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. As explained in our step-by-step mobile application testing process, it’s imperative to understand and resolve any requirement contradictions before finalizing the development phase. The decisions you make about functionality, compatibility, and data carry long-term ramifications if they aren’t tended to purposefully. 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. Learn about the critical differences between real devices and device clouds. 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. There are various types of application testing to consider, including functional testing, usability testing, OS-specific testing like Android app testing and Apple iOS app testing, desktop app testing, and web application testing. While functional testing evaluates whether the mobile app functions as expected across platforms, usability testing determines whether real users find the app easy to use, no matter which platform they use. 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. It’s not necessary – and not advisable – to run functional testing across many mobile devices. Instead, test on a single device and then conquer various platforms during compatibility testing. 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: Regression tests Performance checks Non-functional requirements Localization tests Potential changes or updates to app files that might break front-end functionality Back-End Testing Back-end – or database testing – checks the server side of your mobile app. Back-end testing tests anything entered and/or stored in the front-end. This is also where you check the security and performance of the mobile application. 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. Storage Today’s mobile devices don’t have enough storage for the vast numbers of games, music streaming services, and high-resolution photos competing for space. From how much data your app requires to how this might affect monthly data plans, keep these limitations in mind during your mobile app testing. 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 We all know load time is a significant source of frustration. Your mobile app is no different. In fact, 48 percent of users uninstall or stop using an app if it’s slow. As such, you should create tests representing real network conditions, specific devices, and geographic locations to replicate real user experiences. Performance testing helps to identify problems and bottlenecks before a release. It is a collection of test automation and manual testing techniques that uncover a software application’s speed, responsiveness, and stability when subjected to a particular load or volume of use. 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. If you’re ready to build your testing strategy with a knowledgeable and thorough partner, ask for a free Testlio demo today.