Outsourcing mobile app testing helps enhance scope, coverage, efficiency and effectiveness in strengthening the quality of mobile applications across multiple devices and operating systems.
Mobile app testing is a process employed to test the usability, functionality, consistency and stability of apps developed. Since all apps developed aid in conducting business, they must be qualitatively superior and functionally flawless.
Mobile apps are tested on three major grounds. They are:
- Functionality which includes testing business flows, cross-platform coverage and UI
- Real environment performance to check for performance in different network conditions, the applicable backgrounds and foregrounds, gestures and when faced with interruptions
- Non-functional scenarios wherein parameters related to security, accessibility, API, availability and performance are tested
Reasons to Outsource Mobile App Testing
It is a fact that the quality of the product developed by a company defines its existence in the market. Thus, best practices for development, testing and deployment have to be adopted. Outsourcing mobile app testing is one such business practice. Several practical reasons justify this decision like:
1. Access to Mobile Devices Including Newer Models
Shortage in mobile testing devices, especially the newer models, is a very common challenge faced by mobile app testers. Statistics show that in 2020, the worldwide sales of smartphones amounted to about 1.38billion.
Most of them were made by different manufacturers and came equipped with diverse hardware components and software features.
Variations of hardware might make the loaded software behave differently for different devices. When OA for mobile apps is done in-house, ensuring device diversity coverage becomes a very costly proposition.
Thus, outsourcing app testing for mobiles to third party vendors is more practical as they have the means and know-how to maximize access to different mobile devices including the newer ones that are introduced.
2. Need for Automation in Mobile App Testing
Two orthogonal aspects exacerbate the need for automation in the testing of mobile apps. They are:
- Testing cost: It is a common perception that mobile apps need to be inexpensive yet perform superlatively, be reliable and accurate. Automation of testing processes is the only means to keep the testing costs low yet guarantee dependability.
- Layered testing: Errors, glitches and bugs arise more due to problems related to interoperability that exists between the app and its framework, OS and hardware layers. Errors in mobile apps originate more from OS malfunctioning and lack of precision in censored data rather than from the app programming codes. Automation of the mobile app testing process enables layered testing and also has the ability to differentiate app-level failures from those that occur due to OS or app framework malfunctioning.
Thus, automation plays an important role in the proper testing of mobile apps. However, since enabling automation of in-house processes is costly and time-consuming, outsourcing of the same appears to be the better option. The outsourced vendor often has experience of having worked on several mobile automation efforts, in house expertise with frameworks and tools making mobile test automation a reality
3. Need for Handling Diversified Testing Methods
Different aspects of mobile apps need to be tested thoroughly to ensure their superlative performance. Thus, both functional and non-functional testing has to be done on the same. Some of the important areas that need mandatory testing are:
- GUI : Herein tests to see if the app is being correctly displayed on the different platforms and devices on which it will be used are taken up. It also checks to see whether different mobile devices are rendering adequate data for the mobile app to function.
- Security: This is extremely important as mobile or device mobility is enabled using varied networks, each of which has different security levels. Additional privacy concerns also arise due to the presence of rich contextual information within the mobile.
- Memory and energy: Mobile apps need to be tested to ensure that they don’t consume a lot of memory or battery. Battery back-up is an important deciding factor influencing the purchase of the smartphone and hence testers need to keep this in mind.
- Reliability and performance testing: The reliable performance of mobile apps depend largely on:
- Device operational mode
- Mobile device resources
- Quality and variability of connectivity
- Other contextual information
Thus all mobile apps need to undergo run-time analysis to ensure their performance and reliability.
- Functional testing: This checks to see if the mobile app can function properly in different environments, both on the client and the server-side. Functional testing helps to ensure the quality of the app, reduce app malfunctioning risk, guarantee customer satisfaction etc.
- Accessibility testing: In many countries, accessibility is a mandatory criterion that all mobile apps need to follow. It helps ensure that everyone, including those users who are differently-abled, can use the app.
The scope of mobile app testing is very vast. Consequently, it becomes difficult to test for all of the above in-house.
4. Need to Understand App Compatibility
All mobile devices manufacturers have different features. They vary in size, screen, resolution, version, hardware etc. Thus, mobile apps have to be tested across all devices to ensure their compatibility. Some aspects that need to be validated are:
- Optimization of user interface as per the screen size
- Readability so no content is inaccessible or partially hidden
- Functionality of the call/alarm option so that when a call comes, the app functioning is minimized and automatically resumes when the call is over
Testing for compatibility across devices can be best done by third party app testing service providers.
5. Crowdsourced Testing Can be Enabled
To perform crowdsourced testing on mobile apps, it needs to be outsourced to third-party app testers. They help to validate the mobile app in real-world user conditions. This allows testers to gather feedback and gain real insight into the working of the app thereby making bug detection cheap and easy. The importance of crowdsourced testing stems from the fact that:
- Different mobile devices use different platforms
- Mobile apps are supported by a variety of wireless connectivity infrastructures each with different service plans
- Mobiles are meant to provide location-based services thus testing for the performance of the mobile app in different geographical locations each having different language requirements is mandatory
6. Variety of Services
Collaborating with an outsourced mobile app testing service provider benefits app developers in other ways also. Companies can utilize their services to test other apps in the same domain. Given the rich diverse mobile app testing and domain expertise they bring in, testing can be taken up in the most optimal manner.
7. Help Handle Spike Needs
Today, mobile app development is typically characterized by shorter release times. Since the time to market has reduced considerably for mobile apps, outsourcing its testing enables companies to handle spike needs. Thus in times of increased app development activities, outsourcing its testing services saves time and makes the process cost-effective.
By outsourcing the testing of the mobile apps developed by a company, they can ensure timely deployment of quality products, thereby ensuring their goodwill and stability. It also gives them the required edge to stand out in this competitive field.