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The benefits of on-prem and real device cloud testing for mobile apps

Merits of on-prem real device and real device cloud for mobile app testing

February 21, 2023
Jamie MooreJamie Moore
Jamie Moore

Testing mobile apps on physical and on-premise devices has been prevalent for a long time in the testing industry. Even with growing automation and advancing cloud technologies, the advantages of testing applications on physical devices can never be completely denied. However, certain limitations associated with on-premise device testing led to a sudden shift toward cloud computing technologies for efficiently testing mobile applications. 

In this blog, we will browse through the advantages of testing mobile applications on real physical devices and cloud devices.

What are physical devices for app testing?

A physical device refers to a combination of software and hardware through which one can perform specific operations and is combined with Internet connectivity. QA teams leverage physical and on-prem devices to test apps that they have built directly on the device to check how well the app performs under different conditions based on battery, memory storage, GPS, and other factors.

Physical device testing is a technique leveraged to test mobile apps and websites through manual and automation testing strategies by using a hardware device. These can range from checking if a button functions properly to understanding if the app crashes or freezes on specific devices when memory storage issues occur.

Physical device testing has been prevailing for a long time in the market. In today's time of extensive automation testing, physical device testing still cannot be denied due to its unparalleled importance in usability testing and hardware functionality testing like GPS, camera, and others. 

Why should you consider testing on on-prem or physical devices?

Executing tests on physical devices offers a myriad of benefits. Following are some of the most important advantages -

Competence in executing tests in real-world scenarios

Real devices are controlled with fingertips that simulate real-world operation. As a result, this helps in testing the applications in a natural setup, i.e., the app will be leveraged in a variety of environments. Hence, all the real-world factors are considered, including network issues, device malfunctions, weather conditions, and many more.

Cross-platform testing

On-premise device testing of apps on multiple platforms, OSs, and OS versions help compare and analyze the app's performance in different scenarios. QA teams don't need to be concerned about false positives or negatives, as accurate device testing delivers real findings and reveals the device's or environment's performance and functional flaws.

Greater hardware support

Physical devices support sensors, cameras, GPS, accelerometer, pyrometer, facial recognition, fingerprint capture, and many other features. Testing on physical devices helps test and ensure the optimal functionality of the features and offers good user experiences. 

Identifying usability issues

Detecting usability issues is often easier on physical devices. Whether it is an unresponsive button or a poor system configuration, it is easy to resolve these issues with a physical device with seamless usability testing. The QA teams often prefer using real device testing to test the app's usability issues. The testers are able to devise test documentation and run them on real devices. As the mobile device market is highly fragmented, testers need to execute tests on a variety of instruments and browsers to deliver a satisfying customer experience.

Moreover, accurate device testing helps confirm the app's interface, appearance across day and night light, and several other real scenario factors, thereby determining the app's usability and customer satisfaction.

Faster bug detection

With physical device testing, identifying and eliminating complexities and incompatibilities becomes easier before the app is launched. This helps enhance brand value and user experiences throughout the app lifecycle.

What is real device cloud testing?

Real-device cloud testing enables teams to test their applications in real-time scenarios and help evaluate the actual user experiences. It refers to a mobile testing-based environment that is hosted on the cloud. This consists of real Android and iOS devices that are accessible from a desktop browser. 

Why should you consider performing real device cloud testing?

Accessing your data anytime and anywhere is one of the key offerings of cloud infrastructure. Following are a few primary benefits of real device cloud testing

Work from any location

Things might get complex if you expect team members to be available onsite for testing physical devices. This can be avoided through cloud testing. With the mobile device cloud, team members can connect with each other in the comfort of their workation location or even their homes, even when they are involved in the busiest project of mobile app testing on the cloud.

Parallel testing

A real device on cloud infrastructure is often suitable for large-scale testing where you can test a large number of devices simultaneously with parallel testing. This significantly cuts down time and efforts invested in testing while ensuring greater testing efficiency and user experience of mobile apps.

Significant concurrency and faster time-to-market

Running tests on one device simultaneously (sequential testing) might be more time-consuming and hinder testing the product thoroughly as expected due to time constraints. In order to speed up the testing process, executing tests concurrently on multiple devices at the same time can be of significant help. This can make testing more efficient and ensure customers obtain stability and responsiveness.

Reduced concern for setting up and maintaining in-house device lab

Setting up and maintaining an on-prem device lab can be expensive and complex. Going for a cloud service that allows real devices for testing is helpful that allows saving human and financial resources. Teams don't need to worry about maintaining and updating devices and the associated costs. This also helps to optimize release cycles and execute advanced testing practices more seamlessly.

Also check: Test Native Apps with Real Device Cloud

How can real device cloud testing be beneficial for enterprises amidst the economic downturn?

As organizations continue to focus on saving costs amidst the economic downturn, real device cloud testing can prove to be beneficial in ensuring cost efficiency. Real device cloud testing eliminates the hassles of maintaining physical device labs, which are often expensive and therefore helps enterprises reduce their maintenance costs significantly and help allocate the budget in adopting advancing technologies that help improve testing efficiency and consequently app quality and business revenue.

How does HeadSpin help execute real device cloud testing?

HeadSpin, a data-driven test automation Platform, enables companies to run end-to-end tests on mobile apps with real, local devices across the globe. HeadSpin's secure global device infrastructure helps QA teams connect to real, local devices and run geolocation tests on mobile apps and websites. This rich device infrastructure with physical devices across the world helps the testing of various distributed edge nodes or 'edges.' Testers can seamlessly access devices with actual SIM cards via the global device cloud.

With HeadSpin, enterprises can test apps from different global locations on real devices and capture actual real experiences in locations around the globe while ensuring complete security and optimal performance through the single-tenant deployment model.

The bottom line

While executing end-to-end mobile app testing, it is essential to evaluate the benefits of testing apps on physical devices as well as through the cloud to obtain the best possible outcome. To understand which one you must choose for your business requires a thorough understanding of the objective of the test, assessing the project requirements, project timeline, application type and its target market, the time and budget, and several other factors. Choosing whether to leverage physical devices or real device cloud should have an appropriate strategy to help organizations stay ahead in the business curve.

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Q1. What is a device farm?

Ans: A device farm refers to a testing environment that enables QAs to test the performance of their websites, web apps, and mobile apps remotely on a significant number of real devices. This provides access to both modern and legacy versions of devices from multiple manufacturers.

Q2. What do you understand by geotargeting tests? Name a tool that can help execute this.

Ans: Geotargeting specifically refers to identifying and segregating website and Internet users based on their location. The location parameters can include country, state, city, IP address, and many more. Geolocation testing tools like HeadSpin can help apps or websites deliver content based on the user's geographic location through geotargeting tests and ensure perfect user satisfaction.

Q3. What is the advantage of using real device clouds against using emulators and simulators?

Ans: Emulators and simulators can be helpful in the initial stages, but these cannot replicate battery issues, GPS sensors, network connectivity, and much more. Moreover, these cannot help testing the app behavior of incoming calls or emulate touchscreen issues. These limitations can be easily eliminated with real device cloud as it helps to access real devices that help test the app performance, functionality, and overall behavior on the real devices themselves, through the cloud.

Merits of on-prem real device and real device cloud for mobile app testing

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