Mobile test automation challenges and how to address them

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Mobile Test Automation Challenges

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Last updated on February 17th, 2021

If you’ve successfully developed a mobile app – well done! But remember, development is just the first step! Ensuring your app runs on every type, size, and flavor of the device, mobile operating system, and version is what actually decides the fate of your app (and your business).

To achieve these business objectives, it takes several rounds of mobile testing. And the only way you can ensure results at pace is with mobile test automation.
Yet, despite the fact that mobile test automation is supposed to make the mobile testing experience straightforward, many app development companies find it extremely difficult to maximize the returns from their mobile test automation efforts and investment.
Here are some of the most common challenges teams face with mobile test automation and how you can address those:

The problem: Meeting time-to-market deadlines

As mobile apps get more and more popular, delivering new updates and app versions becomes increasingly important. However, to test the ever-growing list of features and changes, teams have to constantly integrate new tests into existing test cycles. But when release schedules are tight, organizations have very little time at hand to integrate new cases into their test automation framework.

The solution: Enable and ensure Continuous Testing

The best way to overcome the challenge of meeting time-to-market deadlines is to embrace the world of continuous testing. By testing early, testing often, and testing always, you can run tests simultaneously across different platforms, shorten the overall test automation execution cycle, and identify new defects in time.

The problem: Maximizing test automation coverage

With mobile technology getting more and more advanced, taking fingerprint authentication, NLP, gesture control, chatbots, and more into its ambit, a major challenge with mobile test automation is maximizing test automation coverage – so they can test apps for new and upcoming tech capabilities.

The solution: Use tools that have the ability to cover different scenarios

To maximize test automation coverage, you need to include a comprehensive set of test cases from the beginning – right from your story cards. Use tools that provide quick access to different combinations of platforms, OSes, and hardware and software configurations. This can help you simultaneously test different scenarios on different platforms and get the coverage you need.

The problem: Ensuring test automation stability and reliability

Given the nature of mobile tests, the chances of false negatives due to the operating environment, device stability as well as test-specific issues are ever-present. Teams often waste a lot of time debugging automation tests while adding a fair amount of risk to the overall test coverage. And if they don’t use the right tools or frameworks, it can greatly impact test automation stability. This will contribute to project delays.

The solution: Build a robust test automation framework

For successful mobile test automation, you need the right tools, the right people as well as the right framework. Make sure to put in substantial time and effort in developing your automation infrastructure. Also ensure you design, code, and validate your tests before you put them to work. In addition, constantly track and maintain your automated tests and resolve issues in time – to drive stability and reliability.

The problem: Avoiding duplication of tests

Without the right governance process, testers often run apps through the same test suites – without knowing how good or bad the test results are. Duplication of tests that are flaky, poorly handled, and irrelevant can carry over from one cycle to the next. This results in test suites that constantly grow in size and prolong test cycles as well as time-to-market. And all that without positively impacting product quality.

The solution: Choose tests to be automated wisely

Despite all the benefits of mobile test automation, you have to prioritize the tests to be automated. This is not a choice to be made lightly. Not all tests can be automated; and neither should they be. It will be more beneficial (and cost-effective) to undertake manual testing for rarely used features rather than invest the time to develop and maintain automated tests for them that run after each build. Also, make sure to have the proper governance in place so you can drive the efficiency of effort that will deliver the ROI you desire from your test automation efforts.

Drive optimal testing outcomes

The challenges associated with mobile test automation often keep even the best QA teams from embracing an approach that could help them release mobile apps faster and with far fewer defects.
Mobile test automation can offer an array of benefits to your testing organization. But what is needed is to build the right framework, choose the right strategy and tools, and continuously monitor test automation suites to ensure your testing outcomes are as healthy as they must be.

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