Which application automation tools best prepare a product for launch?

By Jonathan Crowl

In the long, detail-oriented process of developing a mobile app, any release is preceded by a rigorous series of tests using application automation tools.

Or, at least, that’s how it should be. Releasing an app onto the open market without testing it from every angle only exposes the product to potential mainstream failure. A bad mobile product release can kill consumer interest in that product and other apps released by your brand.

Those risks don’t even consider the security concerns that come with a leaky, broken app. Such breakdowns simply aren’t acceptable in today’s app development climate, when enterprises have easy access to a range of application automation testing tools, all of which provide a unique examination of an app’s expected performance in a live release. Once your developers give the green light, be relentless in testing the application to prove it’s as ready as possible for public consumption.

Here are the best types of automation tools to get your app ready for launch:

Expectation-outcome comparisons

This form of testing compares the actual performance of an app with the expectations outlined in the pre-development and development phases. Half of this test can be written while developers are still working on the product. They can prepare an automated test tool with all the expectations of an app’s performance as they go. After the app is completed, its outcomes can be compared to the expectations.

The overall purpose of an expectation-outcome comparison is simple: It compares your hypothesis with the results and lets you know if the app is capable of the functions you intended. When expectations and outcomes aren’t aligned, there’s likely something amiss, either with your plans, the design or the implementation. This phase of testing will help you iron out the kinks so it’s following your design specifically.

Testing for earlier mobile OS versions

If only mobile apps could be built exclusively for the latest mobile OS versions. Of course, that isn’t practical because a wide range of OS versions exist on numerous types of smartphones and tablets. A test tool focused on mobile OS versions can test a single app designed for the most recent OS on every active past version of that system, and it will then report on how the app functions on those versions. Developers can then tweak the app to improve performance at a version-specific level and/or opt to only make the app available to certain versions of the operating system.

UI automation testing

This approach tests an app through an automation tool that reproduces user actions. Numerous, highly complex series are executed to test a wide range of processes a user might take to examine the app for any weaknesses or bugs that may crop up. UI tools also test the functionality of external power, volume and other buttons and generate reports about how they affect the performance or experience in the app. As Software Testing Help notes, this type of application automation tool can run through many scenarios quickly and then generate detailed reports on what happened during testing to help you and your developers weed out areas of concern.

The more ways you can test an app before its release, the less likely you are to be embarrassed in front of consumers. Take the time to automate a series of tests that examine your app in conjunction with human usage.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl

Reporter

Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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