What Is Mobile Application Testing?

Discussing Mobile App Testing Testsigma

Mobile application testing is a process through which applications being developed for mobile devices are tested. The main focus is to test the apps for functionality, usability and stability.

Mobile application testing is vital for an app’s survival in today’s market. To assure the best possible quality for the end users - the application is also tested from various other aspects including its performance, security, and the UI.

Discussing Mobile App Testing Testsigma
Types Of Mobile Apps Testsigma

Types Of Mobile Apps

Here are the three basic types of mobile applications:

Native Apps: Native apps are developed for a specific platform or operating system (OS). As they focus on a single OS, they have an added advantage of being faster and more reliable in terms of performance but are costly to maintain.

Web Apps: Web apps are similar to native apps with the basic difference that it can be used via a web browser on mobile devices. It has low development costs but is entirely dependent on the browser used on the device.

Hybrid Apps: Hybrid apps are the combination of both native and web-based apps. They use a web view control in order to present the HTML and JavaScript files in a full screen format. These apps are cost-friendly and quick to develop but unlike native apps, they lack power and speed.

If you have a mobile application and you have been executing the same test cases for it release after release, then it is time that you start automating the test cases to save time and efforts and improve your ROI. For this you should invest in a tool that supports automation on your mobile application.

Testsigma is a test automation platform that supports automation of all kinds of mobile applications without any installation overhead. You just need to sign up and start with automation. Sign for its free trial now.

Discussing Importance Of Mobile Apps Testing Testsigma

Why Mobile Testing Is Important For Your App

Discussing Importance Of Mobile Apps Testing Testsigma

In the current app-development scenario, apps need to be tested across various mobile devices and operating systems to check their compatibility, usability and consistency. In order to build applications that are scalable and accessible across multiple platforms, automation testing can be used.

As manual testing is time consuming, costly, and prone to errors, it makes sense to leverage automation for a wide range of repetitive tasks, such as regression and performance testing.

Automated testing will allow the testers to quickly check the new or recent updates or changes in the application for errors, defects, and vulnerabilities. Additionally, it helps them to:

1.Run tests on multiple devices in parallel

2.Reuse tests

3.Get enhanced coverage

4.Achieve better ROI

Types And Techniques Of Mobile App Testing

While testing mobile apps, testers need a variety of testing skills and techniques to find as many defects as possible in different environments and scenarios.

Here are some key mobile testing types and techniques for QA members to get started:

Functional Testing: It checks whether the functions of an application are working correctly or not. This testing focuses on the functioning of the app according to requirements.

Compatibility Testing: It is a non-functional type of testing which is used to ensure that the app is working seamlessly in different operating systems, devices, network environments and specific internal hardware specifications.

Usability Testing: Usability testing checks the user-friendliness of an app in terms of use and intuitiveness. It helps identify bugs to improve customer experience.

Performance Testing: Performance testing checks how an app behaves or performs under a particular load.

Security Testing: Security testing prioritizes security of user’s personal data and tests app behavior under various device permission requests.

Installation Testing: Installation testing is to check whether an app is installing and uninstalling properly. It also ensures that app updates are working smoothly.

Exploratory Testing: Exploratory testing is used to explore various functionalities and usability of the app to find key errors and ensure that the app really works as intended.

Automated Testing: Automated testing is used for regression testing or where the situation demands repetitive tasks. It helps in assuring app quality and fast releases.

Storage Testing: Storage testing tests how an app performs its storage related functionalities. There are the functionalities where the application has to either store some data on the hard disk, retrieve it from there or delete it. It also tests how the app behaves when there is no or low storage in a device.

Interrupt Testing: On an average, a mobile user may receive 50-80 interruptions per day from push notifications which can become overwhelming. Interrupt testing helps analyse the disturbances caused by these interruptions and find solutions to offer a smooth mobile experience. The interruptions can be in various forms including low/full battery, alarm, push notifications, incoming call/SMS, etc. A tester must take into account the UI issues, app crashes, and performance issues while performing interrupt testing.

Input Testing: A mobile tester should perform various input actions on the device while testing a mobile app such as:

  • Multi-finger inputs to test all the finger gestures supported by the app

  • Voice inputs to test whether the app can process inputs correctly with external noise

  • Sensor inputs which includes a variety of sensors such as ambient light sensor, acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, Gyroscope, pressure sensor, magnetic sensor, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, etc.

Apart from this, there are many other techniques which a tester should perform such as:

  • Battery Usage Testing

  • Installations & Update Testing

  • Hardware Specific Testing

  • Standby Testing

  • Beta Testing

  • Local Storage Testing


Manual Or Automated Mobile Testing. Which Is Better?

Manual Or Automated Mobile Testing Which Is Better Testsigma

Mobile app testing is not just about manual or automated testing, it is all about taking the holistic approach to raise the quality levels of the software. Though automation testing is very important in speeding the testing process with high accuracy and reliability, when it comes to functionality and first impressions, manual testing takes the front seat. Even if automated testing becomes more refined, manual testing will still have its importance in releasing quality-based apps.

Lets see when should automated testing be preferred:

  • Automated testing is best to use for regression testing, repeated execution, and performance testing.

  • Tasks that are repetitive in nature are the most suitable for automated testing

  • Performance testing is better to be performed by automated testing as speed and performance of an app is tested against thousands of concurrent users.

Lets see when to prefer manual testing:

  • Manual testing is best to use in performing exploratory testing, usability testing, and ad-hoc testing.

  • Device compatibility and UI interactions cannot be tested with the automation testing.

If you are looking for a place where you can manage for manual testing as well as your automated testing, then try Testsigma. It is a unified eco-system which lets you easily automate on desktop as well as mobile from the same place. You just have to signup and start. So, what are you waiting for? Claim your free trial now.


Main Challenges Of Mobile Application Testing

Here are some of the main challenges of mobile app testing:

Device Fragmentation

Considering the fact that a mobile application can be used on a variety of devices having different screen sizes, carrier settings, operating settings, and form factors - it becomes a challenge to account for all these while testing your app.

To overcome this challenge organizations use various measures as listed below:

  • They test on Simulators and Emulators

  • If they have a limited budget, they buy a limited number of devices specifically for testing.

  • If they are not limited by the budget, they invest in an inhouse device lab which includes a reasonable range of mobile devices for sufficient.

  • They invest in the most used and reliable technique - a cloud hosted device lab or farm.

If you are looking for a mobile testing automation tool that gives you the flexibility to execute them on five different device labs. Check out Testsigma!

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Browser Fragmentation

If your mobile application is a web app that operates on a mobile browser then it is recommended that you test it on all the different device sizes and resolutions that your target audience might be using.

Just as there are multiple operating systems and all have to be considered while testing applications that run on them.The various mobile browsers need to be considered while mobile testing. Though the majority of the users (80%) use either Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, there are other browsers that should be taken into account.

Third-party Integrations

Organizations usually assume that an integrated third party application would work seamlessly upon integration and that it does not need to be tested. But that might not be true at all times as the environment in a mobile application changes rapidly. Thus, third-party integrations need to be thoroughly tested by testers to ensure seamless experience for their users.

App Security

As the external security threats are rising every day, securing and protecting sensitive customer data becomes a challenge for the organizations. Any loophole in the app can leave the application vulnerable to cyber attacks. Thus, a thorough security testing of your mobile application is a must. The testing should be done to ensure that any sensitive data of your organization or your users should always be encrypted and protected against malicious activities.

Battery Life

Battery life of a mobile device is one thing which has seen a continuous improvement over the past few years. But along with it the battery usage has increased too as more and more complex and battery consuming applications are being created. Thus, it is crucial for the QA team to take into account the power consumption, especially for highly demanding tasks the app will perform.

While performing this testing do keep in mind that your mobile application should not consume too much battery life. Test the battery life consumption for various scenarios while the application is actively in use and while it is in the background. If your application takes up too much battery, your users may end up uninstalling it and you don’t want that.

Performance Testing

Another challenge for the testers is to run and test the app under high workload and stress to determine when and where an application’s performance is compromised. This testing is critical to ensure your app works in all circumstances and even if it fails, it fails gracefully and does not become a problem for the users.

Storage Issues

Mobile devices come with varied data storage and there are a lot of users who don’t have high storage devices which makes testing the behaviour of the application in low storage devices a challenge. If you are supporting devices that have small storage then testing against them becomes a must.

If you don’t have such devices, it is highly recommended to subscribe to a cloud device provider that does like Browserstack or a test automation tool that allows easy integration with browsers and devices for mobile testing like Testsigma.


Some apps would need location-based information to provide real time information about the user’s surroundings or alerts to other users based on the data. If your app has any dependence on location, it should be properly tested either by simulation or by physically testing from different locations. The real testing can be done by utilizing platforms that offer crowd testing.


Approaches For Mobile Application Testing

Mobile Testing Approaches Testsigma

With a highly competitive app marketplace, organizations not only need to match but to exceed the expectations of their users to taste success. It becomes crucial to leverage the power of mobile app testing to enhance the overall quality of the application. An effective mobile app testing involves:

  • Outlining the process

  • Choosing tests for manual and automated testing

  • Preparing test cases for different functionalities

  • Performing Manual testing

  • Performing automated testing

  • Performance testing

  • Security testing

  • Complete testing before Final version release

It is crucial to have a proper plan of action to perform all these testing effectively and take the app’s quality to the next level.


How To Create A Mobile Testing Plan?

Creating Mobile Test Plan Testsigma

Here are some of the key things you should consider to build an effective end-to-end mobile test plan and to ensure that the mobile app works as intended:

Device Testing: As there are a plethora of mobile devices available in the market, having a clear policy on the devices your app supports will help you conduct testing effectively. If you have automated your test cases then executing them on a device cloud that has all these devices would benefit you.

Testsigma lets you automate and execute your mobile test cases in parallel in the same place. Book a demo with the experts today.

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Network Connectivity Testing: Different carriers offer different connectivity options and the performance of the app might differ from one carrier to another, so it is crucial to test the app’s performance in different connection types. There are tools that help you simulate different network conditions from your own test lab. Tools like Testsigma and Browserstack do that too.

OS Version Testing:Testing functionalities of the app in various operating systems is crucial to analyse the performance of the app. Have a clear policy on the OS versions your app will support. If you are investing in a device farm or lab, ensure that your device lab supports all the OS versions you need.

Security Testing: Security testing is one of the most important types of testing to keep your customers’ personal data secure. It is crucial to test the app’s data flow vulnerabilities to fix them upfront and ensure that the data flow is encrypted and sent via secured channels

Interrupt Conditions Testing:It tests the behavior of the app when there are interruptions while using the app such as incoming calls, text messages, or notifications. Make sure to test your app’s behavior when interruptions occur to improve its performance.


How To Strategize Your Mobile Application Testing Efforts?

Strategizing your mobile app testing efforts is crucial to carry out your testing process in a streamlined way which helps you achieve higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Here are some key points you need to keep in mind while strategizing your mobile app testing efforts:

  • Selection of the device for testing: real devices, emulators or simulators

  • Cloud based testing of the mobile application

  • Documentation testing which includes the creation and analysis of specific requirements

  • Functional testing to check the basic functionality of the app as per the requirements

  • Compatibility testing involving cross-platform, cross-browser, database, device configuration and network configuration testing

  • Performance testing involving load, stress, stability, volume and concurrency testing

  • Security testing

  • Beta testing

  • Certification testing to check whether the app meets the standards, terms of use, licensing agreements, etc.


How Is Mobile Testing Different From Web Testing?

Mobile Testing vs Web Testing Testsigma

Testing for mobile and testing for web based applications are not the same. Here are some of the major differences between the two:

  • Screen Size: Cross Browser Testing for web applications means testing them on different browsers but when it comes to mobile testing it means testing on that many browsers on multiple devices too.
    If not automated, this task can take a huge amount of time. That is why it is recommended to automate mobile testing. At Least the regression test cases that can then be executed on the different devices in parallel.

    Check here to know how you automate mobile testing for the UI.

  • Storage: Storage issues are common with mobile apps, as due to low storage and RAM, the space is always an issue in mobile devices. Storage issues are not really a concern for web apps as there is ample amount of space available.

  • Performance Speed: As users are getting more and more impatient these days, maintaining speed is a real challenge, especially in case of web apps. In mobile apps, a user can still stick around for more time if they have taken time to install an app.

  • Internet Access: While web based apps require an internet connection to work, mobile apps may or may not need internet access to run.

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Both web and mobile apps are tested against different browsers. However, web-based apps are comparatively easier to examine than mobile apps which need to be tested against a large number of devices and OS.

  • Offline Mode: Web apps don’t work in offline mode, but native and hybrid apps need to be tested with and without internet connectivity to ensure data synchronization is immediate after the connectivity break.


Tips For Effective Mobile Testing

Effective Mobile Testing Tips Testsigma

Here are some of the best mobile testing practices to keep in mind while testing mobile applications:

  • Use test automation to increase efficiency and productivity

  • Test early and test often by using testing as part of your app development

  • Split your app testing into smaller units

  • Make your testing data-driven

  • Don’t ignore the object-oriented approach in your app testing

  • Commit your efforts towards performance and load testing

  • Distribute the testing efforts across the entire team members including developers

  • Include experts or experienced people in your QA team

  • Know the platform’s (Android or iOS) user interface/user experience (UI/UX) guidelines before starting the mobile app testing

  • Don’t just rely on automation testing as some parts of the testing require manual efforts

  • Test your application on multiple devices

  • Test the key app features in realistic scenarios

  • Never skip security testing

  • Don’t rely completely on emulators

  • Don’t stuff the application with unnecessary features

  • Resolve each and every bugs and crashes

  • Keep an eye on memory leakage and increase in cache volume due to prolonged app use

  • Keep an eye on proper functioning of updates including OS versions

  • Ensure proper functioning of feedback such as messages during content downloads, network access errors, warning when deleting important data, etc.

  • Check how the app is responding to external interruptions

  • Test language localization including language settings and space availability for words & text on screen

  • Test power consumption by the app Properly knowing the platform’s (Android or iOS) user interface/user experience (UI/UX) guidelines before starting the mobile app testing

  • Test for all supported screen sizes and touch interfaces to validate seamless user experience

  • Pay proper attention to Power consumption by the app

  • Invest in a test automation tool that has the ability to provide you an ROI.
    Check here how to automate your mobile applications in 3 steps using Testsigma.


The Problems With Legacy Mobile App Testing

Here are some of the main challenges with legacy mobile app testing:

  • Most of the legacy applications have zero or irrelevant and out of date documentation which leads to the inefficiency and high maintenance costs

  • Testing legacy applications involves a lot of complexities when they undergo enhancements or upgrades including reduced capability of testing all the functionalities

  • Lack of information regarding the improvements in business process

  • Lack of information regarding the upgrades or customizations in legacy systems that impact other existing functionalities

  • More time is required to analyze the impact of a change on multiple modules or integration systems

Testsigma is one such tool which supports all types of mobile applications and has zero setup overhead. Testsigma is one such tool for mobile applications which supports all types of mobile application and has zero setup overhead.

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How To Test a Mobile Application [Step by Step]

Here are the step by step process of testing a mobile application:

Planning: In the planning phase, you figure out what you are trying to achieve and the present constraints

Identifying testing types: Before starting the testing, it is crucial to identify the types of testing you need to test your specific mobile app

Test case and script design: In this phase, you prepare a test case document for all the features and functionalities

Manual and automated testing: Once the test and scripts are created, it’s time to perform manual and automated testing.

Usability testing: Under this phase, you check the convenience and user experience of your app

Performance testing: Performance testing validates your app for scalability and performance issues

Functional testing: Functional testing includes testing of all the app features including login, installation, updates, device-specific functions, error messages, etc.

Security testing: It ensures that the user data is secure and private

Device testing: In this phase, you execute test cases and scripts in all previously identified devices, in the cloud or in physical devices in lab

Control and summary: This phase includes detailed and complete testing to give more stability to the app and remove minor defects


Mobile testing On Real Devices Or Virtual Devices?

As companies are looking to release apps that run smoothly on the majority of the devices, they prefer testing on real devices. Often there is a confusion among QA teams whether to use real devices or emulators for testing the mobile app.

The answer lies in what you want to test.

If you are looking to test the performance of your app, you must go with real devices. Real devices are the actual mobile devices that the end user would be using to run the application. They provide accurate results and allow testing in the same condition as the end user.

Testing on real devices

Testing on real devices comes with several benefits such as:

  • Testing can be carried out in real conditions

  • Testing on real devices helps recreates the actions that the customer perform

  • Payment gateway testing can be efficiently performed on real devices

  • Real devices are ideal to perform high-level testing of AI games

  • Real devices are mainly used when releasing applications for new versions and models of smartphones

Many companies take advantage of real device cloud to achieve more efficient testing processes and deliver high quality apps. It provides a mobile testing environment having a diverse collection of iOS and Android devices with different OS versions, screens, sizes, etc.

Testing on Virtual Devices

Apart from real devices, QA teams use virtual devices for conducting mobile testing:

  • Virtual Devices: Virtual devices are software program that provides simulation for most of the key features of an actual mobile device

  • These are of two types:

    • Emulators: Emulator is a software that mimics both the hardware and software of the target device on the computer

    • Simulators: Simulator is a software that only mimics software and not hardware and runs certain programs built for a different OS.

Emulators are preferred whenever you are testing the mobile’s external behavior, such as calculations, making transactions, etc. Simulators on the other hand are less reliable than emulators and are not suitable for debugging.

Even then Emulator and Simulators have certain limitations. If you are looking for subscribing to a device cloud or device farm.

Real Mobile Devices Cloud Testsigma

Why Use Mobile-Specific Tools

Gartner, world’s leading research and advisory company, says as many as 75% of the enterprises will use at least one mobile app development platform by 2020 in order to accelerate their development and testing processes.

To leverage the power of automation, you need to use an automation testing tool that lets you automate your mobile testing easily and efficiently

Selecting the right automation tool is the first step towards automation. There are plenty of mobile testing tools available in the market.

Here are a few key things you should consider before choosing the right tool for your mobile app testing:

Scripting support: Even if you go for a codeless test automation tool, make sure the tool also allows you to extend your testing capabilities whenever required. For this your tool should allow you scripting too.

Scriptless option for test creation: Test creation without coding is vital for those who lack programming skills and it also speed up the entire process

Ability to create tests for different mobile OS's: Look for a tool that can support your tests across multiple mobile platforms from the same place.

Easy to setup: Your test automation tool should be easy to setup and maintain.

Seamless integration with the CI/CD tools: Ensure that your mobile testing tool easily integrates with the tools you are using for your CI/CD process

It is hard to imagine effective mobile application testing without the help of an automation tool. And before choosing the right automation tool you should try the tool too.

Testsigma is a codeless test automation tool that allows you to automate your test cases in simple English and has above features as well. You can try it for free here before you decide to go ahead with it.

Easy Simple English Mobile Automated Tests Testsigma

Mobile Test Automation Frameworks For Different Apps

In order to manage the increasing software testing workload, companies prefer relying on mobile test automation frameworks to automate scripted tests on a large scale of real devices.

Though there are multiple mobile testing automation frameworks available to select from, it is crucial to understand the basics of how each framework works or performs. The way how each framework works helps determine the speed and efficiency of the test execution and help you meet all your testing needs and achieve the desired business goals.


Common Mobile Test Frameworks

Here are the top 5 mostly used mobile test frameworks:

Appium: Appium is the most common mobile test automation framework for both Android and iOS native, web and hybrid apps. It allows you to write Appium scripts in almost any programming language

Testsigma: Testsigma is a unified test automation platform that allows you to automate for desktop, mobile and API - all from the same place.

Writing scripts is as simple as writing simple English. Try it for yourself here.

Espresso: It is the Android test automation framework that got open-sourced by Google and it allows you to write concise Android UI tests with it

Detox: Detox is a javascript based mobile testing framework which makes the test execution very fast and robust

Calabash: It is a cross-platform test automation framework for both Android and iOS native and hybrid applications. It can be easily used by non-technical people due to easy-to-understand syntax

UI Automator: UI Automator helps you perform more UI testing against Android apps and games. The downside of the framework is that it does not support Webview to directly access Android objects.


Native & Hybrid Mobile App Test Automation

Here are the top 5 mostly used mobile test frameworks:

Native Mobile Apps are applications that are designed specifically for a specific type of operating system, such as iOS or Android. They are written in C, Swift, or Java.

Hybrid Mobile Apps are applications that have features of both native and web-based apps. They are written in JavaScript and HTML5.

Best Mobile Testing Tools: Appium, Testsigma, Espresso, XCUITest,, TestComplete, etc.

Though both native and hybrid mobile applications use different underlying technologies, they are very much similar in terms of functionality they offer, due to which the testing approach is similar for both the types of apps.


Mobile Web Testing

Mobile web testing is performed to test applications that are run or can be accessed through a mobile browser. Web apps for mobile are comparatively easier to build and test as compared to mobile apps but are much more primitive in terms of functionality.

Testsigma which allows mobile test automation with no delay caused due to installation and configuration issues. In addition, it also does not have any prerequisite skills to start test automation.


Android Automated Testing

With the increase in the development of Android applications, the need to perform mobile app testing is also increasing. Some of the best Android based application testing tools are:

Appium: It is a common framework for creating automated tests for Android and iOS

Testsigma: It is a unified test automation platform that allows easy automation for desktop, mobile(both iOS and android) and API tests from the same place without any installation or configuration overhead.

Calabash: It is a automation testing framework for performing acceptance tests for Android and iOS apps

UI Automator: It has the capability to interact with all kinds of software products for Android

Robotium: It is a free Android UI testing tool which is suitable for test automation different versions and sub-versions of Android

Ranorex: Ranorex is a good tools for test automation and is known for its detailed reports including screenshots


iOS Automated Testing

Automated testing is very beneficial in iOS testing as it enables the testers to detect both the bugs and performance issues quickly. It is comparatively easier for the QA teams to test iOS apps as compared to Android apps as there is only one manufacturer of iOS devices, i.e., Apple and almost all the iOS devices generally look and work in a similar fashion.

Best available tools for iOS automated testing includes:

  • Appium

  • Testsigma

  • Calabash

  • XCTest/XCUITest

  • Bugfender

  • KIF (Keep It Functional)

Tools that support both Android and iOS Automated Testing

  • Appium

  • Testsigma

  • Calabash


Testing The API Backend Of Your Mobile Solution

Most of the applications require data or logic from a list of backend web APIs, be it created by your team or through a third-party which can be integrated by calling them directly from your app. Hence, it becomes crucial to tackle the testing and quality related aspects of your app effectively.

Testing API can improve your testing strategy as a whole and help you deliver quality apps. You can ensure the quality of the API through:

Functional Testing: Focus on the functionality in the API testing to ensure that the API returns the expected responses for any type of input

Performance Testing: Performance of the API needs to be tested to ensure that it is in line with your performance requirements

Security Testing: As APIs give direct access to data and logic, it is crucial to ensure that the APIs are not vulnerable to common attacks.

Performing all these testing will ensure quality as the APIs evolve and mature.

Automating API testing is very important and beneficial for the organizations as automating API tests to test different end points in your API can help you find bugs as early as possible.


Tools That Support API Testing

Tools such as Testsigma supports both mobile and API testing.

  • SoapUI

  • Testsigma

  • Katalon Studio

  • Postman

  • API Fortress

  • JMeter

  • Rest-Assured

FAQs on Mobile Testing

Mobile testing is for testing mobile-based applications whereas, web testing is a software testing practice which tests web applications or websites. Mobile testing is generally more complex than web testing considering the challenges involved with mobile devices such as device fragmentation, different operating systems, different network carriers, device storage, varied screen sizes, among others which are not much of a concern in web testing. Web apps comparatively are much easier to test but they are more basic in terms of functionality.

Selecting a mobile automation tool can either make or break your test automation efforts. Here are some of the key factors which you should consider while selecting a mobile automation tool:

  • Compatibility across platforms

  • Compatibility across operating systems

  • Scalability

  • Ease in test scripts creationity across operating systems

  • Ease in maintenance

  • Price

  • Reporting features

Mobile app testing is typically performed by quality assurance (QA) professionals or dedicated testing teams within a company. They evaluate the app's functionality, usability, performance, and security to ensure a high-quality user experience.

Mobile app testing benefits businesses by identifying and fixing bugs or issues before the app is released, improving overall quality. It enhances user satisfaction, builds trust, and helps avoid negative reviews. Additionally, thorough testing can save time and resources by preventing costly post-release fixes.Testsigma helps you test your mobile apps seamlessly ensuring end quality and usability on point.

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