Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Android App Testing Overview

Android App Testing Overview 


The Android phones, which, let's face it, consist of an ever-growing number of phones, is emerging as a serious contender in the fight to secure domination in the mobile market. Coming into the fight late is always an uphill struggle, and so once the hardware is good, the user (and customer) will be paying close attention to the Apps. This article answers some questions relating to mobile App testing and also offers some guidance as to how an Android App can be tested.

Before an App is released, the developer needs to ensure their App is as defect-free as possible. As a professional Android App Tester, there are so many defects found that could have easily been detected if the App was tested prior to rushing it out for release. Although, an Android App can be relatively updated and re-released fairly quickly. The impact of a user leaving negative comments against an App can determine whether or not an App is successful or not, its as simple as that. So the first rule of App testing, is to test early and also get the App tested just prior to release, preferably by a professional App tester.

By searching on Google, you will see several companies offering very cheap Android App testing, but this typically performed on simulators, and not real devices. These simulators are nothing more than a web browser created to be the same size an Android phone screen. While this may seem a good test of your Android App. A simulator cannot check memory usage, CPU usage, battery usage, network disconnects or signal strength. There are even companies out there stating that you can test on a real device via the web. Well, it doesn't take a genius to work out that this is effectively just another simulator. If you are viewing your App through a web interface, then this is not the same as testing of a real device, far from it. In my experience, I have seen so many Apps that crash, and this will not be detected by a simulator. When choosing an Android App testing company, check that real devices are used, after all that's what your customer will use, and so it is perfectly logical to ensure your App works correctly on one.

An important and overlooked area of an App, is its usability. While every thing may function perfectly, the users experience must be a consideration. If its awkward to use, or the navigation and workflow is not right, then a user will probably drop the App and go for a competitors App instead. Usability testing is a common form of software testing and a good Android App testing company should be able to offer this service. Usability testing often includes creating typical user scenarios and playing them out while testing an App. For example, a malicious-type user can be used to attempt to break an App by performing unexpected/extreme functions.

The type of information you get back from a professional App tester, must make sense to you. It should not just be a list of bugs found. Check that replication steps and ideally screenshots are provided for any bugs found in your App. If a test report is provided that can highlight your Apps strengths and weaknesses, then that is highly recommended.

Your probably in a rush to get your App out of the door and earning money. So you will want to ensure your App tester can test your App and get it back to you in a timely manner. You should be able to ask any Android App testing company for this kind of information in advance. Lastly, the cost of App testing. You can't put a price on quality right?....well, that's kind of true, but try and avoid App testing companies that don't display their prices. This usually means that they want to squeeze as much money out of you and push you to accept more testing than you actually want, or need. A good testing company will offer Android App testing services as testing packages that list the tests that will be performed. This way, you know exactly what testing you will get along with the total cost.

Author: James S Clark
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