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Cloud mobile testing: A concrete introduction

As new mobile devices, generations, and operating systems join the market, engineers must ensure that mobile applications function seamlessly. Cloud mobile testing is one method engineers use to ensure mobile apps’ usability, quality, and functionality.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 05, 2024

What is cloud mobile testing?

Cloud mobile testing involves using resources hosted in the cloud to build a scalable testing environment that allows you to test remotely. It allows you to test bandwidth as well as conduct performance testing, phone model testing, UI testing, OS version testing, and more.

Instead of testing physical devices, the devices and testing environment are managed in the cloud. Testing in the cloud can involve using real mobile devices, or simulated and emulated devices. Furthermore, cloud mobile testing services are available from anywhere at any time, and they allow you to test on a variety of devices.

Cloud mobile testing offers advantages that physical testing does not.

The advantages of cloud mobile testing

Cloud mobile testing offers advantages that physical testing does not. These include cost-effectiveness, flexibility, scalability, the ability to promote collaboration, and the provision of virtualized software environments.

Let’s explore these benefits in detail.

Cost minimization

Cloud mobile testing allows you to rent devices and infrastructure on demand, so you only pay for the resources you use. Since the cloud provider manages the cloud, there are no maintenance costs involved. In contrast, setting up an in-house lab is costly in terms of overhead and maintenance. You’ll need to build infrastructure and acquire networking equipment, devices, storage, servers, automation testing software, and more.

Testing in the cloud also allows testing teams to test infrastructure from anywhere. Multiple in-house testing labs, however, require multiple infrastructures and devices.

Flexibility

Cloud mobile testing provides access to extensive varieties of physical mobile devices and virtual machines. You can access the most recent device models and operating systems, including beta versions. This gives you the flexibility to adapt to changes in the mobile industry faster.

Furthermore, this type of testing offers the flexibility of manual or automated testing. If you don’t have test automation, you can easily create test automation scripts using artificial intelligence (AI).

Scalability and elasticity

The cloud can scale resources to an unlimited capacity. Scalability allows the optimal use of resources by adding or reducing power, bandwidth, and storage in real time to match demand. Elasticity, on the other hand, allows rapid deployment of these resources.

Cloud mobile testing also allows parallel testing, enabling you to run multiple tests simultaneously. In fast-paced environments, parallel testing is essential to accelerating the testing cycle and enabling rapid software development and deployment.

The scalability of cloud-hosted platforms eliminates bottlenecks during peak testing periods. Cloud infrastructure scales up resources to meet increased testing demands with minimal disruption. With resources available upon request, you can run thousands of test cases in parallel during peak times. Scaling up when more capacity is required eliminates the possibility for testing to become a bottleneck in the software development life cycle. Moreover, cloud infrastructure allows you to create automated tests, further improving test execution scalability. You can leverage cloud test automation to run automated parallel tests to get results faster and reduce test backlog.

Collaboration

Cloud mobile testing environments integrate with bug-tracking tools such as Trello and Jira, where testers can communicate issues with others in real time. In addition, these environments integrate with collaboration tools like email, Slack, Asana, etc. Regardless of time zone or location, testers can leverage each other’s work and avoid redundant efforts by sharing test scripts and test results in real time.

Virtualization-related privileges

While cloud mobile testing offers the option to test on real devices, it also provides simulators and emulators—virtual software environments that mimic the behavior of physical mobile devices. With virtualized cloud mobile testing, you can scale resources without impacting the entire testing environment.

Emulators offer a wide range of device configurations and operating systems, allowing you to test a diverse set of devices faster without the need to own each physical device.

Unlike cloud mobile testing, where you can leverage virtualization and cloud resources to perform more tests faster, with self-hosted mobile testing, the number of tests is limited to the capacity of your physical infrastructure. Thus, with self-hosted mobile testing, you cannot rely on parallel testing but on sequential testing, which can slow down the release cycle. Sequential testing is a time-consuming process that limits testing to one iteration at a time. Furthermore, there is some level of dependency within iterations, whereby the outcome of one test directly informs the next test in line. This dependency is inefficient for large test suites, and it can lead to delays and create bottlenecks.

With virtualized cloud mobile testing, you can scale resources without impacting the entire testing environment.

How to perform cloud mobile testing

Now that we understand the value cloud testing offers to testers and businesses alike, let’s demonstrate how to run a test in the cloud.

  1. First, you need to define the type of testing you want to perform, whether functional testing, performance testing, usability testing, localization testing, memory leak testing, speed testing, etc. Identify the types of tests you want to automate at this stage.
  2. Select platforms and devices that are market-compatible. Ensure that you choose the devices, operating systems, and versions you want to test while keeping your target users in mind. Start with the most commonly used devices and OS versions.
  3. Identify an ideal cloud mobile testing provider who will provide you with OS versions and devices.
  4. Depending on the chosen platform, you may need to create test scripts in a specific language supported by the platform, or the platform may provide you with an automation framework.
  5. The cloud mobile testing service will execute the tests on the specified devices and configurations.
  6. For each test run, the vendor will provide you with detailed reports, testing screenshots, and error logs to allow you to identify flaws.
  7. After test results are generated and analyzed, it’s time to fix errors, starting with the most impactful ones. Cloud mobile testing providers give you access to debugging tools to enable you to fix the identified errors.
  8. Continue to iterate the testing until all major issues are resolved and the app tests successfully.

Examples of cloud device farms for testing

There are many device farms available in the market today that allow you to test real devices online. Here, we’ll look at a few free commercial ones.

Tricentis Device Cloud

Tricentis Device Cloud is a device farm that provides you with real physical devices to run mobile test automation at scale. It allows you to run tests against real tablets and smartphones from leading vendors (or brands) such as Apple, Samsung , Microsoft, Huawei, Vivo, OnePlus, Google, Oppo, and more.

Tricentis Device Cloud supports cross-device testing. You can run tests across any operating system, including Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Its Mobile AI engine employs machine learning techniques to identify issues early by tracking over 130 KPIs continuously. The AI engine understands audiovisual, text, network, and images in mobile interfaces.

Kobiton cloud testing platform

Kobiton is a device farm that enables you to run manual and automated tests on real physical devices in the cloud. Ideally, users access apps from different devices and network conditions. Kobiton allows you to replicate real-world scenarios such as network conditions, battery levels, and device orientations. This allows you to better understand and visualize the user experience.

With Kobiton, you can perform root-cause analysis by analyzing captured logs such as screenshots, videos, system metrics, and gestures performed. Additionally, it allows the execution of test scripts in parallel, providing near-instant results and speeding up mobile testing.

Samsung Remote Test Lab

Samsung Remote Test Lab is a cloud mobile testing service provided by Samsung. It allows engineers to remotely access and test their apps on various Samsung devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets.

Additionally, this platform provides actual physical devices, allowing you to test apps in an environment that closely mimics real-world usage scenarios. It allows you to test across different network conditions, including various types of connections and network speeds.

Final thoughts

Cloud mobile testing enables developers to run software tests for mobile apps on a variety of real devices, simulators, and emulators hosted in the cloud. You’ll experience many advantages when you test mobile apps in the cloud over other mobile testing types, including collaboration, flexibility, cost-saving, and scalability.

Tricentis offers a real device farm, Tricentis Device Cloud. This product integrates with no-code automation tools such as Tricentis Tosca and Tricentis Testim to speed up mobile testing. Start a free trial or sign up for a demo today.

This post was written by Caroline Wanjiru. Caroline is a software developer and technical writer. In her work, she has developed interest in and worked on many machine learning and artificial intelligence projects.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 05, 2024