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Booming Mobile Market Leads To Mounting Demand for Mobile Testing Services

  • 14/10/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

The mobility world is characterized by a plethora of handsets with as many diversions in screen resolution, operating systems, memory and languages. The fact that there are around 400 mobile operators around the globe lonely adds to this challenge – matching each operator’s compliances. Complexity in integrating a mobile application with a backend system and validating them holds the key in today’s mobility world.

Mobile applications can be either standalone or enterprise apps. Standalone apps are simple to test as they don’t need to talk with external systems whereas, the enterprise apps are developed to carry out intensive task of communicating with external resources using HTTP or WAP protocols thus further complicating the testing process.

1) Increased mobile components demands increased integration testing: Increase in the demand of various components in a single handset means increase in demand for validation and integration testing. With components like messaging, media player, social media, chatting, etc., being embedded together and expected to perform as a single entity the challenge becomes pervasive.

2) B2B and B2C Security testing for mCommerce and mShopping: Penetration of mobile solutions into various industries like retail, banking, entertainment, etc., has brought in further dimensions for application failures. Failures that can make or break businesses – for instance, not meeting security compliances of service providers and adherence to their security policies or incorrect validation of payment gateways.

3) Localization and Internationalization testing: Geographical boundaries are no more a restriction to access clients from other locations across the globe. This calls for localization and internationalization testing. Mobile handset is today utilized more like a PC of yesteryears and hence should be capable of supporting multiple languages without compromising on usability or user experience.

4) Device Certification Services: Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) are paying more cost due to complexity in testing mobile handsets. According to IDC, providers report that there are currently more than 1,000 discrete tests per handset per OEM per MNO, with more than 10,000 unique MNO-OEM model combinations introduced annually. Even after conducting such tests, a few defects go undetected and are realized post release. Ideally, it takes 3months to complete a certification cycle. With test automation sets in place for common test procedures, vendors can actually shrink the certification time, testing more handsets thus mounting their productivity.

5) Performance tuning for better user experience: With limited resources and constraints like computing power and memory, performance becomes a critical milestone for any device. Performance testing is necessary in order to make sure that the handset performs as desired under the varying real- life scenarios.

6) Testing using Emulators: Emulators have proven very cost-effective yet extremely efficient when it comes to testing apps which are independent of device hardware and network configurations. It can be a cost saver for many enterprises which otherwise would have demanded testing apps on physical handsets. However, one should validate the outcomes using the actual devices.

7) Cross platform and cross browser testing: It is reported that there are more than 40 browsers available for mobile devices. Each browser differs from the other in its functionality and the way images are displayed on it. Hence, cross browser testing and cross platform testing becomes mandatory in order to ensure that the outcome remains the same independent of the underlying technology platform. Further, some devices use WAP for communication whereas others use HTTP. Hence, it becomes reasonable to test the apps on both, WAP and HTTP-enabled handsets.

Research reports say that retail and BFSI sector is seeing a growing demand for mobile application testing services especially for mCommerce and mobile based ERP apps.In addition to this, media and entertainment industry is next on the list of rising demand for mobile testing services with reference to integration of various social media apps and multimedia apps.
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