Testing on Mobile devices

A while back Brad Frost posted a very useful breakdown on testing mobile devices and how to do it without breaking the bank. This post is kind of an extension to it but pointing to other useful resources that I have come across and used.

Frost went down the route of physical devices, what you should test and their breakdown in prices. This post will be a list of services I have come across for testing on a vast array mobile devices without having to purchase said devices.

DeviceAnywhere

DeviceAnywhere Test Center is a device lab chock full of common and not so common devices that you can access remotely though their application. It gives you remote access to real devices, not emulators, and the ability to do almost anything to them. In my case I would only access the browser apps on each phone but you have full access to the phone and its capabilities.

Pros:

  • Record video and image capture
  • Invite other users to a watch or participate in testing
  • Huge amount of devices including tablets.
  • Good support for emulating touch and gestures.
  • Relatively cheap.

Cons:

  • Laggy and not super responsive (Latency from Australia most likely faster in USA and UK).
  • Automation and scripting is part of their enterprise product which is very pricey.

Price: ~$16USD/hr for general access to the device lab. Packages and bulk hours equals cheaper prices.


Perfecto Mobile

PerfectoMobile MobileCloud is very similar to DeviceAnywhere both offer a huge array of real devices you can remotely access. PerfectoMobile uses a flash based web app for accessing and testing on devices.

Pros:

  • Record video and image capture
  • Invite other users to a watch or participate in testing
  • Huge amount of devices including tablets.
  • Have dedicated handset options: Blackberry and Nokia

Cons:

  • Laggy and not super responsive (Latency from Australia most likely faster in USA and UK).
  • Automation and scripting is part of their enterprise product which is very pricey.
  • Touch and gestures aren’t that easy to accomplish.
  • Pricey, even for entry level access.

Price: ~$170USD/10hrs per month. Blackberry $4USD/hr, Nokia $14USD/hr.


BrowserStack

BrowserStack recently launched remote access to an array of Mobile and tablet emulators with real device configurations. All in browser access.

Pros:

  • Good cheap pricing
  • Can test localhost remotely1
  • Automation! BrowserStack has an API for spinning up an emulator and scripting interaction. Huge.

Cons:

  • Not real devices, but when it’s for browser testing that’s less of an issue.
  • Smaller, but growing, list of mobile browsers. But really they cover 99% of the most used ones already.

Price: $19USD/Month for an individual. Gives you access to Mobile and desktop browsers.

1 Note: BrowserStack provides their own implementation of a localtunnel like service. You can of course use localtunnel or similar on your own machine for testing your localhost with other services.


Nokia Remote Device Access

Nokia RDA is a device lab of, you guessed it, Nokia devices where you can remotely access an array of Nokia phones.

Pros:

  • It’s free! You just need to sign up for Nokia dev account.
  • Huge list of Nokia phones available.
  • Record and screen capture.
  • Pretty responsive.

Cons:

  • Pretty lame con but it’s free and therefore could disappear.

Price: FREE!


AppThwack

AppThwack is a device lab of Android devices, iOS soon, that will let you run your app or mobile site through a series of tests and provide feedback and screenshots.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Free signup only allows testing of apk files, can’t run url tests.
  • Android only at the moment.

Price: starts at $29USD/month


MITE

MITE is another product from Keynote that focuses on mobile website testing.

Pros:

  • Test automation, can record a session and re-run
  • Waterfall charts
  • A web inspector

Cons:

  • Windows only.
  • It’s a native app and not a web app. Is this 1999?
  • Don’t think it really tests on emulators, but has a common WebKit engine and skins the phones.1
  • WebKit monoculture.

Price: FREE!

1 Note: From what I could gather on their website.

So that’s it. If you know of any other services that I may have missed let me know. I think a combination of real devices and remote access is the killer setup for any mobile development shop or individual.

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