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  • Mobile Application Testing

    INTRODUCTION:

    Mobile devices are evolving and becoming more complex with a variety of features and functionalities. Many applications that were originally deployed as desktop applications or web applications are now being ported to mobile devices.One of the best quality metrics to decide whether a mobile application is agile and reliable is mobile application testing.
    Testing applications on mobile devices is more challenging than testing web apps on desktop due to
    • Different range of mobile devices with different screen sizes and hardware configurations like hard keypad, virtual keypad (touch screen) and trackball etc.
    • Wide varieties of mobile devices like HTC, Samsung, Apple and Nokia.
    • Different mobile operating systems like Android, Symbian, Windows, Blackberry and IOS.
    • Different versions of operation system like iOS 5.x, iOS 6.x, BB5.x, BB6.x etc.
    • Different mobile network operators like GSM and CDMA.
    • Frequent updates – (like android- 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, iOS-5.x, 6.x) with each update a new testingcycle is recommended to make sure no application functionality is impacted.
    Types of Mobile App Testing:

    To address all the above technical aspects, the following types of testing are performed on Mobile applications.
    • Usability testing-To make sure that the mobile app is easy to use and provides a satisfactory user experience to the customers.This includes text visibility in the selected language, navigation between screens, and verification of functionality online/offline, feedback from interaction with system, i.e., downloaded application should be prompt with message.
    • Compatibility testing- Testing of the application in different mobiles devices, browsers, screen sizes and OS versions according to the requirements.
    • Interface testing- Testing of menu options, buttons, bookmarks, history, settings, and navigation flow of the application.
    • Services testing- Testing the services of the application online and offline.This includes checking for mobile app not to act as a server, checking if a service takes too long or is used offline, and checking if a service goes down and returns malformed responses.
    • Low level resource testing: Testing of memory usage, auto deletion of temporary files, local database growing issues known as low level resource testing.This covers checks for overuse of memory and not releasing it, app temporary files not cleaned, local database growing too big, and garbage generation by the app.
    • Performance testing- Testing the performance of the application by changing the connection from 2G, 3G to WIFI, sharing the documents, battery consumption, etc.This includes checks on server connection changes to WIFI from 2G/3G or vice versa, shared images size used for the Application is as per the requirement, application response time, code optimization for the CPU cycle, battery consumption, memory leaks, resources like GPS, CAMERA, etc., freed.
    • Operational testing- Testing of backups and recovery plan if battery goes down, or data loss while upgrading the application from store.This entails checks for back-up of necessary information in the app, save and recovery plan if battery goes down, data lost in case of app upgradation from appstore market, app access if user gets any alarm, call, message, reminder, etc., and battery power usage while app is being accessed.
    • Installation tests- Validation of the application by installing /uninstalling it on the devices.
    • Security testing- Testing an application to validate if the information system protects data or not.This includes encryption/decryption techniques used for sensitive data communication, checks for multi-user support without interfering with the data between them, checks for access to files saved in the app by any unintended users, detect areas in tested application so that they do not receive any malicious content.
    Mobile Application Testing Strategy

    The Test strategy should make sure that all the quality and performance guidelines are met. A few pointers in this area:
    1) Selection of the devices - Analyze the market and choose the devices that are widely used. (This decision mostly relies on the clients. The client or the app builders consider the popularity factor of a certain devices as well as the marketing needs for the application to decide what handsets to use for testing.)
    2) Emulators – The use of these is extremely useful in the initial stages of development, as they allow quick and efficient checking of the app. Emulator is a system that runs software from one environment to another environment without changing the software itself. It duplicates the features and work on real system.
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