While mobile apps are increasingly omni-present and need no introduction, we are witnessing exciting times where we need to start looking beyond apps as a destination. We are moving to an implementation where an application need not be opened up or sometimes need not even be installed for it to be accessed. Essentially mobile engineering has become increasingly integrated where an app is or will soon no longer be a stand-alone solution. A social app for instance is not just for updates and feeds anymore. It integrates with several other applications to become a one stop social experience for the end user.
On one hand while we talk about the need for more quality at an app level to improve the shelf life of applications, on the other hand we are now moving away from looking at apps at a standalone level. While this is an implementation shift, developers and testers, will also have to align with this at a mind-set level because they have to now envision the overall design and workflows at an integrated level to be able to do their job effectively.
Specifically from a tester’s standpoint, even functional workflows will now have to be tested from the integration layer, rather from just within the application. This brings in focus on test attributes such as security, performance, API integrations, data integrity besides just the core functionality. The overall seamless experience for a user including applications being nested within each other (being increasingly called as cards) now opens up a huge set of entry and exit point to test from – all of these make it mandatory for the tester to really think and act like an end user – like an end user of all levels – including power, savvy, novice etc. – accounting for all possible scenarios. A mobile app as a destination is still prevalent today and will have to be tested too – but very soon this will become a low priority scenario with core focus on the integrated experience and a tester is better off envisioning it even today to ensure the transition is smooth as the integrated experience becomes more prevalent.