According to Statista, by the end of 2021, the number of smartphone users in the world exceeded 6 billion people. And the number of mobile app downloads in 2021 was 230 billion. They are used for various purposes – for work and solving financial issues, calling transport, delivering food, and so on. But the most popular are programs for communications – chats and social networks.
For apps to perform their functions properly and be reliable assistants in all of the above issues, they must be tested thoroughly before entering the market. In this article, we will discuss what makes automated testing of mobile apps unique, what tools are used for it most often, and how to choose the best mobile automation framework.
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Key Features of Mobile App Automation Testing
Mobile app testing is a specific area that requires a unique working methodology from QA engineers. This is due to some features that are not typical for testing, e.g., desktop applications.
Specificity of software testing for portable gadgets:
Device dependency. Mobile programs and their bugs depend not only on the OS but also on the type of device (smartphone, tablet, smartwatch), screen characteristics (resolution, size), firmware version, and model. For quality work of the program on any version of the device, it is necessary to test it on each of them even before the release.
Advantages of simple tests. To get a clear picture of how a mobile program works, it is better to create a large number of simple tests instead of several large ones. This is due to the lack of cumbersome, overloaded functionality in programs for mobile gadgets. Also, such tests are more amenable to change.
Attention to detail. Apps for smartphones, tablets, and other devices often perform functions related to using a Bluetooth connection (fitness trackers) and wireless technology (financial transactions). All this must be thoroughly tested.
Various working conditions. The use of mobile devices is associated with periodic problems. So, you will have to test the operation of gadgets in conditions of low battery power, a weak communication signal, and functioning at the time of incoming calls/messages. In addition, if a PC is constantly in one place, mobile devices are always moving; this will also have to be considered when conducting tests in motion in different parts of the settlement.
Today, all popular mobile software testing environments are created with these features in mind. Let’s take a look at 10 of the most widely used ones.
TOP Ten Mobile Automation Testing Tools
Automated testing tools are the choice of those QA specialists who, in their work, rely on speeding up tests and minimizing the impact of the human factor on them. Today, the market offers both free solutions and options with paid functionality.
This open-source framework will suit you regardless of your mobile software testing skills. Its advantages:
UI testing can be run on real devices.
Local and cloud testing is supported.
Works with all major mobile app development frameworks, including React Native, Flutter, SwiftUI, and Xamarin.
Parallel testing is available on several gadgets and operating systems; this is very important since end-users use different devices.
It has broad integration capabilities with Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery tools, bug tracking tools, and test management systems.
In addition to the test scripts available in the tools, a QA engineer can turn to VBScript, Python, and others.
Interested in real-time software testing for tablets, phones, and even smartwatches? Pay attention to the Test IO tool. It guarantees:
Support for a wide range of devices; you can select the one you need by its type, manufacturer, OS, and web browser.
Checking the quality of the delivered software at any stage – from prototype development to User Acceptance Testing.
Integration with AT management and bug tracking tools without writing code.
High speed of testing.
It is recognized as the most widely used by experienced testers because it can be used to automate the execution of functional tests. It also provides:
Free to use, thanks to open source.
Native software testing without installing the software development kit and other modifications.
Wide range of available methods, frameworks, and testing tools.
Ability to use software development tools, languages, and client libraries preferred by a particular tester.
Selenium Webdriver JSON protocol availability.
Support for cross-platform testing – works with Android and iOs.
Compared to the previous ones, this tool has somewhat more limited features. Thus, it only works with Android. Other features of the test environment:
Supports both native and hybrid apps.
It is used for “black box” testing when knowledge about the internal structure of the software is excluded.
Supports simultaneous processing of multiple OS actions.
Continuous integration is available with support for Ant, Maven, and Gradle development tools.
Test cases are tied to the UI, which ensures their high reliability.
The full name of this tool, Xamarin.UITest, speaks for itself. It is intended for UI acceptance testing in iOS and Android apps. Although closely associated with the Xamarin.iOS, and Xamarin.Android software development platforms, this framework is also suitable for testing other apps. Its characteristics:
Allows you to perform unit testing.
Supports cross-platform testing and tests of native programs.
Test cases are written in C#.
Has extensive integration capabilities with Microsoft Visual Studio products.
If the specifics of your work are testing native apps for Android, feel free to turn to Espresso. Its characteristic features:
Used for UI testing.
Test scripts are created in Kotlin and Java.
Has a convenient API that lends itself to simple modeling.
Espresso testing can be done on both real gadgets and emulators.
Ability to record and generate test cases instead of writing them.
Supports black box and component testing during development.
This is a kind of antipode of the previous tool – it only works with programs for iOs. Other features of use:
Tight integration with the Xcode IDE software development environment.
Ability to record the interaction of test scripts with the device and create test cases based on these records.
Supports UI testing in Objective C and Swift.
Has an intuitive control system and high test execution speed.
Despite the support of a limited number of programming languages and the lack of cross-platform, this framework is optimal for testing iOs devices, as it was created for perfect integration with their environment.
Ranorex Studio (Codeless)
This tool is an ideal solution for those new to mobile app automation testing. Features provided by the framework:
Testing on real devices and emulators.
Cross-platform and cross-browser testing.
Creation of reliable test scripts by recording or coding – the tester’s choice.
End-to-end testing without having to switch context for the script.
Integration of tests into the Continuous Integration environment.
Reuse tests for devices with different specifications (size, display resolution).
Quick start testing without complex modifications.
Providing quality feedback – detailed testing reporting in XML format.
Choose Monkey Talk if your goal is to test mashups and web apps. With this framework, you have access to:
Regression and functional testing.
Implementation of tests of native and hybrid products.
Use on real devices and emulators.
Universal code that can be used on both iOS and Android.
Record, playback, and test management.
Working with three components: IDE, agents, and scripts.
Do you want to try out the latest cloud technology for mobile automation testing for free? It is possible with the Kobiton tool. What the creators of the framework promise to their users:
Tenfold acceleration of the testing process.
Implementation of cloud testing on real devices.
Scriptless technology for increased test coverage.
UI/UX testing without the need for coding.
Functional and performance testing.
Continuous testing with automated test scripts.
Wide integration possibilities with CI/CD system.
According to statistics, 71% of installed mobile apps are removed in the first 3 months of use. Among the top reasons for deletion are errors in the program. The listed mobile testing frameworks will allow developers to improve the quality of the software without lengthening the testing life cycle.
How to Choose Mobile App Testing Tools?
It is impossible to say that any of the above mobile testing frameworks is better or worse – the choice of one of them must be strictly individual and based on the requirements of a particular project.
Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
Make a list of tests to automate.
From the entire list of available frameworks, select those that meet the project’s requirements.
Don’t stop at one tool at once – do a trial test with two suitable ones.
After trial testing, determine the tool that showed optimal results.
Discuss your choice with the team, and justify your preferences.
Using mobile apps helps to strengthen the brand, improve customer communication and increase profits. But we are talking only about high-quality programs that work without errors and failures. To achieve this, ensure that such software is properly tested. QA engineers increasingly prefer its automation, achieving high-speed processes without compromising their quality. For detailed consultation and testing of mobile apps, please contact ZappleTech, a reliable service provider in this field.