Differences between Android and iOS App Testing

Published on May 15, 2018
Differences between Android and iOS App Testing

Have you ever installed an Android or iOS app on your mobile device and immediately deleted it? All of us faced that moment of disappointment at least once when one of the downloads didn’t meet our expectations or even worse – was buggy. Confusing UX design, an unpleasant GUI, or a series of crash downs can lead your app to a tragic failure leaving no chances for success. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Mobile app testing is a process of testing applications intended to check their quality, usability, reliability, performance, functionality, and compatibility. Its main objective is to bring a valuable and useful mobile app to the market that will be a robust utility with rich features and excellent user experience. Mobile testing takes some additional project time, but it’s worth investment.

Although best mobile app developers can create error-free solutions, it is important to provide an unbiased and independent check of deliverables. App testers do not look for errors; they ensure the quality of the application dealing with unique challenges inherent specifically to mobile testing. They consider a huge number of aspects and make choices regarding mobile testing methods and techniques that respond to your case. One of such challenges can be the differences between Android and iOS app testing.

In this article, we will examine how Android differs from iOS defining the factors that influence mobile app testing and correspondingly complexities.

Factors that Influence App Testing

System’s Type: Open vs Closed

iOS is a closed-source operating system specifically developed by Apple for its mobile devices. In contrast, Android is Google’s open-source operating system that offers wide customization to the developer’s community and third-party manufacturers. When iOS uses the XNU kernel developed in C/C++ and Objective-C, Android uses mostly Linux OS as a foundation of the kernel written in C/C++.

Devices Variety: Many vs One

Android updates usually undergo a long deployment process due to a huge variety of Android devices. In other words, if you want to be sure that a new product and features work impeccably across many Android devices, be ready that Android apps testing will take you a lot of time and efforts.

Manufacturers of Mobile Devices

Producers of Android hardware are allowed to customize versions of the Android platform. This causes differences in app design and functionalities that make testing on real Android devices vitally important. Thus, testing apps on real devices is a must for Android and is a necessity for iOS.

Software Upgrade

Manufacturers of Android devices are responsible for the OS upgrades. They decide when to offer upgrades and whether users receive them at all. Sometimes, users may not get an update for the latest Android version simply because it is not foreseen in the product line. Moreover, it usually takes several months after the new version release until Android users get updates for their gadgets.

iOS provides totally different experience. Users can install its upgrades on all iOS devices at once. There could be some exclusion for devices older than 3 years because they cannot receive all new features.

Apps Stores

Android apps can be found and downloaded from the official Google Play store as well as from the other websites and memory cards. Apple apps can be downloaded from the Apple’s digital distribution platform – App Store and from the other resources. It means both Android and iOS applications undergo a review from Google Play and App Store. However, Apple is far more serious about this.

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Testing Complexities

Screen Layouts and Sizes

Android devices have different screen sizes and layouts; that is the reason QA professionals face more challenges while testing Android apps. Good news is that all iOS devices work and look alike; consequently, iOS apps can be tested easier.

Screen Resolutions

Android devices have a large number of screen sizes and layouts. This causes significant diversification of screen resolutions and, as a result, increases chances of app inaccuracies and bugs. Thus, to cover many Android devices, testers should use many scenarios putting in a lot of efforts.


Because of the huge variety of Android mobile devices on the market, it is necessary to ensure that the capacity planning was done well and the resource utilization is adequate.

Hardware Peculiarities

While testing an app, testers should keep in mind hardware specifications, such as memory as well as processor speed. Hardware specifications are crucial because some apps created for high-end mobile devices may not work on low-end mobile devices.

Numerous OS Versions

Quite often, device manufacturers don’t want to update their closed-source device drivers. Under such conditions, some Android devices may use only older Android versions. It means the tester should test the Android API with various versions including older ones.


Don’t forget to keep the same usability experience across different devices and versions. So, a number of use cases should be created for the OS version.


A huge advantage of Apple is that hardware and the operating system are made for each other. They work seamlessly ensuring the best conditions for iOS apps design and development. That is why issues cannot be found that often on different iOS devices. For Android, everything is quite complicated. On one hand, Google’s Nexus devices, created to make the best of Android, accomplish their mission very good. On the other hand, the broad range of stock and custom Android devices with highly customizable firmware provide challenges in the area of Android testing. But no matter what kind of device or platform you have, it is important to ensure the quality of your application for your target market.

Keep in mind that only 16 % of smartphone users would give an application that failed to work more than two attempts (according to Compuware research). And it comes as no surprise; today’s always-on-the-go consumers are short of time. So, it is important to make a great first impression because your app may not have the other chance. Don’t turn consumers into testers. Detect and eliminate defects before users ever experience them either on iOS or Android. If you need the right and fast mobile testing, consult a professional mobile app testing company. App testers can offer you the most accurate and comprehensive app testing services following their best practices and approaches needed for your success.

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