Testing an app and reporting issues

Why should I test an app I’m having developed by someone else?

It can be exciting as a client to receive a build of your app. Before you sign off an app for release to the App Store or Google Play you should check that the app functions as you expect. Often there may be testing that it is difficult for your developer to carry out - for example if you have a location based app it isn’t always feasible for the developer to test the app in the right location, particularly if you want to keep development costs down.

As a developer it is important to get feedback from a client on any issues they encounter. Developing software is complex and bugs can be found in software from the largest and most well resourced companies in the world - how often have you found bugs in software from Apple, Google or Microsoft for example? The aim is to catch as many bugs as possible before release, whilst being aware that no software is ever bug free. If any developer promises you bug free code you should probably look elsewhere.

Reporting an issue

If you are having a mobile app developed and want to report an issue here is what you should include:

  • Whether you were testing the app on an Apple iOS device or on an Android device.
  • What model you were using - e.g. an iPhone 12 mini, or a Samsung S11.
  • The version of the operating system you have installed - e.g. iOS 14.5 or Android 11.
  • The version of the app you have installed. If you installed an iOS app from TestFlight you can launch the TestFlight app to get this information. For an Android app you can just give the link to the build that you installed on your device.
  • The date and time you encountered the issue.
  • What you did that led to the issue. This should be a set of bullet points that someone else could follow to reproduce the problem.
  • What you would have expected to see happen if the issue wasn’t there.
  • As clearly as possible explain what actually happened. Include screenshots - or even better a video - wherever possible.
  • Whether you can reproduce the problem.

Example issue report

  • Apple
  • iPhone 12
  • iOS 14.5
  • 1.0 build 3
  • 14th April 2021 at 2pm
  • What I did
    • Tapped the app icon to start it
    • Tapped the Cars tab
    • Scrolled to the bottom of the list of cars
    • Tried to continue scrolling down
  • What I expected
    • When I scrolled to the bottom that more cars should have loaded
  • What actually happened
    • No more cars appeared even though there are 50 in the database and only 10 can be seen in the app
  • I can reproduce the problem every time

How to…