A massive elevation in the development of mobile applications that are products of mobile device lab setups can be seen in the statistics of the past decade. This change is due to increasing smartphone adoption, advancing technologies, the requirements of various applications for the ever-evolving app categories, innovation in the user experience, and more such commendable reasons. The need for an exhaustive testing process has also increased with the increasing number of mobile apps.
However, to mitigate the daunting effect of the testing techniques on manual testers and to level up the efficacy of the testing executions, organizations have started incorporating automation testing into their mobile device labs to test their mobile applications.
This article dives deep into the reasons and justifications for automated testing and how they will affect the users’ experience.
Need For Testing Mobile Applications
What is a mobile device lab?
A mobile device lab can be defined as a place that allows the tester to test their mobile applications on extensive user conditions. This allows the testers to test their applications against cross-platform mobile devices. Mobile device labs can also be called mobile testing labs.
Testing simply means checking the quality of a product when put into both expected and unexpected conditions. Mobile applications are put through a series of testing processes in a mobile device lab to determine their functionality, reliability, scalability, and security. It is important to have such an approach towards mobile app development to ensure the production of high-quality mobile apps only. Here are some major reasons behind testing mobile applications before launching them.
- Varied operating systems: Testing the compatibility of mobile applications on different Operating systems and varied versions leads to identifying any compatibility issues and helps in eradicating them.
- Network conditions: Mobile applications must work on different network conditions, like 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. Testing helps ensure that the app behaves well in all networking conditions and does not meet any discrepancies during intermittent connectivity.
- Resource utilization: Many resources, such as memory, processing power, and battery life, are limited on mobile devices. Testing ensures that the resources are divided and used properly.
- Functionality testing- This test is performed to understand the mobile application’s functionality and identify potential bugs and issues related to data processing. The identification of such defects helps in finding ways to rectify them.
- Global recognition- Exhaustive testing of mobile apps upgrades their performance, making them stand tall in the competitiveness in the market. In this case, many high-quality mobile apps are globally recognized and used, as they all provide users a smooth and bug-free experience.
Major Drawbacks Of Manual Testing Of Mobile Applications
- Recursiveness and repetitiveness of the test process can make testers get a sense of tediousness, eventually leading to a lack of attention toward work and making them more likely to cause major defects.
- Depression in the test coverage- In manual testing, testers may be missing out on some test case scenarios due to constraints like time and resources. As the complexity of the mobile application increases, testers tend to go with the testing that needs high priority. This may cause a decrease in the test coverage.
- Insufficient focus on real-world simulations- The most challenging task in manual testing is testing the applications against real-world scenarios. Testing must also be done to ensure that the application works well under different network configurations, multiple device configurations, varying operating systems, and multiple browsers.
- Cost inefficient– When the application becomes more complex, multiple tests are required, and the number of testers may also increase. The evolution of the application will also demand frequent testing and debugging. Over time, the initial cost can increase.
- Absence of continuous testing- Continuous testing is when software is put under continuous testing throughout the entire software development life cycle. Whereas, in continuous deployment, code updates for an application are automatically deployed into the production environment. Continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) are emerging as standardized concepts in recent software development. Sometimes, manual testers may not be able to keep up with the fast-paced releases of such concepts, which may cause ignorance of potential defects in the application.
Necessity For An Incorporation Of Automation In Mobile Device Labs
The impact created by automated mobile testing is huge and commendable, paving the way for a consistent and better user experience. Here are a few reasons why incorporating automation testing into mobile application testing is crucial.
Reliable user encounter:
- Automated mobile app testing provides developers with quick and efficient methods to test their applications across various hardware specifications, models, and devices. This allows one to estimate the app’s functionality. Automation tools also test the app’s layout and design elements to understand the app’s operability of the user interface on different screen sizes and resolutions. This prevents any issues regarding layout distortions and cut-off contents.
- The main challenge that manual testers face is the frequent updates and evolution of the application. Automation enables regression testing, which is done to ensure that no new updates or changes introduce bugs or disparities that may disrupt the user’s experience.
- Seamless cross-browser testing and tests to ensure the compatibility and sensitivity of the application to different global cultures and languages are all re-checked quickly and effectively through automation testing tools. This approach covers a large bandwidth of aspects, which establishes a great user experience.
Unaffected release cycles
- Automation testing is one such testing technique where the testing is faster and highly reliable. As a result, the user can test and profit from any updates or version releases made to the application. The test execution is accelerated to the next level by the automation testing tools, along with early detection of bugs that identify any highly probable future defects. The early detection of such bugs leads to early rectification and enhances the application development cycles.
- The agile development approaches that aid quicker testing cycles allow the development teams to come up with user-benefit changes more often. Agile development methodologies permit breaking a project into multiple phases and emphasize continuous development and improvement in those phases. Automation, legs-up agile approaches to meet the application’s dynamicity caused by the changes made to make the product more user-centric.
Early bug detection
- The automated tests are embedded into the development pipeline as a component of the continuous integration process. In case of any code commit or addition of a new feature, the automated tests run automatically, giving immediate feedback to the test engineers. In this manner, the early detection of bugs is super possible.
- Once the defect-causing changes are detected, they are isolated automatically. As the bugs are kept separately, it becomes easy for the developers to focus on those problematic codes, introspect through them, arrange a debugging process, and correct them in progressive developments. Thus, automation reduces the time taken to identify the very cause of the bugs.
- The results from the automated testing are incorporated into the communication and collaboration channels such that the identification of any fault will be alerted to the developmental team. This ensures a quicker resolution of issues.
- The very purpose of automated security testing is to acknowledge the code’s vulnerabilities and enhance the application’s configuration and infrastructure by stimulating it under different attack scenarios. Attacks like SQL injection, where malicious codes are used to manipulate the backend database and access the information to steal the organization’s data and client data, and cross-site scripting attacks, where malicious codes are injected on the website, are effectively prevented from the application by automation testing.
- The continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline can incorporate automated security testing, enabling regular and consistent security evaluations with every code update. This reassures that security checking is not a one-time event but an ongoing essential component.
Automation in the security testing technique ensures that all aspects are tested from the user interface to the server side, which mitigates the probability of potential security issues.
Improvement in resource optimization
- Automated tests can track and examine how much memory an application uses for various actions and situations. A proper examination of memory leaks, inefficient memory usage, and excessive memory usage is done, along with identifying ways to optimize memory utilization.
- The automation in mobile app testing helps understand an application’s impact on the device’s battery. This is done through automated simulation environments that resemble real-world user interactions and processes. Through this approach, developers can identify areas needing optimized battery consumption development.
- Numerous network situations, such as varying connection speeds and sporadic connections, can be simulated via automated tests so that the developers can build ways to maximize the application’s use of available network issues.
How To Include Automation In Mobile Device Labs?
Automation can be injected into mobile device labs through a sequential process.
- First, knowing the objective behind testing a mobile application is crucial to setting up the right environment for the mobile device labs.
- Next, define its scope. The next main thing to do is to select an appropriate automation testing tool.
- Popular tools for mobile application testing are Selenium, Appium, and Espresso. These tools are purchased by the authorities of mobile device labs to achieve the effective testing of their mobile application. After blocking the automation tool, start choosing the accurate and necessary test cases and setting up test environments. Integrate the tests with techniques like CI/CD, emulators, and simulators.
- Implement cross-browser and cross-device testing, monitor the results, and make careful changes.
- The test must be managed effectively to ensure it runs properly on different datasets. Frequent monitoring and analyzing test results to identify the reasons behind test results is highly appreciable.
- Keep updating your automation scripts parallel to the evolution of the application. This keeps the automated tests aligned with the application’s current state. Security and performance testing must be done often.
Integrating frameworks like Appium in mobile device labs elevates the production of excellent applications. Choosing the appropriate tool based on the objectives of the application and technology stack is crucial. One such tool that can be used is LambdaTest.
LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform to run manual and automated tests at scale. The platform allows you to perform real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices.
It provides a robust platform for comprehensive mobile app testing, offering a range of features tailored to address the unique challenges of testing mobile applications across diverse devices and environments. With LambdaTest, teams can seamlessly perform real-time and automated testing for mobile apps, ensuring optimal functionality, compatibility, and performance.
LambdaTest supports automated mobile app testing through integrations with popular testing frameworks like Appium. Teams can seamlessly execute test scripts on LambdaTest’s cloud infrastructure, which provides a scalable and parallel execution environment. The platform’s grid architecture enables simultaneous testing on multiple devices, reducing test execution time and enhancing efficiency. Automated mobile app testing on LambdaTest ensures thorough validation of app functionalities across different device configurations.
Automated mobile app testing has become a main component in contemporary mobile app development. It is meant to produce high-quality products with more than expected longevity. As the whole process is automated, it also saves the organization much time. This helps the company withstand the market’s competitiveness with their mobile applications in the long run and also meet user needs.