An average US user has around 100 apps installed on their smartphone, and the number is going to grow with Generation Z entering the consumer pool. This younger audience spends more time and engages more with mobile apps than the rest of the population.
Companies have to adjust their strategies according to the needs of the impatient, tech-savvy and smartphone-dependent audience that will soon be the leading consumer of software products, particularly mobile apps.
What Are Top Mobile Testing Trends to Watch in 2020?
So what will 2020 hold for mobile testing? Below is a list of top trends to watch when it comes to mobile testing.
- It’s about Time to Automate
- DevOps and Agile Combined
- Open-Source Tools/Toolchains
- Test Data and Test Environment Management
- Testing with IoT in Mind
- Testing on Real Devices in the Cloud
- Using AI for Testing
Let’s take a look at each of the mobile testing trends that await us in 2020.
1. It’s about Time to Automate
If you haven’t automated your testing processes yet, then 2020 is the highest time for you to start.
According to the World Quality Report 2019, the limited use of test automation is one of the critical bottlenecks in quality assurance. More than that, in conditions, when the time to market is essential (and it’s critical for mobile apps), reducing the number of manual tasks in the SDLC is a matter of survival.
Since test automation is an enabler of successful DevOps and Agile implementation, it’s important to start choosing automation frameworks and tools to decrease testing time and improve coverage as soon as 2020 hits.
But remember that automating your testing is only a good start, you also need proper tools to help you realize the full potential of test automation.
2. DevOps and Agile Combined
Agile and DevOps are the two approaches that shape software development and testing today. Implementing them presupposes a change of mindset for the entire team or even organization: testing must be continuous and go hand in hand with frequent releases and iterations.
Agile and DevOps expect a deeper connection between testers and developers. It means that QA engineers have to acquire some coding skills while developers need to dive deeper into testing. These approaches encourage teams to stop dividing responsibilities strictly and make product quality a common goal.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can substitute testers with developers and automated scripts – there still has to be someone who manages the quality of the product. More than that, manual testing remains vital.
Test automation in the DevOps and Agile environment of mobile app development is the only way to ensure a short time to market of flawless products. So, make sure to take advantage of both approaches in 2020.
3. Integrated Toolchain with Open Standards
Following the DevOps & Agile Combined trend, the use of tools built on open standards will become a top trend of not only mobile app testing but also the entire software development world in 2020.
Gone are the days when full stack automation tools developed by HP, IBM and Microsoft were the only choice for developers. Those full stack automation tools sounded great in theory, but they were very expensive and rigid.
While this brought us the rise of tons of open source tools, it was not that hassle-free for DevOps teams to integrate different tools to build their toolchain and maintain it. Thus, a DevOps toolchain that has a pre-integrated foundation and is built on open standards will gain favor from more DevOps teams.
This is also applicable to mobile app testing.
As improving the speed of testing and developer feedback becomes as important in the enterprise as in smaller companies, large companies cannot rely on mobile test automation vendors that were built on top of legacy technologies. These tools are expensive, yet not extensible and hard to meet the evolving testing needs in the enterprise.
4. Testing with IoT in Mind
Since wearables are becoming an indispensable part of our lives, the mobile testing trends 2020 have to reflect this adoption of IoT. However, this brings new challenges to mobile app testing since many IoT devices and wearables synchronize with smartphones.
The issue number one is safety, but testing for dependability and functionality will differ from the usual testing processes too.
IoT mobile app development, and, therefore, testing, means that you’ll have to face:
- enhanced data security
- revision of operating procedures, data transfers and protocols
- changes in smartphone power consumption
- connection issues
- additional advanced functionality (AI, VR/AR, etc.)
QA engineers should also focus on the test-as-a-user approach. With this in mind, testing on real devices rather than using emulators come to the spotlight.
The diversity of devices an IoT piece has to work with is enormous. This also concerns the number of test methods to cover everything from the critical functions to the mobile app UX and connection stability. No wonder that testing in the cloud is gaining popularity – emulators cannot fully cover the needs of modern mobile app testing.
5. Test Data and Test Environment Management
While around 30% of testing happens in the traditional permanent test environments, the demand for cloud-based temporary environments is growing.
With the flexibility and transparency of the cloud-based testing, companies should look forward to restructuring their Test Data Management (TDM) and Test Environment Management (TEM). At the moment, the most popular types of testing performed in the cloud are:
- performance testing
- functional testing
- security testing
The trend will continue to gain momentum in 2020 since more customers choose commercial cloud-based SaaS and PaaS products, and these non-conventional products cannot be tested within traditional environments.
TDM is another challenge that will concern companies in the next year. Maintaining data consistency and creating test data in the conditions of frequent releases, requirement changes and multiple operating environments is an issue indeed.
In its World Quality Report 2019-20, Capgemini suggests that test data has to be delivered on an as-a-service basis in the Agile model. Companies need to get a fresh perspective on both TDM and TEM since data drives businesses at every level across industries from finance to healthcare.
6. Testing on Real Devices in the Cloud
You can’t afford to test your app on all the devices your customers will use – in 2020, they will buy around 1.5 billion smartphones with different OS versions, screen resolutions and more.
Since your company probably doesn’t have a separate room full of mobile devices and hundreds of pairs of free hands, using a real device cloud is the way out to increase testing efficiency. The optimal strategy for mobile app testing in 2020 is turning to real devices and scaling to the cloud.
There’s no better approach to checking the user-app interaction and ensuring the high quality of the product than testing on actual devices:
- no false positives or negatives
- visible performance defects
- everything’s taken into account, from network failures to hardware issues
Cloud devices are an excellent solution for manual and automated large-scale mobile app testing and the best approach to testing at the later stages of SDLC.
7. Using AI for Testing
The role of AI in testing is not to replace human QA professionals but to make the testing process more efficient. In 2020, QA engineers will use AI more extensively for specific tasks.
For example, exploratory testing usually requires a human tester to observe, operate and evaluate mobile apps. But with the help of an AI Testbot, you won’t need to design test scenarios or write a single line of code since it can explore the app UI and report critical errors in the user flow faster than a human tester.
AI can do the “heavy lifting” and perform repetitive tasks like implementing, executing and analyzing tests to free humans for the tasks that require more creativity and critical thinking.
Experts suggest that AI for testing will allow software companies to leverage DevOps and Agile methodologies better and drive intense release schedules efficiently.
The top seven mobile app testing trends for 2020 are hardly new. Test automation, DevOps and Agile automation are the must-haves that have proven their efficiency over the years.
The newer trends for mobile testing include IoT-focused testing, attention to test data and test environment management, the use of AI for advanced automation and testing on real devices in the cloud. QA engineers will also prefer open-source testing tools with good coverage and massive community support in 2020.
For companies, the trends mean that the lines of the responsibilities of developers and testers will be blurring, and the entire team will have to acquire new skills to ensure synchronized development and testing. This will help provide frequent releases, high-quality products to the end-users and keep customer satisfaction priority number one.