Report says test analysis is the top skill for testing mobile apps

Kobiton announces the results of its survey on the challenges, goals and tactics of mobile application developers and testers

Kobiton’s survey found that, despite the widespread, global proliferation of mobile devices and mobile apps, testing is the primary bottleneck to the efficient release of new mobile apps in the DevOps process.

The mobile app market is expected to grow from US$70billion in 2015 to US$189billion by 2020, according to the report.

Despite this, creating high-quality mobile apps remains a significant challenge, with mobile app developers having to test their applications on an increasingly wide variety of devices, each with its own unique size, shape, cost, operating system and manufacturer.

Test cycles

Kobiton’s survey found that mobile app testing was happening every day in 54% of organisations surveyed, and most test cycles were lasting 1-2 weeks.

But in nearly a quarter of organisations responding to Kobiton’s survey, mobile app testing was taking a month or more to complete, and 79% of respondents said that the cost of testing – at least US$100,000 per year in 36% of organisations – was likely to increase over the next year, as more apps were developed.

The reason for the increase in time and cost seems to be a bottleneck in the test phase. 23% of survey respondents said testing was the primary obstacle to faster mobile app release cycles, while 15% said the top challenge was getting organisational buy-in for prioritising testing needs and requirements.

Mobile testing issues

Another 12% of respondents said the biggest issue was getting started with test automation, and 11% said it was a lack of budget for acquiring and testing on real devices; 54% of respondents considered it “very important” to test mobile apps on real devices, and 30% deemed this “critical”.

Kevin Lee, CEO of Kobiton, commented: “Testing is an increasingly important aspect of mobile app development and ultimately user engagement because users have more options than ever when it comes to mobile apps and thus developers can’t afford to make mistakes.

“The challenge, therefore, is what can developers and testers do to make the testing process more efficient and cost-effective? We believe the answer has to do with choosing the right test platform.”

Key points

Following are other key points from the Kobiton survey:

  • 84% of respondents said it is “very important” or “crucial” to test on real devices
  • 42% of respondents are testing on iOS as well as Android devices
  • The primary motivation for testing mobile apps is increasing app engagement, as well as to catch defects earlier in the development process
  • When testing mobile apps, the biggest time sink is performance and load testing
  • The top skill necessary for successful mobile app testing is test analysis
  • 72% of organisations are planning to increase mobile app tester headcount
  • 31% of respondents tested more than 10 mobile apps in the past year

Written from press release by Leah Alger