Mobile Testing – Roadmap for Testing Mobile Web Apps

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Roadmap for Testing Mobile Web Apps
Mobile web app testing is where the software industry is heading towards at a very fast pace. The sooner we understand, adapt and implement the best practices followed in the mobile web app testing industry, the better we will stand in the market.
Through this post I wish to share my thoughts on the growing trends of the mobile web app testing. My aim here is to provide a roadmap of sorts for achieving efficient mobile app testing.

Selecting the Right Approach
With over 300 million smart phones shipped to US in 2011 and with mobile app store sales increasing $6 Billion, the very first activity is to identify your market and respond quickly with high quality mobile applications. In order to ensure quality in your mobile web applications a new test approach designed specifically to address the unique needs and challenges of the dynamic and extremely fragmented mobile app market is indispensable.
Along with the right test approach it is also important to select the right mobile testing solution that covers all functional and performance aspects of the application under test.

Testing Approach
* First begin the testing by using the desktop browsers to discover any kind of functional defects in the mobile application and ensure the functionality is complete and in sync with the requirements.

* In the next phase, use device emulators to test the browser and platform compatibility.

* Finally, ensure that the mobile application is tested on most of the popular devices for any kind of device specific issues.

Points to consider while testing

Accuracy:
The mobile system needs to be validated and the results need to be in line with the specifications. The application needs to be checked for standard protocols usage like Location Protocol, Messaging Protocol, Data Synchronization Protocols etc.

Security:
The mobile applications must be tested for various user profiles, authentication and authorization, authentication on the basis of service providers and user credentials. Test for any possible data loss or privacy issues. Also test for any possible system vulnerabilities like weaknesses in the application or password strength and constructs.

Fault Tolerance:
Ensure that the mobile application is stable and is capable of re-establishing the communication and recovering the data directly after a possible loss of connection.

Browser Capability:
It is important to include a support for all popular browsers in the market and ensure that the design of the mobile application is in sync with the performance capabilities of the browsers and in case of changes in the market trends include the new browser support in the application metrics.

Before you select, perform a complete analysis of all the major browsers, their capabilities to handle content and the performance characteristics. It is also required to look for the following:

JavaScript Support: A Mobile browser must support JavaScript for an interactive application UI.
XML Http Request Object: XML Http Request objects are very important for backend communication, data transfer and also to ensure the updating of new data on the page without reloading the complete page.
CSS support: Ensures a consistent look throughout all the pages on the mobile application and enables a user to alter the appearance of all screens by just editing a single file.

Device Compatibility:
Ensure the compatibility of the mobile application with the most common devices present in the market. Currently, iPhone, HTC, Motorola Droid, Google and Nexus One are amongst the largest share holders of the smart phone market. However, it is essential to stay abreast to the latest mobile market trends and maintain the compatibility of the mobile application as per the ongoing trend.
Finally, I would conclude by saying that it’s time we formalize out strategy and approach towards testing of mobile web apps to ensure that they are robust and in tune with business as well as user needs.

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