3 Strategies for an Efficient Mobile App Testing Project


Developing a testing strategy for a mobile app means facing multiple challenges that are part of the field. But by employing these three strategies, you can get valuable feedback about your mobile app’s functionalities before it is published—while still keeping time and budget in mind.

With the mobile app market on the rise, developers strive to bring their products to market as quickly as possible. As a result, quality assurance teams are under more pressure than ever to effectively utilize their resources and deliver app testing with more speed and accuracy. 

Teams might be dealing with tens of thousands of testers who need to be directed through the testing process. Getting feedback about the mobile app’s functionalities before it is published is crucial. But it's also important that testing teams learn how to reduce the cost and effort of app testing.

Here are three ways to manage a mobile testing project with resource efficiency in mind.

1. Consider the main testing challenges

My team and I have been testing mobile applications for a while now, and we have become aware of testing challenges that are unique to the mobile environment. To ensure the high quality and performance of the end product, a testing team needs to take these a couple of main aspects into account. 

The first is significant device fragmentation. Contrary to desktop or web apps, mobile applications will be used on a variety of devices and platforms. And don't forget that operating systems come in numerous different versions as well. The fragmentation of mobile devices is a huge challenge for developers who want to create different versions of the same app and ensure that it works correctly with different versions of a given operating system. QA departments need to remember that such operating systems have different capabilities, making it harder to secure and manage the app.

Mobile testing tools and resources also have to be considered. We often decide to outsource selected testing areas because of tool availability. Advanced testing tools and efficient methods that allow for testing with multidevice compliance in mind are simply unavailable to in-house testing teams. That's why so many organizations choose to bring in the talent and tools through working with a testing partner.

Because testing budgets aren't increasing and deadlines are steeper than ever, those who decide what the testing process will look like need to seriously consider outsourcing testing activities. Outsourcing can be a good option because it provides developers with access to qualified professionals and testing tools, but it takes a while to find a partner that can be trusted.

In our experience, outsourcing certain testing activities can be a huge help to reducing testing costs. Most of the time we choose to outsource marginal app elements and properly focus on the core activities of the app in house.

2. Decide between emulators and physical devices

Another critical decision in developing a testing strategy concerns the choice between physical devices and emulators.

In the early stages of development, we usually use device emulators because they allow us to quickly test different components of our apps and work well in agile development environments. Emulators are cost-effective and are perfect if what you have in mind is testing basic application functionalities. We often use device emulators while developing app features as well. 

But that doesn't mean we avoid using physical devices altogether. Experience has taught me that there is no way you could publish a successful app without testing it on a physical device. If you fail to test your app on actual devices, you will never truly understand how its activities play out in real-life scenarios. Only physical devices allow you to test factors such as different battery states, multiple networks ranging from Wi-Fi to 4G, or network density. Physical testing also gives developers a glimpse into how users interact with the app and how the app works on different devices. That type of testing environment simply can't be re-created on an emulator.

Therefore, the best strategy to test an application in an efficient and cost-effective manner is by mixing device emulators and physical devices. The right balance depends on what your QA team needs.

3. Secure beta testers

That brings us to the topic of beta testing and beta testers. It's smart to start looking for beta testers among users who are already loyal to your products, such as people in your online forms or who communicate with your company on social media. In my experience, one of the best ways to identify users who regularly interact with an app is through the help desk. These are often people who are actively engaged with your app, and many of them will be more than happy to become beta testers for your next release.

Some companies use crowdfunding platforms to source beta testers for their apps. They prepare the app in alpha stage and publish it on a platform like Kickstarter to drive awareness, possibly securing more funding as well.

Another way to get an unbiased set of beta testers is a limited launch. Distributing your app to only a specific country or region lets you test new features of your app before a wide release.

However, getting the best selection of beta testers doesn't guarantee good results if your app doesn't include monitoring or analytics tools. That's how you can track the ways in which users interact with the app and check which features aren't working properly.

It's smart to build that feature of your app in a way that enables you to switch on and off different app functionalities. This way, you can have one group of beta testers test one feature and another group test a different feature. That's the best way to get a realistic view of how the app performs when tested in the wild, and it's more effective than asking users to report on their activities or fill out surveys.

Developing a testing strategy for a mobile app means facing multiple challenges that are part of the field. But by employing these three strategies, you can get valuable feedback about your mobile app’s functionalities before it is published—while still keeping time and budget in mind.

User Comments

jack luter's picture

 thank you for sharing  Thomas. Developing a testing strategy for a mobile app means facing multiple challenges that are part of the field.





October 4, 2017 - 6:32am
Ainita madur's picture

Thanks for the sharing it was really helpful to us and also to those who want to make a career in Mobile App development services or in relative fields.

Mobile designing, testing, and all mobile techniques. Awesome you elaborate it in such a good way that now we don't need anything else.

October 20, 2017 - 7:25pm
Robert Rex's picture

Hi, Thomas Raynott

In Quality assurance realm. This is obvious that mobile app testing is slightly challenging as compared to the web. Thanks for sharing such an informative article relating the In-depth elaboration of complexities gathered in the mobile app testing QA process. I am sure that this article is very beneficial for the Mobile app QA engineers.

December 5, 2017 - 1:03am
Hemang Rindani's picture

Interesting take on mobile app testing challenges. One of the major challenges is to test a custom-made app in the real environment. Your test cases may differ from user's expectation. And if the app disappoints its users, there is no point in developing it at all.


Another challenge is to test the app for various OS and device types. There are lot many options available in the market but to understand it and test the app accordingly is a challenge.

February 20, 2018 - 8:08am
Amna Sheikh's picture

Mobile app testing need to be done by experts unlike web testing, I have experience that software companies in Toronto have dedicated software and app testing team earning equilent to developers which indicate testing is a serious job.

April 23, 2018 - 12:29am
Alex ferguson's picture

Having a phone on which to test the app helps but is not mandatory. Then all you have to do is download the SDKs and tools and start reading and coding. That would be the best way to study the platform and also you should get familiar with the interface and the usage by the common user. after all, those are the people you are targeting. Choose a popular OS like Symbian or iPhones OS.

July 5, 2018 - 3:12am
David Boo's picture

When you developed your mobile app then your second phase is testing, for app testing you should focus Mobile testing challenges. Aa an app developer, i realized you missed some of points that you not mentioned in your above article but 3 inportant strategies you already define.

July 16, 2018 - 2:52am
Peter shimming's picture

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing information about how to test my android app development which is been made by an agency and I was looking for some information about how to check my android app.

August 27, 2018 - 10:33am
Jack Richard's picture

I belong to a mobile app development company In New York and would highly back the idea of having rigorous testing behind every project. Companies have been missing the trend lately and over trusting developers. Testing should be aligned and development and given due importance. 

December 14, 2018 - 12:09pm
scott thomas's picture

Thanks for the sharing informative content & in depth testing suggestions. I am recently getting my own product developed with app developers in toronto and I believe these suggestions will help me out to define my testing plans with them to launch best bugs free mobile app.

June 13, 2019 - 3:34am


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