Mobile Test Automation Challenges and How to Avoid Them

Jun 13, 2022 | Uncategorized

Mobile test automation is crucial in creating a product that is up to standard. If you don’t go through a robust mobile app testing process, users will be able to tell — frustrating them and affecting their perception of your product. Users will quickly delete an application or a piece of software that freezes or has bugs. Testing your software before it gets to the stage where users need to point out the problem is crucial.

You should look out for common mobile testing challenges. This post will break them down and show you how to avoid them. 

5 Mobile Test Automation Challenges of Testing Teams 

You will face many challenges when you do mobile test automation. But there are five main challenges to keep in mind when testing. 

1. Mobile Application Types 

Mobile apps span a wide range of types. In addition, many of them use different coding languages which creates even more mobile testing challenges. 

  • Native apps are created with just one specific platform or operating system in mind, and they generally can’t work on others. 
  • Web apps, delivered using mobile web browser, can work on almost any device that supports that technology.
  • Hybrid apps can be downloaded, but they are a combination of both native and web apps. 

All apps come with their own specifications, and each type can create a different challenge for technical teams. When creating your own new software or app, you will have to decide which direction to go in. Where would you like it to work? 

Doing tests can be a challenge since there are so many different mobile application types. It can also be challenging to create a custom test that will work to determine exactly what problems arise. 

2. Different Operating Systems 

Two mobile device operating systems are primarily used: Google Android and Apple iOS. Some phones operate with Windows, but not many.

For the most part, Android is the market leader, but that creates even more challenges for software and application testing. 

Apple controls the version of iOS that is sold with new devices. But Android doesn’t have any control. Instead, they rely on users and vendors to update their Android versions. As a result, there are many different versions of Android that are in use.

Some of the many Android systems include:

  • Android 9
  • Android 10
  • Android 11
  • Android 12

Others run on even older versions of the operating system. 

With so many different operating systems, it can be difficult to test and ensure your application runs smoothly on them all.

3. Browser Versions

All of the many different versions of browsers can have the same challenges. There are many browsers that are used, and they all have continual updates. But of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone actually updates their browsers each time an update becomes available.

Some key features to your program can suddenly be cut out of the updated version, which can lead to your program not working on a new update.

At the same time, many people don’t even know that their browser automatically updates. They might not understand why your mobile application isn’t working, and they don’t realize that the problem actually lies at another point, instead of with your program. Those dangers need to be addressed while you are testing your software — the test needs to update at the same speed that the web browsers update. 

4. Poor Network Conditions 

A slow network connection can result in your product not working properly. And generally, users won’t blame their connection. Instead, they will blame the mobile application. 

Besides an app that takes longer to load when the connection is slower, the communication between the server and the mobile device is also affected when the network connection lags.

This connection is not something that you will ever be able to control — it depends on where your users are and the connections that they have available. The only thing you can control is the network connection that your mobile application needs to function.

Testing for Different Network Speeds and Connections

Mobile network bandwidth testing is a crucial part of your mobile test automation. You will need the tools to test it at different network speeds.

Not only do you need to test how your application will respond to different mobile networks and Wi-Fi speeds, but you also need to test how the application will respond if the connection is completely lost. For example, how does your application function when you go out of coverage area or if a user turns on airplane mode? 

These variations can be large, and testing all of them can be a massive challenge. 

5. Testing Tools Available

A multitude of variations of what you need to test exist — not to mention the available differences. It becomes difficult to know how to test for everything, especially with the vast number of mobile app testing challenges you can encounter.

However, testing tools can help you streamline your mobile testing processes. Two options are manual testing and automated testing.

Manual Testing for a Mobile Operating System

In a manual test on a physical device, you can recreate a user’s environment and the way they test the device. Manual testers may seem ideal for customization. However, with all of the variations you will need to test for — not to mention all of the devices you will need — it will take too long.

Test Automation for Mobile Devices

Automated mobile testing is faster. Plus, once a test is automated, it can be performed again with each new version of the application to ensure that the software stays of high quality. 

But knowing exactly what you need in all automation test cases can feel overwhelming, and you might need to create a specially designed test that will work with your program. You may want an innovative software testing solution that can ensure that all aspects of your software are properly tested. 

That is where partners like Ranorex come in. We know how to create tests that will make life easier for the testers and ensure that your application gets properly tested. 

How to Avoid Mobile Automation Testing Challenges 

Now that you know the challenges you could face during the testing phase, here’s a look at some of the solutions. 

Mobile App Emulators 

You can conduct conduct mobile test automation in a few ways to ensure that you handle some of the challenges even before they come up. Many testers are familiar with simulators that reproduce the software environment of the app. These are great to use in the preliminary testing stage or for sanity testing. 

Some companies, like Apple, will even provide a simulator as part of their developer packages. They are very useful tools to help streamline testing. 

But a mobile app emulator will take these tools even further. They completely reproduce the environment of the device down to the hardware. You can do everything with these mobile emulators that you would be able to do with the real device, like receiving calls and messages and using hardware sensor functions. It will give you a lot more freedom when it comes to testing. 

Testing your application on an emulator first will enable you to pick up on many different defects that you can fix. This ensures that you have a mobile app with at least basic functionality before going further with other tests. It will also cut down on your time and clear up many of the challenges you can face when testing on physical devices. 

Automation Tools for Mobile Testing 

Many different tools are available in your automated mobile testing journey. But to ensure that they meet these challenges before they even come up, you should consider the following:

  • Does the test evaluate automation processes? Does it provide automation coverage?
  • How robust is the test automation for mobile apps?
  • Can it test on multiple devices at the same time? 
  • Can it support emulators but also go on to support real devices? 
  • Does it offer reusable code modules and allow you to conduct data-driven testing? 
  • Does it offer support for the three major types of apps (native, web, and hybrid apps)? And can it work on the biggest platforms? 
  • Will the tool be able to run everywhere after it has been designed? Can it offer a unique configuration for each endpoint? 
  • Can it support hybrid and mobile app capabilities?
  • Does it support agile development?
  • Does it offer a wide range of object recognition, or will it only be able to recognize images? 

Ensuring that you have the best automation tools for your project can be the difference between success and failure. 

Types of Mobile Application Testing for Mobile Application Development

Different mobile application testing needs to be done: 

  • Functional testing ensures that the application does what it is supposed to do.
  • Non-Functional testing checks for other features, including operational testing, security testing, and performance testing. 
  • Regression testing ensures that the application does not fail on tests where it succeeded in the past. 

Redefine Your Mobile Testing Strategy with Automated Testing

Creating the best mobile automation testing strategy can feel overwhelming. But that is why it is so important to partner with someone who can make automated tests easy. 

Contact Ranorex today to ensure that you receive the best testing options available.

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