Software developer freelancer working at home with mobile device

What is A Device Farm and Its Advantages?

After many days and nights of developing your mobile device, the initial response would be to ship your mobile app and begin to see the money start rolling in. But usually, things don’t work that way. With digital innovations on the rise, your mobile app must adapt to provide a universal experience to users by being accessible to every browser. Therefore, long before your app is ready to launch, you must ensure that it functions flawlessly across all platforms, including browsers, operating systems, networks, and any other combination your users may prefer. But with the number of devices in operation, this can be challenging to execute.

That’s where the device farm comes in. Device farms help ensure that your mobile app works under all these variables. It is a testing alternative that’s effective, economical, and incredibly scalable, regardless of whether they’re custom-built or purchased from a third-party provider. In this article, we’ll tackle what device farm means and its advantages as a testing strategy.

What is Device Farm?

Device farms are cloud-based testing environments that allow developers to remotely test the functionality of their software and mobile products on actual devices. They encompass tests on various browsers, operating systems, device combinations, and even on different situations, circumstances, and configurations. Device farms spot problems in their products’ usability, adaptability, performance, and design by allowing the developers to observe them in use from the viewpoint of their intended customers.

These tools also assist you in evaluating your app’s performance under typical hardware conditions, like short battery life, fluctuating CPU utilization, weak networks, and even interruptions like incoming calls and texts. To test whether your app’s responsive design is reliable and completely functional, you may also interact with the devices using swipe gestures, fingerprints, or FaceID.

Lastly, a device farm eliminates the need to improvise any part of your testing plan or guess what issues might arise. You can run your code on an actual device, evaluate its performance, and receive accurate test results. This way, the time and money you may save by buying a device farm to use your testing methods will favor your development processes.

person holding iphone device showing social network folder

How Does a Device Farm Work?

When testing browsers on desktops and mobile devices:

  • The developers will log into their accounts.
  • Select a device, browser, and operating system.
  • Enter the desired URL.
  • Start taking the necessary steps to ensure that the website works. Testers can determine if any bugs endanger the efficiency of their website.

Devtools are typically included in testing interfaces to enable quick detection and debugging by the tester.

When testing apps on mobile devices:

  • Developers pick a device
  • Online app or apk uploading
  • Test it to see if the app works with the device’s features. Once more, the user portal includes dev tools.

Both versions typically support automated testing. The device farm essentially allows QAs to write test scripts using trusted test automation frameworks like Selenium, Appium, Espresso, XCUITest, and others.

mobile device testing with smartphone and laptop on bench indoors

Advantages of a Device Farm

According to a 2020 survey, if a brand offers a poor mobile experience, 65% of app users will think less favorably of it. The same study also shows that 70% of users will stop using an app if it takes too long to load. These numbers show that it is not enough to manage your business’ mobile devices. It also highlights the urgent necessity for developers to release products that operate at peak efficiency all the time. To ensure the quality of your apps, you must install some automated testing methods.

You can use any available automated QA testing tools or do manual testing. However, you should be aware that device farms provide the thoroughness and effectiveness you need to establish effective testing procedures. With that, device farms are an excellent substitute for developers who want to reduce errors and consistently produce high-quality work.

The following are just a few of the many benefits of using a device farm for your mobile testing requirements:

  • It is simple to use and provides a broad range of devices to assist you with expanding the scope of your platform testing.
  • It can assist QA engineers in testing the app’s usability from the user’s point of view.
  • You may try them on various devices without buying them in person, pay for data plans, set up infrastructure, or handle hardware.
  • It is perfect for offshore development teams since it allows access to testing environments from any location and time zone.
  • The majority of device farms provide access to a variety of device models and manufacturers, including obsolete ones, as well as both legacy and modern operating system versions.
  • It supports CI/CD pipeline integration.
  • It is significantly less expensive compared to maintaining an internal device lab.
  • There are no overhead expenses when acquiring a cloud-based device farm.
  • It offers tests of a level of scalability that is unmatched.
  • You can choose to use the built-in test suites.
  • Most suppliers offer thorough reports and accident logs.

Bottom Line

There is no one-size-fits-all method for testing mobile apps. The most effective strategy to test your product depends totally on the requirements of your project and your research and development requirements. The benefits, however, make it easier to decide which solution is best for you and whether device farms are the best option for your business.

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