A beginner’s guide to mobile app testing

Mobile technology and smartphones are gradually becoming a must-have trend now. Millions of people are dependent on their mobiles mostly they are on mobile apps for social networking and for other purposes. Eventually, it is giving rise to more and more new mobile apps. But to make a mark and rule the mobile world it is important to ensure the quality of the mobile apps before making them available to the customers. 

Hence, the need to test the mobile app thoroughly comes into place. It must be tested very well to make it free from issues and bugs. Performing mobile application testing ensures that the end-user is getting the application in the best possible quality and proper functioning.

Before we proceed, let’s have an idea of what we are going to learn in this article. This is basically a beginner guide to mobile application testing. We will Learn here what mobile testing is, why it is important, mobile application types, the challenges, and many more aspects related to this topic. Let’s first start with the introduction to mobile app testing.

Introduction to mobile app testing

In Mobile application testing apps created for mobile devices are tested in a mobile browser across a wide variety of potential scenarios for their functionality, usability, and consistency. It can be done both manually or with automation. This process of testing ensures higher-quality apps with the highest level of functionality. This testing is essential for the application’s survival in today’s market

Mobile application testing also focuses on testing various other aspects of the app including its stability, performance, security, etc. Android & iOS are the two most popular mobile Operating systems. There are millions of mobile applications that are designed for these platforms that need to be tested.

Why mobile application testing is important

Mobile app users won’t tolerate apps that are slow to load, often get frozen/crashed, or have a poor user experience. They may leave the app behind with bad reviews in the application store, which can be the beginning of the end of an application. An app with fewer or no issues keeps the user engaged, this provides a greater chance to succeed, which means more downloads, positive reviews, and more revenue.

Effective testing reduces defects and improves quality in mobile applications. Testing reduces project risk since developing an app is quite expensive and when it does not meet the users’ expectations, it can lead to great financial losses. Early detection of bugs is easier and cheaper to fix as compared to the cost of fixing it at the stage when users report it.

For this reason, mobile app tests should be well-designed to cover the app’s functionality and its ease of use and performance. The app must be able to respond smoothly because mobile app users can be very quick to delete applications that use unreasonable amounts of data or drain their device’s battery. 

Types of mobile apps

In mobile applications, there are a few basic differences that are important to understanding, as they play an important role in defining your testing process. There are 3 different types of mobile applications native, hybrid, and web. Let’s discuss each of them. 

Native Apps- Apps that are created for a particular platform or operating system are known as Native apps. They are platform-specific apps written in a specific language, they need to be downloaded before use. Native applications are more reliable, and in terms of performance and functionality, they run faster on devices as they focus on a single operating system, this makes them costly to maintain.

Some examples of native applications are Google Maps, LinkedIn, Twitter, Telegram, etc.

Web Apps-  Web apps are similar to native apps but the basic difference is that websites can be accessed on mobile devices by using different web browsers like Chrome, and Firefox. You can access these browsers by connecting them to a mobile network or wireless network like WiFi. You can use it without having to download anything, it is entirely dependent on the browser used on the device. Hence come with a low maintenance cost.

Hybrid apps- They have different combining features of both native apps and web apps. The hybrid apps run on devices or offline and are written using JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS. Just Like native apps, hybrid apps also need to be downloaded from an app store. .  Some examples of the most widely used hybrid apps are Facebook, Instagram, Uber, etc.

Techniques of mobile testing. Which is better?

Mobile app testing is all about raising the quality levels of the application. The manual method is the traditional one where testers used to run their test suites manually, but this way chances of human error were always there. Running the same test cases and test suites again and again on a daily basis leaves a chance to miss test cases, or may use the wrong test data, or forget crucial steps. 

Repetitive testing also leads to a longer release time. That is why many teams prefer to script test suites that can be run automatically, which is faster and more precise than manual testing. Test automated once can be performed again with each new version of an application, this lets the developers ensure that new code does not introduce regressions.

Though automation testing is important in speeding the testing process with high accuracy and reliability, by becoming more refined. However when it comes to functionality involving location services, push notifications, in-app browsers, in-app purchases, and first impressions, manual testing takes the lead and still has its essence and importance in releasing quality-based apps.

Automated testing is best used for regression testing, tasks that require repeated execution, and performance testing as the speed and performance of an application are tested against thousands of users simultaneously. Manual testing is the best used in performing exploratory testing, and usability testing, also  UI interactions cannot be tested with automation testing.

If you are looking for a place where you can manage both manuals as well as automated testing, then you can try the LambdaTest platform. It provides you a cloud of more than 3000 real devices, browsers, and operating systems that let you easily automate on desktop as well as mobile from the same place. 

This platform supports the automation of all kinds of mobile applications without any installation overhead. You just need to sign up and start with automation. LambdaTest also enables you to perform online real device testing across real Android and iOS devices.

You can write your automation test scripts in almost all major programming languages like Ruby, Python, Java, Pearl, C#, JavaScript, etc. It is a secure and reliable test solution that helps you to determine the speed and efficiency of your test execution so that you can meet all your testing needs and achieve the desired testing goals.

Challenges of Mobile Application Testing

Shown below are few of the major challenges of mobile app testing:

  • A mobile application can be used on a variety of browsers and devices with different screen sizes, carrier settings, and operating settings. This device fragmentation makes it challenging to take into account all of these while testing the app. This challenge can be overcome by testing on Simulators and Emulators or by using a cloud-based platform like LambdaTest.
  • Securing and protecting sensitive customer data is also very challenging. Any break in the app can leave the application vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Thus App security testing is a must to perform
  • The battery life of a mobile device is continuously getting improved over the past few years. As more and more complex and battery-consuming applications have been created, battery usage has also increased. Thus it is crucial to consider testing the battery consumption and its optimization so that the app can perform highly demanding tasks smoothly.
  • Testing the app to determine that the application’s performance is not compromised under high workload and stress is another challenge to address. By doing performance testing testers know that the app works fine in all circumstances and does not create any problems for the users.
  • Mobile devices with varied storage capacity make behavior testing of the application a challenge in low storage devices. so testing against small storage devices is a must to perform.
  • The app that has location-based dependencies, should be properly tested either by simulation or by physically testing from different locations. For this, utilizing offering crowd testing platforms like LambdaTest.will be best to choose.

Mobile Application TestingTypes 

Different apps require different kinds of testing. To provide users with a higher quality app, it is important for the testers to perform different types of testing thoroughly to find as many defects as possible in different environments and scenarios.

Below are some of the most common types of mobile testing.

Functional Testing- It evaluates whether the functions of an application are working correctly or not. This is to ensure the app’s functionality according to the need. It includes Sign Up / Login, menu option, text, buttons, error notification, etc.

Compatibility Testing- This testing is performed to check how the application behaves and works on different mobile devices and versions of the different operating systems. It is to ensure that the app looks good and runs smoothly on different resolutions and screen sizes.

Performance Testing- This Testing is done to ensure that the app behaves or performs as expected under different and specific workloads.

Usability Testing- This type of testing focuses on checking the user-friendliness of the application. It helps to identify bugs and improve user experience.

Security Testing- Security testing prioritizes the security of a user’s personal data and tests app behavior under various device permission requests.

Installation, download,  and Update Testing- This verifies that the user can download, install, uninstall, or update the app effortlessly without any interruption. And also ensures that updated apps are working smoothly.

Recovery testing- Recovery testing ensures that the application is able to withstand and successfully recover when any potential failures occur due to any software issues, hardware failures, or communication problems.

Apart from the above-mentioned types, there are many other types of testing a tester should perform such as:

  • Battery Usage Testing.
  • Exploratory Testing.
  • Hardware Specific Testing.
  • Standby Testing.
  • Beta Testing.
  • Local Storage Testing.
  • Storage Testing.

Important Tips for Effective Mobile Testing

Here are some of the best mobile testing practices to keep in mind while testing mobile applications:

  • Know your mobile app in and out and take into account the platforms (Android or iOS) of the device you are going to test on.
  • Emulators and simulators can save you, but don’t completely rely on them; use them whenever required. 
  • Test automation helps to increase efficiency and productivity, but doesn’t completely depend on them as some parts of the testing require manual efforts. have a balance between these two testing methods.
  • Split your app testing into smaller units, and distribute the testing efforts across to all the team members including developers.
  • Don’t forget to perform performance and load testing. And remember to put your effort into security testing also.
  • Try using cloud mobile testing.
  • Resolve each and every bug and issue by testing early and testing often.
  • Prolonged use of apps may suffer from memory leakage and increase cache volume so don’t forget to keep an eye on them.
  • Know the user interface/user experience (UI/UX) guidelines before starting the mobile app testing.
  • Test the app’s key features in realistic scenarios, whenever possible for better testing results. Try to use real devices.
  • Keep an eye on checking the proper functioning of updates and how the app is responding to external interruptions
  • Use a test automation tool that has the ability to provide you an ROI, don’t just pick any because of its popularity.


Hope the above information has given you a detailed overview of mobile application testing. We have learned that Successful mobile application testing is an important part of the application life-cycle ensuring efficient, soother, and enjoyable performance of the application.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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