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Challenges of Testing Mobile Applications

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Challenges of Testing Mobile Applications

Testing mobile apps can be even more complex than testing other applications. Read about overcoming common challenges of mobile app testing.

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When compared to desktop or web applications, mobile app testing is much more complex. The mobile app developers and application testers have to go through numerous challenges during the app testing process.

mobile app testing

Mobile applications have made an invincible space in the lives of humans and have evolved much faster than we expected. The increase in app usage, followed by rapid mobile app development, gave birth to a critical need for proper testing.

The reason behind this need is to deliver better user experience and app performance. However, there are certain challenges that an app tester needs to overcome in order to develop a competing mobile application.

But before that: we can’t simply get to something before knowing about the exact need for it. After all, time is the most valuable resource today. A report shares that 39% of mobile users are unhappy with the online experience they are getting. According to another report, 46% of these unsatisfied users never return after having a poor experience. 

The two reports undoubtedly share the need of improvement. If steps are taken on time, you have 4 out 5 people globally that will own a smartphone, to make them your app user by 2020.

I believe that the figures create an urge to learn why you need to improve the mobile app experience.

Major Challenges

Building User Experience

User experience is the key to a mobile application’s success. The process of app development requires different experts. This includes analysts, designers, and developers on top in the list. While each of them does their work exceptionally, it eventually lands on the tester to evaluate the mobile app. He needs to go thoroughly through each and every aspect.

However, the major challenge here is to understand the target users, market, and the competitors. Keeping these all together with the brand’s value, the app tester has to conduct the tests. Even the slightest mistake in this can result in poor user experience. This can be solved with the help of proper communication between the team and some extra research.


A mobile app tester needs to stay updated with the current and innovative testing approaches. This can start with the operation of mobile app and can include everything up to the data functionalities with the environment.

Let us understand that mobile functionalities can change according to contexts with different data, eventually inviting an entirely new scenario for the testing process.

Apart from this, the changing arena of smartphones further complicates the situation. The tester also needs to stay updated with this in order to mold the testing methodologies.


The most crucial part of mobile app testing is the test automation. While the market has a big list of tools available to serve this purpose, the tester needs to have an understanding of which tool can help him in executing the process.

automation mobile app testing

The decision is based on the operating system the application belongs to, followed by the fact that the tool is free or paid. Let us suppose that you aren’t finding an appropriate free tool for the tests you need to conduct, ask yourself if a paid tool is worth the money. These are some crucial challenges that an app tester has to face while testing the mobile application.

Device-Based Testing

Here you need a testing laboratory setup housing mobile devices. The app testers will then check the app’s performance on different devices.

device based mobile app testing

The process might prove to be costlier in comparison to emulation method, as it verifies device based functions and other important QoS parameters. However, for successful execution, this largely depends on the swift changes in the mobile devices and the platforms.

Once again, to cope with this, it is important for a tester to stay updated with the latest trends in the industry. Keeping them together, he needs to test the mobile application.

Network Compatibility

Network connectivity is something you can’t define based on presumptions. A user with 4G/3G connectivity might not necessarily always have sound connectivity. Also, there are good chances that your app users might be dependent on a 2G network.

The mobile app tester has to cross check that the application works smoothly on all the networks. To get this done, the tester has to ensure that he executes the tests on all the network types.

Testing mobile applications thoroughly is very important for the growth and success of any application. Even the slightest error can yield bitter results. The responsibility here falls on the client and the team involved in the development process. Transparent communication compiled with hard and smart work can definitely help in delivering better results.

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mobile ,app testing ,app development ,mobile apps

Published at DZone with permission of Ubaid Pisuwala, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.


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