Today, more and more people install applications on a smart phone as companies push their mobile strategy forward to go mobile in addition to desktop, or just go mobile, period. When we work with our clients for mobile testing projects, one of the first steps is mobile installation testing. We almost always run into similar problems across applications, so I thought I’d share some of these points.

  1. Compatibility. As smart phones continue to increase their processing power, every year the devices and operating systems will release several versions. The developer must make sure the applications can run well most users’ OS and devices which can be time consuming. For example, an application may have an iOS version and support all versions as 5.X, 6.X, 7.X. Do you test all iOS versions on versions of all versions ipads and iphones. Where do you start cutting out versions to reduce the testing load?
  2. Path. Installation on both internal memory and SD card (for Android) should be checked. If available, check what happens if you change the default installation path. Uninstallation should also be tested as well.
  3. Upgrade. Upgrading us very important and needs to be tested as new versions of your own software and underling OS will change frequently. Old data should not be be corrupted (incomplete, inaccurate or changed) after upgrade. If a user cancels the upgrade, the old version should still work well even if the upgrade was cancelled midstream. This is a real user scenario as network connection qualitymay vary and users may terminate the upgrade while in the middle of the process.
  4. Interrupt. During the installation, interruptions such as some incoming call, notification, or sms maybe come in. The installation should not be influenced by these interruptions. Other special scenarios such as charge/uncharged, not enough space tip and low battery tip also need to be tested.
  5. Junk Files. The installation may generate lots of junk files, so when doing an uninstallation, the deletion of these junk files also needs to be checked.

Generally speaking, for mobile testing, we have found that the mobile installation testing process always includes some defects. Yet sometimes, it is either forgotten or done last. However, I always consider this one of the first things to test because if a user can’t get the application installed properly, no matter how great the application is, it doesn’t matter.