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Mobile Web Application Test Automation -I

There are two approaches to develop and deliver mobile applications

-Web centric apps which can run in any mobile browser

-Apps developed for a specific platform like IPhone

Let’s look at each of these approaches before going into automation challenges, tools and strategy for mobile apps.

Before introduction of IPhone App Store, mobile phone applications were limited to native applications offered by the handset manufacturer.  Users had very limited choices of application and user had no control on customizing the apps or removing the apps from their handset. Mobile apps have become very popular since 2007 with introduction of IPhone and with that Apple has opened the gates for developers to write and deliver applications for IPhone easily to end users. Since then Apple itself has more than 65,000 applications and more than 2 billion downloads. This is closely followed by Blackberry’s App World,  Android market and other app stores for different handsets.

Along with introduction of app store concept, mobile web applications have also taken huge strides in giving a rich user experience. Introduction of technologies like Ajax have made web applications richer than before. Newer and stronger HTML 5 is even more powerful than AJAX. It provides much more features and will allow faster delivery of html pages. This means that now mobile app developers can equally deliver quicker applications to end user through their mobile browser and this method of delivery can compete with the existing model of app stores.

As more apps will be developed, smarter testing strategy and more tools will be available to test those applications.

In next series of post, I will go in detail about the tools that we used, some of the pros/cons of the approaches that we chose. So keep tuning…

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