As per a report published by App Annie, users spent nearly 3.5 hours on mobile every day (on average) in 2019. This was a 35% increase from 2017. It made businesses realize the importance of pushing a mobile app into the market that users can interact with.
This digital transformation started long ago, but the pandemic has only expedited it. People worldwide are turning to mobile apps to take care of their requirements and necessities anytime and anywhere. Challenge for brands?
To deliver a user-friendly, fast, and seamless mobile experience for consumers. It’s not an easy job to do. Build a non-satisfactory app that doesn’t meet the performance standards. It takes just one uninstallation to push it into oblivion.
People can probably find dozens of other apps that can exceed their expectations, which is why you can’t afford to go wrong with mobile apps.
In this article, we have listed the best mobile app testing methods based on common performance indicators they are expected to meet.
1. Performance Factor: Mobile App Backend
The backend architecture of a mobile app is based on a database, web server, and application server. Performance issues can crop up in the backend that can render a mobile app unresponsive.
Some of these backend issues are:
- Breakpoints or bottlenecks in the application server resources and database
- High server response times
- Poor implementation of policies related to escalation
So, what type of mobile app testing method is imperative to determine the above-mentioned backend issues?
There are many tests, including load testing, endurance testing, peak testing, stress testing, etc. You simulate load in different ways on the backend and see if the mobile app passes all these tests.
2. Performance Factor: Mobile App Network
When running tests on your mobile app, it’s important to measure the bandwidth and latency of mobile apps connected to a network. Latency (measured in milliseconds) is the time elapsed when data is sent from a mobile app on the network.
The maximum amount of data that a mobile app can transmit through the network is termed bandwidth. It is measured in bits/second. Depending on whether the app is connected to a 4G or 3G network, the app’s performance can vary.
Even though this is beyond the control of a developer, it’s possible to simulate various types of networks when testing the mobile app. During the mobile app testing process, measure the impact of these network types on the app’s response times – on the client-side and the server-side.
Did you notice that Facebook runs well even on low bandwidth, whereas LinkedIn requires a strong network to run efficiently?
That’s the kind of latency and network difference we’re talking about here.
3. Performance Factor: Client
In the mobile app jargon, a ‘client’ is none other than the software that the user’s device runs on. It’s important to understand how your mobile app will behave in that software environment, sharing its resources with other applications on people’s phones. Functionality testing can help measure the software performance.
It’s a pivotal factor that makes or breaks the user experience. Many businesses lose money because of the below-par client-side performance of their apps.
Even after you incorporate automation, conduct functional testing, or have CI/CD at your disposal, client-side issues can still slip through the cracks.
What type of mobile app testing methods do you need to undertake to ensure that does not happen?
It’s tricky. You have to be thorough while testing various screen sizes, operating systems, and devices – all part of client-side testing.
Since the variety of mobile devices in the market only seems to increase in number each year, it’s becoming even more challenging to ensure that your app runs seamlessly on all of those devices. But unlike the network, you do have some control over a few elements of client-side performance.
Some of these areas include:
- Device resource usage: This test measures how your mobile app uses the device’s resources when it’s running. These resources are – % Battery usage, memory (Kb), % CPU, data received and sent by the application.
- Rendering: This involves checking the render lag (janks), frames per second (fps), render time (milliseconds). A respectable rendering you should aim for is 60 frames per second, with each frame completed within 16 milliseconds. Otherwise, the app could end up freezing on the user’s device.
The above two criteria are important for all kinds of apps. But if yours is a gaming app, you must aim for a higher rendering and lower device resource usage – or you could risk losing an ardent gamer!
Should You Use Real Devices or Emulators for Mobile App Testing?
Experts recommend using real devices for mobile app testing because you never know how your mobile app will behave on real devices if you end up using the emulators. If you need to determine the actual performance of your mobile app, avoid using emulators.
It’s especially important during the client-side performance testing, otherwise what’s the point? You may use profiling tools such as Instruments and Android Studio for debugging an app.
Another common question that enterprises have is – how early in the mobile app development cycle should we begin the mobile app testing?
And, the answer is – as soon as possible. Testing early allows you to understand client-side metrics, run tests alongside to see if the first version of your mobile app meets those performance metrics. Subsequently, you can release updated versions by fixing the performance errors.
Mobile Test Automation Frameworks
Listed below are the three important mobile test automation frameworks:
- Appium: This mobile test automation framework can be used for both iOS and Android apps.
- Espresso: It’s an Android-specific test automation framework that you may try for mobile app testing.
- XCUITest: An iOS-targeted mobile test automation framework, XCUITest is a popular choice among developers and enterprises.
Wrapping It Up
By fixing the performance issues that may crop up at the client-side, network, or backend, you’ll create a mobile app that’s loved by millions or even billions of people on the planet!
You may have a fantastic product or service, but a poor mobile app is a huge turn-off for your consumers. After all, what’s the use of a wonderful product if people can’t even use the app to utilize it.
And if your product is an app itself (a gaming app, for example), you’ve got to be as thorough as you can with mobile app testing.