Mobile app testing is different from web application testing. Mobile app users seek a lot more than just app’s functionality, like sleek design, simple user experience, and speed. Due to a highly competitive market, users can find a better alternative to an existing app if they are not satisfied with it. Mobile app testing plays a key role in building a quality app as per requirements. There are lots of areas testers and developers should keep in mind while testing.

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Here are 7 mistakes that every tester should avoid while testing mobile applications.

1. Testing without knowing the purpose and learning
The very first mistake testers tend to make is doing testing without knowing the principles of MVP, MVC, and MVVM patterns of mobile apps. For better testing, the QA team should work with developers at the project’s start and learn about the technology on which the mobile app is going to be built. You can’t learn if you don’t understand the purpose of an app. Hence, before you start testing, know the definition of your purpose.

This challenge should be considered first because without knowing the purpose, you may end up designing tests that don’t quite evaluate app’s requirements. Developers and testers need to establish business goals before starting the project, which will provide a clear idea about the development and testing processes and how to design them in the future. Also, this not only cuts down the time taken but also helps to reduce the efforts and achieve better test coverage.

2. Testing everything, without priorities
Many time testers have this approach where they test all the possible scenarios without prioritizing them. This practice often leads to delays in the testing process because there may be some scenarios that are similar. To streamline your testing process, you should prioritize the scenarios and tests according to requirements and their importance.

When it comes to regression testing, prioritizing test cases becomes very important. Regression testing is used to ensure that changes or additions to the program haven’t broken any existing functionality. So when you create your regression test suite, make sure you include all the test cases covering major functionalities of an application.

Generally, regression testing contains thousands of test cases and they take significant time to get exercise. What if you don’t have enough time to execute all the test cases to cover the maximum functionalities of an app? At this stage, you need to execute the test cases based on prioritization.

These types of test cases are very critical and they cover the major functionalities of the app. These test cases require the highest priority because they are linked to primary features of an app on which other functionalities are dependent. If any of the features stop working then this will block the further testing and issue has to get fixed on priority. For example, if an app fails to open on the mobile device, you cannot carry any further testing.

These test cases are related to those functionalities which communicate directly with users and failure of these functionalities may trigger users to uninstall an app. So these test cases need to be covered right after covering “blocker” test cases.

These test cases are linked to unique features of an app which differ from other competitors. Failure of these test cases does not affect the overall working of an app but a lack of unique features does not provide value to the users.

These test cases contain small UI changes and existing feature improvements. They will not affect the software usage and can be avoided if there is a tight deadline.

You can categorize your test cases by checking their impact on the functionality. Furthermore, the cost of fixing blocker and critical is high and that’s another reason to test them on priority. You can separate your test cases and prioritize by looking at software requirements specifications and functional requirements documents. Understanding them properly can make categorization easier.

3. Web testing versus mobile testing
In many organizations, the QA team works on both web and mobile applications. Besides some core concepts of testing, mobile app testing requires a different approach. One must understand that the mobile app is completely different from a web app. Mobile users are on the move rather than in front of a stationary computer with a fixed location. Furthermore, web applications are built for bigger screens, whereas mobile applications are optimized for smaller screens. There are other aspects you should consider if you’ve moved from web testing to mobile testing.

RAM and storage limitations
Most of the Mobile devices contain up to 4 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD. These limitations place severe constraints on RAM and storage capacity for testing operations.

Different interactions for different users
For desktop/laptop applications, input methods (keyboard, mouse) have been stabilized and still are a standard whether you browse any website or play a game. On the other hand, mobile apps can be operated with different touch actions like swiping, pulling, pinching, and so on. Also, there are voice assistants such as Siri and Google Now. Device-specific innovations such as hand gestures on some Samsung headsets, or the new iPhone audio set, add further complexities to mobile operations.

Distinct application types
Mobile applications are not straightforward. They can be hybrid, native or web apps.

It is important to test how the app responds when it is interrupted by push notifications, SMS or calls when the app is running. An app should not crash and regain its state after the interruption.

4. Insufficient device coverage
As the mobile market is highly fragmented, app testing for various hardware and software combinations is one of the top challenges. This often leads testers to miss out on lots of devices and also upcoming devices.

Despite having this challenge, It’s very important to test on various mobile devices to have a higher coverage of devices including iPhones, iPads, or Android devices. But, still, try to focus on the ones that are most typically used by your target audience.

To enhance your device testing coverage, you can use a cloud-based device testing platform, e.g. AWS Device Farm. These cloud-based platforms remove the pain of manual testing on a wide range of Android and iOS devices with different OS version. Using cloud-based device testing service, you can test any device and run manual and automated tests on your native, hybrid, and mobile web app.

5. Not giving priority to UI/UX testing at an early stage
One of the huge mistakes that could be made while testing is not considering usability testing earlier in the testing process. UI/UX provides the first look of an app to the users and hence it should be tested thoroughly. Therefore, usability testing should take its first steps at the stage of wireframing to check if all the elements take their places, communicate to users and give responses to users from the system.

You can use prototyping tools to simplify and speed up the process of testing the user interface. These tools enable developers to write code according to design. The main aim of prototypes is to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions way before they will be transferred to developers.

6. Missing network testing
Mobile apps that work in a client-server mode face connectivity challenges due to the exponential increase in data traffic, coupled with the unreliability of networks. Mobile apps are expected to function on various networks such as Wi-Fi, 4G network or snail-paced 2.5G connections.

To keep up with such challenges, testers should ensure that every single mobile application undergoes rigorous test scenarios that take into account the “variability” on a mobile network, besides the other important performance factors. But testing mobile apps on different types of networks is challenging if done manually because it is impossible to test an app’s behavior for all the networks by sitting at one place.

To address the above challenge, testers can use network emulators. Network emulators allow you to develop realistic scenarios, which are found in real networks. It includes creating situations with data loss, errors, jitter, high latency, and low bandwidth. All this can be done without the need to have any cables or devices whatsoever. Also, you can program the replicated network as per your requirements to test an application for those situations listed above.

7. Lack of security testing
Many times testers miss the security testing during the software development life cycle (SDLC). In the past, “Waterfall” methodologies were the most widely adopted where testing comes after the development of the software/module. As software development matured, most companies have adopted an agile methodology where testers needed to work in collaboration with developers in defined sprints.

Below are steps to implement security testing during SDLC:

Perform a risk assessment for the application components. The risk assessment is based on factors including whether the application is accessible via the Internet and the kind of data the application processes and stores.

Security requirements need to be determined at the beginning of a development cycle when functional requirements are being listed.

Threat modeling must be performed with architecture development and design progress. Threat modeling consists of four steps: identification, enumeration, prioritization, and initial handling of threats.

After the threat modeling phase, testers and developers need to refine a security architecture, which is basically a threat model factor. At this stage, secure coding rules need to be defined and security testing needs to be clarified.

To include security requirements into the development workflow, all the security requirements should be stored in the application life cycle management (ALM) system from where developers and testers can use it to ensure tight integration.

Now that you have read the seven common mobile app testing mistakes, you should check your testing activities if you miss something in your daily work. Maybe the overview will help you to enhance your mobile app testing process.