Mobile Phone Testing: iPhone vs Android Testing
The fasting growing area within software testing is the mobile app domain. Applications developed for mobile platforms such as Apple's marketing leading iPhone and also the less popular Android platform are being tested using the same methodology that was used earlier for desktop and web based applications.
There are companies which spend tens of thousands of dollars for mobile app testing projects. This is not only due to the fact that the mobile domain is ever increasing and so companies are feeling the need to contribute, but also due to the sensitivity of data which is a critical factor in the success of any mobile app. People whose data gets stolen or robbed from mobile applications are very unlikely to give it another try, as the data can pertain to personal information with respect to the customer.
For iPhone and iPad applications, we find that the audience tends to be in the young 20s or early 30s. As iPhone applications are primarily related to multimedia, we expect that the graphics will be given a severe and thorough testing. The user in these kinds of applications is generally concerned with what he/she experiences on the screen, with respect to 'viewing pleasure'.
For android applications there is a certain level of 'maturity' or advancement which is also related to the category of audience which uses it. Android apps are commonly used by people who belong to the executive category, and so the applications tend to be more towards the business side of things. For example; business evaluation applications or CRM (customer relationship management), we find that even though they are available on almost all the platforms, they are most commonly used in the android applications. Also, since android apps have more stability to them (no disrespect to iPhone apps), the business people tend to be more comfortable using it. Also since android is open source it makes it that much easier and compatible to be employed for business purposes. Also, we find that the bulk of android applications, users will typically use them as they are easily transferred to other devices, its blue tooth compatibility is also a plus.
An interesting point to be noted, is that even though the platforms might be vastly different, for example the iPhone and Android platforms; the testing theory still remains the same. The overall picture is still the same, even though the domain has changed. The application flow has to be understood, the business requirements reviewed and the happy scenarios executed for the application, be it mobile domain or web domain or any other domain for that matter. There could be arguments that iPhone app testing is easier or iPad app testing is harder, or for that matter, Android app testing is easier but essentially they are different facets of the same domain. If we can understand and develop skills in web based testing it will also work in mobile apps testing.
Author: James S Clark