Most Popular Tools for Mobile Testing: Features and Use Cases
Hennadii Naidenko, Senior Software Testing Engineer at EPAM, shares his experience with the most common mobile testing tools.
In this article
In the modern world of mobile app development, ensuring the functionality and reliability of applications is more critical than ever. As a QA engineer, I have worked with various testing tools specifically designed for mobile app testing. In this article, I discuss several common and effective tools for functional testing in the mobile domain. I explore the features, use cases, and functionalities of each tool from a manual testing perspective.
Android Studio is Google's official integrated development environment (IDE) for Android app development. It is also a powerful tool for manual testers. Its built-in Android Emulator allows testers to create and manage virtual devices, making it easy to perform functional tests on various Android configurations. Testers can interact with the app in the emulator, validate UI elements, and assess app behavior across different screen sizes and resolutions. Android Studio also provides essential debugging features, enabling testers to identify and resolve issues efficiently.
Use case 1: Accessibility testing
Android Studio offers a built-in Accessibility Scanner that allows manual testers to assess app accessibility for users with disabilities. Testers can use this tool to identify elements that are not compliant with accessibility standards and make necessary improvements to enhance app usability for all users.
Use case 2: Localization testing
Manual testers can leverage internationalization (i18n) tools to perform localization testing. The IDE allows testers to preview the app in different languages, enabling them to validate the correct display of translated content and the proper handling of locale-specific date, time, and currency formats.
xCode is Apple's IDE, designed for iOS and macOS app development. xCode's Simulator is an indispensable tool for manual testing on iOS devices. Testers can use Simulator to install and run an app on virtual iOS devices, enabling them to assess app functionality and performance across different iOS versions.
Use case 1: UI testing
xCode's Simulator enables manual testers to conduct user interface testing on different iOS devices and screen resolutions. Testers can verify app responsiveness, layout, and UI element alignment, ensuring a consistent and visually appealing user experience across devices.
Use case 2: Performance monitoring
xCode also offers performance analysis tools that allow testers to monitor app CPU usage, memory consumption, and other performance metrics. By identifying performance bottlenecks and potential memory leaks, testers can help improve the app's overall performance and stability.
Charles, Fiddler and Proxyman
Charles, Fiddler, and Proxyman are popular proxy tools that help manual testers monitor and intercept network requests made by a mobile app. They allow testers to capture HTTP/HTTPS traffic and inspect request and response payloads. Using these tools, testers can verify whether the app correctly communicates with the server, analyze API responses, and ensure data accuracy and security. These proxy tools provide valuable insights into network-related issues, helping testers validate app behavior under various network conditions.
Use case 1: API testing
Manual testers can use these tools to capture network requests and responses and verify the accuracy and completeness of API data. Testers can also assess how an app handles error responses and timeouts, ensuring a smooth user experience even under adverse network conditions.
Use case 2: Security testing
By intercepting network traffic, testers can analyze the data exchanged between the app and the server. This helps identify potential security vulnerabilities, such as transmitting sensitive information over unsecured channels, or insufficient encryption, ensuring that the app meets security standards.
Tools for build installation
In addition to traditional manual testing, it is also essential to ensure that an app is easy to install on different devices. Manual testers can use tools like Firebase App Distribution or TestFlight to distribute app builds to testers for installation on real devices. This allows testers to evaluate the installation process, compatibility with different device configurations, and initial app performance, before proceeding with functional testing. Identifying installation-related issues early saves time and reduces potential roadblocks during testing phases.
Use case 1: App compatibility testing
Before releasing an app to the public, manual testers can use Firebase App Distribution or TestFlight to distribute beta builds to a diverse set of devices and operating systems. This helps identify compatibility issues early and ensures that an app works smoothly on various device configurations.
Use case 2: Over-the-Air (OTA) updates testing
For apps that support over-the-air updates, manual testers can use these tools to validate the seamless installation of new versions. They can verify that the app's data and settings are preserved during the update process, and that the new version functions correctly.
Manual testers can also leverage iTools, a popular third-party tool for managing and installing apps on iOS devices without the need for iTunes. iTools allows testers to sideload the app onto iPhones or iPads and perform functional testing on real devices without the restrictions of the official App Store. This powerful tool empowers testers to ensure app performance and compatibility across different iOS versions and device models.
Using iTools for build installation and distribution on iOS devices, manual testers can broaden their testing capabilities and ensure a smooth installation experience for end users. Streamlining the installation process and early identification of compatibility issues contribute significantly to the delivery of a polished and user-friendly mobile app.
BrowserStack and Sauce Labs
Among the many tools available for functional testing in the mobile realm are powerful cloud-based testing platforms, such as BrowserStack and Sauce Labs, that provide virtual testing environments for manual testers.
Use case 1: Cross-browser and cross-platform testing
BrowserStack and Sauce Labs offer a vast array of real devices and browsers, so manual testers can perform cross-browser and cross-platform testing. Testers can interact with an app on different Android and iOS versions, various browsers, and even on different operating systems, simulating real-world scenarios. This helps testers ensure consistent functionality and a smooth user experience across various devices and configurations without the need to maintain an extensive physical device lab.
Use case 2: Parallel testing
The modern world is changing very quickly, so speed is extremely important to manual testers. BrowserStack and Sauce Labs recognize this and provide the functionality of running tests in parallel. Manual testers can distribute their test cases across numerous devices and browsers concurrently. Simultaneous, rather than sequential, testing reduces testing time and enables a faster release cycle without compromising the quality of the application.
Parallel testing is especially crucial when dealing with a broad spectrum of devices, operating systems, and browsers. Leveraging the power of parallel testing, manual QA engineers can ensure that an app functions seamlessly across platforms and configurations, and can identify and address potential issues promptly, promoting a more efficient and robust testing strategy.
The above-mentioned tools empower manual QA engineers to conduct comprehensive functional testing, detect issues early, and deliver fast and reliable mobile apps. These tools can be combined with best testing practices to enhance the overall app quality and user experience.
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