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In this fast-paced world, Smartphones today are built to enable their users to multitask with ease. So a user will be using multiple apps at the same time by switching between them. But if your mobile app doesn’t handle interruptions that well, it’ll become very hard for the user to continue using your mobile app no matter how good it is. That is why it is important to perform interruption testing in mobile applications before they are released. In this blog, we will be seeing what is interruption testing, how to do it, and also provide you with a checklist that will help you get started with Interruption testing in mobile applications.
What is Interruption testing in Mobile applications?
Interruption Testing in mobile applications is a type of testing used to evaluate how a mobile application responds to interruptions and returns to its previous state. For instance, let’s say you are in the middle of an online transaction and you receive a phone call that causes the online transaction to fail. Likewise, there could even be an important email you have to respond to immediately. So you switch to your email app and return back to find out that the transaction has failed. In such scenarios, the mobile app isn’t able to handle the interruptions and return back to its previous state. So interruption testing will focus on identifying such interruption scenarios that a real-time user might face and test it with the mobile app under real-world conditions. That is why Interruption testing in mobile applications is crucial in being successful in this overcrowded mobile app market.
The 3 Categories of Interruption Testing in Mobile Applications
- Device Dependent
- Functionality Dependent
- Network Dependent
The 3 categories of Interruption testing in Mobile applications are based on the different types of interruptions a mobile app can receive. The interruptions can either be from the device’s native functionality or from a different application’s functionality or even a change in the network. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these categories now.
This category covers all the interruptions which are related to the built-in feature of the device which is being tested. This does not involve other applications on the mobile phone. Some of the scenarios which are device dependent are the device getting locked, change in volume, device getting shutdown or restarted, and so on.
It covers a combination of both other application and device functionalities that results in interrupting scenarios such as incoming calls, messages, and notifications from other mobile apps in the form of pop-up or push notifications.
Includes Interruptions that arise when switching from one type of network to another. For example, switching to a mobile network connection from Wifi when out of range, or switching between 5G, 4G, or 3G based on the network availability in a particular location.
How to perform Interruption testing in Mobile Applications?
Being an experienced mobile app testing services provider, we proactively plan our mobile app testing in a way to prevent bad reviews and app uninstallations. We achieve this by analyzing the different possible scenarios that a real user might be in and the different interruptions that they might encounter. Based on the insights, we must develop a set of test cases covering all the concerns. In order to do that, we must know the acceptable outcomes when facing such interruptions. So let’s take a look at them one by one by taking the example of testing a multimedia player app.
Run in the Background
We have already discussed how users should be able to switch between different apps seamlessly. The solution for that is to ensure the app runs in the background without any issues. By doing so the mobile app will not crash or restart every time the user switches back to the application. They must be able to continue from where they left off with ease.
For example, if a user answers a phone call when watching a video, though the video must stop its playback that alone isn’t the expected outcome. Once the user ends the call, the video playback must start from where the user left off and not from the beginning.
Numerous apps nowadays use pop-up alerts at the top of the screen to let the user know that there is a new notification. In such a scenario, the pop-up notification shouldn’t impact the regular playback of a video. The user must be able to dismiss it by just swiping it away or waiting for it to disappear on its own. This would further extend to handling calls to action when performing interruption testing in mobile applications as it is natural for a user to want to reply or perform similar actions.
Hande Call to Actions
Certain pop-up notifications might have the option to respond to the notification with the help of a call to action. Let’s assume you receive an SMS when watching a video using the media player app. There will be options in the pop-up that let the user mark the message as read or reply to the message. So if a user clicks on the ‘Mark as Read’ option, the playback shouldn’t be impacted. At the same time, if the user decides to reply by typing within the pop-up without switching over, the playback must stop as the user will be concentrating on replying.
Avoid Unnecessary Alerts
Just like making sure your mobile app handles interruptions, it is also important to make sure your mobile app does not deliver unnecessary alerts and cause interruptions to the user even though the user is not using your mobile app. For example, actions such as successful login will not require a separate notification alert as it will be evident to the user that they have signed in once they have started using the application.
Interruption Testing Checklist:
Now that we have seen the core concepts you will need to know to perform interruption testing in mobile applications, this checklist will help you get started with it. Our checklist will cover all the 3 categories of interruption testing in mobile applications we had seen earlier.
Device Dependent Checklist
- Lock the device when performing a task in the mobile app and unlock it to see if the app is still in its original state.
- Restart the device abruptly and see if the progress made on the mobile app is saved. For example, a mobile app shouldn’t log the user out of their account every time the device restarts.
- Use your mobile app in battery saver mode and ensure that it doesn’t lag or crash.
- Create an interruption by setting an alarm or running a timer to see how well your mobile app handles it.
- Use the mobile app when the device is charging to see if any overheating issues are present.
- Test if all functionalities are working when the device’s temperature is high as few features such as the flash will not work during such situations.
Functionality Dependent Checklist
- Answer/Reject an incoming call while using your mobile app and see if the user can resume from where they left off.
- Reply to a message using the pop-up or mark it as read to see if the appropriate response is performed by the mobile app.
- Click on a push-app notification and switch to a different app and switch back to see if the app restarts.
- Open YouTube or any media app that supports picture-in-picture mode over the app you are testing and see if there are any impacts.
- Update your mobile app to the latest version and see if all the saved data is retained safely.
- If your mobile app has a feature that requires it to work in the background such as downloading a file, tracking the score, and so on; make sure they work as expected.
- Use your mobile app with an active pop-up for any app like Facebook Messenger and see if it works as expected.
Network Dependent Checklist
- Switch from Wifi to a mobile network connection when you are using the mobile app to see the impact it has on performance.
- Use your mobile app with throttled network conditions to ensure there are no disruptions in the app’s functionality.
- Make sure the offline files are accessible even if there is a loss in internet connectivity or when the device is in airplane mode.
- If the device supports dual sim options, make sure to switch the data connection between the two while your app is being used.
- Turn on Airplane mode and try using your mobile app to see if the offline functionalities work as expected.
- If there is a file download/upload feature, make sure the downloading or uploading resumes its progress when getting connected back to the network after any disruption.
- Connect & Disconnect the mobile device to an external audio source like a speaker or earphones using Bluetooth or wire to see if the app’s audio is routed correctly.
Though we have created a comprehensive checklist to help you get started with interruption testing in mobile applications, make sure to create your own checklists based on the type of mobile app you are testing.
One of the most challenging aspects of interruption testing in mobile applications is keeping up with the evolution of Android & iOS as they are constantly adding ways for a user to multitask. The split screen functionality, gestures, and so on change from one device manufacturer to another. For example, iOS is different from iPadOS and so how users multitask on these devices also differs. Likewise, Android has also launched its ‘L’ versions for larger displays introducing features like a taskbar to switch between the apps.
So it is extremely important for the tester to be fluent with all these devices and how to interact with them to make sure all scenarios are covered. Our newsletter will be a great option for staying on top of all the latest trends in mobile app testing. So make sure to subscribe and never miss out on our informative content as interruption testing in mobile applications plays a pivotal role in helping your mobile app succeed in the real world.