Testing Mobile Apps

Many predictions are going on so as what will be the top technology trends for 2015 , but surely one of the top trends of 2014 was (further) boom of Mobile Apps. We now hear Apple’s catchy phrase in almost every conversation “there is an App for that”. And one of the questions is how do we test these apps and I presented some thoughts about it a few weeks ago. Here is a summary.

Phone

(picture curtsey of HubSpot free images: http://offers.hubspot.com/free-stock-photos )

Given that the development life cycle of a mobile apps is any thing from 1 week to few months, it looks like that testing should be easy as there is less development effort. Also when we think that an App is limited in functionality compared to Applications, we somehow start believing that testing effort will also be limited as less features are there. In contrast, as elaborated by the matrix below taken from uTests’ excellent ebook on the subject, the complexity of the matrix is actually higher:

Problems like these brings in the value of testing the apps locally. Remember how Apple Maps App failed in areas where it didn’t work. And yesterday a friend of mine visiting from US showed that his weather app shows the location as Grand Trunk road while he was in a city on that few hundred miles long road.

The other point is Performance testing that either keeps a potential customer away from the app or forces them to reinstall app afterwards. The more important number is not the number of downloads but number of installed apps, so your apps should be sticky. Focused security testing will always be needed.

Since it was a short talk, I added some spice at the end by presenting some interesting ways to test which were taken from different sources but mainly from “Tap into mobile testing” book. These included trying things like Gesture Frenzy, or acting like a kid, or performing an All Hands testing day when all members of the team test the app. It is also very interesting to do Usability Testing through Personas  where you can classify your user base into different set of personalities and then pick some representatives to be acted while testing.

The whole presentation is here: Testing Mobile Apps

What tips do you have for mobile app testers?

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