QA
12
minutes read

Mobile app performance testing - explanation, examples, and best practices

Written by
Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Published on
October 28, 2023
TL;DR

As Statista predicts a staggering increase in app downloads by 2026, the pressure is on for businesses to perfect their mobile app performance. Don't let poor testing be your downfall. This concise guide offers crucial tips and insights to ensure your app delivers the seamless experience users demand. Get ready to elevate your app game!

Author
Hanna Dawidko-Chudziak
Head of Marketing
My LinkedIn
Dowload 2024 SaaS Report
By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received _
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Share

The world has undergone a digital transformation, and technology has made everyone's life easier and more convenient. Mobile apps are an indispensable component of this digital revolutionization. According to Statista, by 2026, mobile app downloads from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store will surge by 15 and 30 percent, respectively. Thus, it has become mandatory for businesses to ensure their mobile apps deliver a seamless user experience by implementing robust mobile app performance testing practices. 

No matter a mobile application's target audience and nature, its performance testing must be done accurately. Otherwise, it'll not only lead to a waste of time and money but also a mobile app with compromised responsiveness and poor functionality. 

This article will explore valuable insights and actionable tips for executing a flawless mobile application performance testing experience. 

What is mobile app performance testing?

Mobile performance testing evaluates a mobile app's speed, stability, performance, and responsiveness. It aids in identifying and resolving performance problems under various conditions, such as varying network strength, battery loads, and device configurations, before the application goes live. According to a survey, 38 percent of participants uninstalled their mobile app due to poor user experience. 

Thus, app performance testing must be conducted to fulfill user expectations, rectify performance bottlenecks, and ensure flawless user experience under different conditions. In short, the success of a mobile application lies in meeting all functional and non-functional requirements by carrying out successful performance testing. 

Different variations of mobile app performance tests

Now that you understand what mobile app performance testing is, it's time to dig deep into its various types. Each type uniquely contributes to delivering an unparalleled end-user experience, as mentioned below.

Load testing 

Mobile app load testing involves testing a mobile application's capacity to handle many users simultaneously. This type of testing is critical for applications that are expected to have a high traffic volume. Load testing assists in estimating the maximum number of users an app can handle without compromising its performance or crashing.

Stress testing

Stress testing is another type of mobile app performance testing that tests an application's ability to withstand extreme conditions. These conditions comprise high traffic or low memory. Stress testing aids in proactively detecting performance problems that may occur under such extreme conditions. 

Endurance testing

Endurance testing, also known as soak testing, revolves around testing a mobile application's ability to manage prolonged usage. This type of testing assists in rectifying performance issues that can occur after mobile app usage for extended time periods. Such testing is essential for mobile applications that are supposed to be used for a prolonged time, like gaming applications. 

Network testing

Network testing is carried out to monitor a mobile application's performance under varying network conditions. This type of testing allows the detection of performance issues when users navigate between different networks, such as from 4G to Wifi. It also aids in identifying potential security problems when users connect to public Wifi networks. 

Memory leak testing

Memory leak testing is a type of mobile app performance testing that tests a mobile application's memory usage under varying conditions. It allows the detection process of potential memory leaks or abundant memory usage that may cause the app to crash or experience compromised performance. 

The best practices for performance testing

The mobile application market around the globe is estimated to hit a whopping $777.3 billion by 2032. So, it's pivotal to adopt the necessary prerequisites for not only delivering an exceptional mobile application but also staying ahead of competitors in this dynamic digital arena. After identifying some common testing difficulties, we've come up with the following best practices for the success of your mobile app:

Understanding your customers

It's pivotal to understand your customer base for developing an appealing mobile app. Once you have an idea of how potential users will interact with your mobile app, you can not only determine appropriate testing methodologies but make relevant business decisions as well. 

You can integrate analytical mechanisms into the app's interface by involving your development team. Such mechanisms allow understanding of user behavior and carry out testing of parts that are mostly used. By implementing this strategic approach, you can detect any design factors that perplex people and keep them from converting.

Testing the proper platform

Mobile applications are either web-based, native, or a hybrid of the two. Each of these platforms has a distinct testing technique. A native app requires significantly more effort for maintenance across multiple platforms due to its diverse interface.

A web-based mobile app requires the handling of several types of browsers along with performance/load testing. Another crucial testing component for a mobile web app is determining its adaptability across varying device screen sizes. Unlike mobile web applications, native and hybrid apps have similar functionality. 

Thus, they can be tested with a similar functional testing approach, compromising gesture testing, screen orientation testing, and testing of the app's built-in device resources. 

Functionality and User Interface

The functionality and user interface of a mobile app must be rock solid. Inadequate functionality is one of the most common reasons behind app abandonment. So, it's critical to make sure that the main functions of a mobile app are thoroughly executed and tested before its launch. 

Another integral component of mobile app performance testing is ensuring a user-friendly and slick interface. It's essential to begin testing the user experience as soon as the prototype or design-mock is complete. This way, the development team can rework strategies accordingly at an early stage in the development cycle. 

Using Emulators and Simulators 

Utilizing emulators and simulators for mobile app performance testing in the early stages of the development cycle is a highly effective strategy. This way, the mobile app's testing life cycle accelerates, offering enhanced debugging capabilities.

However, it's also crucial to carry out testing on real devices before launching the app. Testing the mobile app on actual mobile devices offers more accurate results and delivers a realistic output. Ultimately, the flaws can be corrected instantly while ensuring monitoring of every possible scenario in the testing cycle. 

Early performance testing

Identifying performance problems later in the development cycle leads to making modifications that are not only more expensive but dangerous as well. Hence, you should adopt a proactive approach by detecting performance issues at an early stage of the development cycle.

 

However, keep in mind that mobile app performance testing is not a one-and-done procedure. A single test is not sufficient to provide necessary data regarding the responsiveness and functionality of the mobile app. Hence, repetition must be done for a performance test to be successful. 

Top Mobile App Performance Testing Tools

In addition to adopting the best practices for performance testing, organizations can opt for top mobile performance testing tools. These tools offer an incredible opportunity to ensure user satisfaction, risk mitigation, and performance optimization of mobile apps, as discussed below: 

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter, mobile app testing tool, is a powerful open-source software for load and performance testing of mobile apps. It works effectively for both iOS and Android performance testing. 

You can effortlessly stimulate various scenarios and generate loads to monitor the performance of your mobile app by utilizing this tool. JMeter also allows comprehensive performance testing of several applications and APIs by supporting a diverse range of protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, and JDBC. 

LoadRunner

Loadrunner is an efficient mobile app performance testing tool for achieving scalability, reliability, and flawless performance. It is designed to stimulate real-world user traffic for assessing application performance under different loads and scenarios. Its powerful scripting language allows customization of scenarios while comprehensive analysis assists in performance optimization. 

Appium

Appium is another open-source mobile app performance testing tool. This tool supports the automation of mobile web, native, and hybrid applications. Its key features comprise a server architecture, safari weblogs capabilities, and iOS simulator geolocation setting for effectual testing. 

TestComplete

The easy-to-use interface of TestComplete makes it an invaluable tool for mobile app performance testing. This tool allows scripting in a diverse set of languages, including Python, Javascript, Delphi Script, and C# Script. The best part about this tool is its ability to provide maximum test coverage with a visual recognition engine and a hybrid object. 

BrowserStack

BrowserStack is a tool that is designed to carry out comprehensive performance testing of mobile applications. It allows you to test the reliability, speed, and responsiveness of your mobile app under various conditions. The performance comparison feature of this tool offers an incredible opportunity to analyze the impact of code changes and new features on the app's performance.

Conclusion 

In a nutshell, mobile app performance testing is an indispensable way to ensure seamless functionality, accessibility, responsiveness, and usability of your mobile application. It allows organizations to save time and money down the road by identifying potential issues before the app's release. The worth of the global mobile application market is surging at an exponential rate. Therefore, businesses need to design high-quality mobile apps to deliver an exceptional user experience.

If you are looking for an independent software testing service provider, then Apptension is your trusted partner. Our team of professionals is adept at executing mobile apps that not only fulfill user expectations but exceed them.