If you develop your Android app(s) in a small team without a dedicated QA guy or in a one man show, you have to test the app on your own. Usually developers test the app in the Android simulator with different Android versions and at least on one real device. The fact that Android is available in hundreds of custom configurations on over 200 different devices makes testing a real challenge for small teams. To ensure that your app runs on every device, you would have to buy a lot of hardware and need a lot of space to store all the devices. This waste to much time and is also very expensive.
But this could change now!
The company Apkudo implemented an online Android Testing Service/ Lab for Android apps. Developers or companies are able to upload their apps to the provided lab and Apkudo will do the “testing” for you on real devices!
Apkudo describes the service as follows:
“See your app run on every Android device. Free.”
So what are they doing? After uploading the Android apk file to the service they install, execute and how they call it “exercise” the app on every available Android device on the market and report bugs or unexpected behavior. During the execution of the app, cameras observe the test devices. If something happens on the screen the cameras will recognize it and will generate a report.
At the end you get a detailed report that contains log files, found bugs, video streams and a list of devices that caused problems.
I really like the fact that you can install and execute your app on every device on the fragmented Android market and you will see how the app behaves. This might be really helpful, if you don’t know the devices of your customers (yet).
But there are several questions that come to my mind when I first heard about that service.
- What means “exercise” the app? Is that just clicking around through all the pages and buttons and see whats happening? I think they will do some fuzzy testing with monkey.
- Can I specify my own test scenarios and expected results?
- What about apps that need backend services or rely on a database?
- Is it possible to test my app against a testsystem over VPN and not against a live system e.g. with user rights management?
These are just a few questions and I am really curious how Apkudo will handle these challenges when they go Live with the service. Currently, Apkudo is only available in a closed beta phase, but I think they will offer more functionality in a paid premium service.
So let’s see whats happening! I will keep you updated on that topic.
Have fun and keep on testing!
Here is a picture of the Apkudo office :).