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Mobile App Testing: To Automate or Not?

Published datePublished: Oct 8, 2016 ViewsViews: 1920
Deepak Sinha

Deepak Sinha

Deepak is a hands-on Technology Leader with expertise in designing software solutions for various successful projects for multinationals. He has total experience of 15+ years and has worked on all the phases of application development and has good experience in open source and mobile technologies. He is passionate on new Technologies and has strong interest on Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence etc.
Mobile App Testing: To Automate or Not?

Even though automation testing of mobile apps is gaining in popularity, there are some constraints that are also a part of this decision. Therefore, before taking this decision the pros and cons of the decision have to be weighed. There are three primary concerns:

1) Budget

2) Time

3) Required Skill Sets

The following things must be kept in mind while deciding whether to go for automation testing or not:

Identify the Needs of the Business

It is imperative to determine the scope of the business to decide whether automation testing is the best option that is available. While determining if the business is suited to automation testing it is important to identify what the features are which are critical for business, this will help in determining if automation will be suited for the business. You should also no if there are cases where a large amount of data is involved. The knowledge and scope of the data will also play a role in determining if testing of the app should be automated or not. Some apps involve non-functional aspects like performance test and load test. These have to be considered before a final decision on whether the app should be tested or not is taken. Apart from this, there are also some classes of business where manual testing is not only difficult but also tedious, in such cases, the decision to automate testing should be taken well in time.



Imagine an environment that is changing all the time. Such an environment means volatility and that is not a good basis for automation testing. A good, stable environment is required for automation to be a success. Changing environment might render some of the features of automation to become redundant. Sometimes changing and modifying the basics of automation becomes difficult when the environment is unstable. However, sometimes automation can play a big role in saving time and effort when there is instability also. In every aspect, it is important to consider the environment and the role played by automation in the set up to determine if apps should be automation tested.

Return on Investment Metrics

Every investment is weighed against its Return on Investment (ROI). Automation testing involves a tremendous layout in terms of money. This is an investment into the business as successful automation means that more apps can be rolled out which leads to higher income. It also means that the apps that are rolled out are failsafe and tested and therefore leads to higher customer satisfaction.

The need for automation is determined by some important factors:

• The ratio of flaws found to the total apps tested

• Time required for testing in the production and release cycle

• Minimum amount of time required for release

• The matrix for measurement of customer satisfaction

• Improvement in productivity caused by launching the app


Once automation testing is enabled and established, it ensures that the mobile apps that are launched reach the market quickly and the ones with flaws need to be rectified immediately. It helps in free and smooth launch and release cycle.

Human Errors

Manual testing involves more scope for human errors. Automated testing involves automated criteria for pass and fail which is mostly failsafe. It eliminates the human errors involved in manual testing. However, there is a small percentage of machine errors to be introduced with automation testing but that is the case with every technology and machine.


One of the most important aspects to consider is the amount of money being spent on automating testing. This will play an important role in determining if an app is worth being tested automatically or not. Factors like support for applicable mobile platforms, script reusability and total cost of ownership are to be considered before determining if the app should be automation tested or not.

So, Should we Automate the Mobile App Testing?

Without a doubt, a lot of time and resources can be saved using automated mobile testing, which is highly beneficial. Automated testing also allows increasing app test coverage since testers will have more time for manually testing the apps. Automated testing shouldn’t be considered a replacement for manual testing, but rather it complements the manual testing work of the tester.

Also, read: IOS App Testing

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