When to use real devices versus emulators in mobile testing?

by Hruska William Best Software Testing Company In Canada

There is exponential growth in mobile internet usage and demand for mobile applications. There are many industries that are rolling out mobile applications for the benefit of their customers. In this scenario, it becomes relatively important to test the mobile device and mobile applications in different operating environments. Emulator testing, which is known as virtual device testing and real device testing are two of the prominent methods used in mobile testing.  In this article, you will learn about the right context for implementing emulators and real devices. 

What are emulators?

It is software that mimics the software and hardware of the specific device on your computer. The ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) of the target device is translated to the one used by your computer in order to conduct testing using binary translation. Each of the processor families uses the Machine language platform to write ISA. This in turn is used to develop their own device configuration stating the behaviour and functionality of the device.

What is a real device?

Real devices are the different models of mobile handsets that are used to run the application or website to test its behavioural and functioning patterns. The end-users would be using these actual handsets.

A couple of mobile handsets are purchased by the testing teams like Blackberry, iOS, Android phones, iPads and tablets in order to test their software applications. Teams should perform mobile testing on real devices in a strategic manner. Mobile testing on real devices will provide optimal results only when it is carried out tactically.

Choosing between emulators and real devices for appropriate use:

Testing mobile devices with emulators are less expensive and the testing process is carried out at a faster pace while detecting the most common bugs. The flows can be debugged as the application is being tested. Databases in real time, file structures and code can be delved into, which in turn allows nuanced inspection of the specific features that are being tested.

There are certain scenarios where testing mobile apps on emulators can be considered quite risky because apps are being run by users on real devices and not emulators. There are certain activities that cannot be done on emulators and hence the inclusion of real devices takes place.

Performance aspects such as the application’s CPU usage, memory and responsiveness are properly ascertained by real devices. Those applications that are working under less than optimal network conditions can be easily tested by real devices. The application’s responsiveness when the network is dropping in and out is ascertained by real devices. Mobile testing on real devices can prove to be productive.

Following are the key differences between emulators and real devices that will give a clear idea as to what are the specific scenarios in which emulators or real devices can be used:


Real devices

Virtual devices are tested 

Physical and real devices are tested

Accurate results may not be a possibility as there is a lack of human observation 

User-specific, concise and accurate results are provided by testing on real devices 

It is more cost-effective when compared to real devices 

It is less cost-effective when compared to emulator testing 

A less range of issues that users experience is projected

A larger range of issues that users experience are projected

As the testing process is carried out at a faster pace, it is considered to be a good option in the development process

As the testing process is carried out at a slower pace, hence, it is considered not a good option in the development process

They cannot be able to simulate exact color displays, incoming interrupts, battery issues etc.  

They can be easily simulated by exact color displays, incoming interrupts, battery issues etc.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to implementing Mobile testing for your specific project, then do get connected with a renowned software testing services company that will provide professional consultation and support on developing a crystal-clear mobile testing strategy that can fulfill your project requirements.

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About Hruska William Advanced   Best Software Testing Company In Canada

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Joined APSense since, August 14th, 2019, From Canada, Canada.

Created on Oct 25th 2022 05:48. Viewed 197 times.


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