Advanced Techniques For Effective Testing on Safari Browser

Advanced Techniques For Effective Testing on Safari Browser

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Browser compatibility testing is essential to create universally accessible websites. It also helps to create websites that function smoothly on all hardware configurations. The Safari browser online, the default browser of all Apple systems, has a huge audience base. So, it becomes a crucial part of the browser compatibility testing infrastructure.

This article will show some of the most advanced techniques for implementing effective testing on Safari. During our discussion, we will also cover the latest tools of our methodologies and best practices that can further help improve the implementation of this process.

Advanced Techniques For Effective Testing on Safari Browser

Understanding Safari’s Unique Features

The Safari browser is very well-known for its energy efficiency and performance capabilities. This browser offers the following capabilities to both testers and end users:

  • Safari uses the WebKit engine, which is different from the engines used by Chrome and Firefox. This is because WebKit’s rendering and JavaScript execution can behave differently, which requires focused testing to implement all the required changes.
  • The core infrastructure of Safari lays a huge emphasis on user privacy. It helps achieve this goal with unique features like intelligent tracking prevention and sandboxing. All these new features can massively affect the implementation of test cases on this browser.
  • While running on iOS devices, Safari supports a variety of touch gestures to assist in user interaction. So, while executing the test instances, the developers must consider these interactions, especially for all mobile web applications.

Setting Up A Robust Testing Environment

It is very important for the testers to implement a robust testing environment so that they can ensure that they are properly verifying all the functions and features available with Safari: 

  • Utilizing Apple Hardware

The most straightforward way of testing the Safari browser on Apple devices is to physically implement it on hardware like Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The developers can achieve the most accurate test results by implementing the test cases on physical devices.

  • For Mac-based testing, the developers can use a Mac for desktop Safari testing. This approach will provide access to the full range of Safari developer tools.
  • For iOS device testing, the developers can test Safari on actual iPhones and iPads. This will allow you to experience testing parameters like touch gestures, responsiveness, and performance in real-world scenarios.
  • Safari Developer Tools

The built-in developer tools available with Safari are very important for debugging and optimizing the web applications currently being developed and tested.

  • The web inspector is similar to Chrome DevTools. It offers features like element inspection, console logging, network monitoring, and performance profiling.
  • The testers can use the responsive design mode to verify how the website looks on different screen sizes, resolutions, and orientations. Moreover, it allows the developers to perform this process without leaving their desktops.
  • Finally, the JavaScript debugger is essential for breaking the code, formatting breakpoints, and analyzing various application states. In simple terms, it is the most effective way of verifying the proper functioning of the application code infrastructure.
  • LambdaTest

If you do not have direct access to physical Apple hardware, cloud-based testing platforms like LambdaTest will be massively helpful for you.

Using the online device farm of LambdaTest, the app developers can verify the functioning of their web apps on more than 3000+ different combinations of real devices, operating systems, and browser versions, including the Safari browser. The AI-orchestrated platform of LambdaTest is an advanced approach for implementing effective data management and test execution.

This platform also provides various innovative and useful features like parallel test execution, comprehensive test reporting, and real-time test activity logging.

  • Simulators and Emulators

Although simulators and emulators may not be the perfect substitute for physical devices or cloud-based platforms, they can be useful for performing the initial testing phases.

  • Xcode simulator is a part of Xcode, which is Apple's native integrated development environment for the Mac operating system. Using this tool, the testers can simulate various iOS devices and test the mobile version of the Safari browser.
  • Various third-party emulators can help developers simulate various Apple device environments to verify the performance of the Safari browser and the app that is currently being tested.

However, we would like to caution the developers that simulators and emulators cannot replicate the physical parameters of a device, which is very important in understanding its performance in real-world conditions. Some of the critical parameters in this regard include the effect of low battery, user interaction errors, or unstable Internet.

Advanced Testing Techniques

Now let us go through some of the advanced testing techniques that can help the developers and testers to massively improve their testing capabilities on the Safari browser across the Apple ecosystem:

1. Automation with Selenium and WebDriver

By implementing automation testing, the developers can massively improve the efficiency and coverage of the Safari browser. The testers must combine Selenium with the Safari Driver to implement this process. By following the given steps, the application developers can set up the testing environment to perform this process:

  • The first step is to ensure that Safari’s “Allows Remote Automation Setting” is enabled in the development process. After this, the testers have to download and configure the latest version of Safari Driver.
  • The next step is to write the automation test script using the Selenium WebDriver API. This API will also be responsible for executing the test scripts. We have mentioned a sample code snippet with the Python programming language for this purpose:
Advanced Techniques For Effective Testing on Safari Browser

The testers can also incorporate the automation test scripts with continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines using dedicated tools like GitHub Actions, Jenkins, or GitLab CI. The application developers can execute constant testing with the Safari browser by implementing this approach.

2. Performance Testing

Performance is one of the most critical aspects that help determine the end user's experience while using an application. Selenium WebDriver Inspector includes various tools that help measure and optimize the performance of the apps on the Safari browser.

  • The testers can use the timeline tab to record and analyze their web app's loading and runtime performance. This tab also provides insights about CPU usage, event timing, and memory consumption. It is crucial for ensuring the smooth performance of the application, even on low-end devices.
  • The testers can examine the network tab to understand how the resources are loaded during the test execution and implementation. We advise the testers to look for opportunities to optimize the load times by reducing the number of requests, compressing assets, and using the caching feature.
  • Finally, the testers can use the Lighthouse tool with the Safari test cases. Although this tool is primarily linked with Chrome, the Lighthouse audits can be run on Safari using command line tools. Implementing this audit will provide a comprehensive performance analysis of the application currently being developed and tested.

3. Accessibility Testing

Ensuring accessibility compliance on your web apps is a moral obligation and a legal requirement across various countries. While using Safari, you will have access to multiple tools to assist with accessibility testing:

  • The Mac operating system’s built-in screen recorder, VoiceOver, helps testers understand how the web application is experienced by users with visual impairments. The testers can test the website with VoiceOver to identify any accessibility issues that might be present when interpreting the user interface elements.
  • Safari’s accessibility inspector highlights accessibility issues in the web app. Other significant issues it will highlight include missing attributes, improper heading structures, etc. Based on this tool’s reports, the application developers can fix these issues before deployment.
  • The developers can also integrate various automated accessibility testing tools like Axe or Pa11y into the testing workflow. This integration will allow the testers to catch common issues at the earliest development and testing cycle phases.

4. Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Since there are major differences between WebKit and other rendering engines, it is important for the developers to ensure cross-browser compatibility testing while verifying the performance of their web apps on the Safari browser:

  • Using tools like Autoprefixer, the testers can automatically add necessary vendor prefixes for CSS properties. Similarly, Babel can transpile the JavaScript to ensure compatibility with the Safari browser. CSS and JavaScript are some of the crucial rendering components to ensure proper implementation of web apps across various browsers.
  • Instead of implementing browser detection, the testers can use feature detection libraries like Modernizer. This tool will allow the tests to ensure that the application gracefully degrades if the target browser does not support certain features. It becomes a very important feature when trying to extend the app's compatibility to the legacy versions of a browser.
  • Finally, the testers can incorporate Polyfills for features not natively supported by the Safari browser. Various libraries like polyfills.io can dynamically load only the necessary polyfills. Features like these come in handy when you are trying to migrate your application from a native browser interface to a cross-browser interface.

5. Security and Privacy Testing

Safari's privacy features require thorough testing to ensure compliance and functionality without any issues.

  • The developers can use intelligent tracking prevention to prevent cross-site tracking systems. It is also important to test whether the app handles various cookies and other tracking mechanisms.
  • Testers need to ensure that the app works correctly in a secure context. So, in certain cases, Safari may block certain features like Geolocation if the site is not served under HTTPS.
  • Finally, the testers must implement and test content security policies to prevent XSS attacks. For this purpose, the testers can use Safari’s console to monitor CSP violations and adjust the policies accordingly.

The Final Verdict

Based on all the factors we analyzed, we can easily conclude that testing web apps on Safari is a complex process that requires understanding its unique features, setting up robust environments, and deploying advanced techniques. So, by using all the techniques discussed in this article, the testers can deliver a seamless and optimal user experience on Safari.

It is also important to regularly update the testing strategies and stay informed about the latest trends in web standards. This will help the testers to further enhance the effectiveness of testing efforts. Finally, meticulous and advanced techniques on Safari contribute to creating high-quality and universally accessible web apps that delight your end users across all platforms.

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