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Geolocation Testing for Websites and Mobile Apps

A Guide to Geolocation Testing for Websites and Mobile Apps

August 12, 2022
 by 
Rohan SinghRohan Singh
Rohan Singh

Location-based apps have expanded beyond the scope of local discovery while bringing more convenience to consumers' lives in an amusing way. It is the critical reason why integrating geolocation into websites and mobile applications brings an entirely new level of marketing strategies and approaches. Briefly, the geolocation-based web and mobile applications are altering how customers previously interacted with service and product providers, which is only a portion of the merits associated with geolocation applications.

Most applications and websites are accessible worldwide from several locations. In such cases, there is a high probability that the apps may load successfully in one geographical region but not as expected in another. QA teams must conduct geographically-based testing considering such risks. It would ensure that issues can be identified and fixed before the app is released.

This article will provide insights about geolocation testing, its importance, and approaches that ensure your apps function flawlessly across geographies.

Geolocation Testing and its importance

Geolocation is a technique that uses data collected from a computer or mobile device to identify or characterize the user's real physical location. Active user/device-based information and passive server-based lookup/data correlation are the two types of data collected and cross-referenced to produce the most accurate result possible. Geolocation makes it possible for any Internet-connected device to get all kinds of information in real-time and pinpoint the user's location at any given time. Geolocation testing refers to the evaluation of the geolocation capabilities of a website or mobile application.

As the rules across locations are inconsistent, web developers must ensure that they build apps and websites in compliance with local regulations so that their clients do not encounter legal issues. While conforming to the standards, there may be situations in which an application relies entirely on geolocation. Therefore, geolocation testing becomes essential to ensure that all such scenarios are executed correctly.

Don’t Rely on iOS Emulators & Android Simulators. Test on Real Devices. Learn more.

Multiple situations can highlight major domains demonstrating the significance of geolocation testing, such as:

Various applications based on geolocation applications exist on the market, such as localization, geotargeting, geotagging, and geofencing. 

  • Localization: Localization customizes a product or an item of data per the native users of a specific region. It would include building different versions of your mobile application or website in the local language, time zone, and currency of the geographical region.
  • Geotargeting: Geotargeting provides users with customized content and services based on their location. For instance, when users search for "hotels" or "accommodation," Google displays local hotels, and country-specific versions of Amazon.com showcase unique products and promotions.
  • Geotagging: Geotagging adds location information to media files, such as images, videos, websites, and social media postings. It enables users to locate media and data depending on the geotagged location. Examples include Facebook check-ins and photos tagged with the place of capture.
  • Geofencing: Geofencing sends a notification to users when their mobile devices enter or exit a designated area or the "geofence ." It is done to influence or inform user action based on proximity relevance. Examples include real-time traffic alerts on Google Maps and a retailer app that sends coupons when the user is near a store.
  • Geoblocking: Geoblocking restricts access to content as per user location. It may be the result of differences in distribution rights or national laws. For example, OTT services employ "geoblocking" to ensure that only viewers in specific regions have access to stream their content.
Check out: Tips to Improve Retail Mobile App Testing

How to perform geolocation testing?

  • Creating a global testing team

Using applications and websites from multiple real-world locations is the most time-consuming and tedious way to test geolocation. Traveling across geographies is not feasible, so connecting people with similar interests can be beneficial.

However, such a strategy has two key issues. The first issue is that you are unfamiliar with the testers you are interacting with. You provide them with secret source code without ever having met them or being acquainted with them. Such a scenario could result in a security breach. Second, relying entirely on such testing teams to perform exceptional work is inappropriate. Since these unknown testers are working to earn additional income, there may be instances in which the evaluation is rushed and incomplete. To avoid this, you may be required to thoroughly review the process or testing sheets, which is time-consuming.

  • Using VPN to alter locations

Installing and utilizing a VPN to change location is a more accessible alternative. VPNs are extensively used in various domains, such as organizations, to create a secure network. However, VPNs are not particularly efficient, and third-party applications may identify and restrict VPN usage, which may cause some testing complications.

  • Geolocation Testing using the HeadSpin Platform

The most effective method for conducting geolocation testing is by using geolocation testing tools that offer geolocation app testing on multiple real devices located across the globe. 

As the most reliable app and web testing platform, HeadSpin enables QA testers to perform geolocation testing on real devices, securing application and website functionality against impacts due to geographical factors and ensuring optimal performance.

HeadSpin's global device infrastructure includes Android, iOS, and desktop browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and Opera, enabling geolocation app testing on real devices placed in thousands of geographical locations worldwide. 

The HeadSpin Platform enables businesses to test websites and applications remotely and connect to various real mobile and browser testing devices. HeadSpin's extensive global device infrastructure of physical devices supports the testing of numerous distributed edge nodes or "edges." Through the global device cloud, testers can access real SIM-card-equipped smartphones.

HeadSpin's geolocation testing solution ensures a flawless digital experience for end-users by evaluating the applications and websites on many aspects, such as network infrastructure, cellular data, data bandwidth, etc., that can differ depending on the user's geographical location. The remote control feature of HeadSpin enables testers to directly connect to their local keyboards and manually interact with Android and iOS devices. It also allows testers to stream and record the live interaction with the device directly from their browsers.

Conclusion

Performing geolocation testing is essential as conducting other types of testing for applications and websites. Apps and websites would be useless if they cannot effectively communicate with the end-users as per their preferences and in their preferred language. In addition, geolocation testing ensures the application complies with regional standards and retrieves the most relevant results for the user. QA teams need a high-performance tool to ensure that applications and websites are flawless post-release. The recommended method is to leverage a cloud-based testing platform that can provide vast and real local devices around the world in preferred locations along with other additional features that would be impossible to replicate when testing manually.

Optimize digital experiences with the performance testing capabilities of the HeadSpin. Learn more!

FAQs

1. How do you test location-based web applications?

Testers can use the HeadSpin Platform to test apps and websites from different locations worldwide to test localization. Using HeadSpin's global device cloud, testers can evaluate the app's behavior in real-world scenarios across multiple geographies.

2. How do you test geolocation?

Appium's IP geolocation feature allows testing teams to automate geolocation testing and test application behavior from various countries. 

3. What is IP address geolocation?

IP address geolocation is the mapping of IP addresses of connected devices with their geographical locations. This mapping can be performed quickly using a geolocation lookup tool for IP addresses.

A Guide to Geolocation Testing for Websites and Mobile Apps

4 Parts