6 tips for selecting devices for Android mobile apps testing. Part 2

What to watch out for when selecting the devices for Android mobile apps testing?


Since the market for Android devices is highly fragmented, there is a problem choosing the smartphones that will be used in Android mobile app testing and at the same time reflecting all the necessary nuances. 

In this article, our experienced and highly-skilled team highlighted some parameters that depend on the target audience characteristics and can influence device for Android mobile apps testing:
1. Localization and geography. In different countries, there is a different set of popular devices. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s hard or even impossible to find one that fits all the audience preferences and features.
2. Customer requirements (e.g., tablets of the specific model).
3. Different devices for different social groups. Any number of factors can play a role: age, availability of work, etc. It’s also important to identify all relevant types of users, describe their needs and challenges in using the application. This will help find the most appropriate solution for everyone. 
4. News, trends, etc. 

Here are our 6 pieces of advice on how to select the right set of devices for testing Android apps

#1. If the application is developed from the beginning and doesn’t involve a large number of users in the near future, the best option is to acquire the devices that are the most common while taking into account the popularity of the OS version among your target audience. And it’s better to add new devices to your device set as the target audience grows. For this purpose, you can monitor the analytics, e.g., Google Analytics.

#2. In case you can’t get a new device, you can use an emulator for testing Android apps for bug action. In terms of price/quality ratio, the most popular are the emulators in Android Studio and Genymotion. The Emulator in Android Studio is free but works slowly. At the same time, Genymotion works more quickly, has a large choice of devices, and has both free and paid versions.

#3. If you can’t configure the required device on the Android emulator for testing, and getting a new device becomes a significant cost item, or if you need to test a bug on some device for a specific market, then you can use the farm of mobile devices. Simply put, the farm is a real park of devices to which you can connect remotely. All of them are paid, but there are also trial versions. Here is the list of good farms:

pCloudy offers both manual and automated testing. The cost is from $19 per month, provided that for one device, 4 hours of use will be allocated. Also, it has a trial version to test the service in practice before payment. 

App Experience Sigos provides you with the possibility to carry out both manual and automated testing and performance monitoring for $15 per hour. 

Perfecto Mobile has a web-based interface and a trial version for two hours. After that, the usage of the service will cost $20 per hour. 

Samsung Remote Test Lab makes it possible to use all the latest devices for free. 

Xamarin Test Cloud is a service with the maximum number of devices (more than 2500) and cost starts from $99 per month. 

The disadvantages of using farms:

Price. No one wants to lower prices as long as competition among mobile device farms is low. 
Productivity. Commands are transmitted via the Internet, which can lead to a lag while the device responds to any action. As a consequence, the dependency on the Internet connection exists.
Location. Since most farms are located in America or the EU, it isn’t possible to test applications for the operators from other countries.

#4. You can contact the project community (active users with devices) and ask them. This one increases loyalty and shows your attention. 

#5. You can conduct a beta test. It is conducted not by the testers of the project itself but by a wider range of users before the working version is released. Information about how to set up beta testing on Google Play is available here. But there are other options that will help beta testers get a mobile application without adding it to Google Play. There are special services for this: Beta Family, HockeyApp, Test Fairy, Testflight, Beta Crashlytics.

In addition to build distribution, these services have useful functionality such as the collection of crash reports, analytics, reviews of users, and video test recording. In this TestFairy will help you watch a video of each tester's actions.

#6. Devices can be borrowed in the team.

And, of course, another option that definitely will not let you down is to go to the professionals for Android app development services that also include Android mobile app testing. 

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