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Tips to Prepare for Android and iOS Testing

  • 07/09/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

I have been almost exclusively testing mobile apps on Android devices (Smartphones and Tablets) and the iPad2 for nearly a year. In this article I use “iDevice” to include the iPhone and iPad. As with web and desktop applications there is a certain process or routine a tester follows from the time an app is installed (or accessed) until a bug report with evidence (logs & video files) is submitted.

Without a doubt it helps to know the basics of mobile data communication and industry terminology including 3G and 4G, CDMA, GSM, SIM, SMS, and WAP. For the tester, however, it is important to know how to install an app, take snapshots or video, and to find and access error logs on your device. Here are some helpful tips that I have collected through trial and error that may help you with testing mobile apps.



• In order to set the device to accept non-market apps on the mobile device “Settings -> Applications -> Unknown sources” needs to be checked.

APKatcher or similar Android Package Application File installer can be used to install a test APK on the Android device.
• Android test APKs can be downloaded from email attachments, web-based file hosting services such as Dropbox, or in some cases by using a barcode scanner program when it is scanned from the developer’s web site.
• Once an app has finished downloading, accept the permissions and install the application.
• Once installed the test app can be launched from the device screen by adding a shortcut or widget (if available). After initially launching a test app, it can be called by pressing and holding the native device Home button and then tapping on the respective icon under Recent Apps list.


Installation on the iDevice from a PC:

• Depending on how many files are provided – provisional and executable – download and drag them to your iTunes library (1st provisional, then the executable file). In some cases the application may not load if the order is reversed.
• Plug in your iDevice and then click on your device in iTunes.
• Select the Apps option at the top of the screen (next to Summary & Info), check off the name of the application on the list of apps to sync to your device.
• Click Apply on the bottom right corner and once the sync is complete, verify that the app is installed your device.
• Watch this video for help:
• iDevice test apps can also be downloaded Over-The-Air (OTA) via a secure link to authorized devices.


There are Android apps available that work with rooted phones and can take snapshots but I have not tried those. I either use a camera to take a photo or video of the Android device’s screen or plug in the device to my PC and utilize software programs such as Droid Explorer or droidAtScreen programs and TechSmith’s Jing to capture the steps to reproduce a problem.

Taking snapshots for bug reports is easy with iOS devices. On the screen that you want to capture, hold down the home button and press the power button at the top right. Then it is just a matter of syncing your device with either iTunes or a photo management program of the user’s choice. I use MS Paint to grab and save it on my PC.



When app crashes are encountered during testing, a log collector app can be run to collect the log files right after the app is force closed. The Log Collector app can be installed from the Android Market. Once a log is collected it can either be viewed with any of the following Android apps such as DocsToGo or QuickOffice, or it can be emailed for viewing on your desktop.


To find a log file, sync your iDevice with iTunes, then locate the correct log file for the app using the path for your OS below. The log file’s name should start with the app’s name.

Mac OS X

~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/<your iPhone’s name>/
Windows 7
C:\Users\[computer name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\Logs\CrashReporter\MobileDevice\<your iPhone’s name>\
See the following link for additional OS information

I hope you find these tips helpful for when you need to test an Android or iOS app/device.


Originally from Russia, Elena got her start in Information Technology field with UUNet Technologies. She has been testing for the last 7 years and studying software testing under the guidance of James Bach (Satisfice) and Matt Heusser (Miagi-Do School of Testing). She was a winner of the 2010 uTest Bug Battle and achieved “Gold” status in the uTest community.

You can learn more about Elena by reading her blog.
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