Automated Testing: Choosing Between Real and Virtual Devices
There are various virtual devices that cater the need to emulate real devices while performing software testing. However, there are situations where you need to decide the best possible way to automate your test.
Let’s analyze the situations where virtual devices could be a better option than real devices and vice-versa.
Situations where virtual devices prove better
- In crunch situations where you are bound by time and getting hands-on to the real devices is not possible.
- When your project budget is limited and your company can’t afford to buy more real devices.
- While performing web application testing.
However, virtual devices or emulators might not be suitable in the following situations.
- Virtual devices are not an ideal choice for extended periods of evaluation.
- At times, you need software patches to continue testing and emulators might be not compatible with certain apps.
- Mobile operating systems are supported by only a few virtual devices.
Situations where real devices should be picked
- While testing real world situations, like weather, location, etc.
- While testing resolution and brightness of a picture in different modes.
- While performing interoperability testing.
However, in some situations, choosing real devices for testing might not be feasible.
- Projects that are restricted by time and budget.
- While carrying out testing on a wide range of platforms and devices in a limited time.
- While performing unit testing in the app development phase.
Software testing tools play a major role while testing on real and virtual devices. Today, there are a number of software testing tools to choose from. For the Android platform, you can consider using the following tools.
Robotium: Referred as ‘Selenium for Android’ is a free UI testing tool.
Appium Automation Framework: Run tests using the WebDriver interface.
MonkeyRunner: Used to run tests on both real devices and emulators.
With some many advantages and disadvantages associated with real and virtual devices, you must analyze the project requirements and decide the best combination of real and virtual devices for your project.
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