How does one go about doing functional tests on mobile applications?

Ideally one could write an automated test suite to run in an emulator or something but I don't know of any native emulators that actually run that well; nor do I know of an automation solution that would run within the emulator.

Do you just go through and "press all the buttons" and such?

5 Answers 5


WoW, this is a big question.

Depends on which OS you were referring to, there ARE some good platforms that allow you to run automated test.



There is a very good article on Wikipedia you can read:

Mobile application testing in general

This article is worth reading as well:

Mobile application testing techniques

ISTQB mobile testing certificate also provides a comprehensive overview:

You can find its course syllabus here


I believe like all projects, it's important to have scope. Also, ask a few questions and analyse: what's new in this project? is it new or updated hardware? new OS? updated OS? new app? updated app? updated firmware? with accessories or not?

Like all projects, there's only so much time and resources available. so, analyse and then plan accordingly.


If the mobile app is accessible via a url you could try something like mobiletest.me these a 30 day trial available.


Functional Testing verifies app/site content (images, text, controls, and links) as it is displayed on the actual mobile devices that your analytics demand. Test team verifies that forms correctly submit and collect information from users, that all components (video/sound streams, ecommerce submissions) function as expected, and that all links are correct and functional. This includes web site cookie and session tracking tests.


When it comes to automated functional testing of our mobile software, we are using Ranorex. You can either create recordings by using an emulator or by using real mobile devices (capture and replay or coding).

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