devices and apps for testing
September 1, 2022

The 10 Toughest Mobile Testing Challenges

Mobile Application Testing

Web and mobile applications have come a long way in just a few short years. What was once thought of as farfetched features (You can track my location? My face can unlock my phone?) are now simply the reality of today. With these new capabilities come new challenges for testers, and mobile apps have notoriously presented the toughest testing challenges.

The app development experience is growing vaster to keep up with the needs of today’s consumer, so the need for more comprehensive application testing is also growing. It would make sense that testing platforms would offer the ability to test against these capabilities, but that’s not the case. Only one testing platform can test against all of them (we will give you until the end of this blog to guess which platform it is).

Now let us dive into specific advanced use cases, why they present the toughest testing challenges for mobile, and how to meet them head-on.

Table of Contents:

The Culprits of the Toughest Testing Challenges

There are a lot of capabilities available to mobile applications that many users may take for granted. But testers know how difficult it can be to deliver a flawless UX every time. Below are some of the things that can give testers and developers fits:

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication is becoming increasingly essential to providing a high-quality mobile application user experience.  

By allowing customers to sign into their apps or authenticate their transactions by validating their biometric data, leading banks and other enterprises are providing mobile experiences that are both convenient and secure.

For true end-to-end test coverage, it is essential to test real journeys on real mobile devices. Therefore, you need to be able to validate biometrics on real devices as well to provide a high-quality mobile user experience.

Image Injection

Mobile application capabilities that require camera use are also continuing to increase, from barcode readers to bank check scanners. Image injection helps add cases that test these functions into your automated testing suite. 

Image injection takes an image (in either .jpeg, .jpg, .png, or .bmp format) that is stored in the Perfecto repository and presents it to the application as if it was read by the device camera. This allows you to test different ways that application engages with the camera, such as different types of focus and image placement. 

Network Virtualization

All mobile application developers and testers experience the same challenge: ensuring the application will respond gracefully and as expected no matter where their mobile applications are being used and under which conditions. Such conditions include airplane mode, no network connectivity, poor network connection and 2G, 3G or 4G network speeds.

If a user is using a banking application and goes into an elevator or a subway, does your application handle that scenario gracefully? By testing real end user conditions, teams can ensure a high-quality mobile application user experience, advanced test automation coverage (and ensuring they will test the application before their users do).

Voice Recognition

Many industries have recently started incorporating some form of voice assistant or voice recognition system as part of their mobile apps. Banking is one major industry that has made strides in this area, adopting virtual assistants to help customers save time on basic banking tasks. 

Retailers and grocery chains are hopping on the voice recognition bandwagon as well, incorporating major platforms such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Voice as another way to interact with customers.

An estimate of worldwide voice assistants in use from 2019-2023

While voice assistants bring opportunities to developers, they pose new challenges for QA teams as they do their mobile testing.

Geolocation

Geolocation testing is the testing of a web or mobile application from IPs of various geographical locations. Some of the use cases include checking notifications, performance, notifications, and more.  

GPS navigation apps are not the only apps using geolocation. Today, routes, locations, and the estimated time of arrival are implemented into a variety of apps including rideshare, food delivery, e-commerce, games, social media, and more.  

An app may load successfully from one location, but not as expected when the user moves to another location. In addition, an app will present a contextual pop-up message based on the user’s location. As a result, it is critical to run through all the possible test scenarios for every user with geolocation testing.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a commonplace way to strengthen app security by requiring two means to authenticate your identity. We see 2FA in our emails, SMS text messages, banking apps, and many other platforms. 

The first layer of 2FA is usually the username/password, fingerprint, or Face ID a user provides to authenticate their account and move onto step two. The second layer of authentication is added on top of the first. The second layer may be an email with a confirmation link, SMS containing One-Time Password (OTP), or an installed app. 

2FA protects logins against phishing, social engineering, and password brute-force attacks. It also prevents logins from attackers who can exploit weak or stolen credentials. 2FA authentication testing use cases include:

  • User registration
  • Device authentication
  • Password reset
  • Banking transactions

If 2FA is a vital feature that is well on its way to becoming a necessity, then testing 2FA must be a priority. Automating your 2FA testing is an important step toward improving and securing your online and mobile apps. 

Quality Visibility

DevOps enforces fast releases of new value to customers that need to be validated quickly. Validating software quality quickly and continuously can only be done via smart test automation.

Depending on the type of app, there will be different quality constraints and considerations. These can be tools, coverage needs, market events, and more. You cannot assess and measure what you cannot see, which is why quality visibility is vital to teams. Defining proper KPIs around development productivity and quality and constantly reviewing them makes the difference between standing still and continuously growing the organization’s maturity.

Mobile UX Measurements

Users have higher expectations for mobile apps than ever, therefore you must invest in designing positive experiences on mobile devices and test for such.

Unless you perform load testing against your mobile UX, you can’t just assume that your apps will provide the same, excellent user experience across extreme high vs. low traffic periods. Without proper load testing, you risk exposing your customers to sudden app crashes and slow performance. And you can guarantee that you’ll see a rise in support tickets and poor mobile app ratings rolling in.

Do not wait for your mobile users to have these negative experiences. You must incorporate load in your overall mobile UX testing so you can simulate real user scenarios and ensure your apps work well under all types of traffic conditions.

Test Coverage

It is important to continuously update your test coverage as devices progress and proliferate. Make strategic decisions about test coverage based on your users, their location, device trends, and your comfort with risk. 

There are so many versions of mobile operating systems, devices, and browsers. And new ones are released all the time. Plus, foldable phones are on the horizon and new features are coming in Android. You’ll need to ensure proper test coverage across these in order to deliver a better mobile UX across all these devices.

Using a mix of real devices, emulators, and simulators in a test lab can help you ensure that you have your bases covered.

Accessibility

You need accessibility testing to meet the needs of all users. It’s also the law. Between the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you have plenty of regulations to meet. Failure to do so could result in fines of $75,000-$150,000.

You need to test:

  • Labels — Used by assistive technologies, like VoiceOver or TalkBack.
  • Text contrast — Ratio between text or images and background color.
  • Hit area size — Area designated for user interaction.
  • View hierarchy of UI — Determines how easy the Android app is to navigate.
  • Dynamic font size — Option for users to increase font size to fit their needs.

Most accessibility tests are done manually or not at all. Many teams outsource accessibility testing to third party services. When it is done, it’s usually not part of the cycle. Accessibility testing is not executed as frequently as it needs to be. This leaves risk for expensive fees and escaped defects.

Bottom Line: Solve Testing Challenges With Perfecto

If you want a top-notch mobile app that boasts features like biometric and two-factor authentication, network virtualization, voice recognition, geolocation, and image injection, you need to put it through a robust gauntlet of testing to ensure a flawless UX before you deploy. Otherwise, you run the risk of offering a faulty app — who wants one of those? These are considered mobile’s toughest challenges for a reason — but they are no match for Perfecto.

With Perfecto, you get the only testing platform that covers all these advanced capabilities. End-to-end testing creates a seamless experience, so you don’t have to patchwork your tests to get the result you want. When you only need one source to conduct every test you need, your testing is simpler, more effective, and the results will speak for themselves.

If you are interested in an even deeper dive into how to solve these testing challenges — including step-by-step directions and examples, download our latest eBook: “A Guide to Solving the Toughest Mobile Testing Challenges.” 

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