Whether you have stayed up long nights and longer days developing your app, whether you have a team or it is just you, or if you are the lead developer for a large app publishing house, many things might change in the app development lifecycle. The one constant however, is that bugs will show up and you MUST test your app.
The mobile app is a reflection of your business, reputation, your brand; one that took you years to build. How would it look if the sleek new race car you see winning the Grand Prix came sputtering to the starting line?
The first 72 hours of launch on the app store are the most critical. It isn’t even how many downloads you have any more. The App Store and Google Play are looking to see how many of those downloaders are engaged with your app. Who will want to engage with an app that is buggy?
Now, that we hope we drove home the point of why you should test. Let’s take a look at some of those things that are imperative to test.
The diverse platforms (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone) out there, each with their own operating system (iOS, Jellybean, RIM, Windows).
In the case of the Android platform, a plethora of devices on the market make testing it a seemingly daunting task. An app that work on a Nexus, might prove to be buggy on a Samsung. But, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Choose the most popular devices among your target market and test those to start. By testing on physical devices you ensure maximum testing coverage.
You must decide what networks are most prominent amongst your target audience and demographic. Testing in various network environments that simulate Wi-Fi network connectivity and cellular is a necessity in ensuring your app operates in all of them.
Conforming To App Store Requirements
The three major app stores, Apples’, Google Play and Windows all have their own specific requirements that will guide you in your testing process to ensure that all are conforming to their specifications. Now that we have gone over why it is important to test and the key elements that need to be tested, you are probably wondering how to go about doing it. It comes down to Resources and Full Control.
The fact of the matter is most organisations don’t have the QA testing team they require for testing in-house. This is a resource issue, especially in the case of the Android platform, where there are so many device types and models to be tested, not to mention operating systems.
Utilising a testing platform that facilitates monitored over-the-air build distribution and real-time session tracking to global testers is key to a smooth testing process. Giving testers the ability to submit detailed bug reports from within the app itself while on-the-go that can be replicated and fixed by the development team is a necessity in fixing the bug quickly and facilitates your go-to-market strategy.
There are many platforms out there for testing and they operate on a tester pay schedule that is bug-based. This proves to be quite problematic, as the testers are more motivated to find new bugs and less motivated to test builds again after they already found the bugs in the past.
This translates into less effort put into the actual testing. What you should be looking for in a thorough testing platform is one that tracks how long testers actually spend testing your app and not for the number of bugs they find.
Last, but definitely not least, you should view the platform you choose to utilise in the QA process as a one-stop shop (management tool combined with the available resources), giving the QA manager full control over all the testers and over all the moving cogs of the testing wheel. This paradigm is paramount to your testing success.