Developing mobile apps is a hard business. With fierce competition in app stores, a race to push out an app quickly, and the need to revisit the app and update it often, QA testing can fall by the wayside.

But in a new survey from Perfecto Mobile Ltd., a U.S.-based mobile app testing platform, it’s clear it’s actually really important to include QA testing in the development process – and to not leave it up to users to uncover an app’s weak points.

In surveying more than 900 respondents, researchers found users were the ones to find about 44 per cent of defects. Broken down from that 44 per cent, 20 per cent of defects came from public user reviews, while 24 per cent came out of direct user feedback.

With a list of issues where users could choose more than one problem, some of the top issues for mobile app users were problems with the user interface, with 58 per cent reporting that was the case. Another 52 per cent said they encountered performance issues, and 50 per cent said they had problems with functionality.

Forty-five per cent reported concerns with device compatibility, 29 per cent said they were missing functionality, 23 per cent did not have operating system compatibility, and 14 per cent said they had security issues.

For 44 per cent of error reports to come from users, that’s not a particularly encouraging sign. Still, there are a slew of reasons as to why app developers don’t spend enough time QA testing. One of the biggest reasons is insufficient device coverage, with 63 per cent of companies reporting this as the biggest challenges in mobile app testing. Some of the other top reasons include lack of reliable automation, not enough time given to do testing, and product requirements that shift all the time.

Still, the authors of the Perfecto Mobile report do have some suggestions. They recommend figuring out what mobile devices are most popular among a target audience, and ensuring an app will work well with those. With so many different operating systems (OS), devices, and carriers out there, it can be hard to create catch-all versions of an app – so instead, focusing on the devices and OS that people do use will be more effective.

They also recommended searching for a fast automation solution where one script can execute across multiple platforms and devices, as well as a monitoring system that can find performance issues before users do.

For the full report, head on over here.

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