With the advancement of software technology, there is an increase in the number of physical devices present all over the world. These physical devices are built using a combination of operating systems, browsers, and browser versions. And to ensure that the software application is working fine on all types of devices, testing of software applications is required. The efficient working of software applications can be ensured by testing software applications either on a physical device or on cloud-based platforms containing the environment of physical devices.
Software applications can be tested using any method, and quality software can be developed according to the Software Requirements Specification. But, real device testing comes with various advantages over the virtual testing method. In real device testing, testers can access hardware-specific features that cannot be replicated in a cloud-based environment.
But, with advantages, there are challenges too that occur when a real device testing process is carried out. In this article, we will get to know about various challenges that do not allow a seamless testing process. Also, we will see how one can overcome those challenges.
What Is Real Device Testing?
Real device testing is a software application testing process that involves testing software applications on physical devices to ensure the various functions and functionalities of software applications are working fine, and the end users experience a seamless software application that works across various devices, browsers, and network conditions. It ensures the usability and compatibility of the software application along with its performance on any physical device in a real-world environment.
Real device testing allows testers and developers to test features that involve hardware such as cameras, GPS, and accelerometers, which cannot be tested on any virtual testing platforms. It also allows testers and developers to detect device-based issues, such as the performance and compatibility of software applications that cannot be detected in a virtual environment.
LambdaTest is a digital experience testing platform that offers the capability to conduct Android and iOS automation testing on the Real Device Cloud. It gives you access to perform real device testing on 3000+ browsers, OS, and device versions. It eliminates the need for an internal device library and reduces operational expenses. With real device cloud testing, you gain access to valuable resources like network logs, device logs, app logs, videos, and screenshots to effectively debug your applications. To get started, simply upload the .abb, .apk, or .ipa files for testing your apps. Additionally, you have the option to install production apps by directly downloading them from the Play Store or App Store.
Advantages Of Real Device Testing
Here are various advantages of real device testing, which make it an important part of any software application testing process.
- Accurate Representation: Testing software applications on a virtual platform cannot detect device and hardware-based issues present in them. In order to know how the software application works in a real environment, real device testing is beneficial as it provides a seamless user experience.
- Hardware-specific Features: Real device testing offers to test hardware-specific features such as cameras, touchscreen, accelerometers, and GPS of software applications that cannot be tested on a virtual testing platform, thus ensuring a quality-based software application.
- Comprehensive Testing: Real device testing allows you to test your software application across a combination of various devices, operating systems, and browsers, thus ensuring there is no device-based defect or issue present in the software application. Real device testing also allows its users to develop a software application that is compatible with the real environment and is performing accurately.
- Network Testing: Real device testing allows testers to work with various network conditions such as 3G, 5G, and WiFi which helps them to detect any network-based issue that is present in the software application. It also ensures the seamless working of software applications on simultaneously varying network conditions.
- User Experience Validation: Real device testing involves real user experience, and this helps testers and developers to evaluate the overall performance of software applications. It helps them to provide a seamless user experience according to the Software Requirements Specification.
- Bug Identification: Real device testing offers testers and developers the ability to early detection of device-related issues, which can be further fixed in the early stages of the testing process. Bug identification allows testers and developers to easily analyze the software application and thus provide quality-based software with no defects to the end user.
7 Common Challenges In Real Device Testing And How To Overcome Them
Testing software applications on a real device environment can involve various challenges. Here are a few of them:
There are hundreds of devices, operating systems, and browsers combinations available in the market, and testing them across each of them can be time-consuming as well as costly. This challenge can be overcome by doing minor research on the current market state, user demographics, and popularity and then testing the software applications on devices that are prioritized according to the research.
Also integrating a cloud-based testing platform for testing software applications can also help in solving the challenge of device fragmentation by reducing the overall testing time and effort.
Limited Access to Devices
Real device testing involves testing software applications on real physical devices and testing on all combinations of devices is not possible. But, this could be overcome by using a device cloud. Although the device cloud cannot test all aspects of a software application, such as hardware and device-specific issues, it is beneficial for testing major aspects of software applications. Also, this ensures that the software applications can be tested remotely without the need for any kind of physical setup.
The challenge of limited device access can also be solved by collaborating and sharing devices among testers. This will ensure that the resources are shared among various members of the testing community, thus increasing the device coverage and reducing total cost.
It is essential for a tester or developer to ensure that the software application is working fine on different network conditions, such as 3G, 4G, and WiFi, as multiple users use different network connectivity according to their usability. This challenge can be overcome by the use of a network simulation tool. These tools allow testers to replicate various real-world network conditions, both stable and unstable. This helps in analyzing the performance of software applications and thus ensures a seamless user experience.
Also, cross-browser testing platforms can be used to test software applications. In these platforms, the software applications are tested by real users from different geographical areas under the network condition available in their location.
Security and Privacy
Real device testing involves testing software applications on physical devices, and using sensitive data or personal data for the same may cause privacy and security concerns. So, in order to address these challenges, it is better to use a data masking technique which involves the usage of fictitious data. Another thing that could be done here is to perform testing without disclosing the sensitive data and mimicking the real-world data.
This issue can also be undertaken by anonymizing data or using a data scrubbing technique that will encapsulate all the personal data before testing on the real device, thus ensuring the confidential data remains protected.
Testing for Various Form Factors
Testing for various form factors in the real device testing process can be challenging as it includes ensuring optimal user experience among various devices. This could be overcome by creating responsive software applications that can work fine across any screen size or resolution.
Also, testers and developers can use frameworks like Bootstrap and CSS media queries that allow them to focus on the responsiveness and layout of software applications, thus optimizing its appearance and providing flawless user experience across various form factors.
Continuous OS Updates
With the advancement of software technology, there are frequent updates to the operating systems, and new versions are developed that impact the overall functionality of the software application. To overcome this, it is important to test our software application on the latest versions and ensure they are compatible with them.
The challenge that occurs due to the continuous update of an operating system can be solved by adopting beta versions of the operating system for testing purposes. That means the compatibility of the software application with the upcoming versions can be tested in advance.
Device-Specific Features and Hardware
There are several devices present in the market that have unique features and hardware capabilities, and testing them separately can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, the testers and developers need to prioritize devices on which the testing process has to be carried out based on the end user’s Software Specification Requirement.
Also, testers and developers may use cloud-based testing platforms to overcome device-specific features and hardware challenges as they provide all kinds of features required for the testing of software applications on any device.
Real device testing is an essential part of software testing as it allows testers and developers to test their software applications in a real-world environment using real physical devices, thus ensuring that the software application provides a quality-based end-user seamless experience. But today, there are hundreds of devices with different operating systems and browser combinations, and therefore, real device testing may take a lot of time and effort, which the use of cloud-based testing platforms can reduce.
There are several challenges that arise while performing real device testing and therefore impacting the effectiveness and efficiency of the software application. These challenges can be overcome by using the essential strategies mentioned in this article. Also, this will help testers and developers to deliver a confident bug-free software application to the end users.
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