Mallow's Blog

UI Testing for Mobile Applications – A Brief overview

Nowadays the there is a huge market for mobiles and mobile application testing became more important and exciting day by day.

You can’t just leave it by testing only functionality of the mobile application. Testing has gone to the next level by field testing, UI testing, battery life testing, network testing etc…. and UI testing is one of the most important testing to be done.

When the user downloads mobile application from Play store/App store, first thing that attracts the most is its UI and design.

How to decide the UI of the application:

Mobile apps are divided by different category and how much % these apps holds in the market.


Percentage in market

Games 24.43%
Business 10.07
Education 8.82
Lifestyle 8.61
Entertainment 6.31%
Utilises 4.95%
Travel 3.98%
Book 2.99%
Health and fitness 2.97%
food and drink 2.83%

In above chart, the Games has the majority of 24.43% of market share followed by Business and Education apps.

  1. Life style and travel apps are commercial app which has to be done complete UI testing.
  2. Business apps are only used by particular set of peoples, so compete UI testing is not necessary.
  3. For gaming apps the UI is the main strength and biggest contributor, so UI should be concentrated more on testing to gain more success.

Important things to be done on Mobile testing:

1. Screen resolution:

Following are some of the common screen resolutions that are considered while creating test beds:

  • 640 × 480
  • 800 × 600
  • 1024 × 768
  • 1280 × 800
  • 1366 × 768
  • 1400 × 900
  • 1680 × 1050

The mobile apps must be tested in the following resolutions.

2. Different UI elements:

The UI elements like headings, buttons, images, icons, feilds., text areas, check boxes etc.. should be same all over the app and it should be verified in all resolutions and mostly used mobile brands(Samsung, Moto, Redmi) to ensure whether its looking similar with any issues.

3. Multi-touch or Single touch:

If the app is supporting multi touch features like shrink, Zoom, Pinch etc.. should be tested by preparing lots of test cases to ensure whether its meets users satisfaction.

4. Color and Theme Scheme of the Device:

Each and every application have their unique colors and Theme which should be consistence all over the app and it should be testing in different mobile models.

Real Devices or Emulators: What to Choose for UI Testing?

Whether to test on a real device or emulator or both? There’s no firm answer to this because the choice depends on what you want to test. For testing the functionality, performance, network response, field test etc., you should always prefer a real device. But for things like UI you should choose emulators along with some real devices.


The pros of using emulators for UI testing are,

1) It is not practically possible to collect the devices of all resolutions and that would also cost an enormous amount of money. But emulators cost nothing.

2) With an emulator, you can create all screen resolution and OS combinations.

3) If you have only one set of real devices but the QA team is of more than 1 person, then it is not possible that all QAs can test for the same test bed in parallel. With an emulator, every QA can create the same combination on their machine and test in parallel.

4) Testing on an emulator is less time consuming and is faster when compared to a real device.

5) Common bugs related to the UI like alignment etc can be easily caught on emulators.



Cons include the following points.

1) Gestures can’t be tested on emulators. Only one gesture can be emulated at a time.

2) Physical inputs of GPS, dropping or weak network etc also can’t be tested.

3) There is no way that you can create an emulator for Sony, LG, Nexus, etc phones.

4) It is not possible to create a real environment with a low battery or low memory etc., on the emulator.

These are the few things to concentrate on UI testing and see you all in some other interesting topic on my next blog.

Kumaresh T,
Testing Team,
Mallow Technologies.

P.S: Image courtesy – Nimbl3

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