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Strategy For Running Mobile App Performance Testing

In today's tech-savvy world, mobile app users are increasing rapidly. Smart mobile devices have gained widespread popularity.

Author:Tyreece Bauer
Reviewer:Gordon Dickerson
Nov 18, 2022
In today's tech-savvy world, mobile app users are increasing rapidly. Smart mobile devices have gained widespread popularity. Around 5 billion people use mobile devices; over half of them have smartphones. Due to this high demand, the market for mobile applications is also getting saturated.
Hence, App performance has an indispensable impact on its user experience. Both user retention and prolonged usage of an app depend on its performance. Performance is synonymous with the measure of the success or failure of the app. Performance testing of mobile appshas turned out to be a critical aspect of mobile applications. If this test is ignored, users may face less stability, low speed, sluggish response, and reduced scalability and reliability. Such problems can be mitigated by Performance testing of the mobile apps.

Stages of Mobile App Performance Testing

The performance test of software is divided into the following stages:
  • Connectivity-related testing: Most mobile apps today need an internet connection. Hence, a developer must ensure that the app is also functional to some extent, even in offline mode. It refers to predicting a case for users offline or in flight mode and testing the app for low and intermittent bandwidth connections.
  • Understanding device-specific characteristics: Contrary to desktops, the screen sizes of mobiles are highly diverse - from 5-inch screen devices to 13-inch tablets. Also, other features like GPS, camera, touchscreen capability and the range of gestures supported vary among smartphones. A good understanding of these characteristics and their wise impact on user experience is necessary for enhancing app performance.
  • Location simulation: Location simulation is necessary for apps that feature GPS dependence. Testing teams should ensure that app performance remains unaltered if there is a change in user location.
  • Fragmentation testing. Developers must ensure that the app supports multiple versions of an operating system that can be present on various devices. Dev teams should outline all these operating systems they want their app to run on, and tests should be executed accordingly.
  • UX testing: The vital components of User Experience include the look and feel of the app layout, an interactive interface, navigation clarity, error messages, and handling. UX testing is essential for making the app globally acceptable.
  • End-to-end integration testing: It is required to validate the app's performance according to the key features of Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems.
  • Mobile performance app testing: The performance quality differs across low-end and high-end devices. This test ensures that the app performs consistently across various devices. The developer team must ensure that the app can manage heavy server loads and stay immune to latency and bandwidth fluctuations.
  • Security testing: Most mobile apps process data from devices and then store it on servers. To ensure that any user's privacy is not left unprotected if a phone gets missing, testing teams must implement a secure authorization system and secure the confidentiality of data.

Performance Testing of Mobile Apps

In time constraints, development teams tend to ignore the app performance testing. However, doing this is highly unacceptable as oblivious bugs will be skipped, and hence, the app would probably be disapproved by the distributors.
Below is a list of objectives testers should achieve for an optimal enhancement in mobile app performance.
  • Validation of the app performance during heavy workloads: Product owners analyze the performance of their product through performance testing by increasing the volume of users using the app concurrently. It is beneficial if the app attracts heavy traffic spikes. It will help measure the response time and the importance of consumption of system resources at the maximum level of use.
  • Validation of hardware use: By executing performance tests, Developers and testers also ensure low CPU usage and lesser server storage without compromising the features and functioning according to the requirements.
  • Assessment of the app performance on the protocol level: Through Performance testing of an app, a tester will gather an accurate simulation of the actual traffic, generate a load profile, and gauge the response time.

Strategy for Performance Testing Mobile Apps

Development team managers must build a proper strategy to execute performance testing android and iOS apps successfully. A step-by-step plan for performance testing involves the following steps:

Step 1. Aligning test objectives and business requirements

While setting the objectives for the test cases, developers should ensure that they correspond to the complete business purview of creating the app. The top priority for the QA and testing team would be to analyze the functions and objectives of the app that are critical for lead generation, such as the contact form and registration and the cart on the e-commerce site.
This stage involves the testers understanding the product architecture, including its data levels, business, and presentation.

Step 2. Identification of the test KPIs

By setting criteria for testing, testing teams ensure if the execution was successful or not. For the genre of mobile app testing, the following KPIs must be considered:
  • Error rate.
  • Average response time.
  • Maximum response time.
  • Peak number of requests.
  • Average throughput.
  • The number of active concurrent users at its peak per device and OS.

Step 3. Prioritizing scenarios

It is unacceptable to test all the app features at once without selecting test cases beforehand. Despite this approach, a better way of performance testing is to outline numerous packet scenarios critical to app performance reliability.
After analyzing whether these crucial features function correctly, testers are free to go deeper and test the comparatively less significant attributes.

Step 4. Simulation of a real-life testing environment

The testing environment is another significant aspect of this process. For quickening the testing operation, QA professionals generally use system emulators.
These emulators do a decent job by emulating the fundamental parameters of an OS, which helps testers better to analyze the look and feel of the application interface. But for assessing the performance of those features that need GPS and camera permission or other device-specific environments, it is recommended to use an actual device.

Step 5. Aligning the testing methodology with the overall development approach

The testing operation must be in sync with the general development process. For Agile methodology, the testers should implement continuous integration principles. If the development follows the Waterfall methodology, testing teams should fit into their operations accordingly, generating regular bug reports and executing regression tests.

Step 6. Considering the latency and bandwidth of the network while testing

Mobiles and portable devices are connected to the network through third-party carriers. Therefore, the bandwidth and latency of the networks can vary. Hence, QA professionals should optimize the app performance and improve user experience considering these variations.

Wrapping it up

It can be concluded that thorough performance testing demands a proper understanding of the mobile app, its virtual users, resource utilizer, emulators, and several test strategies.
Mobile App performance is measured based on the following three criteria:
  • Device Performance
  • Server Performance
  • Network Performance
Several challenges can come in this course-compact mobile dimensions, availability of resources, and cost.
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Tyreece Bauer

Tyreece Bauer

A trendsetter in the world of digital nomad living, Tyreece Bauer excels in Travel and Cybersecurity. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and is a certified Cybersecurity professional. As a Digital Nomad, he combines his passion for exploring new destinations with his expertise in ensuring digital security on the go. Tyreece's background includes extensive experience in travel technology, data privacy, and risk management in the travel industry. He is known for his innovative approach to securing digital systems and protecting sensitive information for travelers and travel companies alike. Tyreece's expertise in cybersecurity for mobile apps, IoT devices, and remote work environments makes him a trusted advisor in the digital nomad community. Tyreece enjoys documenting his adventures, sharing insights on staying secure while traveling and contributing to the digital nomad lifestyle community.
Gordon Dickerson

Gordon Dickerson

Gordon Dickerson, a visionary in Crypto, NFT, and Web3, brings over 10 years of expertise in blockchain technology. With a Bachelor's in Computer Science from MIT and a Master's from Stanford, Gordon's strategic leadership has been instrumental in shaping global blockchain adoption. His commitment to inclusivity fosters a diverse ecosystem. In his spare time, Gordon enjoys gourmet cooking, cycling, stargazing as an amateur astronomer, and exploring non-fiction literature. His blend of expertise, credibility, and genuine passion for innovation makes him a trusted authority in decentralized technologies, driving impactful change with a personal touch.
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