Often, organizations fail to give attention to mobile apps unlike desktop apps and web apps. Despite most of their customers being smartphone users who prefer using mobile applications frequently, many IT companies fail to focus on this.

A recent survey says that 90% of mobile time is spent on apps. Another interesting trivia about smartphones is that mobile apps are projected to generate 188.9 billion US dollars in revenues in 2020 , another recent survey says.

Therefore, many successful IT companies aim to build many smoother and scalable apps to meet customer requirements in the best possible way – mobile app testing. Testing a mobile application is equivalent to testing any other app or web in any device since the number of mobile app users is hiking day by day.

This is more relevant for retailers who have increasingly found their clientele switching to buying online. A retail application has to be tested end-to-end which includes back-end of the e-commerce application and Point of Sale (PoS) systems.

Challenges in Building an Efficient Mobile App 

To build high-quality mobile apps organizations should ensure many points like compatibility to multiple devices, different operating systems, and the various versions including main features scalability, load handling, and secured apps.

The front and back-end of these apps should also be structured in a way to provide a smooth buying experience for all the customers at the same time.

However, the above-mentioned features are not easy to achieve and are considered as few of the widely-faced challenges the QA teams face while building and testing mobile applications.

Here’s a list of challenges that hinder QA teams from delivering reliable mobile applications in the market within the given time. 

Device Compatibility 
There are about 236 popular brands like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. in the market with multiple models and variants. The apps QA teams build for these many devices that have different screen sizes, shapes, and hardware & software which means there need to write different codes and test each device separately.

Choosing The Right Testing Tool 
There are plenty of testing tools available in the software testing market and testers find it most difficult to choose the appropriate one. This is mainly because they fail to have a good testing strategy which will boost the entire testing process to a great extent and provide a promising result. Today, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities have made the testing process a lot smoother as it helps accelerate Test Automation and also helps find and repair defects quickly.

OS Compatibility
OS updates made by the manufacturers make the job more complicated for the QA teams. With each operating system, like Android and iOS, updated for every device by different brands in the market, QA teams should be equally agile to test software that supports both new and old versions.

Network Connections
There seem to be around 10.32 billion mobile connections worldwide and the smartphone users are given the luxury to shift from one service provider to another if not satisfied. In that case, app pages should be lighter so that it loads and works perfectly even with weak signal areas and while roaming.

Affordability of Physical Devices
The cost involved to procure multiple physical devices and managing them to test the applications is not very affordable. To test the application in several devices with multiple hardware models for both iOS and Android is very expensive.

Best Method to Overcome

To build sturdy and scalable apps, the QA teams in organizations should have a hyper-efficient testing strategy, framework, and best practices in place.

In a nutshell , an intelligent test automation strategy is mandatory to achieve the overall benefits of automation testing and business goals. A good testing strategy will guide the QA team with defined software testing approaches to carry out the testing process and gradually achieve business objectives. The benefits of having a sound test strategy in hand will help in drafting an effective roadmap, building efficient frameworks, choosing the right automation tools, and calculating the possible impact that automation could have on the delivery lifecycle.

Real-time Example

Here is the story of an organization that failed to have a testing strategy that led them to a delay in achieving their business outcomes and the impact of a test automation strategy reversed the situation. A mobile-commerce company designed exclusively for brands and retailers and their technology enhances consumer mobile apps, mobile web, and store associate apps. Once their customer base on both iOS and Android platforms increased drastically, the performance of the app deteriorated which eventually resulted in the high crash rates. Also, incomplete test coverage influenced the new customers, customer retention, and the number of orders placed in many of their apps. As an attempt to rectify the situation, the company started looking out for a quality assurance expert who could help them achieve extensive test coverage with the right testing strategy.

Best Practices Followed

In order to help the m-commerce company, a leading testing services provider collaborated with the customer by pitching in their automation expertise and offered their flagship framework for mobile automation as the quality assurance solution. During the transformation, the QA team suggested an incremental approach with multiple regression test cycles as the fail-proof method, where they installed a mobile automation framework and started the manual and automation testing procedures. They validated the entire functional testing in both iOS and Android platforms including the API/backend validation as well. As a result, the mobile automation framework could support both Android and iOS native apps. Performed end-to-end validations of all customer release with complete coverage and ensured all the new feature requests are taken care of. Sauce Labs, a cloud-server provider was leveraged throughout the test automation journey.

Identification – It is crucial to collaborate through regular meeting with the stakeholders to identify the regression suite with the priority of test cases

Mapping – It is always best to map all the test cases with any new change request for testing, then update the regression suite regularly, and maintain the requirement traceability intensely

Right tool – Making use of the right test automation tool/framework is the key to develop error-free apps/sites. Therefore, the QA team installed a sound mobile automation framework and initiated the manual and automation testing procedures

Validation – Ensuring the complete functional testing performance in both iOS and Android platforms, devices that included the API/backend validation is pivotal. The mobile automation framework supported both Android and iOS native apps and they executed end-to-end validations of all the product releases with complete test coverage and ensured all the new feature requests are fulfilled

The end result was that the customer managed to achieve reusable components with almost 50% of coverage in automation that helped them to increase their operational efficiency and ROI.

Hyper-Testing – The Quintessence

Here is one such testing strategy/approach that can be implemented to any kind of application or site, device, OS versions, and platforms – Hyper-Testing. Induced by the advanced AI/ML components, Hyper-Testing aims to test all the layers of the application by improving the collaboration between both the development and testing teams and delivering high-quality products in the market within shorter timelines. Hyper-Testing is augmented by DCqaf (Digital Commerce quality automation framework) a flexible, secure, and versatile test automation framework. DCqaf aims to amplify efficiency, collaboration, and resource utilization to the project teams with the best cost-efficient way possible. This combination of Hyper-Testing and DCqaf helps QA teams to overcome all the older methods of software testing and provide the best customer experience and satisfaction.

The unique features of DCqaf are as follows: 

  • AI/ML capabilities help find and repair defects in record time and also acts as a Test Automation accelerator
  • Handles 60% of automation tasks (both E-Commerce and POS testing)
  • Automates testing of E-Commerce, M-Commerce, POS, and API-enabled applications 
  • In-built arsenal of powerful automation tools like Jenkins, TestComplete, TestLink, etc
  • Reduces time to market
  • Integrates multiple platforms
  • Downsizes testing costs
  • Upgrades reusability
  • Allows integration with third-party tools 

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