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Cross-Browser Testing on Mobile: A Comprehensive Guide to Addressing Fragmentation

 

Today mobile devices are mostly used to access the internet. This is because using mobile devices is convenient to use and more user-friendly. Therefore, businesses must ensure a seamless user experience over all platforms. For this, they must conduct cross-browser testing on mobile devices. Through cross-browser testing, it becomes effective and efficient to test web applications and websites functioning across different browsers. Also, you need to test on various devices and operating systems, along with testing on distinct browsers. The array of devices and operating systems has brought up a significant challenge known as fragmentation. Fragmentation usually leads to inconsistency that furthermore affects the excellent user experience. 

The issue of mobile fragmentation can be addressed by prioritizing popular devices and browsers. You must also use emulators and real devices to test websites in different browsers. You must go for integrated manual and automated cross-browser testing as a tester. Your aim must be to provide a consistent and high-quality user experience through your software applications. You will learn about cross-browser testing and addressing mobile fragmentation in this article. Also, a section will focus on challenges and best practices you must consider to address mobile fragmentation in cross-browser testing. 

What is Cross-Browser Testing?

Cross-browser testing is a software testing technique. It ensures that the websites and web applications function correctly across various browsers. It is crucial for addressing mobile fragmentation as this can lead to affect the user experience. Cross-browser testing is also important for the following reasons:

  • User Experience: Cross-browser testing ensures the similarity in websites and web applications on different browsers. This encourages a good user experience which is important for retaining users to the website. 
  • Functionality: Cross-browser testing confirms the features and functions of websites are working as intended on all browsers and devices. 
  • Accessibility: Cross-browser testing is also essential to make sure every end user can seamlessly access websites irrespective of the browser of devices they are using. 
  • SEO Benefits: A website that has passed cross-browser testing is also favored by search engines. They are given more visibility and indexed higher.

Understanding Fragmentation

The end users use a diversity of devices, operating systems, and browsers to access websites or web applications as per their needs and specifications. The diversity is combined and termed fragmentation. It is a challenge in cross-browser testing. It can lead to inconsistency in the visibility and functionality of websites. Fragmentation can be of the following types.

  • Device Fragmentation: Devices that differ in screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware capabilities available in the market. These wide varieties of devices are combined and referred to as device fragmentation. Device fragmentation may lead to inconsistency as different devices render web content differently.
  • Browser Fragmentation: The array of browsers is termed browser fragmentation. Browsers have their unique rendering engine which may lead to variation in web content display.
  • Operating System Fragmentation: The range of operating systems with multiple versions is operating system fragmentation. This can add complexity to cross-browser testing and thus needs to be handled seamlessly. 

Challenges in Mobile Cross-Browser Testing

Due to mobile fragmentation, several challenges occur in cross-browser testing. Here are a few of them.

  • Devices and Operating System Variation: The various combinations of devices, operating systems, and browsers can introduce multiple unique issues. Fixing those issues with a comprehensive test coverage is challenging.
  • Browser Differences: The web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are interpreted differently by different browsers. Due to this, there occur discrepancies in the rendering of web pages. Also, the functioning of the website may differ.  
  • Network Conditions: End users access websites from various demography and prefer using different network conditions such as 3G, 4G, 5G, and WiFi. This impacts the performance and page load times.
  • Performance Testing: Different devices are built using different hardware components. The difference may affect the performance of websites and handling them could be challenging. 
  • Touch and Gesture Support: Mobile devices offer touch and gesture, which increases the complexity of websites and web applications. 

Strategies for Effective Cross-Browser Testing

Here are several strategies for cross-browser testing that are effective and efficient. These will also help you deal with mobile fragmentation.

  • Prioritize Key Devices and Browsers: You must analyze your audience and prioritize devices and browsers for testing your websites and web applications. This will help in increasing the test coverage. 
  • Use Emulators and Simulators: Using emulators and simulators, you may test websites without the requirement for actual physical devices. This will make your testing cost-efficient.
  • Implement Responsive Design: Creating a responsive website allows you to effortlessly alter the style and functionality based on the screen size and orientation.
  • Integrating Automated and Manual Testing: Do not rely upon automated testing. Perform manual testing and automated testing simultaneously. Use automated testing for conducting regression testing and manual testing for finding issues that might have been missed during automated testing. This will increase the consistency and quality of your websites and web applications across different websites. 
  • Conduct Real Device Testing: Try testing upon real devices. This will increase the accuracy of test results and reflect real-world user experience. You can set up a physical device lab or utilize a cloud-based testing service for the same. 

Tools for Mobile Cross-Browser Testing

Utilizing the right tool can elevate your cross browser testing experience. Here are a few tools you can opt for the same. These tools are cloud-based platforms and can be easily utilized. 

  • LambdaTest offers cloud infrastructure for testing. Here, you can conduct manual and automated cross-browser testing. You can also integrate various CI/CD tools and testing frameworks. It is an AI-powered test execution platform, enabling you to evaluate browser compatibility across an extensive range of over 3000 browsers, operating systems, and combinations. Its key offerings are as follows: 
  • Some important elements of LambdaTest that are relevant to you are:
  • Access to a large online browser farm with more than 3000 browsers and operating systems, allowing for thorough cross-browser compatibility testing.
  • Guaranteeing dependable test outcomes with top-quality hardware that maintains steady performance. LambdaTest is certified with SOC2 Type2 and compliant with GDPR to ensure the security of your data.
  • Automated generation of reports in various formats for you, allowing for precise and effective analysis.
  • Monitoring progress in real-time on a dashboard and integrating smoothly with project management tools to keep you informed about your team’s activities.
  • Over 200 project management tools and beyond are supported for integration compatibility, presenting an array of extensive integration choices for you.
  • Appium is a popular open-source tool. It lets you conduct automated testing of websites and web applications on mobile devices and browsers. 
  • Selenium is often used with integration to Appium. It can also automate cross-browser testing for web applications. 
  • CrossBrowserTesting: It is a platform for testing websites on real devices. It also offers the use of simulators and emulators. It allows manual and automated testing of web applications and websites. 

Best Practices for Cross-Browser Testing

The best practices mentioned below will allow you to conduct effective cross-browser testing.

  • Define a Clear Testing Strategy: It is the most important and overlooked practice of the testing process. You must always decide which browsers and devices upon which websites need to be tested. You should also analyze the types of tests to be conducted and the tools used. These should be done before testing for comprehensive cross-browser testing.
  • Create a Test Plan: You should always have a detailed test plan. Your plan must include the test objectives and scopes. It should also have test cases for every scenario to be tested. You should also script tests for functionality, performance, and usability. With these, you must also estimate time and describe a timeline for every testing phase. 
  • Use Responsive Design Principles: As websites can be accessed through multiple browsers and devices, you must design a responsive website. It will allow websites to perform consistently across different browsers and devices. Try using flexible grids, images, and media queries in your website design. 
  • Perform Regular Regression Testing: To debug your websites and web applications you need to make certain code changes. These changes can lead to malfunctioning of the other components of websites. To ensure no new issue has been introduced, you must regularly perform regression testing. 
  • Leverage Analytics: Several web analytics tools help you understand which browsers and devices end users prefer. Use those data to prioritize the test scenarios that need more focus on testing. This will help you achieve an impactful result and deliver seamless software applications. 
  • Integration into the Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Pipeline: This will automatically test your software application whenever a code change is done and deliver the updated version. This saves a lot of time and effort. 

Future Trends in Mobile Cross-Browser Testing

Here are a few future trends that may affect your cross-browser testing and you need to focus on them as well. 

  • AI and Machine Learning: In the future, AI and ML will play a significant role in cross-browser testing. They could be used to generate test scripts. They can also help testers identify issues.
  • Progressive Web Apps: The concept of Progressive Web Apps has already smudged the industry. Its rise will raise the need for updating testing strategies to ensure compatibility and performance. 
  • 5G and Edge Computing: For the rise in 5G and edge computing, you need to work on your testing strategy and ensure the best performance under these conditions. 
  • Enhanced Automation Tools: With time, automation tools will also upgrade. Therefore you need to take them into account and upgrade your skills accordingly.

Conclusion

Cross-browser testing is a bit challenging for mobile devices due to fragmentation. However, it is an essential step in software testing. Cross-browser testing ensures the delivery of consistent functioning and high-quality user experience. You must prioritize devices and browsers for testing your websites and web applications by analyzing the market scenario and demand. Furthermore, by utilizing the strategies and best practices mentioned above you must deliver seamless software applications. The tools mentioned above should also be integrated with manual testing to accelerate the testing process. 

It is significant to obtain bugs and issues in your web applications and websites which results in code changes to fix them. Therefore, you must adopt the practice of integrating software applications into the CI/CD pipeline mentioned above. Finally, using the article above as a resource will ultimately lead to better user satisfaction and the development of a seamless software application that is consistent across all browsers.

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