Android 6.0 Testing Guide

Android 6.0 gives you an opportunity to ensure your apps work with the next version of the platform. This release includes a number of APIs and behavior changes that can impact your app, as described in the API Overview and Behavior Changes. In testing your app with this release, there are some specific system changes that you should focus on to ensure that users have a good experience.

This guide describes the what and how to test Android 6.0 features with your app. You should prioritize testing of these specific features, due to their high potential impact on your app's behavior:

Testing Permissions

The new Permissions model changes the way that permissions are allocated to your app by the user. Instead of granting all permissions during the install procedure, your app must ask the user for individual permissions at runtime. For users this behavior provides more granular control over each app’s activities, as well as better context for understanding why the app is requesting a specific permission. Users can grant or revoke the permissions granted to an app individually at any time. This feature of the release is most likely to have an impact on your app's behavior and may prevent some of your app features from working, or they may work in a degraded state.

This change affects all apps running on the new platform, even those not targeting the new platform version. The platform provides a limited compatibility behavior for legacy apps, but you should begin planning your app’s migration to the new permissions model now, with a goal of publishing an updated version of your app at the official platform launch.

Test tips

Use the following test tips to help you plan and execute testing of your app with the new permissions behavior.

  • Identify your app’s current permissions and the related code paths.
  • Test user flows across permission-protected services and data.
  • Test with various combinations of granted/revoked permission.
  • Use the adb tool to manage permissions from the command line:
    • List permissions and status by group:
      adb shell pm list permissions -d -g
    • Grant or revoke one or more permissions using the following syntax:
      adb shell pm [grant|revoke] <> ...
  • Analyze your app for services that use permissions.

Test strategy

The permissions change affects the structure and design of your app, as well as the user experience and flows you provide to users. You should assess your app’s current permissions use and start planning for the new flows you want to offer. The official release of the platform provides compatibility behavior, but you should plan on updating your app and not rely on these behaviors.

Identify the permissions that your app actually needs and uses, and then find the various code paths that use the permission-protected services. You can do this through a combination of testing on the new platform and code analysis. In testing, you should focus on opting in to runtime permissions by changing the app’s targetSdkVersion to API level 23.

Test with various combinations of permissions revoked and added, to highlight the user flows that depend on permissions. Where a dependency is not obvious or logical you should consider refactoring or compartmentalizing that flow to eliminate the dependency or make it clear why the permission is needed.

For more information on the behavior of runtime permissions, testing, and best practices, see Working with System Permissions developer.

Testing Doze and App Standby

The power saving features of Doze and App Standby limit the amount of background processing that your app can perform when a device is in an idle state or while your app is not in focus. The restrictions the system may impose on apps include limited or no network access, suspended background tasks, suspended Notifications, ignored wake requests, and alarms. To ensure that your app behaves properly with these power saving optimizations, you should test your app by simulating these low power states.

Testing your app with Doze

To test Doze with your app:

  1. Configure a hardware device or virtual device with an Android 7.0 (API level 24) system image.
  2. Connect the device to your development machine and install your app.
  3. Run your app and leave it active.
  4. Simulate the device going into Doze mode by running the following commands:
    $ adb shell dumpsys battery unplug
    $ adb shell dumpsys deviceidle step
    $ adb shell dumpsys deviceidle -h
  5. Observe the behavior of your app when the device is re-activated. Make sure it recovers gracefully when the device exits Doze.

Testing apps with App Standby

To test the App Standby mode with your app:

  1. Configure a hardware device or virtual device with an Android 7.0 (API level 24) system image.
  2. Connect the device to your development machine and install your app.
  3. Run your app and leave it active.
  4. Simulate the app going into standby mode by running the following commands:
    $ adb shell am broadcast -a android.os.action.DISCHARGING
    $ adb shell am set-idle <packageName> true
  5. Simulate waking your app using the following command:
    $ adb shell am set-idle <packageName> false
  6. Observe the behavior of your app when it is woken. Make sure it recovers gracefully from standby mode. In particular, you should check if your app's Notifications and background jobs continue to function as expected.

Auto Backup for Apps and Device-Specific Identifiers

If your app is persisting any device-specific identifiers, such as Google Cloud Messaging registration ID, in internal storage, make sure to follow best practices to exclude the storage location from auto-backup, as described in Back Up User Data with Auto Backup.