Six Tips for App Quality on iOS 8
Apple’s iOS 8 is here, and it’s a game-changer. The demand for iOS 8 is already on par with its predecessor. This massive adoption only underscores the urgency of ensuring the quality of your apps on iOS 8 across all the various Apple devices, including the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
To make sure you are ready, here are 6 best practice tips to incorporate into your testing process for Apple iOS 8 and beyond:
1. Think like a mobile user
Mobile app testing is fundamentally different from traditional Web app testing. This is driven by user expectations.
At the core of these expectations is the belief that there is little to no tolerance for anything less than an amazing user experience. This means successful apps have a game-like experience. This results in an increased relevance for ad hoc, fuzzy and exploratory testing as a first step. Since there are hundreds of potential routes a consumer could take in each app, it’s important to be able to replicate the most common steps.
2. Know when to use emulators or real device testing
While developers typically leverage emulators for testing, traditional QA knows there is no substitute for real devices. This means both have their place as part of the process.
For early testing and distributed teams, nothing can replace the convenience of emulators. However, they typically don’t replicate many core capabilities that should be tested. Recent advances with test cloud libraries of online devices replaced many of the emulator advantages and eliminated the need to purchase and manage your own library of devices. The bottom line is that both emulators and real device testing should play a key role.
3. Create a set of smoke tests for your existing apps
Building on top of a bad foundation is just bad hygiene. Every mobile app release plan (and especially one for iOS 8) should perform a set of smoke tests (whether automated or not), covering basics such as app launch, login, key first common action, and logout.
4. Get your developers involved beyond just unit-testing
There’s a long-held belief that whoever created the app shouldn’t be trusted to test it. The truth in mobile is there are many elements of the quality process, given the release velocity and relatively small size of development teams, that makes developers best positioned to participate in the testing process. Moreover, with advances in mobile APM solutions, developers can only leverage real-time feedback to developers from app users in the wild about crashes and exceptions.
5. Automate, automate, automate
By most estimates, organizations have small, single-digit percentages of test automation for mobile apps. This will only increase going forward.
With the introduction of iOS 8, integrations of third-party services and devices with smartphones and tablets (e.g., health bands, payment services, etc.) are increasingly complex. Choose your automation battles wisely. The old rule of thumb was that doing something simple seven times meant it was a good candidate for automation. Given the accelerated releases of mobile, there are many repetitive activities with apps and iOS 8 that are ripe for automation. Don’t dive into new complex use cases for automation.
6. Make continuous integration key in your test automation plan
If you’re going to automate, why not go all the way? Why spend all the time creating durable, reusable automated tests and not make the additional investment to integrate these into a build process to be kicked off upon a successful build? It makes no sense.
The mobile iOS 8 party is just starting. Adapting some of these best practices can help expedite the adoption of iOS 8 without compromising your users’ experience when they upgrade.
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Keynote Mobile Testing is a cloud-based, mobile testing solution that uses real devices on real carrier networks, and offers a broad range of support to prepare for iOS 8:
- Device support for the Apple iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air; all running iOS 8.
- Testing the new multi-tasking interface in iOS 8 across multiple devices in the cloud.
- Guidance on how to test new features such as Sharing Options, Photo Editing and Interactive Notification Center.
- Testing and interacting with new HealthKit and Health App.
- Best practices for early and ongoing testing and monitoring of iOS 8 apps, including how to build automated functional testing into the build cycle.