Compatibility Testing to Create Perfectly Working Apps
We live in the age of digital platforms that has created a huge impact on our lives. There are a diverse range of devices making it inevitable for the app developing companies to check if the app is operating as expected across all devices and platforms, to ensure complete user satisfaction. When an app is not working well on a specific device, browser, or platform, it will eventually lose that section of users which will, in turn, affect the organization at monetary and reputational levels. Hence, it becomes important to test the app compatibility on all the devices and platforms before release.
Imagine you have released an app in the market without checking for its compatibility across devices and platforms. With about 15 billion smartphones available with various browsers, operating systems, and platforms, what would be the plight of the app’s performance without checking for its compatibility? Hence, it is equally important to perform compatibility testing of an app as the testing is done for other functional and non-functional aspects. Let’s understand compatibility testing better and the need for performing it.
What is compatibility testing and why do we need it?
Compatibility testing is a non-functional testing approach that is an important criteria to ensure the app is compatible with all devices, browsers, platforms, operating systems, hardware, and software. Compatibility testing ascertains that the app is stable, reliable, and produces the same results across all platforms. Hence, compatibility is an important testing parameter that cannot be neglected.
The market is filled with a wide range of gadgets that make our lives easier, and you can hardly find a person without a smartphone. Smartphones and various other handheld devices have created a huge dependency on our lives, hence, performing compatibility testing under this scenario becomes unavoidable. In case, an app development company misses on performing compatibility testing, they might face greater consequences that will affect the company negatively considering the availability of the huge number of smart devices.
Here are some of the common reasons why compatibility testing is gaining more focus nowadays:
- Availability of a wide range of smart devices
- Apps working on both web and mobile interface
- Differences in mobile operating systems either Android, iOS, etc.,
- Different browsers available
- Difference in the UI of different devices
- Variations in the screen size, screen alignment, font style, font size, etc.,
- Differences in the color variation across devices
- Availability of legacy systems
- Constant software upgrades
We should infer that investing in compatibility testing is important as the end-users’ behavior vary from person to person, and their preference of operating systems, screen sizes, colors, network types, etc., also varies. Hence, to cater to a wider range of audience with different preferences, it is wise to be prepared by ensuring the apps works well under all conditions. This approach ensures to expand the audience base and creates a loyal customer base which, in turn, will help the organization build a great reputation and improve the ROI metrics.
How to perform compatibility testing?
Testing compatibility of app across devices is a complex task that will need a proper strategy before starting with testing. An initial plan should be defined based the environments and platforms to be tested on, determine the expected behavior, and plan to an efficient defect tracking and management system.
- To start with, test environment for different configurations is defined, and the testing environment should be set up based on the requirements.
- All parameters for testing should be included like devices, platforms, network types, operating systems, hardware, and software
- Run the test! Automation is preferred over manual testing as it offers improved efficiency in reduced time and effort
- Evaluate the report
- Any bug identified should be sent to the developers for resolving the issue
Compatibility Testing can be performed for:
Smart devices: Testing on smartphones, tablets, smartwatches etc.,
Mobile applications: Testing across different mobile devices, models, versions, networks etc.
Operating systems: Testing across OSes like Linux, Mac OS, Windows etc., for web apps, and testing on Android and iOS for mobile apps
Databases: Testing across databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server etc.
Browsers: Testing across browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, etc.,
Software: Testing across chat software, anti-virus software, browsers, GPS, web server, networking, messaging tools, and other downloaded software
Hardware: Hardware configuration of different models and versions is tested
As compatibility testing involves testing on various devices, models, and versions, arranging real devices for testing is expensive and not feasible practically. Hence, Device Farms are implemented to check the compatibility of apps across all devices on Cloud. This approach improves efficiency while reducing cost drastically.
Organizations are investing in compatibility testing to improve the app quality and offer a seamless experience to users with varied preferences. Compatibility testing is a critical part of the QA process that helps in creating high-quality apps and building a good organizational reputation.
Most companies have inflexible standardization process and operate on outdated techniques, which makes it difficult to perform compatibility testing. However, with advanced approach like Device Farms, compatibility testing has got easier, efficient, and cost-effective.