Recently we did a post on the role a real device plays in the testing process. The next step in a successful testing plan is the mobile test methodology which is to be employed. There are various tests which are possible, and each of them play a role which when understood can result in a completely tested error- free application.
A combination of the following tests is required to completely test a mobile application.
This is seen to be the best strategy during the initial stages of the project, to develop prototypes quickly. It helps to refine project requirements and goals by eliminating what is not possible.This is an essential step during the initial phase of a project.
- Cost: The low cost of using a simulator has made this a preferred method with many developers.
- Time: Time is key in mobile product development. Quick turn around which helps in rapid development in the initial phases again render the success simulators have in the mobile testing arena.
- Flexibility: They have the capability to quickly test on various versions and screen sizes without developers having to buy and maintain an inventory of different device types.
- Capability: Simulators are easy to inject mock values into for various testing purposes. Eg: GPS locations
- Some features which can be crucial to your application development features might be missing eg: Maps in Android simulator is not out of the box.
- If your application depends on particular sensor aided feeds, this can again pose to be an issue with some simulators. eg: Bluetooth
Actual devices with simulated interfaces
The next best option, and also a more advanced testing methodology employed is the use of actual devices with simulated interfaces, This is seen as the best strategy during the mid stages of a project, as it shows the actual look and feel of the application and helps in performance tuning.
- Using an actual device has its perks. This shows how the application will look on a device and helps to perform the UI tweaks as required
- An actual device also helps to show the application bottle necks, unresponsiveness etc, which is not usually visible when using a simulator
- Inflexibility: There are not all the possible devices/OS implementations available. So, there still needs to be final checks done on real devices before finalization.
The last and final leg in the test methodology process is to release the application to a limited set of users and monitor application performance. This enables the developers to gauge usability, user interaction and ease of use employing analytics.
Apart from beta testers, one can also perform field testing, to collect application metrics to fine tune and improve user experience.
As seen above, with a graduation in development phase and the mobile testing methodology changes to accommodate the requirements of the application. Nalashaa brings in expertise in mobile application and testing in an agile mode helping clients speed up processes without compromising on quality. An agile methodology helps to bring in quicker development changes and incorporate them in an organized manner.
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