What is Android testing - Types, tools and best practices

Did you know that the Google Play Store hosted 2.6 million Android apps as of June 2023? Additionally, there were around 1.5 billion Android smartphones sold in 2022, which highlights the need for ongoing development of Android apps. And to be sure your product is bug-free - you need to test it! It involves various testing types and methodologies to ensure the apps work smoothly on a diverse range of Android devices, ensuring top performance everywhere. Let’s explore Android testing, as this article will help you understand everything about it!

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What is Android testing?

Android testing is the process of assessing the performance and functionality of Android applications across different devices, operating systems, and user configurations. It involves a combination of automated and manual tests, as well as testing on real devices and simulators. The main focus of Android testing is to ensure that the application behaves correctly under different conditions, such as wifi/mobile data, battery levels, different geographical regions, etc.

Why is Android testing important?

Without Android testing, applications may behave unexpectedly, have bugs, and lead to poor user experiences. Here are some reasons why Android testing is so important:

  • Detecting and addressing issues through testing enhances app quality, ensuring it meets user expectations and delights them with seamless performance.
  • Users are more likely to be satisfied and continue using a high-quality, reliable app, thereby boosting engagement and loyalty.
  • Testing early and frequently not only saves time and costs but also ensures a smoother development process, leading to quicker deployment and happier users.
  • Testing optimizes app performance across a wide range of devices, ensuring a consistently excellent user experience regardless of the platform.
  • Identifying and addressing risks, especially security vulnerabilities, instills confidence in users and protects their data.

Android testing benefits

Here are some benefits of Android testing that can positively impact both developers and users:

  • Improved app quality: By detecting and eliminating issues through testing, you can ultimately deliver a higher-quality application that meets user expectations.
  • Increased user satisfaction: A high-quality and reliable app is more likely to satisfy users and encourage them to continue using it.
  • Time and cost savings: Testing early and often can help detect and resolve issues before they become more complicated and expensive to fix later in the development cycle.
  • Better app performance: Through testing, you can identify and optimize app performance to work optimally on various devices.
  • Reduced risk: Testing can help identify and mitigate risks associated with app development, such as security vulnerabilities or data loss issues.


Types of Android testing

Android testing has two primary categories: functional and non-functional testing. Now, let's explore them in more detail.


Functional testing types

Functional testing's goal is to ensure that the software functions correctly according to its specified requirements and performs as expected by the end users. Let’s go through functional testing types in detail.


Unit testing

Unit testing for Android involves testing individual units or components of an Android application in isolation to verify their behavior and functionality. This testing approach helps ensure that each part of the application works as intended, independent of other components.

Example: In an Android app that calculates and displays the total price of items in a shopping cart, a developer might write unit tests to validate the calculation logic of the shopping cart class. The unit tests would verify that adding, removing, and updating items in the cart correctly updates the total price displayed to the user.

Integration testing

Integration testing involves testing how different components of an application work together. It ensures that components behave correctly as expected.

Example: In an Android app, integration testing might involve testing the interaction between the user interface components (UI) and the backend services (APIs) to ensure that user actions trigger the appropriate backend processes and that responses are displayed correctly on the UI.

System testing

System testing verifies that the application's complete system meets its intended requirements. This type of testing includes end-to-end testing, system integration testing, and GUI testing.

Example: In an Android banking application, system testing would involve testing end-to-end scenarios such as user login, fund transfers, bill payments, and account statements to ensure that all functionalities work seamlessly together.

User acceptance testing (UAT)

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of acceptance testing that involves end-users testing to determine if the functionality and usability of applications meet their needs.

Example: In an Android travel booking app, UAT might involve actual travelers testing the app to book flights, hotels, and activities and providing feedback on the user experience, ease of use, and any issues encountered.

Regression testing

Regression testing verifies that recent changes or updates to the application have not introduced new defects or caused existing functionalities to regress. It ensures that the application continues to function correctly after modifications.

Example: In an Android weather app, regression testing might involve retesting previously working features, such as displaying current weather conditions, forecasts, and location-based services after a new version of the app is released to ensure they still work as expected.

Exploratory testing

Exploratory testing is an approach in which testers explore the application freely, without predefined test cases, to discover defects, areas for improvement, and unexpected behaviors. It relies on testers' domain knowledge, intuition, and creativity.

Example: In an Android social networking app, exploratory testing might involve testers navigating through different screens, interacting with various features, and trying different user scenarios to uncover usability issues, inconsistencies, or performance bottlenecks.

Non-functional testing types

The goal of non-functional testing is to evaluate the software's performance, security, usability, and other quality attributes to ensure it meets the desired standards and provides a satisfactory user experience. Here are the types of non-functional testing.


Performance testing

Performance testing evaluates the responsiveness, stability, scalability, and speed of an application under various conditions, such as different user loads and network conditions, to ensure it meets performance requirements.

Example: In an Android gaming app, performance testing might involve simulating a large number of concurrent users playing the game simultaneously to assess its responsiveness, frame rate, and resource utilization.

Security testing

Security testing identifies vulnerabilities, threats, and risks in an application's security architecture to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security incidents. It ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the application and its data.

Example: In an Android banking app, security testing might involve testing for common security vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and insecure data storage to ensure that sensitive user information is protected from unauthorized access.

Compatibility testing

Compatibility testing verifies that the application functions correctly across different devices, operating systems, browsers, and network environments to ensure a consistent user experience.

Example: In an Android video streaming app, compatibility testing might involve testing the app on various Android devices with different screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware specifications to ensure that videos play smoothly and the user interface is displayed correctly on all devices.

Usability testing

Usability testing involves determining the application's ease of use, user-friendliness, and accessibility for its intended audience.

Example: In an Android productivity app, usability testing might involve observing users as they perform common tasks such as creating notes, setting reminders, and organizing tasks to identify usability issues, navigation challenges, and areas for improvement.

Android testing tools

Here are some of the most popular Android testing tools:

  1. Appium - An open-source, cross-platform testing framework that supports both Android and iOS. It uses the WebDriver protocol to automate app testing, and tests can be written in various programming languages.
  2. Espresso - A testing framework built by Google that provides an easy-to-use and intuitive API for testing Android applications. It offers features like synchronization with app UI and automatic waiting for asynchronous tasks.
  3. Robotium - Another popular testing framework that supports testing of native and hybrid Android apps. It offers easy-to-use APIs, and enables testing of multiple Android activities simultaneously. It also supports the creation of test cases in Java.
  4. Selendroid - A testing framework that supports both Android and hybrid app testing. It can interact with multiple Android devices simultaneously and supports testing on devices as well as emulators.
  5. Calabash - An open-source, cross-platform testing framework that supports Android, iOS, and Xamarin. It offers a simple API for writing tests in natural language and provides features like synchronization with app UI and automatic waiting for asynchronous tasks.

Check out this article to explore more Android testing tools that use different testing approaches and discover their features in more detail.

Android testing best practices

Here are the best practices for Android testing:

  1. Start testing as early as possible and continuously test throughout the development process. Testing early helps catch and correct issues before they become more difficult to fix.
  2. Write unit tests to test small chunks of code in isolation. Unit tests help to catch issues quickly and can be run frequently during development.
  3. Use test-driven development (TDD) to guide development and ensure that the code meets requirements. TDD helps to create more reliable and maintainable code.
  4. Use automation tools to automate testing and save time. Automation can help to run tests quickly and efficiently and can easily be integrated into the build process.
  5. Test on real devices instead of emulators to ensure performance and compatibility. Testing on real devices helps to identify issues that may not be caught by emulators.
  6. Identify all possible test cases to ensure complete coverage of the app. This helps ensure that the app is reliable and performs as expected.
  7. Define test data to be used in the tests. Using pre-defined test data helps ensure consistency in testing and facilitates issue identification.
  8. Use a modular architecture to make testing easier by isolating specific parts of the app. Modular architecture allows for easy testing of specific parts of the app and helps to identify issues quickly.
  9. Use mocks and stubs to simulate interactions with other parts of the app or external systems. This helps isolate code for testing and simulates real-world interactions.
  10. Use code coverage analysis tools to identify gaps in test coverage. This helps identify areas of the app that may need additional testing.
  11. Use version control to track changes to the codebase and to allow for easy collaboration. Version control helps to track changes to the code and helps to identify and fix issues quickly.
  12. Integrate testing into the build process to ensure that tests are always run before code is deployed. This reduces the risk of deploying code with bugs.
  13. Identify and track all bugs found during testing using a bug-tracking system. Tracking bugs helps to ensure they are fixed and to identify trends in issues.
  14. Use continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) to automate testing and deployment. CI/CD helps to automate the build, testing, and deployment process, reducing the risk of deploying broken code.
  15. Monitor the app for performance issues after deployment and continuously test to detect issues early. Monitoring performance after deployment helps to identify issues that may not have been caught during testing and allows for quick fixes.

How can Global App Testing assist with Android testing?

Global App Testing is a crowdsourced testing platform that offers real-device testing services across 190+ countries and territories. It is backed up by the highest worldwide security standards, including ISO 27001 Certification 2023 and Amazon Web Services, which includes ACIPA SOC 2, ISO 27001, and ISO 27017 certified hosting provider designation.
Here are some additional benefits you can expect if you choose us:

  • Wide testing coverage: Access to a large, diverse pool of testers from around the world ensures your app is tested across various devices, network conditions, and cultural contexts.
  • Expert testers: Our experienced testers understand how to perform thorough testing and provide detailed, actionable feedback, revealing nuanced issues and potential improvements.
  • Rapid feedback loop: Quick turnaround on testing allows you to receive and act on feedback more promptly, accelerating the iteration process and helping you improve your app in real-time.
  • Customized test plans: Create custom test plans tailored to your app's specific needs, ensuring it is tested in ways that align with your goals. Whether you need a small number of testers for specific feedback or a large group for broad testing, Global App Testing can scale to match your requirements.
  • Advanced reporting: Comprehensive reports on testing outcomes, including bug reports and performance metrics, provide insights to guide your development process and make informed decisions.
  • Integrations: Integration features enable efficient communication and coordination between your development team and testers.

To learn more about how we can leverage your Android testing, schedule a call with our specialist today!

We can help you drive Android testing as a key initiative aligned to your business goals

Contact us

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