Test Modules under Android

Usability

For no class of devices does the usability of security apps have such strong influence as with mobile devices. It is true that false alarms unsettle the user and thus influence the use of the device, as is also the case with other devices. But with smartphones, there is the added factor that tests by security apps diminish the often limited battery capacity and available data volume. The Android experts at the AV-TEST Institute evaluate devices using proprietary, sophisticated test methods.

Stage 1: Performance tests

In the initial module of the usability test, the testers examine the influence of the security app on the battery life, the network load (data volume) generated during use, as well as any possible slowing down of the mobile device. All the tests are performed by means of simulated user activities in order to re-create the standard user behavior. This involves the installation of apps, launching of websites, as well as the use of standard apps such as Adobe Reader or YouTube.

In the process, the following items are evaluated:

  • The app has no impact on the battery life of the device.

  • The app does not slow down the operation of the device during normal use.

  • The app does not generate much network traffic.

Each individual action is carried out several times so that a reliable average can be generated. Through additional measures, faulty measurements are ruled out, in order to determine reliable values for all products and test cases. All functions that may possibly skew the measurement results are switched off prior to beginning the test. This applies to certain system functions, automatic updates or scans and backups. The tests are carried out simultaneously on identical systems, in order to create comparable conditions.

Stage 2: False alarm tests

In this module, the testers determine the number of false alarms caused by the security products. This includes false warnings during the installation of apps and the use of apps from the Google Play Store, as well as software from third-party app stores.

Thus, among other things, the testers log queries from the security products, which require user interaction, disturbing the work routine. As a result of these tests, a complete report is assembled on the number and type of falsely issued warning messages.

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