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Oleksandr Mazur, QA Automation Engineer & Mentor

Jul 15, 2023 11 min read

How To Test A Mobile Application?

Thousands of new mobile applications enter the market daily, offering users various functions and services. But before they get into the user's hands, it is necessary to ensure they work correctly. That is why the question "How to test a mobile application?" is crucial for business. This article covers the essential aspects, procedures, and best practices for mobile app testing that will help you provide their quality and reliability.

How To Test A Mobile Application

The importance of mobile application testing

Mobile application testing allows you to detect and correct errors and defects that may affect the operation of the application. It will guarantee that the program is reliable and effective before its release to the market. Mobile applications should be convenient and intuitive for users. Testing of mobile applications is also aimed at finding interface and usability issues that can negatively impact the user experience. Mobile applications must work on different devices and operating systems. 

For example, the buy button is placed above the area where the average user's finger can reach. Or a too-long payment or order chain. This will cause inconvenience in using the application and reduce the number of regular customers. Testing helps determine compatibility issues and ensure the application works correctly on different devices.

How to test a mobile application: types of mobile testing applications 

It is necessary to know the typification of mobile testing to understand the specifics of the work. The most popular are described below:

Functionality testing

Functionality testing includes checking the application's functions, such as registration, login, and database interaction. Ensuring that all functions work correctly and meet the specified requirements is essential.

User interface testing

Checking the aesthetic design of the user interface on a mobile device. This includes checking the placement of elements, colors, fonts, and other design aspects.

Usability testing

When testing the usability of mobile applications, it is worth considering that there is limited space available on phone screens, and some elements may be hidden. Therefore, it is crucial to check how convenient it is to use the buttons, whether the user flow is clear and easily accessible, and whether it is clear what to click on and for what.

Performance testing

Mobile phones have a limited amount of memory, and all apps must be optimized as much as possible for the device to work. All applications that will slow down the operation of the device as a whole will not be successful in the market. Performance testing includes checking the app's download speed, responsiveness, device resource usage, etc. 

Compatibility testing

Compatibility testing involves checking how the mobile application works on different devices and operating systems. The app should look and work equally well on all platforms.

Security testing

Identifying potential vulnerabilities and ensuring application security on mobile devices. This includes checking protection against hacking, data interception, unauthorized access to information, and other possible threats.

A qualitative analysis of all these points' benefits will help solve the question of how to test a mobile application.

What do you need to do before mobile application testing?

This article is the best guide for a testing team to answer the question: "How to test a mobile application?" For the mobile application testing process to go smoothly, the following steps should be followed:

01

Develop a test strategy: Create a general plan describing the approach to testing, including types of tests, the scope of testing, test environments, acceptance criteria, and other aspects. This document is not required but will be helpful at a company-wide level. Mainly if the company produces several products or the product is produced on different platforms. (for creating a successful test strategy, click here).

02

Prepare a test plan: The test design stage includes the creation of a detailed document describing the test scope, resources, test schedule, test scenarios, test data requirements, and expected results (test plan creation guide here).

03

Prepare test data: Ensure that the required test data (input data, test accounts, images, or other resources needed to run the tests) are available.

04

Verify the availability of required tools: Install and configure required tools such as automated testing frameworks, data collection, and error analysis tools.

05

Plan and coordinate communication: Establish communication mechanisms between testers, developers, and stakeholders for effective information sharing and problem-solving.

By following the above mobile application testing stages, you can save time and minimize the possibility of errors.

Planning test scenarios: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Understanding the application requirements

The first step in planning test scenarios is understanding the application requirements fully. It is essential to study its functionality, features, and target audience. 

Step 2: Determination of priorities

Some features may be more critical than others and require more intensive testing. It is crucial to determine which features are essential and most important to users and focus on testing them.

Step 3: Development of test scenarios for mobile application testing

Test scenarios should be straightforward, easy to understand, and cover the mobile application's functionality. They should be varied to cover different usage scenarios and possible errors. The test scenario must contain the following elements:

  • Introduction: A description of the test's general context and the scenario's purpose.
  • Initial state: Defines the initial conditions or data required to run the test.
  • Test steps: A sequence of actions a tester must perform to test specific functionality.
  • Expected result: A description of the program's expected response, behavior, or state after completing each step.
  • Input and output examples: Specify specific values that can be used during testing.
  • Completion: A description of the post-test actions or comments after completing the test scenario.

There are important points to keep in mind when planning test scenarios for mobile apps, as they can make the "How to test a mobile application?" question a lot easier. First, paying attention to the application's compatibility with different operating systems and devices is essential. It is also worth considering various network conditions, such as a slow connection or no network.

As you can see, the test scenario is a critical stage in mobile application testing.  Talk to our team for tips on mobile application testing and creating a test scenario.


Detection and management of errors

During the testing of a mobile app, errors must be detected and reported to the developers. Follow these steps to achieve effective error detection and handling:

Bug detection

When testing a software product, you should actively look for bugs, deviations from expected behavior, or malfunctioning functions. It is worth creating detailed error reports, recording and describing all detected problems as precisely as possible.

Classification and prioritization

After detecting errors, it is essential to classify them by type and severity. For example, you can use categories such as functional errors, interface problems, or performance problems.

Reporting and communication

It is important to thoroughly document the bugs you find and store them in a centralized bug management system, such as an issue tracking system. This will help maintain an organized bug database and make specific reporting of identified issues.

Bug tracking, resolution, and monitoring

After bugs are detected, the development team tracks and resolves the issue by investigating its cause and finding an appropriate solution. After the correction, it is essential to periodically retest to ensure that the problem has been solved and no new errors have appeared.

These steps help improve application quality and user satisfaction and contribute to a smooth testing process.

How to test mobile applications manually?

Manual testing for mobile apps is a process in which a tester manually checks various functions and operations of an application to detect defects. Manual testing for mobile applications is necessary to check usability. Mobile phones are much smaller, so all the elements are small. Therefore, it is necessary to check whether it is convenient to click (tap) on the elements with a finger, whether all the elements are visible on different screens, and whether it is clear to the user how to interact with the application because most of the elements are without captions, only with icons, or readable text, especially at different brightness.

Mobile applications have many particular ways of interaction: swipe, triple tap, and hold. It is also necessary to pay attention to the features of the device and how the cache is cleared, how the application interacts with others and how it reacts to calls, notifications, and low charge levels.

One of the advantages of manual testing is the detection of errors that may be missed during automated testing. The tester can detect and reproduce errors in real application conditions for further resolution. This allows for more accurate and complete testing of the application.

However, manual testing also has its drawbacks. The tester needs to spend time executing each test scenario manually. In addition, manual testing results can be subjective, as different testers can have different approaches and evaluations affecting the objectivity of error detection.

In conclusion, manual application testing has advantages, such as detecting errors in real-world usage conditions. However, its results can be subjective. An optimal approach to mobile application testing may involve manual and automated testing to achieve maximum quality and efficiency.

How to automate mobile application testing?

Mobile testing automation uses special software tools and scripts to automatically execute test scenarios and check a mobile application's functionality, stability, and interaction on different devices and platforms. Automated mobile testing allows for greater efficiency, speed, and accuracy of mobile application testing. It helps to detect errors, flaws, and incompatibilities of the software on different devices and versions of operating systems and also provides coverage of a broader range of test scenarios.

Automated testing has advantages that help increase the speed and accuracy of test execution. Tests run faster and with fewer errors thanks to test automation. In addition, automated tests allow testing on a large amount of data and functionality, providing deeper application coverage.

However, automated testing also has its drawbacks that should be considered. To perform this process, you must be familiar with programming and use special tools to write test scripts. Also, automated tests can be fragile because they rely on specific scenarios and inputs and don't always consider all possible application usage scenarios. Therefore, it is essential to maintain automated tests and update them when the application changes. You can read more about the features of mobile automation testing in our article.


The ideal solution for mobile applications can be a combination of manual and automated testing. Manual testing allows you to detect errors in actual conditions of use and provide a subjective assessment of the quality of the application. At the same time, automated testing helps to save time and effort and covers a greater scope of functionality. Combining these two approaches allows you to achieve higher quality and efficiency in mobile application testing.

Conclusion

Manual testing allows you to detect errors in real-life conditions of use, while automated testing ensures speed and accuracy. The optimal approach for testing mobile applications combines manual and automated testing. All this helps to improve the quality and efficiency of mobile application testing.

Luxe Quality provides a wide range of testing services, which includes mobile testing services. Additionally, you can familiarize yourself with the case studies of our clients, Hodlnaut and IntelyCare, who have already utilized Luxe Quality's services. These case studies provide insights into their experience collaborating with Luxe Quality and the results of testing their mobile applications.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mobile and web project testing?

Mobile testing differs from web testing in a list of features. In mobile testing, it is necessary to consider the specific features of platforms such as Android, iOS, phone design features, sensors, scanners, different screen resolutions, etc. In web testing, the main focus is usually on browsers and their compatibility with websites, whereas mobile applications may work offline and require special testing of network interactions. All of the above aspects significantly affect testing completely different ways of interacting with these applications.

Which factors should you consider while selecting a mobile automation tool?

When choosing an automation tool for mobile applications, consider the following factors: scripting language used by the tool, integration with popular test frameworks, compatibility with various mobile devices, operating systems, different models, and screen resolutions.

What criteria should be used to select automated mobile application testing tools?

When choosing automated testing tools for mobile applications, a list of things to consider is functionality, cross-platform compatibility, ease of use, cross-device testing support, and integration capabilities with other tools.

Should only real devices be used for testing or only emulators?

The best approach when testing is a combination of testing on real devices and emulators because testing on real devices allows you to test the application in real-world conditions. However, emulators can be helpful for quickly testing different device configurations.

How frequently should I test my mobile application?

Test during each development phase. After release, regularly test for updates, especially when new OS versions roll out or when critical bugs are reported.

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