With smartphones becoming the individuals’ prior choice for browsing the internet, it is crucial for businesses to develop mobile-friendly web apps. These days, most individuals prefer to use their mobile phones to access the internet rather than a desktop. A report by Statista shows that more than 50% of the web traffic was generated from mobile phones in the first quarter of 2020. Thus, having mobile-friendly websites has become a necessity for enterprises.
Generating a mobile-friendly web app is not a challenging task for developers, but ensuring that it is compatible across all smartphones can give you headaches. Also, considering the massive number of mobile devices and their in-built browsers, you can assume that it is a never-ending task. Even if you want to do it manually, it will require a lot of resources, money, and time, which is not feasible for every organization.
So, what’s the ideal approach to test web apps across mobile devices?
There are a variety of tools and approaches that can be utilized to test your web app across multiple mobile devices and their browsers. But, before that, it’s vital to understand the importance of mobile web app testing.
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Importance of Mobile Web App Testing
As mentioned above, more than 50% of web traffic generates from mobile devices, which is quite enough to define the importance of mobile web app testing. However, other factors define the advantages of mobile web app testing, such as:
- It makes your site easily accessible across all browsers and smartphones, including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and other OSs
- Improve your ranking across search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo
- Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites, which makes it easier for visitors to find your web app quickly
- Offers speed and convenience to users while accessing your website via mobile phones
- Provide a better user experience even from a small screen of the mobile device
Now, let’s talk about various techniques of testing a web app across mobile devices.
Methods to Perform Mobile Web Testing
You can use developer tools available within the browser to test your web app for most mobile devices. For instance, Google itself offers various developer tools with the Chrome browser to check your site’s mobile view. But, it is limited to only a few Android and iOS versions, which is not ideal for every enterprise, as there are multiple versions of each OS and browser.
Below, we have covered the most useful methods to perform mobile web testing across multiple browsers, devices, and OS.
1. Test on Real Devices
This is the best technique to test your web app on mobile phones. Testing your web app on real mobile devices will give you a clear idea of how your web app performs in terms of functionality, responsiveness, reliability, speed, and accuracy. Obviously, it’s not practical to test a web app with each mobile device, as time and money are the two most important factors of any project.
However, you can opt for a mobile device test suite that consists of some of the most popular mobile devices and browsers. It will enable you to test your web app in real-world conditions. Besides, it will prevent you from investing on multiple mobile devices.
2. LT Browser
The above methods and tools are only beneficial if you have specific mobile testing requirements. But, if you want to ensure that your web app renders seamlessly across all the mobile browsers, then using an automation tool like LT Browser is your best bet. It is an advanced automation utility specifically designed to check your web apps’ responsiveness across more than 25 integrated mobile browsers. It is included with multiple features like record and video playback, screenshot testing, etc.
Another great thing about LT Browser is that it allows you to test even locally hosted web apps with customized browser configuration. It even enables you to perform live interactive testing of web apps across various devices to check their responsiveness.
3. Google Mobilizer
As the name suggests, Google Mobilizer is a simple application that enables you to see and check your web application’s mobile responsiveness. It is so simple to use that even beginners can test their web app across mobile devices. All you need to do is enter the web page address and click run. The tool will provide a detailed insight into your web app performance across mobile devices.
What makes this tool unique is its content trimming feature, which allows you to trim down your website’s content to its bare essentials to make it mobile-friendly. This means if the web app is not mobile-responsive, the tool will highlight the content that can be trimmed to make it mobile-friendly. For beginners, it a great utility to see where they can make performance optimizations on their site.
4. Use Simulator and Emulator
Using software emulators is a great way to test mobile web apps. Though emulators are ideally designed for native mobile app testing, they are included with default web browsers for each device. This gives you a brief idea about how the web pages will render across smartphones.
By this, we meant that you wouldn’t be able to see real network conditions, page loading times, the relative size of tap targets, or other essential information that can be seen from a physical device. The rendering engine of emulators will function equally to real devices, which helps find cross-browser issues.
The iOS simulator, on the other hand, is an in-built utility of Xcode that can also be used to test web apps across iOS devices. To access the iOS simulator, you need to install the Xcode application from the Mac App Store, and then from the developer tool option, you can access the iOS simulator. But, the iOS simulator only works with the Mac operating system.
Similarly, there are android studio emulators as well that can be accessed from the Android SDK package. And these android emulators can be used across any operating system, including Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Specially designed for iPhone web app testing, iPhoney is an excellent iOS application to test your web app across Apple mobile devices. Although it is not a complete emulator, developers can create a 320x480px version of the web app to test it across iPhones. It even enables you to test images and code in a pixel-perfect environment with other standard features, including full screen, portrait and landscape mode, zoom, and plugins.
And the best part about iPhoney is that it is absolutely free to download and use. So, if you have been looking for a tool that can be used to test web apps across iOS devices, then iPhoney is the way to go.
6. Adobe Device Central CS5
Central CS5 comes as an inbuilt utility with the latest Adobe Creative Suite. It works as an emulator to emulate various mobile devices’ operations while enabling you to test the HTML and Flash of your web app from the comfort of your laptop. But, it is only available with the paid version of Adobe Creative Suite.
Thus, if you’re a professional designer or developer, investing in Adobe Creative Suite would be a wise choice. Besides, you’ll be able to access and benefit from other essential features of the Creative Suite.
7. Responsinator for Resizing the Browsers
The first choice for mobile web testing should be either real devices or an accurate simulation for each device. However, if you’re unable to access any of these methods or tools, then the best option for mobile web testing is to resize the desktop browser for every device. Although there are many tools to do so, the ideal choice of every tester is Responsinator.
Responsinator is one of the simplest platforms that allow you to resize the browser as per device requirements. All you need to do is visit the website, enter the URL of your site in the given field, and click enter. The site will start generating live previews with resized resolutions according to popular devices. So, it’s a quick way to see the mobile view of your site.
But, keep in mind that it’s not an alternative to real device testing or simulators, as it uses the same rendering engine as your desktop browser. Responsinator only resizes the browser to a specific size to provide the mobile view of the website.
Testing the mobile view of web apps is critical to every business’s success, as smartphones have become the primary device to access the internet. But, testing each device manually to check mobile responsiveness can be time-consuming and costly. So, it is advisable to use a quick method or tool to test mobile web apps. In this article, we have recommended some of the most affordable and fast solutions to perform mobile web app testing. And if you’re looking for a quick and reliable automated tool, then LT Browser is the way to go.