When you build a website or an application that is supported over multiple platforms is the right strategy for attracting more users to it, as people can have different preferences and focusing only on only the desktop version, or an app supported solely by iOS can significantly limit your audience, and consequently can seriously affect the adoption by end-users. That’s why cross-platform solutions are getting more popular nowadays.

It’s also worth getting acquainted with the trends when choosing the supported platforms like the tendency of going mobile instead of professing desktop solutions, and even deeper, investigating whether it’s worth it to make your website responsive, or better to develop a separate application.

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For sure this multi-platform support requires a thorough software testing approach, as sometimes making sure that the solution your team is developing is properly functioning on all the platforms may be complicated.

So, here are the top 5 tips for optimizing cross-platform testing:

Select the OS and platforms for testing

It’s impossible to outline every combination of device, OS, and browser to test your application. But it’s not required. It would be sufficient to analyze where your visitors are coming from to select the exhaustive list of OS and platforms. It’s critical to make sure that the last stable OS and browser versions are supported (it’s hard to imagine someone on XP with IE 8 today). Sometimes, it’s recommended selecting.

Define what test cases can be automated

Simulating the same scenarios on the different platforms after each new release manually may be not the best solution, as it requires a lot of resources, plus increases the chances of human mistakes, as the tunnel vision development leads to missing some core bugs and defects in the system. That’s why it’s better to automate such routine cases.

For sure, not everything can be automated as such things like user-friendly layout, the convenience of navigation, or assessing the font size can be assessed only by humans, as automated scripts, unfortunately, don’t have an aesthetic vision yet.

Decide on the cross-platform tools

Proper testing solutions can save you a lot of time. When choosing the best option on the market, conduct research on the most popular tools to match their functionality with your requirements. Also, pay attention to free open-source tools that offer cross-platform testing, and try 2-3 options before making the final decision.

Consider emulated environments

For sure, investing in several devices just for testing purposes is not reasonable, and even more, it’s not required. You can simulate the required virtual environment using solutions like VirtualBox or Vagrant, or various ready-to-go emulators and simulators to see how your app will be performing on the different device or Operating system.

Keep track of prioritizing bug reports

Usually, cross-platform testing might be tricky, as you may discover new scenarios every time you run a test, and soon your backlog will be full with reports to fix, and diving deeper into them may delay your release forever. That’s why it’s important to prioritize bugs found in core functionality across different platforms for MVP and postpone some more minor things like the tooltip display differences in different browsers that can be taken to post-release fixes.

Developing and releasing a cross-platform application may be a challenging task due to the possible complications on the way and after the release, the work is not done, as the continuous compatibility with the emerging OS and platforms is inevitable. Thorough prior planning and compiling test case documentation using the tips above will make the process more streamlined for your QA department and will help you to achieve better test coverage through the development cycle.

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