Understand Mobile and Web Testing with Bottle Rocket QA | Mobile Marketing Association
March 10, 2017
Submitted by Bottle Rocket

Businesses need stable apps for their mobile experiences to impact users. That’s why Bottle Rocket clients receive one or more quality assurance (QA) analysts who participate in design and development. Our mobile experiences go through several stages of testing across all required devices. Here’s some insight on one aspect of that process.

With widespread adoption of mobile applications, the industry is implementing new kinds of testing. QA testers used to be primarily concerned with web apps. But even the most seasoned QA testers familiar with web apps will need to look at mobile apps with a fresh set of eyes. These applications can look and behave similarly, but there are more things to consider when testing mobile apps. There are core principles that apply to both, however. And it’s worth mentioning that there are many other kinds of app testing out there, but we’ll focus on these two for now.

 

Before we start with the similarities, here is a quick note for those unfamiliar with the concept of web apps: they are a client-server software application in which the client (or a user interface) runs in a web browser. People use them all the time: webmail, online retail sales, wikis, instant messaging services, among lots of others. Basically, any activity within a website that is more than just navigation and reading involves web applications. Just a few things to consider when testing:

  • Internal hardware
  • External hardware
  • Operating system
  • Browser compatibility
  • Network connectivity

 

Hardware and operating system combinations are something to consider for both web apps and mobile apps. There are many brands and models of desktop computers and mobile devices. Operating systems are constantly updating with new iterations – this is not unique to either web or mobile. Each update needs to be tested thoroughly with an app. Network connectivity is also a concern for both as wireless connections increase in homes, so web app users won’t necessarily be tied to a wired network connection. Outages and connection loss can happen, and behavior of both types of apps needs to be verified.

Mobile app testing involves the above concerns and then some:

  • Internal hardware
  • External hardware
  • Operating system
  • Browser compatibility
  • Network connectivity
  • Syncing multiple devices
  • Mobile network operators
  • Voice commands
  • Gestures
  • Device interruptions

 

The list could go on, but one of the key differences from the above list is syncing multiple devices. Traditionally, web apps need an internet connection to work at all. But some mobile apps allow the user to work offline and sync that data once the device is connected again. And now that smartphones and tablets are so common (and most people have at least one of each), connectivity and seamless syncing is important. If you carry a tablet with you that has a to-do list app installed and you leave it at home, what do you do? Access the app on your phone. All the changes you make on your phone will carry over to the original list on your tablet. There are many test cases around this topic. Are all devices supported? Do problems arise on some operating systems and not others? Can I sync between iOS and Android devices? Will changes made off Wi-FI be saved when a connection is restored? How long to wait to see a change sync to another device?

 

These are just a few examples to consider. Mobile-savvy testers that can write mobile specific test cases add tremendous value to clients seeking the most stable mobile experience that users prefer.

Mobile vs Web App Testing