How to Test Your Mobile Apps From Anywhere

Posted Mar 18th, 2020

Laptop, mobile phone and a Mini

In today’s uncertain times, many organizations across the globe are accelerating their move to a remote workforce. While this move may be temporary for some, it requires testing teams to reevaluate how they are testing their web and mobile apps. Testing on and maintaining physical devices is no longer feasible in a remote working environment.  

In addition, modern development teams are distributed globally, and with this organizational scale comes added complexity. For testing results to be uniform, all teams need access to the same devices for testing. Also, the test results should be shareable across teams no matter where they’re located. Any member of the QA team should be able to debug a failed test case using video, screenshots, and logs. Tools like Selenium and Appium are powerful automation allies, but running them at scale is a different proposition altogether than running one test at a time on a developer’s machine. When you can’t see what’s going on with a test, or interrogate test details after a test finishes, figuring out what caused a failure is an exercise in frustration. 

When scaling up your test organization or your test suite, additional test management features are essential. This kind of scalability is an issue for the QA team, but that’s only part of the story. The team also faces major hurdles when maintaining their own on premise testing grid. Maintenance includes updating, acquiring, and troubleshooting devices. After every test, the devices need to be cleaned and prepared for the next test on an ongoing basis, not to mention the requirements for maintaining the host machines. Let’s face it, this is hard to get right when done by an in-house team without the specialized knowledge needed to manage a test cloud.  

Ultimately, testing teams need to have the flexibility to work and test remotely without the hassle of maintaining physical devices or device carts.  Does this look familiar?

Mobile Device Cart

Benefits of a Cloud-based Testing Platform

Whether you had a distributed testing team already or are just now making a temporary move to remote working, a cloud-based testing platform has many advantages.

Secure Access from Anywhere
Test from anywhere. Your teams can be centrally located, spread out globally, or working from home. A cloud-based testing platform can scale for both manual and automated testers running scripts from anywhere in the world.

Increase Device Coverage
Test your native and hybrid apps across a wide range of Android and iOS devices. A cloud-based testing platform provides your teams immediate access with the devices you need.

No Maintenance Required 
Eliminate the need to maintain an internal device lab. You don’t need to worry about OS or browser updates, compatibility, whether devices are running or if you have the right device mix.

Accelerate Test Execution
Run high volumes of real device tests with low error rates and 99% availability.

Private or Public Cloud option
Select a dedicated pool of devices or choose to broaden your coverage with a wide selection of thoroughly cleaned devices. You’ve got options.

Working With Remote Teams

At Sauce Labs, we offer a cloud-based mobile testing platform. Our Real Device Cloud enables your team to test from virtually anywhere, anytime, on any device. Instead of being limited to where your physical devices are located, or procuring new devices, your team can keep focused on improving app quality and accelerating release times with comprehensive mobile testing coverage in the cloud.

Our Real Device Cloud gives testers access to thousands of Android and iOS devices to run their manual or automated tests.  This frees up your QA team from the hassle of procuring new devices, and gives them the confidence of having the latest devices available for testing immediately.

Choose from these real devices on the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud

Getting Started Tips for Using Sauce Labs

Testing Internal Apps or Websites
If your app or website is behind a corporate firewall, on a private network, or not publicly accessible, you can use Sauce Connect to set up a secure connection for testing between a Sauce Labs real device and your website or mobile app.

Live Testing
You can interactively or manually test your mobile applications on a variety of real Android and iOS mobile devices. 

  1. Log in to Sauce Labs and select Live Testing from the options in the left-hand navigation. 

  2. Click Web Testing.

  3. Select Real Devices.

  4. Use the filter options or Search field to find the type of real device you want to use in your test, and select it.  

  5. For Test URL, enter the URL of the website you want to test in the browser.

  6. If you are using Sauce Connect Proxy to access the web app you want to test, enter the ID of the tunnel to use. 

  7. Click Start Session

Automated Testing
It's easy to run automated web application tests in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud. 

  • First update your test script to include your Sauce Labs credentials and the path to the website for testing

Mac OSX:
$ export SAUCE_USERNAME="username"
$ export SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY="accessKey"
> set SAUCE_USERNAME="username"
> set SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY="accessKey"
  • Specify the platform / OS / browser combination you want to test your app against.  You can use the Platform Configurator to automatically generate test capabilities.

Or if mobile emulators and simulators suit your needs, check out this demo video to see how to run an automated mobile web test using Android emulators and iOS simulators.

Dynamic Device Allocation
While static allocation allows you more fine-grained control over the device used in your tests, it can also cause delays in your test execution if that device isn't available when you run your tests. If you only need to test on a particular platform and OS version, or on a particular type of device, you should use dynamic allocation, and we recommend that you use dynamic allocation for all automated mobile application testing in CI/CD environments. 

Sauce Labs is Here to Help

If your company is shifting to a remote workforce, and doing so makes testing on physical devices a challenge, Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud provides flexible options to get you access to the mobile devices you need, anytime, anywhere. With customizable payment options, we’re here to help see you through these uncertain times. Check out our monthly online plans, contact us to get a custom quote, or visit our web site for more information on testing from anywhere.

Written by

Heather Wellington


Mobile TestingReal Devices