There are lots of highly debatable issues in mobile testing. Which methods and technologies should you use? Which parts of code should you cover with tests? Which can you leave out? How can you choose the best mobile app testing tools? To all these questions, each quality assurance specialist has to find an answer, and that often becomes grounds for discussion.
However, there’s one thing nobody ever argues about: mobile app testing is a very important part of the development process.
In this article, we’ll present five reasons why mobile app testing is important so you’ll be able to explain to your client, boss, or whomever else why it takes up more than 20% of development time for a project.
1. To Make Sure the App Works As it’s Supposed To
This is probably the first reason that comes to mind. After all, this is the main goal of writing all those tests and spending hours checking if everything works properly.
Why is it so important that everything works properly? The main reason is of course the success of your application. A low-quality app can’t survive in an overcrowded market with billions of apps. Look at the statistics below – these are the numbers of apps available on different app markets.
The competition in the mobile app industry is huge, and only the best apps survive. Trust me – if your app’s worthwhile, the number of downloads won’t disappoint. Here’s a forecast that shows how many app downloads they expect by 2021 around the world.
While there are so many downloads, the number of uninstalls is also very high, however. According to Compuware, users don’t tolerate apps with poor performance. Compuware’s study shows that 79% of users will try to launch a poorly performing app once or twice before deleting it. Only 16% of people will give it more than two chances.
Testing is what helps you deliver a high-quality application with consistent design and functionality that works within a couple of seconds. (To check your app’s speed, you can use a mobile speed testing app.)
Of course, no app can be completely perfect, and every developer and QA engineer knows that. If no bugs appear after the release, it only means that no one is using the application. Bugs are indicators that help us make a product better, but their number and scale matter. Fixing all bugs after release is a bad idea. It won’t do any good to your company’s reputation. Releasing an application with a lot of bugs is a good way to associate your business with low-quality products. For startups the price will be even higher.
2. To Deliver a Product for Most Devices
What is one of the main reasons that apps don’t behave like they’re supposed to? The number of platforms and devices they have to support. This is why mobile app development is more difficult than desktop software one.
Supporting both Android and iOS has already become the standard for most mobile applications. QA engineers need to make sure an app works as a native part of each operating system.
But testing for two platforms isn’t enough. Just think about all the Android devices out there from different manufacturers: Samsung, Lenovo, HTC, Google Pixel, Sony… you name it!
But there’s more. All mobile device companies have their own versions of Android with slightly different guidelines. This makes testing even more important and even more difficult.
However, considering different manufacturers still isn’t everything. Each mobile device manufacturer has several lines of mobile devices, each with different technical specifications such as processing power, memory, and screen size. All of these aspects have to be taken into consideration for an app to perform well for its target audience.
3. To Maintain Documentation
Tests are actually a great help when it comes to documentation. Writing self-explanatory code that’s clear to you and other developers is worth striving for. And developers should certainly write comments for parts of code that are especially complex. Some people read those comments to understand the code, while others prefer to read the implementation and still others prefer to read tests.
Yes, they are a very useful tool to show the structure of an app’s features. What’s even more important is that tests are always up to date. Developers can have separate documentation for the project that’s neat and clear, but they don’t always like to update it and sometimes they completely forget to do so.
They can help with this because they show all the changes in the project, even those that might not appear in the documentation. This means that tests can help you maintain your documentation and keep it current.
4. To Save Development Time
It really does save development time. “Why, if you spend so much time on it?” your clients might ask. Clients aren’t always sure they want to allocate a significant part of their budget for quality assurance. But they probably have no idea how much time it can take to develop a product that’s not constantly being tested.
Of course, writing tests will take some time, especially in the beginning, but then it will become a useful habit. Testing mobile apps means detecting bugs on the spot and knowing exactly how to fix them.
Unit testing is especially good at finding bugs – it shows the particular part of the code where something went wrong so the developer can fix the mistake immediately. Usually, developers don’t like to write lots of custom tests because they feel they aren’t creating anything new. But finding bugs and trying to fix them will take much more time if you haven’t checked your application for quality all along.
If your project is big and complex, automated mobile app testing is a good solution. Though it costs a pretty penny to build automated tests, they help you achieve the highest quality code, so in the end the cost is worth it.
5. To Make the App Secure
Mobile app security testing is one of the most important parts of the whole development process, especially for a mobile commerce app. Your app can have the best design and performance, but it’s pointless if it is not secure.
Checking security prevents attacks on your application – imitating fraudulent behavior can give valuable information about potential security breaches.
Moreover, testing helps not only to make sure the application itself is secure but also to look at how it works with certificates, personal data, and storage. Hackers don’t need to hack your app if they’re after data. Hacking web services is enough.
6. To Predict User Behaviour
UI/UX developers and QA engineers sometimes can be a bit too optimistic about the user’s behavior. They see a perfectly designed system in front of them and think that users will gladly follow the logical patterns they’ve carefully designed for their convenience.
But that’s not always the case. If there’s a chance for users to do something wrong in an app, they almost certainly will.
Mobile app usability testing can sometimes reveal the craziest bugs. The hard part here is to decide whether they really need to be fixed.
These are six reasons why mobile app testing is very important. Whether you develop an app for a startup or for a big company, it has to be top-notch to stand out from the competition.