Need for apps to be working on multiple devices
The one goal that software application developers work towards unflinchingly is the universal experience of the application, no matter which device you use. With the proliferation of smartphones and the diverse range available in the market today, it has increasingly become difficult to test applications. If you are out to deliver a global solution, you should be aware of the number of devices in operation today in the global market and test your application on every device with a significant presence in the market. If an app has to be compatible with each device and the combination of browsers and multiple versions of browsers on them, you have your task cut out.
Emulators vs. Device Farm
Emulators are software applications that emulate the function of a device, basically a virtual device on the developer’s machine. It is not always possible to test your apps on every device, due to varying situations. So, emulators are good to go as far as user interface testing and initial design guidance are concerned. They allow you to do debug flows while testing the app. They are a great tool for the app developer. But beyond that, testing mobile apps only on emulators is a huge risk as emulators will not be able to give you the real deal, the real experience of a device. There are a number of inputs that an emulator cannot emulate. In such situations, you have no option but to test the app on physical devices. But imagine testing your app on almost every type of physical smartphone device that you can get. This could be challenging when you consider infrastructural costs, especially when the teams are spread geographically. This is where Device Farm comes in.
Device Farms takes this concept of testing your app on the maximum number of physical devices and scaling it to the cloud.
Device Farms and their use case
A device farm is basically a physical device available on the cloud for testing purposes. It allows the testing team to test app performance remotely, be it mobile or web-based, on a number of real physical devices. It is like a data centre, except the data is replaced by phones in some sense. You get access to both the current and legacy versions of multiple devices to test your app on. Not to mention the different operating systems, browsers, and their versions. Device farms allow testers to test their app working in the real world before the app is released. Users can monitor app performances during critical conditions on the devices such as low network bandwidth, low battery, high CPU usage, among others. Device farms can and are also used to debug Android apps remotely.
Commonly used solutions
Some of the most popular cloud solutions of today like 42Gears, and the likes offer device farms to customers who might not want to invest in infrastructure and skills to manage their own in-house devices for testing.
Device farms offered at 42Gears, offer access to the latest devices, operating systems, browsers, and legacy set up for comprehensive mobile and web app testing.
Device farms are the future of mobile and web app testing. You now have easy access to these device farms through various cloud offerings. Implement a private device farm for testing your devices for a robust app with a global reach.