If you are learning app development, or any other kind of development, testing is one of the most important things you can master. While in big software companies there are whole departments dedicated to creating the best strategies for testing apps and software, if you work on your own making small apps or as part of a small development team, you are unlikely to have that kind of luxury. While it is said that it is never a good idea for a developer to test his or her own code or products, sometimes this is your only option, so it is a good idea to make sure you have strong testing skills so you can do a good job of it.
Testing on Mobile Phones
When you are developing apps for mobile phones, one of the things that can be tricky is testing it for compatibility with different devices. This tends to be easier if you are developing for iOS, as there are a limited number of devices you need to test on and emulators available to help you do it. You may decide your app will only be compatible with the latest Apple operating systems as well, further reducing the compatibility testing you need to do. You also have the option to make your app optimised for either phones or tablets, meaning you don’t need to test as thoroughly on the other kind of device. However, when dealing with Android, things get a little more difficult, because even if you tie your app to phones and to a version of the operating system, there are lots of devices out there and no way of testing on them all. Getting hold of a few different phones for testing purposes (you can use unlockingsmart.co.uk to unlock second hand or gifted phones) can be a good idea.
What Are You Looking For?
When you are testing your app on different devices, having friends test it on their phones, or testing on emulators of devices, you need to have a plan in terms of what and how to test. While some ‘exploratory’ testing – that is, just playing around – can be a good idea too, it is best to make up some test scripts that go through all of the key functionality of the app so you’ll see the most common routes through your software on different devices.
How Likely Are Defects?
Compatibility with devices is not, happily, an especially common cause of major defects, but you may find your app doesn’t look how you expected on different size screens, or that interacting with screen elements is problematic on some devices. Usually, any bugs you find will be related to UI design and layout, and not be terribly hard to fix. This means this sort of testing can be done as one of the final verification stages before you release the app.
When you are planning to develop an app, make sure testing on different devices is a part of your strategy!