While many developers create mobile apps as a hobby, businesses treat mobile apps as an absolutely vital aspect of their branding strategy. Who can blame companies for taking advantage of mobility and marketing trends? However, this puts a lot of pressure on mobile app developers and testers.
The problem is that mobile app development is not easy. It takes equal parts time, effort, devotion and dedication. It also requires coding skills and programming know-how, but that is a different conversation. Instead, let's talk about the difficulties that some teams might face when developing mobile apps. Yes, there are many complaints -- so, here are the three biggest mobile app development pain points:
1. Android Fragmentation and Too Many iOS Devices
It should come as no surprise to anyone in the mobile dev community that developers hate fragmentation, especially since native app experience has become the standard in the past few years.
According to DZone's 2015 Guide to Mobile Development, the two most-cited mobile development pain points aretesting on different hardware and screen sizes -- which 56% of the 500 surveyed software developers stated -- and building native apps for multiple platforms, as reported by 52% of respondents. In brief, the DZone survey revealed that a lack of access to the huge variety of mobile devices out there makes it difficult to perform mobile app testing. They resort to emulators, which DZone asserted were "unreliable and ineffective."
The solution to these issues seems quite clear: Mobile developers need cloud-based mobile app testing tools that allow them to actually test on hundreds of smartphone and tablets.
Aren't we all battling time? Well, mobile app developers are under an even bigger time crunch. They ensure that their mobile apps deliver continuous quality experiences to users, but often, by the time an app launches, the newest operating systems are already out.
As we indicated in our latest Mobile Test Coverage Index, Google Nexus devices are typically the first smartphones and tablets to run the latest version of Android, and otherwise, developers must wait up to eight months to get access to that new OS via other devices. The options are to wait eight months, test on a new Nexus device and hope it works on other brands, or launch broken on the latest OS.
Not with a cloud-based mobile app testing solution, however. Developers can gain access to new OSs before they launch - testing apps in OS dev beta versions - as well as run their app on the new Nexus device.
3. Balancing Performance
The most downloaded mobile apps have a common thread: They perform well all the time. But, of course, it's not easy to achieve optimal performance on every single mobile device without sacrificing some other app feature or design aspect.
Furthermore, according to DZone's report, 33% of mobile app developers have trouble maintaining high-performance when trying to convert desktop apps to mobile devices. Meanwhile, VenturePact explained that developers face hurdles when designing an app that performs well and without any bugs, but doesn't drain users' smartphone batteries.
"Too many images or visual effects, flooding the cache or using integrated sensors may disrupt the performance of [an] application on older versions [of devices]," the source noted.
In regard to performance and optimizing battery life, many mobile app developers turn to automated quality assurance testing. These cloud-based solutions allow teams to run tests overnight and without manual input, making it easier to push the limits of a mobile app.