Much like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, mobile apps are only as strong as their weakest component. Mobile app developers are well-versed in the perils of a spotty UX and know the business risk associated with security bugs. To deliver mobile app experiences they can truly be proud of, development teams must put mobile app security testing and functional testing high (if not at the top) on their list of priorities. Functional testing lets teams know where the bugs are throughout the mobile app development process to allow for in-the-moment fixes rather than waiting until development is complete — saving time and money. Without it, who knows what kind of UX you are sending out into the world? Your app should function as the requirements dictate and it should be paired with rigorous security testing. Otherwise, your mobile app could be released with security bugs leading to greater risks in the long run.
What is Functional Testing?
Functional testing is the method of ensuring that a software application operates correctly as defined by the initial software requirements. It answers the following questions: Does it work? Does it work as we expected it to? Functional testing is a fundamental part of quality testing, and critical issues may occur if it is not conducted properly or thoroughly.
Functional testing is used for various purposes:
- Usability: Usability is determined by whether or not users can navigate through your UI and interact with app elements easily and logically.
- Functionality: Do the basic core functions of your app work without a hitch? For example, retail mobile apps should offer a seamless shopping experience from browsing to checkout.
- Accessibility: Testing for accessibility-related scenarios is imperative to enable mobile apps to be operated by users with various disabilities including vision and hearing impairment, physical or cognitive conditions, and more. Your apps must work with screen readers, speech recognition software, and screen magnification, to name a few.
- Error Checks: Functional testing checks for errors using sets of specific conditions that could generate a system error.
“Security and functional testing should be conducted in concert within the mobile DevOps pipeline to reduce risk and provide a high-quality mobile app experience.”
Benefits of Functional Testing
The ultimate goals of mobile app development and testing are to deliver high-quality products and experiences to customers. Functional testing ensures that bugs and issues are caught well in advance and fixed quickly. In addition, functional testing presents the following benefits:
- Better Quality Apps: Functional testing enables testers to catch and resolve important issues related to usability, accessibility and main functions that could pose anything from an inconvenient disruption to a costly disaster if it were eventually released to an end user.
- Time Savings: By testing in a more iterative fashion, testers can catch issues and give developers feedback much faster than a traditional waterfall testing approach. Organizations will also realize additional time savings due to reducing future rework.
- Higher Customer Satisfaction: Give your customers an experience they’ll rave about. By anticipating the use cases and needs of your end users and comprehensively testing for such scenarios, you can better validate and set up your mobile app for success.
The Consequences of Cutting Corners
Providing a reliable, consistent and seamless mobile app experience on all devices is essential. As the standards for mobile apps become more and more stringent and as mobile app usage grows, it is especially important that organizations conduct intentional and comprehensive functional testing efforts and incorporate them sooner in the software development lifecycle — not only to accelerate the feedback loop but also avoid a disruptive or subpar app experience.
Here are some examples of mobile app malfunctions that have made their way into recent headlines:
- A recent Spotify bug prevented Android users from accessing the app’s media controls.
- A recent iOS version of WhatsApp prompts an erroneous alert when a user attempts to scan a QR code.
Testing your app on a singular mobile operating system, mobile device or device version just isn’t going to cut it. Your mobile app needs to be fully functional and deliver a reliable experience across devices, generations, operating systems and combinations of such. Get help determining the devices, browsers, and operating systems to test against in this guide.
Highly Functionality Leads to High Quality
Just as it is crucial to perform mobile app security testing early, often and thoroughly as part of your digital strategy, it is also crucial to apply the same practices for functional testing. The mobile app landscape is highly fragmented across iOS and Android markets, and all OS/device combinations need to be tested thoroughly — especially from a functional perspective to validate that the requirements of the mobile app have been met and provide a functionally correct experience for the end user. Perfecto by Perforce can help you achieve these goals and enforce quality at every stage of your testing lifecycle.
- Greater Test Coverage: Perfecto’s comprehensive testing lab gives you access to thousands of real and virtual mobile devices so you can test a variety of permutations.
- Ability to Test Complex Scenarios: Perfecto supports testing for an array of advanced use cases including biometrics (e.g. fingerprint, facial and voice recognition), QR codes (via image injection), multi-factor authentication, SMS and more.
- Intelligent Reporting: With Perfecto’s intelligent reporting platform, testers can detect functional issues quickly, drill down on the root causes, and get actionable feedback on how to fix them.
End-to-End Mobile App Excellence
Security and functional testing should be conducted in concert within the mobile DevOps pipeline to reduce risk and provide a high-quality mobile app experience. With NowSecure and Perfecto, you can fully automate your security and functional testing so you can position your apps to survive and thrive in the next decade and beyond.
Want to learn more? Save your spot for our June 15 webinar, “Optimizing for Speed and Quality: Shift Left Testing for 5-Star Mobile Apps.” Perfecto by Perforce Global Solutions Engineering Director Johnny Lam and NowSecure Chief Mobility Officer Brian Reed will share tips on how to optimize your mobile apps for speed and quality.