Is it possible to imagine a day without your smartphone? Apparently, no. Smartphones have become an indispensable part of human lives, making communication easier than ever before. Besides communication, we use our smartphones for many other tasks, such as online shopping, payment transactions, finding a specific location, etc., thanks to advanced technology.
Did you know that there are roughly 6.92 billion smartphone users across the world? This contributes to 86.29% of the total population as of 2023. The revenue from the smartphone industry sums up to US$0.5tn in 2023, and it is expected to grow annually by 2.38% CAGR.
These statistics represent the prevalence of smartphone usage. Have you ever wondered why only smartphones are taking the world by storm? The reason is the accessibility to a plethora of applications.
We use multiple apps on our smartphones for different purposes, and most of them work perfectly fine and flawlessly. But how do you ensure that a specific app will work swiftly on a smartphone? This is where the role of mobile testing comes into play.
In this article, we aim to provide details on the types of mobile testing
What is Mobile Testing?
Mobile testing is an integral aspect of the software testing life cycle. It evaluates mobile phone applications for functionality, performance, and usability before releasing them to the market. It verifies that mobile apps meet all specified technical and business requirements.
Additionally, mobile testing uncovers any underlying issues or bugs in an application and ensures that the app is wholly aligned with end users’ demands. It assesses the application to check whether it functions correctly across all major mobile operating systems, different resolutions and screen sizes, and distinct network bandwidths.
Types of Mobile Testing
Mobile testing is not a simple process consisting of a single test; instead, it involves a series of tests to evaluate different aspects of the application.
Let us explore some major types of mobile application testing below.
- Functional Testing
Functional testing aims to evaluate a mobile application to check whether all its features and functions are working as intended and flawlessly. Simply put, it verifies the user flows within the application.
Generally, an individual or a team involved in mobile testing carries out functional testing. They perform it in the beginning before carrying out other mobile testing types.
Here are some common scenarios that must be assessed in mobile app functional testing:
- The app installs and launches flawlessly on different mobile devices.
- Users can seamlessly log in and log out from the app daily.
- All the buttons, text boxes, menus, and other elements functional correctly.
- Transactions or purchases take place hassle-free.
Example: Consider a mobile streaming application. Functional testing involves evaluating the user flow of the application. Here are some examples for testing the streaming application:
- If a user wants to watch a specific show, the user flow starts with login (user authentication) → content search → content selection → watch the show online.
- If a user wants to download a specific show and watch it offline. The user flow is login (user authentication) → content search → content selection → download it → watch it offline/playback of downloaded content.
The testing team generally performs three different types of functional testing:
Unit Testing: It tests each and every module (feature) of the application individually and checks whether they function as intended.
Integration Testing: It checks for any bugs or errors that may occur after the integration of the application’s unit-tested modules.
End-to-End Testing: It tests the whole application in one go on real devices or browsers.
TestGrid’s Real Device Testing offers a combination of real devices and browsers to help you test your mobile apps and websites on the cloud.
- Usability Testing
Another type of mobile testing is usability testing, which checks whether the application is easy to use for end users. Simply put, it assesses the application’s user-friendliness. Users should be able to navigate through the app swiftly. It should have a clean and intuitive interface and smooth flow.
Usability testing is also referred to as user experience testing. Testers basically carry out this type of mobile testing with real users on real devices. Users are given a few test cases or tasks to perform on the application and a questionnaire. This helps testers understand the target customers’ preferences and improve the application’s user-friendliness.
The following are some important parameters to consider while carrying out mobile app usability testing:
- A visually appealing interface (layout and interface).
- Ease of use or intuitiveness.
- Quick response times.
Example: Let us consider the same mobile streaming app. Users must be able to search for the desired content and watch them seamlessly. Also, they must be able to download the content and view it offline after subscribing to the service.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Was it easy to find the desired content within the app?
- Was the interface intuitive?
- Were the search results accurate to a user query?
- Do filters and sorting options provide the relevant results (if available)?
- Was the playback experience for streaming content seamless?
- Were the video playback controls (rewind, forward, resume, play, and pause) easy to use?
- Was the content easy to download?
- Was the download speed efficient enough?
- Was the subscription process hassle-free, user-friendly, and clear?
- Was the quality of the downloaded content high?
These are just a few questions. The list is extensive.
- Compatibility Testing
Compatibility testing is a type of non-functional testing. It ensures that the application functions correctly across a wide range of operating systems, devices, networks, hardware, and browsers.
Example: Consider the same mobile streaming app. Compatibility testing involves assessing the app’s compatibility with:
- Devices: The app should work flawlessly on mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. It should display correctly on devices with different screen sizes.
- Operating Systems: Users should be able to download and install the on different operating systems, including Android and iOS.
- Network: Verify whether the app performs well under different network conditions, such as 3G, 4G, etc.
- Performance Testing
Performance testing is yet another non-functional testing type that evaluates the application’s stability, responsiveness, speed, and scalability under an increased workload. The application goes through different kinds of workloads to check whether it functions as intended. Here, the workload implies an increase in the number of users using the application.
This mobile testing type ensures the application does not malfunction or fail due to different workloads. The following are different types of performance testing:
- Load testing: It verifies the application’s performance under normal or expected workload. It identifies the system’s behavior, latency, and throughput.
- Stress testing: It assesses the application’s performance and behavior under a higher-than-expected workload. It helps determine the point at which the application can fail or malfunction, called the breaking point.
- Endurance testing: This testing type involves exposing the application to a higher workload for an extended time to determine its behavior. The application should be capable of handling the extended workload without reducing the response time.
- Spike testing: The application is tested for its behavior under sudden increase and decrease of the workload. Its goal is to verify that the application functions as intended, even if there are drastic variations in the workload.
Here are some of the major aspects evaluated in mobile app performance testing:
- The response time of the application for each event.
- UI rendering time.
- The app’s behavior under distinct network conditions.
In a nutshell, performance testing uncovers performance bottlenecks in the application.
- Security Testing
Security is paramount in this digital world. Today, the apps we use require personal data, such as name, mobile number, email address, etc. There is a high chance that this sensitive data may get stolen.
With technological advancements, imposters try to exploit security vulnerabilities, resulting in data breaches or other cyber attacks. In addition, many people delete applications if they find any security issues. As a result, security testing is a must to ensure that the app preserves data confidentiality.
Security testing is essential in mobile testing to prevent the following:
- The stealing of users’ personal data
- Unauthorized deletion or alteration of information stored in the app.
- Data breaches.
- Fraudulent financial transactions.
This requires a security expert so that they can test different aspects of the app for security. Here are some aspects they consider:
- Authentication and Authorization: If the code is not checked for authentication and authorization, it becomes more susceptible to malicious attacks.
- Data Security: If a specific app is not secure, there is a possibility that it may expose sensitive data to other phone applications.
- Removing Security Vulnerabilities: Security specialists find ways to hack mobile phones and gain access. Later, they fix all these vulnerabilities so no imposter can exploit them.
- Localization Testing
This variant of mobile app testing evaluates the application’s features that are dependent on its geographical location. Though applications are designed to attract a global user base, they still have localized features to provide more convenience to local users.
The best example to understand this is the Amazon mobile app or website. It changes the currency of the product prices and displays them according to nations. Also, it changes its language based on a user’s geolocations. This way, Amazon aims to attract more local users while paying attention to global users.
Localization testing evaluates the following:
- Linguistic accuracy
- Cultural appropriateness
- Helps documents, commands, and messages in regional languages
It is among the most challenging mobile testing types because many QA teams do not have adequate resources and access to test coverage.
- Interruption Testing
This type of mobile app testing is used to check the application’s behavior with respect to unexpected interruptions. The application should pause for a while and then resume functioning or react in a specific manner based on the interruption. Here, interruptions are receiving a phone call, text message, and push notification, poor network connectivity, etc.
The following are some typical interruptions the QA team must consider when performing interruption testing:
- Incoming phone calls while the app is running.
- Incoming messages while the app is running.
- Low battery when the app is running.
- The mobile phone is plugged in or out of the charger while the app is running.
- OS upgrades during the running of the application.
- Loss and restoration of the network while the app is running.
Furthermore, this mobile testing type makes sure that:
- The application does not crash or fail in case of interruptions.
- It resumes successfully after the interruption is finished.
- It ignores interruptions if a user does not tap on it.
In short, interruption testing assesses the application’s ability to handle interruptions successfully.
- Memory Leak Testing
A memory leak is a situation where the app cannot return the memory it has acquired for temporary use. As a result, the amount of unused and occupied memory increases, leaving less memory at disposal. This causes the application to crash and malfunction. This happens due to minor errors in the source code. In case of a memory leak, the frequent use of the application can lead to termination.
The QA team runs the app on multiple devices to understand the memory leak pattern and get it rectified. Also, they can determine the app’s performance on devices with different memory capabilities.
- Installation Testing
The installation is the user’s first interaction with the application. If there are any errors or the installation process takes time longer than usual, users will apparently switch to alternatives. Hence, it has to be error-free.
Installation testing checks whether the application is easy to install and uninstall in distinct environments and platforms. It also checks that all components of the app work in coordination.
Here are some of the most important aspects to consider while performing installation testing:
- The app’s compatibility with different operating systems, hardware, devices, and their versions.
- The location of the application on the mobile phone, i.e., internal or external memory.
- Upgrades to higher versions of the app should work correctly without causing any chaos.
- Check for the memory space, battery, and behavior of the app during installation.
These were some of the most common types of mobile testing. QA teams incorporate these mobile testing types in every app testing to check its functionality, reliability, usability, and performance on different mobile devices. They ensure that the final product (the application) is robust, secure, reliable, user-friendly, and easy to install.
The above-mentioned mobile testing types are generic. There could be many more testing types depending on an application’s needs, such as database testing. As every app has unique features and purpose, it is important to determine what testing types it needs.
We hope this article helped you understand the different types of mobile testing.