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Explain the difference in connectivity test requirements between
a native mobile app and a mobile web app
Is a laptop considered a mobile device when you are asked to
do mobile app testing? Explain your answer.
List five constraints you might place on a mobile device when
doing performance testing
Discuss two tests where an emulator works well and two tests
where it is not effective
Explain the role of the transcoder in a mobile web app and how
it might affect the item being tested
List 2 non-functional tests that you might perform on a native
mobile app that you would not perform on a web app
Battery is a concern with mobile apps, describe 2 tests that you
would do to assess the impact of battery strength
Your boss is asking that you keep costs low and only test with
an emulator. Write a paragraph to him explaining what you will
not be able to test on the native mobile app with only an
Give two examples of errors that might occur during installation
testing of an Android mobile app.
Describe five hardware components of a typical smartphone
that might need to be tested.
Unit 12 – Mobile Application
Spring 2016
Dr Diane Murphy
• Testing Mobile Applications
• Mobile app testing
• Improving testing processes
Mobile Apps are Transforming
• Example: Banking
– In mobile banking, apps play an increasingly important role in primary
bank switching decisions
– 60% of smartphone and tablet users report that mobile banking
capabilities are “important” and “extremely important” in the decision
to switch
• Example: Collaboration
– Meetings are schedules, updated, and recorded while on the move
and outside the reach of a typical office
• Example: e-commerce
– Consumers buy using mobile apps, and expect to be able to buy goods
and reserve tickets immediately, regardless of network conditions
• Apps simply need to work!
• The challenge is to develop apps that please users even though
many factors are outside direct control of developer
User Call Many of The Shots
• Users can make or break mobile apps based on their
feedback which is based on their perceptions
• They can share their experiences widely and much of
their sharing is public and can therefore reach large
• People want, and are starting to expect, the they can
switch devices and continue where they left off
• They expect to transition seamlessly across devices and
platforms, e.g., watching a video from where they left
off or being able to complete an email draft
User Experience is Emotional
• User experience is driven by how users think,
perceive, and feel
• Intimacy, immediacy, and privacy are key
• User’s perceptions matter tremendously:
when they enjoy using an app they will keep
using it, tell their friends, and encourage
others to also use the app
• The qualities of an app have significant effect
on user experience
The Mobile Moment
• Forrester Research calls it the “mobile moment” – that
brief instant when users first try a mobile app and
decide whether they love it
• Multiple studies confirm that the success of a mobile
app – and potentially a business – depends on launch
speed, performance, stability, battery usage, and other
aspects of the user experience.
• For example, 55% of users hold the mobile app
responsible when they face performance or stability
issues, and 53% uninstall or stop using the app
Mobile Analytics
• An easy way to discover how your mobile apps
are being used
• Embedded code in the app that sends small
messages containing data to central servers
while the app is running and being used
• Unlike other sources of information, they
potentially cover your entire user-base
• Two main exceptions are: when choose not to
provide information and when there is no
network connection
Mobile Analytics (cont’d)
• Even the standard, often business-oriented,
metrics can help refine and improve testing
• Also can enhance the standard reporting to
gather data to help learn how the app is being
used and how it is performing for the end users
• Mobile analytics can be inexpensive to
implement and operate
• Often the software and reporting are free of
charge and easy to implement
Mobile Testing
• Question: what makes mobile app testing
more complex than say web testing?
• It is probably the main impediment to
validating the end user experience
• The practically infinite permutations impose
such a huge challenge to testers that we need
to review the fundamentals
• OpenSignal detected 24,093 distinct Android
Device Characteristics

Manufacturer (most popular: Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, Apple, Microsoft,
Blackberry, Sony); for Android, OpenSignal provides a helpful illustration by
Operating system and version.
Carrier (Vodafone, EE, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) and type of network connection (Wi-Fi,
4G, 3G, 2G, airplane mode)
Class (smartphone, tablet)
Physical attributes (thin, small, lightweight)
Display dimensions and resolution.
Multimedia (camera, microphone, speakers, memory card)
Sensors (GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, Accelerometer, gyroscope, light, orientation,
proximity, ambient temperature, gravity, etc.)
Built-in technology (battery, ROM, RAM, processing power (GPU, CPU), touch,
screen, keyboard)
Connected hardware (smart watch, headphone, card reader, health gadget, etc.)
Platform Diversities
• Operating Systems (Android, iOS, Windows,
Blackberry, and trending ones such as Ubuntu,
Firefox, Jolla, Tizen)
• APIs of both libraries and frameworks
• System APIs frequently vary from one version of
the operating system to another
• Sometimes, third-party APIs rely on specific
operating system features and may therefore vary
depending on the operating system version
User’s Choices, Settings, and Usage
• Other apps installed on the device (in particular, numerous web
browsers for Android devices)
• Localization, which may be configured at a device level and/or
within a specific app
• App settings and preferences (user settings for both the app and
the device – for instance color schemes and magnification – can
have a significant impact on the challenges of testing to see if the
app works with these permutations)
• Changing network and location
• Gateway and ports may be disabled or restricted on various
networks, for instance on an organization’s Wi-Fi network
• Multi-channel (apps are part of a larger ecosystem, where users
start on one device and continue on another)
• Interaction (the touch gestures vary by platform and platform
version and even the terminology varies)
Ways to Boost Mobile App Testing
• Better testing
• Test automation and continuous automated
• Scaling testing
• Static analysis
• Mobile analytics
Better Testing
• When testing limited to the lab, it lacks the
richness, realism, or variety of how apps are
actually used
• Need to embrace “disorder, randomness, and
impermanence to make systems better
• Testing the installation and configuration
• Improving bug investigation
Test Automation
• Many products and frameworks available
• Once automated tests exist, can be run more
• Performed 24 by 7 when human testers not
• Can run continuously whenever app is
• Can use a test monkey to test the GUI
Scaling Testing
• Can do remote testing from various location
• Crowd-sourced testing services
• Device farms
– Amazon
– Google
– Microsoft
Static Analysis
• Assesses designs and files rather than running or
testing the code
• Includes
– Design reviews
– Code reviews
• Not just source code: can assess generated code by
extracting an decrypting from the binary application
– Malware detection
– Privacy
– Security-related aspects
• May include third party source code
Mobile Analytics
• Provides additional data from virtually all of
the active user base of a mobile app
• Confirmation of earlier predictions and
identify anomalies:
– Popularity
– Navigation flows
– Time taken
• Can be “Early Warning System” of live/runtime issues
Key Questions Address by Analytics
Forms of Analytics
Three Key Aspects of Tracking
• Business
– Revenue
– Reach
– Traffic volumes
• Social
– Way users communicate about the app
– How the app affects their lives
• Technological
– How software performs
– Actual and potential problems
– Includes app and related systems
Layers of an App
Types of Mobile Testing
• Hardware testing
– The device including the internal processors,
internal hardware, screen sizes, resolution, space
or memory, camera, radio, Bluetooth, WIFI etc.
– Sometimes referred to as, simple “Mobile
• Software or application testing
– The applications that work on mobile devices and
their functionality is tested
– It is called “Mobile Application Testing
Types of Mobile Software
• Native apps: A native application is created
for use on a platform like mobile and tablets
• Mobile web apps are server-side apps to
access website/s on mobile using different
browsers by connecting to a mobile network
or wireless network like WIFI
• Hybrid apps are combinations of native app
and web app, they run on devices or offline
and are written using web technologies like
Differences between App Types
• Native apps have single platform affinity while mobile web
apps have cross platform affinity
• Native apps are written in platforms like SDKs while Mobile
web apps are written with web technologies like html, CSS,, java, php
• For a native app, installation is required but for mobile web
apps, no installation is required
• Many native app do not require Internet connection but for
mobile web apps it’s a must
• Native app works faster when compared to mobile web apps
• Native apps are installed from app stores like Google play
store or app store where mobile web are websites and are
only accessible through the Internet
Considerations When Testing Mobile

Network performance and reliability
Consistent user interfaces
Transcoder influences
Device diversity
Limited resource platforms
Mobile Environment
• Line between mobile computing and wireless
networks has blurred
– Is laptop a mobile device?
• Mobile Device
– Capability to run network-based application over a
cellular or satellite data link
• Devices have connectivity issues and different
network speeds and regional availability
• Must consider the numerous devices in the
marketplace, the varying capabilities of each, and
how uses interacts with the device
Mobile Environment Test Design
Device provisioning
Network speed
Network latency
Network availability in remote areas
Service reliability
Diversity Devices
Numerous web browsers to test
Multiple versions of runtimes for Java or other
Limited memory or processor
Small screen size
Multiple operating systems
Multitasking capabilities
Data cache sizes
Mobile Environment Test Design
Considerations (Cont.)
Input devices
Touch screens
Installation and Maintenance
Installing and uninstalling
Testing Challenges
• Four categories:

Device diversity
Carrier network infrastructure
• Consider each of those carefully when developing test cases
• Also need to consider combinations:

Device types
Operating systems
User input methods
Network concerns
• Trade-offs must be balanced with time, financial, and labor
Mobile Device Diversity
• Significant testing challenge
• Seems manufactures introduce new devices daily
– Impossible to keep up with release cycles
• Only with diversity of devices, come diversity of:

Operating systems
Application run time environments
Screen resolutions
Ergonomics—screen size
Real Devices vs. Emulators
• From an economic point of view, test on
emulators as much as possible
– Not the real device
• Need to test on real devices and real networks
– May see differences with emulators and actual
• May need to be selective in which devices to
Carrier Network Infrastructure
• Testing application on a carrier network is
challenging if need to support multiple carriers
– Understanding and adapting to the carrier’s
– Overcoming location-based obstacles
• Need to understand the carrier’s infrastructure
before developing test plan
– RF vs. IP protocols
– Web proxy (transcoder)
Role of Transcoder

Transform content into WAP or HTTP protocols
Compress data for better throughput
Encrypts content for privacy and security
Block access to certain high—bandwidth sites
Strip HTML headers and other metadata from
Web pages
Impact of Transcoder
• May cause user interface (UI) inconsistencies
across multiple devices
• Different protocols:
– HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol)
– WML (wireless markup language)
• Most smartphones and tablets support HTML
Test Scripts
• Need to test and run scripts manually
– Walk through a written test script designed to find
errors on the target device
• Many targets in mobile environment
• Emulators can be used to perform much of
regression testing and system tests but finally
someone must work with the device
• Presents challenges to those who write test
• Usability testing is mostly a white-box
• Manual test needed to try to find bugs in the
user interface and user interaction layers
• Involves testing multiple platforms and likely
to find differences
– Apple vs. Android
Testing Approaches
• Back-end components user similar techniques
as other software
– Performance
– Data validation
– Transaction processing
– Response times
– Fault tolerance
– Recoverability
• Test separately from device tests
Test Categories for Mobile
Application Testing
Test Category
Ensure the user can correctly install the application from
its source
Verify the application responds appropriately to loss of
Verify the application responds appropriately to network
Verify the application responds appropriately to weak
Test whether user can accept calls/text messages while
application is running
Test whether user can resume application when finishing
calls/text messages
Test whether user can reject calls/text messages without
disrupting the application
Test Categories for Mobile
Application Testing (Cont.)
Test Category
Low Memory
Ensure application remains stable when device
encounters a low memory situation
Key Mappings
Test that all key mapping works as specified
Ensure user feedback to keypress occurs within
application design specifications
Verify that the application exits gracefully when
initiated through pressing keys, closing the cover, or
using the slider
Ensure that application works as designed when
entering charge mode
Ensure that application works as designed while in
charge mode
Ensure that application works as designed when exiting
charge mode
Test Categories for Mobile Application
Testing (Cont.)
Test Category
Test how the application behaves on a low battery
Measure how quickly application drains the battery
Ensure the application responds per specification when
the battery is removed while the device is powered on
Device Interaction
Ensure the application does not overload the CPU
Ensure the application does not consume too much
Devices vs. Emulators
Testing Approach
Real Devices
Expensive, especially if you
target a broad based of mobile
Inability to install metering or
diagnostic development tools
Unable to install on run test
Network availability
Ability to test
responsiveness of the
Visual inspection of
application of real device
to verify UI consistency
Test carriers’ network
Identify device-specific
Inability to identify devicerelated bugs
Underlying hardware may skew
performance on real device
Easy to manage; multiple
device support with
single emulator
Testing with Real Devices
• Manual testing with real devices is inevitable
– Experience nuances and get real feel for user experience
– Test certain test cases
• Need to test reliability of carrier’s network
• Determine impact of an incoming call or text message
• How application behaves
– Load time
– Application speed
• Find device specific bugs
Costs of Testing with Real Devices
• Costly because the device needs to be
• Must also pay for carrier airtime
• Experience grow if need to test on multiple
carriers in multiple regions
• May be able to rent devices and access
• Spared if target single platform (e.g. Apple)
but still have multiple devices
Manual Processes
• Testing with real devices is a manual, while-box
– Push buttons
– Tap screen
• Manual testing is error-prone even with good
instructor and trained users
• User generic scripts, not device specific
• Keep track of scripts that fail to find bugs
• Devices usually “locked down” so cannot load
tools to monitor or debug the application
Generic Device Test Scripts
1. Start e-reader application
2. Open e-book
3. Initiate SMS message to device from another device
4. Verify SMS message alert is displayed
5. Open SMS Message
6. Choose Reply to SMS message
7. Compose SMS message
8. Send SMS message
9. Verify SMS message sent notification
10. Return to e-book
11. Verify e-book application is running
12. Verify return to same page or bookmark
13. Exit e-reader application
Testing with Emulators
• Emulator testing not the preferred method
but is the most practical and cost-effective
• Allow for inexpensive and quick functional
testing of the application
• Step through application to find events and
circumstances that do not meet program
Positive Aspects of Emulators
• Speed
– Setting up
– Running
• Control
– Access to control sensor values, network emulation, GPS
location, etc
• Convenience
– Versions of operating systems
• Cost
– Need to replace phones frequently
• Efficiency
– Easily monitor and record all events
Advantages of Testing with Emulators
• Emulators are easy to manage as they run on PCs
and can be made available to each tester
• Most emulators support multiple devices
– Can load different device profiles
• Incur no carrier airtime costs
• PCs have more resources so generally tests run
• Employ high-level scripting languages to create
consistent automated tests
Limitations of Emulators
• Testing battery life is difficult
• Does not consider impact of the network on
application performance
• Different user experience
• Will not find device-specific flaws and bugs
Disadvantages of Using Emulators
• Cannot identify the nuances and bugs of each
• Can not be 100% sure that all compatibility
and performance requirements are met
• Should be used for bulk of testing but final
testing must be done on the real devices
Unit 12 – Using An Emulator
• Find an iPhone emulator
• Review appearance of the Marymount web
site in the emulator
• What can you do?
• Write a memo to your testing team leader
with a short description of the emulator that
you used, how to use it and its pros and …
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