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9-Step Mobile App Testing Strategy Checklist

The goal of any mobile product is to create an app experience that’s innovative and new. But you must accomplish specific, necessary steps between crafting a clear vision for your app and creating a mobile application.

This guide explores the importance of a mobile app testing strategy checklist that includes cross-platform testing, designing a testing process that aligns with your project requirements and business goals, and testing on real mobile devices for accurate, more reliable results. 

The right test environment

When testing mobile applications, an effective test environment is critical to the reliability and performance of your mobile app. Various options, including simulators, device farms, and real devices,  are available to QA teams today. Selecting the right one will depend on the specific requirements of the App-Under-Test (AUT).

Emulators and simulators

Emulators and simulators are virtual testing devices that replicate the behavior of real devices. They allow mobile app developers and testers to assess an app’s performance and functionality without needing actual mobile devices.

But even though they simulate real devices, they do not provide the same accuracy as real devices. They don’t reflect real-world scenarios, which can lead to discrepancies in your testing results. Therefore, your mobile testing strategy must include real devices to maximize accuracy and agility.

Real devices

Testing on physical mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, enables testers to replicate the actual conditions users experience when using the app in the real world. 

Real devices accurately represent user gestures and interactions and capture device-specific characteristics, such as screen size and resolution, touchscreen sensitivity, and operating system versions. Test results are more reliable, and you can more thoroughly assess the usability of your application. 

Device Clouds

Device clouds allow organizations to test on real devices hosted on a public or private cloud. With these, organizations can remotely access several legacy and modern models, makes, and device types. While device clouds offer several advantages, such as improved time-to-market, reduced costs, and instant access to several device types, they can’t replace real device testing completely. 

Types of applications

There are three main types of mobile apps: native, hybrid, and mobile-web.

  • Native: The application is developed specifically for individual platforms.
  • Hybrid: A mix of native and mobile web applications.
  • Mobile web: The website opens on the device through a web browser.

Before creating an effective testing strategy, you must take into account testing considerations for each:

  • Native: Platform-specific testing to validate integration with device-specific features (e.g., cameras, sensors, GPS, etc.) and whether the app adheres to the design principles of each platform (i.e., navigation, gestures, and interactions specific to the platform)
  • Hybrid: Cross-platform compatibility to verify that the app functions consistently across platforms
  • Web apps: Cross-browser compatibility, design responsiveness, and performance under various network conditions

Your Mobile App Testing Strategy Checklist

Early QA involvement 

Incorporating QA in the initial stages of the development process provides many benefits, including early identification of issues, improved collaboration among team members, reduced time to market, and enhanced product quality.

Some tips and best practices to consider:

  • Conduct joint workshops during the design phase: Run workshops that include the QA, business, and product teams. The goal is to understand requirements and pinpoint potential challenges. 
  • Consider multiple test cases: Explore various test scenarios to ensure comprehensive coverage. Involve end users early to gather feedback and determine whether the app meets their expectations.
  • Keep your dev and QA teams aligned: Conduct regular meetings to establish a continuous feedback loop between developers and QA to identify and resolve quickly. Also, leverage continuous integration and source code management tools to promote automation, collaboration, and code quality.

Cross-Platform Testing

Engineering teams must often ensure a seamless app-driven experience for mobile, web, and desktop users across multiple platforms like Google Android and Apple iOS. This requires an efficient testing strategy to save time and maintain reasonable testing costs.

Gathering and understanding business objectives, project requirements, acceptance criteria for each platform (operating systems, devices, browsers, etc.), and user needs are essential to creating an appropriate cross-platform testing strategy. 

Feature Functionality

Mobile apps usually interact with several features – both built into devices and built into the app. These interactions should be noted and thoroughly tested.

Front-End Testing

Front-end testing checks anything visible on the client side, also known as the Graphical User Interface (GUI). Testers need a solid grasp of business goals to perform this type of testing.

Front-end testing includes:

Back-End Testing

Ensuring the back-end functions are optimal is critical to the overall reliability of your mobile app.

Security Testing

Today’s users primarily rely on mobile apps for diverse activities, including communication and financial transactions, making mobile apps an attractive target for cybercriminals. 

A comprehensive security testing strategy includes several key components, such as:

  • Understanding the environment: Conducting activities like risk assessment to identify potential security threats and checking whether the mobile app’s security features comply with standards 
  • Developing multiple lines of defense: Performing tests at various stages of development, including static code analysis to identify vulnerabilities at the source code level, dynamic application security testing (DAST) while the app is running, and penetration testing to simulate attacks from external threats
  • Running tests from an attacker’s perspective: Implementing strategies like threat model development to anticipate potential attack vectors, ethical hacking to assess the app’s security posture, and attack surface analysis to identify and secure possible entry points that malicious actors can exploit. 
  • Implementing strong encryption algorithms: Using protocols like TLS to address data flow, data storage, and data transmission security and to prevent data leakage. 

Multiple Network Compatibility

The ever-growing popularity of smartphones and IoT devices has led to an explosion of different device brands and platforms. While it’s impossible to perform every test on all possible devices, mobile compatibility testing is indispensable.  

This process should include tests such as:

  • Install and uninstall
  • Functionality
  • Traversal
  • Data exchange
  • UI
  • Seamless performance across various networks, including 1G, LTE, and Wi-Fi

Be sure to test different versions of the same major hardware platforms, including iOS and Android.

Additionally, test your mobile application against sudden network shifts, particularly from 4G to 1G, or in instances of lost connections. This ensures your app remains functional and provides a satisfactory user experience no matter the scenario.


For your mobile app to continue delivering exceptional user experiences, it’s crucial to optimize storage within the app by reducing files, implementing efficient data storage formats, and using cloud storage options to free up device space.

Data To and From

As such, you should create tests representing real network conditions, specific devices, and geographic locations to replicate real user experiences.

Application Flow

Good design brings together visual elements, content, features, and functionality. This visual flow helps guide users through your mobile product.

Testing the flow of your mobile app architecture is necessary to find elements of your design that would impede users from completing their desired tasks.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Regardless of where you are in the testing or planning phase, it’s imperative you communicate with your team. This includes their roles throughout the test phase and your expectations.

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