The Ultimate Guide to Cross Platform Testing: Best Practices & Essential Tools

Cross Platform and End to End testing are essential components of modern software development processes. They facilitate the smooth operation of applications across various platforms and environments and help satisfy user requirements. This guide will discuss the fundamentals of cross-platform and end-to-end testing, illustrate their importance with real-life scenarios, explain the various types of testing, and explore how they can contribute to successful outcomes in software development. Software developers, testers, and project managers will benefit from this guide’s insights into cross-platform and end-to-end testing.

What is Cross Platform Testing?

Cross platform testing ensures that an app works correctly on different devices, operating systems, and web browsers. It’s important because it helps ensure that users have the same great experience, no matter their device or system. Testing across different platforms also helps catch any compatibility issues early so they can be fixed quickly.

It involves running tests to make sure the app behaves like it should, no matter what platform it’s used on. This testing is crucial for apps that must be available on multiple platforms (like phones or websites). Cross Platform Testing helps developers catch compatibility issues before they become a problem.

Importance of Cross Platform Testing

The importance of cross platform testing is enormous in today’s world, where we use lots of different devices and platforms. For example, you have smartphones, tablets, and more. It’s essential to ensure that your apps work on all these platforms so everyone can use them without problems. Cross-platform testing helps developers spot compatibility issues early on, so they can fix them before the app goes live. This way, everyone has the same great experience no matter their device or platform. Plus, with cross-platform testing, you can reach more people by ensuring your app works on many different devices and platforms – which means more users and customers for you!

What is Cross Platform End to End Testing?

When testing an app on just one device, it might seem like everything is working fine. But there could be bugs when you try to use the same app on a different platform. For example, something that works on Google Chrome for Windows may not work on a Mac. If you want to access your data from multiple devices, it’s essential to make sure it stays consistent. Cross platform end to end testing checks the application on multiple devices and ensures everything runs smoothly. It’s really important to do this each time you update the application.

With the rapidly increasing number of devices and frequent releases of new versions of browsers, mobile operating systems, and desktop releases, the potential for bugs and errors is high. Cross platform end to end testing helps to minimize this risk by ensuring the application works seamlessly across all platforms.

Another problem in cross-platform end-to-end testing is the user’s expectation that his account data is not local to the device but consistent across all the devices. For example, if we take the same example taken in the previous section with a cross-platform twist, it looks as follows:

On a mobile device:

  • Add items to the cart.
  • Tap the cart button and proceed toward the cart items.
  • Exit the application.

On a desktop device:

  • View items in the cart.
  • Verify if all the items added through mobile devices are present.
  • Pay successfully.
  • Exit the application.

You have cross-platform end-to-end testing if such scenarios can be tested across various platforms on the same account. Though this has, till recently, been a challenging scenario to automate – Testsigma has come up with a new feature to let you do just that. Testsigma lets you automate your test scenarios on multiple platforms as one end-to-end test case.

Cross-platform testing
Cross-platform testing

When should Cross Platform End to End Testing be Automated?

  1. Complex applications: Complex applications with many components and interactions across different platforms require automation to ensure consistent and efficient testing.
  2. Multiple platforms and devices: Testing an application across multiple platforms and devices can be time-consuming and error-prone without automation. Automated testing ensures consistent and accurate testing results.
  3. Frequent releases: Applications with frequent releases need to be tested quickly and efficiently, and automation can help speed up the testing process and reduce errors.
  4. Regression testing: Automated testing is essential for regression testing, where changes are made to an application to ensure it continues to work correctly. Automated regression testing helps ensure that changes do not introduce new bugs or compatibility issues.
  5. Large-scale testing involves hundreds or thousands of test cases and is best suited for automation. Automated testing ensures that all test cases are executed consistently and efficiently.
  6. Reduced manual effort: Automating cross-platform end-to-end testing reduces manual effort and helps eliminate the possibility of human error, providing more accurate and consistent results.
  7. Improved test coverage: Automated testing can help improve test coverage by enabling the execution of more tests in a shorter time frame, increasing the chances of finding and fixing bugs.

Register for the webinar to demo Testsigma’s cross-platform end-to-end testing feature on 29th June 3pm IST.

Necessity of Automation in Cross Platform End to End Testing:

The following scenarios illustrate the necessity of automation in cross-platform end-to-end testing:

When you have a Cross Platform Application

Have you ever wondered how your WhatsApp messages and media are restored locally when you log in through a new or another device? This is a cross-platform scenario and an essential feature for those looking to serve their users on various platforms. This is generally the case when account creation is required.

Synchronization among devices is an expected feature nowadays. For example, a user receives an Amazon link from his friend on WhatsApp and adds it to the card on the phone, and a few hours later checks it from the desktop. End-to-end testing adds a few more test cases when a website is under release.

Testsigma lets you automate your test scenarios on multiple platforms as one end-to-end test case.

When target devices are too many

Target devices are those devices that you intend to release your application. In 2022, you cannot release an application (native or web) for all the available devices. It would just mean a lot of sacrifices in terms of functionalities. So, we create a simple list of target devices and other specs we need to follow.

Too Many Target Devices
Too Many Target Devices

For example, if you aim to release a web application, you need to declare the minimum operating system version (android and iOS) you will support. All the mobile browsers with their minimum versions and minimum resolution support. A similar pattern then needs to be followed for desktops as well. This will create a long target device list, which would be much easier with automation.

When too many repetitive tests are there

A simple and general definition of repetitive test cases can be as follows:

  • Cases that need to repeat on various devices.
  • Cases that need to be repeated along with each version.

The second category, however, covers the first category as well. Repetitive cases (also termed regression test cases) ensure that we release our application bug-free with each released version and on each unique platform.Automation is often called for when repetitive cases are in consideration. With the help of automation, these are put on the CI pipeline and run automatically to save time and costs.

When timelines are strict

Automation saves a lot of time from pushing the application for testing until its release. When we are looking to test with automation, we execute cases faster and can generate reports as well quickly. One area that we discussed above is regression tests. Another vital area is when we need to parallelize stuff. We can move various mutually exclusive tasks with advanced thread methods and leverage a computer’s core power. Both of these things save time and help wrap things up faster.

How to Plan for Cross Platform Testing?

To plan for cross-platform testing, it’s essential to consider the application’s requirements, target platforms, and testing goals. A well-defined testing plan can help ensure that the application is thoroughly tested across different platforms and devices, ensuring that the end-user experience is consistent and optimal.

Know your Audience:

Understand who will be using your app. Think about what a typical user would do when using it and create use cases for them. Also, find out which devices and platforms they’ll most likely use. To ensure you’re testing the right things, get stats on the platforms or devices people are using. This will help you decide which ones should be tested across different platforms.

Identify Platforms to be Supported:

Once you know your users, the next step is to decide which platform to use or how to create your solution with those users in mind. If most of your users come from Western countries, you can use an iOS platform as a specialized option.

Limit your Test:

Sometimes testing can be a bummer because you’ll learn about new stuff each time you run the program. It’s unrealistic to test every possibility; even if it were, it wouldn’t be wise. It’s smarter to only test certain things based on facts. The key is to spend your time in the best way possible. Figure out which platform will get the job done with minimal risk and maximum reach. Making a matrix with colors (like a heat map) will help you determine what needs to be done first and what can wait.

Stances to Opt for Automation:

Testing an app on different devices and systems can be tedious. It’s easy to miss mistakes, and staying interested in testing the same thing repeatedly can be challenging. Automation is a great way to save time by running the app on multiple platforms at once. Automation tech is helpful, but it can’t check if your program works well or is accessible, so you still need people to do that part.

Consider Investing in the Emulator Software:

If you’re a teen looking to test a program, buying lots of equipment and gadgets can be expensive. Emulators and virtualization are fantastic ways to run tests across different platforms without breaking the bank. You can create your virtual computers with different specs or use emulators to see how your app works on various mobile devices with varying screen sizes.

Cross Platform Testing Issues to look out for

Cross-platform testing is essential to ensure your app or website works properly on different devices and platforms. It’s essential to be aware of potential problems when you test across different platforms to ensure the testing process is thorough and successful.

  1. Different devices and platforms can have different screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware capabilities, which can cause problems. It’s essential to test the app on various devices and platforms so you can spot any issues early.
  2. The performance also differs between devices and platforms, so testing it on each is essential to ensure it works well.
  3. Things like a user interface (UI) and design elements may look different on different devices or platforms, which could lead to a bad user experience. Make sure you test the UI and design elements to look the same across all platforms.
  4. Security vulnerabilities and flaws can be caused by code only compatible with specific platforms or using libraries from outside sources. It’s important to ensure the app is safe on all platforms.
  5. Platform-specific features like notifications and touch gestures should be tested on each platform to ensure they work how they’re supposed to.
  6. Integration issues, when your app connects with services like push notifications and in-app purchases, need to be tested carefully so that everything works perfectly regardless of platform.

Cross Platform Testing Tips and Techniques:

Cross-platform testing is a type of software testing that involves verifying the functionality, usability, and performance of an application across multiple platforms. It is an integral part of software development and helps ensure that applications are compatible with various operating systems, devices, browsers, and other components. Here are some tips and techniques to help you get started with cross-platform testing:

  1. Create a detailed plan for testing: First, decide which devices and platforms you will be testing, what kinds of tests you’ll do, and what the results should look like.
  2. Use cloud-based services: Take advantage of cloud-based services to test your app on different platforms without buying hardware.
  3. Test on actual devices: Try out your app on real devices since virtual ones may not show how it works in the real world.
  4. Automate as much as possible: Automate as many tests as possible so that you don’t have to do them by hand and save time.
  5. Use cross-platform frameworks: Consider using programs like Xamarin or React Native that makes testing easier across multiple platforms.
  6. Collaborate with the development team: Work closely with the development team to ensure that they understand the importance of cross-platform testing and that the testing process is integrated into the development process.
  7. Continuously monitor and evaluate: Continuously monitor and evaluate the application’s performance across platforms and devices, and adjust the testing process accordingly.

Best Cross Platform Testing Tools

Cross-platform testing is an essential part of the software development process, as it helps to ensure that an application works seamlessly across multiple platforms and devices. To achieve this goal, there are several cross-platform testing tools available in the market. In this section, we’ll explore some of the best cross-platform testing tools, their uses, and features, and explain each tool in detail.

Appium:

Appium is an open-source tool that facilitates cross-platform testing of native, hybrid, and mobile web applications. It offers support for iOS and Android platforms, making it suitable for automating tests on real devices.

Selenium:

Selenium is a widely-used, open-source tool that facilitates cross-platform testing of web applications. It can be utilized with multiple programming languages, including Java, C#, and Python. Moreover, integration with other tools, including JUnit and TestNG, can be achieved.

Xamarin Test Cloud:

Xamarin Test Cloud is a cloud-based testing solution that facilitates cross-platform testing of mobile applications. It offers support for over 2,000 real devices, and the results can be accessed in real time via a web-based interface.

Testsigma:

Testsigma is a cloud-based, AI-driven, cross-platform tool that offers comprehensive testing solutions for web and mobile applications. It supports testing on multiple platforms and devices, with the capability to write tests in natural language for non-technical users. Its user-friendly design, scalability, and AI-driven test generation capabilities make it an ideal choice for cross-platform testing.

Robotium:

Robotium is a widely-utilized testing tool that facilitates cross-platform testing of Android applications. It offers automated black-box testing capabilities and can be integrated with other tools, including JUnit and TestNG.

BrowserStack:

BrowserStack lets you test your website on any device without needing to install anything. You can use the pre-installed developers’ tools like Microsoft script debugger or Firebug Lite to debug and ensure your website looks great on all browsers. You can easily set up a testing environment with support for firewalls, proxies, and Active Directory – all in the cloud!

When selecting a cross-platform testing tool, it is essential to consider factors such as the application’s complexity, platform, device compatibility, automation capabilities, and overall cost. Numerous tools in the market offer unique features and capabilities to meet various testing requirements.

Conclusion

When we test a single function of an application, we test a part of a big system. This does not mean that the big system will be as good as its single unit. Having all its pages printed does not mean the book will hold them until appropriately bound. This calls for a need to test the application similar to what an end-user would be facing. Such a method we call end-to-end testing.

End-to-end testing has become an essential part of the testing process because of internet accessibility on many devices. However, the long list of target devices and browser versions has raised an issue of high manual labor.

As of today, if you are running on timelines, you might never be able to deliver if you choose to go manually. Therefore, we make use of automation in cross-platform end-to-end testing. But automation is only as good as the plan you make and the tool you use. In this post, we covered all these segments and some real-life scenarios to help you clear out the meaning of end-to-end testing and execute these tests confidently in your next project.

Automate your cross-platform end-to-end test cases easily, here with Testsigma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which tool supports Cross Platform Testing?

Cross-platform testing is a method of verifying applications and websites across various devices. Both free and paid tools are available for this purpose. Popular open-source (free) tools used for cross-platform testing include Appium, Selenium, and Robotium. Appium enables the testing of native, hybrid, and mobile web apps on iOS and Android platforms.

Selenium facilitates the testing of web applications in multiple programming languages. Robotium automates black-box testing for Android apps. While open-source tools may be cost-effective compared to their paid counterparts, they may lack certain features or be challenging to maintain or expand in the long run. Testsigma is an AI-powered cloud-based tool that makes it easy to test web and mobile apps on multiple platforms and devices without requiring any technical skillset from the user.

How do you Test Cross Platform?

Cross-platform testing means ensuring an app works similarly on different platforms, operating systems, and devices. Here’s how to do it:

  • Figure out which platforms and devices you need to test
  • Decide what tests you want to do; pick a tool that can help with testing
  • Set up the environment for testing; run the tests
  • Analyze the results
  • Fix any problems.

It’s important to keep doing this testing as part of your development process, so your app will be smooth across all platforms.

Why is Cross Platform Testing Important?

Cross-platform testing is an important part as it makes sure that the application works on different devices and operating systems. It involves running tests on different phones, tablets, computers, and web browsers to ensure everything works smoothly. This testing is necessary to ensure the app runs appropriately, no matter your device or system. Cross-platform testing also helps identify potential issues related to differences between platforms and ensures a consistent user experience across all devices.

Suggested Reading

End to End Testing Vs Regression Testing

Top 10 End to End Testing Frameworks

System Testing Vs End to End Testing

Unit Testing vs End to End Testing

Register for the webinar to demo Testsigma’s cross-platform end-to-end testing feature on 29th June 3pm IST.



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