Top 5 Challenges of Mobile Test Automation

Top 5 Challenges of Mobile Test Automation
February 23 09:01 2021 Print This Article

With the average smartphone owner using at least 10 apps per day and almost 3 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store, enterprises need to release high-quality, seamlessly functioning products to remain competitive in the market.

This is why mobile testing is critical. Doing it the traditional way means manually executing countless tests on a range of mobile platforms. More recently, automated testing has come into play, bringing the opportunity to build better apps with less effort.

Despite the obvious benefits of mobile test automation, many companies still run everything manually, as approaching and dealing with automated testing involve many challenges.

In this article, we’ll outline the most common challenges related to mobile test automation and learn more about how QATestLab helps businesses successfully overcome them paving the way for more effective and less time-consuming software testing.

Why You Should Consider Mobile Test Automation

Automated testing, enabled by the use of special tools, scripts, and software, serves for performing test cases on various levels of the application repeatedly and at a pace that is not determined by human resource limits. It is good for test cases that are repeatedly executed, time-consuming, or difficult to perform manually – such as load, integration, functional, regression testing, and some more.

Mobile test automation is suitable not only when it comes to the development of native apps. Mobile testing itself is crucial for everyone who needs to make sure that a web application or site works well on mobile devices. Either way, it can be implemented to ensure robust software quality with minimal effort and maximum accuracy.

Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of mobile test automation for businesses:

  • Accelerated results: Automation provides the ability to carry out tests repeatedly and run them on multiple devices simultaneously, delivering faster results with lesser effort and time. It also allows quick feedback cycles so product developers can fix detected issues immediately.
  • Higher overall test coverage: A higher number of tests executed leads to higher test coverage, which, in its turn, means more bugs detected. What’s more, testing becomes more thorough as the risk of human error is eliminated.
  • Reusability of automated tests: The reuse of test artifacts, such as automated tests, documentation, or test cases can reduce the effort spent on writing new tests, help avoid rework, and increase the quality of test cases.
  • Automation complements manual testing: Manual testing not only serves for discovering issues from the user perspective, it is also crucial for setting up automated test cases.
  • Faster time-to-market: Reduction of test cycle makes it possible to reduce the development time, release the product faster, and, therefore, get a competitive advantage, staying ahead of the competition.

Test Automation with QATestLab

Challenges of Mobile Test Automation

1. Identifying a starting strategy

Embarking on the journey of test automation requires careful planning as it defines the financial feasibility of this initiative.
One can implement automation to build up a regression test suite or deal with the business-critical parts, user workflows and scenarios, complex app scenarios, etc.

Note that the mobile test automation pyramid differs from the traditional one, as mobile testing requires a totally different set of activities and an (expensive) inventory of hundreds of mobile devices (both phone and tablet).

2. Finding the time for creating automated test scripts despite tight release schedules

The complexity of the mobile environment and the automation process itself requires significant time investment for writing stable test code able to run continuously in parallel across platforms. Which is really difficult given tight project deadlines.

What’s more, every few weeks, new devices with new OSs and new features are released adding to test maintenance.

3. Choosing the right mobile test automation tool

It is crucial to find a tool relevant to the needs and specifics of the organization. Choosing the wrong tool may lead to significant technical difficulties in making it work in a particular environment that will subsequently sabotage any test automation efforts for some time.

The required quality characteristics include both functional and non-functional aspects, such as what programming skills are required to write test scripts, how usable is the tool documentation, what is the frequency of failures during realistic use, the level of interoperability with other software, etc.

4. Dealing with test automation flakiness that introduces quality blind spots

A flaky test both passes and fails from time to time without any code changes.

Flaky tests can be quite costly since they often require engineers to retrigger entire builds on CI, and also annoying undermining trust in automated tests.

There are several common causes of flakiness, including inconsistent assertion timing (meaning the state of the app is not consistent between test runs and expect/assert statements fail randomly), reliance on test order (tests cannot be run in isolation), and the use of end-to-end tests which are flaky by nature.

5. Maintaining automated tests

Software maintenance is an unavoidable part of the software lifecycle – a test suite comprising test documentation, test data, and expected outcomes should be treated in the same way.

Automated tests require updating for each newly added or improved functionality, while some tests can also become redundant as the system changes. All of this contributes to the maintenance costs.

With the right approach to automation, it is possible to significantly reduce test maintenance by focusing on automating the right things, avoiding complex test scenarios, reducing flaky tests, etc.

5_challenges_of_mobile_test_automation

Recommendations

To address test automation challenges, teams need to come up with a valid strategy, choose the right tool, accept the necessity of test maintenance, and prepare for continuous monitoring and tuning the test automation suite to make it as healthy as possible.

On the other hand, one can avoid many pitfalls (and headaches) by entrusting test automation to the service provider.

At QATestLab, we believe that the key to mobile app quality lies in the right blend of manual and automated testing. That’s why we test, automate, consult, and provide a test lab of 350+ real devices.

Our Test Automation Unit comprises a skilled pool of professionals with cross-industry experience. We assist businesses both with identifying strategies that would cover all the testing needs, overcoming migration challenges, and automating a wide range of tests.

Run as many tests as often as needed with the QATestLab test automation services. Learn more about what we have to offer or let’s start our collaboration right away.

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Yulia Lomanova
Yulia Lomanova

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