Testing the performance of a Mobile application is a crucial part of providing mobile applications with good quality. If a mobile app does not perform well, the user automatically uninstalls the app and switches over to an application that has a better performance.
Before launching a mobile application, the app needs to be thoroughly tested to remove performance bugs. Constant updating of the performance should also be kept in check as and when new updates come.
Why to Test Performance of Mobile Applications?
Testing the application`s performance is very crucial before release. Some of the reasons why performance testing needs to be done before launch are,
- To calculate the RAM requirement of the application
- Verification of speed and response time of data
- Ensuring user experience under various server networks
- Ensuring anti-crash working capabilities
- Ensuring smooth performance during multiple connectivity
- Ensuring simultaneous performance to all users at all time
- Monitoring the bottlenecks and uptime of the app.
Things to Consider While Testing Performance
Any mobile application`s performance is based on the following performance metrics.
- Device performance
- Server or API performance
- Network performance
Let us understand the individual performance metrices in detail.
How long does it take for the application to start? That is the first impression created in minds of the user. As a thumb-rule, an application must commence in 1-2 seconds after the user taps on the icon.
Some smartphone applications consume a significant percentage of its battery while continuous usage of an application. This can produce heat and slowdown the smartphone since it heats up the processer.
The usage of memory by an application should be tested while evaluating the app. Memory usage increases as the functionalities of an app increases. The general memory usage in OS has found to be 14%-11% for a medium sized application.
Variations is Hardware or Software
Checking the applications on various devices (Android/iOS) is mandatory while evaluating a mobile application. Software might run smoothly on one device and might not perform the same on another. RAM and processor requirements need to be met to smooth performance of the app. The performance might also vary with respect to the hardware (manufacturing brand) of the mobile
Data to & from server
The mobile app must be capable of managing data that is sent to the server and from the server efficiently. Loading the data must happen fast. The data must also be translated into a suitable format before display. Mobile apps slowdown during this process and the response time increases.
API calls from the App
The calls that are generated from the app must be less. Multiple API calls are made for the same functionality. To achieve the best performance, there must be a smaller number of calls.
When the server is down
When the server is down due to any reason, the data in the app needs to be saved in the database that is native to the app. Whenever the server is unreachable, the stored data from the native database must be shown. The failover or backup server must be continuously replicated and synchronised to the main server.
When the information is received after delay, it is referred to as jitter. A jitter is a problem that is on networks or packet switch networks. When the data arrives to the respective location, it is scrambled and not the way it was originally sent. In case of jitters, applications should be able to handle it.
The app`s performance must be tested in 2G,3G,4G &5G networks. When the speed of the network varies, the performance also varies. A performance test for wi-fi and data networks must also be done. While switching from one network to another, the performance must be smooth.
Challenges Faced During Testing Performance
Below are some major challenges faced while testing the performance of a mobile application.
- Organizing the various platforms and OS on mobile devices.
- Simulation of the connectivity on various network speeds.
- Battery usage, memory consumption and other such mobile manufacturing specifications related consumptions.
- Usability of the mobile phone- run time of the mobile
- Dimensions of mobile devices to run the same application.
Keeping in mind all the performance testing tips and things to consider, it is now clear that the device performance, network performance, and the server/API performance are the three pillars of performance testing of a mobile application.
Performance testing of mobile applications requires the understanding of mobile apps, resources, mobile device dimensions & specifications, user experiences and several testing strategies.
The performance testing of mobile applications also depends on the service provider of the QA service. Performance testing services for your mobile application need to be analysed based on your mobile app requirements.