Little by little, the digital world has experienced new growth that has allowed organizations and people to use technologies in their day to day activities. When used correctly and strategically, these technologies have also brought new business opportunities. Currently, the boom in streaming technology is an instance of technological growth and speed that has made the days of waiting long hours to download movies or music obsolete.
As a result, quality assurance for streaming apps is more important than ever. But before we go into the key aspects that need to be considered when testing this type of technology on mobile devices, it’s important to understand the concept of streaming. In simple terms, this technology is used to deliver content to computers or mobile devices through the internet without the need to download it completely in order to watch or listen to it.
Streaming on mobile devices requires high-quality audio and video as well as quick load times. These are essential aspects for users since a great number of people like to listen to music while traveling, watch movies, share an important event with their family, or participate in a meeting or a workshop in real-time. Some popular platforms that provide this type of streaming service are Netflix, Spotify, Youtube, Facebook Live, and Instagram.
Due to streaming requirements, it’s very important to give special attention to certain key aspects when it comes to testing this type of technology on mobile devices:
- Platforms: make sure the streaming application is tested on several devices as well as on different versions of an operating system and since this market is very extensive, ensure these are within the range of target users established by the client.
- Protocols: identify and understand the protocols used by the application so that the best testing strategies can be applied and the necessary tools can be selected. Some examples of common protocols include MPEG-DASH, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Smooth Streaming, and HDS.
- Tools: it’s important to evaluate the complementary tools offered by the market for streaming testing in the context of the objective you want to achieve and the needs of the client.
- Key variables: when executing tests for this type of application, it’s important to record metrics of variables such as Bitrate (measures the quality of the image), Buffer Fill (evaluates the user’s waiting time before the video or music starts), Play Length (measures the seconds, minutes, and hours the user consumes, allowing you to have a clear understanding of the app’s demand or load), and it’s also important to validate subtitle synchronization with the audio/video.
- Strategy and objectives: this is a key aspect of all kinds of testing. A good strategy will take all previous points into consideration as well as the client’s needs, objectives, and testing scope.
In general, the current use of mobile devices has grown exponentially and will continue to do so since people now prefer to use their phones to perform most of their transactions and activities. These days, streaming is not only limited to entertainment, but it’s also used to close the gap in areas such as education, work, and daily life. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the variety of uses and parameters streaming services must meet in order to properly test this type of mobile application.