The numbers that surround the mobile app development industry are simply astounding. The fact that most of the world’s population has a mobile subscription of some kind and 22% of them are smartphone users is mind-boggling! Let us look at some more numbers:
• Over 100 billion apps are downloaded each year
• The iOS ecosystem alone employs more than 1, 000, 000 people
• The number of enterprise applications on mobile will quadruple by 2016
The astronomical growth of the mobile app development industry has come with its own set of pitfalls. Most developers simply cannot test their app on the 100’s of different devices that are currently in use and make the app compatible with corresponding OS updates.
There is demand for apps but their quality seems to be somewhat questionable. There is more focus on pumping out a variety of apps while their standards have taken a backseat.
Research also shows that nearly 50% of users will delete an app even if they encounter a single bug and only 20% will report the problem to the developer. This statistic, combined with the general half-life of the apps and their chances of lasting more than 3 months in a user’s phone depends on how well the developers/QA test their app and make it bug-free from the initial release and throughout updates.
Typical industry problems like tight deadlines, focusing on too many new features, and less on usability and regressions, insufficient testing on different devices and OS versions within a shorter timeframe are prime causes that lead to failure of apps.
To cut down the losses associated with the aforementioned reasons, the addition of automated testing seems to be the right answer. Testing frameworks assist in reducing the testing time by an order of magnitude and offers a huge improvement in efficiency. With high investments in mobile and a lot at stake for the organization, making sure the code works well into the future is essential.
For iOS, automation tools like MonkeyTalk, UIAutomation and Ranorex has helped cutting down the test execution time considerably. In Android, factors like device, vendor, and OS fragmentation, respectively, are huge bottlenecks for organizations to test their Apps effectively. However, automated testing frameworks like Calabash, Appium and UIAutomator have made it possible to reduce the test time drastically.
What to look for in an automated testing framework?
─ The framework must allow easy writing of new test cases and maintenance of old ones, respectively
─ It must offer the flexibility of being able to automate apps on a variety of platforms as well as native and web view.
─ The automation framework must be able to perform a parallel execution of test cases on different devices and OS versions. This helps cut down the overall time taken to test the app dramatically.
─ It should be able to generate automated test reports and give performance insights about the app and the system which it is running on. The valuable data from the reports is crucial to improve the app performance
When chosen correctly, mobile test automation can reduce the net cost of development, cut down the execution time, and increase the longevity of the app considerably.
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