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March 19, 2018

5 Ways To Win At Mobile Application Testing

Mobile Application Testing

Mobile application market is extending incessantly and broadly these days.

World's most outstanding geeks are appeasing the hunger of the most dedicated IT mobs by supplying them with latest and super-sophisticated mobile apps. For roughly a half of these "helluva creations" prove to be totally lame, a hypothetical mobile apps validity center has been running a testing procedure targeted at selecting the coolest apps among the usual "wannabees" and giving the former the green light to remain winners in the mobile market.

Application Testing is a rigid and meticulous process requiring high functionality and usability of an app. In order to pass it, app developers should be familiar with some tricks and useful suggestions on how to hit the score at the testing. Before we tackle the guidelines of a successful app testing completion, let's plunge into the proper understanding of the paramount challenges mobile application testing has. The most common challenges are:

1. Device fragmentation

Apps are normally used on various gadgets and platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc. This is called device fragmentation that is a little burdening for developers as they have to always disperse their work and attention to check if the app functions properly on each device and platform. Furthermore, different operating systems contain their own peculiar features and principles which makes it hard to manage them.

2. Availability of testing tools

Testing apps in-house bring a severe headache due to the lack or total absence of necessary tools. Moreover, if there's a multi-device app tested, the whole testing process gets even more complicated as businesses have to deal with the requirements of assessing the app on different devices and platforms.

3. Application lifecycle testing

The methods mobile application testing uses need frequent upgrades of an app as consecutive updates make developer follow compatibility. This makes mobile app testing even more complicated and hard to comply with.

To perform greatly at mobile application testing, you need to comply with a strategy consisting of important steps and techniques ensuring your success at the assessment procedure.

The leading strategy of winning at mobile app testing

  • Device selection

    Establishing the ways of testing an app is the primary step you should take to begin testing. The most important testing method you have to choose is directly related to the market so you had better be precise and thorough. There is one crucial choice two you have to make in order to complete testing successfully: select the device. Experts suggest regarding the following factors to make the right choice:

    • Test your app on all credulous OS versions;
    • Try a customized screen version to assess by size and resolution;
    • Providing your app is compatible with with tabs and smartphones, test it for form peculiarities.

    It's not the full directory of the factors you need to take into account when selecting the device, these are only the major ones. You can also consider connectivity option, memory size, etc.

  • Genuine devices and emulators

    To reduce the chance of failing the test, you can choose whether you want to use physical devices or emulators. The latter is advisable in the initial development stages since emulators are really good at providing quick testing. Moreover, they are cost-effective. However, the perks of using emulators shouldn't prevent you from utilizing the physical device, too as it's an inherent component of having a full comprehension of the app performance in a real-life dimension. All in all, the most accurate and effective results can be obtained from so-called hybrid testing, meaning it's best to use both emulators and physical devices.

  • Cloud testing

    Using the cloud to test an app facilitates the testing process and enables you to draw more precise conclusions about the app performance. It creates a web-based environment, allows you to manage your app in various ways, and provides instant access to different mobile devices. Cloud testing also cuts project costs and increases ROI.

  • Network connectivity

    This factor is highly important as the functionality of most mobile apps depends on it. It's strongly recommended to test application within a network to have a proper understanding of how an app functions. You get numerous tools for network simulation to test your app for speed, connection failures, etc. One of the critical factors determining the success of an app at testing is being consistent in various networks.

  • Performance testing

    App scalability and performance are its key characteristics. If an app has a great storage capacity at reasonable prices, the chance of enticing more customers rapidly grows. Users tend to store many programs relevant to your app which may slow down its performance. This testing has to consider all the possible aspects connected with these programs as well as their range.

Bottom line

Passing Mobile App Testing will make your app stand out amid other applications and win over them. Once you follow these key guidelines, your app will end up with unprecedented success and popularity among today's capricious users that are very hard to please.

Short bio

Helen Morrice is a copywriter and content developer at IDAP Group, an app development company having its headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine. She is a talented and promising writer keen on of delivering valuable and unique content. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Helen Morrice

March 12, 2018

Browser Extensions for QA

Browser Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience. It's a good way to get a lot more out of the browsers.

There are plenty of great Extensions that can help QA test websites. However, don't be greedy and install too many extensions. It can slow down your browser experience and give you false testing results!

Browser Extensions

Awesome Screenshot: Screen Video Recorder

Screencast, record screen as the video. Screen capture for a full page, annotate, blur sensitive info, and share with one-click uploads.

A fast way to get a screenshot of the current page. You can even add all the popular annotations after the screenshot. The nice thing is that the capture is in a different tab, so you can keep testing and then go back and make any comments.


Bug Magnet

Right-click context menu to help with exploratory testing

Bug Magnet helps validate user-entered data. Make sure that the field supports all Unicode, Email and Phone standards. All the different text combinations are available with a simple right click.


Tag Assistant (by Google)

Tag Assistant helps to troubleshoot installation of various Google tags including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and more.

This is a great way to see what tags are installed on a page. Useful if your debugging Google Tag Manager and want to make sure that it's enabled.


Window Resizer

Resize the browser window to emulate various screen resolutions.

This is a fast way to make sure the browser is set to the correct dimensions. In addition, you can use the command Alt-Shit-T to display the current browser size. Very useful when you're debugging a layout issue with a particular resolution.


Form Filler

This extension allows you to fill all form inputs (textboxes, textareas, radio buttons, dropdowns, etc.) with **random/dummy** data.

The purpose of this extension is to help developers test their forms quickly and easily.


Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts for Extensions and Apps

Did you know that you can set keyboard extensions for Extensions? This is a great way to quickly access Extensions that you use all the time. Especially during regression test cycles.

If you go to chrome://extensions and click on the Keyboard Shortcuts in the bottom right of the page.

Now you can set your own shortcuts when you need them. This makes it really easy to access your extensions when your testing websites. This is also handy when you have Extensions hidden in the Chrome menu.

For example, you can set a shortcut to open the Tag Assistant - making it easy to validate the tags when you need to. You may have this hidden because it's not an action that you may need to do in every test.

March 5, 2018

Google Testing Blog

Google Testing Blog is a great resource to the latest 'hot' trends in QA testing. You get a perspective on what technology/process is working at Google.

I would recommend at visiting the blog and at the very least, click on the "Subscribe by Email" to get the latest post emailed to you. The good news is that they don't post every day - so your email box won't blow up.

The emails/post that is posted contain a lot of very useful information that may help your organization test more effectively.


You'll Learn Something New

You can certainly learn a lot from one of the most innovated organizations in the world. Just some of the things I learned:

  • Strategies on applying comments in the code, especially in automation. There is such thing as ineffective comments.
  • How the size of test cases can make a difference on how effective it can be.
  • Building Test Infrastructure that produce real results.
  • Speed is key in creating the best testing tools and to win at Continuous Integration. If it takes a long time for a test - "There's a tremendous difference in hackability if it takes 5 seconds to build and test versus one minute, or even 20 minutes, to build and test."

Eleven Years and Counting

The Official Google Testing Blog has been running now for 11 years. They have about 100 to 200 views per month. They are a good resource for tips/tricks to the technical/business side of testing.

February 26, 2018

Opera and Maxthon

Having a second dedicated browser for production testing a web app is a good idea.

You can configure bookmarks and predefined cookies set up to easily test production functionality. So if someone complained about a bug you can quickly test it in production and not have to worry about logins or cookies from my dev environment testing.

I use Chrome and Firefox for all my development testing. Having multiple browsers doesn't slow down the system or use up disk space. The only problem that I have encountered is remembering keyboard shortcuts.

Chrome Leads the Browser Field

Chrome is the most popular browser used by consumers. It would make sense that a dedicated production-only browser is based on the same underlying platform.

Chrome uses blink as it's web browser engine.

There are two good browser options that use Blink - Maxthon, and Opera. Both of these are excellent choices for testing production as if your using Chome.

Blink Browser


Maxthon Cloud Browser is built on the Blink platform andhas over 670,000,000 users world-wide.

Main Features of Maxthon for QA:

  • Ad Blocker
  • MaxNote - Get away from standard bookmarks
  • UUMail - Create numerous "Shadow mailboxes" for testing
  • Snap Region - Screenshot in the toolbar


Opera Browser is built on the Blink platform and has over 350,000,000 consumers.

Main Features of Opera for QA:

  • Snapshot icon in the sidebar, making it easy to capture bugs and issues
  • Dev Tools - Works like Chrome
  • AppleScript Support - Create AppleScripts that interact with the Opera Browser. Great AppleScript Support!
  • Extensions - Lots of enhancements to make Opera work for you, including support for Awesome Screenshot and Evernote Clipper

The Better Browser?

You'll have to decide which browser works best for your testing.

February 19, 2018

Chrome Window Resizer

Chrome's Window Resizer gives you more control of your Chrome Browser

Window Resizer is a great tool to test a website functionality in various browser widths. Basically to test a website responsive design.

Widow Resizer also has the ability to show the current browser size - via a hotkey. This makes it easier for QA to identify a problem on the page using a particular resolution.

Window Resizer Extension

Developer Description

This extension re-sizes the browser's window in order to emulate various resolutions. It is particularly useful for web designers and developers by helping them test their layouts on different browser resolutions.

The resolutions list is completely customizable (add/delete/re-order). You can set the window's width/height, window's position, preset icon (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) and even the option to apply the new dimensions to the entire window or just to the viewport.

Tips and Tricks

Various things I have learned using Window Resizer:

  • It's useful to change the tooltip timeout from 3000 ms to 5000 ms, that way it will stay long enough for screenshots. (You can change this under Settings -> Tooltip.)
  • In the Setting you can change the layout presets. Remove items that you never plan to use. That way it doesn't clutter the Window Resizer menu.
  • There are four very useful tooltips to remember, see the above for the most commonly used shortcuts that are worth remembering.
  • You don't need to have the Window Resizer Extention appear in the Chrome Extention viewer. Simply right click on the icon, and select 'Hide from Chrome..' and you can still access the features via tooltip.
February 12, 2018

Postmortem Document

Part of the responsibilities of the Quality Assurance team is to find out why things go bad. This is typically done after the project gets deployed into production - otherwise known as a Project Postmortem.

The goal of a Postmortem isn't to blame people or processes. The goal is to highlight the issues and then come up with suggestions to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again.

The postmortem shouldn't just benefit the team working on the project, the data gathered should be shared so future projects can learn from past mistakes.

Bad Release Book
Download the One Page Cheat Sheet.

Postmortem Document

A few years ago, I put together a reference document as a guideline for a typical Postmortem. This is useful in starting the conversation and get some fresh ideas flowing.

Download the PDF version of the document and feel free to use it for your next Postmortem.

Some Postmortem Tips

I find it more practical to send out the document to the individual team members a few days before the meeting so they can have some time to think about the issues and come up with viable solutions.

Schedule the meeting at least a week after the incident. If you wait too long some issues might get overlooked. This issues may come back to haunt another deployment.

Remember: Stay on track with the conversation - it's very easy to get side track. Use the "Parking Lot" to shelf ideas that are off topic.

February 5, 2018

SQL Mate

Part of any QA's job is documenting tests in a test case repository system. The goal of a test case repository is to have a central location of test cases that are run during Smoke Test / Regression and other test cycles.

TestLink is Very Popular

TestLink is one of the most popular Test Case Repository that some startup use. Startup teams like TestLink, primary because the application is opensource and is pretty easy to install. Commercial Test Case Repository systems can be expensive for a startup to justify the cost.

It does take a while to understand how to use TestLink. ## How Old ##

Keep the Test Fresh

A test repository is only as good as the test cases. If QA isn't maintaining test cases, then the test case repository system isn't useful. It's very important to keep the test case repository fresh.

At times, this can be very time to consume and overwhelming because of the amount of backlog. Using the TestLink data entry editor can be very confusing. Management may not be open to switching to a different solution.

Welcome SQL Mate

SQL Mate is a new service that hopes to fix the data entry gap. They provide a simple interface to design test cases and then import the XML into TestLink. The good thing is that it will look like the test cases were designed right in TestLink.

SQL Mate puts the power of Markup Language into test case design. Allowing QA to focus more on the test case and not on the layout.

SQL Mate is still in beta, so if you want to get on the ground floor, this is the time. They haven't announced any pricing, but I am sure that beta users would get a discount - plus you'll be testing out their service and providing feedback to make it better for your situation.

Sample Design

This is a sample Test Case entry to verify that Google Calculator correctly adds 2+2:

T Validate 2+2=4 in Google Calculator
!Visit the Google Calculator Page
* Using Chrome goto:

!!Validate that the page loads

! Click on the '2' key
! Click on the '+' key
! Click on the '2' key
!! Validate that '2 +2' displays in the calculator status area

! Click on the '=" key
!! Validate that the number '4' appears in the status area and that '2+2' appears above the status area align to the right.

Results in SQL Mate and in TestLink:

S Q L Mate View

January 29, 2018

QA Style Sheet

If your testing a website style, it doesn't hurt to put it through a good CSS tester for compatible issues. There's plenty of sites that are available to validate a website CSS. I have found that 'QA Style Sheet' is a good quick check on CSS compatibility.

In my test, the 'QA Style Sheet' check has done a good job finding out of date style. The nice thing about the project is that you can make a Bookmarklet so that anytime you need to check a page style, simply click on the bookmark. This is really handy when testing a page that is deep in the login process.

Q A Style Sheets

QA Style Sheet Project Description

The QA style sheet highlights specific HTML problems like use of deprecated elements, inaccessible images, layout tables, empty elements, or styling-related maintenance issues. Theoretically, it is "unobtrusive" in a sense that when everything's fine it won't cause any visible changes.

New Owner Needed

The folks over at QA Style Sheet are looking for a new owner. If you're a CSS expert and have some time to spare, it might be a good way to give back.

January 22, 2018


Bug Magnet is a powerful tool to help Quality Assurance team test HTML form fields during exploratory testing. With a simple right-click, you have access to all sorts of data to help verify the field functionality.

The nice thing that I link about BugMagnet is that you discover new test cases for form fields.

Bug Magnet Monitor

Description from

Exploratory testing for Chrome and Firefox. Adds common problematic values and edge cases to the context menu (right-click) for editable elements, so you can keep them handy and access them easily during exploratory testing sessions.

Field Validation

You can test all sorts of different data types, here are some of the types available:
  • Names - Test names with apostrophe, quotes, dash, Japanese
  • Post Codes - Alphanumeric, With Spaces, 4 digits, 3 digits, 10 digits
  • E-Mail Addresses - Valid and Invalid formats (No longer have to research valid email formats!)
  • Payment Cards - Valid and Invalid Card testing (all the major card types!)
  • Text Size - Test the length of the field

Customize Functionality

Quality Assurance teams can expand the functionality and add their own customize functionality. Full details on how to do it is on their customizing page on their site.

Sample Entry:

  "Customer Access": {
    "PreSales": "0",
    "Sales": "0"
  "Company": "Ebriate Inc."

Low Footprint

BugMagnet doesn't slow down the Chrome/Firefox functionality. It's certainly worth installing for the times when you may need to test a field.

January 15, 2018

Throw Away Email Accounts

Having multiple email accounts is critical in testing some functionality. QA engineers may need to test various first-time customer experiences to see how the flow works.

There are a couple of excellent services where QA Engineers can quickly setup up unique email accounts for testing. The process is simple and very quick.

Email Apps is perfect if your working on a project for 24-hours and want to capture overnight emails. Simply visit the site, have an email generate. To check emails, simply go back to the site with the same browser.

Full Description from their website: is a disposable email address service. When you visit a new email address is generated just for you. The generated email address can immediately receive email. Any email that is received will show up on the main page. No one other than you will see the emails that are received. It is important to note that an email address expires after 48 hours. When an email address has expired, the email address and any received emails will be gone. A new email address will be generated by visiting this website. There are many reasons for using a disposable email. You may want to give someone an email address without revealing your identity. Or you may want to sign up for a website or web service but you are concerned that the website will send you spam in the future.


Mailinator is great because you can instantly create an email, you don't need to set anything up.

Full Description from their website:

The Public Mailinator site is a different kind of email service. The biggest difference is that you don't need to sign up. Any email name you can think of already exists and you can use any of them. Want You got it. Want PrettyMothra? ScaryGavyn? No problem. Those and any other mailboxes you think of are created when email arrives!