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Mobile App Testing Checklist for releasing apps

Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack -

Very interesting statistics from Statista regarding Mobile App downloads and revenue in 2019 –Total Mobile App Downloads - Mobile App Testing Checklist

Clearly, mobile apps have taken over the world. For every app developer and tester, this means that every app they roll out will be competing with thousands (possibly, millions) of other apps providing a similar service.

In such a competitive industry, every mobile app must be released in its best possible state. Every bug that escapes QA checks risks dissatisfying a user and causing them to uninstall or delete the app. In fact, almost 1 in every 2 apps is uninstalled in 30 days.

Naturally, every mobile app tester needs a practical checklist at hand. They need to know exactly what to test, check for and verify. This article provides a list of such app elements.

There are 6 important aspects of a mobile app testing checklist

  1. Cross-platform compatibility
  2. Security
  3. Customization
  4. Memory Consumption
  5. Interruptions
  6. Location and Language

Let’s understand each point of the mobile application testing checklist in detail –

1. Cross-platform compatibility: Every app needs to function flawlessly on all major platforms and devices. This refers to all major platforms running on all widely used mobile devices. The best way to accomplish this is to use real devices and browsers. All users will be running apps on real devices, so they need to be tested on the same.

Use a cloud-based service that provides real devices to test on. BrowserStack offers thousands of real devices and browsers for both manual and automated testing. It offers thousands of real Android and iOS devices for automated app testing. The mobile devices are also available for mobile app testing.

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2. Security: In a digital age, data is the most valuable commodity. Concerns about data security are foremost in every user’s mind when they download an app. Run every possible test to ensure that user data is protected from unauthorized access. Identify possible scenarios that may result in a data breach, and run extensive tests to fortify the app against them. Keep in mind that security assurance is a non-negotiable part of any mobile app QA checklist.

3. Customization: A successful app is versatile. Expect that users will be accessing any app from multiple mobile devices. So, every app should be able to run perfectly on each device.

For example, if the same app is opened via two devices with different screen sizes, it should be optimized to fit both screens perfectly. A big screen should not cause pixelation of graphics in the app, and a small screen should not lead to any cut-out images.

Again, this is where apps need to be tested on multiple real devices to ensure all features are working on all devices. Efficient functioning cannot be compromised, irrespective of the device.

4. Memory consumption: Every mobile app testing checklist must focus on an app’s memory consumption. While every user wants a greater number of useful features in every app they use, but keep in mind that implementing certain features results in greater memory consumption. For example, push notifications almost always increase memory usage in Android apps.

Remember that not every user is using the latest device or any device with good battery life. If an app consumes too much memory, users may delete it. Similarly, if an app drains the battery, users will uninstall it.

5. Interruptions: A set of questions an app developer should think about –

  • How does the app handle notifications from other apps on the device?
  • How does the app behave when it is interrupted by incoming calls?
  • Does it operate well under low battery, low network connectivity, a weak signal, and other non-optimal conditions?

Most apps can perform well in perfect conditions. The apps that provide a good user experience amidst interruptions are the ones that stand out. Every mobile application testing checklist must take this into account, without fail.

6. Location and Language: Most apps tend to customize their offering based on the user’s current location. This is especially true for apps with some kind of delivery mechanism (Amazon is a prime example). Each app must be tested to ensure that it interacts with the device’s GPS to pick up location and customize its offerings accordingly.

Similarly, any app that wants to become truly global must offer services in multiple languages. Testers must ensure that the app offers the exact high quality of user experience in every language. Users must be able to switch between languages with ease, and not face any issues while doing so.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that each of the points discussed above involves running multiple tests. And since every test corresponding to every point needs to be run on multiple devices and OSes, manual testing alone can be extremely taxing for testers.

By supplementing manual tests with automated tests, organizations can cut down on test times while boosting app quality. Automate the repetitive tests (regression tests, tests that execute the same processes with different input values, etc.), while manually testing features that require human judgment.

When designing tests for mobile apps, read each point detailed above and ask the questions that a user would be likely to ask when judging a new app.

  • Does the app work well if the device is locked?
  • Does the app resume operations when it comes back into active network connectivity from a non-connected area?
  • Does the work well if the device goes into sleeping mode and then resumes into active use?
  • How does the app behave to natural gestures like tap, zoom, scroll, etc.?

By asking these questions, testers can identify what functions to test and create test suites accordingly. This makes the entire process faster, easier and more organized from the beginning.

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