The Ultimate Guide to QA Mobile Testing: Types, Best Practices, and Tools
According to Statista, consumers spend an average of 4.2 hours per day on mobile apps, so it’s needless to say that mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily lives.
But with the increase in demand for mobile apps, the need for effective QA testing has become more important than ever.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about QA mobile testing: from testing types to tools and best practices.
What is QA mobile testing?
First, let’s dive into what exactly QA mobile testing is.
Definition of QA mobile testing
QA mobile testing refers to the process of testing mobile applications to ensure that they function as intended and meet the expectations of end-users. QA mobile testing involves a combination of manual and automated testing methods, and the use of emulators or real devices to simulate real-world usage scenarios.
Essentially, the goal of QA mobile testing is to identify issues or bugs that could negatively impact the user experience.
Characteristics and specificities of QA mobile testing
QA mobile testing is different from desktop or web testing. It has unique characteristics and challenges. Indeed, QA mobile testing is usually considered more challenging than desktop testing due to the following elements:
Device Fragmentation: Unlike desktop and web applications that run on a limited number of operating systems, mobile apps must be tested on a wide range of devices with different screen sizes, hardware configurations, and operating systems.
User interface: Mobile apps often have more complex user interfaces than web applications.
Performance: Mobile apps must be tested for performance on various devices, network conditions, and battery life.
Compatibility: Mobile apps must be tested for compatibility with different mobile devices, operating systems, and versions.
Tools and Techniques: QA mobile testing requires emulators, simulators, and real devices.
With all those parameters to take into consideration, QA mobile testing teams need to follow a strong mobile testing strategy.
How to set up your QA mobile testing strategy step by step?
A QA mobile testing strategy is a comprehensive plan that serves as a roadmap to guide the testing team. To be successful, your mobile testing strategy should focus on several key components.
When setting up your QA mobile testing strategy, you’ll first need to define its objectives. Indeed, clearly defining the test objectives will allow you to set specific goals and expectations for the testing process.
Common mobile testing objectives include:
Verifying app functionality
Improving user experience
Ensuring compatibility across devices and operating systems
Having well-defined objectives will help you guide the testing team and maintain focus on the most critical aspects of the application.
Once you have set up the test objectives, you will need to define the scope. The scope of testing determines which parts of the application will be tested and in what configurations.
To define the scope, you’ll need to choose:
The features and functionalities that will be tested
The platforms and operating systems that will be targeted
The devices that will be used
Defining the scope is very important because it will prevent the QA team to overlook essential aspects of the app during testing.
3. Test Levels
Then, you’ll also need to define the test levels, meaning the different stages or types of testing that will be conducted.
Find below common test levels:
Unit testing: you’ll test individual components or units of the application in isolation.
Integration testing: you’ll test the interaction between multiple components or units.
System testing: you’ll test the entire application as a whole.
Moreover, to know more about the types of testing, check out the section on the 11 mobile testing types below.
4. Test Techniques
Once you have defined the test levels, you’ll need to agree with your team on the test techniques. Will the tests be done manually or automatically?
Manual testing can be very cumbersome and is often prone to errors. Therefore, we recommend QA teams to save time by using mobile QA automation tools such as MobileBoost.
With MobileBoost, you’ll be able to use test scripts to perform repetitive and complex tasks, and therefore increase efficiency, and consistency.
5. Test Environment
When setting up the scope of the test (step 2), you agreed with your team on the platforms, operating systems and devices that will be used for the test. Take those parameters into consideration to set up your test environment.
The test environment needs to replicate real-world conditions in order to obtain accurate test results. You will then have to perform the test on:
A range of devices with different screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware.
Multiple operating system versions to account for differences.
Various network conditions, such as Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G, to test the app's performance under different connectivity scenarios.
With manual testing, it will be very difficult to re-create all the parameters of your defined test environment, that’s why you should use device emulators.
Did you know? MobileBoost lets you preview your app directly in your browser and share feedback with your team directly. Test it out to accelerate your mobile testing and feedback process!
6. Test Deliverables
When setting up your strategy, make sure to agree as well with your team on test deliverables. Indeed, test deliverables will be an important piece of your success, as they will help you document and communicate the testing efforts to others.
The test deliverables should include:
A test plan, which will be a high-level document that outlines the test objectives, scope, test levels, techniques, and schedule.
The test cases, which will be a detailed list of individual test scenarios that include the input data, the expected results, and any specific conditions to be met.
The test scripts that correspond to the automated test scripts used to perform specific test cases or scenarios.
The test reports, which will be a summarized documentation of the test results (including the number of test cases executed, with the ones that passed and failed).
7. Test Schedule
To set up expectations with your team, also make sure to set up a test schedule. A well-structured test schedule will help to allocate resources, monitor progress and ensure a timely completion of the testing process.
Your test schedule should set the timeline for the testing process (with the start and end dates for each testing phase). It should also include milestones and deadlines for test deliverables.
Don’t forget to take into account the availability of testing personnel and identify dependencies between testing activities and other project tasks in order to avoid bottlenecks.
8. Test Metrics and KPIs
Finally, make sure to establish test metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of your testing process.
Here are a few examples of test metrics and KPIs to track:
Test coverage, which corresponds to the percentage of application features, functionalities, or code covered by the test cases.
Defect density, which is calculated by dividing the number of defects by the size of the software code or the number of test cases executed.
Test execution rate, which corresponds to the number of test cases executed per unit of time.
Defect resolution time, which corresponds to the average time taken to resolve identified bugs.
Now that you know how to set up your testing strategy from A to Z, let’s dive a bit deeper into the different testing types that your QA teams should know and use during step 4 of your mobile testing strategy.
11 mobile testing types your QA team should know
There are various types of QA mobile testing that businesses should consider when developing a mobile app. The most important types include:
Functional Testing: it focuses on user flows within the app and ensures that every function of the mobile app is working as required.
Usability Testing: also known as user experience testing, this type of testing checks an app for user-friendliness, ease of use, and intuitiveness.
Performance Testing: it focuses on evaluating the mobile app under various conditions, such as different levels of network connectivity, device specifications, or varying user loads. The goal is to ensure fast response times and no interruptions, even under heavy loads.
Security Testing: it focuses on identifying potential data security or online privacy issues.
Compatibility Testing: it ensures that the mobile application is compatible with a wide range of devices, operating systems, and network environments.
Installation Testing: it verifies the installation process of an application, ensuring that it is easy to install and uninstall and that it does not interfere with other apps.
Regression Testing: this type of testing is performed after changes or updates are made to the application. It ensures that the app still functions correctly once the changes are made and that they don’t affect existing features negatively.
Interruption Testing: it checks how well an app handles interruptions, such as incoming calls, notifications, or low battery warnings.
Localization Testing: it evaluates how the app functions in different languages, dates, currencies, and other regional settings.
Memory Leakage Testing: it checks if the app leaks memory, which could lead to performance degradation or crash the app.
Accessibility Testing: it ensures that the app meets accessibility guidelines and can be used by people with disabilities, such as visual, auditory, or motor impairments.
Those 11 tests are the most common ones, but there are a lot more tests that your QA mobile testing team could perform. However, if you want to test your mobile app more extensively, it is really recommended to use a mobile QA automation tool, such as MobileBoost to help you.
Now that you know all the steps to set up a successful QA mobile testing strategy, let’s review the tools that you’ll need to get started with your QA mobile testing process.
3 Top QA mobile testing tools
Mobile app development is a rapidly growing industry, and there are many tools available for QA mobile testing. But here is below our selection of the top mobile testing tools for you to use in your QA strategy.
1. MobileBoost: the best QA mobile testing tool
Of course, as you’re reading right now MobileBoost’s blog, we couldn’t help to put MobileBoost at the top of the list!
MobileBoost is a company part of the Y Combinator that helps mobile app teams to accelerate their feedback, testing, and iteration process. On average, MobileBoost users ship their mobile app in production x4 faster!
With MobileBoost, mobile QA teams can:
Review app builds on emulated iOS and Android devices with different configurations directly in the browser.
Annotate and record their feedback, then push their findings directly into a ticketing system.
Create automated tests with a low-code solution to reduce manual QA efforts.
MobileBoost is used by companies such as Coachhub and Candis.
2. Appium: the open-source test automation tool
If you want a cost-effective solution, Appium could be the right choice. Appium supports both Android and iOS platforms, and it helps developers to write test scripts and execute them on different platforms.
Moreover, Appium has a large and active community of developers and testers who contribute to its development and provide support to users.
3. Firebase Test Lab: the cloud-based testing platform
Firebase Test Lab is a cloud-based testing platform that provides developers with access to real devices and virtual emulators in the cloud, and it supports testing of both Android and iOS applications.
Firebase Test Lab also provides developers with detailed reports of test results.
You now know everything you need to get started with your QA mobile testing strategy. To learn how to scale your QA mobile testing strategy, reach out to our team at MobileBoost.