How to Test Mobile Apps for different operating systems ?

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Mobile app testing is expensive and time consuming; but without it your end product is likely to be defective. Consumers these days are very discerning, and any glitches in the final release can lead to major losses in money and reputation.

The Biggest Challenge in Mobile App Development

The sheer number of devices and operating systems is the most obvious obstacle here. In stark contrast to standard desktop and web apps, mobile apps are used across a wide range of devices and operating systems (iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Phone, etc).

The availability of multiple options for screen resolutions, memory sizes, and hardware configurations – to name a few difficulties – pose a stern challenge to app testing. Testers need to make their product perfect for use on multiple platforms.

Minor Challenges – Mobile App Testing

In the case of in-house testing, businesses tend to fall short of the right testing tools because of the ever-changing device compliance scenarios.

App testing methods also need to be updated frequently because the end consumer is more demanding when it comes to real-time repair of bugs and the constant updates and upgrades to operating systems that forces apps to keep up in order to ensure compatibility.

The Best Mobile App Testing Strategy

First, it is important to decide whether to test on a particular device model, or an emulator instead.

In the first stages of development, businesses would do well to work on emulators because they allow testing to be fast and efficient. This should be the method of choice in an agile work environment.

For basic app functionality testing, mobile emulators are quite effective, and also facilitate test scripting languages and simulated live environments.

The use of such emulators, however, does not negate testing on actual hardware. This is absolutely crucial to assess and understand the activity of a given app in real-time situations.

Beta testing, for instance, allows an application to be tested in the real world, across time zones and networks. This is of course better off on actual devices rather than on emulators.

The benefits of beta testing are that QA teams can evaluate variation in app behavior on different devices and operating systems, the way in which users interact with the app, the effect of app usage on battery life and OS performance, and the variations in network usage, both cellular and WiFi, that come about because of the app’s introduction on a particular platform.

The Cloud – Another Recommended App Testing Method

Following are some reasons why cloud Testing is gaining popularity as a means for App testing:

  1. Cloud testing keeps costs low, and increases return on investment with pre-configured environments that cut down on the kind of problems one faces in more inconsistent test configurations.
  2. Project delays are minimized.
  3. The cloud can support highly complex apps, so testers don’t need a dedicated in-house environment.
  4. Results and insights are generated in real-time, which allows testers to address glitches even while the tests are in progress.

 The Need for Automation Testing

Automated testing can certainly make an organization’s life easier, but it goes without saying that a good amount of initial investment is needed from the outset. Ideally, automation should be introduced only when an app’s development cycle is long, when regression testing is frequent, and when the application is constantly growing.

Automation allows app compatibility to be verified and confirmed whenever there are new versions or updates to any OS. Backward compatibility can also be assessed whenever upgrades are made to the app itself.

The Verdict

The best way to go about your mobile app testing process is to work with a mix of actual devices and emulators to ensure that the product you release for delivery at the very end is clean, polished, and perfectly robust.



  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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Comment (1)

  • Jack Richard

    Nice article! Very Informative. Mobility introduces new levels of complexity to QA and test management with multiple operating systems versions from iOS to Android and tens of thousands of devices on the market, mobile application testing can be a challenge. The exponentially growing Mobile Apps Industry faces a global challenge.

    Cheers Jack!

    December 12, 2016 at 11:11 AM

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