In the current day and age, mobile testing is a very important component of any application’s testing strategy. Mobile presence is becoming increasingly inevitable thereby driving the increasing need for mobile testing before an application’s release. While testing groups have acknowledged this, the question under discussion is whether there is one single fool proof technique to test for an application’s mobile rendering and functionality. If so, that that technique solely manual or automated in nature. Just as how, in testing a web application, both manual and automated bring in their own advantages, in mobile testing too each of them are valuable in their own rights. Manual testing is important especially with the number of devices on which the application’s rendering need to be checked for, end user acceptance testing, usability and accessibility testing. While automated testing is valuable to achieve a desired level of test coverage especially when teams are racing against time and resources to complete the engineering effort within these pre-defined constraints. Areas such as layout rendering, functionality verification, performance, security are also excellent candidates to pick for mobile automation, given the number of open source and commercial tools that are available today to support test automation. While test teams work on achieving a balance in manual and automated testing to determine the right technique or strategy to adopt, there is one more area they should not forget. This is the one on mobile testing tools. A bunch of such tools are available in the market today, not really to support test automation, but even more to support the overall testing process. For example, in the days of web application testing, testers leveraged tools to check for broken links, rendering across OS and browser combinations, security vulnerabilities and so on. Such tools are now available for mobile applications too, where one just has to give the mobile web application’s link and the tool gives back testing results. While these are great supplemental solutions the tester should look at leveraging, these tools by themselves are not fool proof – they cannot substitute the real testing a tester needs to take on either manually or through automation. Several compilations of such tools, what they do, what kind of support they provide etc. are available online, but here is one such list, I found useful.
At the end of the day, while several testing tips and best practices are available, every team has to adopt a strategy that best suits its own product, end users, market, testers and constraints. I am not saying your strategy has to be compromised based on your testers and constraints – but it has to take them into account as well, to ensure it is the most optimal strategy (that factors in manual, automated and tool driven techniques) to meet and exceed the quality needs of the end users.