Platform, operating system and browser recommendations for manual testing

An update to our Standard platform, operating system and browser recommendations.

Here are our recommendations for platforms, operating systems and browsers to use when testing commercial web sites targeting consumers in Europe. Our recommendations are based on usage figures widely available on the Internet, our experience and our analysis of customer needs. Since versions change frequently, we review and update these recommendations regularly.

List of latest stable releases

Operating systems

  • Android 10 Q
  • iOS / iPadOS 13
  • macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • Microsoft Windows 10

Browsers

  • Google Chrome 83
  • Microsoft Edge Chromium 83
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (MS-IE) 11
  • Mozilla Firefox (FF) 78
  • Safari 13

Assumptions

  • The majority of users receive new versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari automatically.
  • New versions cannibalise the market share of old versions within three to six months.
  • Significant differences in web page display between versions are few and far between.

Recommendations

General

  • Invest in the future, not the past. Focus project time and effort on optimising web sites for the next 6-9 months, while making sure that popular older combinations are still viewable.
  • Use a range of mainstream devices to ensure coverage of most regular users’ everyday experience.
  • Avoid testing with specific minor releases unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Here’s an example of a compelling reason: a third-party augmented reality (AR) component is known to work with Safari 13.0.1 but not with Safari 13.0.2.
  • Do not invest in an operating system / browser combination if support is discontinued by the manufacturer. E.g. Google Chrome on Windows XP.
  • Do not support beta-release operating systems and browsers. Allow new versions time to stabilise, be released and become mainstream first, especially Android.
  • New versions on the horizon currently include Android 11, macOS 11 Big Sur, iOS / iPadOS 14, Safari 14, expected end-2020.
  • We define ‘mainstream’ as above 5% market share.

PC operating system recommendations

  • Test with Windows 8.1.
  • Test with Windows 10.

PC browser recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with MS-IE 11 on Windows 8.1.
  • Test with Microsoft Edge Chromium on Windows 10.
  • Test with Chrome.
  • Test with Firefox (FF).
  • In each case, test with the latest release only.
  • Do not test with Opera. Market penetration is too low.

Mac desktop operating system recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
  • Test with macOS 10.14 Mojave.
  • Test with macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Mac desktop browser recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with Safari 12.
  • Test with Safari 13.
  • Test with Chrome latest release only.
  • Do not test with Firefox. Market penetration is too low.

General mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Always test with the native browser.
  • Test in both landscape & portrait modes.

Apple mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with iOS / iPadOS 12 using the Safari browser and Chrome browser (latest release).
  • Test with iOS / iPadOS 13 using the Safari browser and Chrome browser (latest release).

Android mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Do not test with Android version 5.0 or lower. Market penetration is low and falling.
  • Test with Android 5.1 Lollipop using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 6.0 Marshmallow using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 7.0 Nougat using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 7.1 Nougat using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 8.0 Oreo using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 8.1 Oreo using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 9.0 Pie using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 10 using the native browser only.

Other mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Strongly consider testing with Chrome browser (latest release) if not native.
  • Consider testing on all platforms with Yandex Browser if targeting Russia.
  • Do not test with Firefox, Opera or any other non-native third-party mobile browser variants on any mobile or tablet platform. Market penetration is not significant. Exception: Consider testing with UC Browser and Opera Mini/Mobile browsers if targeting Asia.

Thanks for reading. Got comments? Questions? Opinions on the above? Let us know!

Sources

This page was last updated by humans on 9th July 2020.

Author: MRC

Martin Cunnington is COO & QA Director at spriteCloud BV. He has over 25 years international IT experience working for and with blue chip clients. Martin has mastered delivering measurable results with new technologies in a variety of senior positions including project, quality, test and production management. He manages time, money, scope, people and processes on a daily basis, likes street art and can juggle.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Hunter S. Thompson (1937–2005)

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