Philosophy of Using Tools for Testing Mobile Web Software

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A smartphone or a telephone is probably the most popular device nowadays. According to global statistics, these gadgets have the highest usage rate compared to desktop devices and tablets. This means that the mobile web has become an urgent need, and the new software in many cases will be a web product. And undoubtedly, it should function in all mobile browsers on portable devices.

This material will provide an analysis of modern approaches to testing such software and a list of tools that can significantly simplify this work.

Concept of Mobile Web App

First, let’s define what a mobile web application is.

A mobile web product is inherently an optimized website that can be run on any modern gadget: a smartphone, tablet, etc. To be able to use the application, it is enough to have the necessary device and stable Internet connectivity.

You don’t have to install such applications, they are available by the specific links in a browser. But on the other side, they have a limited set of functionalities in comparison with hybrid or native web products.

If you come up with such software, decide how and what you will test on it. How to choose the right tools with a sufficient set of useful configurations? Further, we’ll talk about it in more detail.

There are at least 3 types of mobile web product testing:

  • With a real gadget;
  • Based on an emulator;
  • With some simulator.

No doubt, any project is unique and requires a special approach. To make the right choice, you can conduct a small comparative analysis of the pros and cons of every option.

Physical devices + accuracy of results
+ makes it easier to check the orientation of the gadget
 – very expensive
– extremely time-consuming process of sequential reproduction of results
Emulators + are easy to install
+ switch between selected gadgets
+ the ability to use several profiles at the same time
+ low financial costs
 – potential errors
– limited possibilities when using editing the dimensions of the viewed window
Simulators + economically beneficial – potentially false positives
– simulation results can be difficult to fully analyze due to incomplete information

It is not recommended to use simulators. Why? Firstly, you will face hardware-related issues. Secondly, some products may function differently, and this will affect the reliability of their use anyway.

If you still decide to use emulators, select a set of tools that you can use while working with mobile software.

Current Tools for Mobile Software Testing

Chrome DevTools
This is the simplest and most popular emulator based on Google Chrome. One of its functions is the ability to test software in mobile mode. It is recommended to use it at the initial stages of testing when reproducing the functioning of the software for a specific mobile device.

A popular online tool for testing web products across a wide variety of mobile sites. It is a very reliable and comprehensive product that gives users access to over 1200 virtual gadgets. The graphical interface is very simple and user-friendly. It will be useful for both a junior and a professional QA engineer.

An online product that can be used to analyze the current performance of mobile software. It is based on mobile web browser emulators to provide smooth tests of anything you need. To work with MultiBrowser you do not need Internet access because the product works great as a desktop application.

But if you decided to use real gadgets, your next step is to define what devices you will use for testing.

How to Define What to Test On?

  1. Analyze what gadgets are the most popular at the moment;
  2. Choose devices with different OSes;
  3. Choose devices with different display resolutions.

After that, you need to figure out which set of web browsers is appropriate for you. Usually, they are classic and in-app.

Classic browsers are special software designed for viewing sites on mobile gadgets. As a rule, such browsers are distinguished by the flexibility of settings and advanced functionality with regard to the in-app ones. The most popular of them are Google Chrome, Opera mini, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Tor, UC browser.

In-app browser are built-in browser that contains a portable viewport. Always, when you click on a link in the mobile software, you will use the built-in web browser, one way or another. In other words, you follow a specific link within the active application.

To sum up, it is worth noting that it is best to use a certain combination of testing tools and remember that a real gadget is the most reliable and proven thing, which allows you to give complete accuracy of the results!

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