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Seven key considerations for selecting a mobile app testing solution

Paul Whiten, Applications Business Unit Lead, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software | Feb. 6, 2015
Today, It is simply not enough to test the functionality of the app in a lab setting. Paul Whiten of HP Software shares seven key considerations to deliver amazing mobile applications with confidence.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Before a new app or a software upgrade is rolled out, it is crucial that the app meets the expectations of its users, addressing the three layers of functional, performance, and security considerations. To have full confidence in an app, it is imperative that mobile performance and functional testing happens beyond a lab setting under realistic user, load, and network conditions.

Today's testing requirements are difficult to meet due to the dynamic nature of mobility and the variability of the mobile environment. The testing process for mobile apps must consider the wide range of end-user devices, many versions of operating systems, the characteristics of different networks, and the variability of network conditions, which change based on time of day, network utilization, and distance from the cell tower.

Here are seven key considerations to deliver amazing mobile applications with confidence:

1. Does the solution support testing on real devices and emulators? Testing on real devices is the only way to understand the actual user experience, taking into account variables such as CPU, memory, and the specific characteristics of the varied device matrix. Look for a mobile testing solution that provides the option to use emulators for some tests and real devices for other tests-particularly those tests that require the highest levels of accuracy.

2. Can test devices be accessed remotely? A mobile testing solution that enables remote access to a wide range of devices is necessary. Remote access provides the flexibility to have test devices in one place, and developers and testers in another location.

3. Does the solution support both manual and automated testing? There will always be cases where manual testing makes sense, such as when running checks on small changes to code, conducting ad hoc testing, or where test automation skills have not been built within the quality assurance (QA) team. Ultimately, most organizations will want to move to automated mobile testing to realize time and labor savings, especially as software update releases for applications become more frequent and change becomes more fast paced.

4. Can you test for real-world network conditions without setting up an entire environment? With mobile apps, network conditions such as jitter, latency, limited bandwidth, and packet loss must be taken into account when testing an app and validating the end-user experience. Setting up a lab to test apps under different network conditions is costly and time-consuming. A better choice is to look for a mobile testing solution that supports network virtualization to provide a clear view of the impacts of varying network conditions on the performance of the app. 

 

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