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Mobile Application Testing: Overview (The Pragmatic Testing)

On October 17, 2011, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Originally Posted at SQABlogs.com on { 10:46, 2006-May-8 } { Posted in Software Testing }
Mobile applications bring with them a different kind of complexity or nature. They are not similar to desktop applications which are much simpler considering their architectures, accessibility, tools available for their testing etc. To know what makes Mobile testing different and what should be kept in mind while testing mobile applications, read on…

1. Mobile Devices: What kind of mobile devices are available in market:
      Cell phone
      Smart phones
      PDAs/ Pocket PCs
      GPS navigators
The list is longer than what we see here.

2. What are the Operating systems available:

This list is not as big as the ones we have for Desktop applications. The Operating Systems available for mobiles devices are:

      Palm OS
      Windows Mobile CE, 2003, 2005
      Symbian series 60, 80 and UIQ
      Blackberry
      PocketPC

3. What are the major issues in Mobile application testing?

         More mature mobile devices = more complex applications
         Large number & types of mobile devices
         Large number & types of mobile applications
         Small screens & keyboards
         Usage by non-technical users
         Limited memory & other resources
         Network issues
         Compatibility issues
         Security issues

Some Major issues like:
·       It is no longer just firmware; it’s now an OS, browser, and even an application runtime layer (Brew or JAVA enabled phones)
·       Less number of QA tools unlike desktop applications where a large number of commercial and open-source tools are available for assistance in testing effort.

4. Expectations from Test Engineers:

Some relevant hardware experience
Some relevant communications experience
Some relevant programming language experience

5. What are the areas that need testing in mobile applications?

User Interface
Usability
interoperability test
Performance
Resources like memory leakage
Security
Field
 

6. Now the question is, how do you test such applications?

You test mobile applications by:

•Using emulators or simulators
•Manually on devices
•Using tools like mVerify, WinRunner, TestQuestPro, CountDown etc.

Unfortunately all these do not fit well in all scenarios and you may need separate tools for separate OSs.

7. Is there some support available from outside world?

Answer is No. We still do not have any contact with aliens from other Planets or Universes and hence, no assistance available from outside world.

However, one can get some assistance within this world.

Some companies like Infostretch & Mobilecomplete provide testing services through Internet. They offer mobile testing services using remote testing capability on real handset devices that helps to verify the real user experience. Mostly, live networks are available for this type of testing.

8. What else? Any new technologies?

Yes.
 
Direct-To-Device™ Technology:

It enables full over-the-Internet interaction with actual physical handsets connected to live networks from any location in real-time. It utilizes an electrical integration approach in which electrical connections are made to various input/output interfaces of live handsets.

Virtual-Device™ Technology:

Virtual-Device builds upon Direct-To-Device by actively stimulating the remote handset access software to create a software map of all possible pathways that a user can take through a handset or through any application or service accessible on or via a handset.  This software map is essentially a ‘virtual phone’ consisting of large sequences of the phone’s screens along with data about the keystrokes or screen taps that are needed to navigate across these screens.

9. What is the key to success for this type of testing?

The key is to know:
The audience,
The user base
The application requirements and
The infrastructure
 

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