What is Interrupt Testing?

What is interrupt testing?

Interruptions are never welcomed. Not just in our lives, but also when we are listening to music and suddenly a text message drops-in, killing the rhythm right in the middle! This is called an interruption and you may not believe it but people actually sell off their mobile devices to get rid of this.

Interrupt testing takes into account the disturbances caused of interruptions and suggests practical solutions to keep the user experience smooth throughout the use cycle of the application. Ideally, in case of an interruption the application that is interrupted should enter a suspended state and restart as soon as the interruption ends. But before we get into that lets start by understanding what goes wrong with an interruption.

Interrupt testing

What’s the problem with interruptions within a mobile application?

For the purpose of illustration let’s imagine that you are using your mobile phone to record your baby’s first steps and just when the baby was off his feet your mobile goes into automatic screen lock!

Ideally, the camera app should prevent the screen from going into lock when it is in use. But sadly, that is not the case. Similar irritating instances arise when you are recording a meeting in progress and then suddenly the screen locks off closing the voice recorder app along with it. Text messages or mails during a game spoils the fun of the game. Here are a few very common interruptions that people deal with every day-

  • Incoming and outgoing SMS/MMS/calls
  • Incoming notifications
  • Battery/cable insertion and removal for better uses
  • Network outage and recovery
  • Switch off/switch on of the media player and other connecting devices
  • Low memory warning
  • Device power cycle

Getting rid of interruptions through interrupt testing

Software testers can simulate a lot of these situations and suggest how the app should behave and also the best ways to circumvent interruptions. While some events can be emulated, most need real device testing. Interrupt testing helps in understanding key external factors which causes disruptions and find great ways to keep user experience seamless.


Software testers check for several usability, compatibility and performance issues.¬†Unfortunately interrupt testing isn’t as common a procedure as it should be. Only the very best software development companies have this in their scheme of things. It is necessary that all interruption scenarios be tested during an application development lifetime on priority.

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