Building a Robust Safari Testing Strategy Within a Device Farm Environment: Maximizing Test Coverage and Efficiency

Are you aiming to provide the best cross-device app experience to your target audience? Then, you must verify the accessibility and user experience of your app or multiple browsers, devices, and platforms. In such a scenario, a device farm will be your close friend as it will massively help you accomplish all of these goals.

Safari is one of the browsers that you must provide compatibility for as it comes as default for all iOS and Mac devices. However, without proper knowledge, the testers will encounter certain challenges to incorporate Safari testing within a device farm environment.

With this technical article, we will dive deep into some of the most important considerations and best practices that can help the testers create a comprehensive strategy for Safari testing with a device farm environment.  During this explanation, our main focus will be maximizing test efficiency and coverage.

Understanding the Challenges of Safari Testing

As we already mentioned earlier, the testers will come across certain serious challenges while executing Safari testing. These challenges will mainly rise due to the unique rendering style and behavior of this browser. To further help with this information, we have mentioned some of the major challenges of using Safari testing:

  • Limited Accessibility

Since Safari is completely dedicated to the Apple ecosystem, it is mainly available for iPads, iPhones, and Mac operating systems. So, the testers must implement their test cases across all of these devices to ensure optimal coverage of the testing ecosystem.

  • Device-Specific Behavior

Mostof the Safari users will be using different versions of the same browser. Each of these versions will vary in terms of compatibility and overall behavior with the web applications. So, the testers must consider all of these variations while designing the test cases to ensure non-flaky test results.

  • Apple Ecosystem

The Safari browser is closely related to the entire Apple ecosystem. So, all the other services and features available with this ecosystem will directly impact the functioning of this browser. Therefore, the testers must consider all these factors while designing the test instances to ensure accurate test reports.

Creating a Device Farm Environment

Before we start explaining how to create a device farm environment, let us understand the basics of it. To simplify this further, we can say that a device farm provides the testers with a scalable infrastructure for testing apps across various platforms and devices.

Now, let us understand how to set up an effective device farm environment to properly execute the Safari test cases:

1. Device Selection

Just take a look at the current Apple market. You will quickly realize that there are thousands of different Apple devices that are available. So, from a tester’s point of view, it is almost impossible to guarantee the proper functioning of the web app on all of these devices.

Therefore, to further streamline the overall testing process, the testers must make a list of devices that are most commonly used by their target audience. In case you are a newcomer to the Apple market, you can simply make a list of the Apple devices that are currently popular.

This list should also cover different models, screen sizes, and operating system versions. The testers must remember that the goal to accomplish in this step is to ensure comprehensive coverage of the Safari user base.

2. Cloud-Based Infrastructure

While setting up a device farm, we would advise the testers to opt for a cloud-based device farm. The advantage of this process is that the testers can access all the devices within this farm through remote servers. Thus, the testers can initiate and execute the test instances from anywhere in the world without any geographical barriers.

AI-powered test orchestration and execution platforms like LambdaTest offers seamless integration for Safari testing, providing developers with a comprehensive solution for ensuring web application compatibility across Safari browsers and different macOS versions. By leveraging LambdaTest’s cloud infrastructure, developers can run automated tests on Safari browsers without the need for physical macOS devices, saving time and resources. LambdaTest’s platform offers access to a wide range of Safari browser versions and macOS configurations, enabling thorough testing in diverse environments. Detailed test reports and screenshots provided by LambdaTest facilitate efficient bug tracking and resolution, ensuring optimal performance and user experience for Safari users. 

3. Automation Integration

Since modern apps consist of thousands of tests that directly impact the proper functioning of the app infrastructure, it is important for the testers to create dedicated test instances for all these elements. If the developers followed the traditional testing methods and ran the test instances individually, it would take several months to complete the testing cycle. 

So, we would suggest the testers to integrate automation testing frameworks like Appium or Selenium to automate the software tests across multiple devices. This process not only helps reduce the manual effort associated with this process but also improves the overall efficiency of the testing process. 

Moreover, the testers can reuse the existing Safari automation scripts in future application development projects to save a lot of time and resources. 

Maximizing the Test Coverage 

We would highly suggest the testers to follow the following approaches for ensuring thorough testing of their web apps on the Safari browser: 

  • Cross-Version Compatibility Testing

First, the testers must test their web app on various Safari versions. This approach will help them ensure the compatibility of their app on the most commonly used. During this process, we advise the testers to prioritize testing on the latest stable version and gradually include older versions in the long run.

The testers should also follow the usage statistics throughout the implementation of cross-browser compatibility testing. It is also a wise decision to integrate automation testing with cross-browser compatibility testing. Then, the system can automatically initiate the required processes without human intervention.

  • Responsive Design Testing

Modern apps consist of multiple elements that massively change their behavior and looks based on user interactions, device type, and other parameters. So, the testers must customize their test cases so that they can properly analyze the performance of these elements. 

This rule is also valid for executing Safari testing and device farms. The testers can also include emulators and real devices with varying screen sizes, which will help them validate the responsiveness and overall layout of the app. 

  • Feature-Specific Testing

During this process, the testers must test Safari-specific features, which will include keyboard interactions, touch gestures, and device orientation. The implementation of this process will ensure the app behaves as expected across different Apple devices. This step helps guarantee a stable and consistent user experience irrespective of the hardware or software configuration. 

  • Integration Testing with Apple Services

If the web app interacts with other Apple services like Apple Pay, iCloud, or Apple Maps, the testers must ensure thorough testing for all of these individual integrations within Safari. The implementation of this process will guarantee seamless functionality irrespective of the use case or the user interactions. 

Enhancing Efficiency with Parallel Testing 

As we already mentioned earlier, parallel testing is the process of initiating thousands of different test instances on different configurations and machines at the same time. The inclusion of parallel testing with Safari testing can massively improve test efficiency and can wrap it up within just a few days. 

While implementing parallel testing with Safari, the testers must keep the following points in mind:

  • It is important to divide the test suite so that it can run simultaneously on multiple browsers across different devices. The implementation of this process will also help to reduce the overall test execution time for improving the delivery rates.
  • As we already mentioned earlier, cloud-based device farms often parallel testing capabilities natively. So, using these features, the testers can execute all the test cases side by side on a large number of Safari browser instances.
  • The testers must go through the test suite for identifying and eliminating redundant or flaky test instances. During this process, the testers must focus on prioritizing critical testing scenarios for parallel test execution. The implementation of this process will massively help to improve the overall efficiency of the testing cycle.
  • Finally, the testers must consider the idea of integrating continuous integration and continuous deployment with the Safari test cases. This will help the system to automatically initiate the test instances after every small code change. This inclusion will ensure rapid feedback and early detection of errors.

Implementing Comprehensive Test Scenarios

By implementing a robust Safari testing strategy, the testers can include a variety of testing scenarios, which will help ensure thorough test coverage. To further improve the idea of this process, we have mentioned some of the identical testing scenarios below:

  • Using functional testing, the testers can verify all functionalities and features of the web app work as expected on the Safari browser. It also helps guarantee this process across different device versions and configurations
  • The testers must perform accessibility testing on Safari for ensuring that all the features of the app are accessible to users with disabilities. This is a crucial parameter for expanding the target audience of the company.
  • Verify the performance of the app on various Safari instances. The performance analysis process will include various factors like responsiveness, page load times, and resource utilization. It is also important to ensure the optimal performance of Safari on outdated Apple devices as well.
  • Since modern applications store a lot of sensitive user information, it is important to verify the security of the overall app infrastructure for avoiding instances of malicious attacks or security lapses. Some of the vulnerabilities that are specific to Safari include cross-site request forgery and cross-site scripting.
  • Finally, it is important to validate the compatibility of various third-party plugins, APIs, and libraries that are mainly used in the app with the Safari browser. Since these integrations will directly impact the functioning of the browser instances, they can completely crash it in a worst-case scenario.

The Bottom Line 

Keeping in mind all the factors that we discussed in this article, we can summarize that the process of building a Safari testing strategy within a device farm environment is very important to ensure the reliability and quality of web apps within the Apple ecosystem.

By understanding the unique challenges of Safari and following all the strategies that we discussed, teams can achieve comprehensive testing while optimizing efficiency. The inclusion of a well-defined strategy and thorough test scenarios will also help the organizations to deliver seamless user experience across Safari browsers while enhancing the overall product quality.

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