Cross Browser Testing: Browser-OS Combinations to Look for in 2024

Cross Browser Testing: Browser-OS Combinations to Look for in 2022

Experience is one of the key factors that help companies to delight their customers. So while designing a new website or maintaining an old one, the companies should ensure a uniform User experience across all platforms. The developers should also ensure that the version of any web browser should not affect the end-user experience. In the modern generation, every browser uses a different website rendering Technology. Therefore the developers should check the functioning of the web application on all of these browsers to ensure optimal performance. Cross browser testing enables the developers to ensure the application is performing as expected. 

A modern website will comprise of different web technologies and programming languages like CSS, HTML, Python, PHP, JavaScript and SQL. Combining all of these different Technologies helps the browsers to provide an interactive web browsing experience to the customers. In case a user tries to access a web application, the browser will read the website code and display it accordingly on the screen. Browsers maintain a unique way of interacting with websites as they interpret all the web components depending on their arrangements to represent the website properly.  Ensuring the uniformity of the web application across various browsers can be a tedious job. This is because you have to test the functioning of your web application across all of these browsers before releasing it to the end-users.  

There are various ways that developers can use to simplify this web testing process. For instance, you can use cloud-based cross-browser compatibility testing platforms that help to test the compatibility of the web application on thousands of operating systems and browsers at the same time. Developers can also shortlist various browser and operating system combinations depending on the popularity across various platforms and regions.  In this article, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about the best browser and operating system combinations for performing cross-browser compatibility testing. 

How to Select the Correct Operating Systems for Performing Cross-Browser Testing

Operating systems play a major role in improving the end-user experience on various devices. Various OS developers add numerous features to increase the efficiency of the UI and UX. However, these features have a massive effect on the performance of various web applications on these devices. So the developer must check the functioning of the web application on all the popular operating systems. The developers can check the recent market share of various operating systems to shortlist the popular operating systems for performing compatibility testing. You should also consider the analytics report of your users to understand all the browsers that are most popular in your audience base. A recent study suggests that more than 60% of desktop traffic is dominated by users on the Windows platform. This is then followed by Mac in the second place and Linux in the third.  

With the advancement of technology, people are having an urge to access the internet on the go. This claim is supported by a recent study that justifies more than 50% of the total internet traffic is dominated by mobile users. So the developers must pay proper attention to testing the performance of the web application on mobile operating systems.  Currently Android is the most commonly used mobile operating system followed by iOS. 

In simple terms, you must focus on Windows, Mac and Linux on the desktop platform. On the mobile platform, you should concentrate your focus on the Android and iOS platforms. This list will help you to concentrate your focus on the core operating systems that are popular in the current Software Development Industry.

How to Select the Correct Browsers for Performing Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Websites play a major role in increasing the reach of modern business organizations. It is almost impossible to find a modern business that doesn’t have a website. The first impression is one of the vital points that are essential for attracting the attention of potential customers. Websites play a vital role in elevating these first impressions by providing an attractive overview of business and service ideas. Thus, it is essential to perform cross-browser compatibility testing to ensure that your hard-earned website is increasing the reach of your business. The most important query is how to shortlist the browsers for performing cross-browser compatibility testing. To answer this question we can divide the browsers based on the following criteria: 

Basis of Popularity: In this process, you have to choose the most popular browsers on the widely used operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. This process will help you to widely increase the test coverage for your cross-browser compatibility testing process. 

Basis of Website Analysis: This is more of a customized User experience based on the type of web application that you are developing. In this process, you have to analyze the traffic of your website. You can use various website traffic analytics tools like Google Analytics and break down the data in the form of devices, operating systems and browsers. Thus, you can use this data to determine the combination of browsers and operating systems that are most popular in your audience base.

Till 2007, Internet Explorer dominated the browser market on desktops. However, after the arrival of Google Chrome, the market share began to change rapidly. Currently, more than 60% of the present browsing market is dominated by Google Chrome followed by Safari in second place and Mozilla Firefox in third place.  Microsoft decided to replace the Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge in Windows 10. This wasn’t a successful move as it failed to regain the lost glory of Internet Explorer. So while testing the browser compatibility of your web application, you should primarily focus on Chrome, Safari and Firefox. You should also ensure the optimal performance of the web application on the older versions of these browsers. It is also a good idea to analyze the traffic report for the web application to get a detailed report about your user’s browser preferences.

Mobile platforms are becoming the dominant devices for accessing the internet. You must ensure that your web application provides an optimal and attractive User experience on these devices. On the mobile platform, Google Chrome is the most commonly used browser. It is then followed by Safari in the second place and Samsung browser in the third place. As a developer, you must remember that every mobile device is different. For instance, they have different screen sizes, display resolutions and Hardware configurations. So, you should consider all these variations during the testing process. 

Many developers make the mistake of using only emulators and virtual machines for mobile cross-browser compatibility testing. This is a very inefficient process. It is impossible to determine the exact testing report without performing cross-browser compatibility testing on real mobile devices. To eliminate the expenses of maintaining an expensive physical device testing lab, you can use various cloud-based platforms to conduct the testing process.  Now, let us understand the role of these tools and frameworks in the cross-browser automation testing process. 

Role of Tools in increasing the Efficiency of Cross-Browser Testing

In the early years of software development, developers had to test the compatibility of the web application on various browsers manually. This was a very tiresome process as they had to perform this process repeatedly on every Browser. This process was also very inefficient in terms of resources and time management. With the advancement of Technology, Automation Testing came into existence. It began replacing all the repetitive processes in a web testing life cycle. In this form of testing, the developers can use automated test cases to automatically conduct repetitive test scenarios.  There are various tools and frameworks that companies can use to increase the efficiency of the Automation Testing environment.

As a developer, you must remember that every tool is unique and is meant for different purposes. So you must choose the correct tool depending on your preferences and project requirements. It is also a good idea to perform a background check of these tools on various user forums. Here, you can find the honest feedback of all the users who are currently engaged with these tools. 

Let us take the example of LambdaTest to understand this concept with better details:

LambdaTest Automation Testing

LambdaTest platform helps users to perform automated cross-browser testing on thousands of browsers, devices and operating systems. The parallel testing feature helps the developers to run various tests simultaneously. The activity log helps to store the final test reports to keep track of all the testing processes. LambdaTest also helps the developers to test the cross-browser compatibility of the locally hosted web applications. Millions of users all around the world use LambdaTest to test the cross-browser compatibility of their web applications.  LambdaTest also helps the developers to test the proper placement of all the visual elements on the web applications. The platform offers 100+ integrations to mark and share website bugs and get them resolved in realtime.

The Final Verdict 

So, we can conclude that Google Chrome and Windows is the most popular browser and OS combination all around the world. However, this doesn’t mean that you should overlook testing the web application on other browsers and operating systems. This is because the browser and OS combinations that come in the second and third place are equally important. The final data will depend on the geographical location of your audience. This is another reason to justify the importance of tracking the source of traffic on a web application. You can use this data to ensure that the web application performs seamlessly on all the popular browsers and browser versions. 

You should also remember that the latest version of any browser should not become the benchmark for testing needs. A recent survey suggests that more than 80% of the audience base do not update their browsers frequently. You should also pay attention to ensuring the web application remains accessible on all mobile devices irrespective of the browser or OS combination. This is because many industry experts believe that mobile devices will continue to dominate the web browsing industry. Lastly, you should pay proper attention to choosing the correct tools to perform cross-browser testing on your web application. These tools will go a long way in ensuring the success of a testing environment.  

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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