In the era of digital transformation, consumerization of services is the heart of any business logic as consumer experiences matter the most in whatever service being offered. With more than 6 million smartphones globally, all businesses are channeling their efforts to deliver services right to consumers hands- this is where mobile apps gained popularity. To ensure better user experiences across mobile apps, compatibility testing is critical to ensure requirements are met. To successfully perform compatibility testing it is important to have detailed understanding of why it is important and how to go with it.
What is Compatibility Testing?
Tech Target defines compatibility testing as, "an assessment used to ensure a software application is properly working across different browsers, databases, operating systems (OS), mobile devices, networks, and hardware."
Types of Mobile Compatibility Testing
Testers can perform effective mobile compatibility test by looking its type as below:
- Mobile Operating Systems, version & Hardware: Ensure mobile application is compatible with different hardware configurations as well as mobile operating systems (including various OS versions), like the Android OS (Google Inc.), iPhone OS / iOS (Apple), BlackBerry OS (Research In Motion), MeeGo OS (Nokia and Intel), Palm OS (Garnet OS), Symbian OS (Nokia), webOS (Palm/HP) &Windows Mobile (Windows Phone) etc.
- Mobile Applications: Check if developed mobile application is compatible with other mobile application/software.
- Mobile Networks: Mobile network is a wireless communication network. So, the tester needs to check application performance at predefined parameters, such as bandwidth, operating speed, capacity, etc.
- Application in Different Browsers: It is important to check whether the developed application is running on different mobile browsers or not.
Mobile applications should be compatible with different browsers installed in devices so that the user should use the application while running the same in browsers without any inconsistency.
Mobile Compatibility Testing Process
List of Challenges in Mobile Compatibility Testing
While conducting mobile compatibility testing, the tester should verify the screens and behavior is as expected different O.S. & browsers. Compatibility isn’t easy as it appears, there are many challenges that impact user experience:
- Every so often, it is challenging for any organization to arrange all types of mobile devices & available versions. Similarly, for testers it is also a time-consuming process to check each & every device and version.
- If an application is big and dynamic in terms of content and layout, the possibility is that it may or may not fit into all mobile screens. So, it is really a challenge to check layout & content in different mobile devices.
- To navigate from one page to another on small screens is a challenge as mobile navigation may require different designs & methods that must be user-friendly as well as a responsive layout.
- Expected functionality should work for all types of device configuration and it should not stop at any point in time.
Overcoming Compatibility Challenges
To overcome the above constraints and to accomplish quality assurance of a mobile application, there are tools, methods & suggestions as listed below:
- Emulators and Simulators are tools that reduce the need for physical devices for testing.
- To ensure the application is compatible with all the devices and to cover each functionality, the tester can come with the test cycle and, generate an automated script.
- Knowledge sharing & team collaboration is also a good practice to generate effective test.
Why Mobile Compatibility Testing is Crucial?
We all know the different stages of the software testing process and its type, but here, we are going to talk about the most important testing type i.e. Mobile Compatibility Testing. Now, organizations are on a quest to mobilize their services with mobile apps and this is what skyrocketed the field of mobile application design & development. There are different mobile devices (i.e. IOS, Android, iPad, etc.) and mobile apps available in market. Have you ever thought how many mobile apps are popular? and what reasons make them successful? Of all the reasons one primary and most important one is being user-friendly. This is what most organizations are struggling to achieve.
Organizations are working towards most user-friendly mobile application, that contains features and can run on any platform, operating system and on all types of devices. To comply with this condition, it is very imperative to carry out an accurate testing process prior to launch. This is where the role of “Mobile Compatibility Testing” comes into the picture. Following industry-standard software guidelines and principles, the concerned team will work to ensure a bug-free and user-friendly mobile application that is compatible with different platforms, devices & networks.
Priyata Srivastava works as a Test Engineer at V-Soft Labs. She 6+ years of experience as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer, possessing strong skills in diversified fields of the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC). She has sound knowledge in Manual Testing and additional experience in Automation, Mobile, Functional & Performance testing. Apart from these, she also possesses great amount of skills in WATERFALL, SDLC, STLC, DEFECT LIFE CYCLE & Tracking Tools, AGILE, JIRA, TFS, Bugzilla, Selenium, TESTNG Framework, Mobile Automation using Appium, Web API using POSTMAN. Manual Testing including Regression Testing, Exploratory Testing, Smoke Testing and Sanity Testing and so on.