Why Test Your Web-Apps on Older Versions of Chrome?
Find out the value of using older versions of Chrome to test your app before putting it on the market.
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Internet usage has constantly exploded in the past decade and continues to grow every single day. Currently, global Internet traffic counts to a whopping 4.3 billion users. In the early days of the Internet, we hardly had a couple of browsers to choose from like Netscape (now known as Firefox), and Internet Explorer.
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The tremendous growth in Internet usage over the past couple of decades has introduced us to many new browsers like Chrome, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge. The browser landscape changed drastically for Internet Explorer as it lost its market share to competing browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
Currently, Google Chrome has a dominating market share of almost 70% for its desktop browsers worldwide. The constant competition among the browsers led to the release of new versions at regular intervals and also some new ones joined the race.
A Challenge for the Web-Developers
With new browsers making their presence in the industry (in early 2000), web developers started facing a challenge for their websites to be compatible with all the browsers. Every browser has several versions, and it's challenging for a website to be compatible with all the browser and their specific versions.
Here's where a need for cross-browser testing was realized. Cross-browser testing of a website enables a web developer to ensure that the website is compatible with multiple browsers and all the discrepancies are eliminated that may lead to bad user experience.
Developers these days make use of automated tools to ensure that their website is tested thoroughly for performing flawlessly across all the latest versions of popular browsers and devices; however, in some cases, teams might miss out on verifying whether the website is also tested for the legacy versions as well.
Why Is It Important to Test Your Web-Apps on Earlier Versions of Chrome?
Chrome is a market leader with a global market share of 64% (both desktops and mobile devices). Considering such a heavy user base, the users tend to have their presence on different versions of Chrome.
At any instance, the worldwide users use different older versions of Chrome, given they take time to upgrade to the latest version. For example, the users using Chrome version 71 in April 2019 was around 80%, however, after the release of Chrome 72, the percentage of users using Chrome 71 reduced to 16% as all the users did not upgrade to Chrome 72.
Also in some corporates, the employees are restricted from frequently upgrading the systems as the security policies don't permit them to do so. Such users continue using the earlier versions. Missing out on optimizations for such users may lead to loss of revenue. The same goes for some naive users who do not bother using the latest version of the browser.
Hence, testing your web-apps on older versions of the Chrome browser is equally important. Teams should analyze the market share statistics and accordingly test on Chrome versions in the top 10 list.
How to Perform Web-App Testing for Earlier Versions of Chrome
The advancements in the web development landscape have introduced us to many effective and reliable cross-browser testing tools like Browserstack, Browsershots, and Browserling. One can leverage any of these tools to test the legacy versions of Chrome. You can also choose the underlying operating system to test for your specific browser version.
For example, testing the Chrome version 44 on Windows 7. One just needs to have a clear checklist of earlier versions to test on along with the underlying OS platforms. You can refer to the snapshots below to get a better idea about the features of cross-browser testing tools like Browserstack and Browserling:
These tools also allow you to test on other browsers and their legacy version; however, considering the dominating global market share of Chrome, naturally, it becomes vital to test your web-apps for chrome on priority.
Top Tips for Better Cross-Browser Testing
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