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What is Mobile App Testing?

Anna Thorsen

Anna Thorsen

From medical to eCommerce and finance apps, ensuring they work as intended is just as important on desktop as on mobile. To do that, you have to test them.

With the evolution of the mobile phone market, applications are becoming an integral part of many businesses' user journeys. Testing mobile applications is part of that journey.

So what is mobile app testing exactly? And how does it differ from mobile web and hybrid apps?

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What is mobile app testing?

Native, web and hybrid apps: what’s the difference?

Why mobile app testing is so important

What is mobile app testing?

Mobile app testing differs from mobile web and hybrid. Instead of testing what happens in a mobile browser, you test an application you have downloaded to your phone.

Due to the sheer amount of devices on the market, Mobile App Testing usually requires that you test the functionality of your applications across operating systems (iOS and Android) and device types (iPhone, Samsung, OnePlus etc.).

There are different types of mobile apps: Native, web and hybrid.

Related reading: Codeless Appium test automation - how it works

Native, web and hybrid apps: what’s the difference?

Native mobile apps. These types of applications are native to your device, meaning that you can download them from an app store. They have access to your camera, microphone, storage, and other phone assets.

Mobile web apps. These are applications you access from your mobile browser (i.e. Chrome). They don’t have the same access to your phone assets, and they don’t use up your phone’s storage.

Hybrid mobile apps. Hybrid is a combination of web and native applications. They function like a native mobile app so that you can interact with an app as you would with a mobile app. They also work across web browsers and desktops.

Why mobile app testing is so important

While most of our experience as consumers is with applications like Netflix, Gmail and Instagram, mobile applications are also crucial for businesses. It takes them one step closer to becoming digital-ready organizations.

In cases like that of UPS, a mobile app will be a key part of the chain of delivery. Postal workers will rely on the app to track the status of goods. If it breaks, it prevents them from doing their job. It causes delays and leads to major revenue loss.

In some cases, an app malfunctioning can cause harm to the user. For example, the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk provides customers with an app that tracks the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.

If the app were to malfunction, this could have serious consequences for the health of the app user. It puts the reputation of your company on the line.

Being able to test that an app is functioning as it should is paramount. It reduces the possibility that a major bug puts your organization at risk.

But testing manually is a huge undertaking. Especially when you consider the sheer amount of device and operating system combinations.

For this reason, businesses are choosing to automate the testing of their mobile apps.

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