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Mobile Automation Testing - A Comprehensive Guide

By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 84

The humongous growth in the penetration of smartphones has made mobile applications a sort of plaything for customers from across the globe. This trend has made companies line up with a flurry of mobile applications to drive their brand, products, and services. However, developing a mobile application is not simply about devising an idea, developing the code, and finally delivering it to the market. Technological advancements and rapid proliferation of mobile devices across different operating systems (iOS, Andriod and Windows) have created more challenging scenarios for the application developers. In fact, just like the case of any other software product, mobile application testing has become one of the crucial steps to ensure foolproof performance and user acceptance. Mobile application testing ensures the applications run across a multitude of platforms and attain long term success.

Mobile automation testing encompasses testing the functionality, usability, and consistency of a mobile application across the digital touchpoints. The testing process can be both automated and manual. However, the testing techniques are different for mobile devices. Automated testing is highly efficient and offers a substantial return on investment, as long as, it is implemented using proper tools.

Different mobile automation testing mechanisms used by industry specialists

The mobile application testing can be automated by using the below-mentioned mechanisms:

• Cloud-based automation: This testing process runs on multiple devices and facilitates web-based QA across platforms. Cloud-based automation also provides integration with an open-source software comprising rich libraries.

• Web-based automation: The method validates the quality of mobile web applications. It influences user-based add-ons that come with web browsers such as Google Chrome. These user-based add-ons facilitate the conversion of specific web content. The functionality generally gets automated with the usage of open-source or licensed solutions.

• Network configuration testing: This type of mobile application testing ensures the app works well on different networks, such as WiFi, 3G, and 4G.

• Operating system emulator automated testing: Various automation tools are available with different operating systems. For example, Apple has emulators for iPhones, Google for Andriod phones and Microsoft for Windows.

• Simulator or lab-based automation: This method is all about setting up tools in a test environment. It facilitates physical devices and simulators to automate testing using open source and commercial tools.

• Importance of mobile automation testing and its challenges: Since the mobile application market has seen massive growth, the presence of a high-quality app becomes quintessential to get user attention and drive out competitors. On the other hand, a poor-quality mobile application can result in revenue loss and negative brand image for the company. The implementation of KEYWORDQA app testing can help to check the usability and functionality of applications across device platforms. Here are a few pain points during mobile testing that QA managers or testers should take into account:

• Testing on multiple devices: Multiple mobile devices with different application runtime can create challenges for automation testing. The result of test automation cannot guarantee if the tested application would work well on a given gadget. This happens due to the difference in operating system optimization, memory, and other hardware elements such as the presence of different communication protocol - HTTP, WAP etc. Developing a separate testing process for every platform would be costly as well as time-consuming.

• Platform diversity challenges: Frequent platform customization by OEM, releases, and updates can create challenges for mobile testing.

• Automated cloud testing challenges: Various cloud testing services allow the running of automated tests in different environments and machines without creating the testing infrastructure. There are many cloud service providers such as TestingBot, CircleCI, Cloudbees providing cross-browser unit testing, Selenium testing, and continuous integration testing.

Types of mobile automation testing:

• Functional testing: This type of testing scrutinizes the functionality of an application and its integration with OS platforms, devices, and technologies. It mainly focuses on compatibility issues.

• Performance testing: This mobile app automation testing method is carried out to review challenges related to speed, power utilization, graphical and network. All the limitations are outlined while improvements are noted.

• Security testing: This type of testing identifies the vulnerabilities inherent in an application by using penetration testing.

• Peer Testing: This mobile app automation testing method is conducted in a real-time environment to find out drawbacks.


The principles of mobile app automation testing are quite different from conventional testing methods for software. The multitude of mobile devices, tool sets, hardware, environment, and test coverage brings forth the layers of complexity. This necessitates the implementation of a customized approach to ensure the success of a mobile application.

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