- The app is easy to sign up for and use
- Icons, text boxes, and buttons all work correctly
- Notifications are rendered correctly and appear at the right times
- Transactions and purchases should be seamless
What are the benefits of functional testing?
- Assures that an application/software/product works properly.
- Safety and security are ensured.
- Product quality is improved.
- Product/software risks and losses are reduced.
3. Integration Testing
Integrated testing involves integrating software modules logically and testing them as a group. There are many software modules in a typical software project, each coded by a different programmer. These tests are designed to expose defects in the interactions between software modules.
Data communication between these modules is the focus of Integration Testing. Thus, it is also referred to as ‘I & T’ (Integration and Testing), ‘String Testing,’ or ‘Thread Testing.’
The following are some major reasons why integration testing is important:
1. Analyze integrated software module
The major objective of integration testing is to analyze the functioning of integrated software modules. By examining rendering values and logically implementing them, integration testing ensures that individual modules are connected as per the test plan requirements.
2. Ensure seamless integration b/w third-party tools & different modules
A correct acceptance of data by the API is key to generating a response that meets the client’s requirements. Data integrity is ensured by testing the interaction between modules and third-party tools.
What are the benefits of Integration testing?
- Tests are conducted to ensure that modules/components work properly when integrated.
- The integration testing process can be started as soon as the modules to be tested are available. In short, testing doesn’t require the completion of the other module.
- Interface errors are detected easily.
Step 3: How to Select a Type Of Test Automation Framework
Once your test cases have been identified, the next step is to choose the right automation framework – an integrated system that establishes the rules for automating them. You can view the test automation framework as a best practice when creating and reviewing your tests.
Here are the top six frameworks for testing automated mobile apps.
1. Linear Automation Framework
Linear test automation frameworks also referred to as record-and-playback frameworks, allow testers to create functions without writing code, and the steps are written sequentially. In this process, the software tester records each step that the user performs, such as navigation, user input, or checkpoints. Then, the script is played back automatically, allowing the tester to conduct the test.
2. Modular-Based Testing Framework
Modular frameworks require testers to break applications into units, functions, or sections that are tested separately. Each part of the application is broken down into a test script, which is then combined into larger tests on a hierarchical basis.
As these test sets grow, they will represent a diverse range of test cases. It is always a good strategy when using a modular framework to construct an abstraction layer so that any changes made in an individual section won’t affect the module as a whole.
3. Library Architecture Testing Framework
Library architecture frameworks for automated testing have some additional benefits over modular frameworks. Rather than dividing the application into various scripts to be run, similar tasks within a script are identified and then grouped by function so that the application is ultimately grouped according to its common objective. A library of these functions is maintained so that test scripts can access it when needed.
Also Read: [Guide] Mobile App Testing Frameworks
4. Data-Driven Framework
Data-driven frameworks separate test data from script logic, allowing testers to store data externally. Many testers find themselves in situations where they have to test the same feature or function of an application multiple times with different data sets. Unlike Linear or Modular-based testing frameworks, in these instances, it’s important not to hard-code the test data into the script itself.
Testers can store and pass input/output parameters to test scripts from an external data resource, such as an Excel spreadsheet, a text file, a CSV file, an SQL table, or an ODBC repository. Data is read and populated when necessary from the external data source by the test scripts.
5. Keyword-Driven Framework
Keyword-driven testing is also referred to as table-driven testing. It is only suitable for small projects or applications. Automated tests are conducted according to the keywords listed in the project’s excel sheet.
6. Hybrid Testing Framework
Today’s automated testing frameworks are becoming more integrated and overlap with one another, just as most other test processes have done. Using any of the previously mentioned frameworks, a hybrid framework leverages the strengths of each and mitigates the weaknesses of the others.
Step 4: How to Choose the Right Automation Testing Tool
A mobile automation testing tool helps you automate tests following any of the frameworks mentioned above. Understanding these frameworks is not required to choose the right mobile testing tool, but it can help ensure you’re getting the right one for the job.
You might want to consider the following factors when choosing a mobile app testing tool:
- OS support (iOS / Android / Windows)
- Test types supported (unit tests, regression tests, functional tests, etc.)
- A simple interface, simple tutorials, and clear reporting make it easy to use
- Integrate with CI/CD tools that are already present
- The cost and scalability of the project
What are the best mobile testing tools?
Appium is a free and open source framework. It is a leading framework for testing mobile apps. For those just getting started with automation, Appium has a very active community.
The Espresso framework can also be used for mobile testing. However, this framework is specific to Android. Google created it to test Android UI.
XCUITest is an open-source framework for testing iOS apps. It’s perfect for iOS-specific UI test automation because it’s developed and maintained by Apple. The XCUITest framework facilitates unit and functional testing for developers.
The Quantum framework is an open-source project spearheaded by Perfecto. This is a testing framework based on BDD. It means you don’t have to know code to write test scripts. Test flows can be created using Quantum in plain language, making it ideal for teams without coding skills.
Step 5: Considering virtual vs. real devices
You’ll have a few choices to make once you’ve chosen a framework tool and are ready to execute your tests. The choices are as follows:
1. Virtual Devices
Among the virtual devices available for mobile app testing are:
- iOS simulators
- Android emulators
A simulator for iOS apps allows you to test their basic functionality and interface. Similarly, Android emulators allow you to test the basic functionality and layout of Android apps. The difference between emulators and simulators is that emulators duplicate the behaviors of real devices, while simulators mimic their behaviors.
Compared to real device testing, virtual device testing is faster. That’s why they’re popular with teams.
2. Real Devices
Real-world testing uses real devices and real hardware. Tests are performed on the device’s environment, too, such as unique sensors or carrier configurations.
In mobile testing, using real devices is essential to:
- Test the app in various locations and environments.
- Try out competing apps and varying conditions.
3. Use Both Real & Virtual Devices
A virtual device and a real device complement each other. It is recommended that you use both types of platforms when testing mobile apps. Based on the build phase, it is recommended to divide tests between emulators/simulations and real devices.
Virtual devices are best used at the beginning of the development process, while real devices can be used later on.
A seamless mobile app experience is very important as smartphone penetration and time spent on mobile devices increase.
Mobile application testing services will help you achieve this goal. Plus also, follow above mentioned all steps before executing your automation testing on mobile apps.
In this way, teams will be able to ship apps faster and give users a bug-free experience.