iOS application testing
With over 500,000,000 iOS device owners, Apple's App Store is an exciting market for software publishers. However, with over a million apps to choose from, making sure that customers discover and download your app is proving to be more and more challenging. Customers expect more and more from application developers and they will not waste either time or money on an application that doesn't provide a very high value.
If you've already published an iOS application, you know that reviews are critical. Most buyers, when browsing the App Store, tend to read only the first line of your app's description, take a look at the screenshots, and immediately scroll down to the review section. If your users have reported that your application contains bugs or that it offers a poor experience, you will surely lose a significant amount of potential downloads.
How fragmentation complexifies the iOS application testing process
The challenge of publishing a quality iOS application is further complexified by the existence of a problem known as fragmentation.
Fragmentation means that because of differences in the hardware and software of each iOS device, your application may not behave the same way on each of them. For example, here at Crowdsourced Testing we have often seen applications perform well on iPhone and iPad, but not at all on iPod touch. Or an app may work great in iOS 5.1.1, but not at all in iOS 5.0.
To ensure that all your potential users have a great experience using the app, you should test it manually on each device available to your users. This means that if you want to publish an app built for all iOS devices, you should actually test it on every version of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at your disposal, including their many software variants.
iOS application testing tips and strategies
Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that made iOS testing much more efficient in recent years. Apple has made it so easy for us to take screenshots by pressing the home and power button simultaneously, and now with iCloud and Photo Steam these pictures can be instantly updated to the computer in front of you over wifi.
The other thing that you should know is that when fragmentation issues do exist, they are typically very obvious. They are generally not hidden deep within the application. They will cause the application to crash on launch or after a specific action. So a good strategy to adopt is to thoroughly test your iOS applications on the lower-end devices that you will be targeting (for example, iPhone 3G or 3GS and iPad 1) and to spend a smaller amount of time on more recent devices, simply to do a "sanity check".
What's really important when testing iOS applications is to make sure that you cover every type of iOS device: the iPhone, the iPod touch and the iPad. All too often we've seen companies neglect the iPad because it isn't their primary target - it can still represent a good amount of downloads, don't forget it!
Help! There are bugs in my iOS application! What can I do?
If you have already published an iOS application and you are informed by your users that it does contain bugs, don't panic. Apple provides crash logs and often you can resolve the issues fairly easily. Submit an update as soon as you can, and communicate to your users that you've listened to their feedback and that you've published an update. They'll appreciate your efforts and being involved in the process.
If you need help testing your application on several iOS devices, or you'd like to procure the services of a team of professional testers, sign up for a free account here at Crowdsourced Testing, and we'll provide you with awesome testing services in very little time.