Android application testing: Comparison of the two approaches – Manual and Automated

Android application testing: Comparison of the two approaches – Manual and Automated

| April 12, 2021

In the last one decade, the growth of Android was whopping which is very much evident if you look at the stats. Back in 2009, Android shared only 3.9% of the total market which has grown to over 72% in the last 10 years.

Talking about the current trend, almost everyone who is planning to develop a website goes for developing an Android app. The reason behind this surge in the Android market is that it is easy to customize or develop an app, has a wide range of features, and the Android devices are cost-friendly.

With the rise in the development requirement for Android apps, the need for testing Android applications has also increased to sustain in a competitive market. There are tons of devices and Android versions available that your application must be compatible with.

An ideal strategy for testing Android applications includes

1. Unit Tests – For verifying a minimal unit of source code

2. Integration Tests – For testing operation between different application modules

3. Operational Tests – For testing the correctness of app requirement

4. System Tests – For testing the entire app in the real environment

QA teams have two approaches for testing mobile applications which include automated testing wherein the automated tests are executed to test the app and manual testing in which humans use the app under different conditions or situations to analyse how the app responds.

Both manual and automated testing options have their own set of pros and cons and seem to be beneficial under different circumstances. Let’s discuss both approaches by having a detailed comparison between the two.

Manual Testing

Though automated mobile app testing is best suited for performing repeatable tests, you need to bring a degree of variation in the tests. It is important for mobile app development organizations to leverage manual testing for Android application testing in order to deliver an exceptional user experience. Despite the endless benefits of automated Android app testing, you will always have testing scenarios that require human intervention.

Here are different cases under which, manual testing is best suited –

1. Usability Testing: You can’t determine how user-friendly your application is without using manual testing as human observation is crucial in determining the quality of an app in terms of ease of use or usability.

2. Exploratory Testing: Exploratory testing is performed as black-box testing and requires knowledge, experience, intuition, analysis and creativity

3. Ad-hoc Testing: Ad-hoc testing is an unstructured or informal type of testing where the understanding of the tester matters more than anything else

Manual testing provides quality feedback on usability, functionality, and appearance. A manual tester plays a crucial role in testing an application in a similar way a real user would do. It can give you a better idea of the behaviour of the application and help fix the high priority errors. 

For Example, Manual testing can be used to see if the buttons are in the right position, have ideal size or colour, and whether they are overlapping or not.

Despite some of the key advantages, manual testing has many limitations such as testing procedures can become long and tiresome and are subject to human errors. This brings us to the best alternative for repetitive testing, i.e. automated testing, which reduces the burden of manual testers and reserves them for other key areas which have a human dependency.

Automated Testing

Automated testing is used to execute pre-scripted tests before an android application gets released to production. Automated testing might take some time and effort for the first run, but it is a viable option if the testing has to be repeated as it has the capability to run multiple tests simultaneously. It helps the QAs in reducing the overall time spent on testing during the different development stages.

Here are different cases under which, automated testing is the best alternative

1. Repeated Execution: Repetitive tasks can get tedious and prone to human errors and hence are the best suited for automated testing

2. Regression Testing: As regression testing demands frequent code changes, automated testing works really well for running regression tests quickly

3. Performance Testing: Automation makes more sense when you are testing the performance or speed of your Android application against thousand of concurrent users

Automated testing is easily scalable for larger mobile apps and is more cost-efficient compared to manual testing in the long run. But creating automated test scripts is time-consuming and it is not possible to automate each and every test scenario. Hence it makes sense to select the test cases that you want to automate.

Which Approach to Follow?

Ideally, automated testing should be clubbed with manual testing to ensure the overall quality of your Android applications. While manual testing takes care of the user experience, automated testing aims at resolving the key functionalities of the app.

If you skip test automation, you will get low test coverage, low accuracy, and delayed results & feedback. On the other hand, if you skip manual testing, entire categories of feedback with respect to user experience would be ignored due to lack of human exploration. Test cases such as exploratory tests, UI/UX tests should be kept for manual testing. 

The best scenario would be using automated testing to test the core functionality of the Android application which gives an ample amount of time for manual exploration of key features and user experience.

Testsigma allows you to create tests very quickly with near-zero initial setup time and cost to get you started. It comes with an in-built object recognition tool that can be leveraged for seamless object recognition while UI identifier objects are created. The tool ensures continuous delivery of an uninterrupted Android app experience for its customers through its easy and efficient Android application testing tool.  

Check out how easy it is to do integration testing of your Android Application with Testsigma.

You don’t need coding knowledge or skills as it allows everyone including testers and subject matter experts to write automated tests using simple English language.

Testsigma understands the importance of testing an Android application on a wide range of devices and platforms to give users a seamless experience and hence gives you complete access to over 2000 real Android and iOS mobile devices and tablets that are fast, accurate, and always available to test your application in and out.

Easily automate your android application testing with Testsigma