Key Differences - Automated Testing & Manual Testing - MobileAppDaily
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Key Differences: Automated Testing Vs Manual Testing

Automation testing is an integral part that needs to be implemented correctly. Differences: Automated Testing Vs Manual Testing

With today's mobile technology, people have successfully transformed their lives around the concept of digitalization. The mobile and web applications have now become an integral part of our day-to-day activities. It doesn't matter which sector we talk about, as now the majority of industry verticals have already adopted the application revolution along with mobile technology.

That's the reason why it is very important that we highly focus on providing advanced features with excellent functionality to the end-users. And one of the main aspects that is required to make this happen is Mobile App Testing.

Testing itself has a ton of benefits to it, like improving the speed of the app and eliminating the bug issues from app functionalities. That's why mobile app testing is an obligatory part of the app development process that can not be skipped.

And two of the key mobile app strategies are manual testing and automated testing, this is the part where most of the people are confused.

  • Which mobile app testing strategy is better?
  • Should I pick automated or manual testing for my application?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of both of these strategies?

These are some of the many questions that several users, as well as the app developers, have regarding the manual and automated testing techniques. So, in this article, we will be stating the key differences between the automated testing and manual testing along with their pros and cons, to provide you a better understanding regarding it.

What is Automated Testing?

The automated mobile app testing is a vital known element of the TDD which stands for the Test Driven Development. Basically, the automated testing relies on the pre-scripted tests that run automatically. The function of these pre-scripted tests is to compare between the expected results and the actual results that are received.

With this comparison, we can easily determine if the mobile app is performing as per our expectation or not. In the automated type of testing, the tasks that are being repeated are executed and then regression checks are performed to look at the state of the app after implementing some new changes.

automation testing types

Types of Automated Testing

These are the different types of testing that fall under the category of automated testing:

Regression Testing

The regression testing is more than just retesting, it is an entire process of testing if the old programming still works with the new changes applied by the app developers. So, when a newer version of an app is released, the previous test cases are run against this version to see if the older capabilities are still working or not.

Functional Testing

As the name suggests, in the functional testing each and every function of the mobile app is checked and verified in regards to the listed requirements. The functional testing is done by providing an input and verifying the output while comparing the actual results with the expected one.

Unit Testing

The unit testing is a type of testing where the particular components and units of the application are tested. The main motive of unit testing is the validation of all components separately. A unit is the smallest part of an app that can be tested by providing one or more input and receive a single output from it.

GUI Testing

GUI testing stands for Graphic User Interface testing where we test the application's graphic user interface. This type of testing including run tests on the screen's components including menus, icons, buttons, toolbar, dialog boxes and many more.  

Pros & cons of Automation Testing

Advantages of Automated Testing

  • In automated testing, most of the procedure is automatic which makes it into an efficient and fast testing process.
  • The level of productivity is increased with the process and is quick to provide accurate testing results.
  • The automated testing strategy is supported by a majority of applications.
  • With automated testing, you can find more bugs in comparison to the manual testing.
  • The user can record the process of the automated testing, which further allows it to be reused and executed.


Disadvantages of Automated Testing

  • As there is no human element in automated testing, it becomes difficult to get appropriate insight on the visual aspects including the fonts, colors, and other user interface elements.
  • The advanced tools required for automation testing can be quite expensive.
  • There are limitations with every automated testing tool like the test maintenance cost being high.

need of automation testing

Need of Automated Testing

Here are some of the situations where we need automated testing:

For eliminating human error

Because the automated tests are backed up by powerful scripts and tools, the chances of missing an issue or a bug are very low. That's why automated testing is referred to as more time effective as well as reliable.

For advanced GUI testing

The automated testing can record the process while detecting for differences on various platforms that means it also support the advanced GUI testing to find the regressions issues and errors.

For handling repetitive tasks

The automated testing is great for handling the repetitive tasks and saves time, this comes in handy when the user is adding the same features or executing the same operations again and again.  

What is Manual Testing?

The manual mobile app testing is the most known testing strategy for testing the different types of applications including web as well as mobile apps. When you are testing manually, you can see and feel the working of the app and implementation of the functionalities.

Manual testing is very important with respect to testing the user interface (UI) of the application like icons, buttons, dialog boxes, color, fonts and other elements of the screen. The manual testing can be done in two ways, one being with the help of a simulator and another method is directly using the real device.

manual testing types

Types of Manual Testing

UI Testing

The UI testing is also known as the user interface testing which is done by executing a series of user interface tests. These UI tests are validated by a specialist who checks the states and properties of the elements of the user interface. In the end, the design elements are matched with the final design layout of the app.

Ad hoc Testing

Another type that comes under the manual testing strategy is the ad hoc testing where the tests are executed without any prior preparation of test cases. This testing type is more random than other types of testing by not following a pre-defined routine.

Exploratory Testing

The exploratory testing type is sometimes mixed with the ad hoc testing type but both of these testing types are quite different. One of the main difference between them is that ad hoc testing can be performed without any preparation. But exploratory testing, the tester's personal experience is considered.

manual testing pros & cons

Advantages of Manual Testing

  • In comparison to automated testing, the manual testing is less extensive and cost efficient.
  • Because of the involvement of human element, we get accurate user interface feedback in testing.
  • The user doesn’t have to make changes to the entire coding, in order to make small quick fixes in the app.
  • With manual testing, we can get accurate replication of the real user experience on the web and mobile apps.
  • The manual testing approach is able to handle difficult use case scenarios better than the automated testing.

Disadvantages of Manual Testing

  • In manual testing, the option of recording the testing process is not available and that makes it less efficient.
  • As manual testing is conducted by the humans that's why changes of errors are higher.
  • Sometimes the tasks seem to be difficult and impractical to be performed manually which may even require additional time to be completed.

manual testing need

Need of Manual Testing

Below are some of the reasons why we need manual testing:

Initial Development Stage

Manual testing can prove to be of great help especially in the initial few stages of the development of the application. With this testing strategy, the testers that easily detect the bottlenecks in the app which also saves resources being spent.

UI Accuracy

As mentioned above, we have known that when it comes to the user interface part, manual testing can be of great help. This is because, in automated testing, the tests are not able to detect the appropriate colors and fonts for the user interface of the app.

Non-automated scenarios

There are some scenarios where tests cannot be automated, for example, in tests related to hardware. That's why we need manual testing to complete the testing process. Also, it seems impractical to write scripts for automated touchpads and sensors in automated testing.

Key Differences: Manual Testing vs Automated Testing

Parameter Automated Testing Manual Testing
Reliability More reliable as tools are involved Less reliable due to involvement of human element
Batch Testing Multiple test scripts can be batched for execution Manual tests can not be batched
Engagement Is accurate as it is done by tools Repetitive manual test can be prone to errors
Framework Hybrid, Keyword, Data-driven frameworks are used by automated testing No frameworks are used by manual testing
Test Design This testing method enforce Test Driven Development (TDD) Design Do not enforce the drive designs into their coding process
Documentation Act as a document providing training value Do not provide any training value
Deadlines Have zero chances of missing a pre-defined deadline Has a higher chance of missing a pre-defined deadline
BVT Automated Testing is useful for Build Verification Testing Executing the BVT is difficult in manual testing
Set Up Automated testing has less complicated set up Manual testing has a straightforward set up
Parallel Execution Can be executed on different executing platforms Can be executed parallel but requires more human resources

Final Thoughts on Manual testing Vs Automated testing

As per our expertise, we don't really suggest to just pick one approach at stay with it for eternity because different projects requires different testing approaches. The system testing and performance testing are other aspects on which you should implement your test use cases.

Both manual and automated testing have their pros and cons so focus on the factors on your project before choosing an approach to test your mobile application. Your aim should be to obtain high-quality output that is with your timeline as well as your budget.

So, these were the key differences between automated testing and manual testing. Hope you liked this article on the topic of mobile app testing. Let us know which testing strategy would you choose: manual testing or automated testing, in the ‘Comment’ section down below.

Vikram Khajuria
Written By Vikram Khajuria

Jack of all trades. Covering the journalism field, Vikram writes at MobileAppDaily and keeps surfing the trends to understand tech and inventions better. Don’t forget his driving skills, he is a professional car rallyist. Life has just got better. Breathe it!!

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