Wide array understanding of Mobile Compatibility Testing

With the volume of mobile applications hitting the market and different devices being launched rapidly, it is not enough to have software compatibility testing considerations for only browser based apps. Checking the compatibility of native apps and cross platform apps, or cross browser compatibility testing and platform compatibility testing, has become the need of the hour.

This blog will elaborate upon  the 7 major compatibility aspects (for mobile, web, and hybrid apps) that need to be assessed for the mobile apps:

  • OS Compatibility
  • Screen Resolution Compatibility
  • Device Compatibility
  • Network Compatibility
  • Memory Compatibility
  • Processor Compatibility
  • Browser Compatibility

Now, let’s understand each one of these in detail.

OS Compatibility:

As Android and iOS both have at least one major release every year, apps under test need to be verified for at least the latest 3 versions for Android, Marshmallow, Lollipop, and KitKat and, iOS9, iOS8, iOS7 for iPhones.

Screen Resolution compatibility:

As the device comes with different screen sizes and resolutions, as a tester one must evaluate the apps for the specific targeted screen size and resolution so that the app can work efficiently and result in  higher user satisfaction. For example, for iPhone 5: 1136×640, for 4S: 640×960 and for 3GS: 320×480,  For Android devices, Small screens: 426dp x 320dp, Normal screens: 470dp x 320dp, Large screens: 640dp x 480dp and for Extra-large screens: 960dp x 720dp and for Extra-large screens: 960dp x 720dp

Device Compatibility:

As every app cannot be tested for every device in the market, as a tester we have to ensure that all the agreed devices have been used for testing the apps. To do this, we may choose to get these details directly from the customer as a targeted devices list.  If not,  we can share the list of devices we are targeting so that if in case a customer needs any other device,  the issue can be brought up in advance.

Network Compatibility:

Mobile apps can be consumed across the globe. However,  if it is targeted to any geographical area, all the possible network options such as, 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, and broadband connections available need to be evaluated for the app’s performance and functionality. For native apps, cross platform apps and widgets, the testing should start from installation from the respective app store.

Memory Compatibility:

With camera upgrades and increasing digitization, data volume has significantly increased across the globe. To keep up with this, devices with a large RAM and ROM are being offered in the market. This ensures that the app is working under both extremes of memory. For the first test, we need to have the devices with both limited RAM and ROM. For the second test, however, we need to occupy the RAM by parallel executions and ROM by dumping the data.

Processor Compatibility:

Modern processors of hand held devices are as competent as those of  desktops and laptops. Due to this, performance evaluation of an apps against different processors becomes a key consideration for a tester.

Browser Compatibility:

Usually, when we talk about compatibility, we only consider browser compatibility. Actually, it is limited to the mobile web apps alone, but still not underestimated, as there are more than 15 reputed mobile browsers. To accomplish this, you may choose to follow two approaches:

  • Browser usage statistics: In case you do not have the list of targeted browsers, you may use the statistics of the browser usage from any reputed information engine and test the mobile app against selected top 5.
  • Customer Requirement: Testing on all those browsers that the customer has requested. .

In a nutshell, to give an idea about compatibility here is the sample compatibility matrix for the web application targeted at the iPhone and iPad.

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