How does one check the many problems that can occur when using a mobile app? There are so many kinds of phones and tablets out on the market, and then there’s the question of how one tests an app in general, let alone a mobile app. Here are 5 things you should consider before testing a mobile app:


You probably no longer have to worry about supporting Blackberries, and Windows has probably made onto your “well, OK, I’ll take a look” list. While iPhones have a limited number to choose from, Android is all over the place, with different manufacturers with all of their confusing differences. To make sure that all devices you care about will work with your app, you have a few choices of how to handle these: use the few devices you have, use emulators (these are often free, but may not be accurate), use an outsource testing agency (who may have a test center of excellence stocked with a wide variety of devices), or crowd-source (go directly to people with the different devices, which can also test devices on different networks).

Beyond “does it work?”

In addition to functional testing, you also need to worry about other things, like security and performance. Security means the app itself, the website it interacts with, and the handling of any data that the app collects in some repository that’s not the mobile device. Performance has to do with speed of opening and progressing through your app, especially when adding in lots of other users interacting with your website, and how stable your session is handled if you’re logged in for a long time.

Manual vs. automation

Manual has the advantage that a person can look at the screen and say “wait – that doesn’t look right” and there’s really no learning curve. Automation’s advantage is speed of execution once all of the tests have been written, especially if there are lots of builds to test. Of course, one can combine these 2 testing styles, often concentrating manual for the newer features.

User experience

It’s all about the customer, who can be very fickle. The customer doesn’t like to wait, or experience glitches in the app, or feel like their data is unsafe. There are so many other apps, but only your app will help put money in your company’s pockets.

Mobile device tech stuff

There are certain mobile test elements you need to know, be able to do easily, and recognize need to be part of tests. You need to know how to dump cookies. You need to know how to change the OS version. You need to know to test landscape, portrait, and shifting back and forth between the two (especially when making sure you get full access to dropdown menus). You need to know how to uninstall and reinstall the app you’ll be testing. You’ll need to know what happens (and is supposed to happen) if you lose your wi-fi connection mid-session (if your app requires wi-fi).

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