Device Fragmentation and Crowdsourced Mobile QA Testing

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Ashley Dotterweich, Monday August 8, 2016

The landscape of mobile devices and operating systems is rapidly evolving. Market fragmentation is a growing problem for mobile application developers. Varying screen sizes, new device types, and updated operating systems are constantly being introduced to the market.

As a result, mobile QA teams must be able to accommodate a wide variety of device and OS combinations in order to ensure consistently high user experiences. Comprehensive manual testing across multiple devices and operating systems can slow production significantly, and can contribute to delayed deployments or missed deadlines.

device frag mobile QA

Crowdsourced Testing for Better Mobile QA Testing Coverage

An emerging alternative to conventional forms of mobile application testing is crowdsourced testing. Crowdsourced testing provides access to a larger tester pool, while still allowing organizations to test their products on real devices. Instead of taking the time to repeat the same tests across all relevant devices and operating systems, QA testers and engineers can leverage crowdsourced testing for repetitive tests.

The expense of buying and maintaining devices and operating systems for testing in-house can also be offset by crowdsourced testing. Crowdsourcing provide your team with access to a more diverse set of devices and browsers, without having to maintain a large set of physical devices in-house, giving your team better test coverage.

Creating Faster Testing Solutions for New Devices and Operating Systems

Automating as many tests as possible is often seen as the best approach to fast, efficient quality assurance. But automation still requires a significant amount of time and resources to set up and maintain. With deployment cycles moving faster and faster, automation isn't always a viable replacement for manual testing. 53% of IT leaders say that their application functionality changes too frequently to use testing automation effectively.

As testing needs for established devices, operating systems and features stabilize, opting for automation can make large test suites more manageable. By systematically writing and implementing automated tests for established test cases and scenarios, you’ll free up time to spend developing and executing tests for newer devices as they hit the market.

eBook: The Challenges of Scaling Mobile QA

This post was adapted from our new eBook, The Challenges of Scaling Mobile QA. Read more about the problems that organizations face when scaling mobile QA and how crowdsourcing can help mobile app teams test more efficiently in The Challenges of Scaling Mobile QA. Click here to download the ebook.

Android OS statistics as reported by Google, iOS statistics as reported by Apple.