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As the world has turned into a mobile era, the market of mobile application development is swamped with various options, so choosing the right one is challenging. Surveys show that the usage rate of mobile devices is rapidly increasing and in no time PCs and laptops will be taken over by mobile devices. Apparently, more and more investments are made by business firms in mobile applications and products to captivate the broader consumer base. The competition is very tough in the market, and hence it is important to concentrate on testing the applications for all operational, usability, and efficient execution factors, before introducing it in the online application stores.
The mobile application that is being released must be tuned to perform as the best with unique features of different types of mobile devices that come with different shapes, operating systems, hardware specifications and configurations. Testing these applications has become more and more challenging. Practically it is not possible to test every release of the application for all the above mentioned factors. The only solution would be to switch to mobile application test automation. With the varied options of test automation solutions for mobile applications that are available in market, some are open source, others are to be bought, some are identified as cloud based solutions and few others are just stand-as-desktop tools.
Other than the generation of appropriate and relevant test cases and estimating the profit on the investment, following are the factors to be focused upon while choosing the right testing tool for testing the mobile applications.
Application Type: The automation tool should simultaneously support multiple types of applications such as native, hybrid and web applications. Sometimes, there might be a need for the organization to implement different types of applications. Therefore, there rises a necessity to use multiple automation tools to test on different applications.
Source Code: In most cases, due to contract agreements and security limitations, the tester will not have access to the source code. Hence it is important to choose a testing tool that has the capability to test and automate the applications even without the source code.
Testing Time: Native apps are usually costly and time consuming for development, but they generally are the most efficient and user friendly. Browser-based applications are fast and easy to deploy, but usually are not as tough as native apps; while Hybrid apps are moderate. The testing tool must not be much time consuming.
Operating Systems: If the mobile application solution is already being designed and developed for multiple operating system platforms or have a plan to migrate to cross platform technology later, it is advisable to select a testing tool that is applicable for multiple OS such as Android and iOS. This will be cost effective and time saving too.
Programming languages: Mobile application can be developed in any programming language depending on the requirement, feasibility, cost, target audience and so on. It is always better to select a testing tool that will allow the tester to write scripts in various programming languages.
Motion & Touch sensor: Mobile applications, mostly mobile gaming applications involve the response to many touch and gesture based actions. Mobile testing tools must have ability to sense, record, response and automate every single action of touch and gestures.
Object Identification: Mobile application may be designed and developed to identify unique objects to reduce the impact of changes and updates in application. In such cases, the testing tool with a good object recognition approach must be used. This will make the maintenance of the scripts and object libraries easy.
Record & Play component: Record & Play is a very convenient feature in the mobile testing tools as it allows the testers to automate the cases and features swiftly. This feature may not be as powerful as the programmatic approach but it still holds good in few cases where quick test scripts have to be generated as per the scenarios.
Integration: Feasibility to integrate with third party tools is essential to build a powerful automation framework. A good testing tool can be integrated with third party tools for various purposes such as revision control, execution & test management and inspection, testing and recording of defects and more.
Reports and Logging: Any testing tool should be able to deliver test execution reports as they are the primary deliverable of any testing tool. The users prefer to see a report in detail with step by step execution plan, screenshots, defect points, explanations, exemptions and suggestions. The testing tools should be able to create the required customized reports from different viewpoints, standards and requirements.
If the mobile application requires multiple repetitive tests or frequent regression testing iterations, it is important that the right testing tool is being selected for the right purpose. The success of a mobile application mainly relies on the choice of right testing tools, among other factors that influence its development.
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