What is the concept of a mobile application?
A mobile application (also known as a mobile app) is software that runs on any mobile device that has a compatible Operating System (OS) such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Despite being small software units with limited functionality, apps manage to provide consumers with high-quality services and experiences.
Mobile applications, in contrast to desktop applications, are less reliant on integrated software systems. Instead, each mobile app has a distinct and restricted collection of features. It could be a game, a calculator, or a mobile web browser, for example.
Mobile apps resisted multi-functionality due to the limited hardware resources of early mobile devices. Even though today’s smartphones are much more advanced, mobile apps remain fixed in their functionality. This is how mobile app developers allow users to choose which features they want on their devices.
Mobile app development technologies that are important
Here’s a closer look at all the various technical considerations business owners must make before creating an app to help you understand the process of building one.
Apps that are native to the device
What are native applications, and what do they do? Apps for this type are designed for a single mobile operating system. They’re called native because they’re tailored to a specific platform or system. The majority of mobile apps today are developed for Android or iOS operating systems. Simply put, an Android app cannot be enabled and used on an iPhone, and vice versa.
Native apps are best known for their high performance and excellent user interface. After all, the developers that create them use native application user interfaces. Access to many APIs also helps to speed up growth and expand the app’s capabilities. Native apps can only be downloaded and installed directly onto smartphones from app stores. The most significant downside of native apps is their price. You’ll need two development teams to design, fund, and manage an app for Android and iOS. As you would suspect, this might result in a higher project cost.
Users should only use the program if they have an internet connection, and all of their databases would be stored on the server. The biggest downside of web apps is that they often need a strong internet connection. Otherwise, you run the risk of providing a poor user experience.
Furthermore, except for the most common features like geolocation, developers don’t have many APIs to work with.
People rely on mobile devices for more things than ever before, such as managing their finances, networking with others, communicating with co-workers, and buying new products. Developing an app for your business is crucial to maintain a loyal audience always on-the-go. Just as important as having an app is testing it to ensure it works effectively.
Test on Real Devices
There are two essential rules when you test any mobile app:
- You never test on an emulator.
- You never test on an emulator.
The fact is your audience won’t use your app on an emulator. Your users don’t care about emulators, and those virtual environments don’t represent the real world. The development process is the only appropriate time to emulate an ecosystem.
The following few principles follow the same theme:
- Test on more than one device.
- Test on differently-sized devices.
- Test on different OS versions.
Ideally, you’d have every possible device to test on, but that’s an impossibility thanks to heterogeneous systems like Android. Instead, you’ll have to work smart and prioritize your testing environments. You want an app that performs smoothly on the most significant sample, not the latest flagships.
Don’t forget to test on older operating system versions too. What works on iOS 14 and Android 10 doesn’t necessarily work on iOS 11 and Android 6.
Pay Attention to Functionality
Is your app meant to give its users nutritious recipes for weight loss? Then the user must be able to use your app to obtain healthy recipes for weight loss. Is your app used for data collection? If so, that’s what it should do. However complicated or straightforward its purpose, the app should be fully functional.
When your SMB performs functional testing, it’s essential to determine whether the app achieves its intended goal. You should also consider all the possible reasons why someone might wander from the desired path and destroy the app’s functionality.
It’s always good practice to put your app through a series of written use cases. Consult and update your documentation as needed; the Q&A team and your future self will thank you later.
Examine User Experience
Usability testing is another essential component of testing a mobile app. It concerns itself with the parameters that you may struggle to categorize or measure.
Consider the fact that most mobile devices are small and lack many physical buttons. Mobile apps need to go the extra mile to be functional, pleasant, and usable. As you test an app, ask yourself:
- Is the app navigation simple and intuitive?
- Does the app run fast, or is it frustrating and slow?
- Would you ever use this app?
- Is it a good-looking app, or are there text and layout issues?
- Do you feel happy using it?
Some of these questions may sound banal, but your goal is to capture the general impression you may have using your app. It may be functional and look good on paper, but if your app has a low retention rate, it may struggle from a poor user experience.
Using Google Analytics can bolster your insight, giving you detailed information about where problems may exist in your app.
4. Automate Some Tests
Take advantage of your written use case scenarios and write a few scripts to test continuously. These scripts can take the burden of the more bland parts of experimenting off of your hands. If you’re technically savvy, you might also consider running your script on several devices at once with an AWS device farm; these app-testing environments work in the cloud and are compatible with iOS, Android, and web apps.
Some common testing frameworks include:
Appium and Calabash both support testing apps designed for multiple platforms.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that you can’t get away without thoroughly testing your apps. When apps look good, feel right, and perform without error, the developers and Q&A teams inevitably worked well in unison to achieve that harmony. Mobile apps are here to stay and they are part of our everyday life.