The world is drastically shifting to an internet-driven economy, especially after the global corona pandemic. Now we have softwares or mobile applications for every job. If any company doesn't have an online presence, it’s like it doesn’t exist. As a result, the software and mobile app development markets are growing exponentially.
To mitigate this huge demand, developers are creating new softwares. However, as a developer, it is important to ensure that the product will run efficiently across all devices. A minor difference in the hardware configuration and software specification can affect the performance and the user experience. To make sure that the product can work smoothly on all devices, the developer must perform cross-device, cross-platform, and cross-browser checks. These activities are nothing but performing the device compatibility test of your product.
Logically, if we check the software compatibility in all devices, comprising a comprehensive mix of smartphone and PC models, OS, and browser versions, it will make it perfect. But practically testing on a combination of all devices, browsers and OS is not feasible. So, we need to find out the best way to optimize the testing scenarios. This article will focus on the importance of compatibility testing. Stay with us.
What is device compatibility testing and how does it work?
The term device compatibility test refers to checking if softwares or mobile apps are perfectly running on a variety of devices, network environments, browser versions, and OS. It is non-functional testing and is done only after the stabilization phase of the software.
Compatibility testing is a long and daunting task as it needs to be performed on several platforms and devices. But, to make it more understandable, we have broken down the whole process into four major steps.
Design and configure the test case: This is the initial step where we need to design the test cases to analyze how the software or the mobile app behaves in different environments, OS, devices, browsers, and platforms.
Set up the environment: To set up the environment it is necessary to gather all the important resources and the equipment needed for the compatibility test. After arranging the required version of the device, the testing team needs to upload the testing version of the application in each environment.
Execution: After all the setup, now it’s time to start the execution. As per the guidelines, use the test cases and test them on all devices. It is important to record the results and work on the defects if the team finds any.
Validation: After satisfactory execution, it's now time to validate the results. Retest the application if required.
Device compatibility testing: why it's important
When you are developing a software or a mobile app, you aim to reach the maximum target audience who may use different devices, OS, networks, and all. To check whether your software works perfectly across all devices, from the development and implementation point of view, device compatibility testing is vital to avoid any future complications.
Some key reasons to perform mobile device compatibility test are:
- To identify defects during the development process and rectify those before delivering them to the end-user;
- To ensure that the software or the mobile application has all the required features, securities, usability, and scalability as per the customer requirement;
- A quality product enhances customer satisfaction and improves the company’s goodwill;
- Checking the capability of service across multiple platforms.
How to choose the right devices for testing?
When we talk about mobile devices, PCs, operating systems, and browsers, there are several options available in the market. And this makes the task of compatibility testing tough.
However, how does one select a perfect combination from the array of options?
In some cases, clients share a specific list of parameters which makes the task easy. However, in most cases, there is no particular information from the customer, and there's the need to do extensive research to select the targeted devices, OS, or browsers. For existing products, it is possible to gather information about the device-OS-browser mix through market research and analysis. There are numerous tools available, which can analyze and filter the data related to traffic overview by devices, web browser, and OS.
But when it comes to new products, a different technique should be used. It is better to follow the market trends and inclinations. For a deeper understanding, let’s explore some statistics.
- The number of smartphone users has crossed the SIX million mark which is almost three times the number of PCs;
- Android was the leading mobile operating system globally in January 2022;
- As of December 2021, the Global Desktop Browser Market Share of Google Chrome was 77.03%.
To set the priority, Pareto analysis is the best way. As less-popular devices have comparatively a smaller market share, you can assume that your product will work efficiently on those platforms.
A device compatibility testing plan that incorporates the combination of different parameters is the best way to build quality softwares or mobile apps. It not only allows you to make your product efficient, error-free, and more user-friendly but it also ensures that the test coverage is done within the timeline and budget. Since you can't test on every existing combination, let UNGUESS help you finding the best one for your product and your audience.
In this guide, we've merged Perfecto Research insights with current market data to provide a benchmark of devices, web browsers, and user conditions to test on — including location changes and apps in the background — to help you test smarter.