Test your app before it is published on the app stores
Open any app store these days and you will be met with a deluge of options. Google and Apple’s app stores alone houses approximately 5 million apps. This is a result of consumer’s voracious appetite for something new, something fun, something useful, something to distract or something to attract. The number of apps being downloaded by this generation of mobile users is staggering. The truth is that a lot of the time, the only thing holding back users from downloading all the mobile apps is the finite amount of storage on their phones. However, this brings up a very good question: Which mobile app deserves to be downloaded and which ones are left on the wayside?
Several factors can be taken into account, such as how intuitive or easy-to-use the app is, and the same goes with price and attractiveness. In the end, it will boil down to quality. Simply put, mobile apps of greater quality will outlive apps of inferior quality. The interaction will be better, the graphics will be crisper, storylines will be more engrossing, and the app will be more stable. Surprisingly, mobile app developers and app owners are not quick to recognize this and is probably due to the fact that it is not something that users explicitly request. Think of it then as a hidden demand. A request that has not been voiced, but sorely needs to be addressed in order to have a successful app.
There are several approaches to quality, but the method which seems to have the best results is the same one that has been used by designers and engineers, and pre-dates the smartphone: mobile app testing. Testing is not a new concept. It is one of those things that can be placed under the “tried and true” category, and has been used by mobile app developers and marketeers since the dawn of the app revolution. Also known as debugging, mobile app testing is a crucial part of the app development process. Without it, an app creator runs the risk of releasing a premature of non-functioning app, and nothing kills an app faster than a bad reputation. Add to the fact that the number of devices upon which an app can be downloaded on (with over a dozen Apple devices and a whopping 24,000 Android devices) the importance of the help of mobile app testing companies becomes an undeniable imperative.
Manual and automated are the two main forms of mobile app testing that exist today. Mobile app testing companies can opt to use them exclusively or, as in most, cases they use them both. Automated testing accounts for about 80% of the testing that takes place during mobile app development. It will run an app through a battery of tests ranging from functionality, performance, and even test cases. This is preprogrammed and in most cases very little input is required from the mobile app developer. The mobile app testing company has to simply select which factors to test for and pressing a button to run them. However, the remaining 20% of the time requires a more subtle touch, more human touch. These tests usually require a greater deal of time and interaction with mobile app testing companies. Manual testing is meant to flesh out the user experience. The look, the feel, and other nuances that hinge on emotional inputs must occur with a human on the other end, as machine algorithms would have the most difficult time picking up on the various cues generated by the human psyche.
Remember that the point of it all is not only to produce a working app, but to attract and retain the attention of users. Put another way, an app owner focus should not end at the production of a well-working app, but ensuring that the app gets downloaded and used repeatedly. There are mobile app developers with testing skills, experience and knowledge to lay out their own mobile app testing strategy and move forward with DIY (do-it-yourself) testing. However, there are those out there who have little to zero experience in testing, but then again that’s what mobile app testing companies are for. These firms exist for the sole purpose of testing mobile apps right before they hit the marketplace. Comprised of experienced mobile app developers and coders these mobile app testing companies ensure that the app is functioning, running well, stable and yet includes the features that users are craving.
App testing firms come in all shapes and sizes. There are specialists whose only offering is to provide testing services, much like TestObject from Sauce Labs. The standalone cloud service tests mobile apps for anything from graphics to functionality, and from device compatibility to stability of code. This is what happens when a company condenses its mobile app testing abilities into a single user-friendly tool. Used in this manner, these app testing companies can act like surgical implements that serve a small, yet highly important purpose.
Most mobile app testing specialists don’t just see themselves as a mere tool, but instead view themselves as more of a testing platform whose expertise is not limited to code and interfaces. Companies like molfar.io have the ability to test mobile apps, but they also have the capacity to test out digital business ideas. By doing this, the folks over at molfar.io can test a theoretical or virtual without a single line of code being typed.
Ubertesters is a bit of a unicorn in that it labels itself a QA (Quality Assurance) Management Platform. An interesting title. The SaaS tool provides a host of features including build distribution, feedback management, and of course bug mobile app testing capabilities.
Mobile marketing engagement platforms like Swrve help to tie app testing and app marketing. While not a standalone testing company, Swrve does provide marketers with a toolkit to solve their testing needs.
The same can be said for PromoArrow, except for the obvious fact that they only deal with iOS. On top of this, PromoArrow is heaving on the mobile app marketing front and engages directly with blogs and publications to, what else, promote your app.
These one-stop shop companies can do it all. Yes, they can test your app, but they can also help you generate ideas, wireframe, code and prep it for launch.
As previously mentioned, a DIY approach to testing is possible. It has been done in the past and it will be done again in the future. But mobile app testing companies have some recommendations. Ttest both hardware and software. For the hardware portion, they will need to ensure that their app functions seamlessly on various Apple and Android devices (and Windows and Blackberry – if they want to go there). Then mobile app testers will need to hit the app with a salvo of tests which must include; usability testing, compatibility and services testing, interface testing, low level resource testing, performance testing, operational testing, install testing, and last but not least security testing. They will most likely need the use of emulators and cloud computing to simulate the different devices, environments and variables.
Gaining assistance from mobile app testing companies not only ensures that no stone has been left unturned and that all the necessary tests have been done, but it also leaves the app creator to do what they are good at most, and that is to keep on creating and building a winning app.