Testing your mobile app comprehensively is not always easy. By optimizing your mobile testing process and choosing the right testing approach you can shorten your release cycles and increase your app’s quality.
The mobile testing process starts with outlining a testing strategy and converting it into a plan with goals. After that, you can start with the actual testing.
There are two main ways to test a mobile app: either manually or automated. Both testing approaches have their benefits and each one of them is better in different stages of the app’s lifecycle.
Benefits of automated and manual testing
- Higher device coverage: test on more devices in less time
- Scripts are reusable and adaptable
- Bugs can be found in early stages of the software development
- Higher reliability, especially when executing repetitive tests which are prone to errors if performed manually
- Tests can be run in parallel on many devices
- High ROI
- User experience: find real user bugs
- Higher flexibility: adapt the test on-the-go, while running the test – but remember to keep it documented for reproduction or regression testing
- Short-term costs are lower
- Test Edge Cases
Make a list of every test case
Before deciding which test case should be automated and which one performed manually, you should first make a list of every test you want to perform. Write down all the test cases nicely with a detailed description of how to perform the test and what you expect from as result. You can then divide them into manual and automated test cases. If you are not sure which test cases you should automated, you can read our “test automation best practices” guide.
Why use both testing approaches together
Using just one testing approach is not ideal to test mobile apps comprehensively. Not every test case can be automated. On the other hand, using manual testing to run repetitive tests will likely lead to mistakes that can be easily avoided if automation is used.
To optimize your testing process and shorten your release cycle, you should perform around 80% automated testing and 20% manual testing. The benefits of finding the right balance between these two testing approaches will be:
- a faster time-to-market,
- a good user experience,
- as less bugs and issues as possible,
- happier users and more revenues with less testing time,
- to save testing hours,
- mid-term cost savings.
The ratio 80/20 is not the perfect fit for everyone: depending on the complexity and the structure of your app, you may test more than 20% manually or more than 80% with test automation.
What happens after testing?
You wait for a new build with the fixes and you test again. Testing should be done as often as you can. The ideal development environment for mobile apps is agile development, where all bug fixes and new features are built and tested in small iterations.
If you have already an agile development process in place, this approach that we call “integrated testing”, will help you deliver even better results combining the benefits of the manual and automated testing approaches. Agile development allows testers to work closely with developers enabling a better co-working environment through easy communication.