A major part of the web is now mobile-driven. This is also obvious from the fact that Google is now indexing all websites mobile-first. If you are someone who has a website – more often than not, chances are that it will be majorly consumed on a mobile phone.
Mobile phone usage has seen rapid growth in the past and is expected to grow at a good rate in the future too. To support the claim, below are some stats that we took from datareportal.com related to mobile phone usage:
“Most internet users (92.8 percent) use mobile devices to go online at least some of the time, but computers also account for an important share of internet activity.”
Thus, it has become imperative that companies release their products taking care of how it appears and works on the variety of mobile phones available today. These companies can implement this testing in multiple ways, namely:
1. Testing their products/website on a selected number of mobile phones.
2. Testing their products/website on few selected real devices and few emulators.
3. They can also create an in-house device lab that houses a good number of these devices and test them.
4. Last, but in no way the least – using some cloud device provider for testing their products/website on the large number of devices that can be accessed via cloud. Companies can also integrate their test automation with these cloud device providers in various ways.
Companies have been following one of the above 4 methods for testing their products according to their suitability. Points 1 and 2 are self-explanatory. In this article, we will discuss points 3 and 4.
What is an ‘in-house device lab’ and why is it needed?
When a team is working on a product that works on a mobile device, the most important thing to test is that it works on all supported versions of all supported mobile devices. To achieve this, organizations often opt to create an in-house device lab for themselves.
There are times when this can be useful and times when it might not be.
When is it useful?
- When the organization is big and has ensured that the cost of setting up and using an in-house device lab will be lower than when the same devices are used on cloud.
- When some specific settings are needed on a mobile device that would be tough to replicate on cloud.
When is it not useful?
- When you have a small team who might not be using the devices in the device lab regularly
- When the cost of maintaining the device lab is too much to justify the cost of procuring and setting it up.
What is the impact of the pandemic on the in-house device labs?
The covid-19 pandemic changed the way the world looked at work. And at some places, the changes have the potential to be permanent. Almost all the world, at the same time, decided to work from home and not go to the company offices. This was the only way to stay safe in a difficult situation.
Because the offices closed down, the labs in the offices became difficult to access. Thus, the in-house device lab might not be something you might want to have in the current situation.
What are the possible alternatives to in-house device labs?
The best alternative solution to an ‘in-house device lab’ is a device lab on the cloud.
The benefits of working with device providers on cloud at present are:
1. The device lab on cloud can be accessed from anywhere at any time, thus working from home or from anywhere else is not a hurdle in using it, you just need a working internet connection and you are set.
2. The device lab on cloud can provide you with thousands of devices with much less price.
3. You have the flexibility to use the device lab only for the time that you need it.
4. The device lab also will get updated to the latest devices as and when they get available in the market.
5. You can forget the hassles of maintaining an in-house device lab, no extra personnel needed for maintenance, no tensions of procuring and updating to new versions and devices. Just focus on your testing.
Above, we talked about device labs, there are different ways that the device lab can be used. These are:
1. You can get access to the device lab and execute your test cases manually. Which can be time-consuming if you are executing the test cases on multiple devices.
2. You can automate the test cases and integrate them to the device cloud and choose the devices that the test cases will be executed on. The only extra hassle here would be to configure the connection between the lab and your tests.
3. You can go for a cloud-based automated tool that lets you execute your automated test cases on the in-house device lab. Testsigma, a cloud-based automated cross browser testing tool, is one such unique offering. Why Unique? Because it lets you automate your test cases on mobile devices as well as browsers very easily from one place. The test cases are created in simple English, thus the test case creation process is very easy too.
And, the best part is you can integrate with any of the multiple device clouds at the click of a button from anywhere, anytime and execute the test cases easily. That’s not all, you get a one-month free trial too.
Try Testsigma for automated test case execution on the best of cloud labs, the easy way
How to enable automation along with device providers on cloud?
Let’s talk about enabling automation along with device providers on cloud, in detail. Below are few points you should take care of:
1. If you are not going for a cloud-based test automation tool and only want to use a cloud device provider then ensure that your automated workflow can be easily integrated with the cloud device provider.
2. After integration, make sure that the test execution on the cloud devices is easy to launch.
3. The report of all test executions should be easily available and you should have the option to send them to your email too.
4. Parallel execution of test cases on the devices should be supported.
5. The cloud device provider should provide you support if there is an issue with execution.
6. You should only be billed for the time you use the cloud services.
7. The devices in the cloud should be updated soon after an update.
9. You should also have access to devices that are not the latest but are still in use.
10. The cloud service provider should have some security protocols to ensure that your data on the cloud is always safe and secure.
If you are wondering if you need to invest in cloud-based automation testing tool then this is an article you should read: 6 signs you need to invest in a cloud-based test automation tool
Cloud device providers for Automation
And lastly, here is the list of the various cloud device providers in the market today:
1. Testsigma: This is a scriptless automated testing tool where test cases can be created easily in English and then executed on one of the 5 easily integrate cloud device labs. This is the tool for you if you are looking for a complete automated testing solution for cross browser testing.
Easily automate and execute your cross browser testing, in a codeless way, with Testsigma
2. LambdaTest: A cloud-based cross browser testing platform that helps in both manual and automated (via Selenium) browser compatibility testing. Users can perform live interactive testing of their website or web app on a combination of 2000+ different browsers and operating systems right from their own browser.
3. BrowserStack: Gives access to 2000+ real devices and browsers on cloud for testing live (manually) as well as automated (Cypress[beta] and Selenium).
4. Sauce Labs: This is also a tool that facilitates cloud-based cross browser testing live as well as execution of scripts written in Selenium and appium.
5. CrossBrowserTesting: A cloud-based tool for cross browser testing – Live as well automated execution of Selenium and appium scripts.