The Top 3 Trends in Mobile Testing

by Sydney Stone

According to a study by Deloitte, the average person looks at their mobile device approximately 47 times throughout the day. More than 80% of smartphone users check their devices first thing in the morning and right before going to bed. Several even place their phones on a bedside table and respond to notifications throughout the night.

As people continue their obsession with mobile devices, the demand for more sophisticated apps increases. App Annie reports that the mobile app market will experience a 385% growth rate through 2021. This is becoming a challenge for developers as far as the QA and testing phase for mobile applications. Standard methods of software testing don’t cut it when it comes to complicated mobile applications. Plus, the rush to get the next “must-have” app to market limits the time needed for proper testing.

The latest trends in technology definitely influence the features and functions of today’s most popular mobile apps. Here are three currently popular technology trends and how they are affecting the way mobile testing is performed.

1. Big Data Testing

People are sharing, collecting and storing more data on their mobile devices than ever before. This is being done through emails, text messaging, social media apps, and more. Companies are capitalizing on the big data trend by developing applications that analyze and package all this information into useful business forecasting and targeting tools. Big data means big bucks.

The success of an application depends greatly on the user experience, and very few users have any patience at all for slow-loading apps.  If an app doesn’t load within 2-3 seconds, users are likely to delete it and select a competitor’s solution instead. Testing mobile devices and applications to make sure they can handle all this data transfer at lightning speed has become increasingly more important.

Most developers are using Apache Hadoop for processing large amounts data and for architectural testing. Quality of data, origination of data, and transfer of data are three of the most important aspects to consider as far as big data testing.

2. Testing for the Internet of Things

IoT technology continues to expand at a rapid pace and is making our lives easier and more connected. Smart devices have become an integral part of our daily routines. From smart coffee makers that take orders from our mobile phones in the morning to smart security systems that welcome us home in the evening, we have gotten used to being surrounded by the Internet of Things.

With a greater demand for even more sophisticated IoT solutions, developers are having to scramble to come up with testing mechanisms to ensure that all of these connected devices work, and work well with others.

Testing now has to take into consideration how an application will perform when there are issues with connectivity. For instance, when a Wi-Fi signal is lost, how does the app respond?

In order to get the best results, testing for IoT mobility needs to be performed out in the places where the user will be accessing the app. This is where user groups and test markets will play a more important role in the development and testing process. From big cities with a lot of wireless network options to more rural places with limited cellular and Wi-Fi capabilities, this type of testing is much more intense and time consuming and should be planned for in the early stages of development.

3. Mobile Security Testing

Every day it seems we hear about another data breach or hack affecting a high-profile organization. With so much sensitive data being shared across so many different devices, it’s harder than ever to combat cyber-crime.

This is especially true in reference to mobile apps, which are sometimes accessed via non-secure networks. One of the most common attacks that happen over open networks is man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. This occurs when a hacker is able to impersonate another party and steal information from the original user.

Last year, a report by mobile security agency Wandera determined that gaming and email apps were the two main portals through which hackers were able to steal data via phishing attacks. Mobile security testing has to look at all the vulnerabilities in these types of apps as well as how bugs and viruses can infect other users by accessing contacts and friend lists.

The more dependent we become on our mobile devices and apps, the more determined hackers will be to find ways to steal our information by accessing these applications. It’s incumbent among tech companies and software developers to improve their overall testing procedures in order to keep up with technological advancements.

The old adage of test early and test often has never rung more true.