Out of all the factors that might convince users to use your mobile application, its performance would certainly be the topmost. How your app performs or what kind of performance it delivers to your end-users is extremely important as far as their interest or involvement with your app is concerned. If the app doesn’t perform well, it would take no time for the users to uninstall it and look for better alternatives. This is why mobile app performance testing is done to ensure that all the performance-related issues are thoroughly tested and addressed before the app gets released to the public. It’s an integral part of the mobile app testing process.
Performance testing on mobile apps usually surrounds three categories that have further sub-categories. It encompasses testing the performance against different devices, testing when the load is at its peak or the connection isn’t stable, and more. The three main categories in mobile application performance testing are Device Performance, Server/API Performance, and Network Performance. Let’s learn about them one by one.
This involves checking for the slowness of the application. If your users or client experiences a lag while using the application, it won’t leave a good impression at all. For this matter, the following checks are done-
This is to check how much time the application takes to start. The rule of thumb is that the first screen should be displayed to the user within a matter of 1-2 seconds after they tap on the app icon. Make sure there isn’t any further delay.
Mobile app performance does tend to reduce if the app consumes too much battery power. High battery consumption also leads to the phone getting heated. This usually happens when the app uses superfluous resources which puts an extra burden on the processor. Users would, at no cost, keep those apps in their smartphones that quickly drain their battery.
Some apps tend to eat up a considerable amount of space on the users’ device, so do check during the mobile app performance testing whether your app is occupying a large chunk of the device’s storage. Users generally do not like memory-consuming applications.
An app that runs smoothly on one device doesn’t necessarily mean that it would run the same way on other devices. It is therefore imperative that the app is tested for different devices with different specifications. The processor and RAM can vary from device to device. Ensure that the app doesn’t lack performance if it is used on a device that has comparatively lesser RAM and a not-so-strong processor.
The Server/API performance is related to the response time between the app and the server via APIs. Here’s what is performed to check the server performance-
Any data that is sent to/from the server should be handled efficiently by the application. It should load the data as quickly as possible. When the data moves to and fro, it travels in a specified format and is then converted into a readable format. During this process, the response time can get a bit longer and the app may become slower. So, this needs to be taken care of.
This is considered in case the server goes down or is not reachable. If that happens for any reason, the data should be saved and stored in the native database. In addition to this, there should be a backup server to switch to if in case the current server is in the maintenance phase.
At times, the app generates multiple API calls for the same functionality. This should be on the lesser side for better mobile app performance.
Here, the performance of the mobile app is measured on different networks and network properties. This includes-
Jitter is said to have occurred when there is a time delay between the transmission and receiving of data packets over a network, which generally happens due to network congestion or route changes. The longer the delay, the poorer the performance of audio and video quality.
The app should be capable enough of handling jitters and display relevant information to the end-users as to whether wait for the system to respond again or resend the request.
The app must be tested for several networks such as 2G, 3G, and 4G, and also for both mobile networks and WiFi. Assess how the app behaves when it switches from one network to another.
Other aspects of mobile app performance testing include testing for cases when there is a high workload. Put simply, the testers test how the app would perform if the number of users increases or the traffic peaks at some point. This would help them know the app’s response time and resource consumption when such a situation arises.
After you are done identifying the issues, follow the below-mentioned steps to fix them in order to achieve an overall better mobile app performance.
This may be due to the RAM issue or cache. Try clearing the cache and ending unnecessary processes. Some lags can occur due to connectivity issues so try troubleshooting those issues.
In such cases, perform the following steps-
There are plenty of tools available to test the mobile app’s performance.
Note: Tools, too, can vary according to the device or operating system.
Appium is an open-source framework that is widely used and praised because of its easy-to-read-and-write code, an array of supported tests, and unique XPath. Appium provides testers with access to device-specific features like barcode scanning, TouchID, and more.
Robotium allows test case developers to write custom function, system, and acceptance test scenarios, spanning a number of Android activities. The tests can be conducted on both an emulator and a mobile device. The tester can record and perform the necessary steps.
This mobile app performance testing tool primarily focuses on testing applications or devices at the functional level and for running unit test suites. It consists of an API that provides you control over a device or an emulator outside of Android code.
Automator, as the name suggests, helps automate tedious or repetitive tasks by implementing point-and-click creation of workflows.
The tool is free to use and is quite helpful for both manual and automated tests. One can record the execution process and sort through test cases and their respective reports.
One can’t afford to avoid mobile application performance testing as performance is a vital factor for both app owners and users. Yes, you may encounter some challenges while simulating testing environments but this shouldn’t stop you from performing performance testing. Make a checklist of the things you want to test from the app’s performance perspective and ensure that they are well addressed while at the same time ensuring that the application doesn’t crash.
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