A 360° Guide to Mobile Application Testing

A 360° Guide to Mobile Application Testing


Testing mobile applications is a technique via which applications developed for mobile phones are examined for usability, functionality, and consistency. Manual and automated mobile device testing are the two types of testing methods. Mobile applications can be pre-installed or set up from mobile software distribution systems. According to BusinessofApps, from a value of $69.7 billion in 2015, the annual global mobile application revenues reached a total of $133 billion in revenue in 2021, which was a 19% year-on-year increase.

We have prepared a complete 360° guide for testers to learn about mobile application testing from scratch. The top strategies, tutorials, and mobile app testing tools are listed below.

Top 10 Effective Strategies for Mobile App Testing

  1. Cross-platform testing

The leading mobile Operating Systems or OS available in the market are Android and iOS. Most mobile apps have a different code set for operating on Android and iOS. As a result, it is critical to test the app cross-platform to locate any problems.

It is crucial to plan on testing the app on all possible platforms to ensure it works as predicted, with equal efficiency everywhere. Collecting and comprehending the project necessities, enterprise objectives, numerous language platforms, and consumer needs are vital to developing the ideal cross-platform testing strategy.

  1. Feature functionality

Mobile apps typically engage with several features built into both the devices and the app. These interactions must be noted and carefully examined. The main crux of the testing has to be associated with the functionality of the app being developed.

The USP for any app is how well it achieves the task it is meant to do. So, it is essential to test to complete the functionality in and out. Every drift within the app should be tested to ensure there are no broken functionalities or flows.

  1. Type of application

There are 3 main types of mobile apps, as follows:

  • Mobile Web Application: The website is opened on the device via a web browser.
  • Native: The app is specially developed for specific platforms like Android and iOS.
  • Hybrid: A blend of native and mobile web applications.

While making plans for testing, suitable coverage is required for all these 3 varieties of apps to ensure the app has stability and good performance.

  1. UI and UX testing

The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are the two components of Front-end testing, and they need to be adequately planned without fail.

The UI is what the user can view and interact with the mobile application. The UI has to be designed so that navigating and understanding the app is possible for all categories of users.

Similarly, for UX, the navigation through the pages and the duration of time required to create the output reports according to the application needs to be adequately defined.

The other components of front-end testing are:

  • Regression testing
  • Performance check-ups
  • Updates or changes to the app files that could break front-end functionality
  1. Backend testing

Backend or database testing is an assessment of the server aspect of the mobile app. Anything entered or stored in the front-end is tested inside the backend. This is also where the security and overall performance of the mobile application are tested. It is carried out to ensure the information is saved at the proper locations and in the appropriate format.

During the testing, it should be ensured that the user data is saved correctly, in the proper profile, and easily retrievable. Backend testing additionally involves testing the various locations in which the information is stored and mediated within the app and done correctly. Saving and retrieving the perfect user profile is one of the critical use cases for backend testing.

  1. Multiple network compatibility

The ever-growing recognition of smartphones and IoT gadgets has brought about an explosion of different platforms and brands. While testing on all possible devices is impossible, mobile compatibility testing is quintessential. This process must include the following tests:

  • Install and uninstall
  • Functionality
  • Traversal
  • Data change

Since mobile apps behave according to the variances in the net strength, network compatibility testing is essential. This consists of testing the application in various network configurations like Wi-Fi and data connections, different signal strengths, bandwidths, after which the TPS (transactions per second) value is measured.

  1. Storage

Currently, storage testing has become a critical component of the mobile app testing approach. With the increasing number of apps being used and the confined space available, people generally tend to avoid apps that require a lot of room to be downloaded or more data to be used. According to MindSea, around 35% of millennials have listed data usage as one of the critical aspects while deciding their preference for mobile apps.

Thus, it is vital to test and rectify these parameters for better acceptance from the end-users.

  1. Localization testing

Localization testing entails testing the app for parameters based on the location, including language, maps, etc. This is not necessary for all apps but might be a good practice to increase the user base and inclusivity and cover the legal requirements of some locations.

  1. Device testing

There are a plethora of gadgets in existence now. To ensure that the app is operating in the best possible way, the tests on performance, functionality, and UI should be conducted on real gadgets. The task is equally daunting as is challenging. Relying on emulators is a common practice. But the better method is testing the app in screen sizes generally used for specific devices.

  1. Automation testing

The automation tools for mobile testing are essential pointers for Agile projects. If the requirements and features are automated from the first iteration, the testers have enough time to work on new, more enterprise-critical features. Thus, the testing strategy should focus on implementing a mobile app test automation framework that can be scaled up and used over the various iterations and beyond.

The Top 5 Automation Tools for Mobile Testing

The reports published by Statista have shown that there are 2.9 million apps in the Google Play Store and 4.75 million apps in the Apple App Store at present. Thus to make a mark in this highly competitive market, testers need to employ the best frameworks and mobile app testing tools for automated mobile device testing.

Five of the top tools are listed below:

  1. Appium

Appium is an open-source tool that can test a wide range of apps, including native, mobile web, and hybrid apps. The WebDriver protocol drives Android, iOS, and Windows apps. The main aim of Appium is mobile app test automation without complex modifications. It gets frequently updated, supported by many active GitHub users. It is a complete solution for automated mobile device testing but can be complicated due to the UI.


  • The testing solution is open-source.
  • It is based on Selenium.
  • Multi-language support is available.
  • App modifications are not required.


  • No official support is available.
  • The UI can be complicated.
  • Some modifications are required.


  1. Calabash

Calabash is one of the most widely used cross-platform mobile app testing tools made for both Android and iOS. The code is straightforward to read since the tests are written in Cucumber. Hence this tool is beneficial for running automated mobile device testing for iOS platforms.


  • The code is straightforward.
  • The tests are written using Cucumber.
  • It is available for both Android and iOS.


  • Only Ruby can be used as the programming language.
  • App reinstalls are required on the device for every test conducted.
  • Predefined methods are not provided.
  1. Espresso

Espresso is an automation tool for mobile testing developed by Google. It is an open-source and object-based testing tool.

Espresso might be difficult for beginners, but it is excellent for seasoned mobile developers to perform unit and black-box tests.


  • Google develops it.
  • It is an open-source solution.
  • It is object-based.
  • It is excellent for conducting black-box and unit tests.


  • It is unsuitable for novice users.
  • Only Android is supported.


  1. Unified Functional Testing (UFT)

Previously referred to as HPE QuickTest Professional (QTP), UFT is the leading tool in the industry for mobile app test automation. It makes the testing process more efficient for QA teams while also allowing fine-tuning and collaboration.

UFT is one of the best choices for testing on Android, iOS, and Windows. This mobile app testing tool can support testing on all the pinnacle browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Excellent improvements, including shorter testing times and better app quality, have been observed by QA engineers on using UFT.


  • It is an open-source testing solution.
  • It is based on Selenium.
  • Multi-language support is available.
  • App modifications are not required.


  • No official support is available.
  • The UI can be complicated.
  • Modifications are required.


  1. Selendroid (Selenium for Android)

Selendroid is an automated mobile device testing framework that drives away the UI of Android native, hybrid apps, and the mobile web. With the use of Selenium, two client API tests can be written.


  • It is one of the best automation tools for mobile testing, fully compatible with JSON wire protocol.
  • The tested apps do not need to be altered for the mobile app test automation
  • The concept for the mobile app test automation of both native and hybrid apps is the same.
  • UI elements can be found by using different locator types.
  • It can interact with many Android devices simultaneously.
  • It can support the hot plugging of hardware devices.
  • It comes with a helpful tool known as Selenium Inspector, which can be used to inspect the current state of the UI of the app.
  • It can be used on all three operating systems or OS of Windows, Linux, and Mac.


Mobile application testing is a vital part of any app development process. Facilitating this vital procedure are robust strategies and carefully selected automation tools. This article discussed some of the most crucial elements of mobile app testing. To better understand how to employ these, you can access tutorials available online. There are various documentations spread across the Internet to facilitate your learning process too.

Read more: How Price Comparison Engines Can Make Every Retailer’s e-Commerce Website a Success