Why Mobile Test Automation?
Opportunity screams once you realize that the majority of the time an average user spends online is via a mobile device, and 85% of users prefer doing it with a mobile application rather than a mobile website.
As the smartphone eventually becomes the most ubiquitous digital interface ever, your mobile application becomes the key to the future growth of your business.
When the question, “How do I maintain the best mobile application on the market?” is raised, inevitably “mobile application test automation” will be the leading solution.
What is Mobile Application Test Automation?
Manual testing is the act of determining whether or not a function is operating correctly and smoothly by using the function on the mobile phone itself. A mobile tester takes out a phone, personally installs the app, uses it until he reaches the function, then uses the function to see if it is working, and working quickly.
If any changes are made to the function by the developer, the mobile tester has to go back to the app, and manually execute the same exact procedure of steps to re-confirm that the developer’s changes have not prevented the specific function from working.
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Test Automation comes in when a mobile tester is able to program a test script that performs the same set of sequences, but automatically. A top quality mobile test automation tool can even reduce or eliminate the need for coding by recording the set of steps and generating the code on its own. When the function needs to be tested, instead of manually going over the steps in the app to get to the function, the tester simply runs the script and the computer will go through the steps automatically.
Over the last century we have certainly come a long way in optimizing automation:
27 Mobile Application Test Automation Benefits
1. Increase Your Test Coverage.
Mobile application test automation increases your test coverage. With 20,000 types of mobile devices, 4 mobile operating systems, and over 400 local networks worldwide, a mobile application needs to be tested over as much of a 30 million large universe of possible scenarios the app can be used on. Include different versions of each operating system, some older ones are more popular than the current updates, and we’re in the 9 figures!
It could take 50 years to test manually test some mobile applications.
With test automation, you can cover the same amount of combinations in far less time, or you can cover a lot more in the same amount of time.
2. More Testing Means fewer Bugs at the Point of Deployment
The typical mobile application is deployed with up to a dozen bugs. If just one of them is found by the user, it could inflict severe damage to your business’ reputation. On social media, we complain an astonishing 879 million times about brands each year.
That’s enough to make sure the average user is complaining about your mobile competition, and not your mobile application. The best test automation tools cover such a wide mobile test coverage, the maximum amount of possible problems are caught and fixed so that the minimum amount of bugs sneak through.
Test automation enables you to test for updates to your mobile application with the same diligence as you would the application itself, making sure no new bugs are developed with the new features.
3. Code Less, Test More
The best mobile test automation tools reduce, even eliminate the need for coding. Take Experitest’s SeeTestAutomation.
There is a recorder that generates scripts for you. Simply open the mobile application and perform all of the steps you would manually, but just once. The recorder will generate code for every step you take, then compile it into a test script for you to use as much as you need.
SeeTestAutomation will even go the extra step of translating the generated code into any ALM environment you need. That way, you can do your mobile testing across all coding environments: UFT, Visual Studio, C sharp, C+, C++, Java, Python, Pearl, Ruby, RFT.
You have the flexibility to further automate the script itself by adding if/then statements, loops, breaks, running in debug mode, and anything else you would expect from a fully functional programming language.
4. Perform Parallel Testing and Watch Your Productivity Soar
What’s the greatest limit to manual testing? You only have one set of hands. With mobile test automation, you can test as many times as you like all at once. Along with running test scripts over the device in your hand, you can run the same scripts simultaneously over all the devices plugged into your computer.
If you have set up an on-premise mobile device lab in your business, or you are using one operated by a system integrator, you can test on 10, 50, 100 devices all at the same time.
You can test over different mobile operating systems and versions, various mobile devices, and by using a tool like SeeTestNetworkVirtualization (https://experitest.com/network-virtualization/), you can emulate any of the 400 local networks worldwide to test the performance of your mobile application.
5. Test Automation Scripts Reduce the Regression Testing Monster to a Teddy Bear
Mobile applications are in a constant state of flux. One day one of the mobile operating systems the app runs on had a new update and the application needs to be changed. The next day another mobile operating system has its own OS update and the app needs to change again. Add in new enhancements for this mobile device and that, and the functions that make up the mobile app need to change all the time.
Quite often a developer will create programming logic that will apply to functions that seem completely separate to the user, but on the backend, they are closely related. If you change a few lines of code for one function, it will disrupt the logic and the other function may not work.
Enter regression testing.
Regression testing is the practice of testing every function of a mobile application every time something is changed in the app. The benefit of this type of mobile testing is that you get a stable app. The challenge is that it is repetitive, tedious, and there is a massive amount of work that needs to be covered – often in a short period of time.
Mobile test automation is perfect for regression testing in that you are usually performing the exact same tests for all the “untouched” functions with every new update.
6. One of the Great Advantages to Test Automation is Greater Accuracy in Mobile Testing.
One of the best benefits of test automation is that when you record a test, you can just call it up the next time you need to use it. With manual testing, you need to perform the same step by step set of actions and hope that you didn’t change a step or forget one.
With test automation, this doesn’t happen. The tests are in the form of scripts and the only step you need to perform is to call the script, which will run the same set of steps every time. This guarantees consistency of testing so if there is something wrong, you have less a chance that it is due to human error.
7. By Reusing Test Scripts, every Testing Project Gets a Head Start.
With manual testing, you always have to start from scratch. Using test automation you get a big head start. Making use of pre-made test scripts allows you to apply ready-made solutions to many of your mobile testing requirements.
You can reuse the scripts you develop in other projects, eliminating the need to start new projects from scratch. In regression testing where 90% of the functions that need to be tested didn’t really change at all, automation testing can start you off on your next project closer to the finish line than the starting gate.
8. You can Quickly Identify When Your Mobile Testing Process has to Change
When you use the same tests over and over again, you should expect the same results. But what happens when something on your mobile application changes so drastically that the test itself becomes obsolete? The test should fail.
If a test that passed 100 times in the past suddenly fails you know that you may need to redo the script to include a function or feature that was just added to the app. Mobile test automation will get you to draw that conclusion a lot quicker.
9. You can Identify Problems Faster
What happens when you test, and the test fails, but the test script is in perfect working order? In this situation, you have a bug. Mobile test automation lets you find these bugs faster, giving the development team time to work on it and fix the problem. The endgame of this is a bullet proof mobile application deployed to market a lot sooner.
10. You can Shift Left
Shift left means to perform your mobile testing earlier in the DevOps process. Using test automation you can test pieces of code, even stand-alone functions. In doing so you are testing before an application is typically “ready” to be tested. You can test in the planning phase, the development phase, and by the time the mobile application is put together, you will have a minimal amount of work left to complete the task.
11. Always be Testing
What happens when you cover all the important functions of your mobile application, but you just didn’t have time to test the smaller functions on the periphery of your mobile app? Quite often a DevOps executive has to make the difficult call of choosing to deploy faster over the option to test better. A lot of mobile applications go to market tested poorly simply because the main decision maker wants his mobile app to be first.
An essential element of a Mobile test automation strategy is to keep on testing. Just because your mobile application has been deployed to market doesn’t mean you have to stop testing. A comprehensive mobile test automation plan lets you keep testing the app even as it’s on the market, allowing your team to discretely fix any problems that no users have discovered or publicly complained about.
12. Test Automation Enables Agile Development
Agile is all about several phases of the development process taking place simultaneously. To do that you need a fast mobile application testing process that can ensure every step in the process is keeping up with all the other steps. You need multiple testers, or you need one tester who can run on multiple projects at once. Manual testing limits the tester to as many hands as his team has available. Mobile Test Automation lets you use devices on a far greater scale, enabling every team within the project to move forward to collective completion.
13. Faster Mobile Testing Let’s You Update Your Mobile Applications More Frequently
Having the cutting edge app in your market is the name of the game. In some industries, the highest driver of growth in sales and income is mobility. In other industries, the highest generator of sales and income is mobility. Your mobile application has become the new storefront. A quality mobile test automation strategy makes your digital storefront look ahead of the times. If it takes too long to update your mobile app, and too many changes happen on devices and operating systems, then your app looks like a dinosaur.
Let that happen to the competition!
14. Developer Turnover is Less of a Problem
What happens when your mobile application developer of 5 years suddenly decides to become a fitness instructor? His replacement will not know the specific logic behind the code in your application, and when it comes time to improve one feature, a handful of other features can be disabled simply because the new developer didn’t understand the specific nuances of the coding of his predecessor?
One of the mobile test automation benefits is that you can perform regression testing often, and fast – thereby detecting these problems quickly. As mobility grows in demand, mobile developers to make more. There will be a lot of turnover as experienced developers grow in demand. Test automation keeps whoever is currently working on your apps in the know about the tiniest details of how they were designed.
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