Mobile Testing – An Overview

With arrival of smartphones, mobile phones have become more than an equipment for oral communication. Right from booking a ticket to submitting leave applications to transferring money can be done with the help of smartphones. Many mobile applications facilitate these functions.

When mobile apps have been introduced, they should be tested thoroughly to ensure proper functionality. At the same time, they should be user friendly, failing which they may not get wide acceptance. Here is the significance of mobile apps testing, which is more commonly called as mobile testing.

To begin with mobile testing, one should have sound knowledge about mobile platforms. A mobile platform includes mobile operating system, type of the device and type of the mobile app.

Mobile Testing Overview – Mobile Operating Systems

There are different mobile operating systems and some of the most popular ones are given below.

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Blackberry
  • Windows
  • Symbian

Out of these Android and iOS are the most widely used mobile operating systems. While Blackberry has very few users, Windows has a better number of users. Symbian has been discontinued.

Types of Devices

When you talk about mobile testing, you should consider different types of devices and the testing is not confined to smartphones. Most widely used mobile devices are as follows.

  • Smartphones
  • E-book readers
  • Tablets.

Types of Mobile Apps

Basically there are three different types of mobile apps and they are

  • Mobile web
  • Native App
  • Hybrid App

In these three types of apps, mobile webs are not real apps but websites which can be opened in smartphones with the help of a browser. A native app is an application that is developed for a specific platform and can be installed through an application store. Whatsapp, Facebook etc are the examples of native apps. A Hybrid app is a mixture of mobile web and native app. Instagram and Wikipedia are the best examples.

Now let us proceed to mobile testing. Basically there are two different types of mobile testing and they are device testing and application testing.

Device Testing

Device testing consists of three different types of testing

  • Unit Testing, where the portions of the mobile phones are tested by the developer during development.
  • Factory Testing, which is a type of sanity check on devices to ensure that there are no defects in them. It includes the following tests
  1. Mobile Application Testing
  2. Hardware Testing
  3. Battery Testing
  4. Signal Receiver testing
  5. Network Testing
  6. Protocol Testing
  7. Mobile Games Testing
  8. Mobile Software Compatibility Testing
  • Certification Testing, which is the final check before launching the product into the market.

Application Testing

Application testing is a process where the mobile applications are tested for their functionality, consistency and usability. It contains the following types of testings.

  • Functional Testing
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Memory Leakage Testing
  • Interrupt Testing
  • Usability testing
  • Installation testing
  • Certification Testing
  • Security Testing

Since there are many different types of mobile devices, one needs to test each application on different devices. Similarly the apps should be tested in different versions of operating systems to ensure their performance. In other words, the application owner needs to purchase a wide range of mobile devices to execute the test and this is a costly affair. Here is a smart option to overcome this hurdle and to test the applications on mobile simulators or on mobile emulators.

However, there are certain limitations for testing on simulators or emulators. Device battery and camera cannot be tested on simulators or emulators. Similarly, it is difficult to mimic the interruptions such as incoming calls, sms etc in simulator or emulator.

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