Testing smartphones and tablets will alert you to numerous issues, allowing you fix them before they have significant consequences. However, not everyone is aware of how they can test mobile hardware—or, which tools are best for the job. Fortunately, we’re here to help. The following guide can serve as an overview of mobile device testing practices so that you will know how to diagnose problems with phones (or tablets) effectively, ensuring optimum performance and quality experiences for users.
One of the most pressing challenges for successful remote mobile testing lies in how to capture the test. Traditional screen-grab methods used by many remote desktop testers will be ineffectual here, because of the touchscreens that most current smartphones and tablets rely upon. Many of the most accurate testing solutions use either a specific platform paired with a camera or a system that makes use of eye-tracking software to demonstrate on-screen action.
Regardless of the technology you use, consider the following:
- Device compatibility—how many devices are compatible with the platform or technology that you are using to conduct the tests?
- Connectivity—does the area in which you are conducting the tests have a strong signal from multiple carriers? Results from tests conducted on a single network may not be applicable to others.
- Camera placement—make sure that any cameras you use maintain a fixed distance between themselves and the screens of the devices you are testing. Additionally, ensure that users will be able to hold their devices normally throughout the entire testing process so that you can get a sense of how they use their phones or tablets organically.
A Note on Test Case Scenarios
It should be noted here that many testers focus on testing as many tasks as possible in an effort to be comprehensive. However, it may be more appropriate to lower the number of tasks you ask the user to perform so that you can interact with them in a deeper and more meaningful way. Doing so will allow you to gain a more thorough understanding of how they use the phone, and which features they are most likely to prioritize.
Follow up with questions to the user about their experience. This will not only direct your attention to areas that you may have missed, but will tell you how to improve your testing practices for future clients.
User acceptance testing is an integral part of ensuring that software on tested devices will function as needed in real-world environments. It is essential for app developers, but can also provide valuable data to individuals who are seeking to test the compatibility of a specific device with particular software. If you offer remote mobile testing services, be sure to include support for UAT so that you will be able to take on clients in the software development community.
When you are testing the hardware of a mobile device itself, it is essential to choose a platform that will provide you with information in the following areas:
- Dead pixel tests to verify screen efficacy
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Wi-fi diagnostics to determine network accessibility issues
- Testing of both outer and inner hardware, which can still be vulnerable to environmental damage
- Display checking
- GPS testing to ensure proper location services
- Testing for cameras and microphones
- Battery testing
Several comprehensive diagnostic applications are available for such tests, including PhoneCheck—which can identify as many as 60 possible defects and ensure that tests do not suffer from outside influence.
Remote mobile device testing can help you provide value to a wide range of different people, as long as you carry it out correctly and invest in the proper tools. Use this guide to help you make smart choices about your testing process, and become a pro in no time.