Today: Jun 13, 2024

Cost-Effective Cross-Device Testing Strategies: Leveraging Open-Source Tools for Comprehensive Coverage

Cross-Device Testing
2 weeks ago

On exploring the present market, we can easily understand that the users want the most portability out of their daily tasks. This rule is also applicable to all the apps that the users will be accessing throughout their daily lives. By adding cross-device testing, the testers can check the proper functioning of all their apps across various devices per the user’s preferences.

If we try to name the most used devices, they will be tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktops. We also know that the implementation process is easier said than actually done. This is mainly because these devices vary in resolutions, sizes, and other capabilities.

However, the process of comprehensive cross-device testing can be challenging due to the time and resources required for the proper implementation of this step. To address the challenges of cross-device testing, the testers must integrate various open-source tools that are not only cost-effective but also help streamline the overall strategies.

With this article, we will find out various cost-effective cross-device testing strategies. We will also understand how the testers can use some modern open-source tools to help achieve comprehensive test coverage during the application testing cycle.

The Importance of Cross-Device Testing

Before understanding different testing strategies for implementing cross-device testing, let us go through some of the most important points that justify the importance of implementing this advanced testing process:

  • User Experience Consistency

Modern users expect a consistent and smooth experience irrespective of the device that they are using. Moreover, inconsistent performance can cause frustration and force users to abandon the app.

  • Market Reach

With the increasing number of devices, it is very important for the testers to ensure compatibility across various platforms. This approach allows the app developing companies to increase their potential audience to elevate their revenue.

  • SEO Benefits

Modern search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. So, if the testers create an app with a poor mobile experience, it can massively impact its rankings on the search results page.

  • Brand Reputation

Finally, the performance of an app directly impacts the overall reputation of the brand and its image in the current industry. So, a smooth experience enhances brand reputation and customer loyalty. On the other hand, issues on certain devices can massively damage the brand’s credibility and impact the overall audience base.

Challenges in Cross-Device Testing

While implementing cross-device testing, the testers will encounter various challenges that can massively impact not only the test implementation process but also hamper the final test results. To spread proper awareness regarding this step, we have listed some of the major challenges below:

  • Device Fragmentation

Currently, there is a huge range of devices which are available in the market. These devices are unique regarding screen sizes, operating systems, resolutions, and browser versions.

  • Resource Intensiveness

Manual testing on every device is not only a massively time-consuming process but also requires a significant investment in resources. The app developing companies must set up a team of human testers to execute all these testing instances.

  • Automation Complexity

In case the testers are trying to eliminate manual testing with automation testing, it is worth mentioning that the initial setup process for test automation is highly complex. Moreover, app companies must invest many resources to add various tools, libraries, and dependencies, which are crucial for this step.

Cost-Effective Cross-Device Testing Strategies

To address all the challenges of cross-device testing that we mentioned above, we have listed some other most effective strategies below:

  • Test Planning and Coverage Analysis

The app testers must begin this process by analyzing their target audience and the devices which are being mostly used within this segment. After accessing this data, the testers must focus their testing efforts on the most popular devices and browsers. This approach will help them to maximize the test coverage while minimizing resource consumption.

  • Leverage Emulators and Simulators

In case the testers do not have the budget to set up a physical device lab, they can integrate emulators and simulators, which can replicate different device environments without the involvement of physical devices. There are various open-source tools, like iOS simulator and Genymotion, which provide reliable options for simulating device behavior.

  • LambdaTest

Since emulators cannot replicate the physical behavior of a device, they might not provide accurate test results in every instance. So, the most effective alternative to a physical device lab is the inclusion of cloud platforms. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that can run cross-device test cases on more than 3000 different combinations of browsers, operating systems, and real devices.

Although LambdaTest is not an open-source tool, it provides a cost-effective way compared to maintaining an expensive in-house device lab. This platform provides access to outdated devices and browser versions for enhanced compatibility. It also provides advanced features like artificial intelligence, parallel test execution, real-time test logging, and comprehensive test reporting.

  • Responsive Design Testing

The testers also have the option of using open-source tools like the Responsively app for testing the website’s responsiveness across different screen sizes and resolutions. It is also important to ensure the proper placement of all the user interface elements present in the app.

  • Automation with Selenium and Appium

When we are on the topic of automation testing, Selenium and Appium are two of the champions in this segment. Selenium is famous for web automation testing, while Appium has the crown for mobile app automation testing. A point of similarity is that both of these frameworks support multiple programming languages while providing the option of seamless integration with other tools.

So, by using either Selenium or Appium, the testers can automate the test cases across a wide range of operating systems and devices.

  • Visual Regression Testing

Testers can use tools like Percy for implementing visual regression testing. This tool also ensures that the user interface elements render consistently across different browsers and devices.

  • User Analysis and Feedback

One of the most important processes of app testing is to analyze the user data and feedback. This approach will help identify some of the most commonly used devices and platforms. So, we advise the testers to prioritize testing efforts based on this data. This will allow them to focus on areas that matter most to their target users.

Using Open-Source Tools for Cross-Device Testing

Now, let us dive deeper into some of the most efficient open-source tools that the testers can use for comprehensive cross-device testing:

  1. Selenium

As already mentioned earlier, Selenium has almost become a household name in the area of open-source automation testing. We can say Selenium is a test suite; that is, it has many tools that can help testers in various stages of the whole testing process. The test cases can be scripted using several commonly used programming languages like Python, Java, and Ruby.

If we name the most important parts of the Selenium test suite, they will be the Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Integrated Development Environment, The Selenium Grid, and the Selenium Client API. Currently, Selenium is on the fourth version, which has massively improved the overall testing satisfaction with this test suite.

The testers can also easily integrate Selenium with multiple browsers using the Selenium WebDriver. On the other hand, the Selenium Grid is useful for executing parallel testing to run the test instances on thousands of different devices and other configurations simultaneously.

However, we want to caution the testers that Selenium is only effective while executing automation testing on web apps. For any other form of app, the app developers will have to look for alternatives in the market.

  1. Appium

Appium is a common name in the family of mobile automation testing. Testers can conduct automated test instances on popular mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows. The app is also free, and testers do not have to pay for a license to access all functional components.

Appium has a unified API for testing hybrid and native mobile apps. This inclusion makes it easier to write test cases that can work across multiple platforms. Appium also supports various programming languages to create automation test scripts. As per the testing requirements, the testers can also integrate Appium with Selenium for mobile web testing.

  1. Genymotion

Genymotion is an open-source Android emulator that provides a reliable and fast environment for testing modern Android apps.

Using this emulator, the developers can access a wide range of virtual devices with multiple Android versions and configurations. This approach allows the testers to perform comprehensive testing without the need for any physical devices.

Using Genymotion, the testers can also analyze the impact of various user interactions on their app’s performance. Some of the most common user interactions include clicking, scrolling, and filling multiple forms on the web app.

  1. BackdropJS

Finally, BackdropJS is an open-source visual regression testing tool. While using this tool, the testers can capture screenshots of web pages and highlight any visual differences between these screenshots.

This tool also allows testers to automate getting user interface information across different browsers and devices. So, the system can automatically run the test instances after every update to ensure consistent UI placements. Thus, using BackdropJS, the testers can implement their final goal of ensuring consistency in UI experience across devices and platforms.

The Bottom Line

While wrapping up this discussion, we can say that cross-device testing is needed for delivering a smooth user experience on various platforms and devices. However, we will also caution the testers regarding the challenges and resource intensive nature of this strategy. 

So, by using all the techniques and tools that we discussed in this article, companies can implement cost-effective cross-device testing strategies while ensuring comprehensive coverage.

The testers can also use the strategies to streamline the testing processes and deliver high-quality apps which meet user expectations across all devices. These strategies also have an important role in allowing the businesses to achieve better market reach, improve brand reputation, and ultimately drive success in this competitive segment of the market.