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Should you use mobile automation to test your new application? If you’re tight on time and want to keep things moving, it sounds like an attractive option. But are we missing out if we avoid manual? Is automation something we should really consider for app testing at all? Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of mobile automation testing, and whether or not it’s right for us.

The Benefits of Automated Testing

Automated testing does indeed address many of the challenges that manual testing presents. The most obvious is time and effort, which always translates to money.

Manual testing requires that humans perform and document the tests. If your app is large and complex with a lot of functions, one can easily see how time-consuming manual testing would become, especially if we want to do our due diligence and test on a diverse range of devices.

With automated testing, these are not our primary considerations. Automation testing is much more scalable for the size of the task at hand. If your application is rather large and will require more comprehensive testing over a longer period of time, automation will prevent this from becoming too burdensome.

Automation is also key for consistency. Whereas there is any number of tiny variations in user behavior with manual testing, automated testing can be more reliable with respect to the action and recorded result. Mobile automation testing also allows you to run multiple tests at the very same time.

Is Automation the Obvious Choice?

Even though automation has clear advantages, there’s a reason why we are asking if it should be avoided. One should never overlook the value of real human experience when it comes to testing an app. This is something automation cannot address. Typically, when we first begin testing, manual is preferred, because the human experience can tell us what the next best steps to take.

Automated testing can also be a waste of resources for certain applications. If you plan to launch a simple app that offers just one or two basic features, it’s unnecessary. This consideration alone will eliminate mobile automation testing as an option for many new apps.

Leave automation for applications where you need to test recent changes in code when you need to measure performance, and any task where repetitive actions can tire out the manual tester.

And of course, the cost will tell you whether or not you need automation testing. If the cost of automation testing is greater than what you anticipate gaining from testing insights, there’s a good chance you just don’t need it.

This information might leave you with a great deal to think about. If nothing else, bear in mind automation’s biggest pitfall – lack of user insight. Manual testing on a variety of devices gives us a more reliable glimpse as to what kind of audience reaction we can expect.

Ultimately, many choose to go with a combination of automation and manual, and if the budget is there, this is generally regarded as a wise decision. It all comes down to how large your application is, and how quickly you want to offer it. While automation testing can make some processes go by faster, it can drag out the testing phase in basic, bare-bones apps.