Mobile apps have become very popular because of their importance to people’s lifestyles. However, this popularity does not exclude the app from failing to meet up with some expectations or have any vulnerability issues – compatibility- that will affect user experience. Hence the need for compatibility testing on every mobile app before they are finally launched to the ideal users.
Compatibility testing is simply one of the important testing steps that you need to take if you really want to ensure the success of your mobile app software in the market. With compatibility testing, there is so much that you stand to benefit. From ensuring your mobile app works as designed to making it very compatible to different mobile devices so that your users can feel at home using your product, compatibility testing is the way to go.
But what does compatibility testing mean? And why should you invest in performing mobile compatibility testing? We will be looking towards answering these questions and exploring more compatibility testing topics in this blog post. Read on to find out.
What is Compatibility Testing?
Compatibility testing follows a testing process that aims at determining how and if two or more software apps can work together without any glitch or usability issues. Mobile compatibility testing is done to ensure that the mobile works with relevant integrated software.
Compatibility testing comes with several benefits but one of the biggest and most common is that it helps in preventing software defects, errors and glitches from disrupting the integrations and function of the app on devices.
To simply put this, compatibility testing eradicates the possibilities of encountering issues or glitches on the users side.
Type of Compatibility Testing
There are different types of compatibility testing. Let us look at them in this section
Forward compatibility testing
This type of software compatibility testing involves testing processes that are designed to determine a computer’s hardware or software compatibility with updated releases of a product. Forwarded compatibility testing is very important for applications that go through regular upgrades because sometimes an upgrade may lead to having some bugs or glitches in the app.
Here are the different ways by which you can perform the forward software compatibility testing;
- Hardware compatibility test
- Software compatibility test
- Field test
- Compatibility definition
- Compatibility verification
Backward software compatibility testing
This is the second type and it follows a designed testing process that will ensure that new products can easily work with older ones. Backward compatibility testing may sometimes be done using the same software to check how it will behave with the old system.
A popular instance is during an upgrade or change of operating systems to newer ones.
Of course after an upgrade, you would wish to have your mobile app to be compatible with the new versions, this is why you should take the testing seriously.
Processes of Compatibility Testing
Compatibility testing includes making early preparations because it involves installations of different kinds, use of different browsers, hardware configurations and network systems. But before you dive into it, ensure you have your testing teams on ground and a ready to use app.
After ensuring the above are all set, have your list of devices, browsers OS, and your testing platforms ready. Make sure you choose a platform that your testers are familiar with using. Familiarity will help them to interact and test, as well as easily record their tests to share the result with you.
The next stage is to ensure there is a testing environment for your testers to use so they can implement their tests.
During and after the software compatibility tests, ensure you properly monitor your testers so that they will send all the test reports to you in the right ways. Having received their reports, go through, and review carefully.
Categories of Compatibility Testing
Let us see the different categories of compatibility tests.
Hardware Compatibility Testing
In this sort of testing, a produced program or software is tested on numerous hardware configurations to ensure that it functions properly on them.
Network Compatibility Testing
In this form of testing, an application is examined for numerous characteristics such as bandwidth, speed, and so on on various networks such as WiFi, 3G, 4G, and so on.
Operating System Compatibility Testing
In this test, an application or program is executed on several operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and so on.
Device Compatibility Testing
This is done to ensure that an application is compatible with external devices such as Bluetooth, USB devices, printers, and so on.
Mobile Compatibility testing
This entails testing an application on numerous mobile devices running various operating systems such as Android, iOS, and Windows.
Browser Compatibility Testing
It entails testing an application’s compatibility with several browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others. Click here to learn more about cross-browser testing.
Software Compatibility Testing
In this sort of testing, the compatibility of a program with other software is determined. For example, if a program has a feature that allows users to create a PDF file, the user should be able to access that PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Reader (being one of the most used pdf readers).
Version Compatibility Testing
This form of testing examines an application’s compatibility with previous and newer versions. Backward compatibility testing and forward compatibility testing are the two types.
Importance of Compatibility Testing
Mobile compatibility testing is a crucial component of mobile app development. As a result, the software development team enjoys a number of advantages. Think about releasing a mobile app without first doing a compatibility test so you can get a good picture of these advantages.
It’s likely that as soon as the app enters the app store, users will start experiencing issues due to the lack of cross-platform testing. Users will begin to express their dissatisfaction with the app’s performance, UX, UI, and navigation.
In the worst circumstances, the absence of compatibility testing might potentially impact the functioning capabilities of your program. Some of the application’s most essential features may stop functioning under the new setting. Therefore, the absence of compatibility testing might set your mobile application for failure.
At the same time, the software team will not be able to better the software development process by using the input acquired during compatibility testing. Consequently, they won’t be able to accurately record essential data concerning the reliability, usability, and scalability of the program.
Last but not least, the team won’t know about compatibility problems until after the program has been released because most of the time they are only discovered through feedback. This means that fixing these issues will be more difficult and time-consuming for the team.
However, by doing compatibility testing, your team will be able to confirm the mobile app’s functionalities for both business and end users. Improvements in quality and functionality mean happier customers.
Giving users a pleasurable experience will lead to recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising for your app. This would lead to the app rapidly gaining a sizable user base.
What Are Some Tools for Compatibility Testing
Compatibility testing can be done manually or automatically. The following are some of the most common compatibility testing tools on the market:
Ghostlab – Glostlab allows you to test a website on numerous browsers and mobile devices at the same time. You may try it for 7 days for free. Surprisingly, they allow bitcoin payments in addition to credit cards and Paypal.
BrowserStack is a cloud-based automated testing tool that enables customers to test their applications on over 2000 real-world devices and browsers. They provide several price levels as well as a free trial. Selenium is also supported.
CrossBrowserTesting – SmartBear Company creates CrossBrowserTesting. They provide live testing, visual testing, and automated testing on over 2050 browsers. They provide several price levels as well as a 7-day free trial. It is compatible with Selenium and Appium test scripts.
LambdaTest – With solutions that do automated testing, live testing, visual testing, and responsiveness testing, LambdaTest supports over 2000 browsers and operating systems. They provide numerous price choices as well as a light lifetime free plan.
Ranorex – Ranorex studio is a GUI test automation framework created by Ranorex GmbH. It is beneficial to selenium.
How to Perform Compatibility Testing
We already iterated that compatibility testing (both web compatibility testing and mobile compatibility testing) is a serious step in ensuring you have a good software app. Let us walk you through the different steps you need to take to ensure you perform the best software compatibility tests.
1. Decide what you want to test
The first step in performing your software compatibility testing is to make the decision to perform the test. Your decision must be very clear as to what you want. Are you looking towards testing an app or a website?
2. Create a test scenario
You have made the decision to perform your test, so now it is time to create your test scenario. At this stage, you just need to know the best test environment to use for your app testing.
3. Perform the compatibility test
Going forward on your web compatibility testing and mobile compatibility testing, you have reached the stage where you must perform the actual tests. Have your testers reader with their testing tools and perform your compatibility test.
4. Analyse the results
Make sure you monitor the testing stages and record the test results. Now in this stage, you must perform your test analysis.
5. Take corrective action
During your test implementation, there is a stage called corrective stage where you may need to implement corrective actions against programs that do not meet your set standards. This is the stage.
6. Repeat the process
You may not get the required results at a go so you may need to redo the test. No worries, sometimes compatibility testing (both web compatibility testing and mobile compatibility testing) can be frustrating but trust us when we say it is with the stress.
7. Make a decision
Now you have done all the above steps of the test. It is time to use the result to make a grand decision. Maybe you want to purchase the software or you want to launch it for the first time in the market. If the issues identified are sometime you can afford to fix, go ahead and fix them. Whatever your decision, use the test results as your guide.
4 Reasons Why Compatibility Testing is Conducted in Mobile Applications
Mobile compatibility testing aims at checking if your app will perform well on different devices. Mobile compatibility testing follows processes that ensure your app performs the same way on different devices. This is great for mobile app developers.
Shall we see some benefits of mobile compatibility testing?
1. One of the top benefits of mobile compatibility testing is to ensure that your app works well on different devices. With this advantage in your business, you will have more users with positive feedback and reviews which will help in the ranking of your business on search engines.
2. Another benefit of mobile compatibility testing is that it helps you to not only identify but address issues at an early stage before they grow too big to handle without incurring many losses.
3. Furthermore on the benefits of mobile compatibility testing is that the process helps you to determine common features because your testers who are like an ideal user will help you to figure out their best features in your mobile app. You on the other hand will have the opportunity to improve those features for better usability and compatibility.
4. Lastly on our list of benefits of mobile compatibility testing is how it helps you to test your mobile app on different devices and get relevant feedback to make improvement in those areas.
What Should Be Included in a Mobile Compatibility Test?
There are some few things that you must take into consideration.when you are conducting mobile compatibility tests.
Here are they;
- Access the website and app on different devices.
- Testing on a variety of devices
- Access the website and app on different networks.
- Test the website and app on different browsers.
What is software compatibility testing?
Compatibility testing is a type of software testing that is used as a validation method to guarantee that the intended program works properly across platforms as specified in the requirement specification.
What is forward compatibility testing?
It is a type of compatibility testing that ensures that the generated software will perform properly with future versions of the platforms on which it has been installed.
What is backward compatibility testing?
Backward compatibility testing ensures that generated software performs correctly on the backward version of the operating system on which it is installed.
How Does Compatibility Testing Work?
Have a comprehensive understanding of the platform on which the app will run; everyone engaged in the process must be well-versed in the platform.
Set up the setting and execute a trial run before the main test.
Report the problems properly and ensure that they are resolved. If you discover new problems, ensure that the old fix is still functional after the correction.
What are the Compatibility Testing Tools?
The use of tools makes the procedure considerably easier. CrossBrowserTesting.com, LambdaTest, Ranorex Studio, Browsershots, TestComplete, Turbo Browser Sandbox, Browsera, and other major tools are utilized in the business.