Mastering Mobile App Testing: Importance, Types, and Mistakes to Avoid

5 min readDec 14, 2023

Do you know a foolproof way to bury your app’s reputation right after the launch? Right, just avoid any app testing throughout the entire development cycle.

But jokes aside, we bet you’ll never buy a car without taking it for a spin to ensure it’s safe and runs smoothly, right? Likewise, you should make it a golden rule to give your future app a thorough test drive to guarantee it’s in tip-top shape!

In this article, we will explore the reasons why mobile app testing is a non-negotiable step in app development. Plus, we’ll discuss the main mobile app testing types and give you a heads-up about the typical mistakes you should avoid when testing an app.

What is mobile app testing?

Simply put, mobile application testing is the process of evaluating mobile apps to ensure they meet specific quality standards and function as intended. It involves a systematic examination of various aspects of an app, including its functionality, performance, security, and compatibility on different mobile devices and operating systems (OS). The mobile testing process helps you detect and rectify any vulnerabilities or bugs that could potentially disrupt the user experience.

With a vast app ecosystem, ensuring proper mobile testing becomes paramount to maintaining user satisfaction. Statistically, 66% of users are quick to uninstall the app or seek better alternatives when they face some performance issues. As such, your team needs to do its best to minimize any app crashes and provide a smooth user journey.

Why is mobile app testing so crucial?

When we call mobile apps testing a vital thing, we are not being dramatic. Here are just a few reasons that prove the relevance of this development stage:

1. Ensuring optimal user experience

When you download an app, the last thing you’re expecting is to come across technical glitches, crashes, or confusing interfaces. Such issues can have a profoundly negative impact on the user’s perception of a brand or service behind the app.

By thoroughly testing the mobile app before release, developers have a chance to find and eliminate weaknesses, thereby enhancing user satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of app abandonment. Moreover, in the long run, focusing on a superior user experience translates into positive reviews, higher retention rates, and improved brand loyalty.

2. Providing compatibility across various devices

The mobile device landscape is incredibly diverse but your app should look and function equally well on multiple operating systems, screen sizes, and hardware configurations. Otherwise, negative reviews won’t keep you waiting long.

Testing mobile apps thoroughly helps you address these compatibility challenges. By simulating real user scenarios on different devices, testers can check apps for any device-specific issues that may arise. Such dedication to details is obligatory if you’re planning to maximize the potential user base and revenue opportunities for the app.

3. Reducing development costs

It’s normal for businesses, especially startups, to strive to cut mobile app costs, and mobile app testing is an investment that pays off. While some may see testing mobile apps as an additional expense, it actually saves money in the long run.

Identifying and fixing issues early in the development process is a proactive approach. It’s considerably less expensive than snowballing bugs into more significant roadblocks down the line. Prompt bug fixes keep the project on track and save valuable resources.

“Neglecting to conduct thorough testing for a mobile application can result in significant costs, often exceeding the initial testing expenses.

Successful project = resource of (testers + business analysts + developers + designers)

By omitting quality assurance from the equation, the risk of encountering bugs throughout the project increases, necessitating additional resources from the same specialists to rectify the issues. To mitigate these risks, hiring a QA team becomes essential, leading to a revised formula:

Successful project = resource of (business analysts + developers + designers) x 1.5 + resource of testers.

Many founders and business owners forget that to these extra budgets, you have to add marketing expenses to restore the product’s reputation, as well as lost profits from the outflow of investment funding.”

Ilia Tseliatsitski, Quality Assurance Lead at SolveIt

4. Enhancing data protection

Mobile apps often handle sensitive user data, making security a great concern. Failing to adequately test a mobile app for vulnerabilities can expose it to data breaches and compromise user privacy, which can have severe legal, financial, and reputational consequences.

Mobile app testing includes security assessments that identify and mitigate potential risks, guaranteeing that user data remains safe and confidential. Moreover, demonstrating a commitment to data security through rigorous mobile testing can instill trust in users, potentially attracting a larger and more loyal audience.

5 Mistakes to avoid during mobile app testing

As you see, neglecting mobile testing in general is a big mistake. But we also decided to highlight a few more non-obvious nuances that you should take into consideration:

# Testing without a clear idea of the app’s purpose

Before testing mobile applications, a QA specialist should know a complete picture: the app’s purpose, its target audience, user expectations — and every detail you’ve gathered during the discovery phase. This information will help testers make sure that the project outcomes align with the needs of its intended audience. They will be able to create relevant test cases that cover the most common user pathways. Thus, you’ll get an app that performs optimally in scenarios that are most important for its success.

# Delaying testing until the end of development

Postponing mobile testing until the final stages of development will certainly entail a cascade of issues since bugs that surface late are typically more challenging and costly to resolve. To mitigate this mistake, testing should be an integral part of the mobile app development process from the start, giving the opportunity for early detection and smoother issue resolution. Plus, development teams will be able to maintain a steady and predictable project timeline, reducing the likelihood of unexpected setbacks.

“The best practice is to implement testing during the discovery stage while exploring project requirements.

By identifying flaws in the requirements early on, the necessary corrective measures can be limited to textual modifications in documentation, resulting in reduced expenses. Conversely, if developers have already implemented the requirements based on flawed logic, the costs associated with rectifying the issue are significantly higher.

Skipping requirements testing is a direct way to team overload and resource overruns.”

Ilia Tseliatsitski, Quality Assurance Lead at SolveIt

# Neglecting testing on actual devices

Another pitfall is avoiding app testing on real devices. Relying solely on emulators or simulators can result in overlooking device-specific issues. Emulators, while useful, can’t fully replicate the real user experience as actual devices come with unique hardware, software, and user interaction elements. As such, comprehensive testing on a variety of real devices should be integrated into the testing strategy.

# Focusing solely on UI

While a visually appealing user interface (UI) is essential, it’s just one aspect of the overall user experience. For a comprehensive evaluation, mobile application testing should encompass not only the UI part but also functionality, performance, security, and other critical aspects.

# Insufficient testing coverage

Discover the types of mobile app testing and SolveIt's experience in the full article here.