May 14, 2020

What Is Mobile Testing? Strategy, Types, Tools

Mobile Application Testing

Mobile testing continues to increase in importance. And it’s important to have the right strategy and tools for each type of mobile testing. Here, you’ll learn what mobile testing is — and get the basics you need to conquer it.

What Is Mobile Testing?

Mobile testing is the process by which mobile apps are tested for functionality, usability, and consistency. Mobile testing can be done manually or with automation.

Why Mobile Testing Is Important

Mobile testing is important for many reasons. Mobile apps are important for conducting business. And to make sure that mobile apps work properly, it’s critical to test them.

In this blog, you’ll get an overview of testing mobile applications, including:

  • Types of mobile apps.
  • How mobile testing differs from web testing.
  • Types of mobile testing.
  • Mobile test automation frameworks.
  • How to create a mobile testing plan.

Related Reading: Mobile App Testing Checklist

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You can also watch the video below for a comprehensive mobile testing overview.



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What Are the Types of Mobile Testing?

There are three main types of mobile testing.

App Functionality

App functionality tests include:

  • Business flows.
  • UI testing (e.g., landscape/portrait, languages).
  • Cross-platform coverage.

The Complete Guide to Mobile Automation Testing >>


Real Environment Condition Testing

Real environment condition testing includes:

  • Network conditions.
  • Interruptions (e.g., calls, text messages).
  • Background/foreground.
  • Gestures (e.g., force touch).

For real environment condition testing, it’s especially important to test on real devices instead of simulators.

Related Content: Mobile Testing Basics

Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional testing includes:

  • Security.
  • Accessibility.
  • Performance and availability.
  • API testing.

Related Resource: Types of Testing

There are different approaches you can take to these mobile testing types. This includes manual testing, automated testing, and continuous testing.

Related Reading: 10 Types of Mobile Testing Your Apps Need

How Is Mobile Testing Different From Web Testing?

Mobile testing is different from web testing in complexity.

Mobile apps usually have more users and need to work on a broader range of devices — with more communication. This increases testing complexity. While web apps are increasingly used on mobile devices, testing them is not quite as complex.



4 Types of Mobile Apps

There are four types of mobile apps that companies develop today. And your mobile testing approach might differ based on which type of app you’re building.

Native (iOS/Android)

Native apps are specific to iOS or Android. An iOS app is built into an IPA binary file, that can be then tested with Appium and/or XCUITest frameworks. And an Android app is built into an APK package that can be then tested using Appium and/or Espresso frameworks.

Related Blog: XCUITest vs. Appium vs. Espresso


Hybrid apps include a native application wrapper that is independent of iOS or Android. So, a hybrid application can access all operating systems specific capabilities. A hybrid application can be installed from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Hybrid applications are also supported by the Appium test framework.


Web apps are accessed through mobile native browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. These are pure web applications. So, they are supported by the Selenium test framework.

Progressive Web App (PWA)

A progressive web app is an installable web link specific to iOS and Android. Instagram and Twitter are both examples of PWAs. You can create a shortcut to these apps and install them — without going to the App Store or Google Play.

Mobile Testing Automation Frameworks For Different Apps

There are several mobile test automation frameworks that you can use. Here are three of the most important ones.


Appium is a cross-platform mobile test automation framework. You can use it for Android and iOS apps. Get an Appium tutorial >>


Espresso is a mobile test automation framework for Android. Find out the benefits of using Espresso Android >>


XCUITest is a mobile test automation framework for iOS. Learn why XCUITest is so popular >>

Related Reading: Test Automation Strategy For Beginners

How to Do Mobile Testing

Here’s how to do mobile testing using the test pyramid.



1. Unit Tests for Each Commit

Unit tests are used to test isolated units of code per commit, post commit. These are triggered by developers. You should do unit tests on simulators and emulators.

2. Integration Tests for Build Acceptance/Regression Testing

Integration tests are used to test across integrations of more than one system. These are triggered by CI. With integration tests, you can start mixing simulators, emulators, and real devices.

3. UI Tests for End-to-End (E2E) Testing

UI tests are used to test through a user interface. These are also triggered by CI. You should do these tests on real devices only.

4. Manual Tests for Exploratory Testing

Manual tests are used for exploratory testing. These are triggered by the tester. And you should do manual tests on real devices only.

Get More Out of Your Mobile Testing Tools With Perfecto

To be successful, you’ll need to build your mobile test plan on the right platform — like Perfecto.

Perfecto brings your mobile testing tools together. With Perfecto, you’ll get access to everything you need to build a successful mobile test plan:

  • Test any type of app — native, hybrid, web, PWA.
  • Accelerate every type of testing — functionality, real environment condition, non-functional.
  • Do testing on real devices and emulators/simulators in the Perfecto Cloud.
  • Leverage test automation frameworks, including Appium, XCUITest, and Espresso (which are integrated with Perfecto).

See for yourself how Perfecto will deliver zero maintenance testing, secure and scalable test cloud, and comprehensive test coverage.

Get started today with a free 14-day trial.

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