Software Compatibility Testing: How Can It Help Your Business

Information technologies have long been an integral part of our lives. Every day, people all over the globe communicate, shop, plan trips, etc., using a variety of apps and devices. If you want to offer the world a functional app that will help them with any tasks, you should determine in advance who will use your app, on what devices, with what other apps, and choose the right compatibility testing service.

What is compatibility and why do I need to test for it?

In general, compatibility is the ability to adapt and function in different environments and under different conditions. So a mobile application can perfectly perform its functions on all kinds of devices, browsers, and operating systems without disrupting other programs.

Compatibility testing helps you foresee and minimize all possible difficulties in using your application even before its release. This technique allows you to detect UI distortion (issues with alignment, font size, resolution, etc.), as well as some functional inconsistencies. It allows you to increase the efficiency of product development, and to ensure its compliance with customer requirements.

Mobile Compatibility Testing Types

First of all, we should consider Backward and Forward Compatibility Testing. The necessary type depends on which versions of devices and software the product is being tested with.

Backward Compatibility Testing is also commonly referred to as downward compatible. It is used to test the interaction of the app with older operating systems and application versions.

Forward Compatibility Testing is used to verify the application’s behavior on the newest versions of the operating system.

What should I test?

The following aspects are worth paying attention to when performing compatibility testing:

Hardware

It is very important to test whether your app installs and runs smoothly on different mobile devices with different processors, memory options, etc. The app will also interact with USB, Bluetooth, SD Card, etc.

Software

Once a new application is installed on the device, it will somehow interact with other software. And some operating issues may occur. There are a lot of applications, new ones appear every day, and it is impossible to test them all. At this point, it is recommended to check the app compatibility with the most commonly used applications.

Operating system

In this case, the application is tested on different operating systems. If the application is installed, different configurations are used. Operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, & iOS and their different versions should be supported.

Network

Each network has its specific characteristics. Sometimes this can affect the application performance. Therefore, it is worth testing it under different network conditions, such as 3G, WIFI, etc.

Browser

An application’s incompatibility with a browser can cause a lot of trouble when installing and configuring the application. Web browser compatibility test verifies the application’s compatibility with the most commonly used browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, & Opera are usually checked.

Steps of mobile app compatibility testing

Compatibility testing is a rather long and complex process. But it can be divided into the following main steps:

1. Test cases developing. At this stage, you should determine which platforms, operating systems, browsers, devices, and software the application will be tested with, as well as features of the application to be tested.

2. The configuration of the environment and application to be tested.

3. Conducting tests and results analysis.

4. Elimination of detected bugs.

5. Retest is performed if necessary after debugging.

What tools can be used to check cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility?

For compatibility testing to achieve maximum results, it is worth paying special attention to the choice of suitable tools. The following tools are often favored for compatibility testing:

BrowserStack

This is one of the most popular compatibility testing tools. You can find over 1200 versions of different browsers and a very user-friendly interface.

Experitest

This tool can perform a large number of parallel tests simultaneously. It can be used to test mobile applications and websites. Experitest is a handy tool to use for interacting with the application and fixing bugs and errors in real-time.

Ghost Lab

With this tool, you can perform synchronized testing by connecting multiple devices.

Virtual Desktops ā€“ Operating System Compatibility

With this tool, you can run and test the application on multiple operating systems and compare the results.

Conclusions

Nowadays, people use a huge variety of devices, platforms, and applications. When your potential customer chooses a new app, compatibility is crucial for smooth installation and work. Proper and timely testing will prevent a lot of issues.

Author’s bio:

Kate Zalozna. CTO at QA Madness. Iā€™ll share my knowledge and experience of implementing QA strategies and ensuring their alignment with a company’s business needs. After working in QA and software testing for over 9 years, I have a lot of things to share.


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