The smartphone boom is evident and it’s pretty apparent that they’re here to stay. Smartphones are increasingly becoming the primary means of communication for customers and businesses around the world, creating thousands of applications every day. The mobile device goes beyond smartphones and laptops. Ios are now built into vehicles, wearable technology, and home appliances.
Here are some top mobile testing challenges to look out in 2021
1. Screen Dimensions
If there is one thing in the world of mobile testing services and devices that are always evolving, it is the real pixel count that goes into the large variety of products launched year after year. We already can see that there are well over a dozen different screen sizes on popular mobile phones to date, just looking at the list of common mobile devices given by Google’s Material.io site. Add in tablets and smartwatches, and a thing of the past is the idea of developers creating pixel-perfect interfaces.
Rather, applications must be developed by developers and designers using dynamic elements and layouts. Nevertheless, this broad variety of screen sizes still requires testers to run the gamut of all potential screen sizes and aspect ratios.
2. Forms of Connection
Checking all the different types of connections for modern mobile testing types and devices can be another obstacle for the QA team. Forms of mobile data connection usually fall into three well-known 3G, 4G, and now 5G groups, each gradually offering generational speed improvements and improved transmission technologies.
Although we expect 90% of the world’s population to have access to at least 4G coverage sometime in 2021, monitoring is a challenge due to the differing speeds and communication qualities across these generations. Even WiFi connectivity can range from as good to barely better than a cell data link from a hard-line broadband connection.
It is important, for these reasons, that mobile testing challenges account for the full range of communication speeds and qualities that the application can encounter. Testing should also consider and measure the bandwidth consumption of the application since many providers and service plans do not allow unrestricted data usage.
Fragmentation with OS Version
The acceptance rate of new iOS versions is very high, with approximately 93 percent of all iOS users currently running either version 9.X or 10.X of the program. By contrast, the adoption of new OS versions by Android users is usually much slower, with significant numbers of users still sticking to versions older than two generations.
It is also important that accounts be checked for the large range of possible (or at least likely) versions of the operating system that users might have downloaded.
3. Fragmentation Browser
Although there are less common browsers in use today on mobile devices than in the past, it is important to account for the different browsers (and their respective capabilities) when doing research, just as with the fragmentation of operating systems.
Roughly 80 percent of all mobile devices use either Chrome or Firefox browsers at present. Yet during research, there are four especially popular browsers and several lesser-used ones to take into account.
4. Power Consumption/Life of Battery
Although the trend across the industry is that battery life has been increasing over the past few years, the leap is not as drastic as most individuals would predict or hope for. As the growth of battery life increases at a relatively slow rate, the trend in power consumption from ever-more-demanding applications is quite easily trouncing battery growth.
As applications are moving towards more challenging requirements, such as higher quality video or more immediate calculations, mobile hardware must be chugged along to keep up, and battery power is depleted much more easily.
This implies that testing procedures should wherever possible, account for power consumption, especially for highly demanding tasks that the application may be worthy of.
The capacity (or inability, as the case may be) for users to communicate easily and reliably with the application is one of the most important components of any well-designed and well-tested application. This is especially important for apps running on mobile devices that show a relatively small and therefore restricted amount of screen real estate to correctly display all relevant information, but provide a readily available interface through which the user interacts with the app.
It is important to analyze the size and dimensions of interactive elements when conducting testing for mobile device applications and to ensure proper readability of both text and graphical elements that the user will need to analyze.
Internationalization, or i18n for short, is a practice of development that enables the application to be used across different languages and cultures. Ideally, proper i18n accounts for variations in the app in written translations and focuses on various geographical characteristics, such as locale, time zones, and even canonical equivalences.
Proper i18n testing should not only assess accurate written translations, but also search for spacing and formats that need to be correctly adapted from left-to-right, right-to-left, and top-to-bottom for languages written.
7. Device Configurations
Most modern mobile device based testing approaches allow dozens of device-specific settings to be accessed: everything from network connectivity and airplane mode to screen rotation and notification and location awareness. Open the settings screen on your phone right now and count how many unique device settings are available if you’ve never taken the time—you might be shocked at the sheer number, most of which you likely never use.
The problem for testers, however, is that any or all of these system settings can and will be modified at any time while your specific application is in operation, whether it is released, closed, or otherwise tampered with in any way.
Another difficulty is identifying and managing the location-based details that your application can need to use, depending on where the user is located, for proper mobile application growth.
The most daily usage of such modern mobile features are GPS systems, but a wide variety of apps now use destination algorithms to provide real-time information about the environment of the user or to provide warnings to other nearby users of the same app.
Testers should ensure that any position-dependent features are adequately checked by simulation methods that simulate location changes on the system itself or take a device to various locations physically and measure the outcomes.
The above post is an expansion to the learners, where the goal was to illustrate explicitly the real-time challenges for the Mobile Testing environment and to provide a comparison matrix of these solutions to help the tester make an informed choice about the method and answer to their mobile test needs.