Android vs iOS Mobile App Testing
By Tom Collins, Community Contributor - January 20, 2023
Over the years, Android has garnered popularity over iOS for different reasons and accessibility being the primary one. According to Statcounter, the market share of Android was 72.37% in 2022, and it holds 70% of existing users.
Most developing countries have a lower annual income than their expenditure. So, people from these countries can afford only Android phones. Many companies, like Xiaomi, Vivo, OnePlus, Samsung, etc., provide affordable price ranges and devices.
In opposition, iOS devices acquire a high price range because of their rich software and hardware integration and performance. So, it fails to capture the market share. But it always maintains high quality and is only manufactured by Apple.
These are the basics between Android and iPhone from the perspective of their ecosystem. Let’s get into the differentiating factors below.
Android & iOS Mobile Testing Differences
Android is an open-source OS that uses Linux OS and built-in C/C++. Its OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are free to create UI. They are available for anyone, and you can change them as per your requirements. Hence Android testing is more straightforward than on iOS.
On the other hand, iOS is a closed-source OS. Use XNU kernel and built-in C/C++. This kernel was initially made by Apple and controlled by Apple’s terms and conditions. So iOS becomes a closed system. Hence iOS testing becomes quite challenging but the time and effort taken for testing are less.
There are different manufacturers of Android devices. Also, there are various specifications created for them. Thus the testing of Android devices became slower and more complicated in this case. You can easily test with BrowserStack with supported top Android devices like Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Redmi Note 11, etc.
Whereas iOS has one manufacturer in this market. Thus testing and deployment of iOS are much faster than those of Android. BrowserStack allows you to test with top iOS devices, like iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 Mini, iPad Pro 11, etc.
As Android has different manufacturers; it has versatile screen sizes and layouts. So testing with screen resolutions in Android becomes more complicated.
But iOS has a standard screen resolution because of its single manufacturer. So, screen testing becomes much easier and faster in iOS.
Difference between Android and iOS Application testing
OS Upgrades and App Functionalities
Android devices can use older software versions. Thus, not all devices get that update when a new software update comes. As a result, many users still use the older version. So testers need to test APIs with old versions, which becomes more time-consuming. Also, testing Android app functionalities is complex and impossible because of different manufacturers.
But iOS users get software updates simultaneously, and thus testers don’t need extra time for version testing. Also, the functionalities of iOS apps are fixed and simple. So, the chances of missing out on the app’s functionalities are lesser than on Android. This indicates that iOS app testing is hassle-free.
Read More: Top 5 iOS Automated Testing Frameworks
Android devices are vulnerable because the chance of hacking is high in these devices. The main reason is that it allows older versions for the users, and many of these devices no longer get any security updates and built-in protection. Another reason is that many users are given authorized access by Google to use and change the source code for Android APK. Thus the APK apps needed testing to protect them from any malicious attack.
In this case, iOS apps are safe as this is a secure OS of Apple, so it is challenging for hackers to perform vulnerable activities. Thus iOS mobile app testing becomes easy for this particular issue.
Google has no strict rules for publishing apps on the Play store. Also, you can download Android apps from external sites, which is quite risky. So for this purpose, developers need to ensure that there is no security issue, which means testers are less involved in this part.
But Apple creates strict rules and reviews to publish an app on the Apple Store. So, testers must ensure that the iOS apps can satisfy the rules provided by Apple before publishing.
Test Automation for iOS and Android App Testing
This is one of the preferable automation testing tools, as teams can use Appium for iOS and Android testing. It follows the WebDriver protocol, which makes it more suitable for other frameworks and tools. It allows you to reuse source code for Android and iOS ecosystems.
Calabash is a mobile test automation framework that works with Ruby, Java, Flex, and .NET. This framework has libraries that allow test scripts to interact programmatically with native and hybrid apps.
Selendroid is also known as Selenium for Android mobile apps for Android. It can execute parallel test cases on multiple devices, similar to Selenium for cross-browser testing.
This is the best testing tool for iOS apps. XCUITest is well-known for providing fast test execution, easy test management, etc. It creates automated test scripts for native iOS apps.
Core Differences in Testing Android vs iOS
As discussed in the previous section, here are some key highlights between iOS and Android testing –
|Android Testing||iOS Testing|
|Android Studio is the IDE for app development. It supports cross-platform implementation and various kinds of debugging actions.|
It can easily handle large projects.
|XCode doesn’t support cross-browser implementation but provides multiple types of bug fixing tools controlled by Apple. |
But, it’s not easy to handle large projects with XCode.
|Android faces lots of development complexity issues due to device and OS fragmentation. So, development and testing need lots of reviews. Thus it’s time-consuming.||As iOS has few types of devices, it has less complexity in the development stage.|
|Testers use Android emulators to ensure the app runs well in the initial testing and development stages.||Testers use iOS simulators for this purpose. They are faster but sometimes fail to show accurate and practical design.|
|The management becomes much more complex when you are involved in Android development. As you have to manage a huge number of activities for a project having multiple screens.||Here, the management system involves handling the controllers. You can code the controllers and then store them in either storyboard or an XML file. |
This way it becomes much more organized, which reduces the chance of errors.
Benefits of Mobile Testing on a Real Device Cloud
Testing your mobile apps on real devices is compulsory because you can’t rely on simulators/emulators during performance testing. You must test your portable battery, memory usage, and other processors’ performance on a real device.
- BrowserStack Real Device Cloud offers you to test your Android and iOS apps on the latest and legacy devices.
- The cloud infrastructure supports many iOS and Android phones with different screen sizes, resolutions, and viewports.
- Additionally, teams can access 3000+ real mobile devices for efficient testing.
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully, you know the basic distinction between Android and iOS testing and how these two operating systems differ. They cater to two different customer bases and have their benefits and drawbacks. So, if you are planning to move with mobile app testing, then with BrowserStack, you can complete this process faster and more efficiently.