Mobile apps are becoming smarter over time! Present-day mobile applications offer powerful and trendy features and a rich UX to keep up with the rapidly rising user-expectations. With the increase in the complexity of features, there is more complication in the developmental eco-system thereby increasing the possibility of bugs in the software. Critical bugs like freezing issues, app crashes, unintuitive navigation, slow-loading, or privacy breaches may arise. So the users may abandon such an app and switch to another app, as there are several options available to users. Therefore, a mobile app development company must take preventive measures during various app developmental stages and conduct exhaustive testing to avoid any glitches in the app. However, testing mobile applications is more complex, expensive, lengthier, and challenging as compared to traditional web or desktop apps.
This article gives you a peek into the key challenges faced by mobile app developers while developing and testing applications along with some remedial measures to overcome these roadblocks.
The Key Mobile App Testing Challenges Encountered by Developers
Various Types of Mobile Apps
There are various types of mobile apps like native apps, hybrid apps, web apps, progressive web apps, etc. Despite having similar content, the functionalities and testing methodologies for each of these types could differ from the other. So testing these apps could be quite a bit challenging.
Fragmentation: Platforms, Devices, and OS
There are a huge number of platforms, mobile devices, and operating systems in the market. Since 2007, approximately 220million iOS devices and 500million Android devices have been shipped. Owing to this vast diversity, several compatibility issues may crop up in mobile apps that are running on different devices or platforms. So it becomes challenging to ensure that an app functions in the same way on another device or platform. Also, as compared to iOS, Android apps encounter more fragmentation issues since there are eleven different operating systems. Thus, it becomes a herculean task for a mobile app development company to offer a smooth UX across various OS, platforms, and devices.
Internationalizing the apps
A majority of mobile apps are designed for being used across international markets. So, localization testing is mandatory, including translation testing for which one must consider the targeted regional traits, time-zones, and preferences of users. However, altering the time while an app is running is quite challenging. Furthermore, implementing right-to-left languages is another challenge that puzzles developers.
A mobile app’s capabilities regarding online connectivity entirely depend on the services of the internet provider. The network’s strength determines the app’s performance and so variations in the connectivity hamper performance. Although the connection APIs on the mobile OS is designed to handle these challenges, the app may face varying issues when it functions in the real environment. Also, one must necessarily test bandwidth usage. Developers also need to ensure that apps function correctly in offline mode in case of network issues.
Mobile app screens being small, it becomes quite difficult for developers to offer a simple and clean interaction while providing all the necessary information. While designing/testing, developers need to take into consideration the usability-related factors like attractive interface, easily accessible content, intuitive elements, the capability of the images to adjust to different screen sizes, smooth navigation, etc. that are required to provide a rich user experience. Another challenging task is creating the size of the click areas correctly so that the link is clickable and ensuring that the texts can be read clearly without the need for lenses.
Privacy and security
Safety measures are to be adopted for protecting the privacy of users’ vital data. Apps tested on a secure private cloud will eliminate chances of data breaches, and detect security issues faster as compared to that on public clouds. It is advisable to resolve these issues during development rather than fixing them post-production to save time and money.
Multiple Testing Interfaces
Developers depend on testing tools like mobile emulators and simulators to test general features as well as to conduct Regression Testing. But, the environment in which testing is conducted is far from being real. However, these offer just a few advantages and cannot be considered as a substitute for real-world testing. For best results, usage of simulators and emulators alongside in-the-wild testing is recommended.
Listing Few Other Challenges!
• Testing the touch-screen phones can be intricate at times.
• Device-based testing requires testing laboratory set-up, purchase of real mobile devices, verifying device-based functions, many more QoS parameters, etc., making it a costly affair.
• Constantly changing environments in smartphones and the usage patterns can create challenges while testing the apps
• Usage of several mobile apps drains the battery of smartphones and affects battery life too. So, need to ensure that the power consumption of the apps is kept minimal.
• Keep the best developmental and testing practices in mind and pick the right testing tools.
• Test an app for offline performance, offline support abilities, low signal strength, and varying Wi-Fi speed during the developmental phase itself.