But it takes organization and planning to ensure you can iterate through the software development life cycle quicker and – ultimately – out to market sooner. Knowing the types of mobile app testing and their functions can help. 

Image of man on laptop reading about 10 Mobile App Testing Types and Approaches

1. Functional Testing

It pays to keep in mind that: “only 4 out of 100 unhappy customers will complain directly to a company — the other 96 will churn without providing feedback. Since it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one, unlocking that silence is key.” – thinkJar

In addition to the mobile app’s specific functionality, there are other scenarios one should test for to limit errors, including but not limited to checking if:

  • The application installs and launches correctly
  • The users can sign-up and login
  • Text boxes and buttons function properly
  • Push notifications render correctly

2. Usability Testing

Engineers, marketers and product people all want to test whether or not the end-to-end “app-driven” experience is world-class. To that end, it’s important for app usability testing to be done with real people, on real devices to quickly identify and fix usability issues prior to app release.

Keep in mind the following: 

  • Good layout and design
  • Intuitive
  • Response time

Other best practices for usability testing include: 

  • Thoughtful setup of usability test scripts and feedback questionnaires.
  • Integration of usability questionnaires within test cycles so testers understand the usability testing instructions, can access the online questionnaires and provide feedback as part of their testing tasks.
  • Results analysis and feedback summary with actionable insights and recommendations for improving the overall customer experience.

3. Compatibility Testing

Specifically, you should know if: 

  • The app is compatible with different operating systems and their various versions (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.)
  • The app performs well with varying networks and their parameters (bandwidth, operating speed, etc.)
  • The app is compatible with different browsers (Google, Firefox, Safari, etc.)
  • The app is compatible with different devices (screen size, data storage, etc.)

There are also two types of compatibility testing to consider: 

  • Backwards: testing the mobile app behavior with older software versions
  • Forwards: testing the mobile app behavior with new — including beta — software versions

4. Performance and load testing

Performance and load tests check for the following: 

  • Device performance: Start-up time, battery consumption, memory consumption
  • Network performance: Delays or errors in receiving information
  • API / Server performance: How quickly and in what format data is transferred

Additionally, your app should have built-in back-up and recovery functions that save or recover user data that could be lost for any reason. This is where you would test that capability.

5. Security Testing

From Tinder to travel apps, some applications ask for user’s personal information. If yours does, too, you absolutely must guarantee confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity of the app. That’s why your QA testing must prioritize data security and test app behavior under various device permission schemes.

6. Installation Testing

Also known as implementation testing, installation testing is performed to check if the software is installing and uninstalling properly. 

7. Localization Testing

8. Manual Testing

Mobile app testing is a complex process involving various mechanisms and different skill sets.  

Additionally, we simply can’t automate some types of tests… and shouldn’t. These include: 

  • Physical interface tests
  • Complex tests
  • Exploratory testing

9. Automated Testing

A few automated testing best practices and challenges include: 

  • The thoughtful design, build, and maintenance of accurate test scripts
  • The alignment and integration of existing engineering workflows with your automated testing process
  • The creation and maintenance of your test automation framework, including infrastructure
  • The management of test runs and setups
  • Rigorous reviews to validate test results and defects
  • Careful monitoring and rapid response to noise and flakey tests

10. Mobile Device Testing

  • Interruptions – Interrupt testing evaluates how an app reacts to interruptions and if it resumes to its prior state. Common mobile app interruptions include loss of battery power, in incoming phone call or text, notifications, and app updates. 
  • Location-based Services (LBS) – Using geo-data from a mobile device, location-based services provide real-time information, entertainment or security. They are also used by consumers to “check in” while experiencing life on the go, like a visit to the local Starbucks or while attending a concert.
  • Biometric – Mobile devices often include biometric sensors that include face recognition, fingerprint and hand geometry, iris recognition, and even DNA or insulin levels. 
  • NFC payments – Near Field Communications (NFC) allows mobile devices to communicate with a payment terminal enabling contactless payments.  

The result of intelligent effort

As author John Ruskin exclaimed, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”

Jumbotron image

Dog owner, expat, gin lover. Allegedly wise to the ways of digital marketing, PR, and social media. Currently waging a war on mediocrity in communication and storytelling.