The Automated testing of mobile applications is more important than ever, as expectations in quality and constant demand of release/update cycles is only increasing. A crucial part of this testing process is having the ability to perform your tests on a large mobile device matrix. Performing this will require remote access to a digital lab that can be integrated with any automation tools being used.
Android is the most-used mobile operating system in the world. Some reports have the numbers as high as 85.1% to Apple’s 14.9%. In the international market, this is an astoundingly large number of users.
As of April 2017, according to StatCounter, these numbers put Android even higher than Microsoft Windows as the leading operating system overall, not just for mobile. Much of this is driven by Android’s affordability, portability, and accessibility in emerging markets around the globe.
Android App Testing
With over two billion users worldwide, Android operates on more than 4,000 different device types from over 400 different manufacturers. Not all of these manufacturers and devices are using the same Android version, and many of them are customized and modified beyond recognition. While this is part of Android’s strength, it also makes it a fragmented operating system that can be quite difficult to perform compatibility tests on.
However, reports, like one from Microsoft engineer Dan Luu, have this device proliferation cooling off. The majority of Android devices in use today around the world are greater than two years old. Among them, though, there are roughly 8 major Android versions. This can cause compatibility issues for an app that was released for one version due to device and OS setup differences. If someone’s experience is poor due to their Android version, this can reflect poorly on the app.
This fragmentation is of course only one of many challenges in an increasingly competitive app marketplace. Not only do these many versions each require Android app testing, but updates and version cycling occur on a practically weekly basis, so tests need to stay current, too.Automated Android testing that is not scheduled and carried out on time will simply not do, and will also lead to poor performance for an app.
Despite these issues, there are still many ways that app developers and their QA teams can get ahead of all of these roadblocks.
Automate your Android App Testing to Achieve Success
The only way to ensure your Android app testing is carried out effectively and rigorously is to automate testing. This will ensure that all operating systems and device types can be tested with a minimal time involvement.
Whatever tools you use for your testing, they will need to give you and your team the ability to develop automated test suites that can test all app-related scenarios. Not only is manual testing not as viable an option as it once was, but even compatibility testing alone is not enough. Regression testing is now absolutely necessary, and use-case tests such as barcode/check scanning and Touch ID tests will also have to be developed.
Once all of these test suites have been developed, it then becomes important to be able to execute them not just on a single device, but on a whole matric of devices and OSes, allowing complete Android coverage to be achieved.
Not only that, but in order to keep up with the Android version cycling and updating, your test suites will need to run simultaneously and continuously, or they simply won’t get done fast enough. Using continuous integration makes this possible, and there are many tools which give QA teams the ability to do this and ensure their testing processes are ready 24/7.
Digital Lab Access is Critical
Using a digital lab allows testers, QA teams, and developers to remotely tap into a hub of real mobile devices, OSes, and browsers from anywhere. With instant access, they can define any number of different manufacturers, device types, OSes, browsers, and more that they want to test on. The hub can then be used for carrying out the execution of test suites for both web and mobile applications.
One such digital lab is the SeeTest digital lab by Experitest, which can serve as a total SaaS solution or can be deployed on site to serve as your remote test bank.
Building on-site is usually done by companies like banks and insurance companies who have highly secured environments. When necessary, Experitest’son-prem digital lab has developed manyultra-secure continuous testing labs on-site for these companies’ web and mobile applications within their local VPNs.
If extreme security is less of a necessity,application testing can be outsourced without the need to build and manage an on-site lab. Experitest’s Digital Lab is still a highly secure, ISO certified hub in its own right, and it can be accessed from anywhere. The devices in our lab are available 24/7 and access to them can be integrated into any modern testing and continuous integration software in use today.
Two popular open-source Android automation testing tools available today are Selenium and Appium. These, among many others, are easily integrated into theSeeTest Digital Device Lab by Experitest. This allows QA teams to continue using the tools they are familiar with while still being able to leverage the power and convenience of the Experitest Digital Device Lab. Run large test batches in parallel, execute your automation tests simultaneously through your existing software, and increase coverage while saving time.
When specific testing is required for things like new feature inclusion or updates, the See Test Digital Lab by Experitest allows for manual testing just as simply as it does automated testing. Simply log in and open up an individual device to begin your tests. Choose from among the more than 1,000 device, OS, and browser combinations, and if you find an error or bug, use the built-in debugging tools to debug on the fly right then and there.
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