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Too Many Devices, Not Enough Resources

2 October 2019
Mobile Labs survey identifies obstacles to automating mobile testing

While more firms are moving to higher rates of test automation, firms are struggling to keep pace with the proliferation of mobile devices they have to test. Atlanta-based Mobile Labs, which offers cloud-based mobile testing via its GigaFox platform, has released its annual State of Mobile Testing survey for 2019 and respondents working for enterprises across different industries reported that by far the main blockers to increasing rates of test automation were that they have too many devices to test, and not enough staff resources to do the testing. More than 20% of respondents said their firms were now testing 50 or more different devices, a marked increase over previous years.

The survey found that 76% of respondents said their primary objective was improving quality, followed by increasing test coverage (64%) and reducing testing time (also 64%). The findings also indicated increasing rates of test automation, though no respondents claimed their testing process for mobile apps was fully automated. While 5% of respondents to last year's survey said they had zero automated testing, that proportion has fallen to below 1.5%. There has been a sharp increase in the number of firms now actively building automation frameworks, and when asked what automation tools they were using, the great majority -- close to 78% -- cited a combination of Appium and Selenium. That compared with just under 70% of respondents in the 2018 survey.

"Right now, Appium is the king as far as mobile test automation is concerned, and that's happened not just because it is 'free' but because users have moved on naturally from the Selenium web testing to use Appium" said Steve Orlando, senior product marketing director at Mobile Labs. But he predicts: "What you'll see is a move to something even easier. Appium is still new and its stability is still a challenge."

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