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Application Layout Testing for Android Mobile Devices - Challenges & Solutions

Kok, Daniël (2013) Application Layout Testing for Android Mobile Devices - Challenges & Solutions. Master's Thesis / Essay, Computing Science.

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The mobile phone today, is integrated into everyday life. Different operating systems and hardware, fragment the mobile device space. This fragmentation makes it difficult to ensure that a mobile application (app) will be displayed correctly without manual testing on devices. Errors in the layout instance might cause functional problems, rendering an app unusable. The high number of hardware and platform combinations make it worth the effort to automate layout testing for apps. Because the Android OS and device space are highly fragmented, we focus on Android. From our research on testing tools for mobile devices we conclude that support for layout testing in existing tools is very limited and there is no universally accepted standard for layout testing. For this reason we analysed the requirements for a generic layout testing framework. In the requirements analysis we abstracted from both platform and operating system. Important general requirements are automation and device/platform independence. The requirements that are specifically directed towards layout testing include the ability to specify layout issues in an easy and precise way and apply these rules to an app. The application of rules must obtain a clear report on the errors that were detected. With these requirements, we implemented a solution that is capable of automated detection of problems in layout instances. The solution consists of an XML-format to specify rules that use XPath expressions to indicate the set of components to which a rule should be applied. Boolean expressions can be added as constraints on these components. When a constraint is not met, the violating component is indicated visually on a screenshot. The results show that the implemented solution enables users to easily specify rules and constraints on user interface components, and detect actual problems in layout instances. By using scripting to extract the layout instances from an app, the whole process has been automated. Although we have shown that this solution is able to detect errors in layouts, more work is needed to cover all interface components and problems that might occur. Moreover, research is needed on what is generally considered wrong in layouts to be able to specify more useful rules for the system.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Computing Science
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:53
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:53

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